It is entirely my fault. Because I have failed to read the Dave Barry blog as regularly as I should, I can only now tell you of the link to this crucial news story, published as long ago as last Saturday:
Stressing hygiene and health, it showed various state-approved short hairstyles including the “flat-top crew cut,” “middle hairstyle,” “low hairstyle,” and “high hairstyle” – variations from one to five centimetres in length.
The programme allowed men aged over 50 seven centimetres of upper hair to cover balding.
It stressed the “negative effects” of long hair on “human intelligence development”, noting that long hair “consumes a great deal of nutrition” and could thus rob the brain of energy.
Good to see that comb-overs will still be allowed, within reasonable limits.
A second, and unprecedented, TV series this winter showed hidden-camera style video of “long-haired” men in various locations throughout Pyongyang.
In a break with North Korean TV’s usual approach, the programme gave their names and addresses, and challenged the fashion victims directly over their appearance.
The North Korean media normally reserves the reporting of names of its citizens to exemplary individuals who show high communist virtues.
Typical media. Why can they not show good news, instead of harping on about bad stuff all the time?
“No matter how good the clothes, if one does not wear tidy shoes, one’s personality will be downgraded.”
For party papers such as Nodong Sinmun, the struggle against foreign and anti-communist influence is being fought out in the arena of personal appearance.
“People who wear other’s style of dress and live in other’s style will become fools and that nation will come to ruin,” it says.
Some people evidently do have long hair in North Korea, despite the danger of their personalities being downgraded, and the nation definitely is coming to ruin. But might they not be confusing correlation with causation?
Personally I suspect that this robbed North Korea of a lot more energy than long hair does.
And the North Korean government campaign to stamp out smoking has apparently not worked very well, so I expect long hair in North Korea to go on being an official worry for some time yet.