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April 10, 2017

Ask Hickey: Can I wear a green Phillies hat if I'm not Irish?

Got something you want to ask? Send me your questions through FacebookTwitter or email (with "Ask Hickey" in the subject line). Your anonymity is guaranteed — if that’s how you want it — so feel free to send them via private/direct message.


And now, this week’s questions...

Lid style

I recently got the green throwback Phillies cap. I am not Irish nor am I drunk all the time. Can I still wear the hat? – Justin S., via Twitter

Bruh, of course you can.

Non-Irish people can both drink and act as safe rides on St. Patrick’s Day, can’t they? (Not simultaneously, of course.)

Besides, Allen Iverson sported a Yankees hat often during his days in the land of the Phillies, after all. 

If A.I. can get away with mixed-headwear messaging, I'd argue that you can too!

It’s a dope lid. Wear it proudly. Go Phils (except when they're playing the Cubs.)

Always look on the bright side…

Is that old Crowded House song “Don’t Dream. It’s Over” or “Don’t Dream It’s Over”? Also, is it an optimistic or pessimistic song? – Julia Z. via Facebook

The year was 1986. Ronald Reagan was president. A loaf of bread cost $1.02. The average American home cost roughly $123K. And, Australian “rock” band Crowded House released their self-titled debut studio album.

What a time to be alive, t'was.

In any event, the track about which you’re inquiring is formally titled “Don’t Dream It’s Over.” Four words, no punctuation breaking the flow. That’s the easy part.

As for your interpretative question, I emailed lead singer/songwriter Neil Finn a couple months back to present this question, but never received a response. That gave me a sad. I wanted to hear his take on it.

He did, however, speak with Salon before embarking on a limited tour here back in 2016. In that interview, he made some applicable points about that hit, which has been covered ad nauseam in the years since:

1) “It’s not entirely clear what every line’s about in that song, either. But I think certain doorways get opened, like I was saying — it has a universality about it,” and

2) “I was noticing this today about it, that it has current — it seems to be current still. Particularly with Donald Trump talking about building walls, the line in the chorus ‘To build a wall between us/We know they won’t win’ seems almost ridiculously pertinent to modern times.

Yes, it certainly does. In that latter context, the song – and despite a melancholy vibe – strikes me as one of positivity.

Just look at the lyrics.

When Finn sings of his car getting towed, his roof leaking and his possessions freaking him out, he can block out the “war and waste” in the world to see what’s on TV. 

Rather than being a contemplation of loss and struggle, he urges listeners “don’t let them win” three times as the song closes out.

That is Mel Gibson’s dying William Wallace bellowing “Freedom.” (Try to watch THAT scene without getting teary eyed.)

That is Louden Swain getting lifted by celebratory teammates after defeating Brian Shute on the mat.

That is a case study in holding onto positivity despite the challenges that the world presents.

That is why I think the Crowded House banger comes from a spirit of positivity.

Please phrase in the form of a question (Chapters 1 and 2)

WE are going to expand in Michigan and Ohio plants, adding 2000 jobs. #AskHickey – TrumpBot, via Twitter

No Republicans in Congress. #AskHickey – WeigelTron, via Twitter

Dear P---PigTrump and RealWeigelTron,

Hello. I saw your correspondences when I searched for questions tagged #askhickey. Maybe you didn’t mean it for me. I don’t know.

If you did, the preferred styling involves asking questions. These do not meet that requirement.

Screenshot /YouTube

Talia responded to the Final Jeopardy question with an ode to SNL character Turd Ferguson.

Still, a) jobs are important, and I hope the collective “we” are able to create thousands whether they be in Michigan, Ohio or anywhere from sea to shining sea and b) America needs folks from bringing a wide array of political perspectives to our houses of power.