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COLIN STOKES

 

COLIN STOKES is wearing the Salvo no.001. He is the Associate Cartoon Editor and humor writer at The New Yorker living in New York City.

What is your favorite slogan?
Does exactly what it says on the tin (from an iconic advert for wood sealant in the UK).

Where would you find your doppelgänger?
I have a very large number of relatives on my mother’s side in a certain part of New Jersey, so I’d start looking there.

Do you have a soundtrack to your life?
I listen to “A Short History of Nearly Everything” most nights to help me go to sleep, avoiding the chapters about how we all may die suddenly without warning.

What takes you to cloud 9?
Cooking something that’s ambitious for friends or loved ones, and for it to turn out well.

What is dear to your heart?
Having spare time with no obligations.

Where do you want to go?
Almost everywhere I haven’t gone before that wouldn’t be physically dangerous to go to, but right now I’m interested in going to Romania, Taiwan, and Patagonia.

What is a rule that should never be broken?
Say please and thank you. Though I have been told by a waiter once that I say thank you too much.

What is a rule that should always be broken?
Pretty much every “style rule.”

What did you have for breakfast?
Scrambled eggs and leftover pernil.

What thoughts currently occupy you?
I’m working on redoing a cottage, so kitchen cabinet knobs and drawer pulls.

What is your favourite representation of simplicity?
In the past couple of years I have gotten into wearing plain white t-shirts, and now wear one almost every day. As someone who usually puts together relatively maximalist looks, I was surprised by how much I enjoyed having a simple thing to base a more interesting outfit around.

What is your favourite representation of complexity?
I once visited a friend living in Chile, and we went to a village in a valley called Pisco (yes, like the drink). We went on a hike with a friendly Swiss guide and asked him what to do there at night, and he suggested walking up a hill, lying on a jacket with a bottle of wine and looking upwards. It’s so dry and unpolluted with light there that the visibility is unreal—the sky is utterly filled with stars, and you can see a shooting star every thirty seconds. You’re reminded that we are truly standing on a rock in an endlessly complex universe filled with things we will never see or comprehend. It’s not technically a representation maybe (depending on your religious or philosophical beliefs), but experiencing that was the most powerful vision of complexity I’ve had, and my favorite.
If I had to stick to a more formal interpretation I would say a tiny Netherlandish boxwood carving of the Adoration of the Magi and the Crucifixion that’s currently at the cloisters, I believe.

What is your favorite animal?
My mother’s dog, TT.

What do you still wish to learn?
How to structure my life in a way that is resistant to the surprises of the day to day.

What is still a mystery?
How TT got so cute.

Where is happiness found?
Within. And also when I get a package delivery notification.

What do you find humorous?
My mother’s dog TT’s underbite.

What does your house smell like?
I have a Cire Trudon Solis Rex candle on my dinner table that, just because of the heat right now, emanates a wonderful scent even when unlit.

What does your house sound like?
My girlfriend and I installed a bamboo fence around my balcony last year, and a couple of times a day a piece of bamboo will make a popping noise as it settles, or moves. I enjoy the unpredictability of it.

Can you recall a dream?
I had a recurring dream as a child in which I tried to assassinate Hitler but every time I pulled the trigger, my gun was unloaded and he shot me. Bill Evan

What is a distraction?
Instagram.

What does progression mean to you?
Being able to look at yourself and realize that there are positive changes you’ve made in your life that would be unthinkable to an earlier you.

What frightens you?
Change, but stagnation frightens me more.

What’s the most frequent question you ask yourself?
How might another person see or think about this?

Are you an indoors person or an outdoors person?
I think indoors? But I also really love the outdoors, just in moderation—I’m not sure I’m cut out for camping, for example.

What was your last download?
Instagram (I delete it and redownload it frequently)

Any last words?
Thank you (and please).

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