Good evening Mr. & Mrs. Catholic and all you other Christians at sea. Here at the Newsreel we find ourselves still in the thrall of Miles O’Keefe’s luxurious mane. Ah, hair! Let it fly in the breeze and get caught in the trees, give a home to the fleas in our hair. A home for fleas, a hive for bees, a nest for birds, there ain't no words for the beauty, the splendor, the wonder of our hair. Flow it, show it, long as God can grow it, our hair. Our hair like Jesus wore it, Hallelujah we adore it! Now off to press.
DATELINE: SAN FRANCISCO – Ooooo, check out the tail lights on this one. Hey, We’re talking about her hair! Sheesh, you people. Actually, this kind of elaborate hair ornamentation puts us in the mind of Jezebel who, upon learning that the newly appointed king Jehu was in town, “shadowed her eyes, adorned her hair, and looked down from her window.” A number of modern scholars have suggested that the original readers of the Biblical text would have associated this description of Jezebel with carven images of the elaborately coiffed Kilili, “she who leans out of the window”. This Babylonian goddess wasn’t your typical earth-mother of the time, but rather a warrior and seductress and, as an aspect of Ishtar, the patroness of sacred prostitution. Using such recognizable imagery to describe Jezebel implies that she was more than just some skanky Canaanite princess, but likely a pagan priestess of some sort, which would better explain her ability to corrupt the religion of Israel during the reign of her husband Ahab. If all that’s true, then Jezebel’s final fall from the castle wall to the hungry dogs below isn’t just a gruesome campfire tale (not that there’s anything wrong with that), but an allegorical toppling of a pagan religion. Gotta watch those little details in Scripture, dear readers, they’re loaded.
DATELINE: KENSINGTON – The nice lady above reminds this reporter of his very brief stay with the United Pentecostal Church, the nice folks who interpret I Corinthians 11 to mean that a woman should never cut her hair while a man should keep it close to the scalp. We’ve recently discussed St. Paul’s likely meaning when crafting his words on hair-dos and their implications that Jesus probably (not definitely) had shoulder length hair. What we didn’t provide was an example of what exactly St. Paul was decrying when he criticized long hair on men. For that, we turn to the book of 2 Samuel which tells us of Absalom, son of King David, who just might have borne more than a passing resemblance to the lady above. Quite famous for his flowing girly-locks, the young Absalom shaved his head only once a year, a ritual which usually left a pile of hair weighing in at a whopping 200 shekels, or about 4 pounds. In later years, however, Absalom's ambition grew along with his hair, eventually resulting in an open revolt against his father. Absalom’s life came to an undignified end when his fab-u-lous hair became tangled in a low hanging bush and Joab, finding the poor guy swinging in the wind like a pinata, poked a few holes in him with a lance. Absalom's vanity ultimately left him, as the Bible so poetically (and yes, allegorically) describes, hanging between Heaven and Earth.
DATELINE: PARTS UNKNOWN – Our last newsreel is of a monkey getting a haircut. There’s no biblical, catechetical, or allegorical reason for this; we just wanted to see a monkey get a haircut. Everybody loves monkeys.
And with that, we leave you until next time. As always, in the words of the great Les Nessman, “Good evening, and may the good news be yours.”