The Pleasure of Internet Questionnaires
Naithin over at Time to Loot has compiled a Blaugust related internet questionnaire. As I’ve made clear in the past, I have a weakness for these sorts of things and will happily indulge the most peculiar enquiries. I’m not really sure why I like to do questionnaires. Perhaps I feel at some level that even the crassest or vacuous of questions can yield a good or at least entertaining answer. Not that I’m saying that Naithin’s questions are any of those things. In fact I think they are quite engaging. The other thing about questionnaires is that I can make a really obscure and impenetrable pop culture reference about the band Sparks. So here are my responses to the all of them in full. An unedited stream of consciousness or load of bollocks, depending upon your perspective. I hope some of the other Blaugust participants also take part. It will be interesting to compare notes, so to speak.
What hobbies or interests do you have that you might not regularly include on your blog?
I used to paint and draw a lot when I was younger. It something that runs in the family on my Dad’s side. I joined the school art club as a teenager and would have happily taken an art exam at GCE O Level but it was not to be. When I later became a Father, I would draw with my son but when he got older, it once again fell by the wayside. It’s a hobby that has returned now that I’m a Grandfather. I like to do simple line drawings with a pencil and if I paint, I favour water colours. However, at present I’m mainly called upon to draw Peppa Pig and such like. It’s a very relaxing pastime and if I’m in the right frame of mind, I don’t mind sharing my doodles online. May be one day I may take a formal course and learn to draw human anatomy properly. Oh and I’m also a big fan of travel Kabaddi.
Are you learning any skills at the moment? If not, what would you like to learn?
For the majority of my adult life I have worked with information technology and as such, a lot of the skills I have gained have been self-taught. I suspect it is the nature of the industry and the people who work in it. Blogging has been a learning experience, although I have always enjoyed writing in some shape or form. Running a blog has given me a modicum of basic design skills, as well as a simple overview in relevant coding. When I started the Contains Moderate Peril podcast, that was another area in which I had to learn on the fly. Recording, editing and other aspects of post-production are skills I have picked up via You Tube and other internet resources. I like to learn how to do things and see life an ongoing opportunity for self-improvement. This year, the latest “project” has been live streaming. It has both technical and communication-based challenges. Yet so far, the results have been okay. Well, no one’s filled a restraining order.
If you were invited on a one-way trip to Mars to establish a new colony, would you go?
No. I want to live the remainder of my life in peace, comfort and relative solitude. I’ll leave the one-way ticket to Mars to those who are qualified and who want to contribute to the greater good. I’ve paid my societal “dues”. I was a trade union member; I’ve been on demonstrations protesting about burning injustices and I’ve done jury service. Over the years I have also regularly given to charity and tried to think of others interests when voting. So although I like science, Professor Brian Cox and the concept of space exploration, Mars can basically fuck off. Michael Palin likes to travel, send him.
What is the one thing that you most want readers to come away from your blog with? A feeling, thought, or understanding.
The British Broadcasting Corporation was founded upon the principles of “inform, educate and entertain”. I do not consider Contains Moderate Peril to be in any capacity commensurate with that august institution but I certainly believe in their abiding sentiments. When I write a detailed film review or a long from post critiquing an aspect of the video games industry, I hope that I have made some lucid and salient points as well as given the reader pause for thought in an engaging fashion. I aspire to make my written output appealing on some level, so that people will leave comments, or interact with me and others on social media. I feel that I am part of a community and that I act as an ambassador in some capacity. May be if people like what they’ve read, it will encourage them to get involved. I put a great deal of stock in writing and would encourage all to avail themselves of its positive merits.
What excites you most about having a blog?
The fact that I have a corner of the world where I can order my thoughts and then share theme. It also presents an opportunity to engage with others on what I consider to be a fairly level playing field. I sure a psychiatrist would have a field day analysing my motivations, but I suspect having a blog is a symbolic act. A means of trying to impose a little order on a universe that is hell bent on doing things its own way. A blog is also a socially acceptable means of controlling one’s “look at me” genes, which we all have to a greater or lesser degree. Plus it can be used as a front for exchanging covert messages, according to an episode of NCIS I recently watched.
If you could make one thing from a book, TV show or movie real, and in your possession, what would it be?
Definitely the One Ring. On second thoughts a phaser. Actually loads of shit from Star Trek. Falkor the Luckdragon. No sod that, Vermithrax Pejorative from Dragonslayer instead. A Glaive. No not some fool polearm, I mean like from Krull. Or maybe the Lament Configuration. Nope, that could be painful. Howabout Thunderbird 2? Gizmo from Gremlins. Or a friendly Cylon. Like the one in that episode of Galactica 1980, when Starbuck was marooned and rebuilt a broken one to be his companion. I wouldn’t say no to a real Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. So many possibilities. A more practical answer would be a number Swiss bank account with an undisclosed sum of money that was set aside for CIA wet work and accidently forgotten about. Fuck it, I’d settle for a suitcase full of used £20 notes. Or an endless supply of gin.
They say everyone has at least one book in them — if you were to write a book, what would it be about?
Oh I have a book currently in development hell. I drafted the basic structure, its various chapters and what they will cover over three years ago. I have detailed notes along with all the various data sources that are to be referenced. I researched in-depth how you craft a non-fiction book and spent about nine months laying down the foundations. And then I fell victim to a common malady among writers. I got despondent because it was taking too long and then got distracted with my other projects that could yield more immediate results. But the book is going to be dusted off and put firmly back on the agenda, because I have spoken to a few people who work in publishing and they think it could be a viable undertaking. So at some point soon, I will have to pull my finger out and just apply myself to writing the damn thing. As for the subject matter, it’s about my personal relationship with cinema over the course of five decades. It’s squarely aimed at film nerds.