Randy Stauffer

Who are you?

Randy Stauffer

What is your tie to h2so4?

I'm a founding subscriber, occasional contributor, and also Jill's father. [Hmmmm. you might say he's a founding father! --js]

What is funny?

This questionnaire.

What is not funny?


What book should I read?

I strongly suggest everyone read Freedom from Fear, by D. Kennedy. Excellent overview of the USA when we were still heading somewhere besides the next dotcom IPO.

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

Must be for love.

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

I do not prefer to call it a film. Wild Bunch, directed by Sam Peckinpah.

Your favorite quote from Evany Thomas:

" "

What piece of writing has most influenced your life?

That's a tough one. Different things at different stages. In my teens it was the lake poets. In my 20s and 30s it was probably East of Eden and Winter of out Discontent by Steinbeck, both of which deal with redemption. In my 40s there were several biographies of FDR that I found compelling as they relate to leadership. More recently (editor note -- how cleverly I'm avoiding the '5' topic) it has been The Complete Presidential Press Conferences of FDR, which I guess reflects my desire to get more primary information and less interpreted writing.

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

Louis Armstrong in terms of how to behave at work, and Bobby Kennedy in terms of what a compassionate leader might look and sound like.

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

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

Louis Armstrong and the Hot Seven

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

Yes. How else to sell the unsellable?

To what are you addicted? What is addiction?

The second question defines the first. Addiction is many things, some good some bad. On the bad side, I supposed I'm addicted to nicorette gum, but on the good side that's a bunch better than smoking. On the good side I'm addicted to reading and music, meaning I would definite withdrawal symptoms if I had to give either up, accompanied by depression and anxiety.

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

Respect probably, not love. The right man for the moment, with greatness in hiding. I agree with Garry Wills that the Gettysburg Address was the second Declaration of Independence.

How does the cameraman compare with the painter?


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?

Please rephrase for the simple minded. No dictionary nearby to look up ontological, so I'll pass.

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?

To question one I say no. To the second question I say it varies by the individual. looking for meaning is generally only the province of the well off -- either in terms of wealth or free time to read and think. salvation is in the eye of the beholder (as is meaning, I suppose, but with much less freight) and varies so greatly that I can't really answer.

Randy Stauffer, with daughter
Randy Stauffer, with daughter