Getting All Gore On Us

by Chris Bodenner
As the Dow drops, beards rally:

Facial hair is showing up on more former corporate types. It's one of those tiny luxuries unleashed by unemployment, a time when people are briefly released from workaday habits and may wish to take stock of their lives before setting out anew. ... [A stylist] says her bewhiskered clients often associate facial hair with power and rugged masculinity. "They joke with me about it -- 'I feel like a real man.'"

Or perhaps a shifty intellectual:

An alternative meaning of "beard" is someone who diverts suspicion from the guilty. To avoid sending unintended messages, stylists say, guys should think carefully about what their beards signal.

Still, professorial beards on older men can imply depth of intellect. Indeed, Ms. Anders says, fully one-third of the law school's male faculty members have facial hair. Among them, she says, "we have two goatees, a mustache and two full beards."