Monday, January 19, 2009

Martin Luther King Day



19 comments:

steenbeck said...

I was going to post something musical, to be more 'Spillish, but I started listening to some of his speeches instead and that seemed the way to go. It feels like there is so much going on emotionally and historically in the USA at the moment. It is a MOMENT. if you know what I mean.

I heard a bit of an inaugural concert on the radio yesterday, and you'll never guess who sang "A Change is Gonna Come."...Jon Bon Jovi!!! Why? Why?

Sorry to keep commenting on my own posts.

nilpferd said...

MLK fits. Congrats, Steenbeck, hope you enjoy the moment. We felt the excitement in L.A. a week ago, which is hardly at the epicentre of things. My nephew was keen to head over to Washington just to take in the atmosphere, he's 18 and very clever, also very politically informed.
Hard to understand how much things could change after 8 yrs of Bush.. we saw the documentary Being W recently, directed by some cheese eating surrender monkey, and a lot of the man's utterances do beggar belief. As does the Bon Jovi thing, of course.

ejaydee said...

Cornell West just asked: "Can we answer Sly Stone's cha;lenge and focus on everyday people?" His whole comment was amazing, but the way he ended it was so cool.

steenbeck said...

Oh, I'd like to see that. I like him a lot. I'm sure it'll be on youTube tomorrow.

ejaydee said...

It's on CNN, they were linking to a talk going on at Howard U.

ejaydee said...

"Be a thermostat, not a thermometer".

C. West. He's on fire!

steenbeck said...

I'll have to find that tomorrow! Did I ever tell you about the time we met him? Oh yeah...

ejaydee said...

Breath of fresh air...

C. West: Was it the NJ connection? He's almost a slam poet, except much more entertaining yet wise.

tincanman said...

Have you been to Memphis, Steenbeck?

steenbeck said...

Well, David said if Obama ever got elected he'd buy an American flag, and as of around 12:05, we've had it flying outside our house. Strange. Everything seems actually brighter, and I don't think it's just the snow.

Tincanman--no, I've never travelled in the south much. Never been further than virginia, maybe. Except venezuela, of course!!

We met Cornell West in Princeton, where he teaches. We were there on a hot summer night, the boys were swimming in the fountain that seems to always have children from all over the world swimming in it, when who should go rushing by in a tuxedo but...Cornell West! Isaac came out of the fountain soaking wet and smiled up at him. Isaac has a beaming smile, and Cornell West, who also has a beaming smile, sort of stopped in his tracks and they seemed to greet each other as kindred spirits. Then Cornell West said, You have a blessing from heaven there! and then rushed on his way.

and that's my Cornell West story.

steenbeck said...

Oh, and wasn't Aretha Franklin, well, awesome?

ToffeeBoy said...

@ steenbeck - how does it feel being proud to be an American? An unbelievable day over there - you must feel like you're all dreaming...

steenbeck said...

Toffeeboy (hehheh, I typed Toffeeboyo) You have no idea. I have, I think, never ever in my life been proud to be an american. When I was little and the whole class stood to say the pledge of allegiance, I never stood up. I don't know, maybe it came of having a history professor father, but I never bought all the patriotic lessons that we were bombarded with. But this feels different. I'm rethinking a lot of things about the history of America, or maybe actually thinking about them for the first time. It's a strange feeling, at my age, to be pondering some of these ideas.

ejaydee said...

I remember that story. Actually, Isaac met him really. Don't steal the boy's thunder!

steenbeck said...

You're right, of course. It's all about Isaac

I couldn't find the Cornell West speech yet on the old youTube, but it might be there eventually. I found Aretha at the inauguration, though, on youTube, about a million times, and I found the comments really depressing.

We're off to a bye bye Bush Bacchanal at our other Dumas friends.

ejaydee said...

I tried CNN, but no luck there either, it's a shame because it looked like an interesting roundtable. Have fun at the BBBB party.

Japanther said...

thanks Steenbeck - these clips prompted me to watch the whole "I Have a Dream" speech on Youtube yesterday, powerfully stirring stuff. (I have to confess to knowing relatively little about King, but I read Malcolm X's autobiography a few months back and got a pretty shocking insight into black America of the 50's and early 60's)

And I stayed up until 2:30 am to watch the inauguration live, it definitely felt inspiring even from this distance, and I think it's not only Americans, but Obama's election has prompted people all over the world to re-think how they view America and it's place in the world.

BTW, I posted a link to a free Saul Williams track on Blimpy's post above if you're interested, it's pretty good!

treefrogdemon said...

I liked Aretha's hat!

There's been quite a bit of criticism of Obama's speech in the meeja here, steenbeck, along the lines of 'not as good as FDR or JFK' mostly. I thought it was great, because one thing I DON'T like about many politicians is that they're all mouth and no trousers. Seems to me you've picked a Prez who knows what it's all about. Well done! I left work early so I could see the inauguration, and damned if I didn't meet the boss coming in just as I was going out! (She didn't say anything though.)

But they all looked so COLD, didn't they? Couldn't they have worn woolly hats and scarves? The kids at least had scarves; but Mrs O had a coat that didn't even do up...

steenbeck said...

I liked Aretha's hat, too!

I think it was inevitable that his speech would be criticized. Expectations were so high, and people just love to be snarky. I thought it was wonderful, personally. But then I would, wouldn't I?

And Cornell West has a whole album of hip hop songs that he's produced or been involved with. I've posted Bushonomics, before, which is Talib Kweli's contribution, but there's a lot of good stuff on there. Here's a youTube of him speaking about the whole project...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XIMLT78iMKg&feature=channel

And Japanther--I'd like to read Malcom Xs autobiography. Almost everything I know about him is from Spike Lee's movie. Thanks for the Saul Williams link. His website is interesting.