From DAVE SMITH
June 10, 2009 Ukiah, Mendocino County, North California
Back in the sixties, many of us protested the Vietnam war and various cultural suffocations by growing our hair. The Beatles (“mop-heads” was one early, affectionate term for them) may have started the trend, and sprouting long hair we did—men from our heads, cheeks and chins, women from their armpits and legs—and it was as potent a statement of protest and disgust as the middle finger salute.
But those days are long gone, replaced in the last few years by the soul-shriveling trend to conservatism, demonstrated by shaved heads and hairless chests. I am told that baldness has now even reached our nether regions, encouraged by the popularity of the porn industry. I recently observed a healthy young fellow sun-bathing on the beach in Los Angeles like a pink Chihuahua, completely hairless, apparently shaved and waxed from head to toe.
The authoritarian, buttoned-down, flag-waving war-mongers, chicken-hawks, and ditto-heads, have us just where they want us. Their co-conspirators are the corporate razor, shaver, and shaving foam pushers, who need only to trumpet their next blade addition to have us scurrying to the stores for the brand-new 10-blade model that will do you up in one fell swoop. And not one of their religious fellow travelers sports even a well-trimmed mustache.
We’re devoid of dignity like the sad, engineered, featherless chicken that made the news awhile back. We’ve been gutted, neck-tied, trussed-up, pre-scalded, and readied for the cook pot.
Enough of this! Are you frustrated by our impotence in getting the wars stopped, and the inattention to the looming disasters of global warming and peak oil? Whatever protests and votes, articles written, and polls taken… it all goes ignored or disregarded. Why?
It may have something to do with our lack of hair.
There are clues in the Bible. Recall the story of Samson, how he lost his strength when his hair was shorn, and when it grew back, brought down a temple with pure muscle-power. Misogynist St. Paul proclaimed that a woman’s glory was in her long hair, not in church leadership, and Biblical paintings I’ve seen of him show wild hair and a stringy beard. And, of course, all the Biblical prophets including Jesus, and the God painted in the Sistine Chapel, have luxuriant hair covering their faces and bodies. Apparently nobody back then had yet figured there were profits to be made in cutting and shaving hair.
We must take back our strength and dignity. At home, in the streets, and up our tall buildings, we must communicate and symbolize our protest and our sincerity every minute of every day. We must lead the way back to our natural state to show that we cannot be tamed into utter conformity by those who promote war and hairless pores.
And there is an important charity aspect. Some friends of mine grow their hair to a certain length, cut it all off, and donate it to a group supplying wigs to cancer victims undergoing treatment. This is the perfect excuse if a boss mentions your unkempt appearance. You are doing it for charity!
As for me: Faithfully Bearded and Mustacioed Since 1965.
Let the world know where you stand. Unplug that electric shaver to help stop global warming. Recycle your razor blades to conserve precious resources. Unleash yourself from the freshly-shaved talking heads that propagandize for the Masters of the Universe who are bringing down our civilization with their greed and grooming habits.
Don’t misunderestimate the power of visual solidarity. Let your hair thrive in all its glory. Let it grow on our farms and prairies. Let it grow in our homes and offices. Let it grow in our towns and cities. Let it grow outdoors and indoors. And let it grow where the sun don’t shine.
You will be free and strong and a true liberal, democratic citizen.