Following up on my recent post about bad Obama art, "Rapijo" pointed us in the direction of this truly hideous example of the genre. It's being offered for sale on Craigslist, so it could be yours. According to the description it's a "One of a kind collectible, North Carolina whiskey jug with President OBAMA's face hand sculptured on it."
It can also be used to frighten small children on Halloween.
Sprehe Foods has decided to call its new line of frozen chicken strips "Obama Fingers." The name doesn't sound appetizing to me, but then these will be sold in Germany, the land of Armin Meiwes, so I figure Sprehe must know its market. And they come with a curry dip! [Spiegel]
In honor of election day: the George W. Flush urinal, created by urinal artist Clark Sorensen:
This piece is a preview of Clark's up coming solo exhibit: "DOWN THE DRAIN - THE LEGACY OF GEORGE W. BUSH" Clark is holding an election night party to watch the elections results roll in and give George W. what he deserves - a good flush!
Continuing the exploration of strange presidential candidates from American history:
George Francis Train (1829-1904)
Train was a fascinating character. Some facts about his life:
He made a fortune in the railway business.
He traveled around the world in sixty-seven days, which was a record for the nineteenth-century, and which made him the inspiration for Jules Verne's Around the World in Eighty Days.
He ran for President in 1872, as an independent candidate. The issues he stood for included temperance, and women's rights.
In later years he campaigned to become Dictator of the United States.
Campaigning was a bit difficult because he refused to shake hands with anyone, due to his belief that touching another person's flesh would cause a loss of "psychic force." Whenever he met someone he would "gravely shake hands with himself."
He believed that extreme longevity could be achieved by eating no "dead animals" and wearing no underwear.
As an old man he took up boxing and fought in a match at the Bowery Theatre. (He believed the boxing gloves served as insulators against the loss of psychic force.)
According to Wikipedia, "He spent his final days on park benches in New York City's Madison Square Park, handing out dimes and refusing to speak to anyone but children and animals."
When he died, the Thirteen Club (a club of rationalist skeptics -- its name was intended to mock the superstition of 13 at a table being unlucky) passed a resolution declaring Train to be one of the few sane men in "a mad, mad world."
Expanding on the theme of strange candidates, here are some of the candidates that are (or were) seeking your vote in the current presidential election.
Gene Amondson, Prohibition Party
Amondson is running on a single issue: bringing back prohibition. He describes prohibition as "America's Best Years."
Donald K. Allen, Independent
One of the few candidates to have a position on puppy mills: "As President, I would appoint a secretary of agriculture that would effectively shut down puppy mills through true enforcement of existing law and national educational exposure of this despicable business. Instead of working from the bottom up, I would effectively mandate the dismantling of commercial interstate puppy trade from the top. This would be a no- or low-priority issue for any other candidate."
Bruce Bongardt, The Proudican Party
Bongardt describes himself as "a 42 year old middleclass creative problem-solving Mechanical Design Engineer." He describes the Proudican Party as "a new, self-started party focused on sustaining US Democracy principles through an independent platform of boldly aggressive technology-based prolutions (progressive solutions)." Some of his "prolutions" include expanding the standard week to 9 days and transitioning the currency to e-money.
James Harlin Carter, The Real Food Party
"The Real Food Party seeks to revise existing regulations to allow the sale of non-pasteurized milk and other 'food that is helpful.'" Carter has conceded that he's not going to win the 2008 election. Therefore, he's not going to participate in any debates and has no plans to raise any money.
Terry Lee "Tee" Barkdull, Unaffiliated
Barkdull's platform: "IT'S TIME WE ALL TAKE A STAND AGAINST THIS DICTATORSHIP GOVERNMENT THAT IS OUT OF CONTROL!! THESE SILVER SPOON BASTARDS AND BITCHES, CAN NOT CONTINUE TO RUN AMERICA ANYMORE." (Unfortunately, Barkdull has withdrawn his candidacy for the 2008 election.)
Matthew Borman, The American Party
Borman writes: "I am Matthew Borman. I am a 36 year old, who since the age of 14, had to work in order to survive. From the age that I was old enough to recognize government; the excitement about the politician, the writing of new law or the formation of government social program has eluded me. I am a simple working man. The people who seem so int rested in Governing my life have caused more hurt than help with their years of law making."
Borman has many positions, but apparently improving spelling and grammar is not one of them.
Jeff Boss, The Independent Party
Boss is going for the conspiracy theorist vote: "My Goal is to Save America, and make it a democracy again. I witnessed a person high up in the NSA planning the 9/11 attack. They were talking about helping Ramsi Yousef (responsible for the 93 bombing at the World Trade Center) call his uncle Kolid Sheik Mohammed (considered the mastermind of the 911 attack) from the NSA secret prison in Alexandria, VA, and they were talking about flying planes into buildings."
John Taylor Bowles, National Socialist Order of America
Going for the Nazi vote. From Wikipedia: "Bowles runs his campaign out of the "Redneck Shop" in Laurens, South Carolina, which features Nazi, Confederate States of America and KKK paraphernalia. As of March 2008, Bowles is the only listed individual contributor to his campaign." (Bowles suffered a heart attack in July, so he's off the ticket.)
Continuing the exploration of strange presidential candidates:
"Mighty Man of God" Homer Tomlinson (1892-1969)
Tomlinson was the founder of the Church of God (World Headquarters). His plan was to bring about the kingdom of God on earth by getting the members of his church elected to public office. Therefore, he ran for President in 1952, 1960, 1964, and 1968 as the candidate for the "Theocratic Party" (which he also founded).
His campaign promises included: substituting tithing for taxes, creating cabinet posts for "Secretary of Righteousness" and "Secretary of the Holy Bible," unifying church and state, and establishing Bible reading and prayer in all schools.
Tomlinson never won an election, though he did receive 24 votes in 1964. But that didn't matter, because in 1965 he declared himself "King of the World." He ruled the world from a hotel room in Jerusalem, wearing a gold-painted crown and sitting on a folding chair. From a 1966 New Yorker profile of him:
He founded the Theocratic Party and has been its candidate for U.S. President since 1952, has written many books and songs, speaks in some 20 or 30 languages. One of many wonders he has effected by being in the right place at the right time was a downpour in the desert, during a 1000 mile walk from Iran to Bethlehem in 1955.
Paul Di Filippo
Paul has been paid to put weird ideas into fictional form for over thirty years, in his career as a noted science fiction writer. He has recently begun blogging on many curious topics with three fellow writers at The Inferior 4+1.