Hair

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Who is the most reviled man in the world at the moment? There are quite a few candidates, but I think a global vote would put Kim Jong Un at the top of the list: he of the unbecoming and widely derided hairstyle. (No, not that hairstyle, you’re thinking of Donald Trump.)

But what do I see as I walk the streets and the airport transit lounges, when I glance through the windows of barbers’ shops, when I see news clips on TV? Every male human under the age of 30 seems to want to emulate this hated man! Even little boys, for whom the choice of hairstyle is presumably made by their mothers, have shaved sides and bushy tops!

I’m old, I know, and out-of-touch. I’ve given up hoping that I’ll ever really understand the human race. But can anyone explain this bizarre phenomenon to me?

Mental Health

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Here we are at the start of Mental Health Week, and I read in my morning newspaper that “one in seven children and young people experienced a mental disorder in the previous 12 months.” Then on the radio I heard that the same proportion of adults had suffered anxiety disorders in the same period.

How can this be?! If any mental condition is as common as that, how can we call it a ‘disorder’? Surely we’re defining as disorderly aspects of normal human experience. Surely we’re setting the bar too low and steering people into treatment who don’t belong there.

This is not an original thought, of course. Medicalising normal human states is an international sport for Big Pharma. The rest of us are free to laugh at it and carry on with our messy lives, balancing sadness with joy, anxiety with hope.

Actually, with the world in its present state, I’d say that if anyone is not experiencing extreme anxiety they are by definition suffering a mental disorder.