I just finished reading “Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind” by Yuval Noah Harari. I highly recommend it to all literate sentient beings. In its exhaustive timeline of the history of man, the book frequently points out humanity’s reliance on “imagined orders” and “imagined realities”, such as money, nations, patriotism, etc. As much as such notions are products of our collective imagination, they are also, for better or for worse, what separates us from the rest of the animal kingdom and affords us our continued dominance of the planet and its resources. Some imagined orders are crucial for the preservation of the modern quality of life while others seem merely to be psychological panaceas. Religion, of course, is for many such a panacea. Others enjoy associating themselves with a particular sports team (imagined) and when this team is declared “world champion” (imagined), very few seem to question who exactly decided that the NFL, for instance, represents the entire world — especially considering that the rest of the world doesn’t even define football in the same way that the NFL does.
Which brings me to today’s imagined reality: the blog award. This is a microcosm of the greater imagined reality that is WordPress, an international collective of people whose common bond is the fact that they write stuff online. Everyone likes to receive an award, to be recognized. With that in mind, some bloggers decided to create various “awards” to dispense to other bloggers whose writing they appreciate in the form of a bunch of questions to be answered that are then dispensed similarly to a chain letter in that the award recipient is encouraged to nominate others to answer additional questions and keep the ball rolling ad infinitum.
The brilliant and inspiring (and clearly of impeccable taste) Joss of She-Who-Hears.net nominated me for something called the Liebster Award, which is differentiated from similar awards by virtue of the fact that it has the word “Liebster” in the title. This post is my pseudo-acceptance of said honor. I have already broken the “rule” that says the graphic for this post should be the official “Liebster Award” logo and at the conclusion, I shall also break the rule that says I have to choose a certain number of other bloggers to grab the baton and keep the Liebster thing going. Being the good little anarchist that I am, I prefer to let people decide for themselves if they wish to answer questions and thus, since Joss chose some very interesting queries, I’ll simply say that anyone who agrees with that assessment would probably enjoy answering them, too. But in case this wasn’t clear through the snark, I truly am honored that as great a writer as Joss expressed her appreciation of my writing in this manner. So here are the rules which I will sketchily follow:
The rules of this award:
1. Acknowledge the blog who nominated you and display the award. (first half of this rule accepted)
2. Answer the 11 questions the blogger gives you. (accepted)
3. Give 11 random facts about yourself. (accepted)
4. Nominate 11 blogs. (nope)
5. Notify those blogs of the nomination. (nope)
6. Give them 11 questions to answer. (nope)
My answers to Joss’ questions:
1.What do you do to take care of yourself?
What I don’t do is more significant than what I do. I don’t drink or swallow pills or snort lines or inject chemicals into my body (anymore…although I never did the injecting thing because I’m a needle-phobic wuss). The reason the things from which I now refrain are more significant than what I “do” to take care of myself is because I don’t do anything to take care of myself. My diet sucks, my lifestyle is largely sedentary, I smoke cigarettes and I am unapologetic about all of it. At 47, I feel I’m already pushing the upper boundaries of a natural lifespan.
2.What do you think is most important in life?
To realize its inherent unimportance by analyzing the word “importance” until you understand that it is a subjective construct with actual objective applicability to nothing.
3.Why do you blog?
I write because it’s one of the very few talents I possess and it serves as a sort of mental clearinghouse. I blog because someone decided quite a while ago, without consulting me, that a ridiculous combination of the words web and log resembling the sound of someone expelling a hairball would forever after be the de facto term for anything over two lines written in an online forum.
4.What’s one thing that you’ve learned in the past five years that you wish you’d learned earlier in life?
Quantum physics and its fascinating implications.
5.What’s your favorite fruit?
Unfrosted strawberry Pop-Tarts.
6.What’s your favorite movie?
A Clockwork Orange
7.If you could tell the world one thing, what would you say?
Shut up. Shut. Up. SHUT UP! SHUT UP!! SHUTUPSHUTUPSHUTUPSHUTUP!!!!!
8.When everything else fails, what can you rely on?
Bernadette, my beautiful goof of a German shorthaired pointer.
9.What song can get you through a bad day?
10.What do you want to be remembered for?
I honestly don’t care one bit whether I am remembered for anything. I assume this question implies posthumous glory of some kind, which is a silly notion that living people embrace in the hope of attaining some sort of immortality.
11.Why are we alive?
This is a dangerous question. Throughout history, this question has been the underlying justification for war, persecution, draconian theocracies, and psychiatric disorders ranging from depression to outright psychosis. We are alive in order to figure out through experience and analysis that all of our suffering arises from the egoistic need to imbue life with a purpose. Being alive is the purpose of being alive.
11 Random Facts:
My mother is 85 years old and still sports a beehive hairdo
I grew up about 5 houses down the street from John Bongiovi, a/k/a Jon Bon Jovi.
I am a huge fan of the Nickelodeon show iCarly.
My next major move will be an international one and I hope to figure out the logistics of this ASAP before the US descends into a level of fascism from which it will never recover.
I weigh less than 120 lbs. because I have the metabolism of a hummingbird on crack.
I have a sister named Linda who is five years older and wiser than I.
I am the only straight man I know who wishes he was gay.
I have had sexual intercourse in a graveyard.
I play the flute, due to a teenage obsession with the band Jethro Tull.
I have never been in a relationship that lasted longer than 4 years.
Maryellen, the other voice in this transmission, is an actual living, breathing human being, not an imaginary friend.