Mister Furious just hit me up, so here goes:
1. Name a book that you want to share so much that you keep giving away copies: Lady With A Spear by Dr. Eugenie Clark. Dr. Clark (imagine a mix of Indiana Jones and Jacques Cousteau) started her career exploring the remote coral atolls of post-WWII South Pacific and moved on to lab work, world travel and a dazzling stint as the world’s first serious shark researcher. Amazingly enough she hasn’t stopped yet. I found her long out-of-print autobiography in the library when I was twelve, and it left me with the singular goal of following Dr. Clark’s example and studying sharks when I grew up. That lasted until college when I heard that shark researchers have the most miserable grad students on Earth. Oh well. Because of her writing as much as anything I stayed science-bound, and while my field hasn’t fixed itself yet (so far I’ve published six papers on four wildly different topics) the journey has been a blast. I dig up copies on Abebooks for friends’ kids who show the slightest interest in science or the ocean.
2. Name a piece of music that changed the way you listen to music: Hm. At the risk of sounding like a dork, Stephen Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd pulled me out of the classic-rock rut in high school. Now I listen to pretty much anything. Thanks, Sondheim.
3. Name a film you can watch again and again without fatigue: I would say Raiders or Airplane! for pure popcorn fun, Rififi to burnish my cineaste credentials, Contact and Real Genius for capturing of what science feels like. Also Spirited Away by Hiyao Miyazaki. Miyazaki basically makes the same film over and over again, but at least it’s a pretty fun film. IMO he got it best with this one.
4. Name a performer for whom you suspend of all disbelief: Angela Lansbury in Sweeney Todd. I get shivers.
5. Name a work of art you’d like to live with: When it comes to painting, in my view John Singer Sargent stands out among the Americans. Something to do with the way that he straddles the boundary between realism and impressionism. Not sure exactly. As for photography, which is more my thing, out of dozens of excellent artists Galen Rowell (RIP, sadly) consistently leaves me speechless. It almost seemed like he could bend light to his will. Choosing one, a print like this in a living room designed around it would make me a very happy camper. Plan B would be a grand bedroom overlooking a southwest desertscape, adobe walls and Ansel Adams’s Moonrise, Hernandez, New Mexico.
6. Name a work of fiction which has penetrated your real life: Speaking as a lifelong eco-head who has run several organizations, The Monkey Wrench Gang by Ed Abbey finally helped me realize why I detest a sizable subset of environmentalists. Don’t ask me to put up with self-righteous ideologues who only care about tearing things down which displease them, even if they’re supposedly on my “side.” That sort of attitude is a gift to the other team.
7. Name a punch line that always makes you laugh: More of a subtle guffaw line than a real punchline, I would pick he moment in Firefly when a local mob boss struggles to come up with a word to describe Mal. After a long pause Mal’s sidekick Jayne pipes in, “Pretentious?” Not a big deal but I always chuckle.
John also got tagged, so he can update with his own answers when the class burden lightens up a bit.
Who’s next? Don’t know how many I need to choose so I’ll grab the first three who come to mind. Fester (because I owe him a beer), Michael Stickings and Steve Benen.
Another Sondheim fan! I can’t swear I own all of the Sondheim plays, but pretty close. Depending on my mood, my favorite(s) are Sweeney Todd or A Little Night Music. The latter has the distinction of being written entirely in 3/4 time. Best known song (but not the best): “Send in the Clowns.”
My favorite line from Firefly was actually from the movie, Serenity: “I aim to misbehave.” (A similar guffaw.) If I ever have a coat of arms, I may use it.
Firefly was absolutely littered with great punchlines, chief among them being “I’ll be in my bunk.” Damn, I miss that show.
GOP4Me et al
1. The Holy Bible. Repent, sinners!
2. Gregorian Chants. Before my conversion, I used to listen to sinful tripe, like Metallica, David Bowie, the Pixies, Ozzy, NWA, 2 Live Crew, and Frank Zappa. But now that I’ve found GOP, I’ve cast aside worthless things.
3. The Passion of Christ.
4. Jim Caviezel (see above).
5. Anything depicting the crucifixion- except for any attempts by Joe Coleman, Robert Mapplethorpe, or Patricia Finley. (Marilyn Manson is also a no-no.) Perhaps I should revise my standards to state, “Anything depicting the crucifixion in the course of a positive portrayal of the Judeo-Christian tradition that makes both America, and the Universe, perfect.”
6. Darwin’s “Origin of the Species.” I’ve had to devote years of my life to keep that book out of science class, and in science fiction class where it belongs.
7. Virtually any word that ever left the lips of Captain Murphy on Sealab 2021.
To answer in spoof or in earnest? Hmm….
Earnest it is…
1. Name a book that you want to share so much that you keep giving away copies: To Kill a Mockingbird. I know, it’s a pretty predictable answer, but the lesson of not judging a book by its cover has always been relevant and (sadly) will likely always be relevant.
2. Name a piece of music that changed the way you listen to music: Moonlight Sonata. I have to listen to it in an otherwise quiet room, with my eyes closed, and just bathe in the music. (Needless to say, I don’t listen to it in the car!)
3. Name a film you can watch again and again without fatigue: L.A. Confidential, and Eat Drink Man Woman.
4. Name a performer for whom you suspend of all disbelief: Mary McDonnell — she’s riveting.
5. Name a work of art you’d like to live with: anything by Mary Pratt, but particularly this one, this one, or this one. If you look quickly, her paintings look like beautifully lit photographs — I’ve never seen anybody with such a mastery of light.
6. Name a work of fiction which has penetrated your real life: everybody on this blog.
7. Name a punch line that always makes you laugh: “It scares the hell out of the dog.”
(The setup line, of course, is “Why don’t blind people skydive?”)
1. Experiencing Architecture, Steen Eiler Rasmussen. I’ve given away half a dozen copies of this book. Inspiring, challenging, thoughtful.
2. Brahms, Violin Concerto. I’m a complete Philistine with respect to classical music, but this speaks to me; it’s given me an appreciation of other musicians.
3. Brazil. Terry Gilliam is a genius, of course, but the movie has some great actors and acting in it as well.
4. I’ll watching anything that includes Bruce Campbell, as low-brow as that gets.
5. I’d love to live with any painting from the Blue Rider: a Franz Marc painting of horses, or any Klee or Kandinsky.
6. Bradbury, Dandelion Wine. Sentimental, but it gives me a clear appreciation for the viewpoint of an innocent.
7. “Oh, no,” I said. “Disneyland burned down.” He cried and cried, but I think that deep down, he thought it was a pretty good joke.
1. Geek Love
2. The Cure’s, Kiss Me. it showed me that all the stuff metal claimed to own could be done better by people who weren’t singing about the devil. i was 15.
3. there are many. but the first Star Wars tops the list for most times seen.
4. Ed Norton
5. can’t say. currently living with Miro’s Carnival of Harlequin and on of Kandinsky’s ‘Compositions’.
6. don’t have one
7. X-Files, Jose Chung’s ‘From Outer Space’. “her hair was red. but a little too red, you know?”
1. Out of Africa. Movie sucked. Book great.
2. Blue Rondo A La Turk (Brubeck, Carnegie Hall album)
3. Looking for Richard
4. Barry Humphries
5. Jackson Pollock “Going West” (1934)
6. The Grapes of Wrath
7. My doctor died 17 years ago. (George Burns, asked what his doctor thought of him smoking cigars at age 90).
1) Three Men in a Boat by Jerome K Jerome. Some things never change.
2) Anarchy in the UK got me out of the Classic Rock rut
3) Seven Samurai. Or The Third Man
4) Marilyn Monroe, especially in Some Like It Hot.
5) Anything by Rubens, back when art was meant to be beautiful.
6) Catch 22
7) What do you mean “we”, Kemo Sabe?
That was a good one, but but even better was the opening line of “Trash,” uttered by the buck-naked Mal sitting abandoned in a desert: “Yep…that went well.”
Of course, the vision of the buck-naked Mal had a great deal of entertainment value in its own right…
I think you mean Andres Serrano–got to keep those sinners straight (as it were)!
1. Man For Himself, Erich Fromm
2. Schoenberg, Piano piece, Op. 11, No.2
3. The Manchurian Candidate, directed by John Frankenheimer
4. Bob and Ray
5. Stuart Davis, “Ready to Wear”
6. The Fixer, Bernard Malamud
7. Well, then don’t do that
I know I posted this in the open thread, but just in case people only read the topmost post…
Gary Farber needs your help.
From what I recall, Gary has been posting here since 2004 [although not recently, for reasons which I infer from the linked post], and is a friend of the blog.
I don’t know Gary, but do occasionally read his blog – if you have a few extra bucks burning a hole in your pocket, he could sure use it.
GOP4Me et al
That’s funny, me too. Maybe they should have some kind of intensive therapy course for those who listen to excessive amounts of the Beatles/Grateful Dead, exposing them to nothing but the Sex Pistols for 14 days straight.
I just want to put in a word for a book I keep giving away copies of: the Lions of al-Rassan by Guy Gavriel Kay. It’s the only book that’s made me cry on subsequent readings. Anything by Kay is going to be a good read but this is still my favorite.
I swear that all med school graduates know that punchline. Well, my cousin and my brother-in-law both did.
7. Government Cheese or Joey Buttafuoco
One of the best SNL’s ever was hosted by Danny Devito and they did about six skits on the Joey Buttafuoco/Amy Fischer melodrama. Devito played Buttafuoco in all but one of the skits it was a laugh a minute riot.
GOP4Me et al
Am I the only one who remembers “Stalk Talk” when Christopher Walken hosted back in 1992? “You know, I think about you when I masturbate.” That episode also had the Psychic Friends show- if memory serves, Christopher Walken kept calling random people he’d predicted wanted to talk to him on his show, saying, “Why haven’t you called your psychic friend?”
GOP4Me et al
Am I the only person here whose appreciation for ’80s music increased greatly as a result of the soundtrack to GTA: Vice City?
1. Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson;
2. Oingo Boingo, Grey Matter. First time I realized it was okay to stray from the herd;
3. David Mamet’s “Heist,” with Gene Hackman and Delroy Lindo. Hackman’s expression in the final shot slays me every time;
4. Ian McKellan;
5. Anything, I mean ANYTHING by van Gogh.
6. The Baroque Cycle by Neal Stephenson (source of the user name I employ everywhere);
7. Doctor: Somebody must be talking about it.
(Patient: Doctor, my penis is burning.)
1. Name a book that you want to share so much that you keep giving away copies: The New York Times Cookbook, edited by Craig Claiborne. Seriously, best cookbook for people who are deciding to get serious about cooking.
2. Name a piece of music that changed the way you listen to music: Brubeck, Take Five, and everything else on Time Out.
3. Name a film you can watch again and again without fatigue: Kurosawa’s Ran. And The Godfather.
4. Name a performer for whom you suspend of all disbelief: Katherine Hepburn and/or Peter O’Toole. I know, I should have picked The Lion in Winter for number 3.
5. Name a work of art you’d like to live with: Any of Alexander Calder’s mobiles.
6. Name a work of fiction which has penetrated your real life: Kurt Vonnegut’s Cat’s Cradle. Taught me all the religion I ever needed.
7. Name a punch line that always makes you laugh: “He had a hat.”
1. “Xingu”, by Edith Wharton. There’s a whole list of other books I also press on people whenever possible, but when I started listing them all here, “Xingu” rose to the top.
2. Brahms, 3rd Symphony, 3rd movement. The first time I heard it was over the car radio. I had to pull over, it was so beautiful and sad.
3. Without A Clue, Ben Kingsley and Michael Caine.
4. Alison Janney. You’d probably have to have seen her in Drop Dead Gorgeous to understand why.
5. Falling Water, naturally
6. The Good Soldier, Ford Madox Ford.
7. “Look! A tree!” – when my brother says this, I laugh – uncontrollably. Holding sides, rolling in place. And the joke – the thing I think is so funny about this – is that I think it’s hysterically funny that I would laugh at something so incredibly stupid.
8. Favorite Firefly line: from “Our Mrs. Reynolds,”
Mal: She has a name!
Jane: So does this. I call it Vera.
Ah! Tim’s a Browncoat. I knew there was something special about him.
1. The Stranger
2. Run-DMC–“Sucker MCs” To this day, nothing has hit me as hard as that song did when I first heard it more than 20 years ago.
3. Young Frankenstein is the first that comes to mind, but I imagine that answer will change in five minutes. I watch 2001 a lot, too, but I wouldn’t call it a fatigue-free experience.
4. Beats me.
5. Something by MC Escher, I guess. I’m not very into visual art, I must admit.
6. Again, The Stranger. Also, Lolita. No, not because of that, you pervs. Because of the astonishingly brilliant language games and linguistic trap doors and such.
7. Oh man, there are so many. “…so I fucked her twice and hit her with a brick,” “…so the guy says, ‘Rectum? Damn near killed him!'” The list goes on and on.
As for my answers…
1) Revenge of the Nerds softcover
2) The song the Tri-Lamdas play at the end
3) Take a Guess…
4) A tie between both Louis and Gilbert
5) The Tri-Lamda group photo U.N. hangs on the wall
6) I dont do fiction
7) “What the fuck is a frush?”
The Other Steve
Sweeney Todd? Eh? I saw a local theatre group try to do that play, and I had to find an excuse to leave at intermission it was so boring.
Funny that I remember the line that came seconds later: “well, my days of not taking you seriously are definitely coming to a middle.”
The Other Steve
1. Debugging the Development Process by Steve Maguire
2. Music. Tori Amos album From the Choirgirl Hotel. I used to only listen to radio cuts, but this album taught me to listen to an entire album. Although I guess you could say the same thing for Pink Floyd’s The Wall, but Tori Amos was also who taught me to break from Classic Rock.
3. Film. Good Will Hunting or Ladyhawke.
4. Honestly I gotta say Leonardo DiCaprio
5. I’m not much of an artiste. My walls are decorated with ansel adams and italian countryside stuff I get at Michael’s.
6. Fiction. Wow, hmm… hard to say. Catcher in the Rye, or the Malcolm X autobiography.
7. “Do you like Apples?” scene from Good Will Hunting.
I meant that this blog (and everybody on it) are included in the cast of characters that are part of my everyday life.
“Penetrated” is not a good word to use around this bunch, evidently.
I didn’t mean it that way, actually. Meant it as an “ouch” to being considered “fiction”. But since you brought it up…
(giggling uncontrollably like a 5th grader)
Oh, okay then.
And just so you know, I didn’t mean to be rude. I actually meant it as a compliment. I’ve never met any of you guys in real life, and likely never will, and as far as I know, you could all be personas created by John, in some sad, Truman Show-esque experiment, but you’re as much a part of my life as my in-person friends are.
I feel slightly ashamed — I’ve proven myself to be more dirty-minded than Punchy.