30 May 2008

Kurt Cobain

By Ian

Above: The beardliest picture of Cobain to be found on the internets.

Kurt Cobain was the face of Nirvana, and the face of Nirvana could have done with a better beard. Chalk it up to teenage angst or to depression, but the beard was seriously lacking. There’s no denying that the man was a very talented musician and lyricist. His band deeply influenced the direction that rock music was to take over the next decade. Regardless, the beard needs help. Perhaps some cheek hair to connect the Van Dyke with the sideburns. Maybe some extended time without trimming so close.

Sigh… its no use. He died a long time ago.

How depressing.

28 May 2008

Sam Adams (Portland Mayor-Elect)

Sam “Am I Mayor Yet?” Adams once had a beard. True story.

But now, as he prepares to make the journey from bike-happy City Commissioner to Mayor, we probably won’t be seeing much of that beard. To the chagrin of The Great Portland Beard Community, his public duty face has interfered with his best face.

Of course, it does not bode one well to don a political beard these days (as previously reported here, here and here). Adams clearly has picked up on this. His bare face is on every weekly rag and on the cover of The Oregonian often enough these days. The confounding thing is:

Portland* loves a beard; so why would Adams shave his Clooneybeard when everyone in the Rose City is actually encouraged to grow a beard? The answer is simple: you haven’t emailed him enough to let him know you care.
How about the mug moss itself? Well, ’twas limping and barely alive. Clooney did it better. He might as well be Ryan the Temp’s numero uno fan. Aside from the strong, grey-flecked chin, this shorty lacks poise. Giving great consideration to potential, Adams still falls below the half-way mark. Bummer, dude.

Thankfully his transportation policy is a little stronger than his barbation policy. Join Adams in his first public appearance as mayor-elect at the Vera Katz Park dedication and community celebration tomorrow (Thursday 29 May).

*Portland, Oregon, is indeed a beard haven. The curious yet harmonious balance between lumberjacks, academics, musicians and hipsters makes it a welcome environment indeed.

24 May 2008

John Dyer

He’s on a quest for every beard type. He has achieved several.

I’ve been growing a beard every winter for some years now, and every spring, I try to see how many facial hair variations as I can check off from the chart of facial hair types. Listed below are descriptions of the 34 facial hair types from the chart, including examples of the 19 24 variations that I’ve been able to attain so far.


If that’s awesomer than you expected from any ol’ beardy, join the party. It almost had me questioning my commitment. But recognize that the pursuit of beardliness is a personal journey and be content and comfortable with your own.

23 May 2008

Dear Beard Revue (Letter #2)

Cousin Jack

Dear Beard Revue,

In regard to Lucas’s inquiry, here is an updated photograph of me. Over the last 3 days I have had a great deal of time to think about where my beard was headed. Indeed, I think it’s headed for glory.

I’ve already grown it this much better. Think about how awesome the beard will be by the time my wedding rolls around this summer (marrying a girl, not my beard).

Cousin Jack

Chicago, IL

P.S. Pardon the Mustang — I’m from Indiana.


I am impressed with your rapid growth! Keep it up. And good luck with the marriage bit. You’re a lucky man to have found a lady who appreciates a good furry face.

Way to up the beard ratio!

Beard Revue

P.S. Beard Revue does not discriminate toward Hoosiers.

If you have questions or concerns about beards, feel free to write eleplane {at} gmail {dot} com. Happy bearding.

22 May 2008

Andrew Gold

He was born on a summer day, 1951…

During the late 1970's, baby faced Billy Joel and Elton John were landing hits up and down the Billboard charts. Although not as prominent, this red-bearded Jewish musician tickled the ivories with his 1977 release of “Lonely Boy”. The song title may not ring a bell — but as soon as the music starts, one reminisces back to the days of "chest hair and crazy cool medallions." That is, unless you had the misfortune of being born in the mustachioed decade of the 80's (Magnum P.I. fans, you know who you are!).

Gold's facial framework is a stunning golden reddish color, and earns him a steadfast mark of 8.2. Having his mustache trimmed just below the upper lip, accentuating his full, pouty bottom lip, obviously grants Gold his perfect pitch.

“Oh, Oh what a lonely boy,” but “oh what a lovely beard!”

Thanks to Brian Jillson for authoring this review!

21 May 2008

John Muir 9.3

by Ian

According to Wikipedia,

John Muir (April 21, 1838 – December 24, 1914) was one of the first modern preservationists. His letters, essays, and books telling of his adventures in nature, and wildlife, especially in the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California, were read by millions and are still popular today. His direct activism helped to save the Yosemite Valley and other wilderness areas. The Sierra Club, which he founded, is now one of the most important conservation organizations in the United States. His writings and philosophy strongly influenced the formation of the modern environmental movement.

The man was a firm believer in preserving the natural environment. Looking at his beard it is easy to see that love of nature manifested in his mane of a beard. Long and shaped to flow over his chin and down his shirt, Muir’s beard avoids complicated poofiness and simply hangs there. John Muir set an example for all nature lovers with a beard that exemplifies, nay, defines the natural state of a man’s face.

20 May 2008

Dear Beard Revue (Letter #1)

(l–r) Dave and cousin Jack

Dear Beard Revue,

My cousin Jack and his buddy Dave don’t seem committed to growing a beard. What should I do?

Lucas S.
Cambridge, MA


It’s important to be supportive of people’s beardage. Don’t be embarrassed or ashamed just because the length of your relative’s beard is shorter than most great beards, it is okay to trim close.* Here are a list of possibilities for why:

  1. Jack and Dave are just beginning their awesome journey of bearded awesomeness.
  2. Jack and Dave are firemen and constantly have their beards singed to shorter-than-awesome length.
  3. Jack and Dave lost a bet that stipulated the losers trim down or slaughter a litter of kittens (they chose to save the kittens).
  4. Jack and Dave are pulling your leg by sending you a Photoshopped photo.
  5. Jack and Dave have no dignity or self-respect. They have lost their wills to beard and the will to live is next. It’s a downward spiral from here on out. (You should probably have some kind of intervention if this is true.)
Save #5, there’s really no need to worry. These are common instances and it’s likely that Jack and Dave are just in transition. You should be understanding and champion their decision. Though, if it keeps up, you may want to suggest it’s about time they manned up a bit and grew a real beard.

Good luck and up the beard ratio!

Beard Revue

If you have questions or concerns about beards, feel free to write eleplane {at} gmail {dot} com. Happy bearding.

*Beard Revue does not advocate trimming close.

19 May 2008

Kimbo Slice

Kimbo Slice is big, burly and will crush you. Kimbo Slice’s beard is bigger, burlier and will crush youer.

Kevin Ferguson, a.k.a. Kimbo Slice, is a Miami, Florida-based underground fighter turned mixed martial arts fighter.

The beard is appreciated instantly when it invokes and evokes the spirit of manliness. And, as manliness is spelled T-U-F-F, Slice is exactly the kind of embassador for manly beardliness we dream about. Unlike some beardies, this guy could actually hide a few fists in his beard.

This brutal barb is no-nonsense and straightforward, to the point that Slice’s head hair is completely obsolete (he’s mostly bald and he wears a do-rag bringing the focus front and center). It pads the impact of a rarely-landed punch, frightens off aggressors, is sensitive enough to pick up a single blade of grass yet strong enough to rip the branches off a tree, is waterproof and will eat your babies.

More: jab, hook, upper cut.

Kimbo Slice whoops up on former heavyweight champion and Olympic gold medalist Ray Mercer

Thanks, Thommy, for the help!

18 May 2008

The Office: The real crime was the beard.

Ryan was fraudulent. And his almost-beard sucks.

Watch the full episode at hulu here.

15 May 2008

Galileo Galilei

Galileo Galilei, oft considered the “father of modern beardology”, was a Tuscan physicist, mathematician, astronomer, and philosopher who played a major role in the scientific beard revolution — you know, the one where all great scientists henceforth wore wicked awesome beards.

This generous serving of beardage hints at a cleaving beyond the chin but remains intact. With its rich texture — notably the rolling soft curls of ecru and mother of pearl — Galilei is an obvious model for grooming technique. But the secret here is simply the regular massaging of the chin (likely when waxing astronomical and supporting heliocetrism) aptly applied throughout a lifetime.

Unfortunately, during his lifetime, Galilei garnered little respect from the Catholic Church and was sentenced to house arrest. Fortunately, however, Galilei kept his out-of-this-world beard.

Today’s lesson: The sun never sets on a good beard.

14 May 2008

5 months, 100 posts

In the five months since its inception, Beard Revue has covered the beards of presidents and political figures, scientists, artists, literary heroes, techies, religious folk, athletes, Santa Claus-ers, half the Beatles and BMFs.

Over the last 100 posts, Beard Revue has been a plethora of beard news, challenges (Lincoln, Beardy Man) and a shout out from New Hampshire Public Radio.

The next five months and 100 posts promises to bring a new layout for beardrevue.com (the design is in the works, I promise!), a possible posse of regular contributers, potential collaborations, posters (above) and maybe stickers and shirts.

So three cheers and happy birthday.

12 May 2008

Kurt Russell (The Thing, 1982)

In the 1982 sci-fi/horror classic The Thing, Kurt Russell plays R.J. MacReady, a helicopter pilot at an American research base in Antarctica. MacReady inhabits the base with a group of eleven other men. The entire base has a beardy:naked-face ratio of 8:4, or 2:1 for you math types. This is an extremely encouraging figure and gives the bearded viewer a strong sense of kinship to the men in the movie, which naturally makes the horror of the movie’s events seem all too real.

From the beginning of the film it is clear that Russell’s character, MacReady, is in possession of a fiercely independent and resourceful beard. Much like its owner, the beard exhibits a dark, brooding melancholy and a complete disregard of personal safety. It nearly covers Russell’s entire face, refusing to stop at the neck or at the mustache as a contemporary urban beard might. The beard is at times seen covered in snow and frost, giving MacReady the appearance of a dangerously intelligent abominable snowman. Complemented with ruggedly unkempt longish hair and at times a leather cowboy hat, it is a beard that fears no Thing.

Thanks to Ian Mierau, author of this review. If you’d like to write a beard review for Beard Revue, email eleplane {at} gmail {dot} com.

11 May 2008

Rumplo tees featuring beards.

I recently discovered Rumplo, an online T-shirt store. Basically, it collects all a bunch of fun and funny shirts found all over the internets and sells them all from one site. This is not an atmept to advertise on their behalf. I just found it very inspiring to see how many beard shirts there are out there. Allow me to share them:

Beware of Beard


Bearded Guy

Bad Ass

AJW Beard

Facial Hair

Buro Destruct

The Bearded Lady

Alter Ego

Mr. Toast

09 May 2008

Kenny Rogers
{Daytrotter essay}

I sent the following to Daytrotter for their Feist/Constantines Essay Contest:

Two ladies on the bus said I looked familiar. Like that “Imagine” guy. “John Lennon,” I offered; they both nodded. The lady more akin to the ghettotastic stereotypes continued, “Because you got that beard and those glasses.” “Don’t forget my big nose.” We laughed.

It was a familiar moment.

I have played John Lennon and, more often, Jesus or a Muppet. I suppose I like knowing that I don’t look like a douche bag — everyone likes Lennon, Jesus and Muppets.

Living in Spain was different. Unless I was hanging out with the bohemian musical bums for the night, I was the only guy with a beard. Add the language barrier to the unfamiliarity and you get some strange comparisons. When the Luke-Wilson-from-The-Royal-Tenenbaums comparison was drawn, I laughed. When Colonel Sanders was suggested, I was bewildered.

My favorite was the night the Arab doorman at the gypsy flamenco cave explained how he recognized people. “Everyone is a celebrity,” he’d say. We had been drinking shots of bourbon because I guessed his and two other guys’ home countries correctly. The Italian said “You look like Jesus.” He was speaking in italiañol all night, but I caught the comparison. The bartender concurred.

“You could be Jim Morrison,” said the doorman, “or Kenny Rogers.” I was caught off-guard. The Kenny Rogers bit blew my mind. How did he know who Kenny … fucking … Rogers was? I assumed he meant Kenny Loggins, which inexplicably offered me solace for the remainder of the night.

Ghetto supastar that is what you are
Comin from afar reachin for the stars
Run away with me to another place
We can rely on each other uh huh
From one corner to another uh huh

08 May 2008

Sigmund Freud

In celebration of Freud’s birthday Tuesday, let’s examine his beard as perhaps he might examine your head.

First off, it’s very trim around the edges. Neat and clean — this definitely means he wants to engage in sexual relations with his mother. Then there’s the color. The beard is all white, a snowy blanket signifying an Oedipus complex. The bristle length is medium, the texture quite corse, a clear reflection of his jealousy for his father. It’s as if Freud’s polymorphously perverse beard is but a ruse. Not to mention the phallocentric way in which each individual follicle thrusts from his jaw…

06 May 2008

Beard photostream on flickr

This photostream, started by Brian Jillson, is shaping up to be the holy grail of beard photography. If you’re planning to make a beard scrapbook for your mother for Mother’s Day this year, you might want to visit.

Full Set


Thanks Brian!

05 May 2008

Beards in the News

German politician may auction his beard

Shave your beard for $1.5 million and give it all to charity? Sure. The head of Germany's Social Democrats, who has ambitions to be his country's next leader, is thinking about donating his beard to charity, but is not quite sure. Read the full story.

Thanks Jordan!

Karl Marx

Political economist and philosopher Karl Marx was concerned about the dissemination of power. The crown of your head could not possibly hold all the hair on your noggin, just as the moustache should never be stronger than the beard and so on and so forth. Eyebrows, however, are just eyebrows and shall henceforth be considered of no concern.

In this spirit, Marx fashioned a furious face of follicles you could fancy by the fistful. Every bit as striking as the next, each part pulled its weight to carry out the philosophy: bearding is a social activity and that the conditions and forms under and through which all hairs work are socially determined and change over time. Wow, that’s heavy.

Certainly, Marx stroked and caressed his beard every time he waxed philosophical on his favorite subject. And in doing so, he grew himself a mighty fine beard.

I leave you with a quote from his famous Beardist Manifesto:

The development of Modern Shavedness, therefore, cuts from under its feet the very foundation on which the bourgeoisie produces and appropriates beards. What the bourgeoisie therefore produces, above all, are its own grave-diggers. Its fall and the victory of the beard are equally inevitable.

— The Beardist Manifesto
¡Feliz Cinco de Mayo y feliz cupleaños a Marx!

04 May 2008

Sufi beards!

Rizwan recently submitted a fantastic collection of Sufi beards that couldn’t go unshared. Sufism is generally understood by scholars to be the inner or mystical dimension of Islam, often defined as a science through which one can know how to travel into the presence of the Divine, purify one’s inner self from filth, and beautify it with a variety of praiseworthy traits. No wonder they have amazing beards.

If you’re interested in Sufism, I designed a book cover for a book about it once (also, this whole series by René Guénon was kind of amazing…).

Thanks Rizwan!

01 May 2008

George Church

George Church is making bacteria that eats plants and farts diesel. True story.

In today’s world* of woes all‡ attributed to gas prices, this beardy is doing something. And he has a history of looking pretty much the same over several years: well-bearded. So well-bearded that he probably got the idea to turn a profitable fuel out of a common byproduct from the birds living in his/their chin hair/nest.

Church comfortably dons a thoroughly-calculated greying scheme that spreads across his beard. Like the application of chaos theory, it spreads seemingly randomly but looks majestically ordered from afar. Coolª. Though he may not look all that professorly, he is in fact employing the rule-book professor beard (the rules say: be a prof, grow a beard).

The best part about this beard is the muse factor. Any time a beard inspires the pursuit of scientific discovery or artistic expression, it’s bound to be special. And this is no exception. The only thing new about this Consolatio Barba is that it’s still growing — we should not take for granted the fact that this brilliant growth is still encouraging Church to be so brilliant!

Here’s a Boston Globe article on the Cambridger. | Here’s his site.
Here’s where I learned about him. (This is an amazing podcast to which I recommend anyone listening.)

* the United States of America
‡ plus many other things which will not be discussed here now
ª science = cool