Ashley McLain

Who are you?

Ashley McLain, 'native' texan re-naturalized defector, sent forth to discover the world for a decade but transported mysteriously back to Texas primarily to report on happenings in Austin for h2so4.

What is your tie to h2so4?

Proud SF neighbor of Jill, co-couch potato activists at NRDC, an editor of earliest issues of h2so4, and advocate of woodblock art!

What is funny?

The super tall spiky plant in my co-worker's office, called "mother-in-law's tongue"; prevalent knowledge in Texas of utility of raccoon ossopenis as toothpick in a bind.

What is not funny?

Violence in the media that made me dream of hand-grenading a frat house in my dream last night.

What book should I read?

Corelli's Mandolin, Louis de Bernieres.

Why do you (on occasion) work for no money?

I always work for no money (relatively speaking); because it's fun, not work; because I like to retain a tiny lifeline to San Francisco

What is your favorite movie? Or would you prefer to call it a "film"?

Birdy, because I was young and impressionable when I saw it, and I love Peter Gabriel's soundtrack

Your favorite quote from Evany Thomas:

Danny Thomas??

Your favorite quote from elsewhere:

Maelstrom before me, maelstrom behind me, myself the term between--I think (Emily Dickinson); or:

"I am always beginning the world..." --Innocence Mission.

What piece of writing has most influenced your life?

The Prophet, by Kalil Gibran. Meeps my relationships healthy--big priority.

What person has most changed your life ("famous" or non-)?

Well, in 1982 it would have been sting because I wrote about him on my college admission application to stanford...got in somehow! Recently it's been this baby in my belly--talk about perspective on priorities!

So tell me, what would a person be surprised to find out about you?

I have a secret fantasy to be an overweight African American gospel singer/dancer

What band would you have play at your next party (yes, historically open)?

Adam Ant.

Does not the war perpetuate that which it is called to make disappear, and consecrate war and its virile virtues in good conscience?

Absolutely.

To what are you addicted? What is addiction?

Music and baths; physical indulgence that subjugates the otherwise domineering mind

Do you, too, love Abraham Lincoln? Why? Why not?

Yes I love him because he represents what presidents should aspire to be like. Plus he's proud to have his face on the beautiful reddish copper penny, which still means something to me in the age of conspicuous consumption and the digirati.

How does the cameraman compare with the painter?

The cameraman plays to my voyeurism; the painter depicts the music in my head.

Authentic being-one's-self takes the definite form of an existentiell modification of the "they"; and this modification must be defined existentially. What does this modification imply, and what are the ontological conditions for its possibility?

I dunno, but we have chicken-fried steak with gravy here in Texas. Ever hear of such a thing?

Is everything popular a debasement of what it would otherwise be? Are we really looking for a salvation or meaning that only a few can access, with difficulty?

I feel it to be so when I travel. Despite the beauty of Peru, I resent the Spanish occupation and fantasize about stone temples unadulterated by catholic gilt cathedral construction. Rural China is so beautiful, yet everyone in Beijing drives a black Honda and uses a cell phone. However, I think salvation is possible in every tiny situation. Yoga for pregnancy is highly recommended as a path to salvation and a stronger Kegel muscle.

Anything you would like to add?

I'm sending my ambassador('s photo) to you in my stead. His name is toba (named after the largest inland lake on the island of Sumatra in Indonesia). of course he's the one on the left. He chases bugs, squirrels, and ice cubes.

The people thank you.

You're welcome, thank y'all! :)