OF MOHAWKS AND MULLETS. Ed Kilgore makes an overlooked and amusing tonsorial point over atTPMCafe, something thus far missed in the whole George Allen macaca fracas:

The funniest aspect of this incident is the argument by some of Allen's flacks that their man was trying to say "mohawk," which is what the campaign called Sidarth because of his hair style. Sidarth replied that his hairstyle was actually a mullet.

Well, I suppose "macaca" and "mohawk" are similar words, sorta like "baboon" and "bouffant" are similar. But Lord 'amighty, how can anyone confuse a mohawk hairstyle with a mullet? And moreover, how can anyone look at a man with a mullet and think of him as anything other than uniquely American?

Mullets are, as Kilgore notes, especially popular in rural Virginia. And, come to think of it, the mohawk is about as uniquely American a haircut as you can think of, though it fell from favor several centuries ago until repopularized by working-class Britons in the 1970s during the punk musical rebellion. But mohawks were an American Indian hair style. And Allen's tracker, who wore a mullet, is Indian-American. Who wants to put odds on the Allen campaign dubbing him "Mohawk" not because of his hairstyle, but because he was "Indian"? This whole episode comes across as some kind of classic example of a Freudian chain of unconscious verbal associations, resulting in the accidental revelation of something normally kept hidden. Michael Scherer at Salon has more, delving into what that might be.

--Garance Franke-Ruta

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