Miles Coverdale (manos74) wrote,
Miles Coverdale

From embossedsilver:
Look at your LJ interests list. If you have fewer than 50 interests, pick every fifth one. If you have between fifty and seventy-five interests, pick every seventh one. If you have over seventy-five interests, pick every tenth one. If you have fewer than ten, pick all of 'em.

List them on your LJ, and tell everyone exactly what it is about these things that interests you so much.

Bisexuality: Um, yeah. For those of you who don't know... well, I like boys as well as girls. (Though for the last several years, I've been ruminating on how it might be sociopolitically problematic of me to identify as bisexual. Granted, it puts me in a position to catch flak from both heteros ["Why can't you just pick a hole and fuck it regularly?!"] and homos ["You just say you're bi because you don't want to admit you're really straight after all, and you think you'll get some cool street-cred this way and we'll invite you to all our cool parties"]-- and being caught in the middle [or the "borderlands"] is, from a sociotheoretical standpoint, The In Place To Be right now. But the question remains-- do I identify as bisexual because I honestly believe I can form deep and meaningful romantic relationships with both genders, or just because I think some guys are fucking hot?)

Comte du Buffon: Title of George Louis Leclerc, French naturalist (1707-1788) best known for his 36-volume (44 volumes, if you count the ones published after his death) Histoire Naturelle, which was considered the major work of biology in the 18th century. Where he becomes interesting to me is in his theories of degeneracy. In essence, Buffon was one of the first modern scientists to posit that organisms change in response to their environments over time--in other words, he was a proto-evolutionist. Where he differs from the evolutionists of the 19th century, however, is that he saw this change solely in terms of degeneration from a specific ideal. If a species' environment is bad, then the species will be degenerated irredeemably, compared to a species that lives in a good environment. And, according to him, the environment of North America was the worst and most degenerating environment on Earth--every species of plant and animal, up to and including human beings, was smaller, weaker, more stunted, compared to its European counterpart. And any plant or animal that came over from Europe to North America, up to and including human beings, would degenerate. This went over about as well as you could imagine in colonial America-- American scientists and naturalists basically went "Oh no he didn't!" at Buffon; Thomas Jefferson explicity intended his Notes on the State of Virginia as a repudiation of what Buffon said. I wrote my master's thesis, and constructed my now-defunct doctoral dissertation, on how Buffon's ideas and their repudiations appear in 19th-century American literature.
(This whole idea of degeneracy, particularly American degeneracy, is something that just facinates the utter hell out of me. Because I think that even now, we're still stuck in the mode of "We are so NOT degenerate, and we'll prove it! We are SO better than Europe will ever be!"-- but that's a subject for another entry.)

English teachers: I used to teach English comp. It's only natural I should be interested in those who also do it.

HED PASTEDE ON YAY: Along with "All your ____ are belong to us", "My ____ iz pastede on yay" is a phrase that has passed from the Internet to my vocabulary... and not coincidentally, I fear, a phrase I overuse. But what can I do, I am but a product of my culture...

KOTD: Short for Knights of the Dinner Table, a long-running comic series about the life and experiences of a gaming group. While it doesn't seem as good to me as it once was, and while it doesn't have anything so funny as "I cast Magic Missile on the darkness!" (if you don't know, trust me, don't ask), I'll always have a soft spot in my heart for it because of the following bit of dialogue:
B.A.: So...what you're asking me is, does your character survive a point-blank fire blast to his face that causes him to stumble backwards off a 300-foot cliff and fall into a pool of molten lava?
Dave: Well, yeah. He's got +1 armor!
B.A.: ...NO!!
Brian [to Dave]: Damn, dude! You were robbed!

Michigan: I was born and raised there. Lived there until I was nineteen. My "official" state of residence until I was almost twenty-four. I've gone back and visited every year since.

Peter Schilling: German pop singer, best known for his 1983 hit "Major Tom (Coming Home)." His songs sound like a collaboration between New Order and William Gibson. SF nerd-pop at its finest.

Retro-futures: I'm a sucker for the way the past envisioned the present. Flying cars, cities on the moon, personal housekeeping robots-- I can't help it, it draws my attention like nothing else. I'm also always particularly drawn to the ways in which what is considered cutting-edge is laughably quaint only a few decades later. If you want a really good story about this sort of thing, do yourself a favor and read William Gibson's The Gernsback Continuum. It's short and awesome and one of the best short stories of the twentieth century, in my view.

Terry Pratchett: British fantasy author. As with Douglas Adams, I'm a sucker for sophisticated nonsense and wordplay.

Vikram Szpirglas: The villan of Kenneth Oppel's YA novel Airborn. He's the leader of a bunch of flying pirates. He is such a bad-ass-- very suave, very stylish, very much acting a part; if you even think of displeasing him, though, he'll kill you without a second thought. Bad-ass.

So, there you are. And if you're curious about any of my other interests, hey, feel free to ask.

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