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DEAR JON LETTERS
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An Elvis Fan Finds Someone to Talk To.

by Dear Jon
February 3, 2009

ACTUAL LETTER TO DEAR JON:

Dear Jon,

I wrote a while back about my music tastes and how my fellow classmates don't enjoy old styles like I do. Well, today at school I finally had an interesting conversation on the topic of psychology with one of my friends. It originally started on our opinions of the film The 11th Hour but then turned to the subject of human behaviors. Turns out I won't have to wait until college for conversations like that.

Signed,
Elvis fan again

Dear Again,

Hopefully in college those kinds of conversations become more frequent with more people.

As you know Dear Jon is all about human behaviors, and Elvis is a case study. I'm more of a Johnny Cash guy. Or have I told you that already? Your letter is in a previous sort that I don't have time to look up.

You are aware that Elvis had plenty of hair, as did Johnny Cash, who also sported a duck-tail of sorts. Might it be that you are an Elvis fan in part because of the hair? If so, you might want to explore, from a socio-psychological perspective, the impact of hair on personality, character, and behavior. You might want to consider looking into the crack-up of the career of Illinois ex-governor Rod Blagoyevich. He had the hair and he had the mojo. And he went down in flames. No one accused Richard Nixon of baldness either. Compare that to former Dallas Cowboys football coach Jimmy Johnson. Does the amount and style of hair predict a career trajectory? If so, to what extent did it matter that Tom Landry was bald? Do sports careers, political careers, and entertainment careers follow similar hair-influenced archs? Does Johnson's career arch prove a rule, or is he an exception? Where does Jay Leno fit into this paradigm?

You get the connection, don't you? We are talking about the male hormone called testosterone. (Not to be confused with Toblerone, which is a high-priced candy bar.) Does more hair equal more testosterone, which equals more male proclivity to do stupid things like overdose on cocaine and alcohol, change your entertainment format to prime-time, auction off a U.S. Senate seat to the highest bidder, etc. From the stand-point of human behavior I think you could make your reputation on this topic as a research psychologist.

Eisenhower was bald. Was he also the best President ever of the USA? Reagan had Elvis-type hair; his legacy is a matter of controversy. We won't talk about the Alzheimer's.

Dear Jon sports a widow's peak, which would become quite striking were he too shave it close and cut his full beard back to a goatee, and then wear his Johnny Cash tribute all-black clothes. I think that would look really cool. It might also get me thrown out of church.

A study of women's hair would not prove half as interesting, in my opinion, since the physiological predictor of female behaviors is estrogen.  Although the Iron Lady, Margaret Thatcher, did sport quite the Battleship Bufont. I was impressed at the hair-spray effect on Faith Hill during her Super Bowl pre-game patriotic song. (Was it God Bless America, or America the Beautiful? I'm pretty sure it was the second one, which kind of melded into God Bless America at the end. But I don't remember.)

Speaking of human behaviors and Super Bowls, there is something hilarious about doing a voice-offer and screen cutting to give adult words to infants. My favorite commercial moment was when he called his golfing partner "Mr. Shankopotamus." Shutting up his little friend who wanted to sing, was tacky in my opinion. This is a mean baby, not a nice baby. Can only mean babies succeed at trading stock online?

Compare that to the Doritos commercial which had a guy strip a girl to her Victoria's Secret fashion underwear just by biting a chip. Advertisers still don't get it. Demeaning a woman is not funny. Only men can be demeaned in advertising, situation comedies, and prime-time free network stand-up comedy routines. Having him hit by a bus at the end of the commercial was the only good part.

But what a great Super Bowl we had! The Cardinals proved they belonged their, and the Steelers proved they were the best team in football because they knew how to win the close one. I watched at home with my family, which kept my snacking in line. When I go to another's home for a Super Bowl party, I usually eat them out of potato chips by midway through the second quarter. Why is that? Maybe you and your conversant friend should study that, too. "The Impact of Family on Male Restraint in Party Behavior."

Or maybe my struggle to stop at ONE handful of chips is a symptom connected to the amount of hair on my body.

I wonder if I can keep my diet more effectively if I shave the beard altogether? Or maybe my legs up to the knee? I eagerly await the publication of your results!




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