In a Hoodie -- Tunnel Vision -- Hiding in a Mobile Cave
You see them all over, mostly worn by young people, though often too by people who are acting young or at least acting like they have little responsibility. The hooded sweatshirt is a very functional garment which can keep you cozy on a coolish evening or dampish day. The hood could be worn up or down and could be worn over other clothes or under them for a very functional layered outfit.
Working you can peel off a layer at a time while you get hot through strenuous work and then don again when you stop and start to cool down. I think they are great to wear under rain gear and I see many workers with the hoods up under their hardhats. The Hoodie¹ can be practical. (image to right - image from Wikipedia)¹
But... I see so many young people on warm clear days wearing them with the hoods up. I am fairly sure it isn't to protect from the UV light from the Sun for they wear the hoods indoors in malls as well... I wonder if they wear the hoods up in class too?
Perhaps the hoods might be keeping the wearer warm, but I gather for a large part it is a matter of being at least slightly incognito.
Perhaps not all who wear hoodies are hoods looking for trouble, but a lot of people looking for trouble like the hoodie and baseball cap combination to hide their identity from security cameras and witnesses if they are doing not so legal things -- like: shop lifting, "tagging", trespassing, loitering, lighting illegal fireworks, and many other things.
Three and a half years ago a shopping centre in Kent in the UK "outlawed" "hooded tops" along with baseball caps and swearing at Bluewater shopping centre.² They had a zero-tolerance approach. The ban was not appreciated of course by some and applauded by others such as Tony Blair and John Prescott.
(image of young people in hooded sweatshirts with baseball caps from BBC News)²
I'm not sure about the banning of apparel like that. For the most part kids are just following their roll models. When I went from Elementary School to Junior High School (from grade 6 into grade 7 -- 12-years-old to 13-years-old) there was something new... a dress code. In public school in Alberta we don't have uniforms, but there were some regulations in Jr High. One of the things I remember was that there was a ban on jeans! Well actually the year I started Jr High they relaxed things and they allowed jeans as long as they didn't have rivets. That was a relief because almost all my pants were actually work pants that were jeans. They were green, but they were jeans.
Now they said the issue was with the rivets hurting the desks, but I didn't quite buy that. Another rule was that girls were not allowed to wear pants (slacks) in school. That didn't directly effect me except I found it a bit embarrassing in winter. That was because nearly all the girls would be switching out of the pants they had worn through the snow and subzero temperature on the way to school in the hallways in front of the lockers. Thirteen-year-old boys could be easily embarrassed. The rules seem very silly now...
Now the rules tend to be more towards modesty and keeping the clothes modestly decent.
I think that I could understand rules about wearing hoods and hats in school... but I am old school and when I was young it was considered improper for men to wear hats indoors so it still feels odd for me to wear a hat indoors.
Still... I look at the people wearing the hoods and it seems a bit like those glasses that are so popular that I wrote about recently in "The Gnomestead Stump: Blinders - To See or Not to See"³. The hoods like those glasses with the wide temples cut down the peripheral vision so that a person can mostly only see what is straight forward. (image to right - image from iOffer)
Like I said there -- perhaps some people just need a way to focus on the world in front of them, like the "...sidewalk ahead with fewer distractions. just like the draft horses of the past..."³
¹ "Hoodie" Wikipedia
² "Mall bans shoppers' hooded tops" May 14, 2005 BBC News - South East news: Week in review
³ "Blinders - To See or Not to See" Darrell Wade Penner Sept 6, 2008 The Gnomestead Stump.