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The Williamsburg Hair: A Short Film by Zach Timm and Matt Rivera

March 1st, 2010 by Jeff Simmermon

Regular readers of this blog know about the Williamsburg Hair Man — first documented here, then on BoingBoing and Gawker.

I’m not letting this dog die, dammit. Not yet.

Zach Timm and Matt Rivera’s brief documentary about the Williamsburg Hair Man and subsequent Gawker phenomenon debuted at Filmshop’s “Unprotected” last Saturday at the Music Hall of Williamsburg. I went with D.Billy and some other folks, and had no idea what to expect. And as it turned out: it was really good! I loved it, and it definitely got the best crowd response.

I talked to a bunch of folks about it ahead of time, none of whom could make it out. Fair enough. Zach’s a nice young man, and was kind enough/self-promotional enough to post the video on Vimeo. Here it is, see for yourselves:

The Williamsburg Hair from Aligned Creative LLC on Vimeo.

I have to say, I never thought about the actual effect that all this Internet hoopla would have on the human being who actually chose to have that haircut. Having a haircut like that is a choice. Especially when bald and balding guys everywhere are totally allowed to shave their heads. I do — and unless Chris has a nest of purple tumors on the back of his dome, that option is available to him, too.

Admittedly, it’s a one-size fits all option. But you can’t really go wrong with it.

Some of the comments in the film really got me. The line “He looks like Wolverine and a penis had a baby” cracked me up, got huge laughs from the crowd.

When Chris said “I kinda thought I was camouflaged here. I thought nobody would bat an eye at me in New York,” I had two simultaneous, conflicting reactions.

The first one was “Oh man, what have I DONE? That really sucks, picking on the poor guy for flying his freak flag here.” New York is where everyone runs screaming, away from their repressive small towns (or Washington, DC in my case) to really let themselves be themselves. And it’s got to be heartbreaking to think that just when you thought you could be yourself, the same petty assholes you’ve been trying to escape your whole life are still there passive-aggressively mocking you in a way that’s not only painful, but indexed by Google.

The other reaction was “Dude. You were rocking a Hare Krishna haircut. And were those pink Croc boots in the video? Clearly you’re after a certain amount of attention here, don’t act like you’re not.” We all know the Williamsburg uniform for dudes: Giant beard or Depression-era moustache, skintight jeans and a vest over some sort of vintage t-shirt. Bonus points if the t-shirt has a deep V-neck. Mash together the ’30s and the ’80s and presto: you’re in style here, utterly unfuckable anywhere else.

That’s how the rest of this neighborhood expresses itself: by looking totally unacceptable to the rest of the US and the twenty first century, yet blending in with everyone in the immediate area.

Like I said, I feel both reactions equally. But I’m glad Chris is out there doing his thing. And I really, really hope he’s not too upset. If everyone was the same, everything would be boring. I ran here screaming like he did and I’d be really sad if the Internet got rid of this weird haven.

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