Justin’s Beard

In the venerated tradition of famed facial hair, there are but a few men who have risen to much-deserved prominence. The robust mustache of Inigo Montoya reminds us of heroism and valiance, the substantial ‘stache of Ron Burgundy tantalizes our senses, the impressive facial hair of Abraham Lincoln inspires our national pride, and the bushy beard of Zach Galifianakis compels laughter. Each of these men carries with him a badge of honor, sanctified by each follicle upon his face. Cultivation of a fine beard is a precise and delicate art: to be great, a beard must be tended to, cared for, trimmed, combed, and above all, respected. For the adoration that we bestow upon that facial hair, we receive reward twofold, making the relationship between man, beard, and society one of the most sacred.

There is none so contemptible as a man who carelessly allows his beard to sprout from his chin, taking no pains to keep discipline or structure. Although a refined beard can be an inspired entity, one without the necessary care is like a sickness that spreads uncontrollably. The Study Hut’s own Justin Lettin is one such foul plague of a man, his beard springing wildly as if directly cursing the social order. His facial hair exists, it would seem, as a symbol of disregard for the men who have given us respectable beards and important mustaches, a means by which he expresses distasteful nihilism. Perhaps if he offered his beard some degree of devotion, he might be able to clip and trim it to responsibility. However, any opportunity for respectability has long been squandered like so many disposable razors.

Tufts of brown wool blanket the lower half of his face, spreading onto what little bare flesh exists like some exotic skin disease. Each day, new stubble emerges around the edges of the beard, inexorably corrupting whatever is in its path. It evokes images of the nefarious Shoe Bomber more readily than ones of revered men. Not only does Mr. Lettin do nothing to stop the growth of said beard; he actually encourages it, often stroking the unruly tendrils and cooing their praise. Justin Lettin’s beard degrades those of great men and simultaneously threatens the security we rely upon. In a word, his beard is un-American.

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