The Fierce Urgency of Now

Hi, everyone! Long time no talk to! Sorry for the radio silence. I hope you all had a great Christmas and New Year’s. I’ve been a bit of a whirlwind lately (hence the radio silence). I’ve learned that starting tomorrow I’ll be teaching four-and-a-half classes this semester instead of two as I had expected. I got the usual end-of-year avalanche of legal briefs to write, so that was quite the hustle. Also, my twin bro and I turned 39 on January 2nd, and I had a bit of a mini sob-fest (not because of age — I’m not hung up on that at all; that’s just a bittersweet day for lots of reasons). But then last week Rangemaster had its third iteration of Establishing a Dominance Paradigm in Oklahoma. I got to work the class again as an AI, which was awesome. And somewhere in there I landed myself on Ballistic Radio and the Armed Squirrels Project (though I don’t think that episode has been posted yet). The documentary series “Dark Net” has filmed segments at my house over the past few weeks, and that episode is airing soon on Showtime; so I’m nervous as hell about that (especially after the guy making guns with his 3-D printer ended up with a less-than-flattering portrayal). And speaking of media, I also owe you guys an update on my latest online escapade: contributing a little segment called “The Bridge” on the GunBlog VarietyCast. Last week on my segment, we had a go at the Black Panthers, whose Second Amendment legacy is, well, complicated…

So we’ve got some catching up to do! But right now, I’ve got to get back to tweaking my syllabi before SHOT Show starts tomorrow. It’s my first time here. The festivities started for me last night with a super-fancy dinner at a super-fancy restaurant with fancy people in fancy suits talking about guns in fancy languages. That was an experience. The last few times I was in Vegas, I avoided the Strip altogether. Now that I’m here in the middle of it, it strikes me as smokey and crowded and draped in a thin veil of siren grandeur. And the hotels here don’t have coffee makers, damn it! (Because, of course, all I want to do at 6am is head down to the casino floor and dredge through all the debauchery to pay 13 bucks for cup o’ joe). Oooo, look, mountains! Move out of the way, stupid roller coaster. I’m trying to see the mountains…

Anyway, I’ll try to put a cork in this morning’s stream of consciousness and just say Happy MLK Day to everyone. If you’ve gotten to the point where this day only means the annoyance of closed banks, below are a few quick videos to help get you in the MLK spirit. Enjoy!

First, the classic “I have a Dream” speech (which I prefer to call the “Fierce Urgency of Now” speech). It’s not a perfect speech by any stretch, but if you haven’t heard it in a while, please take a moment to remind yourself. King described the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence as a “promissory note” of sorts; but he lamented that, at least as of 1963, America had “defaulted on this promissory note insofar as her citizens of color are concerned.” I wonder if he’d think the note was still in default today.

You can listen to the speech here, or watch the very grainy video below.

Also, I came across this video while pulling up the MLK speech. Not sure exactly which parts were genuine and which were more a result of Couric-style editing, but the message is pretty compelling.

And finally, I am both intrigued by and somewhat terrified by the next appearance of race as the leading character on the big screen. This forthcoming documentary dramatizes the musings of James Baldwin and asks some uneasy questions. [Warning: Language.]

We shall see what we shall see! ‘Til next time…

Back to Top