Current Essays

Run your cursor gently over Rowie's ear to 'ear the essay.

Letter to America: Hair and Their On:2022-07-30 04:41:20

My Dear Americans,
    I don’t often consider fashion or indeed appearance of any sort at all, but I have now reached an age at which I must perforce comment about that of the younger generation, in fact I’ve reached the age that I needs must comment on the many, many younger generations! Otherwise what's the point of avoiding dying young and being a good-looking corpse1 , though luckily that does still leave the living fast to consider.
Anyway that and the returning to England, with the forty-two years of change whilst I was away to absorb all at once, gives me all the justification I could possibly need, especially since there is only a tiny, tiny chance that anyone who is under 30 and closer than a couple of thousand miles from me will hear me.

You know, I'm sure, that from puberty up to a certain age, say around 25, the whole purpose of the sartorial embodiment of youth is to enrage everyone who has had the good sense to follow my precept about not dying young, and thus to have survived to be over 30.
For example, when I was a teenager any guy of my generation could start a riot just by having hair that was perhaps slightly below their collar. And as my generation grew a bit older our hair had to grow ever longer to have the same effect (which was lucky, since left to its own devices, that's just what it wanted to do anyway), indeed after a while one almost had to grow the damn stuff down to ones feet to get a response2.
And as for the girls, what they might lack in enragement factors above the neck (or as it soon came to be "above the waist" ) they could easily make up for below the waist, with hemlines. I'm not sure what else they did to distress and enrage their elders, but whatever it was, it was very enjoyable.
Then the next cohort of enragers were faced with a quandary when they wanted to enrage we who, with the passage of time, had become ourselves older and wiser enragees: so we got skinheads and then mohawk-heads and even weird combinations of the two.
But by then hair was pretty-much done for as a rude gesture, and other parts had to be reached--- with piercings, insertions and tattoos
(Piercings, insertions and tattoos Oh my!
Piercings, insertions and bears Oh my!
Piercings and tigers and bears Oh my!
Lions and tigers and bears Oh m...3

Sorry got a bit carried away there. Where was I? Oh Yeah!), which piercings, insertions and tattoos had the advantage of being unisexual4 so we then could have, for example, the young lady
With bells up her nostrils
And rings in her nose,
She shall have music
Whenever she blows.

For the modern UK-based girl-fashion, black is of course the new black: black paired with black with black embellishments. Apart from their hair, of course, which to make up for their poor showing in the 1960's can be almost any colour, blue, purple, rainbow, green anything but black. And, sadly, guys' hair is just....just...well... random and satisfyingly ugly is the only phrase that comes to mind.
Additionally, for those maidens all forlorn who aren't also all tattered and torn, and looking like impoverished waifs in need of a good sewing machine, dresses or skirts are worn that make the miniskirts of my day look like crinolines and are so tight that they give the impression that the wearer had managed, with great difficulty, to put both of their legs down one leg of a very small pair of spandex cyclists' shorts (black of course), and I have no idea what they did with the other leg of the garment except that, since bottoms seem to be expansively in fashion for the first time since the bustle, many of them have what looks like a couple of pillows presumably stuffed down that other spandex leg.
Kindest regards,
Richard Howland-Bolton
and, of course,
Cheerio for now
from me!


1 Nick Romano said "live fast, die young, and be a good-looking corpse" in Willard Motley's 'Knock on any Door'

2 As Bob Dylan remarked at the time "I'm gonna grow my hair down to my feet so strange / So I look like a walking mountain range" in 'I Shall Be Free No. 10' (1964).

3 How on earth did I get into 'Wizard of Oz' territory?

4 Unisexual? Wouldn't 'bisexual', 'asexual' or 'non-sexual' be more accurate?

<-- Go Back

Home | Essays | Notes | Gallery | Miscellany | Contact

ÐISCLAIMER - I claim ðis!

All contents including writing, cartooning, music, and photography unless otherwise specified are
copyright © 1965-2023 and Richard Howland-Bolton. All Rights Reserved.
All logos and trademarks on this site are property of their respective owners.
Web work* by
*as distinct from Wetwork