President Unaccounted For

I'm thinking about the future according to Holden ... a future where technology and automation will create a fabulous world for us all, a place where computers will do all the work and the dead will walk again.

I'm thinking, Charles Holden: madman ... or visionary?
"'Visionary?' Well, I guess in a way, but I don't really consider myself a visionary in my way of thinking," says the modest fellow with a shrug. "I'm a realist. I'm a person who understands that we can make great breakthroughs in science for the good of all mankind. I know how to build inventions that can enable tremendous breakthroughs in radio waves and biotechnology."

Holden gained all this knowledge, of course, by "studying for quite a few hours in libraries, and by a natural interpretation of real scientific principles people can understand." Before you laugh, just remember that you can build an atomic bomb using instructions to be found in any local library.

But what if his knowledge fell into the wrong hands? God only knows what might happen. "I know!" Holden sputters. "Because biotechnology could be very threatening to world security!"

In this technological age, the success of any campaign involves a candidate's relationship with the camera. If you can't look good on TV, you're in tough shape.

Holden, should he get the chance to grace the airwaves, is fairly confident. "I think I need a little practice, but I think I could be real good at it," he says. "I'm a pretty good singer, on my own, just singing. I used to sing Jackson Browne and Eagles and stuff. But if I had somebody brushing me up for a few days, I could give a real good presentation before the camera. Believe me, talking on camera isn't like just having a conversation with somebody at a bus stop."

And this is where Holden's past experience may be helpful.
"Campaigning on TV, it's just like a sales pitch. I used to sell Electrolux vacuum cleaners--I didn't sell many, but I had a good pitch."

But aren't his ideas perhaps a tad too far out for Mr. and Mrs. America and all the ships at sea?

"Absolutely not," Holden replies confidently. "I think when my ideas are publicized with the help of magazines like yours--even though it's unlikely that I'll become president--people can understand how progress will come about. Then they can start planning a new standard of living."

Holden is now getting warmed up.
"They laughed at the Wright brothers when they said they could invent a flying machine. They even laughed at Robert Fulton when he said he could use a steam engine in a boat that floated on water--they thought it would sink to the ground!"

Holden is now getting really warmed up.
"We can build point-of-purchase manufacturing retail outlets supplying products very cheaply to anybody in the world market, but we should have a plan and go about it with the comprehension and knowledge of what will happen in the future."

Sorry, but I am not familiar with a point-of-purchase manufacturing retail outlet.

"You go into a store, and any product you want, they can manufacture it right there," informs Holden.

But wouldn't that put a lot of people out of work?
"Millions of people worldwide would be put out of work," replies Holden without hesitation.

And how would he deal with that?
There is a rather long pause.
"I would ... I would ... that's the problem."

But back to this raising-the-dead thing. Even Holden admits that it may be difficult for folks to deal with. "I think it's something that's hard for people to swallow; it's something people don't want to believe," he says. "But through scientific advances, it will be possible with someone who has been buried and embalmed, if deterioration hasn't reached advanced stages. When a person is embalmed and buried and put in a coffin, that body stays preserved for much longer than most people believe. Most germs only go down about three feet deep in the ground, so there's no problem with bacteria."

Well, I didn't know that.
I ask Holden which president he would bring back from the grave, if he had the choice. This is how our conversation goes:

"You mean any of them, or the ones I think are still possible to bring back?"

"From the ones that are still possible to bring back."
"I think you could probably go back as far as Kennedy and still bring him back to life."

"But isn't his head in kind of bad shape?"
"That's true. But as long as his brain is still intact--even with the bullet wound--Ithink he could be brought back to life."

"Some conspiracy theorists claim that his brain was actually stolen."
"Well, that would be a problem."

No, Charles Holden will not become president in 1996. Nor will he gain the Republican nomination. But that has not stopped him from looking to the future. Where, as Ed Wood himself once so eloquently put it, we will all be spending the rest of our lives.

"I'll only run in 2000 if three criteria are there for me," says Holden. "You need an organization of thousands of people all around the country helping you," he begins, extending a finger. "You need national media coverage; that's very important," he continues, extending a second finger. "And you need money." Though this is obviously the third necessary factor, he does not extend a third finger. "If you've got those three factors, you can be in a position to at least express your opinions to the voters."

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