Thursday, 20 March 2014
Beards and Beardmen
The trend that is now in the ascendant in all fashionable parts of the metropolis is the sporting of huge, bushy, boxy beards, set off by a short-back-and-sides haircut, sometimes with another growth of hair perched atop the head. The standard dress that goes with this follicular exuberance is a jacket several sizes too small, tight trousers and sturdy boots. What does it all mean? Are these fashion victims aiming to look like Wild West old-timers, in the manner of Luke, bearded stooge of The Eagle's cowboy hero Jeff Arnold ('Goldurn it, Jeff, there's a galoot lyin' on the trail')? Fortyniners, men of the Yukon and the Klondike, where a man must grow a beard against the elements and buy whatever size of jacket is available at the frontier town's general stores? Is it part of a straining for authenticity, for seriousness? They certainly look very serious, peering out from behind their mighty beards. As these trend-setters probably work in such radically unserious, inauthentic areas as PR and the yartz, they perhaps feel the need more than most... It is all very mysterious. But then, I write as one incapable either of growing a convincing beard or taking himself seriously. When I once grew an experimental beard it was a sadly moth-eaten affair, giving me the air of a disgraced rabbi. Never again.