Happy Teacher's Day

I started this blog with open mockery ("Introduction") of anyone arrogant enough to think that their online marketing bullshit qualifies as education. Now I find myself in that special class. When I got that call from the local flea market organizer, and lamented that what I really need is to reach the kids in college and high school somehow, she suggested I draft a letter. I typed this in my new email program, which, if sent, would officially make me an online marketer.

It didn't turn out very well, in my opinion, quickly going off the rails into a long rant, but I'm providing it below for your amusement. Could it be done?


Dear School Administrator:

I am pleased to offer a singular opportunity to reconnect young people with the lost art of shaving. I have been an educational blogger for two years (classicshavingacademy.blogspot.com); a local flea marketer for three years; and an ardent student of the double-edge safety razor for four years. 
It is a topic of study drawing on areas of home economics, history, and science. My own generous education, focused on biology and psychology (B.A. & B.A., 1991, Dartmouth College), a natural interest in physics, and especially, my unfortunately delicate skin, compelled me to learn more than I ever wanted to know about shaving. I now seek to help others avoid the painful trials I have endured, especially the wasted years of electric hair pulling, cartridge dermaplaning, and abrasion by disposables -- only to find the beard even more difficult in middle age!

But the market, cowed by advertising, is quite hopeless at the microbusiness scale. I find myself in permanent possession of a small, undervalued inventory that could otherwise free an entire school full of new shavers. My blog, too, has grown isolated, even while surpassing every profit-driven website in the understanding that it offers. While the most easily recognized authorities in shaving are barbers, licensed to shave other people, I have identified principles based on sensations to which the professionals have no access, allowing the more salient DE technique to be efficiently communicated. 
To any beginner, it is painfully obvious that education is the answer. But marketing and trade schools will never reverse the cultural damage that corporations have done.

Not that I have achieved non-profit status, myself. Would it be feasible to recruit an audience of 10 to 20, to an instructional space with a writing board, for a 1-2 hour program? Participants would be invited, but not required, to purchase razors: modern, Chinese imitations of the mid-century Gillette Tech or Super Speed, for the nominal fee of $5 (tax included). Many effective razors were designed before and since, but these two are the most unbiased in terms of technique, and safe. It will be especially useful to have an empty razor in hand during the lesson.

The original antiques are typically found in usable condition (after sanitizing), and greatly preferred over my humble offerings. So razors from home would certainly be welcome! Grateful accommodation would be made for adjustables, older Gillette designs, and even SE razors; for example, the GEM Micromatic. Unfortunately, some of these are oriented to a style of shaving that modern men are likely to deem insufficiently close, and thus more subject to abuse. If properly grounded in authentic tradition (guidance from a family member, not the internet), the early safety razors effectively widen a gateway back to straight razors. Costly maintenance (honing and stropping) then shifts emphasis away from shaving technique, and beyond the scope of this presentation.

A durable, synthetic brush and various supplies will be available for purchase after the class. Soap lather is far superior to canned foam and other lubricants. But the easiest start, which also helps in avoiding issues of skin sensitivity, is a "croap" (cream/soap combination) that I will prepare in advance, and for which a recipe will be provided. Finally, the benefit of selecting from various brands of blade under personal guidance should not be underestimated.

Thank you for your consideration.

Yours truly,

Thad Launderville


  1. I wouldn't quite say "isolated." How about "avoided by the Kool-Aid drinkers".....

    I found Matt Broderick independently studying exfoliation, a sure sign of intelligence!
    I think you know this fella... another "sensitive," unlikely to steer you wrong.