Articles

Roy Keane shaves Russell Brand in Scariest Halloween Beard poll

In Uncategorized on October 30, 2014 by kmflett

Beard Liberation Front

PRESS RELEASE 30th October

Contact Keith Flett     07803 167266

ROY KEANE SHAVES RUSSELL BRAND IN SCARIEST HALLOWEEN BEARD POLL

The Beard Liberation Front, the informal network of beard wearers, which campaigns against irrational prejudice against the hirsute, has announced that Aston Villa Assistant Manager Roy Keane has shaved Russell Brand in a poll to find the Scariest Halloween Beard.

Several hundred BLF supporters voted in the on-line poll with Keane getting 35% of the vote compared to Russell Brand’s 20%. Richard Branson, a former winner, registered 15% with Bono on 10%

The title, awarded each year on October 31st, takes a wry look at Halloween festivities by identifying the scariest beard in the public eye. The winner often triumphs by the narrowest crack of a squeaky floorboard.

The BLF does not generally believe that beards are scary but accepts that on a dark moonless night as a beard looms through the gloom, nerves may rise a little as to what lies behind the beard.

BLF Organiser Keith Flett said Roy Keane has recently shaved off his beard but clearly the memory of it lives on in the mind. Many would say that it was magnificent rather than scary but the context is all important here.

The BLF announces the Shortlist for Beard of the Year 2014 on 28th November

 

Articles

Halloween and the World Turned Upside Down

In Uncategorized on October 29, 2014 by kmflett

Halloween and the World Turned Upside Down

As you can hardly have missed 31st October is the commercial festival of Halloween, more traditionally known as All Hallows. It is also Celtic New Year. The following two days are All Saints Day and then All Souls Day- the Day of the Dead which was a major festival of the Catholic Church in the West.

These festivals mark the changing of the season from summer to winter but there is a lot more to it than the piles of commercial Halloween tat and oversize pumpkins you can find in supermarkets.

Traditionally (see Steve Roth, Hamlet the Undiscovered Country) 31st October was the time when disruptive spirits roamed. That is reflected in Shakespeare’s Hamlet. The ghost appears on All Hallows Eve.

But 31st October was also a time of the carnivalesque, of festivities and the appointment of Lords of Misrule. In some parts of the UK November 4th is still marked as ‘mischief day’.

The Lords of Misrule would reign until at least Twelfth Night on January 5th and often until Lent.

They were not always as disruptive as they might sound. They were often a way of providing a safety valve in society to mock authority and important figures without actually in anyway challenging them. So the reversal of roles, masks and rebellion were often play acting.

That wasn’t always true though. Sometimes the Lords of Misrule genuinely did represent an element of the World Turned Upside Down or at least the potential for it. Winter parades through the streets could lead to confrontations with authority.

I was born on 31st October 1956 but it would be reasonable to say that the event that shaped my outlook on life was not the above but the fact that it was the date Russian tanks rolled into Budapest to crush the Hungarian Revolution.

Turning the World Upside Down does not come out of the barrel of a T54 tank at Halloween or at any other time.

Articles

Campaigners say a beard is not about fashion or trends but a personal choice

In Uncategorized on October 28, 2014 by kmflett

Beard Liberation Front
Press Release 28th October Contact Keith Flett 07803 167266
Campaigners say a beard is not about fashion or trends but a personal choice

The Beard Liberation Front, the informal network of beard wearers, says that with the hair topiary of the World Beard and Moustache Championships in the US last weekend and Movember about to sprout, talk of wearing facial hair because it is trendy or fashionable or makes a statement misses the point.

The campaigners say that people may well grow facial hair for reasons of fashion or to make some form of statement but the big issue remains whether they have the personal choice to do so.

Facial hair and beards in particular remains a rarity in the UK’s Board Rooms and it is still absent altogether from BBC News readers after Jeremy Paxman’s brief 2013 beard experiment ended in the barber’s chair.

The BLF says that too many employers frown on or discourage beards and it is more than time that the right to wear a beard was protected by law as it is in many US States

BLF Organiser Keith Flett said to read some media coverage you’d imagine that anyone who can has already grown a beard. The reality is that numbers who would like to sport facial hair do not because of social or institutional pressure not to do so.

The Beard Liberation Front announces the the Scariest Beard of Halloween on 31st October

Articles

The Flesh has gone but the follicles live on: Beard of the Dead, 2nd November

In Uncategorized on October 28, 2014 by kmflett

Beard Liberation Front
Contact keith flett 07803 167266
_____________________________________________________
THE FLESH HAS GONE BUT THE FOLLICLES LIVE ON: BEARD OF THE DEAD
The Beard Liberation Front, the informal network of beard wearers, has said that plans are going ahead for a competition for the ‘Beard of the Dead’ at the Tottenham Ploughman’s Day of the Dead event to be held at Downhills Community Café in Tottenham on Sunday November 2nd.

The hirsute campaigners say while the flesh may be weak, the beard often has an afterlife along with the skull and zombies with beards appear to be plentiful.

However on November 2nd the competition will focus officially on those who are still with us or at least claim to be and will examine the connection between the beard and the head and how dialectically in balance the two are.

People with long faces may find that a beard softens their features. People with shorter faces such as Antony Worrall Thompson or Noel Edmonds might take the hint that a beard doesn’t help.

BLF Organiser Keith Flett said Beard of the Dead will look at how the hair lives on even when the flesh is weak. We’re not looking for scary or creepy beards but those with a robustness to live on even when the wearer has departed….

Articles

The Ambridge Socialist: Archers Clique- a split beckons

In Uncategorized on October 26, 2014 by kmflett

The Ambridge Socialist
26th October CONTACT KEITH FLETT 07803 167266
The real Borsetshire Echo: 60 years of class struggle in Ambridge

Archers Clique: Split beckons
A split in the ruling Archers Clique in Ambridge looks ever more likely, a key question being whether it is likely to end in a shooting war or not.

David and Rooth continue to consider selling Brookfield and moving to Northumberland to be with Rooth’s mother. Indeed if the BBC’s reports are accurate there is currently an attempt to speed up the process, even though no decision has been made on the sale of the existing farm.

A key issue in this is the ownership of the farm. The BBC has now weighed in with its, unsubstantiated, view.

In 2000 when the future ownership of Brookfield was reviewed by the late Phil Archer, a trust was set up which included David and Rooth, Kenton, Shula and Elizabeth. It might be assumed that each had an equal share in the trust. However the BBC are now claiming that this was not something that was ever in the public domain and that is unlikely that the ownership structure was constructed on an equitable basis. Legal action surely beckons.

Why doesn’t The Bull open until midnight at weekends?
Jazzer has been for a slash on Radio4 but the big issue is why The Bull doesn’t open until at least midnight on Fridays and Saturdays. By 11pm Jazzer, Ed, Roy, David and Brian were all far from sober. A number of unfortunate events could have been avoided if they had been allowed to continue drinking thereby rendering them insensible as opposed to just lacking in any kind of sense.

John Barleycorn performed live
Following the dispute between Bert Fry and Joe Grundy at the recent Harvest Supper as to which version of John Barleycorn was really traditional [the Ambridge Socialist opted for Traffic’s version from 1970] the song will be performed live on London’s Bankside on Sunday October 26th.

It is part of the October Plenty festival:

http://www.thelionspart.co.uk/octoberplenty/

Ambridge Socialist Editor Keith Flett said, as we have seen this week the issue of drinking, whether beer or cider, is central to the Archers so the question of which is the truly correct version of John Barleycorn is important. The October 26th festival offers another way to review this important matter

In Other News
Brian has told Roy to keep his chin up. Sound advice
Carol has had a tour of the Cider Barn

Articles

Beards & Books: Thomas S Gowing, The Philosophy of Beards, British Library 2014 (1854)

In Uncategorized on October 26, 2014 by kmflett

Beards and Books: Thomas S Gowing, The Philosophy of Beards, British Library 2014 (1854)

Beards are, at least in some areas and amongst certain types of people, in fashion.

We live in a market capitalist system so when a trend is identified before long things start to appear which can exploit it in various ways.

You might argue that this is a bad thing as such but when it comes to beards it is actually mostly harmless since a beard can happily exist without the need to spend any money on it all, unless you want to.

Probably the most obvious beard products are those that relate to the grooming of the beard- beard oils and so on. Personally I prefer the occasional dipping of the beard in a glass of imperial stout which achieves much the same impact but at rather lower cost.

However, perhaps particularly with Xmas in mind, a number of books relating to beards have appeared.

The Philosophy of Beards by Thomas S Gowing was first published in 1854 and now together with some illustrations of beards from a 1922 volume has been brought out again by the British Library’s Publishing arm.

Politically correct it is not, although it may not have caused that much comment in 1850 on that basis.

It can be read as quirky social history, of its time, particularly in relation to its views of women.

However while little appears to be known about Gowing it would seem that he may well also have been the author of an 1838 volume on schools. Certainly a perusal of that book suggests a certain similarity of style with this volume.

The point is that Gowing appears to have been a reasonably serious chap rather than a satirist or humourist and that means that a fair bit of his commentary about beards remain broadly true today and can be read as a useful guide to at least some matters hirsute.

Gowing takes a number of angles on the beard from physiology to the Church and a quick summary of the beard in history.

Gowing correctly argues that different beard styles suit different faces- long or short- and underlines that the idea that shaving goes hand in hand with civilization is false. The Greek philosophers did not shave when it became the fashion in Ancient Greece.

Indeed Gowing gives credence to the politics of beard liberation when he argues that ‘with every attempt at freedom on the Continent [Europe] the beard re-appears (p75).

He finishes the book by dealing with common objections to the beard, some of which remain with us too. Beards are not dirty in the main, but regularly washed, and even if it takes as long to maintain a beard as to shave Gowing suggests that the practice of shaving exposes people to disease. Who can doubt it?

The book is to modern tastes perhaps somewhat eccentric and indeed Anglocentric but it is a good deal more than just a period piece. Gowing writes much good sense about facial hair, even if not all of his views and advice have stood the test of time.

Articles

Russell Brand & Roy Keane head Scary Beard of Halloween Shortlist

In Uncategorized on October 25, 2014 by kmflett

 

Beard Liberation Front

PRESS RELEASE 25th  October

contact Keith Flett      07803 167266

RUSSELL BRAND & ROY KEANE HEAD SCARY BEARD OF HALLOWEEN SHORTLIST

The Beard Liberation Front, the informal network of beard wearers, which campaigns against irrational prejudice against the hirsute, has announced the shortlist for the Beard of Halloween 2014 title. Russell Brand who has just published a new book, ‘Revolution’ leads the list along with Aston Villa Manager Roy Keane who has recently shaved his beard off after a pogonophobic campaign against it.

The title, awarded each year on October 31st, takes a wry look at Halloween festivities by identifying the scariest beard in the public eye. The winner is likely to win by the narrowest crack of a squeaky floorboard.

The BLF does not generally believe that beards are scary but accepts that on a dark moonless night as a beard looms through the gloom, nerves may rise a little as to what lies behind the beard.

BLF Organiser Keith Flett said Of course we accept that in the cold light of day most of the beards on the shortlist are not scary. But on a dark night at the end of October things can seem very different

We are asking people to vote for the Scariest Beard and to add their own ideas if they are not on the list

HALLOWEEN BEARD 2014 SHORTLIST

Bono, Musician

Russell Brand, Author and activist

Richard Branson, Entrepreneur

Steve Crowther, UKIP Chair

Roy Keane, Football Manager

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