Scott Ellington's Blog

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Such A Paine

Thomas Paine, a renaissance man,  achieved a great many, varied and remarkable things in the course of his 72 year life/career.  I think it may be important to remember that he was born into a time and place in which whatever one’s father’s occupation was became the defining perimeter of the son’s universe.  Joseph Paine made corsets.  Thomas Paine is famous for saying that government (like the corset) is a necessary evil.

Michael Jackson, Farrah Fawcett, Ed McMahon; all three of these people were alive and kicking when this week began, and dead when the sun set last evening.  June 25, 1876 is the day that saw the end of the meteoric rise of Generalissimo George Armstrong Custer.  Exactly 123 years later, yesterday, three other stars had expired.  (Not quite as simple as ABC.)

There’s something (for me) that’s profoundly confusing in that the most celebrated and eulogized of these three newfound corpses belongs to a music man from (Gary, Indiana³) whose

1.  distaste for his self-image resulted in multiple corrective race-disguising cosmetic surgeries

2.  was repeatedly accused and permanently suspected of molesting or endangering children.

Farrah rode the breaking wave of 70s jiggle into the TV heroic-victim’s hall of fame:  Dead from anal cancer.  There are just too many obscene and irreverent associations to explain. 

Ed spent three decades warming Johnny’s bench, like a permanent vice-president whose ancestors claimed nobility:

Several of his ancestors, including the Marquis d’Equilly, also had long and distinguished military careers.

Patrice MacMahon, duc de Magenta was a Marshal of armies in France, serving under Napoleon III, and later President.

McMahon once asserted to Johnny Carson that mayonnaise was originally named MacMahonnaise in honor of this ancestor, referring to him as the Comte de MacMahon.   

In his autobiography, McMahon said that it was his father who told him of this relationship and he went on to suggest that he was not certain of the truth of the story.

— Thank you, Wikipedia.

There’s a governing corset of order, somewhere, into which my chaotic observations fit.  They feel to me as though they relate to Paine’s deist belief that constraints on the destiny of  persons (and nations) may be discussed by Divinity, but aren’t the result of intervention.  I plan on reading some Paine, but I’d really like a look at the document that spells out governance in the nation of Iran. 

President Ahmadinijad and its supreme leader continue to claim knowledge of liberty and freedom that’s superior to the way we practice them here.  When President Obama discusses Iranian governmental violence against dissenting citizens the Iranian leaders claim he’s intervening in their affairs, and liken him to Bush — while the American neoconservatives chastise him for not intervening enough — in behalf of inate human rights they roundly ignored while crushing suspected terrorist-infidels beneath the heel of 911.

Current events are bewildering.  These must be interesting times.

26 Jun 09 - Posted by | Uncategorized


  1. […] Such A Paine […]

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