In case you haven't seen me in the last four weeks or so, I'm going to let you in on a little secret:
I'm growing a beard.
Not only am I growing a beard, I'm actually in the middle of a beard-growing contest. Serious business.
Before I go any further, I reallly should give a little background on my personal beard growing history and escapades so you may better understand my current situation.
For reasons unknown to myself, I get uncontrollable urges to grow facial hair when I travel away from home for lengths of time. Maybe its the desire to create an alternate reality for myself, maybe I'm unhinging myself from the restrictions imposed on me by "the man," or maybe I'm just lazy. Whatever it may be, I found myself in Manhattan for 11 days a few weeks back and could not control myself from the desire to grow a beard. Not just any beard, a "NY Beard." Thats right, it has a proper name. "NY Beard" is very similar to "DR Beard" - the beard I grew while on business in the Dominican Republic almost exactly one year ago, in fact, the major difference being the influence of Reggaeton on "DR Beard".
Prior beards have been short-lived beyond their return to the motherland due to cultural differences and the unwillingness to assimilate into the local population. However, "NY Beard" arrived in San Francisco to an overwhelmingly welcome reception, celebrated, complimented and even praised. So I have to wonder...why is "NY Beard" so popular now, compared to "DR Beard"? - which was so ridiculed and exiled into hiding.
Well, the answer might be explained in a Feb. 7th TIME Magazine article titled "The Beard Brigade".
According to Allan Peterkin, Pogonologist (a.k.a. beard scholar) and author of One Thousand Beards - "Beards are back...It is an act of rebellion. Men are trying to prove that they are no corporate slave."
Now I'm no Pogonologist, but I believe every beard and piece of facial hair his its own unique story, similar to "NY Beard" and "DR Beard". Don't apologize for your mustache sir, be proud and celebrate its rich cultural history.