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Our “Good Place”-style version of the hereafter is having one final Beatles reunion in the form of a week-long festival. Part 1 looked at supporting acts and duets between various combinations of Beatles. Part 2 explored George and Ringo’s solo sets. For Part 3, we’ll look at the solo sets Paul and John have cooked up.

Paul McCartney solo set:

  • Paul McCartney: lead vocals, bass, guitar, piano
  • Linda McCartney: keyboards, background vocals
  • Brian Ray: guitar, bass, background vocals
  • Rusty Anderson: guitar, background vocals
  • Abe Laboriel, Jr.: drums, percussion, background vocals
  • Paul “Wix” Wickens: keyboards, accordion, background vocals

  1. Junior’s Farm
  2. Can’t Buy Me Love
  3. Jet 
  4. All My Loving 
  5. Letting Go
  6. I’m Looking Through You
  7. FourFiveSeconds (w/ Kanye West and Rihanna)
  8. Sing the Changes
  9. Eat at Home 
  10. Back in the USSR
  11. Flaming Pie 
  12. I’ve Just Seen A Face 
  13. Things We Said Today 
  14. Here, There, and Everywhere
  15. Blackbird (solo on guitar)
  16. Every Night (solo on guitar)
  17. At the Mercy (solo on piano)
  18. Lady Madonna (solo on piano)
  19. Yesterday (just Paul on guitar, Wix on keys)
  20. Listen To What the Man Said
  21. We Can Work It Out (w/ Stevie Wonder)
  22. Band on the Run
  23. Queenie Eye 
  24. You Never Give Me Your Money
  25. Got to Get You Into My Life 
  26. Kansas City/Hey Hey Hey Hey 

Encore:

  1. Let It Be
  2. Maybe I’m Amazed
  3. Golden Slumbers/Carry That Weight/The End

Paul’s set is characteristically a crowd-pleaser. Big hits abound, but he also surprises with a number of deep cuts from fan favorite albums: “Queenie Eye” from New, the title track to Flaming Pie, and “Eat at Home” from Ram all make it into the set. Although the ballads deliver as always, Paul connects most fully with the audience during the rockers, including a rousing, set-closing “Kansas City”, the Chuck Berry and Beach Boys homage “Back in the USSR,” and fun, unpretentious “Can’t Buy Me Love.” A number of absences make people wonder what songs will make it into the Beatles’ upcoming set, noting that “Live and Let Die,” “The Long and Winding Road,” “My Love,” and “Hey Jude” all didn’t get played. Aside from a few puzzling comments from Kanye when he was brought out to the stage, this concert goes without a hitch.

John Lennon solo set:

  • John Lennon: lead vocals, guitar, piano, harmonica
  • Earl Slick: lead guitar, background vocals
  • Klaus Voormann: bass, background vocals
  • Nicky Hopkins: keyboards, background vocals
  • Alan White: drums
  1. I’m Losing You 
  2. Yer Blues 
  3. You Can’t Catch Me 
  4. Help! 
  5. Much Too Late for Goodbyes (w/ Julian Lennon)
  6. In My Life 
  7. Surprise Surprise (Sweet Bird of Paradox)
  8. You’ve Got to Hide Your Love Away
  9. Julia/Mother
  10. Imagine
  11. Working Class Hero 
  12. (Just Like) Starting Over 
  13. Hey Bulldog
  14. Whatever Gets You Thru the Night (w/ Elton John)
  15. Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds (w/ Elton John) 
  16. Watching the Wheels 
  17. One Day at a Time
  18. Walking on Thin Ice (w/ Yoko Ono) 
  19. Money (That’s What I Want)
  20. Everybody’s Got Something To Hide (Except Me and My Monkey)
  21. Dizzy Miss Lizzie 
  22. New York City 

Encore:

  1. Instant Karma (We All Shine On!)
  2. Johnny B. Goode 
  3. Give Peace a Chance 

Giving a concert longer than any he gave as a solo artist, John Lennon did not disappoint. Although sometimes flubbing lyrics, as is his wont, this set delivers by playing to Lennon’s strengths of radical political activism and his love of old time rock and roll. He eschews most of the early Lennon-McCartney compositions in favor of the more introspective material from both the band and his time on his own or with the Plastic Ono Band. Highlights include the first time John and Julian perform on stage together, with a proud dad handling the harmonica parts on “Just Too Late for Goodbyes.” Even Yoko’s contribution to the set, poignantly the song John helped her record on the night he died, is well received. Elton provided glitz and showmanship by helping out with Lennon’s first #1 as a solo artist, “Whatever Gets You Through the Night” and the piano man’s version of “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds.”

So– that’s all there is for now. Part 4 will cover the highly anticipated reunion of all four Beatles on stage. Any predictions for their setlists?

All right, jabronies–we made it to the end of this timeline, exploring the presidencies of a splintered United States, with New England breaking away in the 1810s, and the Midwest breaking away in the 1870s, with France retaining most of the Rockies and the Pacific Northwest, and Mexico never losing Texas, California, or the rest of what is now the American Southwest.

So here are our last three president cards for the Algonquin League, and I may post some concluding thoughts on this timeline in the future. For now, I need to post this before my son wakes up from his nap…

Our final list of Algonquin League presidents:

  1. Zachariah Chandler (Michigan, Old Whig, 1876-1879)
  2. William T. Sherman (Ohio, Old Whig, 1879-1887)
  3. James Birdseye McPherson (Ohio, Old Whig, 1887-1890)
  4. William Windom (Minnesota, Old Whig, 1890-1891)
  5. John Hay (Illinois, Old Whig, 1891-1895)
  6. Adlai Stevenson (Illinois, Democratic, 1895-1899)
  7. Marshall Field (Illinois, Old Whig, 1899-1903)
  8. Russell Alger (Michigan, Old Whig, 1903-1907)
  9. Eugene V. Debs (Indiana, Farmer-Labor, 1907-1911)
  10. Nicholas Longworth (Ohio, Old Whig, 1911-1919) 
  11. Irvine Lenroot (Wisconsin, Old Whig, 1919-1927)
  12. Edward Jackson (Indiana, Old Whig, 1927-1931)
  13. Norman Thomas (Ohio, Farmer-Labor, 1931-1939)
  14. Arthur Vandenberg (Michigan, Old Whig, 1939-1944)
  15. John W. Bricker (Ohio, Old Whig, 1944-1947)
  16. Henry A. Wallace (Iowa, Farmer-Labor, 1947-1955)
  17. Harold Handley (Indiana, Old Whig, 1955-1963)
  18. Hubert H. Humphrey (Minnesota, DFL, 1963-1971)
  19. James Rhodes (Ohio, Old Whig, 1971-1975)
  20. George McGovern (Dakota, DFL, 1975-1983)
  21. Roger Chafee (Michigan, Old Whig, 1983-1991)
  22. Thomas Hayden (Michigan, DFL, 1991-1995)
  23. Fred Grandy (Iowa, Old Whig, 1995-1999)
  24. Hillary R. Collins (Illinois, DFL, 1999-2007)
  25. John Kasich (Ohio, Old Whig, 2007-2015)
  26. Scott Walker (Wisconsin, Old Whig, 2015-2019)
  27. Peter Buttigieg (Indiana, DFL, 2019- )

In Part 1, we went through the first few days of the festival, with a number of Beatles-related acts getting to perform, along with every duo possible among The Beatles. Next up are the lads’ solo sets. Day 4 sees both Ringo and George giving full-length concerts in anticipation of the Beatles reunion show just days away.

Ringo Starr’s band:

  • Ringo Starr: lead vocals, drums, percussion
  • Joe Walsh: guitar, vocals
  • Todd Rundgren: guitar, keyboards, vocals
  • Billy Preston: keyboards, vocals
  • Richard Page: bass, vocals
  • Mark Rivera: saxophone, keyboards, percussion
  • Zak Starkey: drums, percussion

Ringo Starr’s setlist:

  1. What’s My Name
  2. Matchbox
  3. Don’t Go Where the Road Don’t Go
  4. Other Side of Liverpool 
  5. Boys
  6. Missouri Loves Company
  7. I Saw the Light (Todd Rundgren on lead vocals)
  8. Will It Go Round in Circles (Billy Preston on lead vocals)
  9. Kyrie (Richard Page on lead vocals)
  10. In The City (Joe Walsh on lead vocals)
  11. Love Me Do
  12. Snookeroo 
  13. Don’t Pass Me By
  14. Back Off Boogaloo
  15. That’s The Way God Planned It (Billy Preston on lead vocals)
  16. Bang on the Drum (Todd Rundgren on lead vocals)
  17. Life’s Been Good to Me (So Far) (Joe Walsh on lead vocals) 
  18. Broken Wings (Richard Page on lead vocals) 
  19. No No Song 
  20. Yellow Submarine
  21. Oh My My
  22. Liverpool 8

Encore: It Don’t Come Easy, With A Little Help From My Friends.

Ringo gives an all-star band style performance, sharing the spotlight with some famous friends. Wisely avoiding his late 70s and early 80s records, he adroitly mixes old Beatles favorites, his early 70s records, and his more recent output. A number of surprising deep cuts make the show, including “Missouri Loves Company” from Ringo Rama, and “Snookeroo,” the b-side to “No No Song” written by Elton John and Bernie Taupin. The all-stars are tight, anchored by Starkey and Rivera’s musicianship. Walsh and Rundgren clown around and play off each other well, giving the proceedings some comic relief. Billy Preston’s enthusiasm is ineffectious, while Page, still as a statue on stage, provides perfect high tenor harmonies.

George Harrison’s band:

  • George Harrison: lead vocals, guitar
  • Dhani Harrison: guitar, background vocals
  • Herbie Flowers: bass, background vocals
  • Gary Wright: keyboards, background vocals
  • Jim Keltner: drums, percussion
  • Ray Cooper: drums, percussion

George Harrison’s setlist:

  1. The Inner Light (w/ Ravi Shankar)
  2. Within You, Without You (w/ Ravi Shankar)
  3. I Want to Tell You
  4. Any Road
  5. Not Guilty 
  6. Dark Horse 
  7. Cheer Down 
  8. Nothing Shaking (But the Leaves on the Trees)
  9. Sad-Eyed Lady of the Lowlands
  10. Give Me Love (Give Me Peace on Earth)
  11. Badge (w/ Eric Clapton)
  12. Cloud Nine (w/ Eric Clapton)
  13. While My Guitar Gently Weeps (w/ Eric Clapton)
  14. Life Itself 
  15. Old Brown Shoe
  16. Isn’t It A Pity
  17. Marwa Blues
  18. Devil’s Radio 
  19. End of the Line 
  20. Something
  21. Savoy Truffle (w/ Muscle Shoals Horns)
  22. Got My Mind Set On You (w/ Muscle Shoals Horns) 
  23. All Things Must Pass ((w/ Muscle Shoals Horns)

Encore: What Is Life? (w/ Muscle Shoals Horns), My Sweet Lord

Never the most engaging frontman, Harrison engages in some wry jokes and banter with his bandmates throughout the set. He begins with Ravi Shankar and about a half dozen musicians who back up George, his eyes closed and sitting cross-legged on a cushion, as they perform two of The Beatles’ best-known Indian-flavored tracks. As the Indian musicians leave the stage, George’s more conventional rock and roll accompanists join him, and a roadie hands him his psychedelic guitar from the Magical Mystery Tour era. Shortly after a couple covers of his favorite artists–Carl Perkins and Bob Dylan–his frenemy Eric Clapton joins him on stage. They perform the Cream staple “Badge”, the title track to Harrison’s comeback album Cloud Nine, and of course, “While My Guitar Gently Weeps,” with Clapton’s guitar solo earning some of the loudest cheers of the night. He visits some obscure tracks for the second half of his show such as the Wilburys song “End of the Line,” “Life Itself” from Somewhere in England, and the Grammy-winning “Marwa Blues.” After a rousing “Something”, Harrison invites the famous Muscle Shoals horn section to the stage for a few numbers before an encore that includes perhaps the two best known songs from his iconic All Things Must Pass.

John and Paul’s solo sets are up next. Any guesses on what they will play?

I can’t believe it, but we’re at the second-to-last installment of Each Alike in Dignity, the longest, most convoluted timeline I’ve ever attempted. As always, I am including four president cards, these ones covering the midwestern Algonquin League from the 80s through the Naughts. And just for you, Philip, two of them are from Michigan.

Roger Chafee was one of the astronauts who perished in the Apollo 1 fire; in this timeline, where space flight begins in a little bit later, he’s the first man to orbit the earth and lives a much longer life. And if Eugene Debs can become president in a polarized Midwest, why not Tom Hayden, the founder of Students for a Democratic Society? For those of you wondering if any celebrities would be president, Fred Grandy surfaces. As you may know, he played Gopher on The Love Boat and was an Iowa congressman. At last, Hillary gets to be president, and it happens partly because she didn’t marry Bill.

  1. Zachariah Chandler (Michigan, Old Whig, 1876-1879)
  2. William T. Sherman (Ohio, Old Whig, 1879-1887)
  3. James Birdseye McPherson (Ohio, Old Whig, 1887-1890)
  4. William Windom (Minnesota, Old Whig, 1890-1891)
  5. John Hay (Illinois, Old Whig, 1891-1895)
  6. Adlai Stevenson (Illinois, Democratic, 1895-1899)
  7. Marshall Field (Illinois, Old Whig, 1899-1903)
  8. Russell Alger (Michigan, Old Whig, 1903-1907)
  9. Eugene V. Debs (Indiana, Farmer-Labor, 1907-1911)
  10. Nicholas Longworth (Ohio, Old Whig, 1911-1919) 
  11. Irvine Lenroot (Wisconsin, Old Whig, 1919-1927)
  12. Edward Jackson (Indiana, Old Whig, 1927-1931)
  13. Norman Thomas (Ohio, Farmer-Labor, 1931-1939)
  14. Arthur Vandenberg (Michigan, Old Whig, 1939-1944)
  15. John W. Bricker (Ohio, Old Whig, 1944-1947)
  16. Henry A. Wallace (Iowa, Farmer-Labor, 1947-1955)
  17. Harold Handley (Indiana, Old Whig, 1955-1963)
  18. Hubert H. Humphrey (Minnesota, DFL, 1963-1971)
  19. James Rhodes (Ohio, Old Whig, 1971-1975)
  20. George McGovern (Dakota, DFL, 1975-1983)
  21. Roger Chafee (Michigan, Old Whig, 1983-1991)
  22. Thomas Hayden (Michigan, DFL, 1991-1995)
  23. Fred Grandy (Iowa, Old Whig, 1995-1999)
  24. Hillary R. Collins (Illinois, DFL, 1999-2007)

I’ve been watching The Good Place lately on the suggestion of a number of friends who thought it might be my cup of tea. I’m pleased to say that their suggestion was spot-in; it’s unexpected and delightful to see a prime-time major-network television show devoting time to, say, Soren Kierkegaard and esoteric considerations of what justice is like when our time on earth is over.

Over the course of four seasons, our four human protagonists on the show (aided by reformed demon Michael) realize that one’s fate after death is bogged down in a cumbersome points system that no modern person could possibly overcome to avoid going to “The Bad Place” due to the unintended consequences of their actions. They ultimately convince the heavenly (and hellish) hosts to remake the system. Most people will spend some time in a “bad place” to confront the harm they’ve caused and to finish growing and developing as a person before reaching the “good place.”

Yet the characters ultimately find “the good place” unfulfilling, inert, and too perfect for its own good. In order to enjoy eternity, they realize, their own eternities have to end: our existence needs to be finite. And so a mechanism is devised for someone, after a time enjoying “the good place” and all its experiences and happy reunions, to go peacefully off into oblivion “whenever you’re ready,” as the title of the final episode describes.

This seems like a very strange set-up for a fun post about a fantasy Beatles reunion. But suppose “the good place” is more or less what the hereafter is like? The Beatles and all their contemporaries and compatriots are there– and in time, each of us is there as well. Before The Beatles go off into that final sunset, let’s say they arrange one last reunion concert to end all reunion concerts. In fact, let’s imagine they go a step further and make it a reunion festival.

Preparations are in the works for a few Bearimys, but press agent Derek Taylor finally announces Brian Epstein’s plans for the festival.

It starts out with three days’ worth of mini-sets in a festival atmosphere: but with better sanitation, lots of comfy cushions to sit on, perfect crisp early autumn weather, and a few dozen food trucks offering fare ranging from classic British fish and chips to bahn mi.

The first day of the festival is reserved for acts that inspired John, Paul, George, and Ringo. Short 45-minute sets are reserved in different corners of the grounds for Chuck Berry, Carole King, Roy Orbison, Ray Charles, Carl Perkins, Buddy Holly & the Crickets, Little Richard, Eddie Cochran, The Shirelles, and Gene Vincent. A few key absences stand out; Jerry Lee Lewis is still struggling his way through the Bad Place, unable to fully grasp the problematic nature of marrying one’s 13-year-old cousin. Elvis is still somehow legally obligated to Col. Parker’s absurd movie contract in the afterlife, and is off filming his 583rd feature, Macau Madness.

Days two and three feature many of the Fab Four’s contemporaries and colleagues. Artists during this part of the festival include Harry Nilsson, Badfinger, Mary Hopkins, Peter & Gordon, Bob Dylan, Billy J. Kramer and the Dakotas, Denny Laine, Leon Russell, Tom Petty, Peter Frampton, Cilla Black, Jeff Lyne and the Electric Light Orchestra, Gerry & the Pacemakers, Jools Holland, Joe Walsh, The Meters, Steve Miller, Donovan, The Rutles, Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band, Ravi Shankar, Jackie DeShannon, and The Band.

The Beatles themselves take part as well. To help generate some excitement and anticipation, they sporatically perform in duos throughout these two days, performing short six-song sets with a few backup musicians. Between themselves, John, Paul, George, and Ringo make an agreement to not perform the same song twice during the festival.

Paul and George–maybe the most fraught interpersonal relationship in the group–come first, with a collaboration between them that ended up on the first disc they recorded, “In Spite of All the Danger.” They follow with a breezy “I’ll Follow the Sun” and with a knowing wink, do “Wah Wah,” a song Harrison wrote to vent out his frustrations on Macca during the Let It Be sessions. The Cute One and The Quiet One carry on with “Handle with Care,” as McCartney steps in for Roy Orbison on the bridge. Paul and George swap to ukuleles for “Dance Tonight,” and finally, Paul breaks out his fuzz bass to end with a rousing “Think For Yourself.”

John and Ringo go next for a fun, back-to-basics set that begins with “I’m the Greatest,” featuring some spritely keyboard work form Billy Preston. Lennon performs “Cold Turkey” followed by a jocular “What Goes On”, the latter being a rare collaboration between Lennon and Ringo. Feigning a yawn, Lennon then performs “I’m So Tired” before ending with “Goodnight Vienna” and one of Ringo’s finest moments as a drummer, “Rain.”

Paul and Ringo go next, and having lived the longest, they certainly had the most opportunities to collaborate. They begin with an ersatz “Temporary Secretary”, before switching to a tender “Walk With You” and “Six O’Clock,” an earnest song Macca wrote for the Ringo album. Next is one of Ringo’s #1 hits, “You’re Sixteen,” and Paul gamely reprises his kazoo solo from the 1973 original. “Helter Skelter” comes next, raucous and loud as could be, with Ringo gleefully shouting “I’VE GOT BLISTERS ON MY FINGERS!!” before concluding with “Beautiful Night,” from Flaming Pie.

John and George begin on a rocking note with “Give Me Some Truth”. John says some uncharacteristically kind words about George’s hard work to create the backwards solo on “I’m Only Sleeping” before they perform that track for the audience. Next, they go back to the Hamburg days to break out the instrumental “Cry for a Shadow.” George, shy in front the microphone after all these years, talks about John’s influence on his early life and the hurt his assassination caused before performing “All Those Years Ago.” As a lark, they tease the first verse of “How Do You Sleep” before switching to “Do You Want To Know A Secret.” For their finale, George is handed a sitar, and the two perform “Norwegian Wood.”

George and Ringo–perhaps the strongest and least complicated Beatles relationship (even after George and Maureen slept together) share a visible camaraderie during their set. Beginning with Dylan’s “If Not For You,” George then uses his slide guitar for the deep cut “King of Broken Hearts” from Vertical Man. As mutual Carl Perkins fans, their enjoyment at playing “Honey Don’t” is manifest, with Ringo giving one of his trademark invitations to a George guitar solo. “Photograph”–a collaboration between the two that went to #1–comes next, and Ringo thanks George for his help composing “Octopus’s Garden”. To end their set, they visit Harrison’s Cloud Nine album with the nostalgic “When We Was Fab.”

It goes without saying that John and Paul’s set is the most highly anticipated, and their performance closes out this segment of the festival. The lineup is stripped down: just the two of them come out at first, each with an acoustic guitar, to perform “Two of Us.” Then, they are joined by Jim Keltner on drums, and McCartney utility man Brian Ray switching between guitars, bass, and keyboards as needed. The foursome perform “The Ballad of John and Yoko” after reminiscing how much fun it was to record the song just the two of them in early 1969. During “Let Me Roll It”, Paul notes how he tried to make a song in the style of Lennon’s solo work, and invites John to take a verse. Things take a more serious turn with “The Song We Were Singing” from Flaming Pie. After doing one of their initial “Lennon-McCartney Originals,” “One After 909,” they conclude the set with the final song recorded by The Beatles, “Real Love.”

Needless to say, anticipation is at a fever pitch for the big day. But getting the four lads on stage together will have to wait. Each Beatle is getting a solo set in the festival– and we’ll cover that in Part 2.

The big moment has come. As longtime readers know, my alternate history timelines have one hard and fast rule: no IRL (in real-life) presidents, and nobody who was a president in a previous timeline I’ve written. So this post is my one chance to speculate on the presidencies of my two very favorite unsuccessful candidates: George McGovern and Hubert Humphrey. Believe me, I’d very much like to live in a world where each of them had eight years as president.

Designer’s notes: I couldn’t find a real right-winger who fit the Midwest well– instead I went with Handley–a quintessential “could have been worse” guy from the most reactionary state in the Midwest, and Jim Rhodes, most famous for unleashing the National Guard at Kent State.

But it’s Humphrey and McGovern that stand out to me- two very different sides of liberalism. Humphrey had plenty of administrative talent, a gift for gab, and was knew how to work through parliamentary maneuvers to be an effective legislator. And in this timeline, he doesn’t have Lyndon Johnson to keep screwing him over. McGovern was an idealist, a moralist, and a rare introverted politician. I wanted both men’s good intentions to come to unpredictable ends– Humphrey’s desire to send out good young persons in service to the world ends in a drawn-out war in Latin America. And McGovern’s desire for peace ends in committing soldiers to try and stop a genocide. The latter was inspired by McGovern’s comments that if he had been elected, he would have used American military power to halt the Khmer Rouge atrocities against their own people in Cambodia–striking for a man running on a platform of withdrawal from Vietnam.

  1. Zachariah Chandler (Michigan, Old Whig, 1876-1879)
  2. William T. Sherman (Ohio, Old Whig, 1879-1887)
  3. James Birdseye McPherson (Ohio, Old Whig, 1887-1890)
  4. William Windom (Minnesota, Old Whig, 1890-1891)
  5. John Hay (Illinois, Old Whig, 1891-1895)
  6. Adlai Stevenson (Illinois, Democratic, 1895-1899)
  7. Marshall Field (Illinois, Old Whig, 1899-1903)
  8. Russell Alger (Michigan, Old Whig, 1903-1907)
  9. Eugene V. Debs (Indiana, Farmer-Labor, 1907-1911)
  10. Nicholas Longworth (Ohio, Old Whig, 1911-1919) 
  11. Irvine Lenroot (Wisconsin, Old Whig, 1919-1927)
  12. Edward Jackson (Indiana, Old Whig, 1927-1931)
  13. Norman Thomas (Ohio, Farmer-Labor, 1931-1939)
  14. Arthur Vandenberg (Michigan, Old Whig, 1939-1944)
  15. John W. Bricker (Ohio, Old Whig, 1944-1947)
  16. Henry A. Wallace (Iowa, Farmer-Labor, 1947-1955)
  17. Harold Handley (Indiana, Old Whig, 1955-1963)
  18. Hubert H. Humphrey (Minnesota, DFL, 1963-1971)
  19. James Rhodes (Ohio, Old Whig, 1971-1975)
  20. George McGovern (Dakota, DFL, 1975-1983)

Although other projects have delayed the conclusion of this series, I’m submitting for your consideration the four most iconic fictional characters from our final ten states.

Oklahoma:

  • Tom Joad (The Grapes of Wrath)
  • Ponyboy Curtis (The Outsiders)
  • Curly McClain (Oklahoma!)
  • Mike Doonesbury (Doonesbury)

Texas:

  • J.R. Ewing (Dallas)
  • Cordell Walker (Walker, Texas Ranger)
  • Leatherface (Texas Chainsaw Massacre)
  • Bo “Bandit” Darville (Smoky and the Bandit)

New Mexico:

  • Pecos Bill (folk legend) 
  • Ethel Mertz (I Love Lucy)
  • Walter White (Breaking Bad)
  • Will Kane (High Noon)

Arizona:

  • Eleanor Shellstrop (The Good Place)
  • Thunderbird (X-Men…for three issues, anyway)
  • John Rambo (Rambo)
  • Thel (The Family Circus)

Nevada:

  • Ben Cartwright (Bonanza)
  • Jim Dangle (Reno 911)
  • Leslie Chow (The Hangover)
  • Rusty Martin (Viva Las Vegas)

California:

  • Bojack Horseman (Bojack Horseman)
  • The Dude (The Big Lebowski)
  • Buffy Summers (Buffy the Vampire Slayer)
  • Ron Burgundy (Anchorman)

Oregon:

  • Homer Simpson (The Simpsons)
  • Coraline (eponymous graphic novel and movie)
  • Ramona Quimby (eponymous children’s novel)
  • Chief Bromden (One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest)

Washington:

  • Frasier Crane (Frasier)
  • Bella Swan (Twilight)
  • Poison Ivy (Batman comics and Batman & Robin)
  • Anastasia Steele (Fifty Shades of Gray)

Alaska:

  • William Riker (Star Trek: The Next Generation)
  • Buck (Call of the Wild)
  • Maggie O’Connell (Northern Exposure)
  • Meyer Landsman (Yiddish Policeman’s Union)

Hawaii:

  • Lilo Pelekai (Lilo & Stitch)
  • Dano Williams (Hawaii Five-O)
  • Thomas Magnum (Magnum PI)
  • Gilligan (Gilligan’s Island)

What do you think? I realize putting down Homer Simpson for Oregon was cheating a little bit but Matt Groening has been more than open about his childhood in the Beaver State inspiring his most famous television series.

As we established last time, the Algonquin States are going to swing a bit between far-left and reaction. Nowhere is that more apparent than in this set, which covers the equivalent of World War II, called the Trans-oceanic War in this timeline.

Designer’s notes: Only in a world of tense polarization could Henry Wallace and Norman Thomas become heads of state! But they both show radicalism in the U.S. frequently has Midwestern roots right out of the American soil. In fact, a religious element was often present: Wallace had a strong lineage in the social gospel tradition–his grandfather was a pastor in that school of thought–and Norman Thomas was himself a pastor.

  1. Zachariah Chandler (Michigan, Old Whig, 1876-1879)
  2. William T. Sherman (Ohio, Old Whig, 1879-1887)
  3. James Birdseye McPherson (Ohio, Old Whig, 1887-1890)
  4. William Windom (Minnesota, Old Whig, 1890-1891)
  5. John Hay (Illinois, Old Whig, 1891-1895)
  6. Adlai Stevenson (Illinois, Democratic, 1895-1899)
  7. Marshall Field (Illinois, Old Whig, 1899-1903)
  8. Russell Alger (Michigan, Old Whig, 1903-1907)
  9. Eugene V. Debs (Indiana, Farmer-Labor, 1907-1911)
  10. Nicholas Longworth (Ohio, Old Whig, 1911-1919) 
  11. Irvine Lenroot (Wisconsin, Old Whig, 1919-1927)
  12. Edward Jackson (Indiana, Old Whig, 1927-1931)
  13. Norman Thomas (Ohio, Farmer-Labor, 1931-1939)
  14. Arthur Vandenberg (Michigan, Old Whig, 1939-1944)
  15. John W. Bricker (Ohio, Old Whig, 1944-1947)
  16. Henry A. Wallace (Iowa, Farmer-Labor, 1947-1955)

One of the distinguishing features of an independent Midwest in this timeline is its sometimes wild fluctuations between left and right. Consider that Wisconsin alone has sent a hack like Ron Johnson, a hysteria-monger like Joe McCarthy, a reformer like Bob LaFollette, a civil libertarian like Russ Feingold, a fiscal hawk like William Proxmire, an environmentalist like Gaylord Nelson, and a progressive lesbian like Tammy Baldwin to the Senate within a century’s time. Given some early, and highly explosive, decisions regarding labor unions, this teeter-tottering between extremes on the political spectrum becomes the new normal in the Algonquin League.

That’s our batch for this round…in our timeline they were a Klansman (Jackson) and, a socialist who got a million votes in an election and was thrown in jail by the man who defeated him (Debs, of course). Lenroot could very easily have become president in our timeline…he was the favorite for the vice-presidency in 1920 as a progressive-lite balance to Warren Harding, but the delegates made a last minute and almost spontaneous move to Coolidge. Finally, Nicholas Longworth was a key Republican of the 1920s, and was rendered a cuckold by William Borah.

This makes our presidents of the Algonquin League, so far:

  1. Zachariah Chandler (Michigan, Old Whig, 1876-1879)
  2. William T. Sherman (Ohio, Old Whig, 1879-1887)
  3. James Birdseye McPherson (Ohio, Old Whig, 1887-1890)
  4. William Windom (Minnesota, Old Whig, 1890-1891)
  5. John Hay (Illinois, Old Whig, 1891-1895)
  6. Adlai Stevenson (Illinois, Democratic, 1895-1899)
  7. Marshall Field (Illinois, Old Whig, 1899-1903)
  8. Russell Alger (Michigan, Old Whig, 1903-1907)
  9. Eugene V. Debs (Indiana, Farmer-Labor, 1907-1911)
  10. Nicholas Longworth (Ohio, Old Whig, 1911-1919)
  11. Irvine Lenroot (Wisconsin, Old Whig, 1919-1927)
  12. Edward Jackson (Indiana, Old Whig, 1927-1931)

Now that the Algonquin League is well-established as a sovereign nation, let’s dig a little bit further into its chronicles…

Four presidents, all of them born in the 1830s, all of whom would have been involved in some capacity with the Midwest’s struggle for independence. We’ve got a Secretary of State, a vice-president, a department store tycoon, and Russell Alger- a governor who seriously bungled the Spanish-American War.

Take note of the Parker decision, because it’s going to be a major turning point in the history of the Algonquin League…