Shit Going On In The World

The Battle of the Mustaches

Brenna Ehrlich :: Monday, November 9th, 2009 11:40 am

Hello boys, welcome (belatedly) to Movember, that most special of months in which one is allowed to grow a mustache. Why is this month different from all other months? No one’s allowed to give you shit for sprouting facial hair. December through October? Well, that’s between you and God-and the rest of polite society.

It’s the battle cry that reverberates throughout the ages, the guttural shout of the manly man that puts women, stylists and advice columnists up in arms. Four little words, the last the hairiest of all: “I want a mustache.”

The mustache is the facial hair of fighters. The Goths rocked them when they plundered Rome, Charlemagne sported one, as did the French Militia, the Hassars and the Prussian Guard. During the 1860s, they were obligatory for the British Army. (Talk about a stiff upper lip.)

World War I cemented the ‘stache as a military must. When Lord Kitchener’s mustached face stared out of posters across Britain, proclaiming, “Join Your Country’s Army,” he might as well have added, “And grow a fucking awesome ‘stache!”

Over the years, all manner of men have worn mustaches: cops, firemen, cowboys and porn stars.

Still, the style has suffered its knocks, and in recent years, the mustache beat a quick retreat. Hitler, Stalin, Charlie Chaplin—all added to its downfall. No one wants to look like a dictator. Or a mime.

But now, the ‘stache has sounded that mighty battle cry once more, gracing the faces of many a cinematic badass; Josh Brolin sprouted one as Llewelyn Moss in No Country For Old Men, as did Daniel Day-Lewis as Daniel Plainview in There Will Be Blood. Nothing says “man” like blood, oil and facial hair.

Still, the road is long and hard for the mustached few—and the fight is far from done. The mustached man has many enemies urging him to take out the razor and slap on the Old Spice. Check out these everyday mustached heroes and their equally formidable foes over the course of this week. The first pairing after the jump.

Pro: The Indie Star

The Man (Man): Honus Honus (AKA Ryan Kattner), 20-something frontman of indie band Man Man

The ‘Stache: The Charles Bronson

The Legend: “When I don’t have a mustache it’s always a kind of existential crisis, because there’s always a void of space where my upper lip used to be. At this point I have to have the mustache to cover that up. Goatees are awful. Goatees are really awful. Guys who have goatees—they just don’t get it. It’s like wearing sandals. With socks.”


Con: The Sexpert

Dan Savage, author of sex advice column “Savage Love”

“I don’t approve of them, and I don’t think men should grow them, nor should women tolerate them. They’re repulsive, they gather snot, and they gather food crumbs and smells and make people look like bad early ‘80s porn stars. I think guys who grow facial hair are either lazy or they’re trying to build a little wall between their face and the rest of the world.”

Who won this round?

2 Responses to “The Battle of the Mustaches”
  1. Haha wow. Dan Savage is so wrong. Honus Honus FTW.

    Growing a mustache or any other facial hair is a man’s given right, and boy does it make us feel manly.

    Posted by: David Auerbach November 9th, 2009 at 5:04 pm
  2. Well, Dan Savage, when you put it that way, it does sound kind of disgusting… I shall have to study this subject further.

    Posted by: Mayra November 9th, 2009 at 11:54 pm