Movember! The month when men are encouraged, and justifiably with their wives’ support, to grow that “upper lip topiary.” So called by a smart ass UCLA professor as a synonym for the mustache to draw awareness to men’s health in the month of November.
Lately established as a global Movember signature, the “topiary” is deemed to be fun, spark conversation with explanations that it’s high time for men’s health to be acknowledged with a symbol. Notably about the prostate, informs the renowned urologist/oncologist Dr. Stuart “Skip” Holden, whose patient is Michael Milken.
One of the evening’s hosts, Dr. Holden is a restaurant devotee who hits the road in our town to check out any new eatery the minute the doors are unlocked (a Doctor Foodie, if you will). As the associate director during the formal opening of the UCLA Institute of Urologic Oncology, he welcomed guests along with Doctors Arie Belldegrun, the director, and Mark Litwin, the department chair. All sporting the “upper lip topiary.”
“The Institute brings together physicians and scientists to develop and deliver personalized and targeted therapies for patients with prostate, kidney, bladder and testicular cancer,” announced Dr. Arie. “Through the generosity of friends and patrons, the IUO can deliver those therapies in a space that bridges art, architecture and medicine to heal each patient holistically and collaboratively.
“This is a new concept that very few centers in the country – if any! – are practicing such a truly unified medicine. Patients coming to the Institute will benefit from our concentrated team effort. To see and obtain opinions from all experts dealing with their disease in one sitting, rather than scheduling separate appointments with each specialist. Very convenient and patient-friendly.
“The Institute is challenging the traditional model of academic departments operating independently … we are bringing this multi-disciplinary team of scientists and physicians as part of one cohesive organization. Patients also benefit from the Institute’s top diagnostic tools and robotic surgery.”
Architect Michael Palladino, is the principal designer. Partnered with Richard Meier, he enthused about “how the outdoor light plays into the moods of the day within the building.”
Sherry Lansing and Billy Friedkin toured the three floors, admiring the state-of-the-art facilities, as did the visiting physicians. Along with City National’s Karen and Russell Goldsmith, Arline and Henry Gluck, Warner Bros. Brynne and Dan Fellman, Mace Neufeld and Diane Conn, Carol and Roy Doumani (he of the superstar mustache that we regret the photographer missed), Irena and Mike Medavoy, Joan and Larry Flax, Linda Janger, David Lawrence with wife Faye (David’s the son of Steve Lawrence and the late Eydie Gorme), Walter and Shirley Wang.
More about the Movember movement, which includes James Franco, Sacha Baron Cohen, Burt Reynolds, Will Ferrell. Also Brad Pitt, Bradley Cooper and Michael Cera, many professional sports franchises. Classic mustachioteers include Albert Einstein, Charlie Chaplin, Salvador Dali.
History decrees that the first “upper lip topiaries” date back to 300,000 B. C., and the first documented mustache was glimpsed on an Iranian horseman in 300 B.C.
Although one naysayer, the GQ articles editor Jon Wilde tells Alex Williams of The New York Times, “A mustache is sleazy, it’s showy, it’s louche – no way around it. It has hints of the ’70s and old porn.
“However, Brad Pitt and James Franco can pull it off. They’re insanely handsome.”