EVAN: Ladies and gentlemen, it brings me the greatest sort of joy to announce that we will be announcing a third Culture War Reporter to our blog. Ever since Elisa’s departure I have long wished to have a female perspective, and after a little bit of searching I was connected to Kat via one of my many, many cousins-
This edition of E> will consist of both Gordon and me asking Kat ten questions apiece, to present to all of you nice people a greater picture of who she is. At the end she’ll have the opportunity to ask each of us five questions, just to be fair.
You can of course find out more about her by reading her bio. Now, without further ado, I’m going to let Gordon start us off-
GORDON: You’re in a desert, walking along in the sand when all of a sudden you look down and you see a tortoise, Kat. You reach down and flip the tortoise over on it’s back, Kat. The tortoise lays on its back, it’s belly baking in the hot sun, beating it’s legs, trying to turn itself over but it can’t. Not without your help. But you’re not helping. Why is that, Kat?
KAT: Because I’m hungry and I plan to eat it?
GORDON: Well, we’ve determined she’s not a replicant. That’s progress, at least.
EVAN: Gordon, you are a huge nerd.
KAT: I feel drowned in nerdish allusion that is beyond me (in a good way.)
GORDON: Seriously, am I the only one whose seen that movie?
EVAN: I told you I wasn’t really paying attention the first time I saw it!
KAT: Well, I’ve been told that I haven’t seen most of the good movies that are out there. But I grew up on the Princess Bride, so that has to count for something.
EVAN: It does.
GORDON: Only if you can tell us when you should NEVER go up against a Sicilian-
KAT: WHEN DEATH IS ON THE LINE!
EVAN: Okay, so I’m going to go for the question anyone who knows me expects from me and ask: Who is your favourite super hero, and why?
KAT: It’s a toss up between Rogue and Jean Grey.
Let me preface my explanation by explaining that I am NOT an avid comic reader. I used to try to pretend I was in order to fit in with all my guy friends but it is just too expensive of a habit and I am too cheap to buy pretty much anything I can’t find at the thrift. So my explanation will be based on the movie franchise and Wikipedia searches I did when I was into the movies.
GORDON: This is fair.
KAT: Anyways, Rogue’s power is essentially a curse. She calls into question the whole idea of intimacy and if you can really have true human connection with restricted contact.
And I just thought Jean Grey was badass and wanted to dye my hair red after I saw the movies.
GORDON: That is also fair.
KAT: Also, (and remember the context of my lack of comic knowledge) maybe more girls would have been into comics as kids if the female characters had more to contribute to saving the world than some T&A.
EVAN: The state of comics in the 90s is not something we’re going to [or probably ever will] get into!
GORDON: Are you now, or have you at any time been, a member of the Communist Party?
No. I haven’t. On the one hand, the edgy liberalness of it appeals to me, but on the other hand, I’ve read Animal Farm.
But as a Canadian I am a big believer in socialism and often try to convince my American friends of the value of universal healthcare.
GORDON: Psh. Thinks she’s too good for Marxism…
EVAN: Favourite comic book or comic strip?
KAT: The Far Side.
EVAN: The world has been a sadder place ever since Gary Larson retired.
GORDON: You can have one person living killed (they just drop dead), and one person who is dead brought back to the land of the living. Who is each person, and why?
KAT: Okay, so not to pull a hipster here, but the first person to come to mind is Joseph Kony. Not because of Invisible Children (who I do believe were just trying to do a good thing, albeit in a naive way) but because my Aunt lived in Uganda when I was a kid and briefed me on the sitch. I used to want to be a missionary/assassin but not many organizations are cool to sign onto that kinda thing.
The person I would want to bring back would be Tommy Douglas, not because there aren’t a lot of other great people to bring back, but because I don’t know who else could possible save us from the schemes of Harper. And he was the first person to come to mind.
EVAN: Canadian politics, everyone.
EVAN: So, as someone who has studied English Lit, what’s your favourite “literary classic”?
KAT: Jane Austen. I wrote an essay on her last year as the mother of feminism in the novel. Not because she was really extreme, but because she wrote about “the lives of women” as though they mattered, as though they had real issues (without needing to be kidnapped like in the gothics). She was sneaky, and independent. Never got married, pretty much provided for her less successful brothers (but secretly so they wouldn’t be socially shamed). She’s also just super witty.
But, there are just so many writers to choose from, she was just the first person to come to mind. Probably because I feel like we are buds after all the research I did on her.
GORDON: What are your thoughts on the depiction of violence and sex in media?
KAT: Ooooyyy veeeeyyyyy, how do I not respond to that in a several page essay?
Well, for now I will just touch on violence by saying I don’t like it. I won’t watch horrors unless they are a thoughtful psychological thriller, no slasher films. Not sure how I feel about it as a social issue. Bothered, but not educated enough on it to have an opinion.
Sex is also a tricky one.
I’m bothered by sex in media because it reflects differently on you depending on your gender. As we saw in the Oscars, MacFarlane was able to use female actresses in serious roles to make a boobie joke. I’ve also worked with youth and kids since, well, since I was a youth and/or kid, and the way it affects our youth culture bothers me.
EVAN: Team Edward or Team Jacob?
GORDON: Tupac or Biggie?
KAT: Why must you showcase my knowledge deficiencies? Ummmm… MC Hammer? I guess I’m not allowed to just dodge the multiple choice questions, eh?
GORDON: We’ll roll with it.
EVAN: Your stance on same-sex marriage in a single sentence [no semicolons allowed].
GORDON: Could you describe your opinion of Marilyn Manson?
KAT: Don’t know, never met him.
EVAN: Heh heh. Alcoholic beverage of choice?
KAT: Vodka Slime.
GORDON: Offer one criticism of the feminist movement as it stands today.
KAT: Polarized groups on every issue. No middle ground to negotiate on.
EVAN: You’re on death row. The sombre reality of your impending demise aside, what last meal do you request?
KAT: Chocolate, Peanut butter and milk. And maybe some ice cream.
GORDON: Who would win in a fight? C.S. Lewis or J.R.R. Tolkein?
KAT: Tolkien hands down. I mean Lewis is great, but did he create his own language? Ingenuity always comes in handy.
GORDON: I’m talking about a straight-up street fight.
EVAN: Street rules.
KAT: Yeah, me too. You think the guy who thought up Elvish couldn’t think up some dirty cheats?
EVAN: Would you rather know how to play every instrument, or how to speak every language?
KAT: Language. Then travel the globe. No use wasting the gift!
EVAN: I’m not going to lie, that’s really the smart answer of the two.
GORDON: Israel or Occupied Palestine?
KAT: I cannot answer this in one word. What Israel has done to the Palestinian people is unforgivable, but what would happen if the roles were switched? I’ve been told that Israel would be “erased from the face of the planet” but I’ve also grown up in a Western country with a very, very strong favoritism for Israel so how can the sources I’ve had possibly be unbiased. I’ve also lived in Niger where I had friends who received death threats when some dumb American (no offense) a world away threatened to burn the Qur’an, yet my friends who are Muslim explained to me that the majority of Muslims view Islamic terrorists the way Christians view those who bomb abortion clinics. I have to acknowledge a difference between our culture of individualism and a culture which values the collective but I’m afraid the human inclination for xenophobia blinds me to true understanding. In summation, I don’t know.
GORDON: Okay. I’m satisfied. Ladies and gents, we here at the CWR and happy to announce the induction of our third writer, Kat Goertz.
GORDON: Who is NOT related to the Nazi who invented the BMW.
KAT: No way man, my ancestors were pacifists!
EVAN: You passed Gordon’s test. That’s no small feat by any means. I’m going to cap off with my 9th question, since we’re more overtime than I want to reveal to our readers, and you should get a chance to ask us things:
You receive an envelope in the mail. Inside is a bank card and a note that says “Take what you need and pass it on.” You check the balance at an ATM and see that the balance is $1M. What do you do?
KAT: Pay off my student loans/tuition and then donate the rest.
GORDON: You take the whole mil?
EVAN: We don’t all owe as much student loans as you do, Gordon.
GORDON: So, to give Kat a chance to understand what she’s just gotten herself into we’ve decided to giver her a chance to ask us a few questions.
KAT: Okay. So, Evan, why did you start this blog? Gordon, why did you choose to become a regular contributor?
EVAN: I’ve had almost half a dozen blogs in the past, and I wanted to create one that I would actually stick to, writing with a fixed schedule and addressing a variety of topics that were important to me.
To answer in part for Gordon, I asked him to come on board soon after Elisa, my original co-writer, left due to life getting far too busy.
GORDON: I decided to join to keep my writing sharp, and to give people, organizations, and social trends I dislike the finger in GIF form.
EVAN: I’ve actually been meaning to tell you to dial back on that. At the very least, because you’ve been reusing GIFs.
KAT: What makes you more angry than the Hulk? (i.e. pet peeve)EVAN: Aside from issues concerning race in the media, which you all know, being late. I cannot stand being late to anything.
KAT: You have to choose one thing, Gordon, the worst of the worst.
GORDON: People who are apathetic, or play off their ignorance about something as being funny.
KAT: Okay. If I gave you a plane ticket to anywhere you wanted, but you had to leave right now, where would you go?
EVAN: Uh. Dang. Vegas, maybe? Though it’s going to be really dumb if I show up there and Gordon’s in Tonga.
GORDON: This is true.
KAT: Okay, who is your favourite feminist?
GORDON: Gah- it’s probably cliched, but Emma Goldman springs most readily to mind. Scratch that. Friedrich Engels.
EVAN: I don’t really have a list of great feminists anywhere in my head. I guess I’d have to go with Greg Rucka, a comic writer who’s written Wonder Woman in the past, and introduced a female Punisher character while at Marvel.
KAT: To turn your question back on you, Israel or Palestine?
EVAN: I’m woefully unprepared to answer this question. Not to cop out, but my answer more or less goes along the lines of the one you gave Gordon.
KAT: I’ll take it.
GORDON: Palestine. Without hesitation or a second’s doubt.
KAT: Alright. You guys are Bill and Ted, who do you pick up for your excellent adventure?
GORDON: Hunter S. Thompson.
EVAN: Timothy Leary.
GORDON: Jimi Hendrix.
EVAN: Jim Henson.
KAT: Sounds like a colourful ride. Or as the Americans say “colorful.”
EVAN: Heh, Americans. Anyway, to close us off, and since Gordon has already given his express approval, allow me to express my feeling about having Kat come on board-
To put it simply, I think she’s going to fit in really great here.
KAT: And I’m happy to join you guys! And look forward to hosting a lot of Facebook debates on my wall.
EVAN: As per the new header above, Kat will be posting on Wednesdays, the same day that E> will continue to be put up. She will be joining the Shame Day/Fame Day rotation next week, so stay tuned to find out what else she deplores/is all about.
Thank you for reading through this, the longest of any CWR post to date. If you’re up for more be sure to check out Kat’s first ever post, which also went up today.