Mustaccios of our Times

Vlad the Impaler has simply got everyone talking: What are some of the worst mustaches of our times? There have been some bad ones, especially if you count “The 70’s” as “our times,” and even more especially if you count “The nineteenth century,” which most historians sort of do (“the steam engine”).

Wherefore, mustache? It is not GENERALLY a good look. Women of the world agree / yet still grow they / like ugly trees. Mustache is a ticklish appendage that sits atop a man’s upper lip like a giant slothful caterpillar. As you know, I have grown to be a fan of the mild beard. My old man’s laziness within the realm of personal grooming has induced in me a strange craving for the unruly blonde tangle upon his face, in which ants may nest and crumbs may rest. If it had not done so, my marriage would have ended long ago, because that’s not a man who’s gonna shave for God or anybody, and who only lets me cut his hair after days of increasingly hysterical pleading on my part. But to return to my point: some sort of mustache/lower beard combo can be great. Many of my friends and loved ones have various facial hair styles of which I approve. Beards can be great, though I am strongly opposed to the sort of Crazy-Period Joaquin-Phoenix-And/Or-PBR-Drinking-Hipster beard that bushes out like some sort of deranged Santa Claus, obscuring mouth and nose and giving the overall impression of mental derangement, and they’re always like combing it and smoothing it with their hands, and they basically look like LAZAR WULF from “Fiddler on the Roof,” and you know, that’s not necessarily sexy, although as always I am open to argument. To me, that’s a beard that says “if you come over to my house there will be crumpled Big Mac wrappers all over the floor and probably dog shit in the bathroom, and I don’t even have a dog.” But a mild tasteful beard, or a reasonably thoughtful beard, or a flattering oddly-groomed mustache/mutton chop/beardy combo, or even a VERY FEW VARIETIES of tasteful SMALL solo mustache, can be sexy upon a man’s face, and I stand by that. Many of my favorite friends, husbands, and role models (Zach Galifianakis) have beards and/or mild mustache situations that I find sexy. Many others, however (Seth Galifianakis), struggle with the dreaded “Giant Solo Mustache” problem, and it is this problem that is my subject today. LETS TAKE A TRIP DOWN MEMORY LANE

My friends, I implore you. Solo mustache?? With very few notable exceptions it makes a mouth look like a lady’s unmentionables. I’m not saying a lady’s unmentionables are a bad thing, but I don’t want to be picturing them while talking to some dude at a party. MY TWO CENTS.

My friend Franz wore a Big Solo Mustache with pride and good sense. I don’t know why it looks so good on him and almost no one else–I can’t explain it. “But I knows it when I sees it,” to quote some Supreme Court Justice raving about pornography.

I also really like J.D. Samson’s mustache, as most people do, since everyone on the earth including me has a massive crush on her, what a fox

But again, that’s a tasteful mustache. That’s not a big old blob sitting on her face.

Many mustaches are grown for irony’s sake, which is fine as far as such things go. However, many are worn in the sincere belief that they are sexy. I blame this almost completely on Tom Selleck.

For some reason, the Giant Solo Mustache was a sexy look for Selleck, and women everywhere swooned in droves. Many of my peers’ sexual awakenings were premised on the Magnum P.I. mustache (an accompanying love of the billowing Hawaiian shirt seems to have passed us by). Selleck’s mustache was the Beatles of the mustache world. Selleck’s mustache is firm, manly. It says “I can punch a hole in the wall but I’m also not afraid to show the world I care about elaborate facial grooming.” I imagine women of the 80’s felt about Selleck’s mustache the way I feel about Johnny Depp’s wide variety of unfortunate facial hair: on anyone else, it would look stupid, yet somehow I am compelled, deeply compelled, please go away Johnny Depp before I literally have a heart attack.

The nineteenth century saw a wonderful array of strange facial hairs, commemorated in poster form on our wall (“Hierarchy of Beards”). Amazingly bushy mutton chops gliding wormlike into elaborately-waxed curlicues of foot-long mustache. Somewhere along the way I have stumbled across a period description of the wide variety of facial hairs sported in the nineteenth century, but now I can’t remember where I read it. How I wish I could.

Upon one thing we all–mustache lover/mustache hater–can agree: Friedrich Nietzsche, Ultimate Giant Solo Mustache Of All Time, that was not a good look for you, my friend.

There’s a mustache that says “I have cerebral syphilis and have grown confused and raging late in my life.” There’s a mustache that says “KISS ME NOT, FOUL TEMPTRESSES.”

A commenter entered the terrible John Bolton as a nominee for Worst Mustache Of Our Times–a good candidate because he is both a terrible person and a terrible mustache-wearer, so we don’t have to feel bad in mocking him for mean superficial reasons. His is sort of a sad imitation of the virile Selleck, which succeeds only in making itself look small and impotent in comparison:

I am also not a fan of our President’s mustache:

(you know what’s a great way to make a series of salient, far-ranging arguments against a president’s fiscal, foreign, and domestic policies very compelling and not at all crazy or ill-founded-seeming? Draw a Hitler mustache on him! I don’t know about you but when I see a Hitler mustache sharpied onto somebody’s picture I’m like “DAMN, that’s compelling stuff, I can totally tell that the sharpieing person in question has done a lot of careful research and read a lot of books and definitely doesn’t lack the faculty of critical thinking at all”)

Speaking of Hitler mustaches, have you seen this shit?

What in the world? I’m sorry, but that’s just not a mustache that can be brought back. It’s like people who are all “The confederate flag is a symbol of state’s rights in the face of a looming federal bureaucracy, it has nothing to do with me being a huge racist driving around in my dumb huge broke-ass truck!” NOT BUYING IT. It’s a shame, too, because Chaplin sported a variant of it so charmingly. Still, to quote Rick Moranis in “Spaceballs”: “Evil will always triumph over Good, because Good is dumb.”

You guys, sidenote: Is there anyone in the world you love more than you love Charlie Chaplin? If you think I am just being a nerd, then you have not experienced this man’s tremendous oeuvre. Please visit it post-haste and report back to me. He is truly one of the all-time greatest geniuses. I would french his face off at the hilarious drop of a derby hat. He’s almost enough to redeem all mustaches past and future. Almost.

Probably my favorite mustache of all time is Dabney Coleman’s, later dramatized and made more mustachey by the inimitable Ron Burgundy.

The secret to the true Dabney Coleman mustache, as I learned in an interview with Will Ferrell, is that you shave a very thin line IN BETWEEN MUSTACHE AND NOSE. It off-sets the mustache and makes it look even more like an independent being just crouching amoeba-like on the upper lip. It is a true work of art and is disgusting.

I love Dabney Coleman so much. I really think he is an overlooked comic genius.

“The 90’s Phillies had a lot of gross mustaches,” said the Old Man just now, getting into the spirit of things, “They were like the trashiest team of all time.”

I don’t know from Phillies but it’s true that Major League Baseball has been and still remains a great bastion of unfortunate mustaches.

This next fellow’s name is apparently legally “ROLLIE FINGERS,” which, don’t get me started, but did he come to MLB by way of the turn-of-the-century vaudeville stage or what? Bless his heart. (“He was a great pitcher!” the Old Man is protesting. I have no problem with that)

(The man who once obliterated a low-flying seagull with a smoking-hot pitch, whose name I can’t remember but who I think about all the time (he was so shaken by what he had accidentally done! His coach had to run out to the mound to console him! (youtube it, it’s so intense, the bird literally just EXPLODES in mid-air)), also had a terrible mustache, but out of respect for his pain I will refrain from posting a photo)

From sirs like Rollie Fingers seem to stem the modern Terrible Hipster Mustache, which, please, there just aren’t really words. I found so many good ones on google but I’m scared to post them in case I actually know some of those people. Hipster mustaches sneak up on you like that.

And I mean, fair enough. If I could grow facial hair perhaps I would feel the urge to experiment wildly with it. I have in fact bleached my head-hair before, just to have something different going on. Changing up your facial hair is not in and of itself a bad thing. I just think there are species of mustache the only response to which is “…really?” That’s just me, a fairly vanilla straight lady. I mean, I don’t even like massive facial piercings, what do I know about fashion.

Mike himself has grown a mustache from time to time, as has Steve, as a fun experiment, and both of those are handsome gents and I support such doings. As Thomas Jefferson said, “Dif’rent strokes for dif’rent folks.”

Then there is of course Geraldo

I just truly do not know what Geraldo has been thinking, really at any stage of his life or career.

Oh Mustaches! So many, yet so few. So sweet, yet so sour.

Presidential mustaches!

(From the website where I got the Chester A. Arthur photo, I learned that of our 44 presidents, only 10 have had facial hair. WHAT DOES IT MEAN, AMERICA? It can’t be a reflection of the greatness or continuing imprint of be-facial-haired presidents, because, as I submit to you:

PRESIDENT ULTIMATE BEARDO

Maybe it’s BECAUSE of facial hair that presidents are great!!! Taft, Arthur, Lincoln, Obama…I see a pattern forming….maybe I’ve been wrong about the mustache all along…although Lincoln didn’t have a mustache…what does it all mean……..better not delve too deep, massive conspiracies uncovered, Obama’s great great great great grandfather exerting machiavellian control over the American civil war from his home in Kenya…..a country torn apart…..father against son, son against brother, sister against cousin, aunt against uncle……ARE BEARDS THE ANSWER????

I think all this entry has done is make me feel more affection for the mustache.

MISSION NOT ACCOMPLISHED

UNRELATED ANECDOTE

Yesterday while walking Frank in the park we saw a huge hulking mass kind of blobbing around in a field, and we were like “what is that? what the hell IS that?” and then Gary said “it’s an anteater!” and I said, “it’s not an anteater, honey,” and then the blob resolved itself, lifted its enormous wings, and FLEW UP INTO THE SKY, and it was a BALD EAGLE, holding a LONG RIPPED-UP BUNNY RABBIT IN ITS CLAWS, and it dropped the bunny and then flew away over the trees, and we were like “DAMN!” and Frank was like “THROW THE BALL WTF”

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5 Responses to Mustaccios of our Times

  1. hannah f says:

    I love Charlie Chaplin so much. Even him marrying Oona O’Neill when he was 54 and she was 18 I’m OK with, because they had eight children so obviously they were in love. (And one of them was Michael Chaplin, who is the amazing Rupert Macabee in A King in New York. I QUOTE WIKIPEDIA: “10-year-old Rupert Macabee [is] a fast-talking advocate of civil rights and a child of communists”!)

    OK, which is worse: a soul patch or a goatee?

  2. RCH says:

    One wag suggested that the bird might have fared better had it been wearing a batting helmet. Johnson, noting the fun those around him were having with the incident, said, “I didn’t think it was all that funny.”

  3. ro6ot says:

    not ‘more than’, and possibly not even ‘as much as’, but I do love me some Harpo Marx THE SAME WAY as Chaplin. Interesting, as Harpo ~smooth-faced and silent~ was pretty much an anti-Groucho. (speaking of shitty facial hair!!)
    I am simultaneously flabbergasted and nonplussed that Groucho was the Marx Bro of best fame. [Karl joke here]

  4. mokin says:

    When and why did the mustache become a signifier of sleaze? Like John Waters obviously has that mustache because it makes him look sleazy, and he loves it. And every child-molester and/or creepy character ever has a mustache (eg. the lovely bones, mysterious skin, Todd Phillip’s cameos as the creepy guy in all his movies).

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