Present, but Not Voting

Monday 20 June 2005

Jeremy Bentham may have intended his Auto-Icon to work as a sort of object for contemplation on weighty matters of life and death. If so, it’s sort of worked because I’ve been thinking about it some more, but the absurdity of the contraption is too distratcing to produce any thoughts deserving of treatment better than posting them on a blog:
  • He’s been dead for 150 years and looks better than Sylvester Stallone does now.
  • When I considered asking the guard about bulletproof glass I was looking at the casters and was wondering if he had wanted to be taken out for a stroll every now and then, and that the Auto-Icon was a 19th-century ancestor of the Popemobile.
  • A wax head does not mitigate against my favourable comparison of Bentham to Stallone.
  • Pranks played on his real, disembodied head are alleged to have included being used as a football in a game on the college green, and being sent as a parcel on a train to Aberdeen.*
  • Why he would need bulletproof glass for protection when taken for a constitutional remains lost on me, given that he’s already dead, but I guess the last pope established a precedent.**
  • There are certain types on campus who get way too wrapped up in college life and perpetuate rumors that the Auto-Icon is wheeled in to attend council meetings, and is granted a casting vote in favour.
  • It’s way too late to make jokes about the last pope, even though they’re still selling that old “I like the Pope the Pope smokes dope” t-shirt at street markets.
  • If someone had taken a pot-shot at him and later asked for forgiveness, unlike the Pope, Bentham would probably have told the gunman he was using the wrong type of gun and recommended a form of assassination that was much more efficient but logistically impractical.
  • The Auto-Icon probably would have done his reputation for posterity more harm than good, had it not been ruined anyway by that whole panopticon thing.***
  • You can mispronounce his name as “bent ham”.*
* Bentham, not Stallone.
** Bentham, not Benedict XVI. Nor Stallone.
*** Bentham, not Stallone. Unless you count Lock Up.