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John Pearson, Morgan Mor­rison, and Calvin McNellie are
bringing the mullet to back to campus.
Kalli Dalyrmple | Col­legian

We spend our days here at Hillsdale dealing with the eternal ques­tions of human nature, ethics, and even meta­physics. But there is an essential question not incor­po­rated in any of the core classes, nor taught in any one-credit sem­inars: namely, what is the greatest men’s hair style of the past 50 years? This question was brought to campus by a set of men willing to do a thing that makes other men tremble in fear: shave a mullet. 

Calvin McNellie, John Pearson, and Morgan Mor­rison, three senior men with flowing locks, were brave enough to give their tes­ti­monies regarding hair­style choice — from prej­udice to praise. These three rep­re­sen­ta­tives answered some ques­tions about life, the passing of time, and, nat­u­rally, hair.

John Pearson — “JP,” as he is known around town, looks like he belongs in the Min­nesota high school hockey hair com­pe­tition. Pearson, who describes his hair style as “extra­or­dinary and coura­geous and deserving of some sort of mon­ument,” is a senior on the football team from West Bloom­field, Mich. 

His mullet was inspired by McNellie’s mom, who told him it would “look good.” This prompts the question: Pearson, would you jump off a cliff if McNellie’s mom told you to? We’ll table that. 

Pearson’s only hero is Jesus Christ, for reasons unre­lated to hair, but rather to his gra­cious con­de­scension and sal­vation of the uni­verse. 

Pearson got his hair cut from his mom’s salon, “a regret­table decision” he said, as it was appar­ently over­priced. Yet, he believes sporting a mullet shows that a man “does not care about his appearance and should be regarded as a threat.” 

Pearson presents himself as a man both carefree ter­ri­fying. The latter was proved by his response to those who hate on his mullet. 

“I will rain unholy fire on those who dissent,” he said. 

A lot to unpack. 

Pearson’s teammate, McNellie is a senior on the football team as well, from Concord, Ohio. He described his style as “epic redneck diesel punk,” and he claims to have invented the mullet. 

A brief search of the U.S. Patent Office’s database did not show any such invention, calling into question McNellie’s reli­a­bility. 

McNellie gets his hair cuts from Vincent at Identity in Hillsdale. 

He took a more philo­sophical approach to the mullet-haters. 

 “The year is 2020 and we, as a society, need to move on from this,” he said. “We don’t talk enough about mullet microag­gres­sions and it’s unac­ceptable. Mul­leted men just want to be accepted and loved. I hate to say this, but mul­leted men are an oppressed class in America today.” 

McNellie, a self-pro­claimed social justice warrior, added that mullets “high­light his duality as a man.” 

“Mullets are Funky and fresh, serious but a good time, pow­erful but approachable, rebel­lious but respectful,” McNellie said. 

McNellie’s capital ‘F’ funky appears to refer to the concept of funky in its Pla­tonic form. The usage of the uni­versal, as well as his pro­mul­gation of dualism, renders McNellie the clear philosopher of the group.  

Morgan Mor­rison, a senior who lives in a Funky-fresh off-campus house called Bjornheim, rounds out this year’s rep­re­sen­ta­tives. Mor­rison is from central Penn­syl­vania, runs cross country, and is probably killing a chicken as you read this. He comes from a long line of butchers. 

Mor­rison describes his style as “Appalachian post-grunge trad.” Mor­rison got the idea for a mullet from Craig Engels, a pro­fes­sional runner for Nike who used to be his hero until he became a “liberal.” Screaming into the echochamber here, Mor­rison. The assistant coach of the cross country team, R.P. White, cuts his and the whole men’s cross country team’s hair. Like McNellie, Mor­rison led with some bold claims regarding what his mullet says about him. 

 “It doesn’t take an IROC‑Z to tell that I’m king of the trailer park,” Mor­rison said. 

When asked what he has to say about the haters, Mor­rison merely com­mented, “I do not think about them at all.” 

Mor­rison got the idea for a mullet in true English major fashion from the book IV of Homer’s  “Iliad” which describes the Abantes, a group of spearmen, as having “fore­locks cropped, hair grown long at the backs.” 

The three can­di­dates for mul­leted man shared one com­mon­ality. Sur­pris­ingly, none of them had heard of Kenny Powers. I don’t believe it.

The can­di­dates did have some con­trasting, and even aggressive remarks, par­tic­u­larly Pearson, who directed some attacks to his teammate. He called McNellie, “weak-willed scum,” and his mullet, “semi-acceptable.” I hope this expose high­lights their com­mon­al­ities and rec­on­ciles any hos­til­ities. 

The final and most important question the can­di­dates answered had to do with popular culture. What were their thoughts on the show “Trailer Park Boys”? 

McNellie, in true philo­sophical form, stated, “Aris­totle and Plato were wrong. The trailer park is the ideal polis.”

Mor­rison, too, took an abstract approach.

“‘Trailer Park Boys’ is a CIA PSYOP designed to make rural folk look bad and foment civil unrest,” Mor­rison said. 

Pearson, however, is not allowed to watch TV. 

It is perhaps too dif­ficult to decide purely objec­tively which mullet is best, since bias always rears its ugly head. So I will embrace sub­jec­tivity and let the reader decide which of these men’s mullets is superior. McNellie does not plan on cutting his mullet anytime soon. Mor­rison might, in order to grow his ‘fro’ again, while Pearson will “go where the wind takes me.” 

May we all have the free-spirit­edness of JP and go where the wind might take us.