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Hair, Not Commentary

January 23rd, 2008 by Jeff Simmermon

Last weekend I saw a haircut ugly and evil enough to impregnate a nun just so it could kick her down a set of steep stairs. I’ve seen some stupid haircuts in my day, rocked more than a few regrettable ‘dos my damn self. My own hair in high school was shaven on the sides and back and semi-sorta-not-really-at-all long on the top in a ‘do that would have looked like a brain handle had I been able to pull it into a ponytail. I used to wonder why girls didn’t take me seriously.

I used to pour concrete with a man whose braided mullet hung low enough to tickle the tanned top third of his ever-exposed ass. I’ve seen cuts on the subway here in New York that I found personally offensive, hairdos whose cheeky chunkiness screamed of disposable income, willful ignorance and a powerfully asexual aesthetic retardation.

I live in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, where ironic commentary on the fashion choices of the American working class has collapsed in on itself warping into a white dwarf shaped like a Mobius strip: a one-sided form that slows down light and the passage of time so aggressively that silver tights underneath ’70s running shorts seem like a good idea.

But I have never seen any shit like this.

I was trying to eat, for god’s sake, at Marlow & Sons on Saturday night when I looked up at the bar and saw something I honestly never thought was possible.

The guy’s head was bald, shiny bald all the way back just past the apex of his dome right to where the third hair on Homer Simpson’s head would lie. There then sprung, abruptly, a dense forest of ramrod-straight hair about four inches long, spiky on the top.

Then the whole enterprise gave way to a classic Kentucky Waterfall, a pool of long brown hair flapping impudently down the back of the head and slapping the shoulders like so many dust-clotted ostrich feathers. A pair of admittedly robust sideburns jutted out from the bowels of the ‘do, embracing the man’s face like Hugh Jackman’s ‘burns in the X-Men franchise. Or like a pair of giant hairy ant mandibles. Either metaphor works.

That’s Homer in the front, Bart in the middle, the Caucasian building trade’s finest about the neck and shoulders with Wolverine for a frame.

Here’s an artist’s rendition:


You never really know what’s going on with somebody, though, and I shouldn’t be so quick to judge. If it was possible to glance at a man and know his whole life story all wars would end and movies would be really, really boring.

The Tao teaches that within all good there is evil, and so on. This guy could have had that haircut for any number of really, really good reasons that, if I knew them, would make me a real dick for writing this.

He could be wearing the ‘cut to raise money for a charity. He could be winning a bet with it, a bet with fantastically high stakes that would allow him to pay for his sick mother’s operation. Or he could have a developmentally disabled sibling who dreams of being a hairdresser and this is a small indulgence for the happiness of a loved one.

You never really know.

But there is a chance, a slight, slim chance, that this cut is another ironic commentary of sorts, a way of saying “hey, dig me doing something lame that only lame people would do, aren’t I just a CAUTION.” And that’s a dangerous game.

If you’re doing something ironically — doing something “as a joke” — you’re still doing it. And to everyone that sees you and doesn’t get it, you’re just another asshole.

I got to thinking about this post tonight, and there’s more … click here to see it.

17 Responses

  1. Tom Stanley Says:

    I found your site on technorati and read a few of your other posts. Keep up the good work. I just added your RSS feed to my Google News Reader. Looking forward to reading more from you.

    Tom Stanley

  2. badmacktuck Says:

    I totally just did the same thing. You’re a very entertaining author. Keep it up.

  3. Doug Sharp Says:

    It’s fun to piss off fashion freaks, and that’s what the ranter is. Grow your hair and wear your clothes within a small range of acceptable styles or you are a horrible person deserving of contempt. Arbitrary follicle lengths and patterns that we see a lot don’t disturb him but something different sets off his warning buzzer.

    It’s amazing how humans get so worked up about non-conformity and differences. We’ve got genes that make us uncomfortable around alienness. I suppose the ranters underlying instincts are telling him – this guy looks different therefor he is not from my tribe.

    I’d love to hear the ranter’s reviews of the fashions worn by different cultures in The Secret Museum of Mankind featured on BoingBoing yesterday:
    I’m sure the hairstyles would give him a coronary.

    When I hear people make lists of unacceptable styles, such as socks with sandals, I make sure to break the “rules” to make the conformity-bound fashion freaks squirm.

  4. Best rant ever! « Hither ‘N Yon Says:

    [...] even if the topic is a haircut the guy saw, then head (pun intended, please forgive) on over to “And I Am Not Lying. For Real.” , and have yourself a good [...]

  5. chickenrotini Says:

    Sounds like a variation of the skullet. 10 to 1 the drawing is a hell of a lot prettier than real life.

  6. jo Says:

    something I never understood in the 80s when I sported a sticking up crew cut and tammy fae make up and wondered why people stared at me. young people are very often stupid. also old people.

  7. steve Says:

    “we are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be.”

  8. Countess of Maybe Says:

    I’m pretty sure there’s at least one like that out here in Echo Park.

  9. Antinous Says:

    This post is hilarious. I saw your comment on BoingBoing. Just ignore the humor-challenged. They only make their bilious comments because they literally don’t understand funny. Probably we should pity them rather than scorn them. But scorning them is a lot more fun.

    And Doug Sharp – Way to stick it to the man, dude! You’re a real rebel.

  10. sadolan Says:

    Shit yes! I saw this guy at Starbucks on 57th and 8th Avenue last week and was completely taken with his awesome look. He is slightly pudgier that you drawing suggests, but I am sure it was the same guy.

  11. Neil Duckett Says:

    Got here from Boing Boing … very entertaining man, very entertaining!

  12. giveaphuk Says:

    Style is a product of Risk Taking…
    & those of you who laugh @ people who take risks
    are simply too scared to be true inventors…

    I hope this guy reads this post (as a fellow individual with a f**Kd up haircut), I think he’d be stoked to have made boing boing. (i know i would be!)

    Still, Great blog post, loved the Pic! Thanks for getting this out onto tha interwebs.

  13. ukTony Says:

    I too came via Boing boing and I have to say this is one of the funniest things I have read in ages. It makes me want to teleport to Brooklyn just to catch sight of this ‘do’. Perhaps someone could do some stalking/reportage and get a real photo so we can revere the guys original hair stylings.

  14. skunk Says:

    I have seen this dude in the East Vill a few dozen times, honestly if its not him then theres two of these weirdo’s out there, and in agreement with #10 he is a little pudgier than the drawing suggests.

    And the second post about his being an inventor and having large flesh planetoids, dude this guy is a total tool. Whatever you want to say about taking a risk with your haircut, this guy is a tool.

  15. joelogon Says:

    Huh. Congrats, Jeff — between this and the karaoke zombie, looks like you’re well on your way to becoming a BoingBoing usual suspect. — Joe

  16. suicide_blond Says:

    the artist’s rendition is…. schweeetness….

  17. Rev. Melanie Smellanie Says:

    To commentator Doug Sharp:

    CALM DOWN. It was a horrible hairdo. I doubt very seriously that the author runs around criticizing everything that everyone wears if it’s not within “acceptable range”.

    Come on!

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