liebster

Greetings and salutations, my fellow scholars. I have a special treat for you today. Please remain seated and enjoy this moment. I won’t take much of your time.

I have been nominated, by a peer, for the esteemed Liebster Award. It is, without a question, a great honor.

Now, you know me. I am not one to simply accept an accommodation, bow, thank the Lord, my parents, the academy, and then shuffle off into the night. No, I have prepared a speech. More than speech, a history lesson. I told you; you know me.

The Liebster Award, as far as I can discern, was first introduced in 2011. No one seems to know who first introduced it. For more than 6 years now, however, it has endured. It is a German word, is Liebster, and it seems to mean “dearest.” It is with dearest respect, then, that I accept this nomination.

The rules of the Liebster Award are quite simple, though they can vary. The gist of it is: post a picture of the award on your blog, thank the presenter who chose you for the award (thank you, Bojana!), honestly answer the unique questions they have posted for you, come up with unique questions of your own, and select other bloggers for the award.

Simple, Simon.

Of course, as unique as Tom is, whenever he’s truly being Tom, he will put his own spin upon said nomination, and probably fly a little outside the box by the end of this.

But, I promised to be brief, so let’s begin…

Bojana’s questions, to Tom:

  • Garfield or Oggy?
    • Garfield I am intimately familiar with, or at least somewhat from newspaper comics in my youth. He’s that fat, orange, lazy cat. Oggy I was completely stymied by. In fact, at first, I thought it might be the name of Garfield’s owner, but it is not (turns out to be Jon; but, really, who owned who there?). Oggy is “an anthropomorphic blue cat” who also appears to be lazy and insatiable in his eating habits. However, his foil is not his owner, but three cockroaches named after members of the Ramones, who like to make his life miserable. The slapstick nature of the show is reminiscent of Tom and Jerry. Now, if given a third option of cats, I would most certainly choose “Tom.” Therefore, although having never experienced Oggy before, I choose Oggy over Garfield. Say you didn’t see that coming.
  • Hot or sour (coffee or tea)?
    • The hotter the better. If you give me salsa, I will pour sriracha in it. I want to lose my taste buds as I eat my taco. Always hot. I do not like tea. At all. (Except for Jeremiah Weed Sweet Tea Vodka, if that counts). Coffee, on the other hand, is one of my three daily liquid indulgences: coffee in the morning (lots of it), water all day (lots of it), beer in the evening (sometimes, lots of it). So, hot. And coffee.
  • Horror or thriller?
    • When I was younger I did like horror shows. They lost their flavor, with me, some time in my 20’s, and that never came back. I really liked Thriller in the 80’s, and often tried to emulate Michael Jackson when alone. I was not good at it. Now, I mostly watch football or superhero shows, but if I had to sit through a horror or a thriller, I would certainly choose the latter. Especially if it was a superhero thriller, with a football in it.
  • Beer or wine?
    • Very likely, I do not need to elaborate on this question beyond saying “cold” and “beer.” But I will say that I do occasionally enjoy a good bottle of wine. I meant glass, glass of wine. I prefer red.
  • The Sun or the Moon?
    • I definitely prefer Apollo to Artemis, Helios to Selene, Ra to Khonsu. I like the day, better than the night. There is no better time in the day than the hour in the morning as the moon takes its leave and the sun rises to glory. I like rain, too, though, so days when the sun hides away are cool, too.
  • The Beatles or the Rolling Stones?
    • Oh my! I respect all that the Beatles have done, and love some of their music like no other, but I’ve definitely listened to more Stones in my time. I call it a wash. They both have their place. Big on Mick, big on John and Paul. Legends, all.
  • Butch Cassidy or the Sundance Kid?
    • I have never seen this movie. Is it a thriller?

If I understand the rules correctly, I am mostly halfway there. And, now, the twist:

I nominate… everyone.

Now, I have many reasons to skirt these rules. First, I do detest chain letters (or social media chain posts). Although I never mind being put on the spot – I thrive on the spot – I am generally against putting others in a compromising position. However, I do make exceptions.

But, as I look over my list of possibilities, I realize that most of my favorite young bloggers (a) have already been Lieber’d before, or (b) are not in a position to yet select others to chain. And if the buck is going to stop with them, anyway, let the buck stop with me.

So, what I ask, instead, is that everyone consider the following list of 7 questions and respond to me below with your heartfelt answers. Yes, even you, Bojana. 😉

Without further adieu:

  1. According to Harari, what separates man from beast is man’s ability to create stories that unite us into larger and more formidable numbers than any other creature on Earth. It may also be what separates our large groups from one another. Throughout history, man has created these stories and mythologies to not only explain nature, but to unite peoples. Of the hundreds of thousands of gods man has created, do you still believe in one? If so, why? Have you ever considered this question before?
  2. By the same notion, we create more than just gods, we create imaginary borders and mythical unions called “nations.” We then exalt our own nation as the greatest one. Do you believe your nation is the greatest one? If so, why?
  3. Take this quiz. Report back to me your coordinates on the grid. If you’ve taken it before, please do so again. Were you surprised by your results? If you took it before, have your results changed?
  4. Do you believe that man has ever stepped foot on the moon?
  5. Is Bigfoot real?
  6. If we are on the verge of technology that would allow a human life to continue indefinitely, as some believe, would you choose to do so?
  7. If we are on the verge of technological and societal achievements that would allow us to feed, clothe, and shelter all human beings on Earth at zero cost, as some believe, should we do so?

Again, I would like to thank Bojana for this Liebster Award nomination, and for allowing me to take this opportunity to provide answers and select questions. I don’t know if I will win this award that I was nominated for, since I didn’t explicitly follow the rules, but if I do I promise to share it with all mankind. I’ll even take you all to the moon.

And now, you be you. All of you.

23 thoughts on “The Dearest Nomination

  • Tom, I must say, there is nothing quite as sexy as a man with an adult palate. DG approves 😉
    As for your best questions ever
    1.) I love a good story, and the religious ones are rarely that.
    2.)No
    3.) pending
    4.) Of course
    5.)Yes. I believe there are 2 of them, attached at my ankles
    6.) I would make a fantastic immortal, as I suspect would you
    7.) Clothes for everyone except Keanu Reeves.

    • Absolutely amazing responses, DG! You get applauses and hearts 👏❤️👏❤️👏

      Heck, you even get three cry-laughs for your Bigfoot response. 😂😂😂

      Here’s to an eternal life of blogging together, Girl! 🍻🍻

  • 1. I’m atheist. Slightly, agnostic? I like to think of mother nature as a higher power, so-to-speak but I’m not a big fan of organized religion. I’m actually very outspoken against religion. You don’t want to get me started… lol.
    2. No. No nation is the greatest, really. They all have their good qualities & bad besides more third world countries. America has this crazy idea they are the greatest nation ever. If you disagree, it’s like kicking puppies. If you say we need improvement, you are told “if you don’t like it, leave!” We have many good qualities but just as many shitty ones. With everything going down with Trump in office, I think I prefer Canada anyway. I’ve thought about moving there. I even looked into their immigration laws. Haha.
    3. If I’m understanding this right, I’m a libertarian left. Sweet. I consider myself independent but this also makes sense!
    4. Yes. Did we do it when they said we did? I honestly don’t know. Couldn’t tell ya, either way. I’m into a few so-called conspiracy theories but that was one I’ve never done research on the moon landing. By a few conspiracy theories, I am not a loon. I do research. I’m not anti-vaccine or think every mass shooting was a plot by the Democratic Party to take guns, etc. etc.
    5. Yes. He sleeps with me at night. My boyfriend bares a great resemblance to Big Foot!
    6.That’s a toughie. I think I would want to but maybe regret it later.
    7. Absolutely! I believe no human being should go without necessities, including healthcare.

    • Wow, another great set of responses! The lower left quadrant is indeed the quadrant of the libertarian left, and your standing there has nothing to do with your political party affiliation. In fact, most politicians on both sides of the aisle would belong in the upper right! I’m definitely independent, and a proud libertarian leftie.

      Having the medical technology doesn’t mean you HAVE to live forever, you could always extend your life and then change your mind later. We need more choices like that!

      Canada? I’ve known a few who have looked into the same … I’ve heard it’s tough to get accepted! I don’t blame ’em; who wants a bunch of Americans running around? 😉

      The Bigfoot responses have absolutely been my favorite so far. A big LOL to yours! 😂

      Thank you for the thoughtful responses, Casey… I’ll keep my eye on that trash file for ya. Go LLs!

  • Trace-Blogs

    1. I believe all the gods are standing around with their hands in the air saying “Whaaaaaat the faaaaarrrrkkk?” (oh yeah they all speak in Aussie accents).
    2. Definitely Canada because Justin Trudeau.
    3. -7.63 / -2.15 still trying to figure out what this means and should I start wearing my tinfoil hat now?
    4. Yes. I think so?
    5. In Australia, we call Bigfoot the Yetti, and I was convinced they were real when I was little thanks to a terrifying night of horror stories at horse camp. Now, no.
    6. No way. I think mother nature is almost done. She will wipe us out like the dinosaurs and start again. Soon.
    7. Imagine how beautiful the world would be if everyone had access to food, clean water, housing and health care? There is enough money to do it, yet it’s not being done. There are people in this world who are never going to spend all the money they have, but they won’t use it to save others.

    LOVE

    • 1. Well, of course they do! How incredibly ironic would the universe be if, instead of none of the imaginary gods we’ve made up exist, ALL of them did. Honestly, that would be more fun. Is Zeus in the unemployment line?

      2. Canada getting a lot of votes! Long live Trudeau!

      3. It means your heart and mind are both in the right place, sister. 😉

      4. I think so, too. I’ve been getting a sudden influx of folks who don’t, in my store. Somebody’s propaganda machine is working overtime. Luckily, they’re the same people who believe that Obama was born in Kenya and that Don Trump is Christ returned to Earth, so they have zero credibility in my book. Probably upper-right quadrant guys.

      5. Googling “terrifying horse camp stories of the Yetti” later.

      6. What a take! Yeah, another terrible irony. Man is quite probably on the verge of solving things like death and hunger, just in time to wipe himself out. Until we change our inherent destructive ways, though, you’re right.

      7. Did I mention that your heart and mind are in the right place? ❤️

      Thanks for taking the time to fill all that out. Great stuff! I have the best blog network. Ever. 👏👏👏

  • FDR lieber Tom,

    I did not have that ‘anthropomorphic blue cat’ in mind. O. is G’s pal. They live together. Haven’t you read the comic?

    https://www.google.de/search?q=garfield+and+oggy+pictures&tbm=isch&source=iu&ictx=1&fir=E7UdPXHvjI3y6M%253A%252Cv90UCKMyqJyheM%252C_&usg=__1r4wmDpZ7qLWNzZUA9C_G3bM0DQ%3D&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwic3Knt8-jXAhUREuwKHVd6BXcQ9QEIKzAA#imgrc=E7UdPXHvjI3y6M:

    Now tell me again, I didn’t hear it. Paul Newman or Robert Redford?

    • Nope, never read it! Passed by it a couple of times when thumbing through the paper as a kid, but I was more into “Heathcliff.” 😉

      In light of this new information, I’ll take any dog over any cat.

      HOWEVER!

      Further exploration into this trivia reveals Garfield’s pal’s name is actually “Odie,” and “Oggy” is indeed an anthropomorphic blue cat harassed by cockroaches, so my confusion is understandable. 😂

      And I’ll take Paul Newman over Robert Redford in a 53/47 split. I’ll kick neither off my TV set for eating crackers, though, if ya know what I mean. 😎

      Now that that’s all cleared up, will you be answering my 7? 😏

      • Oh shoot. Odie, yes. Gotta go, I have to make some changes….
        And yes, dogs over cats.
        And yest, Paul Newman rules.
        Me answering questions, again. I think I’ll pass. But thanks for thinking of me. 🙂

  • I’m back with the answers. As you can see, I changed my mind. Guilty conscience.

    1. A devoted atheist here. So no. Religion is the impotence of the human mind to deal with occurrences it cannot understand” -K. Marx
    2. God no. We haven’t learnt a thing from our history. “History repeats itself, first as a tragedy, then as a farce.” Again K.M. If only he could see us now, I doubt he’d be surprised.
    3. Libertarian left. Agreed.
    4. I have reason to doubt it.
    5. Yep. I wake up every morning next to him.
    6. Never. Ask me again in a million years.
    7. Few good men only. The rest would try to make profit.

    • Haha! Glad you came back to it; sorry for giving you a complex. 😏

      Honestly, I was going to harbor no ill feelings about you passing, since I broke the rules you set out to begin with, but I’m still overjoyed you dug in!

      As for the answers themselves, quite interesting. We have much in common, particularly with answers 1, 2, and 3. 4 and 7 are intriguing and deserve a longer exploration than we have in this space here. 5 and 6 are hilarious, and I realize now that we have plenty of time, in the next million years, to explore 4 and 7.

      Again, thanks for returning to the fold, with the answers I crave. Now, enjoy the weekend with your conscience clear!

  • Tom, Congratulations on your Liebster Award! You deserve it! It is truly a pleasure to read your work! I’ve been so looking forward to participating in this thought-provoking Q&A! What a great idea to counteract chain mails! My response time is officially snail speed, but here goes anyway:

    1. This may be weird, but I think about this question all the time, like nearly every moment. It’s like a long-running computer program in my brain—the old school version of the Internet with AOL or Firefox, and that annoying disconnected phone sound you always use to hear if your connection fails or gets delayed. That’s the only thing I’m getting right now and have been for most of my life.

    My parents were, to put it lightly, very strict Roman Catholics who also dabbled in a few of its more extremist cults. Religion was a fundamental part of my childhood and I grew up traumatically believing the Apocalypse and Revelation was going to happen any minute. Any minute now. Obviously, it hasn’t happened…yet.

    So, in short answer to your question: Humans are really good at manipulating each other for personal gain, we are better at that than achieving anything else, let alone closeness with God. I would be very wary of anyone who claims to speak the “word of God”, whatever religion they preach. Knowing our history of killing, enslaving, oppressing each other in the name of religion, anyone who has “unquestioning belief” as one of the pillars of their faith deserves nothing but the highest level of scrutiny and cynicism.

    Sorry for the length of my answer! It’s not a fluff question! In summary: God is a possibility I wouldn’t completely discount, my inner computer hasn’t generated an answer… yet (42?). But we need to work with the tangible stuff we actually can control and improve on: ourselves, our communities, our families, our societies, not wait around for any extraordinary solution.

    2. As much as “unquestioning belief” should be scrutinized, so should unquestioning national pride. In fact, I’m just going to cut and paste my previous answer and replace 2 words: Knowing our history of killing, enslaving, oppressing each other in the name of our nation, anyone who has “unquestioning belief” as one of the pillars of their national identity deserves nothing but the highest level of scrutiny and cynicism.

    True “greatness” is not a brand, it cannot be owned by a single individual, group or country, it uplifts and empowers everyone. A powerful leader or a rich nation stands on the pinnacle of a huge pyramid composed of multitudes who bestow them with that power.

    3. I have never taken this quiz before, but I was pleased that I landed directly on the territory between Gandhi, Mandela and Bernie Sanders, it’s a bit funny because I grew up in the far-right portion of the grid, soaking in all that imperialist, racist, homophobic, sexist rhetoric. BS makes great fertilizer!

    4. Yes, man has been on the moon. It’s not a conspiracy, get over it. Let’s focus on real complications, like solving the great mystery of deep-space travel, as well finding another habitable planet, while we’re at it, we may be damaging this one permanently. Also, Mars and the moon seem like really uncomfortable living options (-67degrees Fahrenheit in the daytime?! C’mon! We can do better!).

    5. As long as Bigfoots are not hurting anyone, leave them alone, let them live in peace. Perhaps there’s a Bigfoot Shangri-La in the heart of a mountain somewhere, with Bigfoots coexisting happily away from us. (teardrop in my eye)

    6. I think it would be absolutely hellish to be the only person or one of few people in the world who could live indefinitely. Your loved ones would die. Everything would become meaningless (if the fact hasn’t struck you already in your adult life). I suspect these kinds of decisions would eventually end in suicide at some point.

    That being said, we could use a few of the Undead in politics right now, with all the crap about conspiracy theories, what really happened in Nazi Germany, or in the Civil War, it would be awesome to get first-hand testimony from someone who was really there, no one could refute it by simply tweeting “fake news”…well, most sane people who understand the essential role of the media in a democracy, anyway. If this technology indeed ever works, I will definitely vote for the Undead in the next election.

    7. Everyone should live a life of dignity, with all of their basic needs met. If there’s anything worth making technologically or economically feasible for, it’s this. If I said that life was meaningless before, then this would be the surest thing to give it meaning, to help others, to uplift everyone out of hardship and poverty. If we could just simply achieve this, God might finally come a-knocking, who wouldn’t like to be with such kind, fun-loving, compassionate people? No miserable, sadistic, power-hungry types for God.

    • Marvelous responses, MP! I’m SOOO glad you took up the Q&A; your set of answers was one I was really looking forward to!

      First of all, thanks for the nice things you had to say in paragraph one. You make this all worth doing!

      Now, if I may indulge you, some quick responses:

      1) It is definitely not a fluff question! In fact, I chose it first because, I believe, it is the fundamental question of our time. So much of what is determined, in every other aspect of our lives and governments, stems from the answer to this question. And so much of the intellectual laziness of our society stems from it, as well. “There is no point to the universe” can be just as damning, and constraining, as “God will fix it.” Great answer to this one. I’m with you all the way!

      2) Again, fantastic response! Unfortunately, the MAGA crowd gets stuck on this question, buying the conditioning instead of improving upon their own humanity, and improving humanity as a whole. “True greatness is not a brand.” So right!

      3) Glad to see you are LL, same as I! I grew up much like you, in the upper right portion of the grid. My friends, and family, who still exist in that quadrant ask me all the time how I came to leave that scope. I say, “I learned more.” Knowledge leads to evolution, and BS does indeed make great fertilizer!

      4) Oh, this is so true. We are using this world up; we need to not only walk on places out there, we need to colonize!

      5) I think we just had a Kumbaya moment, and I liked it. Long live Bigfoot!

      6) You make a compelling argument against immortality, I must admit. I will contemplate it for a couple of hundred years and get back to you. 😉

      7) I don’t think there is anything more important to humanity than taking care of humanity, and the planet on which we thrive. We must begin there. Well said!

      And well said on all of it! Thank you again, MP!

  • Thank you for thinking up such compelling questions! You have inspired me for a new post, don’t be surprised if some of my writing here in comments gets “recycled”, also, you have given me several new ideas to respond to blog awards!! Kumbaya Tom!

    • Awesome! I can’t wait to see what comes from that gifted mind of yours, MP!

      Another friend wrote a very long reply on his own blog, rather than try to fit it into a comments blog. Very good stuff! I may have to re-blog the entire reply. 🤔

      Kumbaya, MP! 😄

Now, You Be You: