Sunday, July 6, 2008

Tony Schwartz

The Listening Life.

Take a moment to listen.

Harry Belafonte, Paul Robeson, Dalton Trumbo, the Daisy ad.

How did I come to these ideas? 
Just from being human.


Jonnie said...

Surprised to see spme of these names here. They have your background deep in the Left. Trumbo isn't an everyday name for most. So I assume some special relationship with the blacklisted community. This makes your comments on TPM quite odd to me, and your interest in Billy odder. It's not political for you with Billy then, gasket. You never know till you check things out.

gasket said...

Hi jonnie,

I suppose you're right that Trumbo isn't a household name, but maybe the new movie about him will introduce him to a younger audience. Have you seen the movie?

Yes, I do have a personal interest in the blacklisted community. On a professional level, though, my only connection is that I got to work with Kate Lardner, daughter of Ring Jr., on a memoir of her experience growing up blacklisted.

But am I now or have I ever been a member of the Communist Party? No. I'm afraid I'm too much of a consumer to qualify.

As for Billy, you're right: It's not political for me with Billy. Not entirely, anyway. I admire his writing, his passion, his sense of humor, the way he uses words, the way he thinks. His politics intersect with mine, but to what extent I have no idea. I don't know him well enough. I suspect I may be further left than he is on some issues.

But I almost always understand what Billy means, even when other people at TPM don't have the faintest idea. He speaks my language, and that's rare to me. To hook this thought to the blacklisted community, I grew up in a family where speaking one's mind exacted a steep price (it still does), so I value the freedom to say whatever I want at TPM, on a level that other people might simply take for granted in their own lives.

Don't know if that makes sense to someone who's not me, but I am hoping to articulate it through my blog eventually.

What draws you to Billy?