Sunday, April 01, 2001

The promised land goes condo

Occasionally, famed movie critic Roger Ebert will write about other topics, which is always a treat, because Ebert is one of the best writers anywhere. In this essay, though, he lets us in on a shocking development: Alcatel, a communications/cellphone company, is using Martin Luther King's 'I Have A Dream' speech in their new television and print ads. Words cannot describe the outrage and disgust, although Ebert gives it a good try. How dare they? How dare they cheapen one of America's defining moments by using it to sell cellular phones? Holy Hannah, what's next, will Budweiser use the Zapruder film to sell their latest light beer? I just can't believe the stunning lack of humanity here. What soulless marketing executive decided to try and make King's speech synonymous with cellphones instead of the civil rights movement? He died for his message, dammit, and now, this is what he died for? I mean, I'm just a middle-class white guy and I'm still appalled and dismayed. Does this company happen to have its head office in the same state that decided not to designate Martin Luther King's birthday as a holiday? Where the hell is Jesse Jackson? Christ, Jesse, you were there, man, you were right there, and you owe any political successes to King and his legacy. Where's your outrage now? I'm sorry, this just... Betrayal, no matter what form it takes, hurts like hell.


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