Obscure Presidents and the More Obvious


The always illuminating blog Cafe Muscato has a charming President Day celebratory theme. Which was handy since I had no idea today was President’s Day. Since retiring, keeping track of holidays is sort of moot. If you don’t work, everyday’s a holiday! Besides Muscato is located in Washington, where the day is more of big deal than anywhere else. I’m sure most Americans know it mainly as the Mattress Sale holiday and how did that wind up together anyway?

The “tune” included in Muscato’s post reminded me how littered with blanks my ability to name presidents is.  I’m OK for about the first five. OK, four. but after that, things sort of dribble out. I know there were two Adams, two Roosevelts and two Bushes (which, let’s face it. were two too many) and Millard Fillmore. San Francisco has an overabundance of streets named after mediocre presidents, including Fillmore, and the Fillmore, famous nightclub shrine of 60s Rock ‘n Roll, takes its name simply from its location, so that’s how Millard Fillmore is related to the Jefferson Airplane.

More interesting than presidents who ran on the Know Nothing Party (and thank you for THAT trend) let us turn instead to over-photoshopped beauties, a trend I mostly run across when shopping around for illustrations for this blog.

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Do we think this guy looks like this in real life? Is it possible some creature resembling this walks into Starbucks and orders lattes? How could chaos not break out? There’s that Uncanny Valley thing, which wikipedia explains better than I do, to wit:

The concept of the uncanny valley suggests that humanoid objects which appear almost, but not exactly, like real human beings elicit uncanny, or strangely familiar, feelings of eeriness and revulsion in observers.


Revulsion may not be the feeling this youth stirs, but he doesn’t exactly look human either. I mean, I wouldn’t mind a few hours in a romantic setting with him, but still, that utter perfection looks like it owes more to Mattel than to good genes.

Also part of the photoshopping madness we have the “Just keep hitting the enlarge button”


Nobody loves a great big whopper better than I, but there comes a point when we’re back in the Uncanny part of town. I’m OK with a “touchup” let’s say, something that’s in the way of wishful thinking.  But honey this, this reaches structurally impossible.

14 responses »

    • Sometimes I see a list of past presidents and swear whoever put it together listed some fakes in there just to fuck with us. I mean “Franklin Pierce.” Who do you think you’re fooling?


  1. When I was working, I would often bring in a Happy Birthday Millard Fillmore birthday cake on January 7th. Scratch yellow cake with white fluffy icing decorated with red and blue stars, stripes, and such. There was also a scroll poster with Fillmore Fun Facts.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The first illustration was Photoshopped more than the illustrations in a Denny’s menu. I think the second illustration came from a veterinary textbook. And I thought Millard Fillmore was a breed of duck.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Name ONE Canadian Prime Minister other than Justin Trudeau or his father, Pierre. I dare you.

    p.s. As it happens, I was in Buffalo’s Forest Lawn Cemetery and yet I didn’t know Millard Fillmore was buried there. I would have paid my respects for you.


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