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THE DARK SIDE: There is a reason we used to wear mullets

When you are an old man, eventually, the young people will demand accountability for your actions when you were young, asking questions such as, “Why did everybody wear mullets back in the day?”

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.

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2 comments

  1. Actually, David, the emphasis on hedonism has not gone away. It has simply morphed into the hedonism of the rich and powerful over the general welfare. So, instead of a focus on individual freedom to think, to vote, to organize, and to control our own bodies, which do not harm anyone else, we have protection of corporations’ “rights” to corrupt democracy. At the same time, we now have the new-found “right” to intimidate and endanger others (including our police officers) by carrying firearms.

    The current Supreme Court majority apparently idolized by you, like that during the prior “Gilded Age” of dominance by corporations and robber barons, chooses to ignore the fact that civilized government is established to protect the weak from the strong, not the other way around. Self-proclaimed “conservatives” similarly choose to ignore the fact that the inviolability of one’s rights ends where they interfere with the rights of someone else. The same is true whether it is one’s freedom of speech or some perceived “right” to hire child labor.

  2. I certainly don’t idolize the supreme court. the supreme court that decided lochner, that is the court i idolize. until five justices reaffirm lochner as precedent, i have nothing but contempt for the court.

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