ACLU, boyyyyeeeeee

Day one of the 2006 ACLU member conference kicked off today and I made it there in time to catch “A Conversation About Civil Liberties, part 2” between Tucker Carlson and Rachel Maddow… and Anthony Romero, really, who was supposed to be moderating but couldn’t resist participating in the discussion. I’d have rather been at the pre-dinner event with Antonin Scalia and ACLU President Nadine Strossen, though I overheard some folk claiming this one was better.

Dare I say – perish the thought.

While I’ve got no love for the standard talk tv of two people yelling past each other, it’s not much fun to listen to two folk more or less agree with each other either. Which you might not expect, but with DC resident Carlson viewing himself more or less as a small-l libertarian there wasn’t a huge amount of conflict. On most things he and Maddow essentially wanted the same house, location and paint color and were just haggling over the choice of doorknobs. On the few things they didn’t agree on – the ACLU’s recent efforts on 10 Commandments displays, abortion rights – they simply were in such different spaces that all they could do was talk past each other.

The real excitement this evening at the convention was the event that I’d rolled my eyes at when I saw it in the program – the “Slam for Civil Liberties featuring spoken word performers Steve Connell and Sekou (tha misfit) plus hip-hop ballet troupe Decadance” My reaction was “oh please.”

In reality it was amazing.

This post appeared in its original form at DC Metblogs
Not so much Decadance, though they were very entertaining and talented. I particularly appreciated their opening, where they express exactly why they felt the need to create a larger place for women in hip-hop – a dancer sits on the stage and flips radio stations, coming up repeatedly with songs talking about bitches, hos and other ways in which women are denigrated.

No, what really blew me away was the routines done by Steve Connell and Sekou (tha misfit) who had a fantastic rhythm with each other and clever and interesting routines. To some extent they were preaching to the choir, though their routines made a good case all by themselves about the questions of trading security for liberty and what you can lose when trying to protect it.

If you’d like to see Strossen & Scalia go at it you can look for the links on C-SPAN. If you want to see some examples of Decadance’s performance you can look at some clips I caught and uploaded to YouTube…. I’ve got some recordings of Connell and Sekou, I’ll see what I can do to make those available to you soon. (Where’s the YouTube for plain audio??)

This post appeared in its original form at DC Metblogs

Well I used to say something in my profile about not quite being a “tinker, tailor, soldier, or spy” but Tom stole that for our about us page, so I guess I’ll have to find another way to express that I am a man of many interests.

Hmm, guess I just did.

My tastes run the gamut from sophomoric to Shakespeare and in my “professional” life I’ve sold things, served beer, written software, and carried heavy objects… sometimes at the same place. It’s that range of loves and activities that makes it so easy for me to love DC – we’ve got it all.


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