Title: Horseless Miscarriage: portrait of Henry Ford
Material: Oil on canvas
History is more or less bunk. – Henry Ford
Legacy can also be bunk.
Henry Ford is famed for being the father of Edsel Ford, a hero of many crossword puzzles, along with Oona Chaplin, Yoko Ono, Bono, Elmo, Han Solo, Brian Eno, Shaq, Tina Fey, Eva Gabor, Bert Lahr, Elie Weisel, Erma Bombeck, Mel Ott and Bill Nye.
Speaking of crosswords, Henry Ford had a lot of cross words for Jews, which he used to broad effect in The Dearborn Independent, a newspaper he purchased and re-tooled to broadcast his antisemitic fantasies. He believed and promoted trendy, half-baked theories about the alleged innate inferiority of any race but his own (Michiganus Americus) — the kind of drivel that was recorded in The Great Gatsby when literary lug-head Tom Buchanan, played in the movie by Bruce Dern, at one point belched “Well, these books are all scientific. It’s up to us who are the dominant race to watch out or these other races will have control of things.” (Note: “These books” AND The Great Gatsby were all published by Scribner’s of New York.)
But getting back to Edsel, who I will henceforth refer to as “Ed”, to save ink, his father’s target audience were racists who all of the sudden believed in science so that they could distort it to align with their prejudices. They like things easy and within reach, like the neck and giblets at Thanksgiving dinner. They believed that because Ford was a fine mechanic and made piles of money he must also be a brilliant anthropologist. We sometimes forget how few tricks a clever dog really knows. The truth is, people have far more similarities than we do differences. For every difference you note I can point out thirty-five similarities. When we are more concerned with being great than we are with doing good, we become less exceptional. That’s science. Right, Ed?