In which I answer random questions from a website. An ongoing series.
How often do you play sports?
Never. I’ve never been a fan of sports, firstly because I was a premature baby so born with lung issues. I spent sixteen days in an incubator, then had bad bronchitis at seven years old. This left me with issues getting enough oxygen if I exerted myself, especially in the crappy childhood air I grew up with in Los Angeles.
This was also when they made us run endless laps in elementary school for some reason, but I could only ever make it halfway through one before gasping for breath but, of course, the toxically masculine male teachers would just call those of us who couldn’t do it “pussies,” instead of maybe talking to our parents about possible health issues.
For the most part, I’d wind up walking those laps with my other friends who, for various reasons, couldn’t run them at any kind of speed either.
This naturally led to a lifelong disdain for sports in any form — made even a bit worse after I developed viral pneumonia at fourteen, lost about a third of my bodyweight, and never redeveloped the muscles, except in my legs for some reason.
My brain never gave me a problem gasping for air when I exerted it, so that’s the organ I used, and to this day and I could give less than two warm shits about any major sporting event. And I understand that there’s some kind of allegedly important one happening in America soon but, again, I’d have to muster some bit of interest to figure out what it is, and I really don’t care.
What fictional place would you most like to go?
I tend to prefer real places, actually so this is a tough one. It seems like an easy choice at first until you remember how many places are actually dangerous. Hogwarts, never, although a trip to Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade might be fun, as long as JK’s TERFy ass were nowhere around.
Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory appears to be okay if you’re an adult and not stupid, and they’ve probably got some great stuff in the gift shop at the end. The Emerald City from The Wizard of Oz could also be really cool at the right time, since none of the witches seem to go there (it’s under the Wizard’s protection,) but the décor, costuming, and everything else Deco is amazing and worth a visit for a photo safari.
From Star Wars, Coruscant would be a romp, since it is the capital planet of the Empire, and it would just be a matter of hitting it at the right time and knowing the right people. A possibly safer location from the other side of the rebellion would be Canto Bite, naturally.
Ideally, though, I’d love to go to that America that only exists in the dreams of the Founders, the pages of the Constitution, and the ambitions of FDR and others — well, with a lot less racism. It’s the one where we managed to create and sustain the Middle Class Dream, expand unions and universal health care to everyone, regulated the living fuck out of corporations on through and beyond the 1980s to the present day, never elected Ronald Reagan or listened to the Moral Majority, and continued the Civil Rights, Gay Rights, and Equal Rights movements of the 1960s without any impedance.
This is especially from the Supreme Court, which would look very different than it does now or ever has, and in which politics and jurisprudence would be kept in strict separation. As if that’s humanly possible.
If you were dictator of a small island nation, what crazy dictator stuff would you do?
Well, it would only be considered “crazy” by capitalists, because they are the ones whom, for the most part, would be the non-beneficiaries of all my dictates. The main one is that nothing here shall be done for profit, except that it supports the person making or doing it and allows them to then turn the excess into tools and material for the next round of work.
Oh — did I mention our immigration policy? You can come from any country or any background, as long as you create art of any kind or know a useful trade (electrician, plumber, carpenter, engineer, IT, etc.) We do tend to discourage fanatically religious types, bigots, conspiracy theorists, or anyone who ever supported a former U.S. President in any way, shape, or bloated form.
Dictates for the people:
- Mind your business. This was an early motto for the Colonial U.S., but it holds. If what your neighbors are doing doesn’t affect you, allow them their joy. This doesn’t mean that they can hold loud outdoor concerts at three in the morning, of course. But if the household across the way seems to have more than the usual number of husbands/wives, for example, let them be.
- Offer help when it seems needed. Is your neighbor’s front yard looking a bit run down? Have you not seen your elderly neighbor on their regular rounds in a couple of days? Is another neighbor’s mailbox getting full and they never mentioned going on vacation? Nothing wrong with giving a knock on the door or sending a text if you know the number to see what’s up and offer assistance.
- Sometimes, your “freedom” does not outweigh the public good Although one of the requirement for immigration and continued residency is to be fully vaccinated for whatever is on the list, every so often something new will come along. Our inclination is to seal the borders until we know what we’re up against, quarantine anyone who’s been off-island within a certain time period, try to capture the virus or pathogen in the wild for study if we can, and require general safety protocols, like masks, social distancing, and no indoor businesses except for buying essentials with limited customers allowed.
- Enjoy life. That is an order from your dictator. Don’t spend all your waking hours working, but make sure you have pets, family and/or a close circle of friends.