Here’s a question that is both not very serious and not very serious at the same time. Can I bring myself to include a picture of “the Hoff” in the database of sources we are developing for the 1989 project? It is, after all, an artifact of the Cold War, just as much as the Wendy’s commercial that spoofs a Soviet fashion show (available on iFilm.com). I use that particular commercial whenever I teach my survey of East European history. The students love it (in part because it’s so old…produced before they were born) and because it is just playful enough that they feel free to be playful themselves in their analysis.
But the Hoff? Okay, you be the judge.
Like the Wendy’s commercial, this has the virtue of being playful and gives students a chance to try to understand the connections between American popular culture and big international events like the collapse of the Berlin Wall. So on those grounds, it’s probably a good source to include.
There are two issues here, one of which may be surmountable and one which may not. The one that may not be surmountable is that this image obviously appeared in a print publication somewhere and I do not know where and so cannot contact the rights holder (which puts me on some sketchy legal ground, I suppose, even showing it to you here). I found it online at a celebrity snarking blog. The other issue–and the one I can probably surmount is my squeamishness about, well, the Hoff.
What to do?