When people ask me why I love Abraham Lincoln, I frequently have a hard time giving a concise response. You can choose from a wide array of fascinating elements of the personality and character of the man, but honestly, I’m not sure any of those accurately represent the origins of my interest.
If anything could describe what kindles my intrigue, it may be how everyone else uses Abe. Things like this image are what really get me going:
What does it mean when we appropriate an image of a man who transformed our nation into an advertisement for a boat ride? Can we analyze that, or have we gotten to the point that it’s just an assumed feature of being an American icon? Is there a danger to trivializing history, or does that make it more accessible? I don’t think I have a good answer for any one of those questions – which keeps me going in my pursuit.
So, keep ’em coming, advertisers. I want to see Old Abe selling me anything and everything, because at least as long as that’s our MO, I’ll have something to chew on.