General Silliness

Bernard Pivot Questions

Sunday, 8th March 2020

In honor of James Lipton’s passing, please fill out your own Bernard Pivot questionnaire (which he used to do at the end of every interview on Inside the Actor’s Studio), and post it on your page. Here is mine (with explanations, which I suspect is not what the intention is here, but whatever):

What is your favorite word? Together. Can I have another one? Letting-go.

What is your least favorite word? Ooo, so many. Let’s go with “individualism” – it gets used to excuse so much bad behaviour, obscures how complex we are, privileges competition over cooperation, and gets used for so many things it is practically meaningless, yet is taken as a fundamental and unreflective good by so many.

What turns you on? Intelligence and passion. Oh, and self-awareness, which includes humility and integrity. This doesn’t just ask for one thing, does it?

What turns you off? Arrogance. Thinking someone knows more than they actually do, especially when that harms others (is that the same thing as arrogance? Maybe).

What sound or noise do you love? I guess the question isn’t referring to meaning but experience, right? So “someone speaking truth” doesn’t count? The voice of my partner isn’t what they mean here? All those are true, but if it is the literal sound, I would have to say, a musician who’s truly connecting to their music, in whatever form it comes.

What sound or noise do you hate? Again, I’m guessing that “the incessant lies and prevarications of fascists” doesn’t count. Ok then, babies or animals crying, in distress. And yes, I know it happens and sometimes there’s nothing you can do about it. The thing is, when we hear a child or an animal in distress, especially if there’s nothing I can do about it, it makes me crazy. My “I have to fix this” instinct kicks in.

What is your favorite curse word? Fuuuuuuuuck. And all its cognates, variants, and colors.

What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? Architect? Not sure. So many interesting things. I guess I’m less interested in what the profession is and more interested in the space in which it is conducted, and whether it allows or prohibits integrity.

What profession would you not like to do? Anything where I was required to justify and promote fundamental injustice in the world. So yeah, some of what I’m doing right now, working for a corporatized educational system. But there’s a lot worse out there, and at least I can speak back.

If heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the pearly gates? “Well done, thou good and faithful servant.” Or maybe just “like Luther said, you loved God and did as you pleased.”

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