So the folks who make Captain Morgan wanted to get in on the Stanley Cup playoffs, and to that end they produced a commercial. Let’s see–the ad includes a montage of images of previous Stanley Cup winning team captains, accompanied by a voice over featuring some guy reading lines of poetry:
O Captain! my Captain! our fearful trip is done,
The ship has weather’d every rack, the prize we sought is won
Nice. Very tasteful, and uplifting. Except…the poem being recited is “O Captain! My Captain!” by Walt Whitman. The poem was written at the end of the Civil War. The Captain mentioned in the poem is none other than Abraham Lincoln; the verses were written in response to the President’s assassination just as the war was won. In the last lines of the poem, Whitman expresses the full depth of his sorrow:
Exult O shores, and ring O bells!
But I with mournful tread,
Walk the deck my Captain lies,
Fallen cold and dead.
Thank goodness Bob Clarke and Mark Messier, among others, are still alive; otherwise that whole commercial might seem a little awkward.
That’s sarcasm, of course. Anyone who knows the provenance of the poem realizes how inappropriate and stupid that commercial is. But thanks to the general state of ignorance that pervades these days, few people even realize that “O Captain! My Captain!” is even about Lincoln, let alone all the words of the work.
Watching sports and having a brain at the same time ain’t easy.