Many revolutions of the homeless guy spinning slowly in Riverside park ago, a group of burly, bearded men moved into Williamsburg. Known originally as “Hay-seeds” for their stubbornly old world views, these men quickly established a space for themselves in north Brooklyn. Owing to the phonetical impatience of native New Yorkers, “Hay-seeds” was shortened to “Hasids,” the group of bearded orthodox Jews we know and love today.
The great homeless man in the park kept revolving, and many artists, bands, and these bands’ anemic groupies began to move in. To gain the trust of the Hasidic population, many of these sound artists grew beards to gain the trust of the locals. This is a practice they learned from elite military units in Afghanistan and Iraq, who, as the BBC reports, often grow out their beards to gain the trust of the locals.
In the same article, the BBC also reports of one Menachem Stern’s thwarted desire to grow up and be an army man on account of his beard. Apparently the United States Army has a policy against beards because of this silly, totally corporate reason: “They were eliminated in the US military in WWI due to the need to wear gas masks.”
Presumably while stroking his beard, Would-be Army Man Stern punches back, arguing, “Could you imagine any of the great sages – whether Abraham, Isaac or Jacob – clean shaven?”
He’s right. Call me unimaginative, but I can’t imagine Abe, Itzy, and Jake without beards. Granted, I can’t really imagine them running around with M-16s, either.
Along this same note, I cannot really imagine Jesus as blond and pale, but nonetheless after centuries of paintings depicting him as being the fifth member of ABBA, I have no problem with Blondie Jesus. Clearly, part of the problem is there are not enough depictions of the Sages with rifles.
But I digress from the larger problem: this anti-beard movement. I fear for a world where this is the reality. What’s next? Beards will not be allowed in restaurants because they are messy with soup? Beards will not be allowed in strip clubs because nobody wants to see bearded stripper ladies?
I envision a beardless apocalypse for Brooklyn. A beard ban will cause a serious breakdown in the complex tribal relations between various groups of hipsters and their more pious, less pedantic Hasid counterparts. How else will we be ironic? Soon, hipsters, already prone to fashionable addictons, will be holding up convenience stores for their razors.
I for one, stand in whiskered solidarity with the Bearded Brookylners, the hairy hasids and the hirsute hipsters. Whether it be a dream of “making it as a sound artist” or being a real live army man, all Americans should be able to pursue their dreams without the tangled, stinking mess of fur on their face determining their fates for them. A man who sees me only for my beard is a man who chooses to blind himself to the reality that we are here, and bearded.
The revolution will not be shaved.
Neither will my cat, but not for lack of trying.