"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)

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Madison Sheen, the Original Badboy

As we always say here at Lost and Founders - history repeats itself. Anyone who hasn't been living under a rock for the past few weeks has surely been subject to a plethora of media coverage on one Carlos Irwin Estevez, more commonly known by his stage name Charlie Sheen. The star has always received a lot of attention for his tendency to throw dangerously awesome parties and subject himself and the producers of his show to general malaise for the sake of a good time.

What his critics don't realize is that Mr. Sheen was not by any stretch the first rockstar party animal. In truth, he is likely taking a lot of his queues from one (or several) of our founding fathers. These gentlemen quite simply knew how to have a good time, and yet never let it get in the way of doing their job of running a country.

Take for example the following quote from Mr. James Madison, established in a previous post as a staunch advocate of colonial nightlife. Here we see a further glimpse into his wild side:

"A local spirit will infallibly prevail much more in the members of Congress than a national spirit will prevail in the legislatures of the particular States, though a few bottles of spirits will turn both into a true political party. See what I did there?"

James Madison, Federalist No. 46, January 29, 1788
Further evidence can be found in a transcript taken from a toga party thrown to celebrate the writing of the Federalist Papers in which our third President proclaimed, just before falling off of a table top,

"A popular Government, without popular people, popular information, or the means of acquiring it by popular consent, is but a Prologue to a Farce or a Tragedy; or, perhaps both. Or, perhaps neither. I am actually quite drunk right now. Please stop writing this down."

James Madison, Toga Party, 1789

As you can see, there ain't no party like a colonial party. Thankfully for Mr. Madison, TMZ was not founded until 1845. The takeaway here is that even with such hardcore lifestyles, our founders were able to accomplish amazing things when left to their own devices. Perhaps it's best to focus on the positives rather than the negatives in such a case. Food for thought.

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