Hair Aches
By R. D. Flavin

Bald-faced liars,
shaving close the truth,
recycling dull blades,
fearing tomorrow's stubble,
well groomed in deception...

     As I continue to battle androgenic alopecia (aka “male pattern baldness”), my concerns are often of late directed at other areas of conflict regarding my hair.  Such skirmishes as trimming toe-hairs and having to purchase different razors or use a better shaving crèam, as the texture of my facial hair seems to be slowly changing, have only minor roles in the larger war.  When I was younger, those semi-remembered years long gone, the cultural polarity of short and long hair was easy to understand and actions were simple, direct, and basic (i.e. long hair=good, short hair=questions such as “Are you a cop?” and “Do you get high?”).  Now, though length is still sometimes an issue, other areas are becoming problematic as where there was none before, there's some now, and where there was some before, it seems to be thinning and changing colors.  I shouldn't make much of these hair aches, as others have it worse.

Anti-hairdos (i.e. hairdon'ts): Justin Bieber, Kim Jong Il, and Jimmy Carter.

     Justin Bieber, the latest teen phenomena who earns mega-cash for “singing,” has a near-global following who demonstrate an unnatural interest in the kid's hair.  His floppy (and way foppish) version of the classic bowl-cut has inspired fans to go pop-medieval on their manes.  While the maxim is maintained that there's no accounting for tastes (< L. Lat. de gustibus non est disputandum), the recent media mentions of Bieber together with DPRK cult-leader, Kim Jong-il, requires distinguishing between indifference and amusement.  Nature dictates that not all hairs are created equal, sometimes through evolution, other times because of serious chemical dependency issues, or maybe it's something we've yet to discover.  Is the Justin Bieber/Kim Jong-il connection a coincidence or a demonstration of public hair aches?

     A few months ago there was an online poll to pick which nation Bieber should visit on his next tour overseas and North Korea placed first with an extremely large number of votes.  The BBC quoted a spokesman for the North Korean Embassy in London as saying Bieber would have to apply for permission like anyone else.  The BBC also ran a recent photograph of Kim Jong-il with the caption, “It is not known if Kim Jong-il is a fan of Justin Bieber's music.”  I cough obfuscation!  The absence of evidence is not evidence of absence and all of that is coyness on the part of the BBC; Kim Jong-il likely has a hidden lair stocked with various lunch-boxes and back-packs with Bieber's picture on them and combining the Bieber surname and the noun, 'music', betrays difficult economic times and cultural confusion for those across The Pond.  The BBC termed the online poll a “hoax,” and denied any possibility or need for a visit to North Korea by Bieber.   Sure, right, and ...of course.  It took another who is often associated with hair ache (read: the pulling thereof), our 39th President of the United States of America, James Earl Carter, Jr., to step up and over to convince the DPRK to free a 31 year-old American, Aijalon Mahli Gomes of Mattapan, MA, who was serving an eight year sentence of hard labor for trespassing.  It appears that Kim Jong-il was not in North Korea at the time of Carter's humanitarian rescue, but is believed to have taken a secret trip to China.  Gomes has not explained why he illegally crossed from South into North Korea, nor has he stated his feelings about Bieber's so-called "music."  Some excuses are like hair-styles, ...they can make your head hurt.  Or worse.

Legal Iranian hair-styles, Iranian Pres. Ahmadinejad, and Iranian "Ambassador of Death."

     This past summer, while our attentions were focused on the media/government response (var. or lack thereof) to the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, matters were also getting slick just past the Persian Gulf, in the anachronistically theofacist Islamic Republic of Iran.  Yeah, the countdown for the bookies on whether Israel would take out the Bushehr Nuclear Plant before the Russians loaded it with fuel was almost as exciting as ignoring the World Cup finals.   We idled and Iran instituted new hair regulations which made the growing of mullets and pony-tails punishable offenses.  Also, they strongly discouraged the wearing of ties (dress-shirts and cheap blazers are still recommended) as being suggestive of the condoning of Western Satanic traditions.  I'm actually okay with this, as I insist that all the Western Satanists I meet with wear a tie.  Mandatory theofacist haircuts may be interpreted as getting ready for the Big Event by cleaning up.  Puppet president and member of the Too Much Body Hair Club for Men since 1992, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, always works his clippers and tries to stay clean, as he's a deranged attention-whore who loves being on camera, is committed to the Big Event, and probably can't hear what others are saying about him.

     With the unofficial ending of Operation Iraqi Freedom on August 19, 2010 and the withdrawal of the last combat troops, Iran moves closer to actualizing the Big Event, that is the acquisition of Iraq without significant loss of life, infrastructure, or economic resources.  An almost bloodless war compared with an estimated half million casualties during the Iran-Iraq War of nearly eight years (September 1980-August 1988), as Iran figures to overthrow the (ex)Ba'athist Barney Fifes left in charge with Persian persuasion and when the World (i.e. the US and Israel) protests, they'll offer up their nuclear program as a compensation for peace.  I especially liked the diversion-in-plain-sight of the new Iranian drone aircraft, Karrar (Farsi for the “Striker”), euphemistically referred to by Ahmadinejad as the “Ambassador of Death.”  With an estimated flight range of 620 miles and capable of firing four cruise missiles, the unmanned bomber isn't meant for Israel, which is at a minimum of a 1000 miles away.  We could, if we really wanted to, ask: “What's the production of the Karrar drone bombers for?”  I'd answer the Big Event...

Way long ear hair, example of hypertrichosis, and Venezuelan Pres. Hugo Chávez.

     Excessive ear hair is usually associated with older men, although in rare cases it's also found in babies, women, and werewolves (usually congenital generalized terminal hypertrichosis, though sometimes acquired hypertrichosis lanuginosa develops in adults).  It's believed that the condition is primarily caused by an action of the male Y chromosome (females=XX and males=XY chromosomes) as per our XY sex-determination system as first described by Stevens and Wilson (passim Wilson 1905).  Sadly and regardless, excessive ear hair may contribute to hearing loss.  Yet, excuses aside, even such furry attributes may not be the only answer, as the Christian New Testament Synoptic Gospel authors admonished (Mk 4:9, Mt 11:15, Lk 14:35), “He who hath ears, let him hear.”  Okay, so John used the expression as well (Rev 3:22)...  And, if they have ears, but don't want to listen?  Right; they become politicians...

     Recent claims by Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and the Venezuelan media (with alleged Russian confirmation) that the January 12, 2010 earthquake which devastated much of Haiti was actually caused by a US-developed “tectonic weapon” in preparation for a war against Iran is ...well, such a dumb idea that FOX may make a television series featuring weekly catastrophic experiments gone horribly wrong (tentatively titled America's Next Target).  Such claims about the US Navy et al's High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program (HAARP) are nothing new, though no less unfounded, as HAARP sends radio waves into the ionosphere (that's above 70km up, btw) and has no ability to affect tectonic plates, move mega-tons of earth, or change a bipolar president's attitude.  Unfortunately, America has yet to achieve its jurisprudential potential, as we really aren't innocent until proven guilty, as our laws promise, but rather we're publicity bound to an antiquated system in which the accused must first clear their name.  Yup, guilty until proven innocent...  Maybe Han did shoot first, I don't know...  What I do suspect is that Chavez, despite the supposed electoral support of his people, his twisted and admittedly preferential humanitarianism, and his advantageous dealings with those with money (to wit, selling Venezuelan oil for personal discretionary pocket change when it could be sold to help the Venezuelan people), is ... puny without politics.  Chavez won't listen to his critics any more than other politicians, religious leaders, or those with public power will.  They don't have to hear, they've got ...power.

Mr. Bigglesworth, featherless rooster, and Lady Gaga.

     In much of the animal kingdom, including Homo sapiens sapiens and Republicans, hair growth, loss, abundance, or lack thereof form part of our secondary sexual characteristics.  It's as if Mom Nature didn't entirely trust males and females to recognize and distinguish each other, so some species have evolved unique secondary sexual characteristics, most notably and noticeably through hair, feather, scale, or shell patterns.  At some point in our late prehistory, certainly by the time of our earliest written history ca. 3200-2900 BCE, humans began to modify their appearance by shaving (or scrapping), cutting, and 'styling' hair.  Based on ancient art, it appears humans have been fascinated with hair for many thousands of years.  And, per Ecclesiastes, there's nothing new under the sun (Ecc 1:9) and we still are..

     Fashion may be fine, feeble, faux, fascist, or something we can't yet imagine. It's hard or impossible to handle unknowns and it's always difficult to manage pain.  Some hair aches more than others, though in fairness, that's what barbers, beauticians, doctors, and critics are for.   We should begin to consider a change in our behaviors.  I, for one, am going shopping for a new hat...

Wilson, Edmund B.  1905.   “The Chromosomes in Relation to the Determination of Sex in Insects.”  Science.  22, 564: 500-502.

Waning for Bordeaux,

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