Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Dream Dinner Party

For Create a Connection , getting to know you, this past week, DebR has come up with a good one that took some real thinking. Thanks Deb I needed to get my brain going today.

Dream Dinner Party
1. Guest one must be someone who is/was creative with words - a novelist, poet, playwright, essayist, journalist, etc. Who would you invite? I would invite Kurt Vonnegut. His novels and essays have been an inspiration to me ever since I started reading him way back in high school. The dark, despairing vision of the world cut through with absurdist multi-layered humour is how I wish I could write. He's a very feisty old man now, I think he'd be a hoot at a dinner party. His most recent book "A Man Without A Country" made me laugh out loud and cry in despair. Did you see him on the Daily Show last year?

2. Guest two must be someone who is/was creative with images - a painter, photographer, sculptor, fabric artist, collage artist, etc. Who would you invite? I would invite surrealist painter, Frida Kahlo. I would want to share with her how influential her lifes' work has been for so many artists. How deeply touched I am by her art and by her writings, especially those about making art even though one is in tremendous life-long physical pain. And how her imagery still resonates to this day. I'd also want to show her my quilt that I did based on her life and love with Diego Rivera, "Frida's Eyes Say It All".

3. Guest three must be someone who is/was a performer - an actor, singer, musician, comedian, acrobat, etc. Who would you invite? I would invite Dave Matthews. Wouldn't it be great if he would sing us a song after dinner. And wiggle his eyebrows too? please? His music has gotten me through some tough times and I'd want to tell him that. His passion and emotion comes through in his songs. I'd want to ask him what it is like to perform for so many people at once, and how it is to be a father travelling all the time.

4. Guest four must be someone who is charting/charted new territory - either in the physical sense, like an explorer, adventurer, or astronaut, or someone like a groundbreaking scientist or inventor. Who would you invite?
I would invite Christopher Columbus. I've always been interested in explorers, that was my absolute favorite part of fifth grade in Mr. Robledo's class. And the story on Columbus has changed soooo much since when I was in school, to what my kids have learned in the last couple of years. So I would like to talk with him about his motivations for taking this leap into the unknown, and how he really treated the people he met with, and did he have any regrets. Did he know what an impact he would have on the world?

5. Guest five must be someone who is/was a leader of other people - perhaps in the area of politics, like the literal leader of a country, or perhaps a leader in the area of religion, military, business, or even a great philosopher or teacher, or an inspiring athlete. Who would you invite? I would invite philospher Bertrand Russell. An anti-war, anti-imperialist deep thinker whose writings have influenced society for decades now. I'd especially want to ask him his opinions on how we use language now, as that is one of his most interesting areas of expertise. I'd want to discuss religion and the existence of God, here is one of my favorite quotes of his: "Religion is based, I think, primarily and mainly upon fear. It is partly the terror of the unknown and partly, as I have said, the wish to feel that you have a kind of elder brother who will stand by you in all your troubles and disputes. […] A good world needs knowledge, kindliness, and courage; it does not need a regretful hankering after the past or a fettering of the free intelligence by the words uttered long ago by ignorant men.
—Bertrand Russell, Why I Am Not a Christian and Other Essays on Religion and Related Subjects"

6. Guest six must be someone from any field who you believe is/was underrated and under-appreciated by most people, but whom you admire. Who would you invite? I would invite Bill Moyers, television journalist. I just read that he is returning to PBS with a new show. I'd want to ask him about his years covering our country, what he sees as our greatest strengths, and how he predicts this war will come out.

7. Guest seven is a wild card - your choice! Is there someone you'd like to invite who didn't seem to quite fit into any category, or was there a category where you'd have really liked to invite two different people? Then this is your chance to add the person you missed to the table. Who would you invite? I would invite Jon Stewart of Comedy Central's The Daily Show. Oh to have a chance to talk with this witty, brilliant man. And to thank him for all the laughs. And all the insight on the days' news. I'd have to ask him what he likes best about doing this show, who has he wanted to literally strangle or yell "bullshit" at, etc...

Bonus: Uh Oh! The dinner party is just about to end, and all your guests are about to disappear, and you realize that you've forgotten to ask one important question of one of your guests. You just barely have time to squeeze in that last question, so quick! - what was the question and who did you ask? Oops, I forgot to ask Bill Moyers his favorite memory of interviewing Joseph Campbell.

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