Eamonn McDonagh is from Galway. He did History and Politics at University and got into teaching English as a way of avoiding becoming a farmer like his father. He has lived in the UK, the Netherlands, the Republic of Korea, Turkey and Italy. Since 1999 he has been based in Buenos Aires, where he intends to stay. Eamonn works as a discourse consultant and translator. He blogs at El Nuevo Pantano.
Why do you blog? > To vent rage about things that anger me and, at least in my dreams, to persuade readers.
What has been your best blogging experience? > Corresponding with excellent people I'd never otherwise have come into contact with.
What would be your main blogging advice to a novice blogger? > I regard myself as very much a novice blogger still and my advice to myself and anyone else in that position would be to keep at it.
Who are your intellectual heroes? > Jürgen Habermas, by a mile. An intellectual of an altogether different sort whose work I've come to know and admire greatly in recent years is Domingo Faustino Sarmiento.
What are you reading at the moment? > Horacio Tarcus's stupendous new biographical dictionary of the Argentine left.
What is the best novel you've ever read? > Los Detectives Salvajes by Roberto Bolaño.
What is your favourite poem? > 'The Great Hunger' by Patrick Kavanagh.
What is your favourite movie? > Practically anything by Aki Kaurismäki but if I had to pick one I think it would be Ariel.
What philosophical thesis do you think it most important to disseminate? > That there is nothing progressive or liberating about much of postmodernist thought, and on a more political level, that religious beliefs and feelings should be given no special consideration in public debate and policy formation.
Can you name a work of non-fiction which has had a major and lasting influence on how you think about the world? > The Philosophical Discourse of Modernity by Jürgen Habermas. It gave me better ways of thinking about modernity and much else besides.
If you could effect one major policy change in the governing of your country, what would it be? > End state funding of the Catholic Church, remove Catholic symbols from courthouses and similar public spaces and do away with the Church's privileged relationship with the armed forces.
What would you do with the UN? > Giving Brazil, India, Japan and Germany permanent seats on the Security Council would be a good start.
What do you consider to be the main threat to the future peace and security of the world? > Nuclear proliferation.
Do you think the world (human civilization) has already passed its best point, or is that yet to come? > It's hard to say but I am moderately pessimistic about our ability to overcome present dangers.
What would be your most important piece of advice about life? > What McWhirr says in Typhoon: 'Keep her facing it, that's the way to get through.'
What do you consider the most important personal quality? > The maintenance of some sort of congruence, however minimal and contingent, between one's words and one's actions.
What personal fault do you most dislike? > The whimsical use of power.
In what circumstances would you be willing to lie? > If I thought I had no choice and if I was willing to deal with the consequences of being found out, because I am crap at it.
Do you have any prejudices you're willing to acknowledge? > I have many prejudices, all of which I strive to control by the application of intelligence and reason.
What commonly enjoyed activities do you regard as a waste of time? > Sunbathing and beach activities in general.
What, if anything, do you worry about? > The new, cool, fat-free, environmentally responsible anti-Semitism.
If you were to relive your life to this point, is there anything you'd do differently? > I'd come to Buenos Aires sooner.
What do you like doing in your spare time? > Reading books, newspapers and blogs. Going to see films. Listening to music. Drinking red wine. Eating grilled beef.
What is your most treasured possession? > My books.
If you had to change your first name, what would you change it to? > I'm happy to be Eamonn but I would consider changing the spelling to 'Éimon' to facilitate its pronunciation here.
What talent would you most like to have? > The ability to shut up at the right time.
What would be your ideal choice of alternative profession or job? > Professional footballer.
Who are your sporting heroes? > Roy Keane and Marcelo Bielsa.
How, if at all, would you change your life were you suddenly to win or inherit an enormously large sum of money? > If it was really enormous I'd do a Roman Abramovich and buy a controlling interest in a big football club and hire Marcelo Bielsa to manage the first team.
[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.]