Like the insidious vine marking doom in Scott Smith's novel The Ruins, the Mission district has become overgrown with a similarly invasive species -- the beard. What began among the freak folk kids as a harmless experiment has, in the past year, become an undiscriminating plague of seconday sex characteristics attacking every strain of the area's formerly fresh faced hipster boys.
A mid-length growth clings to the jaws of bike messengers, scraping against and weakening the straps of Timbuk2 bags citywide. DJs, once renowned for elite Euro-grooming, are now sprouting artful seven day scribbles. In addition to the folk community, the metal populace has been hit the worst -- coarse, grey-flecked growths have been reported reaching nearly chest-level proportions in some cases.
These are hairy times, friends, when even Justin Timberlake has gone beyond the fuzz and into the bush.
Could it be that the beard is the hipster death knell? In the way that hippie gave way to punk, is the beard a shaggy indicator that something is dying, that a cycle is nearing completion? Is Devendra Banhart both our Patient Zero and our Father Time?
Perhaps we must take the beard as a warning that the time has come to accept the twilight descending around us and make way for something bright and fresh waiting to be born on the horizon. Better we accept it now before it's too late.
To the clean-shaven future!