I started a joke

I’ve been thinking about fun topics for Friday posts but haven’t come up with anything too brilliant. A friend posted this on twitter and I thought it would make for a good one:

I will specify that while I truly can’t take David Foster Wallace or much of Stanley Kubrick, I only didn’t like Thomas Pynchon as much I hoped to. And I’ll admit there are some Boss songs I can deal with. Just hate his voice and think his songs mostly all sound the same.

434 replies
  1. 1
    HinTN says:

    Gravity’s Rainbow I thought was magnificent. The rest, not so much.

  2. 2
    Omnes Omnibus says:


  3. 3

    Honestly, most literary fiction falls into that category for me. It just does nothing for me.

  4. 4
    aimai says:

    Garry Wills. Totally overrated.
    Ballet and opera: extremely dull. Thank god my daughters have passed through their ballet phase.
    Anything without narrative.

  5. 5
    swiftfox says:

    DFW – Liked his two non-fiction collections. Currently reading Pale King since I’m a Fed. The forward on page 87 might be the best part of the book but I have 2/3rds to read yet.

  6. 6
    Droppy says:

    Jackson Browne
    Alice Walker
    Thomas Mallon
    the new Museum of the American Revolution in Philly, which sucks

  7. 7
    MattF says:

    @HinTN: I liked V, too. Maybe due to the citation of the poker player’s three laws of thermodynamics:

    1) You can’t win.
    2) You can’t break even.
    3) You can’t leave the game.

  8. 8

    I hear you about Springsteen.

  9. 9
    BBA says:

    Good job Doug, now you’ve started the whole world crying.

  10. 10
    MattF says:

    Um, I’m in moderation because I used the ‘p’ word. Help?

  11. 11
    MJS says:

    Game of Thrones on HBO. So much good material to be had from the War of the Roses – didn’t need dragons, zombies, etc.

  12. 12
    rp says:

    Joni Mitchell
    The West Wing

  13. 13
    cmorenc says:

    Anything hip-hop – intolerable nails on a chalkboard to me. This isn’t a matter of racial prejudice; I love blues by black artists – which have infinitely better musicality and melody than anything I’ve heard in hip-hop, and equally good rhyming and rhythm. Also, far too much of the hip-hop genre contains offensively misogynistic, excessively vulgar lyrics. Compare with BB’s greatest blues song line: “nobody loves me but my mother….and she may be jivin’ too”.

  14. 14
    JMG says:

    Grew up in Wilmington, Del., about 15 miles from where Andrew Wyeth lived in Pa. So was super exposed to Wyeth’s paintings. Never cared for them, even as a kid.

  15. 15
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    Abstract modern art, broadly speaking. To stick with Picasso, I think Guernica is a powerful, compelling painting, but what the fuck is that giant thing in Chicago?

    also, I can’t think of the exact term: Micro-gastronomy? Chocolate-framboise gateau dusted with atomized cod liver and rosemary-pencil shavings? Get the fuck away from me with that. You lost me at framboise. I think it’s actually some kind of con with people who read the NYT Sunday Style section as marks.

    ETA: @BBA: heh, at Escaton they used to call these “Your Favorite Book/Movie/Music Sucks” threads. Which is why I didn’t point out that Doug’s horrid opinion of Springsteen is why trump won.

  16. 16

    Most movies based on comic books.

  17. 17
    The Moar You Know says:

    Just hate his voice and think his songs mostly all sound the same.

    Praise the truth.

  18. 18
    MattF says:

    Well, my ‘singers I’ve changed my mind about’ group includes Johnny Cash (except for the prison concerts) and Lucinda Williams.

  19. 19
    eclare says:

    Except for Tumbleweed Connection, Elton John.

    ETA: also Shakespeare in Love

  20. 20
    hovercraft says:

    Thank Dog the ballet stage only lasted one year, karate was three, but at least she ws learning how to defend herself, the ballet, she’s a klutz ;(

  21. 21
    Tom Levenson says:

    Dance in general. Just don’t respond.

  22. 22
    Wyatt Derp says:

    Shakespeare. He needs more dragons and zombies.

  23. 23
    Nicole says:

    The first rule of Fight Club is that I was unable to finish Fight Club.

    Also, Elaine had it right about The English Patient.

  24. 24
    FlipYrWhig says:

    All jazz is terrible. All artists, all styles, all instruments.

  25. 25
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @MattF: Beck, for me. That “I’m a loser baby” song made me want to shoot the car radio, but I like some of his later stuff.

  26. 26
    Doug Gardner says:

    I just started listening to a set of essays written by DFW around 1990. This is my first exposure to his writing, and I kept thinking in Essay 1 “This guy is a complete tool.” It’s getting better, but jury is still out.

  27. 27
    Jeffro says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Seconded.

    Not a big fan of abstract art or opera either.

  28. 28
    aimai says:

    @Droppy: I love both Jackson Brown and Alice Walker! Go figure!

  29. 29
    BBA says:

    For me, Rage Against the Machine. Tom Morello is an amazing guitarist – I love the Audioslave songs I’ve heard – but Zach de la Rocha screaming agitprop is such a turnoff I don’t bother waiting for the solo.

  30. 30
    FlipYrWhig says:


    Anything without narrative.

    THIS. Anything that’s called a “character study” is always sure death.

  31. 31
    tom says:

    Bob Seeger (and I’m from Detroit and live in Ann Arbor and just a bit younger than he is).

  32. 32

    Jasper Johns. Makes me go, “Yeah, and…?”

  33. 33
    Doug! says:


    The English Patient is terrible.

  34. 34
    Doug! says:


    I totally agree.

  35. 35
    Seanly says:

    Bob Dylan

  36. 36
    Redshift says:

    I hated The Golden Compass trilogy. It won all these awards and plaudits, I suppose because the language is pretty, but in terms of plotting ass characters, it’s clunky and dreadful.

  37. 37
    cmorenc says:

    Igmar Bergman films. Call me shallow, but every one of them I’ve tried to sit through was so excruciatingly boring that it numbed me into mental snoozeville far too much to catch the alleged profundity of the films. Last one I tried to sit through was “Cries and Whispers”, which I nicknamed “Bored to Tears and Whimpering”

    Also too – I dislike modern films deliberately shot in black-and-white. The artistic merit of deliberately subtracting all color from a film is totally lost on me. About the ONLY film I can think of where it actually works in the film’s favor to any extent is the comedy “Young Frankenstein” – and even then, I’m not too sure it wouldn’t have worked equally well in color. Thank goodness Rob Reiner didn’t get seized with the notion to attempt “Princess Bride” as a B&W film.

  38. 38
    Pie filter maintenance crew says:

    The Clash, The Ramones, The Beach Boys, Springsteen, Twin Peaks

  39. 39

    @Nicole: Agreed.
    @Tom Levenson: As a participant or as a member of the audience?

  40. 40
    geg6 says:


    So, so, so agree. STARZ does a better treatment of the era with The White Queen. I haven’t started The White Princess yet, but I’m sure I’ll like it.

    I, too, do not see the big deal about DFW. Pretentious asshole, if you ask me. No loss to have him gone. Bad enough to have him still being lauded as some great author, but it would torture me to have him still around being paraded around as the “great” American author of my generation.

    I’d add pretty much all of country music to my list (a few, very few exceptions). And, yes, lots of people think that stuff is great art.

    In general, Francis Ford Coppola films. Especially the Godfather films. Just sick crap soap opera.

  41. 41
    maurinsky says:

    Anything by Aaron Sorkin after Sports Night aggravates me.

    Breaking Bad – I can’t make it past the bathtub episode. I’m sure it’s great, it’s just too much for me.

    Dramas in general. I vastly prefer comedy as a genre, and I think it gets very little respect.

    I cannot question the musical excellence of Pink Floyd, I just find it boring to listen to.

  42. 42
    cleek says:

    i really need to look at all the fields before i hit Post.

  43. 43
    MJS says:


  44. 44
    geg6 says:


    Nope. All of them, Katie.

  45. 45
  46. 46

    @maurinsky: I actually fell asleep during a Pink Floyd cover band concert. I don’t mind PF in small doses. Husband kitteh is a fan.

  47. 47
    dedc79 says:

    The Smiths
    Any books by Jonathan Franzen
    The Nutcracker

  48. 48
    cleek says:

    ugh, Game Of Thrones.

    i find it unwatchable because they won’t stick with a storyline for more than five minutes at a time before they have to switch to some other storyline, because there are so many stupid plots going on at once. the whole show is sub-plot, no actual plot.

  49. 49
    greengoblin says:

    Lawrence of Arabia. I know it is a masterpiece film – I just can’t get through it.

  50. 50
    Elizabelle says:

    For me, the Lord of the Rings movies.

    Only saw two, and I just remember grey things fighting with each other.

    Although I did love those black steeds on approach; that was chilling. That, was, like 70 seconds, though, total.

  51. 51

    @geg6: Well I did like the Spiderman with Toby McGuire.

  52. 52
    geg6 says:


    Breaking Bad – I can’t make it past the bathtub episode. I’m sure it’s great, it’s just too much for me.

    Oooooo, yeah. I had thankfully forgotten this show. But it’s not great. It doesn’t get any better as you go.

  53. 53
    SFAW says:

    I was heretofore unaware that the original BeeGees’ song title was “I Started A Troll (Which Started the Whole World Hating)”

    But I want to thank you, Doug, because I had no idea how empty my day had been so far, what with no one enumerating all the things they hate in the various Arts.

    Yes, I know I am not obligated to read this post any further.

  54. 54
    Craigie says:

    Bob Dylan
    I can see intellectually that it’s great, it just does nothing for me.

  55. 55
    Jumbo76 says:

    With the revival of Twin Peaks, I have to admit that I don’t care for David Lynch. Ok, sure, Elephant Man is good and Dune is kind of interesting, but I don’t get why people love his work.

  56. 56
    geg6 says:


    I’ll admit to a soft spot for the two greatest Batman movies. And they are only watchable because the great Michael Keaton.

  57. 57
    Nicole says:

    @Doug!: Thank you. I remember NOW was all up in arms about The People Vs Larry Flynt, and I thought they were missing the point of the film, which is that often the people who stand up for the things we all say we believe in (free speech) are not necessarily likable or “good” people. Meanwhile, there was, out at the very same time, The English Patient, where the woman having an affair with a guy (who was just awful to her, by the way) has to, of course, get killed by her jealous husband, because sinning women must pay, and preferably at the hand of the partner they obviously wronged. But NOW was cool with that, because at least there was no reference to pornography and the guy who was mean to her was handsome.

    (Apologies for any spoilers for anyone who hasn’t seen it, but really, I’ve just saved you two-and-a-half-hours of your life, so you should thank me.)

  58. 58
    germy says:

    Any sitcom produced by Chuck Lorre.

  59. 59
    Doug! says:


    I think you mean “thread” not “post”.

  60. 60
    cmorenc says:



    On the contrary, I love Reggae songs – all one of them. Every Reggae song has the identical beat and melody, just different words. It can make for cheerfully relaxing background music when you’re a bit toasted, cause that one basic song in the repertoire is really good, but again the downside is that it’s the only one.

  61. 61
    sheila in nc says:

    The Simpsons. The first 10 years were brilliant, the second 10 years were half-brilliant, but now I’d be happy to let the show slide out of my life. (My husband is still a big fan, unfortunately.) The only enjoyment I get out of it any more is to examine the little bits of pop culture or literary references that are scattered in the background.

  62. 62
    Barbara says:

    David Foster Wallace, Mark Rothko, the “experimental” side of James Joyce.

    A long time ago I read a book that was called “Poison Pen,” which was a compilation of ferocious reviews of authors, not necessarily contemporaneous. I thought the funniest one was by E.B. White of James Joyce’s Ulysses or maybe Finnegan’s Wake in the New Yorker: “It takes more than genius to keep me reading a book.” I feel the same way about DFW. I have read Thomas Pynchon and I think he is a great story teller but it’s hard to find the time and the effort to extract the gold from its surrounding straw.

    I love ballet (viewing hint: focus on the feet and legs, not the tutus) and I love a lot but not all of opera. I feel so disconnected from popular music that I rarely venture an opinion.

  63. 63
    MJS says:

    @geg6: I can’t get past the premise. I understand suspending disbelief, but “mild mannered high school teacher to ruthless criminal mastermind” is a leap too far.

  64. 64
    Jeffro says:


    Breaking Bad – I can’t make it past the bathtub episode. I’m sure it’s great, it’s just too much for me.

    No worries, after that episode everyone settles down into a pretty routine existence, lots of deep intellectual conversations, minimal violence. Except for one or two incidents, tops.

  65. 65
    geg6 says:


    I never could make it all the way through that movie. Boring and bad.

  66. 66
    JCJ says:

    Nearly all country music. Just makes my blood pressure rise.

    I think Metallica has maybe five good songs, but so much of the rest is awful. And it is not like I am not a fan of the genre. I like a lot of Korn, Five Finger Death Punch, Slipknot, etc.

  67. 67
    MJS says:

    @cmorenc: “All one of them”. Exactly.

  68. 68
    Doug! says:


    It’s rare for me to dislike a movie as much as I disliked English Patient. I didn’t just hate it compared to how great it was supposed to be (which is probably somewhat the case with Kubrick), I hated it on its own merits. It dragged on and on.

  69. 69

    @Nicole: I had zero pity for the Fiennes character, die already, we don’t want to hear more of your boring story.

  70. 70
    Gator90 says:

    The Beatles, except “Revolution.”

  71. 71
    Barbara says:

    @dedc79: I started reading “Purity” by Franzen and I was surprised at how good it was. Some additional bugaboos I have are any movies about the mafia, any movie made by Quentin Tarantino or otherwise basking in blood loss, violence and gore.

  72. 72
    dedc79 says:

    David Mamet.

  73. 73
    germy says:

    @Barbara: Have you read George Orwell’s essay on Salvador Dali?

  74. 74
    geg6 says:


    Agree with you on the stupid premise.

    Plus, I think you have to have at least one likeable character, especially in a tv series. There is not one single likeable character in that entire series. Every person in it is a horrible monster.

  75. 75
    geg6 says:


    That’s another one for me, but I think it’s because I find him, personally, such a disgusting person that I can’t get past that.

  76. 76
    Barbara says:

    @Nicole: Re: The English Patient. The book is even worse and it takes a lot more than 2 hours of your life. Ugh.

  77. 77
    Nicole says:

    @Doug!: Went. On. Forever. Kind of like AI, which I also hated. I was viscerally angry at that movie by the end. I don’t understand how Spielberg, who was capable of making a movie about a giant shark where you cared so intensely about the 3 men off to hunt it, turned into such a blatantly manipulative and preachy director.

    Yes, I admit it. I don’t like Schindler’s List and I don’t like Saving Private Ryan.

  78. 78
    Barbara says:

    @germy: Well, I guess I will now! I like Dali and I expect to be disappointed by Orwell’s take. Actually, I never used to like Dali until I visited the Dali Museum in Paris.

  79. 79
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Nicole: I never saw TEP, but I loved that Seinfeld episode because I’ve so often been the person trying to figure out what everyone thinks is so great about that movie everyone is raving about. Stone’s Wall Street is the only one that comes immediately to mind– Does Martin Sheen ever play a character whose character doesn’t shine out of Martin Sheen’s ass? Can’t stand him. He’s the main reason I’ve never seen The West Wing.

    Now that I think of it, most of the movies I feel that way about aren’t would-be high-brow, but low comedy. The Hangover sucked, as did Bridesmaids, except for small moments from Melissa McCarthy. Also, anything with Will Ferrell.

  80. 80
    Doug! says:


    I thought the book was less bad, though still mediocre.

  81. 81
    germy says:

    I admired some of the songwriting of the Bee Gees (even their ’70s period) but always found their vocals off-putting, even on some of their earliest records.

  82. 82

    I don’t think I ever finished the English Patient.

  83. 83
    bystander says:

    Hated Out of Africa. Meryl Streep at her most irritating and Redford at his most bland.

    Love Joni Mitchell thru all her phases but never love any performer/songwriter as much as the first half of Laura Nyro’s career.

    Basquiat – yawn.

  84. 84
    greengoblin says:

    @Nicole: Saving Private Ryan was the worst. Ugh 10 times over. Preachy in the wrong way: show any kindness or shred of humanity and end up dead.

  85. 85
    Humboldtblue says:

    Comic books and the fucking people who take them seriously.


    Adele (strong voice but she’s a horn nothing more, go listen to Sara Vaughn or Ella and then put on Adele, it’s like listening to a foghorn)

    The Ramones

    The Grateful Dead

    Sci-fi television/movies of any sort including fucking Star Trek and Star fucking Wars

    The Rocky Horror Picture Show

    Whitehouse, she displayed absolutely no range at all and had all the energy of a wet cardboard box

    Jeremy Piven in “Mr. Selfridge” I wanted to fucking strangle Piven after watching the first 20 minutes of that show.

    The a capella college jazz groups, they all sound the same, look the same and make the same noise. I spent a lot of time singing in choruses of all sorts and it’s my time as a college a capella jazz group singer that makes me cringe

    Jackson Pollack

  86. 86
    cmorenc says:

    Garth Brooks, and so-called “country music” artists who essentially play ersatz crossover pop music, not true hard-core country music.

  87. 87

    The Beach Boys — I get stabby every Christmas because of that insipid “Little St. Nick” song.

    Proust — To quote Germaine Greer, “I’d rather visit a demented relative.”

    The Three Stooges — More boring than the Teletubbies.

  88. 88
    Old Dan and Little Anne says:

    Frank Sinatra bores the shit out of me. Boring crooning. Zzzzzz…..

  89. 89
    rp says:

    @Nicole: I should have mentioned Saving Private Ryan. I absolutely hate that movie, and I’m a big Spielberg fan.

    AI is a great failure IMO. It has some great scenes, some great ideas, and Jude Law is fantastic, but it just doesn’t work. But I give him credit for trying something ambitious.

    Schindler’s List is a great movie IMO (apart from the girl in the red coat).

  90. 90
    Doug! says:


    The a capella college jazz groups, they all sound the same, look the same and make the same noise.

    This isn’t very controversial. All humans feels this way.

  91. 91

    Downton Abbey after Dan Stevens character died.

  92. 92
    p.a. says:

    Opera. If I want Italians shouting at each other I just visit the family.

  93. 93
    sheila in nc says:

    Stephen King. Just not to my taste.

  94. 94
    cmorenc says:


    The Grateful Dead

    Who should be listened to as the world’s greatest-ever garage jug band rather than as a great rock or folk-rock band, which they’re decidedly not. It also helps to be quite toasted when you indulge listening to them.

  95. 95
    Nicole says:

    @greengoblin: William Goldman summed up the theme of SPR perfectly: “War is hell, but it can also be a wonderful learning experience for little Matt Damon.”

  96. 96
    Mary G says:

    Seinfeld, the show, which is odd because I liked Seinfeld, the comedian. Donna Tartt, “The Goldfinch,” hated the character, hated the plot, hated the book.

  97. 97
    dedc79 says:

    @geg6: yeah, that definitely factors into it for me too.

  98. 98
    sheila in nc says:

    @Doug!: Like dance, a capella music (both modern and historical) is more fun to do than to witness.

  99. 99
    clay says:

    @Redshift: I hated those books as well. (Actually, I thought the first one was good, was middling on the 2nd, and the third one was ass.)

    I think the books get a lot of ‘cool’ points because of their ‘edgy’ take on religion, but the author honestly has no real understanding of the topic, and just sets up straw man after straw man. But that’s not why I didn’t like them; as you note, the plotting is dull and the character arcs are haphazard.

  100. 100
    germy says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    Proust — To quote Germaine Greer, “I’d rather visit a demented relative.”

    Alexander Woollcott said “reading Proust is like lying in someone else’s dirty bath water.”

    I’ve never read Proust so I have no opinion.

  101. 101
    Ceci n est pas mon nym says:

    On a quick glance through the thread, it looks like nobody has mentioned “new music”, meaning new CLASSICAL music. I’m a classical musician (amateur), I know many classical musicians (both pro and amateur) and I want to be supportive. So I do attend the occasional New Music concert, and try to sit through the whole thing with minimal gritting of teeth.

    I get the idea that if you’re a composer, you want to break new ground in the sound, and so we tossed harmony and melody out the window. But that almost always makes it completely unlistenable and unmemorable.

    And this “new” stuff has been going on for a century now, so it’s not actually exactly new.

    I once heard a composer named Robert Reich being interviewed on the radio. He described the premier of a piece that consisted of two organs on stage, playing IIRC one chord over and over, tuned 1/4 tone apart (in the normal world we call that “out of tune”). And one well-dressed lady finally stood up, walked to the front of the stage, and started beating her head slowly against the stage saying “I confess, I confess.”

    Yet there are composers who can figure out how to be atonal and yet musical. I sing in a chorus which has premiered many new 21st century works, and a lot of that stuff is really wonderful. And there is some amazing work being done in film scores, which I have heard is quite a good employer of composers. So why are there Robert Reichs writing things like that monstrosity?

    ETA: and more to the point of this thread, why are so many unlistenable monstrosities considered masterpieces?

  102. 102

    Slumdog Millionaire
    Rather watch the real thing (Hindi movie) than a British person’s pale imitation.

  103. 103
    Nicole says:

    @rp: The girl in the red coat made me bananas. It also bothered me that Spielberg finally got to do his movie about the Holocaust and it’s all about a Gentile.

  104. 104
    Tom Levenson says:

    @schrodingers_cat: Audience. I suck on the floor, but enjoy shaking my various bits, more or less on the beat.

  105. 105
    Ceci n est pas mon nym says:

    @sheila in nc: Depends on the quality of the group. I for one can never get tired of the King’s Singers, no matter what genre they’re singing.

  106. 106
    hitchhiker says:

    Mad Men. I gave it a shot, but the dialogue was utterly wooden & silly. Still don’t understand all the fuss.

    Game of Thrones books, ugh. Okay, first 100 pages of 1st one, which is all I could take.

    80s sitcoms with laugh tracks … all of ’em, Katie.

  107. 107

    @Barbara: Can’t agree with you about “Purity;” the only part I enjoyed was when the character based on Julian Assange threw himself off a cliff. But I thought “Freedom” was really good. “The Corrections” was highly overrated, IMO.

  108. 108
    West of the Rockies (been a while) says:


    I hear that! My daughter thought of ballet as a contact sport. The instructor had the tiny girls run in wide circles, pretending they were butterflies. My daughter had to he first and was willing to drop a shoulder and bump over her fellow flies. It wasn’t pretty.

    She found her calling at six after seeing Kung Fu Panda. She’s a second-degree black belt so far.

  109. 109

    @Tom Levenson: I like dance that tells a story. Also, folk dance where people are just having fun. A good dancer is a joy to watch. I trained in Bharat Natyam for 3+ years. Most modern dance puts me to sleep though.

  110. 110
    Tom Levenson says:

    @Jumbo76: Dune was a trainwreck. Forgot that. Also, though these aren’t really classics, every Dune world novel after the first one.

  111. 111
    germy says:



    Oddly enough, I never appreciated Beethoven’s 9th Symphony until I heard it performed by Wendy Carlos in the Clockwork Orange soundtrack. Her synth vocals showed the brilliance of the melodies and harmonies to me in a way the bombastic operatic voices never did.

  112. 112
    Elizabelle says:

    @sheila in nc: Stephen King wrote Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption. One of the best novellas, ever.

  113. 113

    @Tom Levenson:

    Also, any Dune book not written by Frank Herbert should be ignored…

  114. 114
    rp says:

    @hitchhiker: Yes! My sister and brother are absolutely obsessed with Mad Men, but I just don’t get it. I could barely get through the first couple episodes.

  115. 115
    Barbara says:

    @West of the Rockies (been a while): The average ballerina has the strength of a greyhound. It takes tremendous strength and determination in order to look like that graceful in even the most contorted positions.

  116. 116
    sheila in nc says:

    @Ceci n est pas mon nym: Totally agree there!

  117. 117
    Humboldtblue says:


    I come from a family filled with Dead Heads. I wanted more Allman Brothers, less fucking tie-dye.


    Good point. I enjoyed Barbershop far more than a capella jazz but Barbershop gets stale mighty quick. But got-damn, when they nail they fucking nail it.

  118. 118
    Booger says:

    @greengoblin: the movie is longer than the events it portrays, I believe.

  119. 119
    Barbara says:

    @Betty Cracker: Maybe we should send it to the real Julian Assange and ask him to take the hint.

  120. 120

    @rp: With you on Mad Men, or how many women can Don Draper bed? Gave up after the first season.

  121. 121
    Kathleen says:

    @Seanly: That’s my vote. Should have my Secret Baby Boomer Decoder Ring ripped unceremoniously from my stiff withered fingers.

  122. 122
    West of the Rockies (been a while) says:


    Ugh. Agreed on Bob Seeger. Can’t stand Jack Johnson. I find his voice and melodies dull. His guitar work sounds… “chippy”, like he’s trying to cut the strings with his pick.

  123. 123
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Elizabelle: I love King’s imagination, he makes me think of what someone once said about, I think, Balzac, “What a novelist he would have been if only he had known how to write!” I guess you could lob that at any successful writer you don’t like.

  124. 124
    Elizabelle says:

    @Old Dan and Little Anne: Noooo! I love a lot of Frank Sinatra songs. And he’s great in a soundtrack. Evocative of his time, great voice and phrasing.

    Reminds me of my parents and their Mad Men style world.

    Leave Frank alooooooone.

  125. 125
    Sab says:

    @MJS: So watch White Queen and White princess on Starz.

  126. 126
    eclare says:

    @Nicole: Hated Saving Private Ryan. After Ryan told the story about bullying the girl back home, I think because of her weight, I wished they had left his ass to die. Plus, any movie with bookends, ugh.

  127. 127
  128. 128
    burnspbesq says:

    Chabon. Neil Young. Every currently active American composer except John Adams. Beyonce.

  129. 129
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Certified Mutant Enemy: As should all but one written by him.

    Me, I can’t think of a Spielberg movie I’ve liked. Or maybe that should be written SPIELBERG!! MOVIE!!!!

  130. 130
    Barbara says:

    @germy: In fairness to Proust as well as to Tennessee Williams, a lot of his motifs and themes make more sense when you look at the love interest or the tragic heroine as gay men. Williams’ plots are nothing short of histrionic and inscrutable, but if you were to slot in place of Blanche in Streetcar or Alma in Summer and Smoke a gay man the plots become tragic, not ridiculous. The Glass Menagerie works as well as it does because we don’t have to strain credulity to imagine a handicapped girl feeling herself an outsider (like a gay man would but a beautiful demented woman like Blanche would not have). I have not read Proust in a long time, but I think there is something similar at work.

    Also, another thing I loathed: Blue Jasmine. Awful people one and all who didn’t get enough of what they deserved.

  131. 131
    gratuitous says:

    Oh, so many things, but reading over this thread, I’m reminded of an apocryphal story from many years ago. For his literature class, the professor said the final would be a two question essay test. Rolling up the shade on the blackboard, the first question was revealed: “Of the books on the assigned reading list, which one did you like the least?” The students eagerly opened their Blue Books, ready to savage The Great Gatsby or The Old Man and the Sea or Silas Marner. Then the professor rolled up the shade to reveal the second question: “To what personal shortcoming do you attribute your inability to appreciate that book?”

  132. 132
    Ceci n est pas mon nym says:

    @schrodingers_cat: Question I’ve been meaning to ask you if the opportunity presented itself, and you just gave me a good one.

    I was watching a random Bollywood movie recently while waiting for my order at one of the many Indian restaurants here in Philly, and as I was watching one of the dance sequences something about the hand and body movements suddenly struck me as looking a lot like what I’ve seen of Indian Classical Dance.

    Not that I know anything about dance, particularly Indian. But it made me wonder: do Bollywood choreographers build on the classical dance tradition? As I understand it, those gestures have specific meanings in the classical tradition, right? Are the choreographers speaking that language?

  133. 133
    Chet says:

    Harry Potter. I’m happy that a working class woman became a billionaire by telling a story, and that it got tens of millions of kids reading again. Just don’t make me read it. IMO it pales in comparison to CS Lewis or JRR Tolkein.

  134. 134
    West of the Rockies (been a while) says:

    I don’t care also for mob movies in general. I haven’t seen it, so should not judge,but The Sopranos looked to glorify a bunch of ignorant, violent men and their enabling wives. YMMV.

  135. 135
  136. 136
    zhena gogolia says:


    I thought the second question was going to be, “Now write a detailed essay analyzing the work you named.”

  137. 137
    scav says:

    Elvis. Hemingway. Steinbeck. (in fact most of that generation / swath of American authors). Violins.

  138. 138
    Kathleen says:

    @Humboldtblue: Yes, I am not grateful for the Grateful Dead. Or Frank Zappa.

  139. 139

    @Gin & Tonic:

    Some of Herbert’s Dune sequels are OK, they just don’t live up to the expectations of the original…

  140. 140
    burnspbesq says:

    Also too, the only worthwhile thing David Crosby hasdonce since leaving the Byrds was serving as the sperm donor for Melissa Etheridge and he former partner.

  141. 141
    trollhattan says:

    A true test of “character” is being trapped at a performance one finds themselves disliking and yet, cannot get up and leave, at which point the experience becomes bile-turbocharged. And that’s how I found myself at the SF production of “Phantom of the Opera” considering either murder or suicide, just to end the evening early.

  142. 142
    West of the Rockies (been a while) says:


    Isn’t Ralph Fiennes always awful though? He was in the wearisome Wuthering Heights, he played Voldemort…

  143. 143
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Barbara: Also, another thing I loathed: Blue Jasmine. Awful people one and all who didn’t get enough of what they deserved.

    The high-powered Manhattan socialite who needed to take a class to operate a Mac, and still couldn’t do it? All the working class folk of San Francisco who learned to speak in a movie about Brooklyn in the fifties? What’s not to love?

  144. 144
    Immanentize says:

    @schrodingers_cat: Did you see some wag has nicknamed Jared Kushner “Slumlord Millionaire?”

    I love this thread — it proves my father’s old throw away line — “Well, that’s what makes horse races.” True wisdom from the track.

  145. 145
    Mike J says:

    And I’ll admit there are some Boss songs I can deal with. Just hate his voice and think his songs mostly all sound the same.

    On paper Springsteen looks like he should be my all time favorite, His influences and themes all align almost perfectly with what I like, and he’s obviously very talented and surrounds himself with talented people. In spite of all that, he just leaves me flat.

  146. 146
    burnspbesq says:

    Dudamel. Lang Lang. Anna Netrebko. Julia Fischer. Kendrick Lamar.

  147. 147
    Elizabelle says:


    Just visited the Dali Museum in Figueres, Spain (about 1.5 hours up the coast-ish from Barcelona), and came away with a renewed appreciation for Salvador Dali. So much of his stuff still looks fresh; he was so ahead of his time. One wall was a series of black and white illustrations, and my friends pointed out they were Dali doing Hieronymus Bosch. And so they were.

    He was very skilled in his techniques, and prolific. Drawings, painting, collages. He worked through a whole range of subjects and styles, and isn’t afraid to amuse one.

    I think maybe he gets overlooked, because he was kind of an over the top, performance art type of persona — like Truman Capote — but the man was, to me, a great artist and wears even better with time. One could forget, for all his quirks, Truman Capote could write well (at least, in most of the works I have read …)

  148. 148
    geg6 says:


    I’m fifty/fifty with you. Hate Neil Young (though I do admit to liking the diss of “Southern Man”). And not very into any of the modern orchestral stuff. But I love Chabon and Beyonce.

  149. 149
    trollhattan says:

    Motorcycles assured the Allman Bros run would be a short one. The post-Duane band shouldn’t have bothered but the various live recordings at their peak still dazzle, even the overplayed ones.

  150. 150

    @Ceci n est pas mon nym: Sometimes yes, depends on the dance. There is more than one kind of Indian Classical dance though. A truly great dancer should speak through her facial gestures, of course few attain that stage.
    Here is Madhuri Dixit, trained in Kathak (a North Indian Classical style which is an amalgam of Hindu and Muslim traditions) in Devdas.

  151. 151

    @Certified Mutant Enemy: heh. The band. I’ve studied a lot of music theory so I get on a technical level why they’re ‘good’ but I don’t like the way they actually sound, which is the whole point.

  152. 152
    Ceci n est pas mon nym says:


    The Great Gatsby

    Heh. I occasionally go back and read or re-read a classic, so I don’t feel like ALL of my reading is junk. Also sometimes I’m curious about what makes it “great”. Gatsby was one of those. I know I read it in high school, had no memory of plot or characters. Reread it years ago, but again it faded from memory almost immediately. Reread it one more time before the recent movie came out and finally it made an impression on me. I can pull themes out of it, I think I can get what Fitzgerald is trying to say here and there.

    But I still don’t get why it’s held up in such esteem. In particular, I’ve seen writers talk about how it is “perfectly structured” or “the perfect novel”, and I think I heard Fitzgerald went through about 10 million drafts. I’m just not seeing what that “perfect” means here.

    BTW I see the Stephen King hatred and I have to confess I love the guy (with a couple of exceptions, such as Cujo and Gerald’s Game) including his non-fiction. Pretty much read everything he’s written.

  153. 153
    West of the Rockies (been a while) says:


    I’m on board here, too. Lennon was a terrible father to Sean, violent at times with the women in his life… some of the songs I can hear and enjoy but many send me running from the room.

  154. 154
    JimV says:

    Nothing is perfect. There’s something wrong with everything and everyone. So a thread like this is bound to hurt someone’s feelings. (I think–I haven’t read the comments.) It’s a “let’s diss somebody” thread. No thanks.

  155. 155
    gbear says:

    Top 3 musical don’t-gets:

    Jack White.
    Tom Waits.
    Tom Waits.

    Bonus don’t get: Tom Waits

  156. 156
    Jacel says:

    @Barbara: If you enjoyed “Poison Pen”, you might enjoy the classical music equivalent, “The Lexicon of Musical Invective: Critical Assaults on Composers Since Beethoven’s Time” compiled by Nicolas Slonimsky. The index is one of the funniest in any book, except perhaps the index for “The Stuffed Owl: An Anthology of Bad Verse”.

  157. 157
    randy khan says:


    . . . Dune is kind of interesting . . .

    That’s the nicest thing I’ve ever heard anyone say about that movie. I saw it as soon as it possibly could be seen, at a midnight show in Manhattan, and that was about as disappointed as I’ve ever been in a movie.

  158. 158
    Nicole says:

    @West of the Rockies (been a while): I confess, I saw him do Hamlet on Broadway, and he was pretty freaking good. Although I was in the front row balcony, so superbly positioned to watch the lights glisten off his scalp, peaking through his thinning hairline. I should note I have no problem with thinning hair; my husband has more scalp than he does hair, but it was really distracting.

    Also, they put the intermission much, much later than it usually is. The audience, myself included, were accustomed to it coming right after “The play’s the thing/Wherein I’ll catch the conscience of the king” and we were all halfway out of our seats… and then the play kept going and we had to sit down fast. And every time it seemed like it was at a possible break point, you’d see a few of us starting to stand up and then popping back down again when the play continued. We were like a game of Shakespeare Whack-A-Mole. When they finally broke for intermission it took a few moments before any of us believed it enough to stand up.

  159. 159
    Elizabelle says:

    @JimV: You’re right about the diss part. Kewl kids and all. I don’t like the vibe.

  160. 160

    @JimV: I read it because it was stated to be about ‘great art’ you just don’t dig, but inevitably it was a hate fest 😒

    @Ceci n est pas mon nym: it’s interesting that you would like Stephen king but not see how Gatsby is so textually flawless. Stephen King is a very ‘writerly’ writer and visibly scaffolds his work in a similar way.

  161. 161
    germy says:

    I find in my old age I can no longer abide Elvis Costello’s singing. I still believe he is one of the greatest lyricists and songwriters of his generation, but I can no longer tolerate his voice. And as much as I liked his backup bands, (the drums and bass were marvelous) I feel there were times when his band was consciously attempting to sabotage his compositions. Often his demos were better than the finished tracks.

  162. 162
    sheila in nc says:

    @Chet: “Harry Potter. I’m happy that a working class woman became a billionaire by telling a story, and that it got tens of millions of kids reading again. Just don’t make me read it. IMO it pales in comparison to CS Lewis or JRR Tolkein.”

    I will freely admit that JKR is not the writer that either Lewis or Tolkien were. But I still enjoyed the immersion into a different reality, and I thought her central premise (people with magical powers among us) was well imagined and executed. But for me the big difference is that her series was all about the evils of racism. By comparison, the worlds fashioned by Lewis and Tolkien were extremely racist, at least on the surface — all the bad guys are darker than all the good guys. (Also full disclosure: my daughter was born in 1988 and thus was always the same age as Harry in the year each book was published. It was a gift to our mother-daughter relationship that we could read each book together as she grew up.)

  163. 163
    geg6 says:

    @West of the Rockies (been a while):

    No, he was a great father to Sean. He was a terrible father to Julian.

    I’m a huge Lennon fan. He was a complicated guy who was self-aware enough toward the end of his life to recognize what an asshole he was as a young man. I only wish all men could be that self-aware.

  164. 164
    RobertDSC-iPhone 6 says:

    Led Zeppelin and fellow rock bands of their time period and other rock bands of the 60s & 70s. All of it is just noise to my ears. I can’t get into it at all.

    Even my favorite band, Metallica, has a stinker of a first album. It has not aged well and is overrated to my ears. I hate that they play so much of it on their tours.

  165. 165
    West of the Rockies (been a while) says:

    What I hate the most is Rick and Morty. Vile and irksome uncle.

  166. 166
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @West of the Rockies (been a while): Beatle-mania confuses me. I recognize it as great rock’n’roll, but for example Sirius is launching a Beatles channel and it’s getting more hype than the Mac whatever back in the 80s. I can’t believe they don’t already have one– Jimmy Buffett has his own channel, fercrissake.

    As to Lennon– fine musician and songwriter, tragic death, but people talk about him as if he were the reincarnation of Gandhi, Bach and Socrates. Was he a terrible father to Sean? I’ve seen him interviewed a couple times and he makes Luke Russert look humble and self-aware of his status as a Lucky Spermer– I always thought Julian was the one John treated like shit, to the end.

  167. 167
    Peale says:

    1980s/90s Operatic European Musicals (Miss Saigon, Phantom, Cats, and after a while, even Les Mis).

  168. 168
    randy khan says:


    Actually, I never used to like Dali until I visited the Dali Museum in Paris.

    I’ve discovered that a lot of art actually has to be seen before it makes sense. I thought Pollock was awful until I saw one of the big drip paintings in person at the Museum of Modern Art, and suddenly it made sense to me. Rothko (mentioned above as a “don’t like” by someone) is completely different in person than on the printed page or on a screen. His work looks reductively simple until you have it in front of you.

  169. 169
    germy says:


    I don’t like the vibe.

    A nice counterpoint would be a thread where we discuss the stuff we love. Writers, artists, musicians.

  170. 170
    burnspbesq says:


    Tom Waits is a great songwriter who shouldn’t be allowed near a microphone. See also Townes Van Zandt, john Prine, Lucinda Williams.

  171. 171

    @burnspbesq: Dylan.

    @germy: that would probably just turn into a hate-fest too. At least this one’s up-front.

  172. 172
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @JimV: Look, I am not criticizing anyone for liking Radiohead or not getting the Clash. Radiohead doesn’t speak to me. The Clash does. YMMV. I find it interesting to see how this works with other people.

  173. 173
    germy says:

    @randy khan:

    His work looks reductively simple until you have it in front of you.

    Same thing with old movies, especially the silents.

    For years, silent films were shown to modern audiences at the wrong speed. And poor prints of 1930s films shown on small TVs in the 1970s really didn’t do justice to the original works.

    Seeing old films on a big movie theater screen with an appreciate audience… now that’s a treat.

  174. 174
    randy khan says:

    @Certified Mutant Enemy:

    Definitely ignore the non-Herbert books.

    The first was the best, although God Emperor – a much different book from the initial trilogy – definitely has its moments.

  175. 175
    Corner Stone says:

    HRC is dropping it like it’s hot at commencement speech in Wellesley. No thread on that?

    ETA, if twitler was not out of the country and otherwise busy insulting our allies and embarrassing us, this would demand an incoming twit anger reaction.

  176. 176
    StringOnAStick says:

    Not so much the Grateful Dead as their goddamned pretentious fans. The music is OK as far as garage jug band goes, and I just never got the fan worship, it is a cult of latter day hippie cosplay. Once when I was bar waitressing when the local GD cover band was playing the best tip I got that night was a drop of patcholi oil.

    Sign me up for never liking the Beach Boys, and for finding hip hop and rap to be melodically impoverished and so packed with anger and misogyny that I just can’t pretend any interest.

  177. 177
    trollhattan says:

    He has some great duets, which has me thinking he might be better singing accompaniment than solo on record, although I saw him solo a couple years back and it was a great, great show.

    “Jailhouse Tears” with Lucinda Williams is hilarious and fun, their quirky voices mesh well. Has one with Jenny Lewis, but the title escapes me atm.

  178. 178
    Humboldtblue says:


    I spent almost 8 hours watching old live sets, interviews and videos of concerts and such about a month ago. They were not only fascinating but Duane Allman was other-worldly.

    NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert has been my go-to spot for the past five years or so, they introduced me to Pokey LaFarge, Mariachi Flor de Toloache, and the latest love of my life although she’ll never know it, Catalina Garcia and Monsieur Perine

  179. 179
    Peale says:

    Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives.
    Almost any movie that wins an award at the Berlin Film Festival.

  180. 180
    Shana says:

    @Gin & Tonic: OMG. Spielberg! I can’t stand him. Hubby and I saw The Color Purple and I got up and waited out the rest of the movie after the close up of the mailbox when the name falls off. “Warning. Warning. Things are falling apart!”

    Can’t get into opera, ballet, or country music. Forrest Gump, WTF?

  181. 181
    SatanicPanic says:

    Queen- individually very talented but less than the sum of their parts. A sort of anti-Rolling Stones.

  182. 182

    I also don’t get drag performances, and especially can’t bear them live. Dig the style though.

  183. 183
    dexwood says:

    Quetin Tarantino

  184. 184
    geg6 says:


    Took a class in college on comedy in film and watched a ton of silent films. I have loved them ever since.

  185. 185
    trollhattan says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:
    The rights to their catalog are kept vault-tight so my guess is the channel wasn’t previously possible. The rare use of Beatles songs in movies and TV is due to that and the negotiation stories for those that have are pretty interesting.

  186. 186
    Cacti says:

    Broadway and musical theatre in general.

    The Rolling Stones.

  187. 187
    sheila in nc says:

    @sheila in nc: For that matter, there is a whole bunch of stuff from early to mid 20th century that I used to enjoy when I was young and stupid but now makes me cringe. Agatha Christie is horribly racist (as is Dorothy L Sayers, although her books are much better written and I still reread one occasionally.)

  188. 188
    RenoRick says:

    Bob Dylan

  189. 189
    Humboldtblue says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    This, a thousand times over, I never understood the hype surrounding that group.

  190. 190
    hitchhiker says:

    Oof, y’all reminded me how much I dislike Hemingway & how annoyed our daughter was when she was forced to read The Old Man & the Sea in both middle school and high school.

    Also thanks for this thread.

  191. 191
    rikyrah says:

    I watched Clockwork Orange three times.
    Gave me a headache each time.

  192. 192
    West of the Rockies (been a while) says:


    Hmm… great story. But the prof sounds like a pretentious dick. The books he chose were fabulous, dare to say otherwise.

    Still, a talented student should have been able to run effectively with those questions. Would the prof have graded fairly though?

  193. 193
    Ceci n est pas mon nym says:

    @Major Major Major Major: I am a math/science guy, not a writer. I have no idea what your comment means. I like King for other things, most especially characters.

    In his fanboy book about the horror genre, Danse Macabre, which I love because he IS such an obvious fanboy, he spends a couple of pages worshipping the opening paragraph of The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson. I can sort of follow what he’s saying (basically how much she’s telling us in such a small space), but it’s not a thing I notice as a reader.

    It’s like my approach to painting I guess. There are paintings I like a lot. But it has little or nothing to do with their artistic merit or the things I’m probably *supposed* to be liking them for.

  194. 194
    Shana says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: I felt the same way about a lot of early rock and roll until I took a History of Rock and Roll class in college (1980-81). The professor started from the early 50s and played music in order, pulling out influences, advancements. When you start that way you appreciate how revolutionary what came afterward was, especially The Beatles.

  195. 195

    @Omnes Omnibus: Agree. It fascinates me when I discover I’m at odds on a topic with folks whose tastes and opinions are usually so in sync with mine. I wonder how one of us could be so wrong and grow to appreciate the infinite diversity of humanity all the more.

  196. 196
    burnspbesq says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    From a technical perspective, yeah, Dylan is not exactly blessed with a great instrument. But his voice is well suited to his writing. See also Warren Zevon, Lyle Lovett.

  197. 197
    germy says:


    Took a class in college on comedy in film and watched a ton of silent films. I have loved them ever since.

    I was able to enjoy them once I saw some decent prints at the correct speed and without the “rinky tinky” “modern” condescending 1970s piano accompaniment. I also like depression-era comedies of the early to mid-’30s.

  198. 198
    SatanicPanic says:

    @Shana: OMG Forrest Gump is the dumbest, most cynical movie ever. I don’t get how boomers can like it since it clearly hates its own audience. The message of the movie is “you dumbass boomers didn’t learn anything from the history you witnessed, or you died of AIDS. Buy tickets to see yourself be mocked!”

  199. 199
    Yoda Dog says:

    Radiohead is fucking awesome, how dare some of you not like them.

    The movie Crash, Arcade Fire and Jimmy Buffet. All terrible. Bonus not-get: Jack Johnson.

    Yoda oot.

  200. 200
    sheila in nc says:


    Queen- individually very talented but less than the sum of their parts. A sort of anti-Rolling Stones.

    Yes but I totally love that Brian May went on to get a PhD in Astrophysics.

  201. 201
    hovercraft says:

    I have mad respect for the skill, dedication and stamina of ballerinas, I was just thrilled that the phase only lasted a year. I’ve never been a fan of ballet or opera, much to long, screeching, and generally overwrought. Again I’m awed by their skills and talent, just not my cup of tea, and it seems to me that half the people there are there to show just how sophisticated hey are, no out of true appreciation for the performances. Which I’m sure the performers couldn’t care less about, a ticket sale is a ticket sale.

    Also too can someone please kill anything Andrew Lloyd Weber has had anything to do with. Please asking for humanity.

  202. 202
    Cacti says:


    OMG Forrest Gump is the dumbest, most cynical movie ever. I don’t get how boomers can like it since it clearly hates its own audience. The message of the movie is “you dumbass boomers didn’t learn anything from the history you witnessed, or you died of AIDS. Buy tickets to see yourself be mocked!”

    Or as a corollary, “Never question authority lest you die like the AIDS junkie heathen that you are.”

  203. 203
    randy khan says:

    For me, and I admit this is esoteric, but Old Master drawings (usually pen and ink, usually brown) do nothing for me. I’ll go to a show with my wife, who likes them, and read about all the reasons they’re wonderful, and find myself utterly uninterested.

    Opera in general also doesn’t do much for me, but I’ve liked some and suspect it could grow on me if I saw more.

    When I was first introduced to Springsteen when I was in college in New Jersey, I didn’t like him much, but he’s grown on me a bit over the years. Still don’t like Dylan, though, and I guess that the Nobel Prize means I’m a philistine.

    I should say that over the years I’ve been surprised by some of things that I ended thinking were worth my time, like performance art. I saw Marina Abramovic almost accidentally at MoMA when she did “The Artist is Present,” and it was surprisingly moving, and when MoMA had a Yoko Ono retrospective I saw a video of “Cut Piece” (where she sat on a stage and had audience members come up and cut off bits of her clothing) and it turned out to be quite compelling.

  204. 204
    Elizabelle says:

    @Corner Stone: Thank you! Can we find a live feed? I gots no TV. And I’m on the other side of the pond.

    A Hillary bookend to yesterday’s amazing Obama in Berlin. (And whatever the others were saying. In German. So can only evaluate BHO.)


    Much better than hating on culture and creativity, even when gone astray. Thank yew.

  205. 205
    Steeplejack says:

    @Corner Stone:

    I just turned to MSNBC a little before noon and saw that she is on. She is killing it!

    Dedicated thread? This would have been worth a live stream.

  206. 206
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @SatanicPanic: I never saw it because I thought it looked awful and gimmicky from Hanks’ accent down. It’s one of the reasons I’ve been tempted to put “Tom Hanks” on this list, even though I pretty much have enjoyed most of his performances that I’ve seen– Apollo 13 comes to mind. And Castaway had some stunning shots- the whale in particular– even if the ending feels like somebody got bored writing the script.

  207. 207
    Humboldtblue says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    I am experiencing that right now with all the Spielberg disses. I love Schindler and as a WW2 buff his portrayal of D-Day was a masterpiece of accuracy and cinematography.

  208. 208
    eclare says:

    @geg6: The General is one of my favorites.

  209. 209
    Keith P. says:

    Mark Rothko.

  210. 210
    West of the Rockies (been a while) says:

    @geg6: well, I’m a big fan of redemption, so if Lennon was self aware, cool. Did he teach out to Julian and apologize? Self awareness sans action is kind of pointless, IMO.

  211. 211
    Alain the site fixer says:

    @schrodingers_cat: Classic Indian and Pakastani dancing is a glorious thing. As I age, I find that I love the large dance scenes from Bollywood movies – the dancing, the clothes, the fabrics. It’s just a feast for the senses and the dancing itself is quite amazing. Not the biggest fan of ballet or other forms of dancing, in or out of movies.

  212. 212
    Elizabelle says:

    Hillary! Live feed. PBS!


    She’s talking about fake news. That “some Americans are signing up to be foot soldiers in the war between ‘us and them.'”

    She’s talking about the deplorables. ” If your outreach is rebuffed, keep trying” …. talks about closed minds and clenched fists.

    Frontpage this, even after, folks.

  213. 213
    maurinsky says:

    @Mary G:

    I hated The Goldfinch, too. It was so long and none of the characters seemed like actual human beings.

    I sing in a women’s a cappella group, but we don’t do jazz. I love it, we have fun, but an hour of a cappella is more than enough for anyone unless you have an amazing vocal percussionist, IMO.

    I loathe barbershop.

    I love dance as an art form, it frequently moves me to tears. I am a singer who hates opera, though (although I have many opera singing friends, which means I see more opera than the average schmo….it makes me sleepy).

  214. 214
    Alain the site fixer says:

    @Elizabelle: The best.

  215. 215
    burnspbesq says:

    @Yoda Dog:

    The last 35 years of Jimmy Buffett has been a highly profitable waste of time, but go back and listen to “A1A.’ It’ll change your perspective.

  216. 216
    hovercraft says:

    I hate Hemingway, also too I’ve never gotten the fascination with Moby Dick, I found it boring and stupid.

  217. 217
    maurinsky says:

    @Yoda Dog:

    JIMMY BUFFET! Yes! Do not get. All the parrotheads I know are the most uptight, judgmental people, also.

  218. 218
    Felonius Monk says:

    After reading through 200+ comments here and not wanting to offend any of my fellow Juicers, I have decided to hate everything.

  219. 219
    Elizabelle says:

    Wherever you’re going, the minute you get there, register to vote. …

    Fight every effort to restrict the right of law-abiding citizens to be able to vote as well.

    Get involved in a cause that matters to you — you don’t have to do everything — pick one…

    Run for office yourself.

  220. 220
    bystander says:

    @Corner Stone: I wish we had seen more of this Hillary. Unencumbered, funny, sharp.

  221. 221
    germy says:

    @West of the Rockies (been a while):

    Did he teach out to Julian and apologize?

    From what I’ve read, yes he did.

  222. 222
    Shana says:

    @randy khan: Loved the Yoko Ono show at MOMA. My art historian BIL says “Beatles fans think Yoko ruined the Beatles. Art Historians think John ruined a great artist.” There was also a great exhibit at the Guggenheim several years ago that had some wonderful pieces by her. I had really only known her via the Beatles previously and was surprised at how much I loved her art.

  223. 223

    @burnspbesq: Fair enough.

    @Ceci n est pas mon nym: King’s works are very deliberately structured, plotted, and timed. It’s the writer’s equivalent of obvious brushtrokes or exposed canvas on a painting. Gatsby is similar in that regard.

  224. 224
    randy khan says:

    @randy khan:

    Apparently my edit didn’t take.

    I almost forgot: Billy Budd. Never has a major writer written a dumber book, and still somehow it’s in the canon. Yes, I know, Christ figure, etc., etc. (As if Melville didn’t hammer it in that he was a Christ figure in every possible way.) I hated it.

  225. 225
    Mike J says:

    While we’re at it, Hidden Figures. Great story, wonderful acting, but the script was very After School Special.

  226. 226
    Elizabelle says:

    We need to follow Hillary and other important speeches more. Would have loved to know this was scheduled.

    That’s on me, but it’s more nutritious and enlightening than marinating in Greg Gianforte (?) and things we don’t like.

  227. 227
    Tom Levenson says:

    @Certified Mutant Enemy: Pretty much a safe bet for any recycled series.

  228. 228

    @Mike J: Rrrrgh, remember Crash? The one that won Best Picture, not the one about car crash fetishists with James Spader.

  229. 229
    Alain the site fixer says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: He’s a very skilled writer in one very important way – he can create a character in just a few sentences that quickly becomes a familiar, living and breathing person in your mind. He’s also got a wicked sense of humor – I suspect a lot of his stories and memorable events in his work began with a “wouldn’t it be funny if…” – like the short story about the drug smuggler who had crashed on a desert island, slowly cutting off limbs to fight off gangrene…and then giving into his hunger. Gross and horror, true horror, but I can see how a mischievous mind came up with it.

  230. 230
    randy khan says:


    Yeah, that was a great show. I’d seen some of her work in other shows, but the breadth was really impressive. I do think she gets short shrift because Lennon’s star was so bright. That said, by all accounts, he understood how good she was.

  231. 231
    Alain the site fixer says:

    @Major Major Major Major: Really? Give a listen to How The West Was Won, a live triple album released a few years ago. It’s from one or two concerts in the US when they were at their peak. Listening to it, I finally understood why they stormed the world. And I liked them, just didn’t understand the crazy live rock show they put on.

  232. 232
    Doug! says:


    I’m a huge Elvis fan but I agree with you about his singing.

  233. 233
    Elizabelle says:

    @Alain the site fixer: I love that Stephen King is such a mensch in real life too. And courageous.

    Maybe people don’t like him because he’s so prolific, but some of his stuff is classic. Shawshank. Apt Pupil. He uses horror, or fascination, and goes there. It’s possible a kid reading “Pupil” did not know the horrors of Nazi Germany. We’re teaching the Holocaust a lot more now than when that short stories/novella collection was published.

    The nature of evil. Crime and redemption. OK, killer cars and dogs too. But King has a lot to say.

  234. 234
    Just One More Canuck says:

    As a Canadian , I’m supposed to love Leonard Cohen – I’d rather listen to raccoons fight

    Also cant read Margaret Atwood

  235. 235
    scav says:

    @Felonius Monk: Have no fear. You’ve just mortally insulted the juicers who insist that a blanket anodyne appreciation of all examples of all arts / efforts is the only enlightened and polite opinion to express.

  236. 236
    Mike J says:

    @Major Major Major Major: Oh yeah. I don’t mind stories with a moral. In fact, a lot of my favorites are highly moralistic. I just want a little more complexity, and I don’t want the characters to spell out everything all the time.

    Hidden Figures would have made a fine radio drama. As a movie it insisted on telling when it should have shown.

  237. 237
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Alain the site fixer: I’m a sucker for old-school horror– vampires, witches, werewolves– so Salem’s Lot was one of my favorites. And in a totally different vein, the Stand. Those are probably my two favorites. And Pennywise the Clown? Who thinks of that? But the last couple of novels I read– Rose Madder? one or two others– I just remember thinking it needed some hard editing. Maybe I’m being too hard on him, I can’t remember what was written after his accident.

    One of my few (possible) brushes with greatness: I think I sat next to King in a restaurant in Paris. He and his wife and another couple, Tabitha (if it was them) did most of the talking


    @Just One More Canuck: I’d rather listen to raccoons fight


  238. 238
    Corner Stone says:


    I wish we had seen more of this Hillary. Unencumbered, funny, sharp.

    It was there, all the time. There were flashes woven in the whole campaign. It’s just that she cares about actual issues and has ideas she has thought about and feels need to be brought forth.
    No one wanted to see or hear those ideas. And when they did they punished her for it.

  239. 239
    NoraLenderbee says:

    Bob Dylan (husband is a fan :P)
    Claude Chabrol (ditto)
    Nabokov. Watch me show off my one-sided erudition for 5,000 pages!
    LOTR trilogy. Ditto!
    Frank Sinatra. His voice just sounds lousy to me.

    @bystander: Yay! Another Laura Nyro fan!

    ETA: A Farewell to Arms. The whole tragedy could have been averted if the hero had used a freakin condom.

  240. 240
    Corner Stone says:

    @Elizabelle: She blazed that place like it was high quality MJ!

  241. 241
    Corner Stone says:

    @Steeplejack: Killed it!

  242. 242

    I do not get rap. I cannot see the artistic value in it. HOWEVER, I accept that the value is there, and the problem is my blindness. Presumably that’s caused by my growing up a white male in the racist bumfuck 80s South.

    This is entirely different from something like Portrait of the Artist As a Young Man, which I am confident is overhyped trash. If your bold artistic experiment is dull, your experiment has failed and you deserve no credit.

    I gave up on Game of Thrones when I realized that everything happening is pointless. As a writer, GRR Martin has the ‘gardener’ approach of writing his inspiration at the time rather than plotting ahead. The thing is, why would I want to get emotionally wrapped up in plot events that are purely random and going nowhere? All those deaths are just Martin clearing the stage. The torture is him feeling like torture porn. It doesn’t have a deep purpose. When I saw that, I felt betrayed and could not invest anymore.

    @Tom Levenson:
    I do not get why anyone likes the Dune books. What a bunch of pretentious, hollow mystical garbage philosophy and an incoherent plot. Then, at the end of the series, it ends with ‘and the whole thing failed and was pointless.’

  243. 243
    ChrisB says:

    @bystander: A great speech by Hillary, especially for the occasion. Too bad we didn’t hear more of this or, more to the point, so many weren’t prepared to listen.

  244. 244
    Elizabelle says:

    Alain’s got his Oceanography thread up. Allons!

    @Just One More Canuck:

    I’d rather listen to raccoons fight

    Adding to Jim. Great turn of phrase.

  245. 245

    @Alain the site fixer: Pakistani==North Indian, pretty similar culture especially. Culturally a Hindu Punjabi or Sikh would have more in common with a Punjabi Muslim than say someone from Bengal.

    ETA: Pakistan is an excellent cautionary example of what happens when you make religion the only factor that matters. Its not enough to bind a country together.

  246. 246
    germy says:

    Here’s a more general hatred of mine, one that encompasses all the performing arts and beyond:

    I hate this culture of over-amplification. Whether it’s a sporting event, a music performance, even a church service with live music and lately even movie theaters… it has been decided that the volume level should be high enough to cause permanent hearing damage.

    I recall an anecdote about the late George Martin (Beatles producer) who won some award or another at a music college, and was seated in the audience for a tribute performance. His smartphone had a decibel-reading app. He stood up at the beginning of the performance and started to walk out. His smartphone was reporting levels of almost 200 dB. He told the idiots that if they kept this up, they’d all be deaf in a few years.

    My cousin went to see Brian Setzer a few years ago. He told me he left the concert early because the sound was so ear-splitting as to be physically painful. He accosted the “sound man” (something that is frowned upon) to complain, and that person replied that Setzer requested the loud volume levels.

    I told my cousin that Setzer has severe hearing loss and wears earplugs during every show. My cousin had no idea. Apparently, Setzer thinks everyone should go deaf.

    But now it’s all public performances. I was at a farmer’s market a few years ago, and three musicians were playing their acoustic instruments through big amps. I saw people covering their ears as they walked past with their bags of vegetables.

    Would people who like visiting art museums tolerate an exhibit where they’re invited to stare directly into the sun until their vision is damaged?

  247. 247
    Elizabelle says:

    @ChrisB: Well. There was probably some podium and crowd of white guys. Empty podium. To Broadcast. Waiting for Trump.

    Trump. Trump. Trump. Trump.

    Emails. Emails. Emails. Emails.

  248. 248
    Ignatius Donnelly says:

    William Faulkner.

  249. 249
    Mike J says:


    All the parrotheads I know are the most uptight, judgmental people, also.

    A lot of people seem to think the message of kick back, relax, and enjoy life means, “be an asshole to the entire world.” This is not unique to fans of Jimmy Buffet.

    I like him ok, but a little goes a loooong way. If I hears Fins once every couple of years I’m pretty well set.

  250. 250
    ruemara says:

    overrated art?
    Joseph Beuys & frankly, most performance art. Bob Dylan. He cannot sing, stop telling me he’s a singer.
    Modern musicals. STAHP. Community Theatre. Double STAHP.
    Feel good movies of the year that critics love. Look at you, “Requiem for a Dream”.
    Any more shows or movies about the pain and suffering of being a middle class white girl in your teens. How sad for you. Go away. I detested “My So-Called Life” with the fire of a thousand suns and my friends could not understand it. Toss in books like that too.
    Empowering female anthem songs. Fuck off, “Fight Song”.
    Whiny coffehouse wench style covers of rap songs. Really? We needed an acoustic cover of “My Hair” from you?
    1 Direction. Zayn Malik. Harry Styles. Taylor Swift. Most girl & boy groups.
    Glam metal done with seriousness.
    Nearly all modern art in SoHo galleries.
    Ernest Hemmingway is boring. So is Ulysses. Kant is tedious. A Separate Peace is boring. So is Most Things Austin.
    Norma Kamali & Comme des Garçon.

    Balalaika is 50/50.

  251. 251
    bupalos says:

    I both get and do not get DFW appearing here. I get that he has an insufferable streak and somehow that manages to bleed into his writing and that can be a barrier. I do not get how that barrier at some point doesn’t get blown away, because to me, in the end the work is as insightful and relevant (in big ways and small ways) as just about anything I can name.

  252. 252
    Ruckus says:

    @sheila in nc:
    At lunch yesterday a coworker was watching Homer bits on his phone. Haven’t seen the show in a very long time but every clip he showed me, I could tell him how it ended and what Homer said. Not because I’d seen it but because Homer is as predictable as the sun coming up in the morning, in the east. It was funny when it was new but there are only so many ways to be (a) Homer.

  253. 253

    Another vote for LOTR and also the first couple of installments of Harry Potter. It did get better after the third installment.

  254. 254
    MomSense says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    And I like the Clash, ballet (all forms of dance actually) and opera. Go figure.

  255. 255
    Felonius Monk says:


    You’ve just mortally insulted

    Thanks, I needed that. :)

  256. 256
    Elizabelle says:

    OCEANOGRAPHER IN THE HOUSE, folks, Next thread.

    @Frankensteinbeck: good comment re GRRM. Thomas Harris really hit it out of the park with Red Dragon and Silence of the Lambs. (Did not read his football game thriller, so can’t comment on that.) And then….

    The book Hannibal was so gruesome and cruel. I found it to be pornography. Horror pornography. Book was not well received, but it was sad to see Harris let himself loose and that was the result. Maybe he was out of ideas.

  257. 257
    Ruckus says:

    Are we related?

  258. 258

    @ruemara: I don’t think community theatre is supposed to be high art.

  259. 259
    Tom Levenson says:

    @Frankensteinbeck: The first Dune book is truly a glorious example of world-building, which is one of the great satisfactions of science fiction. The stuff afterwards is fanfic, despite the fact that (some of) it was written by Herbert himself.

  260. 260
    James Powell says:

    This thread changed very quickly from “Examples of stuff that I acknowledge is art but that I just don’t dig” to “Stuff I hate” & “Stuff that may be art, but I don’t like the person who produced it or the people who like it.”

  261. 261

    @James Powell: Yes, I is disappoint. Although let’s be honest, that was inevitable.

  262. 262
    Mike J says:

    @James Powell: So you’re adding this thread to your list?

  263. 263
  264. 264
    Ruckus says:

    What got me about Mad Men was that the reality that it portrays is a plague on mankind and it’s more of a historical bit dramatized rather than an actual drama.
    Think about selling canned tomato soup or any conservative idea, you have to lie about any concept of either to make someone buy it.

  265. 265
    Miss Bianca says:

    Quentin Tarentino movies – except for “Jackie Brown”.

    @Nicole: Girl, I hear you about “Fight Club”. Made me nauseous.

  266. 266
    Corner Stone says:

    Oh, thank God! Cole finally changed his fucking twitter handle! YES!

  267. 267

    Ravi Shankar. His sitar has never moved me.

  268. 268

    @Tom Levenson:
    Okay, that makes sense for why people like Dune.

  269. 269
    thruppence says:

    Sheesh, so much disdain. At least these folks put in the work to create something. How many of us have done that? And those who have, do you want your work utterly dismissed because some don’t like/get it? Be more generous to the artist, even if you don’t like their art. Except for you, Steve Miller – nobody calls you the Gangster of Love, you self involved creep.

  270. 270
    greengoblin says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: I see this similarly. Not a hatefest, but the chance to see that it is not just me that does not always “get” great art. It has bothered me for years that I did not like the film Lawrence of Arabia as it gets so many accolades. But I have tried several times to watch the whole thing and just can’t. Now I don’t feel so bad.

  271. 271
    Amir Khalid says:

    I’m somewhat concerned (he said with a somewhat concerned look on his face). This is the kind of post topic that might just provoke a figurative brawl in its comment thread, as some feel compelled to defend their choice of great art(ists) they don’t grok, and others feel compelled to defend art(ists) they grok.

    My own choice?
    Last Year at Marienbad. It’s supposed to be an art-film classic, and some even call it a masterpiece; but I found it incoherent and utterly baffling. My reaction to it was “Huh?”

  272. 272
    Elizabelle says:

    @Corner Stone: Long overdue. I was so over the Schrodinger’s Dog business.

    And we already have his cat, among us.

  273. 273
    Alan M says:

    @cmorenc: I and I disagree. I’m going to speak for all of us here.

  274. 274
    Alan M says:

    @dedc79: This night has opened up my eyes…

  275. 275
    hovercraft says:

    @James Powell: And this surprises you why?
    This is Balloon Juice, you should be thankful that it stayed pretty much on topic, that is an accomplishment. Now excuse me while I whip this out…..

  276. 276

    @Elizabelle: I never got any royalties either!

  277. 277
    Miss Bianca says:

    @Nicole: I also hate “ET”. I’ll never forget an ex-boyfriend who described it as “relentlessly heartwarming”. I think I laughed till I choked on that one.

  278. 278
    Ruckus says:

    A theme running through most of the posts. It isn’t as much the subject matter that annoys people it’s the skill, the craft that is bungled. I appreciate a lot of different kinds art, partially for what is trying to be said but in a bigger way for the skill and craft that produced it. It’s the same for music. It isn’t easy to do well, take Springsteen. Please. It’s not the content, which is good, but the delivery leaves me flat, same for Dylan, among many others.

  279. 279
    debit says:

    @burnspbesq: I sort of agree about Tom Waits but I can’t imagine anyone else singing this.

    As for me, I cannot stand Aaron Copland. I hate everything he’s ever done and I don’t know why.

  280. 280
    cleek says:

    what i like about Dune (the first) is the scenery. the characters are cartoons and the writing is silly. but the world is so so cool.

  281. 281
    hovercraft says:

    @Corner Stone: @Elizabelle:
    Question is, is he over us or the Chronicles of Twitler? A series that is as tedious as the original, we get it! But if I want to be indoctrinated I will read the Bible!

  282. 282
    Turgidson says:


    I wanted to fucking strangle Piven after watching…[anything he is in]

    This is my position on Piven. That guy just viscerally rubs me the wrong way. Only thing he was in where that didn’t happen was the stupid Vince Vaughn et al. comedy Old School, because he was supposed to be an insufferable twat in it and got his ass kicked at the end.

  283. 283
    stinger says:

    @Ceci n est pas mon nym: I’ve been a fan for more than 30 years.

  284. 284
    mai naem mobile says:

    Rush (the band)
    Friends,Seinfeld,Big Bang Theory
    Mexican Mariachi music (sounds like circus clown music)
    Bob Dylan as a singer. I get the songwriter part
    Opera (do.not.get.it.)
    The movies ‘The Piano’ and ‘E.T.’
    Comic book hero movies and TV shows
    Most Rap crap(I like the gimmicky songs but the Jay Z and Kanye West stuff do.not.get.)
    Also,while I don’t dislike them,I don’t get the Grateful Dead love. Semi serious question. Is it the pot that makes you ‘get’ the Dead?
    Not art, but also have never understood why people consider Häagen-Dazs super great ice cream. To me it doesn’t taste any better than Breyers.

  285. 285
    Alan M says:

    @dedc79: RE the Smiths. Leave the US now. Go live in the North of England. Laugh along with the jokes.

  286. 286
    patrick II says:

    To every rock and roller who has tried to sing like Joe Cocker, except screamier, — please stop, put your shirt back on and find a day job.

  287. 287
    Miss Bianca says:


    I love this thread — it proves my father’s old throw away line — “Well, that’s what makes horse races.” True wisdom from the track.

    Wait, that was my mom’s throw-away line! I always use it because it reminds me of her. Also, too, because of horse race reference.

  288. 288
    Omnes Omnibus says:


    It’s not the content, which is good, but the delivery leaves me flat, same for Dylan, among many others.

    Whereas I would rather listen to Dylan sing one of his own songs than hear a cover of the same song from the angelic voice of Joan Baez.

  289. 289

    @mai naem mobile: Premium icecream is more fatty, made with either all cream or custard.

  290. 290
    Kthelurker says:

    @bystander: you may find the book that it is supposed to be based on interesting;the book is of the same name written by Isak Dinesen who was a very good writer and had quite a remarkable life.

  291. 291
    PST says:

    @West of the Rockies (been a while):

    Isn’t Ralph Fiennes always awful though? He was in the wearisome Wuthering Heights, he played Voldemort…

    He’s terrific in In Bruges and in The Grand Budapest Hotel. Speaking of which, I suppose some people regard the works of Martin McDonagh and Wes Anderson as things they know are great art (or at least many regard as great art) but they just don’t dig. Not me, though. Both big favorites.

  292. 292
    hueyplong says:

    Country music.
    Forrest Gump.

    Listing additional things would dilute the intensity of my amazement that those two things are so popular. Don’t get them. Never will.

  293. 293
    Humboldtblue says:

    @mai naem mobile:

    I smoke good marijuana every day and I have no clue why the Dead are so loved.


    You pretty much nailed it.

    Oh sweet mother of not getting shit — The Grand Budapest Hotel — this.

    That shit went so far over my head I started to believe chemtrails were a real and harmful thing. And the movie guy with the skinny mustache, his stuff escapes me too.

  294. 294

    @Omnes Omnibus: I like Dylan. I think of him more as a poet reciting his poetry to some music. I too like his renditions rather than the covers. Knocking on heaven’s door has been covered by so many artists but I like Bobby D’s version the best.

  295. 295

    @Miss Bianca: I picked up “well, we can’t all be the goddamned easter bunny” from my first boyfriend’s dad.

  296. 296
    Ruckus says:

    @randy khan:
    The book weaves a picture for each person who reads it. And it’s going to be different for all of us. My take on the movie was, “What book did this get made from, it isn’t the one I read.” There is just enough detail in the book to set the ideas in your head. But the movie replaces the visual in your mind and the intonation of the voices and the……. It doesn’t jive with what you know from the book. It isn’t a bad movie and if you saw it, then read the book, I’d bet your take would be different.
    I’d also bet a lot of movies/books do this but with Dune you had to create an entire world with rather weird characters in your mind. To enjoy the book you had to create the movie in your head. Your version is probably a lot different than anyone else’s.

  297. 297

    @West of the Rockies (been a while): Constant Gardener, should have been renamed Constant Boredom.

  298. 298
    geg6 says:

    @West of the Rockies (been a while):

    I read an interview several years ago where Julian said their relationship was still strained when his dad died, but that they’d been working on it. So yes, some redemption there, if not what Julian had wished had he had more time.

  299. 299
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @schrodingers_cat: I actually quite like Guns n Roses cover of “Knocking….”

  300. 300
    Miss Bianca says:

    @Shana: Ha! love it! (speaking as both a John Lennon *and* Yoko Ono fan)

    @Major Major Major Major: That’s a great line, but I have no clue what it means.

  301. 301
    Alan M says:

    @Betty Cracker: Thanks for the Greer quote. ROFL.

  302. 302
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Ruckus: That is my take on the LotR movies. Everything was so different than what I saw in my head. It was jarring.

  303. 303

    @Omnes Omnibus: I do like that and also Avril Lavigne’s cover, but I like Dylan’s original, the best.

  304. 304
    Ruckus says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:
    Funny thing is, I’m in agreement. I’d rather hear Dylan sing than covers. There is one that someone did though and of course I can’t recall it now that was so much better than him doing it. Maybe he wrote it for that person.

  305. 305
  306. 306
    germy says:

    @Ruckus: Elvis Costello did a nice cover of “I Threw It All Away”

  307. 307
    Elizabelle says:


    And the movie guy with the skinny mustache, his stuff escapes me too.

    John Waters? The movie director straight outta Baltimore? Pink Flamingos?** Hairspray?

    ** does not have an E. Double-checked. Don’t want to Dan Quayle y’all jackals.

  308. 308

    @Miss Bianca: It means “well, that’s what makes horse races”.

  309. 309
    Alan M says:

    @Betty Cracker: Thanks for the Greer quote. ROFL.@gratuitous: Me likey.

  310. 310
    Elizabelle says:

    @Ruckus: The funny part being that, if you go to some of his concerts, you won’t hear Bob Dylan sing. You will hear him mumble.

    But it’s all good.

    I find Bob Dylan to be authentic. And Highway 61 is classic. To have made so many more good songs and music after that? And to be appreciated by his peers, and have such good sidemen in his traveling bands …

  311. 311
    Ruckus says:

    OTOH, I like Tom. His voice is his voice, and he doesn’t care that you don’t like it. He seems to sing (OK granted, if you can call it that) because he likes the music and the songs are mostly great and has something to say.
    I like that he basically makes fun of the perfect people, by being himself.

  312. 312
    Elizabelle says:

    @schrodingers_cat: O dog yes. I just remember Rachel Weisz, and a lot of angst …. boring ….

    I loved “Memento” by Christopher Nolan, but walked out (of the end) of “Inception.”

  313. 313
    Humboldtblue says:


    Was he the Edward Scissorhands guy? Then yes, that’s him. Although I admit cinema and film are not strong suits for me and I rarely can provide even a simple and understandable reason why I don’t like a movie.

  314. 314
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Mike J: Damn. I had never heard that one before.

  315. 315
    Elizabelle says:

    @geg6: And John Lennon himself lost his mom way too young. Hit by a car.


  316. 316
    geg6 says:


    I think you must mean either Tim Burton (director) or Johnny Depp (star).

  317. 317
    Mike J says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Here’s a fun site for fans of cover versions.

  318. 318
    Elizabelle says:

    @Humboldtblue: Oh, you’re talking Tim Burton. He’s the Scissorhands guy.

    Vincent Price! We jackals are separated 2 degrees from him. He bought an afghan rug from dance around in your bones. Cool, or not cool?

    I loved Edward Scissorhands. And Frankenweenie. (The death of a pet. Trauma!)

  319. 319
    geg6 says:


    Yes. His early childhood is almost Dickensian. His father was pretty much worthless and never around. His mom was not a very good mother. A bit of a wild child. And he was brought up by his aunt and uncle, even well before his mother was killed.

  320. 320
    Ruckus says:

    @Felonius Monk:
    Taking the easy way out?

  321. 321
    Corner Stone says:


    Vincent Price! We jackals are separated 2 degrees from him. He bought an afghan rug from dance around in your bones. Cool, or not cool?

    There is no way that can knot be anything but cool.

  322. 322

    @Elizabelle: Inception and Interstellar too. Jessica Chastain’s character was so annoying.

  323. 323
    Humboldtblue says:


    Thank you, it is Burton.


    Thanks, that’s who I was thinking of (I loved Hairspray).

  324. 324
    Corner Stone says:

    I don’t think I have ever seen it but it may exist. But you know what a killer app would be? Software or a device that modulates volume levels to all be equal. You set a baseline for what you expect and it auto raises or lowers volume when flipping around or if you land on a commercial.

  325. 325
    Elizabelle says:


    Yes. We need to spotlight the good, snarkily if we want, but a counterpoint. I think we need to be a lot more positive.

    For one thing, we should know when Hillary or Barack or other intelligent and important statesmen will make a speech. Not every speech, but we need nourishment as much as amusement.

    Interesting that we did not know Hillary was going to speak at Wellesley commencement. Because that’s not “newsworthy.”

    ETA: And more about the up and comers. Find them, and let us know. Give us words, articles, links.

  326. 326
    Ruckus says:

    You do have the guys trolling in their cars with the volume all the way up on their 1200w system with the bass at 11 and some part of the bodywork rattling on every note thinking that it will attract…….someone, around where you live don’t you?

  327. 327
    Alan M says:

    @Elizabelle: @sheila in nc: She’s a better plotter than Lewis and keeps her universe to a reader-friendly limit. Speaking as an admirer and critic of all three.

  328. 328
    Haydnseek says:

    @Ceci n est pas mon nym: Have you given a listen to Adam Schoenberg ? (no relation.) He’s a young composer whose works have been brilliantly performed by the Kansas City Symphony among others. YouTube is your friend………

  329. 329
    Hal says:

    I’ve grown to loathe Tim Burton’s films. When I was young and his Batman was released, I watched it over and over again. Now I think that movie is awful. The museum scene alone is so incredibly bad I watch it now in total second hand embarrassment.

    He basically makes the same damn movie over and over again and no matter what will make sure Johnny Depp is in his films.

  330. 330
    hovercraft says:

    So it seems that since their plans to remake the country with radically bad legislation is stalling, the Turtle and Grassley are going to focus on getting Twitler appointed judges into as many of the vacancies they reserved for him as quickly as possible.

    Senate GOP Eyes Major Change To Push Through Trump Judges

    Senate Republicans are considering overhauling a long-standing tradition for processing judicial nominees to thwart potential Democratic obstruction of President Trump’s picks to fill the federal bench. Ironically, it’s a custom GOP lawmakers themselves took advantage of to block numerous judicial nominees under President Obama, creating the glut of vacancies on the bench they now seek to help Trump fill.

    The custom is known as the home-state “blue slip,” and it has allowed senators to block judicial nominees hailing from their own states. The “blue slip” refers to the physical blue slips the two senators representing the state from where a judge is being nominated must turn in for the nomination to advance to a committee hearing. In theory, the custom is supposed to encourage the White House to get input from the Senate in choosing federal judges. However, under Obama, GOP senators withheld blue slips to block nominees — even ones they previously backed — as a way of foiling his agenda and leaving the vacancies open for a future Republican president.

    The “blue slip” tradition is now in the cross fire of conservative groups, and key GOP senators are expressing openness to changing the way the blue slips are considered, according to reports in the Washington Post, The Hill and Politico.

    Republicans fear that Senate Democrats will now give them a taste of their own medicine, amidst reports that Democrats like Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) and Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA) were considering withholding blue slips from appeals court nominees from their respective states.

    “If that happens, you might see a shift in the blue slip tradition,” Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) said earlier this month.

    “We can’t allow Democratic senators to continue to obstruct this president’s agenda. If they’re just arbitrarily not returning blue slips, we have to consider changing that tradition,” Cotton went on to say.

  331. 331
    Humboldtblue says:

    Happy memorial Day, everyone. We kicked off our awesome holiday weekend with a double fatal traffic collision in which the drivers of two vehicles each burned to death following a head-on collision. DUI is suspected of playing a role.



  332. 332
    Bruce K says:

    Faulkner for me, specifically “As I Lay Dying”. I got assigned that book in high school and couldn’t make head or tail of it.

  333. 333
    randy khan says:


    I hear you.

    My two chief memories of the movie are Princess Irulan’s opening narration, which literally caused everyone in the theater to gasp in horror (I think there was a point where she inserted some slightly flip aside, which was completely out of character for many reasons), and Sting as Feyd saying “I see an Atreides that I would like to kill.” The movie did so little with his character that you had no idea what was going on with him.

  334. 334
    Ruckus says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:
    I think that there are probably a lot of books/movies like that. But LOTR and Dune are two great examples because you had to create their world. If you couldn’t do that the books are just flat, words on paper. I think that’s what made the books so well liked, you got some guidance to build an entire world in your head, with not too much to build it for you. Of course your version is going to be different than mine. Or the directors.

  335. 335
  336. 336
    Death Panel Truck says:

    @cmorenc: Being fucked up does not improve The Dreadful Grate at all.

    Anyone who chooses the Beatles ought to be shot. Try to imagine modern music without them. They influenced EVERYBODY. Even Lemmy loved the Beatles.

    “The Beatles I always thought were the best band in the world.” –Lemmy.
    I share his enthusiasm for the Beatles in Mono box.

  337. 337
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Bruce K: It was one of the books that we read in our Freshman Studies class* in college. We re-titled it “As I Die Reading.”

    *Freshman Studies was a class that all Freshman took and all faculty taught. A broad reading list of literature, philosophy, social science, and science. Among other things, it was supposed expose us to diverse things and to create a common base of knowledge shared by all students and faculty. It expanded over the years and now includes art and music.

  338. 338
    Humboldtblue says:


    I am a huge fan of the Aubrey-Maturin series by O’Brian and even though he is writing about history and as things were (and that we can fact check), he allows you to create that Royal Navy world in your head and it’s what makes his books so compelling.

    It’s also the reason I leapt from my chair in a fierce rage when I saw Russell Crowe pretending to be Captain Jack Aubrey — a man written by O’Brian as a 6-4 260 pound blonde-haired man — and here’s this little jumped up Ozzie twit completely twisting the character. To add to the insult Crowe cast Dr. Stephen Maturin — a man written as a dark, small, slight, waxen-faced, even an ugly man — with an oafish 6-foot-plus curly-haired actor.

    Crowe can go straight to hell for what he did in Master and Commander.

  339. 339
    Barbara says:

    @randy khan: I am the one who doesn’t “get” Rothko and I have seen plenty of it up close. Truly, I believe the burden is on the viewer to come at it with an open mind and I acknowledge its beauty while still not feeling like I need to keep looking at it for more than a few seconds.

  340. 340
    Corner Stone says:

    Shut up, Mark Murray.

  341. 341
    Barbara says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: My husband’s high school (private) class had to go see a production of Waiting for Godot, which they dubbed “Waiting to Go.” I have seen two productions by professional troupes, and the quality of the performers make a very big difference.

  342. 342
    maurinsky says:


    I’m a 47 year old white woman who loves rap, in particular, Missy Elliot and Busta Rhymes.

  343. 343
    Tony J says:

    Bollywood. Okay all Indian music I’ve ever heard. Stabbing my ears out bad.
    Tommy, by The Who. Is this supposed to be good? Actually made me nauseous.
    Coldplay. Whining whinge pop. Travis should punch you out.
    Chaplin. Leaves me cold. Now Harold Lloyd, there was a star.
    Marx Brothers. I don’t think I get why any of this isn’t just annoying.
    Kubrick. Very dull.

    But I’d exist on a diet of all of the above forever and ever until the heat death of the universe rather than suffer through Jazz. It’s just awful, tuneless wanking with noise.

    And don’t get me started on most modern art. Get off my lawn!

  344. 344
    stinger says:

    @Kathleen: Makes three of us.

  345. 345
    randy khan says:


    In the spirit of the original post (if not of all of the comments!), I’m going to say that’s all right with me. We don’t all have to like the same things. It would be boring if we did.

    That said, if you ever have the opportunity to go to the Rothko Chapel in Houston (near the Menil Gallery), it’s worth a visit. In that environment, his work is *amazing* and if you don’t like it there, you’ll never like it.

  346. 346
    zhena gogolia says:


    Yes, it seems pretty pointless to me.

  347. 347
    zhena gogolia says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Haha, what torture it was, n’est-ce pas? I called up a prof from Jim’s Place and asked him to come explain it to us. He declined.

  348. 348
    Amarantine RBG says:


    Even if you dislike Mamet before he veered off the grumpy old man right wing cliff, you might want to give Writing in Restaurants a try :https://www.amazon.com/Writing-Restaurants-David-Mamet/dp/0140089810/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1495822404&sr=8-1&keywords=mamet+writing

    It is a fantastic series of essays.

  349. 349
    zhena gogolia says:


    Don’t feel bad. It’s totally and utterly unwatchable.

    Here I go, joining in the hatefest!

    But on the positive, David Lean did make some good movies. Try Brief Encounter.

  350. 350
    SgrAstar says:

    @Ceci n est pas mon nym: You must be talking about STEVE Reich. Robert is a prof at Berkeley and a lefty icon…no music involved. :)

  351. 351
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @@zhena gogolia: If you’d been at Pat’s Tap, he might have come. Pat’s is gone, by the way; Jim’s is still there.

  352. 352
    Miss Bianca says:

    @Alan M: Seconded, this opinion is.

    And whoever expressed the “meh verging on hate” for “His Dark Materials”, I’m there with you. Thought the first book was wonderful, disliked the second, loathed the third. FWIW.

  353. 353
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Death Panel Truck: Even Lemmy loved the Beatles.

    To some of us, that’s like saying, “Even Sam Kinison loved Bob Hope”

    Marc Maron was always name-dropping Lemmy, like I was supposed to know who that was, especially in his Chrissy Hyde interview, so I looked it up. Oh.

  354. 354
    DougJ says:

    What I like about this thread is how many people have good reasons for hating things that I love.

  355. 355
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @DougJ: Almost like we are a bunch of individuals with varied tastes or something.

  356. 356
    Miss Bianca says:


    “We can’t allow Democratic senators to continue to obstruct this president’s agenda. If they’re just arbitrarily not returning blue slips, we have to consider changing that tradition,” Cotton went on to say.

    But of course, what Cotton *doesn’t* go on to say is, “We continually obstructed the Democratic president’s agenda as Republican senators, but NO FAIR if Democrats do the same thing, wah wah wah!!!”

    God, I hate these people. And I hate how they’re making me feel like sometimes, political violence might be justified and even necessary…

  357. 357

    I’ll go along with Bruce Springsteen. I’d also say Billy Joel, but I think calling his music [sic] art is a bit of a stretch. Also the Rolling Stones. And any short stories. I hate short stories.

  358. 358
    Miss Bianca says:

    @Humboldtblue: Here I must respectfully disagree…as a passionate fan of the Aubreyiad, I thought Russell Crowe’s performance as Jack was superb. And I know a *lot* of folks who got into reading O’Brian because of “Master and Commander”, so the movie deserves props for that reason if for no other. Personally, I liked Paul Bettany’s performance, even tho’ he was physically wrong for the part, but…say it with me peoples…that’s what makes horse races!

  359. 359
    Paula says:


    Dramas in general. I vastly prefer comedy as a genre, and I think it gets very little respect.

    Same here.

  360. 360
    geg6 says:


    I’m with you, Doug. I’m not upset if people don’t love what I love. I disagree with them and, I’m sure, they disagree with most of mine. It’s fun to see what resonates with other people that I simply cannot fathom.

    Though anyone who doesn’t like or respect John Lennon is just stupid. ;-)

  361. 361
    stinger says:

    @JimV: The comments that just diss, yeah. But those that explain why a work or writer or performer is liked or disliked, those can be educational or at least make me things about things in a different way.

  362. 362
    Comrade Colette Collaboratrice says:

    Joni Mitchell. I recognize the talent but can’t reach for the off button fast enough.
    Fellini. Amarcord was the longest 17 hours of my life.
    Puccini – although I like lots of other opera.
    Georgia O’Keeffe. The more of it in the same place, the less any of it looks interesting.
    ETA: Margaret Atwood.

  363. 363
    Denali says:

    Someone already mentioned mariachi.

  364. 364
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Paula: seems like every year at Oscar season– to which I have paid diminishing attention over the last few years– the debate comes up that their should be a drama/comedy split for the big awards, especially performance. I tend to agree, but it hasn’t made the Emmys controversy-free. Bill Murray would probably have his Oscar if they did.

  365. 365
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Denali: I can take those in small doses at background volumes, and I actually like bagpipes.

  366. 366
    Paul in KY says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: I’m with you on that, Omnes. Have seen them & they were quite mopey. Did have a nice light show.

  367. 367
    Jeffro says:

    Time for another open thread, front-pagers? I see NFLTG John Boehner is speaking his mind once again

    “Everything else he’s done has been a complete disaster,” Boehner (R-Ohio) said, according to a report in Rigzone, an online energy publication. “He’s still learning how to be president.”

    Boehner, who resigned from Congress in October 2015, had praised Trump — a friend and golfing companion from his political years — during the presidential campaign. On Wednesday, he praised Trump’s efforts at getting serious about combating the Islamic State terror group, Rigzone reported, but ended his positive comments there.

    Among other remarks, Boehner said Trump should not be allowed to tweet, the publication said.

  368. 368
    Jeffro says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Bagpipes are good when played by the Dropkick Murphys ;)

  369. 369
    germy says:


    should not be allowed to tweet, the publication said.

    Then by all means let him tweet.

  370. 370
    Johannes says:

    @gratuitous: No, Proust just is terrible. Ten fuggin pages about the sensation of waking up? Sod that.

    ETA: Since I’m here–James Joyce. From the moocow and baby tuckoo to Ulysses, I can’t stand it. I know it has quality but GACK!

  371. 371
    Paul in KY says:

    @MJS: I’ve been reading at on the Wars of the Roses & it is very complicated. Great history, but hard to translate some of the points to TV (example: Edward IV’s 1st marriage to Eleanor Butler & all the heartache/teeth gnashing that was involved there & how it brught about Richard III’s usurpation, etc.).

  372. 372
    Barbara says:

    @Amarantine RBG: I saw a stellar production of the early Mamet play “American Buffalo.” I don’t think it is much like his later work. It’s a work about small a time hustler yearning to break free of his small life.

  373. 373
    Paul in KY says:

    @Redshift: The animals with the wheels…WTF?!?!?

  374. 374
    germy says:


    Ten fuggin pages about the sensation of waking up?

    19th century writers didn’t have to compete with TV or radio so they could afford to spread their wings and expect the reader’s full attention. Dickens goes on and on the same way, but I still find him enjoyable.

  375. 375
    Humboldtblue says:

    @Miss Bianca:

    You’re allowed to be wrong, even when you’re so wrong you have taken wrongness to another level of wrong-i-tude and will be known forever as the person of wrong for as along as there is a right and wrong.

    You can sit over there in the room of wrong with Russell Crowe who was even wronger than you when he butchered some of the best historical fiction ever printed!

  376. 376
    Paul in KY says:

    @JCJ: I had a chance to see them last weekend at Rock on the Range, but due to weather, they’re starting time got moved from 830 to 1000 & I just said fuck it…

  377. 377
    amygdala says:

    @Frankensteinbeck: My pet theory about the Dune books is having read them young is necessary, although not necessarily sufficient, for being a superfan. The world-building the good professor refers to just isn’t enough once you’ve become old enough to be distracted by how mediocre the writing is.

    Never liked Seinfeld, either the comic or the series. And Sarah Silverman’s comedy leaves me cold.

  378. 378
    germy says:

    Speaking of Mamet, one of the ads in rotation here (as well as a few other blogs) is a writing class by Himself.

  379. 379
    Paul in KY says:

    @germy: Saturday Night Fever is the only Bee Gees I think is worth a damn.

  380. 380
    Miss Bianca says:

    @Humboldtblue: LOL! Same back at ye, in spades, and in army boots, matey!

    ETA: Why do I get the feeling that the only thing we’d be likely to agree on was the advisability of spending the better part of the day stoned? And even at that, we probably would argue on which strains of cannabis were best for the purpose!

  381. 381
    Johannes says:

    @West of the Rockies (been a while): There’s a non-wearisome version? I mean, David Niven working his army pal Trubshaw’s name into the film was good, but otherwise…

    I did like The Puppinni Sisters version Of the Kate Bush song, mind you.

  382. 382
  383. 383
    lollipopguild says:

    @Denali: What did Polka ever do to you?

  384. 384
    Amarantine RBG says:


    Yes! His early plays (and some film adaptations) are remarkable.

    It’s very sad for me to see him descend into dreck like “The Unit” I don’t think it’s a coincidence that this descent seemed to track his shift towards (or vocalization of) his strident political positions.

    Still he’s someone who takes his craft seriously and there is an intelligence behind his work, even when working on crap like The Unit: http://movieline.com/2010/03/2.....-the-unit/

  385. 385
    Paul in KY says:

    @gbear: On Jack White, I had an old dude comment on him: ‘That boy can make any sound on his guitar. I’m just not sure that I want to hear them’.

    Don’t get Tom Waits, either.

  386. 386
    germy says:



    (there’s that ad again top of the page. With a photo of the author, not smiling.)

  387. 387
    Paul in KY says:

    @sheila in nc: Will say that Tolkien’s orcs weren’t supposed to be the monstrosoties you see in the movies. They were supposed to be ‘white’, but just nasty, ugly, stunted things. A being that could walk down the street without being captured by the CIA for study as a alien lifeform.

  388. 388
    germy says:


    You do have the guys trolling in their cars with the volume all the way up on their 1200w system with the bass at 11 and some part of the bodywork rattling on every note thinking that it will attract…….someone, around where you live don’t you?

    I do hear that now and then, and it doesn’t bother me because it passes right by. It’s when I find myself in an audience where whoever is in charge of the sound has decided to “blow us away” with his awesome volume. Or if I’m at the farmers’ market and the guitar trio is pretending they’re at Woodstock.

  389. 389
    Humboldtblue says:

    @Miss Bianca:

    I just re-read the Letter of Marque and I was chuckling at all the lack of love for Opera in this thread. O’Brian wraps that book up by working in the Marriage of Figaro and it spurred me to watch the entire Opera. Loved it (I also grew up on the local musical theater stage performing with my dad so I am predisposed to enjoying musicals and opera).

    Of course the companion books to the series are a must-have as well, including the music Jack And Stephen played together.

    I am actually pretty ignorant about the strains of marijuana and we have a thousand up this away, but that 4:30 afternoon bowl certainly makes the beer taste amazing.

  390. 390
    Haydnseek says:

    @Humboldtblue: You’re probably familiar with it, but if not listen to “Wine.” from Finding Rothko. It brings tears every time I hear it.

  391. 391
    germy says:

    @Humboldtblue: Here’s something I’ve wondered. Even in places where it’s legal, do the police still test for it during minor traffic stops? Because unlike the more “socially acceptable” and dangerous alcohol, THC stays in the system for weeks after any is ingested.

    So if you enjoyed a bowl last week and your tail light is out, do they go for the DUI charge?

  392. 392
    Miss Bianca says:

    @Humboldtblue: The ending of The Letter of Marque is one of my favorites of the series. : )

    And I really should give The Marriage of Figaro a re-listen, just on that note…

    Since my place of work (Giant Hardware Corp) has gone to random drug testing, I can no longer indulge, sadly…so, smoke a bowl for me!

  393. 393
    burnspbesq says:


    no music involved

    I know plenty of folks who would say that about Steve Reich (and the rest of the minimalists). There are times when I can listen to “Music for 18 Musicians” all day, and times when I’d rather listen to just about anything else. And I can’t explain it.

  394. 394
    Humboldtblue says:


    This is actually an issue that concerns me, and it’s not about the danger of driving under the influence of marijuana that is my greatest concern, it’s about the rush by some (primarily law enforcement types) who baselessly claim that smoking a joint leaves one impaired as if they had consumed alcohol.

    Anecdotally they are full of shit (there is a Cobb, County, Georgia deputy or police officer who has made headlines recently because he claims to be an expert on impaired drivers and has arrested dozens of people on unfounded charges of being under the influence of marijuana) because the effects of a joint could not be more different than that of alcohol.

    As far as my research has gone the only reputable study I found on impairment, driving and marijuana was done by the University of Iowa in 2015. Those researchers found negligible effect on motor skills after someone had smoked marijuana but when combined with alcohol impairment was found.

    We have a retired CHP officer who is also a member of the state assembly banging the drum for a roadside test that can detect if someone has used marijuana (at least that’s the claim) but it fails to show any measurement of impairment and yet his entire bill is predicated on a false assumption that if you have smoked marijuana you are therefore impaired.

    In short, in response to marijuana legalization efforts they are trying to criminalize the use of marijuana on the backside by claiming it’s as dangerous as alcohol when it comes to motor skills related to safely operating a vehicle and yet they can’t provide a single shred of evidence that is true. They never have a reasonable response when I ask them for the data to support their position or if they have developed similar measures for those driving under the influence of prescription drugs.

  395. 395
    Paul in KY says:

    @germy: All artists that aren’t completely stupid wear earplugs or a type of earplug where they get the sound modulated into their ears at a lower volume than what you are hearing.

    I always wear earplugs at any musical show I go to.

  396. 396
    Paul in KY says:

    @mai naem mobile: So you like Rush, the drug?

  397. 397
    germy says:

    @Paul in KY:

    I always wear earplugs at any musical show I go to.

    And that is a fucked up culture. Musicians wearing earplugs. Audience wearing earplugs.

    And it’s not limited by any means to rock concerts.

    I still make the analogy of an art lover going to an art museum and enjoying an exhibit where they stare directly into the sun, or a solar eclipse. “Well, we always wear sunglasses!”

  398. 398
    Humboldtblue says:

    @Miss Bianca:

    The ending of The Letter of Marque is one of my favorites of the series. : )

    The description of Diana leaping from the quay onto the boat while the men in the carriage (escorted by the liveried cavalry in their mauve tunics) belt out “Figaro” has always been one of my favorite parts of the series.

    One of the other regular commenters loves the series as well, I think it’s Aimai, and I never get tired of discussing the characters and the plot. It’s the best historical fiction I have ever read.

  399. 399
    germy says:

    @Humboldtblue: The point I was making was testing positive for something you enjoyed two weeks earlier. That’s the strange part. Like Miss Bianca being subjected to random testing. The testers assume a positive result means current intoxication, which it doesn’t.

    I used to work in a place where my colleagues all boasted about how fucked up drunk they’d been the night before. They’d come in hung over sometimes. It was a weird, macho thing (even with some of the women) that they were hard partiers. Imagine if a breathalyzer showed positive for a drink they’d enjoyed two weekends ago? It’d be considered outrageously unfair.

  400. 400
    Paul Niederländer says:


  401. 401
    Humboldtblue says:


    You’ve nailed it. The very mild effects of marijuana (and ignore these baseless claims that it’s a thousand times more powerful than what your parents smoked in the 70s, it’s not, not even close and the amount of active THC has increased by fractions at most) wear off pretty quickly. You don’t smoke a bowl at 8 o’clock in the evening and wake up the next morning glassy-eyed and giggling.

    Well, at least not from the weed.

  402. 402
    germy says:

    @Humboldtblue: I saw a headline last week in the WaPo (didn’t bother reading the article) to the effect “We have all these jobs available but people want to get high” and it seemed like a bogus argument against cannabis. How many sick days are because of overindulgence in alcohol?

  403. 403
    J.A.F. Rusty Shackleford says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: My roommate worked at Tower Records in Lincoln Park in the 90s and Sean Lennon had an in store appearance. My roommate said he was the most miserably pampered little shit he’d ever come across. He locked himself in a bathroom and wouldn’t come out until they changed something for him in store.

  404. 404
    Barbara says:

    @Humboldtblue: The last act of the Marriage of Figaro stands out for me as perhaps one of the greatest works of all time. I cry every time the Countess starts singing her aria of forgiveness. And I don’t usually cry at operas. This is not a grand death scene, it’s a scene invoking love and it is so much more moving. I think Mozart must have been an incredibly happy person who liked women. It shows in so many ways.

  405. 405
    Barbara says:

    @J.A.F. Rusty Shackleford: They should have left him in there! How embarrassing.

  406. 406
    Paul Niederländer says:

    I’m with Doug about it being fascinating to see why people’s opinions differ from your own, but i really don’t get the hate-all-jazz-in-any-form crowd. how can anyone hear Ella sing I Loves You Porgy and not feel the warmth of that voice envelop their soul?

  407. 407
    Ignatius Donnelly says:

    @Barbara: Marriage of Figaro is probably my desert island disc. I could listen to the whole finale on repeat just about forever. But when people say they don’t get “opera”, that’s not what they have in mind: they mean obese Valkyries, and long coloratura arias that take whatever narrative drive might have existed and grind it to dust. In other words, exactly the kind of stuff that professional opera buffs swoon over.

  408. 408
    Jake the antisoshul soshulist says:

    Citizen Kane. I can appreciate the technical achievement and that it created a template for every biographical film since. But, it is still a boring ass movie.
    Bollywood movies. I haven’t seen enough to appreciate the subtleties. But it seems to combine the worst aspects of American musicals of the 1950s with overblown melodrama. Besides, do all Indian women take showers and make love with their clothes on?

  409. 409
    john fremont says:

    Bob Dylan, and Joni Mitchell have their hit and miss stuff with me.

    When it comes to classical music I’m not moved by Mozart at all. Bach, Beethoven, Stravinsky, Haydyn, Chopin, Ravel, Debussy and others all have their compositions that speak to me or at least keep me interested. Mozart does nothing.
    For jazz, it’s Bill Evans and some of John Coltrane’s later albums. I can’t get my ears around it. Bill Evans early 60’s recordings don’tstir me, and Coltrane somtimez sounds like a writer just scribbling ideas on a notepad.

  410. 410
    Miss Bianca says:

    @Humboldtblue: lots of POB’s endings give me the sniffles…Mauritius Command, altho’ not my favorite of the series, has perhaps the most satisfying ending so far on this my latest trip thru’ the Canon (makes about four of the complete series, so far…)

    ETA: Oh, and Doug? I am now listening to the Bee Gees’ greatest hits of the 60s, just cause….IT’S A HOLIDAY!

  411. 411
    Jamey says:

    I feel so much better knowing that a lot of people hate the same stuff that I hate.

    I don’t get the “greatness” of Dylan or Radiohead. And everybody who thinks Zappa is great is wrong-ditto for all those other bands beloved by “serious” musicians (e.g., Rush, most prog-rock, etc). Spielberg makes me have bar-fight fantasies. I live in Jerz (am at the shore now), so I’ll concede that Springsteen is a necessary evil. The TV show “Modern Family” is god-awful and has the ugliest cast this side of an early Tobe Hooper movie. And I echo every putdown re: Game of Thrones. (Seriously, shut the fuck up, nerds!) Wow, I could go on ad-nauseum.

  412. 412
    DougJ says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Yeah but the reasons are surprisingly good

  413. 413
    DougJ says:

    @Paul Niederländer:

    Yeah I agree the jazz hate is very strange and makes no sense to me

  414. 414
    HumboldtBlue says:


    I think Mozart must have been an incredibly happy person who liked women

    That’s a fascinating take, thanks for that. I am generally a happy guy and I rather adore women and their company so maybe Mozart is a perfect listen for me. I certainly have pretty much everything he composed on a recording somewhere.

    But when people say they don’t get “opera”, that’s not what they have in mind: they mean obese Valkyries, and long coloratura arias that take whatever narrative drive might have existed and grind it to dust.

    Nailed it. There are a good dozen light hearted operas I bet most in this discussion would like if they were to listen.

    @john fremont:


  415. 415
    HumboldtBlue says:


    Flypyrwhig threw me off with the blanket dismissal of jazz.

  416. 416
    debbie says:


    Thank you. Franzen’s unearned reputation makes me spittin’ mad and I’m not even a writer.

    Also Steely Dan, Hall and Oates, and all those bands with hours-too-long songs (Kansas, Yes, etc.).

  417. 417
    HumboldtBlue says:

    @Miss Bianca:

    I’m not sure how many times I started from scratch and read the entire series, it’s at least four but at this point. I can simply pick up a book and star reading and am immediately immersed again in that wonderful world.

    One thing he does so well is sadness. The death of the young oboist brings me to tears and the most shocking of them all and the most heart-wrenching — the death if Dil after Stephen has made us smile one of the biggest smiles of the series with his present of the six silver bracelets. Of course the death of Bonden caught me entirely by surprise and still makes me gasp but it happens in the middle of an extraordinarily busy section of the book and it almost passes by without notice.

    And then there’s Diana … sigh

    Lord Clonfert. Man, POB was a master at character development. He made us hate and pity that man all at the same time.

  418. 418
    Miss Bianca says:

    @HumboldtBlue: agree with all of it. I’ve almost completely succumbed to my version of “Chekhov syndrome”, which would be “POB syndrome”, when it comes to my own writing. As in, “what’s the point? Patrick O’Brian has said it all better than I ever could!”

  419. 419
    HumboldtBlue says:

    @Miss Bianca:

    Sitting here listening to the synth version of Beethoven someone mentioned above and grinning like an idiot thinking of Stephen finally putting Mrs. Williams in her place. Is there a more satisfying passage in the series?

  420. 420
    Ithink says:


    The Godfather Films (1 & 2), seriously? I know those are generally for a more high-minded & mature audience beyond my years even, but come on! You gotta give artistic merit where its due. I do to Bob Dylan lyrically, even though I find him to be a crud singer and cruddier songwroter, personally.

  421. 421
    Ithink says:

    You are SO out of order for shading his Purple Majesty and not at least explaining why!

  422. 422
    Ithink says:

    God bless you on that end, they’re both magnificent M.C.’s, especially Missy Elliott!

  423. 423
    No One You Know says:

    You’re for Jason Streatham movies. Got hooked on Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels, went on to The Mechanic, which I now watch when I’m feeling especially corporate and stabby. Watching things blow up around the richly deserving thanks to the ferociously competent. Bruce Willis bores me. Dune movies will never equal the books. IMHO.

  424. 424
    HumboldtBlue says:


    In some way I get you on that, I am. The man was a fantastic musician. His composition, meh. Side-eye sneaky looking little mutha.

    Love me some Missy Elliot. Made some 20-something jaws drop when she came onstage at the Super Bowl and I schooled them in her history and the local history and culture that created her and which she represents in such an extraordinary fashion.

    They had no clue as to the mural presented at the end.

  425. 425
    Paul in KY says:

    @germy: Well, you’re a dumbass who will have your ears fucked up. That shit is too loud, if you’re close, like I am.

  426. 426
    Paul in KY says:

    @Jamey: I will say that Captain Beefheart is complete shit, IMO.

  427. 427
    Paul in KY says:

    @HumboldtBlue: He’s one of the greatest guitarists I’ve ever seen.

  428. 428
    Bob says:

    John Barth

  429. 429
    redoubt says:

    Wes Anderson films are some precious nonsense. (Don’t listen to rock so can’t comment.)

  430. 430
    mai naem mobile says:

    @Jake the antisoshul soshulist: Bollywood movies do the wet clothes stuff because the Indian movie ratings organization is messed up so instead of using sachsual scenes with more skin showing they do their version of a wet t-shirt contest.

  431. 431
    mai naem mobile says:

    Woody Allen. I am talking about his art not his personal life.

  432. 432
    john fremont says:

    @HumboldtBlue: Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concierto #1 and Violin Concierto in D Major I can listen to when I’m in the mood for classical music, but not the Nutcracker Suite, it’s too overplayed for me.

  433. 433
    Frankie T. says:

    Miles Davis. I listen to his stuff and I’m like, “so what”?

    van Gogh? WTF? Painting directly from the tube?

    And The Beatles. Don’t get me started. Just because almost everyone else likes them.

  434. 434
    germy says:

    @Paul in KY:

    That shit is too loud, if you’re close, like I am.

    My point exactly. “That shit is too loud.” You can sit with your earplugs and watch your beloved guitarists and drummers with their earplugs. My ears won’t be fucked up because I’ll be someplace nice and quiet.

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