Martin Solomon ('call me Sol') was born in Boston, Massachusetts. He grew up in suburban Boston, graduated from public High School in 1985 and from Boston University's School of Management in 1990. He has taught karate, played guitar, sung just well enough to appear at open mic nights, travelled a bit, and enjoys bookstore browsing. Sol still lives in suburban Boston running a family business and is married with a five-year-old daughter. He blogs at Solomonia.
Why do you blog? > Several reasons: 1) Out of frustration. 2) In order to have my little nudge on the common sense from a space I completely control. 3) As a creative outlet – practice in writing, and in order to play with graphics and web-monkey stuff.
What has been your best blogging experience? > Getting complimented for my writing and posting by people who are obviously more intelligent, talented and informed than I am.
What has been your worst blogging experience? > Getting chastised for saying something silly when the chastiser was right.
Who are your intellectual heroes? > Natan Sharansky, Whittaker Chambers, John Adams, Theodore Herzl, David Horowitz, Victor Davis Hanson, James Randi.
What are you reading at the moment? > Red Star Over Hollywood: The Film Colony's Long Romance With The Left by Ronald and Allis Radosh. On Deck: The Other War by Stephanie Gutmann.
Who are your cultural heroes? > Oscar Levant, Steven Ambrose, Ray Bradbury, Moe Berg, Ron Jeremy. (What? It has to be only big brains?)
What is the best novel you've ever read? > Shoeless Joe by W. P. Kinsella. I am not a fast reader so my reading time is precious. This is the only work of fiction I have been drawn back to read more than once.
What is your favourite poem? > Not exactly a poem, I guess, but Cyrano de Bergerac, Act 3. Pick the reading up at Cyrano, '—through that sweet drunkenness / You pour into the world out of your eyes! / But to-night... but to-night, I indeed speak / For the first time!'
What is your favourite movie? > Star Wars.
What is your favourite song? > 'The Water is Wide' (traditional).
Can you name a major moral, political or intellectual issue on which you've ever changed your mind? > Only one? Affirmative Action as I perceive it's come to be practised. I never understood the arguments against it; in fact I accepted it was only racists who could possibly oppose it. Now I agree that AA is both racist and destructive.
What philosophical thesis do you think it most important to disseminate? > 'There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, / Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.' In other words, no one person or test has all the answers, and therefore human freedom to express and share is necessary to advance.
What philosophical thesis do you think it most important to combat? > Coercive utopianism.
Can you name a work of non-fiction which has had a major and lasting influence on how you think about the world? > Lately? The Case for Democracy: The Power of Freedom to Overcome Tyranny and Terror by Natan Sharansky. Sharansky has articulated the basic, common-sense requirement, the sine qua non for improving the political state of humanity: the freedom to exchange and test ideas without fear of bodily harm is the basic building block that makes democracy more than just a puppet show.
Who are your political heroes? > John Adams and the 'also rans' of the American founding generation. (I am, after all, a Massachusetts man.) Also, Abraham Lincoln.
What is your favourite piece of political wisdom? > 'Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passion, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.' (John Adams) That, or 'Upon common theaters, indeed, the applause of the audience is of much more importance to the actors than their own approbation. But upon the stage of life, while conscience claps, let the world hiss! On the contrary if conscience disapproves, the loudest applauses of the world are of little value.' (Same author) Not always practical politically, but great stuff in any case.
What would you do with the UN? > Give it a close-up introduction to the Caterpillar D-11.
What do you consider to be the main threat to the future peace and security of the world? > I'll pick a two-fer – the devil's cocktail combination of Islamism and far-leftist politics (post-colonial anti-imperialism, anti-Americanism, anti-Zionism and that strain of thought). The one (Islamism) is the poison, the other the sedative that's preventing and will prevent the victim from defending itself, or even recognizing the threat.
Do you think the world (human civilization) has already passed its best point, or is that yet to come? > The best is always yet to come. No question.
What would be your most important piece of advice about life? > Don't be afraid to cry at the movies.
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? > I don't think so.
What do you consider the most important personal quality? > Rational decision making not devoid of empathy.
In what circumstances would you be willing to lie? > To save someone's feelings or their life.
What is your favourite proverb? > What is hateful to you, do not do unto your fellow man.
What, if anything, do you worry about? > Money.
If you were to relive your life to this point, is there anything you'd do differently? > Study harder.
Who would play you in the movie about your life? > Robert DeNiro.
If you had to change your first name, what would you change it to? > Steel.
What talent would you most like to have? > Artistic talent.
What would be your ideal choice of alternative profession or job? > Movie star.
Which baseball team do you support? > The Boston Red Sox.
How, if at all, would you change your life were you suddenly to win or inherit an enormously large sum of money? > Pay off my mortgage, sell my business and spend a lot of time travelling.
[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.]