blancwene: (Saltpetre is not important - Abby Adams)
In May 2010, Citizens Bank started running a commercial in which an elderly man portraying Alexander Hamilton, "first Secretary of the Treasury," talked about CB's nifty, avant garde policies. Subsequent commercials also feature him interacting with people and technologies in the modern world. (Alexander Hamilton in a white wig trying to use Twitter, har har, how humorous.)

I have two major problems with this depiction of Hamilton:

1. He wasn't old. (b. 1755, d. 1804, natch.) HE HAS GREY/WHITE HAIR IN HIS PORTRAITS BECAUSE HAIR POWDER WAS THE BIG THING. I mean, come on, he looked like this:

Not bad-looking, am I right? He wasn't even fifty when he died, and he was only in his thirties during his term as Secretary of the Treasury.

2. I understand that CB wants an easily identifiable Founding Father in their commercial, and since most people have seen his face on a $10 bill + he founded the national bank, he's a good choice. However, Hamilton was a controversial/scandalous figure, and I'm not sure they're aware of this.

A short breakdown of Alexander Hamilton's life )

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It is always remarkable when someone sees your soul to a better degree than you see it yourself. You could count the people who see your soul on one hand. Others might know you but they would forget; their knowledge of you was like a weak and undisciplined thing. But that wasn’t so with him. He didn’t forget. It stuck in his mind. He had seen a kindred soul. He had seen it long ago. She only saw it now. But she was stricken with it. Suddenly she had identified him. There was the man she loved. As a result, she proceeded dementedly to behave as if the opposite were true.

–Nancy Lemann, The Fiery Pantheon

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