How to Identify a Real B.C.
It appears that I'm an INTJ personality, according to the Myers-Briggs test.
Really I. Really N. Really T. Borderline J.
I don't suffer stupid people gladly. It's probably fair to say that I value intelligence in people above all else.
Unfortunately, to paraphrase Harlan Ellison, hydrogen and stupidity are the two most common things in the universe. And this gets me into a lot of trouble.
One of my majors in university was Theatre. For some reason, most of the time I tell people this, they say "So, have you seen Phantom of the Opera yet?"
In general, I'm not very fond of modern musicals. They make me think of the spectacle theatre that dominated the European stage from 1600 to 1900. Big. Truimphant. Impressive. And not one iota of lasting value.
There are, however, a few musicals I'm fond of. I like most of the works of Stephen Sondheim (mostly because of the way the music emphasizes the lyrics -- he gets these wonderfully silly rhymes going with tons of alliteration). His musical Into the Woods is one of my favourites; here's a sample of a song that Cinderella sings as the clock strikes midnight, and she's trying to leave the ball.
My favourite musical, though, is Chess -- a musical that most people have never heard of because it wasn't as big a craze as Cats. But most people have probably heard the song "One Night in Bangkok", which is from the Chess soundtrack.
I finally got a chance to see a production of Chess when I went to Australia in 1990. The Australian production monkeyed around with the storyline which disappointed me. The original storyline was one of the best features of the show. The love triangle implodes. No one gets together at the end. And yet...
I'm not anal. I just believe that pencil-crayons have numbers on them for a reason.
I grew up with a kind of new agey belief that we can shape a lot of our own personal universes. There's a lot of ways that this belief leaks out into my worldview. For example, I used to not believe in talent; instead, I believed that everyone was capable of the same aptitudes if they just put their minds to it.
I think this belief is one of the reasons I have such a dislike for stupid people.
I even believed that people could overcome common sicknesses if they put their minds to it. Like I said... this is pretty new agey, and I don't believe it all any more, but I have a hard time changing my outlooks.
I get really tired of hearing people using the deficit to justify the really sickening assualts that have been made on Canada's social systems. People say, "We have no choice but to cut funding to Health Care" -- why don't we ever say, "We have no choice but to tax the banks"?
I'm a computer professional, although I'd love to be able to spend my days writing fiction, or possibly reading postmodernist literature.
I have some pretty snobbish opinions about programming. I think that there's a lot mediocre programmers in the world, and I am easily disappointed by pieces of code. I use the phrase 'elegance' a lot when I talk about code. Good code should have a sort of elegance that makes it easy to understand, and easy to maintain. Additionally, a lot of people seem to think that "quick and dirty" solutions are sometimes appropriate and most of the time, I just disagree.
Although I lean very strongly to writing "proper" code, I've always had very high programming productivity, and relatively few bugs. In my mind, code that's unnecessarily complicated is inherently more prone to errors.
These days, I favour object-oriented languages (C++ and Java), and I enjoy programming in them a lot. I used to believe that Java wasn't ready for prime time, but my respect for the language has shot up enormously in the last several months.
I'm getting tired of people using "Politically Correct" as a pejorative. I think the most eloquent case for politically correct language is made by Douglas Hofstadter. I use politically correct language because I think it's important to explicitly include everybody when I speak.
I recently read a page that said "PC-ism is an excuse to persecute male Europeans and their descendants."
Ding-a-ling-a-ling... "It's the clue phone. It's for you."
I'm passionately in love with Australia. I'd move there in an instant, if my family would come with me. I remember sitting at the base of the Opera House one day in 1990, eating fish and chips, and looking out across Sydney Harbour. I thought, "this is heaven."
I've been back to Sydney once since then (1995), and I still love it.
I'm against the death penalty. Basically, I think the right to take another human life is not a power that can be entrusted with the government because it will be abused.
There's a lot of evidence that suggests that the severity of a punishment does not affect the incidence of a crime, or even criminal recidivism. And it appears that, with all the legal checks to keep things fair, the death penalty costs the taxpayers more than life imprisonment. And it involves some pretty yucky ethics, too. But mainly, I don't want the death penalty because I don't think any legal system should have that power.
Before Caroline in the City, I used to be the only one who knew who Lea Thompson was. I used to have a big crush on her. I'm the only person I know who saw Howard the Duck more than once.
And don't forget Jaws 3D, Red Dawn, Space Camp, the Back to the Future trilogy, The Wizard of Loneliness, Some Kind of Wonderful and, uh..., some movie about nuclear testing.
The cause that I spend my energy on is gender education. Not surprising, given that I'm transgendered.
The charity that I spend my money on is the Casey House Aids Hospice in Toronto.
Copyright © 1998 by B.C. Holmes. Last updated August 26th, 2000.
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