I like to follow the principle that less is more, and that what there is should be meaningful. People chaotically cope with their lives, doing everything, but doing it all half-hearted or going off half-cocked. How much better would life work if it were simplified? Meaninglessness is avoidable by having less in life to endow with meaning. Parsimony is only the first step, however. What one has left over has to be enriched.
I have become jaded by the way in which male-grooming is marketed to men; actually, it seems to be (ineffectively) marketed to women: all vanity and preening. I don’t aspire to be (or to look like) a footballer. I do not need to think that the only reason to shave is to have my visage stroked by the nearest nubile young thing. I cannot imagine wishing my deodorant to conjure the impression among women that I am made entirely from chocolate. Furthermore, all these magical effects are supposedly reached with minimal effort, a paucity of grace, and a superfluity of razor blades. As such, I am about to take an atavistic turn, for the better.
If one has to shave everyday, shouldn’t the experience be embraced rather than resented? How to make it an enjoyable enterprise? How to make it something to look forward to? I am throwing out the multi-bladed, light-weight, plastic, charge-you-a-fortune-for-the-refills appliance. It is over-blown, over-hyped and utterly joyless. With it goes the shaving gel/foam in a can, taking with it the indignity of having to rub it on with your own hand. Spare me your gadgetry, and your ‘precision trimming blades’; spare me your indicator strips and your second-blades-to-catch-the-whiskers-the-first-blade-missed nonsense; spare me your vibrating fripperies. Spare a thought instead for the styptic pencil, and time-honoured methods.
To save myself a fortune in the long run, and to re-introduce the sense of ritual into the day-to-day, I have acquired a good-quality safety razor. It is the kind that takes old-fashioned razor blades, feels weighty and substantial in the hand, and works best with a lather worked up from fragrant French shaving soap and a traditional shaving brush. I am saying goodbye to overwrought disposable technology (shaving gear, like computer technology, seems to become outmoded every six months) in favour of timeless quality and an indulgent manly experience. If you need me I’ll be in the bathroom.
Podcast #306: What a Magician Can Teach You About Being More Successful - Almost every boy goes through a magic phase at some point in his life. When I was eight, I was convinced that I was going to be the next David Copperfiel...
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