Tuesday, 5 May 2015

The Moustache with Political Affiliations

I work and study in another city so I have to travel home for functions and other things like letting my parents know I’m alive, that I’ve not dropped out of my study programme and that I managed to pay my rent on time so I wasn’t sleeping on the road.

I reached home yesterday for this awesome party my Dad my arranged, for my sibling’s birthday. Yeah, I never got those, but whatever. So, whenever I come home, I shave and travel because in my city I’m pretty ok with a beard and don’t exactly look like I’m about to pounce on someone on a lonely road but back home, there’d be a riot if my chin even has the inkling of facial hair.

This time, before leaving, as I faced the mirror, razor in hand, I thought to myself, “Let’s mess with the family.” I had thought of the most shocking, jaw dropping, bottoms upping and outlandish idea to blow the daylights out of the whole family by entering the party… with a Hitler Moustache!

Left - Hitler and Right - Chaplin

Well, the correct term for this badass of the facial hair world is actually ‘the toothbrush’ but you can understand why I would want to call it by its other name. Had I mustered the courage to pull off this, what in the back of my mind, was still a brilliant stunt, I have no doubt that I would have been ridiculed, shamed, laughed at and then ostracised for being a complete idiot by the entire family, the neighbours, and basically my entire city until I went and shaved it off. I’m glad that good sense prevailed over my sense of tasteless humour.

The idea, as foolhardy as it might have been, created a train of thoughts from the very perception that people have about this particular moustache. True, it is associated with a man who tried to wipe out a whole race of people because he decided that he was superior to them. But is that really the fault of the moustache? Was it the moustache that instilled a sense of supremacy in Hitler? Then why didn’t it have the same effect on the man who was just four days elder to him and presumably as famous as Hitler is notorious: Sir Charles Spencer ‘Charlie’ Chaplin.

Same as above.

A German and an Englishman, living in the same age, leaders in their own fields and sporting the same moustache, but the collective consciousness only remembers the one who has done more evil and not the one who brought happiness. It is not that I don’t realize the severity of events or don’t understand the horrors perpetrated by Hitler, I’m just pointing out that people may be more prone to violence maybe because it is an easier choice than doing good. Even neutrality is akin to siding with the aggressor and as Dante Alighieri put it, ‘The darkest places in hell are reserved for those who maintain their neutrality in times of moral crises.’

That may well be the reason that this particular moustache is forever associated by with the name of Adolf Hitler rather than with the most loved comedian of all time, Charlie Chaplin.