If anyone has a right to be tired of Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address, it's writer and producer David Grubin. As a sixth-grader, he had to write it out 100 times or so—his teacher's favorite form of punishment. The actual words meant little to him as a 12-year-old, but their relevance and eloquence resonate today. "No matter how many times it was inflicted on me, the cadences sing in my blood," he writes in the Los Angeles Times.
"The wrong kind of schooling—and I had plenty of it—can tame the most provocative words, pacify them, render them useless," writes Grubin. "But somehow Lincoln's words transcended the punitive, mind-numbing repetition I was subjected to, just as Lincoln himself has escaped the incessant commercialization of popular culture. In spite of the relentless trivialization, he remains more than the name on the bank, the car, the logs, the new housing development."