March 11, 2009

Derb on Me in Taki's

John Derbyshire has a very kind essay on me up at Taki's Magazine: "Sailer-ism."

By the way, looking at my picture from last fall illustrating Derb's article, I wanted to mention that I've recently shaved off the goatee. The first famous person in Chicago to wear a goatee in 1991 was the White Sox ace pitcher Jack McDowell, whom I knew slightly because he went to my high school. Jack was a grunge rocker during the offseason and hung out with Eddie Vedder and the like so he brought the Seattle look to Chicago. But it took me years to get around to wearing a goatee. I'm not very fashion forward.

Now, de-goateed, staring at myself in the mirror, I feel like I'm missing something. My face is best seen in limited measure and too much is currently on display. So, I'm thinking about growing a mustache.

Clearly, though, mustaches are around the bottom of the popularity curve. Not even relief pitchers wear mustaches anymore -- I looked at pictures of the Dodgers' and Angels' 40-man spring training rosters and nobody has a mustache without accompanying chin ornamentation, not even the bullpen boys. (Facial hair creativity is found most often in masculine workplaces with a hurry-up-and-wait work schedule such as bullpens, firehouses, and army camps. The Civil War was the great progenitor of facial hair fashions, such as the sideburns of General Burnsides. See Ron Maxwell's movie "Gettysburg" to see what men with too much time on their hands can get up to in the facial hair department.) The older stars like Vladimir Guerrero tend to still sport goatees while the rookies tend to have that weird little chin frizz that Tiger Woods displayed awhile ago.

Do firemen still wear mustaches? Lots of the 343 FDNY guys who died on 9/11 had mustaches, but have they kept up the look? Do homosexuals still wear mustaches or have they hopped off that bandwagon finally? The only people that I'm sure still like mustaches are the illegal immigrants I see riding bicycles.

Attorney General Eric Holder has a mustache. It looks distinguished on him, but it's the same one he's had for years, so it's not exactly a fashion harbinger.

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

44 comments:

Anonymous said...

I dabbled with the goatee back in the 90s, under the false impression that it would cut down (no pun intended) on shaving time while avoiding the full on weirdy-beardy look.

I was wrong.

Far too much hassle keeping it tidy.

Steve Sailer said...

Yes, a goatee definitely looks best if you trim it almost daily, but you don't cut yourself much shaving with a goatee because you don't have to mess with the tough angles around the chin.

stari_momak said...

I had the suspicion that you sported the goat in order to create the impression of lantern-jawedness, which every HBD guy knows signals alphamale masculinity and virility. F. Salter also sports facial hair (or did a few years ago) , though his is more of a full beard. Guess my theory was wrong.

Anonymous said...

If you've got a long expanse of face and plenty of whiskers on your upper lip, a moustache looks good. My dad has had a moustache since forever (he has a broad, square face that looks naked without it). He's also one of those guys who could shave twice a day.

--Senor Doug

headache said...

As I started out reading Derb's Sailerism I got nervous when he went off about Citizenism. I always suspected Derb was into that line of thinking, which even though it may be from Steve, does not show through much on his blog. Maybe Derb feels drawn to this idea to justify his personal arrangement.

Citizenism sucks. Why should any ethnic group make concessions for another? Where has this happened in practice, except in western countries where multiculturalism under false pretences forces natives to abandon legitimate interests? Citizenism falls under the rubric of multinational empires like Rome, The Ottoman Empire, the Holy Roman Empire, the USSR, Yugoslavia, The British Empire, the Austro-Hungarian Empire and now the US. It just does not work. Basically in a multicultural environ one dominant and aggressive cultural group (usually the numerically superior group) dominates the others. Period. It’s like the bully on the playground. I don’t understand why Derb and maybe Steve still bother with Citizenism which contradicts most of what Steve says anyway.

Apart from that I enjoyed the article and agree with Derb that Steve is an icon and a swell guy.

ironrailsironweights said...

Perhaps the worst display of facial hair in recent times was the mustache of former U.N. ambassador John Bolton. It made him look like the sort of man who hangs around playgrounds with a bag of candy.

Lately I've been seeing a lot of fat men with goatees. It's a dreadful combination, as the hair accentuates their double chins and just makes them look fatter.

Peter

Mark said...

So, I'm thinking about growing a mustache.

No, No. God no.

The Civil War was the great progenitor of facial hair fashions, such as the sideburns of General Burnsides.

Burnside, not "Burnsides." Common mistake

See Ron Maxwell's movie "Gettysburg"...

Great movie (as was "Gods and Generals"), and great director. Maxwell has written very thoughtfully at least twice on the immigration issue.

Shawn said...

Steve,

The mustache is actually in style now--at least amongst the hipster set (Weezer, etc.

But you run the risk of looking like a SWPLer, well, if you were in your 20s atleast

David Gale said...

Go for the stache! They're starting to become cool again. Brad Pitt's been wearing one lately.

Mark said...

Good to see you're still tackling the most important issues of the day, Steve.

Anonymous said...

"So, I'm thinking about growing a mustache."

So, ah, does Steve golf? Just asking.

:-)

Why do we shave anyway? Alexander the Great? To transact business? To get chicks? Where I live in Canada a beard is a necessity 6 months of the year, so is a thick coat of chest hair, which I am told is unfashionable these days.

Heh, you guys are old enough to remember when women had pubic hair, I'll bet. Left Wing Girlfriend thought I was a pedo when I asked her to shave 20 years ago, but that was before internet pornography.

Anonymous said...

Heh, the pic is like a kinder, gentler Jim Rome.

Peter said...

Steve, I'd like you to expound on this point, or perhaps direct to somewhere where you have:

among American citizens, it calls for individuals to be treated equally by the state, no matter what their race.

Sounds nice, but also naive. It's becoming ever more clear that there are racial differences are real and have a biological basis. American citizens who are descended from African slaves are probably, on average, less well equipped to succeed in modern society than American citizens of Northern European or East Asian descent - i.e. lower average ability with symbol manipulation, more difficulty conforming and working in a disciplined way, etc. White southerners are similarly disadvantaged in the IQ department, and are far more violent than most other Americans. Can we really have a stable heterogenous American society where 90% or more of the power and money is held by people of Jewish, Northern European and/or East Asian descent? It seems to me in the interest of social harmony we probably do need some mechanism to "share the wealth." I fully agree with you that to do this we need to be open about race discussions and stop pretending that everyone is born with equal capabilities. We also need to stop immigration immediately - fully agree with that too. America should put its own first.

dearieme said...

My only complaint is about "quoting the candidate’s own written words and parsing them in the context of external facts .."; Derbs was educated in a time an place where he must have learnt what "parsing" means. Still, he's writing for Americans who misuse it in just that way. There's clearly a limit to his conservatism.

Chris said...

Go for the full beard! It's coming back, I tell ya'!

Anonymous said...

Yes, Sailer, you have single-handedly written the book that will cause Obama to be defeated in 2012. Impressive for a man with a receding chin.

Good to know you aren't one of those people who launches personal attacks against anyone who disagrees with you. I don't think I've ever encountered a classier representative of the WASPy elite.

Big Dubya said...

Enjoyable article by Derbyshire. The only thing I didn't get was Steve's jocular self-description as "the only Republican that knows how to use Microsoft Excel". I've always thought of Excel as the quintessentially Republican piece of software, as it's geared toward numbers- and financial-type people.

i am the walrus said...

Josh Brolin wore a mustache in both American Gangster and No Country for Old Men and looked very manly in both. However, he's married to Diane Lane, which exempts him from any Village People jokes. Probably a smart move to lose the facial hair, Steve.

albertosaurus said...

I believe you have slighted the Oakland As. As I recolect, it was the As who brought back facial hair. I think it was front office policy.

The great cultural divide in Europe was between the Romans (civilized mediteranians) and the barbarians (Celts and Germans). This divide expressed itself in wine versus beer and beards (or clean shaven) versus moustaches.

Most of the Claudio-Julians shaved. Aurelius later on wore a short beard. All Roman emperors in the first couple centuries had short hair.

Vercingetorix with his long hair and moustach surrendered to a clean shaven short haired (balding) Caesar.

Outland said...

Well, Steve, I must admit, I am a Sailer-ist too.

C. Van Carter said...

The French Fork is poised for a big comeback. Six months from now you will see it everywhere. The Hulihee will remain rare; worn only by a few, most of them accidentally.

Toral said...

On the facial hair: the one disaster is the beard that is in two colours, white one half, brown/black other half. Pat Caddell had a beard like that for many years after working for Carter. Your eyes were drawn to the freak beard when he appeared on TV, usually saying sensible things.

I myself have a beard grown to hide acne scars -- but it was very thin. To my surprise I found a majority of women liked it. One thing I found -- a strong desire by women that I shave the utmost part of my beard -- hard to describe, but, after looking in the mirror, it's roughly the part of my face upward and outward of a line drawn between my tmple and the base of my chin. Biodiversity originated? I suspect having a beard there makes people make more like monkeys...

Toral

Anonymous said...

gays did away with staches a long, long time ago. goatees went out with the 90's. hip young men sport stubble or thin chinstrap beards. staches can be worn for an ironic look.

Bill said...

I've got sideburns. Had a goatee back in '91 (it was about all I could grow at that age, but it did make me look 'cool' in high school).

I kind of like the mustache, and I think it will return in time. I prefer the full ones rather than the small, neat types. Apparently, the mustache is an ancient Gallic tradition.

Anonymous said...

Peter,
I agree with your comments and posted a similar writ. For some reason Steve censored me.

Anonymous said...

"Anonymous said...

Peter,
I agree with your comments and posted a similar writ. For some reason Steve censored me."


OK, he didn't, I was just impatient. Sorry.

Danindc said...

I don't think moustaches have completely left the creepy realm

Why don't all people with cleft lips just grow goatees or moustaches? seems like an easy fix

I like the Fu Manchu personally- don't see it much but very cool

Derb turned me on to you Steve "smartest gink i know" or some such...it's too bad he's going to rot in purgatory for his atheism...kidding, I'm sure he'll be fine

Anonymous said...

---it's too bad he's going to rot in purgatory for his atheism...kidding, I'm sure he'll be fine---


Probably no rotting in Purgatory, but I'll bet it is worse, maybe like waiting at the (shudder) DMV.

AllanF said...

Ahh shucks, Derb, you shouldn't have.

BTW, what ever happened to that retouched photo I sent you? I thought it was a nice improvement. :-)

Anonymous said...

I wear a full but groomed beard. July will mark 32 years of face-fur for me.

Lots of men grow 'em then shave, grow 'em and shave. Not me. This is the beard I started in Pensacola Florida in July of 1977. I'd not know myself without it.

That, and it has become more or less a trademark for me when I am meeting new customers. If we are going to meet at a restaurant or a hotel lobby, I tell them "look for a cross between an aging Viking and a part-time grizzly-bear".

They always find me.

- the friendly grizzly

Truth said...

I think some strong manly white alpha male (I nominate you Steve-O) should grow a goatee and shave the moustache! That's right, bring the Van Dyke back baybee. It was sexy as hell on Sigmund Freud.

Anonymous said...

Be like me Steve, grow a beard but shave your mustache. Granted, you will hear lots of joking references to the Amish and Abe Lincoln.........

-Vanilla Thunder

Bill said...

Danindc said...

I don't think moustaches have completely left the creepy realm

Why don't all people with cleft lips just grow goatees or moustaches? seems like an easy fix


The mustache is not creepy on normal men. It accentuates masculinity, which is why women wax their upper lips.

I can tell you why people with cleft palates don't grow mustaches from personal experience. Although I do not have a cleft palate, I have three scars on my upper lip (one from baseball, one fistfight, and one car accident), and hair doesn't grow on them. I can still grow a pretty good mustache, but a cleft palate scar is generally bigger than what I have, and mine are visible for the first week or so of growth. A cleft palate scar would split the mustache and actually make the scar stand out more.

Anonymous said...

I remember reading that the Amish have beards without mustaches because the mustache had a long association with the military.

Truth said...

BTW Stacy Keach has a cleft palette, he actually shaved his moustache for American History X in order to look more ominous.

H. said...

I grew a moustache when I was 26, then a full beard when I was 28. In 2001, I shaved the beard off of my cheeks and jaw, so now it's just on my chin. It took a few weeks before the whiskers growing up to the corners of my mouth connected with the ones growing down from my moustache, but I finally did it. I have looked distinguished ever since. There's really no point to a post about my beard, but since everyone else was doing one ....

John Seiler said...

"Lots of the 343 FDNY guys who died on 9/11 had mustaches, but have they kept up the look?" THEY haven't, but perhaps their colleagues who survived have.

silver said...

It depends why you want the mustache. If you wanna look "cool," I don't think it'll work for you. You need a bit of greaser to pull off a cool look with a 'stache. (Thomas Friedman for example.)

If you're after a more distinguished look, you could go for a Ned Flanders-style longer whiskers. Just make sure you brush your hair backwards to avoid looking droopy overall.

Another alternative, as others have mentioned, is the full beard. I think it'd suit you. You'd look a bit like Harrison Ford at the start of "The Fugitive." That can look very distinguished. You just need to match your wardrobe to it (ie lose that leather jacket).

Anonymous said...

The only facial hair that looks good on a man is a barbell mustache. It conveys friendliness, eccentricity and minimal ego.

Richard H said...

First of all, I'd just like to express how much I appreciate Steve and what he does. Derb's piece was touching.

That being said, the idea that minorities will ever accept "citizenism" seems a slightly less unrealistic myth than what's accepted by those in power.

Why would blacks and Mexicans ever accept it when they get more out of AA & double standards?

Why would you expect them to feel patriotic and care about the well being of a country whose system leaves whites and Asians better off and them in jails and ghettos, even if you convince them (good luck) that the fault lies in their own genes?

The white man and his accomplishments inspire jelousy and resentment. The best he can hope for from the NAM world is to be respected and feared and that will only happen when he looks out for his own interests.

Anonymous said...

Mustache without accompanying facial hair in other places = homosexual.

Anonymous said...

"I remember reading that the Amish have beards without mustaches because the mustache had a long association with the military."

I've read the same thing. Personally, the reason I have a beard sans mustache is that for some reason, a mustache will itch but the beard does not.

-Vanilla Thunder

Anonymous said...

"Mustache without accompanying facial hair in other places = homosexual."

From what I have seen the young bummers tend to go for the gel/matt clay and birdshit bleaching look nowadays.

Chris Anderson said...

Moustaches on gays: strictly niche--mostly guys 50+, often accompanied by leather. (You asked!)

Moustaches on fireman: Here to stay. I work with fireman, and they have moustaches because it is the ONLY facial hair they're allowed. Beards interfere with getting a good seal on an oxygen mask.

Best beard in the punditocracy: Mark Steyn.