Buenos Aires, CANADA - Writer
Interview made by Cyril Bruyelle in January 2017
I met Jonathan in Argentina. He is a Canadian boyfriend of the Mexican girl who was hosting me in Buenos Aires. Here was his answer when I asked him Who are you: “My name is Jonathan, I was born and raised in Scarborough, outskirt of Toronto, Canada. I’m 34 years old. I’ve finished high-school and that was all I had to do with school because I actually wanted to get educated. So, from there I did nothing but travel, I’ve learnt from the world being the best teacher it is. Now I’m a writer, short story and novels. I do what I have to do only so I can spend time doing what I want to do. And for that I’m happy.”
What did you want to be when you were a kid?
Not be like my mother. Anything that wasn’t how she was living. So, I didn’t want to stay at home, I didn’t want to just watch TV, I wanted to go to the places that I saw on the TV. I had no idea about a job, I just wanted to get out.
With whom would you like to have a coffee?
Barack Obama, not because I envy him but because I want to know if he was genuine or not. And George Bush at the same time, because I want to know what they are like with no camera on them
If you could choose something that could be taught in every school in the world, what would it be?
Logic, critical thinking. To be taught not what to learn but how to learn.
To you, what’s that main characteristic that all human beings have in common?
I think, when they’re young, kindness. And that eventually gets phased out when they enter school.
To you, who is the happiest person on earth?
A child before they ever go to school.
If you were President of the US, what would you first reform be?
I think for me it would be education. I don’t know what specifically, but I want to change it all, because everything derives from that.
What do you need?
What would you do if we gave you 1 million dollars now?
I’ll try to blow it as fast as possible because I cannot stand the stress of having a million dollars. And then I could get back to do what I want to do without the stress of it.
Which innovation, realistic or not, would greatly ease your day-to-day life?
Extending my life by a couple of centuries so I can learn more and don’t have to do it so fast
What’s the news that affects you the most in your country these days?
The hottest piece of news has to do with Canada’s reaction to Trump’s election. In my opinion the government of Canada is right now freaking out of what Trump is going to do tomorrow, the day after, the day after that, and after that etc. for the duration of his election. The Canadian government right now is pissing its pant because they have no idea what they’ll be after, if there will be massive immigration to Canada from America, which is silly in the concept of how they are looking at it. Everything to do with the US, they are US-centric right now without even focusing on themselves let alone other countries.
If you had to create a company, what would it be?
I’d create a company that would focus solely on punishing people that make other suffer. Not legal, no answer to anybody, no political allegiance, complete unbiased, that’s what they do. You’re in a position of power, you step out of line, these guys knock on your door. But they pledge allegiance to nobody or nothing, so they’re incorruptible. That’d be my company. And it would have no name.
Can you draw something beautiful?
You never told me. Something beautiful?
Can you sing something beautiful?
No. Okay, sure, for the sake of embarrassing myself. I won’t sing it though, it’s a tune but not singing. Can I whistle it? [Whistling] Ok, wow, this is out of the comfort zone. That’s all I remember. It’s a theme music from a movie called Nausicaa, it’s one of the first animated movie I watched in 1988. I was 6, and it’s just a beautiful tune, to me.
What are you afraid of?
Dying for nothing.
What is your dream?
Close your eyes, you are in 2100, what do you see?
Separation. Between everybody. With people looking back at 2017 saying why couldn’t we be together like them.
What is the most beautiful thing that you’ve seen in your life?
I’ll give an example that is recent, because there is so much that I’ve seen that I could classify that. The last one I’ve seen happened yesterday: two little girls, talking, sitting together. Just right there in front of the statue of Saint-Martin. One of them approaches the other, they just sat down. You could tell they never met each other, they were totally different, different skin tones which for me was really reflective of it. They sat besides each other, they couldn’t have been older than 3 maybe 4 years old. They both were smiling and one of them went to her bag and pulled out a doll, and without any hesitation, without any thinking, without any wonderment whether she should or not, she handed the doll to the other little girl and they just played with it together. And I sat there, watched them for five minutes, just playing, based on nothing but what seemed instinctive. Those two kids who never met before, will probably never meet again, were acting as if they were supposed to just be friendly with each other, and share with each other. That was beautiful.
If you had to write a book about the current world, what would you be the title?
To hell with innocence. The idea that innocence itself has become a perversion of what it is. So to hell with it. What we claim to be innocent is not, and what was innocent is already gone.
Who is God for you?
Which of your country’s cultural specificities are you the proudest of?
I love the fact that the stereotype of politeness in Canada is something that I can probably say exists at least in me. I think that being polite, well not all encompassing in term of generosity and kindness and warmth, that’s a façade. But the idea of simply being polite to people, saying please, saying thank you, saying you’re welcome, opening a door. These are thing anyone can do, rich or poor it doesn’t matter, it costs nothing and it’s easy. And it’s just the decent thing to do. So, for that to be a reflection of my country, I’m proud to be from a place that actually has that as a stereotypical characteristic. Because I try to share it.
If you could do any job regardless of money, what would you do?
I’d want to be a combi-driver in Mexico City. Yeah, no question.
If you had to explain our planet to an alien what would you say?
It had so much potential, but then humans were born.
And you, which question would you like to ask to the world?
Why are you doing that you know is wrong?