Monday, July 13, 2009

What the Heck?

My boyfriend is a history buff. He likes to read about wars, and presidents, and economies, and stuff like that. I like to read about aliens, and what Lady Gaga is wearing. Yay!

Anyway, he has a special soft spot for the Civil War, so whenever I see cute things related to that era, I buy them for him. You may think that "cute" and the Civil War would not go together, because of the whole brother against brother thing, but you would be wrong-o.

Here is my favorite Civil War thing that I have bought him (imagine this on a T-shirt):

Ha ha ha ha ha, gets me every time.

Anyway, I recently bought him another such T-shirt. I didn't give it much thought at first, but when we received it, a furious debate began.

Here is the shirt

As you can see, Abe Lincoln is cast here as an old-tyme magician, because "The Great Emancipator" kind of sounds like "The Great Santini" or whatever. He has his wand and cape and whatnot. Here is the conversation that ensued:

Paul: A shirt! Wow! Thank you!
Me: It's Abe Lincoln!
Paul: Why is he pulling a giraffe out of the hat?
Me: Because he's a magician.
Paul: But why a giraffe?
Me: ...
Paul: Does the giraffe represent...Africa?
Me: I hope not, because that is kind of rascist. Actually, it's fairly racist.

So now we are totally confused about what is happening on this shirt. I went to the discussion forum (because I am such a nerd), and the consensus seems to be that, because Lincoln was famous for (among other things) wearing a tall stovepipe hat, he is pulling a giraffe out of his tall hat. Also a lot of other people are like "This is straight-up weird and borderline racist."

So what do you think? What, if any, is the significance of the giraffe? And why does the giraffe have one big lump on his head, when they traditionally have two head stumps?

And finally, is Abe Lincoln strangling that giraffe?

So many questions.

1 comment:

Rebecca M said...

i just saw this shirt today and i had to look it up. i think the shirt is referring to a term called "jungle bunny" it's a really offensive name for an african american person and the name was used dusing that time. i hope this gets to you, i saw your post is from over 2 years ago :)