ezekiel's chariot - 張敦楷 (pjammer) wrote,
ezekiel's chariot - 張敦楷

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5 Questions

While I consider those accursed internet quizzes to be a blight upon the blogging/online journaling environment, the interview meme that's been going around offers an interesting opportunity to interact with individuals beyond our immediate circle of regular contacts.

I've made a few minor changes to the meme which I'll go into momentarily ... but first, my answers to the five questions as posed by ipsafictura:

1. Your cultural background is clearly very important to you, why and in what ways? (Understand, my cultural background is important to me too, and I think it's an excellent quality, I'm just interested to hear your take on it?)

I think one of the primary benefits of being bilingual and bicultural is that you can see either of your 'native' languages/cultures from the perspective of an outsider. There's an old saying about how fish are the last to discover water. In a similar fashion, I believe those who, through birth or circumstances, are monocultural/monolingual miss out on the myriad subtle ways their thoughts and beliefs are shaped by the world they live in.

More specifically relating to being Chinese - I enjoy the fact that I can watch wuxia movies without subtitles. Also - as a fan of stupid puns and goofy wordplay, I love the body of faux-Mandarin-English vocabulary (dubbed "Chinglish") that I exchange with a few other Chinese-bilingual friends.

2. You exist in a state of nebulous semi-celebrity, which comes with advantages and disadvantages. Overall do you find it a positive experience? What do you like and dislike most about it?

On balance, it's a good experience (otherwise, I'd probably have quit this thing a long time ago. :)). I like the fact that the journal acts in many ways like a passive social filter; people who find something about my writing that resonates with them will return, and ultimately some will become contacts. Also, the global reach of internet interactions means I can remain in touch with friends from around the world - and make new ones in the process.

Downsides ... well - having a public profile means sometimes interacting with those who presume a level of familiarity with me that can be a bit disconcerting. IM messages from strangers that, without so much as an introduction, just simply ask: "How are you?" (with some actually getting belligerent should I fail to reply in a few seconds). Vandals who leave juvenile anonymous comments. The usual, I guess.

3. I think most people who read your livejournal would identify you as a romantic, do you view this as a blessing or a curse? In what ways do you feel it makes your life better or worse?

A good thing ... I don't really see a downside in being thought of as a romantic. What sort of downside do you imagine such a reputation might precipitate?

4. Some of your livejournal posts have had a particular resonance with many readers (Strawberry Girl comes to mind for me), do you ever feel pressured to "deliver" writing with that kind of effect?

Yes, but in a positive way. Over time, I've developed an internal sense of obligation to live up to certain expectations, and I think it's a good thing given my default nature as a slacker. Back in college, I wrote column for the campus paper, and the expectations of the readers who've started to follow me gave me an invisible but ever-present incentive to constantly expand and hone my writing chops. Left to my own devices without the means to instantaneously publish things for public consumption, I'd probably still be sitting on a handful of 'really great ideas' that never become complete essays or stories.

5. How much would your life be altered if livejournal had never existed? Do the upsides of livejournal outweigh the downsides or vice versa?

I'd spend less time on the internet, that's for sure! :) There are a lot of friends I've met originally through this online medium - so without it, my circle of friends would probably be far more localized/regional. Given the overwhelmingly positive experiences I've had, I think the upsides outweigh the downsides. :)



1. Leave a comment, asking to be interviewed - "Interview me!"
2. I will respond; I'll ask you five questions.
3. You'll update your journal with my five questions, and your five answers to them.
4. You'll include this explanation and this snippit of html code.
5. You'll ask other people five questions when your readers ask you to interview them.

<a href="http://pjammer.livejournal.com/2003/07/21/"><img src="http://www.dissonant.org/~pjammer/graphics/5Q.jpg" valign="abstop"></a>&nbsp;<br>
<b>1.</b> Leave a comment, asking to be interviewed - "Interview me!"
<b>2.</b> I will respond; I'll ask you five questions.
<b>3.</b> You'll update your journal with my five questions, and your
five answers to them.
<b>4.</b> You'll include this explanation and <a href="http://pjammer.livejournal.com/2003/07/21/">this snippit of html code</a>.
<b>5.</b> You'll ask other people five questions when your readers ask you to interview them.
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