Thursday, May 20, 2010

Easing back into it

About a week ago, the reprehensible monster Melissa McEwan (more on why I call her that in the coming days) linked, with appropriate disgust, to the reprehensible monster Christopher Hitchens (surely no explanation of why I call him that is required) in Vanity Fair filling out the "Proust questionnaire," apparently a Vanity Fair tradition which I, wisely never having read the magazine, was unaware of.

I saw it and thought "Hey! What better way to ease back into blogging my own words instead of other people's than filling out this imbecilic survey!" And now, a week later, I'm ready. So here goes. It is very long and stupid, so please feel free to not read it.

What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
In my experience, the state that any attempt to navigate contemporary society leaves one in. Outside of my experience, being poor in an oil-rich country.

Where would you like to live?
Rhode Island. (Yes, I know.)

What is your idea of earthly happiness?
Whatever would arise from the non-violent collapse of all the structures surrounding us.

To what faults do you feel most indulgent?
I feel certain that this question could have been phrased better. I'm thinking this means what bad thing do I indulge frequently? I would say ownership, or maybe allowing myself to unengagedly experience shitty television.

Who are your favorite heroes of fiction?
I utterly despise the concept of the "hero," so I'm taking this just to mean my favorite male characters from fiction (the arbitrary distinction of "male" I'm making based on a later question). So, very colored by recent reading and viewing, I'll say Walter M. Miller's Brother Francis, Kovac and Joe from Hitchcock's Lifeboat, Sherlock Holmes, the guy who didn't make coffee for John G. Miller in the convenience store, and Jean-Luc Picard.

Who are your favorite characters in history?
Guy Debord, Pocahontas as written about by Paula Gunn Allen, Rosalind Franklin, and Huey P. Newton.

Who are your favorite heroines in real life?
Assata Shakur, Angela Y. Davis, and Yoko Ono.

Who are your favorite heroines of fiction?
Again colored by recent reading and viewing, and again hating the "hero" concept: Mrs Richards at least from the first 300 pages of Dhalgren, Rosemary Woodhouse, Buffy Summers, Foxy Brown, Caroline from Muriel Spark's The Comforters, and Walter M. Miller's Mrs. Grales/Rachel.

Your favorite painter?
My brother, though he's largely abandoned painting in favor of sculpture and video, Egon Schiele.

Your favorite musician?
David Bowie, Brian Eno, The Stooges, The Supremes, Terry Riley, J.S. Bach, James Brown, Buffy Sainte-Marie, The Monks, Eliane Radigue, and far, far, far too many more to name.

The quality you most admire in a man?
Physically? Being somewhat smaller than me. Other than that? I don't know, but just being "nice" doesn't cut it. That and not making these foolish distinctions between male and female all the time.

The quality you most admire in a woman?
See above.

Your favorite virtue?
I was not aware that "virtues" were meant to be ranked. I don't know. Is true equality, as opposed to the kind we have, a virtue?

Your least favorite virtue, or nominee for the most overrated one?
Hard work.

Your proudest achievement?
Having created music, both on my own and in collaboration, that I think is good.

Your favorite occupation?
FIREMAN!!! I don't know, what?

Who would you have liked to be?
Someone who was in Paris in 1871 or 1968, maybe.

Your most marked characteristic?
A pervasive awkwardness.

What do you most value in your friends?
Stimulation of whatever kind they can provide.

What is your principal defect?
A tendency to overanalyze my defects, so I'm going to skip this one.

What to your mind would be the greatest of misfortunes?
Any number of things that are happening in the world currently.

What would you like to be?
A backup singer in a girl group in the 60s, but that'll probably never happen.

What is your favorite color?
For what?

What is your favorite flower?

What is your favorite bird?
God, all of them. I love birds.

What word or expression do you most overuse?
Anything that can be put in between commas.

Who are your favorite poets?
I've honestly never been able to get into any poetry. It's a failing.

What are your favorite names?
I've liked Sophie ever since I read The BFG as a child.

What is it you most dislike?

Which historical figures do you most despise?
Every head of state or person of any power involved in any way on any side of World War II.

Which contemporary figures do you most despise?
Barack Obama and every single fucker in his entire administration.

Which events in military history do you most admire?
Until they day they give a war and nobody comes, none.

Which natural gift would you most like to possess?
The ability to understand basic human mating rituals.

How would you like to die?
While I'm sleeping, that's for damn sure.

What do you most dislike about your appearance?
Let's skip this one.

What is your motto?
"Motto"? Gross. But I think "Never work" is a great aspiration.


Ethan said...

Also, despite having Proust's name attached to it, I don't see this survey as any different from the ones that circulate on those awful social networking sites.

JRB said...

Thanks, Ethan. It's great to be reacquainted!

Ethan said...

Thanks for saying so.