Long-Haired Freaky People Need Not Apply in the Hermit Kingdom


What do you do when you run one of the poorest, most pathetic countries in the world and you've run out of other ways to torment the misbegotten souls unlucky enough to be born under your bad sign?

The BBC reports that if you're Kim Jong-il in North Korea, you go Ian Hunter all over the men by insisting on tonsorial short back 'n' sides, and run TV commercials titled "Let us trim our hair in accordance with Socialist lifestyle."

And for god's sake, says the Willie Loman of Pyongyang, don't forget about the shoes, either:

Hair is a "very important issue that shows the people's cultural standards and mental and moral state", argues Minju Choson, a government daily.

"No matter how good the clothes, if one does not wear tidy shoes, one's personality will be downgraded."

It's a safe bet that whistling in elevators is as verboten as portraits of the Kims seem to be these days.

Whole wretched haircut story here.

We await the North Korean cover of the song "Signs."

Reason has assayed the importance of hair here, in reporting on the way in which Afghan men dissented from the Taliban by getting Leonardo DiCaprio "Titanic" cuts.

And the January issue analyzes Kim's pre-Team America star turn as the ultimate opera and film buff.

The BBC link comes courtesy of Swedish free trader, shoulder-length-hair-wearin' Johan Norberg, author of the excellent In Defense of Global Capitalism. His site is here and his interview with Reason is here.