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Week 17: Cracked Pleasures 2: The Epic Sequel

PostPosted: Thu Mar 06, 2008 12:47 pm
by Boxguy
While I attempt to hire Don LaFontaine to do a voiceover for a trailer to CP's second MotW questioning, you can PM your interrogative sentences to Profanity. I'll turn it over to her for the setting of a deadline.

Re: Week 17: Cracked Pleasures 2: The Epic Sequel

PostPosted: Fri Mar 07, 2008 1:07 am
by Cracked Pleasures
Heh? A sequel? I am surprised yet honoured :)

Re: Week 17: Cracked Pleasures 2: The Epic Sequel

PostPosted: Mon Mar 10, 2008 9:28 am
by Profanity
If you have any questions, could you try to get them to me by midnight GMT on Wednesday of this week please.

Many thanks.

Re: Week 17: Cracked Pleasures 2: The Epic Sequel

PostPosted: Thu Mar 13, 2008 5:24 pm
by Cracked Pleasures
Questions received, some are quite in-depth so gimme a short while to think of good answers. However, I will deliver them before the weekend.

Re: Week 17: Cracked Pleasures 2: The Epic Sequel

PostPosted: Fri Mar 14, 2008 1:53 am
by Cracked Pleasures
- Could we see a pic of you? Pleeeeeeeeeease?????

Well, since many people asked me for that, I put one on my CouchSurfing profile: . It is not the best one of me, but one of the few ones. I have very few pictures of myself. Also, while you're all visiting that site, register at CouchSurfing, it is a great place for anyone who loves travelling and international socialising.

- If you could get any job that would work out extensively well with your love of travel, what would it be?

Definitely writing travel guides. Or making pictures of all the places I am visiting. I love photography, but not of people, only of scenery and buildings. This type of job would not only allow me to travel around for years, but also to make money out of a hobby. But I wouldn't be writing guides about very touristy and obvious places. Thousands of people go sunbathing in Salou or Gran Canaria, thousands of people visit Rome and New York every year. What I would like to do is to write and photograph the places that all books have forgotten. I can be extremely intruigated by those little isolated towns on the map that nobody seems to have heard of. Places like Puerto Habertur, Puerto Toro, Dikson (Russia), Grense Jakobselv, ... All places that are indicated on maps but where no book ever writes about. All we seem to know is that they exist. Visiting places like that is what makes travelling around the one lifestyle I want to live, the mysteriousness and attraction of those places is extremely big to me.

- So far, what has been your favorite place to live?

Very easy question. Istanbul. Miles ahead of the rest. Although Ghent and Belfast and Berlin are all nice cities with a very interesting history, none of them can hold a candle up to Istanbul. Istanbul is such an amazing place. It is in the beauty of the ancient mosques, the cosy little alleys that give you that metropolis feeling, the mysteriousness of the Arab shops in the bazaar shoppings, the impressive architecture, the idyllic walks along the Bosphorus, ... The city is also so big that you can spend months there without seeing more than half of the city. It is a bridge between two cultures, and the sea is always close Of the cities I lived before, Istanbul is the one I'd return to immediately to live there again. I fell in love with Turkey really and hope that after my Berlin mission is over I can return to the Middle East.

- Would you want to return home to Belgium for a time?

Well, I cannot look into the future. But let's just say it is the last thing I'd be hoping for and that if it depends on me I prefer to keep travelling for many more years. Don't get me wrong though, Belgium isn't a bad place and I could probably enjoy life there, but it is just not what I want to do with my life. I always wanted to leave and start travelling, the other countries and far away places always attracted me a lot more. To realise those dreams is my aim. Living without an aim can be pleasant maybe, but it doesn't appeal to me. So never say never, but I would much rather not go back for now. The rest of the world appeals more to me right now.

Also, a detail, "home to Belgium" sounds quite weird to me. I never felt Belgium was my home. Since I was a young kid I wanted to leave and see the world. I never really felt of any place that it was my home. But really, it feels quite good to not have pattriotic feelings and to sort of feel unattached to any place. Patriottism is totally unknown to me and I like it that way. I may be patriottic the day the Autistic Republic of Aspergia is being founced :wink:

- If you could travel anywhere tomorrow, where would you go and why?

Well, I am not the sort of traveller who is into short holidays so let me replace this question with "where would you emigrate to and why".

The answer: Israel.

I absolutely am obsessed by that place. I fell in love with the Middle East in general, culturally it is the most attractive place on earth to me. Israel on its turn is the most appealing Middle Eastern country. It is diverse in all possible aspects. Scenery-wise it is incredibly diverse with its mountains (Golan Heights), desert (Negev Desert), big and ancient cities like Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, idyllic coastal resorts like Eilat, oddities like the Dead Sea, ... Culturally it is also very diverse due to jewish emigration from around the world, it is one of the most multicultural countries on earth.
Oh yes, Israel without a doubt. Unfortunately working permits are extremely restricted for non-Jews. But I am too motivated to do it to give up (despite the frustrating jobhunts and working permit application issues), so I keep on trying to get in and keep my fingers crossed the dream comes true someday that I can settle for a while in Eretz Ziyon Yerushalaim. I am too motivated to just give it up and hope to move there someday soon. Insjallah...

If Israel would not work out, another Middle Eastern country or Norway or Iceland would appeal to me a lot as well.

- As you may well know, an unofficial moratorium on the death penalty exists in the US during the Supreme Court challenge out of Kentucky on lethal injection procedures. While this is going on a number of states are taking a serious look at abandoning their death penalty statutes primarily due to its higher costs when compared to non-death penalty capital cases. Do you see this as a true victory for death penalty opponents, or would you rather see death penalty statutes overturned on moral grounds rather than financial grounds?

Very interesting question.

While obviously moral grounds for a moratorium would be ideal, I greatly encourage any form of moratorium or abolition based on whatever ground. Regardless of the reason for the moratorium, the most important thing is that the moratorium is there and that people will now experience that they don't need the death penalty to have a safe environment to live in. I believe it can lead to a change of mind in people's heads, that people will grow into their new environment free of death penalty. And when public opinion and public support for the death penalty changes into support for abolition, the full abolition is coming closer.

I also hope this will have a domino effect. Given the importance and influence of the USA on the rest of the world, I hope that if the US abolishes capital punishment, more countries will follow. We already have 75% of the world who de facto or de jure abolished the death penalty, I believe if the US joins the number of abolitionist states the other remaining retentionists may also change their views and also abolish. It will take a while before the whole world has abolished this absolutely inhumane practice but I believe in the goal me and the other abolitionists are trying to achieve, I believe the world will be death penalty-free in not such a far future. So this sort of events, even if the motives were financial, further encourage me to keep on campaigning.

What I do hope is that if lethal injection would be outlawed, that people won't try to find other methods for "humane executions". Killing a human being can NEVER be humane. The idea that medical science is used to terminate lives instead of to save lives, gives me the creeps.

- I've heard rumblings that the Flemish and Walloon portions of Belgium have had passing thoughts about separating. How realistic do you see this event?

The number of separatists grows, especially in the Flemish side of the country. I don't see it happening anytime soon though, especially the Walloons will not let it happen and in Flanders the majority of people will accept a united Belgium as long as Flanders gets more autonomy on financial matters.

Personally, I think back of the nice moments and the nice cities, but at the same time I see a very troubled society of which I do not wish to be part. It is not just the separatism, but also Belgium is taking a turn to far right (and I cannot stand right-wing politics, let alone far right) and a portion of the country is becoming simply xenophobic and plain racist. Politically, the country is a mess right now. But don't get me wrong, this is not why I want to travel and live abroad, the current situation in Belgium doesn't influence my own travel dreams.

My own point of view about the separatism: I am very strongly against the idea of a separate Flemish state. I have learnt to know Belgium as it is, as a unity. And I want it to stay that way. I am very strongly against a Flemish independance, and I even reject the idea of more autonomy for the two regions. I am a proponent of removing the seperate statuses of the different parts of Belgium and to give all power back to the national government in Brussels. The linguistic border is also something I consider totally absurd. The separatism is mostly connected to the far right parties who are also very racist. "A Flemish state for Flemish people". The idea alone makes me feel very troubled and the majority people involved with those parties are plain racists. Luckily I don't see the partition happening anytime soon and I don't see those specific parties get the power anytime soon. The number of voters they get troubles me, but luckily the majority of people is still voting against them. I want Belgium to stay as it is, united. Flanders is not a country and if I may choose it will never be. The xenophobia grows however and some politicians that are doing well are total assholes (pardon my French) so even if they won't get the power, I am irritated by most of the words coming out of their mouth as I am strongly supporting a multicultural society...

- Could you provide a decent summary description of Goth culture and what it means to be Goth? How does the Goth culture view other cultures/subcultures? In what ways do those who are Goth prefer or refrain from interacting with other cultures/subcultures?

This is a difficult yet very interesting question to answer. Difficult because the number of different opinions within the gothic subculture is quite big, so even amongst goths there are debates about the true meaning of gothness. Also, the subculture has been heavily corrupted compared to the original spirit of it.

So let me just answer what gothic means to me personally. To me gothic is a feeling. It is a strong attraction or fascination for the dark side of life, the dark arts, the dark side of the human psyche. It is that fascination, that feeling, more than anything rational. At the same time it is not all gloom, because you can better appreciate the light if you first looked into the dark. To quote London After Midnight: "only in darkness can there be light". Also, to me gothicness means an environment of people who have the same interests but also often there is more in common than just that interest in the darkness. Many goths are very emotional people, devotely into arts, openminded, quite left-wing (although this unfortunately changes a bit lately), ... So there are usually things in common between me and other goth adepts I meet, it means easier social communication because you have that feeling in common. Gothic to me is a feeling really.

That said, the original spirit of gothic is disappearing, especially amongst young goths where some of them don't have a clue what it is really about. The goth subculture is being corrupted so I like to hang out in the clubs where old school gothic is the theme.

- How many languages do you speak or possess a commanding knowledge of? How did you come about learning them? Would there be other languages you would like to learn?

Currently I speak 4 languages. Dutch is my native language, English has become a bit of a second native language due to 3 years in Ireland, and I also speak French and German quite fluently.

I learnt the basics in school but obviously no school training ever learns you more than just the basics. To further improve my languages and get to speak them fluently, travelling is the way to go. Going out to speak with people in their own languages, then only you will learn the language as it is spoken in daily life. Also, reading newspapers and articles and analysing song lyrics in French and English helped me a lot to develop my skills. The funny thing is that I often just think in English. English at some moments has replaced my native language. I often think in English, when I speak to English speakers I don't translate in my head, I just speak it as if I never knew any other language. Very often, when speaking Dutch, I have to throw in English phrases because they come more spontaneously than the Dutch variant. When writing poetry or articles, I always use English and very now and then French, I never write poems in Dutch.

As for languages I would love to learn: I am very keen on learning Hebrew and would also like to learn Arabic. I fell in love with the Middle East and could use those languages well if I want to succeed in finding a job in Israel or neighbouring countries. Also, I think both of them are very beautiful languages. Just read some Hebrew poems or listen to Arabesque songs, those languages sound beautiful. When it comes to Hebrew I did also adopt some phrases and words, so hopefully I can master the language someday.

- How do you view sex? Love? Relationships?

Difficult subject because my lovelife has basically been inexisting for most parts of my life. Despite that I have experienced the feeling of love obviously, but it never lasted long.

Well, I like the feeling of being in love. When meeting a girl that I somehow feel like I connect with her in a deeper way than the "just friends" way. That feeling can be really uplifting: just dreaming away about getting to know her, being with her, being a couple doing romantic things, ... That feeling can be really nice, although I rarely dream of any sexual side. The feeling of having an emotional very strong connection is a lot nicer anyway. The core element of love IMO is always being there for each other, being a harbour in the tempest to each other, and just experiencing romance, like falling asleep together and feeling privileged to be with that person you consider very special. "It's not like any other love, this one is difference because it's us", you know. Emotional connection is of core importance, I need to have the feeling that the girl and I can like read each others thoughts and understand each other without many words. As A Perfect Circle sang it so nicely in the song Brena (best lovesong ever): "My reflection".

That said, as nice as the feeling or idea may be, it is not my priority in life. I don't say I wouldn't like to have a girlfriend, but I am not in a hurry and it has to be in a way that it doesn't stand in the way of my travelling dreams. I rather wait for the right girl to travel with me, even if it's a long wait. Love is not unimportant to me, but it has to fit in my travel schedules. The one doesn't have to exclude the other anyway, I am confident I will meet a girl who wants to travel as much as I do. I am in no hurry nor do I make it a priority in life. Some people don't understand it, but I don't see romance as a status symbol, I will just enjoy single life and we'll see when the right woman comes my way to wander the world with me.

When it comes to sex, my views are more blurred. I always thought sex was overrated as in : society nowadays makes it a race to have as much sex as possible. I never thought it was that important. Now as a teenager I was struck by anxiety disorders including a severe contamination OCD, this lead of course troubled my own approach to sexuality. Although I luckily improved and feel like romance is welcome, sexuality is still a blurred issue to me for reasons totally different than that. I described my ideas of romance and of a nice relationship, and somehow sex would only sort of not fit in that ideal picture of romance. Well, of course sex is part of it, but I find it one of the least important aspects of a relationship. That emotional strong connection is much more important. Sex is part of a relationship, but not a very important one. And if it happens, it should happen with a girl I have feelings for. The idea of one night stands totally turns me off. People sometimes would think differently because I easily joke about sex, but really, sex without any emotional connection just doesn't interest me.

But don't call me oldfashioned or so, I don't have the slightest problem with people flirting around, going to a strip club, ... To each his own and I am very openminded in saying that I talk easily about subjects like this and am against the idea that sex should be a taboo subject. It's just that sex without feelings seems a bit void to me, but I won't ever judge somebody who likes to float around. I don't say I refuse one night stands because of moral objections or old fashionedness (I don't have moral objections to it), but purely because it simply doesn't appeal to me. And I demand that people respect that and don't try to talk me into any other attitude, just like I respect others who have different opinions.

- Describe your perfect life companion/mate.

You mean like, my perfect girlfriend? Well:
- she has to share my way of feeling and thinking to some extend, being able to sort of understand me without many words.
- she has to always be there for me when I need it (and of course vice-versa)
- she has to have a devote passion for arts, preferably though not necessarily some same tastes as me
- she has to be passionate about travelling and this is of course very important
- interest in issues like politics, human rights, religion, ... as I like to have in-depth conversations myself
- she does not want to have a family (as I am not wanting any children myself)
- she has to be open to diversity and strongly anti-racist
- ideally a bit shy, as I find that cute :)
- liking football is nice though not necessarily at all
- she prefers a good in-depth conversation instead of a party (which doesn't exclude a party now and then if she likes that of course)

I think that's about it. I won't go describing appearance or female body parts because that's not the most important and because otherwise I'd sound like a pervert :oops: Let's just say I like a cute smile and deep blue eyes. But the above described things are most important.

- Being male I've almost always seen myself as being grossly inferior to women, particularly in biological and social realms. What do you see as the place of males in the world? (I know I may be going pretty deep with this one.)

Hey, I like in-depth talks, so thanks for an interesting question like that :wink:

Well, I strongly advocate equality of people regardless of gender, religion, race, background, (dis)abilitiy, ... So I don't like the idea of one gender being inferior to the other.

That said, I prefer the company of women usually. They are usually more into in-depth conversations and dare I say, more mature? Let's say men often care way too much about image, status symbols, ... Take my appearance as a small example: when people see my make-up, most girls say it looks good or just don't care, while the few negative reactions I get always come from men. Men seem to be afraid to stray from the norm, afraid to not be "hip" or left out. Men seem to more easily stick to stereotypes such as "if you look like that or behave like that, you must be gay". First of all stereotyping like that is ridiculous, and the fact that they give a negative connotation to the word gay also indicates narrow-mindedness. Women less often show this sort of behaviour, so maybe I do have to say they usually are more mature. But that is generalising of course.

- Isn't Boxguy too geeky for his own good?

Absolutely... not! Boxguy strikes me as a really cool guy. Plus, nothing wrong with geeks. Without them the internet wouldn't be half as sophisticated as it is now. The non-geeks need the geeks for their own pleasure! But I never considered Boxguy as a geek.

That said, aren't we Aspies often called geeks by the outside world?

But anyway, if I ever come near Salina I'd invite Boxguy and Chicken for a drink immediately, they seem really interesting people for a good chat and maybe Boxguy can learn me how to build a website because I am so incredibly crap in that!

- If you were someone else for 24 hours, who would you be?

I am happy enough with my own personality, so if I would be someone else for 24 days I'd rather be someone who can make a difference in this world. Well, the next US president for example. In that 24 hours I would sign some laws: abolition of capital punishment in all states, getting all troops out of Iraq, shutting down the prison in Guantanamo Bay, removing the "In god we trust" from money and passports, ... and then hoping that after those 24 hours my changes would be adopted by other countries. On the other hand, I hope Obama wins the elections because sleeping with Bill Clinton would be a total turn-off :shock:

- Should we all have a round of applause for Truman Capote?

Definitely! All hail TC! Seriously, he is one of the most active guys in the community so yes, he deserves lot of credit.

- What is the one sole thing you feel that you absolutely must accomplish or attain before you die?

Having lived at least 1 or a few years in the few countries that I consider countries of my dreams. As I said, working permit issues make this difficult but I strongly believe I can realise my goals.

- Is there any one character in history that you identify with? If so, why?

Ehm, I have been thinking for hours about the answer to this question but cannot think of an answer really. I mean, I cannot really think of any aspie person who made a huge impact on society. So I have to pass on this question, and try to make some history myself maybe :wink: Well, one person I have very strong respect for, is Karl Marx. But to identify myself with him would be too much honour.

- Do you have a favorite poem? If so, what does it mean to you?

I've written sometimes myself, but strangely enough rarely read other's peotry. I should answer with a song here as this is a sort of poem as well, isn't it? Let's say the artist that changed my outlook on arts most of all is Ian McCulloch of Echo & The Bunnymen and I will quote the one line that always lifts me up when I most need it:

"Keep if flaming your desire, always rising higher, aim for stars and hit the sky".

- If you had a time machine, which period of your life or which period in history would you like to (re)visit?

Apart from a very few years my life has been quite troubled and especially my youth has been, so I wouldn't want to go back to a personal past. However, I would LOVE to travel to the medieval times. Like the years 1300-1500. When the first beautiful architecture rose, but where people still lived in more or less isolated cities, when religion and other strange believes were playing a central role in people's lives, and at the same time modernisation slowly crawled in, ... Society during that era seems extremely interesting to me so I would definitely want to visit the Medieval times.

- What is the most awesome fact you know about Profanity?

Hey, I am a polite guy and won't disclose any naughty fact she's been telling me :mrgreen: But she's a fellow Mansonite so she's in my good books for sure.

And I hereby nominate Pashy as next victim of the week. If she would want to, of course. That said, I would encourage the board of the forum to try getting some older members back. Irish Blood Irish Heart, Atomium, Alabaster Crashing Down, ... It is quite weird we have to do sequels of the Member o/t Week already, this board deserves more than 15 or 16 active members. So let's get some old familiar names back here. But for next week, I'd nominate Pashy: likes travelling, loves Dave Vanian and the Damned, so someone with good taste obviously!

Re: Week 17: Cracked Pleasures 2: The Epic Sequel

PostPosted: Sat Mar 15, 2008 12:25 pm
by Profanity
Nicely answered CP. I enjoyed reading your replies. :)

Re: Week 17: Cracked Pleasures 2: The Epic Sequel

PostPosted: Tue Mar 18, 2008 9:47 pm
by Cracked Pleasures
I made a bit of publicity for both my interview and the entire Strangeways community in the article on my blog:

Article should appear soon within the coming hours (depending how rapid the Blogspot server processes my new entry)

Re: Week 17: Cracked Pleasures 2: The Epic Sequel

PostPosted: Mon Mar 24, 2008 7:56 am
by Truman Capote
This was a VERY nice read, you are clearly a very inteligent creature, my CP!

Oh and I just want to say that the 'Should we all have a round of applause for Truman Capote?' question was not mine!!! So I think I deserve another round of applause. :P

I would like to add a Q...

Image Are you dark when you think about sex? (You can laugh at this and take it as a joke or answer it!)

Re: Week 17: Cracked Pleasures 2: The Epic Sequel

PostPosted: Wed Mar 26, 2008 1:23 am
by Cracked Pleasures
Heh, interesting question :) Well, I'll respond in a serious way.

Depends what you mean with dark I guess... I am not really into kinky things like leather or toys and such. I am more the helplessly (naive) romantic type. The ideal sexual situation to me would be after a really romantic night where the feeling of "i am so priviledged to hold this woman in my arms" is more prominent than the sexual aspect in itself. Once that criteria is met you don't need a lot more, I am not the type of person who is into kinky or fetish things. Some candlelights or a full moon outside or so is a different thing, that is something that is dark but enhancing romance at the same time. So guess my answer depends on what you mean with dark ; I am much more of a romantic person than a kinky person, but that of course doesn't mean I'd stick to missionary everytime :wink: :?

And me intelligent? Too much honour really to be called that :)

Re: Week 17: Cracked Pleasures 2: The Epic Sequel

PostPosted: Wed Mar 26, 2008 8:15 pm
by Truman Capote
Cracked Pleasures wrote: I am much more of a romantic person than a kinky person, but that of course doesn't mean I'd stick to missionary everytime :wink: :?

Good answer... And yeah by dark I meant leather, whips, I am your dog, etc...

I think we need to add some sex to the Member of the Week... Just kidding.


Re: Week 17: Cracked Pleasures 2: The Epic Sequel

PostPosted: Thu Mar 27, 2008 4:59 am
by Cracked Pleasures
I am your dog? What does that mean? :oops: :shock:

Well, in general I am not into fetish stuff. I prefer it romantic and intimate. I don't think I'd easily fall for a woman who is into the whole leather and whip thing, I don't see the romanticness of that. But that doesn't mean one cannot experiment. Hey, lube was invented for a reason :)

(OK, this was naughty and sick, so pretend I never said that :oops: )

Re: Week 17: Cracked Pleasures 2: The Epic Sequel

PostPosted: Thu Mar 27, 2008 5:49 am
by Truman Capote
Cracked Pleasures wrote:I am your dog? What does that mean? :oops: :shock:

Well, like two years ago I saw this british documental or something like that. And there was this couple, probably in their fifties... they liked to play that he was a dog, with the barking and all, she loooved to take him out for a walk through some kind of park... Ha ha! Obviously he was naked.


Re: Week 17: Cracked Pleasures 2: The Epic Sequel

PostPosted: Thu Mar 27, 2008 7:17 am
by Cracked Pleasures
Ah, role plays. Bit like the classic doctor and patient thing, but at least these folks are more creative :) I doubt that I'd enjoy any such thing though, it doesn't sound anything remotely romantic and a bit too strange even for my openminded being... But hey, if they enjoy it, good for them!