Sunday, August 06, 2006

The Final Answer!

Whew! With this post, I finally reach the end of my First Annual round of Ask Me Anything!. (Since my answers to all the questions -- and what a fun bunch of questions it was -- were spread out over a bunch of posts written over about three weeks' time, I will end this post with links to all the other answers. An index, if you will.)

Anyhow, here are the final queries:

Dinner party-10 guests (living or dead, but real) you most want to invite?

You know, these "have X people over for dinner" questions are a lot more interesting than they initially sound, because you have to decide just what kind of event you want your dinner party to be, you know? I mean, you could have a dinner party to which you invite Bud Abbott and Lou Costello, the Three Stooges, Laurel and Hardy, and Soupy Sales -- but the dinner conversation would be a bit lacking (well, not with Abbott and Costello), and the menu would be pretty easy (nothing but cream pies and lots of 'em, obviously).

Or you could strive to create lots of brutal carnage at the table: here you'd invite Genghis Khan, Pol Pot, Idi Amin, Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin, Osama bin Laden, and Tom Brady.

Or you could give no thought whatsoever to the quality of the meal or the conversation, and just bring in people you'd want to meet anyway. So for me, I'd bring in Berlioz, Mozart, Carl Sagan, Charles Darwin, George Lucas, JRR Tolkien, Bill Clinton, Stephen King, Edgar Allan Poe, and Robert Burns.

That'll be my answer, in fact.

Same question, fictional folks.

Hmmm -- I've never seen the question framed with fictional characters in mind! I'll go with Roy Hobbs from The Natural, Gandalf and Bilbo Baggins from The Lord of the Rings, Diarmuid dan Ailell from The Fionavar Tapestry, Andy Dufresne from The Shawshank Redemption, Yoda from Star Wars, Josiah Bartlet and Toby Ziegler from The West Wing, Sam Malone from Cheers, and James T. Kirk from Star Trek.

9th circle of hell, 10 folks (living or dead, but real) you would send there (or at least deserve to be there if you're the forgiving sort)?

Whoa, this seems a little mean! But hey, the question's asked so I gotta answer it. I'll leave out some of the obvious ones (Hitler and Bin Laden don't need my help going to Hell), and note that my answer here may well offend a bunch of readers! OK? I'd send Ann Coulter, Fidel Castro (he may be on his way there pretty soon, actually), Pope Urban II (yeah, those Crusades were really a good idea -- I sure like the centuries of fallout from that notion), Father Coughlin, Michael Medved, Rush Limbaugh, Michelle Malkin, Lee Atwater, OJ Simpson, and Ray Ferry straight to Hell. (Google that last one -- he screwed Forrest J. Ackerman over, big time. Nobody messes with Dr. Acula! That's just not in the rules!)

Now, this is all fairly tongue-in-cheek. A few of these are folks I genuinely despise, while others are folks whose net contribution to society is, in my eyes, almost entirely negative. But -- well, there you go.

9th circle...I think you get it.

OK, fictional people I'd send to Hell. That's an intriguing notion! Again, I'll eschew the obvious (Palpatine, Ernst Stavro Blofeld, J.R. Ewing). What's intriguing me with this exercise is that with the very best works of fiction, be they novel, film, graphic novel, or TV series, villains are often redeemable -- or, if not necessarily redeemable, they are understandable. It's hard to consign someone to Hell if you can see their point of view, and the best writers make sure that their villains have a discernible point of view.

Anyhow, fictional characters I'd send packing include: Bob from What About Bob (by the halfway point of the movie, I was strongly rooting for Richard Dreyfuss), Twiki from Buck Rogers in the 25th Century (just for being that annoying), Mordred from certain tellings of the King Arthur legend, the Cigarette Smoking Man and Krycek from The X-Files, Prince Joffrey from A Song of Ice and Fire, Randall Flagg from The Stand (of course, sending him to Hell would be an exercise in futility), the Green Goblin from Spiderman, Valis from Six From Sirius II (an obscure comic from the 80s that's worth reading), and Roland Modesty Van Buren from Fitzpatrick's War (for more on this book, here's my GMR review -- it's a remarkable work).

Thanks to all who asked questions! I hope the queries are as good next time I do this; I'll probably wait until the middle of winter. Maybe make it a twice-a-year event.

And here are the links to the other posts in this series:

Original post soliciting queries, if you're wondering who the questioners were.

Why don't I care for libertarianism or objectivism?

What musical instrument would I like to be able to instantly master, and what music would I play?

How did I meet The Wife?

Why don't I like the West Wing episode "Stackhouse Filibuster"? If I could change one thing about my past, what would it be? What was the first album I ever bought?

So how am I doing at reading lots of space opera?

Have I read Star Wars on Trial? Why is Letterman mean to Paul? What did I think of V for Vendetta? Superpower: flying or invisibility? Who's my favorite Wilbury? If I had to change one thing about the Star Wars prequels, what would it be? How much inducement would it take to get me to shave my beard, cut my hair, and stop wearing overalls (in other words, look like every other dweeb guy on the planet)?

This exercise was a lot of fun. For those bloggers out there who trust their readers not to ask really whacky stuff, I recommend Ask Me Anything!. It'll give an offbeat tone to your blog for a while; it'll give you built in stuff to post about; it'll improve your golf score, enhance your sex drive, and make you the envy of every person with a blog on your block. Start your own Ask Me Anything today!

UPDATE: And wouldn't you know it: I missed one. Oops! Sorry, Jayme.

If you could trade one Buffalo sports franchise in any league for any other city's in any other league, which would it be, and why?

Hmmmm. I'm not really sure what the thrust of the question is. Does it mean that I could, say, make the entire history of the Dallas Cowboys into the entire history of the Buffalo Bills, and vice versa? Meaning that Troy Aikman would have won three Super Bowls in four years here, with the Cowboys losing the Super Bowl four years in a row? Is that it?

Well, I'd find it hard to make any such swap. When you've lived a sports team's history and made it a part of your civic identity as I and countless fans have with the Bills, you become attached in a way to that history, warts and all. So maybe this is a weasel answer, but I think it's the right one: I'd keep both the Bills and the Sabres and leave their history as is.

OK, now I think I'm done with Ask Me Anything!


Anonymous said...

Michael Medved? You'd send Michael Medved to hell? What did he do to earn a place with the rest of those guys? Now, I've only heard him once or twice, but he struck me as very soft-spoken and calm. At the time I wondered, "What is this pussycat doing on talk radio?"

Maybe he went over the edge in later years, but still... you'd send him before Rove?

Kelly Sedinger said...

Well, I take Rove to be one of the "obvious" denizens of Hell; as for Medved, I'd recently read one of his idiotic columns and seen him on TV with that smarmy little smile of his and I guess I just had the guy on the brain. But maybe I should replace him with, say, Bill Kristol.

Jayme Lynn Blaschke said...

Dude, you missed my first question:

If you could trade one Buffalo sports franchise in any league for any other city's in any other league, which would it be, and why?

Eric said...

Jaq, I was surprised to see that you did not assign one of your hell-bound seats to Scott Norwood. Then again, maybe he only belongs in the fifth or sixth circle, where the punishment is to continually move to the right, all the while being hounded by the demons of Jeff Hostetler and Adam Vinatieri.

Kelly Sedinger said...

You know, I've never been mad at Norwood for missing that kick. Truth is, that game should never have come down to a kicker lining up for what was already a low-percentage kick that was at the limit of his range anyway. If the Bills' defense stopped the Giants at any number of opportunities to do so, or if Thurman Thomas had had 25 carries instead of 15 the way he was running that day, the Bills would have won it by more than ten points.

Norwood is often likened to Bill Buckner, but Buckner's play was a routine one. Norwood's wasn't (at least for NFL kickers at that time).

terrbebe said...

Here's my comment: Sincere congratulations on your recent win, and thanks for an entertaining, heartwarming story. After refusing to read any of the winners after the first contest, your excellent piece was a wonderful surprise. You sir, are going to burst onto the publishing scene with a bang. Best wishes for your continued success. P.S. adorable kid you've got there.