Friday, January 23, 2009


I notice that young males from Central and Southern American countries who live in the tri-state area spend much time on their grooming, I suspect much more than most of their female counterparts. The hair is gelled, spiked, poised at a 45 degree angle from the scalp; eyebrows are plucked into oiled lines; any facial hair has been sculpted into preposterously thinned strips; and any natural deviation of the hairline has been razored into symmetry. These gents look quite effeminate, very "pretty," although I'm sure that is not largely their intention and more than a few would be homophobes, as are too many in North American society in general. Why do they go for this streamlined look?

I suspect that it is a hair-protest against the failure of revolutionary movements and governments throughout their home countries and the advent of fascist/authoritarian regimes throughout the seventies and eighties. The romantic revolutionary appearance of Che or Roque Dalton or the Allendeists with shaggy hair and bristling beards has disappeared, except for on t-shirts emblazoned with the iconic Che shot. So are these scarcely hirsute, overly groomed men protesting, despairing, or else welcoming the historical downfall of the politics of liberation? I'll mull this issue over while I head to the local barber for a close shave... J/C