Stumbled on this little gem, brewing in the depths of my “drafts” folder, one of 119 forgotten or half-realized old posts. You deserve to read it. It deserves to be read
Watching Wonder Woman with my wife–stir fry & folding TV trays in the living room.
Her: (dismissively) I’m not fully buying Remus Lupin as “Ares, God of War”
Me: (distractedly, Gal Gadot is on the screen) Can’t wait until the Lupine bloom.
Her: David Thewlis. He’s too wistful to be a twisted Greek God of War.
Me: Oh. You knew it would be him, though? Famous actor with a phony limp, helping out our heroes for no reason? If he wasn’t the bad guy, it’s a throwaway role and they would have hired a cheaper actor. Besides, he rocks a cool look for a villain.
Her: (Incredulous look.)
Me: My grandfather rocked that look as long as I knew him. Mustache, a boar’s bristle brush, and a dab of pomade.
Her: What’s a boar’s bristle brush? Is that really a thing?
Me: Exactly, but that’s what the hipsters say I should have–along with something called beard oil–in my daily beard maintenance ritual.
Her: You don’t even have a daily washing ritual.
Me: Right. All that fussing is anathema to the purpose of facial hair. I’ve got a free range beard. My grandfather looked sharp, though. Business suits at work, cardigan sweaters at home. Knee-high dress socks, even with shorts. In the garden he looked just like Higgins from Magnum, P.I.–the real Magnum, P.I. with the moustache and Higgins isn’t some pleasant, pint-sized blonde.
Her: It sounds like he stuck in the 1940’s and just stayed there.
Me: Exactly. He nailed it early. Kept it nailed. Like Higgins–they both kicked Nazi ass in Africa.
Her: Except Higgins wasn’t real.
Me: He was based on a real person. Probably my grandfather.
Her: (shakes her head) Are we dull? Is this–we’re dull, aren’t we?
Me: Not a chance. We have inconspicuous depths is all.
I noted this Plato quote over at SFoxwriting.com, one of my regular stops when jaunting through the interwebs, and I was inspired to rebirth the old weekly quotes posts. It was either that or some kind of crude “hump day” thing each Wednesday, and I’m not some overgrown gone-to-seed frat boy so….
This one makes give me pause to consider not only my blogging penchant, but my entire personality. I mean: ouch.
On the other hand, those of you who know me in the real, non-electrical world must understand why I like ol’ Plato’s look. Very handsome.
“Wise men speak because they have something to say; fools because they have to say something.” –Plato
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
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.
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 are superior. Check out these guys, these bearded bad-ass Pakistani heroes saving the day:
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.
I love to tell stories with words and images, often with a darkly magical twist. While speculative fiction & dissecting pop culture are my primary passions, I also work with clients & brands by assisting with content creation, editing, marketing & design.