Archie McPhee: Friend or Foe?

Mr. Stout to you...
Ole Burley Jackson

Just as wearing an inflatable strong man suit doesn’t give one the strength of Ole Burley Jackson (he was quite Burly), wearing a false “world’s longest beard” from the one-and-only Archie McPhee won’t make you a beardsman the ilk  of Jack Passion.  We carefully considered  whether or not to endorse such a product.  We are not arbiters of good taste (certainly NOT) and would never hinder the free expression of a person’s thoughts and desires.  We are on the record as accepting of falsies (under certain strict rules of decorum) and after said rumination,  gladly present to all lackbeards the opporutnity to wear this majestic, flowing beard.  For only twelve bucks.  It’s not Jack Passion, but hell,  who else is?

Second Annual Beard Team USA Nationals

No doubt you heard the news of Beard Team USA’s first annual national competition.  We’re certain a grand time was had by all out in Bend, Oregon.  We love Oregon.  The Columbia River Gorge…spectacular.  But what does Bend have that we don’t have in Wisconsin?  Nadda.  We have culture, breweries and beards.  Phil, self-appointed Team Captain, is taking bids for the 2011 Nationals.  We say the Milwaukee is the place for them.   More details as this story develops.  If you want to help with the lobbying effort, contact us at mkewhiskers@gmail.com .

Beard Team USA Nationals 2010

Indeed, we are a bit late in promoting this year’s Beard Team USA Nationals in Bend, Oregon.  Our choices were late or never.  This notification represents our choice…late. 

June 5th, 2010 in beautiful Bend, Oregon, Beard Team USA will hold their national competition.  http://beardteamusa.org/nationals/ I have not heard of local representation in these follicular festivities.  Disappointing, yes, but also an opportunity for growth in the Wisconsin whiskered community.  For beardsmanship is not new in our neck of the woods.  It is our lifestyle.  

The integrity, creative self-expression and forward-thinking spirit of Wisconsin isn’t just in our beards, it’s in our blood.  Though we may not always wear our beards on our faces, within us lies the heart of good beardsmen.  There is more to us than the finest waxed handlebar moustaches and expertly rounded Garibaldi beards.   We are about action (with a bit more style than the average person).  We may not be represented in Oregon this year.   Instead, we will cultivate our beards and nurture our moustaches in our home communities.  And we will take aim not just for the glory of ourselves on the stage, but for the betterment of our neighborhoods.  Let us live as good beardsmen every day.  On this day, we declare the mission this group, of each one of our members, to become Useful Bearded Citizens.  If you’re with us, let your voice be heard.   Join us.  If you already are us, our mission awaits.

I Drink Your Milkshake

You too can drink other people’s milkshakes just like Daniel Plainview did in There Will Be Blood.  This iPhone app  lets you create beards and moustaches on photos of your friends and family.  We can’t officially condone such frivolity at the Whiskers headquarters but I will go out on limb and call this a clever marketing coup for the whiskered world.  Just don’t put whiskers on your cat, please.

A Butcher?

Incidentally, I agree with Swiss Miss that Daniel Day Lewis had nice whiskers in Gangs of New York, especially compared to Leonardo DiCaprio’s naked baby face.  But why is it that the shenanigans of a crazed moustachioed man is the first reference point for people when they wear facial hair for the first time?  How many times have you seen it: someone puts on a false moustache, immediately begins twirling it as an evil grins spreads across their face.  It’s not a witch hat, people,  it’s a moustache.  What’s up with the evil laughter?  Moustaches don’t kill people; people kill people (while wearing moustaches).  Just keep this in mind when you’re emailing your funny bearded Mom photos to your family. 

He cleans up real nice.

Minnerino: Calling All Follicular Fighters

It’s no Wiscerino, but it’ll do if you’re jonesing for the smell of the moustache wax and the roar of the crowd.  Beards and fake beards alike (see our previous post regarding our policy on falsies) are welcome, according to their website.  It’s the Minnesota Beard-off, scheduled for March 31, 2010.

It appears that you can’t throw your face in the ring for a beard competition unless you’re a Minnesotan, but we haven’t confirmed this with the beardsmen behind this event.  We will say that this has the makings of a bearded border war.  A battle for Paul Bunyan’s beard, perhaps? 

United in Beards

Anyone willing to participate in Wiscerino ’10, stand up and be counted.  We must take up our beards to represent Wisconsin’s whiskered tradition.

 The Minnesota Beard Off will take place the last Wednesday of March, 2010.  8 p.m. in Minneapolis.   Be your beard in the spirit of Paul Bunyan or Prince, cheers to good beardsmanship.

I Made You a Beard

Sweet idea, glorifying facial hair with yarn.  Isn’t it?  I suppose we bearded men (and women) should be flattered.  I, however, am torn. 

I should begin by disclosing that my fiancée wears a knit handlebar moustache on her purse in the way a high school cheerleader wears a pin printed with the football captain’s face on her letter jacket. Certainly I appreciate appreciation for my choice of cheek and chin adornment.   And these are lovely works from an Etsy artist, works which I’d no longer have to covet were one of them among my collection of beard regalia.  But do I have a greater responsibility to the beards of my forefathers (and mothers)?  Am I belittling historic efforts to solidify as valid an individual’s choice to grow out their follicles against the wishes of a naked-faced society?  I would like to remind us all that a beard is not a toy.

 Beards create strong emotion, as we see in Gustave Flaubert lamenting the passing of his beard as well as the passing of his youth, as published in The Letters of Gustave Flaubert: 1830-1857.  He writes to his mother after shaving his face smooth, “…my poor beard, bathed in the Nile, blown by desert winds, long perfumed by tobacco smoke!

Queen BeardBeards meant power to the Egyptians.  Queen Hatshepsut wore a glorious fake beard made of gold to show her might way back in 1500 BC.

 

Simply put, I believe we must breathe some historical perspective in to modern whisker frivolity to see that beards are serious business.  If you own a fake one, respect your purchased powers.  To follow are some guidelines for dignified false-whisker wearing we like to follow here at Milwaukee, Whiskers.

  • Do not frolic or dillydally while wearing a falsie. 
  • Nod appropriately to bearded fellows you meet; never wink unless you are directing amorous intentions towards the winkee.
  • Greet fellow beards, real or otherwise, without causing a kerfuffle.  Appropriate greetings include: 1) a knowing twist of your moustache between your thumb and forefinger 2) thoughtfully stroking your bearded cheek or chin while making brief eye contact.
  • Never loan your beard to a stranger.

I thank you for your cooperation.  And to he artists of these fine false beards and moustaches, please keep them coming.  As long as the wearers follow a few simple rules, we are honored to see these beard replicas.  Those who are about to be bearded salute you, as do I.

From Blackadder to Bean: A Brief Case Study

I realize, seeing a startling dearth of beards around Milwaukee, that we need to address the topic of man makeup.  Not the eyeliner that our gothy brothers employ.  Not face powder used by talking heads on television.  I’m speaking of the defining accessory for jawlines that is built-in to every man’s face.  Infinitely flexible and naturally tailored, a man’s beard reliably regenerates to help convey a multitude of moods and compliment your mug.  It can highlight strengths or shadow shortcomings.  Let’s take the example of an English engineer named Rowan Atkinson.  

Mr. Bean or Blackadder, which to do you prefer?  At times, Atkinson appears sharp and cunning as Edmund Blackadder.  This aura was clearly projected from the clean lines of his black beard.  And then there’s Mr. Bean.  Great lack of man makeup.  He sure looks hapless, doesn’t he?  Of course he does, he has no beard.  

Also noteworthy, the difference between Blackadder the First and Blackadder the Second.  The first, clean-shaven and hopeless (and the haircut contributes to this, I suppose).  The second, whiskered and noble.  It’s so simple, really.  Have a look.  Think about it, especially if you’re beardless. 

He rides a pitch black steed
Blackadder the Second
Sigh.

Blackadder the First