Williamsburg Night At MCU Park

Last night at MCU Park, home of the Brooklyn Cyclones, Williamsburg hipsters were given their own evening to watch baseball ironically. There were food vouchers for anyone with a beard, and those wearing skinny jeans were promised a trip around the bases after the game (although apparently the latter didn’t happen, presumably because running the bases is way too earnest for hipsters). Reports on the event at NY Mag indicate mostly a lot of detached embarrassment at being labeled “hipster,” but it also included this Very Important Infographic regarding what actually qualifies as a beard. You can probably already guess which baseball player is representing True Beardness, but I believe that two of the three “not beard” examples qualify as controversial. See for yourself:

Who gets a beard voucher / NY Mag

What do you guys think? Is this a fair representation of True Beardness, or is it taking beard snobbery a step too far?

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Summer Anne Burton is a writer and illustrator living in Austin, Texas. She is drawing pictures of Every Hall of Famer.

18 Responses to “Williamsburg Night At MCU Park”

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  1. dockmarm says:

    They are correct. Goatees and face patches are not beards. If they were beards, they’d be called beards.

    The English language has given us numerous categories of whiskercraft for this very reason.

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    • I really appreciate your use of the term “whiskercraft,” but why does every dictionary’s definition of goatee describe it as a type of beard? I’m not being snarky, I am genuinely curious about this disconnect between the obviously passionate facial hair enthusiasts of the world and the dictionaries and encyclopedias of the world.

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      • Resolution says:

        perhaps ultimately (and somewhat simplistically), a goatee IS in fact a beard but IS NOT a beard worthy of a food voucher.

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      • dockmarm says:

        You’re welcome, everyone, for “whiskercraft” :) To the matter at hand, I believe the disconnect is denotation vs. connotation, or even science vs. religion.

        For Noah Webster and his devotees, I believe “beard” is a generic term. The lexicographer, bound by language, has the very narrow word “mustache” for hair worn on the upper lip and must do with “beard” for everything else. So everything from the smallest goatee to the grandest hulihee becomes a “beard.”

        For the orthodox whiskercraftsperson, “beard” has one necessary component: connected sideburns. There are various schools of thought as to whether a mustache is required, whether it must be integrated, whether chin hair is required, etc. In any case, they are free to add color to the language within their circle, so that “beard” becomes lingo rather than a dictionary entry.

        So the lexicographers are the scientists, explaining what they observe with the tools the language provides, and the whiskercraftspersons are the faithful, observing philosophically through a moral lens. That’s my two cents.

        Full disclosure: I possess a hard science baccalaureate degree … and currently sport a full beard.

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    • Dainer's Hubris says:

      Seconding Summer Anne’s appreciation for “whiskercraft”. It really is the ‘mot juste’ for a topic I spend an inordinate amount of time discussing and answering questions on. Consider it added to my vocabulary. Now, to petition the OED to add it to the next edition.

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  2. Mrs. Featherbottom says:

    Due to the quality of the picture I will remain out of the argument on picture one. (there may be enough cheek hair to be considered a beard)
    However a Goatee is not a beard.
    As well a Mustache is not a beard.
    They are parts of a beard, but unto themselves a beard they are not.

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  3. Dainer's Hubris says:

    Facial hair nomenclature tends to be quite important to those of us who painstakingly groom our whiskers. Observe : http://www.dyers.org/blog/beards/beard-types/

    According to Mr. Dyer’s excellent blog, the three non-beards are more aptly described as, from left-to-right, the Van Dyke (although this is a Van Dyke on steroids), the Chin Curtain and the Copstache.

    You’ll also note than within the are-beards, one can draw distinctions. Mr. Wilson’s is, by Dyer’s list, a Short Boxed, though I feel like he has let it blossom into a Garibaldi on occasion.

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  4. Hanstock says:

    Seeing as how goatees are, by definition, not beards, I would say that this sign is 100% accurate

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    • You guys are obviously all way more into beards than I am — and I really like beards! — but this comment strikes me as funny. I’m sure from a beard connoisseur perspective, you’re right, but maybe “by definition” wasn’t the best phrase? If you look up ANY definition of “goatee” it’s described as a “small pointy beard” or something of the like. Websters, dictionary.com, wiki, oxford, cambridge — all define a “goatee” as a type of beard.

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      • Hanstock says:

        It’s a shame that so many sites are incorrect on the matter.

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      • scout1222 says:

        I’m not much of a beard enthusiast either, and I just always figured that a goatee was a member of the overall beard family, just a certain subset. I’m picturing Venn diagrams. By the way, according to Wikipedia, John Venn had one hell of a beard. I don’t know what specific subtype to call that thing, but I’m pretty sure he’d have earned himself a food voucher.

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  5. olethros says:

    Do Mimi Rogers, Nicole Kidman, and Katie Holmes count?

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  6. MSpitz says:

    I was always under the impression that a moustache was above the lip, a beard was below the lip, and a goatee surrounded the mouth, and a goatee was a type of beard. By that classification, #1 and #2 would be beards, but #3 wouldn’t.

    Either way, #2 definitely deserves to be a beard, because that is one beautiful piece of facial hair.

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  7. Nu? BillyBaroooo says:

    Being Chassidic rules.

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  8. Unkempt Neckbeard says:

    As a person who did not come into the world folically blessed enough to grow anything closely resembling the qualifying example, I resent the assumption of moral and spiritual superiority on the part of the privileged class. Perhaps the unqualifying examples are not sufficiently beardly for the unswerving taste of the creator of the graphic, as well as that of many participants in this fine establishment. However, the possibility must be considered that, even in such a circumstance, it may have been the best choice available to the individuals involved.

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  9. ElJosharino says:

    I have some qualms with the definition of goatee as a type of beard. Beard is defined as “Facial hair on the chin, cheeks and jaw.” (http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/beard), and Goatee as “A beard trimmed to grow only at the center of the chin.” (http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/goatee)

    Ah-ha! So we might say that a goatee is not necessarily a type of beard, but rather is something which once was a beard but no longer is a beard due to modifications.

    I think what we have here is a matter of irreducible complexity. Just as the cells which make up the bodies that produce the hair are made up of many parts (cell wall, mitochondria, cytoplasm, etc), without any one of these parts the cell is no longer a thing which is a cell. It no longer functions as a cell should function, and it is certainly no longer as handsome as it once was when it was whole.

    Similarly, a beard is made up of many parts: sideburns, moustache, neck… area, and so forth. Without any one of these pieces in place, the beard no longer functions as a beard should function, and certainly is not as handsome as it was when it was whole.

    So while a goatee may have its place in the grand scheme of things, that place is not comparable to that of a beard. That place is more comparable to that of a pool of cytoplasm, helplessly oozing about without a cell wall to keep it under control. And that place is certainly not one where foodstuffs are discounted.

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  10. Robert J. Baumann says:

    John Franco is actually a Hipster Emeritus.

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