The august Roger Owen Green (I don't really know whether or not he's august, but in pictures he's posted on his blog, he sure looks it), asks the following questions:
1. What should the U.S. do in Iraq?
Damned if I know. I tend not to write about politics here, because, for me, thinking about politics and world events is hard thinking - whereas thinking about why Bono is the best rock vocalist ever is fun thinking. That being said, my position on Iraq is that we never should have invaded the country in the first place - the same old song and dance, no compelling evidence, links between Iraq and terrorism fuzzy at best, etc. But we did invade Iraq. And, to me, to leave now - with the country, if not "on the brink" of civil war, sure as hell close enough, would be just wrong. This is one of those "no good answers" deals. I don't imagine that we are going to pull some wonderful endgame out of this mess - more and more Americans and Iraqis will die in the coming months and years, and the end result will most likely be, not the beacon of Democracy and a catalyst to a new Middle East we were promised, but a barely stable nation with a very uneasy democracy in place. But the alternative - the US pulling out and the country falling into an all-out civil war that we let happen (and in some senses created) - is untenable. So we're left with a pretty sucky choice, but one I think we must accept.
2. What should we do about Israel and Lebanon? Is the war a precursor to Armageddon?
I haven't the foggiest notion of what we should or shouldn't do - or, to be honest, about what Israel should or shouldn't have done or should or shouldn't do now. But it doesn't feel good, that's for sure. The day this whole started felt eerily like an Archduke Ferdinand moment to me - although I sure as hell hope it's not.
3. Is there a heaven and/or hell? What are they like?
Nope. I'm a pretty straightforward atheist - no God, no heaven, no hell, just one life to do what you can and then nothingness. Not the most comforting of world views, but there you are.
4. Five bloggers you read at least every few days.
From the blogroll to your right, the five I read most often are probably:
What's Alan Watching - The always-fun TV blog of NJ Star-Ledger critic Alan Sepinwall.
A List of Things Thrown Five Minutes Ago - A smorgasbord of links and commentary whose subjects typically hit all my sweet spots.
The House Next Door - Sepinwall's fellow Ledger TV critic's site, with some of the best in-depth and long-form TV and film blogging around. I often am left out of the conversations there, in that I often haven't seen the film or show being discussed, but the level of discourse and interaction is top-notch.
Byzantium's Shores - Jaquandor shares some of my obsessions and is always worth a read.
About Last Night - Terry Teachout's blog is still a must-read, even if the cultural waters he swims in are a little tonier than the waters in my usual swimming holes.
5. What was the closest you've ever come to death?
See here (question #26). Almost hit a concrete divider going 70 miles an hour. Happened so fast I didn't have time to be scared.
6. Is global warming reversible, and if so, how?
I'm sure it is - but how it can happen, and how long it will take, I'm guessing are both a much bigger investment than we realize. I'm not what you'd call optimistic, in other words.
7. How much wood WOULD a woodchuck chuck, if a woodchuck could chuck wood?
All of it. All of the wood.
8. What could you consider your greatest pet peeve?
People who think they are more important than others. Line cutters. People who are too good for certain tables at restaurants. People whose e-mails are ALWAYS flagged as "important." Those people.
9. What is your most useless talent?
I can bark like a dog to uncanny effect.
10. Why is there air? (We can compare your response to Lefty's future response.)
Why? Because an atmosphere was created millions of years ago as the planet formed? The full scientific explanation is no doubt more complete, but that's the gist of it.
Keep the questions' a comin', people!