Marxiness

“Reason has always existed, but not always in a reasonable form.”

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The Art of Head Shaving

This is not a how-to guide.

It’s just not.

Okay, maybe a little.

Anyway, I am often asked by other people why I shave my head. The simple reason is that my hair, due mainly to genetics, is slowly receding toward some unknown stopping point which may or may not result in my finally being completely bald. Being one who finds the escapism of one’s hairline to be less than ideal, I took pragmatism into my own hands. Or more accurately my own razor. In addition to this, I am fond of the way it offsets my beard, making it appear even more striking. Being a man that finds enjoyment in good self appearance, I have embraced this look.

Being someone of many words dependent on the situation, I generally shorten this lengthy diatribe to “I started losing my hair.” Most often, I’ve found, the questioning ends at this point. Most people seem to appreciate the gravity of such a statement and assume that I am bothered by my potential hair loss. However, I’ve come to terms with this idea and have reached a sort of zen about the whole thing. Occasionally, though, someone will request further information, such as “How long does that take?” or “What do you use to do it?” So, in an effort to increase Intentional Baldness Awareness, or IBA, I will describe a set of procedures here.

To begin: A real razor. Now, I am a fan of the wet shave method, using an older style safety razor with replaceable double-edged razor blades. That being said, I have yet to try this razor on my head. I am simply afraid of shearing off the upper layers of my scalp. At the time being, I use a Gillette Fusion.

Don’t use some ridiculous disposable razor as it will only result in copious amounts of shed blood. Use enough shaving cream or shaving gel. I use the gel because it seems to be the nicest shave for my head.

Prep your head for shaving by making sure your current crop of hair is buzzed down to nil, otherwise shaving will pull and hurt, and you don’t want that at all.

Apply enough shaving gel or cream and begin shaving. Place the razor near your hairline and drag back over your head. Don’t push down too hard as this will likely cut you. You can take it off in steps. I always make two passes, one from front to back, and one from back to front. Be careful at the back of your skull because there is usually a protrusion that you can cut quite easily. As I said, go slow. You’ll get better at it the more you do it. In time, you’ll be a pro.

After you’re done, apply a balm or a lotion. Otherwise your scalp will dry out or you’ll develop razor bumps. Either way, no fun. I shave my head every three days to keep up on it. If you let it go too long, it may be harder the next time.

Enjoy the attention. Consider growing a beard for fun and profit if you have not already done so. If you are a lady, you can keep trying to grow a beard. Never give up the dream.

Now go have a glass of scotch and enjoy the sweet sweet breeze.

The Allowable Profession

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I must say a cheers to the education profession.

Before this, I must state that I am, in fact, a teacher.

That being said, I toast my profession because, similar to the sensibilities of those who employ lab technicians, tattoo artists, and baristas amongst other things, teaching is one of the few jobs in which it is acceptable to be bearded. That is not to say that other fields are not catching up, but it seems that I hear a good deal of hullabaloo about those with potentially moderate to rather massive beards being forced to leave work and return quite closely shorn the subsequent day.This is not the case with education, or so I understand it is not. As I am evidence of, I was hired with a good two months of growth already under my belt, or, for a better analogy, beyond the razor. And I was hired with not a single mention of my vermillion companion and its future at the company.

It seems rather antiquated an idea to force a bearded man to shave his proud achievement for the sake of conforming to some norm that, in essence, is relatively new. Beards were much more widely accepted and actually a sign of masculinity, not uncleanliness and lack of caring. Now, that is not to say that I do not understand why a business may suggest a bearded man trim up and clean up the scraggliness of his beard, especially if in the public view, such as in a retail sort of field. However, oftentimes it seems those suggesting they are being told to get rid of it are working in an office, with little to no social interaction with anyone outside of that office.

Now, my students certainly react in interesting ways, showing a deep interest in my beard. But I have not once been told by anyone besides some joking students that I should be rid of it. In fact, my beard seems nothing more than accepted. And this is something I celebrate.

To education! To beards!