Lisa Rüllsenberg, so nicknamed after her heroine Willow Rosenberg (in Buffy the Vampire Slayer), was born in Nottingham. The line 'my job is very boring, I'm an office clerk' applied until she escaped to her metaphorical Echo Beach - 'far away in time' - with Mr Cloud. Via the Open University she rediscovered her love of education. Since then she has written about and helped curate exhibitions on modern and contemporary art, especially Surrealism, and taught on feminism, media and the arts. In 2004 she completed her PhD on art collector Peggy Guggenheim (Nottingham University). Lisa blogs at Rullsenberg Rules.
Why do you blog? > Because I am too cowardly to find a host for the website I have carefully constructed on my PC.
Who are your intellectual heroes? > Hannah Arendt, Neil Postman, Simone de Beauvoir.
What are you reading at the moment? > Keith Topping's The Complete Slayer; Mary V. Dearborn's Peggy Guggenheim: Mistress of Modernism; and Garry Mulholland's This Is Uncool.
Who are your cultural heroes? > Peggy Guggenheim (for supporting the arts), Dorothy Parker (for wit and wry social comment), Joss Whedon (for the Buffyverse), Aaron Sorkin (for West Wing idealism), Douglas Henshall (for acting and kindness).
What is the best novel you've ever read? > I read voraciously but I happily re-read Mark Z. Danielewski's House of Leaves and Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials.
What is your favourite poem? > Too many: perhaps Browning, 'Sonnets from the Portuguese'.
What is your favourite movie? > Different every time I answer the question: I'll offer LA Confidential.
What is your favourite song? > 'Common People' by Pulp.
Who is your favourite composer? > George Gershwin; Cole Porter.
Can you name a work of non-fiction which has had a major and lasting influence on how you think about the world? > John Berger's Ways of Seeing transformed the way I thought about visual experience and was one of my first introductions to Marxist cultural analysis.
What is your favourite piece of political wisdom? > Ignoring the masculine sentiment dressing up as humanity, 'Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité'; closely followed by 'Decisions are made by those who show up'.
What do you consider to be the main threat to the future peace and security of the world? > Poverty, inequality, intolerance.
What would be your most important piece of advice about life? > 'Better to have fought and lost than never to have fought at all' (and, to extend that thought, 'Carpe diem').
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? > Nah. Besides, how could I walk away from the man who wooed me with poetry from The New Masses?
In what circumstances would you be willing to lie? > To protect those I love from harm.
Do you have any prejudices you're willing to acknowledge? > Beards; self-satisfied ignorance - the 'don't know, don't care' brigade; intolerance (e.g. racism, homophobia, sexism).
What commonly enjoyed activities do you regard as a waste of time? > Fishing; reality TV.
What, if anything, do you worry about? > Everything - I am in constant pursuit of my 'inner zen'.
If you were to relive your life to this point, is there anything you'd do differently? > Since I have a pathological fear and loathing of time machines and their consequences, I have to take a 'no regrets' policy on life.
Where would you most like to live (other than where you do)? > An apartment overlooking Central Park in New York City. In the movies even low-wage earners can do that.
What would your ideal holiday be? > New York City, with an infinite budget for books and galleries and open access to the archives and museums for research.
What do you like doing in your spare time? > Everything after a PhD feels like spare time, because it comes guilt-free.
What is your most treasured possession? > Intangible: the love of my friends and Cloud. Tangible: a doll called Sarah that belonged to my mother.
If you had to change your first name, what would you change it to? > Carenza.
What talent would you most like to have? > To be able to play a musical instrument properly.
Who is your favourite comedian or humorist? > Bill Hicks; Peter Kay (as a stand-up).
How, if at all, would you change your life were you suddenly to win or inherit an enormously large sum of money? > Clear the debts of all those I know and love; face my fears about making my website go live.
If you could have any three guests, past or present, to dinner who would they be? > Peggy Guggenheim, Samuel Beckett and Douglas Henshall. I'm kinda hoping that after the initial conversation over dinner, PG and SB will keep each other busy renewing their acquaintance - leaving DH all to myself (yeah, I can be that shallow).
What animal would you most like to be? > A tiger, even if they play too rough.