Stupid Tuesday questions, Lucky edition

Before Christmas, the Better Half and I were at Best Buy looking for gifts for various friends and relations.  As we strolled the shelves looking for CDs by a currently-popular British boy band whose same I am desperately trying to keep from committing to memory (our young niece is a fan), I passed a few selections that appealed to my own taste.  I indicated that a few might make good stocking stuffers, and lo… come that blessed morn, there they were for me to enjoy.

Thus it was that I came to listen to Tom Petty’s “Full Moon Fever” the other day.  (Yes, I realize that album is practically pleistocene in terms of popular music.  I do not trouble myself with the delusion that my taste in listening material is at all hip.)  Singing along to “Yer So Bad,” something occurred to me — I bet it’s really cool to be Tom Petty.

Now, I’ve said before that being famous is probably awful in a lot of ways.  But it’s also probably pretty nice in a lot of ways, too.  And I think Tom Petty is exactly the kind of famous I’d like to be.

First of all, I think he’s pretty obviously just a cool guy.  He may no longer be churning out any hit songs, but you’ve got to admit that he’s just cool.  Right?

Plus, the man obviously enjoys the respect of his peers.  I imagine one doesn’t get invited to hang out and record music with the likes of the guys in the Traveling Wilburys without commanding a decent degree of esteem within the recording industry.  That must be very nice.

And the guy also clearly has a fantastic sense of humor.  For one thing, if you happen to own the CD version of “Full Moon Fever,” you have heard his amusing message halfway through in which he explains that, out of consideration for customers who purchased the cassette tape version and who at that point would be forced to turn it over, he was going to pause for a second to be fair.  (Fine, the humor is dated.  It’s still hilarious that he threw that in there.)  Also, for several seasons he lent his voice to a character on “King of the Hill.”  Dude’s a funny guy.

So he gets to be rich and well-respected and have a good time, but nobody’s saying idiotic things about him in “US Weekly” or going through his garbage.  If I could be a famous person, I’d be Tom Petty.

And this got me thinking of other famous people I’d like to be.  I chose two others, one a specific person and the other a rather broad category.

The other specific person I would be is Zadie Smith, because she is almost exactly the same age as me but is such a delightful writer it turns me green with envy every time I think about it.  (Though I must admit that I enjoyed her more straightforward novels “White Teeth” and “On Beauty” to her more experimental new one “NW,” at least so far as I’ve gotten yet.)  She enjoys acclaim and success and probably gets to do all kind of neat stuff.  I’d be Zadie Smith.

The broad category in which I’d like to find myself is that of Oscar Pre-show Personality.  Ryan Seacrest or *shudder* Billy Bush or the like.  Not that I would want to be any of those asshats.  (Thus this is admittedly kind of a deviation from the other two.)  Far from it.  No, I want to do what they do because I would be so much better at it.  I would kill that gig, my friends.  I would once in a while say something non-inane, a notion that appears not to have occurred to the folks who currently do the job.  I would own the Oscar red carpet.

So that’s this week’s Question: If you could be a famous person, whose life would you choose?  You get the whole package — their celebrity, their looks, their talent, their life.  Whose place would you take?

Russell Saunders

Russell Saunders is the ridiculously flimsy pseudonym of a pediatrician in New England. He has a husband, three sons, daughter, cat and dog, though not in that order. He enjoys reading, running and cooking. He can be contacted at blindeddoc using his Gmail account. Twitter types can follow him @russellsaunder1.


  1. I’d choose one the better american bike racers like levi leipheimer. I’ll just leave doping out of this because its a fantasy after all. But the part i would like is he is famous and well known where his sport is popular so he has all those nifty benefits of fame but isn’t well known here. I imagine he is virtually unknown to most americans and could come and go without any of the crap of fame. So if he wants to be mobbed and treated like a famous person he can go to europe but he can still get away from it all.

    I’d actually like to have a little bit of body fat though.

    • The “pick and choose when to be mobbed with fans” aspect of things is a prerequisite for any kind of fame to be enjoyable.

      Once you cross a certain threshold of mass-market popularity, I imagine that celebrity becomes far more oppressive than people would think.

  2. Ed Reed.

    Play football for a living? Awesome.
    Play free safety for a living? Double awesome.
    Excel at hitting, intercepting/fumble recovering, and returning while playing free safety for a living? Triple awesome.
    Hang out with Ray Lewis? Always exciting.
    Rock the homeless man chic look I so desperately strive for? Sweet. (
    Live in or around Baltimore? Not bad.
    Went to college at Miami? There are worse places to spend years 18-22.
    Wear purple? Icing on the cake.

  3. One of the jokes I used to keep in rotation until I told it to pretty much everybody I knew was that I was the 2nd Luckiest Person in the world.

    “Who’s the Luckiest?”
    “Ringo Starr.”

    So, sort of an honorary Wilbury there.

  4. It’s hard for me to imagine trading my whole life. I mean, I love my life as it is (mostly). But if I could change some of it, I’d have to pick Zac Brown. The guy has mad talent, an awsome beard and is in to good food. I just don’t know if I could handle the touring schedule.

  5. Gosh, Doc, I’m having trouble here. But I want to thank you, because I can’t really think of anyone I’d rather be then me. I like my life, my husband, my kids. My blue chair by the wood stove in my kitchen with a view of the Mahoosuc Mountains out the window. They’re dressed in white snow and blue sky this morning. There are things I might change if I could; I’d live without migraine, for instance. But I prefer being me.

    That said, in the spirit of the game, I’d be Richard Blanco. He lives in my town. When I listened to his poem yesterday, I heard echos of this place he and I live, silver trucks heavy with paper, planting windmills on hilltops, the unexpected songbird on the your clothesline. Facebook was loaded with stories, photos of him dancing at one of the local bars, stories from neighbors. Joy that this man so aptly spoke to us, bringing us together for just a moment. So if I could be someone else, I’d be Richard Blanco and read words that gathered us all; if only for a moment, under our sky.

    • Good heavens! This is a far lovelier comment than I’d have imagined my frivolous question would have landed. The image of your blue chair by the stove, where you can sit in warmth and view the mountains, is truly beautiful.

      Maybe it’s something about living in Maine. I was saying to a friend the other day (you know who are, should you come to this comment) that one of the pleasures my life affords is standing knee-deep in water at the little harbor beach near my house during the summer and looking at the sailboats as they drift by and the blue, blue sea and sky and the gracious old inns looking down from their perch above the rocks, and considering that at that moment, I am treated to as beautiful a sight as I could find on the earth, and that nobody anywhere has a better reason to be happy at that moment than me.

      • There is something wonderful about this place.

        And I was delighted to hear it reflected in Blanco’s poetry yesterday. The people, too, who work hard to keep out the winter cold and yet manage to make profound works of creativity. Who find a way to be tolerant and welcome others from all over. I love my place, our place.

        • I have a friend who did some sort of internship in Maine (I forget where, exactly) and she loved it and would like to move there some day.

          Alas, I’ve never been.

          • Tell her to avoid Derry and Castle Rock. I hear they have cheap real estate, but that’s only due to the regular appearance of unspeakable horrors from outside space and time. There’s just no getting homeowner’s insurance there.

  6. I’d probably go with Wynton Marsalis.

    More than respected, he’s seen by most in his field as the best – not just now, but since Duke Ellington. I’d get to be in charge of artistic decisions at Lincoln Jazz Center. I’d get to play with whoever I wanted to, whenever I wanted to – including collaborations with people like Eric Clapton, Kathleen Battle, Ken Burns, Willie Nelson, Stanley Couch, Joe Henderson and Herbie Hancock. I’d find and promote amazing young and unheard of talent like Marcus Roberts, Jeff “Tain” Watts, Kenny Kirkland and Wessell Anderson. ANd along the way I’d have added to my resume a Pulitzer, several ballets, classical grammies, my own PBS kids show teaching them about music, and no less than 75 different albums.

    Plus, the jams I’d have every time my family got together for the holidays would be epic.

    Either that or I’d just be somebody that’s really, real good looking.

    • I like this. But instead of Marsallis, I’d go with Wayne Shorter. Native Dancer is probably my favorite album ever. Then there’s his work with Miles, Weather Report, his solo work. But the essence of music in the home, of teaching and sharing music? Yeah.

      (I live that. This is my Sweetie’s Jazz Combo, playing a tune I wrote. No lyric, but it’s a love song. This is the first take, no rehearsal, no practice, the other players had never seen it before. And that’s much of what jazz really is; just put the lead sheet in front of the members of the band, turn on the recording equipment if you’re going to record it, and play. He’s playing piano. We’re together because of this tune, we played it at our wedding. The links goes to an mp3 file.)

      Thanks, Tod.

      • Wow! Zic, this is space awesome! Like, one of the most space awesome things on this site ever space awesome!

        • That’s a bit of hyperbole, but thank you.

          This is my favorite. He had a sheet with a short melody and chords written out. Said, “Think of waves.” and then once he’d played through the melody, he put on a set of work gloves, and played the piano with gloves on for the remainder. Took the base player a while to clue in, but by the end, it’s breathlessly beautiful. This is total improvisation, again with no rehearsal at all.

          I thought of this music reading Russel’s description of his home up-thread; one of the pleasures my life affords is standing knee-deep in water at the little harbor beach near my house during the summer and looking at the sailboats as they drift by and the blue, blue sea and sky and the gracious old inns looking down from their perch above the rocks, and considering that at that moment, I am treated to as beautiful a sight as I could find on the earth, and that nobody anywhere has a better reason to be happy at that moment than me.

      • I look at it as “what would I like to be famous *for*”, which is a slightly different nuance than the type of famous that you are.

        Both Neil Armstrong and Stan Lee are famous for things I’d like to be famous for, and they’re also the type of famous that you’re talking about here, the sort that enables a certain regard, but not mind-numblingly crazy popularity. Well, maybe Stan Lee has that sort of popularity among a class of nerd. But I’d be okay with that.

        • Neil Gaimon. Yes.

          And for the dudes, just to experience being woman for a day or two, perhaps Uma Thurman.

          • You know, I wouldn’t mind being a woman for a day (or other brief period). I think it would be incredibly enlightening in many ways – mental, spiritual and physical (I’ll leave the last to the imagination).

            However, you gals have it pretty tough in some respects, and I have too much fun, for me to think I’d want any kind of permanent trade. Could be wrong though. There’s certainly no easy way to tell.

          • That ‘brief period’ should, I think, be long enough to include a period.

            +1, Glyph. You’ve made my day.

          • I’ll take the period, so long as I also get the, you know, multiple O’s.

      • I’d probably toss Neil Gaiman on.

        Yeah, but you just KNOW he has crazy goth chicks stalking him all the time, and you’d have to keep repeatedly explaining to them that your last name was to be taken literally.

          • He’s not gay. I think Glyph means that, in my proposed life-swap with the real Mr. Gaiman, either I’d still get to be gay or I’d at least tell my grazed goth chick fans that I was in order to be left alone.

          • No, sorry, Gaiman isn’t. I meant if the Doc was Neil. I assumed he’d want to keep certain parts of his own life/personality intact.

          • I can’t imagine being Not Gay. At this point in my life (and it’s nice to have arrived here after that adolescence), I would never want to be Not Gay.

            Hmmmm. This does complicate the Question, though, doesn’t it?

          • I think the Question can implicitly assume your current orientation stays intact. I’m sure David Geffen’s life is way, way better than mine in many respects, but I just can’t see a total “trade”; in my mind, I’d be “losing” too much (as I assume the Doc feels he would).

          • I can’t imagine being Not Gay. At this point in my life (and it’s nice to have arrived here after that adolescence), I would never want to be Not Gay.

            Hey. Have a salute from the soul. That’s what I said upthread, too, I like being me. Glad you like being you, too. Makes me feel good!

          • I’m going to be a bit of a naysayer here, and I have not heard the song or seen the remaining photographs other than the one in that post; and I am glad Gaiman and Palmer are happy; but is is possible to have a “Yoko”, when you are the only one in the band?

            I dunno. It’s just starting to seem like they are taking a beautiful journey together, straight up their own rear-ends.

            Maybe I am just a grouch.

          • I think that’s kind of Palmer’s MO. Being married to her kind of takes the bloom off the “being Neil Gaiman” rose for me, now that I think about it.

          • I just read that when they got married, they did so in Michael Chabon’s house.

            That might just be the coolest thing ever.

          • I have. At this point, I may have read everything he’s done.

            Over the past couple of years, he’s really risen to the top 5 of my all-time favorite authors.

          • I’ve given that one as a gift a few times, I enjoyed mine.

            Other than that I’ve read Kavalier & Clay, Wonder Boys, and Yiddish Policeman’s Union (all of which I liked). His other stuff is solid too, huh? I’ll keep an eye out.

  7. I’ve got a couple of thoughts, both musicians.

    First, Stewart Copeland.
    – Being in the The Police: cool
    – Not being Sting: cool
    – Writing scores for movies and TV (meaning your not killing yourself touring): cool
    – Award winning composer: cool
    – Being able to throw together a monster reunion tour two decades later: cool.
    Plus, he wrote this:

    Second, Bryan Adams
    – Super successful
    – National icon
    – Winner of the Bryan Adams vs. Corey Hart debate (seriously, this was a big thing when I was in grade 3)
    – When you’re done, become a professional photographer

  8. Being Michael Stipe wouldn’t be bad. Career officially over, well-regarded, able to enjoy the perks of fame. Generally thought weird enough that absolutely no doors would ever be closed.

    I’ve always liked Alton Brown, too. Another example of my kind of geeky.

  9. David Attenborough. The places he’s been and the things he’s seen…. and making all those wonderful nature films. There’s a well-lived life.

    I wouldn’t want to be a musician. Only seems glamorous. It’s a lot of hard work in the filthiest industry in the world. I think I could manage the perils of fortune but fame is a curse.

    It’s been my privilege to know several people who’ve died after well-lived lives, educators and writers, mostly.

  10. Dammit, Doc – you’ve done it again; I will be spending all night debating this with The Wife.

    Anyhow, I would not complain if I switched lives with Jimmy Buffett. Ok, maybe I’d not be the most talented musician ever, but there’d surely be no shortage of satisfaction in knowing that my songs just persistently make millions of people happy. I’d have a decent sense of humor

    The fanboy in me says Brian Fallon of Gaslight Anthem – I’d pretty much kill for his lyrical talents and, although the touring schedule would surely be grueling, having the ability to do a good chunk of that touring in Europe, where Gaslight seems to have a massive following, would not suck in the least. Nor would having BROOOOOCE! show up to collaborate with me at my small venue fan appreciation show ( That the level of fame involved is not overwhelming surely helps, as does the fact that I’d actually get to shed a few years off my age. The whole “local boy does good” angle has more than a little appeal to me as well. However, I’m quite certain that Gaslight has the ugliest fan base in all of music – both male and female – so I’ll have to consider this some more.

    If we’re talking broad categories, though, my answer is easy: “Travel Show Host.”

    • “I would not complain if I switched lives with Jimmy Buffett. Ok, maybe I’d not be the most talented musician ever, but there’d surely be no shortage of satisfaction in knowing that my songs just persistently make millions of people happy”

      Plus, you’d live in some place in the tropics. (It’s January in Portland, so this idea is very appealing to me right now.)

      • That too. Heh- I thought I deleted the part about Jimmy Buffett, but instead I left it half-finished. (Note to self: proofread more).

      • Portland, eh? It was nine below–Fahrenheit–here in Michigan last night.

        Wait, I do like that better than a cold rain. You win for misery.

  11. I started to say Keith Richards; sure, you are mega-famous, but you basically get to use that as license to live like a pirate all the time – and if any crazy fan gets too close, you just whack them with your guitar. Indestructibility and apparent immortality and never having to give a flying fish about people’s opinions sounds pretty great.

    But as great as that would be – and ALSO to be the sort of lightning rod for musical inspiration that I think he is – he’s also been a lightning rod for a lot of death (Brian Jones, Gram Parsons, Altamont , etc,), even though he himself has remained untouched so far, and I don’t know if I could live with all that.

    So I will go with what I did before – Anthony Bourdain. Most of my more dangerous exploits behind me, traveling the world, eating & drinking and writing moderately witty, occasionally slightly profound, and always self-deprecating prose. Seems like a good life and a level of celebrity that would mostly just net you a lot of great food, drink and sights.

    • If I were to go with a celebrity whose later career afforded him the opportunity to travel around the world having a fantastic time, I’d choose Michael Palin. He’s always been my favorite Python, and his gig doing travel documentaries for the BBC is my dream job. (OK, my second dream job after asking Jennifer Lawrence thoughtful questions while wearing a tuxedo.)

      • I can’t get you Jennifer Lawrence, but this is America – if you want to take to the streets, asking people thoughtful questions while wearing a tuxedo, ain’t nobody gonna stop you.

        • What, you think I’m not already practicing, just in case?

          Sure, those restraining orders get annoying, but if you wanna make an omelet, right?

          • “Mommy, it’s THAT GUY again, the one with the microphone and the swatch of red carpet!”

            “Shhhh, honey, don’t make eye contact, let’s just cross the street here.”

      • Is now a fair time to ask about J-Law’s performance on SNL? That is actually the only acting I’ve seen her do. Based on that tiny, likely highly-non-representive sample… I don’t get it.

          • Oh, I’m confident that she is uber talented. Enough people I trust to judge such things have sung her praises for multiple performances. But she was really pretty bad on SNL. Probably just the wrong forum for her. Also, she’s not really my type so even that was lacking.

            Also, SNL had a couple blatantly racist bits early on which just left a bad taste in my mouth.

          • And just yesterday I saw her in Silver Lining Playbook. I haven’t made u my mind about the movie yet, but she was space awesome.

          • Mike,

            Did she have to do funny in that? I wonder if comedy might be her achilles. Culd have been the live nature.

            I refuse to see SLP for philosophical reasons.

          • Let’s just keep in mind that we’re talking about SNL here. That is a place where funny goes to die. This is like saying Laurence Olivier isn’t a good actor because he was in Clash of the Titans.

          • I think SNL is a deeply unreliable means for assessing the talent of participants. Some really shine, some sink, and the result is orthogonal to their appeal in other contexts for me.

          • Ryan,

            I think that is a bit unfair. First off, I don’t think JLaw is bad BECAUSE she was on SNL; only that her performance on the show was pretty unimpressive, especially given the accolades lauded upon her. Second, I feel you might be a bit guilty of the nostalgia bug, wherein nothing done today compares to what was done before. Your criticism of SnL is what people have been saying about it for years, always pointing to a generation or two ago’s star, which themselves were maligned in their heyday. SNL has its moments, but you’re never going to bat 1.000 when you churn out as many bits as they do a week. Plus, they face stiffer competition than their predecessors given the ease with which anyone can become a sketch bit star via the internet.


            That seems much more fair. Clearly SNL isn’t JLaw’s wheel house. Also, clearly, I need to see more of her before offering any REAL assessment of her ability.

          • You misinterpret me. I’m not claiming SNL is worse than it used to be; I’m claiming it’s a crap show. Full stop. Its misses drastically outnumber its hits, and they always have. The reason people think it used to be good and isn’t any more is that they watch clip shows that show only good sketches over a period of like 10-20 years. I could put together a montage of hockey games over the same kind of period and convince you it’s the best sport ever. Or, hell, golf.

            This same rule applies to everything – TV, movies, music, etc. People remember only the good things and forget that the vast majority of everything is dreck. I just happen to think the dreck quotient of sketch comedy is considerably higher than it is in most other areas.

            Jennifer Lawrence was scripted more funny lines in X-Men: First Class than in that entire episode of SNL (which I did watch, complete coincidentally).

  12. Peter Saarsgard.

    Only because he is in a romantic relationship with Maggie Gylenhaal.

    Otherwise, no one.

    Did I ever mention how much I love Maggie G?

    • She’s something on film, though a bit of an odd bird in interviews. But yeah, I can dig it.

      • I like that she is a bit of an odd bird in interviews.

        Gives me hope!

    • I think she’s quite a good actress, though I don’t think I’ve seen her in anything recently.

      Her brother? Her brother tops my “list,” if you can infer which list I mean.

      • She does a lot of theatre.

        She was in that awful anti-teacher union movie during the fall. I think the movie bombed at the box office.

      • I wonder what happens when one actually attempts to exercise the “list” option. People can safely talk about the list because it’s wildly improbable that they’ll ever actually have the opportunity. But surely someone has at some point. Do spouses honor their heretofore hypothetical obligations under such circumstances?

        • The probability for this happening is probably pretty small.

          It might raise if the couple is involved in a really niche sub-culture.

          Yes, my hedging on the first sentence was intentional.

      • I think I’ve mentioned this before, but the alleged attractiveness of Jake G truly does baffle me. I can understand most heartthrobs and why they are or are not considered attractive by women (and gay men), but not that one.

        It actually also surprises me that his sister is considered as attractive as she is. She’s attractive in a slightly non-conventional way. Maybe that’s the deal with her brother, too.

        • There is a movie called “Secretary” that might explain some of the attraction.

          Other parts may come from the whole “this chick exudes smartness and tough-as-nails-ness” thing she’s got going on. Go back to the first two Nolan Batman movies. Katie Holmes? She gave a speech about crime and, well, I don’t know about you but I just didn’t feel it. She didn’t come across as a Gotham ADA. Maggie G? Now that’s an actress who could give a speech about crime.

          Pity she’s a pinko.

          • Yeah. She does seem to have substance in a way that a lot of more conventionally attractive Hollywood women don’t. Which brings me back to her brother, who doesn’t seem substantive in quite the same way.

          • “Secretary” gets attention due to certain less-conventional story elements, and while that’s understandable, it is really a good love story, IMO (and obvs. those elements are integral to the story) .

            Two ppl who need each other, and are good for each other, find each other. It’s sweet (I am being totally serious here.)

          • Has anyone seen “The Temp”? That movie made Lara Flynn Boyle hot to me long after her self-inflicted disfigurement.

            Looking at “The Secretary”, that looks like a movie I am interested in seeing.

        • Dunno how to explain it, Will. I just think the guy is really, really, really good-looking. His features have a certain sweetness, he’s got kind of a smoldering quality. Hard to really describe, though, in the same way that nobody will likely ever be able to make me understand what the hell is so sexy about boobs.

        • What about her looks do you find as non-conventional?

          She just looks like a very attractive Jewish woman to me.

          This might be the New Yorker and Jew in me speaking. I’m used to women looking like Maggie G. Most of the women I grew up with had features similar to her. Dark hair, alabaster skin, yum!

          • ND,

            I think it is that her looks are “non-conventional” in terms of what Hollywood tends to offer us as “attractive”. Overall, there seems to be more variety/diversity w/r/t to standards of beauty, so Maggie probably seems less non-conventional that she might have prior.

          • Burt,

            She has a Jewish mother which makes her Jewish. Her father seems to come from a long line Swedish notables and was raised Swedenborgian. All of this from wikipedia. She mentioned being “culturally Jewish” IIRC Jake Gyllenhaal identifies as Jewish.

        • Though on your side a friend of mine just introduced me to an internet thing that thinks Maggie Gyllennhaal looks like a “sad cartoon turtle.”

  13. If I can have someone else’s job, I want Lou Holtz’s. If I can have someone else’s life, I want Tom Brady’s.

      • At best, he’s like Satan’s right-hand man, right? I can’t imagine anyone thinks he’s worse than Belichick.

        • Touche. That does, however, mean that Mr. Brady has made a deal with Satan. I figure he’s got about another 3 or 4 years, 5 tops, before his obligations on that deal come due.

    • You’d still make that latter choice, given the events of this previous weekend (of which I am aware only because I happen to live in a media market where escape from this news was impossible)?

      • Oh, sure. He’s still the greatest (or among the greatest, I don’t need a fight) QB in the history of my favorite sport, fantastically attractive, married to a woman who is also fantastically attractive, rich, and went to the university I consider the finest in all the land (where he was on a national championship winning team).

        • Jennifer Montana is damned attractive, but I’m surprised you’re that high on Notre Dame.

    • The mind is its own place, and in itself
      Can make a Heaven of College Ball, a Hell of New York.
      What matter where, if I be still the same,
      And what I should be, all but less than he
      Whom thunder hath made greater? Here at least
      We shall be free; the Almighty hath not built
      Here for his envy, will not drive us hence:
      Here we may reign secure; and, in my choice,
      To reign is worth ambition, though in Notre Dame:
      Better to reign in Hell than serve in Heaven.
      But wherefore let we then our faithful friends,
      The associates and co-partners of our loss,
      Lie thus astonished on the oblivious pool,
      And call them not to share with us their part
      In this unhappy stadium, or once more
      With rallied arms to try what may be yet
      Regained in Heaven, or what more lost in Hell?
      So Satan spake; and him Beëlzebub
      Thus answered:—“Leader of those teams so bright
      Which, but the Omnipotent, none could have foiled!
      If once they hear that voice, their liveliest pledge
      Of hope in fears and dangers—heard so oft
      In worst extremes, and on the perilous edge
      Of battle, when it raged, in all assaults
      Their surest signal—they will soon resume
      New courage and revive, though now they lie
      Grovelling and prostrate on yon gridiron of fire

  14. My other choice would be Francois Truffaut.

    I would give up part of my pancreas to make movies like Jules and Jim, Stolen Kisses, The Last Metro, Day for Night, etc

  15. I really don’t think I’d want to be anyone else, but if I did it would be a successful race driver. I mean a really top level guy in a top level open wheel series, one who could excel both on high speed ovals and technically demanding road courses. In a perfect trade I’d be Jim Clark, but not going out in a crash.

  16. Wildly off-topic, except in the sense that this is a stupid question and it’s Tuesday: Am I supposed to have heard of “Russell Saunders” and “Rose Woodhouse” and recognize those photographs?

    • I get the feeling I am supposed to be able to identify those photographs, but I can’t.

      As for the other, they are simple pseudonyms along the lines of Will Truman (though I think Rose’s has more of a backstory).

    • I’m afraid I don’t understand what motivates your question, Brandon. Why would you think you were “supposed” to have heard of me or Rose?

      As Will says, they’re just pseudonyms. Rose and I made them up based upon little notions that had some connection to us. And I chose my picture because it has a quality that amuses me, as I imagine Rose did too.

      What made you wonder otherwise?

      • I thought they might be the names of the fictional characters from old movies, given the black and white photographs.

        • I really wanted a picture of a doctor with a head mirror, and I was delighted when I found exactly what I was wanting in the picture you now see.

          • What is it for? He can’t see the mirror, since it’s on his forehead. Were they used for reflecting light from another source, before battery-powered forehead-flashlights were invented?

  17. Isaac Asimov (while he was still around, of course.) He got to be a lecherous know-it-all that went on for hours about anything that happened to interest him and told awful jokes, and people loved him for it. Better yet, they paid him for it.

    • And really isn’t that what life is about? Getting paid good money for telling bad jokes

  18. i don’t think i’d want to be someone else – it’s a little invasion of the body snatchers-y – but i wouldn’t mind having a weekend in the life of the dudes from autechre.

  19. Jeff Bridges: Doing pretty well, stays out of the spotlight, doesn’t seem too be too taken with himself, and occasionally does a role that he seems to enjoy.

    I’d probably live somewhere else than Michigan though.

    • Did you see him on the Daily Show recently? Apparently, he still gets stoned a lot too. Maybe just a little bit too taken with how cool it is that he played The Dude.

  20. The very coolest thing about Tom Petty isn’t that someone with that voice became a singer, it’s that someone with that voice decided to become a singer. He’s the Pete Gray of music.

Comments are closed.