Friday, October 29

All the President's Men - While many have suffered the unwelcome advances of Bill Clinton, could anything have been worse than getting hit on by Abraham Lincoln? According to forthcoming "blockbuster" research -- leaked this week by famous outer Doug Ireland -- Honest Abe had a romantic interest in any number of male subordinates, such as "the handsome David Derickson, by nine years the president’s junior, captain of Lincoln’s bodyguard," who was wooed "to close intimacy and friendship, a kind of courtship," such that:

In Mrs. Lincoln’s absence he frequently spent the night at his cottage [at the summer White House], sleeping in the same bed with him, and — it is said — making use of his Excellency’s night-shirt!

Now I'm not generally a fan of retroactively applying modern sensibilities to historical times, and I think it's especially foolish in the context of sexual orientation. For while sexuality is innate, its expression is clearly channeled by the times and societies in which we live, so that speaking of "gay" people much before the 20th century is pointless. Although -- the book apparently does expose Lincoln's penchant for ribald limericks about ass-f*cking. Log Cabin Republicans indeed.

Whatever the truth of his proclivities, it doesn't help that the long-armed and loose-jointed Lincoln was unattractive even for the 1860s.