Steven “Kurly” Kurlander: Curly Politics defined: Only “Kurly,” not “The Curl," is politically correct

Recently, a political operative in South Florida forwarded me a new grassroots outreach email called “The Curl” being sent by Florida Democratic U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz.

The preface reads: “Friend — introducing The Curl, your close-up look at Debbie’s work for South Florida.”

“Looks like she stole your name Kurly, LOL” my friend wrote.

I wrote back: “SMH, there’s only one true political scribe named Kurl and he spells it with a ‘K.’”

The use of the name “The Curl” bothered me, and still does. So obviously, I have to write about it.

Since my name is Kurlander, I grew up with my friends calling me Kurly, and, despite my straight hair, that helped mold my identity.

When I started blogging, it was easy for me to adopt my nickname as my pen name for my columns, and use it, to the chagrin of some cousins and German language lovers, to brand my observations on social media and real life.

Just as well, DWS has probably gone through life with her prodigious head of curly hair characterizing her in a very certain way.

I bet as a child, and even later in life, she endured much “teasing” about her hair.  It probably had something to do with her being so tough, a true (albeit a little whiny) fighter.

Having curly hair can be difficult. Last year, a fashion writer in Cosmopolitian magazine writing a column “Is There a Stigma Against Curly Hair?” denounced a perceived bigotry against curly hair and implored curly-haired women to fight back:

“So put down the flat-iron, corporate women, and own your natural style. Hell, throw in a big old hair toss for good measure. If everyone stopped straightening just to be taken seriously, it would be pretty obvious that curly hair can mean totally capable.”

But calling her grass “roots”  publication “The Curl” goes too far.

I suppose at a recent staff meeting in the inner chambers of DWS’s congressional office a bunch of staffers (some with frizzy hair, I presume) brainstormed for what to name their new outreach tool. One probably looked at their boss, thought about how her hair defines DWS’s defiant, even obnoxious style, and said “Let’s call it ‘The Curl’!”

Seriously, there couldn’t have been a “straight” (as in hair) male in the room, let alone a bald one, who would have had the slightest inclination to go with that name.

Maybe it really isn’t about the hair. There had to be another reason for DWS to name it “The Curl.” First I thought DWS was a secret curling fan, the sport where men and women use brooms to sweep a “stone” into a particular strategic position. But a liberated DWS holding a broom, much less sweeping with her curls flying? Never.

Then, it came to me. Hair styles really define politicians in our nation’s capital; have you ever seen one with a bad hair cut? They go to extremes to look good. Remember the controversy when then presidential candidate John Edwards spent $1,250 on a haircut?

But from the look of things, I don’t think DWS spends much on her hair, do you?

Then I thought DWS maybe grew up having a crush on Curly Howard of The Three Stooges, who built his comic career taking blows, slaps and bricks to the head and face from his fellow actors. Nah, such Freudian humor is way too violent and not politically correct these days, particularly for DWS.

n my opinion, curly hair defines DWS in a good way. On the other hand, “The Curl” is a bad name, even (God forbid) sexist one to boot, for the DWS publication.

The Kurl, and variations thereof, is only good for a blogger’s name, my name, and it infringes on my political and intellectual mojo even if it uses the C instead of the K.

Newsflash to DWS and her frizzy staff: Only Kurly, with his No. 2 crew cut, is truly politically correct in the true sense of word.

Steven Kurlander blogs at Kurly’s Kommentary ( and writes for Context Florida and The Huffington Post and can be found on Twitter @Kurlykomments. He lives in Monticello, N.Y. Column courtesy of Context Florida.

Bill Prescott


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