If you want me to interview you, post a comment which includes such a request. I'll respond with questions for you to take back to your own journal and answer as a post. Of course, they'll be different for each person since this is an interview and not a general survey. At the bottom of your post, after answering my questions, you then ask if anyone wants to be interviewed by you. So now it becomes your turn; in the comments, you ask them any questions you have for them to take back to their journals and answer. Repeat ad nauseam.I got bateleur to ask me five and here they are.
1) You can bring a dead gameshow back for one episode only, hosted by anyone you like and with anyone you like as contestants (including both friends of yours and/or celebrities). What are your choices and why ?
There are many different ways to approach this question. There's always the thought of bringing something back that I'd like to watch another episode of, just to see what happens. The automatic choice here, as it has been for over a decade and a half, is another episode of Interceptor made by Chatsworth Television for ITV. While host Annabel Croft now could not host in quite the same way she hosted then, and Sean O'Kane, who played the eponymous Interceptor, is surely similarly fifteen years older, I don't think there are terribly obvious spiritual equivalents today. As a viewer, that is by far the show of which I'd like to see another episode of the same, changed as little as possible, because I can't remember how I thought to improve it at the time.
However, another approach to take is to cast myself and a number of my friends in something that just looked like being darn good fun to play; in terms of the best contestants really enjoying themselves and caring about their game, I can think of no better approach than to line up myself and five others as a The Crystal Maze team. I'm not sure whether I'd like to face games that I'd seen before and would come as no surprise, or a fresh line-up newly devised by mr_babbage and company (though likely he'd also be a fairly handy person to have among the team). If you hadn't said "one episode" then I might well have been all in favour of lining up Deal Or No Deal with 22 nice people and letting us all have a go in time, as per the show, but one episode you state, so one episode is all I can have.
The other approach which presents itself is that there are more than a few fine folk I know who could well do with being as rich as I think they deserve to be; this would seem to be an excellent opportunity to redistribute cash from the television companies of the world to some more deserving candidates. But which show? Two options present themselves, both somewhat cheating. In the USA, Pepsi invited two hundred lucky sweepstake entrants to Play For A Billion; one of the 200 won a guaranteed million dollars, with sundry smaller prizes along the way, and had a 1-in-1,000 chance of turning that million dollars into a billion (well, a billion-dollar annuity or a quarter-billion lump sum). Getting 200 nice people together is a good start and knowing that someone's going to end up a million richer is nice.
However, why stick at a prize of a million dollars when there could be a prize of a million pounds? I'm being practical rather than televisual, but what I'd like to do with my one episode, please, would be to re-enact the final episode of Chris Evans' Someone's Going To Be A Millionaire promotion (a spoiler to Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? that ran as a segment on TFI Friday one autumn) with a few highly deserving contestants in an elimination quiz for a guaranteed no-messing one-shot tax-free million pound prize. I'm sure that people would do the right thing and arrange a generous saver beforehand backstage to make sure that everyone goes away with a decent chunk of bunce. Chris Evans not to host; I would, if you were to pay me his rate...
2) Your fast food outlet of choice decide that it's time to capitalise on your patronage as a famous blogger by getting you to design their burger/pizza/whatever of the month. Which fast food outlet is it and what is your design ? (Note: must actually be both edible and possible to price appropriately for the establishment in question.)
Hmm. I'm no chef, so this is a tricky one. A quick answer is that I've always enjoyed McDonalds fries more than UK Burger King fries, but the Whopper more than the Big Mac, so I could use this as a technique to infiltrate McDonalds and get them to bring back the Cheeseburger Deluxe with even more salad atop. Oh, and probably without the cheese. Yeah, it really would be a Whopper and Mickey D's fries.
On the other hand, Meg and I repeatedly joke that we're going to open the first UK branch of Chick-Fil-A, simply because we end up eating there at least once a trip and every time it has been thoroughly joyful. Meg had one of their vanilla milkshakes last time and even that was, as Michael Winner would say, historic. It's essentially their ice-cream ("ice dream") mostly melted, with whipped cream on the top and a glacé cherry. However, the ice cream is so good that it's the best milk shake I've ever had. (Weakly relatedly, I once had an ice-cream sundae with lime sauce, though I can't remember where. If ever I get the chance then I shall repeat the experience.)
That said, it always fascinates me that there is no really successful counterpart to Pizza Hut for other popular ethnicities of cuisine in the UK. I maintain that the Dilshad in Birmingham is the single finest Indian restaurant that I have yet visited, frayer's protestations and subsequent invitation to Bradford carefully noted, with their Chicken Tikka Pathia Puri starter the single automatic choice from their menu. (There have been times where I've just had two starters rather than a starter and a main.) While a fine Indian restaurant hardly deserves to be relegated to mere fast food, my contribution to the state of convenience culinary art of the country would be to see Dilshad's Chicken Tikka Pathia Puri on every street corner. Purportedly there may be a chain of Dilshad resaurants, but possibly they're all indpendent and it's merely a common name.
Question 3 was asked innocently. However, in order to be fully honest, the answer is not innocent. Accordingly, rather than copping out with a clean but second-best answer, it shall be answered in a somewhat more private medium.
4) Aliens attack and, predictably, ducks save the world. Because ducks cannot talk you are chosen to oversee the design and construction of a monument in their honour. Who would you commission to create it, what would it consist of and where would you locate it ?
Possibly this is a slight cop-out, but I'm writing this on my laptop in a room in a US public library full of Internet-connected computers, one of many across the U.S. funded by Bill Gates's charitable foundation. I think that that has much more validity as a tribute to the Internet than any single-venue museum could ever be. In the same vein, rather than having a single giant idol of a duck, my monument would take the form of a duckpond in every village - nay, a duckpond for every thousand people, so that duckponds might be as ubiquitous as local pubs - with people employed to facilitate mass general duck feeding. (The food used would be appropriate; at our local pond, there are signs asking people to purchase appropriate bags of food from the local lodge rather than merely using bakery bread. Alas, the aforementioned lodge is usually shut.)
If you insist on a single monument, I always enjoyed reading about the giant stuffed pink rabbit on the top of a hill in Italy. I would commission the artists responsible there for a bigger, better, happier-looking duck in a very similar style atop a taller hill. Not such a tall hill that people couldn't visit it conveniently, but tall enough to give people a bit of exercise. Situate it as near as possible to wherever the ducks won their greatest victory, I'd've thought.
5) One interesting phenomenon which has increased in recent years (or perhaps just its visibility has increased thanks to the internet) is fans of various creative works such as books, games and TV shows becoming involved in the creation or related content themselves - whether official or unofficial. How do you see this trend continuing 5, 10 or 50 years down the line ? Could the line between creators and consumers of entertainment one day vanish entirely ?
I tend to believe you're right on the money with your assertion that the Internet has brought about the increases in social hypermobility to bring together fans of each and every fandom, and even micro-fandoms about phenomena where there is no good reason to assemble. That might sound a little over-formal, but I use the term fandom simply as "a collection of fans of the same topic". The traidition of fandom before the Internet, most frequently and most spectacularly through postal 'zines, is many times as long and as glorious as post- (with-?) Internet fandom; perhaps to answer your question we should attempt to extrapolate further and attempt to predict the future of the Internet. If I could do that with any confidence, I wouldn't be sat here making this little money. :-)
Anyone can spawn a fan effort from an existing fandom; the quantum leap is when the fandom somehow recognises the fan-generated content and absorbs it as being canonical. Some forms of entertainment lend themselves well to this; I believe it has already happened in alternate reality games, though I am not bullish that they will ever be at all mainstream, as attractive and as plausible as (say) Jamie Kane written large with TV broadcasts, the characters interacting with the rest of the world and live events might be. Perhaps more plausible is what I (incorrectly?) understand to be an initiative to produce new Star Trek universe content on an amateur basis to at least a semi-pro quality of output. If that were ever to become considered canonical, that would be a remarkable step.
The major obstacle seems to me to be intellectual property rights. If you are a major rightsholder and a fan creates derived work that you want to build upon then you have to compromise your position of previously holding all the intellectual property to that right, possibly even diluting your power to declare in the future whether something is canonical or not. Now should, say, J. K. Rowling decide in 2010 that she wants to devote a large part of her coming years engaging in such an enterprise as an artistic experiment and release the content into the (generic) creative commons as a loss-making artistic experiment, that might be a way to inspire a large-scale trial; however, I fear that human nature on the part of the storytellers will prohibit the highest order of the content producers from letting the stories be anything but theirs to tell.
Either that, or in 2010 JKR could publish a charity anthology of HP fandom shorts written by /friends and /friendsfriends, acknowledging and eulogising the contributions made by each author, but I can't imagine Warner being too happy about that...
Thanks very much to bateleur, who always asks good questions. (I recall mhw asking good ones in the past, too, though the single best set of questions and answers I've seen were these five from kaet - though my memory had painted the author as being bopeepsheep, for some reason - to j4.) Sets of questions joyfully available upon request, people; I seem to recall that some of you never got round to answering the five I set for you in 2003, so there might be a certain echoing quality to your questions!