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Historical Figures; who is in the comic?
Topic Started: Aug 23 2008, 06:57 PM (4,597 Views)
Minivet
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Undead Pixie Wrangler
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I just browsed through http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:American_businesspeople for Henrys, Harrys, and H's (half of the people there who go by H. are Henrys, weirdly), who died more or less recently. Here are some ideas:


  • Henry Crown. Billionaire founder of the predecessor of General Dynamics, philanthropist.
  • Henry John Heinz II, grandson of the founder of Heinz, also a noted philanthropist, father to a senator, and member of Skull and Bones.
  • James Henry Binger, CEO of Honeywell, and a philanthropist. However, he died in 2004, which seems late for the timeline.
  • Henry Leir, who fits the bill as someone who got rich from business and had philanthropic as well as political interests; however, he got rich in Europe, only came to the US in 1939, and devoted a lot of his efforts thereafter to developing and promoting Luxembourg specifically. Also a possible "evil" side, with posthumous allegations that he was an arms dealer. But would someone so involved with the fate of Luxembourg come back for this project (considering Ben said the ability to come back had a lot to do with one's investment in the idea of America)?
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Cancvas
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First of all, great comic. Interesting plot and I rather liked old graphic when I got used to read it, but new one is great.

As reader from Europe when I first read parts with new graphic I assumed that ghosts, atleast of presidents, are instantly recognizable to "locals" but it seems that its not case. So, there probably won't be clearer textual indication of identities until plotline reveals those?

I haven't done too much research, but I'm curious about blue and red America (democrat and republican?). Red America isn't obivously what it would indicate here (communist and other leftist movements), but what's the operative difference in USA?

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yfnsa
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Cancvas
Jul 2 2009, 06:22 PM
I haven't done too much research, but I'm curious about blue and red America (democrat and republican?). Red America isn't obivously what it would indicate here (communist and other leftist movements), but what's the operative difference in USA?

Welcome Cancvas.

In US Presidential elections most states are "winner take all". When TV stations display maps to show state by state projections or results blue and red work very well. See this site for some great maps.

The choice of red or blue for republican/democrat or conservative/liberal has not always been red=republican and blue=democrat. Take a look at this story and this one for background on the issue.

The Word Detective story includes this:
Quote:
 
The first reference to “red states” and “blue states,” according to a database search of newspapers, magazines and TV news transcripts since 1980, occurred on NBC’s “Today” show about a week before the 2000 election. Matt Lauer and Tim Russert discussed the projected alignment of the states, using a map and a color scheme that had first shown up a few days earlier on NBC’s sister cable network, MSNBC. “So how does [Bush] get those remaining 61 electoral red states, if you will?” Russert asked at one point.
YFNSA - Your Friendly Neighborhood System Administrator

My Lone Ranger Speedy icon is courtesy of Otter.
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Minivet
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Yup. "Red vs. blue" is emphatically a post-Cold War construction; up through the 80's and I suppose the 90's, red's only political meaning was Communist (so in the American context was pretty derogatory most of the time).
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Otter
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Welcome Cancvas!

What they said about Red and Blue states. It's a semi-arbitrary distinction based on probable voting preferences and geographic locations.
- Never send a ferret to do a weasel's work.

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Cancvas
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Sorry about late response, work and civil duties take their time. Thanks for welcomes, links and information. Quite usefull for background of blue and red America, but only little of political content, like pro what and opposed to what? The usual pro "me", opposed to "the other"? Me, cynical about politicians?
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Mspekkio
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Having just read the whole archive, here's a few things I noticed that I haven't seen mentioned in this thread.

1. Ole Ben sets up his charges with enough money to 'focus on bigger issues'. It's unlikely Ben's mystery charges fall into the 'brilliant, but penniless' category
2. Ben likes to bring his charges to government attention. One of my first thoughts was the secret FBI files on John Lennon.
3. Ben's driving motive is to protect the founding father's vision of America, and seems bound to America as a result. Do we know if Ben actually attended the Judo tournament in Japan? Seems likely we can rule out international persons.

Thanks to Otter for making a 'sequential art' piece good enough to make me make a forum account.
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CaptainPlatypus
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I'm pretty sure that Lincoln is the politician who contacted Ben around the 1830s, and also the "unstable" ghost, as it seems like most of us are. For the 1930s journalist, my money's on I.F. Stone. Might not be well-known enough, but other than that he's simply perfect for the role.

The Ford theory is interesting, but the original probably died too early, and number two wasn't much of a philanthropist or particularly political, from what I know. He also died a little too early, in my opinion. Unfortunately, I can't find any other good candidates, mostly because of timescale. The appearance gives us some minor hints - a businessman with a receding hairline and glasses, that's rare - but I'm going to have to do some more digging before I'm comfortable making a guess there.
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Minivet
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Hey, here's an idea that fleshes out Lincoln being the first one. The 1820's through 1840's were an era of compromise between slavery and nonslavery as sociopolitical models (though the former were dominant). Perhaps Ben saw two major futures in his metaphorical wheatfields. In the first, nonslavery gained the upper hand without upsetting the tendency toward compromise, and eventually there was manumission and a stronger, wiser country moving into the future. In the second, tensions grew, festered, and led to a war which could be won by the North but at great cost.

He saw the possibility in Lincoln to bring about the first future: a future in which Lincoln spent several terms in the House, moved up to the Senate, and eventually became President and the architect of the great accord. But he failed - perhaps his clinical depression had something to do with it - and Lincoln was voted out of Congress in 1848 after only one term. With the Kansas-Nebraska Act in 1854, the first future was decisively killed.

Lincoln pulled himself together, roared back onto the national stage in 1858, and won the presidency as an unlikely newcomer (all with great difficulty on his part and Ben's, possibly including some non-kosher ethereal tipping of the scales). Ben must have known the South would start the Civil War as soon as Lincoln was elected, but painfully had to accept this because Lincoln was the one who could win it. It was monumentally hard - the stress would have killed Lincoln prematurely if Booth hadn't done it first - and so his ghost is now mentally incompetent.

I like this because it neatly parallels whatever's going on now with the rogue ghosts and their new civil war.
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yfnsa
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Nov 22 2009, 02:11 AM
I like this because it neatly parallels whatever's going on now with the rogue ghosts and their new civil war.
Sounds good to me. If it's not Otter's story line it could have been. I offer this other tidbit not as scholarship but because it's close enough to fit in. From the John Wilkes Booth wikipedia entry:
Quote:
 
While attending the Milton Boarding School, Booth met a Gypsy fortune-teller who read his palm and pronounced a grim destiny, telling Booth that he would have a grand but short life, doomed to die young and "meeting a bad end". His sister recalled that Booth wrote down the palm-reader's prediction and showed it to his family and others, often discussing its portents in moments of melancholy in later years.

Were the rogue ghosts grooming Booth? Consider this scenario:
* The ghosts want Lincoln dead.
* They see Booth: a strident anti-abolishionist
* With multiple ways to get to Lincoln (there was a failed kidnapping plot too)
* Full access to Ford's Theater (Booth was an actor there)

The palm reader can be considered two ways:
1) Real: she saw the affect of the ghosts on Booth's life.
2) Fake: the ghosts messing with Booth to make him more fatalistic. (my preference)

(Hello and thanks to all the new (and old) contributors on this thread.)
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Minivet
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Interesting. Your (1) is more likely than (2) though, I think, because that incident happened in 1850 or 1851.
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Cemalidor
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Well being geman i don't know that much about american politicians, still i enjoy this stuff. :)

And it gives me the willies thinking about what german politicos would be appropriate for the slots. o_O
Move along citizen, there is nothing to see here.
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My word
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Dec 23 2009, 07:43 AM
Well being geman i don't know that much about american politicians, still i enjoy this stuff. :)

And it gives me the willies thinking about what german politicos would be appropriate for the slots. o_O
Actually the continued survival of Bismarck, Talleyrand and Machiavelli would explain a great many things. :sweat:
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Taolan
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Just read through this whole thing. I think we've pretty much cemented Lincoln as both the 1830 man who sought Ben out, and as the fourth ghost who is 'incapable' of standalone creation of the chip.

I think our 'Henry' isn't a political figure in the regular sense. The level of interaction between Henry and Smithback in their few scenes together suggests a history that extends before Henry's demise. My guess is that 'Henry' was recruited by the rogue ghosts as soon as he hit the afterlife, juiced up by as many low-level supporters as possible (Ben said they can share their 'resolve' afterall. Could the rogue ghosts have developed a technique to make this permanent, essentially using multiple weak ghosts to craft a single entity with power equal or similar to that of the founding fathers?), and sent to contact Smithback, since they knew he could see ghosts and bring him in on the project to be their puppet so they could more directly influence things.

My guess for Henry would be a lobbyist or political contributor, possibly somebody living off a fortune crafted by his father/grandfather. I personally disagree with former Director Hillenkoetter as being the 'Henry' because to me, 'Henry' is a puppeted puppetmaster (controlled by the misinformation of the rogue ghosts to feed further misinformation to smithback and now to Clarice). I also think that the names Smithback has, and the group they are a part of, are no more than the middlemen of the true rogue ghosts, a faction I personally believe characters like Nixon would fit right in.

My thoughts on the other Three of the Four that Ben can think of. Ben speaks of some sort of sacrifice to 'come back' as a ghost. What is this, exactly? (looking for page with quote ATM. will link when I have it) But I digress - I do not think that Washington is one of them. Washington retired from his Presidency to a life of farming, he was finished with politics and the bullshit therein. If ghosts have to make a decision to 'come back', while he would undoubtedly wield powers even greater than Ben himself; I personally do not believe that Washington would want to further meddle in the affairs of the living. I use Washington's Farewell Address and the journal entry by his personal secretary, Tobias Lear V, citing Washington's final words. 'Tis Well.'

This has given me a project to occupy myself tonight through what is bound to be a long, boring, and uneventful night shift... which starts in a little under two hours.
It takes an average of forty-three muscles to frown, seventeen muscles to smile...

But only three for proper trigger squeeze.

Si vis pacem, para bellum.
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Minivet
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Taolan
May 19 2010, 01:15 PM
My guess for Henry would be a lobbyist or political contributor, possibly somebody living off a fortune crafted by his father/grandfather. I personally disagree with former Director Hillenkoetter as being the 'Henry' because to me, 'Henry' is a puppeted puppetmaster (controlled by the misinformation of the rogue ghosts to feed further misinformation to smithback and now to Clarice). I also think that the names Smithback has, and the group they are a part of, are no more than the middlemen of the true rogue ghosts, a faction I personally believe characters like Nixon would fit right in.

My thoughts on the other Three of the Four that Ben can think of. Ben speaks of some sort of sacrifice to 'come back' as a ghost. What is this, exactly? (looking for page with quote ATM. will link when I have it) But I digress - I do not think that Washington is one of them. Washington retired from his Presidency to a life of farming, he was finished with politics and the bullshit therein. If ghosts have to make a decision to 'come back', while he would undoubtedly wield powers even greater than Ben himself; I personally do not believe that Washington would want to further meddle in the affairs of the living.
Henry is not an actual notable person, we've been told more recently, so better to spend time on things other than his identity.

Washington indeed is unlikely to want a further active role in human affairs, but he may still be one of the three, simply because he "wants to see how this country of ours will grow" like Eleanor.
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Taolan
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Minivet
May 19 2010, 03:50 PM
Taolan
May 19 2010, 01:15 PM
My guess for Henry would be a lobbyist or political contributor, possibly somebody living off a fortune crafted by his father/grandfather. I personally disagree with former Director Hillenkoetter as being the 'Henry' because to me, 'Henry' is a puppeted puppetmaster (controlled by the misinformation of the rogue ghosts to feed further misinformation to smithback and now to Clarice). I also think that the names Smithback has, and the group they are a part of, are no more than the middlemen of the true rogue ghosts, a faction I personally believe characters like Nixon would fit right in.
Henry is not an actual notable person, we've been told more recently, so better to spend time on things other than his identity.
My point there was just that henry was probably a middleman of middlemen. Someone used as a buffer to hide the identities of the key rogue ghosts. Who knows, maybe Lincoln really is behind it all, he is expected to be insane.

...


...

Please, please tell me that this story does not follow that most cliché of clichés. "It's the one you know about but least expect because he/she is x/y (usually some form of crazy)."
It takes an average of forty-three muscles to frown, seventeen muscles to smile...

But only three for proper trigger squeeze.

Si vis pacem, para bellum.
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Myetel
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Minivet
May 19 2010, 03:50 PM
Quote:
 


Washington indeed is unlikely to want a further active role in human affairs, but he may still be one of the three, simply because he "wants to see how this country of ours will grow" like Eleanor.
Historical figures have power because there are tangible reminders imbedded in our country's culture and daily life that give them resonance. When I was teaching rhetoric at Penn State, I used to do an exercise in "what's meaningful or relevant for which audience" with my students, by taking the lyrics of Billy Joel's "We Didn't Start the Fire" (if you're looking at this post blankly, this is an excellent example of what I meant by relevance to a given audience, heh) and telling them each to take two of the historical references that are listed in the song, decade by decade, and, if they didn't know who or what that reference was, to look it up.

This was in 1997. Most of my incoming freshmen didn't know who Sally Ride was. They didn't understand "hypodermics on the shores." They didn't understand "heavy metal suicides." Things and people relevant to having lived through the 1980s.

So, what's the most common conveyor of historical figures in our society? Maybe a history book? People have at least heard of the Monroe Doctrine that way, and might be able to tell you that Madison wrote most of the Constitution. But nah.

If you live close enough to D.C., you might see the monuments as the biggest symbols. Certainly, they're focal points, almost temples to great figures and the ideals they represented. Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln.

But what most people handle, day in and day out, is this: money. What are most people concerned about, why do they go to work, what do they spend most of their day focusing on? I guess it really is all about da Benjamins. :-p

Bills:
$1 Washington
$2 Jefferson
$5 Lincoln
$10 Hamilton (as Sec of the Treasury, maybe 1 in 10 people could tell you that he contributed to the Federalist papers and died in a duel with Aaron Burr. Probably not a contender.)
$ 20 Jackson.
$ 50 Grant. (a drunk in life, widely considered a good general but a lousy president. Would he really want to hang around? And yet, so many other Civil War ghosts are still kicking around, fighting that last battle forever. . . )
$ 100. Ben. QED.

Coins:
Penny. Lincoln.
Nickel. Jefferson.
Dime. FDR. If his wife, Eleanor, is still hanging around, why wouldn't he be, too?
Quarter. Washington.
Fifty-cent. JFK. (And we've already seen him, not with a lot of power, but manifesting enough to cop a feel, at least.)
Dollar. Eisenhower (at least for most of my lifetime). More recently, the easily-tarnished, rather ugly Sacajewea dollar.

So, which names and faces are in the most common use? Washington has the dollar, the quarter, and a monument, check.
Jefferson has the $2, the nickel, and a rather snazzy monument of his own. Lincoln has the penny, the $5, a monument, and a case of post-mortis dementia. Jackson, most people prolly couldn't tell you what he did, other than maybe fighting in the War of 1812, the Battle of New Orleans, um . . . wait, that was all before becoming President. . . um. . . removal of various Indian tribes? Hamilton, no, too obscure. FDR certainly has the potential to become powerful, but might be of too recent a vintage, and doesn't have his own shrine in marble on the D.C. mall yet.

Have I missed any other opportunities for fun here?



Edited for dumb typos. Sheesh.
Edited by Myetel, May 19 2010, 07:45 PM.
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djheydt
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Myetel
May 19 2010, 07:44 PM
When I was teaching rhetoric at Penn State, I used to do an exercise in "what's meaningful or relevant for which audience" with my students, by taking the lyrics of Billy Joel's "We Didn't Start the Fire" (if you're looking at this post blankly, this is an excellent example of what I meant by relevance to a given audience, heh) and telling them each to take two of the historical references that are listed in the song, decade by decade, and, if they didn't know who or what that reference was, to look it up.
Heh. For my part, I had never heard, or heard of, the song till you mentioned it. But on googling for the lyrics, I found I recognized almost all the references. Background: born 1942, quit listening to popular music when Elvis Presley first appeared on the scene. Although (with the exception of the Beatles) I never heard anything *by* the pop singers, I recogized most of their names. But not Billy Joel's. Perhaps he falls outside his own selected time frame? :)
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djheydt
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And returning to the topic ...

Does anyone have any good ideas on who it was whom Ben met in or around 1930?




.......Oh.

Perhaps I just had a flash of inspiration, or of something.

In http://agirlandherfed.com/comic/?231 we see Ben acknowledge that he met whoever-it-was in 1930 or thereabouts.

I have this nagging feeling that Ben, or Otter, or somebody told us once that he was a journalist. But I can't find the reference. Assume someone with authority really did say that ...

Edward R. Murrow?

Born 1908, in a log cabin fergoshsake. Graduated in 1930 and went to Washington to begin a very important career.

Influence on the country? His reports from London of the early days of WWII, in my layman's opinion, did a lot to bring Americans around to the idea of joining the Allies. Later on, he faced down Senator McCarthy and won.

And so on.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_R._Murrow



Edited by djheydt, May 24 2010, 09:38 PM.
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Taolan
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djheydt
May 24 2010, 08:49 PM


Edward R. Murrow?

Born 1908, in a log cabin fergoshsake. Graduated in 1930 and went to Washington to begin a very important career.

Influence on the country? His reports from London of the early days of WWII, in my layman's opinion, did a lot to bring Americans around to the idea of joining the Allies. Later on, he faced down Senator McCarthy and won.

And so on.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_R._Murrow



Sounds good, fits the profile for someone 'Touched by an Angel'

... Sorry, my mother was a huge fan of that show. Had to make the joke.

But moving on, how long do we think he and Ben were linked? Did it cover the time in London or was that maybe the end of the relationship?

Here's another possible for the 1930s figure, throwing the 'journalist' bit out (can't find the page where this may or may not have been mentioned. I don't disagree with the theory, just offering another for purposes of debate and investigation)

Richard Milhous Nixon. Call me crazy, but his background suggests he was an intelligent, ambitious young man. Maybe he met Ben at Duke? Or maybe he called out to the important historical figures of our time for inspiration as he went through the process of becoming a man (he would be just turning 18 in 1931). IF it was Nixon, I lean more toward Duke. When he returned to Southern California to practice law, while his focus was on commercial law he also did wills. Maybe a gesture of respect for a mentor? Doesn't Ben make mention of occasional failure? Watergate certainly was one.
Edited by Taolan, May 25 2010, 03:51 AM.
It takes an average of forty-three muscles to frown, seventeen muscles to smile...

But only three for proper trigger squeeze.

Si vis pacem, para bellum.
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djheydt
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Taolan
May 25 2010, 03:50 AM
Richard Milhous Nixon. Call me crazy, but his background suggests he was an intelligent, ambitious young man. Maybe he met Ben at Duke? Or maybe he called out to the important historical figures of our time for inspiration as he went through the process of becoming a man (he would be just turning 18 in 1931). IF it was Nixon, I lean more toward Duke. When he returned to Southern California to practice law, while his focus was on commercial law he also did wills. Maybe a gesture of respect for a mentor? Doesn't Ben make mention of occasional failure? Watergate certainly was one.
Um ... if Nixon had had a ghost for a mentor, he must've been one of the rogues. Nixon had gone to the bad by 1949.
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Taolan
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djheydt
May 25 2010, 04:51 AM
Taolan
May 25 2010, 03:50 AM
Richard Milhous Nixon. Call me crazy, but his background suggests he was an intelligent, ambitious young man. Maybe he met Ben at Duke? Or maybe he called out to the important historical figures of our time for inspiration as he went through the process of becoming a man (he would be just turning 18 in 1931). IF it was Nixon, I lean more toward Duke. When he returned to Southern California to practice law, while his focus was on commercial law he also did wills. Maybe a gesture of respect for a mentor? Doesn't Ben make mention of occasional failure? Watergate certainly was one.
Um ... if Nixon had had a ghost for a mentor, he must've been one of the rogues. Nixon had gone to the bad by 1949.

Your point being? Nothing says Ben was with him for twenty years. Could've been just five, maybe three. Maybe even only one.

Maybe the reason the tapes have an 18 minute gap is because of ghosts.

Who knows? It's all just speculation.
It takes an average of forty-three muscles to frown, seventeen muscles to smile...

But only three for proper trigger squeeze.

Si vis pacem, para bellum.
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Minivet
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Nixon was smart enough to be a sometimes successful politician, but I don't see that he was at all extraordinary. As alluded to above, he won both his congressional races at least partly by Red-baiting. His selection as VP represented the GOP base, to balance out the centrism of Eisenhower (a bit like Sarah Palin, come to think of it). The tapes show him basically muddling through like most presidents, if not worse.
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djheydt
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djheydt
May 24 2010, 08:49 PM
I have this nagging feeling that Ben, or Otter, or somebody told us once that he was a journalist. But I can't find the reference.
Aha, found it.

http://www.agirlandherfed.com/comic/?523

[Admin-Note:] URLs have changed over time, that "523" can now be found here. [/Admin-Note]

Hope: Those other guys, the ones who came to you? I'd know who they were, right? They were famous?

Ben: Yes. The first was a celebrated politician, the second, a journalist.

And while a lot of people of Hope's generation may not know who Murrow was, she too is a journalist. She'd know.
Edited by yfnsa, Dec 17 2011, 03:57 AM.
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Amaryllis
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I kind of assumed that the two proteges that sought Ben out were Lincoln and Kennedy, mostly because there's an urban legend going around that their lives were mysteriously linked (see Linkin' Kennedy if you've never heard of it). I thought if Otter had heard of it she might play with it by making Lincoln's and Kennedy's lives actually be mysteriously linked--though Ben. They were elected president exactly a hundred years apart. Ben could have caught up with Lincoln in 1830 (or 1840, since Speedy gives a margin of error of about a decade) and could have tried to prevent the Civil War, but obviously failed. I had given up on Kennedy since Ben revealed his second partner to be a journalist, but then I noticed that Wikipedia says "After World War II, Kennedy had considered the option of becoming a journalist before deciding to run for political office." So maybe Ben arrived in the 1940s when he decided to change his career path?

As for Henry, I kind of thought he might be Henry Kissinger, perhaps having died early in this story's universe due to a fictional chip-related incident? He doesn't seem to fit the philanthropist bill though.
Edited by Amaryllis, Jun 18 2010, 01:08 AM.
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djheydt
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Amaryllis
Jun 18 2010, 12:31 AM
I kind of assumed that the two proteges that sought Ben out were Lincoln and Kennedy, mostly because there's an urban legend going around that their lives were mysteriously linked (see Linkin' Kennedy if you've never heard of it). I thought if Otter had heard of it she might play with it by making Lincoln's and Kennedy's lives actually be mysteriously linked--though Ben. They were elected president exactly a hundred years apart. He could have caught up with Lincoln in 1830 (or 1840, since Speedy gives a margin of error of about a decade). I had given up on Kennedy since Ben revealed his second partner to be a journalist, but then I noticed that Wikipedia says "After World War II, Kennedy had considered the option of becoming a journalist before deciding to run for political office." So maybe Ben arrived in the 1940s when he decided to change his career path?

As for Henry, I kind of thought he might be Henry Kissinger, perhaps having died early in this story's universe due to a fictional chip-related incident? He doesn't seem to fit the philanthropist bill though.
Kennedy may have considered being a journalist (if we can take Wikipedia with the usual grain of salt), but other than writing for college newspapers he doesn't seem to have been one: certainly not professionally. The jury's still out unless/until Otter takes pity on us and tells us. As for Henry being Kissinger, never mind whether he's alive or dead in an alternate timeline, he was an extremely prominent figure and still is, famous in some lights, infamous in others. He does not fit the "unknown envious middleman" description any more than the "philanthropist" one.
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hipiap
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I hate to say it...but we have Kennedy already...


How about Elvis? Just to settle that debate at the very least...
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NefariousWheel
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yfnsa
Aug 29 2008, 03:33 AM
khayankh,Aug 28 2008
04:53 PM
On the other hand, I can't really say that I think Ben would support big government policies, so I think I'm probably wrong. 

Ben created the post office and was a famous nepotist. I think he's down with big gov'ment.
Ben Franklin is also on the $20 bill, remember -- as is Lincoln on the $5, and Washington on the $1. Ulysses S. Grant is on the $50 bill, but I'd say people still take their cash in Ben Franklins. Talk about positive reinforcement!

And -- most folk do see a lot of Fords on the road, too -- would this put one in the "insanely powerful" camp? I'm guessing a very strong "perhaps".
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NefariousWheel
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djheydt
May 27 2010, 10:03 PM
djheydt
May 24 2010, 08:49 PM
I have this nagging feeling that Ben, or Otter, or somebody told us once that he was a journalist. But I can't find the reference.
Aha, found it.

http://www.agirlandherfed.com/comic/?523

[Admin-Note:] URLs have changed over time, that "523" can now be found here. [/Admin-Note]

Hope: Those other guys, the ones who came to you? I'd know who they were, right? They were famous?

Ben: Yes. The first was a celebrated politician, the second, a journalist.

And while a lot of people of Hope's generation may not know who Murrow was, she too is a journalist. She'd know.
A very famous journalist in that same time period, one who had also written much about the afterlife and the spiritual world -- Samuel Langhorne Clemens, 1835-1910, better known as Mark Twain.
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Undead Pixie Wrangler
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For reference, Word of God has come on this - the journalist was Murrow.
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