Thursday, September 12, 2013

Introducing David Vollin: New Contributor to M3

1. What is your full name? Do you have a nickname no one calls you anymore?
My full name is David Vollin

2. If given the choice of any person alive or dead with whom would you want over to dinner as a guest? Why?
An easy answer for me, that man would certainly be Frederick Douglass, as a Black man fighting the same struggle he did over 150 years ago he represents the personification of what all oppressed peoples wish to achieve in their lifetime; defying the rules, breaking the continuum of oppression, making the oppressor know that the day has come when the evil they have wrought upon innocents is over. Fighting with the very first and last breath of your being for freedom.

3. Before making an important telephone call do you rehearse what it is you're going to say? What do you think about people who do?
My father taught me to always be prepared by fully understanding my position having determined my strategy in preparation. I research the issue thoroughly making notes prior to any major interaction and go into the game with a well defined outline. This does not mean that I am inflexible once I have made a determination but it means that unless challenged with an argument which poses a valid means for reconsideration I will maintain my position, delivering it in a clear, rational, and eloquent manner. Anyone who is intelligent will organize their thoughts prior to entering into a conversation with weighty consequences.

4. Explain in as much detail as possible what would constitute a perfect day for you.
I do not believe in perfection! Perfection, or rather the notion thereof, is a poetic but impractical expectation which humans utilize as a mental catalyst to realize their vanities and ambitions! As far as my limited comprehension of the cosmos allows I see no element of all that is or appears to exist that is perfect! I set out each day afresh, sometimes with very clearly outlined goals and objectives and other times with merely the intent to get through the unforeseen vicissitudes of the day! Men have no power to command fate or fortune, they think, they act, and then they wait to realize whatever outcome befalls! The concept of a perfect day is mere myth! Therefore cannot, will not answer this question, as it should not be possible with any degree of accuracy. Let me say instead that one should be open to receive the day as it is manifested striving to master it's orchestration and to realize elusive goals on another time!

5. When was the last time you sang to yourself to someone else? Would you ever sing in public in honor of someone you love?
I love singing and writing songs, I do so many, many times daily and it serves to calm and free my mind and to amuse my wit as well as that of others... I use song as a tool for either escape or contemplation...

6. If you could live to 100 and retain either your mind or your body at 30 for the rest of your life which would you choose? 
As an intellectual the clear choice would be to maintain my mental faculties, however a 100 year old man with the mentality of a 30 year old and the body of an old man or the physicality of a 30 year old man but a mind that has not the capacity to drive it is not, either of them, a palatable scenario, nor, I daresay is it a likely or practical comparison given the reality of science versus time! So I accept whatever variables that become my reality as I have no other choice... dreaming has no power over genetics outside of the laboratory... But I am certain the day will come when mankind will learn how to slow physical aging whilst enhancing mental robustness over time...

7. Do you have a secret hunch about how you will die? Would you want to know exactly how when and where you will die? 
Death is a certainty... An obstacle, an obsession, a passion and a fear! That I must one day needs succumb is enough to comprehend... I do not know what life will bring tomorrow, the mystery of life is also that of death!

8. If you could change anything about the way you were raised what would it be? 
I was raised in a wonderfully liberal home with lots of love... I never knew need or want, mine was a charmed and privileged youth... both of my parents continue to raise me, they have always been by my side. I have known from my late twenties that I had truly amazing parents and I try to honor them every day of my life and strive to be the gentleman they crafted me to be. I would not change anything... mine has been a charmed life... not perfect but overall composed of a tangible beauty that inspires every moment of my existence... I am not that angry Black man... wise, thoughtful, pragmatic but not angry... For me maturity came when I was able to calibrate a balance between the idyllic passions of my youth with the reality of the world... 

9. If you could wake up tomorrow having gained any one ability or quality what would it be and why? 
I would love to wake up tomorrow with the ability to see my extensive writings through to publication. 

10. Is there something you have dreamed of doing for a long time? Why haven't you done it? 
Please see the answer to question #9. There was indeed a practical setback... but now it is time to revisit the task!

11. What is your most treasured memory? How would your personality or life change if you discovered that the memory was false?
This question has no practical application since my most treasured memories are indeed recordings of actual events preserved and documented as such... It is the high level of detail and credibility that a psychical event of great importance has in the mind which allows it to be uniquely treasured amidst all the other experiences in our life... 

12. If you knew that in one year's time you'd die suddenly is there anything in your life you'd change right now?
I would quit my job and complete my book. 

13. What was the most embarrassing moment in your life? Do you still feel any embarrassment when you think about it?
As a child embarrassment is mostly about measuring up to your interpretation of the expectations of your peers... As a man, a mature man embarrassment is more about understanding your obligation to honor the ethical and practical responsibilities of manhood. As a gentleman, embarrassment does not exist in the form it has for the balance of one's life because one has finally the ability to understand the variability of life and deal with life it on its own terms and on ones own terms...

14. When was the last time you cried in front of another person? By yourself? 
I have never had any notion that would prevent me from expressing any emotion in the form of crying... I cry every day... At work, at home, in public... whenever I am so moved... As a sentient being, a man of passion and humanity I recognize crying as a purely natural means of expressing deeply felt emotion... a tool for expressing and disseminating, communicating what we humans call, "Feelings". 

15. What, if anything, is too serious to joke about? Why? Do people ever think of you as insensitive? 
I am a very serious man! Ironically I have the most riotous sense of humor... I honestly don't know or care what people think about me and devote very little time to it. What is important to me is that I am ethically on board with what I do, I am one who devotes a great deal of thought to what I say and do. It is never my intention to hurt anyone but as we all know truth can sometimes be hurtful. So there is an art to being truthful but humane... no man has perfected this art and I am but a man.... 

16. What is the biggest misconception people have about you? Is there anything you can do to change it? 
Most people do not know I am an avid intellectual and have an insane sense of humor. They see my physical appearance in the gym or on the street and know I have been an athlete, they experience me at work or on the street and see that I am very serious...I do not see it as my issue to change peoples superficial perception of me but I hope they will take time to get acquainted with me so that they can experience my personality in a multitude of contexts. I have never suffered from the insecurity that drives some people to crave superficial acceptance... popularity does not move me... substance does!

17. When was the last time you were afraid that you were about to die? Did you feel grateful or lucky to be alive afterward?
I am afraid that I am about to die every minute of my life and that is why I live my life to the fullest every minute of my life! Life is not about luck or chance or any of those mythical notions... the realities of life and death are actually very mundane and often unremarkable... when we look at our lives as compared to the innumerable lives and deaths since the first human lived and died it transports us to another level of consciousness in which we are a brief season of summer growth brilliant for an instant and then lost to all memory for all time! Who cannot say that they are not grateful to be alive who values and cherishes life? We who are living know no other reality save life! We have nothing to compare life to except life itself who have never experienced death! 

18. If you were to die tomorrow is there anything you wish you would have done? Not done? 
Life is full of hopes, wishes, dreams... when they cease a man is truly dead whether it be physically or mentally!

19. If you were forced to flee a burning house and you could easily save any item without endangering your life or others, what would you save?
That answer is unknown if it is restricted to material possessions because our values change... and our instinct for self-preservation often outweighs the rational or practical realization that any inanimate object can be of relevance beyond self and other human beings... however enter the human element and then we might add the salvation of all living beings... and not just one as appears to be a prescribed and not realistic condition... 

20. What do you feel most ashamed about doing in your life? Most proud of?
I comprehend but do not subscribe to shame, fear, guilt, but as a man I do know pride and find it highly useful when constructive and not obsessive or condescending... I am proud of many things greatly... a man of great pride...

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