Monday, July 14, 2008

Ooh Willie Mays

I have long felt that we should replace Andrew Jackson on the $20 dollar bill, on account of he was a horrible man who expanded Presidential power through assholery alone and also tried to commit a few genocides. "He was a man of his time," people argue, but the Supreme Court, among many others, told him that the Trail of Tears was not so OK, to which he famously replied, "John Marshall has made his decision, now let him go fuck himself."
Today I found a website that agrees with me: GETJACKSONOFFTHE20.NET. In addition to an essay about Jackson that I didn't read, they also have a YouTube video wherein a band plays a song featuring the lines "Desecration of a burial site / Did you go shopping at the mall tonight?" and the chorus:

If Hitler was on the 20 dollar bill,
How would the Jews feel?
Trail of tears….

Indeed. So the question is, who do we put on the 20 after we kick Jackson off? The obvious answer is: Willie Mays. In addition to being a great American, he's got to be the least provocative choice ever. Baseball is one of America's greatest cultural inventions and exports, and although some don't particularly like it, no one hates it. Mays is arguably the greatest player ever, plus he's black, and it's about damn time we had a black guy on some money. Also, I can't think of anything bad he's done off the top of my head.

More importantly, Mays aces the Genocides/Golden Gloves test (Take the ratio of "Genocides Perpetrated" to "Golden Gloves Won". If the resultant number is anything but zero, then you have too many genocides to be on money).

With Jackson gone, we will quickly realize how flawed the rest of our currency is. But we can't just change it all at once. We need a way to ease Americans into it. To that end, here is a schedule for fixing U.S. currency:

Year One
The Jackson for Mays swap. People will obviously cheer it, setting the stage for more sweeping reforms.

Year Two, January
One candidate for appearing on currency who has very vocal supporters is Ronald Reagan. Just to keep them from complaining, we'll put him on the penny, since Lincoln already has the five anyway.

Year Two, February
We discontinue the penny, one of the most worthless currencies in the world.

Year Three
Grant gets booted from the 50. He was a badass, but his presence sends too martial a message. We'll replace him with Gertrude Stein, one of the most important literary stylists of all time and three oppressed groups in one (woman, Jew, lesbian). To appease fans of drunken white guys, we'll put Faulkner, probably the greatest American novelist, on the back, along with the text of his Nobel Prize speech.

Year Four
Revise the dollar coin. Dollar coins are a pretty good idea, but they never work because idiots collect them and keep them out of circulation. The mint exacerbates this by doing series, like the current "weird misshapen pictures of Presidents" series. To fix this problem, we'll put a Georgia O'Keefe painting on one side and a Jackson Pollock on the other. Nearly impossible to counterfeit, this coin will also repulse your average coin collector with its combination of vaginal imagery and art that their kids could have done.

Year Five
This year we replace slave-rapist Thomas Jefferson on the nickel. A known asshole whose racial views were illiberal for the 1780s, Jefferson also believed in something called "yeoman farmers". We'll replace him with John Coltrane, perhaps the greatest American musician and a powerful spiritual teacher, and also a black guy, which Jefferson would hate. We'll leave Monticello on the back, just to drive home the fact that this is an insult to Jefferson.

Year Six
Now we replace Jefferson on the two-dollar bill, a real thing that you can ask for at the bank. Since this bill is a decent piece of currency that has virtually no impact on anything, we'll put Eisenhower on it. The back will show the moon landing, because that's one of the coolest things America ever did, and we should have astronauts somewhere.

Year Seven
Ben Franklin is a beloved doddering old idiot, but Mark Twain was better. Compare these quotes:

"A good conscience is a continual Christmas."- Franklin
"Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on
society."-Twain

There you have it. On the back we'd show a cowboy punching a bear. Not only would this depict rugged American can-do spirit, it would also show our historical attitude to nature and things/nations of people that live in it.
Year Eight
The most complicated year. We need to replace Washington on the quarter, because he's already got the $1 bill. The obvious solution: Put Walt Whitman on the quarter. On the back you can put a picture of him winking at Herman Melville on the Brooklyn ferry. But the quarter is too small to show that, so here's what you do: Put Lincoln on the quarter, and Whitman (and Melville) on the five. Then, on the back of the quarter, you can show Whitman hugging Lincoln.


There you have it. In less than a decade, our currency would go from terrible to good. Here's the final result:

$1- Still Washington, who was good
$2- Eisenhower/Astronauts
$5- Whitman/Whitman winking at Melville
$10- Still Hamilton, who invented the American monetary system and was cool
$20- Willie Mays. On the back, a game between the SF Giants and the LA Dodgers, Koufax pitching. We'll leave it unclear as to whether this is 1962 or 1963 so you don't know if it's a Mays home run or a Koufax perfect game.
$50-Stein/Faulkner
$100-Twain/Cowboy punching bear

Penny- Reagan (discontinued)
Nickel- Coltrane/Monticello
Dime- Still FDR
Quarter- Lincoln/Lincoln hugging Whitman
Dollar- Pollock/O'Keefe

7 comments:

Joe said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Joe said...

I would argue, personally, that Lynard Skynard front man Ronnie Van Zant should be featured on the One instead of Washington. He is both more recognizable, and he is historically more influential (nobody has ever yelled "Chop down that cherry tree!" or "Re-enact crossing the Delaware!" at any concert I've been to). Also, George Washington never wrote a song telling Neil Young to go fuck himself.

J.D. said...

As a compromise, I propose not putting Ronnie Van Zant on anything.

taylor said...

i was disappointed to learn that your "vaginal imagery" link was broken.

curtis said...

just update the vagina link to a picture of Ronnie Van Zant

J.D. said...

Done and done. Consider Van Zant represented on the "vaginal imagery" link.

Joe said...

This blog just continually creates sacrilege.