mardi, mai 03, 2005

Five Questions...Five Answers... a Movement

Aerenchyma at A Time and Place, was kind enough to ask me five questions. It’s all part of a interview vibe that’s shaking down the “sphere.”

I’m pretty much quoting verbatim Aerenchyma’s explanation of how it all works.

One blogger poses five questions to another blogger. That blogger answers the questions, then agrees to ask five questions to three other bloggers. And so on and so on.The questions given to me by Aerenchyma and my answers are below. If you'd like to be the next to be interviewed, leave me a comment saying 'interview me'. I will respond by asking you five questions here. You need not have your own blog to participate. You may submit your answers here as well. The questions will be different than the ones below.

Aerenchyma Inteviews Duf -

1. If you could invent a tool that could do any single job, what would that tool do?

“I’d hammer out justice; I’d hammer out freedom; I’d hammer out love between my brothers and my sisters, all…all…all all all over this land.”

Enamored though I am of the Wife Robot, I would go a different route.

I’d invent a tool that would make salt water potable (or is that a machine?). I’d make it part of the public domain too. I’d give it away.

2. If you could be anyone in history, who would you be and why? Would you live his or her life differently?

Man oh man, this is a very difficult question. First, I’d still be African-American. Here’s the list I’m thinking through – W.E.B. DuBois, Sojourner Truth, Booker T. Washington, Roy Wilkins, Satchel Paige, Langston Hughes, Hiram Revels, Jesse Owens, Rosa Parks, Malcolm X, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Stokely Carmichael, Phyllis Wheatley, Richard Wright, Ralph Ellison, James Baldwin, Duke Ellington, Jimi Hendrix, Jackie Robinson. I would really, really, really want to be Frederick Douglass, but, alas, I think I would pick:

Thurgood Marshall, and no, I would not live his life any differently. I would pick Marshall for impact on history, for coolness of life in general, for being on the Supreme Court, something I would love to do. But mainly I would pick Thurgood Marshall for always wearing white socks.

If I weren’t African-American, and I could pick one person, I’d pick Paul Wellstone. Yes, I would live my life differently, but only in one respect. I would maintain my own jet and staff my own flight crew.

3. If you could convince one person of one thing, what thing would you convince that person of and who would that person be?

This is an amazing question. In my mind, there is no one person who, after being convinced, could effect immediate or lasting change. Convincing Randall Terry or Karl Rove or George Bush I or II or Tom DeLay or Bill Frist or Pope Benedict XVI or Rush Limbaugh or that Anne Coulter, or any person deeply compromised by ignorance to take a more enlightened path, would only see them replaced within their movement by people who will perpetuate ignorance/stay on message. So my temptation is to swing the court by convincing a conservative justice to become a liberal. But even there, I imagine a short-lived impact. Someone would die or retire only to be replaced – these days – by someone who would be just as conservative (or moreso), only young too.

So, in keeping with the great maxim to think globally and act locally, I would go small here and convince my daughter, the apple of my eye, and my adorable little angel to lead a life of total health. This is what I mean – to devote herself to mental and physical health, to emotional health, to spiritual health and to all the things attendant to that life: to pursue happiness, to have a strong and healthy self-esteem, to be confident and fit, to eat well, to avoid substance abuse and peer pressure, to be her own person, to follow her dreams and on and on…

4. If you could only vacation in one place for the rest of your life (with the exception of visiting family), where would it be?

The earth? Okay, that’s cheating.

This is sublimely ignorant, and there is so much of the world I have not seen, but of the world I have seen, the place that, for me, offers the most enchantment and wonder and natural beauty and diversity of experience is Alaska. I’d pick the whole darn state, I guess. My travels, brief though they were, through Denali and Seward and Valdez and even Anchorage, my ride on the train, my time walking on glaciers, seeing bald eagle and the salmon run, the waterfalls, the arts, the crafts, the history, the indigenous peoples, the mountains, the eternal sunshine (seasonally), the mavericks and the explorers, the wanderers and the settled, flora and fauna and roads so bumpy and beset by major, major potholes such they are nigh on not traversable, all of it combines together to make Alaska my pick.

5. If you could have one amazing talent, what would it be?

Okay, so I can go selfish, or I can go altruistic. Selfishly, I’d pick the ability to birdie or par a golf hole whenever I wanted. Either that or I would want to be the best juggler in the world (ever).

Altruistically, I’d pick the ability to convince people to do anything. Sure, I’d misuse it from time to time ("publish my book," "mow my lawn," "give me those fries"), but mostly, I’d use it to start a global movement of love and justice. I’d use it to address poverty and homelessness and despair and I’d use it to promote education reform and pursuit of community excellence. I’d use it to convince smokers to stop and to convince them not to throw their butts on the ground. I’d convince corporations to be citizens of the world, and not profit motivated robber-barons. I know that’s saccharine, but it’s true.