Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Every man's memory is his private literature.

Home (with a little help from the zoom). Geilston Bay, as seen from atop Mount Wellington. April 2012.

This week's Tuesday Q and A is a little different this week. In a shocking turn of events, I have not resorted to stealing the questions from Sunday Stealing! Instead, long-time lurker and erstwhile commentator Dr. Hallam volunteered this motley (but challenging) set of queries for me to tackle. As ever, if this kind of thing is your bag, I'm happy to tackle any such examinations! Just let me know in the comments or send me an e-mail.

To the questions!

1. What do you think your children will be like when they are 30? How will they be different from each other?

It is very difficult to guess what they'll be like in quarter of a century. There are just too many variables to factor in. I expect that they will continue to be different though. Ezra has the sharper temper and a far more ruthless (and daring) streak to him. Henry is a little more sensitive a seems to require more external validation. One imagines that this will set them on slightly divergent courses. As to what else, who knows? All that I really hope is that they embrace lifelong learning, remember that they are not the centre of the universe and try to be halfway decent people.

2. You win 50 million dollars. Do you tell anyone apart from your family? Do you give any away?

I see no need to tell anyone. (Lots of) money seems to attract as many problems as solutions (so I'm told). I'm sure that I'd give some share of it away, although I have a natural conservatism in that kind of thing. I'm not inclined to give money for someone else to fritter away. I'd be demanding a decent business plan.

3. If you had a female child, would you raise her any differently to your boys?

Not drastically so. Any differences would be about personality more than gender, although one imagines the two are related.

4. How would you try to ensure that your female child did not consider feminism to be a dirty word? Is this primarily a mother’s job?

Feminism isn't a dirty word. I couldn't imagine even countenancing the concept. It just is. Just like it is with my boys, I would imagine that any discussion of feminism is simply about framing it as sound common sense justly applied. Any excesses around the edges - i.e. the S.C.U.M. Manifesto etc - (as with any concept) are just that, excesses.

5. Any tips on how to cope when the kids are being purposefully naughty and you’re tired and little left in the tank to deal with it?

If we are talking past dark, move bed-time forward a bit, give them a stern talking to and grit your teeth and aim for the immediate goal. This too will pass.

6. Should cannabis use be legalised and then regulated in Australia, like tobacco or alcohol?

Given the hopeless mess we have made of 'regulated' alcohol and tobacco, and the incredible cost they have on the Australian community, I'm always bemused by the notion that they should be held up as a model for cannabis. I'm more a 'decriminalise' person than a 'legalise' it, and I'd feel a bit of a fraud advocating that the punter should be sold one drug when I've spent a good few years advocating the curtailment of a bunch of others. Just be clear, this has nothing to do with a moral judgement, more a look at the health economics and societal effect.

7. Have you ever been depressed?

I have had my ups and downs. I'm not sure that I've ever had anything clinical though. You're not human if you've never felt depressed in your life though.

8. If you were paid to give Julia Gillard some advice today, what would it be?

Don't let the bastards get you down.

9. Ever made a good apple pie?

I make a halfway decent apple pie, but and even better apple and rhubarb one...

10. Is self-loathing, to any extent, a driver of misanthropy?

I don't think so, but one can over generalise. Plato reckoned that misanthropy was all about thwarted expectations, and there might be some truth to that. The concept of self-projection is more akin to Satre, which is typical French self-absorption really. I suspect that the road to hating one's species has many paths.

11. Ever ridden a skateboard?

Many, many years ago. A silly past-time, in my opinion. Given that you can't ride the bugger on sand and grass, at some point you are going to learn that concrete is very unforgiving!

12. With no limitations on affordability or practicality- describe your perfect house.

Spacious. Space space and more space. Big rooms. Massive central living area. Fitted-out kitchen with all mod cons right next to main living space. Many quiet corners. A sound proof library. A heated pool (25 x 10 metres 2 metres deep) with retractable roof. Finnish sauna. Lots of massive windows with sun-lights. By the beach. Nice yard. A good size with manicured native shrubbery. Tended by someone unseen. Always just the right temperature. Great big beds. Wireless super-fast broadband. Shit-hot A/V system all connected to a central mainframe.

13. As far as colours go, does red or grey please you more?

I like shades of most colours. 'grey' and 'red' are a bit hard to generalise about though. I like 'battleship grey' and 'rich carmine' equally.

14. What do you think will cause the eventual demise of the human race? External forces- such as alien invasion, giant sharks from Venus or asteroid? Or is it more likely to be self-inflicted, such as war, environmental disaster or person-made virus?

We will end in the same way as most things do. In the past 540 (or so) million years, there have been five major events when over fifty per cent of species died. Odds are it will have something to do with a reduction of surface sunlight that hinders photosynthesis. Most likely, it will involve an asteroid or volcano. If we hang around long enough, global cooling will do is in more certainly than warming. A gamma ray burst from a supernova could do us in, so you’d never rule that out either.

15. If a musical (obviously done by an alien somewhere in some other time) were to be made of this event- what would you call it?
Prelude To Another Beginning.

16. How much to make love with Morrissey? Come on, be honest now.

He’s getting on a bit. I’m sure that we could come to a satisfactory arrangement somewhere around the $20k mark.

17. George Michael or Andrew Ridgeley?

’86 George by a good few furlongs. A quick glance through Google Images tells me that even though George looks decidedly un-human these days, Andrew looks just plain sad with that bald head of his.

18. How much to take George Michael (current) in a toilet block?

Depends what he wants. I’m sure that we could find a price.

19. If you had to choose a religion to follow which one would you pick?

As a modern man of science, I’d have to trump up for a cop out answer like ‘Socialism’. Religions as a rule are pretty naff without the ‘faith’ part. I’ve never managed to procure/ fake ‘faith’.

20. What does tomorrow bring?

Unfortunately, more work.

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