I did a double take after seeing my bedhead in the bathroom mirror the other morning. I must’ve slept hard, because my hair stuck straight up on both sides yet down in the middle, and with my raggedy unshaven face and sideburns, I swear to God I looked like Wolverine (or the dude from Flock of Seagulls–you be the judge).
For one brief shining moment I considered keeping my hair like that, putting on a wife-beater, and going out to kick somebody’s ass. But then I realized it was too cold to go out in a sleeveless undershirt, and whose ass was I going to kick at eight o’clock in the morning anyway? So I settled instead for putting on a pot of coffee and trying to figure out where to go for a haircut.
Truthfully, every once in a while I wake up with incredibly ridiculous hair and seriously contemplate keeping it up like that just to mess with everybody as some kind of pseudo-punk act of defiance–two middle fingers and a hearty “fuck you” to the stuffed shirts who think they have it all figured out, like Sid Vicious did when he “sang” Frank Sinatra’s My Way (which, by the way, happens to be in an Acura commercial now, begging the question, “What in the HELL were they THINKING?” The absolute last thing the Sex Pistols should be identified with is a luxury Japanese sports sedan). The world seems to be short on Sid Vicious-types nowadays, which is probably a good thing considering he was a psychopathic drug addict and a murderer, but I think I could definitely use a little more of that “piss off” attitude. Film producer Brian Grazer proudly sports Sid Vicious hair, and I remember reading an interview with him several years ago in Esquire where he discussed why he wore such an absurd hairstyle:
“I put my hair up like this about eight years ago by accident. My daughter happened to be in the room with me and she went, ‘Hey, I like that.’ I liked it, too, but I also quickly realized that it was a test to the world. People either liked it — thought it was courageous — or else they thought, Who the fuck do you think you are? So I left it up like this to quickly discern the truth about people I meet.”
I’m not in the habit of admiring Hollywood producers, but I’ve gotta say, I respect the hell out of Grazer for that (though it still doesn’t atone for Cowboys and Aliens–I want my eight bucks back, Brian). I wish I had the moxy or the chutzpah to wear my hair like a crazy person and not give a damn what other people thought of me. I used to have that kind of courage and self-assuredness, but that was a long, long time ago.
We’re supposedly living in an age of rampant individualism where letting your freak flag fly is something to be proud of, and yet even the most ardent individualists can be accused of more or less conforming to whatever culture or subculture they identify most with. Hell, many subcultures have even winded their way into the mainstream in some form or fashion. I almost shot my television a while back when I saw one of the kids from One Direction wearing a Ramones t-shirt. How can a manufactured boy band get away with identifying themselves with the Ramones? When did punk turn into Broadway musicals by Green Day and fashion accessories at Hot Topic? And when did everyone suddenly have tattoos? Damn near everyone I see, whether it be on television or in line at Wal-Mart, is covered in tattoos (full sleeves, necks, everywhere). When the hell did this happen? When did counter culture become mainstream? I’m not entirely sure, but I blame MTV. (I blame MTV for a lot of things, come to think of it.)