About the Members 28: Tiassa

Discussion in 'About the Members' started by madanthonywayne, Jun 3, 2009.

  1. madanthonywayne Morning in America Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    12,461
    Tiassa is the mod of Ethics, morality, and Justice as well as Science and Society. He's been a member of this site since all the way back in 1999, so he's one of our most experienced active members. He's a powerful voice from the left on this site known for his long, well referenced posts. We usually disagree on almost everything, but have had many interesting debates.

    I'll start things out with a few questions:

    1. How did you first find this site and how did you choose your name?
    2. What was your first post?
    3. In what ways has SciForums improved since 1999; and in what ways is it worse?
    4. What do you do for a living?
    5. What jobs have you had in the past?
    6. What is the highest level of education you've attained? Do you have any advanced degrees?
    7. What would be your ideal job? What is the favorite job you've had so far?
    8. Who do you think was the best US president of the past 100 years? Ever?
    9. Who is your favorite philosopher?
    10. What is your favorite quote?
    11. What is your favorite book(s)?
    12. What are you top 5 favorite movies?

    That's enough from me. Let the questions/answers begin!
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2009
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  3. visceral_instinct Monkey see, monkey denigrate Valued Senior Member

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    What's your favourite word?

    What's your favourite colour?

    Are you as cool and dignified in real life as you are on the internet?

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    Describe your general ideology/outlook on life for us? Just a short crude generalization will do

    What's your favourite animal?
     
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  5. Plazma Inferno! Ding Ding Ding Ding Administrator

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    The first LP you bought?
    The first concert you've been to?
    The most famous person you've ever met?

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  7. draqon Banned Banned

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    If you found a seal in the Puget Sound to be laying on its back and squeeking for help...and it was bleeding...what would you do? than?
     
  8. Challenger78 Valued Senior Member

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    If the russians invaded seattle, a la World in Conflict, what would you do ?
     
  9. chris4355 Registered Senior Member

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    Why is your name Tiassa?
     
  10. Sciencelovah Registered Senior Member

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    Hello, Tiassa!

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    Sometimes when I see your long post, I wonder how long it took you to write them...
    • Are you in real life perhaps a professional writer?
    • If so, what type of books do you write?
    • How long it took you in average to wrote 1 post? Me, I don't write fast, I still haven't used to think in English, sometimes it's in Indonesian, sometimes in German

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    • If I am not mistaken, you have a Japanese ancestor. Have you ever been in Japan? Do you like Japan?
    • What's your favorite foods?

    Ok, teng-q!
     
  11. takandjive Killer Queen Registered Senior Member

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    2,361
    Okay. Where's the best downtown Seattle pizza place? I NEVER found really good pizza there. And if you say the High Life, I personally will come and smack you. You're not allowed that answer.
     
  12. shorty_37 Go! Canada Go! Registered Senior Member

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    12,140
    WHY do you make such long posts like you are writing a novel?

    What is your sexual orientation ? because for the longest time I thought you were female.

    Why do you hate Baron Max so much?
     
  13. jpappl Valued Senior Member

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    2,985
    For me it's Pagliacci's, with jalepeno on whatever we get.

    Ditto
     
  14. visceral_instinct Monkey see, monkey denigrate Valued Senior Member

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    Is that actually him?
     
  15. Mrs.Lucysnow Valued Senior Member

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    Tiassa's bisexual.
     
  16. jpappl Valued Senior Member

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    2,985
    That explains the confusion.
     
  17. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

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    The (first) dirty dozen

    Might as well start at the top and just go down. I know, I know, that sounds like common sense, but given how many methods of mine work backwards ....

    Anyway ....

    1. How did you first find this site and how did you choose your name?

    I had played with local networks at work before, but my first home internet connection came in March, 1997. A romantic and mystic, I found many of my mundane attachments thoroughly undermined by the 'net. Ufos ... can't stand the discussion, for the most part. Ghosts? Lots of fun, but .... Let's just say that when it came to the fortean, I was surprised to find that the superficial, television-special bullshit was as much as there was.

    Sad, that. But along the way I had come across a little site for the Alberta UFO Research Association, and having never really had any experience with the idea of a mailing list, signed on for the latest ... um ... whatever.

    Anyway, I didn't think about it for a while, and then one day this email showed up from the administrator of the AUFORA site. He was branching out, trying something new, trying to generate discussion in the realm of ... well, exoscience. And following that link, I found Exosci.com, which was the predecessor to Sciforums, and the rest is history. Recorded. More or less.

    The user name is drawn from the fiction of Steven Brust. A tiassa is a winged cat. A Tiassa is a member of the House of the Tiassa; There are seventeen houses in the Dragaeran Empire of Brust's creation. The original poetic depiction of the Cycle of the Empire reads simply, "Tiassa dreams and plots are born".

    Besides, I adore the Tiassa characters Brust has invented. In later volumes, Brust would have Piro, the Viscount of Adrilankha, enumerate his family values. I even found those laudable, and wish I could live up to them.

    2. What was your first post?

    I don't know. I've never found it. The closest I've come is ... well, there's two of them.

    In the early days, you could post through a guest ID. I've managed to find one of those posts—there were only a few—and shortly thereafter, you can find find me under my regular ID agreeing with myself.

    #33164/16 (earliest post discovered; guest ID)
    #33178/30 (earliest Tiassa post discovered)​

    Judging by the post numbers, that might actually be my first post as Tiassa. Interesting.

    But you can see certain themes in that one that, coming on ten years later, still serve me well. And therein lies a key to understanding my impatience. I mean, fuck, I'm serving up reruns. In all this time, the discussion really hasn't moved much. I mean, really, about the only real differences between #33178/30 and what I post now are general length, and I've come to be a little more subtle about certain kinds of jabs. But you get to see Tiassa as a genuine newbie to virtual community life ....

    3. In what ways has SciForums improved since 1999; and in what ways is it worse?

    That's a tough one to answer. I'm a lot more reserved about the idea of "improvements". Dropping the news clipper turned out to be a pretty good move; people never cared for it anyway. The site is now a lab rat of some sort, instead of a college class project.

    But not much has changed in terms of the presentation and function. We have some new toys, but I don't play with them much, so I can't really praise them or knock 'em down. Mostly, it's a question of the community, and I reserve that judgment because it's not the best. The growing membership and its diversity is a positive thing in general, but in truth I'm actually surprised at the downward arc the community's intellect has taken. And I've learned a good deal about virtual communities, as well. Part of my disappointment with people is that I'm conditioned to expect too much of them. I used to think "expect nothing more of people than I expect of myself" was a noble and egalitarian standard. Time and experience suggest, however, that it's incredibly elitist. I have no right to expect that much of anyone else.

    And yes, that's laughable, as we'll see.

    4. What do you do for a living?

    Nothing. That's always an interesting question in both the short and long term, but right now I spend my time either being a mediocre father or trying to get my head together and actually rejoin society after a lengthy self-imposed not-quite exile.

    5. What jobs have you had in the past?

    Pizza cook, specialty retail, and some years spent in the administrative services part of the alleged white-collar world. All of it drove me nuts. Foodservice and retail are hideous sectors. And perhaps it is unfortunate, but I spent almost all my time in corporate America working for insurance companies. I despise insurance companies. I despise the office setting.

    6. What is the highest level of education you've attained? Do you have any advanced degrees?

    I'm a college dropout (Univ. of Oregon, '95). I think I'm a sophomore, but I don't remember. It's been a while.

    7. What would be your ideal job? What is the favorite job you've had so far?

    Probably some variation of executive producer. That way I can hire myself to write, and fire someone else if it sucks.

    Of my legitimate jobs, not a single one can be called a favorite. I'm pretty good as a drug dealer, but most of my work was low-key, low-price, and non-profit. And once you're moving for decent money, the job only lasts about five years at most.

    8. Who do you think was the best US president of the past 100 years? Ever?

    I'm going to go with the one we just got rid of. George W. Bush might have been, in my opinion, a 100% fuckup, a blight upon the name of America, a testament to the unworthiness of the human species, a sack of shit that's ten beers and a pretzel short of hitting its maximum contribution to the world, but inasmuch as he was a president for the oligarchs who hired him, he did brilliantly.

    Think about it. He and Cheney are oil men. Gas hit four and a half a gallon. Petroleum companies made piles of money. He secured his buddies in the defense industry by launching what is intended as a century of war. He fulfilled the punch line of a bad joke. He ....

    The list is long and sometimes subtle, but he was everything the right wing could have wanted, complete with a messy legacy that will continue to shape the world long after he's dead.

    I loathe him, as a president for certain, and also as an individual because I have a very difficult time understanding how someone could be so willfully evil. But he did exactly what he was supposed to, and with devastating effect. In that context, Bush was at least the most efficient president in history.

    As for the ideology? Truth, justice, the American way? Oh, come on. They're presidents. If Obama doesn't finish running us into the abyss, he'll have done his job.

    Besides, what am I going to say? Jefferson? Oh, right. End-around the Constitution, kindle Manifest Destiny. All else aside, Tom? That one really sucked. Harder than Sally Hemmings, knowhatImean?

    Kennedy? Look, there's one thing to be said for getting us through a hard spot, but it also seemed one of those things that came about at least in part because he fucked up, and for the wrong reasons. Add to that, he escalated in Vietnam. Hell, he banged Marilyn? Good for him! But that doesn't change jack shit about what he screwed up on.

    Lincoln? Ah, freed the slaves. Honest Abe. All that. He had his faults.

    It isn't that I oppose the mythicizing of a president, but that I'm aware of myth in that context. Jean Markale, in considering "Myth and History" in The Celts, asks what we might discover if we pause to consider the myth of the car.

    The myth of the presidency is a confusing one, and interferes with ideas like "best". There are too many measures of best, and too many points upon which we might fault one of our towering giants. I'm not entirely facetious when I say George W. Bush. He was a great president according to a certain set of standards that I happen to find repugnant.

    9. Who is your favorite philosopher?

    Albert Camus. Indeed, I often refer to myself as a "Sisyphan Camusite".

    10. What is your favorite quote?

    "One must imagine Sisyphus happy." (Albert Camus)

    After that, it gets a little obscure. Such as, "Sisyphus, stay, while I get you a bigger rock to push up the goddamn hill!" (Ray Bradbury)

    There is also, "Nothing ever begins." (Clive Barker)

    Beyond that, there are many. "Your innermost happening is worth all your love," and, "We are unutterably alone, essentially, especially in the things most intimate and most important to us." (Rilke) And the canon becomes legion.

    Oh, and there is also, "Don't launch the boat before the ground is wet," which means exactly what it sounds like. It's a cute phrase from Brust; as near as I can tell, the saying "originated" in the area around the Marquisate of Shallowbanks, which actually makes a certain amount of sense.

    11. What is your favorite book(s)?

    Weaveworld, by Clive Barker; The Viscount of Adrilankha, by Steven Brust; The Off Season, by Jack Cady; Haroun and the Sea of Stories, by Salman Rushdie; Boy's Life, by Robert R. McCammon; Graveyard for Lunatics, by Ray Bradbury.

    That's the short list.

    12. What are you top 5 favorite movies?

    Hmm ....


    The list is subject to change, save that (1) and (2) are pretty much fixed in place until something new comes along.

    ... TBC ...​
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2009
  18. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

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    35,523
    The second installment

    Continuing on (Visceral Instinct) ....

    What's your favourite word?

    I should go with a cheap answer like, "Cow", but that's already taken. I don't have a good answer, though. At least not at this point. I would hate to think it's, "Fuck".

    What's your favourite colour?

    Green. Dark, rich, bold green. I'm surrounded by moss and hemlock and cedar, among others. My world would be completely different without them.

    Are you as cool and dignified in real life as you are on the internet?

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    Not by a long shot.

    In truth, it depends on my surroundings. Dignified reserve is frowned upon in my circles. I tend to adapt to certain social customs. Not quite a chameleon, though.

    As I said recently, I'm much more fun and cool when I'm stoned.

    Describe your general ideology/outlook on life for us? Just a short crude generalization will do

    I could do it canonically:

    • Nothing ever begins.
    • One must imagine Sisyphus happy.
    • Life is like an onion.°
    • Your innermost happening is worth all your love.
    • A red rose absorbs all colors but red. Therefore red is the one color it is not.
    • The Universe is a practical joke of the General at the expense of the Particular.​

    I should append to a prior question that Crowley, from whom those last quotes come, is perhaps my second favorite philosopher.

    I'll see if I can sum up a life philosophy in my own words.

    What's your favourite animal?

    Felis catus, the common housecat. What can I say? I'm a cat person. I've become accustomed to many of their expressions and mannerisms over the years. They're like furniture, only cooler.

    • • •​

    And then some (Plazma Inferno!) ....

    The first LP you bought?

    Probably Kilroy Was Here, by Styx, or Tommy Shaw's Girls With Guns. I really hope it was one of those, because otherwise it's Tiffany and Billy Idol.

    The first concert you've been to?

    I consider the beginning of my concert-going career as October 15, 1988, when Flotsam and Jetsam opened for King Diamond at the Moore Theatre in Seattle.

    The most famous person you've ever met?

    Walt Morey, author of the renowned children's story Gentle Ben comes to mind. I was six when he came to my school. Steven Brust is on the list. And Ed Wyatt, author of How To College, writer for the legendary Seattle comedy show Almost Live!, and eventually a sports reporter for one or another Los Angeles news station. Mike Price, former head football coach of WSU, disgraced head coach of Alabama, and current head coach of University of Texas at El Paso. And one of my friends from high school was on The Real World, and eventually did a movie. But take your pick. The famous people I've met aren't massively famous. I drink now and then with the guy who wrote the book on how to play frisbee golf. (Really.) Funny thing is that I know there's someone I'm leaving off the list. But encounters with famous people don't stick in my mind like that.

    ... TBC ...​
    ____________________

    Notes:

    ° Life is like an onion — This one takes some explaining. See Steven Brust, Yendi.
     
  19. Liebling Doesn't Need to be Spoonfed. Valued Senior Member

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    1,532
    If you were imprisoned and could only take one book with you to keep you company for 20 years, what would it be and why?

    While imprisoned, you could have two people in the cell to the right and to the left of you... who (living or dead) would you put in each cell, and why?

    What is the biggest impact you hope to have on these fora and the people who inhabit it?

    What do you want to be remembered for when you die?

    Describe one memory from your childhood that stands out for you more than most others.

    What were you like in second grade, and what did you want to be when you grew up?

    Why don't you write more?
     
  20. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

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    35,523
    One at a time

    Okay, some of the single questions:

    There are plenty of people to call. I'd actually have to go look up the list, but around here there are plenty of people and agencies with wildlife interests. If I have phone coverage, I could start with the nearest sheriff's department to either get referral numbers to various wildlife interests, or they would initiate the calling. If there's no coverage, a polite radio message to the Coast Guard can accomplish the same.

    Russians ain't comin' anytime soon. What I would do, though, depends on where my daughter is and what options for retreat I have. Depending on the circumstantial demands, either fight directly, lend support to the fighters, or clear out.

    Or maybe I'd organize a Stonewall throwback, and present the advancing invaders with a high-kicking chorus line of gay men singing their favorite showtunes.

    I'll do a longer post on that later. The name is taken from the novels of Steven Brust, specifically the Taltos cycle and Khaavren Romances.

    Well, it's not technically downtown, but I normally vote for the Northlake Tavern, which is under the bridge at the northeast corner of Lake Union. However, the place has been hit and miss over the years; it's always good, but whether it's that good, as I understand it, depends on whether a particular cook or manager is currently in their employ, as the quality of food components gets better when he's in charge. The Norhtlake is a good place for pizza and beer, and features murals on the walls drawn by none other than Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist David Horsey.

    Who? Me? Where?
     
  21. justwonderingjoe Gosh,the weather is nice today Registered Senior Member

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    386
    What kind of toys does your child have?

    Do you do all the housework or do you hire someone?

    Do you own mostly shoes with laces or slip-ons?

    Do you think I'm male or female?

    How old are you?
     
  22. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    Messages:
    35,523
    Are we current yet? Damn, nope ....

    And back to the blocs (Inzomnia):

    Are you in real life perhaps a professional writer?

    Working on it. Might end up professionally editing and doctoring manuscripts.

    If so, what type of books do you write?

    Genre fiction mostly: horror, dark fantasy, science fiction. Lit-fic comes later. I also have a couple of ambitions to write non-fiction, but those projects are harder to describe. One would be an open letter to the international Muslim community about American stereotypes and psychology in terms of why we've gone on such a senseless crusade. Another would be an open letter to American liberals asking them what the hell their problem is.

    How long it took you in average to wrote 1 post? Me, I don't write fast, I still haven't used to think in English, sometimes it's in Indonesian, sometimes in German

    Depends on the post. Some of them can be turned out in the time it takes to type them. The more references in the post, though, the longer it gets. I'm perfectly happy to spend all day on a post if it suits my mood.

    And I'll tell you, there's nothing like spending eight hours on a post only to have it dusted off in thirty seconds.

    If I am not mistaken, you have a Japanese ancestor. Have you ever been in Japan? Do you like Japan?

    Never been to Japan. Don't speak the language. Don't eat the food. Don't study the history closely. I have zero connections to the local Japanese-American community.

    From all first-hand reports from friends who have been to Japan, the culture unsettles me just a little. Freud, for instance, still applies to a lot of what I understand about the Japanese. (Really, if you put "used" panties in cans and sell them out of vending machines, all I can say is that you really need to get laid.)

    What's your favorite foods?

    Pepperoni pizza, fettuccine alfredo, (American style) bacon ....

    My favorite salad is spinach and arugula with diced apples, black pepper, romano cheese, and honey mustard dressing.

    Give me a loaf of sourdough, a bunch of seedless grapes, and a mild cheese, and call it a meal.

    Or I could quote Denis Leary and Ben Franklin together: "Beer is a meal in itself. Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy."

    • • •​

    And so on (Shorty 37) ....

    WHY do you make such long posts like you are writing a novel?

    The quick answer is that I call it covering the bases. A lot of the responses I get are predictable, and over time my average post length grew in order to address the obvious questions first. This, apparently, pisses some people off.

    A longer answer has to do with the ability of narrative to frame a point, question, or answer. Around here, as in life, people tend to presume the worst. So if a response doesn't make sense to them, it must be because a member is stupid or lazy or dishonest. That's the automatic presumption. I've found that if I throw monkeys at that wrench, such as explaining how I come to view something in a certain way, it's easier to move past certain bullshit exchanges. However, over the years, that has led to strange phenomena, including people complaining that long posts are an elitist insult to normal people, that I use too long of words, and the most curious one-two punch, which involves (1) telling me they didn't read the post, and (2) telling me what's wrong with what they didn't read. It's a strange, often laughable phenomenon.

    What is your sexual orientation ? because for the longest time I thought you were female.

    Bisexual. I'd call myself gay, but I disagree with a friend who calls herself lesbian despite maintaining a consistent string of relationships with men over the years. As it is, I can't imagine myself in an actual relationship with a man, and, to the other, I won't say I'll never fuck a woman again.

    I used to feel sorry for those guys you would see on Springer or whatever: "I had oral sex with my girlfriend's male cousin, but I'm not gay!" Yeah, I understand, man, but you're on fucking Springer, so ... you get what you ask for.

    Why do you hate Baron Max so much?

    Sincerely held beliefs are something I can deal with. Sincerely held beliefs can be worked with, examined, criticized, inquired about, or otherwise addressed substantively. Max expresses no sincere beliefs. He posts without a hint of integrity. His purpose is not to advance a discussion, but to be a stumbling block. His presence at Sciforums almost entirely lacks good faith.

    Most of his arguments are simply thrown up for the sake of the fact that he thought something up. He has no intention of defending his perspective, defending it, or otherwise being anything other than a half-witted prig. Look, it's over a year later, and while I still haven't given up on the possibility that he might, someday, explain to us all how being a police officer is like being black, I'm not going to push the point, either, because if he had a real answer, he would have at least tried to explain it at some point in the past.

    Another of his favorite "tricks", such as they are, is to require a member to believe something, and even sometimes pretend confusion, when it's perfectly clear said member is examining the potential outcomes of a proposition. It's a way of evading the central issue, which in those cases is, "Here is the problem if we apply this argument evenly."

    And he's flat-out dishonest. He's willing to deny ever having said what is on the record. Kind of a black-and-white issue on that.

    If he ever showed a real desire to participate genuinely in discussions at Sciforums, I would feel differently. But he imagines himself a Devil's Advocate and tries to hide as much about himself as possible from the membership. No wonder he's afraid to reveal himself, though. If everyone around here were as vapid and cruel as he is, there would be no point left to participating in the community.

    • • •​

    And bringing this up to date ... I think (Liebling) ....

    If you were imprisoned and could only take one book with you to keep you company for 20 years, what would it be and why?

    Clive Barker's Weaveworld. It's fairly thick, is part of a literary theme I've tracked at least back to Rabelais, is built around a fantasy world, and has enough elements to puzzle over that I wouldn't get bored with it right away. The meditative possibilities of that story might well be enough to keep me sane for twenty years.

    While imprisoned, you could have two people in the cell to the right and to the left of you... who (living or dead) would you put in each cell, and why?

    I'm going to go with Emma Goldman and a man named Rubashov. The latter could teach me a specific communication code inside prisons, and then I could spend the next twenty years listening to the Anarchist and the Communist argue about what went wrong with the Revolution.

    What is the biggest impact you hope to have on these fora and the people who inhabit it?

    Once upon a time, and let me stress the word once ....

    But there was a time probably nine years ago that I was drinking with some friends at the Dubliner in Fremont, and I got into a discussion with a woman about Bill Clinton. It is the only time in my life that I know I definitively changed a mind about a political issue. All I got her to do was separate the Zippergate scandal from what actually happened. When pressed to answer for why a blowjob was impeachable, she gave the standard answers. But then we walked over the course of a couple hours through the history as we both recalled and understood it, and in the end I convinced her that the impeachment was the problem, and not the blowjob.

    I don't expect to change people's lives. But I do want to give people elements they are not considering and, hopefully, a reason for them to think about them. It's not that I'm unsympathetic to opposing viewpoints, but in many cases there are perceptions of simplicity that explain to me fairly clearly why a person holds an absurd view. But that only begs the question: Why do they hold this given simplistic opinion?

    What did it for the woman at the bar was that we both recalled a certain hearing in which Clinton was compelled to swear an affidavit in the Jones case. Even she remembered reading how unusual the outcome was, as the court seemed to be breaking precedent in compelling a president to take time out of the office in order to accommodate a simple lawsuit.

    And she knew that Susan MacDougall was serving jail time for contempt; in a bogus trial asserting that she had fraudulently used her employer's credit card (said employer was present for a number of transactions on a shopping trip, and had signed for some of them herself), MacDougall would not answer questions about whether she had sex with Bill Clinton. And that's why she was in jail. Indefinitely. Only to be released for medical mercy.

    The point wasn't to convince the woman that Clinton did nothing wrong. The point was to get her to acknowledge certain fundamental facts of the case. Having acknowledged them, she decided that no, Clinton should not be impeached over this.

    It was a lot of effort for a small outcome, but I'm fascinated by people, what they believe, and why they believe it. I've learned more about conservatives, for instance, in the last seven years than most of my friends actually know about them.

    It's a constant battle, though. Because if you consider any given idea, and imagine it has been subjected to all sorts of examination and criticism, and perhaps, maybe we see it transformed in the presuppositions, that progress will be undone by the next new member, who will reiterate the old context, call the new context stupid, and suddenly everyone will be back on the bandwagon. Watching conservatives argue, in the long run, becomes a testament to why so many people are bleak about the future prospects of humanity. I mean, really, if we have to stop and rehash old stupidity for every new voice in the argument? No, at some point an argument is dead, and only ideological necrophiliacs who have nothing better on the shelf insist on dredging up the point again.

    There is an obscure rule about arguing in front of the American Supreme Court. If you've gained by an argument, you don't get to argue against it. It's a hard concept to grasp the limits of because it doesn't come up often, so we never see the boundaries being laid. But it's rife in politics. Consider that under Clinton we saw a special prosecutor investigate a real estate deal, alleged sexual harassment, and an extramarital affair. Yes, really, the Republicans had a special prosecutor investigating a goddamn extramarital affair. Under Bush, however, whenever the idea of a special investigator came up (Enron, 9/11, the Iraqi Bush Adventure), and when the special prosecutor law was held for review, the GOP turned around and argued, "We think the American people are tired of special prosecutors." Well, yeah, maybe. But who squandered special prosecutors?

    I mean, it seems to lack integrity. Con men writing national policy? Not worth considering. Were we lied to about why we need to go to war? Not worth considering. A Democrat might have gotten a hummer from an intern? Holy shit, we need to investigate this! Come on, when you're the people running special investigators and prosecutors into the ground, do you really get to hide behind that and say, "We think the people are tired of special prosecutors"?

    Well, in politics, yes.

    Every once in a while, I want people to wake the fuck up and recognize the neon sign glaring in their faces. But they won't. It's too much effort for them.

    I'd like to change that, even if only to a small degree. Now and then, it would be nice if people could at least acknowledge the monkeys flying out of their asses. They can be macho, and not admit that it hurts, or even blame it on Democrats if they want. But it would be helpful if they would acknowledge the fact in the first place. And when the monkeys stop flying out of their ass, only to be followed by pigs? They don't get to say, "Well, that's all the monkeys. Nothing more to see here folks."

    What do you want to be remembered for when you die?

    Writing a really good story that communicates a fundamental idea that is helpful to readers as well as entertaining.

    Barring that, I would hope my epitaph simply reads, "He tried."

    Describe one memory from your childhood that stands out for you more than most others.

    There was this night when I was six. I was sick. Had some hideous, resonant, hacking chest infection. And somewhere in there is this strange memory of my mother holding me, rocking gently in the rocking chair, with the bright moon shining through the plate windows.

    I know what it's like to feel completely, totally, unquestionably safe. To not doubt love or trust. To feel that there is nothing wrong in the world.

    I want that for my daughter. I want that for everyone. Every human being has the right to feel that safe, at least once in their lifetime.

    I squeezed and slipped my wet way out
    Into a world that was too damn cold.
    My pushing mother had no doubt
    That the child would be something to behold.

    And all the church bells rang,
    And all the angels sang,
    And I thought I should feel safe,
    But I was always watching, always.

    And I can't slow down,
    Watch the seasons grow.
    And I can't slow down,
    Watch the seasons grow.
    And I can't slow down,
    Watch the seasons grow.

    Angels! Why don't you save us?
    Devils! Why don't you take us,
    Take us from ourselves?


    (Floater, "The Watching Song")

    Everyone deserves to feel that safe. I can't give that to everyone.

    What were you like in second grade, and what did you want to be when you grew up?

    Interestingly, second grade was the first time I was insulted as gay. It's also the year I learned to cuss. All coincidental, I think.

    I was the smartest kid in the class, and all that. I didn't get tired of school and give up until fourth grade.

    But yeah, I used to be a happy child.

    Why don't you write more?

    I'm a basket case.

    Seriously, I don't have any patience for my own writing. I just dropped a novel I was working on for complicated reasons, but it's easy enough to say I was tired of recycling the beginning.

    There are flaws in my methodology, but I've never made a serious study of how to write fiction.

    Over the course of my life, I made a series of decisions that, in their own limited contexts, almost make sense. But put together, they are the antithesis of what I should have been doing. Life is like that sometimes. And then, somewhere in there, I fathered a child, and at that point you don't get to take your time understanding and fixing things anymore. Except I have taken that time. I'm generally dysfunctional insofar as I simply don't get along with the ways of the world. For instance, one thing I have to deal with at present is job interviews. I hate them. I absolutely hate the idea of lying in order to get a job. And yet, that's exactly how the interviews are constructed. At least, they are around here. If you answer certain questions honestly, you can see people close up. It's really interesting. But I've come to the conclusion that two questions—your own personal failings at your last job, and what you wish your prior employer would have done differently—absolutely should not be answered honestly.

    And I'm tired of making shit up. I remember learning to lie. Not every detail, but I remember first understanding the idea that lies existed, and I remember deploying lies for the first time. And after thirty-plus years of lying every day, whether it's how I feel, what I think about something, or simply participating in some odd social custom, I'm sick and tired of lying. I'd rather wait and pull out the tricks when I actually think they're needed. But this process of daily "white lies" and "courteous lies" are bleeding my soul to death. Fuck, you want to know what my employers could do differently? Well, if they want you to do a fucking job, they should tell you what the hell it is. There is no reason I should take heat for performing my job inadequately for six months only to have some random dude named Robert phone me one day and say, "Well, all those things you're doing? You're supposed to call me and I'll take care of it." You mean I've been quadrupling my workload for literally hundreds of employee transfers, which is why I've been behind schedule, and nobody bothered to tell me that I wasn't supposed to be doing that work? Who the fuck had his phone number? Literally, there's a whole freakin' department dedicated to these things? You don't think that's important to doing my job?

    And no, they didn't. But that division is out of business, and the company itself has since been bought out by another. We shouldn't wonder why.

    But, yeah, if you want someone to do a job a certain way, tell them. Doesn't matter how politely you say it, how witty the story explaining it. They don't want to hear it.

    Which reminds me ... I have to get cracking, hone my lying skills, so I can be a tour guide in Seattle, or some such.

    Oh, right, writing more. I'm working on that. Trying to hang around more writers and such. But I've been isolated for a long, long time, and it's a slow return to circles I've never known.

    At least here at Sciforums, there's an audience. I'm tired of my only audience being people who specifically don't care.
     
  23. Orleander OH JOY!!!! Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    25,817
    what colour is your toothbrush?
    where is the oddest place you have had sex?
    Can you play a musical instrument?
    What is the worst food you have ever eaten?
    Can you fillet a fish?
     

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