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…