Friday, May 26, 2006

The Proust Questionnaire

Inspired by Momus and because I've got nothing better to do now, I decided to fill in my own answers to the Proust questionnaire:

  • What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?

    Lacking decent toilet facilities.

  • Where would you like to live?

    In a peaceful place with enough room for my records, books and other stuff.

  • What is your idea of earthly happiness?

    On a general level: The end of war, greed and the destruction of ecosystem.

    On a personal level: To love and to be loved in return. Being able to sustain myself with the things I love to do.

  • Who are your favourite heroes of fiction?

    Captain Nemo of Jules Verne, Emil of Astrid Lindgren.

  • Who are your favourite characters in history?

    Siddhartha Gautama Buddha, Alexander the Great, Urho Kekkonen.

  • Who are your favourite heroines in real life?

    Chicks on Speed -- they showed me the way.

  • Who are your favourite heroines of fiction?

    Barbarella, Pippi Longstocking, Octobriana, Sapphire of Sapphire & Steel, Yoko Tsuno.

  • Your favourite painter?

    Giorgio DeChirico.

  • Your favourite musician?

    Scott Walker.

  • The quality you most admire in a man?


  • The quality you most admire in a woman?

    A combination of external & inner beauty and mental balance.

  • Your favourite virtue?

    Being able to help other people without asking anything in return.

  • Your favourite occupation?

    Sleeping, reading, listening to music, watching good movies and other works of art, creating things, daydreaming.

  • Who would you have liked to be?

    A science-fiction astronaut when I was a kid, but these days I have to stay content with being just myself.

  • Your most marked characteristic?


  • What would you like to be?

    Someone who can make a living with the things he loves doing.

  • What is your favourite colour?


  • What is your favourite flower?

    Black orchid.

  • What is your favourite bird?


  • Who are your favourite prose writers?

    Paul Auster, J.G. Ballard, Jorge Luis Borges, Raymond Chandler, Philip K. Dick, James Ellroy, Hermann Hesse, Franz Kafka, Leena Krohn, Thomas Mann, Edgar Allan Poe, Hunter S. Thompson.

  • Who are your favourite poets?

    Charles Baudelaire, William Blake, Jean Cocteau, T.S. Eliot, Allen Ginsberg, Arthur Rimbaud (not too original, I'm afraid).

  • Who are your favourite composers?

    J.S. Bach, Beethoven (see the previous question).

  • Who are your heroes in real life?

    My grandfather Aarne Rautio: a gentle, almost saint-like man.

  • Who are your favourite heroines of history?

    Catherine the Great, Emma Goldman, Tarja Halonen.

  • What are your favourite names?

    Everything that start with "X".

  • What is it you most dislike?

    The current political and economical mindset of greed and social Darwinism.

  • My own worst qualities

    Self-centredness (well, you see, I'm a Leo), delusions of grandeur (ditto), laziness, moodiness, angry temper, fear of people.

  • What historical figures do you most despise?

    All Big Brother-type (as in Orwell, not as in a fucking reality-TV show) dictators and most right-wing politicians.

  • What event in military history do you most admire?

    My brief stint in Finnish army (obligatory in this country, unfortunately; either that or a punishment-like "civilian service" at some hospital etc. -- or going to prison) made me a life-long pacifist, so I can't really answer this. I prefer peacetime.

  • What reform do you most admire?

    All revolutions, though not necessarily their aftermath.

  • What natural gift would you most like to possess?

    Perfect pitch.

  • How would you like to die?

    In the arms of a lovely woman after I've given all I can give in this life -- not before.

  • What is your present state of mind?

    Anxious, impatient, wary.

  • What is your motto?

    Nothing is impossible unless it is made impossible.

    Juri said...

    Hey hey hey, c'mon! Military service is definitely *not* obligatory in Finland! You can skip it by several ways the most popular is of course "sivari", the non-military service. (What is true is of course that if you decline even that, you'll go to jail, which is a degradation.)

    pHinn said...

    Well, I should have clarified that the non-armed alternative to thr Finnish Defence Force is the so called civilian service which lasts for 15 months (if I remember that time correctly), which usually is taken by working at a hospital or at any Finnish State-run public institutions. There has been a lot of talk in Finland about the length of civilian service being a sort of punishment, and Amnesty International has made Finland an example of those countries unjustly imprisoning the conscientious objects (or "total deniers") who don't want go to the army or do the civilian service, either. So I tried to correct that now to my original posting, Mr. Besserwisser ;)

    pHinn said...

    And "conscientious objectors" was the exact term I was looking for here, not "conscientious objects" -- though I'd be interested to know what on earth those were ;)

    Juri said...

    Not besserwisser, just trying to get things right... Remember that you're spreading the word of our land and culture into the bigger universe with your blog! :P

    The civilian service is now 13 months long.

    pHinn said...

    Well, by no means am I some "official spokesman of Finland", God forbid! My image of it might be too unflattering, ugly, hard and dark. Unless someone's going to pay me money for that, of course...

    Pjotr said...

    Ohh. Scott Walker. And I thought I was the only one...