Day 95: My Dissertation and My Mullet


After just writing a comment on skunk’s blog that included the word mullet (and realizing that I am not using this word enough) I figured I should honor the mullet and make it the topic of today’s post. So: the mullet. What can I say. We sadly don’t see it as much these days as I would like. In fact, with the exception of old footage replayed constantly on America’s Funniest Home Videos the mullet can hardly be spotted in the wild, emphasizing that it is sadly coming closer to extinction. Even temporary protective habitats that were created for the mullet such as the English national soccer team, or the states of Alabama and Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, despite the fact that they are fighting the good fight, do not seem to be able to ensure the mullet’s survival. After flourishing in the 1980s the new millennium has proven itself to be an extraordinarily hostile environment for the mullet and so, contrary to art in the world of Walter Benn Michaels, the few still existing mullets are not a product of intention.

This brings me to the mullet-esque thing I am currently sporting on my head. While I have to admit that it is not yet really a complete mullet, I was more than surprised to wake up one morning and find a young mullet growing on my head. How did this happen (again: no intentionalism here)? Well, I am going to great lenghts to motivate myself in the writing process and after electric shocks started to become unsuccessful as some important nerve-endings had apparently become deadened, I had to develop another system of coercing myself into sitting down to write chapters. Hence, I decided that I am only going to be allowed to get a haircut if I am done with the first four chapters of my dissertation. I got my last haircut in December (!) and this week will hopefully present the happy day when chapter four will be done and I will be allowed to cut my hair. I initially thought about including facial hair in this, but that situation quickly became too annoying. So: I haven’t cut my hair in a few months and what used to be a clean, short haircut is now surprisingly close to a mullet. Now, while I am overjoyed to see another mullet I am also beginning to understand why it is teetering on the brink of extinction: it is freaking annoying. The long hair in the back of the neck–wow–I must say: I now admire harcore mulletists even more than before (most of all, obviously, Billy Ray Cyrus whose “achy-breaky heart” was doubtlessly related to the struggle with his mullet). I have had long hair in the past, but that you can at least put in a pony tail when it gets annoying. Not so the mullet–the mullet wants to run freely. All that is to say: while I do want to support the protective effort of the mullet, I do not think I can keep mine. I am just not cut out for it. That is some hardcore hair and I am at the moment neither hard, nor core-y enough for it.

This brings me to my next point: what haircut should I get? I have been thinking about a Mohawk, just because it will be the last chance to get one before I go on the job market in he fall and have to act as though I am professional (not even sure the Mohawk would grow back in by then). I could get the David Beckham faux-hawk, as so many yuppies and hipsters here, but then I would have to punch myself in the face every time I see a mirror and  I am sure that would leave some unprofessional marks. I have also been thinking about shaving my head, but I am not sure I have the head for it and it is also getting summer in Chicago and living that close to the park I would be easy prey for the Krishnas. I don’t want to confuse them too much–nice people overall and always exceptionally motivated. I am simply very undecided here, but I know that I will finally be able to cut my hair this week, so I need to figure out what to do. Send me some suggestions, ideally including pictures. Or, alternatively, I should maybe just ask myself the question: “what would Jesus sport?” Cheers and all praise the mullet.

Here some goodies:

if you want to learn how to cut a mullet and what the history of this great haircut is, see:



  1. Good old Merriam Webster offers this lousy definition of a mullet:

    But I suppose we’re taking about a Vokuhila, often seen in combination with a Rotzbremsen as Vokuhila Oliba

  2. I’m partial to this classic:

  3. oh, yes–a good one, the bowie-mullet. i also enjoy the one limahl so proudly displayed in the 80s but coudn’t ifnd a picture of him.

    @anaj: it would have been even weirder to find a fish growing on my head. would, however, have made the link to jesus comparably more convincing.

  4. oh–just to clarify the essential vocabulary here:


    thigh brush=rotzbremse

    p.s.: apparently albanians have 27 different words for mustache. fact–not trying to spread discriminatory propaganda.

    here apparently the icon for users with mustache:


  5. If you really want to see some mullets, you should travel to Spain. At least, it is the top trend in Seville!

  6. Shocking! Is there a specific reason for that, or are most people there simply blind?

  7. I wanted to say “Andere Länder, andere Sitten”, but you know how difficult it is to translate idioms. So I got “When in Rome do as the Romans do”. I consider that in this case (“when in Seville…”) this advice is worse 😉

  8. So your advice is: when in Seville, get a mullet? If so, that is quite devastating. I have heard (and seen from your pictures) that Seville is quite pretty and I do want to visit it some time, but I really do not want to get a mullet (hell, I am just getting ready to get rid of the one I have right now). Now the question is, what’s worse: getting a mullet upon entering Seville, or giving up your civil rights upon entering the US? Hmmm… tough one. 🙂

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