Monday, November 10, 2008

Mo-Men-tus History

Don't ask me why but I got to wondering the other day if Hitler would have had the same impact without his moustache.

If you were drawing a picture of him, & I must admit I don't know why you would, it would be the most significant, dare I say symbolic feature on his face.

I guess this article comes from some personal observation. There is a mustachioed person I know, alright I'll admit it's a man, who at times I find intimidating & I have wondered just how much the effect would be reduced, without the 'mo'.

I feel there may be more to the moustache than meets the eye, especially as I cast my eye back over recent history. The last hundred years or so have seen a dazzling array of be-whiskered head honchos. Picking my may through the Internet I find I am not the only one to notice:

"In my short experience, and short research, one thing has become evident: the 20th century displayed many a dictator sporting a certain kind of facial hair…the moustache! While they vary in types, from a curt and almost square Hitler, to a cheeky and vibrant Saddam, each of the following show style and a distinctive flair with their moustaches, often contributing to their image as an icon."

I have shamelessly appropriated the pic below, from this site so here is a link if you like to browse.

In case you're not familiar with any of the moustaches & the faces they wear - here's a quick run through - Franco, Charles de Gaulle, Gandhi, Stalin, Hitler, Nasser, Einstein & Saddam Hussein.

Having recently written about Kemal Ataturk, I cannot leave him out of this article, although he did not always sport a moustache, the above image is imposing enough methinks, to have spurred on his rise to power.

From another site doing the Top 10 of Moustaches we find "Otto von Bismarck. I guess you could go with Chaplin or Dali or Zappa here, but while those guys were probably all assholes, the #1 moustache should go to an asshole who made war." - ok so he didn't quite make it to the 20th Century but something that invasive cannot be ignored.

So here we have is an imposing collection of men who made a huge impact on the distribution of power in the modern world.

Further bristling impact has been made via the movie industry. For starters we have the forerunner to Hitler's famous moustache

"Charles Spencer Chaplin (can't help but think of Princess Diana with a name like that) is considered one of the most important stars of the early days in Hollywood." Interesting that the birth of the mind-programming industry is ushered in with what will become one of the most feared symbols of the 20th Century.
From Wiki: "This moustache is most famous for having been worn by German dictator Adolph Hitler, although it was already well-recognised due to movie star Charlie Chaplin wearing it as part of his iconic Little Tramp costume. Chaplin did not wear the moustache in daily life. In a 1933 interview, Chaplin said he added the moustache to his costume because it had a comical appearance and was small enough so as not to hide his expression. Chaplin took advantage of the noted similarity between his on-screen appearance and that of Adolf Hitler in his 1940 film The Great Dictator, where he again wore the moustache as part of two new characters that parodied Hitler" - Reality imitates art & then art imitates reality or IS that art & IS there really any difference?

The name Chaplin means chaplain or clergyman. This clergyman wore his 'dog collar' on his upper lip as helped usher the movie industry into it's present idolatrous position. If you doubt his effect on the world check out the website below. There's a couple of mustachioed big names lurking in there too.

Other actors with textured upper lips followed in the wake of Chaplin. Lip smacking romantic heroes appeared for the ladies - never underestimate the power of romance as a control mechanism for the female of the species.

As the decades advanced, a more manly romantic hero came to prominence

Interestingly there never seems to be many mustachioed 'hunks' around at any one time - admittedly the majority of the male population does not sport the necessary sub-nasal shrubbery, but still I wonder if perhaps one (at at time) is enough 'to rule them all.'

Turning to art & literature we meet with artistic licence in the field of nasal drapery

Last but not least, what's the first thing that the majority of us do when we 'de-face' someone's portrait. Here's one that was done earlier & has been labelled 'ART'.

So I've been wondering about the power of the moustache.

I'm reminded of a news item in NZ a while ago about a man who bought a Lamborghini & crashed it on the first day - something with that much power demands ownership by someone 'used to' power. Some men do seem to be one with their 'mo' - have a peak at the meaning of the word 'Mojo':
"A magic charm or spell.
2. An amulet, often a small flannel bag containing one or more magic items, worn by adherents of hoodoo or voodoo.
3. Personal magnetism; charm

I remember reading somewhere that hair acts as an antenna, like fur on animals. On top of that as all property owners know is the tremendous value of - location, location, location. From wiki -"The philtrum is the vertical groove in the upper lip, formed where the nasomedial and maxillary processes meet during embryonic development."

"The ancient Greeks believed that the philtrum was one of the most erogenous spots on the human body, hence the etymology"- from Gk. philtron "love-charm".

"According to the Jewish Talmud... God sends an angel to each womb and teaches a baby all the wisdom that can be obtained. Just before the unborn baby comes out, the angel touches it between the upper lip and the nose and all that it has taught the baby is forgotten." There are other similar stories to this one - & doesn't it just piss you off!

Anyway the point I'm suggesting is that this area is an important, perhaps magical? part of the body. The faces I've included in this article are famous faces - famous perhaps because they had access to a little more knowledge than the rest of us or were in the keeping of such people.

"Whiskers (on cats & dogs) serve as delicate sense organs of touch and are believed to be as sensitive as our fingertips. They are sensitive to vibrations in air currents. As the air moves, the whiskers vibrate, and dogs use messages in these vibrations to sense the presence, size and shape of nearby objects. Whiskers help protect the eyes. Any touch to the whiskers causes the eyelids to blink."

Can whiskers on a man have some similar abilities & more - look again at the images, what would these men appear like without the 'mo'. Often a great deal af attention is paid to a man who shaves off his moustache, he becomes a curiousity - Tom Selleck just was not the same man without his - some force or energy seemed to be missing.

So strange as it sounds, can a moustasche increase the power of certain men? Does it access some energy within a man or make him more accessible to an outside energy? Or is it some kind of kind of subconscious symbol. Is this why some men have negative reactions when they grow moustaches because thay do not fit the subconscious criteria.

I found myself thinking of Samson & wondering, could the hair that Delilah removed from him have been a moustache?