Wednesday, February 8, 2012

An Abe of All Trades

Abraham Lincoln, somehow, keeps getting cooler.
In life, he barely got by on the Cool-O-Meter (assuming that's a real thing). He clawed his way out of the life of the poor farmer to become a successful lawyer. He managed to get elected to the House of Representatives for one term. After that, it was a parade of lost elections. A senate seat, the vice presidency, there wasn't an election Lincoln couldn't lose.

By some luck, Lincoln won the Presidential Election in 1860, but only because the Democratic Party split their votes and entered two candidates. And when he did win, seven states couldn't even bear with the idea of Lincoln being president and ended up seceding from the Union before he could even take office (another four would eventually follow officially). Yes, he won re-election, but none of the states that hated him had a say in that vote because they were not part of the country at the time.

Lincoln received death threats and even survived an assassination attempt in which a man shot his hat off of his head. Some even rejoiced when John Wilkes Booth assassinated Lincoln.

Since then, the Lincoln-hate as subsided and he's been considered one of the best presidents in our history. Partly because he freed the slaves (although, technically, not really), but also because he saw to his goal of preserving the Union. We put him on our money and we put him on Mount Rushmore.

His street cred keeps increasing, well-beyond larger-than-life proportions. That probably started in 1989, when two time travelers abducted Lincoln for a history project. Lincoln, either being a good sport or suffering Stockholm Syndrome, turned out to be the perfect way to top off the high school students' presentation. We have no idea how he grasped the modern vernacular so easily and was able turn phrases like "Be excellent to each other" and "party on, dudes," nor is it clear why the electrically-powered lights aren't freaking him the hell out. But hey, he's Lincoln.

In the 21st century, we Americans were given the question, "What if Lincoln also hunted vampires?" Well, actually, the initial question was "What if we added zombies to Pride and Prejudice?" The result was Pride & Prejudice and Zombies, a novel which became something of a cult hit, which told the world that writing glorified mashup fan fiction could earn you big bucks. Well, some bucks, at least. A wave of glorified mashup fan fiction followed, eventually resulting in the question "What if Lincoln also hunted vampires?" This, in turn, led to the novel Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, which has somehow emerged from the scrum of glorified mashup fan fiction to become the first such novel to be made into a movie.

Glorified mashup fan fiction aside, the idea of Lincoln as a vampire hunter is just ridiculous enough for this blog to endorse. But we have to ask-- what else about Lincoln do we not know? Did he have other powers? While nothing concrete has come to light, there is an interesting evidence that there may be some zombie killing in there as well. Don't believe us?
Are we supposed to just ignore the fact that a show about killing zombies starring an A. Lincoln will be returning on Abraham Lincoln's birthday?

Yeah, we didn't think so.

Meanwhile, a more sedate-- some might say more "truthy" Lincoln movie is in the works. It stars Daniel Day Lewis, a guy who, while he doesn't really make a lot of movies, per se, tends to kick ass in the roles he does take. But, does he look like Abe Lincoln? Survey says... yes.

The film, tentatively titled Lincoln, also stars Sally Field, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Tommy Lee Jones, Hal Holbrook, and James Spader. Oh, and it's directed by some guy named Steven Spielberg. I guess you could say ol' Abe is finding himself a little... popular.

Zombie-killing, vampire-hunting and history presenting aside, we here at HttCttD are only interested in one thing -- Abraham Lincoln: Presidential Gladiatorial Arena Combatant.

The fight between Theodore Roosevelt and Lincoln rages on until Friday morning, and if you haven't voted yet, please do so. And, or course, be excellent to each other.

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