The Shaving Syndicate

December 14th, 2018

The Cutting Cartel? The Clean Shave Conglomerate?

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Rodney’s razor, midway through it’s too-short lifespan.

Launched in 1977, NASA’s Voyager 2 just left the solar system.

Opened in 1883, 150,000 vehicles cross the Brooklyn Bridge every day.

And songs from one of the earlier metal bands, Led Zeppelin, are still being played today.

So why is it that I have to replace my razor blades every dang month after using them, at most, only every couple of days?

As vain humans, we began shaving with, I don’t know, sharpened stones? Then after we learned how to shape metal, I’m guessing we dragged swords or daggers or plowshares across our faces and legs. Then civilization really took hold and we had one, then two, then three, four, five and six blades in our hands as we ever-so-frightenedly scraped them across our bodies.

I am convinced that Gillette, Schick and the rest of the lot could construct us a “cutting edge” razor that lasted for more than 20-30 shaves if they really wanted to. It’s likely a byproduct of that terrible consumerism model of Planned Obsolescence — what defines as “a method of stimulating consumer demand by designing products that wear out or become outmoded after limited use.”

A no-longer maintained website,, claimed that blades wore down more due to water corrosion than stubble. Maybe that’s why Shaving Zone is no longer in business. But then again, maybe it’s true. I feel like we’d believe anything Big Razor tells us.

They’ve been influencing us for generations. The home I grew up in — built between the wars — had a slot in the back of the medicine cabinet where you could dispose of your spent razor blades, which apparently dropped down in between the plaster and lath. My father always wondered what future folk would think when they eventually tore down our brick house, “Why did they use little metal rectangles to build this thing?”

Look, I’m sorry you have to read Rodney’s Shower Thoughts, but absolutely none of my razors have ever had to deal with even a little solar radiation, asteroids, minivans, distracted Uber drivers, or Jimmy Page and Robert Plant.

So why can’t they make a set of blades, out of durable steel, that you could build a bridge, space ship or even a heavy metal guitar with?

I’m hoping for a response from the Clean Shave Conglomerate (Shaving Syndicate?), but I wouldn’t Procter and Gamble on it.

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