07/16/2004: Stupid Meme Tricks....
because this is quasi-cultural and pseudo-intellectual, and my own answers interested me. Via LeanLeft, the Teachout Cultural Concurrence Index. Although this is an index, I've not bothered scoring it, because frankly, I don't give a shit how closely my tastes match Terry Teachout's.
1. Fred Astaire or Gene Kelly? Kelly, because I've seen more of his work. Close call though.
2. The Great Gatsby or The Sun Also Rises? Never read either. I'm not that into fiction.
3. Count Basie or Duke Ellington? Ellington.
4. Cats or dogs? Dogs.
5. Matisse or Picasso? Picasso
6. Yeats or Eliot? Neither; I don't do poetry at all.
7. Buster Keaton or Charlie Chaplin? Chaplin, because I'm more familiar with him. I need to get to speed on Keaton. One more item for the to do list.
8. Flannery O’Connor or John Updike? Neither. See #2.
9. To Have and Have Not or Casablanca Casablanca.
10. Jackson Pollock or Willem de Kooning? Neither; I'm not that much into art, eitehr.
11. The Who or the Stones? The Who.
12. Philip Larkin or Sylvia Plath? Am I really supposed to care?
13. Trollope or Dickens? Dickens.
14. Billie Holiday or Ella Fitzgerald? A toss up. Like both too much to make the distinction.
15. Dostoyevsky or Tolstoy? Dostoyevsky. The Grand Inquisitor. 'nuff said.
16. The Moviegoer or The End of the Affair? Hunh?
17. George Balanchine or Martha Graham? Dance is, IMHO, a good evening spoiled.
18. Hot dogs or hamburgers? Burgers unless I'm at the ballpark. Then dogs.
19. Letterman or Leno? Leno.
20. Wilco or Cat Power? WTF?
21. Verdi or Wagner? Wagner. My Teutonic heritige trumps my Italian heritage.
22. Grace Kelly or Marilyn Monroe? Monroe.
23. Bill Monroe or Johnny Cash? Cash.
24. Kingsley or Martin Amis? Kingsley Amis, on the strength of the fact that, under the pen name "Robert Markham", he wrote the first non-Fleming James Bond novel, Colonel Sun.
25. Robert Mitchum or Marlon Brando? Mitchum. I could never take Brando seriously again after he made something like seven gazillion dollars a minute for doing the role of Jor-El in Superman (1978).
26. Mark Morris or Twyla Tharp? Who cares?
27. Vermeer or Rembrandt? Rembrandt.
28. Tchaikovsky or Chopin? Tchaikovsky. I prefer the full orchestra to solo piano, and Tchaikovsky's orchestral work speaks to me more.
29. Red wine or white? Are we having meat or fish?
30. Noël Coward or Oscar Wilde? Wilde. Coward never had Monty Python do a sketch about him.
31. Grosse Pointe Blank or High Fidelity? Neither.
32. Shostakovich or Prokofiev? Prokofiev.
33. Mikhail Baryshnikov or Rudolf Nureyev? Neither; see #17
34. Constable or Turner? Neither.
35. The Searchers or Rio Bravo? Rio Bravo
36. Comedy or tragedy? Comedy.
37. Fall or spring? Spring, because it means that winter is that much farther away.
38. Manet or Monet? Neither.
39. The Sopranos or The Simpsons? The Simpsons.
40. Rodgers and Hart or Gershwin and Gershwin? Rogers and Hart.
41. Joseph Conrad or Henry James? Conrad.
42. Sunset or sunrise? They are fungible aesthetically. Otherwise sunset because it means the day will soon be over, and I can move on to tomorrow's fuck-ups.
43. Johnny Mercer or Cole Porter? Porter.
44. Mac or PC? PC, because all true geeks demand a command line window. (If the Mac is running Linux, I might consider it).
45. New York or Los Angeles? New York.
46. Partisan Review or Horizon? Neither.
47. Stax or Motown? Stax.
48. Van Gogh or Gauguin? Van Gogh.
49. Steely Dan or Elvis Costello? Toss up. What I want to know, given Teachout's explanation of this index, is why he didn't ask the obvious question: Elvis or Beatles (reference to a deleted scene from Pulp Fiction)?
50. Reading a blog or reading a magazine? Blog. More personal and interactive.
51. John Gielgud or Laurence Olivier? Gielgud. He stole Arthur (1981) when he said, "Perhaps you would like me to wash your dick for you... you little shit."
52. Only the Lonely or Songs for Swingin’ Lovers? Neither.
53. Chinatown or Bonnie and Clyde? Bonnie and Clyde
54. Ghost World or Election? What?
55. Minimalism or conceptual art? Neither; I'm not into art.
56. Daffy Duck or Bugs Bunny? Daffy, because he's a schlub just like most of us.
57. Modernism or postmodernism? Modernism.
58. Batman or Spider-Man? Spiderman.
59. Emmylou Harris or Lucinda Williams? Neither.
60. Johnson or Boswell? Johnson.
61. Jane Austen or Virginia Woolf? Neither.
62. The Honeymooners or The Dick Van Dyke Show? Van Dyke, but only because Laura Petrie is, IMHO, much easier on the eyes than Alice Kramden.
63. An Eames chair or a Noguchi table? WTF?
64. Out of the Past or Double Indemnity? Double Indemnity, because it was the inspiration for Body Heat (1981)
65. The Marriage of Figaro or Don Giovanni? Figaro, on the basis of the overture.
66. Blue or green? Blue.
67. A Midsummer Night’s Dream or As You Like It? Midsummer Night's Dream.
68. Ballet or opera? Neither.
69. Film or live theater? Film.
70. Acoustic or electric? Acoustic.
71. North by Northwest or Vertigo? Never seen either yet.
72. Sargent or Whistler? Whistler, in part also because he was a West Point classmate of Major Marcus A. Reno, and was the butt of what was probably the only joke Reno ever told in his life. Whistler was legendary at West Point for having answered in a chemistry examination that silicon was a gas (Whistler later dropped out of the Academy), leading to the following exchange with Reno later in their lives:
Whistler: You realize, Reno, that had silicon been a gas I would have probably stayed in the Army and become a major general?73. V.S. Naipaul or Milan Kundera? Naipaul.
Reno: Yes, but then nobody would ever have heard of your mother.
74. The Music Man or Oklahoma? Oklahoma. Hands down. When it came around to doing TV adaptations, having Curly McLain played by Wolverine beats the hell out of having Professor Harold Hill played by Matthew Broderick.
75. Sushi, yes or no? YES!!!!
76. The New Yorker under Ross or Shawn? Who cares?
77. Tennessee Williams or Edward Albee? Williams.
78. The Portrait of a Lady or The Wings of the Dove? Neither.
79. Paul Taylor or Merce Cunningham? Neither.
80. Frank Lloyd Wright or Mies van der Rohe? Wright.
81. Diana Krall or Norah Jones? Neither.
82. Watercolor or pastel? Watercolor.
83. Bus or subway? Subway.
84. Stravinsky or Schoenberg? Stravinsky.
85. Crunchy or smooth peanut butter? Crunchy.
86. Willa Cather or Theodore Dreiser? Neither. I don't do fiction (much), remember?
87. Schubert or Mozart? Mozart.
88. The Fifties or the Twenties? The Twenties, because from what I know of the Fifties they sucked.
89. Huckleberry Finn or Moby-Dick? Huck Finn; it is quite simply THE great American novel. None other will come close.
90. Thomas Mann or James Joyce? Never read either.
91. Lester Young or Coleman Hawkins? Who?
92. Emily Dickinson or Walt Whitman? Neither; I don't like poetry.
93. Abraham Lincoln or Winston Churchill? Lincoln.
94. Liz Phair or Aimee Mann? Never heard o'them.
95. Italian or French cooking? Italian (the national cuisine of St. Louis)
96. Bach on piano or harpsichord? Harpsichord.
97. Anchovies, yes or no? Yes.
98. Short novels or long ones? Short. very short.
99. Swing or bebop? Swing.
100. "The Last Judgment" or "The Last Supper"? "Last Judgment".
Len on 07.16.04 @ 05:17 PM CST