2. What is the meaning of life? To try to decrease the misery of others in the present and in future generations.
3. Which Asian alphabet is your favorite? Uh, I could just pick one at random and thereby make myself sound very knowledgeable, but the truth is I'm not really familiar enough with any of them to have chosen a favorite.
4. Which fictional character are you most like? Eeek, these are hard questions. The characters I've related to most tend to be in autobiographies rahter than novels, and thus not fictional. Um . . . possibly Ida from Gertrude Stein's Ida: A Novel, even though I can assure you I have not married ten husbands, nor is the primary characteristic I seek in male partners for them to be president of something powerful. But hey, we all know that who Ida was really most in love with was her imaginary twin sister, Winnie. Oh, but there's also a second fictional character who deserves an honorable mention here - I just finished Salman Rushdie's novel Fury a few days ago, and I could have sworn that Salman Rushdie had based the character of Malik Solanka upon metacarp. I was Malik Solanka's Ex-wife Number Two, Eleanor Masters.
5. Why is fake booze so much better than real booze? Because it doesn't impair brain functions like real booze. I'm not a big fan of impaired brain functions.
6. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live? In a queer by choice separatist commune. The geographical location of it is not terribly relevant, although nice weather would be desirable.
7. What is your favorite book? I have at various times answered this question with Possessing the Secret of Joy by Alice Walker, The Female Man by Joanna Russ, Ida: A Novel by Gertrude Stein, and When I was Five I Killed Myself by Howard Buten. I listed those in chronological order of when I've most tended to name them as my favorite, so the last one is the one I most often name these days.
8. In musical terms, what does happiness sound like? Happiness sounds like the ending lines of "Rock 'n' Roll Suicide by David Bowie. Also, falling in love with someone sounds like "Stay" by David Bowie. Just so you know.
9. Describe the ideal person: Me!
10. What is your favorite foreign movie? Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence. (Made in Japan, starring David Bowie. Er, there seems to be a David Bowie theme here today. But that's fitting, since yesterday was his birthday. He's 57! Happy birthday, David.)
11. And your favorite foreign movie director? Uh, the guy who directed that. Nagisa Oshima, his name is.
12. Who is Shakespeare's best heroine? Wow, an English major question! Uh, I should be able to answer this, shouldn't I? *thinks really hard* Yes! Yes, I in fact can answer this. Viola from Twelfth Night was pretty cool. So was Olivia, in the same play, but Viola was the only one who was consciously choosing to do anything queer, so I prefer her. Shame about how they all end up in neatly heterosexual couples at the end, though.
13. What do you want to do with your life? Take over the world.
14. Who is your poet? Emily Dickinson, though more for her letters than her poems. Any 19th century female poet who signs her letters "Uncle Emilie" and falls madly in a woman who then breaks her heart by marrying Uncle Emilie's brother instead is a woman I can very strongly relate to. Queer women who've had our hearts broken by het women unite!
15. Why aren't you a vegetarian? Eeek, don't point that out, what if all the vegans on my friends list hate me for it? I'm not that bad, I only eat meat about four to ten days per year these days! But okay, it's true that I'm not a vegetarian. I cannot convince myself it's evil to eat animals without also calling animals evil for eating other animals, which I do not feel it is fair to call them. Therefore, I am not opposed to meat-eating in general. However, I do find the environmental damage done by factory farms to be a persuasive reason to try not to eat as much meat as most Americans do. Though really, I mostly just don't eat it because it would require me to use my conventional oven to cook it, and I'm intimidated by non-microwave cooking.
16. Which is your favorite European capital? Um . . . is "I don't have one" an acceptable answer?
17. Which Chinese dish best describes your personality? Plain rice . . . it's very consistent and unchanging every single day. Preferably brown rice, only because I prefer the taste of brown rice over white rice.
18. Which historical figure were you in a past life? Adolf Brant, founder of a queer by choice literary/anarchist journal and organization in Germany in the 1890s, lasting until the 1930s. He died when an Allied plane in WWII randomly bombed his house. You know . . . "It's a house, and it's in Germany, so let's drop a bomb on it even though we have no idea who's inside!"
19. What are your preferred ancient texts? The Tale of Genji is pretty good. So are Chaucer's Canterbury Tales. I've read Ovid and Homer and a little Plato but wasn't really terribly fond of any of them.
20. Which is your favorite ancient civilization? Ooh, that's a good one. It's not really all that ancient, but I'm most fond of Tokugawa Japan (16th century). For the queerness, and the fact that it manages to be slightly (albeit only very slightly) less repellently patriarchal and queerness than in ancient Greece.
21. What is love? I'm going to steal a line from Frank Aqueno, even though in actual practice, I can't say I'd consider him at all knowledgeable on the subject of love. But he can talk a good story, so I'll quote him anyway: "Love is when you enjoy washing someone's dirty dishes for them."
22. What is your favorite song to sing? I think I will depart temporarily from the Bowie theme here and answer: "Live to Tell" by Madonna. Because the lyrics have deep personal meaning for me.
23. What is your preferred cuisine? Pasta-roni. Everybody already knows that about me. I'm boring.
24. What is your favorite French novel? Uh, I haven't read many French novels. Do Milan Kundera's novels written in French count as French even though he's Czech? If so, then Immortality.
25. What role in a Shakespearean play would you like to perform? Viola/Cesario in Twelfth Night.
26. What painting would you put up in your living room? I haven't really worked out a good theory of interior decor for wall-hangings yet. I've only been working on my theory of furnishings.
27. If you could drown in any body of water on the planet, which would you choose? Uh, I can't think of any reason for having a preference.
28. What is the most aesthetically pleasing geographical name on the planet? India isn't bad - I named a cat after it.
29. Which fair animal is best? Kitties!
30. Which African country is coolest? South Africa has a lot of, er, "potential," but also a lot of badness, such as the highest rape rate of any country in the world. They have a nice constitution, hough, and they'd surely win the "most improved government" award for the time period since ending apartheid. And their president is someone I don't hate.
31. Japan or China? China. I relate better to Japan but am also more disturbed by Japan.
32. Which is your favorite non-Christian religion? Whichever one involves the least amount of belief in the supernatural. Preferably none. "Faith in humanity."
33. Which of Henry VIII's six wives do you like best? Anne Boleyn, unquestionably. In 7th grade history class I dressed up as her, complete with partial sixth finger, and pretended to be her for an oral report.
34. What is your favorite bad movie? Does Basquiat count as bad?
35. What is your preferred literary movement? Uh, I prefer the literature written within the past 50 years. I guess that would tend to suggest "postmodernism," but it's not necessarily the actual characteristics that are included in postmodernism's definition that I like best.
36. Who is your favorite artist? I haven't truly found one yet. But I know what I like, so I have a better idea than trying to answer this: I'll tell you what I like, and you can tell me who my favorite artist should be! I like very, very, very bright colors, queer/feminist/left-wing political themes, and usually fairly expressionistic styles. Creative use of large amounts of blank space in a picture for mood also tends to appeal to me, though it's not a requirement. Recommend some artists to me.
37. Who is your favorite composer? David Bowie! Don't ask me about classical music; I'm not familiar enough with it to have acquired favorites.
38. Which is your favorite European revolution? *flounders and tries desperately to look intelligent* Uh . . . I give up. I'm not a good enough history student to answer this question.
39. Cleopatra, Hatshepsut, or Queen Elizabeth I? Hatshepsut.
40. Which fictional character would you like to marry? Ergh, most of the characters I would like to marry are also autobiographical and thus not fictional. Well, technically Jeanette Winterson's Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit is a novel, but it's an autobiographical novel and although I'd love to marry the character of Jeanette in that novel, I think I should probably not marry real-life Jeanette Winterson, because then she'd probably find out that I prefer her early novels to her later ones, and I don't think that would be very good for the marriage. So, let's see . . . I want to marry Vivie from Mrs. Warren's Profession by George Bernard Shaw, but I'm not absolutely positive she's queer, so I might have to convert her. But hey, at least she's declared her intention not to marry a man, so that's a promising hint, right? Oh! And I also want to marry Christopher Ferris from As Meat Loves Salt by Maria McCann. I don't see how any woman, or at least any bi woman, could possibly read this book and not want to marry him.
41. What is your favorite brand of soap? I dislike soap. When I use soap at all, it's always soap made for something other than hands. I don't buy hand soap.
42. Who is your favorite British actor or actress? David Bowie.
43. Pick one: Spain, France, Italy, or Greece? Greece.
44. Which is your favorite desert? Really, who bothers choosing favorite deserts? I just want to avoid them all.
45. Tea: herbal, green, or black? None. I don't drink tea.
46. What is your favorite poem? I am extremely fond of Judy Grahn's "A Woman Is Talking to Death," and I would love to link you to it or retype it, but it's not available online and it's at least five pages long so I'm not going to retype it. Please just go look for it in a library.
47. Where would you rather have lived: Babylon or Nineveh? I have no idea. I am ignorant.
48. Which is the best Scandinavian country? Sweden, because lentrot lives there.