WEATHER »

How to obliterate all meaning.

There was a time, it doesn't seem that awfully long ago, that a shaved or bald head usually meant something. Of course it has always meant that you didn't have any hair but beyond that it's meaning generally narrowed down to two or three possibilities: (1.) You were a Neo-Nazi. (2.) You were a monk (3.) You were undergoing chemo-therapy. If you're a thinking man or woman you might have noticed that these three dissimilar reasons for having a bald head all share something in common and that is that they all-three require a profound degree of emotional involvement; There are reasons why these people all sport bare heads. Whether it is the dire suffering of the cancer patient or the devotion to God of the monk or the commitment to stupidity of the Nazi, all three forms of bald head have meaning.
Somehow or another though, the bald look proliferated. Telly Savalis may or may not have had something to do with it but I'm inclined to go with the latter because of the span of time stretching between the Kojak television series and the sudden popularity of the bald look in mainstream society. No, it was something else and I suspect it had little to do with chemo-therapy and nothing at all to do with monks so we're left with the unsettling possibility that it had much to do with Neo-Nazis. But how? How could something so indescribably evil and socially-unacceptable have fostered such a popular trend in personal grooming...or uber-grooming, if you will? How could a crewcut-gone-bad, a look that usually adorned the head of an angry caucasian with a brick in one hand and a molotov-cocktail in the other become popular among black men, hispanic men, white men, cops, robbers, athletes, physicists, actors, lawyers and, well, everybody...even Jews? I have a better question: WHO CARES? For my purposes it is only important that the omnipresence of shaved heads is acknowledged so that I can get on with my essay, the theme of which is: How to obliterate all meaning...
If you agree that shaved/bald heads are everywhere you'll also have to admit that, in a very real sense, the meaning that Neo-Nazi skinheads must have attached to bald heads at one time, whatever the hell that meaning was, has been stolen from them completely and for all time. And with that I say: Voila! There you have it! That is how you steal a "things" meaning...you do it or you say it or you buy it, ad nauseum. Furthermore, you urge your neighbors to do it, say it or buy it and you urge your schoolmates to do it, say it and buy it and _you urge them to persuade their friends and neighbors to do, say or buy it as well, whatever it is. It doesn't matter. If it's a fashion, don't wrinkle your nose at it...buy it and wear it all the time, until it's hanging off you in rags and convince everyone you know to do the same. If it is an ideology, adhere to it and, more than that, become _the most enthusiastic adherent that ideology has ever known! If it is a saying, say it all the time, in every sentence you utter, everyday, until it is so worn out that you are forced (and everyone else is forced...) to find a new one. In that way you have ripped off all the power of the original...see? It's so easy, and it pisses the people off who thought this "thing", whatever it was, was new or cool or worthy of repetition, the people who really liked it, without them being able to put their finger on exactly what it is that's pissing them off.
Tattoos are another example of this concept in action. Soldiers, sailors, convicts. Who else was likely to sport numerous tattoos? No-one. Okay, maybe your Uncle Fred had a few but he was a biker, right? Bikers are part of the process I'm talking about, they were the first ones to steal the tattoo idea from it's original sources and begin the process of obliterating its meaning. Besides, in the beginning most bikers were soldiers anyway, newly returned home after WWII, so my theory remains coherent on all fronts, if you'll excuse the pun. In fact, I'll go so far as to suggest that my theory is seamless, which is more than you can say for most other theories...like evolution, for instance.
If you've followed my logic this far you'll have to admit that the meaning tattoos once had, as sweaty and shifty and violent as that meaning may have been, has been completely obliterated by a bunch of pimply faced college-students and obnoxious skate-boarders who have about as much life-experience between the lot of them as your average may-fly and have probably never sailed the Seven Seas, killed anyone, made a shank in the prison machine-shop or kicked a door off it's hinges prior to tossing a fragmentation-grenade through it. Tattoos in todays society simply carry no meaning, reflect no experience.
I don't need to beat my point to death, it's made: Don't resent the things you can't stand...embrace them. Make them your own. In short, love the things you hate, cultivate them until they become ubiquitous and mediocre and their meaning becomes so flimsy that with a nudge you can tip it over the edge into oblivion. And that, my friend, is just as good, if not better, than getting rid of the "thing" itself.

event calendar sponsored by: