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The Goatee is the timeless affect of young men as they develop the ability to grow facial hair in a more regimented way than unexplained shadows and blotches on cheeks and upper lips. The Goatee is always in style for the adolescent, but grows and fades in popularity among slightly older men along with fashions like skinniness and the mullet. As a fashion, it has been associated with blue collar workers, country music, German intellectuals and professional athletes. In the instance of faux academics, it has achieved placement on the gaunt and striving face of no less an exemplar than Eric Alterman. And it is through Eric Alterman that The Goatee is now best examined. The lupine, but otherwise meaningless, accoutrement there bespeaks insecurity and self-loathing. Significantly, in Alterman’s case, the self-loathing is oftentimes not as intense as the just-plain-loathing that he engenders. But that’s really for another day. The Goatee is a pretense. A lie that Alterman tells himself and his probably-captive audience. The lie: “I am cool. You like me. You think I’m mature and enlightened.” What makes it a lie is that nobody — not Alterman, not the people he’s looking at, not even God — believes it to be true.



  1. Being someone who has no want of facial hair, I tried out the goatee for shits and giggles. I look like a fucking moron with it, which is why I promptly shave it off as soon as it appears. Which reminds me, did you, at one point, have a goatee? And if so, for how long?

  2. yup. sure did. and the expression “shits and giggles” gives me the creeps.

One Trackback/Pingback

  1. By It Takes All Kinds « therestofus on 29 Jul 2007 at 6:58 pm

    […] front page ← The Goatee […]

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