Saturday, January 5, 2008

The Strike Beard

There is an interesting piece in the Talk of the Town section of the current New Yorker about the beards being grown as a sign of support for the writer's guild strike. Perhaps the most famous of the beards belong to David Letterman and Conan O'Brien. Jay Leno's conspicuous chin is notable for the absence of a beard, and he is about to pay a fine to the WGA as a consequence of going back to work.

The New Yorker piece is interesting to me less for the connection to the strike and more about how beards are often the result of a transitions in men's lives. "Thus we get Al Gore after the election (whiskers of grievance and release), and Ted Kaczynski in his cabin (isolation and madness), and Johnny Damon with the Red Sox (superstition)-all iconic beards in their proper context."

To that list you can add me (lazy, cold), but not so iconic. Just coincidently, but perhaps not, I stopped shaving just before the new year. We'll see how it goes. I have had a beard a few times before, just as they said in the New Yorker during times of transition. For me it was right after 9-11. I was on vacation during the event and was not shaving and just kept going for awhile until I needed to get on a plane and looked a little too Atta-esque. The last time was a couple of years ago when I had a little brush with my own mortality and had a beard for about six months.

I hope the strike ends soon.



Anonymous said...

I like you in a beard. And I'm digging the bearded Letterman and Conan. Good times with beards.



mrliteral said...

While the winterbeard does keep your face warm (I've done it a few times) it can also make you look like a scraggly-faced psycho. Or maybe that's just me. Try chewing gum! The increased blood flow really helps.

P.S. Jay Leno is a jerk and a lousy interviewer and hasn't been funny in fifteen years - good riddance once he retires. Dave & Conan are class acts all the way.

KL said...

Hey, if I were a guy I'd be sporting a beard out of pure laziness (more often than not.) Funny post!
P.S. I agree. I want this strike mess to end already!!! It's beginning to hit the pocketbook.