You Say You Want A…
Okay, if you want to overthrow…, um, what- or whomever, I’m with you. Count me in for the revolution as long as certain global archcriminals get scalped.
Case in point: Prince Alwaleed bin Talal of Saudi Arabia. I wish I had his address. I’d throw eggs at his front window, at the very least.
The Prince has sued Forbes Magazine in a British court for libel. The editors of that biweekly paean to wealth and two of its reporters, according to the Prince’s filing, wronged him when they stated that his net worth is $20 billion, rather than the more accurate (or so he claims) $29 billion. The bastards!
Honestly, what can you expect from a guy whose bazillions are laundered through a corporate entity known as Kingdom Holding Company? Really? Kingdom? He owns a hefty chunk of the right-wing media colossus News Corp. as well as slices of Apple and Citigroup. As the (alleged) 26th richest human on Earth, he’s not just part of the 1 percent, he’s of the .000000004 percent. Four freaking millionths of one goddamn percent!
Revolution, my friends, now.
This just hit me.
I want to sell T-shirts, buttons, and bumper stickers with this motto on it. Maybe even have it inscribed on my head stone. It is the single truest, most direct, punchiest thing any of us can ever say.
Here it is:
This’ll Make Me Bazillions!
Of course, you can have your choice of jerk photos. Ayn Rand. Chris Brown. Lloyd Blankfein. Kim Kardashian. Anyone in power at Monsanto. You get the idea.
Simple. Straightforward. Don’t be a jerk.
I’m no big fan of Bobby Kennedy. He and his bros had their political careers bought and paid for by Big Daddy Joe, whose fondest dream was to become the Boss of America through them. The Kennedy boys were entitlement personified. They treated women like dirt. They were so sexually acquisitive that they verged on being predators. They were in thrall to mobsters and wannabes. They were liberal when liberalism could get them votes, then they turned around and were conservative for the same reason.
But they were smart. And they did care about blacks and the poor. So I won’t throw the babies out with the bathwater.
After the whacking of JFK (by L.H. Oswald, alone, natch — I’m no conspiracy theorist), Bobby essentially had a nervous breakdown. He came out on the other side a different man. A better man, I might add. A man who had the courage to speak to what could have been an angry, potentially violent crowd one night here in Indiana.
Bobby Kennedy Breaks The News
It was April 4, 1968. RFK was flying into Indy for a quick campaign stop. As the plane was about to touch down, the captain informed Kennedy and his staff that Martin Luther King, Jr. had been assassinated. Bobby’s handlers told him it would be suicide for a white man to tell a crowd of black people that one of their leaders, one of their heroes, had been killed. Let’s not land, they begged him. Let’s go somewhere safe.
And Bobby said no. The plane landed and he gave this speech on the tarmac, completely extemporaneous and without notes, one of the finest in the history of this very, very imperfect nation:
Ladies and gentlemen.
I’m only going to talk to you for just a minute or so this evening, because I have some, some very sad news for all of you. Could you lower those signs, please? I have some very sad news for all of you, and, I think, sad news for all of our fellow citizens, and people who love peace all over the world; and that is that Martin Luther King was shot and was killed tonight in Memphis, Tennessee.
Martin Luther King dedicated his life to love and to justice between fellow human beings. He died in the cause for the effort. In this difficult day, in this difficult time for the United States, it’s perhaps well to ask what kind of a nation we are and what direction we want to move in. For those of you who are black — considering the evidence, evidently, is that there were white people who were responsible — you can be filled with bitterness, and with hatred, and a desire for revenge.
We can move in that direction as a country, in greater polarization — black people amongst blacks and white people amongst whites, filled with hatred toward one another. Or we can make an effort, as Martin Luther King did, to understand, and to comprehend, and replace that violence, that stain of bloodshed that has spread across our land, with an effort to understand, compassion, and love.
For those of you who are black and are tempted to be filled with hatred and mistrust, of the injustice of such an act, against all white people, I would only say that I can also feel in my own heart the same kind of feeling. I had a member of my family killed, but he was killed by a white man.
But we have to make an effort in the United States, we have to make an effort to understand, to get beyond, or go beyond these rather difficult times.
My favorite poem, my favorite poet was Aeschylus. And he once wrote:
Even in our sleep, pain which cannot forget
falls drop by drop upon the heart, until, in our own despair,
against our will,
through the awful grace of god.
What we need in the United States is not division; what we need in the United States is not hatred; what we need in the United States is not violence and lawlessness, but is love, and wisdom, and compassion toward one another, and a feeling of justice toward those who still suffer within our country, whether they be white or whether they be black.
So I ask you tonight to return home, to say a prayer for the family of Martin Luther King — yeah, it’s true — but more importantly to say a prayer for our own country, which all of us love, a prayer for understanding and that compassion of which I spoke.
We can do well in this country. We will have difficult times. We’ve had difficult times in the past, and we will have difficult times in the future. It is not the end of violence; it is not the end of lawlessness; it is not the end of disorder.
But the vast majority of white people and the vast majority of black people in this country want to live together, want to improve the quality of our life, and want justice for all human beings that abide in our land.
And let’s dedicate ourselves to what the Greeks wrote so many years ago: to tame the savageness of man and make gentle the life of this world. Let us dedicate ourselves to that, and say a prayer for our country and for our people.
Thank you very much.
Kennedy died of a gunshot wound to the head 45 years ago Thursday.