"As we enjoy great advantages from the inventions of others, we should be glad of the opportunity provided to serve self-interest when Al Gore created the internet; and we should also thank Mark Zuckerburg and Jack Dorsey for creating Facebook and Twitter out of the kindness of their big hearts and not the thinness of their small wallets."
-Ben Franklin, Autobiography (1742)

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Thomas Paine on the Death of a King

"But where says some is the King of America? I'll tell you Friend, he reigns above, and doth not make havoc of mankind like the Royal Brute of Britain...let it be brought forth placed on the divine law, the word of God; let a crown be placed thereon, by which the world may know, that so far as we approve of monarchy, that in America THE LION IS KING. I still can’t believe they killed Mufasa."
Thomas Paine, Common Sense, 1776

This rare, almost prophetic insight comes from the original manuscript of Common Sense, a work which was in fact rewritten several times before its release as Paine's early drafts often tend to lean towards the non-sensical. In the excerpt above, Paine was clearly alluding to the popular children's story of his day "Kimbali Shishi" (later adapted into a cartoon series called Kimba the White Lion). However, his obvious passion for the simple story and humorous misspelling of the king character Mafusal create a cryptic appraisal of what would become one of the most beloved Disney feature films ever created, centuries before it was even written. It begs the question that perhaps Mr. Paine had even more of a "sense" than the history books suggest.

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