I've been thinking and writing a lot about epideictic rhetoric over the last few days which is, in very few words, the rhetoric of display. I read this cool article that basically claims that the most successful occasions of epideictic kind of stick around in a community's and even society's memory. We use those pieces of discourse as proverbial dots--culturally defining moments--and connect those dots to create for ourselves workable histories. These histories are never complete and maybe even do more to obfuscate the actual realities of what occurred. Nevertheless, they help us imagine our pasts, and therefore also help us imagine ourselves.
Anyway, I saw this cool ad today and it made me start thinking about this all over again. Media is one way that we do the work of history reconstruction:
www.onlyanything.com is a project with basically these same ends. Reconstruct the past using the pieces of discourse that have persisted (in both artifact and memory).