By David G. Firestone
Got a couple things this week. Let’s get the elephant in the room out of the way first. Last Sunday, Brian France was arrested for DUI while driving under the influence of alcohol and painkillers. He has since taken a leave of absence from NASCAR due to this issue. This has apparently been an issue with France for some time, and now there are rumors that he might leave the sport, either willingly or otherwise.
What amazes me is that people are defending France. I’m not going to say a specific name, but one individual said “we all have skeletons in our closet.” You’re right, I do have skeletons in my closet. But I’m not driving under the influence. I’m also not addicted to alcohol or painkillers. I’m also not the top individual at the biggest racing sanctioning body in North America. My skeletons aren’t on the same level as Brian France.
There is another part to this. Brian France has made a lot of bad moves and decisions over the years, and the sport has suffered as a result. It’s been time for him to go for a while. Television ratings and race attendance have fallen steadily over the last few years. The sport hasn’t advanced that much. While marketing has been improved somewhat, it’s not where it needs to be. The bottom line is that the man who’s inaction is responsible for this decline has temporarily left the sport. I hope he doesn’t return, and the sport can recover. Call me a jerk, but most NASCAR fans agree with me.
Toyota and Ford have both debuted new cars for 2019. The Mustang will replace the Fusion in 2019 in the Cup Series, and in the Xfinity Series, the Supra will replace the Camry. This is no real shock. The Camry has been seen as the bland cousin of the Mustang and Camaro in the Xfinity Series. This new car will bring more eyes on Toyota. The Mustang in the Cup Series is a good move, since it works with the theme. Hopefully we’ll see the Supra in the Cup series soon.
The last issue I want to discuss is based on an opinion column I read on CNN entitled “A woman’s lament: Please don’t grow an effing beard.” It’s a woman talking about why she doesn’t like men with beards. She comes across as a vain, self-centered narcissist, who thinks she will convince men to shave their beards, or not grow one at all after reading this. What guys should do after reading this is laugh at her.
I will not address her by her real name, but I’ll call her Lorelei Lee. If you have seen the musical or movie Gentlemen Prefer Blondes you will get the reference instantly. Miss Lee doesn’t like beards. I won’t get to the reason why just yet. If you want to pour yourself a drink, now would be a good time.
Ok, so the article starts off by Lorelei stating that Gillette is facing a financial crisis because men aren’t shaving as much. She then sympathies with Gillette, and then proceeds to write the following: “By and large, and there are exceptions, I am not keen on beards. I am well aware that after this admission, many people may become substantially less keen on me, and I totally understand. I am happy to own my hypocrisy. If a dude (or anyone) criticized my hairstyle, I’d say it was none of their damn business. I fully appreciate that my opinions on this, like an optimistic teen’s cack-handed five o’clock shadow, are flimsy and borne of limited experience. Disclaimer done, let the alienation begin in earnest.”
That should prove who Lorelei Lee really is. She has no problem lecturing guys on growing beards, but don’t you dare criticize her looks. She also admits she has no problem being a hypocrite. With admissions like that, why should you read any further? Well things get crazier from there.
She then discusses the stages of beard growth. It starts with one of her “friends,” who I think aren’t real, or males who associate with her, because they have no other choice but to. When these “friends” say they are going to grow a beard, supposedly, “In every instance, I respond with sensitivity (mine): “Please don’t grow an effing beard.” Which is such a great line that she thought it should be the title.
Then Lorelei offers up this little gem: “The second is the Ignoring Me — sorry, the Growth phase.” Let me explain something here, not to just Lorelei Lee, but to most women in general: Unless we are sleeping with you, we don’t care what you think about our appearance. Every stage in the beard growth stages is the Ignoring You stage.
She then adds “The third stage is the It’s For A Movie phase. Because that is how anyone with taste would explain away the mess gradually obscuring any indication of bone structure beneath.” What that means is left to interpretation, as she doesn’t add any more than that before moving on.
The fourth stage is when the guys are happy and she admits defeat. This battle was one sided, She had no business starting said battle. She wasn’t going to win regardless, but she is humble enough to admit defeat. Let’s give her a hand!
Lorelei then proceeds to try to explain why beards have come back in style. Apparently she Googled “Why are beards popular?” and just started writing the results as factual information. She then tries and fails to make it seem as though men a growing beards as a way of showing dominance over each other. If you are going to try to make that connection, at least make it work.
Her next line is “In lieu of any more academic research of my own, I asked an incredibly biased, nonrepresentative group of men (my friends) why they like their beards.” First off, Googling a topic, and then linking an article that helps prove your point is not what I would call “ academic research.” Second, are these are the same group of “friends” who you referenced earlier? The same group of “friends” who justifiably ignored you when you asked them not to grow beards? If so…why do they hang out with you? You aren’t a major part of their lives to begin with, and I can’t imagine them enjoying your constant beard-bashing.
The two reasons she got by those who responded to her questioning, were “I look really young without a beard.” and “because I can.” When it comes to the first response, she tries to make it seem as though men want to look “established” when in reality, a lot of men don’t really like how being clean shaven makes them look, especially me. For “because I can” she offers up this:
“As a deeply self-indulgent person, I find this difficult to argue. I get the gratification that must arise from seeing your body comfortably execute something it was (says through gritted teeth) built to do. The path of least resistance is tempting on rushed mornings before work, and if a lot of guys would rather steal a few minutes more in bed in the morning than shave, I’d struggle to find a compelling counterpoint.”
You don’t need to remind us that you are deeply self-indulgent, that’s been the premise of this whole column. Second, nothing you have said has a “compelling counterpoint.” This column is just word after word of a selfish narcissist wondering why the men of the world won’t comply with her standards of attractiveness. At the tail end, she finally reveals why she doesn’t like beards, and her reasoning is pretty much what you would expect: “But realistically, the answer is more superficial: I don’t like your beard because I really like your face, and I want an uninterrupted view of it.”
Wait…what? “I really like your face, and I want an uninterrupted view of it.” What the fuck does that even mean? It’s a beard, not a balaclava! After a column of hypocrisy, self-centered whining, dubious research, and a premise that was questionable to begin with, “I really like your face, and I want an uninterrupted view of it” is the best reason she could come up with for why the men of the world shouldn’t grow beards.
I could understand her hatred of beards if she had a bad experience with a man with a beard. I could even understand if she pointed out that beards can be unhygienic. Her “reason” for hating beards is just as flimsy as her arguments against beards. What scares me is that she genuinely thinks that men are going to be swayed by this. Like there is a guy who is on the fence about growing a beard, and this is what pushes him off the edge. Every man who read this is either laughing, or is mocking her, or both. I really hope I never hear from Lorelei Lee on the subject of beards again.