To this, I explained: In the pre-mullet era, there only were two hair styles a young man could wear: the Ozzy Osbourne look and the Sean Cassidy look. But we were tired of both.
And it was impossible to just get a crew cut. We simply couldn’t wear any fashion that pre-dated the sexual revolution.
You see, there only was one unifying cultural value in my day, and that was hedonism. We assumed we wouldn’t get laid if we had short hair. But we didn’t want to look like roadies for Uriah Heep anymore, either.
And so, the mullet was born. As long as we kept our hair long in back, we could get a reasonable-length cut in the front.
In addition to questioning our hair, young lawyers also will demand answers about constitutional interpretation back in the day.
I will explain that, when I was in law school, we learned certain constitutional provisions meant nothing at all: the Privileges or Immunities Clause in the 14th Amendment; the Second Amendment; the Contracts Clause; the Commerce Clause.
Then we learned constitutional law since the sexual revolution. We learned that sex without consequences is a fundamental right, that there is a right to wear profanity embroidered on your clothing and that the state has to give you a hearing before they kick you out of public housing for selling drugs.
We didn’t really question any of this. As I said, the only unifying cultural value we had was hedonism, so we took it as natural that the constitution protected our hedonism. That the constitution might actually exist to protect things such as private property and liberty of contract was just as alien to us as it would have been alien to the drafters of the Constitution to hear that it existed to protect our hedonistic lifestyle.
We didn’t consider that Lochner v. New York, 198 U.S. 45 (1905), correctly was decided any more than we would have considered walking around with a Johnny Unitas haircut. We had no concurrences or dissents by Justice Clarence Thomas to challenge the rigid orthodoxy of opinion that prevailed then.
Fortunately, young people have it much better today than we did back in the day. They have freedom of thought and inquiry on constitutional questions that we didn’t know we had. They can wear their hair however they like and still get laid, too.
More from The Dark Side
- THE DARK SIDE: Medicaid case fails test for jury
- THE DARK SIDE: On dogs and baseball
- THE DARK SIDE: Everything about practicing law I learned from Ecclesiastes
- THE DARK SIDE: Lack of judicial temperament is like obscenity
- THE DARK SIDE: I love ‘not guilty’ verdicts
- THE DARK SIDE: Where have all the burglars gone?
- THE DARK SIDE: Citation to unpublished opinions is like crying Wolff
- THE DARK SIDE: On ‘filled milk’ and the Beatles
- THE DARK SIDE: Don’t let your clients sign land contracts
- THE DARK SIDE: Appeal to what is best in jurors