Tuesday, May 20, 2008

"Jollity and gloom were contending for an empire."

Is it the freakin' '60s again? Actually, obsession with stifling long hair goes further back--it's a very Puritan impulse. John Milton's Puritan friends made fun of him for his long hair, and the Puritans who came to America were appalled by (among other things) the long hair of the Native Americans.

Nathaniel Hawthorne included this in "The May-Pole of Merry Mount," his story of the oppressive triumph of the Puritans:

"'And shall not the youth's hair be cut?' asked Peter Pelfrey, looking with abhorrence at the love-lock and long glossy curls of the young man. 'Crop it forthwith, and that in the true pumpkin-shell fashion,' answered the captain."

Some of the NFL's powerful continue a long line of Puritans fixated on resisting the expressiveness of long hair. A group of veritable Endicotts.

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