THE BALD WALL: JASON STATHAM?

April 21, 2009

That’s right, that is a question mark at the end of our headline.  Why?  Because we aren’t quite sure whether Jason Statham IS Bald.

Is he or isn't he?

Is he or isn't he?

What do you call this?  Certainly he can’t walk amongst the Haired as one of them — their full languid locks are a world away from his close cropped fuzz.

Yet, said fuzz IS there, undeniably.  Sure, the average passerby might glance in Statham’s direction and see a Bald, but closer inspection reveals a fine layer of compromise surrounding his cranium.  If the S.S. ever came to take the Balds away, Statham could point at his fuzz and say “Not me, mate– I’m a Hair”.  But until then, he is perfectly happy being mistaken as a Bald and building a career off the ensuing heat.

On the razor's edge of Baldness.

On the razor's edge of Baldness.

This is Faux Baldness, whether we like to admit it or not.  And we don’t.  Most Balds will readily admit to being huge fans of Statham and his punchy pictures.  And clearly he’s been happy to ride our fandom all the way to the bank.  But though his films have brought joy to Balds everywhere and in a subconscious way we have taken him under our wing as one of our own (at least in comparison to Haired action stars like Tom Cruise), we must face the truth and admit that Jason Statham is neither Hair nor there.  It is clear he sees himself as a badass Bald like Michael Chiklis or the Bimp.  But despite his dreams of Bimpness, something prevents him from grabbing the razor and going all the way.

There is a term for this kind of person.

Jason Statham is a WannaBald.

Sorry, Statham -- it's a wash.

Sorry, Statham -- it's a wash.

The best we here at the Bald Wall can offer him is an HDM:  an honorable dishonorable mention.  Yes, he has brought us some added toughness in the mind of the public, and yes, his successes reflect well on all of us, but that reflection is not coming off of a clear, shiny scalp — instead, it is a reflection tainted and refracted in a weird distorted “Natural Born Killers” way by a myriad of patchy Hairs so tiny and yet so clearly vital to their owner’s self-image.  No matter how much we welcome him into our arms, Jason Statham will always keep one foot in the Haired society he came from.

Clingers.

A country of clingers.

Just as his country desperately clung to its colonies long after the world knew that its empire had crumbled, Jason Statham clings to the little Hair he has left for no other reason than he can’t.  Let.  Go.

Our only hope is that the math catches up to him:  if he compares the box office for his latest film “Crank” (#6) with the box office two weeks ago of True Bald Vin Diesel’s “Fast And Furious” (#1), maybe he’ll see that if you want the big bucks — the Daddy Warbucks — you can’t Half-Assie Baldness.  Winners go down to the skin, plain and simple.  Until he learns that lesson, Jason Statham will continue to languish in his unique, limbo position of 2nd place stardom — the world’s biggest b-movie star.

(And that’s a lowercase “b”, mind you.)

Who are you really fighting, Jason?

Who are you really fighting, Jason?


THE BALD WALL: SIGOURNEY WEAVER

April 7, 2009

Check out this penultimate post for Sigourney Weaver on our sister site The Bald And Beautiful.  And mind your manners — Weaver could singlehandedly kick the ass of half our Bald Wall list (minus this fine fellow).

How cool is Ripley?  Let’s put it this way:  John McClane is a cool-ass character.  But it took 4 movies for John McClane to achieve what Ripley did in 3.  Gender, schmender — a tougher Bald would be difficult to find.  All Hail the Queen:

Enter:  THE BALD AND THE BEAUTIFUL

Enter: THE BALD AND THE BEAUTIFUL


THE BALD WALL: VIN DIESEL

April 2, 2009
This picture is hilarious.
The Bald Stallone.
i-am-legend-20071022044404088-000

Will Smith.

bruce-willis-live-free-or-die-harder

Bruce Willis.

Jason Statham.

Jason Statham.

The guy who played Hitman.

The "Hitman" guy.

If there’s anything the 2000’s have taught Hollywood, it should be this:  America likes our action heroes Bald.  British Bald Jason Statham has racked up an impressive stream of moneymakers, while established actors like Will Smith and Bruce Willis found their biggest audiences in years with Bald-centric actioneers.

This wasn’t always the case.

In the 20th Century, Balds in cinema were relegated to supporting roles at best.  They were either clumsy doofuses or diabolical villains — and sometimes both.

K.O.ing stereotypes.

K.O.ing stereotypes.

Balds couldn’t take these negative stereotypes lying down.  Taking a cue from their African-American brothers, Balds in the 1970’s produced gritty Baldsploitation filmmaking that showed Balds could not only play Leads, but be just as heroic, badass, and sexual as their Haired counterparts.  But their budgets were no match for a Hair-obsessed Hollywood, and despite their valiant efforts, Balds would spend the next thirty years continuing to play clowns, freaks, and Nazis.

And then in 2001, the world changed forever.

A Breakthrough Bald arrived who shattered Hollywood’s glass ceiling.  A Bald who broke the unwritten rule that action stars must have Hair, no matter how fake.

His name was Mark Sinclair Vincent.  But the world knows him better as Vin Diesel.

InVincible.

InVincible.

2001’s “The Fast And The Furious” is a landmark film in Bald Culture.  In a vein similar to “The Defiant Ones” before it, “TFATF” tells the story of a Haired man forced by circumstance into an uneasy friendship with a Bald man, and how it opens the Haired man’s mind and changes his worldview.

"He's just like me!"

"Why... he's no different than I."

Paul Walker plays the penultimate Hair, his blond highlit locks glowing with privilege and entitlement, who goes undercover to arrest his Bald target.  But once they meet, he finds that Balds aren’t so different from Hairs after all…  in fact, he could probably learn a thing or two from them.

As the Bald Dom Torreto, Vin Diesel knows his way around an engine (and a woman).  And when the time comes for Paul Walker to bring him in, the hesitant Hair can’t bring himself to do it.  He  lets his Bald brother ride off into freedom rather than turn him over to a corrupt system that would put him away just for the smoothness of his scalp.

The critically-acclaimed film became an out-of-nowhere blockbuster that suggested relations between Hairs and Balds had mellowed from previous generations.  The studio heads took notice, and with dollar signs in their eyes, they decided to make a big bet on Bald.

A New Breed of Action Star.

A "New Breed" of Action Star.

Was the musclebound Diesel strong enough to carry a movie on his own, despite having no Hair? The world eagerly awaited the answer as production began on “xXx”.

I guess.

The Year 2002.

Adopting the formula of the Baldsploitation movies he saw as a boy, and adding a huge studio budget behind it, Vin Diesel created a Bald uberhero for the Mountain Dew generation in an attempt to cement his legacy as The Bald Stallone.  It worked.  When the receipts came in, the new reality was official:  “xXx” made $$$, and suddenly Bald equaled Box Office.

And for a glorious and short-lived moment, Vin Diesel was on top of the world.

The Hairs wouldn’t let him stay there for long.

A big Bald target.

A big Bald target.

The pressure of surviving as a Bald man in a Haired industry did not leave Diesel unscathed.  Baldism was alive and well in Tinseltown, and Diesel’s success only stoked the flames in the hearts of his Haired haters.

Rock bottom.

Rock bottom.

The campaign to destroy him began.  They started inexplicable rumors that he was gay.  They convinced the industry that he was overhyped.  And they dumped him from the “Furious” sequel when he asked to be paid the same amount as  Haired action stars.  After some years in the wilderness, with a string of flops and misfires culminating in the nadir of “Find Me Guilty” (where a desperate and confused Diesel succumbed to wearing a hairpiece), Diesel learned a valuable lesson:  “dance with the ones who brung ‘ya'”.   In 2009’s “Fast and Furious”, he returned to form in the role that made him a star… and proved to Hollywood that Balds mean business.

See “Fast And Furious” in theaters this weekend!

Vindicated.

Vindicated.

paloma_jimenez_jr_20080606Click here to see Vin’s vivacious wife Paloma Jimenez!


THE BALD WALL: DR. MANHATTAN

March 31, 2009
The most powerful Bald of all.

The most powerful Bald of all.

Dr. Manhattan, of Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ seminal 1986 graphic novel “Watchmen”, stands alone as perhaps the most powerful Bald in the history of all fiction (though some might disagree).

Hair today, Jon tomorrow.

Hair today, Jon tomorrow.

When a scientific experiment goes awry, physicist Jon Osterman is transformed into a blue-skinned enigma with unfathomable control over every cell, atom, and particle in the known universe (the accident also takes his hair, a common DC trope).  The newly Bald Jon is immediately contracted by the United States government and given the name Doctor Manhattan.  He proceeds to carry out any and every order given to him by his Haired superiors, including wiping out indigenous Vietnamese soldiers with a mere point of his quantum-powered finger.  But his social life suffers the same fate:  Jon’s radically-altered perception of life is impossible for his friends and lovers to relate to.   Try as he might, his great abilities are unable to prevent every relationship he ever cherished from falling apart as a result of his “unexpected change”.

Many of us can relate.

It's not easy being Bald.

It's not easy being Bald.

Dr. Manhattan’s story in “Watchmen” centers around his increasing isolation and gradual withdrawal from the rest of human society as he comes to realize more and more how irrevocably different he is from everyone around him.  Whether it was Moore’s intention or not, the tale of Dr. Manhattan is an obvious parable for the Bald Experience in America in the ’80’s.

The abominable Sy Sperling, 1986.

The abominable Sy Sperling, 1986.

It was in the ’80’s that anti-Bald technology blossomed and led to the creation of a lucrative industry.  Surgeon William Rassman pioneered the use of micrograft hair transplants, and founded the hate group New Hair Institute.  Entreprenuer Sy Sperling introduced his even more successful Hair Club For Men to the world, with its famous slogan “I’m not just the president, I’m also a client,” featuring photos documenting Sperling’s own transformation from undesirable Bald to eligible Haired ladykiller.  Hundreds more companies sprung up in their wake.  With some 35 million Bald or balding men in America alone, there was clearly a fortune to be made.

The only problem:  in order to sell their many hair restoration products, companies like Hair Club For Men and NHI would have to convince the populace at large that being Bald was bad.   Awful, in fact.  A disease that needed to be cured.

Consumed by ’80’s era greed, they embarked on a remorseless marketing campaign that would forever affect the Bald community’s standing in the social structure, with hate-filled ads like this one:

The result:  their products flew off the shelves.  Entreprenuers like Sperling became millionaires overnight.  And a generation of Bald men became walking pariahs, wasting the best years of their lives pouring their hard earned money into a variety of different snake oils, or trading their dignity for a lousy toupee  (It’s no mistake that Moore’s Dr. Manhattan is depicted as flaccid and unable to please women sexually).

The Moore Code.

Moore's Code.

With such power and influence at their fingertips, these newly crowned titans of the Hair Restoration industry could shut down anybody who tried to challenge the Anti-Bald narrative they so efficiently concocted and weaved through 1980’s culture.  That Moore was able to hide such a damning indictment of them in the pages of the bestselling graphic novel of all time is just another testament to his unmatched brilliance…  and another layer to examine in his most unforgettable and tragic creation, Dr. Manhattan — the God who wasn’t Haired.


THE BALD WALL: LEX LUTHOR

January 6, 2009

It may seem odd that only the third Bald to ever be discussed on our site is a fictional character born in 1940 in tri-color pointilism on newsprint, rather than a living breathing human being.  Thus is the awful, lasting significance and influence of Lex Luthor, a man whose legacy has been so destructive, whose shadow has spread so darkly over the second half of the 20th Century and beyond, bringing pain and suffering to Balds everywhere, that he can conceivably be seen as the Bald Hitler.

Lex Luthor, 1979

Lex Luthor addressing the Legion of Doom, 1979

Lex Luthor is a master supervillain, arguably the epitome of the Criminal Mastermind (Bald or otherwise) archetype that has permeated fiction since the days of Iago and Richard II.  As the arch-nemesis of DC Comics’ Superman — the uber-handsome idealized American male — Luthor is known the world-over for being two things:   the EXACT POLAR OPPOSITE of everything a man wants to be, and Bald.

luthor-1As if this combination wasn’t unfortunate enough, there is a much deeper and darker level to Luthor’s evil, something exhibiting true hatred for our people, a hatred that, through lifelong cultural osmosis, we have likely taken up against ourselves to degrees we’re unable (or unwilling) to admit.

Luthor is the worst criminal there could ever be, the Baddest Guy amongst Bad Guys, the villain all the other villains elected to lead of the Legion of Doom. And why, you ask?  Why would this clearly brilliant man, this unrivaled inventor, dedicate his unparalleled scientific mind and his vast financial fortune towards a lifetime of impractical aggression and periodic incarceration for no personal gain whatsoever save the sociopathic satisfaction of destroying the world, humanity, and everything that is good?

Why, it’s obvious:  because he is Bald.

superman_superboy-luthor

When We Were Haired.

That’s right.  Lex Luthor was actually once Superboy’s best pal.  They did science projects together, they might have even had a little thing going for a minute here and there, but they were unquestionably bros.  Such bros that when curious young Lex’s latest experiment went bad and started a huge fire in his basement laboratory,  Superboy flew in to save the day and pummeled the flames right out with the gale-wind force of his mighty super-breath.  There was collateral damage, however.  In the act of trying to save his friend, Superboy’s super-breath unknowingly blew off all of Luthor’s hair.

Who can blame him.

Who can blame him.

From this, it was a straight line to supervillainy.  No further explanation was needed for friendly Lex’s change in demeanor.  If someone made you Bald — even it was your best-est friend and they did it by accident amidst the greater act of saving you from a burning building — you’d want to kill them so bad that you would become Lex Luthor, the most infatigible cretin of 20th Century fiction.

Hackman's tastefully crafted image.

Gene Half-ass.

And if this stain on our history wasn’t dark enough, along came Gene Hackman to play Luthor in the 1978 “Superman” movie.  Although a respected actor known for his versatility and willingness to adopt unflattering appearances (“The Conversation”, “Scarecrow”) in selfless service of a meaty role, Hackman drew the line at tackling that single most irredeemable thespian sacrifice:  being Bald.  He compromised and wore a bald cap for just long enough to establish himself as the internationally-recognized character from the comics.  But as soon as the celluloid Lex Luthor breaks out of jail, the first thing he does is put on a toupee that will never leave his head for the remaining three movies (save the occasional swim or prison stretch).  For what else does a Bald Man dream of, but Hair?  Even if imprisoned, his peers’ shared fantasies of freedom are matched in their unquenchable need by his desire for productive hair follicles.

And don’t even mention the forgettable version phoned in by Kevin Spacey in Bryan Singer’s inanimate “Thuperman Returns”, in which we learn that a Bald villain is a villain so unsubstantial to our hero as to not even require defeat.

The ramifications of Lex Luthor’s Baldness have carved a thousand little Lindsay Lohan cuts into the wrists of every Bald man walking the earth today whether he consciously knows it or not.  Whereas the thickly raven-Haired Kal-El soars through the skies as the penultimate alpha male aspiration, the Hairless and piggish Lex Luthor is the Bald receptacle of our species’ most loathed self-images, perpetually hunching over his heartless control boards, cursing the world, in need of extravagant armor to counter his frail physical impotence, obsessively collecting every material possession he can in a futile effort to compensate for the one lone thing he truly ever wanted but can never have:      his hair back.

luthor-hair

Bald Man's Burden.

Could the most influential Bald of the 20th Century be its most despised villain?  These are the questions that will keep Bald historians awake for a millenia of nights to come.

————

NOTE:  Lex Luthor is but one of many Bald Criminal Masterminds in popular fiction.


THE BALD WALL: MICHAEL CHIKLIS

December 21, 2008

At the tender age of 20, a hungry and dedicated strapping young theater actor named Mike Chiklis shaved areas of his head to play a 65-year-old man with male-pattern Baldness in a production of “You Can’t Take It With You”.  Instead of using the standard powder on his head (as he did on his face), he used greasepaint, and failed to remove it properly at the end of each day.  When the play finished its run, young Chiklis was informed he had killed most of the hair follicles on his head, and would be stuck with this tri-hawkish, Mr. T-esque “male pattern Baldness” look for the rest of his life.

Chiklis admits that the next decade was not the easiest for him.

A broken man.

A broken man.

Jump to 1991.  As the eponymous star of primetime hit “The Commish”, a grown-up and beaten-down Chiklis sported a thinning, emasculating hairdo that is all-too-recognizable to most of us.  Combined with the predictably rotund figure that develops when years of sexual frustration are placated by morbid binge eating, the formerly hungry young stage actor’s now-feckless appearance damned him to a career of light comic roles, no matter what he may have had in mind for himself.  His “Commish” character, upstate NY police commissioner Tony Scali, was forced to work through problems with humor and creativity rather than with violence or force — after all, who’s afraid of this man?

No one.

No one.

With plenty of network-check laurels to rest on, Chiklis’s agents told him to kick back and relax on this gravy train.  Despite his early greasepaint setback, he had persevered and was now on track to sail into entertainment history as a poor man’s Jim Belushi — a living inspiration for all the future Kevin James‘s of the world.  Chiklis should have been content.  But he wasn’t content.  Because underneath his drooping, balding, pear-shaped exterior, Michael Chiklis was still a man.

A wild animal in captivity.

How long can a man piss sitting down before he decides to stand up?

A man doesn’t want to solve small-town crimes in a family-friendly timeslot on ABC.  A man wants to fuck. A man wants to punch and kick and shoot guns.  To throw things against the wall and hear them shatter.  A man wants to crush his enemies, see them driven before him, and hear the lamentations of their women.  There was animal inside Chiklis, clawing at his skull to be released.  We all have that animal in us.  Most of us struggle our whole lives to keep it locked up.

Michael Chiklis let it out.

0000034809_200610210148471

Natural Born Killer.

policecar_2

Now, having ridden the razor’s edge straight to a starring role on the significantly-tougher TV show “The Shield”, the name Michael Chiklis is synonomous with the kind of rough and tumble murder and mayhem that would have caused his Commish character of yesteryear to defecate in his pleated pants.  A yearned- after sex object amongst women and men alike, Chiklis has clearly defeated his demons.  He took that youthful accident and not only embraced it, but wrestled it to the ground and unloaded a clip into the back of its head.

Our protector.

Bald takes care of its own.

Though small in stature, Chiklis is a walking giant amongst the Bald community — the one we see in the mirror after we bench press, the one we imagine we resemble when we pull a tight fitted T over our smooth heads in the morning.  When a leering teenager snickers at us in the cinema ticket line with our wife, and it only takes an icy look and a brief snarl to shut him up — that’s the contribution Michael Chiklis has made to Bald culture.  The Bald have always lived a more persecuted life than the average passerby.  They have had two options to deal with this dilemma:  make the Haired love them… or fear them.  By projecting such brutal ferocity in his work, Chiklis has brought about the latter.  He created a lasting perception of “The Short Bald Man Who Will Kick Your Ass” that was so visceral, it is assuredly embedded in the minds of any potential tormentors — a caution light that flashes in their head before they dare to make a snide comment, warning them that maybe, just maybe, their bald target might go all “Vic Mackey” on them and respond with a faceful of fist.

In this way, the legacy of Michael Chiklis protects all Bald men.  He is our Shield.

————-

NOTE:  Though Michael Chiklis also notably played The Thing, this will be discussed on The Thing’s page, as he too is Bald.


THE BALD WALL: FRED DURST

December 20, 2008

Before we can celebrate Baldness, we must first discuss Fred Durst.  In many ways, he is a mirror for all Bald men — at least, for the ones who don’t like the reflection staring back at them.

Durst at the peak of his fame.

Durst at the peak of his fame.

Surprisingly, Fred Durst always seemed more ashamed of his Baldness than of his years spent rap-singing as the cargo-shorted frontman of Limp Bizkit.  The former tattoo artist should have been able to employ his inking talents towards rocking out his Baldness (see Mike Tyson) the way he rocked out crowds of rapists at Woodstock ’99.   Instead, he cowardly hid his receding hairline under countless backwards red caps well into his late thirties.  When plunging sales forced him to switch things up and try out a radical sans hat video (the self-directed, allegedly-sexy “Behind Blue Eyes” featuring Halle Berry), nu-metal fans’ hunches were confirmed:  Durst had yet to accept the inevitable and break out the razor.  There he was, still desperately clinging to any remaining patches and tufts he could bleach.   Like its predecessors, the video was met with universal scorn, and Limp Bizkit’s fanbase moved on to Balder pastures.  Meanwhile, the tattoo skills that could have saved him all along were wasted drawing iconic Haired artists on his chest (blonde Kurt Cobain, pompadoured Elvis Presley), as if their rich, full locks would somehow compensate for his lack thereof.

A beard is not hair.

A beard is not hair.

Today, forced to hang his hat and admit the truth, Fred Durst’s sad proto-Baldness conveys an admission of defeat rather than the proud statement of defiance one would expect from the man who wrote “My Way (or the Highway)” and “Rollin’ (Air Raid Vehicle)”.  It is certain that an unhealthy percentage of his quiet moments are spent modeling a red backwards cap in a forever-mirror and trying to remember the good ol’ days when this combination was found attractive by such luminaries as Christina Aguilera.  Perhaps if he had embraced his Baldness from the beginning, his current look would not be such an obstacle to maintaining a level of self-esteem appropriate for a retired nu-metal performer.  Alas, he fought his fate and lost.  Fred Durst is not a good role model for the modern Bald man.  Fortunately there are others who can point the way.


Welcome to the Bald Wall!

December 16, 2008

Who is the greatest Bald of all?

baldofall1

We’re going to find out.


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