1) What is your favorite quality about each of those who you would consider primary forumites?
You're trying to make me say something nice, aren't you?
Y'know the really stupid thing? I can't remember half the people from there any more. Without some other means of communication, they fall victim to my mind, and they just stop being real. Which is a fucker, but also something I'm glad for. I liked the forum in it's day. I grew up there, worked through the rebellious phase, the needlessly violent phase, to the point of sensible ranting misanthropy. But I have other things grabbing my attention now (a day job for one), and spending as much time there as I used to just wouldn't work.
Of those I remember, in no order:
aarondb: Harder than I thought. It boils down to him being a fantastic bloke, effectively. He's the sort of guy it's hard not to like.
dj_rabid_angel: If it's hard not to like Aaron, it's nearly impossible to get Jim to stop liking you, to the point of defendinig people from me.
silverfeet: For a game with such a focus on animals, being a zoologist and not taking shit are almost perfect qualifications.
hot_pants: Fuck what he was like in the old days, Amado's got a head full of ideas, all seen through the lens that most of us would never contemplate.
innocent_man and Ethan both: Sense and level-headedness that I still envy.
mythdude: How anyone can be that irritating and remain on my good side I will never know. It's a very fine line, but he managed it.
palominomule: Everyone's going to say her art, because it's fantastic. But not me. She's incredibly detail-oriented, and that's needed in a place with such sprawl.
thingmaker3: Life-experience like nobody else.
There are others, but they're the ones who spring to mind right now. If I could look back over a few threads I'd have a lot more to say, I'm sure.
2) What five people on your friends list that you have yet to meet face to face would you most like to meet and why?
Let me check my flist. Amazing how many people I've met in the meat are on there compared with a year ago.
catnik: Someone who I've known consistently since 1999. It's annoying to become good friends with someone and never have met them. That and I owe her a few drinks for putting up with me.
dj_rabid_angel: There's a theme here: People I've known a while and want to meet because they strike me as cool. Though with the added caveat for Jim that if they try and bumsex me, I'm leaving.
hot_pants: Third in a row. Damn, this is getting boring. Though we'd probably end up doing a road trip, possibly driving the length of Route 66 or something equally modern-mythic in order to write about it.
silverfeet: Not only have I known her a long while, she's on the same landmass as me. This is really shameful and must be rectified sometime soon.
zombie_moogle: See comment to Catnik. But in this case there's been much more "We should meet up" that's never really come to fruition, and that pisses me off.
3) Do you consider yourself a pessimist, realist, or optimist and why?
Pessimist. I was a union member, Pessimist's Local 515, but there wasn't any point paying the fees when they'd just get lost and all. To be honest, this pessimism has a few sources. First and foremost is being a utopian idealist. For fuck's sakes... that's never going to happen. Better to think it'll all go wrong in hideous ways, because then if anything goes right then it's an unexpected surprise, and if it all goes wrong I can say "Told you so." I would, however, challenge anyone's claim to be a realist. It's next to impossible. The world is a complex system, and to be a realist requires an understanding of that system that is outside human ability at present. Everyone's either more postive (on balance) or more negative, and to deny that is a dangerous fallacy. Realists scare me more than optimists, they're deluded by their own supposed impartiality more than the airheads are with thinking that everything's shiny and happy.
4) Who on your friends list do you think best fits each Auspice from W:TA?
Another flist question? Guess who the social interviewer is, hey? I'll do two. W:TA and W:TF. Because after doing thirty thousand words of [DELETED FOR YOUR PROTECTION] for [DELETED FOR YOUR PROTECTION] and [DELETED FOR YOUR PROTECTION] in [DELETED FOR YOUR PROTECTION], I can't help but think in terms of the Forsaken stuff. Trust me and stop doubting, give it an impartial read. And if you don't like it, hack it. I'm considering doing something for it like I did with Mage: New Awakening, just to see if I can. The Auspicies are different enough to warrant a differing set of archetypal people, certainly.
Bear in mind that I'm not going to explain them. They just have a certain fit, and if you know the person then it's possible that you can see why I think so, but any explanations I'd give would be woefully incomplete. Especially as a fair few I know in person. Explaining them would be doing them a disservice as well as showing off my mental model of them.
5) Since you made me do a fight type thing, I'll make you do one. Pick two people on your friends list for each of the following: Physical, Mental, and Spiritual. These two duke it out on the grounds for which you pick them. Who wins each match and why?
Fucking hell, can you ask a question that's not about the flist? Is that actually possible?0 The flist is a list of people I read, not a list of people I know intimately or anything like that. You're supposed to be asking me questions, not them questions by proxy. I don't know most of the people there past the rambling discussions in the pub and occasional posts to their LJs. How the fuck I'm supposed to turn into some kind of psychic genius in order to know them all well enough to answer these fucking questions... unless that's your goal. You want them to see them as they exist in my mental models, don't you! You want them to see what I think I know about them, so that they can mock me and hate me for it. I see your evil plans, and they will not succeed. By my beard of great vengeance, my booze of clarity, and my crowbar of LARTing, you will not get away with this. Artemis Hemmingway will have his revenge!
Physical: original_aj vs. theauldhoose. Yes. AJ versus the fucking pub. Like I know about the physical condition of many of the people I read, and like I'd give a shit if they ever wanted to tell me.
The winner? theauldhoose. Yes, AJ is tasty with a sword. But a) he'd have flipped if he were attacking the pub, b) he'd have to cut his way through a fair few annoyed punters, including his wife and some other people who can handle a sword, c) Liz would set her dog on him, and then her and Jim would provide a last line of defence, and d) even if AJ killed everyone, the fuck is he going to do to the building that is the pub? AJ's fit of insanity lasts unto exhaustion, when he realises that fuckit, walls don't bleed. He hopes he's left someone alive inside that can pour him a pint, and the daft challenge is then forgotten by all.
Mental: I could cheat and say figg vs. scattergather. But that fight plays out every time they meet, and there's no consensus on winner yet.
Instead, go for eyebeams vs. gominokouhai. Despite his preference for arrogance, Pajh is good at what he does, but so is Malcolm — thus, it's a much closer match than anyone would first thing. The rules of debate are remembered and forgotten depending on how drunk they both are, and the whole thing dissolves into a four-week-long argument. I can see Pajh losing his edge after a while, especially when he comes across some more of M's writing and realises that he's really much better being with than against. Draw.
Spiritual: figg vs. any/everyone with a religion that's based on more than observed evidence supporting theories that are the best fit for what we have. figg wins. Anyone asking why has never got into an argument with Tef before. He's just too fucking good at it.
0: Rhetorical for hyperbole purposes.
Questions from aerdran
1. You've been given the chance to interview your favourite author, be he/she alive or be he/she dead. Who is it and what three questions would you wish to ask?
Here you're starting with a hard question, but I like that. See, the problem here is defining my favourite author. Hunter S. Thompson to Charlie Stross, there's a lot of candidates and whittling it down to just one is a nontrivial problem. I could ask Grant Morrison about drugs and futurism, or I could ask Peter F. Hamilton why he went shite after the Night's Dawn trilogy. I think my brain is close to meltdown.
I'd go for Jasper Fforde, because... because I can. There's just something about his writing style(s) that fuck with all the competition.
1) Where did you cobble together the world of the Thursday Next books? Some bits seem obvious extensions from a world where books are the (practical) equivalent of television, but cloning? The Crimean War? Why tie them all together?
2) How do you manage to make disparate linguistic styles hang together?
3) You spent a lot of time working in films. How did this affect your choice of genres and styles for your stories?
2. You've been given the ability to grant your most lovely girlfriend Kristin any gift your imagination can come up with. What would that gift be??
Security. Her and me, without physical boundaries, without anything between us at long last. It's been too long coming. Material things mean nothing, when you come down to it, if you're not together to enjoy them. And yes, this is me being a slightly-inebriated romantic. Deal.
3. If there was one legacy that you could pass on to future generations, what would it be and why?
Just one thing? The sort of thing that, if I passed it on, would survive come whatever until at least the point of the supercontext and the transformation of intelligence to a new plane of understanding? It's hard putting it into words. It's a general feeling, but I'll do what I can:
"You've got to fight for a better world. Never forget your future, that's where we're all going even if we have to drag some people who are scared by the Dragon of Nirvana. Stop fucking around and get on with it. There is always something better"
Which is really my own take on "Do not go gentle into that good night/Rage, rage against the dying of the light". But I got to swear, so I don't really care.
4. Is there a perfect form of government? If so, what and why? If not, what is closest and how does it need changed to become better?
No. That is to say, a government assumes a state, and there is no good system that incorporates statism. Even socialism has class divides and differences of priviledge, and in a situation of desired equality this is not good. How to change it? I have no idea. See, a few people may have noticed me being rather ranty with the politics. The closest classification I can come up with is that I'm an idealistic, misanthropic, utopian anarcho-communist. I don't believe that property is the be-al and end-all of existence. I don't believe that anyone should have any control over anyone else unless said anyone else willingly gives it with full knowledge. Nobody should govern anyone but themselves.
Of course, this has pitfalls. 95% minimum of the human population won't be able to function in this new system. These are the warlords, the plutocrats, the general fuckwits that make Sturgeon's Law possible. They are evenly distributed throughout humanity, regardless of race, gender, or operating system. They would fuck up the system before it started, so we shoot them all1. Second, we close off all dealings with anything outside the given polity. That requires both political and economic firewalling that I keep trying to wrap my head around, and failing. Thirdly, it's based a lot off what I see going on with that hideous misnomer that is "intellectual property", and requires the technology to make physical possessions as easily replicated as IP is now; essentially cornucopia-grade nanotech.
See, others look to changing the times that we live in or talk about regressing back to a time without buttons. Personally, I'm looking forwards (hence the "Idealistic utopian" parts) to a time when the problems are solved not by ignoring innovation but by embracing it. My views are in some places painfully naive, as happens when anyone reads some Bakunin and Kropotkin and deals with people who know so much more. I'd rather have a chance to shape the future than the present, where any mistakes I make can be my own.
5. What do you see as your greatest strength and your greatest weakness? Explain.
My greatest strength? I don't know. Stamina, possibly? But there's nothing much to celebrate about being able to drink half a bottle of vodka and suffer no side effects. Hrm.
Perseverance. My head throws me for a loop often, but shit happens. I've done nothing worse than a few scars in a long time, and I do my best to help other people I know through their problems and through their drama. Because I know that however bad it is, if they need to offload then at least I'm going to keep it to myself and offer an understanding ear. I've needed that myself too many times for me to not offer. It's like always giving a fag to someone who asks, when I next run out of smokes it might be me asking. Better to build up my balance. And so, I'll offer a shoulder or an understanding ear, or just an accomodating presence and a drink depending on the situation and who's asking. Because fuckit, other people turn social lives into melodrama, I turn drama into stories. I have that outlet, so I might as well use it.
Worst qualities? I smoke too much. I drink way too much. I have a practically nonexistant sense of self. I'm incredibly violent (usually only verbally), even to people I like. I wear my heart on my sleeve. Most of this I have covered before, and I'm not turning an interview into a therapy session. That'd just be wrong. So instead, time to find a new worst-case. I get involved to easily. This goes hand in hand with the drama thing above, but it's too easy for people I know to open up to me and next thing I know I'm choosing sides and working out who I'm going to kill2. I get involved, and often I don't even realise it until things are too late. And then people rely on me doing things, and my timing fucks up. Because if there's one thing I'm guaranteed to do, it's to take on too much at once. Because there's the off-chance I'll hit the jackpot. That chance is why I keep playing. Spin the wheel, take the prize.
1: Pacifist misanthropy isn't the easiest thing to work out. Here again I plump for hyperbole.
2: Pacifist misanthropy and borderline personality disorder. Fuck off.
This is where you beg for questions