I've a confession to make. One I'm confident millions of others agree with, but remains unsaid, unspoken - avoided because, to even suggest it at the moment seems mad, absurd... entirely at odds with the fashionable views of those who dictate opinion on these things.
Here it is: Bush wasn't so bad. In fact, when I consider our situation today, I get a bit wistful for the past.
Before you judgmental sorts shred me for this heresy, allow me to defend myself. Hear me out on the subject, and then reply as you will.
Bush recalls a better era. This is just fact. An era that wasn't any more or less bleak than the present, but one in which things felt more dependable. A time when knew better who we were, what our place in the world was. Where people had missions - bigger goals than the immediate, than simply getting a little more for our little selves.* Sure, we had pointless wars, but we were still going into space, still manufacturing things, still competing in the global workforce.
In the years that have followed, we've lost that sense of purpose. Everything's been ruthlessly commoditized, distilled to the sum of its basest utility, to be delivered furiously, unimaginatively, with the least encumbrance. All catch, no chase, and in the absence of that, a lack of charm and style in how we carry ourselves, what we are, and what we do. An age of, existentially, less.
I recall the morning ritual of a less coarsened age. What is was like to wake up, turn on your computer, open Yahoo! to get the news, perhaps take a spin through Drudge for gossip... Then, to kick start the day, flip over to a favorite prurient site and scan a page of thumbnails of female models in various stages of undress. Female models many of whom had - believe it or not - pubic hair.
Yes, there was a time when the average model - the average woman - maintained some form of a bush. And it was a pretty good time. It was a time when you'd go down on a woman and afterward, as an expected cost of doing business, struggle with that single errant hair stuck to the back of your throat (the one no amount of quickly inhaled vodka and tonic would dislodge**). And like it. This was a golden, innocent era when the porn you enjoyed most didn't, at least on some fleeting level, compel you to revisit scenes from Lolita.
Of course, I'm not lamenting the loss of the seventies' Playboy centerfold bush, a/k/a the "Disco Mitt," or anything approaching that level of "thigh-Ivy" hirsuteness. The monster muffs of that decade were aesthetic train wrecks - disrepair masquerading as decadence, rightly relegated to the dustbin of pubic history. No, what I'm missing when I peruse today's female nudes, as every man does (including, with most ferocity, your husband or boyfriend who swears he doesn't***), is the simple "Landing Strip," and its numerous well-maintained variants. The sort of modest, close-cropped, low cut bush any male born before 1980 expected to see in late night Skinemax flicks, on PersianKitty.com, or looking him in the eye when he got lucky.
Before you sing me the praises of waxing, understand, I have not come to the bury the Brazilian. There's nothing technically wrong with bald genitalia. In fact, there's much right with it. From a utility perspective, the superiority of its Zen styling is beyond debate. You see exactly what you're getting, you can access it with minimal effort, and things are a whole lot smoother, which is a more than insignificant enhancement.
But that's the problem. A pussy is more than its effectiveness - an instrument inextricable from the experience it delivers, appreciated as much for its florid aesthetics as for its function (which, let's face it, can be replicated with brutal precision, and far less effort, by one's hand).**** And few things in the natural world ever look better bald.
It's true. Can you recall ever being involved in this exchange at a bar:
"Check that chick out. Fucking smoking."
"The bald one."
"The bald one?!"
"Sundress, heels, red lipstick--"
"I'm not failing to spot her."
"Look at that dome..."
"Christ, man... She's probably undergoing chemo--"
"The Hare Krishna thing is so hot."
"Hare Krishnas actually have a little wisp of--"
"You were saying something?"
"Nevermind... not important. Bartender? A double. Thanks."
Seen a picture of one of those hairless cats? Remember what Bob Geldof looked like after he shaved his eyebrows off in The Wall? Remember Britney Spears channeling her inner Robert DeNiro from Taxi Driver?
Rabbits, puppies, kittens - these are all warm and fuzzy. You can go to Dave and Busters, or Chuck E. Cheese, and win your girlfriend, or kid, an enormous stuffed one. Do you know of any giant hairless stuffed animals? Why not? Because those would be reptiles. Or blow up dolls. No one gives anyone a huge hairless anything. "Here, junior... Cuddle with this giant latex lizard. Pleasant dreams!" "Look, honey! A life-size Barbie! Can we have a three way with it? ...It says it's hypoallergenic."
Land-based mammals generally have fur. Humans, falling into that category, find the hairless alien. Hence, almost every visitor from another planet in every sci-fi flick you've seen has shark skin, an elongated version of Yul Brynner's head, and the body hair of a seven year old.
No doubt, some things do look better without any hair. But most things don't. In most cases, hair's there for a reason. It's ornamentation, enhancing the overall appearance. The female genitals are fine unadorned. But that's mostly-- hell, entirely, because they're fine however you find them. (Show me a man who'll turn them down for disagreeable styling and I'll show you a man who's more interested in decorating his loft in fabulous lavender hues and Greco-Roman male busts than he is pussy.) A well tailored, less-is-more bush is that little extra touch - the twist in the martini, the jalapeno in the guacamole... the color contrast against the skin that grabs the eye. And the proof she's probably over eighteen.*****
Superfluous? Retro? The bane of every enthusiastic cunnilinguist? Unquestionably. But what's charming, what conveys style, is rarely efficient. And as I click on today's dirty pictures, I can't help reaching a deeper, more depressing conclusion: That our Bush Deficit is more than a mere loss of short and curlies. That it's a deficit of imagination - a laziness and lack of patience. Everyone's in a mad rush to open the door. Get in, get to work, get out... Get back to whatever gadget-delivered diversions were bathing the brain before. "Sex? As long as it's fast... I've got a half dozen texts to answer!" Nobody takes a moment - even a split second - to admire the well groomed landscaping anymore, to appreciate the skill in impeccable hedgework. This is a shame in my estimation, a rejection of some of our highest, most satisfying art.
** Peanut butter works best. Unfortunately, in the moment it's a tough segue to, "You have any Jif?" ^
*** The more ardent this assertion, the more perverse the stuff he's into. ^
**** See: "Masturbation Trap" (n.) - Failure to go out to bars to pick up women upon discovering the urge to do so decreases by 50% immediately following masturbation, and another 50% upon turning on the television and ordering in from the Thai place around the corner. ^
***** Fourteen in the Bible Belt. ^