A reader writes:

I confess I haven't really been able to wrap my head around the whole beard theme that has been going around the Dish over the past few years. But this winter, through laziness and curiosity, I let my own ruddy Jewish Viking beard grow for about three 2011-02-27 10.21.42 months and have become quite attached to it. In alternating turns, I look like a crazy person, a Hassid, an indigent, and a terrorist, but my dress makes me look more like a hipster tough, so I defy easy categorization or prejudice as I walk the streets of New York.

I need to do some video work over the next few weeks and can't use this look as my appearance for posterity. When I did the unlit screen test, it literally looked like an Al Qaeda video with the heavy undercarriage of my beard magnified by a camera-low framing. But I am dreading having to shave. Over the past week I have had two random guys stop me on the street to complement me on the beard. Don't really know what to say, but I will not feel like the same powerful person without this wild tangle on my face. Considering just holding on, posterity be damned ... or maybe just canceling the shoot.

I guess it's now that I'm starting to understand the mesmerizing power of extreme facial hair that has seized your attention lo these many months. My 5 o'clock scruff and 2-week wonders only hinted at the mysteries to come from a full, thick, orange muff attached to my face. I don't know that I'll ever be able to let it go.

So whatever beard cult is coalescing around the Dish community, count me in. I don't understand it, and I don't even want to. I just want this thing to stay on my face until my skin rots away and it sits like a tuft upon my mandible for all the worms to admire for ever and ever.

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