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.
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.
The Hound has published some especially well-executed research and insightful interpretation on both the modern physiognomy and historical significance of beard growth over at The Catholic Dormitory. We highly recommend the read to all The Center’s students and faculty, but claim neither affiliation nor endorsement of any religious content printed therein in any official capacity. Theological inclinations notwithstanding, we find this portion, in particular, provides a quite thoughtful glimpse into the struggle all Beardivists face at one time or another:
The solution is to grow a beard if you believe it is what God is calling you to do. Look at your life and say, “will facial hair help me in a virtues life? or will it scandalize those around me and lead them away from the light of Christ? if my beard is not so glorious will it increase my humility? or if my beard is glorious will it fill my pride?”
Please do read on at The Hound’s The Beard and Virtue.
Oft-quoted Druid saying: “Though thou shavest us, thus we do regrow in multiplicity.”
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.
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.”
Trit at The Aspiring Gentleman shares a wonderfully composed dissertation on the cultural history and present social impacts of the beard, replete with references to Celts, Canadians, and curmudgeons. We have already printed and distributed several hundred copies about The Center for Beard Related Studies campus and the general consensus has been fairly positive. This passage in particular resonated most strongly with several on the Council: “A beard, in my opinion, is to be well-maintained and act as a demonstration of respect towards one’s self and others.”
Our one small, humble correction to this scholarly article would be to re-voice certain portions that seem to imply the beard was dead and is now risen again (by the hands of hipsters, no less). This is certainly not the case. For although Bearding may have fallen out of favor in some circles, it has not at any time been wanting of disciples. We at The Center have seen to that.
Please click here to read Trit’s excellent article.