Benjamin Franklin (January 17, 1706 – April 17, 1790) is widely known for being a Founder of the United States of America, as well as an accomplished inventor, statesman, and writer. He is also acknowledged as being one of the most prominent joiners of his time, and the most famous JUOD Propagandist outside of Harley P. Mathewson.
A Joinish Icon
In 1754, Franklin drew the first political cartoon to appear in an American newspaper (pictured at right). The image shows a snake cut into several pieces, each representing a colony, in an effort to unite the colonies during the French and Indian War. As the caption "Join, Or Die" (a slight bastardization of The Proposition) clearly indicates, this message is founded strongly in Franklin's JUOD philosophies. Though the cartoon served the purpose of encouraging colonial unity well, it obviously bore the dual motive of promoting the JUOD Movement throughout the colonies. Franklin's words effectively permeated the malleable minds of many intellectual figures of the time, bringing in many new joiners and spreading a general contempt for non-joiners. Death was brought swiftly to many.
Franklin is credited for devising the Joining Index in 1749, a method of objectively rating how much joining a joiner has done. Franklin's notes indicate that he was displeased with the lack of a hierarchical organization among joiners, and wished to use his impressive skills of science to fill that deficiency. Whether he was successful in this task is debatable.
Franklin is also hailed for having an extremely wicked mullet. Unlike many other mullet exhibitionists of the era, Franklin was recognized by his peers during his lifetime. In minutes recovered from meetings of the Continental Congress, references are frequently made to the outstanding nature of Franklin's "mullette." At least once per session, a motion was made to recognize Franklin for "excellence in keeping proper Business at Front, whilst also maintaining a jovial time at the Aft." Some historians claim that the ratification of the constitution may have been delayed by as much as six months, due to repeated attempts to include a so-called "Mullette Clause."
As JUOD Propagandist
Franklin ranks as probably the most effective of the proto-joiners and, outside of Mathewson, the most successful JUOD Propagandist. Besides his iconic cartoon, which has inspired much joining and even more death, Franklin also published many pamphlets proclaiming the many benefits to joining and the many gruesome deaths that not joining would entail. He is one of the few men ever to be complimented by Mathewson, who said of him in some copies of Volume II, "The Firmament Whereupon We Join," that:
"Here's to Franklin, Joiner of Joiners
Always a Speech, and never a BoreWho was a huge Douche."
He avoided Joining
Like He avoided French Whores!
Upon his Shoulders
Many Joiners have Joined,
But certainly not like that Fag Henson
Interestingly enough, the negative reference to Jim Henson probably means this was a later addition to Volume II. Some scholars have even gone so far to say that it was a later, spurious addition. Still, it jives with positive comments Mathewson has made about Franklin.