I suppose it's also worth mentioning that I am part Mestizo ("Hispanic" mixed with "Native American" blood), so it is probably prudent to let racists (as well as sexists and homophobes) know that while they are free to believe as they want, I will not respond to messages from them. Actually, scratch that, if you are a racist, sexist, or homophobe, please DO message me and we can have a discussion about it. With that being said, I don't wish to be mistaken for a politically correct, easily offended prude. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth.
As for my interests, it would take an entire book to discuss them all in depth, but I do enjoy learning about music, history, politics, certain areas of science; namely biology, astronomy, neurology, and psychology. Among the numerous people who have influenced me are (in no particular order): Socrates, Buddha, Voltaire, Thomas Jefferson, Sigmund Freud, Carl Jung, Karl Marx, Friedrich Engels, Frederick Douglass, Arthur Rimbaud, Virginia Woolf, Martin Luther King, Jr., John Lennon, Kurt Cobain, Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, Bertrand Russell, Carl Sagan, Noam Chomsky, Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, Sam Harris, Harry Partch and George Carlin. The list is so long that I've obviously overlooked some, haha.
Oh, and I suppose I should add that I do take care of my physical health via exercise and watching what I eat. I guess it really matters to some people lol.
Seriously though, I get somewhat embarrassed when asked what I'm good at or what my positive qualities are, but try my best I shall:
I would say I'm a very open minded person and am able to see every side of an argument or conflict. I also seem to have an ability to find a silver lining in even the most seemingly reprehensible people, ideas, and actions.
I take a deep and analytical interest in anything and everything that fascinates me - whether it be music, art, politics, history, the mind, or the lives of the people I'm close to.
I'm a fluent musician and singer. I used to be far more bashful about it - especially my singing - but positive responses from people have led me to believe I really am quite good.
But once I'm out of the loud social environments and am talking to a person one on one, I start to get more comfortable, and people often tell me (not trying to sound arrogant or boastful here) that I'm actually quite intelligent and insightful, with more depth than I let on.
I actually enjoy nonfiction more than fiction, much to the dismay of a lot of people. That's not to say I enjoy no fiction. In particular, I have a soft spot for young adult-oriented novels.
Fiction: Harry Potter series (obligatory) by J.K. Rowling, The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky, The Giver by Lois Lowry, The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton, The Wave by Todd Strasser, To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, The House of the Scorpion by Nancy Farmer, Nineteen Eighty-Four and Animal Farm by George Orwell, Slapstick ("Lonesome No More") by Kurt Vonnegut.
Nonfiction: The Demon-Haunted World by Carl Sagan, A People's History of the United States by Howard Zinn, The Greatest Show on Earth and The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins, The Interpretation of Dreams by Sigmund Freud, Psychological Types by Carl Jung, The Blank Slate by Stephen Pinker, The Mismeasure of Man by Stephen Jay Gould, Genesis of a Music by Harry Partch, Tragedy and Hope by Carroll Quigley.
All of the Beatles' films, Harry Potter series, Donnie Darko, the original Star Wars trilogy, The Lady Vanishes, Dracula, Forrest Gump, Stand By Me, Nightmare on Elm Street series, Pink Floyd The Wall, No Direction Home, One Hour Photo, Leadbelly, Kurt Cobain: About a Son, Serial Mom.
I don't want to spend forever listing my favorite artists, so I'll try my best to describe the music I like.
I tend to be drawn toward anything that has a melancholic undertone or indicates struggles, whether it be internal or external. Needless to say, I'm a huge fan of older folk music, anything that reflects sadness or existential crises, and socially conscious hip-hop.
I'm also intrigued by anything that sounds different and defies our standard of "quality" music here in the West, i.e. Daniel Johnston, The Shaggs, Stockhausen, Harry Partch, etc. I'm also interested in music from around the world that does not conform to our Western scales, rhythms, and chord progressions; Indian classical music in particular.
I should also add that I'm a sucker for anything catchy, as well as beautiful melodies/harmonies.
Also, I'm a HUGE fan of The Beatles, Bob Dylan, and Lead Belly. And The Wall by Pink Floyd is the greatest album of all time to me. Always will be.
The art of music; more specifically, how to completely defy people's expectations of "good music" and still come out with a finished product that is stunningly beautiful. I could go on forever about my passion for music, but I'm going to stop there.
Why there is no blue food.
History and politics. While I enjoy political discussions, it's very hard for me to take a side and stick with it, because as I said, I am genuinely able to see every point of view. While most would consider me left wing in a general sense (in the words of Dylan: "I'm liberal, but to a degree, I want everybody to be free"), I dislike the idea of labeling or confining myself to one ideology or viewpoint, as I feel it limits the scope through which I view the world. I believe that, ultimately, Capitalism is Communism is Liberalism is Conservatism is Libertarianism is Feminism is Fascism, etc.; that is, I think every ideology is merely a different means to the same outcome - the perceived betterment of humanity. Every mind is a tiny sliver of humanity's all-seeing eye, which is why I believe that people of all walks of life, ideologies, faiths, etc. must work together in spite of their differences if we are ever to reach our potential as a species.
If there is indeed an afterlife, is it really an "afterlife"? Is it not just life continued?
When it comes to spiritual matters, I don't really get too serious about it. I've had some fairly intense spiritual experiences, but I don't like to jump to conclusions about the concrete, physical world based on experiences of a nonmaterial, abstract nature. While I consider myself agnostic, I am welcoming of folks of all different faiths who are open-minded enough to give a nonbeliever a chance. :)
Which direction my smilies should face. Most people use :), but I kind of like (:.
For real though, I'm probably at home, reading, writing, working on music, or browsing the web/chatting with people.
I barely know the words to the Star-Spangled Banner, but I know the Soviet National Anthem by heart.
I'm mostly hetero, but not completely. And I'm definitely not cis.