Stu Helm’s #PositiveLists: 10 Famous People I want to Personally Thank Today


Of course it’s time for a #PositiveList!

Ever since a friend told me that making positive lists is good for one’s general well-being, I’ve been writing and posting them to Facebook.

Everything between the hashmarks has been cut ‘n’ pasted from my personal Facebook page.


When we say we’re “thankful” on Thanksgiving, who are we thanking? God? Odin? Kali? Mother Earth? Fate? The Universe? Stephen Hawking? Each other? Gah! The list is endless, and I’m sure everyone has their own private, personal answer to that question, whether it’s general or specific, so let’s not debate God vs Odin right now (put a pin in that one!) and let’s just focus on…

10 Famous People, Living or Dead, That I Wanna Personally Say Thanks To

1) Marcel Duchamp – Thanks, Marcel, for putting a mustache on the Mona Lisa, and for hanging a urinal on the wall and calling it “Fountain.” Thanks for being one of the founders of Cubism, Conceptual Art, and Dada, and as such, one of the primary destroyers of all art norms & expectations. Thanks for helping me to realize that saying “That’s Not Art” might be the single most intellectually stunted statement a person can make, and for helping me to personally realize that I need not continue to be a visual artist in order to be an artistic spirit in this world. Merci, Marcel, j’apprécie ta grenade sociale, le léchage de la marque de naissance, perplexe, le cœur brisé!

2) Charles Schultz – Thanks, Mr. Schultz for making more money than Tina Turner back in 1980-something when I was a teenager in Art School, and I was hearing from everyone, “So, you’re going to be one of those ‘starving artists,’ eh?” I was starting to believe it, until I read an article in the paper about the top money makers in the entertainment industry. The list included artists, and apparently, cartoonists, which I wanted to be at the time. Charles “Charlie Brown” Schultz was number one with a bullet. He out earned TINA TURNER, and believe me, she was huge back then. She came in second place to Charlie fucking Brown. I’ve earned my living as an artist of one sort or another ever since, and while I ain’t exactly out-earning Tina, I’ve paid my rent, and as you can imagine, I am far from “starving” in my current role as Asheville’s biggest “Food Fan.” Thanks, Chuck!

3 & 4) The Williams Sisters – Thank you, Serena and Venus Williams for being two consistently amazing, smart, righteous, forthright, talented, kick-ass people in the public eye for a good chunk of my adult life. Thank you for setting the highest bar, always, for excellence in the face of jealousy and hate, and basically telling the world to FO if they didn’t like the fact that you’re pretty much the GOAT… and black… and female… and you don’t give two effs what anyone thinks. Thanks for being awesome. If I can be even 1/100th as awesome as you, I’ll be doing great.

5) Jon Stewart – Thanks for being funny as fuck, Jon Stewart, while maintaining your political and intellectual integrity. I’m gonna try to be like you. Please don’t turn out to be a sex creep.

6) Ruth Bader Ginsburg – Thanks, Your Honor, for being immortal… please… please be immortal. Please please please, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, be a Highlander, or a God, or even a Walker will do! Just don’t ever ever die. You are way too important, and I am forever thankful to you for your continued presence on the Supreme Court, as a bulwark against complete Libertarian chaos, and the total downfall of American Democracy. Are you, per chance, a Vampire, or would you like to become one? I might know a guy.

7) Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley – Thanks for being the world’s first modern “Goth,”and for writing one of the greatest books ever. I’ve read Frankenstein 3 times — which is a lot for this rube — and I’ve found greater enjoyment and deeper meaning in each reading. It’s the perfect book for a Gloomy Gus like me, who is occasionally #always at odds with the world, and it has often emboldened me to keep my head down, and both middle fingers raised high, while I slog my way through tough emotional times. The book and characters of Frankenstein and his Monster have also resulted in everything awesome ever made, from the very first movie, to Aurora Monster Models and Kits, to The Munsters, The Groovy Ghoulies, The Misfits, Morticia Addams, The Cure, black nail polish, dark lipstick, and sad people in spider-web tights. Yep, that’s right, Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, I’m totally giving you credit for spider-web tights. Thank you.

8) Obama#ThanksObama for being cool, calm, classy, smart, kind, empathetic, strong, positive, uplifting, intelligent, supportive, progressive, and thoughtful every step of the way. Apply this one to any member of the Obama family. Thank you all very much. Please come back.

9) Stephen Hawking – Yep, I wasn’t kidding, I really am very thankful to you, Stephen Hawking! I admit I don’t know a ton about you, except that you’re smart as fuck, super good at figuring shit out, and you’re constantly contributing to the on-going, global, historic, intellectual conversation that furthers our understanding of who we are, and how shit works. AND you do it all while being curled-up in a wheel chair, using a single cheek muscle to communicate by sending a signal to a computer. Whoa. Thank you for pretty much being a real-life comic book super hero, and a prominent champion for rational thinking.

10) Mark Zuckerburg – Thanks for Facebook, Mark! I mean, um, next time around, TRY not to let Russia use it to help win an election for one of their “assets” ie: Donald Trump, and please crack down on bullies, and on men who harass and threaten women, and those who would use your invention to spread hate, lies, conspiracies, and fake news that disrupts the fabric of our society… BUT, yes, apart from all that, thank you for Facebook, Marky Zuck, I truly love it, and I think if we use it properly, it can be a really good thing for society and democracy. And, too, also: Thanks for the cat gifs.


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From left: Chef Jacob Sessoms of Table; Chef William Dissen, The Market Place; Chef Steven Goff, Standard Foods; Chef Katie Button, Curate; Chef Joe Scully, Chestnut and Corner Kitchen; Stu Helm; Chef John Fleer, Rhubarb; Chef Karen Donatelli, Donatelli Bakery; Chef Peter Pollay, Posana Cafe; and Chef Matt Dawes, Bull & Beggar./ Photo by STEWART O’SHIELDS for ASHVEGAS.COM

Stu Helm is an artist, writer, and podcaster living in Asheville, NC, and a frequent diner at local restaurants, cafes, food trucks, and the like. His tastes run from hot dogs and mac ‘n’ cheese, to haute cuisine, and his opinions are based on a lifetime of eating out. He began writing about food strictly to amuse his friends on Facebook.


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