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Opportunity blown by agenda of “MLK Boulevard”

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The stated premise of “MLK Boulevard,” a “documentary” film airing on the Discovery-Times Channel (formerly Discovery Civilization – it’s available on satellite and some digital cable outlets) is intriguing.

The film is positioned as an examination of the phenomenon of renaming streets across America after Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. According to the film, King has more streets named after him than anyone in U.S. history except Washington and Lincoln.

Is the renaming of a street in honor of King a fitting tribute, or is it a meaningless gesture that does nothing to promote King’s vision and is just the default tribute required for all cities to pass NAACP muster?

This is supposed to be the question answered by “MLK Boulevard.” Instead, the filmmaker – a young black man from New York – uses his platform to push an agenda. That’s not surprising, as most leftist filmmakers use the “documentary” form as political platform, but it was very disappointing.

The filmmaker travels the country examining MLK Boulevards, pointing out poverty, asking strangers on the side of the road for directions to their MLK street (to show, I suppose, that if nobody can tell you how to get there, that’s a bad thing), and reducing what was a legitimate argument in Eugene, Oregon about a King renaming into a “white businesses verses black residents” struggle.

He travels to Cuba, Alabama to find an MLK street that is, as he points out in shame “only 1100 feet long”. He says Cuba is a very small town, but doesn’t feel the need to explain that the entire town in about 500 yards square. Cuba features streets named Outside Street, Railroad Avenue and a New York City-style grid of numbered streets and avenues. The entirely of Cuba exists between 1st and 4th Streets and 1st and 8th Avenues.

Part of MLK Street in Cuba is a dusty dirt road. He shows the road without comment, and then pulls up to a trailer in which he finds an poor, old black man. The filmmaker seems upset that a black man living on MLK Street would be living in such poverty. Nevermind that half of Alabama lives like that.

In St. Louis, he finds a Chinese restaurant on MLK Boulevard that has a bulletproof glass window through which they pass their food to customers. He seems really bothered about this.

And then there’s the Eugene debate that begins and ends the film. Black leaders in Eugene had chosen the city’s Centennial Parkway as the road to become MLK Boulevard. Many in Eugene did not approve, as Centennial Parkway was so named to celebrate the state’s centennial some years back.

The film maker shows the City Council meeting where the proposal was originally voted down. He shows a number of citizens speaking in favor of the proposal; and he shows council members giving their speeches. When the two council members who supported the change spoke, he cut away to reaction shots from the other council members. They winced; they frowned; they generally looked very unhappy.

Now, the tape of this City Council meeting was taken from the local public-access cable channel. Such low-budget, government-run productions typically do not cut away from a council person as they are speaking to show others’ reactions. I think the filmmaker – ala Michael Moore – assembled little bits and pieces of reactions (probably to unrelated things) and edited them together to create a certain impression of what happened. That’s all too typical in these “documentaries”.

And, when the council votes down the change – it’s ultimately approved – he notes that even though 28 people spoke in favor of the name change, “business interests” overrode the interests of the public. OK.

So, in the end, there is no productive discussion about whether naming a street after MLK does anything to honor his legacy. It’s another hour wasted on leftist propagandizing in the name of “documentary filmmaking.”

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About Capn Ken

  • http://macaronies.blogspot.com Mac Diva

    This would be amusing in a way if it were not pathetic. How can someone write more than a dozen paragraphs about a filmmaker and not even accord the person the dignity of naming him? (Never mind. I suspect that is easy for someone like YOU to do.) However, saying he faked footage with no proof of it is shameful. Furthermore, you have not credited the sources you reprinted material almost verbatim from. Passing other people’s material off as your own is unethical, and ironic considering you are attacking someone else’s ethics. In summary, yuck!

    For the record, the filmaker’s name is Marco Williams. Interested persons can read an intelligent account of his reasons for making the film here.

  • kara

    Mac, if you disagree with Ken’s position, then provide some facts to back up your position. Your post leads me to believe you didn’t actually watch the documentary you’re hammering Ken for critiquing.

    Rather than refute his position that the documentary was an ineffective propaganda piece instead of an intelligent and informative discussion on fitting and appropriate tributes to the memory of MLK, you lapse back into your usual M.O. of name calling and finger pointing.

    I bet you were the kid who wrote down names when other kids talked while the teacher was out of the classroom.

  • kara

    Let me also add that MLK Blvd in Cuba, AL – while only 1100 ft. long – is probably the longest street in town.

    The population of Cuba, AL is 363, and occupies 4 sq. miles.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cuba,_Alabama

  • http://eastatlanta.blogspot.com Cap’n Ken

    Mac – are you, in fact, “Silver Rights”? If not, you’ve got to at least be conjoined twins. Maybe we can spend millions to separate you.

  • TCL

    A theory no longer. The contact e-mail for both Mac Diva* and Silver Rights is escritoria@mac.com. Silver Rights’s “Amazon Wishlist” link links to the page “J.G.’s Wish List.” Not surprisingly, Mac Diva’s “Amazon Wishlist” link also links to “J.G.’s Wish List.” Clicking on “About J.G.” link returns the page “About woman_warrior,” with contact escritoria@mac.com and this pithy description: “I am a writer with an educational and professional background in journalism and law. Blogging, which allows me to combine those and other interests, is my latest avocation. I also write fiction, usually domestic and dirty realism.”** What an asshole.

    I think this pretty much cements your point about hiding.

    *This “writer with an educational and professional background in journalism and law” couldn’t think up a better fucking name than “Mac Diva”?

    **As opposed foreign and clean fantasy.

    NB: Strangely enough, it occurs to me that I am a “writer with an educational and professional background in journalism and law” (hey, I write stuff). As such, I must say: What an asshole.

  • http://macaronies.blogspot.com Mac Diva

    Envious, luv?

    Perhaps I am not trying to hide anything. That would explain why nothing is hidden, you know?

    As for writing for more than one blog and doing it well, it comes easy to me.

  • http://coffee-achiever.blogspot.com kara

    “As for writing for more than one blog and doing it well, it comes easy to me.”

    Supporting your position with facts seems to come harder to you. Perhaps that’s why you’re focusing on blogging instead of being a lawyer or journalist?

  • http://eastatlanta.blogspot.com Cap’n Ken

    Mac Diva / Silver Rights:

    Both of your blogs are predictable, tiresome and uninteresting.

    And, yes, that does seem to come pretty easy for you.

  • TCL

    And you definitely need to use more Britishisms. A few “luvs” and “arses” sprinkled here and there aren’t nearly pretentious enough.

  • http://macaronies.blogspot.com Mac Diva

    You don’t have to use two names on this thread, Ken. You can cuss me just as well as Cap’n. We’ll let the market decide who has an interesting blog(s). The thousands of people who have read mine would disagree with your and Kara’s assessment, I suspect.

    For the record:

    Kara may be well-caffeinated, but her fortune stops there.

    As I realized when I came across his blog months ago, Cap’n Ken is a thoroughly self-centered person who spends a lot of time talking to himself.

    Oh, for people who want to read about the MLK documentary, here’s the entry. (You may notice it also appeared on Blogcritics. However, the Cap’n is too stuck on himself to bother reading the posts of other Blogcritics — even here.)

  • http://mcfrank.blogspot.com Chris Arabia

    mac, someone with your pretensions should know how to type a simple blogspot address.

  • http://macaronies.blogspot.com Mac Diva

    Chris, feel free to demonstrate with this URL. Perhaps doing so will attract readers and links to your blog. Lord knows you need some help.

  • http://www.shortstrangetrip.org Joe

    I’m not sure I understand the the point of the Technorati links. I’d assume that that would really only matter if you were in the top 100 or something or if you had some misplaced sense of importance associated with the significance of the numbers.

  • http://macaronies.blogspot.com Mac Diva

    The point is that some of the most critical people here have blogs no one reads. They haven’t even figured out their way around the blogosphere yet, but mistakenly believe they are setting it on fire. And, BTW, Mac-a-ro-nies has been in the top 100 blogs.

  • http://www.shortstrangetrip.org Joe

    “Has been” being the operative phrase, and how many of those links on Mac-a-ro-nies can be traced back to your other blog or orginated from here by you? Setting it on fire, man, that’s arson!

  • http://macaronies.blogspot.com Mac Diva

    The answer to your silly question is none. Mac-a-ro-nies was in the top 100 before I joined Blogcritics.

    Now, would you like to discuss that thing you call a weblog? . . . I thought not.

  • http://mcfrank.blogspot.com Chris Arabia

    mac, you couldn’t even type your own blog address without making a mistake:

    at BC in comments, putting the cursor over “mac diva” links to the following:

    macaronies .blogspot.com

    notice the space? if you click on this address, it leads nowhere. i laugh in your general direction. what a blunder.

    how hard is it to type a blog address? too hard for yac hiva.

  • http://mcfrank.blogspot.com Chris Arabia

    oops, it’s http://macaronies. blogspot.com.

    that’s:
    http://macaronies. blogspot.com

    see the space after macaronies–that’s your error, mac.

    i typed it wrong, but any idiot could do that. it took a special idiot to mangle her own blogspot address.

  • http://www.shortstrangetrip.org Joe

    No, feel free to leave a remark in the comments, I’ll do likewise in yours…oops, you don’t have comments. What’s the matter, scared that people might actually provide feedback?

  • http://macaronies.blogspot.com Mac Diva

    At least my blog has an address people actually visit, Chris. Eat your heart out.

    The word ‘comments’ is longer than your entries, Joe.

    Now, run along, members of the fraternity Unread. Fooling around with y’all is too reminiscient of an elephant stepping on mice. After looking at your stats, I’ve been laughing so hard it has made my stomach hurt. You guys are pa-thet-ic.

  • http://www.shortstrangetrip.org Joe

    For some reason I’m reminded of an underendowed man bragging about his sportscar as if that compensated for something. Sad.

  • http://mcfrank.blogspot.com Chris Arabia

    mac, what’s more pathetic: your inability to type a simple blogspot address (especially in light of your ceaseless blabbing about your imaginary intellectual superiority) or your belief that blog links are the final arbiter of a person or writer’s worth?

  • http://eastatlanta.blogspot.com Cap’n Ken

    Chris:

    I think the most pathetic thing is Mac’s belief in that imaginary intellectual superiority.

    Or maybe it’s that Mac believes we should give a rat’s ass what she thinks about her and our relative worth in the blogsphere.

    Wow, you sure do have a lot of links in and out of your blogs! I’m damned impressed.

    Doesn’t make your stuff any less yawn-inspiring, though.

    Nor does it change the fact that MLK Boulevard was rendered pointless by the filmmaker’s (man, I’m such a racist – WON’T EVEN SAY THE BROTHER’S NAME!!!) agenda.

    Doesn’t it say something about the potential value of the topic that a racist, conservative, lying cracker from Louisiana such as myself would deem it worth valuable disk space on the DVR?

    In case anybody’s wondering how this old post got active with comments again, it came from Mac – using an alter-ego blog Silver Rights (hey, maybe all of those links are her blogs, too) – to spew all sorts of lies and accusations about me based on this post and the one about “hate crimes”. My response and links back to her stuff is here

  • http://w6daily.winn.com/ Phillip Winn

    Folks, why feed the troll? Didn’t your mother ever teach you that if you leave the pretentious bully alone long enough, she’ll eventually leave you alone?

  • http://macaronies.blogspot.com Mac Diva

    (Yawn.) Another loser joins in.

    The bottom line is a racist, self-centered know-nothing wrote a piece attacking an African-American filmmaker for no reason. A good blogger who writes well wrote a piece about the same topic, briefly citing the bigot. Case closed.

  • http://eastatlanta.blogspot.com Cap’n Ken

    Exactly!

  • kara

    Diva, I wouldn’t brag too much about my blog stats if I were you. Freakshows and train wrecks draw big crowds too.

  • Eric Olsen

    I am perplexed by this issue of stats. Everyone has his or her own site (except me) and everyone who contributes here should consider Blogcritics stats as their own as well.

    Everyone who contributes got almost 200,000 uniques for last month, over 6,000 a day. And while I am proud of these numbers, which continue to grow, it’s all relative: Glenn Reynolds gets 70,000 a day, or ten times as much as we do, and Drudge gets a million or more a DAY, so that might give some perspective on things.

    Some of us have 7, some have 70, some have 700, some have 7,000 and some have 70,000 – as long as you contribute here, we appreciate you and value you and are happy to have the product of your efforts.

  • http://www.makeyougohmm.com/ TDavid

    It’s worth noting that one can’t eat awards, pins, plaques or stats.

    Now the size of one’s check in relation to stats; now that means something.

    If folks can make a tidy profit working with a small amount of traffic (overhead) that makes them pretty smart businessowners, actually ;)

    I know some folks who are working with a modest amount of traffic (less than 5,000 hits a day) and turning a tidy profit and I know some sites getting millions of hits a month and not making the $$ they once were with much less traffic.

    Stats by themselves are not representative of income or commercial success.

    With that said, some people are publishing their blogs like vanity publishing and while they might like to have as many readers as they can get, they aren’t necessarily focused on making money from their blogs. More power to those who work their blogs this way and shame on those who try to belittle them based upon the size of their readership. Petty criticism.

    Two very distinct camps here.

  • http://macaronies.blogspot.com Mac Diva

    Where do y’all get some of these ridiculous ideas? Blogging is not my day job. Those are writing books, teaching and penning the occassional article if I left someone talk me into it. So far, I have declined all offers to run blogads. (I might change that for the Christmas season.) Hardly the behavior of someone with a commercial blog.

    Nor do I fail to credit material I use in my blogs. Cap’n Ken doesn’t know that because he doesn’t read other bloggers or blog information. The very entries he is carping about appeared at Blogcritics, as well as at SR., so he had two opportunities to see them. There were links to them. And, they are listed in blogosphere statistical data. Someone not too busy gazing at his own navel would have been aware of them instead of imagining a conspiracy to keep him in the dark.

    The reason most of you don’t know much of anything about what’s going on in the news or the blogosphere is you do not read. Persons with big egos and no curiosity about the world around them make bad bloggers. If you put the energy exerted in being creeps into being better bloggers it might make a difference.

  • http://eastatlanta.blogspot.com Cap’n Ken

    Hey Mac:

    I’ve noticed in a few of your comments here and on my blog that you keep spouting something about me not crediting material or somesuch. Frankly, your writing is so poor and your thoughts so incomplete it’s hard to make sense out of you.

    So if you are trying to accuse me of something, why don’t you state the charge and give examples of what the hell you’re talking about?

    You’ll see that in my response to the half-dozen errors, mistakes and bigoted comments you managed to make about me in 4 paragraphs on Silver Rights, I provided specific examples of your very shoddy “research,” your amazingly juvenile logic and your racially biased assumptions about me and my motives.

    If you are going to repeatedly throw charges out against me, you should back them up.

    And, no, I don’t read too many other blogs. Like yours, most blogs are full of pointless ramblings on uninteresting topics and seem to serve only to make people such as you believe they are more intelligent than they actually are. I read the good ones, though.

  • http://eastatlanta.blogspot.com Cap’n Ken

    Still waiting, Mac Diva … See comment above.