Carol Howes-Wright is a native Detroiter. She attended the same high school as the drummer in The White Stripes and the same university as Madonna. She married a British chap, but she's single now. Carol has been an account planner in advertising agencies in London and the US and is currently the managing director of a market research company, where her speciality is deeper, psychologically-based qualitative research. Her passion for modern culture and innovative research methodologies continues unabated. Carol blogs at planningblog.
Why do you blog? > To keep myself sane. I get enraged by old media some days. If all of us blogged and sent our anger at media manipulation down the wire it would reach a tipping point. I look forward to that day.
What has been your best blogging experience? > When someone says 'I was reading your blog...' - always a shock, but a nice shock.
What has been your worst blogging experience? > I'm always scared, sometimes gut-wrenched, when I push that publish button.
What would be your main blogging advice to a novice blogger? > Start now and don't worry about learning as you go.
What are your favourite blogs? > Michael Yon - realising his words and photos were changing attitudes inspired me; Andi at Andi's World - she's a passionate but ladylike blogger; Russell Davies, who is a quirky, interesting account planner; and normblog.
What are you reading at the moment? > Too many on the go – Kite Runner, The Advertised Mind, Age of Propaganda, Cognitive Psychology, Sarum.
What is your favourite poem? > 'In Flanders Fields the poppies blow / Between the crosses, row on row...' It struck me at ten years old and I've never gotten over it.
What is your favourite song? > 'Every Breath You Take'. It was fourth on the Police's Greatest Hits and I used to dance my nephew to sleep when he was a baby. That was always the one he conked to.
Who is your favourite composer? > Shostakovitch. I love the 5th; I love the subversive stories.
Who is your favourite comedian or humorist? > P.J. O'Rourke rocks my world. I've seen him read from his books a couple of times. He's got the perfect voice for what he writes.
How, if at all, would you change your life were you suddenly to win or inherit an enormously large sum of money? > I've got so many movie and documentary ideas and if you've got enough money you can get fabulous people to work with you.
What philosophical thesis do you think it most important to combat? > That instincts or feelings trump facts. They don't - get over it.
Can you name a work of non-fiction which has had a major and lasting influence on how you think about the world? > Susan Brownmiller's Against Our Will. She raised my awareness of the issue of rape, of how it's used to keep women from being independent and zooming around on their own. Antony Beevor (Stalingrad) agrees with her.
Who are your political heroes? > John Adams, George Washington, Paul Revere, Betsy Ross, Abraham Lincoln, Winston. I think W is going to look good on paper in a few years.
What is your favourite piece of political wisdom? > We should all hang together or we will all hang separately.
If you could effect one major policy change in the governing of your country, what would it be? > Everything to do with kids needs to be tightened up. Their safety should be the first consideration, always. Can I have two? For the UK, get rid of the monarchy after the Queen's death. Being a subject is so eighteenth century.
What would you do with the UN? > If I had stupendous power and wealth I'd fight to make it a force for good in the world, UNLIKE what it is these days. Troubled countries don't want to be helped by a single nation, they want to think the whole world cares about their problems and wants to help them out. Zero tolerance for corruption and genocide. Less jaw jaw, more action.
What do you consider to be the main threat to the future peace and security of the world? > The incredible advances in weapons technology – any lone madman can harm significant numbers of people. My hope is that the amazing advances in intelligence technology will counteract this.
Do you think the world (human civilization) has already passed its best point, or is that yet to come? > Information is power. I look forward to what will come from increasing numbers of consumers consulting blogs and the internet.
What would be your most important piece of advice about life? > Work hard at keeping the kind, nice people you know in your life.
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? > You know, I tried this a couple of times, so yes, it can be done. But my new thing is intelligent guys who think like I do about the war.
What do you consider the most important personal quality? > Kind words, kind heart.
In what circumstances would you be willing to lie? > To keep someone from getting hurt.
What commonly enjoyed activities do you regard as a waste of time? > Watching news on television.
What, if anything, do you worry about? > Whether I've been thorough enough.
If you were to relive your life to this point, is there anything you'd do differently? > Everything - because of my extreme curiosity, rather than dissatisfaction with life these days.
Who would play you in the movie about your life? > Jennifer Tilly doing an impression of Bridget Jones.
If you could have any three guests, past or present, to dinner who would they be? > General Michael Collins, Sir Winston Churchill and Dr. Condoleezza Rice.
What would your ideal holiday be? > Surrounded by the people I love, all in sparkling form, in a stately old home on an enormous farm with tons to do and every angle a beautiful sight. Plus walking distance to town.
What is your most treasured possession? > My dad handed me a paperback, and said 'I was reading this the night you were born'.
[The normblog profile is a weekly Friday morning feature. A list of all the profiles to date, and the links to them, can be found here.]