Thursday, August 28, 2003

40 years hence

Reprinted for your convenience, the greatest speech of the 20th Century:

"I Have A Dream"
by Martin Luther King, Jr,


Delivered on the steps at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C. on August 28, 1963. Source: Martin Luther King, Jr: The Peaceful Warrior, Pocket Books, NY 1968

Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of captivity. But one hundred years later, we must face the tragic fact that the Negro is still not free.

One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination. One hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. One hundred years later, the Negro is still languishing in the corners of American society and finds himself an exile in his own land.

So we have come here today to dramatize an appalling condition. In a sense we have come to our nation's capital to cash a check. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir.

This note was a promise that all men would be guaranteed the inalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check which has come back marked "insufficient funds." But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation.

So we have come to cash this check -- a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice. We have also come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the time to open the doors of opportunity to all of God's children. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quicksands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood.

It would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of the moment and to underestimate the determination of the Negro. This sweltering summer of the Negro's legitimate discontent will not pass until there is an invigorating autumn of freedom and equality. Nineteen sixty-three is not an end, but a beginning. Those who hope that the Negro needed to blow off steam and will now be content will have a rude awakening if the nation returns to business as usual. There will be neither rest nor tranquility in America until the Negro is granted his citizenship rights.

The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of our nation until the bright day of justice emerges. But there is something that I must say to my people who stand on the warm threshold which leads into the palace of justice. In the process of gaining our rightful place we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred.

We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. we must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force.

The marvelous new militancy which has engulfed the Negro community must not lead us to distrust of all white people, for many of our white brothers, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny and their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom.

We cannot walk alone. And as we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall march ahead. We cannot turn back. There are those who are asking the devotees of civil rights, "When will you be satisfied?" we can never be satisfied as long as our bodies, heavy with the fatigue of travel, cannot gain lodging in the motels of the highways and the hotels of the cities. We cannot be satisfied as long as the Negro's basic mobility is from a smaller ghetto to a larger one. We can never be satisfied as long as a Negro in Mississippi cannot vote and a Negro in New York believes he has nothing for which to vote. No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.

I am not unmindful that some of you have come here out of great trials and tribulations. Some of you have come fresh from narrow cells. Some of you have come from areas where your quest for freedom left you battered by the storms of persecution and staggered by the winds of police brutality. You have been the veterans of creative suffering. Continue to work with the faith that unearned suffering is redemptive.

Go back to Mississippi, go back to Alabama, go back to Georgia, go back to Louisiana, go back to the slums and ghettos of our northern cities, knowing that somehow this situation can and will be changed. Let us not wallow in the valley of despair. I say to you today, my friends, that in spite of the difficulties and frustrations of the moment, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal." I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slaveowners will be able to sit down together at a table of brotherhood. I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a desert state, sweltering with the heat of injustice and oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice. I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. I have a dream today.

I have a dream that one day the state of Alabama, whose governor's lips are presently dripping with the words of interposition and nullification, will be transformed into a situation where little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls and walk together as sisters and brothers. I have a dream today. I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together. This is our hope. This is the faith with which I return to the South. With this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.

This will be the day when all of God's children will be able to sing with a new meaning, "My country, 'tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. Land where my fathers died, land of the pilgrim's pride, from every mountainside, let freedom ring." And if America is to be a great nation, this must become true. So let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire. Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York. Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania! Let freedom ring from the snowcapped Rockies of Colorado! Let freedom ring from the curvaceous peaks of California! But not only that; let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia! Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee! Let freedom ring from every hill and every molehill of Mississippi. From every mountainside, let freedom ring.

When we let freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, "Free at last! free at last! thank God Almighty, we are free at last!"

Wednesday, August 27, 2003

Hump Day (I wish!)

OK, so here's the low-down on mine and Kathy's recent movie-watching:

*We went to Roanoke last week and picked up Bowling for Columbine for my (belated) birthday present. I'm here to tell you that if you haven't seen it yet, go and get it. It's not the anti-gun screed that some conservative talk-show hosts would have you believe. It actually brings up some salient points on the American culture of fear. I almost cried during the segment that featured footage from Columbine High School the day of the incident. Definitely deserving of the accolades, and a must-rent-or-buy!

*Saturday night, we went out to see Seabiscuit at the local theater. Another good film, and Toby Maguire does a great job as the 'Biscuit's jockey. Of course the most memorable part of the film was Kathy and I sneaking candy into the movie. Kathy sneaked three Kit Kat bars in, in her purse for me. In return I snuck a large box of Dots for Kathy... well, let's just say they were quite warm when I pulled them out. :)

*I took a couple of gift cards to Wal-Mart the other night and redeemed them on, yes, you guessed it, MORE DVDs! So now we have added to our colection:

-Edward Scissorhands (a Kathy approved film)
-Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (the best ST film, IMHO)
-A Few Good Men (I want to play Jessup onstage!)
-Braveheart (for my Celtic roots)
-The Patriot ('cause I'm a sucker for the Revolutionary War)

We've sat through three of them so far. Still some moviie watching to go. See, kids, this is what happens when... wait, what was I saying? Never mind. :P

Anyway, that's all from this neck of the woods. Keep yer ears on, good buddy, and don't let the smokies get all up in your mud flaps. 10-4, over and out.

Friday, August 22, 2003


Yep, here it is...

1. When was the last time you laughed?
This morning. Something to do with Kathy and our cats.

2. Who was the last person you had an argument with?
Kathy, a few days ago.

3. Who was the last person you emailed?
Kathy, yet again, unless you count reporting spammers to my Yahoo account.

4. When was the last time you bathed?
Last night, when I gave myself and our dog a bath.

5. What was the last thing you ate?
Hmmm, it was some cheese-flavored hull-less popcorn here at the office.

More exciting posts coming later today, including thoughts on my new DVD.

Wednesday, August 20, 2003

Don't mind me

I'm just making some changes here and there.

Way-oh way-oh ooh-way-oh-way-ohhhhh

After taking the Which Country Are you quiz, I'm... well, see for yourself:

You're Egypt!

Curator of ancient mystical secrets, your life on the surface is fairly
typical these days.  Though you are in denial about more things than most people.
 Nevertheless, you're trying to convince people that you're safe despite your more
volatile and unstable times that seem to be behind you.  You like cats a whole lot.
 You'd probably really appreciate The Blue

the Country Quiz at the href="">Blue Pyramid

Tuesday, August 19, 2003

Gonna give ya barley, spinach 'n tomaters

Kathy and I went down to Roanoke last night to drop her Prius off for its regular maintenance. Not a bad trip overall, especially since I was riding with her. Not too good for her, though, as it appears that we are writing off our formerly favorite Mexican restaurant in Roanoke permanently. It just wasn't very good.

OK, about tomatoes. This is the time of year when people's gardens are reaching full fruition, and as a result, they find that they have a surplus of produce. Thus begins the annual "pawning off of the veggies". Last Saturday, one of our neighbors brought over a passel of tomatoes and cucumbers for us; we ended up using them at the party. Then yesterday, my co-worker Marsha brought me a box full of tomatoes of various sizes and degrees of freshness, saying "take what you want". I ended up taking most of them; I figure I can use them in sauce or something soon. :)

I've heard rumblings from others here at work that they may bring more produce of their own soon. If I'm not careful, the Kath and I will be up to our necks in home-grown from now until November. Not saying it's a bad thing, but there may be some payback next year if I can get a garden patch tilled. That's all I'm sayin'.

Monday, August 18, 2003

Harold! That was your last date!!

What a weekend! We had our local "celebrate-our-wedding-please-dear-God-somebody-show-up" party this past Saturday, and we had about 10 people show up. Not all at the same time, mind you, but they were there. The beef barbecue I cooked turned out reasonably well, but it could have been better, if I had had a double-burner grill to work with. This won't be the last party we have, either. We got a scatload of entertaining implements for our wedding, and by Gar, we're a-gonna use 'em!

After the guests left, it was movie night at the McGuires'. First we tried to get through Y Tu Mama Tambien (see previous post), but didn't quite make it. Not because it was boring; let's just say we had to take a break.

After our break, we switched over to another film: Harold and Maude. Fantastic movie, in case you haven't seen it. Thing is, I can't imagine a movie like this being made today. Either a studio executive would dismiss the whole May-late December romance aspect entirely, or he would make sure it was American Pie-ized to the point where it would turn out to be a joke of the lady playing the character of Maude. Thankfully the story is given space to develop, so that you can actually believe a 20-year old man could really fall in love with an 80-year old woman.

We rounded up our movie viewing this weekend with Phenomenon. Not a bad movie, but a bit coying in parts. I will admit, however, to crying WARNING! SPOILER ALERT! when John Travolta's character dies in the arms of the woman he loves. That's the way I want to go.

Next time: tomatoes, squash pie, and Ah-nold.

Friday, August 15, 2003

Hey, Balance THIS fairly!

In case you haven't noticed, I've changed the subtitle of my blog to "My life, fair and balanced". The reason is that Fox News has decided to sue Al Franken over the title of his new book, which utilizes the words "Fair and balanced"

Fox News claims it trademarked the phrase back in 1995, and that Franken's use of it would create confusion and sully the phrase that FN has worked so hard to claim as its own.

While I believe they'd have a point if Al were starting a news network with that phrase as some sort of trademark, the book in itself is a satire of these ridiculous screeds by the likes of Ann Coulter and Michael Savage which lambaste the left in this country, as well as Fox News itself.

Al himself has dismissed the suit as frivelous, and the publicity has sent advanced orders of his book to #1 on the Amazon charts. In the meantime I am joining many of my fellow bloggers in changing myself to a "Fair and balanced" blog. If Rupert Murdoch and Roger Ailes want to come after me, I'm right here. They can get my outdated computer AND my busted-up stereo if they win the lawsuit.

In the immortal words of the Only President We Got: "Bring them on." Doinks!

Friday Five, Clint One

Yep, it's that time of the week again:

1. How much time do you spend online each day?
About 1 1/2 hours a day. (stop laughing, Kathy! :P)

2. What is your browser homepage set to?
My Yahoo at home, the News-Gazette home page at work.

3. Do you use any instant messaging programs? If so, which one(s)?
I use Yahoo Messenger and MSN Messenger. I've also used AIM and ICQ, but not recently.

4. Where was your first webpage located?

5. How long have you had your current website?
See above site. As far as I'm concerned it is my current website, and I've had it for five years (as of next month). I haven't updated it in a while, though. Maybe I should. Maybe I should!


As I noted earlier, I rented The Hours earlier this week, and Kathy and I finally got around to watching it the other night. Nicole Kidman did a very nice job as Virginia Woolf in the movie, but I think if anyone should have won an Oscar for her performance in the film, it should have been Julieanne Moore.

On the whole, the movie was kind of a downer, and I don't mean that in a bad way. It was poignant and deep, but I sure didn't feel like singing for joy when the end credits rolled.

Last night, we watched Y Tu Mama Tambien, or at least the first part of it. We were too tired to make it all the way through. One thing about it, though. If you rent or buy the unrated version, be prepared for a bit of a jolt at the beginning.

Having heard virtually nothing about the movie, I popped our copy in the DVD and prepared to watch. The opening credits rolled, and the title of the movie has barely faded from the screen when the first shot of the movie showed a young couple doing the nasty in flagrante. I don't mean in the Hollywoodized "sheet-barely-covering-the-NC17-spots-with-slow-thrusting" sex style. I'm talking bare asses in the air, banging the s&!t out of each other, almost porno kind of sex. It may have been after midnight when I started watching this, but needless to say that first shot grabbed my attention. Yikes!

I may write more later. Have fun, kiddies!

Thursday, August 14, 2003

Thursdays... I never could get the hang of Thursdays

First of all, to all the Xanga bloggers out there, welcome back!

Saw on the news that there are now 135 confirmed candidates for governor in California. Add Father Guido Sarducci (aka Don Novello) and professional self-promoter Angelyne to the mix for Gov. Also on the ballot will be Michael Jackson and Richard Simmons, but not the ones you think. In the meantime Ahnold is getting hit on all sides; the liberals don't like him because he's a Republican, and the conservatives don't like him because he's too socially liberal. I'm just glad I live in Virginia, where the state GOP chairman recently had to resign because he wiretapped the state Democratic Party offices.

Oh, and for fans of Hedwig and the Angry Inch (and you know who you are!), there's a tribute CD coming out in October. Should be pretty damn cool!

Wednesday, August 13, 2003

Change is gonna come...

I've redone the links to the right. I updated most of those whose blogs led to dead links, and added a few new ones to the party. Hope you like.

Oops! A couple of the links weren't working. Fixed 'em!

Tuesday, August 12, 2003

Blogs, memes and stuff

I have set up a blog for myself and Kathy to share couple news with everyone. It's right here! a better design will come; oh, it WILL come! :)
Since This-or-That is on hiatus, I am putting the Friday Five up here today, since I missed it last Friday. Hope you don't mind:

1. What's the last place you traveled to, outside your own home state/country?
That would be Boone, NC this past weekend. Before that it was Helen GA (my sister's wedding), and New Orleans for our honeymoon!

2. What's the most bizarre/unusual thing that's ever happened to you while traveling?
Hmmm, trying to think of something bizarre that happened. I guess it would be when I passed out drunk and nekkid in a hotel room in Gainesville, GA.

3. If you could take off to anywhere, money and time being no object, where would you go?
Well, here's my five-within-The Five:
1) Ireland
2) Tahiti
3) Japan
4) Italy
5) Cuba

4. Do you prefer traveling by plane, train or car?
Having recently traveled by train, I have to say that that is my favorite way to travel. However, since I've never flown before, that opinion is a bit skewed.

5. What's the next place on your list to visit?
San Antonio, TX, home of my wifey's dad and stepmom. Thanksgiving. Yee-haw!
I've rented The Hours. Hopefully I can give a report on it next time.

Friday, August 8, 2003

California Über Alles

The birthday was okay, being a prime number and all. I got my first "Husband" birthday card, which caused me to cry. If you're married, hopefully you understand.

It looks like the race to become governor of California should the voters recall Gray Davis (a strong possibility) is going to be a wild one. Over 300 people have nominating papers, and if only 10 percent of them actually file, the ballot'll be more confusing than stereo instructions. Among the currently viable candidates are:

*Larry Flynt, the publisher of Hustler magazine, and the candiidate running as "The smut-peddler who cares." He also recently organized a "Day of Prayer" to ask God for the death of Bill O'Reilly. Apparently it worked about as well as Pat Robertson's Operation Kill-the-liberal-justices-oops-I-mean-Operation-Supreme-Court-Freedom-yeah-that's-the-ticket!

*Gary Coleman, the former child star and occasional guest on "Where are they Now?" specials. You know this candidacy can only work if he brings in Danny Bonaduce as a running mate.

*Gallagher, the infamous murderer of thousands of innocent watermelons, and prop comic who paved the way for Carrot Top. This alone should be reason enough to not vote for him.

Other candidates with far less visibility, but no less entertainment value, can be found listed in this report. Gubernatorial thongs; why didn't I think of that?
Finally, this one's for O especially. They're baaack!