Monday, January 17, 2005
January 15, 1929 - April 4, 1968
The March on Washington, August 28, 1963
A true revolution of values will soon cause us to question the fairness and justice of many of our past and present policies. On the one hand we are called to play the good Samaritan on life's roadside; but that will be only an initial act. One day we must come to see that the whole Jericho road must be transformed so that men and women will not be constantly beaten and robbed as they make their journey on life's highway. True compassion is more than flinging a coin to a beggar; it is not haphazard and superficial. It comes to see that an edifice which produces beggars needs restructuring.
Martin Luther King - April 4, 1967
The New York Times, normally in the business of ignoring material published in the Washington Post, flies to the aid of the White House this morning with a headline on their homepage that suggests yet another White House flip-flop on the supposed push for a Marriage Amendment to the United States Constitution.
But, the article, no matter the headline's claim, doesn’t ask the President-in-question for a clarification but merely restates the waffling non-answer given later yesterday by chief Bush goon and political crisis smoother Dan Bartlett to a timorous question posed by the-ever-deferential-to-things-Bush Meet the Press host Timmy Russert.
The article, continuing the usual compliant media illusion that tape recorders and note-takers again misinterpreted the President’s rambling string of sentence fragments, includes a quote from Bush zombie and animal sex expert Senator Rick Santorum spooned from the poisonous soup that is FOX News Sunday.
Good try guys but the article is only a reflection of an effective line of communication between Times editorial offices and the White House and further evidence that our President still has a need for that 3 percentage point “mandate”.
Beyond Vietnam is, perhaps, my favorite speech by Dr. King both because it is one our techno-industrial consumerist culture takes pains to avoid and because it brims with techno-industrially dangerous, edgy lyrical prophesy.
I would highly recommend following the above link and reading the entire speech.
The last chapter of C. A. Tripp’s brilliant, widely insightful and much maligned by the media Intimate Life of Abraham Lincoln speaks to the genius necessary to produce culturally valuable insight such as President Lincoln and Dr. King’s:
Genius cannot be a group product…the uniformity that every society struggles to maintain for smoothness and easy communication is precisely the opposite of what genius requires for expression—that is, a freedom from constraint and a degree of wildness that lives at the very edge…gave each of them the capacity to turn on a dime, sometimes at the first whiff of an advantage.
A report in this morning’s London Guardian, to me, develops this by illustrating modern media’s perversion of the “uniformity” baseline:
The media occupies a parallel universe to the one in which everyone else tries to do their job and make sense of the world…the media, with their preoccupation with violence, division and fault, are distorting our understanding of human nature. What the media portray, like one of those fairground mirrors, is a grotesque species that murders, squabbles, bullies and dies. What gets omitted is the extraordinary ordinariness that keeps people getting up in the morning; the humor, innocence, generosity, love and friendship - the very human characteristics that might begin to inspire more confidence in our ability to alleviate, rather than simply know about, the suffering of others.
Photo: BBC, americanpopularculture.com, Corbus