Simple Hair Necessities

Let us begin with a simple proof. If an item is dead, it cannot (or at the very least should not) be characterized as either healthy or vibrant. Hair is dead. Ergo, hair cannot (or at the very least should not) be described as either healthy or vibrant. Indeed, if at any point in your life the substance growing out of the top of your head takes on properties that necessitate describing it as either healthy or vibrant, I would suggest you have a problem and recommend that you consider killing it – probably with fire and preferably before it gets too belligerent.

This is what healthy, vibrant hair looks like.  As you can see, Itt is not something to aspire to unless one is creepy and/or kooky.

This is what healthy, vibrant hair looks like. As you can see, Itt is not something to aspire to unless one is creepy and/or kooky.

Likewise, if you’re thinking you can skirt these guidelines by purchasing some sort of organic toupee , I would like to point out the following: If your toupee is alive, it means you’ve probably purchased a Chia pet by mistake or, alternately, have become a habitat for some furry, scalp-dwelling, woodland mammal. In event of the former, I recommend Weed-B-Gone. In case of the latter, a high-powered rifle and your friend’s best William Tell impression.

…Whoops.

…Whoops.

But to return at length to our original argument, there is nothing that Pantene Pro V can do which a good coat of shellac could not duplicate. The ubiquitous shampoo and conditioner ads wherein they promise a Lazarus-style regeneration and/or Schwarzenegger-esque body for your skeletal insulation overlook the fact that the stuff streaming out of our skulls was never alive to begin with. To summarize, zero times any fruit-scented number is still zero. And short of using a bottle of Herbal Essences to make a pact with the dark gods, one should expect their hair to be approximately as dead and flat when they get out of the shower as it was going in.

Speaking of the shower, I’d like to take this opportunity to discuss shampoo commercials and their flagrant disrespect for the space time continuum. Nearly all shampoos are marketed the same. Two seconds into the ad, show the product. Six seconds into the ad, show naked woman applying the product. Remaining twenty seconds of the ad, switch to slow motion while the aforementioned naked woman tosses her hair about like Shrek’s Prince Charming.

Hair with body like a sumo wrestler.

Hair with body like a sumo wrestler.

Ladies, if time is slowing down while you’re in the shower, it doesn’t mean you’ve picked a good conditioner – it means you’re approaching the speed of light. As a kindness to the rest of us, please don’t abuse general relativity while in the shower – you use up all the hot water.

Now, if any are struggling with the concept that their hair is essentially beyond help, there is always the option to get rid of it. (And for those who are unwillingly going down that road, might I gently encourage you to take the plunge as opposed to embarking on a desperate attempt to save it? I trust I need not remind you that there has not yet been a comb-over created that doesn’t make the combee look utterly ridiculous.) Besides, many a celebrity is approaching sphere-bald with great effect. Men, look to Bruce Willis, Denzel Washington, or Jack Nicholson. Yes, I understand no one wants to look like Jack Nicholson, but… Alright, you know what, forget about it.  Just forget I said Jack Nicholson, okay? Bad example.

Laaaadies?

Laaaadies?

Women, I know I have a harder sell here, but every eighteen to twenty-four-year-old male will tell you Sigourney Weaver looked mighty fine in the first Alien movie. I’m just sayin’.

Ultimately, we should all have a more utilitarian approach to our hair. Is your head too cold? Then I recommend you produce a little more. Is your head too hot? Maybe go for a little less. Is your name Jack Nicholson? Maybe you should see if you can look like someone else. Granted, I doubt Jack could pull off Bruce Willis. Maybe he should try for Sigourney Weaver. It’d be a good move for him.

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Pant Rant in A# Minor

First, I admit it. My credentials in regards to the subject of women’s fashion rest completely upon occasional proximity and infrequent discourse.  But this has still been sufficient enough that I, with great confidence, have been able to identify what seems to be the latest trend in feminine threads. Now despite the potential for profit, particularly for one such as myself, I am happy to share this information with any and all who might care to hear it. Why? I harbor a vain hope that someone, anyone, will be able to explain to me the cognitive process that leads so many of my female contemporaries to own sweatpants bearing writing across the arse.

So…if I say you have a butt like a billboard, would it be considered a compliment, an insult, or a statement of fact?

Qualifiers are in order. Being an introspective sort, I admit there is a potential this is not a new trend, and that it is possible I have just noticed. Being a heterosexual sort, I also admit that there is a possibility these unusual trousers exist for males too and I have not noticed. Those two points aside, I believe I first became aware these things existed when, upon climbing a tightly packed staircase on campus, I realized that floating at eye level three feet in front of me was a pair of sweatpants bearing the college’s name swaying to and fro. I’m also fairly certain it took an additional flight before I realized that our own campus bookstore likely retailed the pants I was seeing.

Let’s begin with the obvious – there is no tactful way to read the lettering on these pants. Thankfully, I possess no bizarre reading habits such as sticking out my tongue, lipping the words, or commenting to myself about what is written. If I did, it would endanger my person when I am…gifted…with reading material on my way up the steps, across the plaza, or in any situation where I’m within earshot or visual range of the owner of the item.

Now, for comparison, I submit what one does upon coming across an individual wearing an intriguing shirt.  You know, one with lettering on it.  If the position of their arms is such one cannot read the shirt, it is socially acceptable to request they move their arms so one might finish the reading, compliment the wearer, and move on with life. In the case of an individual with a wedgie which is preventing full appreciation of the text on their trousers, I am forced to conclude that there is no polite way to ask said individual to bend over so I can finish reading. And don’t even get me started about what might be an appropriate compliment…

Does it seem odd to anyone else that, by purchasing a pair of these pants, one is essentially paying for the privilege of allowing some other company or organization to use one’s own derrière as a billboard? To my way of thinking, it seems the companies doing the advertising should be paying per column inch for what many would argue is premium space. Then again, this sort of advertising possesses certain disadvantages as well. With the exception of canines and high school dances, “rubbing with butt cheeks” and “sitting upon” are generally not considered acceptable or hygienic ways of showing affection or respect. In addition, as was already hinted at, the only way to really display whatever might be advertised across one’s keister involves all the motions, minus one, most commonly associated with mooning. Finally, if anyone happened to follow up on the ad by, say, clicking for more information, methinks it would result in a potential customer being sent to jail.

To summarize, there’s really no way to talk about someone’s butt without the above coming up.

Regardless, advertising does not seem to be the central purpose of these lines of apparel. In fact, I think the central purpose of a few of them is to boggle the English majors. My favorite example comes from a trip to the cafeteria where, upon climbing some stairs, I found myself behind a girl wearing blue pants. On the back of these blue pants, in green letters, was the color-word, “PINK.” Allow me to reiterate: her pants were blue, and she had “PINK” written across the rump in green letters. Barring one funky washing accident, no PINK was ever involved in the production of those pants. All I really want to know now is whether they make a model that, instead of “PINK,” reads, “War is Peace.” If so, it may justify seppuku.

WRONG.

Outside of pants for the delusional, they also make pants that, as opposed to words and phrases, have hand-prints in the same general location. If the goal was to illustrate the difference between good touch and bad touch, labels might be in order. And finally, I have also seen one individual of formidable girth wearing sweatpants with XXXL written you-know-where. Apparently, they’ve stopped putting tags on the inside.

In days of old if one wanted to make a point, they had said point tattooed on some prominent bit of anatomy. In more modern times, one wore their opinion on their sleeve. My generation, it seems, has pioneered a new and previously underutilized method of self-expression – the rump.

I wish I could say I’m proud.

Stupidity Sells

As the proud possessor of a marketing minor, thus solidifying my major in cynicism, I have found that I have entered no man’s land in terms of target demographics. After being subjected to countless radio, television, newspaper, and bulletin board ads, I find that I am one of the elite race immune to modern day marketing tactics. Either our kind has reached the next rung on the ladder of human evolution (at the end of which we become shiny pinpoints of light that subsist on nutrient pills and Dostoyevsky novels), or the remainder of the populace has devolved back towards their drooling, primordial predecessors.

Yes, today’s marketing campaigns employ techniques that should be recognized by the most remedial of preschoolers as complete and utter poo. (“Poo,” of course, is the marketing industry’s technical jargon for the obtuse cluttering of available advertising media with sub-par material.) While nauseatingly simplistic in nature, there are, ironically enough, several categories of advertising rubbish (marketing industry technical jargon that serves as a synonym for “poo”).

First, there is the “down home” relational style of marketing. Students of this marketing philosophy believe that they can sell you anything if only they can convince you that they are your Great Aunt Bertha. They would have you believe that their employees are armed with a bevy of steaming apple pies to welcome you to the neighborhood. D’ya hear that deep, folksy voice and our charming use of the local vernacular? Not only can we relate to y’all, we’re just like you. When you buy gas from our stations, it’s like borrowing a cup of sugar from a neighbor – except we’ll throw in a pack of smokes (for a few extra bucks, of course). Hear that there country music in the background? Yep, we even listen to y’all’s myoosic. We’re not just a gas station – we’re family. Ayup.

Secondly, there is the “crazy Larry” advertising approach. This variety is most often locally (and cheaply) produced and believes itself to be riotously amusing, as apparently sometime in the course of recent human history, mental illness became a subject of vast, universal hilarity, and thus an effective example of the humorous advertising genre. This is Craaazy Larry from the downtown Crazy Larry’s Discount Furniture Blowout Super Store. Our prices are insanely low. Why? Because I’m craaazy. And you’d have to be craaazy to pass by these deals! Just remember, nothing says “quality” quite like Craaazy Larry.

Lastly, there is the “anything can be sold with babies and puppies” school of marketing. Regardless of product type, this school teaches that more of it could be sold if only something cute, fuzzy, and/or cuddly is slapped on to its packaging or commercials. Parasites devouring your animal’s flesh? This singing puppy will lift your spirits and de-worm your dog. Toilet paper feels more like sandpaper? These animated teddy bears crapping in the woods recommend the cottony goodness of Charmin. And, as with most things in America, bigger is better. Thus, if a baby with superior taste in flooring is cute on television, a gigantic baby head with a one hundred foot radius on a bulletin board is one hundred times cuter (and sells one hundred times more carpeting). Thus, this type of advertising should have its effectiveness measured in terms of the ratio of sales to bulletin board baby square footage. The effectiveness of this genre quickly dwindles, however, once one comes to the question of how, precisely, one feeds and diapers the body accompanying a one hundred foot baby head.

While the aforementioned marketing genres are perhaps a blight upon the illustrious marketing profession, we must at least lend their creators a nominally sized kudos, as they provide a public service of sorts. After all, who else could provide such a wealth of perpetual entertainment for misanthropes worldwide?