Adam Kotsko was born in Flint, Michigan, and raised in nearby Davison, whose asbestos-ridden high school gave him allergies and a love of literature. He received his BA in English from Olivet Nazarene University in Bourbonnais, Illinois, in 2002. He is currently working a lowly office job in Bourbonnais while pursuing an MA in religion at Chicago Theological Seminary. He has self-published in a wide variety of genres on the Internet and is currently pursuing publication in print. He blogs at The Weblog and occasionally at The University Without Condition.
Why do you blog? > I blog in order to keep up my longstanding habit of writing at least a few paragraphs every day and in order to stay involved with the community in my small corner of the blogosphere.
What has been your best blogging experience? > The first session of The University Without Condition, when we discussed Benjamin's 'Critique of Violence'. It was a more decentred (and confusing) setup back then, but the discussion was fast-moving and intense - very exciting.
Who are your intellectual heroes? > Karl Barth, Jacques Derrida and Thomas Pynchon.
What are you reading at the moment? > Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides and Les deux sources de la morale et de la religion by Henri Bergson.
What is the best novel you've ever read? > Gravity's Rainbow.
What is your favourite poem? > The Waste Land.
What is your favourite movie? > Magnolia.
What is your favourite song? > 'TV Movie' by Pulp.
Who is your favourite composer? > Rachmaninoff.
Can you name a major moral, political or intellectual issue on which you've ever changed your mind? > I used to be an evangelical Christian, and now I'm a Roman Catholic.
Can you name a work of non-fiction which has had a major and lasting influence on how you think about the world? > The Ticklish Subject by Slavoj Žižek led me to self-identify as a leftist, rather than merely a non-Republican, and to break out of one particular intellectual ghetto and into another.
If you could effect one major policy change in the governing of your country, what would it be? > Converting to a single-payer health care system, after throwing every health insurance and pharmaceutical executive in prison.
If you could choose anyone, from any walk of life, to be President, who would you choose? > John Kerry, of course. It would be infantile to consider anyone else!
What do you consider to be the main threat to the future peace and security of the world? > Poverty.
Do you think you could ever be married to, or in a long-term relationship with, someone with radically different political views from your own? > Yes.
What do you consider the most important personal quality? > Generosity.
What personal fault do you most dislike? > Constant, narcissistic complaining.
Do you have any prejudices you're willing to acknowledge? > I distrust most evangelical Christians.
What commonly enjoyed activities do you regard as a waste of time? > Watching sporting events.
What, if anything, do you worry about? > Not getting enough done. (Sub-point: spending too much time on my blog.)
If you were to relive your life to this point, is there anything you'd do differently? > Many things, but mainly I'd go to a different university.
What would you call your autobiography? > Spritzer on Ice in New York City: Or, There and Back Again.
Who would play you in the movie about your life? > Ed Norton.
Where would you most like to live (other than where you do)? > Oxford.
What talent would you most like to have? > Fluency in foreign languages.
Who is your favourite comedian or humorist? > David Cross.
If you could have one (more or less realistic) wish come true, what would you wish for? > I wish I could afford to be a full-time student.
How, if at all, would you change your life were you suddenly to win or inherit an enormously large sum of money? > I would move to the city and stay at Chicago Theological Seminary for a PhD, after travelling in Europe until I was satisfied that I'd seen it all.
If you could have any three guests, past or present, to dinner who would they be? > Karl Barth, Slavoj Žižek and Lewis Lapham.
[The normblog profile is a weekly Friday morning feature. A list of previous profiles, and the links to them, can be found here.]