Blogger Insider This week: Chris of tangled. His answers to my questions can be found here. And so to my starter for ten:
Do you carry around any guilt?
I feel like a very guilty person. But in any kind of specific way. I'll get a concience about the smallest things, always have. I once said something that I thought was slightly off-colour to someone at school and I agonised about it for hours until I called him late at night to apologise and he hadn't even remembered me saying it. I could sit here in fact list the times when I think I've contributed to the hurt of someone else and I'll still be feeling about about it, even though it happened years ago and I dont even know them anymore.
If you could live in any other place/time and be someone else, where/when/who would that be?
New York, any time really. I feel at home in large, spralling messy metropolises where everything is happening all at once. I'd be happy to be myself I suppose although I'd like to be doing something were I'd be at the centre of it all. Some sort of writer or journalist, or artist.
Where do you get your news?
When I wake up in the morning I watch the news on the TV in my room from the BBC for the first ten minutes. And I'll look at the 24 hours rolling news channel when I get in. And I'll read 'The Guardian' on my way to work. I like to know everything about everything really.
What do you think about the role of the U.S. on the world stage?
Much as I love the US, sometimes it's too big. It feels like the host of a party who won't let his guests get a word in edgeways. I think it's scared to let anyone else get the upper hand or have an equally valid but opposing voice. It's afraid to get advice from anyone, and there is an arrogance that no one else in the world can be trusted with anything. Also it's never been very good at listening to it's own people. There are a lot of intelligent people in the US, but the country as a whole tends seem unremittingly dumb because they are never listened to.
Thoughts on "God," in general or specific?
When asked, I'll tell people I'm a 'non-denominational spiritualist'. This is a nice complicated way of saying 'well I don't bloody know'. I'm not sure I believe in God as some sort of metaphysical being, but I do think there is an order to the universe, a set of rules being adhered to. The similarities between the way trees grow and crystals form are too close to be coincidental. But I do think there is too much emphasis throughout humanity on faith. The recent incidents in the world boil down to a simple concept -- I'm write about God and you're wrong. I do wonder why people can't just accept that we all want to worship God in our own ways?
Someone close to you has done something behind your back, knowing that it would hurt you deeply if you found out. Should they tell you?
Absolutely. Any time you find out it will be surprise, but I'm a very good at taking bad news. I'd want to know immediately so that we can see if we make amends. Nothing is insolvable.
When, and how, did books first make an appearance in your life?
My strongest memory is as a child, and my Dad reading to me. The book I remember most clearly is Masefield's 'The Midnight Folk', but he also worked slowly through The Narnia Stories. The first book I read through by myself was Robert Heinlein's 'Have Space Suit Will Travel' which pretty much set out my pattern of reading for years.
What do you think about the way the country is responding to the recent terror-related events?
I think America's reaction was understandable. It wasn't going to sit on it's hand when it happened, and it showed great restraint initially, when it could have gone in half-cocked without much of a plan. Only now are things becoming foggy, with little definition as to ho are the allies and enemies. George Bush Jr has to be careful that doesn't begin a vendetta to finish some of the jobs his Dad started. The world changed an awful lot during the Clinton era.
How many languages do you speak? Which would you like to learn?
I speak English. And well, that's it. The language teaching at school was pretty raw and unengaging, consisting of weeks and weeks of vocab tests with little interest in trying to teach us anything interesting. I gave it all up when I started my GCSE years. I think I'm mature enough now to take a crack at French, but I don't really have the time or use for it... that said I have learnt the odd word of Greek from my friend Fani ... kalinikta (good bye)
Are "white lies" acceptable?
It depends upon the intent.
What's your first memory of?
I remember being two years old and sitting in a paddling pool in my back garden with a rubber duck. It was a blistering hot day.
Name the most recent book you've read, and your thoughts about it.
Ironically, considering some of these questions, I'm reading 'The Penguin History of the USA' by Hugh Brogan. I went in expecting a broad sweep of history and a straightforward narrative. I've been readying it for a month and haven't even reached the War of Independence. The text in places is very dryly written and difficult to grab hold of. It is accessable but it suffers from too many personalities shuffling through on a page by page basis. Also, it isn't a high number og annecdotes which means that less well known history is difficult to follow. I don't want to drop it after the commitment I've already put in, but I don't really have the concentration at the moment to give it my undivided attention.
Would a medical defeat of death be a good thing?
Personally, yes of course. Who wants to die? But on a global scale, overcrowding would be inevitable. And it could lead to even greater divisions in society as it would no doubt be the province of the rich initially, and leading to even more suppression of the poor.
Is genetic engineering a bad thing by definition?
Not necessarily. But like nuclear engineering, in the wrong hands it could be catastrophic. It would depend upon the application.
Most loved single piece of music?
'Wonderful World' by Louis Armstrong.