The Buzz Of A Buzz


There’s nothing better than rubbing a chubby baby’s tummy, and I can’t seem to resist doing the same on a buzzed head. Charlize Theron looked epic in Mad Max: Fury Road. I wanted to shave my locks right there and then. There’s something about a shorn crown and how it’s really most conducive to a good rub. You learn the shape of someone’s head, the contours of their scalp. I think that’s pretty imperative.

It also epitomizes a freedom and not just from the obvious products. I think it’s akin to driving with the roof down whilst throwing your arms out the side of the car (at full speed no less), or diving head first into glittering seas, but mostly, it alludes to a sense of someone with free time. It expresses far more than the immediate message. It also says something like: ‘I’m a farmer, my chickens run around freely, and the eggs were probably laid today.’ And ain’t that evocative and grand.

Running my hands through my hair is a habit of mine when I have writer’s block or any block. If you see me with crazy-rumpled static you’ll know I’m mid-something or something like: ‘You’d be out of your mind to even think about what I’m thinking.’ Would I take the plunge? Probably not. What if I have a weird head shape? What if there’s a giant mole that I don’t know about? What if Mom­­ — no, Mom is definitely going to cry. I’m kinda joking, but let’s be honest, a woman’s hair is still very much attached to her value in our culture. Her femininity, her sexiness are too often tied up in the length of her hair.

Philip Guedalla once remarked: ‘I had always assumed that cliché was a suburb in Paris, until I discovered it was a street in Oxford.’ A clear indication that to provoke an immediate response to an authoritative visual, the cliché is essential. ‘Aesthetics is for the artist, like ornithology is for the birds,’ said Ben Shahn. Doesn’t it all come down to what moves you? Or what doesn’t? The Japanese don’t have a word for art. They use a word synonymous with function, purpose and aesthetics – geijutsu. But in essence, I think what Melvin Konner wrote in his The Tangled Wing shall add breadth to these burgeoning thoughts of mine:

‘Following a chimpanzee through a forest in Tanzania a monkey watcher saw it stop bedside a waterfall. Whether it was going to be there or incidentally passing is not clear but it was a stunning sight. At first the chimpanzee seemed lost in contemplation. Then it began jumping up and down, running around, calling out, and generally expressing enough excitement to merit an explanation. Although the chimpanzee could have had no practical interest in the waterfall it obviously held an interest, a curiosity, some kind of communication. Perhaps millions of years ago, in the infancy of the human spirit, something evoked a similar response from a very similar animal. Something that made it stop in its tracks overcome by a sense of wonder.’


source: Norman Rockwell/Detail of The Connoisseur, 1962/


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