Jim Benning is a the co-editors of World Hum, which is one of the best multi-writer travel websites on the internet. (EDIT: He’s more busy than I thought — he also recently started editing SKYE for aol.com also). That in and of itself should be enough to put him on the radar screen of those of us that love good travel writing.
But more than just the job he’s currently most recognized for, he’s simply one of the most respected voices out there in the travel writing community. When he speaks out on an issue, you know its a well-thought though, sober and reflected point of view. These days, you can’t say that about everyone.
Heck, some days I can’t even say that about myself.
So, go follow him on Twitter and go enjoy World Hum and in the meantime, enjoy his answers to the Lucky 13:
1. Who is your favorite writer, eliminating any that you have actually met in person?
Oh man, just one? Three favorites: Don DeLillo, Jack Kerouac and Joan Didion.
2. How many languages can you order a beer in?
Just a few with any confidence. But I’m really good at pointing and nodding.
3. What is your ideal dinner party? You and three other guests.
Mao, Andy Warhol and Frida Kahlo.
4. New Years Resolution that you have made, and broken, the most in your life?
httpv://youtu.be/bLPajj7I2BE I don’t make New Year’s resolutions. I love the Bob Dylan lyric that goes something like, “He who isn’t busy being born is busy dying.” Around the first of the year, I ask myself which of those two things I’m busy doing.
5. The longest you were grounded (or most you were punished in some form) by your parents was when you did _________.
I never got into too much trouble, so either I was way too well behaved or my parents were overly accommodating.
6. Worst award-winning movie you’ve ever seen?
Tough one. “The Usual Suspects” had gotten a lot of hype when I saw it. I just didn’t get it.
7. Give us a band that you can listen to over and over again.
I need breaks from most bands, but I never tire of Joni Mitchell.
8. If you were limited to one news website for a year, which one would you want to have access to?
9. What superhero would you most like to share a few pints with?
10. Biggest dinner tab you have ever been a part of (not that you necessarily paid, but were there for)?
Probably a friend’s bachelor dinner at an L.A. steakhouse. There were at least a dozen of us. We could have just purchased a mid-size farm.
11. Your favorite movie of all time?
So hard to pick just one. Two on my short list: Lost in Translation and Annie Hall.
12. Give us the year that you’d like a complete “do-over” for. No need to get into why.
Probably one of my high school years: 1988.
13. You are at the Pearly Gates, what question do you most fear from St. Peter?
You okay with a standard room or would you like to upgrade to a suite?
Haha, I like the last answer. 🙂
HAHAHHAA@ last answer!
Very cool interview, with a very fascinating travel writer. Although I will defend “The Usual Suspects” to my grave!
Ha! Love #13 😉 And I will also defend “The Usual Suspects”, too — excellent movie!
I will defend “The Usual Suspects” to my grave!..Interesting post, thanks for sharing this with us.
Great last answer for this crowd!!! Will have to pay more attention to Jim — I have vague recollections of meeting at TBEX in NYC. It’s funny about “hype” movies. I remember absolutely loving Usual Suspects — but I just wasn’t that into Lost in Translation. Fun interview, from both interviewer and interviewee.
I just laughed reading he did not also like the movie: The Usual Suspects. One of the movies I fell asleep with. 🙁
Fun interview. We’re really good at nodding and pointing too. It’s amazing what you can get away with when traveling. We always joke, all you need is five words, a smile and a thumbs up. You’ll get by just fine:)
The Usual Suspects….I loved it, but saw it when it opened. I find that a lot about award movies, it depends on when you see them. If you catch them early, you come out going, “That was great!” Once all the amazing reviews come in, you go in with expectations and it always lets you down.