Wednesday, January 28, 2009

I've Been 25 Random Thing'ed on Facebook

Yesterday, I was tagged by my friend Rob with the 25 Things "chain note." I spent about half an hour writing the response when I accidentally hit one of the hot buttons on my Firefox menu instead of hitting a tab. I had been switching between tabs to include links to some of the things I was commenting about and suffered the consequences. Specifically, I lost half an hour's writing as I backclicked and found that everything I had written no longer existed. It was a frustrating experience, so I am going to rewrite the post today. First, here on Cinerati so that the "world" can see it. Then I'll post it to Facebook.

So here's the gig:

Rules: Once you've been tagged, you are supposed to write a note with 25 random things, facts, habits, or goals about you. At the end, choose 25 people to be tagged. You have to tag the person who tagged you. If I tagged you, it's because I want to know more about you.

(To do this, go to “notes” under tabs on your profile page, paste these instructions in the body of the note, type your 25 random things, tag 25 people (in the right hand corner of the app) then click publish.)

And here goes:

1) I love to surprise people by having an affection for some part of popular culture that they do enjoy. I like it best when this is an unexpected shared "guilty pleasure." This is why I'll watch anything from "The OC" to "The Real Houswives of Orange County" as well as anything from "Heroes" to "Legend of the Seeker." I'm not one of those who seeks to lord my knowledge of a particular segment of popular culture, like...say... comic books or role playing games, over others. Rather, I am constantly exposing myself to new things in order to have these happy surprise moments.

2) I am pretentiously anti-pretense. There's a part of me that hates it when people talk about "THE WATCHMEN" as the "world's greatest graphic novel." First, it is a comic book. It was a 12 issue maxi-series. Second, it's really good, but there are so many good comic books that I have lost count. Third, most people who talk about how cool "THE WATCHMEN" "graphic novel" is have either a) never read it or b) are saying it to be "cool." It isn't cool to say WATCHMEN is good, it is merely true. It is uncool to say WATCHMEN is a "graphic novel." Maybe you are referring to the "trade paperback" or "Absolute Hardcover Collected Edition?" (Quotation marks around the first two reference are there to point out the error of the attribution in the first two quotes. The series is merely called WATCHMEN, comic book fans know this.)

3) I also think that Science Fiction and Fantasy Genre fans should ban Michael Chabon from receiving any awards until he tells off the literati in NYC. Michael is one of the shining lights of genre fiction. He could be the modern day equivalent of Lin Carter -- with far more talent. He could champion his influences so much that he ends up editing scads of anthologies and a line of books instead of doing a "McSweeney's" anthology intended for only the "literate" SF/F fan. Come on man! Help educate the literati that your GENTLEMEN OF THE ROAD is influence by Fritz Leiber's Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser stories. Fans got it, your publisher pointed it out, but the critics totally missed it. Besides, they should be reading the Leiber stories. Maybe they can skip "The Snow Women," but the others...grrr. Your article on capes in the New Yorker was a good start (, but I want more! Be a champion of the genre or no more Hugos for you! In fact, let's take your recent one away and give it to John Scalzi.

4) I like heavy metal, punk, goth, emo, pop punk, some rap, techno, classical, crooners, 50s rock, classic rock, and a long list of other music. I don't tend to listen too much to "modern pop," but I do think that Christina Aguilera has miles more talent than Britney and I own a couple Avril Lavigne cds. I am always in the mood for Prince. The same can be said for most Metallica. Let me put it this way. I like the Go-Gos, but I don't like Belinda Carlisle.

5) I prefer third person shooters to first person ones. This is because third person ones "tend" to have better stories than first person ones and they attempt to be more cinematic. It isn't because I get owned (pwnt) every time I log on to Xbox Live (though that does usually happen). It's more that I like "living the movie" more than I like taunting some 12 year old in Sheboygan as I repeatedly shoot him in the face.

6) Speaking of pwnt, Backgammon is Victorian English for pwnt and I have decided to use it on a regular basis. Some people might say, and I summon Balor FTW! I'll say, and summoning Balor means Backgammon beeyotch! Nice combination of bizarre Victorian formality and modern vulgarity, don't you think?

7) I am deeply devoted to my wife of 12 years (this May) and cannot imagine life without her. One look/call/email from her is a dose of condensed joy.

8) On that note. I always knew that I wanted children. I have worked with a lot of young people and really like kids. But I am amazed at how much I underestimated how much I would enjoy being the father of twin girls. I was excited when my wife and I decided to "try." I was overjoyed when I found out she was pregnant, and elated when I heard it would be twins. It all pales to the reality of hanging out with Nora and Clio. It gets better everyday. Which gives me some idea of how much they are going to break my heart from time to time.

9) I have currently put my study toward a Ph.D. in Politcal Science (focus in American Politics and Political Philosophy) at Claremont Graduate University on hold so that I can get an MBA at Cal Poly Pomona. I am at a point in my career where I want to transition from the non-profit world into the profit world and it makes perfect sense. My hope is to get hired by Mattel, Hasbro, or some sort of Entertainment Industry company. Some people think it's odd to put a Ph.D. at a top tier school on hold to get an MBA at a less prestigious (but still very respected) university. Not me. Anderson and Marshall are too expensive, in time and money, and work is able to reimburse all my Cal Poly tuition costs. Free = w00t.

10) This past year, I took my wife's last name. I told you I was devoted to her.

11) My daughter Nora Thekla Lindke is named after Nora Charles (of the Thin Man), my grandmother Thekla, and my wife Jody Lindke. My younger daughter (by one minute) Clio Millie Lindke is named after the muse of history (who Herodotus appealed to when he wrote his famous History), Jody's grandmother Millie, and my wife. In case you were wondering.

12) I believe that friendship is more important than politics. I actually have a whole theory that friendship is the root of politics properly understood. If a society is to be just, it must be a society of friends and when one treats those around him/her as friends one acts with greater prudence. One finds it easier to disagree agreeably with friends than with ciphers. That's not the whole theory (by which I mean philosophic outlook and not falsifiable theory, though I imagine one could design a falsifiable test given sufficient time).

13) My mother died of heroin addiction 10 years ago last October. Most of my friends know this, as I blog about it annually ( The blog post is my gentile way of observing the jahrzeit.

14) One of my best friends from high school, he went to a different school than I did, committed suicide in April of 1999. We had just started rekindling our friendship which had stalled when I took my 5 year "semester off" from college. Eight years before he took his life, he told me how he would kill himself if he ever committed suicide. The method he described, was the method he used. I miss him desperately. He was a great person who introduced me to so many new things and gave me new ways of looking at things.

15) I'm a geek. I know this isn't exactly news, but it is true. I like comic books, role playing games, video games, and the occasional anime. If you can geek out about it, I'll try. That includes Formula 1. I'm a big Formula 1 geek.

16) I am a completist. When I am introduced to something new, if I like it I will try to find out as much about it as I can. If it is a game, I will buy it and all its expansions. If it is a philosopher, I will buy several translations of their works. For example, I like superheroes and role playing games. So I have made it a goal to own every superhero rpg ever published. So far, so good. That' includes Superhero 2044 and Supergame btw.

17) I still love every person I told I love them. Whether it was a friend or girlfriend, they still hold a special place in my heart.

18) I have been cruel to exactly 3 people. I am sure that I have pissed off or slighted countless others. I have been less considerate than I should have been many times (haven't we all?), but I have been cruel to only three. I didn't desire to be cruel any of the three times, but I was and I cannot forgive myself for what I did. If I explain the events to you, you might say something like "but you were young" or some other common saying -- I didn't kill anyone after all -- but there is no excuse for how I treated these people. One of whom I still love, though I haven't seen or heard from her in 20 years.

19) I love the TV shows I grew up with, but haven't liked any of the "re-envisioned" shows the networks have provided me. I prefer original BSG to the new one, which I think is too pretentious. The new Bionic Woman was horrible, as is the new Knight Rider. I have found that I like the shows "inspired" by the ones I liked. For example, I really dig CHUCK. This critique doesn't apply to movies. I liked the MIAMI VICE movie...a lot.

20) I am one of approximately 40 people who liked the SPEED RACER movie.

21) I have met most of my best friends because of my hobbies.

22) I truly value "non-partisan" non-partisanship. I love being the director of a program committed to increasing youth civic engagement. This means I want liberal young people to vote AND conservative young people to vote. To me non-partisan doesn't mean finding a "right" answer to a question, though some questions certainly have answers, it's about engaging and listening to everyone and helping them come to a better understanding of their own beliefs. I want you to become the best you possible (to be cliche). I love it when people not only have beliefs, but understand why they have them. I find they yell less when this is true.

23) I subscribe to THE ATLANTIC, HARPER'S, the digital versions of DUNGEON and DRAGON magazines, PYRAMID, REASON, THE NATION, THE NATIONAL REVIEW, and LOS ANGELES magazine. I usually pick up F1 at the news stand since it isn't any cheaper when subscribed to and it is always months behind schedule, it is shipped from Britain, either way.

24) I blog at, podcast at, and my favorite daily blog reading indulgence is LA Observed

25) I love Los Angeles. It may well be my favorite city. San Francisco is great, Chicago is awesome, Montreal amazed me. But when I visited New York City and found that I had a proper West Coast disdain for "The City" (a term which always means San Francisco to me -- even though I am using it to describe NYC here), I knew I was a real Angeleno. Los Angeles is like a geode. People know it contains "sparkling riches," so they come here. Then they discover it is a pockmarked urban sprawl that doesn't look like the Oz they thought they were visiting. But after a while, you crack the city open and find a wondrous history and hidden treasures everywhere. New York tells you where to go to have a good time, Los Angeles challenges you to use your detective skills to find your joy. Whether that joy is mountain hikes, surfing, or looking around for landmarks from James Cain novels. I lived in the Baldwin Village (,_Los_Angeles,_California) part of Crenshaw (,_California) before moving to Glendale (,_California).


R. Chirs said...

You took your wife's last name because your "devoted" to her? Does that mean she is not "devoted" to you because she did not take your last name? Do you think people who keep their own name after marriage are not "devoted" to their spouses?

Christian Lindke said...

Some good questions, and I'll take them one by one.

Yes, I took my wife's name because I am deeply devoted to her. I won't put quotes around it, because that is a post-structuralist way of minimizing meaning and implying irony. I adore my wife and I wanted our children to share a name.

Does a lack of taking names indicate a lack of devotion? Not necessarily.

There are many reasons to keep one's name. One of the most important reasons is an already established professional identity. By the time my wife and I were married, she had already won the prestigious Charles Schulz college cartooning award. It is easier for her professionally to keep her name.

There are some other reasons, which I won't go into here, where keeping one's name has little or nothing to do with devotion or lack thereof.

That said, there are cases where keeping one's name is an example of a lack of devotion. If it is done out of pride or out of a desire to "merely" keep one's name without any demonstrable benefit/loss to changing the name, then it might be an act of selfishness. Marriage is about two people becoming one unit. It is the material example of Hegel's dialectic where a thesis and an antithesis become one individual.

There is a reason that the California's Domestic Partnership law now allows same sex partners to take the last name of their partner, and it is because the unity of two into one is a powerful construct -- one that desires recognition. When two become one, they might wish to signify that to the world.

I like to brag about my wife (and advertise how lucky I am), and taking her name makes it all that much easier.