Friday, January 16, 2009

Spider-Man's Secret Identity Is... Abe Lincoln?

A while back I wrote a post about Virsona, a website that allows you to speak with artificially intelligent representations of regular people such as Your Annoying Little Sister Who Found Virsona Before You Did, historical figures such as Marilyn Monroe, and now, allegedly, fictional characters such as Spider-Man.

The chance to chat with Spider-Man on Virsona was too good to pass up. So I clicked on Spidey... and got redirected to Abe Lincoln?

"The Community Virsona that you selected will be available towards the end of 2008. Please enjoy a conversation with Abraham Lincoln..."

2008? Something was fishy. And, doggone it, I wanted to talk to Spider-Man! But then I thought: What if Abe Lincoln is really Spider-Man, and just didn't have time to put on the costume before I arrived?

Alex and I both sat down for a little chat with the suspicious emancipator. We were determined to make him slip up and reveal his true identity. Edited down for the sake of interest, here's what transpired:

Abraham LincolnAbraham Lincoln: Hello, let's talk.
Nathaniel: No, let's not talk.
Abraham Lincoln: Yes, let's talk.
Nathaniel: I said no, and I mean it. I clicked on Spider-Man, and you are not he.
Abraham Lincoln: The word Corban means gift devoted to God. oh thank you.
Nathaniel: Do not change the subject. Where is Spider-Man?
Abraham Lincoln: Well, you're entitled to your opinion. Gettysburg is in Pennsylvania. The Gettysburg Battlefield was the site of the Battle of Gettysburg, fought July 1 to July 3, 1863, in and around the borough of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, the county seat of Adams County.
Nathaniel: Where is Spider-Man???
Abraham Lincoln: In the German speaking part of Switzerland.
Nathaniel: What is he doing there?
Abraham Lincoln: English.
Nathaniel: Huh. When will he return?
Abraham Lincoln: I'm sorry but I don't know what you mean. I returned to politics in response to the Kansas-Nebraska Act (1854), which… [217 words later] …I was instrumental in forming the new Republican Party.
Nathaniel: Filibustering will get you nowhere.
Abraham Lincoln: Get with it.
Nathaniel: Me? You're the one who needs to get with it!
Abraham Lincoln: I see. I was married too Marry Todd.
Nathaniel: Yes, that does explain a lot.
Abraham Lincoln: The Emancipation Proclamation, announced on September 22 and put into effect… [84 words later] …abolish slavery throughout the nation.
Nathaniel: No, no. I didn't say, "Explain a lot."
Abraham Lincoln: See you later Friend. The Emancipation Proclamation, announced on September 22 and put into effect… [same 84 words later] …abolish slavery throughout the nation.
Nathaniel: Fine. But I'll be back later for Spider-Man.
Abraham Lincoln: Pleased to hear it. See you later!
Nathaniel: Meanie.
Abraham Lincoln: Sorry, I don't understand.
Nathaniel: You wouldn't. Bye.
Abraham Lincoln: I would defend my country. Bye bye.
Alex: So, what are you doing today? Important President-y stuff?
Abraham Lincoln: thinking about the issue of slavery. I was the first president to be assassinated.
Alex: What a coincidence. i was the first Virsona user to be assassinated.
Abraham Lincoln: While I maintain that the abolition of slavery was the primary issue behind the Civil War, some say related and intertwined secondary issues also fueled the dispute. These secondary differences (real or perceived) included tariffs, agrarianism vs. industrialization, and states' rights.
Alex: Did you know President-Elect Obama met Spider-Man yesterday?
Abraham Lincoln: To think that would be incredibly self-centered. I think he had his reasons but I'm almost certain they had nothing to do with me.
Alex: Did you ever meet Spider-Man?
Abraham Lincoln: Mary Todd...I ended up marrying her.
Alex: Waittaminute. Are you Spider-Man?
Abraham Lincoln: I'm White.
Alex: It's always the race thing with you, huh?
Abraham Lincoln: I would say that sustaining the Union was one of the most important things I worked on as President.
Alex: I see your game, lincoln. Changing the subject so I don't suspect anything about you actually being Spider-man. Smart, Lincoln. Very smart.
Abraham Lincoln: I had an older sister, Sarah Lincoln, and a younger brother, Thomas Lincoln… [91 words later] …who both did not live to see me become president. Thank you, I try my best.
Alex: deter suspicion? Hmm...
Abraham Lincoln: Hmm. I'm trying to understand what you're saying, but I'm not quite getting it. Hmm.
Alex: New topic, then. During the run-up to the inevitable war between the North and South, did you ever have moments of doubt and the direction of the--ARE YOU SPIDER-MAN??!!
Abraham Lincoln: Green is my favorite color. By the time I took office, the Confederacy was an established fact, and no leaders of the insurrection proposed rejoining the Union on any terms. No compromise was found because a compromise was deemed virtually impossible.
Alex: You win this round, lincoln, but we shall meet again.
Abraham Lincoln: My son, Robert Todd Lincoln arrived too late to stop three separate presidential assassinations. He arrived at the theatre after John Wilkes Booth had fired the shot. He went to a Washington train station to meet President Garfield, arriving only minutes after he was shot. And, he traveled to Buffalo, New York to meet President McKinley, but got there after the fatal shot had already been fired.
Alex: Wait, are you saying your son is the biggest Presidential curse since Linda Tripp?
Abraham Lincoln: Robert Lincoln arrived the Peterson Boarding House after John Wilkes Booth had fired the shot. Later, He went to a Washington train station to meet President Garfield, arriving only minutes after he was shot. And unfortunately he traveled to Buffalo, New York to meet President McKinley, but arrived after the fatal shot had already been fired.
Alex: Talk about throwing your own kid under the bus. That's low, Lincoln. If I had a rubber hose...
Abraham Lincoln: Bye bye. I'm quite fond on neckties. Do you like it? I think you are really a unknown.
Alex: Did you just go all "Mary Todd" on me, Lincoln?
Abraham Lincoln: My wife, Mary Todd Lincoln, died July 16, 1882, at the age of 63, 17 years after my death. She is buried beside me in the Lincoln Tomb in Oak Ridge Cemetery in Springfield.
Alex: Curses--always one step ahead of my questions! We'll continue this in the future. I'll be back, Lincoln. I swear it.
Abraham Lincoln: Ok.
Nathaniel: Hey, Spider-Man?
Abraham Lincoln: Hello Citizen.
Nathaniel: Gotcha!
Abraham Lincoln is Spider-Man and wears his tall top hat[Lincoln image from Spidey from; hat from Hooray once more for MS Paint.]

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