Monday, December 29, 2008

So, Who's The Greatest American?

The whole business of making lists of greatest this and that is very arbitrary, and usually says more about the person making the list than about the items on it.
And polls to pick the Greatest this or that are nothing more than popularity contests projected into the past.

And of course, none of those caveats is going to prevent me from making my own lists.
Here are my own 4 picks for the Greatest American. One of them would be very controversial in most circles, but I'm sticking with him. Yes, the choice says a lot about me. I also think it is interesting that 3 of the 4 I picked were murdered. Maybe that says something too, and not entirely about me.

So, who do you think is the Greatest American? Feel free to pick more than one and to make lists of runners-up. Among my runners up would be Mark Twain, Frederick Douglas, Susan B. Anthony, Eugene V. Debs, Franklin Roosevelt, Sam Houston, Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, and Quanah Parker.

Feel free to add cultural, scientific, and religious heroes as well. I'd put Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Thomas Eakins, Mary Cassatt, Willem deKooning, Frank Lloyd Wright, Muddy Waters, Billy Holiday, Lou Reed, and Walt Whitman on the list.

*Speaking of lists of Greatest Americans, I work right next to a forgotten landmark of New York that was once nationally famous, and is now hardly ever visited anymore, even by those of us who see it daily; The Hall of Fame of Great Americans, the original Hall of Fame.  It now forms part of the campus of Bronx Community College.


Abraham Lincoln


Martin Luther King Jr.


Harvey Milk


Eleanor Roosevelt

18 comments:

it's margaret said...

Sitting Bull. Dorothy Day.

Do they have to be dead to qualify?

it's margaret said...

Oh yeah --Rosa Parks!

JCF said...

Adding: WEB DuBois, Cesar Chavez, Woody Guthrie, Chief Joseph of Nez Perce, Phyllis Lyon and (RIP) Del Martin.

MadPriest said...

Big Foot

PseudoPiskie said...

Bob Hope. He entertained the troops at risk to himself. He kept us laughing. He never ran for public office.

David G. said...

I am.

Nuff Said!!

Counterlight said...

Jesus

it's margaret said...

Jesus --an American....? That explains a lot... poor guy.

JCF said...

Doug's referring to his super, HaySoos. An absolute GOD w/ the clogged drain and faulty radiator! ;-p

MadPriest said...

HERETIC!!!!
Jesus was English.
You know that Counterlight.
I've told you enough times

Counterlight said...

We all know Jesus is a Yank.

It's right there in black and white in the Book of Mormon.

Counterlight said...

Let's see, we got Bigfoot, Jesus, and David G, added to the list.

And then there's JCF and Margaret who made some serious contributions like WEB DuBois and Dorothy Day. I'll throw in Johnny Cash and Loretta Lynn, for real.

MadPriest said...

Which was written when?
2000 years ago in Glastonbury?
I think not.
Anyway, the Book of Mormon was written by some upstart commoner. The English Bible was written by a bone fide king and kings trump smiths.

Counterlight said...

A mediocre Scottish king who won the lottery.

David G. said...

The Book of Mormon is a Cult Handbook.

Might as well add Jim Jones to that mix if you are going to add the mormons.

Grandmère Mimi said...

Doug Blanchard.

Counterlight said...

This thread went completely silly a long time ago.

MadPriest said...

The world hates a sucker upper.