Andrew Jackson, the seventh president of the United States, famously opened the White House to the public in 1827 to help him consume a two-ton block of cheese.
Apart from its practical application, the occasion was meant to demonstrate the openness of the Jackson Administration, and the President’s accessibility to the people.
The gesture was commemorated in The West Wing‘s fictitious Bartlet White House, when the annual “Big Block of Cheese Day” enabled advocates of fringe causes access to the President’s senior staff. Some of the staff had alternative titles for the day, including “Throw Open Our Office Doors To People Who Want To Discuss Things That We Couldn’t Care Less About Day,” and “Total Crackpot Day.”
The funny thing about fringe causes, though, is that despite their comical obscurity some of them are worthy! In this instance, CJ Cregg, White House Director of Communications, is converted to the abolition of the Mercator map, and its replacement with the Gall Peters Projection:
I know exactly how CJ feels. An Australian restaurateur, Paul Mathis, has spent $38,000 advocating the introduction of a 27th letter into the alphabet. I’m totally sold on the idea!
(Justice demands I acknowledge that the Ћ character is borrowed from the Serbs.)