It's that time of year again, when the thermometer drops below 40, and suddenly the streets fill not just with dry leaves and black ice but urban guys suddenly ransformed into lumberjacks. The beards grow, the sweaters come out, and seemingly overnight, the cities are crammed with scrawny Hemingways. You know what I'm talking about: the Metrognome.Metrognomes are something more than hipsters with beards, it's a sign that beards have arrived as a part of the mainstream pop culture. Beards have been a part of hipsterality for several years, a staple of lower east side neighborhoods (and other hipster enclaves) whether a product of orthodox imitation, erstwhile inspiration or shear laziness, the origins of this trend are muddled. Suffice it to say with not a little bit of obviousness that beards are nothing new from Xerxes to Marcus Aurelius to Augustine to Abraham Lincoln to Sean Connery and beyond, it goes without saying that the beard is nothing new. But throughout it all the beard has come to represent many things but nothing as basic and persistent as manliness.
The metrognome comes in several forms. There is the archetypal Pacific northwestern/Western metrognome, of course, attired in flannels and beard year-round. The metrognome was originally identified, in fact, in San Francisco. The southern metrognome has been known to evoke the Civil War. Then there is the seasonal metrognome, who comes out only when the weather grows cold. This varietal wears a beard, yes, but his clothing also becomes considerably more rugged than is his wont, or than is necessary in an urban environment. The metrognome is not to be confused with the Bear, who is characterized by a certain natural burly hirsuteness. The metrognome transformation, by contrast, is completely inorganic and owes nothing to actual appearance. As "metro" implies, there is an element of deliberate grooming and styling involved.
Like many trends in the hipsterality it took Hollywood to bring it to the surface and mainstream it, and Jezebel says as much attributing the moment to Hollywood's strike last winter. And one act of "rebellion" led to a 100,000+ more as men attempted to throw off the yoke of corporate banality and regain a sense of independence and non-neutered masculinity - though the efforts shimmer with irony as most men involved will attend to grooming these beards, and then you can't get passed the name itself, Metrognome.
In the interest of full disclosure, I suppose one could consider Mattheus Mei a metrognome, that or one dandified hipster. And as Jezebel closed so I say to you. He's coming to a microbrewery near you, and the time is nigh. As in tomorrow at 6pm, Hunter Gatherer. Sphere: Related Content