Somewhere to go

Those lovely bloggers at Reenchantment of the World, Ola and Piotrek, were recently gifted the Real Neat Blog Award because, I’m guessing, their site is regarded as real neat (which it is). As part of these types of blogging awards one is often required to answer a series of questions, which Piotrek and Ola in tandem duly did here.

You may know that I eschew such exercises if ever I am nominated, sometimes because an additional requirement is to nominate more bloggers in a kind of virtual pyramid scheme, other times because the questions just don’t appeal, but mostly because I prefer to generate posts from a stimulus I myself have chosen.

But just occasionally, regardless of whether I’ve actually been nominated, something indefinable about the questionnaire does appeal, and that was the case here.

But before I answer them I’d better warn you I’ve rearranged the somewhat randomly posed enquiries, grouping them into an order where they more nearly seem related.

1. If you could do something better than you’re already doing right now, what would it be?

What’s right now? Writing this post? I don’t think that’s what intended here. In a general sense what is right now is that we’re in a No Man’s Land of eased restrictions after lockdown, and we’re all chafing at the bit because we can’t freely socialise, or freely travel, or be free from anxieties about getting ill or the political situation or economic uncertainty or environmental concerns.

Mixing freely, travelling worry-free, being involved in musical events — these are things I’d rather be doing, much more than listening to some lying politicians banging on that they haven’t made mistakes (“We’ve been following the science”) despite daily doing a volte-face but bleating that it’s us that have been mistaken or somehow at fault.

2. What would you like this new decade (2020-2029) to bring to your life?

Okay, putting aside the fact that the decade is actually 2021-2030 (just as the new millennium began at the start of 2001, not 2000) I want to be able to stop having to rant about governments worldwide making a pig’s ear of all our futures. Less pollution, less discrimination, less destruction, fewer suicidal actions — you get my drift. Is it too much to ask?

8. What do you wish you could eat right now?

Anything that stops me worrying that I won’t do further damage to a collapsed tooth before I can attend a dentist appointment.*

9. If there was one mythological creature that could ever exist in the world, what would it be?

Assuming the question doesn’t mean such creatures actually existed or that, physiologically, such animals could be viable, the word ‘mythological’ implies something from ancient tradition — so that excludes house elves I suppose?

However I’m loathe to suggest any animal — be it dragon, unicorn, phoenix or whatever — because there’d then be battalions of nut jobs eager to pose for a smiling selfie with its carcass while brandishing their bazooka. I also worry about proposing mermaids, centaurs and fairies because somebody’ll be campaigning for walls to be built, or claiming that they pose an existential national threat, or insisting they should have the right colour of passport, all just to keep them out of their country.

So it’ll have to be an ancient deity like Vulcan, Athena or Thor ’cause nobody’s gonna mess with them, right?

4. What are some of your favourite stories in any medium (comics, books, shows, movies, video games, etc.)?
5. What are some of your least favourite stories in any medium (comics, books, shows, movies, video games, etc.)?

I’ve conjoined these because they’re merely different sides of the one coin. And seriously, they’re both rather silly questions because surely just reading most bloggers’ posts will already have given enough answers to them? Just look at any blog’s category clouds for favourite topics — here’s mine as an example:

Now, least favourite? Anything with gratuitous sex and violence, whether physical or mental, whatever the medium. Because nothing exceeds like excess. Oh, and anything badly written (I’m an undercover agent for the grammar police, I have the badge and all) or fiction with poor characterisation. I avoid those. So might you.

3. Is there a sequel to something that you look forward to?

Currently? Philip Pullman’s trilogies, I suppose, but mostly I prefer standalones because too many sequels are just more of the same, without true growth or development. And prequels don’t always work, do they, as the outcomes tend to have already been revealed.

7. If there’s something you could change of the world, what would it be?
10. Do you think there’s a cure for stupidity?

I think my answer to the second also addresses the first: there’s no cure for stupidity but if I could wave a magic wand and disapparate stupidity that would be a change devoutly to be wished.

6. What does blogging bring to your life?

The obvious answer is it provides the opportunity to engage with a worldwide community of interesting and intelligent bloggers about various topics that matter to me, such as books, politics and common humanity: it’s also access to a bigger and more diverse group than living in a neighbourhood usually provides, with the bonus that I can communicate how often or infrequently I choose, and whether I do it in depth or not at all, depending on my mood and on opportunity — these are not always options open to me in everyday life.

As a late, self-diagnosed autist this all matters very much to me. And in present times the truism that is applied to reading — that it gives us somewhere to go when we have to stay where we are — applies equally to blogging.


* I’ve now been given a temporary cap, a scary procedure given the dentist’s PPE and security arrangements, but thankfully involving no pain. Let’s see if it lasts the possible two months before something permanent may be on the cards…

17 thoughts on “Somewhere to go

  1. Dear Irascible Blogger,
    I’m with you all the way, even down to the collapsed tooth (which probably partly explains the irascibility!) and am ever grateful to you for being as I once called you, a gentle Knight of the Airwaves. Don’t give up for lack of honours, you are valued by all who know you.
    A reader.
    Ps Glad you got the cap at least, hopefully with no ill effects 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Irascible and gentle — I humbly accept these descriptors, Lizza. 😊 The first one is obviously due to a combination of politics, pandemic mismanagement and indeed tooth (still holding up), the latter because at heart I’m possibly a Buddhist manqué. Thank you for your appreciative assessment, and from what I know of you at a distance I’m certain it comes from a good place, hopefully located in corpore sano.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Tooth is okay for now, thanks for asking! As for the questions, a couple of them resonated so I couldn’t resist them, especially as they so applied to the chaos certain governments have wantonly driven us full-speed into, just as you say.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Here’s a description, as in the fairy tales of W B Yeates. They are shoemakers and that is how they make all their money. They are withered, old, solitary…they dress with unfairy homeliness, and are …most sluttish, slouching, jeering, mischievous phantoms. They are the great practical jokers among the good people

        Liked by 2 people

  2. You know you’re always nominated for all the tags we do, Chris, whether explicitly or not! 😀 I do relate to your current state of unhappiness, brought down by the pandemic, government, collapsed tooth and all the rest – though I do hope it will pass and you’ll feel better soon 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Hope that dental treatment can keep you going for a while. Getting any treatment right now involves jumping through never ending hoops.

    I’m in agreement with you about those award nominations. i got excited initially when I received some as a new blogger but it was the “chain letter” aspect that turned me off. So now I don’t bother.

    What would you like this new decade (2020-2029) to bring to your life? Can I ask for a ban on certain phrases and words like “so”, “our thoughts and prayers are with the families”… and “lessons will be learned”. All empty words….

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Empty words, yes, there are a lot of those about. And the bland denials from spokespeople for certain politicians when a crucial failure of government has been pointed out to them. And further along the spectrum, outright lies, deceptions and alternative facts.

      The temporary cap has survived so far, but I’m being extra vigilant and careful about what I eat, and how I brush my teeth, thanks for your concern!

      Watched the audience-free BAFTA tv awards recently, and it was a relief to see the Glenda Jackson dispensed with the thanks for producers, directors, agents, line managers, cooks and bottle washers and just said she was pleased to be among such talented nominees, thanked BAFTA and then stopped. That’s the way to do it! 🙂

      Like

  4. It is ok, Chris, to say that you’ve raised a smile here? I ask because of course you are expressing a lot of frustration (and pain with that tooth – glad it’s holding up). I think I smiled because this post represents so much of the frustration and worry felt by so many of us and thus what it does for me is create a bridge of connection. In these socially distanced times, we need virtual connections more than ever. So thank you for that 😊

    (Except now I’ve started a sentence with ‘so’ which Karen rightly points out is very irritating… 😣What can I say? Lessons will be learned…. 😱 🤭 😉)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hah! So, you’re so right about ‘So’! I don’t mind starting a sentence with it if it comes after a argued passage — when it means ‘Thus’ — but as an opening gambit? When Graham Norton invites those in the Big Red Chair to begin their story they inevitably begin with ‘So, …’ and it must be today’s equivalent of ‘Once Upon a Time’. Yes, I did put much of my frustration and worry in my answers, but I suppose it was in the hopes that it might resonate with a lot of others and thus create that connection you mention. And it has! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Jo, tooth cap holding out so far! And now I shall have to produce evidence for my grammar police badge, I suppose?! I shall have to forge, um, fake, er, follow that up…

      Like

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