Grade Nine

I got an email from a grade nine student asking to talk to people in the “body modification social group” so I volunteered to answer his questions. They weren't the sort of things I usually get asked in an interview. I'm not sure my answers will be at all useful to him, but for my own records I'm archiving it here. It's pretty bad from a business point of view, but I tend to give priority to student interviews over big media… “Give them a sense of pride to make it easier”, you know…

1. What kind of music do you listen to?

If I'm working I listen to stuff like Kalmah, Children of Bodom, Norther, as well as older metal like Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, and so on. Hey, I'm thirty and I grew up in small town Canada, so that's the music of my youth. If I'm relaxing I listen to stuff like Slowdive, Spiritualized, Songs Ohia, and similarly mellow music.

2. Are there any expressions or slang terms that you use?

I don't think so.

3. What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?

It's very rare for me to actually have any spare time. If I'm not working, I'm writing or painting or building something. I like creating things. I like working. As they say, I'll rest when I'm dead. I enjoy not having spare time.

4. Do you have another social group that can be considered your enemy?

Not specifically, no, but any group that opposes personal freedom is my enemy. In general that means religious groups. I don't care what rules they want to set for their own lives — that's their decision and their problem &mdsah; but when they start trying to tell me and my friends what we are and aren't allowed to do with our lives, they become my enemy, and I will destroy them if I can.

5. What kind of role do you think that the government should play?

As little as possible. People should be able to do anything they want to as long as they're not directly hurting others. Government should protect people from being attacked by their neighbors, and there are a few services that the government should provide to guarantee everyone a base level of life (health services, roads, and so on), but really, the less government the better in my opinion.

6. What political party do you support?

In US politics I support Michael Badnarik and the Libertarian Party. I believe that they are the only viable party that stands for the individual freedoms that are essential to keeping America “American”.

7. How do you envision america in the future?

Honestly, I have no idea. It could go in a lot of directions. America is at a critical point in its evolution as a nation, and the decisions it makes over the next ten or fifteen years will determine not only its fate, but also the fate of the world.

8. What are some critical issues facing america today? for ex: gay rights, public education, war in Iraq.

There are two issues that worry me most of all. First of all, election and campaign reform. Right now, politicians are elected using many millions of dollars of corporate money and donations from the richest 1% of the population. As a result, politicians “work” for this money when they are elected, rather than working for the people of America. That is why we have problems like you've mentioned — almost all of the problems facing America stem from problems with the way politics are financed. I believe that if this issue is addressed, the rest will fall into place.

The second issue that I think is essential for America to deal with is the environment. We are on the cusp of a worldwide environmental collapse. Plankton levels in the ocean are down 30% in the last twenty years (that's a lot!), and fish today look radically different than they did when I was a kid — species that were once fat and healthy are now emancipated (damn, I make this typo every time… it's supposed to say emaciated!) bottom-feeders. We're well into killing off the bottom of the food chain, and when that happens the ocean dies — all life, gone… and when that happens, CO2 levels in the atmosphere spiral out of control and, boom, no more life on land either.

As if that wasn't enough, because of our overuse of factory farming which relies on massive water use and heavily drugged animals we've not only destroyed 90% of the fresh water systems on the entire planet, but we've also created new strains of drug-resistant bacteria that could easily start a plague which could lead to most of the human life on the planet dying. The bacterial changes in our atmosphere are scary when you look at the fine details — for example, food rots hundreds of times faster now than it did fifty years ago.

9. What type of clothing do you like to wear? where do you shop?

I wear pretty normal clothes on the whole &mdsah; fashion-wise I use my body modifications to express myself more so than my clothing. That said, I have been making my own clothes commercially (ie. the BME line of clothing) for I think eight years now, and before that I made a lot of my own clothes personally. It's extremely rare for me to go shopping.

10. What is your favorite food?

I like avocado sushi rolls a lot! I'm a vegan, so I don't eat any meat or animal byproducts (ie. cheese, eggs, honey, and so on). Other than that I'm pretty easy and enjoy most foods, but don't really have a favorite.

11. Did you vote last election?

Yes, but I voted in Canada, not in the US. Here in Canada I tend to vote for the Marijuana Party, because I believe that the notion of person freedom that's required to institute a full legalization of marijuana would set into motion a series of other freedoms that would have very positive effects on society.

Wow Shannon, that's really annoying! What is it, 1997 on Geocities? Retroweb is NOT cool!

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