The mythical hamlet of Dustbury was invented by Charles G. Hill during the middle 1990s when he was unwilling to give out his real address. A longtime student of the human condition - he graduated magnum cum lousy - he was born in Illinois, grew up in South Carolina, and has spent the last 30 years in front of some sort of keyboard. He has two children, four grandchildren, and 2500 vinyl records. Charles blogs at dustbury.com, which he considers an unauthorized autobiography.
Why do you blog? > I always wanted a soapbox of my own, and this is the only way I could come up with one without having to invest heavily in soap.
What has been your best blogging experience? > Meeting readers during my annual vacation.
What has been your worst blogging experience? > Discovering that the database that runs the blog is completely and irredeemably corrupt. (I lost no posts, but it's a discouraging experience.)
What would be your main blogging advice to a novice blogger? > Don't suck up to the big guys. They won't notice you, and the little guys will resent you for it.
What are you reading at the moment? > Michel Houellebecq's novel The Possibility of an Island, which I started before leaving on holiday and forgot to take with me.
Who are your cultural heroes? > Mark Twain and Will Rogers.
What is the best novel you've ever read? > Dodie Smith's I Capture the Castle.
What is your favourite poem? > Andrew Marvell's 'To His Coy Mistress'.
Who is your favourite composer? > It varies with the season, but at the moment it's Claude Debussy.
Can you name a major moral, political or intellectual issue on which you've ever changed your mind? > I keep changing my mind on the death penalty. At the moment, I favour it, but this is subject to change at any given moment.
What philosophical thesis do you think it most important to disseminate? > The benefit of decentralization. If government has to do something, I would rather it be done by the lowest level possible. Obviously individual states or provinces can't be expected to handle national defence or monetary policy, but things like road-building and environmental policies are best implemented at the local level.
What philosophical thesis do you think it most important to combat? > The sense of entitlement among some people. The mere fact that a person exists imposes no particular responsibilities among the rest of us.
If you could effect one major policy change in the governing of your country, what would it be? > Before any new law can be adopted, three old ones must be scrapped.
What would you do with the UN? > I'm not quite sure, but I expect it involves dynamite.
What do you consider to be the main threat to the future peace and security of the world? > The upcoming schism between hardline Muslims who hope to dominate the world and their less militant brethren who hope only to survive in it.
Do you think the world (human civilization) has already passed its best point, or is that yet to come? > I've never been much of an optimist, but the human race, for all its perversities, is remarkably resilient, so I'm betting on a brighter future.
What would be your most important piece of advice about life? > Manage your time. You have no idea how much you're going to get.
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? > Possibly, if only because I'm a bit on the passive side and would not be inclined to dictate dogma to her.
What do you consider the most important personal quality? > The wisdom to know that you're not the centre of the universe.
What personal fault do you most dislike? > The conviction that you are the centre of the universe.
In what circumstances would you be willing to lie? > Were it necessary to save my life or my country.
Do you have any prejudices you're willing to acknowledge? > I shun anyone who can speak the word 'multicultural' with a straight face.
What is your favourite proverb? > This is often attributed to Will Rogers: 'Good judgement comes from experience, which comes from bad judgement.'
What would you call your autobiography? > The Agony and the Excrescence.
What would your ideal holiday be? > Hopping in the car with no fixed destination.
What talent would you most like to have? > I would like to be able to play at least one musical instrument without sounding like I'd accidentally lurched up against the accursed thing during a drunken frenzy.
What would be your ideal choice of alternative profession or job? > I can almost, but not quite, see myself teaching geography and such to 10-year-olds.
Which English Premiership football team do you support? > Monty Python once noted in a sketch that Coventry City had never won the FA Cup. After that, I started keeping tabs on the team - until they actually won the Cup in 1987.
How, if at all, would you change your life were you suddenly to win or inherit an enormously large sum of money? > Other than no longer having a day job, I can see no reasons to change.
What animal would you most like to be? > I'd make a good giant tortoise: I have the speed for it, and they live to ripe old ages.
[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.]