'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.
|Kick in the Nuts|
Or Jimmy Carter from Barack Obama.
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.