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Tuesday, October 14, 2003
The haircut was funny. For about a month. In 1999.
But the joke refuses to die. The Portland Mercury, the city's favorite alternative weekly rag, cracked wise about the haircut as recently as two weeks ago. Over the past few years, those among us with even slightly long hair have been dubbed mulletheads. If you dare let your do grow beyond a crewcut these days, you're sporting a "budding mullet."
It's like alternative in the early '90s. To begin with, the term was used to classify Seattle bands like Pearl Jam and Nirvana. By 1995, the likes of U2 and Bon Jovi fell under the same classification in trade publications and those cheesy "10 CDS for a $1.00" pull outs.
Much like alternative, "mullet" now encompasses anything beyond a standard business cut. It's a negative and used endlessly to chide those that don't go to the barber once a week. Long hair has become as laughable and out-of-style as parachute pants. Even worse, it's been inappropriately dubbed "mullet."
To clarify, once and for all, here is the definition of the word "mullet":
1. Any of various stout-bodied, edible fishes of the family Mugilidae, found worldwide in tropical and temperate coastal waters and some freshwater streams.
2. A haircut. Business on the top. Long in the back.
Here is a picture of a true mullet:
Here is a picture of a mislabeled mullet:
Mel Gibson in Lethal Weapon 1 -3? Not sporting a mullet.
Any given member of Led Zeppelin circa 1973? All mullet-less.
Han Solo and Chewbacca in the first Star Wars: They may be revolutionaries but they both fight The Man w/o the help of mullets.
Gandolf the Grey? His hair may be shaggy but it doesn't live in mullet country.
The hairspray-encrusted mop on any given male living in the '80s (see: Corey Haim, Corey Feldman, etc.)? Not even close.
The guy you've been chiding from afar in your favorite uber-trendy bar? He may look like a posuer in that faded Che Guevera tee, but there's a 98% chance that thing on his head Is Not A Mullet.
You may want to clip and save this handy-dandy check list. Consult it before ridiculing a hippie in the street or chuckling at any number of error-filled mullet fansites.
And when long hair comes back into style and those with short hair are ridiculed for "going bald" or being "pinheads"? Well, that's your problem, bucko.
In the interim, get a jumpstart on what's sure to be at least a decade-long trend. Grow out your bangs and stop looking like a Nazi paratrooper. Rebel, and if anyone refers to you as a mullethead, call them what they are: uptight anal-retentive dickwad yuppie scum automatons.