SCHOOL ZONE


CLIMATE CHANGE

Over 20 years ago, scientists began predicting that higher temperatures brought about by global warming caused by man-made pollution would begin to have a negative impact on the habitat of polar bears living in arctic environments. Although the concept of global warming has proven to be a very controversial topic over time, it has been documented in several long term studies that polar ice is melting earlier in the spring season and returning later in the winter season as years pass. 

Polar bears are Earth's largest land carnivore and are the apex predator in their cold arctic environment, for which they are extremely well adapted. They have a very thick coat of fur which protects and insulates their body. This coat appears white, providing the bear with excellent camouflage in their snowy surroundings from which they ambush their prey. The largest polar bear ever recorded weighed 2,209 lbs and stood nearly 12 feet tall. Sustenance of the bears' massive bodies requires the consumption of a huge amount of calories. A polar bear can eat over 100 lbs of meat in a single sitting. Very hungry polar bears have been known to hunt, kill, and eat human beings where their habitats overlap. A large polar bear's claw can be a foot wide and can easily kill a man in a single swipe. 

A blockbuster disaster movie released in 2004 speculated that the effects of global warming could potentially set a series of events into motion and bring about a snap climate change of rapid global cooling, propelling the Earth into another ice age. In this fictional world, polar bears, being at the top of the food chain in the arctic, would see a rapid increase in the range of their hospitable environments and within this new range, a plentiful food source: humans.

In this reversal of roles, humans would be faced with the incredible challenge of seeing their own livable environments disappear in  snow and ice. Never ending, winter-like conditions and blizzard after blizzard mangling utility lines and leaving homes permanently without power. Shipping lines and roads blocked off by snow and ice, stopping food and fuel deliveries, quickly separating man from even our simplest creature comforts. Local and regional economies would collapse, leaving people with no option but to fend for themselves.

The polar bear would strive in this new environment, their populations moving south following the newly formed ice and snow to which they are accustomed. Eventually encountering the frozen-over ruins of towns and cities filled with people clinging on to the remains of their society. Starving and barred from their natural habitat, man would quickly find themselves at the bottom of a new food chain.

 



POLAR BEAR

Front and center sits the star of the show: The Polar Bear. A terrifying parody of the original logo of a professional basketball team that relocated from Canada to the U.S., just like the bears in the story this hat tells. This logo was re-imagined as the overall larger, taller, and more likely to eat you if encountered, white polar bear. In his right claw he holds the symbol of his game: killing people. Inside his roaring jaw and between his sharp teeth you can see the last remnants of his most recent victim as his huge left claw turns you into his next.




BLOODSTAIN PATTERN ANALYSIS

Wrapping around the crown of the hat is a seemingly haphazard blood spatter graphic. This placement is intended to parody a popular retro style of snapback hat. The graphic was very carefully placed together to recreate the scene of a man's head being smashed by a massive swinging polar bear claw, the five streaks created by the meeting of the bear's five sharp claws and the circulatory system in the man's neck. The shape of the ellipses created by flying blood droplets was reverse engineered using the study of bloodstain pattern analysis, popularized by a successful show on a premium cable tv network. If you connect-the-dots of the smallest spatter marks it will reveal the image of two familiar characters. 


WARNING

On the back left of the hat is the SCHOOL ZONE text logo in modified colors. This version uses the same colors as seen on polar bear warning signs seen across the Norwegian islands of Svalbard where about 1,500 polar bears currently live. This entire range is considered a polar bear warning area and people venturing outside settled areas are required to carry a rifle in case of attack.



STAYS HIDDEN 

The brim and under-brim of the Polar Bear snapback is made of black faux leather which is used to signify the polar bears' black skin that stays hidden under their thick fur which appears white in sunlight. The underside of the polar bears paws are callused black pads which give them a non-slip grip on ice and snow. 




CONQUEST

The satin interior of the Polar Bear snapback is a descriptive map of the polar bear's conquest of earth. At the center of the map, marked by the button of the hat itself, lies the north pole. Set over the frozen continents and ocean, black boundaries which segment the 19 modern subpopulations of polar bears and the name of each. Below the names are numbers which reflect these populations multiplying by 5 to 10 times in the bear's new frozen world. Red arrows plot the movements of these bears in search of their unfortunate prey as they try and fill their insatiable appetites.


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