Monday, January 21, 2008

Happy MLK Day

I spent the morning washing cars for the Red Cross, because, uh, Martin Luther King was all about washing cars for the Red Cross. It was seriously an exercise in futility since as we were washing them off, the ice was refreezing on the cars. The inner monologue of the Loveless Cynic was basically "Fuck fuck fuck, fucking ice, cannot fucking feel my fucking hands, fuck!" Let it not be said that I do tiresome things with grace. Because I really don't.

Washing cars aside, I sometimes truly dislike Martin Luther King Day from the bottom of my shrivelled heart, because I have to listen to this pablum about how Martin Luther King was a wonderful person who loved everyone. And was an inspiration to all people and how we should love everybody.

This isn't really true. Martin Luther King was a rather conflicted troubled person who did some amazing things, with the help of other people. Some of how he comes across is due to the way his family has managed his image. And part of it is that liberals love us a black Jesus that we can put on a pedestal and not deal with as a real person. Especially when we don't have to talk about his radical and increasingly left wing tendencies. (I had a really good US history teacher in high school which is how I even am aware of as much as I am. Ms. Meyers, you were great.)

I don't think that his flaws or missteps detract from his accomplishments, rather they add to them. It's sort of more amazing that a flawed person could accomplish what he did than if he was some perfect saint, don't you think? Anyway, he asked some hard questions in his life, rather than just the color of skin rather content of character. We should remember that too.

1 comment:

Factorial said...

I can top that: I pulled some ivy and then... wait for it... wait for it...

...we wrote haiku relating our service to Martin Luther King Jr.


I wished alternately for death or your presence. Also this is the haiku I wrote:

Martin Luther King
Hey look! That's five syllables!
Best haiku ever!

They can make me participate, but they can't make me like it.

I just... you know... well, you do know, you know exactly what I'm going to say here. Couldn't we have done something even REMOTELY substantive? (Clearly, instead of complaining I should have stepped up to organize the day. But the nail that sticks up gets pounded down. Head down, eyes on the prize, etc. -- that's how I plan to make it through this with my sanity intact.)