Okay the questions from OLS are now in:
Questions for SwissToni:
1. If you could live anywhere in the world, other than the UK, and assuming you could speak the language, where would you want to live?
Funny you should ask this, as C. is seriously thinking about applying for a job at the United Nations in New York. She asked me what I thought, and after about a 1 second pause, I said that I thought that living in New York would be a fantastic experience and I'd be out there at the drop of a hat. I also think that I'd be quite happy to up sticks and move to Australia. When we were in Sydney a couple of years ago, I sat in Circular Quay and watched the bustle of people going to work in their shirt sleeves in the glorious weather, often clutching a coffee or a fresh juice, and I thought to myself that this was something I could quite easily imagine myself doing. I'm sure I'm idealising it, but somehow the rush hour bustle seemed more relaxed than it does over here. C. would also dearly like to move back to France at some point, and although I am okay with this in principle, I am worried that my conversational French would not be good enough for me to be able to do the job that I do. If I could speak the language better, then I think I'd also be happy to do that. I love exploring other cultures, and I don't want to spend the rest of my life in the UK. As it turns out, I now work for a company that has offices all over the world (including Paris, several in New York State and a big skyscraper above Darling Harbour in Sydney), so it would be relatively easy for me (I think) to transfer to another country. If work wasn't a factor either... hell, I'd be happy anywhere. There's a whole lot of world I haven't seen yet.
2. Have you ever considered becoming a politician yourself and curing the world of some of it's ills?
When I was younger I did think I might like to become a politician, although that wasn't so much to do with wanting to make the world a better place as enjoying the cut and thrust of debate. As I've got older though, this ambition has pretty much faded away. I'm afraid I'm now cynical enough to think that it's not the politicians who will cure the world of any of its ills.... that'll be the people who actually get off their arses and make a difference. I want to be one of those people.
3. If you were to be a politician, would you join one of the current parties (if so, which one), or would you form your own party? If your own party, what would it's platform be?
I was first able to vote in the 1992 General Election. Since that time, my voting record in General Elections has been:
Liberal Democrat (seat held by Conservatives)
Labour (seat held by Labour)
Labour (seat held by Conservatives)
Labour (seat held by Conservatives)
If I had never voted, it would have made no difference to any of the results, as they have all been comfortable "holds" with large majorities. I find that quite depressing. At both of the last elections I have considered voting Green, but at the end of the day have baulked at voting for a single-issue party, as their grasp on the other issues has been impractical at best and downright objectionable at worst. Our "First Past The Post" political system is heavily weighted in favour of the status quo. The third party here usually polls about 20% of the popular vote, but only received 62 seats in parliament... less than 10%. Labour polled about 35% of the vote and got 355 seats. A new party just doesn't have a chance.
Putting all that to one side, what would my platform be? Blimey. Peace, Love and Understanding. Oh yes, and the abolition of Simply Red.
4. On the basis that a gig is a main band plus two support bands, what is your ideal gig as of today, based on bands that are still together and actually playing gigs today? What would the venue be?
Well, there are a number of bands on my "to see" list - the foo fighters & the pixies for starters - but I won't be putting any of them on my dream line up. I think the three best concerts I have ever been to involved Metallica (at the Milton Keynes Bowl in about 1992), James (at Oxford Brookes in 1998) and The Queens of the Stone Age (at Rock City in about 2002). They don't make the cut either. Nor do people like Interpol, Snow Patrol or the Kings of Leon, all of whom have done blistering sets when I have seen them in the last couple of years. So who makes it onto the bill at my perfect gig then?
On the basis that he isn't dead and is apparently recording a new album, can I have Scott Walker? I can't think of the last time he performed in public, but I haven't given up hope that he will. He'd definitely be on the bill. The other support act (probably opening the gig) would be Coldplay. They're ace, but I've gone on about them long enough here before, so I'll spare you any more gushing. The headliner would have to be Morrissey, particularly if he is in the same kind of mood as he was when I saw him at the Blackpool Empress Ballroom about a year ago. He's the one artist whose work has meant the most to me over the course of my life, and I fulfilled a long held ambition when the cantankerous old git played Glastonbury in 2004, although it was much better to see him in the smaller venue a couple of months later.
The venue? OK, the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury is a brilliant place to watch a gig, but that's a lot to do with the atmosphere and the various substances the crowd has been consuming all day, and it's not the best place to really enjoy the music rather than just the vibe. For that reason, I'd probably pick Rock City in Nottingham, which is a real bear pit of a venue, and all the better for that.
Blimey. That was hard.
5. If you could choose your earworms, what songs would you WANT to be in your head for a week?
Well, the most played songs on my iPod ought to be some sort of a guideline to this, but they come out as:
Dakota - Stereophonics
Speed of Sound - Coldplay
Ladykillers - Lush
I Predict A Riot - Kaiser Chiefs
Mr. Brightside - The Killers (**STOP PRESS** - a quick look at iTunes reveals that this is tied with "Nice Guy Eddie" - Sleeper)
I'm not sure that's representative, and although it's not a bad list, for my perfect list, I think I would choose differently.
If I could choose 5 songs to have on rotation in my head*, they would be:
5. "Born of Frustration" - James
("who gave the leopard spots and taught the birds to sing?")
4. "Such A Small Love" - Scott Walker
("someone should have stopped the birds from singing today; hammers from striking nails into clay")
3. "Sweet Jane" - The Velvet Underground
("Just watch me now!")
2. "Don't Panic" - Coldplay
("we live in a beautiful world...yeah we do, yeah we do")
1. "There Is A Light That Never Goes Out" - The Smiths
("but then a strange fear gripped me and I just couldn't ask")
(*liable to be different tomorrow)
Great questions, really great questions!
Right then. You lot.
It's hard work, is this:
1. Which fictional character would you be and why?
2. If war is the answer, what's the question?
3. What song do you think best sums you up?
4. Daddy or Chips?
5. "What's So Funny About Peace, Love & Understanding?"
1. If Ian Curtis had lived, how different do you think your life would be?
2. George Lucas: visionary or lucky?
3. Do twins have a special connection?
4. How has fatherhood changed you?
5. "Is There Life on Mars?"
1. If you could teach George W.Bush one thing, what would it be?
2. Body Hair removal for men: yes or no?
3. What's your favourite sad song and your favourite happy song?
4. Do you think the world would be a better place without religion?
5. "What Do You Get When You Fall In Love?"
1. The Rolling Stones: legendary or embarassing?
2. What's your favourite poem? Why?
3. What's the most ridiculous CD that you own (and still listen to)?
4. What would be your dream job?
5. "Why Do We Say Hello?"
For Lord Bargain:
1. If you could change one thing about yourself physically, what would it be?
2. Which song best describes your experience of love?
3. Apart from your daughter, what one thing are you proudest of?
4. What quality do you admire the most in other people?
5. "You're In Control Is There Anything You Want To Know?"
1. If you could go back in time, which event in your own life would you change?
2. Keyboard or Guitar?
3. Would you swap your Son for fame & fortune through your music?
4. What are your favourite book, film & album?
5. "Do You Feel Like A Chainstore?"
I won't repeat the rules - this post is long enough already. Scroll down the page and it's on here somewhere. I look forward to your answers.
Read: The Case for Being Less Serious
2 days ago