Terry Glavin was born in England to Irish parents, and emigrated to Canada at the age of 18 months. He grew up on the outskirts of Vancouver, and has worked as a reporter, feature writer, columnist and editor with a variety of daily newspapers and magazines. He's written several books, which tend to appear on the anthropology and natural history shelves. He's the editor of Transmontanus Books, and teaches part-time as an adjunct professor with the University of British Columbia's MFA Creative Writing Program. Terry blogs at Terry Glavin and occasionally at Drink-Soaked Trotskyite Popinjays for War.
Why do you blog? > It started as a complement to my journalism - just a space to link to articles or further explore things I was raising in my columns and so on. It still serves that purpose, but it's taken on a life of its own. I blog to draw attention to developments that might interest the people who regularly pop by my place; to test ideas; and to participate in conversations that are going on outside conventional media.
What has been your best blogging experience? > I used to worry that I was almost alone in my political outlook. Blogging helped me discover that there are people just like me all over the world. We are everywhere.
What would be your main blogging advice to a novice blogger? > 1. Blog about things that you actually know about and that no one else blogs about. 2. It's not necessary to have an opinion about everything. 3. Don't hector me about not taking my own advice.
Who are your intellectual heroes? > Charles Darwin, Nikolai Ivanovich Vavilov, Franz Boas, George Orwell, E.O. Wilson, Paul Berman.
What are you reading at the moment? > Jeffrey Sachs's Common Wealth: Economics for a Crowded Planet; Grant Keddie's Songhees Pictorial: A History of the Songhees People as Seen by Outsiders (1790-1912); W.G. Sebald's On the Natural History of Destruction; Seamus Deane's novel, Reading in the Dark.
Who are your cultural heroes? > The Be Good Tanyas, Stompin' Tom Connors, E.J. Hughes, Bill Reid, Alden Nowlan.
What is the best novel you've ever read? > William Trevor's The Story of Lucy Gault.
What is your favourite poem? > Charles Lillard's 'Closing Down Kah Shakes Creek'.
What is your favourite movie? > Plan 9 from Outer Space.
Can you name a major moral, political or intellectual issue on which you've ever changed your mind? > It would appear that capitalism will not soon collapse under the weight of its own contradictions after all.
What philosophical thesis do you think it most important to disseminate? > Social-democratic internationalism.
What philosophical thesis do you think it most important to combat? > The gibberish that has been called epistemic relativism.
Can you name a work of non-fiction which has had a major and lasting influence on how you think about the world? > John Bleibtreu's The Parable of the Beast (for reasons I set out here).
Who are your political heroes? > William Wilberforce, James Connolly, Gabriel Dumont, James Douglas, Jess Succamore, Homer Stevens, Wii Seeks (Ralph Michell), Vicky Husband, Lauryn Oates.
What is your favourite piece of political wisdom? > 'Guns are better.' (Xeni Gwet'in elder Henry Solomon)
If you could effect one major policy change in the governing of your country, what would it be? > Electoral reform: a single-transferable-vote system, or something very much like it, with some form of compulsory voting law, like the Aussies have.
If you could choose anyone, from any walk of life, to be Prime Minister, who would you choose? > Rick Hiller, Campbellton, Newfoundland.
What would you do with the UN? > No men allowed for five years.
What do you consider to be the main threat to the future peace and security of the world? > The threat of ecological and economic collapse (crop failures, hyperinflation, etc) converging to produce failed states, famine and warlordism.
Do you think the world (human civilization) has already passed its best point, or is that yet to come? > Yet to come. I hope.
In what circumstances would you be willing to lie? > When it's necessary in order to do the right thing.
What commonly enjoyed activities do you regard as a waste of time? > Trying to teach my dog to fetch a stick.
What is your most treasured possession? > My Morgan six-string guitar.
What talent would you most like to have? > A facility with languages so as to be proficient in several.
Who is your favourite comedian or humorist? > Brian O'Nolan (aka Flann O'Brien, Myles naGopaleen etc).
How, if at all, would you change your life were you suddenly to win or inherit an enormously large sum of money? > Stash some away for the kids, start a magazine, pay my writers ridiculously well, run the magazine into the ground, die penniless.
If you could have any three guests, past or present, to dinner who would they be? > Bartolomeo de Las Casas, Christopher Hitchens and Brendan Behan.
What animal would you most like to be? > The three-toed sloth (Bradypus tridactylus).
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