Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Ten Political Moustaches

Here in Canada, we're only days away from a federal election. What's really shaking up the scene is that for the first time in ages we'll have a leader who might well have been inspired by Stalin or Lenin... not in his politics, I don't mean, but in his facial-hair decisions. That, by the standards of 2011, is revolutionary.


1.JACK LAYTON: Asked recently about the reason for his surge in popularity in Québec, Jack Layton apparently quipped, "je ne sais pas... moustache?" He's not far wrong. Whether or not Layton radically changes the electoral landscape of Canada next week, it's already a guarantee that he'll change the relationship the voting public has with political face fur.Jack Layton's Political Moustache

2.HAROLD MACMILLAN: After all, to find a moustache in the PMO, in the UK at least, you have to go all the way back to the early sixties and the Conservative Prime Minister Harold Macmillan. Macmillan was Prime Minister during the first rush of Beatlemania, that's how long our leaders' upper lips have been shorn. A quick scan of Wikipedia suggests he was a decent man, best-known for decolonisation in Africa. And for saying, 'events, my dear boy, events'.Harold Macmillan's Political Moustache

3.THOMAS DEWEY: In the United States, you have to go back much further. The last time a moustache was a serious competitor for the White House was all the way back in 1948, when the Republican candidate was Thomas Dewey, bizarrely best known for not defeating Truman, whatever the newspaper said that day. His historic loss was so tragic that a soup strainer has ever since been seen as a curse on the President. Okay, not really.Thomas Dewey's Political Moustache

4.MOAMMAR GADDAFI: It's probably folks like this who have put the moustache into disfavour. To be fair, Gaddafi hasn't been rocking a moustache very long, but God knows it's a hideous addition ot a hideous person. He doesn't seem fully capable of growing a moustache or a goatee, so I'm not sure why he tries. Especially when the curly locks are, in contrast, quite striking.Moammar Gaddafi's Political Moustache

5.R. TAYYIP ERDOGAN: The moustache is perhaps more common in that approximate area of the world. In Turkey, for example, it's the rare Prime Minister or President that doesn't have a small animal on his top lip. Here's the current PM, Erdogan, but it could have been almost any of them.R. Tayyip Erdogan's Political Moustache

6.LECH WALESA: After all, the moustache is the symbol of liberty, of workers overcoming the aparattus of the state. Or of grandfatherliness. Both work in the case of cuddly-old-guy Lech Walesa, who could donate some of that full and manly moustache to Gaddafi and never even notice.Lech Walesa's Political Moustache

7.V.I. LENIN: This very photogenic gentleman, after all, created a vogue for facial hair and a vogue for revolutionary workers' communes. "Let me in, let me in", cried the Mensheviks. "Not by the hair on my chinny-chin-chin", replied Lenin.V.I. Lenin's Political Moustache

8.JOSEF STALIN: And then we get Stalin. I only had room for two moustachioed mass-murderers on this list, so the famous Hitler you-missed-a-spot gets cut (ho, ho, ho). But Gaddafi gets in, and here is the fearsome 'stache of the post-Lenin era in Russia. Stalin's moustache was so loathed that Brezhnev's destalinisation was also effectively a demoustachisation, as no subsequent Soviet leader wore one, excepting of course Brezhnev, who had two above his eyes.Josef Stalin's Political Moustache

9.EMILIANO ZAPATA: Wikipedia will tell you that Emiliano Zapata, the turn-of-the-century Mexican revolutionary who sought to overthrow the quasi-feudal state of affairs there, is best known for his (admittedly cool) aphorism, "It's better to die on your feet than to live on your knees." However, the truth is that Zapata is best known for one of history's most awesome moustaches this side of Salvador Dalí. It might not do much for the fight against Mexican stereotyping, but it does plenty for the fight against boring facial hair.Emiliano Zapata's Political Moustache

10.CHESTER A. ARTHUR: Something Zapata had in common with the 21st President of the USA, who might, like Jack Layton, have been Canadian (take that, birthers!), who was a 'Stalwart' Republican, and who had truly fearsome muttonchops joined by a healthy moustache.Chester A. Arthur's Political Moustache

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