Weekly Roundup: You Best Not Miss Edition

Twitter is ABUZZ! with people laughing at actor/controversialist/superglue victim James Woods and his HILARIOUS! attempt to DE-GHETTO-IZE! a quote from Omar Little, the Robin-Hood-esque gangster on The Wire. Regarding the Mueller Report, Woods wrote:

“If you try to kill the King, you better not miss.”

When Everybody Knows! that Omar said,

“You come at the king, you best not miss.”

How could Woods be so ILLITERATE?

As you can see from the screenshot, Twitter thought this was important enough to make a “Featured Story”. Naturally, it caused me to grit my teeth, because both Omar and Woods are quoting an older source. I’ll let these folks explain:

It’s a line that stands out because it sounds badass. But it’s also a reference to something less than totally badass, a response Ralph Waldo Emerson sent future Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes over a collegiate attempt to refute the supremacy of Plato’s classification of ideas. “When you strike at a king,” Emerson, then a 60-year-old Unitarian minister, famously wrote, “you must kill him.”

I’m fairly certain Emerson is not the original source for this thought, however. We see it in Shakespeare and in Greek tragedy. It is dangerous to challenge power and to fail in the attempt; ask anyone who observed the Year Of The Four Emperors. With that said, I object to the idea that ol’ Ralph Waldo was “less than totally badass”. He possessed a clarity of thought and expression long gone from the modern conversation. I enjoyed reading him for the same reason I enjoy reading Samuel Johnson — the sense of arguments mustered, marshaled, and marched into battle. Emerson had what we used to call a masculine mind, before that became a slur. He was Thoreau’s superior because he rarely allowed himself to argue from emotion. That’s why we still hear about Walden long after most schools have banished Emerson from the rolls; Henry David’s loosely-constructed, frequently hypocritical, hugely self-centric mode of thinking suits our current cadre of pseudo-intellectuals far better.

There is a movie coming out in which a musician realizes that he is the only person in the world who remembers the Beatles. Naturally, he “writes” their songs and becomes famous as a result. Have all the old eighteenth-and-nineteenth-century thinkers become so obscure that we now ascribe their words to Omar Little? Oh well. Our “woke” culture came at the king — or, this being Easter, I should clarify that they came at the King of Kings — and they did not miss. Or did they?

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This being the New York Auto Show Week, I wrote six separate and distinct articles for Hagerty. Check them all out here.

23 Replies to “Weekly Roundup: You Best Not Miss Edition”

  1. AvatarJohn C.

    Interesting article on the BMW lease specials circa 1991 versus today. Seem to recall that in 1991 the 318is was considered pretty piss pour compared to the 2002 which were actually bought by real people. BMW now as the market power to offer competitive cars/SAVs in so many segments. By careful study of what is available, it is possible to buy a new car from BMW that still aims at buyers in the style of the early guys, even if the sale numbers are low. That is more of a nod to heritage than we get from say Cadillac, or Honda. who aren’t as powerful as before. So let the buyer of the 230i pay a little more and finance, a longer life with the first owner will only enhance the value when the car becomes vintage and sells in Roundell.

    • Avatarstingray65

      Actually the e30 318is was very much like the 2002, and I owned both. About the same size, great visibility, and useful sized backseat and trunk. Both were considered too expensive and too slow compared to some competitors of their time, but nothing else was as well balanced (i.e. practical and fun) or well built. The 318is also had decent A/C and overdrive, which the 2002 never received, and that made it a much more comfortable cruiser. The fact that today’s fantastic 230i is a slow seller says a lot about how the market has changed, and not for the better.

      • AvatarJohn C.

        It may surprise you, I had a 97 318ti with the same basic engine and rear suspension. I got Roudel at the time and there was a lot of snootiness toward the then new models for the to my mind spurious allegation that BMW was aiming at the upscale buyer to the detriment of the “real” fans with their 2002, 3.0CS. Bavaria…

        As far as mine, it was fun and versatile with the hatch. I did think the weight of the car overmatched the torque of the by then 1.9. The interior was also quite austere though well assembled. It was the last car I ever had that had stalling, rough idle, a common issue with that engine.

        • Avatarstingray65

          You probably just needed a treatment of Techron, which was the hot ticket recommended in the Roundel during the 80s and 90s for curing fuel injection rough idle.

          Another common theme of the Roundel was that each new generation of BMW was lamented for getting soft and further out-of-touch from their fans since 2002 production ended in 1976.

          • Avatar-Nate

            RE; Techron by Chevron :

            All through the 1980’s and 1990’s when engines still have carbys, we used it in our fleet on a regular basis and the stuff actually worked well .


  2. AvatarJohn Marks

    Jack, when the printer was setting “Walden” for its letterpress galley proofs, he found out that Thoreau had used the pronoun “I” so many times that the printer ran out of letterpress “I”s. So the printer used Arabic Numeral 1s as substitutes for the galley proofs, and went about casting more “I”s.

    Which may be one reason “Walden” is so popular with the “Me” generation.

    Thoreau gets honored as this brave resourceful individual. But I recall from actually reading the entire book that from time to time he’d walk to his Mom’s house and pick up some cookies. Walden was not exactly Death Valley.


    • AvatarDirt Roads

      Well now there’s something you’ll read nowhere else 🙂
      Little known facts of doubtful value, but I love it. Thanks, John.

      • Avatardejal

        I’m from the other end of Mass., fairly common knowledge about the rugged individualist that I picked up by osmosis over the years. Didn’t know about the Is + 1s.

  3. Avatardejal

    Considering what Woods purported IQ is I’ll take Woods any day of the week.
    IQ wise Einstein and Hawking supposedly don’t measure up to him.
    Woods quit MIT to act.

    I’m a relative idiot and even I know that statement (more or less) goes way, way back.

    • AvatarRonnie Schreiber

      Would the world have been a better place had James Woods been an engineer and Michael Crichton a doctor?

      • Avatardejal

        Unfortunately IQ isn’t a be all on what your brain is capable of and what you end up doing or accomplishing.

        Even if you have the smarts to do something, unless you love it you may not be very good at it.
        Bitterness about an occupation can lead to failure in that occupation even if you are a supposed fit for that occupation. Considering where they ended up, is probably where they should have ended up.

        Not a fan of the dinosaur movies.
        Woods has had his share of stinkers and has done a lot of slumming.
        I think Woods role now is “Wicked smart bored guy who doesn’t care what he says or what anyone thinks”.
        Which means he’s been playing himself in most of the movies he’s ever been in.

        • Avatarrwb

          You can have a powerful processor, but GIGO still applies.

          I see enough people who would obviously score high on a test say shit that is wildly inaccurate, given a modicum of experience and knowledge, that I assume it’s obvious to everyone that simply being able to connect dots to notice correlations or patterns or retain information or follow logical threads are not always positive in and of themselves.

  4. AvatarCliffG

    And sometimes you strike,kill, and it still doesn’t work out quite the way you think it should. Brutus and Pompeii will update you on that if you have trouble with the concept.

  5. AvatarRick T.

    For those of you who don’t see enough of Michael K. Williams, he’s excellent in the short series “The Night Of” which is one of my all time favorites in the genre. Just superb.

  6. AvatarMrFixit1599

    In regards to Cadillac, my wife determined that our next car should be a coupe that could seat 4 if necessary, as the kids are all grown. We had a Hyundai Elantra that neither of us cared much for, and her convertible New Beetle was lost in a garage fire last fall. So BMW, Audi, Mustang, Camaro, or Challenger were pretty much my options. Then as I was cruising the local Ford lot, they had a just traded in black CTS Performance coupe with most of the premium options added on when it was originally leased in Kentucky. The next day I “accidentally” drove her by the car, at which point she asked very pointedly “What is that?” I did some research and decided I wanted to find an AWD version, so i told her to go test drive it to see if she liked it. Needless to say she did and it is now sitting in my driveway.

    I personally love the styling, and there aren’t that many around. Sedans yes, coupes not so much. I would have loved a V, but the 3.6 is fairly healthy.

  7. AvatarTyler

    Jack: my guess is Oedipus, to Creon, who protests that he’d never usurp his king while already a trusted advisor … “Come, answer this, didst thou detect in me 
    Some touch of cowardice or witlessness, 
    That made thee undertake this enterprise? … This thou art witless seeking to possess 
    Without a following or friends the crown, 
    A prize that followers and wealth must win.”

    Editor’s notes: aw hell naw.

    The old white guy misquoting a badass is always good fun, though. I fondly recall Costas, live-commenting on one of Michael Phelps’s last 4 x whatever Olympic races, in which Phelps finished a league ahead and then congratulated teammates one through three for having outpaced their competition thusly: “I asked y’all to get me a lead; y’all got me a *LEAD*!” Costas: “You heard Phelps, folks… ‘I asked you to get me the lead, you GOT me the lead!'” Couldn’t have been less what Phelps said if it had been in Akkadian.

    Actually, strike that. I assume your average Akkadian would have recognized Phelps’s sentiment in any language.

      • AvatarRonnie Schreiber

        How so?

        I find it interesting that the Amalekite thought he would find favor with David for putting Saul out of his misery only to be executed by David for killing God’s annointed.


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