Robert (gurdonark) wrote,
Robert
gurdonark

Showers, memes

I am a person of silly prides and foolish prejudices. One of my silly points of each in LJ terms means that I rarely participate in those "answer these 5 questions" type memes. It's a shortcoming, I know, rather like being ashamed to take surveys which determine important issues like "which Bjork are you?" (thank goodness I am never Robert Bork) or "how compatible are you with the cast of 'Sanford and Son'". Usually, with surveys, I take an ignoble path--I take the survey and then don't post it in my journal.

I realize that this amounts to a form of hypocrisy. But I can take a small step to remedy a part of this hypocrisy. The always-intriguing poster anoisblue invented what she calls the Shower Meme, apparently because its genesis was the shower. I admit freely that I'm impressed, because my own shower time is sometimes spent singing Cheap Trick songs off-key, rather than evolving enhanced LJ interconnectivity. In this interview game, she provided me with five questions to answer. In turn, anyone who wants to play the game from here can state in comments "interview me", and I will supply that person with five questions. The interviewee then answers those questions in his/her journal. Of course, each set of questions will be unique to the commenter. I'm worried that I've already gotten this one wrong, because I forgot to say "please" to anoisblue, but I'll plod on anyway.



Here are the five questions for my "interview".

1. If you were to win the Pulitzer Prize for poetry, would you take it seriously?
Answer:
I give here a qualified yes. The first qualification, of course, is that my opinion of my poetry suggests to me that any such prize would be undeserved, and would give me more than a few chuckles. But the second qualification is more to the heart of the matter. I do believe that some poetry is much more to my taste and the general taste than other poetry. But I tend to encourage people to write what I call "poetry without judgment", and leave those aesthetics behind. I'm not sure there should "be" prizes for poetry. In light of this, one might imagine that I would want to play the saxophone at a jazz club on the night the awards are handed out, as some anti-awards gesture. In fact, though, I think that people try the best they can to make meaning of cultural expression, and to clue one another into its evaluation, and awards are just one more attempt. Rather than scorn the attempt, I'd merely accept any award, but know, deep down, that medals and badges are not what the game is really all about. I'd probably say so in an acceptance speech, but I'd do so in such a nice way nobody would be offended. Nobody, that is, other than the more deserving poets whom I'd trumped without the merit to do so.

2. Are there any adventures you still dream about doing?
Answer:
Yes. I daydream of hiking in remote places, such as the Canadian wilds or the Central American jungles. I suppose I daydream of more practical adventures, as well, but that one comes readily to mind (and is more comfortable to post).

3. What's the most adventurous thing you've done?
Answer:
Although at the time it seemed as natural as mowing grass, in hindsight I'd say working at a Summer job in which we ground gunpowder on an obsolete gunpowder mill. The mill had to be watered constantly, as dried gunpowder explodes. My part was to empty the jerry cans of unground gunpowder (little inch-long or so cylinders) into the mill. Nothing exploded during my grinding days.

4. Did you have a tree house or a hidden place to go when you were young?
Answer:
We lived during much of my childhood in a reconverted 1920s era boarding house my parents rescued from decrepitude. Behind this house, an alleyway ran amid vegetation between houses.
One part of this vegetation was a set of vine-like shrubs, which made a nearly perfect sheet of kid-cover. My brother, my friends and I would hide out in here from time to time. Nearby we climbed a huge tree, from which we could see long distances, so long as no parents saw us. Not far away, a drainage ditch served as a safari zone for us, in which we fished for tiny mosquito fish by affixing minnow nets to the end of long broomsticks. We hardly ever caught any that way (we thought it entirely un-sporting when new kids used a more conventional tow-sack seining operation to catch many), but we felt the thrill of the chase. Mosquito fish is as close as I came to "A River Runs Through It", which probably explains why I don't look like Brad Pitt.

5. What sort of boy were you?
I was a kid with a burr haircut who hovered between thin and overweight. I loved outdoor play. I fell in love with reading when our mother used to read "The Hardy Boys" to us. When I was 8, I discovered The World Book Encyclopedia, in which I read virtually all the few things I now know. I loved sports, but never was more than middling at them. I never really fit in, anywhere, and I think I was best summed up by my college friends, who one day assured me "yes, you ARE weird, but we like you that way". I was a "good kid", who really didn't like to break the rules. I had a really happy childhood, which I have since learned is not the experience of everyone. What sort of boy was I? Weird little kid with a smile, I suppose.

If anyone would like to join in on this meme, please feel free to comment "interview me",and I'll customize fun questions for you.
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