11 March, 2010

The Duchess Lauds . . .

Ode to the Beard
(No, not that kind!)

Jeff Bridges

In the Duchess's profession, facial hair is a bona fide no-no. But for the mountain men who mastered the hills of the Duchess's youth, a thick, full beard is a mark of masculinity and a goddam necessity for keeping track of one's loose leaf tobacco, and for keeping at bay the chill brought on by wintry Appalachian nights. Brushing up against the chamois collar of his Carhartt shirt (purchased from the Cabela's catalog), the beard serves to frame his wind-burned face after a day tending to the farm on his tractor, or to winding backroads on his Harley. The bearded man wears a cowboy hat, no need for sunglasses (his hair is long enough to shade his tender, puppy dog eyes), drinks corn whiskey from a jar, and always spends his Sundays with momma. In terms of modern dress, only the beard fully telegraphs this rough exterior/teddy bear interior dichotomy, and it's an irresistible one. And so, the Duchess warmly toasts the beard, and the many faces who wear it well.

"We're Going on a Bear Hunt."

Zach Galifianakis, who wears his beard as a shield against that wild Hollywood world.

"We're Going to Catch a Big One!"

Kris Kristofferson. Once more with feeling, please!

"I'm Not Afraid!"

Michael McDonald. If you don't understand it, the Duchess can't help you.

"Are You?"

Pierce Brosnan. Very sexy in all his incarnations, but there is something quite compelling about the non-ubergroomed look for him.

"Not Me!"

Randy Owen. Take me down tonight.

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