OK, now I’ve seen everything (or, rather, Hank Stuever has): There’s now a competitive league for beard-growing:
“Whisker Wars” starts tonight on IFC, and even though I get that channel on cable, I’m not convinced this is exactly appointment TV yet. But who can resist, really? A whole subculture of men whose activities are not only of no or little interest to women, it actively repels them? You could almost compare them to homosexuals, but every smart girl has a gay boyfriend, and some are even sexually attracted to them. Whereas if a competitive bearder even came near me with one of those waist-length things, I’d run away as fast as possible. And I bet you would, too.
Oh, but what am I saying? There’s a match for every sock in the world; you just have to look at bit harder, is all. My youth was a big era for facial hair. My male confederates had beards and moustaches of all shapes and sizes. One of my favorite boyfriends had a splendid moustache, in fact, although I doubt he still does, as one day we all woke up and they were called “pornstaches,” a cruel jape, because as every man with a weak chin eventually discovers, facial hair can cover a multitude of sins, and sometimes that sin is an upper lip that is too thin, too stiff, too something, and a moustache can salvage it.
(There was a TV personality of my youth, fella named Bob Braun. A friend of mine, a hilarious and dead-on mimic, could conjure him out of the air just by pulling down and fortifying his upper lip. Bob Braun could have used a moustache.)
The facial hair of my yout’, however, was generally not something to be fussed with. Trimmed, yes. Groomed, certainly. But it was either there or it wasn’t. (With a few exceptions, like the aforementioned Joe Namath and his famous Fu Manchu.) These latter-day beards, with their fanciful trimming? No. Show me a man who grooms it like this, and I’ll show you a real asshole.
Alan had a beard, long before I met him. He looked like a young Bob Seger. My dad grew one in his young manhood, and it came in all gray and white. The other guys called him Frostypuss, so he shaved and never ventured forth again. But it strikes me the real problem with beards is, they invite stroking by their owners. It’s very hard to stroke one’s own chin without looking like a total douche. In fact, the very gesture of chin-stroking, the phrase itself, is shorthand for someone who talks too much and rarely proposes action of any value, but rather, thinks the whole room needs to do some supplemental reading before we revisit the topic at a later date.
At which point the room rolls its eyes and makes the jackoff gesture.
Boy, am I in need of a vacation, or what? Which, by the way, I will soon be taking. We’re heading north in a week, and I will be away from the internet for most of that time. I might have asked J.C. to maybe fill in here while I’m gone, but as it turns out, that’s who we’ll be visiting. There may be supplemental material, however, and comments will be open all week. You all are so good at playing amongst yourselves. We’ll see.
Bloggage! Let’s get to it!
Minister of Culture Michael Heaton on why August is the month of bad decisions:
The bad decisions of August also include the impulse road trip. You and a college friend are sitting around talking about Crazy Bob from your fraternity. Next thing you know you are on the road to Kalamazoo, where Bob lives, for a surprise visit. At his house you find only his mother, an old and broken woman who informs you that Bob killed his wife with a ball-peen hammer and then set himself on fire. Always call first.
We’ve already got one embedded video already today, so you’ll have to follow the link to YouTube for this one: That stock-trading talking baby confronts his losses.
Wow. The Cat Scan Tumblr. Wow.
Hurry, vacation. But first, lots of work to do. Have a great weekend.