please stop tickling me

In which we laugh and laugh and laugh. And love. And drink.

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Location: Portland, Oregon

Otium cum Dignitatae

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Attack of the Meme, again

George has hit me again with a list of questions. Many, many other people got this one too.
I like the fact that he included a list of "mandatory freedoms", which allow the respondent to mutate the question to their liking. It would play hell with the coding process were this actual research, but the human face of the thing shows so much more easily through.

So, let's answer...

25 Very Specific Questions

1. Greatest peak experience/s? (That is to say a positive or ecstatic experience/s that fundamentally influenced your life.)
Sheeit. They just keep getting higher and higher. I've learned lots, seen lots, and my advice is generally: do as many things as you possibly can before you die. Past a certain point, they're all peak experiences.

2. Nadir experience/s? (That is, a negative experience/s that fundamentally influenced your life.)
Well, I've spent a lot of my life alienating entire groups of people. Or being collectively shunned by them. Sometimes it was entirely my fault, sometimes entirely theirs, often a mixture of the two. And it learned me how? Be your own best friend, be at home with yourself. Don't think you're gonna do all that living and being yourself later. You can't not be yourself. People are either going to like you or not like you, and there's often fuck-all you can do about it. Be your own entertainment.

3. Had any paranormal experiences?
Yes, although I am often -even in the moment- noting to myself that this is still something that is happening due to my mind disagreeing with itself, or is the product of something that I don't understand yet.

4. Biggest irrational fear?
Not sure I have one. Can't think of one, in any case.

5. Biggest completely reasonable fear?
I really worry that I'll be brain-damaged in a completely random way. I fear this far worse than I fear death or even being crippled.

6. Biggest irrational aversion? (This is not the same as your biggest irrational fear.)
Which is to say a dislike, eh? Video games. I think they're stupid.

7. What are your core metaphysical belief/s? (N.B. By metaphysical belief I mean any principle that you think is true and live your life by but cannot be empirically or scientifically proven to others who don't believe it.)
Nice to see somebody finally define that one. I don't have one/those as such; I'm more of a "you're living in it" kind of a guy. Every time I've ever tried to codify it, it collapses on me. There are some key tenets, but that's all they'll ever be: I've found that it's safer that way.

8. What do you think is the ultimate fate of humanity?
To finally make this fine place somewhere that can no longer sustain humanity, I fear and strongly suspect.

9. What do you believe will happen to you after you die?
Dirtin' in th' ground, to quote the nice Mr. Waits there. And this belief, as I've said before, comforts me in what I suspect is exactly the same way someone who believes in an afterlife is comforted by their belief.

10. Which do you trust more, science or religion?
Science. Although -and this is a big one- science can also be dogmatic at times, and that is where/when it (and its pal Rationality) fail.
Religion though; I understand the comfort it apparently provides to lots and lots of other people, but I just think it's disgusting and wrong, and brings out the worst in a species that doesn't need any further justifications for the rank inhumanity in its ranks.

Now, it wouldn't be inaccurate to point out some hypocrisy on my part here: I'm willing to dismiss good works done by religious people and organizations as being more due to the innate goodness of people, and the manifold atrocities attributable to religion as being all religion's fault. I don't really think that people are innately good, although their self-interest coincides with the well-being of others, and that usually is motivation enough. Heh. There's a lot to this subject, of course...

11. Favorite book (fiction or non-fiction) written between 2500 BCE and 1 BCE?
I wanna say the Tao Te Ching, but I'm not sure. Surely somebody Greek belongs here...

12. Favorite book (fiction or non-fiction) written between 1 BCE and 1000 AD?
Probably Suetonius' The Twelve Caesars.

13. Favorite book (fiction or non-fiction) written between 1000 AD and 1800 AD? (There have been enough lists of favorite books that were composed mostly of things written between 1800 and the present so we'll skip that.)
This is a rough one. Most of the really good Sufi parables were written in this time, and we just narrowly miss being able to include Mark Twain. All the great Enlightenment thinkers fall in here, plus lots and lots of fantastic political treatises.
So anyway, I don't know.

14. What is your philosophical grounding? (If this is the same as your metaphysical beliefs then give your core ethical principles.)
I tend to be sharply reductionist, and I recognize that this often makes me a pain in the ass to deal with. Sorry, everybody. Actually, for a quick intro, see my answer to #2.

15. What political opinion do you hold that is most inconsistent with your other political opinions?
Well, the death penalty does no good in the area of deterrence, and we have decades worth of data to prove this. It is vindictive, pointless and often guided by shit reasoning regarding what our lesser minds insist on calling "race". However, the outlet it provides the victims' families seems to have some kind of closure effect, and I can think of far greater injustices being perpetrated in greater numbers...So yeah, it's dumb and unnecessary, but I'm not per se against it.

16. What makes a good person good?
I often boil it down to 'a quality of easygoing sanity'.

17. Aesthetically speaking which is more important, audience reception or creator satisfaction?
They're of equal importance, and take on or lose value dependent upon what you're trying to achieve.

18. Favorite painting/s?
Probably 'View of Toledo' by El Greco. Turns out The Greek there had something seriously wrong with him, and he really actually saw things that way, and we're all the richer for it.

The thing is, there's plenty of Impressionists and early Asians and Caravaggio in general I'd like to throw in here. Turner. Bierstadt. I can't really pick. And you should go do an image search of James Lavadour. He's an Eastern Oregonian by birth, lives here now. He does masterful pairings of the completely abstract with the wholly organic. Listen at me: I sound like an asshole!

19. Favorite living hero/heroine?
I'm not being flippant or dismissive when I say that I honestly don't have any.

20. Favorite dead hero/heroine?
Clarence Darrow?

21. Most important goal/s in life?
Is to be happy with the life I lead, which I am.

22. Details or big picture? (I know both are important. What I want to know is your overall leaning and if you consider that leaning a strength or a weakness.)
Well, big picture, although my big picture includes an encyclopedic overview of the details. It's like an aerial view of the freeway system encircling a city: you can see the overall pattern, but also the individual vehicles.

23. Depressive or anxious?
I tend toward the depressive. (Cue Bob Hoskins as the evil manager guy in "Pink Floyd's The Wall" movie, shaking the uptight hotel manager and screaming, "HE'S AN AHHHTIST!" over Bob Geldof's slumped, o.d.'d form.) It's more romantic.

24. Pick a super power, you only get one.
Invisibility. I already have other super powers, but most of them do me no good in my current form.

25. What would your diet look like if there were no physical or nutritional consequences?
More or less what it looks like right now.

That was satisfying. For as much shit as I talk about these things, they serve as awesome jumping-off points. I was gonna do my usual and write a Fourth o' July essay, but no. The lady of the house and I have sat here all damn morning doing this. Thanks, George.



Blogger George Popham said...

Your answer on paranormal experiences was well put, "my brain disagreeing with me." I'm always amazed at the ease with which some people make huge metaphysical assumptions based on a funny noise and a vague frisson of ambiguity.

a pox on fucking video games! (Though I have to confess to having a brief flirtation with Guitar Hero there for a minute, but it passed.)

Love that El Greco painting, but I don't think I've seen any others by him. Will have to look.

And what are these superpowers you are unable to use in your current form? Or was that just some bad ass shit to say? (To quote Sammy L.)

Liked the answers, now I'm going to go read your other posts. Oh, and send your address... The invites are way better than any other wedding invites I have ever seen (all credit to Deb on that one) you get one whether you come or not, and in any event, I need to update my address book

5:41 PM  

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