Matt Crowder was born in Poole, Dorset, where the residents boast that they live by the second largest natural harbour in the world. In spite of this, he left home to study Film and Literature at the University of Warwick, and Film Production at the University of Bristol. He recently moved to London where he works for the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea and is scrounging off friends. He will begin a PhD in Television and Politics in September. Matt blogs at Saving the World and Fisking Central.
Why do you blog? > My motivations move along a sliding scale, with 'ego trip' at one end and 'self-expression' at the other. It usually floats somewhere near the middle.
What would be your main blogging advice to a novice blogger? > Find blogs about things you care about. Cultivate a conversation. Blogging within a community, no matter how small, is what it's all about.
Who are your intellectual heroes? > In descending order: Marx, Richard Dyer (a former lecturer), and my friend Chris.
What are you reading at the moment? > I'm reading an advance copy of Daniel Kehlmann's excellent Measuring the World, Richard Dawkins's Unweaving the Rainbow, Big Babies by Michael Bywater, and a compilation of Lenin's writing on Proletarian Internationalism.
What is the best novel you've ever read? > Two thirds of The New York Trilogy is superb. With my remaining third of a novel I'll plump for Melville's short story 'Bartleby the Scrivener'.
What is your favourite poem? > Borges' 'Christ on the Cross'.
What is your favourite movie? > Today it is 8½ by Fellini. Beautiful, surreal, sublime and utterly decadent.
What is your favourite song? > 'Foolish Fool' by Dee Dee Warwick.
Can you name a major moral, political or intellectual issue on which you've ever changed your mind? > It's taken me several years to admit to myself that I don't believe in God any more.
What is your favourite piece of political wisdom? > Popper's assertion that democracy does not provide a way to choose the perfect government but rather the mechanism to get rid of a bad one without violence.
What do you consider to be the main threat to the future peace and security of the world? > The perception that there is a main threat to the future peace and security of the world. Translating relatively genuine threats into existential Godzillas prevents useful debate and policy-making.
Do you think the world (human civilization) has already passed its best point, or is that yet to come? > I think the world will continue to slowly become a better place for more and more people.
What would be your most important piece of advice about life? > Don't assume that you won't behave in a certain way just because you haven't done so before.
What do you consider the most important personal quality? > The ability to laugh at yourself.
What personal fault do you most dislike? > Emotional immaturity and laziness.
In what circumstances would you be willing to lie? > Quite a few but only where the truth was irrelevant. Unfortunately I'm very bad at lying.
Do you have any prejudices you're willing to acknowledge? > People who are loud and stupid offend me. I presume they have hidden qualities; I just can't see them.
What, if anything, do you worry about? > My future happiness.
What would you call your autobiography? > What I Meant To Say.
Who would play you in the movie about your life? > I've been told that I bear a passing resemblance to Dawson's Creek's Joshua Jackson, but by the inspiring and implausible denouement I'm certain that James Mason would be playing me.
What would your ideal holiday be? > Driving from New York to San Francisco in a campervan. Slowly.
What do you like doing in your spare time? > Reading, watching TV and films, eating, playing poker and writing.
What is your most treasured possession? > The ice-cold beer in my hand.
If you had to change your first name, what would you change it to? > Jack. I don't know why.
What talent would you most like to have? > To be able to paint and draw.
What would be your ideal choice of alternative profession or job? > Screenplay writer.
Who is your favourite comedian or humorist? > Ricky Gervais. In my world Extras never happened.
How, if at all, would you change your life were you suddenly to win or inherit an enormously large sum of money? > I could afford to do my PhD without applying to the AHRC and ruining my summer waiting to find out if they like my proposal enough.
What animal would you most like to be? > A monkey. I believe, without scientific basis, that monkeys probably experience the world in pretty much the same way that we do but without all the painful abstractions of self-consciousness. They're agile too.
[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.]