Wednesday, March 09, 2005

‘Uncle Sam’ forced into belated retirement by contemporary culture

The creative design team at Factotum Logotype has announced immediate plans replace the image of “Uncle Sam” as a symbol of the United States.

“That tired old coot has got to go!” hollered Morton Village, creative director of the iconoclastic agency that once pitched Disney the idea of Mickey Mouse as a rum-swilling horse player – a plan designed to make the billionaire rodent more appealing to the rum-swilling horse-playing crowd.

“Aside from the seeming significance of the letters U and S,” Village continues, “I see no reason for foisting that withering warmonger on the nations of the world any longer.”

Factotum Logotype’s decision to revamp the beloved mascot was greeted with benign indifference on Capitol Hill. “Mmmrrgle mm mm,” nodded a Congressional aide as he devoured a crawfish and havarti omelet at Washington DC’s trendy breakfast bar, Polk’s Yolks.

Village expounded on what could result in a new American Revolution in public relations. “My problem is that every time I think of ‘Uncle Sam,’ I picture him on stilts, waving two paper cones of cotton candy as he weaves his way through perspiring fairgoers. And the hat? The striped slacks? Outdated! He’s outdated! He’s out!”

Senator Dusty McGravey, of an illustrious Southern state, railed against what he referred to as “the unpatriotic proliferation of liberal commie slander.”

“My poor Uncle Sam must be turning in his grave at the very notion of obliterating his visage! I swear the ol’ feller’d be so hot under the collar about this, he’d blow a hole through the top of his hat!”

Village responded, “Tell Senator Hayseed, ‘Uncle Sam’ was no one’s uncle, just a character composite drawn from a number of sources. Oh, and remind him Communism fell in the early nineties.”

When pressed for the agency’s ideas for replacements, Village could only vaguely offer preliminary sketches of suggestions culled from his staff, reserving his prototype for last.

“We believe the symbol must be contemporary without alienating, hip without being exclusive. Something or someone everyone likes. The “Thumbs Up Baby Girl” is generating a lot of attention.”

Famous American icons have been debated throughout the cubicles of Factotum Logotype. However, suggestions ranging from Yosemite Sam, circa his mud flap days, to the Fonz (“Stop living in the past, man!” scolded a 20-year old designer) were ultimately voted down. The agency realized the new American symbol would have to be new, fresh, and sustainable.

“’Uncle Sam’ barely survived the last century. It’s time he gave up the ghost. And if he hesitates, then we will drag it from his husk.”

Morton Village and the agency hope to present initial designs to the public by early 2007. Why so long?

Says Village, “I’m not through with Disney. I’ll make that mouse a souse yet!”