Dunce Caps, DEVO's Dome Hats, and Dreadlocks
DUNCE CAPS make dumb people smarter by funneling energy into their noggins, or are they just symbols of dumbassery? A Straight Dope entry on the topic says:
"Well, one of the more mystical things Duns [Scotus] accepted was the wearing of conical hats to increase learning. He noted that wizards supposedly wore such things; an apex was considered a symbol of knowledge and the hats were thought to "funnel" knowledge to the wearer. Once humanism gained the upper hand, Duns Scotus's teachings were despised and the "dunce cap" became identified with ignorance rather than learning. Humanists believed learning came from internal motivation rather than special hats, and used the public shame of having to wear a dunce cap to motivate slow learners to try harder."
DEVO's ENERGY DOMES were/are red vacu-form plastic hats designed and worn by DEVO in concert, on TV, and in airports. As seen in the "Whip It" video circa 1980. Here's what the band has to say at its ClubDEVO site about their colorful "hats":
"In the 20+ years that they've been available, DEVO's original Energy Domes have often been, like DEVO, misunderstood. Although they have been mistaken for flower pots, dog bowls, car urinals, lamp shades, and eventually relegated specifically for use at office holiday parties, these holy totems were actually designed with a more important purpose in mind. (Michael Pilmer, Club Devo Webmaster)
"Now It Can Be Told! The plain truth about the Energy Dome. It was designed according to ancient ziggaurat mound proportions used in votive worship. Like the mounds it collects energy and recirculates it. In this case the Dome collects energy that escapes from the crown of the human head and pushes it back into the Medula Oblongata for increased mental energy. It's very important that you buy a cheap plastic hardhat liner, adjust it to your head size and affix it with duct tape or Super Glue to the inside of the Dome. This allows the Dome to "float" just above the cranium and thus do its job. Unfortunately, sans hard hat liner, the recirculation of energy WILL NOT occur. (Gerald v. Casale - Devo Inc.)
DREADLOCKS. Read the history of dreadlocks here. It's not just all about Rastamen, either:
"Dreadlocks are more than just a symbolic statement of disregard for physical appearance. Both Eastern and Western Traditions hold that bodily, mental and spiritual energies mainly exit the body through the top of the head and the hair. If the hair is knotted, they believe, the energy remains within the hair and the body, keeping a person more strong and healthy."
The inspiration for this entry came from a show about Stonehenge on the National Geographic Channel, in which they showed these three Bronze Age triangular metal hats that had been unearthed in Germany, France, and Switzerland that had the phases of the moon carved in them. Obviously worn by some wizardly/shamanic dudes.