Polymath. Renaissance Man. Multipotentialite. Homo Universalis. Call him what you will, da Vinci is the archetype by which creative genius is measured. An unquenchable curiosity lead da Vinci to pursue and excel at painting, sculpting, architecture, music, math, engineering, inventing, anatomy, geology, cartography, botany and writing. Where the world today would undoubtedly prescribe a pill in the face of such unbridled multifarious imagination, da Vinci’s predilections flourished under the admiration and support of his contemporary peers and noblemen. For his perpetual investigation of all things both physical and metaphysical, including the wild frontiers of chin fashion, we hereby name Leonardo da Vinci a patently protean Beard of Action.
Category Archives: Beards of Action
Consummate beardivist and scientific revolutionary, Boltzmann was instrumental in furthering Man’s understanding of both statistical mechanics and the modern atomic theory of matter, despite a contemporary academic environment that frequently resisted or misunderstood his ground-breaking work. His speculation about the nature of chaos, disorder and the physical world, are said to be reflected in the unruly, yet mysteriously methodical shape of his beard. Boltzmann, long suffering from his own chaotic emotional fragility, unfortunately took his own life before seeing his greatest work recognized by his peers. For his tremendous contributions to the fields of thermodynamics (see eponymous Boltzmann Constant) and philosophy (see Boltzmann Brain), we hereby name Ludwig Eduard Boltzmann an inherently indeterministic Beard of Action.
Not only did all Druids don beards as a reflection of their unity with nature , but they are also commonly recognized as the originators of modern Halloween tradition. Iron Age Celtic culture celebrated November 1st as their New Year, and according to the Druid religion, on the preceding night (October 31st), the spirits of all those who died the previous year would rise to search for passage to the underworld. At this time, the veil between the living and the dead worlds was perilously-thin and Lord Samhain, The Lord of Darkness and Bare Cheeks, roamed the earth in search of souls to plunder and chins to shave.
Pope Gregory II, a hairless party-pooper if there ever was one, moved the christian holiday of ‘All Hallows Eve’ from May 13th to November 1st in an attempt to usurp the Druid holiday and its pagan celebration. Although we do indeed now refer to October 31st as Halloween (from All Hallows Eve), and not The Feast of Lord Samhain, our modern traditions are very clearly sprouted from the original hirsute Druid celebration. For their steadfast dedication and delicious candy peanuts, we do hereby declare the Druids truly creepy-in-a-fun-way Beards of Action.
The post-apocalyptic everyman, Rick Grimes, gives all Beardivists an intimate, albeit marginally dramatized, glimpse into the social and moral adversity we face on a day-to-day basis, and the devastating toll it wreaks on the irresolute or unprincipaled among us. Though beleaguered by misanthropes and besieged by miscreations, Grimes’ bristly lodestar guides him and his companions tirelessly and chin-first through worldwide cataclysm and devastating psychological trauma. If not for his itchy bastion of seemingly obsolete values, we have no doubt that this last beacon of humanity would have been speedily and summarily extinguished. For his remarkable leadership in times of great peril, we hereby name Rick Grimes an end-of-the-world Beard of Action.
Though both profound and prolific, Kilgore Trout remained, throughout his career, an under-appreciated science-fiction visionary. By some accounts, Trout penned 117 novels and over 2000 short stories that saw little commercial success or attention beyond a handful of select literary circles. Despite the vast size of his catalog and the modest influence it had on contemporary writers, very little is known today of the details of Trout himself. We do know, however, that he sported a fine, though unruly, beard (as depicted in the artist’s rendering above).
We will leave you with a surviving piece of wisdom attributed to this enigmatic Beard of Action that we think sheds a little light on the man and otherwise just sums things up rather nicely, in general: “Of course [life] is exhausting, having to reason all the time in a universe which wasn’t meant to be reasonable.”
As a Victorian Poet and Jesuit priest, Gerard Manley Hopkins’ not only explored man’s soul, but also chronicled these exploits in rhythm and rhyme for bearded posterity’s sake. Look no further, Beardivist, for the inward facing mirror than this lyric Beard of Action’s “The Caged Skylark”:
AS a dare-gale skylark scanted in a dull cage
Man’s mounting spirit in his bone-house, mean house, dwells—
That bird beyond the remembering his free fells;
This in drudgery, day-labouring-out life’s age.
Though aloft on turf or perch or poor low stage,
Both sing sometímes the sweetest, sweetest spells,
Yet both droop deadly sómetimes in their cells
Or wring their barriers in bursts of fear or rage.
Not that the sweet-fowl, song-fowl, needs no rest—
Why, hear him, hear him babble and drop down to his nest,
But his own nest, wild nest, no prison.
Man’s spirit will be flesh-bound when found at best,
But uncumbered: meadow-down is not distressed
For a rainbow footing it nor he for his bónes rísen.
We remember Florida-born Lizard King poet-musician Morrison most often for his role as the lead singer of The Doors; but in focusing on his spiritual aspect, as valuable as it continues to be, we may overlook the scientific value of Morrison’s contribution to Bearded Studies. Consider this excerpt from Wikipedia:
Morrison joined Courson in Paris in March 1971…During this time, Morrison shaved his beard and lost some of the weight he had gained in the previous months. His last studio recording was with two American street musicians—a session dismissed by Manzarek as “drunken gibberish”…Morrison died on July 3, 1971 at age 27.
Shaving, emaciation, insanity, death. In that order. For his selfless contribution to The Center for Beard Related Studies’ understanding of the perils of shaving, we hereby name James Douglas Morrison a laureate Beard of Action.