Wednesday, September 20, 2023

#AuthorInterview with J.D. Taylor, author of Hair Boes History

Today, Feathered Quill reviewer Douglas C. MacLeod, Jr. is talking with J.D. Taylor, author of Hair Goes History: How Hair Enhancement Has Shaped the Arc and Trembling Hand of History.
FQ: Hair Goes History speaks a great deal about hair systems. What are hair systems and in what ways have they become representative of success and power around the globe?
TAYLOR: Hair systems are essentially hair replacements to blanket thinning hair and baldness. Hair systems are manufactured according to the p¬attern of hair loss. Hair system is a term to supplant such units of discourse as wig, periwig and toupee. Egyptians as far back as 3100 BC had a bias for baldness and made a crude hair replacement matrix to cover. A hair system with excellence represents the appearance of youth, vigor, self-confidence and vitality - all analogous to power and success around the globe.
FQ: You often speak of yourself as an expert in hair systems. What piqued your interest? How does one become an expert in hair systems?
TAYLOR: My initial interest was piqued by the nightmare of glabrous. Further, being Testosterones-laden, vain, hubristic and harboring an inferiority complex forced me to find a solution to my angst. Repetitive trial and error over decades of experimentation with topical, surgical and hair replacements rendered me an expert because I can detect any and all hair replacements that come into my view.
FQ: You speak a bit about your own struggles with hair loss and how it helped you in the writing of this book. Do you see self-image as being a primary drive to achieve greatness for those individuals you speak about in Hair Goes History, whether they are sports figures or politicians?
TAYLOR: Vanity, hubris, an inflated ego and a sense of self often drives success and failure. Gen. Douglas MacArthur is a prime example. All of the above propelled me in part to write such a book as Hair Goes History. Better yet, I was inspired by Robert Kennedy's profound statement: "Some men see things as they are and ask 'Why'? I dream of things that never were and ask, 'Why not'?" Self-image is momentous in sports, politics and life in general when seeking success and perhaps greatness.
FQ: In Hair Goes History, you briefly speak about the cult of personality and how hair/hair systems play a role in one’s acquiring of that status. Can you elaborate on this point, and how much are hair or hair systems a contributing factor?
TAYLOR: A scraggly-haired bad boy image (such as Charles Manson) or a much too perfect hair system (Trump) along with inflammatory bombast (Trump) lends itself to a historical cult of personality. Take the Hitler cult. He wore a smash-down right-parted brown hairpiece which created an historical image cemented in time. Without that system, he never would have become dictator of Germany - not in a "Munich Minute." The Trump cult would vanish if his hair system would be exposed as it is in Chapter 4 of my book. "History, after all, is fable agreed upon." Napoleon.
FQ: Where does the concept of vanity play into your thoughts about hair systems and worldly power dynamics? Do you think it does at all?
TAYLOR: Vanity is a fixture in the human psyche that helps one establish "The Self." When youth begins to wane, vanity intensifies. Hair systems then create a visual akin to youth: youth to vanity, vanity to self-image and self-image to power. But, "Power without reason is insanity." Samuel Johnson. Above all else, vanity plays a major role in worldly powe - especially in the mind of a deranged autocrat like Trump.
FQ: On page 136 of Hair Goes History, you speak about “historical imagery.” Can you define this term and how it coincides with the importance of hair systems?
TAYLOR: Historical imagery is a visual that's piercing beyond words. It evokes herculean emotions in heroes like Biblical Samson. With his colossal might, he dismembered an Asiatic lion, and in a blind rage he murdered 100 Philistines for burning his wife and father to death. Samson's strength was his hair. Without it, he was powerless. He was never to cut his hair until a greedy and beautiful Delilah seduced him and cut his hair for 1,100 silver coins. After capture and being blinded, his hair grew back. At that time, he pulled the pillars of the Temple away from himself thus destroying the Philistines and himself. As previously stated, Hitler's hairpiece with his mustache fixed his historical image in time. And notwithstanding all of Julius Caesar's greatness, his historical image was firmly implanted by his Signature Wreath. Caesar was tormented by his baldness.
FQ: You speak about how some individuals made “Faustian bargains” as it pertains to their hair systems. What is a Faustian bargain as it pertains to the acquiring of a hair system, and why is this term specific to your chapter on celebrities?
TAYLOR: It was Oscar Wilde's novel The Picture of Dorian Gray that sanctified the notion of a "Faustian Bargain." Wilde's hero Dorian traded his soul to the devil for immortality (not a bad deal). In effect, a "Faustian Bargain" is a trade-off. And celebs seek immortality in the context of fame. Fame is fun. Fame creates wealth, styles, glamour, attention and magnifies self-image. Fame, however, like snake handling, can be lethal. Fame creates a make-believe world where celebs feel immune to the slings and arrows of daily living. But it is the alluring hair system that creates a self-image of celebrity in the first place that enables a celeb to engage a "Faustian Bargain." The downside to a "Faustian Bargain": Drugs (Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix), Alcoholism (Ben Affleck), Obesity (Marlon Brando and Elvis Presley) and a Lethal Mentality (John Hinckley Jr. reaching out to Jodie Foster). In sum, "Faustian Bargains" for good or for ill with celebs.
FQ: Not only do you speak a great deal about hair systems, you also speak a great deal about how these individuals wear their hair systems. Do you think that plays a role in whether or not someone is successful? Trustworthy? Recognized for their brilliance? Does an ill-fitting hair system make one less apt to be persuasive? What about the coloring of the hair systems?
TAYLOR: In today's gloomy and sinister world ill-fitting hair systems make no difference in terms of success, trustworthiness or persuasiveness. Hair systems do play a role in success, however, ill-fitting or otherwise. There is a Rogues Gallery of ill-fitting hair systems: Boris Johnson, Ron DeSantis, Russian Oligarch Victor Vekselberg, Prof. Michael McFaul, John Kerry, Tom Brady, Brad Pitt, Burt Reynolds (1950's "Gunsmoke"), Roger Stone, Jake Sullivan (ugly system), Nicole Wallace MSNBC, Mike Pence, Josh Hawley, Newt Gingrich, Elon Musk and above all Donald Trump. Coloring is difficult because of oxidation. No system matches perfectly. A person’s side hair or back hair in photos always shows some discoloration - especially Trump's system. Texture is similar. Anthony Scaramucci is seen on Google and the internet exposing many color variations, as an example. Again, modern technology has mitigated the coloring issue. Hair Clubs hair systems have permanent coloring which does not oxidize.
FQ: You speak about multiple positions of power: politics, sports, entertainment, the military. Are hair systems monolithic in how they are used for each position or is there a difference between someone in the military wearing one versus a senator, for example? They are in different positions of power, but are these hair systems used for differing persuasive purposes?
TAYLOR: Hair systems are not monolithic. That would be an unforgivable absolute. Except for gray, most 21st century hair systems use real hair with natural color. There is no difference between someone in the military (like Gen. Milley) or a Senator (like Tuberville), or sports (like Tom Brady). A litany of gutless pols who have bad hair systems: Goetz, Jordan, McCarthy, MTGRENE, Cruz, Abbott, LaPierre and finally Manafort. Inferior hair systems do not hinder their political agendas.

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