Thursday, June 16, 2005

Attack of the Memes

Okay, I have been tagged by David Scott with a meme he was given by LYT. The questions relate to Books and Movies, but David Scott's wife has extended the meme to include CDs as well. So I will answer all three memes, which will take way too much time.
So here goes.


Books
  • 1. The total number of books:

  • Well over 2000. But before you rebuke my claim as a mere fiction, or collapse in awe of my academician bibliophilia, understand that at least 130 of these books contain the adventures of one Man of Bronze.

  • 2. The last book I bought:

  • Did I mention that I don't buy books "one at a time?"

    Who the Hell's in It : Portraits and Conversations by Peter Bogdanovich. This book is a great read. Just enough insight into each of the featured personalities to make you want more.

    and

    Dungeon Master's Guide II. I have been playing D&D since 1980 and will continue for the forseeable future.

    and ironically enough:

    The Polysyllabic Spree by Nick Hornby. This is essentially a book long version of this meme.

  • 3. The last book I read:


  • The Press edited by Kathleen Hall Jamieson. Actually, I am only about half way through the book right now, but that is only because I was reading The Cube and the Cathedral by George Weigel at the same time. I have finished Cube so should be finished with Press soon.

  • 4. Five books that mean a lot to me, in no particular order:


  • a) The Republic by Plato. No Socrates...No Philosophy. No Republic...No Public Opinion, No Lord of the Rings (or at least the Ring of Geiges parts). Besides without this book, my bookshelves would be a bit more empty.

  • b) A Princess of Mars. Edgar Rice Burroughs made me want to read. If I never read this book, I would probably been a garbage man today.

  • c) Brave New World by Aldous Huxley. This is the book that helped me transition from "escapist" reading to "literature."

  • d) The Elfstones of Shannara by Terry Brooks. Sword of Shannara is just a retelling of Lord of the Rings with the "innovation" that evil, as external power, is an illusion, but Elfstones is a pretty innovative novel which took me for quite a ride as a young reader.

  • e) Lost in Place by Mark Salzman. While Mark's personal choices were different from my own, this memoir of his youth really touched me and helped me to understand myself a little better. Salzman is about a decade older than me, about the age of my friend Sean's older brothers, and the way he represents himself combined my image of myself and how I understood my friend's brothers to be. It was as if Salzman was writing a "what if", I had been a part of the "experimental" part of Gen X rather than the "pop cultural" part. Interestingly, many of the events I would have experienced were the same.

  • Honorable Mentions: The list would be too numerous, which is why these things are ridiculous. But the list would include Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, Karl Marx, Micheal Moorcock, Lord Dunsany, Robert Herbert, St. Augustine, Cicero, Dashiell Hammett, Raymond Chandler, Lester Dent, Robert E. Howard, Howard Philips Lovecraft, Manly Wade Wellman, Clark Ashton Smith...


  • Movies
  • 1. The total number of Movies I own:


  • Well over 500, but that is just a guess. I own a lot of DVDs and still have some VHS hiding around the apartment as well.

  • 2. The last movie I bought:


  • Boogeyman: I liked it in the theater and I still do.

    The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou. The soundtrack features acoustic cover versions of Bowie tunes from The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and in Portuguese no less. Wow!

  • 3. The last movie I saw:


  • Cromwell
    Mr. and Mrs. Smith The Pitt/Jolie.
    Mr. and Mrs. Smith The Hitchcock. No murder, no mystery, but plenty of suspense. If you consider romantic tension to be suspense. This Hitch romantic comedy displays Hitchcock ability to create wonderful human realationships at its best. You can see similar relations in Lady Vanishes and Stage Fright.
    High Tension Picture Identity meets Texas Chainsaw Massacre and that's the vibe.

  • 4. Five movies that mean a lot to me, in no particular order:

  • a) A Clockwork Orange This film made me re-evaluate everything I had ever thought. It is so shocking, not in the way you are thinking, and radical.

  • b) Ride the High Country Maybe, just maybe the greatest Western ever made. This film captures all the tropes and makes a truly realistic Western and shadows of Peckinpah's anger (which is best seen in Straw Dogs and The Wild Bunch) are everywhere. But Ride focuses on what it takes to become a hero in a lawless land, and it takes a great deal. Other great Westerns include, Red River, The Searchers, and Rio Bravo. In fact, a list of great westerns with reasons for their greatness could easily fill a small encyclopedia set.

  • c) Gallipoli. The first Australian "new wave" film I had ever seen. It was one of my grandfather's favorite war movies and he took me to see it in the theater. Peter Weir captures the horrors of war at the same time that he captures the hopeful spirit of the young man.

  • d) Five Million Years to Earth. Seeing this Hammer Production led me to two of my great entertainment loves, Dr. Who and the Cushing/Lee horror films. Lee will always be Count Dracula to me and not Count Dooku. He is the lord of the undead dammit!

  • e) Singin' in the Rain This film made me love musicals and Gene Kelly. It is a celebration of what films were once, were at the time of the film, and what they would become in the future. Stanley Donen directed this masterpiece, as well as one of my favorite Cary Grant films...Charade.

  • Honorable Mentions: Stagecoach, The Quiet Man, Brotherhood of the Wolf, Star Wars, Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan, Excalibur, Ladyhawke, Blade Runner, Tron, Ace in the Hole, Double Indemnity, The Maltese Falcon, Swingers, The Breakfast Club, She's Having a Baby, The Lost Boys, Disney's Tarzan, Akira, Kill Bill vol. 1, Five Deadly Venoms, Hard Boiled, Zu: Warriors of Magic Mountain, Big Trouble in Little China, Elmer Gantry, The Music Man, The Blob, The Thing, Citizen Kane, Touch of Evil, The Howling, Superman, The Wrong Man, The Hidden, Scanners, The Hills Have Eyes, Priscilla Queen of the Desert, Permanent Midnight, Father Goose, An Affair to Remember, The Three Musketeers (w/Gene Kelly), Yankee Doodle Dandy, How Green Was My Valley, On the Waterfront, Barry Gordie's The Last Dragon...


  • CDs
  • 1. The total number of CDs I own:


  • 200+ and a 20 Gig Hard Drive of mp3s.

  • 2. The last CD I bought:


  • Better Than Ezra: Before the Robots

    T Rex: Electric Warrior

  • 3. The last CD I listened too:

  • Toad the Wet Sprocket: Dulcinea

  • 4. Five CDs that mean a lot to me, in no particular order:

  • a) Prince: Purple Rain

  • b) The Cure: Three Imaginary Boys. My friend Ron and I would listen to "Fire in Cairo" as we drove through Reno. We would sing along as Robert Smith belted "F-I-R-E-I-N-C-A-I-R-O" with our best "worst" English accents. After my friend Ron shot himself in the heart in the Spring of 1999, this song helped me focus on the happy times we had together rather than on the big "why" question.

  • c) Hotel California

  • d) Metallica: Ride the Lightning

  • e) Peter Gabriel

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