I’ve been enjoying the current prominence of hipsters–I say prominence in respect to the temptation to write “fad” or “trend” because, unlike a lot of trends, hipsters are not so broadly defined, and much like polygamists and Seattle Seahawks fans they’re always out there, we’re just not used to seeing them in full plumage. I like hipsters because the most fashionable of them wear great hats and the absolute best vintage suits–but mostly I like them for the beards. And, of course, I’m a HIPSTER GOD because I’ve been rocking the whole fuzzy beard thing since, oh, 1986. I’m enjoying the company
Grizzly Adams had a beard. And a Grizzly.
I’m not bragging. It’s been lonely. For nearly three decades I’ve lived beneath the tyranny of the baby-faced, listening to peach-faced corporate functionaries drone on about “looking professional” and hearing the sad, fetishisticly fastidious pontificate the virtues of being “clean cut” as if that sort of shorn cleanliness has anything to do with manliness–or if it’s any measure of cleanliness at all. It’s certainly not next to godliness. God had a beard. I’ve seen pictures.
The Guy On A Buffalo has a beard, too. Can’t ride a buffalo without one. It’s a rule.
And here’s the thing: simpering suburban worker bees fear the beard, clinging to the notion that “good grooming” is in some way actually “good,” quietly judging–and only the most tremblingly weak may judge, but we judge too. When I look into the eyes of a clean shaven man I assume, until proven differently, that man is not capable of summoning the testosterone necessary to build a better beard. It’s unfair, but I’ve been ask too many times “what are you hiding.” (Answer: my snide sneer.)
Blessedly and quite suddenly, beards are in. Bigtime. Famous actors like Brad Pitt are rocking beards, and professional athletes like Brett Kiesel as well.
Of course, bad-ass rugby guys have been pulling full-bore facial fur for a long time now and nothing says testosterone like a sweaty, mud-covered rugby player.
The list goes on and on. Bearded men a superior. Check out this guy:
When men shave, they do so in shameful obeisance of an inner force that sings, day and night, of their inadequacy. Ulysses S. Grant and William Tecumseh Sherman didn’t bother with razors. Didn’t need to.
Hagrid had a beard. So did GI Joe, Barbarossa, Leonidas, Robin Hood, The Allman Brothers, and all those Old Testament Dudes. Even Jesus had a beard. Jesus and Santa and Mr. Edwards on Little House on the Prairie. Mr Edwards was the only redeeming quality of that steaming pile–him and Nellie Oleson, that bitch.
You want to know who had a beard, you really want me to say it? Paul Bunyan. Paul Bunyan had an awesome beard–not to mention a blue ox.
You know who didn’t have a beard?
Peter Pan. Think about that the next time you’re looking in the mirror. Peter Freaking Pan.
So, you know what, I’ll thrilled as apple pie that so many guys are sliding out from beneath the yoke of middle American homogeneity and daring to live like nature intended. I’m happy to fit in, even if it means sacrificing a little bit of my uniqueness. It’s not so bad, fitting in, when it’s society bending to match me, and I enjoy the company. The brotherhood of beards–we don’t even need a secret handshake. It’s like the turtleneck sweaters I love in the winter–when they come back around, style-wise, I’ll enjoy them while they last, store a few in the attic for the future, and look–for just a few, fleeting moments–like I actually give a shit what someone else (except my wife) thinks.