B is for Bentham, B is for Branson; Of Heads As Odes

What is it with Brits and busts? Bentham asked that his head be preserved (and his body) as part of the auto-icon. I was listening to Wendy Brown’s lecture on Bentham and she reminded me of this oddity. As she explained, Bentham seemed to think that statues were less utile than a preserve body. The effort failed in that the body was preserved but the head shriveled and a wax head was needed to replace it. Now Richard Branson is apparently following in Bentham’s footsteps but understands the transient nature of things. He has embraced that nature so much that his take on busts is an ice cube mold of his head. Yes if you fly first, oh excuse me, upper class, on Virgin, you too can have this treasure. The Colbert Report clip below is a blast. To me, the whole idea evokes transubstantiation. Or maybe for science fiction fans, Heinlein’s grok in that way the Martians do, you know eating the bodies of the dead. Branson, that clever man, had found he does not have to die for us to commune with him. We just need to join his upper class. Now what if we make a similar mold? Ah let the lawsuits begin!

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Richard Branson-Shaped Ice Cubes
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