Guitar World recently named their 100 favorite guitar solos….EVER. I don’t agree with some of them, but there are some real gems on there.
Another site, cityrag, dug up video links for each song.
Here are a couple standouts from the latter list.
97. Smashing Pumpkins – Cherub Rock
Man, do I love Smashing Pumpkins, and it would be cool to see this song live during their upcoming reunion tour. Cherub Rock isn’t my favorite Pumpkins song, but it’s definitely a great track with great guitar.
26. Nirvana – Smells Like Teen Spirit
This song is becoming the Citizen Kane of these types of list. I’m actually surprised that this song in particular made the list. That isn’t to say that the solo in this song isn’t really enjoyable (because it certainly is), it’s just not that complex or outrageous.
6. Guns ‘n’ Roses – November Rain
This one is probably my favorite. There’s two solos in this song. One is part of the slow buildup (which is kinda split into two parts) and one is at the beginning climax of the song. Both are fantastic, but you knew that already.
“AirTran Airways on Tuesday defended its decision to remove a Massachusetts couple from a flight after their crying 3-year-old daughter refused to take her seat before takeoff.”
Another case of “shut the F up!”
“‘The flight was already delayed 15 minutes and in fairness to the other 112 passengers on the plane, the crew made an operational decision to remove the family,’ AirTran spokeswoman Judy Graham-Weaver said.”
“Julie and Gerry Kulesza, who were headed home to Boston on Jan. 14 from Fort Myers, said they just needed a little more time to calm their daughter, Elly.”
Lets look at the facts.
- These innocent people are already late because your snotty little brat can’t behave?
- They get the honor of listening to her throw a fit and cry while flying above 7 states for 3 hours?
In another recent story, California was the first state to make it illegal to spank your kids. YOU’RE IN MASSACHUSETTS! Don’t miss your opportunity to get a few last beatings in before it becomes law across the states. Smack the little brat and give her something to cry about.
“She was removed because ‘she was climbing under the seat and hitting the parents and wouldn’t get in her seat’ during boarding, Graham-Weaver said.”
“The Orlando-based carrier reimbursed the family $595.80, the cost of the three tickets, and the Kuleszas flew home the next day.”
“They also were offered three roundtrip tickets anywhere the airline flies, Graham-Weaver said.”
“The father said his family would never fly AirTran again.”
Wait Dad, so this is the airlines fault? Learn to be a parent and take some responsibility.
I’ve flown to Florida multiple times and use AirTran each time (usually the cheapest). I have never had a single problem, didn’t even get probed at the airport. Then again, I didn’t have a hellish devil child with me.
Haven’t seen a post from me in awhile eh? Am I dead? Raped by a hobo in some alley while he watched re-runs of Webster? Not exactly. I’ve been playing this little known game called World Of Warcraft.
Sure, I’ve been playing for over a year, never stopped me from posting before. It’s different now. Maybe because we weren’t hooked enough, Blizzard decided they needed to up the level of addiction in the new expansion pack. It worked, I can’t put it down. They now allow you to level to 70 instead of 60, doesn’t sound like a big deal but it changes the whole mechanic of the game. A whole new item set with thousands of new pieces of phat loot to find, and tons of new dungeons. Let’s not forget the two new races you can play as adding to the mechanics and difficulty of the game.
I give it 10 out of 10 food stamps. If for some reason you’re not playing it, get on it. Expect to lose your life, your wife/girlfriend, and possibly get deported. It’s still worth it.
Well, February is almost here and already I’m jonesin’ for some baseball. Maybe I’ve been out of the current-gen of sports games for too long, but I just saw this trailer for MLB 2K7, and it blew me away.
Note that the original trailer was in HD, which may or may not translate very well to YouTube. Even without HD, you can tell that the mannerisms, details, and interface of this game is very impressive.
Today’s big headline? No one predicted these two teams would make it to the Super Bowl and play for the championship. That’s not the headline. The real headline is that two black coaches made it to the Super Bowl…
Another reason why I hate the media. Let’s take a great story of the underdog team Chicago Bears playing through the dirt and somehow beating 18 other teams to make it to the Super Bowl, and turn it into something racial.
Who really cares if both coaches are black? The media looks at it as the big story when the real story is how these two coaches both had amazing seasons.
Shame on you ESPN, MSN, and NBC10. I don’t even read or watch the news but somehow heard mention of race on those three mediums. I’m sure other networks are playing up the race angle too.
On Sunday, November 22nd, 1987, at around 11:15pm, a video pirate was able to interrupt a TV broadcast of an episode of Dr. Who with a video feed of his own. This video “pirate” wore a Max Headroom mask, wobbled around a bit, said some goofy & incoherent things, was spanked by a fly swatter, and then went off the air.
I’m sure these types of airwave piracy happen somewhat frequently, but probably less so with cable being so ubiquitous these days.
Anyway, what I found incredibly interesting is that someone had a VHS recording of the video and it made its way to YouTube somehow. God Bless the interwebs!
According to the YouTube description, here are some of the things he said:
- “He’s a freaky nerd!”
- “This guy’s better than Chuck Swirsky.” [another WGN sportscaster at the time]
- “Oh Jesus!”
- “Catch the wave…” [reference to a Coke commercial at the time of which Max Headroom was a spokesperson]
- “Your love is fading…”
- “I stole CBS.”
- “Oh, I just made a giant masterpiece printed all over the greatest world newspaper nerds.” [??]
- “My brother [mother?] is wearing the other one.”
- “It’s dirty…”
- “They’re coming to get me…”
- “Remember, re-remember the f-f-fifth of Nov-v-v-vember”
Okay, so I made that last one up.
Here is some more information about this incident in a handy 1987 format: plain text.
And now for some stupid humor. What if the people of Central Ohio were Barbies?
This post was based on one of those “forwarded” emails, so it’s likely that the city names have been changed multiple times to fit different cities and states. The text from the email is in italics.
Mattel recently announced the release of limited-edition Barbie Dolls for the Greater Columbus market:
“New Albany Barbie”
This princess Barbie is sold only on the square in New Albany. She comes with an assortment of Kate Spade Handbags, a Lexus SUV, a long-haired foreign dog named Honey and a cookie-cutter house. Available with or without tummy tuck and face lift. Workaholic Ken sold only in conjunction with the augmented version.
Easton playset coming soon.
The modern day homemaker Barbie is available with Ford Windstar Minivan and matching gym outfit. She gets lost easily and has no full-time occupation. Traffic jamming cell phone sold separately.
Homemaker is an occupation, but all the same, I hope this dopey soccer mom drives her Windstar into the Oshaughnessy Reservoir.
This recently paroled Barbie comes with a 9mm handgun, a Ray Lewis knife, a Chevy with dark tinted windows, and a Meth Lab Kit. This model is only available after dark and must be paid for in cash (preferably small, untraceable bills) ..unless you are a cop, then we don’t know what you are talking about.
OH SNAP! Better get this one before all the kids who park in front of the Blockbuster video and play their hot jamz do!
“Upper Arlington Barbie”
This yuppie Barbie comes with your choice of BMW convertible or Hummer H2. Included are her own Starbucks cup, credit card and country club membership. Also available for this set are Shallow Ken and Private School Skipper. You won’t be able to afford any of them.
This Barbie doll also has the ability to eat, but will refuse anything except fish on Friday (Sorry Grandma–oh well, like she even has a computer).
“Lancaster (pronounced Link-a-ster [sic]) Barbie”
It should be pronounced LANK-uh-ster.
This pale model comes dressed in her own Wrangler jeans two sizes too small, a NASCAR t-shirt and a unicorn tattoo on her shoulder. She has a six-pack of Bud light and a Hank Williams Jr. CD set. She can spit over 5 feet and kick mullet-haired Ken’s butt when she is drunk. Purchase her pickup truck separately and get a confederate flag bumper sticker absolutely free.
I take offense at this 100% untrue depiction of Lancaster natives.
“Grove City Barbie”
This tobacco-chewing, brassy-haired Barbie has a pair of her own high-heeled sandals with one broken heel from the time she chased beer-gutted Ken out of Grove City Barbie’s house. Her ensemble includes low-rise acid-washed jeans, fake fingernails, and a see-through halter-top. Also available with a mobile home.
I also take offense at this 100% untrue depiction of those who live or have lived in Grove City.
“Victorian Village Barbie”
This doll is made of actual tofu. She has long straight brown hair, arch-less feet, hairy armpits, no makeup and Birkenstocks with white socks. She prefers that you call her Willow. She does not want or need a Ken doll, but if you purchase two Victorian Village Barbies and the optional Subaru wagon, you get a rainbow flag bumper sticker for free.
Seriously, what’s with the hippies and the Outback Wagons?
“Eastland Mall Barbie”
This Barbie now comes with a stroller and infant doll. Optional accessories include a GED and bus pass. Gangsta Ken and his 1979 Caddy were available, but are now very difficult to find since the addition of the infant.
Ha! Illegitimate children are hilarious!
“Short North Barbie/Ken”
This versatile doll can be easily converted from Barbie to Ken by simply adding or subtracting the multiple snap-on parts.
It seems as if the snap-on parts are a choking hazard. So spit, don’t swallow them.
Other Central Ohio Barbies:
- OSU Barbie, was the #1 selling Barbie, recently surpassed by, uh….Alligator Barbie.
- German Village Barbie. Actually, there probably is a real German Barbie what with the lederhosen and what not.
- Obetz Barbie, which is actually just a pile of glass shards and asbestos.
- Pickerington Barbie, which is better than all the other Barbies.
- New Rome Barbie, discontinued in 2004
As much C++ I learned in college, I’m not sure that it has much of a future as it once had. I don’t believe that it is the language anymore (if it ever truly was).
I believe programming lanaguages are like tools. And like tools, there is no single tool suited for every task. Therefore, I think C++ is far from useless, but I think it has been supplanted as the go-to language.
I’m reluctant to say what the new language is. Maybe C# or Ruby, PHP or Java. Maybe all of them, maybe none of them. Who can say.
Anyway, the reason I bring this up is that I read an unsettling quote from the creator of C++, Bjarne Stroustrup (read: bee-YARN-eh STROW-stroop) at Coding Horror, where I very much agree with Jeff Atwood’s assessment of C++. Here is the quote:
“Personally, I wouldn’t design a tool that could do only what I wanted–I aim for generality.”
I think this is a huge mistake in philosophy. In creating something as general as possible, what ends up being created is nothing at all. This seems like not only the major drawback of C++, but the major pitfall of OO programming in general: unnecessary abstraction–OO for the sake of OO.
Personally, I don’t see a need in designing a tool to accomplish something I don’t need, but maybe that is the difference between an application programmer and a programming language designer.
I read “Letter from Birmingham Jail” for the first time in an undergrad class back at Ohio University. It was some sort of English composition class that was taught by some sandal-wearing TA and involved a lot of terribly boring discussion. Other than introducing me to “Letter from Birmingham Jail”, the class was a total waste of time.
I read it every year on MLK Jr. Day as a reminder that Dr. King was a brilliant man whose name is too often invoked and abused for selfish political purposes.
Here is the full text for your convenience:
April 16, 1963
My Dear Fellow Clergymen:
While confined here in the Birmingham city jail, I came across your
recent statement calling present activities “unwise and untimely.”
Seldom do I pause to answer criticism of my work and ideas. If I sought
to answer all the criticisms that cross my desk, my secretaries would
have little time for anything other than such correspondence in the
course of the day, and I would have no time for constructive work. But
since I feel that you are men of genuine good will and that your
criticisms are sincerely set forth, I want to try to answer your
statement in what I hope will be patient and reasonable terms.
I think I should indicate why I am here in Birmingham, since you have
been influenced by the view which argues against “outsiders coming in.”
I have the honor of serving as President of the Southern Christian
Leadership Conference, an organization operating in every southern
state, with headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia. We have some eighty-five
affiliated organizations across the South, and one of them is the
Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights. Frequently we share staff,
educational and financial resources with our affiliates. Several months
ago the affiliate here in Birmingham asked us to be on call to engage in
a nonviolent direct-action program if such were deemed necessary. We
readily consented, and when the hour came we lived up to our promise.
So I, along with several members of my staff, am here because I was
invited here. I am here because I have organizational ties here.
But more basically, I am in Birmingham because injustice is here. Just
as the prophets of the eighth century B.C. left their villages and
carried their “thus saith the Lord” far beyond the boundaries of their
home towns, and just as the Apostle Paul left his village of Tarsus and
carried the gospel of Jesus Christ to the far corners of the Greco-Roman
world, so am I compelled to carry the gospel of freedom beyond my own
home town. Like Paul, I must constantly respond to the Macedonian call
Moreover, I am cognizant of the interrelatedness of all communities and
states. I cannot sit idly in Atlanta and not be concerned about what
happens in Birmingham. Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice
everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied
in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects
all indirectly. Never again can we afford to live with the narrow,
provincial “outside agitator” idea. Anyone who lives inside the United
States can never be considered an outsider anywhere within its bounds.
You deplore the demonstrations taking place in Birmingham. But your
statement, I am sorry to say, fails so express a similar concern for the
conditions that brought about the demonstrations. I am sure that none
of you would want to rest content with the superficial kind of social
analysis that deals merely with effects and does not grapple with
underlying causes. It is unfortunate that demonstrations are taking
place in Birmingham, but it is even more unfortunate that the city’s
white power structure left the Negro community with no alternative.
In any nonviolent campaign there are four basic steps: collection of
the facts to determine whether injustices exist; negotiation; selfpurification;
and direct action. We have gone through all these steps
in Birmingham. There can be no gain saying the fact that racial
injustice engulfs this community. Birmingham is probably the most
thoroughly segregated city in the United States. Its ugly record of
brutality is widely known. Negroes have experienced grossly unjust
treatment in the courts. There have been more unsolved bombings of
Negro homes and churches in Birmingham that in any other city in the
nation. These are the hard, brutal facts of the case. On the basis of
these conditions, Negro leaders sought to negotiate with the city
fathers. But the latter consistently refused to engage in good-faith
Then, last September, came the opportunity to talk with leaders of
Birmingham’s economic community. In the course of the negotiations,
certain promises were made by the merchants — for example, to remove
the stores’ humiliating racial signs. On the basis of these promises,
the Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth and the leaders of the Alabama Christian
Movement for Human Rights agreed to a moratorium on all demonstrations.
As the weeks and months went by, we realized that we were the victims of
a broken promise. A few signs, briefly removed, returned; the others
As in so many past experiences, our hopes had been blasted, and the
shadow of deep disappointment settled upon us. We had no alternative
except to prepare for direct action, whereby we would present our very
bodies as a means of laying our case before the conscience of the local
and the national community. Mindful of the difficulties involved, we
decided to undertake a process of self-purification. We began a series
of workshops on nonviolence, and we repeatedly asked ourselves: “Are
you able to accept blows without retaliation?” “are you able to endure
the ordeal of jail?” We decided to schedule our direct-action program
for the Easter season, realizing that except for Christmas, this is the
main shopping period of the year. Knowing that a strong economicwithdrawal
program would be the by-product of direct action, we felt
that this would be the best time to bring pressure to bear on the
merchants for the needed change.
Then it occurred to us that Birmingham’s mayoralty election was coming
up in March, and we speedily decided to postpone action until after
election day. When we discovered that the Commissioner of Public
Safety, Eugene “Bull” Connor, had piled up enough votes to be in the
run-off, we decided again to postpone action until the day after the
run-off so that the demonstrations could not be used to cloud the
issues. Like many others, we waited to see Mr. Connor defeated, and to
this end we endured postponement after postponement. Having aided in
this community need, we felt that our direct-action program could be
delayed no longer.
You may well ask: “Why direct action? Why sit-ins, marches, and so
forth? Isn’t negotiation a better path?” You are quite right in
calling for negotiation. Indeed, this is the very purpose of direct
action. Nonviolent direct action seeks to create such a crisis and
foster such a tension that a community which has constantly refused to
negotiate is forced to confront the issue. It seeks so to dramatize the
issue that it can no longer be ignored. My citing the creation of
tension as part of the work of the nonviolent-resister may sound rather
shocking. But I must confess that I am not afraid of the word
“tension.” I have earnestly opposed violent tension, but there is a
type of constructive, nonviolent tension which is necessary for growth.
Just as Socrates felt that it was necessary to create a tension in the
mind so that individuals could rise from the bondage of myths and halftruths
to the unfettered realm of creative analysis and objective
appraisal, so must we see the need for nonviolent gadflies to create the
kind of tension in society that will help men rise from the dark depths
of prejudice and racism to the majestic heights of understanding and
The purpose of our direct-action program is to create a situation so
crisis-packed that it will inevitably open the door to negotiation. I
therefore concur with you in your call for negotiation. Too long has
our beloved Southland been bogged down in a tragic effort to live in
monologue rather than dialogue.
One of the basic points in your statement is that the action that I and
my associates have taken in Birmingham is untimely. Some have asked:
“Why didn’t you give the new city administration time to act?” The only
answer that I can give to this query is that the new Birmingham
administration must be prodded about as much as the outgoing one, before
it will act. We are sadly mistaken if we feel that the election of
Albert Boutwell as mayor will bring the millennium to Birmingham. While
Mr. Boutwell is a much more gentle person that Mr. Connor, they are both
segregationists, dedicated to maintenance of the status quo. I have
hoped that Mr. Boutwell will be reasonable enough to see the futility of
massive resistance to desegregation. But he will not see this without
pressure from devotees of civil rights. My friends, I must say to you
that we have not made a single gain in civil rights without determined
legal and nonviolent pressure. Lamentably, it is an historical fact
that privileged groups seldom give up their privileges voluntarily.
Individuals may see the moral light and voluntarily give up their unjust
posture; but as Reinhold Niebuhr has reminded us, groups tend to be more
immoral that individuals.
We know through painful experience that freedom is never voluntarily
given by the oppressor, it must be demanded by the oppressed. Frankly,
I have yet to engage in a direct-action campaign that was “well timed”
in view of those who have not suffered unduly from the disease of
segregation. For years now I have heard the word “wait!” It rings in
the ear of every Negro with piercing familiarity. This “Wait” has
almost always meant “Never.” We must come to see, with one of our
distinguished jurists, that “justice too long delayed is justice
We have waited for more that 340 years for our constitutional and Godgiven
rights. The nations of Asia and Africa are moving with jetlike
speed toward gaining political independence, but we still creep at
horse-and-buggy pace toward gaining a cup of coffee at a lunch counter.
Perhaps it is easy for those who have never felt the stinging darts of
segregation to say, “Wait.” But when you have seen vicious mobs lynch
your mothers and fathers at will and drown your sisters and brothers at
whim; when you have seen hate-filled policemen curse, kick, and even
kill your black brothers and sisters; when you see the vast majority of
your twenty million Negro brothers smothering in an airtight cage of
poverty in the midst of an affluent society; when you suddenly find your
tongue twisted and your speech stammering as you seek to explain to your
six-year-old daughter why she can’t go to the public amusement park that
has just been advertised on television, and see tears welling up in her
eyes when she is told that Funtown is closed to colored children, and
see ominous clouds of inferiority beginning to form in her little mental
sky, and see her beginning to distort her personality by developing an
unconscious bitterness toward white people; when you have to concoct an
answer for a five-year-old son who is asking, “Daddy, why do white
people treat colored people so mean?”; when you take a cross-country
drive and find it necessary to sleep night after night in the
uncomfortable corners of your automobile because no motel will accept
you; when you are humiliated day in and day out by nagging signs reading
“white” and “colored” when your first name becomes “Nigger,” your middle
name becomes “boy” (however old you are) and your last name becomes
“John,” and your wife and mother are never given the respected title
“Mrs.”; when your are harried by day and haunted by night by the fact
that you are a Negro, living constantly at tiptoe stance, never quite
knowing what to expect next, and are plagued with inner fears and outer
resentments; when you are forever fighting a degenerating sense of
“nobodiness” then you will understand why we find it difficult to wait.
There comes a time when the cup of endurance runs over, and men are no
longer willing to be plunged into the abyss of despair. I hope, sirs,
you can understand our legitimate and unavoidable impatience.
You express a great deal of anxiety over our willingness to break laws.
This is certainly a legitimate concern. Since we so diligently urge
people to obey the Supreme Court’s decision of 1954 outlawing
segregation in the public schools, at first glance it may seem rather
paradoxical for us consciously to break laws. One may ask: “How can
you advocate breaking some laws and obeying others?” The answer lies in
the fact that there are two types of laws: just and unjust. I would be
the first to advocate obeying just laws. One has not only a legal but a
moral responsibility to obey just laws. Conversely, one has a moral
responsibility to disobey unjust laws. I would agree with St. Augustine
that “an unjust law is no law at all.”
Now, what is the difference between the two? How does one determine
whether a law is just or unjust? A just law is a man-made code that
squares with the moral law or the law of God. An unjust law is a code
that is out of Harmony with the moral law. To put it in the terms of
St. Thomas Aquinas: An unjust law is a human law that is not rooted in
eternal law and natural law. Any law that uplifts human personality is
just. Any law that degrades human personality is unjust. All
segregation statutes are unjust because segregation distorts the soul
and damages the personality. It gives the segregator a false sense of
superiority and the segregated a false sense of inferiority.
Segregation, to use the terminology of the Jewish philosopher Martin
Buber, substitutes an “I-it” relationship for an “I-thou” relationship
and ends up relegating persons to the status of things. Hence
segregation is not only politically, economically and sociologically
unsound, it is morally wrong and sinful. Paul Tillich has said that sin
is separation. Is not segregation an existential expression of man’s
tragic separation, his awful estrangement, his terrible sinfulness?
Thus is it that I can urge men to obey the 1954 decision of the Supreme
Court, for it is morally right; and I can urge them to disobey
segregation ordinances, for they are morally wrong.
Let us consider a more concrete example of just and unjust laws. An
unjust law is a code that a numerical or power majority group compels a
minority group to obey but does not make binding on itself. This is
difference made legal. By the same token, a just law is a code
that a majority compels a minority to follow and that it is willing to
follow itself. This is sameness made legal.
Let me give another explanation. A law is unjust if it is inflicted on
a minority that, as a result of being denied the right to vote, had no
part in enacting or devising the law. Who can say that the legislature
of Alabama which set up that state’s segregation laws was democratically
elected? Throughout Alabama all sorts of devious methods are used to
prevent Negroes from becoming registered voters, and there are some
counties in which, even though Negroes constitute a majority of the
population, not a single Negro is registered. Can any law enacted under
such circumstances be considered democratically structured?
Sometimes a law is just on its face and unjust in it’s application. For
instance, I have been arrested on a charge of parading without a permit.
Now, there is nothing wrong in having an ordinance which requires a
permit for a parade. But such an ordinance becomes unjust when it is
used to maintain segregation and to deny citizens the First-Amendment
privilege of peaceful assembly and protest.
I hope you are able to see the distinction I am trying to point out. In
no sense do I advocate evading or defying the law, as would the rabid
segregationist. That would lead to anarchy. One who breaks an unjust
law must do so openly, lovingly, and with a willingness to accept the
penalty. I submit that an individual who breaks a law that conscience
tells him is unjust, and who willingly accepts the penalty of
imprisonment in order to arouse the conscience of the community over its
injustice, is in reality expressing the highest respect for law.
Of course, there is nothing new about this kind of civil disobedience.
It was evidenced sublimely in the refusal of Shadrach, Meshach, and
Abednego to obey the laws of Nebuchadnezzar, on the ground that a higher
moral law was at stake. It was practiced superbly by the early
Christians, who were willing to face hungry lions and the excruciating
pain of chopping blocks rather than submit to certain unjust laws of the
Roman Empire. To a degree, academic freedom is a reality today because
Socrates practiced civil disobedience. In our own nation, the Boston
Tea Party represented a massive act of civil disobedience.
We should never forget that everything Adolf Hitler did in Germany was
“legal” and everything the Hungarian freedom fighters did in Hungary was
“illegal.” It was “illegal” to aid and comfort a Jew in Hitler’s
Germany. ‘Even so, I am sure that, had I lived in Germany at the time,
I would have aided and comforted my Jewish brothers. If today I lived
in a Communist country where certain principles dear to the Christian
faith are suppressed, I would openly advocate disobeying that country’s
I must make two honest confessions to you, my Christian and Jewish
brothers. First, I must confess that over the past few years I have
been gravely disappointed with the white moderate. I have almost
reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro’s great stumbling
block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen’s Councilor
or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to
“order” than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the
absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice;
who constantly says, “I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I
cannot agree with your methods of direct action”; who paternalistically
believes he can set the timetable for another mans freedom; who lives by
a mythical concept of time and who constantly advises the Negro the wait
for a “more convenient season.” Shallow understanding from people of
good will is more frustrating that absolute misunderstanding from people
of ill will. Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright
I had hoped that the white moderate would understand that law and order
exist for the purpose of establishing justice and that when they fail in
this purpose they become the dangerously structured dams that block the
flow of social progress. I had hoped that the white moderate would
understand that the present tension in the South is a necessary phase of
the transition from an obnoxious negative peace, in which the Negro
passively accepted his unjust plight, to a substantive and positive
peace, in which all men will respect the dignity and worth of human
personality. Actually, we who engage in nonviolent direct action are
not the creators of tension. We merely bring to the surface the hidden
tension that is already alive. We bring it out in the open, where it
can be seen and dealt with. Like a boil that can never be cured so long
as it is covered up but must be opened with all it ugliness to the
natural medicines of air and light injustice must be exposed with all
the tension its exposure creates, to the light of human conscience and
the air of national opinion, before it can be cured.
In your statement you assert that our actions, even though peaceful,
must be condemned because they precipitate violence. But is this a
logical assertion? Isn’t this like condemning a robbed man because his
possession of money precipitated the evil act of robbery? Isn’t this
like condemning Socrates because his unswerving commitment to truth and
his philosophical inquiries precipitated the act by the misguided
populace in which they made him drink hemlock? Isn’t this like
condemning Jesus because his unique God-consciousness and never-ceasing
devotion to God’s will precipitated the evil act of crucifixion? We
must come to see that, as the federal courts have consistently affirmed,
it is wrong to urge an individual to cease his efforts to gain his basic
constitutional rights because the quest may precipitate violence.
Society must protect the robbed and punish the robber.
I had also hoped that the white moderate would reject the myth
concerning time in relations to the struggle for freedom. I have just
received a letter from a white brother in Texas. He writes: “All
Christians know that the colored people will receive equal rights
eventually, but it is possible that you are in too great a religious
hurry. It has taken Christianity almost two thousand years to
accomplish what it has. The teachings of Christ take time to come to
earth.” Such an attitude stems from a tragic misconception of time,
from the strangely irrational notion that there is something in the very
flow of time will inevitably cure all ills. Actually, time itself is
neutral; it can be used either destructively or constructively. More
and more I feel that the people of ill will have used time much more
effectively than have the people of good will. We will have to repent
in the generation not merely for the hateful words and actions of the
bad people, but for the appalling silence of the good people. Human
progress never rolls in on wheels of inevitability; it comes through the
tireless efforts of men willing to be co-workers with God, and without
this hard work, time itself becomes an ally of the forces of stagnation.
We must use time creatively, in the knowledge that the time is always
ripe to do right. Now is the time to make real the promise of democracy
and transform our pending national elegy into a creative psalm of
brotherhood. Now is the time to lift our national policy from the
quicksand of racial injustice to the solid rock of human dignity.
You speak of our activity in Birmingham as extreme. At first I was
rather disappointed that fellow clergyman would see my nonviolent
efforts as those of an extremist. I began thinking about the fact that
I stand in the middle of two opposing forces in the Negro community.
One is a force of complacency, made up in part of Negroes who, as a
result of long years of oppression, are so drained of self-respect and a
sense of “somebodiness” that they have adjusted to segregation; and in
part of a few middle-class Negroes who, because of a degree of academic
and economic security and because in some ways they profit by
segregation, have become insensitive to the problems of the masses. The
other force is one of bitterness and hatred, and it comes perilously
closed on advocating violence. It is expressed in the various black
nationalist groups that are springing up across the nation, the largest
and best-known being Elijah Muhammad’s Muslim movement. Nourished by
the Negro’s frustration over the continued existence of racial
discrimination, this movement is made up of people who have lost faith
in America, who have absolutely repudiated Christianity, and who have
concluded that the white man is an incorrigible “devil.”
I have tried to stand between these two forces, saying that we need
emulate neither the “do-nothingism” of the complacent nor the hatred and
despair of the black nationalist. For there is the more excellent way
of love and nonviolent protest. I am grateful to God that, through the
influence of the Negro church, the way of nonviolence became an integral
part of our struggle.
If this philosophy had not emerged, by now many streets of the South
would, I am convinced, be flowing with blood. And I am further
convinced that if our white brothers dismiss as “rabble-rousers” and
“outside agitators” those of us who employ nonviolent direct action, and
if they refuse to support our nonviolent efforts, millions of Negroes
will, out of frustration and despair, seek solace and security in blacknationalist
ideologies — a development that would inevitably lead to a
frightening racial nightmare.
Oppressed people cannot remain oppressed forever. The yearning for
freedom eventually manifests itself, and that is what has happened to
the American Negro. Something within has reminded him of his birthright
of freedom, and something without has reminded him that it can be
gained. Consciously or unconsciously, he has been caught up by the
Zeitgeist, and with his black brothers of Africa and his brown and
yellow brothers of Asia, South America, and the Caribbean, the United
States Negro is moving with a sense of great urgency toward the promised
land of racial justice. If one recognizes this vital urge that has
engulfed the Negro community, one should readily understand why public
demonstrations are taking place. The Negro has many pent-up resentments
and latent frustrations, and he must release them. So let him march;
let him make prayer pilgrimages to the city hall; let him go on freedom
rides — and try to understand why he must do so. If his repressed
emotions are not released in nonviolent ways, they will seek expression
through violence; this is not a threat but a fact of history. So I have
not said to my people, “Get rid of your discontent.” Rather, I have
tried to say that this normal and healthy discontent can be channeled
into the creative outlet of nonviolent direct action. And now this
approach is being termed extremist.
But though I was initially disappointed at being categorized as an
extremist, as I continued to think about the matter I gradually gained a
measure of satisfaction from the label. Was not Jesus and extremist for
love: “Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them
that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and
persecute you.” Was not Amos an extremist for justice: “Let justice
roll down like waters and righteousness like am ever-flowing stream.”
Was not Paul an extremist for the Christian gospel: “I bear in my body
the marks of the Lord Jesus.” Was not Martin Luther an extremist:
“Here I stand; I cannot do otherwise, so help me God.” And John Bunyan:
“I will stay in jail to the end of my days before I make a butchery of
my conscience.” And Abraham Lincoln: “This nation cannot survive half
slave and half free.” And Thomas Jefferson: “We hold these truths to
be self-evident, that all men are created equal . . . .” So the
question is not whether we will be extremists, but what kind of
extremists we will be. Will we be extremists for hate or for love?
Will we be extremists for the preservation of injustice or for the
extension of justice? In that dramatic scene on Calvery’s hill three
men were crucified. We must never forget that all three were crucified
for the same crime — the crime of extremism. Two were extremists for
immorality, and thus fell below their environment. The other, Jesus
Christ, was an extremist for love, truth, and goodness, and thereby rose
above his environment. Perhaps the South, the nation, and the world are
in dire need of creative extremists.
I had hoped that the white moderate would see this need. Perhaps I was
too optimistic; perhaps I expected too much. I suppose I should have
realized that few members of the oppressor race can understand the deep
groans and passionate yearnings of the oppressed race, and still fewer
have the vision to see that injustice must be rooted out by strong,
persistent, and determined action. I am thankful, however, that some of
our white brothers in the South have grasped the meaning of this social
revolution and committed themselves to it. They are still all too few
in quantity, but they are big in quality. Some — such as Ralph McGill,
Lillian Smith, Harry Golden, James McBride Dabbs, Ann Braden, and Sarah
Patton Boyle — have written about our struggle in eloquent and
prophetic terms. Others have marched with us down nameless streets of
the South. They have languished in filthy, roach-infested jails,
suffering the abuse and brutality of policemen who view them as “dirty
nigger-lovers.” Unlike so many of their moderate brothers and sisters,
they have recognized the urgency of the moment and sensed the need for
powerful “action” antidotes to combat the disease of segregation.
Let me take note of my other major disappointment. I have been so
greatly disappointed with the white church and its leadership. Of
course, there are some notable exceptions. I am not unmindful of the
fact that each of you has taken some significant stands on this issue.
I commend you, Reverend Stallings, for your Christian stand on this past
Sunday, in welcoming Negroes to your worship service on a nonsegregated
basis. I commend the Catholic leaders of this state for integrating
Spring Hill College several years ago.
But despite these notable exceptions, I must honestly reiterate that I
have been disappointed with the church. I do not say this as one of
those negative critics who can always find something wrong with the
church. I say this as a minister of the gospel, who loves the church;
who was nurtured in its bosom; who has been sustained by its spiritual
blessings and who will remain true to it as long as the cord of life
When I was suddenly catapulted into the leadership of the bus protest in
Montgomery, Alabama, a few years ago, I felt we would be supported by
the white church. I felt that the ministers, priests, and rabbis of the
South would be among our strongest allies. Instead, some have been
outright opponents, refusing to understand the freedom movement and
misrepresenting its leaders; all too many others have been more cautious
than courageous and have remained silent behind the anesthetizing
security of stained-glass windows.
In spite of my shattered dreams, I came to Birmingham with the hope that
the white religious leadership of this community would see the justice
of our cause and, with deep moral concern, would serve as the channel
through which our just grievances could reach the power structure. I
had hoped that each of you would understand. But again I have been
I have heard numerous southern religious leaders admonish their
worshipers to comply with a desegregation decision because it is the
law, but I have longed to hear white ministers declare: “Follow this
decree because integration is morally right and because the Negro is
your brother.” In the midst of blatant injustices inflicted upon the
Negro, I have watched white churchmen stand on the sideline and mouth
pious irrelevancies and sanctimonious trivialities. In the midst of a
mighty struggle to rid our nation of racial and economic injustice, I
have heard many ministers say: “Those are social issues, with which the
gospel has no real concern.” And I have watched many churches commit
themselves to a completely otherworldly religion which makes a strange,
un-Biblical distinction between body and soul, between the sacred and
I have traveled the length and breadth of Alabama, Mississippi, and all
the other southern states. On sweltering summer days and crisp autumn
mornings I have looked at the South’s beautiful churches with their
lofty spires pointing heavenward. I have beheld the impressive outlines
of her massive religious-education buildings. Over and over I have
found myself asking: “What kind of people worship here? Who is their
God? Where were their voices when the lips for Governor Barnett dripped
with words of interposition and nullification? Where were they when
Governor Wallace gave a clarion call defiance and hatred? Where were
their voices of support when bruised and weary Negro men and women
decided to rise from the dark dungeons of complacency to the bright
hills of creative protest?”
Yes, these questions are still in my mind. In deep disappointment I
have wept over the laxity of the church. But be assured that my tears
have been tears of love. Yes, I love the church. How could I do
otherwise? I am in the rather unique position of being the son, the
grandson, and the great-grandson of preachers. Yes, I see the church as
the body of Christ. But, oh! How we have blemished and scarred that
body through social neglect and through fear of being nonconformists.
There was a time when the church was very powerful — in the time when
the early Christians rejoiced at being deemed worthy to suffer for what
they believed. In those days the church was not merely a thermometer
that recorded the ideas and principles of popular opinion; it was a
thermostat that transformed the mores of society. Whenever the early
Christians entered a town, the people in power became disturbed and
immediately sought to convict the Christians for being “disturbers of
the peace” and “outside agitators.” But the Christians pressed on, in
the conviction that they were “a colony of heaven,” called to obey Gad
rather than man. Small in number, they were big in commitment. They
were too God-intoxicated to be “astronomically intimidated.” By their
effort and example they brought an end to such ancient evils as
infanticide and gladiatorial contests.
Things are different now. So often the contemporary church is a weak,
ineffectual voice with an uncertain sound. So often it is an archdefender
of the status quo. Far from being disturbed by the presence of
the church, the power structure of the average community is consoled by
the church’s silent — and often even vocal — sanction of things as
they are. But the judgment of God is upon the church as never before.
If today’s church does not recapture the sacrificial spirit of the early
church, it will lose its authenticity, forfeit the loyalty of millions,
and be dismissed as an irrelevant social club with no meaning for the
twentieth century. Every day I meet young people whose disappointment
with the church has turned into outright disgust.
Perhaps I have once again been too optimistic. Is organized religion to
inextricably bound to the status quo to save our nation and the world?
Perhaps I must turn my faith to the inner spiritual church, the church
within the church, as the true ekklesia and the hope of the world. But
again I am thankful to God that some noble souls from the ranks of
organized religion have broken loose from the paralyzing chains of
conformity and joined us as active partners in the struggle for freedom.
They have left their secure congregations and walked the streets of
Albany, Georgia, with us. They have gone down the highways of the South
on tortuous rides for freedom. Yes, they have gone to jail with us.
Some have been dismissed from their churches, have lost the support of
their bishops and fellow ministers. But they have acted in the faith
that right defeated is stronger than evil triumphant. Their witness has
been the spiritual salt that has preserved the true meaning of the
gospel in these troubled times. They have carved a tunnel of hope
through the dark mountain of disappointment.
I hope the church as a whole will meet the challenge of this decisive
hour. But even if the church does not come to the aid of justice, I
have no despair about the future. I have no fear about the outcome of
our struggle in Birmingham, even if our motives are at present
misunderstood. We will reach the goal of freedom in Birmingham and all
over the nation, because the goal of America if freedom. Abuse and
scorned though we may be, our destiny is tied up with America’s destiny.
Before the pilgrims landed at Plymouth, we were here. For more than two
centuries our forebears labored in this country without wages; they made
cotton king; they built the homes of their masters while suffering gross
injustice and shameful humiliation — and yet out of bottomless vitality
they continued to thrive and develop. If the inexpressible cruelties of
slavery could not stop us, the opposition we not face will surely fail.
We will win our freedom because the sacred heritage of our nation and
the eternal will of God are embodied in our echoing demands.
Before closing I feel impelled to mention one other point in your
statement that has troubled me profoundly. You warmly commended the
Birmingham police force for keeping “order” and “preventing violence.”
I doubt that you would so quickly commend the policemen if you were to
observe their ugly and inhumane treatment of Negroes here in the city
jail; if you were to watch them push and curse old Negro women and young
Negro girls; if you were to see them slap and kick Negro men and young
boys; if you were to observe them, as they did on two occasions, refuse
to give us food because we wanted to sing our grace together. I cannot
join you in your praise of the Birmingham police department.
It is true that the police have exercised a degree of discipline in
handling the demonstrations. In this sense they have conducted
themselves rather “nonviolently” in public. But for what purpose? To
preserve the evil system of segregation. Over the past few years I have
consistently preached that nonviolence demands that the means we use
must be as pure as the ends we seek. I have tried to make clear that it
is wrong to use immoral means to attain moral ends. But now I must
affirm that it is just as wrong, or perhaps even more so, to use moral
means to preserve immoral ends. Perhaps Mr. Connor and his policemen
have been rather nonviolent in public, as was Chief Pritchett in Albany,
Georgia, but they have used the moral means of nonviolence to maintain
the immoral end or racial injustice. As T.S. Eliot has said, “The last
temptation is the greatest treason: To do the right deed for the wrong
I wish you had commended the Negro sit-inners and demonstrators of
Birmingham for their sublime courage, their willingness to suffer, and
their amazing discipline in the midst of great provocation. One day the
South will recognize its real heroes. They will be the James Merediths,
with the noble sense of purpose that enables them to face jeering and
hostile mobs, and with the agonizing loneliness that characterizes the
life of the pioneer. They will be old, oppressed, battered Negro women,
symbolized in a seventy-two-year-old woman in Montgomery, Alabama, who
rose up with a sense of dignity and when her people decided not to ride
segregated buses, and who responded with ungrammatical profundity to one
who inquired about her weariness: “My feets is tired, but my soul is at
rest.” They will be the young high school and college students, the
young ministers of the gospel and a host of their elders, courageously
and nonviolently sitting in at lunch counters and willingly going to
jail for conscience’ sake. One day the South will know that when these
disinherited children of God sat down at lunch counters, they were in
reality standing up for what is best in the American dream and for the
most sacred values in our Judaeo-Christian heritage, thereby bringing
our nation back to those great wells of democracy which were dug deep by
the founding fathers in their formulation of the Constitution and the
Declaration of Independence.
Never before have I written so long a letter. I’m afraid it is much too
long to take your precious time. I can assure you that it would have
been much shorter if I had been writing from a comfortable desk, but
what else can one do when he is alone in a narrow jail cell, other than
write long letters, think long thoughts, and pray long prayers?
If I have said anything in this letter that overstates the truth and
indicates an unreasonable impatience, I beg you to forgive me. If I
have said anything that understates the truth and indicates my having a
patience that allows me to settle for anything less than brotherhood, I
beg God to forgive me.
I hope this letter finds you strong in the faith. I also hope that
circumstances will soon make it possible for me to meet each of you, not
as an integrationist or a civil-rights leader but as a fellow clergyman
and a Christian brother. Let us all hope that the dark clouds of racial
prejudice will soon pass away and the deep fog of misunderstanding will
be lifted from our fear-drenched communities, and in some not too
distant tomorrow the radiant stars of love and brotherhood will shine
over our great nation with all their scintillating beauty.
Yours for the cause of Peace and Brotherhood,
Martin Luther King, Jr.
So I just watched Idiocracy, the film that the Nazis at Fox didn’t want you to see, maaan!
I like the premise, and I like Mike Judge, but it seems to me as if this movie is being co-opted as some sort of political lesson, instead of a general satirical warning about pop-culture garbage and over-privatization and sponsorship.
However, I don’t think Mike Judge is trying to say that “Flavor of Love” is going to be the cause of a new dark age, and that Gatorade is literally going to replace water, but to demonstrate the absurd using absurdity and carrying out a hypothetical what-if, much like his masterpiece, Office Space.
Mike Judge’s strength in story-telling is realism. Beavis & Butthead, Office Space, King of the Hill (even though I’m not a fan of the latter) are all brilliant in their absurdity because of just the right dollop of realism to make a point.
The movie was far from being overtly political. If Judge is trying to make any political statement, it is likely this: how come so much garbage gets the green light into production when the good, intelligent stuff doesn’t? Well, if everyone had $10 million, would everyone be rich? No, because everyone has $10 million. If everyone watched the Discovery channel and read books instead of “I Love New York” and “Little Man”, what value would there be in it? The fact is, intelligent stuff does get the green light all the time, just not as much as the (more popular) less intelligent stuff. If everyone was smart, no one would be smart.
Anyway, there is no chance that this movie was “buried” by Fox for political/conspiracy reasons. There is a very brief moment of making fun of Fox News, but come on: some of Fox’s most popular shows make fun of their own network regularly.
No, I imagine the real reasons (and there are many) are much less sinister. Firstly, the film is chock full of references to actual companies (or very, very thinly veiled parodies). Besides making these companies look bad, there could be all kinds of legal problems in using their actual names. A low-key DVD release could avoid that while still making some money. This could have been completely avoided, but would have taken some of the bite out of the satire.
Second, Luke Wilson is a terrible actor. Actually, he might just be a terrible leading actor. Watching his character struggle with explaining time paradox almost made me turn off the movie. Maya Rudolph is completely mis-cast, and I’ve never found her particularly entertaining to begin with. She did look pretty good in the sponsor-dress. The rest of the cast just acts dumb, which is funny for about 2 jokes.
Third, and probably most important, is that this movie probably wouldn’t do that well in wide release. In its satire, it makes fun of everyone, including the self-important yuppy intellectuals, which just happen to be the type of people who this movie would most appeal to. While the movie is full of extremely clever, subtle references, the main thrust of the comedy is very weak and blunt, and just doesn’t quite get the job done. Don’t forget that Office Space did poorly in the theaters.
Things I liked about this movie:
- Stephen Root, aka Milton, makes an appearance.
- The sequence leading up to the freezing is classic. Michael McCafferty’s scene was, to me, the peak of the comedy in the movie. You see gentlemen, a pimp’s love is very different than a square’s.
- Tons of very subtle references in the background. What does that say about the acting that I find jokes in the background more entertaining?
Thing I didn’t like about the movie:
- Luke Wilson and Maya Rudolph. Bleh.
- The completely obvious “Time Machine” payoff. I’m not saying I knew it was a ride, but it was pretty obvious that there was no real time machine. The ride was also very similar to the “whalers on the moon” ride from Futurama, by the way.
- Symptoms of dystopia in the future: over-privatization. Ha, that’s a laugh!
I guess they can’t all be winners. Idiocracy appears to be Mike Judge’s Club Dread. Let’s just hope his next movie isn’t a Beerfest. Personally, I’ll stick with the Futurama episode, “The Day the Earth Stood Stupid”. As far as stupid futures go, it is the GREETEST for many RAISINS. Also, it might be worth checking out
Cyril Kornbluth’s “Marching Morons”, which appears to be the inspiration for this film.
P.S. Speaking of Kornbluth and Office Space, you should definitely check out Josh and Jacob Kornbluth’s Haiku Tunnel.