When I first posted a link to the Horrible Histories version of Charles II's reign, I lamented that Americans didn't seem to generate the same kind of humor about their own history.
Well, my lamentations were premature. While not quite as riotous as the HH, this video clip (from the North Carolina-based web educators Soomo Publishing) does offer an entertaining mash-up of the American Founding Fathers with One Republic's Apologize –– and although it's full of important historical facts, it's also bound to stick in your head just as tenaciously as the original hit song did.
Of course, for a better idea of how many Americans view their own history, you have to consider what Madison Avenue does to it. This recent commercial from Dodge begins well enough (the mournful fiddle, 18th c. soldiers, and romantically bleak landscape certainly caught my interest) until it takes a very strange turn with George Washington chasing redcoats ala the Dukes of Hazzard. I always forget the part of the Constitution that guarantees every American's right to an awesome ride.
But if you really want to test how culturally low you can go, here's the Bud Light commercial currently in rotation for Independence Day, with the Founding Fathers whooping it up with plenty of brew and hot historical babes. Party on, T.J.
Many thanks to Darci Tucker of American Lives for sharing the Soomo video.
There’s a big difference in how we use history. But we’re equally nuts about it. To us, the everyday details of life in the past are things to talk about, ponder, make fun of -- much in the way normal people talk about their favorite reality show.
We talk about who’s wearing what and who’s sleeping with whom. We try to sort out rumor or myth from fact. We thought there must be at least three other people out there who think history’s fascinating and fun, too. This blog is for them.