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25 August, 2005

'S for charity

Yesterday, in one of his annoyingly penetrating, innocent-sounding questions, Jacob asked me if I'd shave off my beard for charity (hypothetically).  My instant and heartfelt response was 'no way'.
J. expressed (or affected) shock; he knows I don't particularly like beards*, so why wouldn't I exploit the removal of something I wouldn't miss?  I didn't have a coherent answer at the time, but here are a couple which occurred to me this morning.

Ritual shaving would be a communal event, for the amusement of work colleagues. "Ho, ho, ho, NRT's done something 'wacky' for a good cause."
**** that. I don't do society's little bonding rituals, and have no inclination to amuse near-strangers at my own expense.

There's also a quasi-religious aspect to the whole concept, which makes me uncomfortable. "If you donate to Charity X, I'll undergo a trivial analogue of martyrdom." No. Just no. I have very limited understanding of (or respect for) real, fatal, religious martyrdom, but I wouldn't participate in something which parodies it.

This is presuming it'd be for a charity I'd be inclined to support anyway, which isn't a certainty.

* I have a beard to avoid the necessity of shaving daily, i.e. I'm 'anti-shaving', not 'pro-beards'.

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