Sunday 13 November 2011

The Hard Questions Meme

It’s been a while since I attempted a meme so I have decided to steal one. This is shamelessly stolen from Pandora at Princess Pandora - Queen of Denial who actually stole it herself – so there is no guilt (there wouldn’t have been anyway).

This is called “The Hard Questions Meme” and may be quite difficult. Wish me luck.

1. What is a quote that you love? 

There are quite literally hundreds of quotes that I love from comedy shows to song lyrics, from novels to speeches. What I look out for are thought-provoking quotes or those that make me laugh. I could quite literally give you a quote a day for the next ten years – well possibly.

Here is one from the great Winston Churchill:

Nancy Astor: Sir, if you were my husband, I would give you poison.
Winston Churchill: If I were your husband I would take it.

And how about these from Stan Laurel:

If you had a face like mine, you'd punch me right on the nose, and I'm just the fella to do it.

I had a dream that I was awake and I woke up to find myself asleep.

And finally, from a Rush song called “Losing It”

Some are born to move the world
To live their fantasies
But most of us just dream about
The things we'd like to be
Sadder still to watch it die
Than never to have known it
For you, the blind who once could see
The bell tolls for thee...

2. Do you think of pure hate as something humanity created? 

I think hatred and love are intrinsic within human nature and are not things that have been created. They have developed as we have evolved and as negative as hatred is, it is perfectly balanced by love. Despite what we observe, I think humanity is balanced as a species. Sadly this means that hatred has to exist.

3. When was the last time you wanted to scream? 

I want to scream most days to be honest, particularly at work. I am deeply intolerant of people who construct barriers to hinder my progress, particularly of those barriers are pointless. And at work, most of them are. I am getting worse. When I leave work, I breathe a sigh of relief but that feeling of intolerance comes home with me and evolves into something else. I find myself ranting at the television, in particular at the news and when I am unfortunate enough to catch utterly dreadful programmes that are solely aimed at stupid, gullible idiots. Thankfully a good rant is like a good scream and I find it therapeutic. Mrs PM just shakes her head.

4. Do you ever at times see the world in black and white? 

Not at all. Even when things appear to be in black and white, I question them and try to blur the lines. The world is a deeply complex place – and not black and white.

5. Have you ever thought that cell phones are too obtrusive? 

They are too obtrusive – there is no doubt about that. It is really irritating trying to have a conversation with somebody who is texting, surfing or yapping on their mobile phone. I am guilty of it too – so I am a hypocrite. I love my mobile phone – I never thought I would ever hear myself say that, but it’s true. I have to have it with me. The worst mobile phone is the “support” phone, the one I have to carry with me when I am on call. It means that work can contact me when I am not in work and if the bloody thing goes off all I want to do is to hurl into the nearest bin. There are times when I wish they had never been invented.

6. In your life, where do you think the rainbow will end?

That’s easy – when I can quit the rat race.

At the moment, career wise, the storm clouds are rampant and there is thunder and lightning and the torrential rain is relentless. I am praying for the time when it all stops and I see the rainbow glistening in the sunshine. Then I will be up and away to see the world without the chains of work. I can’t wait.

7. What is something that you never want to do again? 

I never want to experience going through a relationship break up again. So Mrs PM – you are stuck with me!

8. When was the first time you realised the world was small? 

The internet has really made the world seem like a small place so I would say late 1980s early 1990s. With its creation and expansion I have been able to be in touch with people all over the world, through work and blogging. I can fix software problems in America and chat to work colleagues in China at the same time. Equally these very words can be read by people all over the world. That is amazing and one of the main reasons I am a geek. Add to that you can also fly to these places within hours, it makes the world seem totally accessible, which to somebody like me who loves travel, is perfect.

9. How you spend your time contemplating life’s mysteries? 

When I am writing or about to go to sleep I allow my imagination to run riot. Life is a complex maze and I love getting totally and utterly lost within it.

10. Ever discuss your political beliefs with people? 

I do it all the time. I regard myself as a fair-minded and open person, the kind of person who would help anybody in need. And when I see and hear politicians and their supporters championing policies that favour the privileged and walk all over the deprived it makes my blood boil and I rant. I can talk to those whose beliefs differ from mine but inside my stomach churns. That is one of the reasons I hate politics and avoid it like the plague.

11. Do you care about the environment? 

I am very sceptical about the environment. I am sad to say that I don’t trust politicians (as you may have already guessed) and I think that they use the environment to control us further. We live is a state of fear, fear that our planet is being used as a toilet and that our children and grandchildren will all suffer because of us. People like Al Gore infuriate me because he organised Live Earth concerts that were meant to bring environmental issues to the people yet produced a carbon footprint that was immense. The rock stars flew hundreds of thousands of miles to participate and further their own careers.

I don’t like being preached to by hypocrites and when it comes to the environment I see lectures from people who fly all over the world in private jets to tell us to use less petrol. If somebody like Al Gore wants to make a difference then he should try to become US President and pass a law to reduce the amount of fuel consumed by Americans.

The environment has become a political tool – that is why I am a sceptic. Banks tell us to go online rather than “destroying the environment” by sending us statements through the post. What they don’t tell us is that not sending post saves them a fortune. So they are not really doing it for the environment; they are doing it to save money and make you and I look like evil planet destroyers to do it.

That said, dear reader, I do actually recycle and yes I care about the environment. However, I do not like to be lectured by people who are abusing this important issue for their own needs.

12. What’s your motto for life? 

Don’t worry, be happy.

13. Is progress destroying the beauty of the world?

In some places yes. There are many untouched areas of amazing beauty on our planet but there is also the fear that as we become more technically advanced and our population increases, then we are going to have to infringe on these wonderful places. To be honest, it’s a tricky one. I’ve been to beautiful places like Alaska, which is a barely touched area of magnificent natural beauty. What would happen if we had to build a huge city the size of Los Angeles there? Closer to home, England has some wonderful countryside, rolling green fields and lovely forests. Yet as the population of our island increases and we need power and resources to accommodate them, will this land pillaged?

I suspect so. We need to preserve the world’s beauty but as we become more advanced and the population increases it will become more difficult.

14. Do you believe there is life somewhere else in the universe? 

Yes – there has to be. I’m not talking about aliens who want to visit Earth but given the infinite nature of the universe it seems deeply arrogant of us to assume that we are the only life forms in existence.

15. Would you like to rule a country? 

I am tempted to say “Yes”. Why? Because I would rid my country of all the things that irritate me. Having said that, I don’t want to be a dictator – I would allow those who love Simon Cowell and Piers Morgan to leave and start a new life elsewhere. Suffice it to say, the aforementioned “celebrities” and many others would be deported.

16. Do you believe everything has a purpose? 

No. What about wasps? What purpose do they serve? What about Simon Cowell and Piers Morgan? And Jordan – what possible purpose can she have? What about Royalty? And modern art? What about curling – how can that useless sport serve a purpose?

Don’t get me started …

17. Is war ever for the best? 

I would gladly live in a world where there was no war. Sadly I don’t think it will happen. As long as there are nutters with too much power war will always be a possibility. Whether it is a good thing to invade Iraq and remove Saddam Hussein is questionable, particularly given that it was done for the wrong reasons. That said, removing a man who murdered his own people can only be seen as a bonus – but what is the cost?

18. Could you kill anyone in defense of self or loved ones?

The easy answer is no but I think that if I saw somebody about to kill somebody close to me, all rational thought would disappear. A very difficult question.

19. How do you react to people who don't believe global warming is really our fault? 

It is not all our fault. That is a fact. We have contributed, there is no doubt about that, but I think that climate changes over thousands of years in cycles and we are noticing these changes as the cycles progress and our ability to measure them improves. Many things can affect the climate such as natural cycles in the Earth’s orbit around the sun. If we move even a little bit closer then our exposure to the sun is increased; conversely if we move a little bit further away then our exposure is decreased. And what about solar activity? All of this has a noticeable effect on the world’s climate.

As I said, we may contribute – but I don’t believe that our contribution is as massive as we are led to believe. Like I said above, I believe it is used for political gain and to keep us boxed up in a state of fear. If global warming campaigners believe that we should all change our ways, then let them start first. Sell your car. Stop flying. And stop organising massive concerts with a carbon footprint that is way in excess of a typical small country's contribution.

Sorry for ranting – but I would genuinely be interested in scientific proof that it is our fault entirely. I am deep down fascinated by science and regard scientific fact in much higher esteem than political rhetoric.

20. Does love conquer all?

Love is great – it makes you happy – and that is a good thing,

21. Is euthanasia morally acceptable? 

This is a tough one. I don’t know, is the simple answer. I believe that if somebody is terminally ill and in extreme pain then it seems to me to be morally more acceptable to rid them of their trauma than to prolong their agony. I haven’t experienced that dilemma for myself so I simply do not know.

22. Is world peace impossible? 

Yes, although I would love the answer to be no. As I said above, as long as there are nutters and these nutters are allowed to reach positions of power then we will have war.

23. Is pride a good or a bad thing? 

Pride is a human trait and I think it can be both a good thing and a bad thing. If a person is so proud that he is blind to the obvious then that is a bad thing. But if you take pride in your achievements then that is a good thing.

24. What do you think is the purpose of your life? 

To annoy you, dear reader. Actually I was joking. I don’t know what the purpose of my life is. Putting it scientifically it is to procreate and make my mark on future generations. I have done that and have two clones (that’s what Mrs PM calls my boys). Who knows? I might have spawned the seed of a world leader or a historical figure. In reality though my ramblings and life will be forgotten in the mists of time so I guess my purpose is to bring a little happiness into the lives of as many of my fellow human beings as possible. Or perhaps not.

25. Do you believe in karma?

I want to believe in karma but I don’t think it exists. Looking back through history we see many people who have spent their entire lives being complete and utter monsters that have led long and happy lives being utterly ruthless murdering arses. Where’s the karma there?

Well that’s it, dear reader and thanks to Pandora for introducing the meme to me. That said, and having read your answers, Pand, we may have to agree to disagree on some of them.

Sorry about that.

And yes - it was a meme full of hard questions.


Mind Of Mine said...

I would not hesitate to kill someone who threatened the lives of my loved ones.

Not for a moment.

River said...

This is one meme I will never do, it requires too much deep thinking, that's just not me.

I like the "don't worry, be happy", I've used that myself, also "sleep on it, things always look better in the morning".

Pandora Behr said...

Nothing wrong with agreeing to disagree - you've got some great answers there- and as for what we don't agree on - well, each to their own. Good post.

Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi MoM,

It doesn't surprise me and a lot of people would agree with you.

That's why it was such a tricky question.




Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi River,

Can't say I blame you. I'm not that convinced by my own answers to be honest.




Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi Pand,

If we all agreed with each other the world would be a boring place.




Kath Lockett said...

This is a rather thoughful meme.

I completely understand your view on how politicians, banks and businesses are using climate change and environmental issues to increase fear and make money but ...

... irrespective of their manipulation, I believe that human use, abuse and growth has sped up the process of global warming to levels that need a helluva lot more than international discussions about emissions levels that are never adhered to.

That's what comes from being married to a meteorologist who not only contributes research and data to support this but is also 'blacklisted' from a certain 'famous' Australian's anti-global warming website because he kept winning arguments and proving the idiot's points wrong!

Plastic Mancunian said...

Bonjour Kath,

Like I said in the post, scientific evidence is something I truly believe in and I have no doubt that we do contribute to the effects. I have no doubt that LC could convince me.

Seems a little harsh to blacklist a meteorologist on a web site; these things should be debated and discussed instead of simply ignored.

And if what is being said is genuinely wrong then it should be highlighted.

What's the website? It might be interesting to read the discussions.