Nearly 150 years ago, John Wilkes Booth shook the earth with one gunshot, when he assassinated president Abraham Lincoln at Fords’ Theater in Washington, D.C. Although he has been dead and buried for equally as long, he is still causing some shaking, err…I mean bobbing, in the form of a semi-expensive novelty toy known as a bobblehead doll. Poor taste? Mayhaps, but causing the masses to completely overreact as only uptight, politically incorrect and vastly uninformed Americans could? Absolutely. A few weeks ago, a souvenir store in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania received so many complaints about the Booth bobblehead doll being for sale on their shelves, that they decided to discontinue selling it. It appears, as we have heard all too often, that many people were offended by the unsightly six-inch tall plastic figure (ironically displayed right next to Lincoln’s). I suppose a few people had trouble wolfing down their artery-hardening apple fritters at O’Rourke’s on Steinwehr Avenue after seeing such a ghastly sight. This just begs me to ask the question: are you offended by such an item?
I suppose the overwhelming majority would say yes, as the majority feels Booth is a murderer who cut down America’s most beloved president. The minority, such as those who feel Booth was a patriot, would see no problem with the doll. Then there is an even smaller amount of people who can separate their view of Booth being a murderer and still be okay with the sale of his bobblehead (hello out there, if you’re there!). If you have read through this blog enough, then you know my views on Booth and the whole assassination, so then obviously you can gather I have no problem with such a doll, and even want to buy one for myself (it sells online for prices ranging from between $15-20). I tend to like things that offend people, if only to keep them on edge and not knowing what to expect, and of course, to gauge their always priceless reactions (oh, the stares I once drew from wearing a hat with a tiny two-inch wide Confederate Flag on it).
We live in a world today where people look to get offended; they actually walk down the street and instead of enjoying the day, try to seek out things that will get them angry, whether their anger is genuine or completely manufactured out of a necessity for attention in this me-first civilization. Just try to picture the situation that occurred in the store mentioned above. What normal person would walk through a souvenir shop on their vacation and actually waste valuable moments of their dwindling life getting pissed off and complaining to management about a plastic doll not much bigger than that envelope of fake Civil War era money they just bought? Are we really that starved for attention? Heinous crime or not, I think 150 years is enough time to have passed to have a little bit of fun with history, as the Booth figure on its own is not in an offensive stance.
Well, no matter what your view is, no one can say they are surprised by this whole situation. It is only going to get worse as the years go by, not just with silly, stupid instances like this, but with more important things in our lives. I guess after buying this doll for myself, I might as well take the leap and get a Charles Manson one as well (maybe a t-shirt too); after all, ain’t I just a heartless, sadistic, miserable excuse of a human being if I want to put this thing on my bookshelf? Well, apparently so. If I didn’t know any better, I’d say there was a special place in hell for people who dare to have a sense of humor today. Now where’s that Manson t-shirt? Charlie don’t ask twice…
Politically Incorrect Rating: 8/10.
Do I want one: Yes, please!