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Tuesday, February 18, 2003 

100 things about me

1. My full name is Ian Sutherland Mathers.
2. Technically I'm part of Clan Sutherland, but only very mildly.
3. I'm okay with contradictions in a surprising number of contexts.
4. I like to qualify my statements.
5. I was raised left-wing, and I can't see that changing any time soon.
6. I've never been formally taught grammar, which is a shame.
7. I'm a writer.
8. I'm a big believer in disorganized religion. Seriously.
9. I believe in people rather than ideologies, even the ones I subscribe to.
10. I believe in things "as a rule".
11. I do not believe in dogmatism.
12. Depending on how you mean it, I believe in magic.
13. I definitely believe in art.
14. I listen to more music, and from more bands, than most people do.
15. What obscure music I do like, I don't like because it's obscure.
16. What popular music I don't like, I don't dislike because it's popular.
17. I believe in the ineffable.
18. I'm a philosophy major.
19. I'm torn between philosophy and writing as careers. Writing about philosophy counts as the former, incidentially.
20. I believe in the existence of universals. Just not their physical existence.
21. I don't believe language limits consciousness.
22. I don't think anything happens after we die.
23. This belief doesn't bother me.
24. I believe art exists in part to help us accept and celebrate our mortality.
25. I think our culture is pain phobic and overly concerned with an easy life versus a good one.
26. I believe that attempting to avoid pain past a certain point is impossible, ridiculous and, since it eventually leads to pain, counterproductive.
27. I was born August 11th, 1981.
28. That makes me, right now, 23 years old.
29. I've never bothered with astrology.
30. Given that mysticism is a belief in that which is "Remote from or beyond human comprehension; baffling human understanding; unknowable; obscure; mysterious" (dictionary.com), I am a mystic, however.
31. I think atheists are just as dumb as any other religious dogmatists. Especially the evangelical ones (on either side).
32. I'm usually fairly loud, but rarely deliberately so.
33. Either everyone I know is faking it, or I'm pretty funny.
34. My parents divorced when I was young.
35. That didn't really bother me either.
36. I'm a big fan of Marcus Aurelius.
37. And a bigger one of Spinoza.
38. Philosophy as a career appeals to me because I find the stuff fascinating and absolutely vital.
39. But I'm not sure I'm that good at it.
40. Other writing appeals because I am good at it, and it's fun.
41. But I worry about being able to support myself.
42. I strive to stay on the right side of the line between self-confidence and arrogance.
43. I believe that self confident people are just faking it. Including me.
44. But I also believe that doesn't matter.
45. I believe some things are matters of opinion, but not everything. I'm hedging my bets on what fits into each category, though.
46. I'm a big, hairy yet balding guy with a slow metabolism and in excellent health.
47. I like how I look.
48. I think everyone should like how they look.
49. I'm sick and tired of extremists.
50. In fact, I'm with John Ralston Saul - "balance and doubt" should be our watchwords.
51. I would love to learn languages, but I'm not very good at it.
52. I would love to learn how to play some instruments, but I haven't had the time.
53. I would love to be in a band. Maybe someday.
54. Despite how much our society has devalued it, I believe in love.
55. No, not just romantic love, although that too.
56. St. Anselm's ontological proof of the existence of God, once it was properly explained to me, caused me sleepless nights for a week.
57. Sometimes I like to stay up all night by myself, listening to music and reading or playing card games, for no reason.
58. I love to read, and did so much of it as a kid my parents were worried. In fact, my mom was worried I'd turn out to be an extremely lonely introvert.
59. Instead I turned into an extrovert, which surprised the hell out of her. In the right conditions I'm quite the social butterfly.
60. I love lots of different types of food: Chinese, Mexican, Indian, Japanese (not just sushi, but that too), Thai (the one time I had it), "normal" student stuff like pizza and Kraft Dinner, etc, etc.
61. I'm a romantic, but according to my girlfriend it's not terribly obvious.
62. It mostly doesn't bother me when people don't like me.
63. And when it does, it doesn't for long.
64. I could be described at high strung. But despite appearances I'm not very tense.
65. One of the ways I make sure I'm not tense is by expressing it when I'm annoyed, worried, etc. This often makes me appear more negative than I am, as does my sense of humour.
66. I am certainly capable of being a very negative person, but I've got that under control now. I think.
67. I like my beer. I don't have the liver to be an alcoholic, though.
68. I do like a few drugs, but I don't do anything regularly and don't plan to start.
69. I have a dirty mouth - I don't think of those words as bad, so it just slips out.
70. With things I care about, I'm quite the perfectionist.
71. I don't quite trust people who claim not to understand addiction.
72. I absolutely love certain brands of BBQ chips.
73. I think the idea that you have one true love, in whatever formulation, is utter crap.
74. I think no one is out of anyone's league.
75. I think humanity is hideously flawed.
76. But I love it anyway.
77. I would like to have a kid someday. Not anytime soon, mind you.
78. I'd like to travel more.
79. Except for one trip each to Alaska, Cleveland and Florida I've never been outside Canada.
80. I'm a bit of an Anglophile.
81. I actually no-fooling like Thomas Pynchon.
82. I love making lists.
83. I recognized parts of myself in High Fidelity
84. I try not to be elitist in any respect.
85. I sometimes fail.
86. I hated static electricity so much as a kid, I'd touch the non-metal parts of doors first. Didn't do anything, but made me feel better.
87. I once touched an electric fence.
88. I used to have a really bad temper.
89. It's still not great, but I haven't fought anyone since grade 9.
90. I love my family.
91. Lots.
92. Same goes for my friends.
93. I have been in serious, no-fooling love three times so far (I think).
94. Only once has it been requited.
95. I don't believe loving somebody has to automatically lead to marriage, kids, etc.
96. I'm not sure whether I believe in marriage.
97. For me, anyway - I certainly believe in marriage for everyone else, gay or straight, if they want it.
98. I'm not that weird, once you get to know me.
99. I don't believe this comes close to giving you an idea of who I am, but it's a start.
100. I care about the dumbest things.

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About me

Ian Mathers is a freelance writer whose work has appeared in Stylus, the Village Voice, Resident Advisor, PopMatters, and elsewhere. He does stuff and it magically appears here.

Contact Me:
imathers at gmail dot com

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