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Brambleberry: the Interview Issue. #2: Emily McWilliams

Posted: February 17th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Party Corner | 2 Comments »
Philosophy Graduate Student
Q:  Can you tell me your three best albums or movies of 2010?

2010?!?!?!  Oh man.  That’s so recent.
So … the Method man and Red Man album.  Was that 2009 or 2010?  It was either fall of ’09 or spring of 2010 that this hip hop album came out and in either case beyond that I don’t know that I have anything to say.  The single track from that album that was popular was “A-yo”.  A, dash, Why,  Oh.  Method Man and Redman.  2009/2010. I’m not sure which year it came out.  But either way that’s the best hip-hop album of the year.  Beyond that I’m not sure, but that’s my answer.  A-yo is the single, and Method Man and Red Man are the artist.
Q:   What is it that philosophy is really trying to get to?

Um.  I would say that it’s a process of finding answers to fundamental questions.  Anyone who proposes to have a definitive answer to any given question has gotten something wrong, while anyone who proposes to have a refinement to any question that’s been posed, or to have a relevant distinction that informs the way we understand a question that has been posed is probably doing something correct.  It’s a process that outruns any given human life.
Q:  Tell us something about your time in New Orleans.

A: The most fantastic experience of American music that one can be privy to.  There are two times of the year in which people want to come down to New Orleans.  The one everyone thinks about is Mardi Gras.  The other one is Jazz Fest.  Far superior, but not recognized to be so.  It’s when New Orleans music is showcased and is the one time in the year considered to be the benchmark for blues, jazz, zydeco.  I would say that having lived there for 5 years, that’s the only time I felt connected to the city, in terms of musical roots.  If you go to Jazzfest and check out the Zydeco stage you’ll know what I mean by that.  Not that any one act stands out but that it’s the one pop culture event that’s capable of showcasing the  beginning… no, not the beginning, that’s not fair… that launching pad from which all American jazz originated, the closest thing you can now get to a launching pad from which American jazz originated.  I think that if you have a chance to attend some sort of cultural event in new orleans, Jazz Fest ought to be the thing that you choose.
Q: Do you get hammered at Jazz Fest??

A:  You do get hammered.  Part of the experience.  Eating food there.  All the sort of New Orleans cuisine showcases itself in this way that’s unique.  All kinds of people come out, you get a different crowd than you do at Mardi Gras when the population of the city triples with tourists.  You’re at the heart of things in a different way.
Q:  What are you working on right now that no one else has seen?

A: My goal is to find a way to bring a political philosophy and/or metaphysics to the world.  One or the other would be more than sufficient.  I’m not sure that either is likely to work but in either case I’ll be beyond satisfied and I think it’ll take more than 5 years to find out whether either path is worth pursuing.  If it is that’ll be very satisfying and if not that’s okay too.
Q:  Do you have time to read outside of academics?

A:  I spend my lunch hour, 30-50 minutes a day reading novels.  Recently I have been reading Edward Abbey.  I read his novel which is called A Desert Solitaire in college and more recently the novel he wrote before he died which is called An Honest Novel.  I’ve really been enjoying that.  I think that ultimately my goal is to see how far I can go down this garden path of incorporating philosophy and literature.  Maybe there isn’t far to go, no new paths to be forged, and if that’s the case I’ll be glad to have had the opportunity to have seen this.
Greg (interrupting, rudely):  You’re talking like this is the end of your life.
A: I’ll be 28 in like a week
Q:  No matter what age you are?  Gonna die.

A: Yeah I know it sucks either way right.
Q: It doesn’t have to suck.  It’s, like, the great mystery of life.

Emily: I’m not sure I want to solve the great mystery of life.  To survive the mystery would be better than solving it.
Q:  How many ice cream parlors have you lived over?  Did you seek them out?
A: I first lived over Christina’s and then I lived over Toscanini’s each for a year.  This year I live in Union Square, and I don’t live near any ice cream parlors.
Q: Was part of the reason you moved in because of the ice cream?

A: That would lend a better narrative but it isn’t the case.

Q: So in two different cases you answered an ad and then found that the apartment in the ad was over an ice cream parlor?

A: I got to know the owners, and the fact of being above one became beneficial in each case, but it was not the motivation.

Q:  What is a question you always wanted to ask Ian Harper?

A: When did he become interested in dancing and what were his subsequent influences in his development of learning to dance?
Q: What’s a question that if I had asked you it, you would have refused to answer it, on the grounds of you don’t want anyone to know the answer?

Fuck dude!  That’s the hardest question you’ve asked me.
I really don’t know (regretfully, apologetically).  That’s the question that I really don’t know the answer to.
Q: Who is Conan O’ Brien, and why is she so sad?

She?  You have some fucking biological shit wrong there.  Fundamentally, something’s gone wrong.  Conan O Brien?  he’s a guy!  He’s got a dick for sure, and balls.

2 Comments on “Brambleberry: the Interview Issue. #2: Emily McWilliams”

  1. 1 Emily said at 1:20 pm on February 18th, 2011:

    this is great: super drunkenly-dramatic throughout the first half. then greg calls me on it, then suddenly I’m uber-matter-of-fact. heh.

  2. 2 Ross said at 11:00 pm on August 23rd, 2011:

    “Anyone who proposes to have a definitive answer to any given question has gotten something wrong.”

    That sounds like a pretty blanket statement, definitive answer to the question of the nature of truth to me. The ultimate irony?… or is it just my lack of understanding?

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