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.