Traditional wet shaving using a brush, some shaving soap or cream, and a double edge safety razor or a straight razor is making a comeback. Traditional wet shavers claim that the shaving goo from an aerosol can dries out your skin, and the multi-blade cartridge razors, aside from costing the sky, pull and drag and shave below the surface, causing razor bumps and ingrown whiskers.
When I say that traditional wet shaving is making a comeback, I really mean that I have taken it up. But I do have lots of company. There are several traditional wet shaving discussion groups on the internet. So far, I have been banned from two of them, I think for life. I was also banned for life from an online leather furniture discussion group, but that’s another story.
Traditional wet shaving groups have forums on things like double edge blades, soaps and creams, boar hair vs. badger hair brushes, and shaving techniques. I was banned from the first traditional wet shaving discussion group for supposedly getting insulting about politics. I made some mildly derogatory remark about Ronald Reagan (someone else had brought him up), and another wet shaving aficionado practically accused me of spitting on his grave. I asked him if his lips got sore when he read too much. Bingo. I was banned.
I joined another group and was doing fine. But one member of the group ended all his posts with a quote from the New Testament. I found these quotes very annoying and pointed out that this Bible thumping had nothing to do with shaving, but the moderator declined to do anything about it. So I started ending my posts with the following quote:
“The Christian god can easily be pictured as virtually the same god as the many ancient gods of past civilizations. The Christian god is a three headed monster; cruel, vengeful and capricious. If one wishes to know more of this raging, three headed beast-like god, one only needs to look at the caliber of people who say they serve him. They are always of two classes: fools and hypocrites.”—Thomas Jefferson.
I thought quoting a founding father—the group was mostly American—would make it okay. But I was immediately banned. So I’ve joined a third group.
Many traditional wet shavers tend to go overboard when it comes to buying shaving gear. They even talk about RAD: Razor Acquisition Disorder or SBAD: Shaving Brush Acquisition Disorder. Some traditional wet shavers have dozens of razors and shaving brushes that they rotate. A silvertip shaving bush can cost upwards of $200.
I’m a minimalist, mostly for economic reasons. On my current group I suggested that the acquisition of dozens of bushes and razors amounted to an almost pathological consumerism, but I concluded that it was certainly better than collecting assault rifles.
Immediately another poster replied that he loved both his shaving gear and his assault rifles and that this forum was no place to get political.
I replied “Did I say something political?”
The moderator said “Yes!” and closed the discussion but stopped short of banning me.
I’m not sure what was considered political. Was it the remark about pathological consumerism or the suggestion that collecting shaving brushes and razors is better than collecting assault rifles? It was probably the latter.