The Story of Fez
A Red Fez is cylindrical hat that you place on your head - like most hats!* Originating in the city of Fez, Morocco in North Africa in the 17th century it was made popular by Sultan Mahmud II who, in 1826, realizing the fear and terror the tassled headpiece struck into the hearts of men, made it the official headpiece of his modernized military.
In the early 1900s, however, virulent anti-hat-ism spread across southern Europe culminating in the country of Turkey enacting an outright ban on the public sporting of such a ruggedly dashing and decadent bonnet.
The fabulous bean-topper fled to Europe where it sought sanctuary in the lounges of well-to-do aristocrats, disguising itself as the lounge-chapeau of choice for those in divine recline. Steeped in the carefree realm of smoking jackets and armchair philosophy, the Red Fez patiently awaited its most-excellent resurgence. History, however, still skeptical and a little bit jealous of that debonair and suede skullcap, was not so optimistic.
As lounging fell out of practice with the rise of Taylorism and a global epidemic of workaholism, the Fez all but disappeared from the public eye, seeking solitude from the cruel ignorance and folly of man amongst a small group of altruistic outcasts known as 'The Shriners', where it remained in happy obsolescence making special appearances only during events involving clowns, lions and sometimes cancer patients.
Until one day a new cause came knocking on its door and chose to adopt the extravagantly daring dome decor as the symbol of excellent art and literature at www.redfez.net!
*in that you put it on your head, not that most hats are cylindrical, which they are not, though many are circular.
Fun fact! Did you know that the Fez is sometimes known, among Muslim aristocrats, as a 'Rumi Topi' (Rumi Cap) after the great Persian poet Mevlana Jelalludin Rumi? Yeah! Sure you did!
No, but seriously, what is Red Fez?
Red Fez is an artist-run organization determined to publish and promote creative, meaningful and accessible artistic pursuits and collaborations. Our mission is to provide opportunities for writers, artists and musicians to create, promote, publish and profit (in kind, in cash, in notoriety, in backrubs - hey artists will take whatever they can get these days!) from their work; and for readers, art enthusiasts and music fans to discover, connect and support art and artists meaningful and entertaining to them. We believe in accessible art and an accessible artistic community. Red Fez is a melting pot of people interested in creating, sharing and discovering writing, music, art and more.
Red Fez was founded by Leopold McGinnis in 2002, out of frustration with the barriers, gatekeepers and limited opportunities facing new and original writers in the traditional publishing world. Nobody really cared.
...until around 2005 when Michele McDannold joined the 'team.' Then at least two people cared.
The team expanded again in 2008, freeing up Leopold and Michele's time to start doing some really crazy stuff like expanding the publication roster to include comics, photography, music and videos. Not long after that Red Fez became the only online literary magazine to publish monthly issues chock full of artistic and entertainment goodness. Suddenly a lot of people cared. And that's cool.
Then, about a thousand years after that, a giant asteroid obliterated the earth and a small subsection of the population escaped in the great fez shaped Red Fez Mothership to found a new home on the planet Blixnox 7-5. But we're getting ahead of ourselves...