28 April 2008

Cory Doctorow

From Wikipedia:

Cory Doctorow is a Jewish Canadian blogger, journalist and science fiction author who serves as co-editor of the blog Boing Boing. He is an activist in favor of liberalizing copyright laws and a proponent of the Creative Commons organization, using some of their licenses for his books. Some common themes of his work include digital rights management, file sharing, Disney, and post-scarcity economics.
What he’s not is a man with the decency to don adequate vibrissae. I don’t care if he does wear a cape, the man simply neglects the beard altogether. And that is a damn shame.

I know it’s difficult for fairer hair color to perpetuate a strong presence, but the space between Tom Cruise stubble and starter beard is slim. At first, one should be inclined to give the follicle farmer the benefit of the doubt. But after more than a few weeks, it’s safe to suspect the man has no reverence for beards at all. There’s no honor in indecision

Email Doctorow encouraging him to grow a real beard.
Read his new novel (
released tomorrow!), Little Brother.
Follow his personal blog, craphound.com, or the almighty Boing Boing.

24 April 2008

Adolf Hitler

As far as I can tell, there are only a few iconic beards and moustaches that are universally recognized and elicit strong reactions. Abraham Lincoln, Colonal Sanders, Fu Manchu, Groucho Marx and Charlie Chaplin are among the former category. Santa Claus, Jesus and Christian God, Castro, Hussein and bin Laden might pull a reaction.

But Hitler seems to be on his own as a universally hated historical figure. And much like the swastika, his moustache is a mark easily recognized and instantly loathed.

This is an extreme level difficult to achieve. If the goal of that little, black, upper-lip square was to brand a man, than it was a success. Being the megalomaniac that he was, Hitler had to be proud of his distinct mark, and thus it would have caused him pleasure. Again, what are beards and moustaches for if not to emit pleasure to the wearer? This is probably the most successful bit of facial hair I will ever see.

However, this is also (still) a feared mark throughout the world. Which makes it just about the worst moustache ever. Any hard feelings I may harbor over badly-drawn goatees are easily overshadowed by the disdain with which anyone might feel towards a genocidal dictator.

So, in the graphic design world, it’s easy to award Hitler’s stache a full ten points. But — torn by a sense of morality, and a little angry that this post isn’t at all light-hearted — it’s equally painless to assign a negative ten points.

Moral of the story: Use your facial hair for good or you will be hated worse than naked faces.

21 April 2008

Cheech + Chong
4.20 + 4.20 = 8.4

Cheech and Chong go together like a moustache and beard. In fact, they wore a moustache (Cheech Marin) and beard (Tommy Chong).

These multiethnic, herb-loving gnomes of the 70s were fine specimens of face furbearers, serving as references for fellow slackers. Chong employed that unwavering concentration only attainable when stoned out of your mind to grow his beard long and full. Cheech was more of the stylist, considering how his stache would reflect in the chrome of a low-rider.

Their collective dedication was admirable. Chong’s face sprouted like weeds, but you can imagine him going to great lengths to preserve the artifact. The hero here is likely Cheech, however, and his lip caterpillar. He avoids the stereotype (see: Mexistache) and shoots for a Marxstache. It is thick and bold and harkens back to great Groucho Marx; a more apropos prop for a comedian would be difficult to imagine.
Today’s lesson: Grow a beard before your career goes up in smoke. That way at least somebody might remember you in a blog 30 years later.
I hope you didn’t Bogart all day yesterday.

17 April 2008


This dude is responsible for Hasidic Jews around the globe growing their beards long and awesome-like. Sure, the famous gun-toting version of Moses may have passed, but the real deal is nothing to pass over.

Sculpted from the same determination that could keep a man alive in the desert for 40 years, this chosen bord is kind of amazing. …

While writing this, my mind wandered:

* Insert some more Jewish and Yiddish references here.
* Make some kind of “Chosen” reference.
* Stay focused…

My friend Alex is Jewish. And since it’s safe to assume one person represents every other individual in a group, we can assume all Jews love shawarma as much as Alex. Can you imagine, después una noche a las cuevas de flamenco y bailando a la discoteca, all the shawarma Moses could put down? And then imagine, if you will, how much of it would get on his giant beard. He’s crazy though — he’d probably steal some falafel and run away. Mazel Tov, Moses!

I wonder if Alex has eaten any shawarma lately. I had some today. Damn, it feels good to eat a shawarma {
Sung to the tune of “Damn It Feels Good To Be A Gangsta”}.
This isn’t being lazy. This is being creative. Passover begins Saturday night. L’chaim!

15 April 2008

Pretty much one of the prettiest piece of prose ever written

Adapted from Erik in the comment section:

Our beards shall not flag or fail. We shall grow our beards to the end. We shall grow in France; we shall grow on the seas and oceans; we shall grow with growing confidence and growing strength in the air; we shall defend our beards, whatever the cost may be. We shall grow on the beaches; we grow fight on the landing grounds; we shall grow in the fields and in the streets; we shall grow the awesomest beards in the hills. We shall never surrender.
—Ol’ Closet Beardy Winston Churchill

14 April 2008

First Quarter Report

After three months, Beard Revue has gone from an average of 75 visitors per day to as many as 1,600 visitors in a day. The average number of visitors has declined over the past three weeks . Clearly, there is still demand for the Revue, so it will continue, but I think some changes should be implemented in the ensuing weeks.

Less filling, great taste | The five-day format is demanding and, as visitor numbers would suggest, is overwhelming. Beard Revue will switch to a Monday-and-Thursday format to relieve pressure from the writers (um, me, mostly) and to keep the reviews interesting for casual passers-by and regular visitors alike.

All dressed up like the fourth of July | The Revue is in desperate need of a site re-design, or rather, a design in the first place. Right now the Revue employs a very nice blogger template, but does not offer exactly what I think may be needed for the site. I think it can be stronger and simpler.

With our powers combined | Questions, comments and concerns are nice. But suggestions and contributions can be very nice. It keeps the Revue relevant. And what would timeless beards be without that very relevance that keeps them timeless? So please, feel free to email me at eleplane {at} gmail {dot} com. If you review a beard that I don’t know about, I will be happy to post it, as it is important to spread the word of beardliness in pursuit of upping the beard ratio.

That’s the moss in the in the aforementioned verse | Speaking of upping the beard ratio, it has come to my attention lately that the tagline “Up the beard ratio” is sticker and shirt-worthy. Designing is in the process and you will be notified soon-ish. I promise not to muck it up with self promotion.

I want you to hit me as hard as you can | Lastly, please spread the word about Beard Revue. Right now there are several loyal daily visitors and a handful of random hits. Word of mouth is still the strongest form of growth, and I really do want that beard ratio to grow. So spread the word.

, , ,

And that’s all for today. I’m eager for the changes to come and hope you’ll like them too. Thanks for visiting and please, grow a beard. It makes you awesomer.

The above photo taken from the World Beard and Moustache Championships web site.

Leonardo da Vinci

Code maker, grave robber, ninja turtle, inventor of the helicopter, artist who painted a girl version of himself and all-around Renaissance man — of course Leonardo had a beard!

His crumb catcher was perfectly balanced, a symmetrical reflection of natural wonders. Large but not unruly, Leonardo kept a clean house and demonstrated the model cotton candy beard that would make any Santa lover jealous. The beard flowed like a river as if painted by the great master himself, every centimeter of it having represented his nearly infinite wisdom.

I genuinely suggest that Italians reconsider their colors, as this grand follicle flag about sums up the greatest heights of any culture and would be a symbol anyone should be proud to don.

April 15 is Leo’s birthday, so go out and invent something, like your own beard.

11 April 2008


Um, some bastard “requested” I review some dude’s beard, so today I humbly oblige.

First off, anyone who likes elephants as much as I do is on my awesome list. Secondly, Clutch is a pretty good band, so why wouldn’t I jump at the opportunity to review this dude? Okay… on with the review!

Vocals? Check.
Guitar? Check.
Harmonica? Check.
Beard? Double check.
The above list was cribbed from Fallon himself in a top secret underground hiding spot called any-bar-venue-in-the-U.S.-that-has-an-inkling-of-appreciation-for-hard-rock. Damn straight. Fallon’s band required him to have all four with five checks. And the man did it.

It started with attitude: like his oft pouting chest is a sure sign of confidence, but the beard surely solidified Fallon’s place in the world of tough-guy band leaders. Then it was a matter of how much. A three-year-old once said “When it comes to sprinkles, too much is not enough” and the same theory applies to beards. Fallon is a too-much kind of guy. Easy. Simple. Smart.

Finally, let’s review that sculpting. Verdict: Perfect. Why? Have you ever hard how tight Clutch are? Chug, thump, chug, slam, ka-boom, rawk rawk thump repeat. This is how they sound. You could say they err on the side of rigid, but I would argue that they are a band of awesome precision. Clearly, the beard reflects this direction. It is finely crafted. It is strong — hell, it is rigid. Nothing holds it back yet it holds back what it wants. How many beards can say that?

Hey, Bastard, go and tell your friends everyone how awesome this blog is. And thanks for the suggestion! Cheers.

Beard Revue readers: Check out The Bastard’s blogs over at Baseball Rising and The Bastard’s Mouth. It’s not all beard related (and last I checked, most baseball players are naked faces by proxy), but it is good reading.

Happy birthday Katie, Mastey, Punkin Hed, You’re So Pritty!!!, Telephone, Petunia, Naunt, Nance, Nanswer, and clown girl. Love, Cah-Pooh *Ha ha ha

10 April 2008

“my wife hates my beard” | Exploding Dog

I’ve been a longtime fan of Exploding Dog. This may be the saddest illustration yet…

(original here)

Man Man

Men in white hot pants and v-neck t-shirts parade onto the stage. At the crash of a drum, a tornado of percussion swirls up to fill the sticky Chicago air. Feathers go everywhere. As I look around, I wonder: who are these crazies?

I can pick out the Man Man faithful by the moustaches — a dozen kids with fun haircuts, wicked tats or skinny jeans wearing fauxstaches (one even wore the fake over his all-natural) surround me. This is the first sign these men on stage are pez plenipotentiaries.

I imagine the spirits of Beefheart and Blackbeard looking over the band, like Obi-Wan, Anakin and Yoda at the Ewok party. The ensuing set is exhausting. The moustachioed heroes are crowned champions of the festival by every last sweaty crowd member. They wear their badge proudly in the form of facial hair and leave the stage. I feel as if I went down on Madonna too soon, and the festival could be over for all I care.

Hallelujah, the end.

This all took place at the 2006 Pitchfork Music Festival. They won me as a fan that day. If you have the opportunity, go see them. Photos from the show (via Pitchfork): 1 | 2 | 3 | 4


  • When fans look like this (via McCarren Pool c. 2007), you know they’ve got to be awesome.
  • Listen to a random smattering of their songs here.
  • The new album is available here.

09 April 2008

Willy Week Bashes Beardies

Double-ewe tee eff, dude? Willamette Week has a few beards pop up in their “Kvetch Fest” feature this week, neither in positive light. This is sad, considering the high volume of beardliness in Portland. (“Kvetch Fest” is all about the things the Willy Week loves to hate about its home.)


“I write for a blog” pick-up lines: So wrong for so many reasons. Wrong because it was actually overheard—clearly being used as an icebreaker—from a ginger-bearded hobo impersonator near Northeast Alberta Street. …
Washed-up pols growing beards: Bill Richardson is the latest example of this disturbing trend. The New Mexico governor, foiled presidential candidate and Clinton deserter sported a jail pussy when he endorsed Barack Obama for president at Obama’s Portland rally last month. But Richardson isn’t the first pol to adopt what we’re calling “the guidance counselor.” That honor goes to Al Gore (right under the “invented the Internet” line, we’re sure, on his résumé). Sloppy in the wake of his Nobel Prize, Gore’s been growing out his Tipper-tickler as if his Gillette Mach 3 runs on fossil fuels. And it’s not just aging Clinton flunkies hiding their extra chins. Portland’s own Tom “Am I Still Mayor?” Potter is getting scruffier by the day. In this era of carefully crafted public images and focus-grouped power ties, every detail of a politician’s appearance is tailored to send a message to voters. So, what do these beards tell us? Richardson’s says, “Do you think Hillary will still recognize me? Christ, I’m terrified of her.” Gore’s says, “Remember how I saved the world? Say something. I dare you.” And Potter’s says, “All I’m visioning these days is a 12-pack of Michelob and my Boy Meets World DVDs.”
I love to hate journalists who hate a good beard.

Saddam Hussein

You’ve just been overthrown by your countrymen. Statues of you tumble. The world hates you. You cannot even find refuge in a hole in the ground.

When it comes to these circumstances, the last place a man can find solace is in his beard. Saddam Hussein did just that, sporting quite the bachelor woodsman/maybe-I’ve-lost-my-mind beard just before his capture. Being the last bit of dignity remaining on this famously moustachioed dictator, the best words to describe this facial hair would be “security blanket.”

Unique splotches of white on charcoal — more dapple grey than salt-and-pepper — present an artistic license few can pull off. But like a suit with no tie, it’s clearly communicated that this desert down is comfortable in a business atmosphere.

Today marks the fifth year since Hussein was ousted.

08 April 2008

Brian Posehn

Comedian Brian Posehn didn’t always used to wear a full-on beard. But after I saw him at Coachella, I could see he was finally committing. It must be that he’s under the influence of his bearded buddies.

Posehn’s ginger beard is to Posehn as Samspon’s hair was to Sampson. Without it, Posehn is completely awkward and strange. But with it, he’s still awkward and strange…but also funny. The beard is a strong, elegant feature that complements the man. It rests comfortably atop his tall frame, unpretentious and still regal. ’Tis a fleece for the metal head, the gamer, the smart ass.

Posehn’s is the poster beard for the modern Joe Everyman.

Gallery | Coachella part 1 | Coachella part 2

07 April 2008

Ryan Schreiber

As Pitchfork founder Ryan Schreiber launches Pitchfork.tv this week, a few of us will be scratching our chins and stroking our cheeks wondering why the veritable pied piper of indie music hipsters refuses to grow a substantial beard worth a review.

Consider this:

  • Schreiber’s beard grows in the coldest part of the Midwest, first in Minneapolis and now in Chicago.
  • Schreiber is a German name and Germans love a good beard.
  • Hipsters love a beard too, be it for the sake of irony, sloth or awesomeness. Schreiber, last we checked, falls in the hipster category.
  • Even if he wasn’t a hipster, his shirt in the above photo demands a better beard less like Al Borland and more like Paul Bunyan (this photo is from Minnesota!).
So then you have to ask: What the hell is wrong with this guy? Why won’t he grow a more amazing beard already?

Beard Revue, unfortunately, cannot offer excuses. Only ratings.

Postscript: Fortunately, Schreiber’s beard in no way reflects his writing nor his personality (so I have have been told). Some of my favs include: BSS, STP, Spacehog, Modest Mouse, and Red House Painters.

04 April 2008

David Cross
10 (who knew?)

To celebrate the birth anniversary of one of my favorite comedians, let’s celebrate his amazing face flag of filaments.

In the film I’m Not There, Cross plays Allan Ginsberg, who coincidentally had a beautiful freakin’ beard back in the day. See the film — this thing was blowin’ in the wind when rode up in a three-wheeled golf cart next to Dylan’s car. It’s a life-changing moment to see something already so huge blown up on a 40-foot theater screen. (Here’s the scene.)

Even though he’s a comedian, this beard is nothing to laugh at. Like an enormous zeppelin floating lightly under his chin, Cross’ mighty fluff strengthens the man’s physique (he usually looks frail) and emboldens his persona. It’s a crazy mane that few could handle. I’m just glad somebody did.

An Open Letter to Larry The Cable Guy

03 April 2008

Ernest Hemingway

Hemingway’s sentences were short, his beard medium, his influence long lasting. After turning 50, he regularly wore the greying beard. It was a flag of wisdom at first glance. Upon further consideration, it was a bib likely doused by many a dribbled drink in Havana.

This barbe de la littérature was the perfect companion: straightforward, simple and strong.

Ernest Hemingway’s Top 5 Tips forWriting Well
The Old Man and the Sea

02 April 2008

Beard Revue in the Beard Alphabet

It could use some kerning. And maybe if it were legible...

Kyp Malone (TV on the Radio)

Santa beards are falling out of fashion as Spring creeps into full swing, but the beard of TV on the Radio guitarist Kyp Malone knows no season.

There are a few rules by which to abide if you want to become accepted in Brooklyn hipster culture. Step 1: Grow a beard. Step 2: Grow a band. Malone did both. With overall girth and length complementing those aforementioned thick glasses, Malone could pull off the English professor just fine. But the arsenal of white V-neck T-shirt, thick glasses, rumpled afro and especially the gargantuan beard that really pushes the ensemble into the realm of hipster icon.

Though this lightly grey flecked mane looks cuddly and welcoming like a sheep, it can be burly and brutal like a wolf. And that’s an enviable quality.

Media on the Bloggio: photos 1 2 3, video 1 2

Oh, and check out this video of Stephen Colbert, beard hater-turned-appreciator, stroking Malone’s beard:

01 April 2008

Tom Cruise

Hottest beard yet.