Item 1.) BLOODY BLOODY ANDREW JACKSON.
If you have not seen 2010's greatest Broadway musical, then you really ought to be ashamed of yourself. It closed on January 2nd because of lazy people like you who don't realize that a musical about the life and times of our 7th President is just a goddamned brilliant idea. Hell, it's an entertaining thought just sitting here in a quiet classroom. On a whim, I decided to check the reduced price Broadway tickets folder in the main office of the school where I had been filling in for a maternity leave. Sure enough, there stamped in red on a thin strip of paper was Andrew Jackson's Levis-clad butt, a stars & stripes hanky stuffed in a rear pocket, and a holstered Colt revolver hanging beside. Tagline: History just got all sexypants.
The theater was completely redecorated; taxidermied bear, a hog-tied horse hanging from the ceiling, broken portraits of long-dead Federalists & Antifederalists, abused chandeliers... essentially some bastard child of a log cabin and the Oval Office - a fitting arena for a musical about Andrew Jackson. On our way to the theater, I specifically told Maria that I would be beside myself if there wasn't a number in the production called "Populism: F**K YEAH!" The lights dimmed, Jackson showered us with an innuendo-laden introduction, and the company went on to sing "Populism Yea Yea." I was pleased.
I appreciated their treatment of Andrew "The American Hitler / Hero" Jackson. As a historian myself, I am torn between the legendary story of the first log cabin president, an unpretentious man of the people going on to govern the people, and the brutal and seemingly uncaring executor of the Indian Removal Act that constituted nothing short of genocide of an entire native population. That's America, folks - for better or for worse.
Item 2: MOST HONORABLE COMPANY, LTD.
Every year around the holiday season, Union Square goes from its normal obnoxious, hippie-strewn, hobo-hangout (populated with such choice characters who refer to themselves as "Air" and describe their life philosophy in such wishy-washy, detestable ways as "undecided") to an even more obnoxious bastion of consumerism and overpriced hipster goods - The Christmas Bazaar. Helen, Varun, Maria and I visited the said Christmas Gay (our own rebranding) so that Varun could buy Helen the pillow she'd had her eye on. I found a handmade watch for $300 that was made of hand-hammered copper, but couldn't convince myself that the movement attached to the pretty hand-work was worth it. Naturally the four of us got to thinking about our absolute favorite topic: the differences between Japan and the United States.
We eventually came up with an amazingly brilliant idea to take Japan by storm. Taking a page from the boom in the 1980s of Japanese businessmen, we have decided to form MOST HONORABLE COMPANY, LTD..
At MOST HONORABLE COMPANY, LTD., our motto is "PUT FOOD ON TABLE." We take this to mean, SUCCEED AT ANY COST, EVEN IF THAT COST IS THE ENTIRE NATION OF BELGIUM. Now, all Japanese companies must adopt an adorably inappropriate mascot that has nothing to do with what the company does at all. I remind readers that baseball teams in Japan are not named after the cities where the clubs play, but rather after enormoous companies. Hence the team name Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters. Our mascot is none other than everybody's favorite GOOD EVENING CAT.
Fig. 1: Good Evening Cat (designed by M.N. French)
Having a mascot is all well and good... but even a tophat and a monocle do not a business make. What is a company without its products, and I am here to introduce some of the products and services that MOST HONORABLE COMPANY, LTD. will offer.
1.) The Purchase and Re-Branding of Giga-Pudding. I have seen this commercial twice, and that is two times too many.
Giga-Pudding will become a pharmaceuticals company - the kind that has important ties to various shady government lobbies throughout Washington. The purpose? We want nothing more than to make commercials showing people enjoying themselves on the beach, living life to its fullest, and playing soft, inoffensive music in the background - WHILE WE WARN YOU THAT THIS PRODUCT WILL CAUSE: fever, rash, upset stomach, shock, forgetfulness, irregular heartbeat, nightsweats, swelling of the tongue, inability to produce tears, severe cardiac events, Demonic Possession, violent erotic nightmares, instantaneous death, hallucinations, and an unexplained fear of the color blue.
2.) Pop Chan. Soft drinks are where the real money is made. It took a long and arduous conference meeting (that is, 2-3 minutes on a crowded subway) for our panelists to dream up the name of and invent flavoring for POP CHAN: EXCITING NEW NUMBER ONE GOOD SWEET DRINK! Pop Chan comes in the following flavors:
- seaweed shrimp kelp microplankton
Yummy! But the most exciting part about Pop Chan is its viral commercials.
Pop Chan Commercial : Japanese Businessman
A shady, empty side-street at night. Flickering neon advertisements are reflected on the fresh rain upon the cold cobbled road. A man in thick glasses and a cheap double-breasted suit approaches a vending machine. Only a dog barking and the electric hum of the machine break the silence of the evening. He peruses the choices, and opts to purchase a pair of girls' panties, becaue urban legend has it that you can purchase things like than in vending machines in Japan. He puts the money into the machine and pushes the buttons for his selection. A can of POP CHAN falls from the machine instead.
The businessman is beside himself with anger. He composes himself and notices a tab on the can that reads "Pull Here" (however that is written in Japanese). He pulls the label to reveal a pair of girls' panties hidden beneath.
Stars, rainbows, and flowers explode from the bottom lefthand side of the screen. One of MOST HONORABLE COMPANY, LTD's Presidents (William) pops in. He winks, displays a Churchillian V for Victory.
It's-a numbaa one goooooood!
The POP CHAN logo appears on screen, wreathed in a halo of golden light. For a brief nano-second, the image of GOOD EVENING CAT blinks on screen to the sound of television static.
If that doesn't outsell Coca-Cola in a matter of a single fiscal year, then the world is all but lost.
Item 3: Alcoholic Beverages. One of my dreams is to create my own brand of bourbon using only the finest ingredients from God's Chosen State (New York). Honestly, how great would a bourbon distilled from Long Island sweet corn and pure, clean Catskills water taste? Mighty fine, I'd bet. MOST HONORABLE COMPANY, LTD realizes the great value put upon so-called "premium" spirits nowadays. It seems that the larger and more streamlined a product becomes, the more expensive it grows. This is especially so when a hip-hop artist decides to mention a crappy brand of booze in one of his or her songs. And now such standbys as Hennessy and Courvoisier cognacs are nothing but artificially-colored ethanol. Here are some of our questionably named products:
- Fun Drink Rum - you know, for those damned mojitos that 20-something females from Long Island and New Jersey think are delicious because it makes them seem exotic and tropical. Please notice that Fun Drink Rum shares its initials with one of Japan's favorite American presidents.
- For Pete's Sake - GET IT?! Sake - like the fermented rice wine and sake as in, you know... for the sake of all humanity. It... it's a homograph! Ugh... never mind.
- Little Boy Vodka - a flavor explosion in your... oh my god, I went too far. I apologize.
I'm pretty sure we had other ideas for MOST HONORABLE COMPANY, LTD. but they currently elude my memory. Of course we plan on forming our own shady holdings company, namely LEGITIMATE BUSINESS HOLDINGS, INC. which will compete with MOST HONORABLE COMPANY, LTD. in every respect until we artificially inflate our prices to the most insane levels imaginable before sinking LEGITIMATE BUSINESS HOLDINGS, INC. and reaping the profits until INTERPOL issues warrants for our arrest and we are left to liquidating our asset into pure gold bullion and retiring to our own sovereign island nation of Sealand (where I am currently a titled Baron). It's good to have dreams and goals, kids.
I have made a New Year's resolution to post more than once per month. We'll see how long that lasts.
W. Charles Olsen-Hoek
Co-President and Co-Founder MOST HONORABLE COMPANY, LTD.