I was thinking about Donald Trump today, not in the hard-thinking way, more the staring-at-the-ceiling sort of woolgathering you do when you’re a little spacey. Slate ran a story that featured a photo of him in his newest fashion accessory, that ass-ugly MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN hat.
I say “ass-ugly” knowing that some of you might be wearing a similar hat right now, or own a few. Hell, I hardly ever wear hats, and even I own a few. No one in the world would judge you for wearing America’s favorite hat, unless you were wearing it with a zillion-dollar custom-tailored suit, in which case you look ridiculous. Equestrians, whose show clothes range from blazer-type coats to tails, will sometimes pop a billed cap on to cover helmet hair, and it looks sort of dumb with those outfits, too. Everything from the neck down is saying “Downton Abbey,” while the head cries, “Dew Drop Inn.”
Of course, candidates sometimes dress in silly outfits. Even supercool Barry O. was photographed in mom jeans. To err at the closet in the morning from time to time is human, to forgive, divine.
And I forgive Trump his hat, but bottom line, I have a problem with men who can’t come to terms with baldness. It’s so common, and detracts so little from a man’s appearance, and is such a light burden to carry compared with all the stuff women have to worry about — bums and breasts and face and thighs and whatever else the fashion-and beauty-industrial complex is on about at any given time. When the trend toward skull shaving began (almost certainly by some guy sensitive about a receding hairline), I thought, good for you, guys. Fight baldness with baldness! Whatever.
Seriously, though, I say this with love and candor: Women don’t really care whether a guy has hair or not. Maybe some do, but it’s been my experience that once you select for the important qualities — personality, sense of humor, basic sanity, etc. — you can’t be picky about the rest of it. And I’m absolutely sure that even women who want a guy with enough hair to run her fingers through do not prefer a toupee to a shortfall up top. I’ve never trusted men who wore them, because they’re so ridiculously obvious to all that you have to wonder who, exactly, he thinks he’s fooling. Bob Greene, Jim Traficant, John Travolta — come on. We see, we know, we pity. Pity is not an attractive emotion.
Nor is vanity. Pride in appearance is not the same thing. Vanity is pride taken to an unattractive length. Pride is accepting baldness. Vanity is a toupee.
So there’s Donald Trump running around in that stupid hat, apparently because the wind blows in Iowa and on helicopter pads, telling the world no one is tougher than him. Even though he can’t bear to face his own natural head in the mirror. Give me a fucking break.
Here’s something else I was thinking about, after hearing about it on the drive home: Heroin. The White House is rolling out a small program in the worst-hit states for heroin addiction, concentrating on treatment, not incarceration. On the one hand, yay, good idea. I guess it beats horsewhipping the CEOs of the major pharmaceutical companies that started this problem in the first place, anyway.
I was reflecting on how often government is the one left to clean up the messes that the free market creates. Make no mistake, you can draw a straight and true line from the efforts of Purdue Pharma and others to create a wider market for opiate painkillers in the late ’90s to the heroin epidemic (and related health issues) we have today. It’s not even debatable. I remember sitting in the office of a former colleague, who blamed the problem on those damn drug abusers, who just couldn’t leave a perfectly good, incredibly powerful narcotic drug alone so that it could help people with real pain issues. What was so great about Oxy? I asked. Well, he explained, it was time-release, so a person wouldn’t have to cycle through ouch-ahh-ouch-ahh so often. That strikes me now as exactly the sort of thing a certain sort of person would see as a brilliant advance in technology. Unintended consequences are just that — unintended. If they’re not intended, you shouldn’t be held responsible for them.
Anyway, I’m glad the administration is finally treating drug addiction as a public-health problem. And I’m sorry that horsewhipping isn’t part of the solution, too. Progressives are always squishy on punishment, I hear.
Sorry for the no-show for most of today. Sunday was busy, and then we just decided to go sailing. By mid-August, the number of sunny, hot and windy days no longer feels unlimited.
Happy Tuesday, all.