About a year ago, I was listening to NPR and they were talking fashion. They had some NY guru lady making comments about both men’s and women’s clothing and style, letting us (the ignorant savages) know exactly what to wear and when. Then someone mentioned facial hair.

I smiled and looked into the rear-view mirror of my car, admiring my two year beard (I went through a phase where I didn’t cut any of my hair). ‘Here we go,’ I thought, ‘some lady is about to talk about something she has no idea about.’

She talked about how beards are ‘coming back’ and how a nice beard, neatly trimmed, or a goatee, can even be considered ‘attractive.’ Well, first, I got out my notebook and made another notch under ‘Fashions where I alone contributed to the comeback,’ and second, I scratched my full, enormous, unkempt beard and thought on the concept of ‘good looking beards.’

There isn’t such a thing.

And this isn’t because beards aren’t handsome, or because ladies hate beards. Some ladies LOVE beards. It’s because beards, REAL beards, manly beards that have never seen some frilly $80 ‘trimmer’ and have never been cut into a stupid design, aren’t about looks. They’re about being completely bad ass. They’re about eating bread and soup and letting it dribble down, imagining you are sitting next to William Wallace (not Gibson, the real Wallace). They’re about catching blood and dirt and snot and keeping your viking face warm. Beards stand in defiance to all the aesthetic trappings of modernity and post-modernity. They symbolize not an act, but a ‘not.’ You’ve chosen not to shave. To manicure your beard in an attempt to wrestle some form of shape or fashion to it is to undo the very thing that makes beards what they are : pure, kingly, greatness.

Goatees? Neatly kept beards with interestingly angled sideburns? A leash! Hahahahahaha my foolish misguided brother. You think you have a beard? You think that I would let you stand next to me, on the field of battle, with something so terribly pathetic?

Put down your razors. Put down your trimmers. If you want a beard, grow a giant, furry beard. If you don’t want a beard, then shave, or grow a little 5 O’clock, Mulder style.

Be free, my brothers, be FREE!

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