My hair is longer than it has ever been before, and I’ve been considering going rasta and trying dreadlocks again, or maybe allowing dreadlocks to form, since I’ve heard that if I don’t do anything—including combing or brushing it—dreads will happen with no effort on my part. “You see what can happen when you don’t brush your hair?”
I met a young woman once whose dreads were neat and orderly enough to satisfy my old-school leanings, and I complimented her. She was old-school enough to respond politely and new-school enough to give me some new information. She said that a friend of hers had cautioned her about referring to them as “dreads” or “dreadlocks,” because of the words’ etymology. She said the terms had come about because the Europeans, presumably English, who first encountered people with hair like that had found the look “dreadful.” So her friend had told her that she shouldn’t say “dreads.” Silly. I don’t know if any of it is true, and it’s silly anyway.
No sane person thinks of dreadlocks as “dreadful.” I used to, but I’m not so crazy anymore. I remember approving of dreadlocks primarily because I thought they made me look better for lack of them.
Last year my son made dreads for me. My hair wasn’t very long then, and I didn’t find the pickaninny look flattering, but the dreads had to go for a different reason altogether—dreadlocks are a lot of work. Making each dreadlock is as tedious as one might want, and after hours of work it’s still not over because, left alone, the dreadlocks would start to come apart. I had thought that with a head start the dreadlocks would be delighted to stay that way, if they were on their way there anyway, but no. The initial teasing and wrapping and massaging is the beginning of what looked at the time like a lifetime of careful tending, which sent chills down my spine, and after a week or so I undid all his good work and settled for a tiny ponytail. My ponytail is a few inches long now, and I might be ready to try dreads again, but probably not. Now my son has dreads, as does his lover and their housemate. I admire their hair.
I watch a lot of stuff on YouTube and Netflix and sometimes Hulu, and I’ve run across some gems that you might not like and that I’ll tell you about anyway. I love Julia Louis-Dreyfus, and “Veep” is as well written and smart as she deserves. Tony Hale as her assistant is a bonus.
“True Detective” is dark and gritty and as well done as anything that’s ever been. I admit cringing occasionally and putting off an episode until I thought I was ready, but I couldn’t stop watching altogether. It’s as good as “The Sopranos.” It’s as good as “Breaking Bad” or “Rome.” It’s probably as good as “Game of Thrones,” but I haven’t seen it yet.
I have a penchant for British television, and there’s hardly anything better than “QI” or “Knowing Me, Knowing You with Alan Partridge” or “The Catherine Tate Show” or “Mock the Week” or “Clatterford” or “Absolutely Fabulous” or “A Bit of Fry and Laurie” or “That Mitchell and Webb Look” or “Black Adder” or “Never Mind the Buzzcocks.” Take heed.