Via everyone in blogland, but especially Chris Brooke, I’ve answered a gigantic list of cultural questions. I think it’s aimed at Americans who are about a generation older than me, but I may just be ignorant. Anyway, view the full post for my full answers
1. Fred Astaire or Gene Kelly? Kelly
2. The Great Gatsby or The Sun Also Rises? Gatsby
3. Count Basie or Duke Ellington? Basie
4. Cats or dogs? Cats
5. Matisse or Picasso? Picasso
6. Yeats or Eliot? Yeats
7. Buster Keaton or Charlie Chaplin? Keaton
8. Flannery O’Connor or John Updike? O’Connor
9. To Have and Have Not or Casablanca? Casablanca
10. Jackson Pollock or Willem de Kooning? Kooning
11. The Who or the Stones? Who
12. Philip Larkin or Sylvia Plath? Larkin
13. Trollope or Dickens? Trollope (preferably neither)
14. Billie Holiday or Ella Fitzgerald? Holiday
15. Dostoyevsky or Tolstoy? Tolstoy
16. The Moviegoer or The End of the Affair? End of the Affair
17. George Balanchine or Martha Graham? Who?
18. Hot dogs or hamburgers? Hamburgers
19. Letterman or Leno? For execution, both. For watching, neither. If suicide is the alternative, Letterman.
20. Wilco or Cat Power? Wilco.
21. Verdi or Wagner? Verdi, not from a position of great knowledge.
22. Grace Kelly or Marilyn Monroe? Kelly.
23. Bill Monroe or Johnny Cash? Cash.
24. Kingsley or Martin Amis? Equal, but in both cases only books written before they turned 40.
25. Robert Mitchum or Marlon Brando? Brando
26. Mark Morris or Twyla Tharp? I’ve always liked the Bluetones, so Mark Morris.
27. Vermeer or Rembrandt? Van Meegeren.
28. Tchaikovsky or Chopin? Tchaikovsky.
29. Red wine or white? Red, unless it’s below £4, in which case white.
30. Noël Coward or Oscar Wilde? Coward.
31. Grosse Pointe Blank or High Fidelity? Blank.
32. Shostakovich or Prokofiev? Shostakovich.
33. Mikhail Baryshnikov or Rudolf Nureyev? I’m guessing the first one is some kind of ballerino, not a gay Russian people-drowning game show host. So Rudolf it is.
34. Constable or Turner? Constable.
35. The Searchers or Rio Bravo? Say what?
36. Comedy or tragedy? Comedy.
37. Fall or spring? If we’re talking verbs, definitely spring. Seasons, I’d say autumn.
38. Manet or Monet? Manet.
39. The Sopranos or The Simpsons? The latter. If you pick the former over it, you entirely deserve to be wacked.
40. Rodgers and Hart or Gershwin and Gershwin? The Gershwen.
41. Joseph Conrad or Henry James? Conrad. James is unreadable.
42. Sunset or sunrise? Sunset.
43. Johnny Mercer or Cole Porter? Porter.
44. Mac or PC? RiscOS
45. New York or Los Angeles? NY, unless we’re talking “to remove from the earth”.
46. Partisan Review or Horizon? The former, if only for the “Marshall Tito: 8/10” connotations.
47. Stax or Motown? Stax a million times over.
48. Van Gogh or Gauguin? Close, but the alcoholic wins over the paedophile.
49. Steely Dan or Elvis Costello? Elvis. Also wins over other Elvis.
50. Reading a blog or reading a magazine? Content: blog. Format: magazine.
51. John Gielgud or Laurence Olivier? Gielgud.
52. Only the Lonely or Songs for Swingin’ Lovers? OTL.
53. Chinatown or Bonnie and Clyde? Chinatown.
54. Ghost World or Election? Ghost World.
55. Minimalism or conceptual art? Minimalism.
56. Daffy Duck or Bugs Bunny? Duck.
57. Modernism or postmodernism? Modernism.
58. Batman or Spider-Man? Batman.
59. Emmylou Harris or Lucinda Williams? See “Letterman vs Leno”, with “Williams” substituted for “Letterman”.
60. Johnson or Boswell? Boswell.
61. Jane Austen or Virginia Woolf? Woolf.
62. The Honeymooners or The Dick Van Dyke Show? See “Harris vs Williams”, with “suicide” substituted for “Williams”.
63. An Eames chair or a Noguchi table? An Ames room.
64. Out of the Past or Double Indemnity? Are these films?
65. The Marriage of Figaro or Don Giovanni? The Don.
66. Blue or green? Blue.
67. A Midsummer Night’s Dream or As You Like It? As you like it, so do I.
68. Ballet or opera? Ballet, just.
69. Film or live theater? Film.
70. Acoustic or electric? Electric.
71. North by Northwest or Vertigo? Vertigo.
72. Sargent or Whistler? Whistler.
73. V.S. Naipaul or Milan Kundera? Kundera, times a million.
74. The Music Man or Oklahoma? Are these musicals or something?
75. Sushi, yes or no? Yes.
76. The New Yorker under Ross or Shawn? No.
77. Tennessee Williams or Edward Albee? I feel somehow guided to Tennessee.
78. The Portrait of a Lady or The Wings of the Dove? Wings.
79. Paul Taylor or Merce Cunningham? Who?
80. Frank Lloyd Wright or Mies van der Rohe? Frank Lloyd Wright, and not just for his length.
81. Diana Krall or Norah Jones? Watching paint dry.
82. Watercolor or pastel? Not really bothered, either would be more exciting than Krall or Jones.
83. Bus or subway? Bus. However, I’d pick an underground railway over either.
84. Stravinsky or Schoenberg? Stravinsky.
85. Crunchy or smooth peanut butter? No.
86. Willa Cather or Theodore Dreiser? Sometimes I feel ignorant.
87. Schubert or Mozart? The former, mostly due to my pathological dislike of the latter.
88. The Fifties or the Twenties? See 87, but with order reversed.
89. Huckleberry Finn or Moby-Dick? Whale fish, whale fish.
90. Thomas Mann or James Joyce? Mann for readability, Joyce for lastability.
91. Lester Young or Coleman Hawkins? See 86.
92. Emily Dickinson or Walt Whitman? Dickinson. I think you need to be USAn to appreciate Whitman.
93. Abraham Lincoln or Winston Churchill? Churchill, although Lincoln’s hat/beard combo deserves respect.
94. Liz Phair or Aimee Mann? Phair.
95. Italian or French cooking? Wop.
96. Bach on piano or harpsichord? Sure.
97. Anchovies, yes or no? Yes.
98. Short novels or long ones? Depends entirely on the quality.
99. Swing or bebop? Bebop.
100. “The Last Judgment” or “The Last Supper”? The Final Countdown.