Hugh Baldwin

Hugh Baldwin

The person that most influenced my decisions in life when I was younger was... it’s a tie between my Dad, James Brown and Groucho Marx. My Dad would take me down to surf and if it was too big I would say ‘I can’t, Dad, it’s too big.' He would say, ‘well, you have to now, otherwise the surf wins.’ Now, whenever anything is too hard, that Pavlov’s dog response is triggered. James Brown? Because he was the ‘Godfather of Soul.' Groucho? He was the king of the wisecrack (much to all my school teachers’ lament).

The last interesting book that I read was... I’m torn here between the last interesting book I read and the last book I read that makes me interesting. Here’s two: Ignore Everybody by Hugh Macleod (of gapingvoid.com) and I love James Paul Gee’s What Video Games Have to Teach Us About Learning and Literacy.

My first job was... technically ‘the washing up’ but it was only a verbal contract and payment was irregular. My first non-family employer was Sea World on the Gold Coast. My friend got me in there. He had the glamorous ‘Water Slide Attendant’ job while I flipped burgers in a kitchen in the summer heat (great for your pimples). But it served me in good stead, I now feel a direct connection to SpongeBob, who flips burgers at the Krusty Krab.

My guiltiest pleasure is... acquiring guitars or stuff for guitars. I also used to play soccer for a club called ‘Guitar Crazy’. Our end of season parties … rocked.

At school, I was known for... well, I was known as ‘The Librarian’ not because I liked books but because I liked to put things in order. I had a self-righteous love of conflict and bullies were usually my target. If I got wind of someone bullying someone else I’d insert myself between the bully and their target and shift the bully’s focus onto me. Then I’d melt their mind with head-bending logic. At which point, they’d usually self-implode. I did this because someone did it for me when I was 12.

When I’m not at work I spend my time… playing with my kids. Playing music. Often both. My daughter plays drums, I play guitar, my wife plays bass and my son plays Bon Scott. Together we play face-melting rock.

My favourite movie of all time is... Blazing Saddles. My dad is obsessed with Westerns (he thinks he’s in one), so I’d watched a lot as a kid, which meant I didn’t miss one in-joke in Blazing Saddles. I think it is the perfect intersection of everything I loved as a kid: the Marx Bros, Python, the Goons, Salvador Dali, Woody Allen, movie musicals and Mel Brooks.

I know it's not cool but I love... the internet. No, wait, it is cool. When I got my first job ‘on the internet’ it was a massive geek-fest and it definitely wasn’t that cool. If you mentioned it people would screw up their faces and ash their ciggies on you. Now the internet’s cool and smoking is illegal (kinda). Win-win.

One of my favourite series on STV is... Game of Thrones, no question. I love that they communicate by sending a raven. If someone sent a raven across the kingdom to tell me something really important I would definitely send one back that said, “Cool. Thanks."

The person I most admire is... I’ve mentioned my Dad twice so I won’t say him. I admire anyone who practices something 10,000 times and then executes it perfectly when it counts. I also admire nurses. Society has it wrong; they should be on the highest paid list.

My hope for the future is that... my kids always love me and that we all wear hyper-connected bodysuits that allow you to project whatever outfit you desire. I’m just downloading a Versace suit now.

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