Saturday, April 6, 2013

Fez



'F' is for Fez
No kidding.
We really dressed like this.
  Fez is a character on That 70s Show, a lighthearted romp of what it was like living in a country loathed by the Middle East and  presided over by an incompetent president.  

  And who said history doesn't repeat itself?
  
  Anyway, Fez is played by the actor Wilmer Valderrama as an innocent foreign exchange student from a country which is never named in the show.

NOTE:  this technique of the "unknown" has been a staple of network television for many years.  For instance, we never saw Norm's wife in Cheers, all of Wilson's face in Home Improvement, or evidence of a brain on The Jersey Shore

  As a matter of fact, Fez very often...oh, wait.  You mean we should be talking about the fez hat?  Oh, well, that's another story altogether.

NOTE:  Yeah, as if you really believe I didn't know where this post was going.  This is the technique known as "playful suspension of belief."  Or "author stupidity."

Wait, don't tell me.
I never forget a fez.
  Fez, the hat (as opposed to the box-office flop Fez-The Motion Picture) originated in Fes, Morocco.  It is a type of headgear (the term hat probably gave it away) developed by Andalusian Arabs (who apparently didn't know how to spell) in the 17th Century.  This was primarily a way to find something to do with those spare scraps of red cloth hanging around the bazaar.  Plus, it gave them something to do when not beheading infidels.

Cannons and muskets.
Kinda makes my camel dung catapults
puny by comparison.
  The fez grew in popularity after Sultan Mahmud II (of the Casablanca Mahmuds) decided to modernize his military in 1826 with Western-style uniforms and all those red hats.

  Since he didn't modernize his military with Western-style gunpowder, his was a short-lived experiment which led to eventual decline and dominance by America and Europe.  

  Yeah, even France. 

Mahmud would be so proud
  However, the story has a somewhat happy ending.  Not only was Morocco able to secure a spot at Disney's Epcot (where Mahmud I and II are played by Chip and Dale,  respectively), all those hats are now used by Shriners.  


  Who wouldn't know a hookah from a kick in the nuts.

Hookah
Kick in the Nuts
   
  Or Jimmy Carter from Barack Obama. 

1978
I told you we had some serious fashion issues.

Tomorrow:  A post which begins with the letter 'G.'  Because, 'G' follows 'F.'  Which is pretty much how this alphabet thing works out.

56 comments:

  1. I'm thinking that Sultan might have been a little gay since the first thing he did was start changing clothes!
    The High Cost of this Low Living

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  2. Oh boy, that shirt on the top. I used to think they were soooo dorky when they were popular and they reeeely look dorky now. I love the one about all the red cloth hanging about at the markets.

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  3. Fezes are cool. At least some people think so. I don't know if I'd wear a fez but I've worn much worse. I do always appreciate a good fez though.

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    1. If I had a fez, I would so wear it to someplace like Home Depot and speak with an accent.
      I'd probably get a job.

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  4. I used to put on my Dad's shiner's hat and parade around the living room and ask him how many people he had to string up and beat to earn the fez. He did NOT find the humor in that at all. However, I never did learn the secrets of that stupid ass masonic lodge. Since he's now literally on his death bed, I guess he's takin' those secrets to the grave.

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    1. Maybe one of the secrets is how MANY people he strung up.
      My FIL is a Mason and, if we lived near by, I probably would be too.
      He said that I could join even though I'm a Catholic.
      I do so wanna learn the secrets....
      Incidentally, was your dad one of those shriners who drove the little cars?
      I LOVED those little cars!

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  5. You have the right sense of humor to fit right in at my house. You made me smile early on a Saturday morning and It's not easy to do that.

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    1. Maybe some French Toast, too?
      Without the French...?

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  6. Jeez, you actually had a shirt like that? My mother woulda killed me, and I'd have been kicked out of Catholic school.

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    1. Isn't that horrifying? I had platform shows, too, which looked damn pathetic on a little dude.

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  7. The kids are screaming right now. Usually that would get on my nerves, but your post has me laughing too hard to care. Just thought you should know...

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    1. Always happy to be associated with domestic discord! I do it quite often here. Thanks!

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  8. The cat would enjoying chewing the string on the fez. And such a shame you were almost right with your home improvement reference haha Wilson showed his face in the very last episode, if I remember correctly.

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    1. Oh, that's probably right. I gave up watching that show after it became sucky. I always thought that Wilson thing was stupid (never seeing Norm's wife? Now that was funny).

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  9. I forget the episode but I think they kidna hinted that his country is somewhere in Polynesia.

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    1. I would have guessed Latin America. Or North Africa. But, definitely not Switzerland.

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  10. I used to love the 70's Show! Ashton Kucher played such a great dummy!

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    1. I liked it, too. And not only because I lived that 70's show.

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  11. I've heard of the Fez hat before which definitely isn't going to be going back into fashion any time soon haha. I've never seen That 70s Show before to be honest Al but I've heard nothing but good things about it, might be worth checking out!

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    1. I'm surprised at how spot-on accurate that show is. It's cartoonish and outlandish, but that's how it was in the Carter administration.

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  12. I think those dudes from the 70's are what my daughter calls, Groovies. I think they're even groovier with fezes and hookahs.

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    1. And we could dance to that disco beat.

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  13. I liked Fez when That 70s Show started, but later on he became a bit too creepy. In the Big Bang Theory, you never see Howard's mom either.

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    1. And from the sounds of her, I think we're all better off.

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  14. Thank you for the history of the fez, and for explaining how the alphabet works. I've been wondering about it....

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    1. Just be thankful it's not Cyrillic. Or Chinese.

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  15. Never seeing all of Wilson's face in Home Improvement, <- Untrue, although I see others have pointed this out.... "or evidence of a brain on The Jersey Shore." <- totally true, unless of course you are talking not about the show, but the shore itself. I'm sure some very smart people have visited.

    Ah, FES... or "Foreign Exchange Student", I know there was one episode in which his real name was revealed, but I can't recall what it was.

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    1. Pat pointed that out about Wilson's face. Hmmm....shoulda stayed with the show longer.....
      When I researched (can you imagine?) Fez, the article said that his homeland WAS hinted at.
      FES-how did I miss that? I liked the show.

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  16. You just ned a fez with that shirt and you would be seting a brand new fashion trend I reckon

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    1. We had such serious fashion issues in the 70s that we never needed a fez.

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  17. Seeing them with their fez hat and scooters makes it looks like they are enjoying themselves.

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    1. I always wanted one of their little cars!

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  18. thank you, thank you, Penwasser, for this useful information! I can always count on you.

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    1. Just think how useful this will be if the topic ever comes up during dinner parties.

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  19. I can't believe that I never saw That 70's Show...

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    1. Even though I eschew most TV, I have to admit that I liked that show. If only because I wanted to see how much they got right. They got a lot of it right, surprisingly.

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  20. This post is hilarious, love your sense of humour.

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    1. Thanks, it helps to stay off my meds.

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  21. I don't care about the history of the hat. i want to know more about the character from That 70's Show!!

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    1. I think, after his American education, he moved back to his country and threatened to nuke Hawaii. No. Wait. That's King Jong Un.

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  22. Hahaha it never dawned on me that Fez hats lived on through the Shriners. I remember as a kid I could never figure out why they were always riding their little cars around in parades. I guess I still don't know why they did it.
    I was young enough in the 70s that my pics aren't embarrassing, but once it gets to the 80s I cringe at every photo in my mom's albums.

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    1. I'm just so glad Mahmoud was able to get rid of all those extra hats.
      BTW, that 70s pic was relatively mild. You should see my prom pictures. Starring a powder blue tuxedo!!

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  23. When you said Fez I thought that 70's show now I can't help picturing him with a silly hat on his head.........thank you for that

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    1. As long as you don't imagine him driving a little car, you're probably okay.

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  24. Great post! I'll be back for more laughs.
    Connie
    A to Z buddy
    Peanut Butter and Whine

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  25. I love the show. I'm not sure why, but Fez is my least favorite character. Maybe it's his high-pitched nasally voice. Or his horrible shirts. Or the fact that they give him the stupidest lines.

    xoRobyn

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    1. MY favorite character was Eric Forman. And not just because his girlfriend was hot.

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  26. Didn't Ralph, Norton, Fred, and Barney all wear them at the lodge meetings too? I'm digging that photo of you in your Fez shirt.

    Julie

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    1. Ralph and Norton wore raccoon hats.
      Fred and Barney wore these big-ass hats with buffalo horns on them.
      Dear Lord, forgive me, that I actually KNOW this.

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  27. Fez - as in I fez up I didn't do it...nope, I did not watch That 70s Show...nope, nor all those other awesomely fun shows which are only in reruns on "must pay through the nose of my fez" channels.

    A long time GF of mine (nope I don't do the whole BFF thingy) her dad was a Fezman - I always thought he was in some sort of "bad ass" gang to be wearing that getup. But, like Ralph/Norton, he was part of the cool crowd! :)

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