Sunday 4 September 2005

tell me your secrets, ask me your questions

Di has asked me her 5 questions:

For Swiss Toni

1. Have you ever paid for sex? This does not include taking a girl out to dinner and paying for the movie, etc.

No. Apart from a natural aversion to this kind of thing, I wouldn't know where to go looking for it and I certainly wouldn't have the nerve to go through with it (remember that I'm a guy who struggles to flirt and who has never knowingly chatted up a woman...). I know this isn't the kind of thing that guys talk about, but I don't think I know anyone who ever has. I was actually quite shocked when a guy we were chatting to at the cricket the other week revealed that he did pay for sex. He was an Oxford Utd fan, a fate he shared with one of the friends I was with. Whilst discussing the away fixtures they attended last season, it turned out they had both been to the Macclesfield game (which Oxford lost). Luke had watched the game and gone home, this other chap had availed himself of some of the local talent. Macclesfield? Actually, a contractor at work, who lives in Preston and therefore spends his weeknights in a hotel in Nottingham, asked me where the red light district was the other day. I didn't think much of it at the time, but I suppose he can only really have been asking for one reason. Maybe it's something that lots of men do lots of the time, but it's never really appealed to me.

2. Is there a visible end to blogging for you?

End in the sense of an objective, or end in the sense of a finite life-span? I blog because I enjoy the outlet it gives me for writing that is seriously curtailed in my job. I have always enjoyed writing, and gave serious thought to journalism before somehow falling into IT. My ability to write clearly and concisely is much prized in my work, but the scope is obviously a little bit narrow, and I find it more than a little creatively frustrating. Blogging enables me to write about whatever I want to without the same kind of limitations. I've been thinking quite a lot about my career recently, and I am coming round to the idea that I should try and find something, paid or otherwise, that enables me to write. The other thing that blogging does, and I have said this before, is that it enables me to externalise thoughts and feelings that I would otherwise be unable to express. I'm a pretty withdrawn person, and this is a valuable outlet for me. Will I still be blogging in 5 years time? Who knows. All I know is that I have been going pretty strongly for more than a year now, and I've got no plans to stop just yet.

3. Do you believe in ghosts or spirits?

I have a very logical and analytical brain, so my default position on this ought to be "no". Having said that, I'm not so black and white. I have seen no evidence that these things exist, but that doesn't mean to say that they don't. Does that make sense? I don't believe, but I don't not believe.

4. Do you think some people are just born wired up for 'evil'?

No. Firstly this all hinges on your definition of 'evil'. It's a slippery and subjective word and its meaning is likely to change over time and between societies. To take an example, some people think that homosexuality is 'evil'. I do not. Arguments about the definition of the word itself aside, I do not believe that people are born bad. It seems to me to be a lazy argument and a way of rationalising people's behaviour in a way that is more comfortable than facing up to the real issue of why bad things happen. Mankind has an almost boundless capacity for good, and an equal capacity for bad. Good people do bad things, and bad people do good things. There's no predestination involved.

5. If you could choose a new first name, what would it be?

Bloody hell. I don't think I have ever thought about this before, and I'm not sure there's much point speculating about it now, to be honest. I suppose in a way I did choose a new name when I became "SwissToni". I didn't really give that a great deal of thought (it was a nom de plume I had used on Instant Messenger and on a number of newsgroups in the past, and so when I was playing around with blogging and setting this place up, it just sprung to mind). Here we are 18 months later, and now I'm kind of stuck with it. Part of me wishes I had sat down and chosen more wisely (and more originally). Still, it's done now. I am what I am. Je m'appelle Tim et Je m'appelle 'SwissToni'

Thanks Di. Good questions.


Apparently there are some rules for this:

1. If you want to participate, leave a comment below asking to be interviewed.

2. I will respond by asking you five questions - each person's will be different.

3. You will update your journal/blog with the answers to the questions.

4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview others in the same post.

5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions

I've got another 5 questions due from OLS, which I will answer when I get them. In the meantime, if you want me to ask you some, then all you have to do is ask.

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