Razor wars are not progess

By Kevin Wilson

I have a problem with technology. Or maybe it has a problem with me.

I sometimes marvel at just how far we’ve progressed.

You could look at the video games we play now, with voice actors and story arcs that are far reaches from Pac-Man and Pong.

You could look at our movies, with digital sounds and effects that make computer-generated characters look like their human counterparts.

You could look at the television sets we play video games and watch movies on, and view them with pictures so clear it feels like you’re looking through a living room window.

You could look at our wireless communication. When I was in high school, nobody had a cellular phone. Now, as my 10-year reunion is nearing, I’m guessing 75 percent of this year’s senior class at my alma mater has one.

I should be happy about all of this, but I’m not. I’m disappointed because our great technology has not moved on to one of the most basic things a male can do — shaving.

I read a cosmetic magazine article theorizing that cavemen removed facial hair by using two shells to pluck out hairs one at a time. Historians guess that around 3000 B.C., humans developed copper razors.

For most of my life, men and women have survived by disposable razors, which later gave way to disposable razor cartridges. The cartridges have varied with features such as rubber comfort strips and lubrication strips, which usually succeed in lubricating your face after the razor has passed.

Both Gillette and Schick have battery-operated razors, which send electric pulses to your face to make the hair rise. Schick’s Quattro has four blades, while Gillette’s Fusion has five blades and a trimming blade on the back.

People say this is progress? Please.

To review, 5,000 years have gone by, and the most popular way to remove facial hair is to scrape a sharp piece of metal across your face? I think technology has let me and everybody else down. We should be finding ways to reduce the amount of razors, not pile them up like Gillette and Schick are in some kind of cold war.

Whatever is a man to do? You can go electric like I did this past month, but heed the warnings. Pretty much every electric shaving system stresses that you must let your face have three weeks to acclimate to the system before maximum hair removal is restored. I’m two weeks through that process, and I’m beginning to think the “three weeks” rule is just a brilliant way for companies to give men just enough time to lose the paperwork necessary to request a refund. (He’s angry and he can’t get rid of his 5 o’clock shadow. You think a man in that emotional state will remember where he put the receipt and original packaging?)

I’ve got one week to go on this process. Maybe I’ll be a better man for staying on the sidelines of the razor war, or maybe I’m a fool for thinking an electric device can possibly make me a more attractive, smoother-faced gentleman.

In either case, I’m pretty sure I’ll find a way to lose the receipt and original packaging by the end of next week.

Kevin Wilson is the interim managing editor of the Quay County Sun. He can be reached at 461-1952 or by e-mail: