Daily Archives: February 23, 2007

Lisa Nowak Pleads Not Guilty

The death of Anna Nicole Smith and Britney Spears’ decision to emulate Sinead O’Connor’s coiffure (or lack thereof) have pushed whacko astronaut Lisa Nowak out of the media spotlight, so I thought I’d pass along the word that she has entered a plea of “not guilty” to the charge of attempted murder.

Just doing my part to help out those poor, overworked tabloid writers…

[Update: In a related story, it seems that NASA has contigency plans for what to do if an astronaut wigs out while in space. It’s pretty interesting… it involves duct tape, bungee cords, and forced administration of drugs. Just as I’ve always imagined. Oh, all right, I’ve always imagined that you’d just stun the nutbar with a phaser, but since NASA doesn’t have phasers…]

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Don’t Be Skeered, It’s Just My Beard

I’ve worn a beard for about 17 years now, not counting one horrible week following a misguided attempt to “update my look,” only to discover that I’d, ahem, put on a few pounds since I was last bare-faced. Let me tell you, I wasted no time at all re-growing my time-tested fuzzy accoutrement. I probably would’ve grown it back anyway, though, even if I didn’t need the camoflage for my unfortunate double chin, because I just plain like it. I think it lends my face some character, and, in my mind at least, it signifies both my masculinity and my individuality. And it doesn’t hurt that The Girlfriend likes it, too.

However, it hasn’t always been easy to be bearded here in arch-conservative Utah, where the preferred look of the predominant cultural group (that would be the Mormons, kids) is decidedly unfuzzy. Before I made a love connection with the current Girlfriend, I heard from more than one young lady that I was not suitable dating material because of the beard, and I also know that I’ve lost a few job opportunities because I refused to shave it off. Some would call my defiance of the local norms foolish vanity, but I’ve never understood why, if you keep it clean and trimmed short (as I do), so many straight-laced people find facial hair repellant. (Incidentally, I really dislike the term “clean-cut,” because it suggests that its opposite — i.e., bearded or otherwise hirsute — is unclean, complete with all the moral intimations that word carries.) And so I have soldiered on through the years, convinced of my own righteousness and determined not to let The Man force me into drab conformity. I’ve persevered long enough that the beard has largely ceased to be an issue for me — I’ve finally found success in love and work without having to compromise my self-image — but it would’ve been so much easier if I’d had some kind of support group. Perhaps even an entire web site dedicated to the proposition that beards are cool. But surely there couldn’t really be such a thing out there on the vast, vast Internet… could there?

Well, duh…

Visit beards.org!

Oh, and in case you’re wondering, the title of this entry comes from an old George Carlin routine called “The Hair Piece.” It’s reproduced for your amusement below the fold…

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