Although I’ve since adopted a “no awards, SVP” policy, I am finally getting to those early honours bestowed upon me. This one was from the delightful Dotta R., and here are the questions I am to answer:
1. If you could change one thing about our society, what would it be?
As the late Christopher Lasch noted, we live in a culture of narcissism. I would remedy this. Perhaps I will.
2. What do you turn to when in need of inspiration?
I’ve found that I generally don’t need external sources of inspiration. This isn’t to say that things don’t inspire me, but rather that I don’t lack for internal motivation.
3. Name one person, alive or dead, who has influenced you most.
A very tough question for me. I’ve had many positive influences. Probably my parents or my kids. On the negative side, my ex-wife.
4. What newspaper, if any, do you read on a regular basis?
Canada’s National Post, and often the Globe & Mail as well.
5. Share one key insight that has helped you most in your writing.
My insight was not about writing, it was about what to write about. It was insight into the human condition, if you will, that begged to be communicated.
6. Are rules made to be broken?
Unjust ones, absolutely.
7. What does democracy stand for as far as you’re concerned?
The least worst form of government ever invented.
8. Is freedom of speech an unalienable right?
I’m about to find out with my forthcoming book!
9. If we respect everyone’s opinion as valid, where does that leave hate speech?
I challenge the validity of the question. We must distinguish between the right to an opinion and the right to express that opinion, and the merit of that opinion. Not all opinions are created equal.
From the Canadian experience, we must be careful here. Ideologues (i.e., narcissists) will exploit human rights tribunals to attack non-conforming opinions by claiming they constitute “hate” speech.
10. Do you think online media will replace print in the next few decades?
Surpass, perhaps, but I suspect not replace. At least not within my generation. There are physical senses that a physical book satisfies beyond sight, and ebooks aren’t the same.
11. What is the main thing you want to achieve as a blogger?
I started out wanting to establish a platform for my books. Now having done it for a few months, I want to maintain the relationships I’ve made. In terms of achieving, I want to make a positive impact on my fellow bloggers, if only in small ways.