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Buying the Indispensable Opposition

March 21st, 2005 Posted in Personal, Politics, Yahoo! Related

It seems my switching to Flickr for my photo hosting was timely; this weekend we bought them. I’m very pumped about this, their service is fantastic. If you haven’t played with it, check it out at flickr.com or just click on one of the photos in the left column there.

In other news, I’ve basically been gearing up for the big Japan trip. I plan on blogging as much as possible during the trip, so if you’re interested in following our travels, this is the place to be. I also plan on uploading as many pictures as possible as I take them.

I’m not going to New York, and while slightly heartbroken, I can only hope the Pillows return to tour again. As it is, I guess could still go to see them at the Chicago anime convention <shudder>, but that would be truly painful: I’d hate to reduce a band that’s been playing for 15 years to the few songs they contributed to an anime soundtrack. Plus, I went to one of those conventions once; all I can say is, I don’t ever want to do that again.

Lastly, while digging through some old cassette tapes, I discovered a copy of the recording of my grandmother testifying before the House Un-american Activities Committe (HUAC) in 1954. I’d heard it before, but every few years I rediscover it, and am always blown away. Hearing a short, female, jewish, communist attorney brow-beat congressmen (in the fifties, no less) is really quite an experience. She quotes extensively from Walter Lippman’s Indespendable Opposition during the hearing; after reading that document, I found it to be as relevant today as it was then. I’ll leave you with one quote my grandmother used in the hearing:

We take, it seems to me, a naïvely self-righteous view when we argue as if the right of our opponents to speak were something that we protect because we are magnanimous, noble, and unselfish. The compelling reason why, if liberty of opinion did not exist, we should have to invent it, why it will eventually have to be restored in all civilized countries where it is now suppressed, is that we must protect the right of our opponents to speak because we must hear what they have to say. … For there is a point, the point at which things really matter, where the freedom of others is no longer a question of their right but of our own need.

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