July 07, 2004

The Teachout Cultural Concurrence Index

I don't usually do these things, but what the heck. If Ian can do it, so can I.

1. Fred Astaire or Gene Kelly?
2. The Great Gatsby or The Sun Also Rises? Cannery Row
3. Count Basie or Duke Ellington? Fats Waller
4. Cats or dogs?
5. Matisse or Picasso?
6. Yeats or Eliot? Carroll
7. Buster Keaton or Charlie Chaplin?
8. Flannery O'Connor or John Updike?
9. To Have and Have Not or Casablanca?
10. Jackson Pollock or Willem de Kooning?
11. The Who or the Stones?
12. Philip Larkin or Sylvia Plath?
13. Trollope or Dickens?
14. Billie Holiday or Ella Fitzgerald?
15. Dostoyevsky or Tolstoy?
16. The Moviegoer or The End of the Affair?
17. George Balanchine or Martha Graham?
18. Hot dogs or hamburgers?
19. Letterman or Leno?
20. Wilco or Cat Power?
21. Verdi or Wagner?
22. Grace Kelly or Marilyn Monroe?
23. Bill Monroe or Johnny Cash?
24. Kingsley or Martin Amis?
25. Robert Mitchum or Marlon Brando?
26. Mark Morris or Twyla Tharp?
27. Vermeer or Rembrandt?
28. Tchaikovsky or Chopin?
29. Red wine or white?
30. Noel Coward or Oscar Wilde?
31. Grosse Pointe Blank or High Fidelity?
32. Shostakovich or Prokofiev?
33. Mikhail Baryshnikov or Rudolf Nureyev?
34. Constable or Turner?
35. The Searchers or Rio Bravo?
36. Comedy or tragedy?
37. Fall or spring?
38. Manet or Monet?
39. The Sopranos or The Simpsons?
40. Rodgers and Hart or Gershwin and Gershwin?
41. Joseph Conrad or Henry James? Stella Gibbons
42. Sunset or sunrise?
43. Johnny Mercer or Cole Porter?
44. Mac or PC?
45. New York or Los Angeles?
46. Partisan Review or Horizon?
47. Stax or Motown?
48. Van Gogh or Gauguin?
49. Steely Dan or Elvis Costello?
50. Reading a blog or reading a magazine?
51. John Gielgud or Laurence Olivier?
52. Only the Lonely or Songs for Swingin' Lovers?
53. Chinatown or Bonnie and Clyde?
54. Ghost World or Election?
55. Minimalism or conceptual art?
56. Daffy Duck or Bugs Bunny?
57. Modernism or postmodernism? Can't I pick something else?
58. Batman or Spider-Man?
59. Emmylou Harris or Lucinda Williams?
60. Johnson or Boswell?
61. Jane Austen or Virginia Woolf?
62. The Honeymooners or The Dick Van Dyke Show?
63. An Eames chair or a Noguchi table? A Sam Maloof rocking chair
64. Out of the Past or Double Indemnity?
65. The Marriage of Figaro or Don Giovanni? The Pirates of Penzance
66. Blue or green?
67. A Midsummer Night's Dream or As You Like It? Twelfth Night
68. Ballet or opera?
69. Film or live theater?
70. Acoustic or electric?
71. North by Northwest or Vertigo? Rear Window
72. Sargent or Whistler?
73. V.S. Naipaul or Milan Kundera?
74. The Music Man or Oklahoma?
75. Sushi, yes or no?
76. The New Yorker under Ross or Shawn?
77. Tennessee Williams or Edward Albee? Thornton Wilder
78. The Portrait of a Lady or The Wings of the Dove?
79. Paul Taylor or Merce Cunningham?
80. Frank Lloyd Wright or Mies van der Rohe? Greene and Greene
81. Diana Krall or Norah Jones?
82. Watercolor or pastel?
83. Bus or subway?
84. Stravinsky or Schoenberg?
85. Crunchy or smooth peanut butter?
86. Willa Cather or Theodore Dreiser?
87. Schubert or Mozart?
88. The Fifties or the Twenties?
89. Huckleberry Finn or Moby-Dick? Life on the Mississippi
90. Thomas Mann or James Joyce?
91. Lester Young or Coleman Hawkins?
92. Emily Dickinson or Walt Whitman?
93. Abraham Lincoln or Winston Churchill?
94. Liz Phair or Aimee Mann?
95. Italian or French cooking?
96. Bach on piano or harpsichord?
97. Anchovies, yes or no?
98. Short novels or long ones?
99. Swing or bebop?
100. "The Last Judgment" or "The Last Supper"?

At this point I'm supposed to add up the number of left hand choices I made, and divide by the total number of choices I made, but I'm not gonna do that, especially since in a fair number of cases I rejected both of Teachout's choices and inserted my own.

UPDATE: For the record, my score is 50%.

Posted by Will Duquette at July 7, 2004 09:03 PM

Deb said:

Hmmm...I came out to 47. But what does this mean?

And smooth peanut butter, Will? Nasty! You need those little bits of crunch to remind you you arent eating the school hot lunch version!

Lars Walker said:

It's comforting to note that you left a lot of them blank, as I did -- though in your case it's probably due to an unwillingness to choose one over the other, rather than the mere ignorance which is my excuse. But smooth peanut butter rules!

Phil said:

Deb, the number is the percentage your tastes line up with Teachout's. He explains why he did the index on his blog. It isn't entirely serious.

Will Duquette said:

Smooth, definitely smooth. Crunchy stuff in my peanut butter makes me think bugs have gotten at it.

No, those I left blank I quite honestly left blank because I didn't know enough to have an opinion--otherwise I'd have added my own third choice at the end. Also, some of my choices aren't particularly well informed; for example, I do prefer what I've heard of Fats Waller to what I've heard of Duke Ellington, but I've not heard all that much of either, nor all that much Count Basie.

Ian Hamet said:

That's it. You must listen to more Waller, more Ellington, more Basie, and start watching more westerns. You've never seen Rio Bravo OR The Searchers??? My goodness.

The good thing about westerns is that most of them are kid-safe. I'd wait a few years before letting your kids see The Searchers, but I think Rio Bravo's most objectionable content is an alcoholic, and he's presented as trying to overcome it.

Deb said:

I second Ian on the Western thing. Until my husband got obsessed with early John Wayne/John Ford I never realized how good they were. There's even some good modern ones--"Open Range" with Robert Duvall and Kevin Costner--which got panned by the critics but was a classic western.

Will Duquette said:

What I know about jazz I owe to the book, "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Jazz," which was really quite helpful; it had a list of suggested recordings which sampled in great detail, which is how I found out that I like Fats Waller. The Ellington discs the book suggested were a couple of famous concerts, and I confess they left me completely cold. "Take the A Train" is a neat track, I admit, but it wasn't on either set. And then, everyone raves about Coleman Hawkins and especially his version of "Body and Soul", so I got the suggested Hawkins retrospective album; and that, sigh, went equally over my head. I was listening for "Body and Soul"--and it went past without making any impression at all. I went back to listen just to it, and I thought, "This is what folks were raving about? This muddy footling around? Why?" I still don't know; I guess I'm just not a jazzman at heart.

Re: westerns, I don't disagree; but then, there are lots of movies I haven't seen that I ought to see. I've had For a Few Dollars More sitting on the shelf for ages, just waiting. Oh, well.

Craig Clarke said:

I've had For a Few Dollars More sitting on the shelf for ages, just waiting.

Well, that's difficult because you can't watch it by itself. It's the middle of a trilogy. Once Upon a Time in the West, on the other hand, can be enjoyed on its own -- but it's not kid-safe. (I think my DVD has a PG-13 on it.)

Will Duquette said:

So happens, I've already seen The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly and A Fist Full of Dollars.