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Tuesday, August 26, 2003

 

If I Say I Have a Dream, Will You Be There When I Wake Up?



Auction juggernaut Sotheby's announced that they will be showing a huge collection of civil rights pioneer Martin Luther King, Jr's* private papers and then placing the 7,000 item lot up for sale.

Apparently, King was a fastidious chronicler and the collection of his extemporaneous writings reveal new and exciting facts about the man and his world, some of which I may or may not list below:

--lived under a fog of existential dread that he would not survive long enough to own a TiVo

--wife Coretta Scott-King's pet name for him was "My Little Dour, Driven Civil Rights Pioneer"

--carried on a secret, torrid, long-time correspondence with Marilyn Monroe conducted in a da Vinci-like mirror writing, which thoroughly confused King, who'd always preferred Jayne Mansfield

--once had a late-night pow-wow with Suge Knight that "coincidentally" took place the night before Malcolm X was shot

--had once sketched plans for a Neverland-style ranch on the back of a series of Birmingham diner cocktail napkins

--originally coined the catchphrases of black sitcom giants Jimmy J.J."Dyno-mite!" Walker and Haywood "Hey hey hey" Nelson while smoking peyote with Medgar Evers

--predicted that "wiseass suburban whiteboy will run out of civil rights giants to list and resort to a joke name-checking Rosa Parks"

--complained that Rosa Parks let her fame get to her head and took to wearing extravagant costumes displaying the message "My ass drops 10/14 on Montgomery Local Line" in huge rhinestones

--briefly ran a financial conglomerate as the dupe in a bet by two good ol' boy white businessmen, but ironically did a better job running their company than they did, wound up besting them in the end, and left them penniless on the streets of Manhattan

--never really understood all the hoopla about J. Lo's ass

(*Incidentally, if Hollywood ever gets its act together and makes a movie about this guy, I hereby nominate Eriq Lasalle, the finest African-American actor not named Denzel Cheadle, to play the lead.)



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This is the internet home of Mark Lisanti, a Los Angeles writer sometimes known as Bunsen. He is the founding editor of Defamer, a weblog about Hollywood, where he now serves in the nebulous capacity of "editor-at-large."
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