Redneck hair code, Eric Flack impersonation

Aug 10, 2016 at 10:59 am
Redneck hair code, Eric Flack impersonation

Back in prehistorical times you had hair, didn’t you?

You cheeky twat. I had hair until at least 1985. But don’t you worry. I’ve noted your combover: You’ll also be a bald bastard before long. Anyway, why the sudden interest in my barnet?

Just seeing you got me thinking of current news, so I was wondering if it would pass muster at Butler Traditional High School. I think not. What an almighty balls-up JCPS and Butler have made of this hairstyle dispute. Taking two lessons straight out of the Trump playbook: see a molehill, turn it into a mountain. Particularly if it’s a racist molehill. You’d think it was 1956, not 2016.

If you’re shocked by that, you haven’t been paying attention. This state is, by and large, every bit as racist as it was when there was a slave market down on Main Street. We’re just more subtle about it now. Besides, who gives a toss what a kid’s hair looks like? If anything, we should be encouraging the little buggers to be more creative.

Well, apparently Butler disagrees with you about that, and, rather than make things better, they’ve managed to make things worse by presenting a new set of rules that’re even dafter than before. As if the farcical summer at UofL wasn’t bringing our education administrators enough shame. All being done in the hilarious name of “embracing diversity,” too. Now all they insist is that the boys’ hair is no more than three inches long — like the teacher is going to measure it — and free of dye or colour. And worst of all? No bandanas.

No bandanas? You’re having a tin bath? Johnny Depp must be turning in his grave.

Erm, mate, pretty certain Depp is still alive.

Well, he would be if he wasn’t. The point is that mullets and bandanas are more Kentuckian than tobacco barns and bluegrass. Butler’s gone from being racist against its black students to being classist against its rednecks ... which, despite being deliciously ironic, is also equally unacceptable.

I wonder if there’s ever been any research done into youth hairstyles and adult outcomes? There’s one for the social sciences to ponder: the link between bad hairstyles in youth and meth addiction in adults. My guess is they’d discover that most kids who want to piss about with their hair while they still have it, generally go on to become productive, creative members of society.

Exactly. And that’s why I had cool, long hair when I could, and why you’ve had a regulation cowlick your whole life. My guess is that JCPS will end up distancing itself from any sort of hair policy. It’s a fight they can’t win. Like having a pop at the parents of a dead soldier, or telling a Kentuckian that drinking bourbon’s about as much fun as downing DDT.

I think you may be right about the hair, if not about the bourbon, which, I might add, is one of our great exports, a booming industry, and one of life’s great pleasures. Trust you to hate it.

I don’t hate that we’re finding investors and building new businesses, I just wish we could find something to invest in that’s a bit more relevant and a lot less short-sighted than bourbon: It just reinforces the idea that Louisville’s stuck in the 19th century. It’s not exactly Silicon Valley, never mind Napa Valley.

It’s what we’re good at. It gets brings people and dough to Louisville. People like Matthew McConaughey for example. Who was the last Hollywood A-lister to advertise a product made in Kentucky? Being an advertising guru, I assume you saw that Wild Turkey coup?

I did. And I will begrudgingly admit that getting McConaughey to dress like a lumberjack and plug the brand is a fantastic accomplishment for Wild Turkey, and, in some sense, for Kentucky too. That said, when you see the ad Johnnie Walker made with Robert Carlyle in Scotland, you’ll see what can be done with a real actor and with real creative input. McConaughey basically did his best Eric Flack impersonation.

You can’t have it all — it’s probably not going to win any creative awards, but it will give anyone here who sees it the warm fuzzies. Considering Depp, Lawrence, Clooney and Cruise all have legitimate Kentucky roots, they could all do a little more than the bugger all that they currently do. Whoever was responsible for McConaughey deserves a pat on the back, at the very least.

Or the head, assuming their haircut’s approved.