31 January 2008

Great Lincoln’s Beard Challenge of Aught-Eight


As part of Comedy Central’s Indecision 2008, TheInDecider has posted a challenge to grow a Lincoln beard before Lincoln’s birthday (February 12). Read more here.

Sam Beam of Iron & Wine
10.0


In 2007, Iron & Wine released The Shepherd’s Dog, which for me graduated him from over-hyped Pitchfork darling to legitimately-hyped Pitchfork darling. Regardless of the music, however, Beam has an ace under his chin.

That’s a magnificent frickin’ beard. Seriously. It’s growth like this that renders me stupid and (almost) mute. So when I look at a hair garden like Beam’s, I see possibilities — like some uncolored 1980s coloring book bursting with potential for technicolor radiation not unlike a Care Bear Stare. Gentle, flowing, wise, friendly, prudent and full, this is the beard you’d expect a film professor to wear. It screams “I heart corduroy!” and “leather-bound book scavenger at your yard-sale” and “natural-born viking.”

Beam’s mane makes lions jealous.

30 January 2008

George Harrison
8.3


Amongst his many accomplishments in the musical world as the Quiet Beatle and then on his own as a solo artist, George Harrison knew how to grow a beautiful beard. He looked pretty Christ-y, and I’m OK with that, considering his triple album All Things Must Pass elevated him to god status back in 1970. Though, if you do a better search than I, you may find much better faces from Abbey Road and Hey Jude sessions (the above rating is based on all Harrison’s beards).

Wow — I have long admired this one and it gives me goose bumps just thinking about it. Harrison was always a little too well-groomed for the average hippie. The beard isn't wild and free so much as totally zen. It humbly reaches out to the melancholy observer consolingly offering “It’s not always going to be this grey.”

Some photos of he, him, his.

Bonus bearded George statue in Liverpool:

29 January 2008

Bearduary (my new favorite month)


I just found out about Bearduary. It’s basically the classiest collection of beard respect on the web right now. I highly recommend visiting the video section to hone your chops on various, um, chops. I’m still exploring, but it’s pretty amazing.

Welcome, Bearduary readers!

Presidents
8.4 (average)


In an earlier post, I recognized the lack of presidential beards as of late. So here I present to you an abridged history of chiefs and their chops. Although Arthur’s was amazing, I think I like the girth of Hayes’ face warmer.



Amongst their many accomplishments, some include the forging of highways, freeing slaves, winning the Civil War, being supported by Mark Twain and never having declared war on brown people.

In retrospect, it would have been nice to see the likes of Washington, Jefferson, Kennedy and Clinton carry themselves better facially adorned. And I would have expected Teddy to have been more dedicated to a full-on beard, considering his status as an avid hunter. Gauging from this list, the golden age of authoritative whisker growth would have been during the industrial boom of the late 1800s. Clearly, beards = innovation and hard work.

27 January 2008

Zeus
10.0


Statue of Zeus at Olympia (one of the classical Seven Wonders of the World)

Zeus, the Greek god of thunder, presided over the Olympian pantheon and fathered many heroes and heroines. This is another case of being in position that necessitates a beard. Zeus would never have been able to do all he did without face locks. Basking of the glory of his beard is probably too much for mere mortals, which is probably why my friend Mike tried to tell me Zeus used to only have a moustache but then saw Jesus get all popular with Magdalene using the Power of Beard and “called [Jesus] a hippy, punched him in the crotch, and ripped it right off his face.” Mike’s wrong. He’s just jealous.

To this day we pay tribute to Zeus’ beard via a little competition called the Olympic Games.

More images: B E A R D

25 January 2008

Salvador Dalí
9.0

After visiting the Teatre Museu Dalí in Figueres, Catalunya, it was difficult to avoid noticing the remarkable moustache which Dalí sported. Resting over his top lip, it stands proud, strong, elegant and aristocratic while maintaing a profoundly absurd and humorous character. To encounter such opulent whiskers would spare you the time it takes to get to know a man, leaving you with ample time to discuss Nicolae Ceauşescu's scepter over Cava.

23 January 2008

Heath Ledger
8.6


A beard fell yesterday. Though he did not often sport the untamed beastly beard, apparently there was a movie called Ned Kelly where his long face had a starring role.

Like I said, the thing looks untamed. Boxy and wild, but not neglected. It completes a symmetrical frame around the handsome Ausie. And it keeps Ledger from having to remember a scarf, which one might often forget in a bar. Unbroken, balanced, functional, youthful and absolutely alluring. Damn.

22 January 2008

My Morning Jacket
Jim James and Patrick Hallahan
7.9 and 6.1



The hair of Jim James and Patrick Hallahan is not just some expression. It's an extension of their collective musical being. The frenetic performances of My Morning Jacket would be demanding to mere naked-faced mortals. But beards with this kind of power allow the rawk to bleed from screaming guitars and pounded-raw drum skins on a nightly basis.

Although furious on stage, these beards become placid and clement in more natural surroundings. We're talking real live Muppets. It's noteworthy that these sporty hair stalactites hail from Louisville, Kentucky, a relative haven for great facial hair.

20 January 2008

Late Night Beards
Conan O’Brien and David Letterman
7.4 and 5.8


Quotes from A.D.R. Palmero:

On Conan

His show may suck now, but at least his chin lives with pride and dignity. He looks great in a beard, like a skinny girly viking.
On Letterman
Letterman just looks old. He looks good old in a beard as opposed to his usual cancer patient old, but still…
I have to agree that it’s an improvement on both late night personalities. Conan looks amazing — like a leprechaun, only not drunk yet. I think Letterman’s beard actually shaves off a few years and makes him a bit more youthful. It reminds me a bit of a Bill Murray beard. And it distracts from that silly gap in his teeth. Eh, got any gum?

19 January 2008

“Menomena” Muppet
8.5




My own bristles have been compared to those of Fraggles and Muppets on myriad occasions. A recent comparison was the “Menomena” Muppet.

Who can disagree with the fun-loving spirit of a beard like this? The more stable red chin strap provides balance to the floppity wild fire on top. And while he may bear himself zealously, confused when he is scolded for crossing the line, the beard makes it clear that this excitable boy is actually a man merely lost in the moment and not some immature brat misbehaving — which is the very reason the song is so endearing.

Edit: “Menah Menah” or “Mahna Mahna” seems to be the title of this song. However, there is an excellent PDX band called Menomena.

17 January 2008

Al Gore
6.7

It's not a big beard, but it demands respect — the kind of respect that could have lifted Gore past the corrupt voting systems of 2000 and into the White House. We haven't had facial hair in office since 1913 (Taft) much less a full beard since 1893 (Harrison). This seems unjust and ridiculous.

14 January 2008

William Jefferson Clinton c. 1970
8.8

The ferocity with which hippie Bill Clinton proudly donned his beard is something to be admired. While not quite tough-with-two-Fs (see: tuff), the beard does acheive a level of trustworthiness otherwise unlikely obtained. The kind of trustworthiness that could snag a hottie like Hilary Rodham in her prime.

Unfortunately, this beard died before it reached its full potential. No news is available on whether he ended up marrying Hil or Bill's current whereabouts.