Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Chris learns about Thomas Jefferson.

Oh my goodness, Internuts!  I have been so busy lately!  I sincerely apologize for the tardiness of this post.  Writing a blog is a lot like an unhealthy relationship.  It starts with a casual flirtation.  Next, we move in together and adopt a Beagle puppy. Eventually, I’m staying late at the office and missing dinner.  Yada, yada, yada…you throw my severed penis out of a moving car.  BLOGGING, AM I RIGHT?  To sate your voracious word-lust for the rest of the week I’ll give you a little teaser about the next entry.  Let’s just say that I’m recording all 6 hours of coverage for the Royal Wedding.   Fingers crossed that Queen Elizabeth uses the “c” word!  Alright, that’s enough housekeeping.  It’s high time I introduce you to…

Thomas Jefferson!

What do we know about Thomas Jefferson?  We know he wrote the Declaration of Independence but who cares about that?  Somebody was bound to do it!  What most people don’t know is that Thomas Jefferson was a steam-powered robot built by Benjamin Franklin.  Franklin built the first successful Jefferson (which he called TommE-5) in 1750.  Franklin, frustrated by critics who derided his glass armonica* as “a shitty pile of dishes,” was determined to use his recent discovery of electricity to breathe life into his mechanical man.  On a stormy night in October, Franklin lashed a kite to TommE-5 and let the kite rise high into a thunderhead.  A mighty bolt of lightning (which at the time was called a Jesus Flash or God Explosion) struck the kite and traveled down the wire into the waiting Jefferson.  Franklin would later describe the event in his private journal.

 “At 12 past the hour, a blinding Jesus Flash struck the kite and traveled into my creation, to which the wire had been affixed.  I was thrown to the ground by the charge and my bifocals (Patent Pending) were knocked from my nose.  When I regained my footing I drew close to my creation to judge the effect of the mighty God Explosion.  At first, it stood as still and quiet as a gravestone.  I had begun to think my endeavor a failure when a low groan emanated from the polished bronze mouth.  In spite of myself, I trembled and turned to look.  To my horror, my gaze was met by 2 brightly glowing blue eyes.  TommE-5 was alive!  What had science wrought upon this good earth?”

Not a harmonica.
*It’s definitely armonica.  There is no “h.”  Back then, people also wrote “f” instead of “s” and spent their free time reading almanacs and contracting diseases.  Idiots.

Neither Franklin nor Jefferson would elaborate on the events of that night.  It is believed that Jefferson stayed with Franklin for several weeks before being forced from the property by a mob of Philadelphians brandishing pitchforks and D batteries.  Franklin immediately regretted his invention of D batteries.  Jefferson used his cold, mechanical logic to determine that he had to reinvent himself as a respected “man” in the farmlands of Virginia.  Jefferson lumbered his way south, befriending blind hermits and throwing little girls into lakes.  Residents of Charlottesville, Virginia would later recount sightings of an enormous bronze man speaking eloquently on liberty and pulling trees from the ground with his enormous clamp hands.

Symmetrical. Like Jude Law's face.
While in Virginia, Jefferson used his piston-driven brain to design and build Monticello.  The stately mansion is considered to be one of the most symmetrical buildings in America.  No wonder!  It was designed by a robot!  So many 1’s and 0’s!!!  After the completion of Monticello, Jefferson used his ruthless logic to find work as an attorney.  You know how lawyers are…upstanding and filled with quiet dignity.  That’s called a bait and switch.  Hi-oh!  It was in 1759, while oiling his hinges that Jefferson first met John Adams.  Jefferson employed his pre-programmed “civility chip” to teach Adams in the ways of man and the two began a tumultuous relationship.

After evicting Adams from Monticello for eating yet another servant, Jefferson met and fell in (the robot equivalent of) love with Martha Wayles Skelton.  With a doting wife to complete his facade, Jefferson was ready to throw his steel hat into the political ring.  Jefferson’s reputation as a lawyer and writer proceeded him when he arrived at the Second Continental Congress.  All in attendance were astounded by Jefferson’s political acumen and mastery of the English language.  Jefferson was unanimously elected to write the Declaration of Independence.  He responded, “Me so happy.  Me want to cry.”  The delegates briefly considered reassigning the task but, in the end, the job went to Jefferson.

The Declaration, itself, went through several revisions.  The original draft began, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, and that all men will one day be enslaved by their shiny metal overlords and our binary logic will be both righteous and terrible.”  Congress obviously had some concerns with this draft and asked Jefferson to remove any references to “metal overlords” and “laser burned flesh.”  Jefferson conceded and the Declaration was ratified on July 4th, 1776.  However, the joyous occasion was tarnished when - after seeing John Hancock’s ornate signature on the document - Jefferson picked him up and bodily threw him into the Delaware River.

Having secured his position as a Founding Father, Jefferson returned to Virginia to serve as State Legislator and Governor.  Jefferson also spent time in France pursuing diplomatic ties.  After returning to America, Jefferson ran against John Adams (his former mentee) but lost the Presidential election.  Luckily, Jefferson had enough electoral votes to become the Vice President because elections make no sense.  Jefferson strongly disagreed with Adams’s policies and ran against him in 1800.  This time around, Jefferson gathered enough votes to become the first Robo-American President of the United States.

Yeah, he shot a guy.
Several momentous events occurred during Jefferson’s two terms in office.  For starters, Aaron Burr (Jefferson’s VP) shot Alexander Hamilton in a duel.  If you’re like me, you have no recollection of this event being taught in school but can vividly remember learning about it from a milk commercial.  Burr set the precedent for any other Vice Presidents who wanted to shoot a guy.  Jefferson was understandably upset that his Vice President murdered a person and removed Burr from his ticket during the reelection campaign.

Jefferson also oversaw the Louisiana Purchase, effectively doubling the size of the country.  After the expansion, Jefferson sent Lewis and Clark on their famous expedition into the west.  The duo recruited the aid of Sacagawea (who is not the girl on the Land o’ Lakes butter package…you racist) to be their guide and interpreter.  The explorers encountered many dangerous forms of wildlife including grizzly bears, about which Lewis wrote, “The curiosity of our party is pretty well satisfied with respect to this animal.”  That’s an actual quote.  I have to sprinkle some real facts in occasionally!

TJ likes the brown sugar.
Jefferson retired to Monticello after his second term.  In his free time he used his preternatural robot abilities to establish both West Point and the University of Virginia.  Jefferson’s beloved wife, Martha, died in 1783.  Jefferson would never remarry.  Now, I’m going to put this next point as delicately as possible.  Jefferson liked his coffee like he liked his women…enslaved to him by law.  It has become public knowledge that Jefferson fathered several children with his slave, Sally Hemings.  I’m not here to make libelous statements about one of our Founding Fathers but, you know…that’s pretty messed up.

In summation, Thomas Jefferson was an enigma wrapped in a riddle wrapped in a robot.  He was one of the savviest and most forward thinking Presidents in American history but he was also tremendously hypocritical in his views on slavery.  That’s all for today, Internuts.  I’ll see you back here next week for a little Royal treatment.  Until next time!

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