Monday, February 04, 2008

Beardist Thought is Alive and Well

America,

There's something troubling me. As a free and extremely diverse society, we face many challenges regarding tolerance and understanding of differences. No matter how enlightened you see yourself, you are instinctually driven to make judgements about other people based on their looks alone. I'm referring, of course, to Beardism.

Many of us (Freedom Fighters) have long purported that these stereotypes are being bolstered and supported by the entertainment media. The evidence is overwhelming. One can't help but notice that there's a strong and forceful campaign (of late) to portray facial hair as a the equivalent to a fringe lifestyle akin to junk addiction and eventual depressive suicide.

When the producers of ABC's LOST wanted to convey the idea that (normally ethically impeccable) Jack Shepard was sinking in the bog of an alcoholic stupor...did they brainstorm for hours on the proper story arc of his drug-addled descent? Do you think they factored in the timing of their revelations throughout the episode to maximize his character development as a hopeless wino? Did the director coach actor Matthew Fox endlessly on the Jack-curate facial expressions that would convey a sense of longing, loss, and seething anger from beneath an ocean of booze? No. They slapped a big beard on him and figured we'd get the gist.



ABC Audience: "Whoa. Check out that grizzly beard...this cat must be hitting it pretty hard to forget to shave that long."

Or,

"Holy shit, he's totally lost all will to live and has probably been doing some "Leaving Las Vegas"-style boozing to the death while eating Vicoden like they were Pez and oh what the hell let's throw some depraved hookers into this fanciful orgy of self-loathing while we're at it"

All as indicated by a relatively trim beard!

One of my other favorites is the all too blatant "shaving as redemption" plot point. Once they've carefully established a character as bat-shit insane on a liquor binge (see above) there's usually a scene where this character is confronted openly about how batshit insane they've become, and are instructed to "pull it together!" The character then responds by shaving his face, which indicates to the audience not only that he's kicked his alcohol/drug/gambling addiction, but that he's managed to slough off the inner turmoil/regret/longing that's been plaguing him (a nightmarish, spectral remorse which haunts his days and prohibits shaving) like the superficial weight that it is.

The writers/producers of NBC's Heroes pulled this one on us in the first half of the show's second season. In case you missed it, here's a picture:

Nathan Petrelli, a normally clean cut politician wallowing in regret and sorrow over his brother's untimely death...and sweating alcohol from the exertion of turning his head slightly...



who thens "cleans up his act," and shaves away his depression! A True Leader!



Beardist nonsense!
For shame, Media Conglomerates!

Beards are nothing to be feared! The Bearded live and work among you! Please don't stare at us on the bus! We are simply asserting our right to be lazy when it comes to one small aspect of personal hygiene. I am not drunk, crazed, or addicted to precription drugs. I have a job, a girlfriend and a family!

Stroking my chin,
Red Robbie

Post Script: Abraham Lincoln has a great, bolshy beard. So did U.S. Grant. Leaders among men and trendsetters of their respective eras, one marvels at what a beard heyday that must have been.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Robbie Chop,

Does this mean Santa does drugs?

The Chop said...

You sir, are a beardist!

littlebirdy said...

I love (smart) men with beards!

Jade said...

http://www.worldbeardchampionships.com/

check it :)