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Beardism, n. Pure pseudo-psychic automatism, by which one proposes to express, either verbally, in writing, or by any other manner, how history functions based on an (imagined) alternate past and the progression of industry. Dictation of thought in the absence of all control exercised by reason based on actuality (other than imagined actuality), outside of all aesthetic and moral preoccupation with the one proviso that the practitioner wear a beard.
William Morris (1834-1896) is often unreliably refered to as the "father of Beardism", marrying, as he did, socialism with poetry, fiction and design. In Europe, Alphonse Mucha (1860-1939) is often gifted with the title, though his art had very little to do with the philosophy that underlines Beardism. It is most likely simply the fact that he was bearded that led to this belief in certain circles, as Mucha never referenced it in any of his work, and, much like Morris before him, neither did he coin the term. Beardism as a cultural movement began in the early 1960s and is best known for the visual artworks and writings of its founding group members, Gerard Pointon (1921-1978), Richard Everret-Hyde (1939-1973) and Gladys Wilkinson (1905-2002). Notable amongst those who later joined the movement are the American artist, beat poet and writer of pseudo-hardboiled fiction Jon Pitore (1915-1989), Michael ‘Macky’ McKenzie (1927-1992) and the French-Italian artist and poet Sal LaRochelle (1931-1979).
The most celebrated Beardists works feature elements of surprise, unexpected juxtapositions and non sequiturs, and often references to the industrial British midlands, combined with the prerequisite facial furnishings. Many Beardist artists and writers primarily regard their work as an expression of the industrial/philosophical (industriosophical) movement, with the works being artifacts born out of an "imagined" alternate past. Pointon, of all of them, was most explicit in his assertion that Beardism was above all a counter-revolutionary movement, not just a form of expression, and this is reflected in the austerity of his artwork. Often compared to Dadaism, and later Surrealism, Beardism is distinct in the strict assertion that its practitioners wear, as was stated by Gladys Wilkinson, “the noble beard - that timeless muse-face of Pythagoras and Socrates - that gifts us Samsonite fortitude, and the wisdom of Moses” in her famous essay on Beardism "The Cloak That Masks Is No Cloak At All". Gladys remains the only beardist (and bearded) woman of the movement, and her strict belief in and adherence to the controversial beard rule was also the movement’s major stumbling block when it came under attack from feminists in the same decade it was birthed.
Formed in Stony Middleton, Derbyshire, from the 1960s on it spread around the globe, eventually being embraced by the visual arts, literature, film, and music, as well as political thought and practice, philosophy and social theory.

by Mamtor July 11, 2008
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An academic cult for those who love Mary Beard
John Smith loves reading up on the Classics and is a frequent reader of Mary Beard. He hopes one day to see Beardism introduced in the national curriculum.
by Beardist October 04, 2014
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