Brad Smith (jesus_h_biscuit) wrote,
Brad Smith

Interviews Consolidated

In the interest of not flooding my friends pages with interview posts, I'm going to consolidate them all to one entry. If you asked me interview questions, keep checking back here and I'll eventually post my answers behind a cut.

Interview by lolasenvy
1. Being someone that everyone seems to turn to can be a blessing and a curse. Do you ever feel pressured to appear all together all the time? What do you do when you're not?
Rarely, but yes - I do. I believe that when you're a person like me who can step up and get things done or get them taken care of or go to bat for folks - or whatever - then you have a responsibility to take those opportunities to help people and make a difference. The curse, if in fact thee is one, is that it comes at a price. Being the strong one and the rock for everyone else means there's the assumption that I don't have my own stuff sometimes. It means that not only do I feel guilty for having to need support for myself now and then, but I get my feelings bruised when I feel like I'm struggling with my emotions and no one stops to pay attention. There have been times where I'm unloading on people and either they're selfish and daft or they're genuinely unaware that I'm in pain - and they'll make the conversation about themselves somehow. For the most part, it is less a sense of pressure to appear together all of the time and more a sense of responsibility. When I'm not together all of the time, I tend to come unglued and break like everyone else.

2. When certain people were maintaining some childish bullshit, you were the only person who never questioned me. Was that just faith, or was it something else? If so, what?
Actually, I did ask question you - albeit rhetorically. "Did you ever at any time <eyeroll> say the things you are currently being accused <files nails> of saying?" I hold you to the same standard I hold anyone to, if for no other reasons than for the sake of fairness and continuity. For me it came down to the fact that if I ask you a question, I am guaranteed an honest answer that never once contradicts itself. If something you've said is taken in the wrong context by another, chances are I've already had that conversation with you and know what subplot is really going on. I never go back and think 'well, that's not in keeping with the stuff you said a week ago on the same subject, so I call bullshit'. I'm also considerably older and can tell when someone is trying to convince themselves more than they are trying to convince me, and I can smell a lie like a fart in a car. I just don't always let on that I know someone is lying to me - it's much more fun to let them continue embellishing and eventually hang themselves. In the end, the fact is that everyone except you at that time had already begun to establish a pattern of either lying to me, inventing a list of unacceptable reasons to justify their unacceptable behavior, or an invented history of tragedy that never was believable to begin with.

3. What is one thing you wish you had from me that you don't currently have in this relationship?
Mentalcourse. We rarely get time alone to be 'us' anymore, but I think we're working on that.

4. What is one thing you want to do before you die that you've yet to do?
Spoil Damien (and others, of course) rotten with everything he's ever wanted with my millions.

5. In all the things we've been through, what is the one thing you cherish above all others? Why was it so important?
That's hard. I think it is more an understanding between us than anything, that moment when I simplify something that you're struggling with and once you get your clarity from it you give me this look of 'Wow - he just gets it without me having to explain ANYTHING' that confirms it for me. Things like being able to experience lifestuff with you I'm sure you'd normally do alone, like the Dave Garroway funeral. Being possibly the only one in the world who can calm you down when you're THAT upset or having a panic attack or an OCD episode, and it's not even work on my part. Laughing through tears and laughing until we ache. So my answer is this - the one thing I cherish above all others in my friendship with you is the fact that there is far too much for me to pick only one thing.

Interview by changinglight
1. What are your deepest dreams?
To take care of everyone I know in whatever way I can, it's my way of proving my love.

2. What are you willing to do for them?
Anything short of supporting self destructive behavior.

3. What are you not willing to do for them?
Tell them what they want to hear instead of what they need to hear.

4. What is the reason you get up in the morning?

5. Tell me a secret about yourself.
I love Chef Boyardee ravioli, despite how unhealthy and truly gross it would be if I thought about it long enough.

Interview by joeatlarge
1) What is the one issue--political, social, economic, or similar--about which you care about the most?
Fucking hell, Joe - just stab me in the heart from the jump, will you? ;Op I cannot tolerate minority discrimination. I think that covers everything but economics. I was raised very aggressively to understand that racism was evil, and that is where it started. Of course, there are many minorities that do not fall across racial lines, I happen to be one of them.

2) Do you believe that right and wrong can be individually defined by each person, or that there are objective rules of right and wrong that all should follow?
I believe that both apply. General standards of what is acceptable and what is not acceptable push boundaries of behaviour, some things just don't offend me like they might offend others. In another respect, things that we may even consider absolutes have their variables.
If the former: suppose you are lost in the Amazon forest and come upon a previously undiscovered tribe. The tribe practices ritualized, painful, and bloody sacrifices on those they consider their enemies as well as on themselves. The tribe accepts this practice as normal. Are the sacrifices murder?
I'm always made a bit nervous by these kinds of things, in part because I'm an American and I don't necessarily support imposing our will and standards on the world at large, we seem to think collectively that we're infallible. There are far too many variables to explore here for me to arrive at a solid decision, perhaps their sacrifices are used as a form of punishment or what we would impose as the death penalty for a befitting criminal act. My initial reaction is to find it wrong to kill innocents, but I don't like making decisions on how I feel about something in such a kneejerk kind of fashion. I also have to wonder if any attempt to distort their views on this kind of thing would result in any real change. We're jaded and subject to many forces - they would be relatively simple and innocent, seemingly incapable of grasping our sense of justice and general ethos, particularly with our frequent hypocrisies.

If your answer was the latter (objective): by whatever signpost you use (the Ten Commandments, government laws, etc.), stealing is wrong. A destitute man breaks into a pharmacy to steal medicine needed to heal his dying wife. Is this wrong?
I'm guided more by what is fair than what is morally acceptable. When you bring morality into these matters, it seems the pressure is on not to offend. There are far worse things than being offended, like being victimised for instance. We want the freedom to say whatever we want, as long as everyone else agrees with us and doesn't question. It's a very American trait, and it's fucked up, but there it is. I don't think this instance you describe is wrong necessarily from my OWN standpoint if your reasoning or motivation is for honorable means and not selfish ones. All of the sudden now I have an urge to hear Les Miserables...
3) What do you consider to have been your greatest failure in your life, and why? Your greatest success, and why?
Honestly, I don't view failure in a sense of degrees. All failure on my part is equal to me, to surmise that one is greater than another invalidates what I learn from it all and prevents me from applying it in a productive, constructive way. If I have a greatest success it is accepting that I have much still to learn and that is partly why I don't take myself too seriously.

4) What is it about someone that makes you immediately think you want to be friends with that person? What is it about someone that immediately convinces you to thoroughly dislike a person?
I'm drawn to passionate, empathetic, strong-willed, clearly imperfect and honorable people. While I may want to know them better, I tend to keep things at a level that hovers around acquaintanceship. I have a million acquaintances and only a few friends, because trust is an issue. I'm reasonably good at judging a person's character, though I cannot explain how this is so.

I am completely turned off by self-involvement, self-importance, selfishness, stupidity, destructive behavior, and people who require more attention than they deserve.

5) What, if anything, do you believe makes war justifiable?
You clever bastard! Almost anything can be justified, it is a matter of perspective. I have less problem retaliating to agression than I do with instigating it or declaring it. I think that in most cases of war, the current one in particular, it is madmen that call the shots and I cannot rally behind that. A simple failure to agree to disagree results in atrocity, all under the guise of providing us with a sense of security. When you're scaring us to death on a daily basis and exploiting the single biggest act of terrorism in our collective backyards, you're creating a climate of fear that helps legitimize bloodlust and greed. I cannot support that, and yet that's what we have. I'm not really sure what could justify war for me, I'd have to equate it with the notion of someone coming into my house and threatning my family with harm - in that instance, I'm retaliating without hesitation.

Interview by punkgeezer
1) Do you have a phobia? and If so, how does it affect your life and how do you work round it?
Yes, the most predominant one is called Coulrophobia, the fear of clowns. I fucking hate clowns, they freak me out entirely. Thankfully, I rarely ever have to concern myself with it, but if ever I'm in close proximity to one I will turn and go the other way.

2) Which has made the greatest impact on poular culture..the USA or Britain? ..and why?
We have, and I don't necessarily think that's a good thing considering the amount of disposable, soulless crap we spin out. Possibly because we have entire states 5 times the size of the UK devoted exclusively to selling pop culture. Besides, people will buy any old crap you tell them is good, and then shout "Brilliant!" while you're ripping them blind.

3) Homosexuality ...nature or nurture?

4) What was the last thing you laughed at?
My best friend Maggie, retelling her about something I'd seen that amused me and hearing her laugh until she doubled over and practically cried.

5) Hypothetical situation..the USA has become uninhabitable...but you can choose to live anywhere else in the world....where and why?
Canada - closer to home, better run, much cleaner, and the citizens are better cared for and have more resources to flourish.

Interview by wsbsdrewnelson
1. If you were to wake up one morning and discover that others have taken care of your responsibilities for the entire day and into the following evening, what would you do with the subsequent 24 hours?
Spend it with Damien, most likely.

2. At what point in your life were you most immediately concerned with your health, and why?
The first time my lung collapsed and I ended up dying in the hospital ER, because I had no idea if I'd ever have a normal life after that.

3. What do you consider to be the lowpoint of your experience with narcotics?
The realization of what it would do to the people I loved most if they knew I had a habit.

4. What is one thing for which your 22-year-old self would call you a hypocrite?
I still hold everything I believed 12 years ago to be truly important and valid to me just as I do now, only now I've broadended my scope quite a bit.

5. What is one thing for which you would call your 22-year-old self a hypocrite?
See above.

Interview by bigfundrew
1 Do you remember yoru first wet dream?
I do, and fortunately I knew about them before they began happening. I woke up just as I began to come and thought it was amazing that I could do that without masturbating. I've had maybe 5 of them in my lifetime.

2 Is there someone from High School...that if you saw them on the street'd be hard pressed not to punch them in the face?
No, not anymore.

3 Tell me a favorite Christmas present as a kid...
My Atari 5200 Supersystem with the trakball controller, because I wanted it for so long and I finally got it.

4 Tell me about your favoritest ever vacation...
Going to my family's beach house with the entire family present the week after my best friend committed suicide, because I felt very loved and validated.

5 Do you ever foresee having the need to travel to your nation's capital...(*ahem)
Yes, as a matter of fact. I have a few friends there, and I've always wanted to explore the city and see things like the memorials and the Holocaust museum. Plus, I'm heavily political, so that's always another interest.

6 BONUS QUESTION--do you have a stupid human trick that you can amaze us with on your next video post??????
Yes - I can cross one eye and make one look straight ahead. Will have to remember to do that.
Tags: interviews
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