Presto-Chango!

Hey guys!  Remember when I told you about slicking your hair with pomade and how cool it was to rock the old-school haircuts of the 40’s and 50’s?  Yeah, well…I kinda look like this now…

Ironically, I'm still using Murray's for this haircut.

Ironically, I’m still using Murray’s for this haircut.

I guess the lesson here is “don’t get comfortable.”  Or maybe “try something different.”  Perhaps a better slogan would be “What the fuck did you do to your hair?  Don’t you realize that you’re 42 years old, for God’s sake?”

Maybe it’s not about my comfort.  Maybe it’s that I enjoy making other people uncomfortable. The problem, for me, is that people are so used to my stupidity that they seldom react with the shock or chagrin that I so desperately love.  This hair, for example?  People in my stuffy office said “Oh!  Cool!”

Bottom line is, I like change.  As much as I enjoy old-school style elements and music, I also love vivid surf-themed clothing and punk rock.  At Christmastime I’m just as pleased to hear Bing Crosby as I am to hear that one song by the Waitresses. The end of the year is a good time to explore change.  I think that’s especially true since (at least here in the tundra of Northern Indiana) the landscape ain’t gonna change much for the next four months.  So change it up your self! LIVELY UP YOURSELF, MANG!!

You should!  Get that haircut!  Read that new novel!  Download some new music!  Buy some new slacks (or trousers!)  Go a little nuts! Damn, it feels GOOD to go a little nuts, and this is the perfect time to do so!

In closing, I would like to share this video of myself being silly with a leaf blower.  Carry on.

Everything’s Cool.

I was going to call this post “Everything’s Cool, and That Ain’t Cool” or steal from Pearl Jam and say “Everything Has Changed; Absolutely Nothing’s Changed.”  But there’s really not a whole lot of negative to my thoughts on this subject, so I figured I’d leave it with the simple, hopeful, calming “Everything’s Cool.”  Because it is.  Literally.

There was an article earlier this year in Vanity Fair that basically said that stylistically we’re exactly the same as we were in 1992…twenty years ago.  The article points out that the styles of 1952 were vastly different from those of 1962, and those were different from 1972, and all of ’em were nothing like the fashions of 1982, and so on.  Basically, every ten years there’s a new way of doing things, and from car designs to clothing to music. There’s a big change with each passing decade.

Except, you know, Steve Jobs.

Not anymore.  According to the article, we’re stuck in a stylistic wormhole, reliving the same things for twenty years.  My initial reaction to this reality is:  Um…so?

In this very blog I’ve mentioned how cool it is that I can, in this 21st century, elect to wear a wide-brimmed Fedora and listen to Operation Ivy on my way home from seeing “The Avengers” in IMAX to play Black Ops II on my HD television before switching over to TCM and watching “Invasion of the Saucer Men” or settling in for a night of Star Trek (the original series) on Netflix or reading The Dark Tower.  I mean, I can literally do whatever I want from whichever time I choose.  Music, books, movies, television, fashion…all mediums and all genres and all styles and so on have been archived so well over the ages that we now have the sum of EVERYTHING THAT HAS EVER HAPPENED at our fingertips.  That’s very powerful.  I can pick up a Nook or an iPad or whatever and read Chaucer or George R.R. Martin.  I can look at sketches and read translations from Copernicus or “A Brief History of Time” by Hawking.  That is so incredible.

Or hell, combine the two! Save time!

As for fashion, I’ve kind of developed the following philosophy regarding trends in fashion:  FUCK FASHION.  Have I been caught up in one trend or another over the years?  Sure.  And anyone who says otherwise is lying.  I rocked a blazer with a t-shirt during the early-2000’s.  But you know what I realized?  I also rocked that look in the early-90’s.  I was too young to really rock a blazer in the 80’s, when that seemed like the thing to do (thanks, Miami Vice!) but I’m sure I would’ve.  Also, that style combo wasn’t born in the 80’s anyway.  You know who started the shirt-sans-tie/blazer combo?  Jed fucking CLAMPETT, that’s who.

Well, I reckon it ain’t lupus! Can’t rightly figure what in tarnation it is, though.

I love this outlook in current trendy fashion.  Quick:  what’s the popular male hairstyle called these days?  Is it the high-top fade? The buzz-cut? The side part? The pomp? The shag? I’ve seen every one of those at the mall in the last few months.  What the hell is that mullet-shaven-skater cut that Skrillex is rocking?  Who knows?  More importantly, WHO CARES?!? Hell, I’ll make the question easier:  what’s the trendy female hair style?  Or hair color?  The bob?  The pixie?  The Rachel? (remember that?  Everyone wanted hair like the characters on Friends!)  In a world where Miley Cyrus goes with a near-buzz cut and one out of every four chicks sports either that bright fuchsia color (sometimes just highlights) or wears shiny blue extensions, I suppose anything goes here, too.  Katy Perry wears blue or pink wigs. Rockabilly chicks sport sleeve tattoos and Bettie Page ‘dos. The Katniss braid shows up here and there.  Short, sexy, sassy haircuts mingle with luxurious manes of auburn curls.  It’s literally all good, and it seems that for once (I am an outsider here, so forgive my naiveté) women are genuinely excited to see/meet someone with a strikingly different hair style than their own.  “Oh my GOD!!  I love you hair!!  Who does it?!?”  seems to have replaced “Uh, the 80’s called and they want their bangs back.” That’s so nice.

Just…so much…HAIR…

Sometimes I wear a suit.  Like, a real suit and a tie.  Sometimes I wear shorts and a hockey jersey (sidebar:  nobody cares about you anymore, NHL.  Not many people did before, but now?  Forget it.  You’ve effectively fucked yourself after an amazing playoffs including a first-ever Stanley Cup awarded to a team in the SECOND-LARGEST TELEVISION MARKET IN THE UNITED STATES!  Good job, assholes.  You all suck.  Owners, players, etc.)  Sometimes I wear a “Portal” t-shirt and some jeans.  Now and then, a baby-blue guayabera shirt and some linen pants.  And any time I wear one of these wardrobes in public, it’s like I don’t even get a second glance.  I love second glances, because I crave attention. It’s becoming harder and harder for me to glean that oh-so-wonderful attention simply based on my clothing alone.  Now I must stand in the middle of the Glenbrook Mall food court wearing nothing but an old Chick-Fil-A napkin that I’ve poked a hole in with my pecker (see, the napkin is impaled on my business) and a beaver-skin hat that I’ve set on fire before anyone even nods knowingly at me, like they’re in on some sort of joke.  I must essentially be a one-man flash mob these days.  It’s too much work.  And the reason for that is that anything goes.  Really.  Literally. Anything. Wife-beater-wearing women, utilikilt sporting fellas, old-school Mod Cloth dresses and slinky tube skirts.  Flat-brimmed caps with the sticker on ’em and tweed newsboy caps.  High-top Chuck Taylors, black Doc Martens, leather flip-flops, two-tone wingtips, alligator skin stiletto heels. Faded blue denim jackets, Hurley hoodies, Dickies work jackets, stoner-riffic bajas. Flannel shirts, athletic-fit moisture-wicking polos, pearl-snap western shirts.  All of it.  It’s all good.  Some of it has changed very little in the last twenty years.  Some of it hasn’t changed at all in fifty years.  Ain’t nothin’ wrong with that.

Sigh. It’s not a chihuahua skirt, goddammit!!

Except, of course, for one tiny little issue.  The idea that maybe, just maybe…the reason that anything goes right now is that, well…there just aren’t any more ideas.  Nothing new.  We’ve reached the end, and so now we just recycle everything that’s already come to pass.
This theory is supported, of course, by looking at our popular entertainment choices.  Hollywood is staggeringly bad, simply re-hashing or re-booting old films instead of offering original, entertaining fare.  Another option, of course, is taking old television shows and making them into movies.  Then again, looking at the television itself and seeing recycled shows like “Hawaii 5-0” and “Dallas” and you realize that we are indeed pretty much done giving a shit.  Musically, things are as bad as they were in the woeful 1985-1991 time period, when the likes of Foreigner and Boston walked the Earth side-by-side with atrocious crap like Every Hair Metal Band.  At least then we felt like something was coming.  Something new and slightly dangerous was bubbling up and threatening to upset the entire music industry.  I just wish I believed that something like the Grunge Revolution was going to happen again.  ‘Cause I’ll tell y’all right now, the answer ain’t dubstep.

This image speaks for itself.

In the meantime, I suppose I’ll just have to make do. I’ll avoid the Red Dawn remake like the plague, but revel in the fact that my black leather Brando-style motorcycle jacket will always be cool.  Unlike Crocs and Affliction shirts.  Seriously, that crap is stupid.  Stop it.

Mean Old Ladies, etc.

Oh my God, an old lady was in our office yesterday and she wanted my soul.  She was a soul-eater.  I think.  I’m not really sure.  All I know is that I was leaving the restroom, on my way back to the studio, and GAH!!  There she stood, near one of the unoccupied desks that the sales weasels use/used.

Like this, only less “smiley.”

The desks are mostly unused because they’re moving us all down to another building, see.  The radio station I work for, 98.9 the Bear is owned by a company that holds several radio properties in Ft. Wayne.  Finally, after about twenty years or so, somebody got the great idea to move us all in to the same building.  Cut overhead costs, etc.  One of the hiccups that I foresee is the fact that all of the 98.9 the Bear staff are roughnecks.   No, really.  I know that radio rock jock assholes all try to act like a bunch of bad-asses and hard-charging partiers, but the fact is that this crew is loud, obnoxious, literally filthy, and has little or no sense of decorum or self-control.  They’re going to add us to the mix that includes female-friendly country juggernaut K-105 , female and family friendly Adult Contemporary WMEE, and conservative news-talk WOWO.  I’m stocking up on booze, whoopee cushions, fake blood and vomit, giant rubber dongs, and some anarchist propaganda posters and literature. We’re going to FORCE these motherfuckers to get down with us.

Awwwwwww, shit! Look at these booty-slammin’ crunk-ass mothafuckas right here!!

The only hitch in this plan, of course, is the Mean Old Lady.  It turns out that she works in the South Building.  The same building we’re going to be relocated-to. God damn it, Mean Old Lady is going to be my Nurse Ratched…my Richard Vernon…my Dean Wormer…a nemesis to be overcome and/or destroyed.

Then again, she might just eat my soul.  And flesh.  Oh, she probably loves eating human flesh.  It’s the only thing that sustains her.  She’s probably a thousand years old, and continues to exist simply through force of will and the consumption of human flesh and the wails of infants as she passes by in the night, her long, spindly shadow washing over their cribs like a cold terror…

Wow…I found an image of a crib that is actually scarier than the Mean Old Lady. Thanks, internet!

Anyway, that’s what’s going on in my world.  At least, that’s what’s going on when I’m not doing the Sloppy Swish. I also sometimes try to respond to stuff here and on Facebook.  One young man asked me recently how I got my hair to be so goddam awesome and good-looking.  (Okay, so that’s not an EXACT quote.)  I steered that young ‘un over to Jan Hella at The Rebel Rouser (I still need a bumper-sticker, Jan…hint-hint…) for more tips and vids on how to rock a decent pomp and such, but here’s Uncle Turner’s go-to formula:  start with mostly-dry hair, get yourself some Murray’s or Dax Wave and Groom.  Getcha a dab/scoop a couple fingers’ worth, rub it between your palms until it’s melty smooth, and work it through your hair.  THEN…and this part is muy importante…add a dab or so of either Tres Flores brilliantine or Royal Crown hair dressing. Smooth it through just like the Murray’s/Dax.  This does two things:  it softens the sticky pomade and also adds shine.  It seems like most pomades have an inversely proportionate hold/shine ratio.  The shinier it is, the less holding power and vice versa.  You can use Murray’s to pile that hair to the goddam sky…but it’ll be dull and matte-finished.  You want a little shine.  Trust me.  OTHERWISE YOU BE ACKIN’ DA FOO’!!  (I have not idea where that came from.  Apologies.)  You’ll know you’re doing it right if your hands are a sticky, greasy mess after doing up your ‘do.  Y’done good, son.

The shiny, perfect hair of Jan Hella.

Final thought:  I’m giving serious thought to sporting a mohawk for the holiday season.  A real one, not that fake David Beckham circa 2000 faux-hawk crap.  Shaven sides.  Stiff strip of inch-wide hair jutting proudly.  I made a joke about it, and my friend/coworker Drew Cage said “Dude!  You hafta do it green!”  I laughed and made the remark that I would consider doing it, but alas, I am a 42-year-old man.  An old guy.  A husband and father.  A responsible adult.

“That’s exactly why you should do it,” he replied.

Goddammit.