In honor of Presidents’ Day I took a trip to the Black Hills of South Dakota for an interview with Mount Rushmore Presidents Washington, Jefferson, Roosevelt and Lincoln for a feature I’m calling “Inaugural SPaM.” While I hoped to get a glimpse into four of the greatest minds of history, what I actually got was…well, I’ll let you read for yourself.
H.E.: WHAT DO YOU THINK IS THE MOST SIGNIFICANT CHANGE IN POLITICS SINCE THE FOUNDATION OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA?
WASHINGTON: “Well I’d have to say that the principles of–”
JEFFERSON: “Why do you always have to answer first? Maybe one of us wants to say something insightful for a change.”
LINCOLN: “Now, now Thomas. George was merely stating–”
JEFFERSON: “Stuff it, Beardy. No one cares what you think.”
ROOSEVELT: “Whoa, hold your horses there, Jeffy.”
JEFFERSON: “I told you not to call me Jeffy!”
ROOSEVELT: “Alright, alright now just settle down. Go on and let Washington here answer and then you can speak your mind, Jeff-uh…son.”
WASHINGTON: “No, no. I’d like to hear what he has to say. Please Thomas, continue. Enlighten us with your timely opinion.”
JEFFERSON: “Oh you’d like that, wouldn’t you? I bet you’d just loooove for me to say something so you can take all the credit. You thought I didn’t hear what you said to Franklin in the library, did you? Need someone to draft the Declaration of Independence? Sure, give it to Jefferson. He’ll write anything. I’ve yet to see a royalty check on that by the way.”
WASHINGTON: “We’ve been over this. We thought you understood that it was for the greater good.”
JEFFERSON: “The greater good of what?”
LINCOLN: “The good of the country, Thomas.”
JEFFERSON: “Easy for you to say. You and Baldy here get your birthdays’ remembered. What do Teddy and I get? Bupkiss, that’s what.”
WASHINGTON: “Not THAT again.”
ROOSEVELT: “Now, now; he’s got a point, George.”
JEFFERSON: “Damn straight I’ve got a point. Look at that crowd of people down there. They’re here because it’s Presidents’ Day. PRES-I-DENTS’ DAY. MY birthday is in April. Where’s the greater good in that?”
LINCOLN: “When to celebrate Presidents’ Day was not a decision made by George or I. We can hardly be held accountable for-”
JEFFERSON: “Figures you’d side with Washington. I think you secretly love him.”
WASHINGTON: “Now you’re being ridiculous.”
JEFFERSON: “Oh yeah? Then why does he stare at you all the time?”
LINCOLN: “I don’t know what you’re taking about.”
WASHINGTON: “I think you’ve gone off topic, here.”
JEFFERSON: Here’s a topic for you, George old boy. Of the four of us which one participated in the framing of the Constitution? Huh? What’s that? Oh right, it was ME. I find it highly ironic that I helped draft laws affording freedoms to include celebrating holidays and yet no one recognizes my birthday.”
WASHINGTON: “What the hell’s your problem, Jefferson? You don’t hear Roosevelt complaining.”
ROOSEVELT: “Well now, like I said before, ole Jeff here’s got a point. I’d like to see all our days honored, quite frankly. I know I wouldn’t mind seeing a few female citizens admiring us from below in tank tops come April. Am I right, Abe?”
JEFFERSON: “What are you asking HIM for?”
LINCOLN: “What’s THAT supposed to mean?”
JEFFERSON: “Oh I think you know what that means.”
LINCOLN: “I’ll have you know that I was married for–”
JEFFERSON: “Doesn’t matter. I’ve seen your wife.”
JEFFERSON: “And can you say HAG?”
H.E.: ALRIGHT! ALRIGHT! THAT’S ENOUGH! I’LL SKIP TO MY LAST QUESTION WHICH IS THIS: WHAT DO EACH OF YOU THINK OF THE IDEA OF PRESIDENT OBAMA BEING ADDED TO YOUR SCULPTURE?
IN UNISON: “No comment.”
My son Junior considers himself a burgeoning Political Science expert (read: Insufferable teenage know-it-all), so when I came across this brand new Editorial Policy on the contact page of the Krill Press website I immediately asked him for his opinion:
My take on this policy is that it borders on, if not downright defies, the First Amendment right to free speech. Junior, however, disagrees.
He states that as long as Krill Press is a for-profit enterprise that doesn’t receive monies from the government they can choose to publish or not publish anything or anyone they want to, and that the First Amendment protects their ability to do so. I didn’t see how that was plausible, so he took the time to look up and then cite the following:
The First Amendment does NOT protect the right to make or distribute obscene material. – Roth v. United States, 354 U.S. 476 (1957).
Junior believes this is the piece of our Constitution that justifies Krill Press’ editorial policy. He states that if Krill Press believes liberal content to be obscene, then they have the right to deny its publication.
He and I went round for round with this one, and in the end we agreed to disagree. His last statement to me was, “Just because you don’t like it, doesn’t make it wrong. There are some things that can’t be done and some things that shouldn’t.” Nothing like having your own words hurled back at you by your fifteen year-old kid.
At the end of it all I suppose I see his point, but there is something very distasteful in what I am reading above and I can’t put my finger on it. If anyone out there has any ideas, I’d love to hear them.
For the whole sordid story visit Krill Press. By the way, the misspelled words above were taken from the site exactly as is. I left them to prove a point.