Wednesday, August 26, 2009
The Pop-Culture Audit
We're supposed to be answering these questions in the comments section at NPR's Monkey See blog, but I'm not very good about following directions. I figured I'd share my responses with you guys instead. I'd love to hear your answers too.
The Instructions: Audit the culture around you -- both the good and the bad -- and consider a few questions in the areas of movies, TV, books, games, digital culture...whatever "popular culture" means to you.
1. What has been your biggest pleasant surprise of the last three months? (This takes you, so you don't have to do math, back to late May.)
A Perfect Getaway.
2. What has been the rudest surprise of the last three months?
That a book about pirates attacking a dirigible and the resulting shipwreck on a jungle island could be boring.
3. What are you most looking forward to between now and New Year's?
Where the Wild Things Are.
4. What are you dreading most between now and New Year's?
Weeding through more Twilight mania to get to my other pop culture news.
5. If, at this moment, you could only watch television between now and December 31, or you could only see movies between now and December 31, which would you choose if you knew you couldn't go back later and catch up on what you missed?
I'd choose TV. Which sounds contradictory since the thing I'm most looking forward to this Fall is a movie, but it's really not. I may want to see Where the Wild Things Are more than I want to see any one of the 8,000 TV shows I follow, but I guess I'd rather miss one movie - however excellent I expect it to be - than the total of all those shows.
6. If you could press one book you have read this year into the hands of ten strangers when they were trapped during a blackout with nothing to do but read, what would you give them?
I'm not finished with it yet, but unless it takes an unexpected and nasty turn towards awfulness, it's going to be Matt Ruff's Bad Monkeys. I'm loving the heck out of that book.
7. What are you currently trying to like and finding it difficult to like?
The graphic novel American Widow. It's the memoir of a woman who was pregnant when she lost her husband on 9/11, so I really want to honor her strength and her willingness to tell her story. But I'm also having a hard time connecting to it as she's written it. Still hoping I'll be able to do that by the end.
8. If you could guarantee that five people -- actors, writers, directors, whoever -- would have their calendars filled with funded projects for the next five years, to whom would you grant full employment?
It's tempting to fill this list with some of my talented friends whom I'd love to see get regular, paying work, but I don't want to have to pick only five. I'm also not picking people like Keira Knightley and Johnny Depp who are already guaranteed that kind of work for the next five years.
So... five people whom I don't know that I want to see more from over the next five years: Timothy Olyphant, Kenneth Branagh, Chris Hemsworth, Sandra Bullock, and Keri Russell.
9. What do you love in spite of being outside the target demographic? (Example: "I am a nineteen-year-old dude and I loved The Proposal.")
10. If you could personally wave your wand and stop one trend -- toy movies, remakes, crime procedurals -- what would be your target?