After slowly coming to the realisation that I can choose to be represented by pretty much anything online (e.g. A bag of salad, a fuse box, a massive bin, any picture that it’s possible to get hold of, really), I have decided to become this hatstand.
So that we might understand the stand that the hat goes over so that it stands on the hatstand (or is it the stand that is standing and the hat that is sitting on the stand?) i.e. so that it can be possible to understand how the hatstand can be properly understood, it seems necessary to take a stand and aim some questions, not under, nor over, but directly at it. At the stand.
There are a great many beautiful things in this world. But as one of those, the hatstand is particularly outlandish in that, whilst being beautiful, yes, it is also quite useless given today’s (largely inexplicable) non-prevalence of hats.
Most hats are a bit useless too. Or at very least, most hat-wearing is useless. Fair enough, there are exceptions, but please allow me this generalization. Therefore, so mostly, is the hatstand. In full bloom, we might say that the hatstand is a useless adornment adorned by multiple useless adornments.
Whilst the hatstand may also bear an uncanny resemblance to some thin androgynous figure who flails, this is lazy anthropocentric thinking. The hatstand is allowed to be an entity entirely in its own right, is it not?
What would the hatstand say?
In an effort to find out more about hatstands, I conducted an interview with one that I found in an old antiques warehouse in Crystal Palace – you may visit it there too, if you like. It’s on Jasper Road.
–What is a hatstand?
A brusque retort to the common concern of not knowing quite where to put one’s hat.
–Do enough people wear hats these days to warrant the existence of hatstands?
An exposed head is all too easily lost without firm conviction of the hat’s elation, that such a thing might ever lay beneath an other, set aside from light itself, or someone else; in sheathing should it cease at last, then shame, surely, it must endure.
–Is that a doctrine of profligacy?
Not by today’s standards.
–Sorry if this is a touchy subject-
No, not at all.
—but have you ever considered yourself-
Naturally, though it is unhealthy to compare. Borne of beach, my family tree was littoral, yet some have been taken to believe that waves can be exclusive. Had they ever truly belonged to me at all, I would have gladly offered, but you like I am of the earth and they were never mine to give, the waves that is, so no. I am just here, to hold your hat.
The hatstand is a thousand times more glamorous than the coat hook. Is this what you mean to say?
Of course not, it is a million times more glamorous. Call that what you will.
–I’d better not. Now, it seems unlikely that the views expressed by one hatstand, i.e. you, would ever be representative of all hatstands, let alone maybe even a single other one. Is this a fact that you struggle to deal with, or do you simply dispute it outright?
No, you are right there, in a way, yes. But isn’t it the case that many suffer from what might be termed, life-induced psychological immobility?
No, that is a problem specifically related to iced goods.
Yes. But what is being said here is that it isn’t anybody’s place to tell people how life should be lived, given that all too often, it just can’t. As a hatstand, I feel no discomfort in making the fact clear.
–I’m sorry but that has not been made clear at all. Is there a fair comparison to be made here between a hatstand and a bottle rack? Is that fair?
The bottle rack and I would be willing to share a similarity so long as it were possible to split the difference between us, equally. My friend, Marcel, who is skeletal as us both would make a useful judge in this if only he weren’t so irrevocably, dead. But think: there are more uses in the human head than there are objects to be used, and integral to triangulate between the hat and I, from this it can be said, “what has the washed-up bottle ever had to do with where you put it?” Succinctly put, I love that nothing is useless, forever.
– It is difficult to think of anything as forever. How, hatstand, are you of your time?
When objects belonged to a belief that they could hold truth within themselves, we were blessed and felt no pressure to be anything aside from what we evidently were. They said it, so it was. But with rampant, unstoppable, proliferation of mirrors, how could any singular reflection ever be trusted again? New angles opened up; we couldn’t help but look and feel shock to see all things drained of brilliant colour. The hatstand is a relic of this dangerous illusion, which dazzled weaker souls, led them headstrong into terrible orgies of destruction. I am of a time that learned how in a world of underwhelming beauty, disappointment is your duty.
–I think I preferred your shorter answers.
Is that a question?
-No. You have given me enough information.
Are you going to buy me?
-No. You are useless.
All the more reason.
Now that many of us are in the habit of documenting our lives online, we no longer need to buy things in order to share in their allure. It is possible to take a photograph and have its object attached to ourselves. This is why I am a hatstand now – to suggest that the act of representation is more precious than the material object.
That is what can be learned from being a decadent hatstand.
Words: Allan Struthers