Saturday, August 21, 2010

an interview with gwen of not really (the final interview - for now)

i think that gwen's is the perfect interview to end my interview series (for now)...she's funny, she swears (kind of a lot), she's smart, erudite, she mentions sartre,  and i think i might be a little bit in love with her on some level that's probably neither healthy nor something we want to delve too deeply into. and i think her answers have given me a push back to my bloggy on and you'll see why:

1. what WOULD jesus do?

it's 7 am, i've been awake since 4, have spent the last 5 weeks traveling from one bed to another, packed and unpacked and packed again. what jesus SHOULD do is let me take a fucking nap.

no, really. i have to believe that nothing would horrify jesus more than the modern evangelical spectacle that bears his name. so much law. so little grace. i heard a high school classmate say once, glancing sideways at me, that if we could really see the world as god sees it, we would ache for the lostness of mankind. only someone who grew up in the tiny world of fundamental evangelical christianity might understand why i wanted to punch him in his fucking face after he said that. because the subtext is that he, this guy, can see the heart of mankind, too, can appreciate its lostness, can appreciate MY lostness, more than you and me, because he is closer to god. and if there's one thing i know after more than 40 years on this carousel, it's that i don't know one fucking thing about the secret hearts of others.  we are all mysteries, most especially to ourselves.

i think the most reprehensible aspect of modern evangelical christianity is its lack of love. of inclusiveness engendered by love. its proponents--the loud, public ones anyway--like to point to jesus in the temple, clearing out the corruption with his whip and his righteous anger, want to use that as a defense for their own judgments. but there are several things wrong with this position: first, these people are not, as far as i can tell, jesus. and they are the very people jesus--the guy who hung with the hookers and lepers and societal scrubs--would have taken his whip to.

what would jesus do? become a buddhist.

(for the record, most of the coolest people i know are the very ones who were raised by crazy christians. so. jesus must be up to something worthwhile, however inadvertently.)

2. when you want to run away, where you do go (and please don't say you actually run, because i might have to crush your skull)?

i go for a run. dude. i live in switzerland. it's kind of beautiful to run here.


i find a yoga class. that better?

i lose myself in a book, or in thinking about some esoteric concern. i write--loopy posts never to be published, long e-mails to my far-flung friends. i read a poem again and again. i wander through one of zurich's art museum. i bake. i plan my next (theoretical) vacation (turkey, stay alive, no matter what occurs. i will find you.)  i try some new complex recipe that my ill-equipped swiss kitchen cannot possibly handle. i grip the wheel of the car really tightly and keep it pointed straight and steady on the road. i phone a friend.

i go for a run.

3. do you feel like a good parent?

does anyone feel like a good parent? how can we? the task is too enormous and we are too weak. if i can figure out how to love my kids the way THEY need to be loved, not the way i want to love them, i'll feel like i haven't entirely failed. i have pretty polite, well-behaved kids. i also have cool, dorky, irritating, creative, cracked, funny, frightened, adaptable, darling, horrible, astonishing kids. how much of that do i get credit for? how much is a lucky accident? how much can i blame on their father? mostly i worry, oh how i worry, that i will turn into my mother, that it's genetically inevitable. someone please destroy me before that happens.

4. kirk or picard?

huh? you realize i didn't grow up in the united states. are we talking star trek? star wars? starship troopers? fuck. picard? he's got the accent, right? yeah. picard.

5. i know you have an iPhone, but do you have a Mac?

i'm typing on my mac book right this very minute. does that count? or does it have to be big and impressive and solidly moored to a desk-like furniture item?

6. so are you coming to blog camp berlin or what?

absofuckinglutely. i hope all you seasoned internationalists can tolerate the newb. "Ich bin ein Berliner." (i just lost fabulous points right there, didn't i?)

7. in connection with that...limoncello or jagermeister?

jagermeister makes me think of a crew-cut woman in an ill-fitting khaki surplus blouse with enormous biceps who barks at me "vere ahr yohr paypahrs?" so, uh, limoncello, please.  straight from the freezer. can i have one right now?

8. so is blogher all it's cracked up to be?

funny. i'm writing this as i fly to blogher, and i wonder what the fuck i'm doing. i cherish the friends i've made from this medium, but the whole SQUEEBLOGHERSHOESSQUEE zeitgeist is, yeah. no. but then i didn't join a sorority for a reason. i think blogher brings out the worst in most people and is actually really really bad for women. but ask me again when it's all over.

(blogher is now over, and i can say definitively that is completely fucking stupid. and i had a fantastic time at it. go fig.)

9. if you could assemble the perfect A-list blogger chick lunch, who would you invite?

what qualifies someone for a-list status?  do you know? i'm not even sure the pool from which i'm allowed to pick.  there were a bunch of women crowded on a couch at the last party at blogher, looking like a washed-up, sagging version of a hollywood hottie party. were they a-list? because if they were, those tedious a-list slags cannot come to my perfect chick lunch.  they are dead dull, and i loathe nothing more than being un-amused. on to the true coolios, then: the on-line peeps i want to know better--Jen, Juli, Mary, Britt, Anna, Sue, Thordora, Bon, Suebob, Amanda, Nadine, Kat. For starters.

10. do you ever think that maybe there is indeed a hell and we're already in it?

nope. there's no hell, not even the kind that grumpy little Sartre postulated, and we're not in it now. this life--as fraught as it is--is too jagged with beauty to truly be hell. it's all we've got, man. there's nothing on the other side.  better find a way to love it while you have it.

* * *
it kinda freaks me out that i only recognize one single blogger on gwen's a-list.
and it freaks me out even more to realize just how much i've lost my edge.
i need to be edgy again.
what the hell happened to me?

thank you gwen, for being brilliant and articulate and edgy.
i really needed that.

and i'm sending a whole bottle of limoncello your way.
or at least bringing one to berlin.

* * *

there are some questions still out there and i will post those as they come in (hint, hint).

* * *

i know there are a whole group of you who asked for questions and never got them
(you're the "no-reply blogger" comments, which made it harder.)
i will be doing this again, but it's time for a break.
but you never know when questions just might pop into your in-box, so hang in there.
a big thank you to all who were interviewed and wanted to be interviewed.
you gave me back my mojo.

* * *

"i loathe nothing more than being unamused." - that's priceless, just priceless.


will said...

Gwen's list, your list, my list ... to re-phrase an old gem, "You can pick your nose but you can't pick your blog followers."

Lisa at lil fish studios said...

I have totally loved this series. You have some amazing readers. (which doesn't surprise me one bit)

So when is the interview with you?

mrs mediocrity said...

Grinning and grinning and going to follow her now, to the ends of the earth, or hell, whichever comes first. and I only believe in one of those :)

Joanna Jenkins said...

Yep, you picked the perfect interview to end with. Gwen is a hoot!

A million thanks for doing this series of interviews. I can only imagine how much work it was. I'll be coming back and reading all the ones I missed and checking out there blogs too. now I'm off to read more of Gwen's.

Glad you found your mojo again. xo jj

nacherluver said...

tee hee! super fun interview! gotta love candidness.
is that even a word?
eh well.

Miss Britt said...

Knowing that Gwen wants to have lunch with me just kind of made my whole day.

She really was so... impressive to meet at BlogHer. There's no other word for it. She's that woman who is smarter and cooler and better put together than you who you really want to be when you grow up - but she actually talks to you.

Sammi said...


Sorry, I've been kind of AWOL from Blogger since like the beginning of August due to being too sick to read long posts (migraines, fml) so I'm kinda lost as to what's happening with Berlin and if there is still space for me to come?

I LOVE THIS POST. I might actually start reading Gwen's blog, because she writes the "fuck" as much as I say it, y'know, IRL.

Look forward to seeing a post from you, also read somewhere up there in the comments, "when are you doing an interview". i think all of us who were interview should submit a question for you to answer, and then you should post it here.

Also in regard to the Christian things, I really dislike evangelical Christians (and I am totally Christian), they scare me a little and I think God needs to nudge them a little harder to see Him. I totally agree with Jesus would totally be cracking his whip at them, thing. Mind you I go to a church with a couple of crazy Christians, but when most worship is done in the form of singing songs written by the leaders, and finding God in Finding Nemo.. Christianity isn't all bad.

Wahhh huge long comment..

Juli said...

Oh, how I love me some Gwen. And Gwen brought me to you, which is super neat too. xx

Char said...

you are the trooper woman..and the cool starship kind, not the lame, give you a ticket kind.

great interview

Kat said...

My nicotine-deprived brain can't think of a worthy comment except I loved reading this because it was about Gwen.

heidikins said...

Gwen for President!


Lisa-Marie said...

Gwen I like you. And the fabled Jesus should let you have a nap.

M said...

Where did my edge run to? I tell you, I've been working with kids a bit TOO long. *currently searching for my edge again*

"i grip the wheel of the car really tightly and keep it pointed straight and steady on the road." --I thought I was the only one who needed to grip the steering wheel really tightly when I felt like running away. I don't want to get to delirious happiness via death, that's for sure.

"this life--as fraught as it is--is too jagged with beauty to truly be hell. it's all we've got, man. there's nothing on the other side. better find a way to love it while you have it." --I think I'm in love with you for saying this. Thank you. Thank you a million times over :)

Magpie said...

Yeah. I love that dear jelly donut too.