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 Message
    From: STRACZYNSKI [Joe]
 Subject: Here, for what it's worth, is my...
      To: GENIE  
    Date: 1/29/1994 9:53:00 PM  

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Here, for what it's worth, is my take regarding Londo's hair.

I find it interesting that people can accept spots, scales, fur,
foreheads, reptiles and parasites...but not a different style of hair, used to
denote one's rank or position (as is done in some primitive societies right
here). Look at the history of hair just around us in the last hundred or so
years...long hair, powdered wigs, crew-cuts, braids, dreadlocks, spikes,
mohawks....

Among those I've talked to, it seems that folks from other places --
England, Europe, some from Japan -- have *zero* problem with the hair.
It seems genuinely an American reaction. I was talking to someone about this
earlier this evening, and the comment came back that Americans in particular
are absolutely *obsessed* with not being embarrassed, or being made fools of.
When they (we) see someone who doesn't match our view of what's the norm, we
imagine how we would feel in that position. And to make ourselves more
secure, as in high school, we make fun of what would personally embarrass us.
When the underground/subculture of the 60s got ANY chance to express its
views, what did people focus on? Their hair. Sometimes other personal
traits, but usually the hair. "Damn longhaired freaks."

To see *hair*, of all things, being somehow less acceptable than funny
foreheads, scales, or other aspects of alien-ness flatly astonishes me. (It
was also pointed out to me that in the first season of the original Trek,
there was a *lot* of mail to Paramount about losing the pointy ears on Spock,
that they just looked stupid.)

It just seems sad to me, and somehow informative, that people are unable
to see past the hair to the person. Are we really that conservative and
ethnocentric? I particularly feel strongly about this for Peter, who is
absolutely *out there*, taking a great risk with this character, who is doing
an amazing performance...and all people can talk about is the hair, as though
that somehow diminishes the performance.

Amazing, really....

jms

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