Tricky. Sense of humour for me, I think. It seems to entertain my friends, it can enliven things at work, and it stops me from chucking myself under a bus. Fun and practical.
In my friends, I'd say something along the lines of intellectual curiosity. I like being able to pick any old weird-ass topic of conversation and have it treated with the respect that it deserves. I like following the fractal branches of discussions in unexpected but inviting directions. Call me a neophile, but I like the fact that even the people that I've been mates with for ages retain the capacity to surprise and intrigue me.
2) Now that you've got your iPod, what tops your shopping list?
Actually, I've reached a state of zen-like perfection in which I need no more material goods. Except the new Treo.
3) You can create, amend or repeal one law. What would you do?
I'm not sure I can cope with the implications of any serious answers to this question. Legalise all drugs? How to cope with the responsibility for those who fuck themselves and their families up using them? Up the dole to a livable amount? Who pays? If I have to be serious, a proportional representation system seems like it might allow a bit more room for diversity in democracy without having any crippling downsides, which seems to be a good thing.
Otherwise, I think a modest stipend for myself as Grand Musical Supremo For Life. Perhaps with an obligation to broadcast a hour or two of good music once or twice a week on the medium of my choice (Radio 4 one week, BBC1 the next). That sounds like a good law.
4) Music or books - which is most essential?
Being picky, I'd have to say music, 'cos books are just a medium. I'd miss them, but I could fill all my text needs from other sources.
Taking it in the spirit in which I assume it was intended (i.e. music vs. text), I think I'd still have to choose music. Its speed and mode of delivery makes it more flexible in use, so I can chill myself out while I'm riding my bike, or pick myself up 5 minutes before going out. Also, I seem to be able to go for longer without books than I can without music before I start feeling listless and moody (OK, more listless and moodier). I'd miss either dreadfully, though. Don't know if I'd cope.
5) Who did you admire when you were 8? Who do you admire now?
I'm reliably informed, and vaguely remember, not just admiring but wanting to be Margot Fontaine, the ballet dancer. I think this was rather earlier than eight, though. Four or five, perhaps? I think after that I was too jaded to 'admire' anyone. Except my Mum of course. You've got to, really. And both my grandmothers, though they're not around any more. I don't think I've ever felt anything but admiration for them, just for being Good People.
These days my taste for ballet seems to have entirely disappeared (possibly thanks to a childhood experiencing my sister's endless practising in the house). My admired celebrities now are people like Radiohead, Eddie Izzard and Mark Radcliffe, who produce things that I like by doing the things that they like doing.
If you want me to ask you some questions, you can leave a comment. Maybe I will, maybe I won't, but either way will say more about me than it does about you. Promise.
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