Sunday, December 8, 2013

Benjamin Frankenstein

This portrait of Benjamin Franklin is pretty frecking ugly. I am aware that Ben looks downright frightening. Just look at his curly-pube hair spiraling out of his lopsided head like soggy Top Ramen. It's true he looks more like Sloth from The Gooneys than the genius thinker we assume our founding father to be. Yes, this portrait of Franklin may be harsh but the ugly truth is, this is how hideous I believe Benjamin Franklin really was. I aim to prove this to you in the detailed and totally biased essay below.

Firstly, Benjamin Franklin was an EXTREME overachiever. Like if the President of ASB, was the Prom Queen and King, Captain of the Cheerleading Squad, Star Quarterback, Dance Captain, Head of Glee Club, fluent in every language, the school's token mute, principal of the school at 17 and simultaneously the head of the CIA.

Don't believe me? Here is a condensed list of Benjamin's accomplishments courtesy Google search... feel free to scan to the end if you get bored by the sheer density of this man's List of Laurels.

SCIENCE - Noted 18th Century Scientist
INVENTOR - Stove, lightning rod, bifocals and many others...
MEDICINE - Founded 1st U.S. Hospital
BANKING - Well known for maxims on thrift
AGRICULTURE - Introduced several crops to U.S.
PRINTING - Noted Colonial printer - "Patron Saint of Printing"
ELECTRICAL - Experiments and theories - Kite & Key
INSURANCE - Started 1st insurance company
HEATING - Franklin stove
COOLING - Had three methods of cooling
EDUCATOR - Involved in founding two colleges
OPTOMETRIC - Bifocal glasses
POSTAL - First postmaster
LIBRARIES - Started 1st circulating library
JOURNALISM - Wrote for several early newspapers
PUBLIC SAFETY - Started 1st police department
PUBLIC SAFETY II - Started 1st fire department
RELIGION - Introduced idea of prayer in Congress
MUSIC - Invented musical instrument - glass armonica
GOVERNMENT - Held numerous positions:
  • Clerk
  • Postmaster
  • J.P.
  • Alderman
  • Governor
  • Ambassador

MILITARY - Colonel in Militia
MASONIC - Grand Master of Pennsylvania
DIPLOMAT - Ambassador to England Minister to France
COMMUNITY SERVICE - Street lighting, paving and cleaning
UNIONS - Started Leather Apron Club
BUSINESSMAN - Owned and operated several businesses
PHILOSOPHER - Started American Philosophical Society
ABOLITIONIST - Started Society to Abolish Slavery
SALESMAN - Expert at marketing and sales
MERCHANT - Operated store as part of printshop
HUMORIST - Considered America's 1st writer of humor
TRAVELER - Traveled extensively throughout U.S.
FORECASTER - Published Poor Richards "Almanack"
FUND RAISER - Originated matching contributions idea
SAILING - Designed "sea anchors"
CARTOONIST - Drew 1st cartoon in an American newspaper
LINGUIST - Studied several languages and designed a phonetic alphabet
CARTOGRAPHER - Mapped the Gulf Stream and Routes for the post office
PHILANTHROPIST - Organized fund raising and contributed to many worthwhile causes
MENTOR - Acted as a counselor and guide to many of his contemporaries
What the bloody Post Colonial Hell??!!! This man accomplished more than the rest of America, to present day, plus the Native Americans, combined! He was considered America's first writer of humor, he designed Sea Anchors, Founded the first Public Library, thought up street lighting and pavement and invented the lightning rod??? EXCUSE ME! Now I may be trite and disrespectful but what the hell is he overcompensating for? Were four genius contributions and accomplishments not enough? He had to manifest enough for the entire human race ten times over? Now I personally know some fatty's with a great wit and some small dicked men who make great husbands but NEVER someone who has managed to defy the laws of science, art and humanity COMBINED in order to prove he is a worthwhile contribution to the human race.
Thus, there can be only one driving force behind Ben Franklin's extreme success. No not genius, his genius is only an effect of this cause...every physical feature on him must have been down right vomit inducing and instinctively revolting. In effect, his ugliness drove him to develop an ultra-enhanced interior. Like a 1981 Honda Accord with custom Loui Vuitton seating.
After all he did contribute to The Revolution...the question is revolting against what? His own huge thunder thighs, coupled with man titties, a teeny but hairy wrinkly weeny? A lopsided head, with thinning hair that was already hideously unattractive in texture? Large droopy eyes that where probably yellowing and crusted with mucas? Horibbley mutated nipples that looked more like molded over, unevenly cut hacks of salami? Poo smelling arm pits and horse shit reeking breath? Fish wire nostril hairs and a lopsided ass?
I'm just saying, I can't imagine Megan Fox inventing the bi-focals while publishing an Almanac anytime soon.
Point two, Benjamin Franklin was also a compulsive eater. Picture a hoarder but instead of collecting Gone with the Wind commemorative plates he collected loaves of bread in his stomach. Its true, apparently when his wife to be, Deborah Read, first met him he was stuffing three loaves of french bread in his pie-hole. History says, she actually stopped and laughed out loud at him, giggling over the this Fatty Bo Daddy's need to feed. What kind of horrifying love at first sight story is that? He might as well have been taking a sponge bath in a vat of ranch dressing.
Lastly, I would like to state to any Debby Doubters, that the only images we have of Benjamin Franklin are commissioned portraits. In the days before airbrushing, digital enhancements and romantic lighting we had glamor painters. Thus we have NO reliable evidence as to what he really looked like. Yet sadly, it would be a stretch to call the commissioned portraits themselves attractive. Even in them he looks like a fat, republican version of Dee Synder from Twisted Sister. Its almost impossible but I bet Mr. Franklin would even be horribly hideous in a glamour shot from JC Pennys, you know the ones that pretty Latina girls in gangs get to put on the front of their ESL binders.
I believe this painting I did to be American Justice. I am giving a face to the previously defaced. I am bringing reality to light like a Law and Order:SVU investigator. I do this not to be mean but to give the nation hope. America, it doesn't matter if you have a unibrow furrier than the Chesire cat. If you have concave breasts, you can still achieve truly great things. Just because you have a third arm doesn't mean you can't achieve national glory beyond your wildest imaginings. Ben had every disfigurement in the book and a fat upper pelvic area. Benjamin Franklin's advice to a young man: Looks mean nothing, an inexhaustible list of varied personal accomplishments means everything.
Whatever. Benamin Franklin? More like Benjamin Frankenstein.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Philosophy Hour: We Preserve What We're Afraid Life Will Destroy

He thinks because he can.
Everything blooming will one day decay. This is a wonderful idea - in that it is true. I think about it often..whilst I leer at and admire my perpetually aging face. People should use the word whilst more. It sounds like wilt but the 'st' sound of it makes it menacing, like a hissing snake.

You know what else sounds like a hissing snake? Age.

I am a month into being twenty-seven and this is the first year that I am having a hard time grappling with how old I am. People ask my age and I instinctually sputter-out "twenty-two. err no, wait twenty-five. Holy shit I'm twenty-six, twenty-seven, AGH!! I'm twenty-seven years old!!!"

Some may find my loss of numerical memories endearing, but I find it terrifying. My grandfather was once a strapping young intelligence officer in the Navy who studied mathematics and mechanical engineering at MIT whilst throwing back brandy and nasty one-liners with the best of them. He became an old man riddled with dementia. He died of a blot clot months after giving up his most intimate and cherished companions: his wit and alcohol.

A happy fool believes they are invincible and immortal.

A seasoned soul treads silently and lightly anticipating his inevitable extinction.

Who is better at life?

Well the answer is of course both. We must be equal parts gregarious fool, eager to cast-off the 'mind-forged-manacles' that threaten to impede our liberties and wonderful whims of expression, and a seasoned sage who knows the essence of life: that the unknowable truth must be conserved within us through patience, diligence and humility.

Sure the sage part sounds like a boring time. But I once went to this Hollywood mansion party (okay many) where celebrities were shoving copious amounts of cocaine up their privileged nostrils as their underaged escorts vomited into each other's stilettos...

 and I thought, "Vapidness is the true face of despair."

The almost-all forgotten group The Cookies once penned the lyrics for the famously covered and all too telling song "On Broadway" (The Drifters, Neil Young, George Benson)...

"They say the neon lights are bright on Broadway
They say there is magic in the air
But when you're walking down the street
And you aint had enough to eat
The glitter rubs right off
And you're no where
...On broadway"

Instinctually, we preserve what we're afraid life will destroy. We make marriage contracts to shelter our love from the storms of our own selfish whims that threaten to destroy selfless commitment. We cover our couches in plastic to keep them fresh for decades.

Okay we don't but grandmothers in South Florida do.

Speaking of grandmothers, my grandmother just had hernia surgery and I have to end this post so that I can fetch her favorite blouses and accessories from her room before she takes visitors. She is 89 years old and she firmly believes that vanity preserves beauty. By any means necessary she will look her best. Those means are usually me doing her bidding for her because I am too much of a spineless hack to look my sweet old grandmother in the face and say "I have better things to do than run to CVS for the fifth time this week. I won't have my youth for long and you having me do errands for you is robbing me of precious seconds that I one day will lament for not selfishly relishing."

I don't say that because I am afraid such blatant arrogance will destroy the sweet goodness that I have protected in my soul all these years. I may intellectually think it would be fantastic to be a hot-bodied celebrity cackling on a mountain of minks, money and exotic monkeys. But the truth is my constant companion all these years has been that faceless forgiveness, that gentle reverence that unlike me does not age.

The fountain of youth is seated in all our hearts. Let it flourish through your laughter.

And make sure the mortician paints you up like a Cowboy's cheerleader on your funeral day.

The great equalizer of age: morticians.