Saturday, May 9, 2009

On the Hidden Costs of Martyrdom

More non-car affairs of The Car Czar (because automotive production was down in May and unsolicited opinions sharply up)

Just a quick note to those people who are up-in-arms over Martin Luther King Jr.'s family's ongoing campaign to charge royalties for the use of their ancestor's image and words:

If the not-so-late Dr. King had been a government official of some sort, you folks might have an issue.

You could argue that U.S. taxpayers made him what he was, or at least allowed him to reach his place in history through his work as a taxpayer-funded public servant.

But Martin Luther King was a private sector minister.

Not only was Dr. King's work not funded by taxpayer money, lots of taxpayer money was put to work trying to lock him away in jail, um, after really large sums of taxpayer money were spent for centuries trying to smother his eventual "dream."

Plus, one of our citizens shot him dead.

So the United States of America is entitled to wrap itself up in this man's words and imagery without monetary consideration to anybody why?

Because we had to spend all that taxpayer money for security during those civil rights marches?

Recover costs associated FBI tails?

Rent on the jail cells?

Morgue fees?

Maybe now I see where you're going with this.

Alas, this great nation is entitled to celebrate and live Martin Luther King Jr.'s dream for free, but that's it.

If Dr. King's progeny choose to spend their lives attempting to cash-in all-the-more on the specifics of their famous ancestor's legacy, that's their cosmic burden to bear.


All references to Martin Luther King Jr., dreams, and being shot are purely fictitious and any resemblance to persons living or (probably) dead as well as all historically related and/or unrelated events depicted or insinuated herein are purely coincidental. And if you think that sounds like total BS, too bad. I've got a disclaimer.


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