That's why I love Harper's magazine #3


Red Beard

The story of our beards is very simple. We didn't have any razor blades. When we found ourselves in the middle of the wilderness, up in the Sierra, we all just let our beards and hair grow, and that turned into a kind of badge of identity. For the campesinos, for the press, for the reporters – we were los barbudos, the bearded ones. It had its positive side: in order for a spy to infiltrate us, he had to start preparing months ahead of time. Later, with the triumph of the Revolution, we kept our beards to preserve the symbolism. The only disadvantage is that white hairs show up first in our beard. Some of the men cut their beards the minute the white hairs started to show, because you could hide your age better without a beard than with one. Besides that, a beard has a further practical advantage: you don't have to shave every day. If you multiply the fifteen minutes you spend shaving every day by the number of days in a year, you'll see that you devote almost 5,500 minutes to shaving. An eight-hour day of work consists of 480 minutes, so if you don't shave you gain about ten days you can devote to work, to reading, to sports, to whatever you like. Not to mention the money you save in razor blades, soap, aftershave, and hot water.
[from Fidel Castro: My Life, a book of interviews with the Cuban president by Ignacio Ramonet, forthcoming from SCRIBNER. Ramonet is editor in chief of Le Monde Diplomatique. Translated from the Spanish by Andrew Hurley.]
You can find Harper's every month at Bloom. For an year subscription you save 25% off from the cover price of 75 patacas. Every article is worth reading. Don't shave anymore and devote your ten days free reading this awesome magazine.


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