Loss and Convictions

16Nov08

Amidst some packing in between studying for the examinations, I unearthed two photos of bookshops I visited while in San Francisco in 2005. On the left is “Bound Together Books”, run by a collective that only sells anarchist books. Below is the Socialist Action Bookstore that specialises in books on socialism only.

I was very impressed in how convicted these folks were to their respective causes and at a time when I was lost with my life ahead, their conviction was inspiring.

These photos reminded me of what Cancer Man said in an episode of X-Files about Agent Mulder and his conviction:

The fiercest enemy is one who has nothing to lose.

Looking at these folks, I wonder how integral was “loss” to strengthening their convictions? The anarchists said they did not earn a salary but earned whatever profits from sales as “a collective”. Would that count as a loss? Did they have to choose?

Of late, I’ve been thinking that I cannot afford to acquire too much of anything lest I have to choose between the two. I’m just not sure how convicted I can be if I have to lose, so why even bother to have anything that I might fear to lose? The less I have, the more I have. Or is there some third way out of this binary?

Then the question that unraveled this all was when I was asked,

What cause was my conviction for?

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2 Responses to “Loss and Convictions”

  1. 1 Shu Yun

    did you check out one called City Lights? it was home of the beat poets some of them still frequent there today. bound together looks good! how can one be lost and not convicted with a wall like that?!

  2. Yeah I did, it was nice too but in a less quirky fashion unlike these two. I wish I had read up more about the Beats before I went there, but alas… I’ll go there again one day, for the delicious sandwiches too…


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