Interviewed by Mystifer
|I don't look at myself in the mirror 'cause I'm a narcissist. I simply like to watch myself exist. — Sage Francis|
So I'm participating in another meme. This one is a bit different, in that instead being tagged to participate, this one requires that you tag yourself.
The rules are as follows:
1. If you want to participate, leave a comment below saying "Interview me." "Blow me" or "Eat me" are not acceptable substitutes.
2. I will respond by asking you five questions - each person's will be different. I'll post the questions in the comments section of this post.
3. You will update your blog with the answers to the questions.
4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview others in the same post.
5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions. Got it? You have to ASK to be interviewed, and I promise I will try and be clever. Unless I'm in a pissy mood.
So, yeah, this is an exercise in utter self-inflation and narcissism. No one cares what I think about these topics. But that's the entire point of blogging, I guess. Anyways, via Feminism Loves You, off we go:
If you could remove one person (and the damage/accomplishments made by them) from american history, who would you choose?
I’m not sure. The easy answer would be George W. Bush, but it’s hard to say how much influence his presidency will have later on. True, Islamic insurgents will hate us for generations now. And the economic impact of his foolish decisions will be felt for a long time. And thousands of Iraqis are dead because of us. And his inaction in the realm of global warming and weaning the United States off its oil addiction may be severe. Even so, the United States’ love for the corporation is probably doing more harm to this planet than the president, although it’s hard to say how it would be possible to reverse that by eliminating one person.
What specific thought or event motivated you to start a blog?
I don’t think there was any one specific motivation. I was familiar with blogging long before it became the national pastime, but I didn’t really start reading them until last year. I was prompted to do so in the months before the 2004 election when I was feeling like the only Christian in the world to think of George W. Bush as an incompetent president and an insipid, theologically-impotent, warmongering antichrist. It was really refreshing to discover Fred at Slacktivist and, through him, many more people of faith like myself who were fed up with the policies of this administration, and the state of Christianity in the United States. So my motivation for starting my own probably has to do with attempting to join that community. I also partially write for a living, so blogging is a good outlet for the old adage that writers should write every day.
What is your all time favorite movie?
I have three films that I really consider favourites: Darren Aronofsky’s Requiem for a Dream, Richard Kelly’s Donnie Darko (I prefer the director’s cut) and P.T. Anderson’s Magnolia.
I love Magnolia because of its sprawling mess of intersecting characters and its recurring themes of God, destiny, chance, forgiveness, hope, anger and love. It’s about hard choices, coming to terms with your past, and looking past the haze to find the sun. I love Requiem for a Dream because of its uncompromising look at the price of obsession and the nature of humanity. It’s bleak and practically hopeless, but it's beautiful all the same. Aronofsky is an amazing director and Clint Mansell, who wrote the score, may be the greatest composer alive. Donnie Darko is another mess of a movie of which I can’t get enough. It’s a thought-provoking story about a paranoid schizophrenic teenager who may be receiving messages from God or people of the future, and who may or may not be a superhero or the messiah. Combining elements of science fiction, comedy, teen romance, horror, and 80s retro, the film manages to bleed all over the place, and still rein you in. It’s a headfuck requiring multiple viewings with an amazing 80s soundtrack and is an incredible directorial debut for Kelly.
How do you like Illinois, and how does it compare with the new sufjan album?
I like Illinois a lot. It’s very different from the Eastern part of Tennessee, which is where I grew up and spent my first 24 years. The South I’m familiar with is very suspicious of anyone not like them, whether it be differences in ethnicity, sexuality, education, class or even regional background. It’s very resistant to change. And it’s the Bible belt and a very Red state, with a lot of Baptist churches that reflect that mindset. Those are generalisations of course. But they reflect my experience. I miss the good stuff, though, the mountains and the Disc Exchange and McKay’s Used Books and Sundown in the City and Boomsday and the cheaper cost of living and the amazing Knoxville music scene.
Illinois is generally more open minded and more open to progress. We live in the suburbs of Chicago but it’s far more multi-cultural here than East Tennessee. The winters are ridiculously cold, although my sources tell me that the past couple of them have been mild. The price of living is very high, one thing that may ultimately prevent us from settling here. There’s generally more to do here in terms of cultural activities, museums and that sort of thing. Public transportation is pathetic compared to Europe, but it’s much better than what Knoxville has to offer. My wife and I also attend a church here that we actually like, one committed to working with and feeding the poor, working with those suffering from addictions and emotional pain, and other things that the church is supposed to do. Pound for pound, I probably like it better here. But, in the words of slam poet Daniel Roop, “God knows I’m not a patriot ‘cause every place is special.”
As for how Illinois stacks up to the new Sufjan Stevens album, I don’t really know the state well enough yet to judge that. I’ve also just begun listening to the album. But Sufjan seems to capture the diversity and beauty quite nicely.
Would you rather die heroically or peacefully?
I’d rather die peacefully. But I’d prefer to die heroically.