Given the choice of anyone in the world, whom would you want as a dinner guest?
I would want to have Thom Yorke as a dinner guest. I would ask him about his songwriting process, how it has evolved and what he’s learned.
Would you like to be famous? In what way?
Yes, I want to be a performance artist/recording artist. I’d like to represent mystery, chaotic emotion, like Björk.
Before making a phone call, do you ever rehearse what you're going to say? Why?
Yes, because I want to be clear when I speak. I have trouble finding the right words to express what I feel and think. I think I have this difficulty because I am a detail-oriented skeptic who enjoys precision in speech. Most people think the world is simple and controlled by easily ascertained causal powers. People are quite liberal in making claims about the world, are over-confident in their abilities and are looking for others who are also this way. I would contend that people who are described as being good with people are some of the least rigorous in their thinking. These easy-going folk are the ones who have supported every form of injustice throughout history. They’ll be at the front of the mob to lynch you. They don’t rehearse because they don’t have complex thoughts, thoughts tempered by evidence and careful consideration. Ask yourself this: do most people rehearse what they’re about to say? Now, considering that speaking is an expression of thinking, ask yourself this: Is the world moving smoothly toward greater health, more consistently applied justice, greater objectivity? Being too thoughtful has never driven a society to commit atrocities.
What would constitute a(n) perfect amazing day for you?
I’ve just looked over all the questions in Arthur Aron’s 36 Questions lists, and this is the most difficult for me to answer.
I wake up at 10 am, which is not too early, but not so late that I feel lazy. Lying next to me is my soulmate, who has the same biorhythm as me (highly unlikely). I resume some creative project that I’ve been working on for weeks/months, something involving made-up people and interesting situations. I meet with other people working on the project, people who “get it”. (Just gave myself douche chills, but I will soldier through). Between long sessions of riffing ideas and analyzing reality, we beat out some great, usable work, and send it off to some other people. Later, I have some time to exercise, either hitting and kicking a heavy bag or running. I spend some time doing music stuff. I work on a music project, possibly with other people, or maybe solo because the shit I’m doing is too out there. I’m like Björk, if Björk were a Black dude with a bad voice. My soulmate and I make dinner and eat together, possibly with other people. We laugh stupidly and drink a moderate amount of alcohol. Late at night, I go to bed with my soulmate, or finish up a section of writing, or go for a walk, either alone or with someone. I have a dog, probably a standard poodle, who is well behaved. I am relaxed and present most of the time, and catch myself when I start to act stupid/toxic.
When did you last sing to yourself? To someone else?
I sang and played guitar for four elderly women today, as a hospice volunteer. It was fun and we all (except one who was conked out on sedatives) laughed a lot.
If you were able to live to the age of 90 and retain either the mind or body of a 30-year old for the last 60 years of your life, which would you choose?
I would definitely chose to let my body stop aging at 30, while my mind continues to develop. The best people I know are well above 30 years old, some pushing seventy. If those people had young bodies, they would be GODS.
Do you have a secret hunch about how you will die?
Yes. When I reach advanced age and begin to deteriorate physically, I will probably take a cocktail of drugs, all of them inducing some form of euphoria except for the one among them that is lethal (phenobarbitol). I have seen how people die of old age and it’s nothing to look forward to.
For what in your life do you feel most grateful?
Above all else, I am grateful for my intellect, because it has kept me safe. Where friendship, family and community should have protected me, it has always been focused application of my intellect that has kept warm and fed.
If you could change anything about the way you were raised, what would it be?
I would have given my mother a stronger maternal instinct. She had none, and was only ever superficially affectionate. Being raised by a woman with a low capacity for intimacy has stunted my emotional development and caused me great social difficulties, which I strive everyday to overcome. I feel cut off from the core experiences of life, and often feel inhuman. This is what I would change.
Movies: I Heart Huckabees, Minority Report, Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, Grand Budapest Hotel, Terminator 2: Judgement Day, Disney's Aladdin, Looper, There Will Be Blood, The Master, No Country for Old Men, The Tree of Life, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, The Departed, White Oleander
TV: Broad City.
Music: Radiohead, MGMT, The Sundays, Innocence Mission, Father John Misty, Björk, Autechre, CHVRCHES, MF DOOM, Grouper, Aphex Twin, Mars Volta, Animal Collective, Joanna Newsom, Sunn O))), Meredith Monk, Nadja, CLPPNG, Death Grips, Pantera, Saul Williams, Wild Nothing, Nightwish,
Freedom of the Press
The Internet (Reddit)