Marc Danziger, aka 'Armed Liberal', was born in Northern California, and now lives in Southern California, which makes him very happy. He has lived in Connecticut, in Chicago, and in Paris, and graduated from UC Santa Cruz and UC Berkeley. He has a consulting practice dealing primarily with fixing broken projects, is newly remarried to the Woman Known as Tenacious G, and is the father of three wonderful and handsome sons ranging in age from 8 to 20. Marc is equally peripatetic about his blogging, having started on Blogspot like everyone else, moved to his own site, Armed Liberal, and then become part of the group blog at Winds of Change.
Why do you blog? > To try and figure out my own politics by arguing about them with others.
What has been your best blogging experience? > Finding out that I'm not nearly the only one with this muddled position on the classical political spectrum.
What would be your main blogging advice to a novice blogger? > Have a personality and an expertise. Show them both frequently.
What are your favourite blogs? > As I tell my sons, 'I love you all'.
Who are your intellectual heroes? > Richard Feynman; John Schaar.
What are you reading at the moment? > American Soldier, by Tommy Franks, and Moral Politics, by George Lakoff.
Who are your cultural heroes? > Primo Levi and George Orwell.
What is the best novel you've ever read? > Hmmm. Pale Fire by Vladimir Nabokov, or Angle of Repose by Wallace Stegner. I'm not good at choosing.
What is your favourite poem? > 'Two Cities', by Mark Doty.
What is your favourite movie? > Tough. Can I take three? Singin In the Rain'; Providence by Alain Resnais; and Alan Rudolph's Choose Me.
What is your favourite song? > '4th of July', by X.
Can you name a major moral, political or intellectual issue on which you've ever changed your mind? > Lots of them. First, I believed that self-expression was more important than living right in the world. Next, that the United States was the root of all oppression. Next, that poor people want a revolution rather than a job, house and opportunities for their children. And finally I used to think that the Stones were better than the Who.
What philosophical thesis do you think it most important to disseminate? > The opposite of romantic self-annihilation, and when I can convince you to figure out what that is, we'll all be better off.
What philosophical thesis do you think it most important to combat? > Romantic self-annihilation.
Can you name a work of non-fiction which has had a major and lasting influence on how you think about the world? > The Other America by Michael Harrington. I grew up in the prosperous neighbourhoods of West Los Angeles and had no idea what poverty in our country, much less the world, was like.
Who are your political heroes? > Ben Franklin; Harry Bridges; FDR; Harry S Truman; Vaclav Havel.
If you could effect one major policy change in the governing of your country, what would it be? > Eliminate gerrymandering.
What would you do with the UN? > Enforce financial transparency; ban all dictatorships from the Security Council. Enforce a five-year waiting period on membership for governments attained through coup d'etat.
What do you consider to be the main threat to the future peace and security of the world? > An unwillingness by any of us to pay - not necessarily financially - for what we get.
Do you think the world (human civilization) has already passed its best point, or is that yet to come? > Oh, definitely the best is yet to come.
What do you consider the most important personal quality? > Empathy.
Do you have any prejudices you're willing to acknowledge? > I detest arrogant people.
What commonly enjoyed activities do you regard as a waste of time? > Spectator sports.
Where would you most like to live (other than where you do)? > Corsica.
What would your ideal holiday be? > Motorcycling through the French Alps into Italy.
What is your most treasured possession? > My father's wartime Japanese dictionary.
What would be your ideal choice of alternative profession or job? > Either executive director of a small think tank/publishing house or head of an off-road motorcycle school for wayward supermodels in Baja California.
How, if at all, would you change your life were you suddenly to win or inherit an enormously large sum of money? > I'd open a small think tank/publishing house or an off-road motorcycle school for wayward supermodels in Baja California.
If you could have any three guests, past or present, to dinner who would they be? > Winston Churchill, Thomas Jefferson and Richard Feynman.
What animal would you most like to be? > No question. A housecat. I want to be pampered; lie in the sun; stalk, catch and eat small animals; and shed fur on people's laps.
[The normblog profile is a weekly Friday morning feature. A list of the first 52 profiles, and the links to them, can be found here. More recent profiles: Mick Hartley; Joanne Jacobs; Scott W. Johnson; Richard Schwartz; Cathy Seipp.]