Friday, January 6, 2012

Hairy thoughts

What’s so hot about hairy?

There are a lot of things I just don’t understand. I mean just what is Congress supposed to do? Why are women’s shoes so important to women and nothing at all to men? What the heck is texting all about? If you have a phone and want to talk to someone why not just talk?

And who decided hairy was hot?

I came along in the late forties, snoozed through the fifties and survived the sixties and saw a complete range of hair from flattops to skunk Mohawks and I still don’t get it. Okay, sure, I get beards. If you are shaving five times a day just to beat back the Five o’clock shadow, beards come in handy, if you work out on the ocean where the wind and the rain beat against your face a beard is the next best thing to a full-face mask and if the Gyrene look you got on Paris Island makes you shiver you might want facial hair just to fight off PTSD.

But long, flowing, silky hair on men, pretty silly stuff, sure you people of the female, lady type persuasion might like to run your fingers through it, but what do you do after that? It can’t carry on a conversation, can’t sing or dance or open the door for you. It’s almost certain that a guy with long hair isn’t going to be working for fortune 500 company and might not survive working on an oil rig out on the middle of the ocean so what’s the big deal?

Yes, I know all about biology. If you are a hunter/gatherer and want a healthy mate for the child producing years a hairy man might indicate youth and vigor all of which are nice things to have in a guy you expect to run down antelope for you, or kill off a wooly mammoth or two when the in-laws come a visiting, or yank the Big One out of the water and since the refrigerator won’t be invented for another seven hundred and fifty thousand years, fresh meat on the table isn’t such a bad idea.

But come on, that’s why we invented Safeway. There are those of us, male, guy-type, hunter/gatherer sort of people who just failed the antelope running down test, couldn’t herd much less kill a mammoth even to avoid hearing just how much below your folks expectations you married and still might just have other talents which you come to enjoy and cherish like opening jars, reaching the shelf at the top of the closet and programming the DVD player.

Just explain how hairy makes one bit of difference.

Sure blame it on David Cassidy or Sir Mick or even the most feared hairy guy of all time, Fabio. Think of how all that mane would look before Head and Shoulders came along. It would make nests for the little birds and homes for rabbits, not the silky locks you see of the cover of Romance novels and why is it that you are reading romance novels in the first place, cause you know it is all crap and fiction and a guy with hair that long in a sword fight would get it caught in the nearest sconce and then where would your Mr. Belvedere be?

And while I am thinking about it, just how many antelopes have you served up lately. There isn’t a single, solitary Microwave Antelope on the store shelves and probably won’t be in the foreseeable future.

Besides having a gatherer who can run one of those new single cup Latte makers is a much more useful skill. You can get up and get moving in the morning without an antelope, but just try it without that cuppa Joe.

So who said hairy was the picture of masculine perfection?

I blame most of it on the classical artists of the Renaissance. Imagine what the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel would look like with two retired Army drill sergeants, makes you shudder right or the Pieta, lying supine in his dying agony with a buzz cut.

It just don’t work.

So should we all get on the bandwagon and make all of our paintings and sculptures have hairy guys?

Okay, here’s one more aside before we answer that question, scruffy as sexy? Get real, a blue chin is like an open fly, you ought to be ashamed and fix it as soon as someone points it out. Don’t go around with half a day’s beard sticking out like a hedgehog in training. Do one or the other.

Meanwhile back at the ranch, no hairy guys shouldn’t be in every picture or sculpture, for one thing we are long past the hairy as a guide to mate potential, why do we need Eharmony if all it takes is a guy with hair down to there?

Then there’s the guys who have made being bald a good thing. Look, Bruce Willis got Demi Moore, okay he didn’t get to keep her, but then Ashton Kutcher is pretty hairy and he didn’t keep her either. Patrick Stewart stepped into one of the most difficult parts an actor has ever faced; he followed James T Kirk on the Enterprise for heavens sake. (See when the first Star Trek came along it was during the hairy sixties, but by the time Patrick took command it was bad to the bone Piccard of the shiny head.

Artists have selected models for all kinds of reasons, some because they were the only ones available. Many a prostitute has lived forever in the art of a painter who might have wished for a more elegant subject, but could not find a lady of good birth who would disrobe and lie around in his drafty Paris studio. Think about it, all of that nekkid painting got done before central heat. Even a tart with a heart ought to have enough heat to stay warm

Many a model was way beyond what we think of as fashionable. Would Rubens be remembered if he had painted Size 0 models? I can’t speak for my brother and sister artists, but I can tell you that for a photographer, the more flaws the better. Babies and young girls are like trying to capture a grape on a cloudy day, they have nothing, but smooth surfaces and nowhere for the light to eddy.

So if women insist on working twenty-four hours a day trying to recapture that perfectly smooth skin they had when they came from the factory is it any wonder that a bald headed guy might just offer more to work with?

I’m thinking we ought to celebrate the guys who have survived the Sixties, the wars, and the wild life of their youth, not to mention sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll and give them their place in the sun.

The next time you are stuck for a subject, try a bald-headed guy. It’s the expression which makes a portrait and some older guys have good face. Take a look the next time you’re stuck for a subject.

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