Geek Etiquette: Top Ten Lists

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Like most geeks I love making top ten lists and reading other people’s “top tens”. Unfortunately I think that some of us nerds do a poor job with it, because they fall victim to the “Top Ten Overfill”.  This is where a geek loves a series so much that they fill their top ten list with superfluous information.  For instance if a lister likes Lord of the Rings that’s ok with me, but you don’t have to fill your entire list with all three movies.  If your top ten contains three movies from the same series you’re doing wrong.  Seriously.  Top ten lists are about this delicate balance of trying to include many things you like without filling them up with redundant information.  Nobody would like it if I put six Wes Anderson movies in a top ten list even if the list was “Top Ten movies with striking color palettes and French music”

I have a friend and I know his top 13 favorite movies by heart: 1-6 are the six Star Wars films (yes prequels too), 7-9 the three Lord of the Rings movies, and 10-13 the four Indiana Jones movies (yes this means he likes Crystal Skull more than any other non LotR, Star Wars, or Indy flick).

Now I know what you’re thinking.  Couldn’t he just say his number 1 is Star Wars, number 2 is Lord of the Rings,  number 3 is Indiana Jones, and then his number 4 is his 4th favorite movie (I believe it’s Braveheart, but I honestly can’t remember for sure because too much of my memory is spent trying to remember the order of his favorite Star Wars films).  It’s a good idea, but I don’t like that either.  Just pick one.  If I ask what’s your favorite movie and you say Star Wars,  I don’t know what to think.  Is Empire his favorite or does he like Speeder bikes and Ewoks of Return of the Jedi? So just say my favorite movie is Star Wars: A New Hope, it’s a specific answer but I can assume you like other Star Wars movies.  Once again, I’m not going to put six Wes Anderson movies in my Top Ten, but if I say Rushmore is my favorite movie, you can probably assume I like other Wes Anderson movies or at least I give you a follow up question.

“Do you like other Wes Anderson films?”

“Yes! I’ve really got a thing for rich color palettes and old songs I can’t sing along to!”

So next time I ask you what your favorite movie is and you say Star Wars, don’t be surprised if I answer with: “My favorite movie is Wes Anderson.”

Deflategate: Cheaters Never Prosper, Except in the NFL

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If you haven’t heard about deflategate or “Ballgazhi” let me quickly break it down.  There appears to be an investigation going on after Sunday night’s AFC Championship game.  There is a possibility that the football the Patriots used in the game may have purposely deflated, making it the ball easier to throw and catch, especially in the rain.

Tom Brady has called the claims of the deflated balls ridiculous, but I don’t think so.  After spygate in 2007,the season in which the Patriots were caught videotaping the Jets’ defensive signals (aka cheating), I don’t think the Patriots have any right to get defensive about anyone questioning their honor.  Once you’ve cheated on a large scale, your punishment is that people will continue to think you’re a cheater.  I believe after spygate Bill Belichick, who was fined the maximum amount allowed, should not have been allowed to keep his job.  He should’ve been fired or at least the team should’ve been forced to change their name to the New England Pumpkin Eaters.

Let’s say the balls were deflated, but the Patriots didn’t intentionally do it.  Maybe there was a mix up, they had a weighing issue, or maybe Lane Kiffen did it to frame Bill.  In a way you’re still cheating.  If Tom Brady, or any other player, noticed at any point during the game that the ball felt weird in a way you’re cheating.  If in a board game, someone deals me an extra $20 it becomes my responsibility to mention it, not the person who dealt the cards.

In 2014 there was a championship for the board game Ticket to Ride.  The winner, Erwin Pauelsen, was stripped from his titled when he was caught cheating by online spectators of the game taking extra turns.  At first Pauelsen seemed to be confused by the situation saying he was tired and accidentally made a mistake in the game.  And so on one hand are we supposed to jump down the throat of someone who made a mistake in a game? Even I have made a mistake in a game.  But the fact of the matter is this was a tournament, and he turn several extra turns, at a certain point people will stop believing you.  Maybe the Patriots didn’t cheat, but once you’ve been caught and excused several other times it becomes hard to ignore.  Some people will continue to deny that the Patriots ever cheated in the first place.  Some people just love their heroes too much to hear about how they are not as squeaky clean as they once thought. #Bill Cosby

It Doesn’t Matter if You’re Black & White

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Here’s a weird gripe of mine.  It’s a little weird when people tell me they don’t want to watch a specific movie because it’s too old.  I understand if not everyone wants to watch a black and white silent picture like Nosferatu or Metropolis, but now I encounter people who wont even see movies from the 70’s.  In fact, when I worked at Blockbuster (a scene in which I assumed movie lovers would work) my co-workers made fun of me for watching a movie from 1998 in the store, they claimed that that was too old for a movie.  Typically in these scenarios I point out Disney movies that they liked as a kid.  Most people forget that their precious movies like Bambi came out in 1942.

But there’s a flip side.  People complain about new movies.  I worked on five different movies as a stereo-compositor.  I would tell people that my job was converting movies into 3D.  Gross, 3D sucks, it’s just a gimmick, were among the comments I’d hear.  This isn’t a new concept, luddites have always been around, even in film.  There were people thought color and sound were horrible when they first came out, even film was viewed as nothing more than a carnival gag.

What’s my point? Maybe we should be less critical of technology and just enjoy film and the stories it tells, or maybe I’m just trying to distract you from the fact that I didn’t post anything in November or December. Who knows?

Rent, Blu-Ray, Bin

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There’s an old conversation game known as Fuck, Marry, Kill.  It’s got tons of names: Boff, Marry, Kill,  Wed, Bed, Kill Fuck, chuck, Marry etc.  The rules are always the same.  Someone chooses 3 people and the other players have to choose which of those they would kill, fuck, and marry.  Typically the 3 people are celebrities or in saucier examples co-workers. For example: If someone gave me Jennifer Lawrence, Emma Stone, and Mila Kunis.  I respond something like: Shag Mila, Marry Jen Law, and Kill Emma (Sorry someone has to go).  I actually think that this game can be kind of lame, unless you play with me.  I throw in weirder angles and make it more exciting.  I don’t really care that my friend wants to bed Natalie Portman, I want to give them tough situations that they have to piece out.  FMK: Tony the Tiger, Lucky The Lucky Charms guy, or Snap, Crackle, and Pop together.  No my friends choices sound more interesting.  Well I think Tony would be GREAT! but Snap, Crackle, and Pop seem like good providers, hmmm Lucky is too manic for me.

I have invented a new game.  Sure it may not be as thrilling as deciding which breakfast cereal characters you’d romp around with, but at least this one you can play with your parents.  Rent, Blu-Ray, Dollar Bin.  One person chooses 3 movies and the contestants must decide which one they’d rent (watch once), Blu-ray (Spend money on and display in their home), or “Dollar” Bin (Thinks it belongs in a dollar bin,  and would never want to watch).

So there you go: Rent, Blu-Ray, Bin.  You can make your friends choose between their favorite movies or their least favorite.

What do you think?

The Animal, Baby Geniuses, From Justin to Kelly