I brought this up last week with one of the local know-it-alls who provided this explnataion:
"Jewish men feel guilty about taking a vacation. The time away from Torah gnaws at them. They know they don't belong at the beach or the park with half-dressed women so they subconciously make up for it by growing their beards."Uh... can we say crazy? Besides the idea that Jews should be wearing beards is ahistorical jibberish. Many Italian rabbis didn't wear beards, including the sainted Ramchal. And if paintings are to be believed some Spanish and Portugese rabbis before the expulsion didn't wear a beard either.
This wasn't controversial.
[Thanks to someone for the three sentences he provided which appear above.]