I liked GFWD’s list of questions from a few days ago, so I’m going to post my own answers and encourage anyone else to do so.
1. What are the most important qualities you want in the next POTUS?
Three things: someone willing to address the problem of black-market nuclear materials, someone to provide a brave vision of America powered solely on alternative energy, and someone willing to sharply reduce the influence of “corporate personhood”.
2. What do you think of the passing of Jesse Helms?
Okay, time for Lefty McLiberalpants. No offense to some commenters (whose opinions I always respect), but frankly, I have zero amount of respect for that fucking asshole and the planet breathes easier without him. He did nothing but create abject misery for people that weren’t white and straight, and while we’ll always hear the mantra “nobody fought harder for North Carolina”, I don’t think many Tar Heels can fathom what an embarrassment he was to my adopted home state.
When I’d tell anyone outside of the South that I was going to NC, most of them would shudder and say “you mean, where Jesse Helms is?” He was not deserving of grudging respect. He was not deserving of anyone saying “you gotta hand it to the guy, he got things done.” He was a rotten guy that did a lot of rotten things, and it needs to be in writing. I’m reminded of the Public Enemy lyric:
Elvis was a hero to most
But he never meant shit to me you see
Straight up racist that sucker was, simple and plain
(Motherfuck him and John Wayne).
3. What song was playing that “first” time?
“The Lark Ascending” by Ralph Vaughn Williams. I’m serious: download it and play it in headphones with your eyes closed. Just do it right now.
4. Favorite Tar Heel basketball player of all time and why?
I’m with Dean (and Chip): Tyler and Sheed. Just magnificent and inspiring.
5. Most famous person you’ve shaken hands with or met?
In terms of being “famous”, I guess it’d have to be Bill Clinton – I met him in Chapel Hill in ’92 when he was still running in the Democratic primary and he talked to a bunch of us about baseball and the designated hitter rule.
Best story, however, is probably Michael Jordan. In 1988, I was trying to drop my badminton P.E. class, but they said I needed an advisor to sign my drop/add form (young-timers, ask somebody what those were). That weekend, I took a plane to Los Angeles, and the Chicago Bulls were also on the flight. I wandered up to first class, stuck my drop/add form in Michael’s face and asked him to sign as my advisor. He looked at the form, shook his head in that “I remember this crap” sort of way, and signed it with a smile.
I figured if UNC wouldn’t count Michael Jordan as my advisor for a P.E. class, they were nuts. Turns out they were nuts. Man, didn’t anybody have a sense of humor?