"Malaysia Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad and the Sultan of Johor are seen in a blue Proton Saga... "When asked whether there is any tension with the sultan, Dr Mahathir said: “No, I don’t see anything because I went to see him and he drove me to the airport. I don’t want to comment on the sultans because if I say anything that is not good then it’s not nice because he is the sultan”"

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Saturday, September 05, 2009

"Why do writers write? Because it isn't there." - Thomas Berger

***

Richard Stein's Book "Split Ends: A Woman's Life with Her Hair"

"Yielding and soft, sumptuous and colorful, decorative, and dangling, it invites a lover's touch. It's fun to fondle, play with, and disarrange. Messing it up is the symbolic equivalent of undressing the other's body. A woman quickly learns that cutting her hair without warning her lover first is a bad mistake...

I once tucked a perfect curl of my hair, tied with a lavender ribbon, between the pages of a poetry book I was returning to a friend. The curl marked my favorite love poem, and I felt as if I were charging the book with my life force. I knew I was giving him a powerful talisman. Hair is sacred to lovers, but also to society...

Once, stricken by despair, I phoned a girlfriend and, when I calmed down enough to speak, sobbed out my woes. "Oh, boy trouble," she said in a tone of voice that meant Hell, we can deal with that. "I was afraid you'd got a bad haircut."...

When long haired women have children, they frequently cut their hair short. Pleading convenience, they explain it merely as a practical move. But it is, I think, more symbolic. In various cultures and religions (among nuns and some Jewish, for instance) women are expected to cut their hair short so that they will no longer be attractive to men. A freshly bobbed new mother might be saying, in essence, I'm going to focus my life now on nurturing my family; I'm not available for flirtation. At the end of World War II, collaborators were de-sexed and shamed by having their hair chopped off in what was, essentially, a form of social circumcision. Mothers often wish a daughter to cut hers short when she reaches puberty, but fathers want a daughter to keep her hair long forever...

Each generation, needing to feel a sense of identity, sets itself apart through hairstyle. Because there are only so many things one can do with one's hair to shock society, styles seem to reappear after a decade or so. Those who lived through love-ins and antiwar rallies probably find it as strange as I do to see construction workers now wearing ponytails and headbands or a policeman with long sideburns. Or a corporate man in a conservative suit wearing a ponytail. It makes me do a double take: the look is hippie, but the politics and philosophy are different. History, myth, and literature are filled with dramas in which hair plays a central role. Most often it symbolizes strength, as in the story of Samson and Delilah; or sexuality, as in the fairy tale about Rapunzel; or selfless love, as in the famous short story by O. Henry; or fetish magic, as in American Indian lore; or a religious portent, as in the Aztec myth from which Cortes profited -that a god would appear from afar and be recognizable by his blond hair. I won't argue that hair brought down the monarchy in eighteenth-century France, but it may have helped to focus society's rage. At Marie Antoinette's court, both men and women were said to use barrels of flour to whiten their elaborate wigs. Reputedly, this waste so outraged the common people, who were starving for want of bread, that they cut their own hair short in protest and, ultimately, condemned royal hair and heads to the guillotine...

Long hair is suggestive. It implies excess, extravagance, rampant sensuality -literally, a lack of restraint...

People so often complain that their hair to is "wild," that they "can't do anything with it," that it's nothing but "split ends" and "strays," that it's hopelessly "fly-away." Perhaps we fear that, like ourselves, and like our feelings of love, despite our constant efforts, it will always be just a little bit out of control."
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