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The Smiley Ben FAQ

Why Smiley Ben?

When on BJMUS1997 I was at first dubbed 'Scary Ben', simply for the fact that I scared Ellie, a fellow survivor, and this nickname spread around the group. However, when they realised that I might overhear them and work out who they were talking about, and that it might not be very nice, the name had been dropped in favour of my true persona - Smiley Ben.

So why Smiley Ben in particular? Quite simply (and logically) I was dubbed Smiley Ben because of the outrageously large, constant smile adorning my face.

What (in your opinion) is the meaning of life?

Friendship. It's that simple.

Either that, or we'll have to notice that 'What is the meaning of life?' doesn't actually mean anything, unless you want a dictionary definition, perhaps. Maybe you mean 'What is the purpose of living?', in which case that answer is, indeed, 'Friendship'.

You hair's grown, hasn't it?

Yes, I'm going to continue the tradition of having a question about my hair. Yes, my hair has grown. It does that. In fact, everyone's hair does it - only if you make a real effort to remove bits of it can you give the appearance of hair not growing. And who knows why you'd want to do that! To be honest, I miss long, playable-with hair, and so I'm letting it grow a bit. It's anybody's guess how long I'll let it get, but right now I'm just enjoying it for what it is, and letting it grow and prosper in itself, rather than trying to constrain it. Every head of hair should get a chance to express itself sometime, don't you think?

What religion are you?

I'm Jewish. I belong to a movement called the Masorti movement, a group of synagogues that aren't strictly orthodox but aren't reform either. They were set up when Rabbi Dr Louis Jacobs (the recently retired rabbi of my synagogue) was kicked out of the United Synagogue for suggesting that the bible might not have been dictated word-for-word by God, and that it might be more sensible to view it as inspired by God. He set up a modern, thinking synagogue, dedicated to a faith based on intelligent thought rather than blind fundamentalism

I do consider myself Jewish, I'm not sure if I believe in God (it really isn't necessary to be Jewish - it's a religion based on your relationship with people, not God), I am not rigorously kosher, though I don't tend to eat pork, I observe Pesach and go to synagogue on the high holy days, and don't get presents (at least from my parents) on Christmas. And yes, I tend to send (blugh!) 'Season's Greetings' cards, though the invention of 'Winterval' made a nice change.