Thursday, October 30, 2008

...So where were we? AH! The South was just about to throw a wobbler and it's all fixin' to get really ugly.

President #13 Millard Fillmore

There's no telling what amount of ass-kickery Zachary Taylor would've gotten up to, even if he was a little back-and-forth on the whole slavery question. Since Fillmore was veep, he wasn't elected, but I thought he deserved an obligatory toothpick shot like all the rest. If things were bad for Taylor, they were a hot mess for Fillmore. Tried to straddle the fence with the new territory, letting some be free- and some slave- states, thus pleasing no-one. His urges to the factions to compromise only served to further inflame passions. When the Library of Congress burned in 1851, Fillmore joined the bucket brigade and carried water. Try not to hold against him that my rendering looks like the love child of Donald Trump and Marlon Brando.

President #14 Franklin Pierce

Nicknamed Handsome Frank, Pierce looked good with or without a toothpick. A lawyer, Pierce was warm, outgoing and liked people, and never wanted to be a politician. However, Pierce was unanimously nominated by the Democrats as their presidential candidate. Tragically, his one surviving son was killed in a railroad accident just before he took office, and this plunged the alcoholic Franklin to a permanently in-his-cups state. He was well-meaning and honest, but also considered a weak president. I think this is the saddest thing about this project - seeing these little slices of life that humanize the men who have served in this office. It's easy to imagine that the rigors of the task of the presidency were made more odious by the fresh wound of the loss of a son. Franklin did not support slavery, but did not always oppose it, either. He did manage to buy parts of Arizona and New Mexico from Mexico, two of my favorite states, so his presidency wasn't a total wash. He also tried to buy Cuba from Spain. Drunk shopping: don't do it.

President # 15 James Buchanan

Old Buck was respected as a diplomat and politician, but is commonly thought of as one of the very worst US presidents. Though he doesn't look like it in my rendition, he looked like Anthony Hopkins. Anthony could make him more sympathetic, I'll bet. Buchanan had just arrived from lengthy work overseas in diplomacy, so he was the obvious choice for nominee, not having been embroiled in one side or other of the slavery issue that had been raging back home. I'm thinking just like the previous few presidents, this is a rock-and-a-hard-place job to fill at this moment in American history. The Panic of 1857 contributed to the ill feeling between the North and the South, and by then the Union was a slippery slope on which little footing might be gained. As the Southern states started to secede, Buchanan did nothing to stop them and preserve the Union. I'm thinking incidents like Harper's Ferry and the like had Old Buck graduating the toothpick to the woodblock to bite down on.

President #16 Abraham Lincoln
Planet of the Abes- the unreconstructed

Believe it or not, Abe was the hardest one to draw so far, so I drew Tom Hanks and put the wonky beardy action on. Quite crap, really, but you should see the first 3 rejects. Spent more time trying to draw him than the past 10 presidents combined. Jeez! Maybe it's because he's so familiar and we have such a picture of him in our minds that it's almost too close or something. Oh, I just realized I forgot his mole. Oh well- imagine it there. Anyway, my first efforts were looking like a Planet of the Apes reject. I love that he appears to be the first(?) (only?) president to wear the down-market Colonel Sanders ribbon-style tie, which, as everyone knows, is the mullet of cravats*.

About the thigh thing-- Billy Green, a friend of Lincoln's from the Illinois frontier town of New Salem said this: ''His thighs were as perfect as a human being could be.''
Uh, okay.

But enough about the decorative bits: on to Abe's toothpick quotient. He was born in a 3 sided shack. After that, any thing's possible. Lincoln was immensely talented, and interested in a great many things. His writing and speeches show a benevolent sort of bemused sadness overriding everything. He tried many trades, was a rail splitter, opened a store, and finally managed to become a lawyer, and all of this with only one year of formal education. His parents were illiterate, and when his mother died, his father married another illiterate woman who happened to have a few books, including a bible and some Shakespeare. Most of what Lincoln knew was self-taught, and his abiding intelligence was obviously very complimented by his impeccable instincts, so long as you don't count his choice of theatrical productions. During the war, he managed to find military leaders who would execute the war in the way he felt it should be done. He is said to have cried whenever he received reports of casualties. Before the war, Southerners viewed Lincoln as an enemy because he wasn't sympathetic to their issues. Lincoln, on the other hand, knew the foremost issue was to preserve the union at any cost. Lincoln was assassinated five days after Lee's surrender.

At least, I think I'm right about that. Y'all tell me if you see anything major I goofed on - some of these guys are kind of running together. I only have so much room in my brain for new information, and sometimes, the new stuff pushes the old out the other side.

*This is a compliment to mullets, rather than a slight to the tie. I personally like this tie. I wore one like this in marching band.


Written by phlegmfatale
6 cared enough to comment!

Name: Phlegmfatale
Location: Elsewhere, Texas, USA

I'm not whining;
I'm unburdening.

Learn more here

September 2002

November 2002

January 2003

March 2003

June 2003

July 2003

August 2003

September 2003

October 2003

November 2003

December 2003

January 2004

February 2004

March 2004

April 2004

May 2004

June 2004

July 2004

August 2004

September 2004

October 2004

November 2004

December 2004

March 2005

April 2005

June 2005

July 2005

August 2005

September 2005

October 2005

November 2005

December 2005

January 2006

February 2006

March 2006

April 2006

May 2006

June 2006

July 2006

August 2006

September 2006

October 2006

November 2006

December 2006

January 2007

February 2007

March 2007

April 2007

May 2007

June 2007

July 2007

August 2007

September 2007

October 2007

November 2007

December 2007

January 2008

February 2008

March 2008

April 2008

May 2008

June 2008

July 2008

August 2008

September 2008

October 2008

November 2008

December 2008

January 2009

February 2009

March 2009

April 2009

May 2009

June 2009

July 2009

August 2009

September 2009

October 2009

November 2009

December 2009

January 2010

February 2010

March 2010

April 2010

May 2010

June 2010

July 2010

August 2010

September 2010

October 2010

November 2010

December 2010

January 2011

February 2011

March 2011

April 2011

May 2011

June 2011

July 2011

August 2011

September 2011

October 2011

November 2011

December 2011

January 2012

February 2012

March 2012

April 2012

May 2012

June 2012

July 2012

August 2012

September 2012

October 2012

November 2012

December 2012

January 2013

February 2013

March 2013

April 2013

May 2013

June 2013

July 2013

August 2013

September 2013

October 2013

November 2013

December 2013

January 2014

February 2014

March 2014

April 2014

May 2014

June 2014

July 2014

August 2014

September 2014

October 2014

November 2014

December 2014

January 2015

February 2015

March 2015

April 2015

May 2015

June 2015

July 2015

August 2015

September 2015

October 2015

November 2015

December 2015

January 2016

February 2016

March 2016

April 2016

May 2016

June 2016

July 2016

August 2016

October 2016

December 2016

January 2017

March 2017

April 2017

May 2017

June 2017

July 2017

October 2017

Who links to me?