Rod Stewart – “Do Ya Think I’m Sexy?”

My favorite bad/great song!

Two quick things I associate with this legend:

  • When I was living in New York and walking around the West Village, I saw Rod Stewart walking down the street carrying what looked like a bag of groceries. He was being followed by two other guys yelling “Rod Stewart! Damn, Rod Stewart!!!”
  • One night while also living in New York, I was fast asleep when my roommate Andy came home with a bunch of people. They woke me up, so in a haze I marched into the living room and told them to shut up. They left, and I went back to sleep. The next morning Andy told me I’d told Rod’s daughter Kimberly Stewart to shut up while wearing just my underwear.

Martin Luther King Jr.’s “Letter From Birmingham Jail”

In April 1963, King was jailed in Birmingham, Alabama, after he defied a state court’s injunction and led a march of black protesters without a permit, urging an Easter boycott of white-owned stores. A statement published in The Birmingham News, written by eight moderate white clergymen, criticized the march and other demonstrations.

This prompted King to write a lengthy response, begun in the margins of the newspaper. He smuggled it out with the help of his lawyer, and the nearly 7,000 words were transcribed. The eloquent call for “constructive, nonviolent tension” to force an end to unjust laws became a landmark document of the civil-rights movement. The letter was printed in part or in full by several publications, including the New York PostLiberation magazine, The New Leader, and The Christian Century.

The letter defends the strategy of nonviolent resistance to racism, and it says that people have a moral responsibility to break unjust laws and to take direct action rather than waiting potentially forever for justice to come through the courts. Responding to being referred to as an “outsider”, King writes, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere”.

The full letter is included after the break.

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George Carlin Getting Arrested

On July 21, 1972, comedian George Carlin was arrested at Milwaukee, Wisconsin’s Summerfest and charged with violating that state’s obscenity laws after performing his controversial routine, “Seven Words You Can Never Say on Television”.

“There are 400,000 words in the English language,” Carlin told the audience, “and there are seven you can’t say on television. What a ratio that is! 399,993 to 7. They must really be baaaad. They must be outrageous to be separated from a group that large. ’All of you words over here, you seven….baaaad words.’ That’s what they told us, right? …You know the seven, don’t ya? That you can’t say on TV? Shit, piss, fuck, cunt, cocksucker, motherfucker and tits.”

A Milwaukee judge later dismissed the charges against the 35-year-old comic.