HIPSTER GOD–Beards are Best

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 Hipster%20beard.jpegof 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.)

brad-pitt-beardBlessedly and quite suddenly, beards are in.  Bigtime.  Famous actors like Brad Pitt are rocking beards, and professional athletes like Brett Kiesel as well.

Brett Keisel
Click to enlarge–this is a GREAT picture of a great guy.


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.

Jason-Eaton article-2056335-0E1AC8DF00000578-143_468x662Josh-Strauss

The list goes on and on.  Bearded men are superior.  Check out these guys, these bearded bad-ass Pakistani heroes saving the day:

p17_24563813When 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.

hagridHagrid 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.

Paul-Bunyan-Babe-13or6ndYou 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.peter

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.

Of Interest:


Transitory Popularity

theylovemeSeveral days ago I wrote an off-handed article out of boredom, and dedication to one of the original reasons for this blog–to write 5 posts a week over the course of a year, mixing original poetry and short fiction with commentary, essays, and whatever non-fiction I might come up with, in the understanding that it was expanding my writing mind; or to put it more simply: to mix stuff I hadn’t shared before with stuff I wouldn’t have otherwise written.

I’ve been happy with my modest number of followers and hits–I don’t really promote the blog beyond reading and occasionally commenting on other blogs I see.  My “likes” and “visits” are genuine, not attempts to elicit the same from others.  Last week, however, one of my posts suddenly began getting an unprecedented number of hits–when all was said and done yesterday, I’d experienced a 2000+ hit surge that fattened my stats by about 33% in one long weekend.  Readers checked in, however briefly, from dozens of nations, which just blows my mind.


So, how cool is that?  I’m not always wildly enthusiastic about all this technology, and I’ve been known to deride some who are as “technological fetishists.”  I use computers until they’re near death, my phone is just a phone–nothing smart about it–and so forth.  But I have to consider how amazing it is that a guy like me, fooling around in snowy corner of rural Pennsylvania, can throw something into the wind that is read by people all over the world–in dozens of nations, on every continent (well, McMurdo isn’t on the map, so I don’t know if I got Antarctica, but….)  Is that some kind of message in a bottle, or what?

VG121The downside to this sudden, brief, and unprecedented brush with popularity is that now that it’s over (I’m 400 hits behind yesterday’s total at the same time) I now have to adjust to being satisfied without all the adoring masses hanging on my every word.  Ha!  Hardly.  I’ve never been popular to any degree, in any situation–unless being uniformly reviled and distrusted counts as a sort of popularity (people need to know you to dislike you, right?).  I wouldn’t go so far as to call myself a pariah, but the term “acquired taste” comes to mind.  Never bothered me.  Indeed, scorn and ridicule have served me well, instructing me on appreciating those few and rare (like diamonds, not steak) individuals generous (or foolhardy) enough to share their time, their affections, and their lives me with.  I keep score in life, you know–not for any potential retribution, but in gratitude for those good souls. And, well, maybe just a little retribution.

It’s the same for blog hits, right?  I loved getting a hit a minute during certain moments over the weekend, but I’m more appreciative of the few dozen folks who tune in day after day.  Yep, I can live with that.