Baseball Cap Implications in the Quest for Global Hegemony
TRANSCEND MEMBERS, 20 Jul 2020
Comprehension of Elusive Order through the Dynamics of Angels and Demons
20 Jul 2020 – This speculative exploration follows from an earlier argument regarding the challenge of mapping the opposing forces of good and evil — in anticipation of any prophesied final battle. There it was argued that the “problems” recognized today could be understood as the “demons” of yesteryear, and that the “angelic forces” of traditional belief systems were comparable to the remedial “strategies” now variously proposed. Given the subtlety of such forces, and their embodiment of appreciated and deprecated values, the challenge is how their multiplicity might be most fruitfully ordered to facilitate comprehension (Mapping options for 144 distinctive features of a dynamic global system, 2020).
The earlier argument noted the worldwide familiarity with sports balls, most notably those of football and tennis, the stitching patterns of which suggest a curiously indirect appreciation of global order — however unconscious (Game ball design as holding insight of relevance to global governance? 2020). The question is explored more conventionally through the need to develop projections of the spherical globe in 3D to enable its representation in 2D on printable maps. Many such projections have been explored to that end (List of map projections, Wikipedia).
The manufacture of balls used in sports poses the problem otherwise, namely how to curve materials in 2D in order to create a viable ball in 3D. As discussed, of particular importance in this respect is the seam of the tennis ball, which is the feature of the tennis-ball theorem of mathematics. This is of the same form as that of the baseball curve of 108 double stitches (Seam Curve on Sports Balls, Wolfram Demonstration Project). The argument concluded by suggesting that the form of sports visors in general, and the baseball cap in particular, might bear an unsuspected relation to that curve — with cognitive and strategic implications (Enabling flying capacity with “headgear” — cognitively comprehended? 2020).
The question to be explored is whether what is appreciated as especially “cool” in such headgear, and its implied relation to game-playing, somehow implies a capacity to “fly” as understood metaphorically — especially with regard to enabling collective initiatives to “fly like an eagle” rather than be grounded “like a turkey”. Such flying metaphors are well-recognized in relation to viable corporate strategy.
Of obvious significance in this period of global crisis is the role of the acclaimed leader of the world’s greatest superpower, namely Donald Trump. As the subject of more daily media coverage than any leader in history, his signature headgear is the baseball cap. Through this he achieves a degree of identity in the popular imagination, and presumably his own, which has yet to merit the attention it deserves — despite the exposure it has evoked. Critics have endeavoured to make the strongest case for his essentially pathological condition, whilst failing to acknowledge that — pathological or not — this reflects a mindset of an electorally significant proportion of the American people, as may be explored otherwise (Who to Blame: “Donald Trump” or the “American People”? Let’s get real clear on any responsibility for imminent global disaster, 2019).
Rather than focus on the political convenience of any such conclusion by mental health professionals, of greater relevance is the systemic function that his mode of operation continues to represent. This can be better explored through the archetypal role of Loki (as a trickster deity) in his relation to the realm of the gods in Norse mythology (Identity in question via Trump: Narcissus vs Loki? 2017; Unconscious civilization and “reality distortion”? 2018). Loki’s relation with the the deities claiming to embody the highest values of humanity varies by source; Loki sometimes assists the gods and sometimes behaves maliciously towards them. Loki is a shape shifter enabling the onset of Ragnarök — consistent with current anticipation of civilizational collapse.
Whereas the deities of that mythology are readily depicted as wearing a winged helmet (as with Hermes of Greek tradition), for the purpose of this argument it could be asked whether the most obvious form of headgear for a modern Loki would indeed be the baseball cap — especially given the possibility of wearing it reversed or sideways (Rod Dreher, Trump the Trickster, The American Conservative, 8 March 2016; Jo Brewis, The baseball cap: a symbol of pathological consumption? Social Worlds Project, 26 March 2014). There is the further irony that the headgear most evident in the demonstrations now so manifest worldwide as indicative of popular unrest is indeed the baseball cap. Is there a curious modern connection between “demonstrator” and “demon” that calls for attention from the perspective of those who perceive such action to be “demonic” or “evil” in some way?
It is a fact that the existence of “evil” is now widely recognized by world leaders, irrespective of how questionable this is to secular science (Existence of evil as authoritatively claimed to be an overriding strategic concern, 2016). However it remains curious that so little is seemingly done to explore how the organization of the “demonic forces” might be comprehended — beyond the geometrical allusion to an Axis of Evil. Especially problematic, as explored in the earlier argument, is the degree to which those qualifying others as evil tend to be so qualified in return (Framing by others of claimants of evil as evil, 2016).
Even more remarkable, is the failure to clarify how the “angelic forces” — those opposing the “forces of darkness” — are organized. In this respect it can be argued that the degree of understanding of such order is as problematic and questionable as the organization of pantheons and angelic hierarchies, especially given the unreconciled views of the Abrahamic religions in this regard (Angels in Judaism, Christian angelic hierarchy, Angels in Islam). Reference to such supernatural forces, hypothetical or not, may appear irrelevant to many. It is however a fact that many popular baseball teams specifically name themselves as “demons”, “devils” or “angels”, thereby meriting consideration of this dimension in this context.
The quest for global hegemony under the leadership of Donald Trump is increasingly well-documented, notably in the light of the memoir of John Bolton (Michael Brenner, The Impossible Dream, Consortium News, 13 July 2020; Ashley Smith, Illiberal hegemony: The Trump administration strategy for US Imperialism, International Socialist Review, 109; Alexander Cooley and Daniel H. Nexon, How Hegemony Ends: the unraveling of American power, Foreign Affairs, July/August 2020).
Trump’s adoption of the red baseball cap has been central to the symbolism of this aspiration — as an extension of the American Dream — despite the controversy it has aroused (‘Make America Great Again’ hat wins Symbolic Systems’ symbol of the year for 2016, Stanford News, 9 January 2017; Issac Bailey, Why Trump’s MAGA hats have become a potent symbol of racism, CNN, 12 March 2019).
There is therefore a case for an exploration — however speculative — of the degree to which the headgear favoured (however unconsciously) by the culture seeking global hegemony is in some way a reflection of that mindset and conducive to it (Maude Bass-Krueger, Everything to know about the history of the baseball cap, Vogue, 28 May 2019; Jim Lilliefors, Ball Cap Nation: a journey through the world of America’s national hat, 2009). This would indeed be consistent with the forms of headgear favoured in their quest for dominance by imperialist forces of the past.
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