The Corner

Goatees and Me

At last, Andrew Sullivan and I are united on

something. Here’s an overwritten bit from the December GQ, expectorated by

someone named David Kamp:

“Maybe you’ve even taken notice of photo-bylined neoconservative

commentators like Andrew Sullivan and Rod Dreher, for whom a goatee

signifies a cool-daddy engagement with the poptastic modern world of Wi-Fi

technology, reality television and boutique California garage wines, a

worlds they find compatible with their rigorous, showboaty churchgoing and

unapologetic

hawkishness, which therefore gives the lie to the stereotype of

conservatives as jowly, out-of-touch old guys, because — look — there’s

this groundswell of goateed young, self-congratulatory moralist offalheads

who represent the true direction in which America is headed.”

Golly. Since the Rt. Rev. Kamp is so interested in the semiotics of my

facial hair, let me disappoint him by saying that I acquired it in 1994,

after picking up a razor following two weeks of not shaving while recovering

from an auto accident. The things were popular back then. I grew accustomed

to it. Now they’re not so popular, but I like it anyway, so I’ll keep my

Republican goatee. My little dog Checkers will be surprised to discover that

his master’s outdated beard was an attempt to be secretly “poptastic.”

Anyway, what’s facial hair have to do with politics? I was just as

conservative back when I wore combat boots, long hair and an earring

because, well, I liked it. Anyway, what’s a Wi-Fi? What’s a David Kamp, and

why does it write so badly?

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