If a small child asks “Father, why are beards so scratchy?” he responds “Alas, child, the Beard has not always been so scratchy. There was a time before the modern aspect, when a man’s appearance was its own reward, when food grew unbidden from the earth and the stars hung so low overhead that they swayed at a man’s passing. It was a time of downy comfort and soft whiskers. But then came the insolence and…The Shaving.” The last line is delivered with a shudder. If the child looks frightened or guilty, reward yourself with a good itch.
“The most important kind of freedom is to be what you really are. You trade in your reality for a role. You give up your ability to feel, and in exchange, [shave].”
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.
If a small child asks “Father, what happens if a man shaves his beard?” the father responds “We hold no such man in contempt. A man is both bearded and curious by nature; it is natural for him to experiment with shaving on occasion. It is the man who turns his back on his beard’s lessons, not the beard itself, that is truly lost.” If the child asks again, lash and repeat.