Friday, July 30, 2004

Back to the world of meme

The Mumpsimus has created the Mumpsimus Cultural Concurrence Index. Basically, it's a listing of likes vs. likes more that will, in theory, show how close my tastes are to Matthew Cheney. The idea for this began with Terry Teachout, but his version was too filled with classical, jazz, dance and other people I didn't know. The Mumspsimus sticks closer to my part of the world. So here goes, The Mumspsimus's likes are in the left hand column, my likes will be in bold:

1. Isaac Asimov or Robert A. Heinlein
2. Stanley Kubrick or Steven Spielberg
3. Bach or Mozart
4. Ubik or Valis
5. Mieville or Tolkien [Ugh, this one was too tough. I think I'd rather read Mieville, but Tolkien was too important in my life to ignore.]
6. van Gogh or Monet
7. John Clute or Paul di Filippo [I realize Cheney is probably referring to criticism, in which di Filippo clearly loses, but man I love "A Year in the Linear City."]
8. Edward Albee or Arthur Miller
9. Ani DiFranco or Alanis Morissette
10. "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy" or "Friends" [I'd rather not watch either, but "Queer Eye" wins because I've never seen it.]
11. The Nation or The New Republic
12. Truffaut or Godard
13. Peter Straub or Stephen King
14. Emily Dickinson or Walt Whitman
15. Lady Churchill's Rosebud Wristlet or Asimov's [Another winner because of its importance in my life. I've only read one issue of LCRW and already it threatens Asimov's.]
16. Bartok or Schoenberg
17. Brazil or Blade Runner
18. Aristotle or Plato
19. E.E. Cummings or Ezra Pound [Wins for brevity. I've never read much of either.]
20. "Mork & Mindy" or Mrs. Doubtfire
21. Talking Heads or The Police
22. John Gielgud or Laurence Olivier ["Clash of the Titans" rules dude!]
23. Anton Chekhov or Ivan Turgenev
24. cats or dogs
25. Thomas Pynchon or Arthur C. Clarke
26. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind or Adaptation
27. vegetarian or carnivore
28. Max Ernst or Jackson Pollock
29. The October Country or Dandelion Wine
30. Philip Glass or Yanni
31. Texas Chainsaw Massacre original or remake
32. Samuel Beckett or Neil Simon [I feel stupid here, but I've only read "Waiting for Godot," whereas I've seen a ton of Neil Simon movies.]
33. Faulkner or Hemingway
34. Bakunin or Marx
35. Adrienne Rich or Robert Bly
36. Duck Soup or A Night at the Opera
37. R.A. Lafferty or Connie Willis
38. Hawthorne or Melville
39. Tom Lehrer or The Capitol Steps
40. Susan Sontag or Harold Bloom [Bloom pisses me off, but he's always interesting. And, sadly, I've never read any of Sontag's stuff.]
41. NPR or CBS
42. Gomez or Wilco
43. Samuel R. Delany or David Foster Wallace
44. Mac or PC
45. Frida Kahlo or Diego Rivera
46. In the Bedroom or A Beautiful Mind
47. David Sedaris or Garrison Keillor
48. Ursula LeGuin or Charles DeLint
49. Pauline Kael or Roger Ebert
50. Paul Celan or Pablo Neruda
51. The 1960s or The 1940s
52. Tom Waits or Leonard Cohen
53. Philip Pullman or J.K. Rowling
54. Basho or Jack Kerouac [Although I never would have know who was if it wasn't for Cheney's essay on haiku, which I'm sad to note doesn't seem to be online anymore.]
55. Stephen Sondheim or Andrew Lloyd Webber
56. Frank O'Hara or John Ashbery
57. Paul Bowles or Graham Greene
58. Schubert or Schumann
59. Dostoyevsky or Dickens
60. Orson Welles or John Ford
61. August Strindberg or Eugene O'Neil
62. Keaton or Chaplin [I suspect I'd like Keaton better, but I've never seen any of his movies.]
63. The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction or Galaxy
64. Short novels or long novels
65. Castle in the Sky or Princess Mononoke
66. Patricia Highsmith or Jim Thompson
67. David Lynch or Spike Jonze
68. William Gaddis or Saul Bellow
69. Bob Dylan or The Grateful Dead
70. Nebulas or Hugos
71. Fence or The Gettysburg Review
72. Jonathan Lethem or Dave Eggers
73. Toni Morrison or John Steinbeck
74. They Might Be Giants or Phish
75. Philip K. Dick or Frank Herbert
76. Sylvia Plath or Robert Lowell
77. coffee or tea
78. Rear Window or Vertigo [Only because I've seen it more recently. Both are awesome.]
79. Rodgers & Hart or Rodgers & Hammerstein
80. Gore Vidal or Norman Mailer
81. tragedy or comedy
82. Angels in America or Rent
83. Swift or Pope
84. George Carlin or Howard Stern
85. Theodore Sturgeon or Hal Clement
86. Seven Samurai or Rashomon
87. Vladimir Nabokov or John Updike
88. Edward Whittemore or John LeCarre
89. Radiohead or The Cure
90. Goya or El Greco
91. Alice Munro or Raymond Carver
92. James Baldwin or Truman Capote
93. New York or Paris
94. J.M. Coetzee or Nadine Gordimer
95. H.P. Lovecraft or Robert E. Howard [You are a cruel, cruel man, Matthew Cheney.]
95. Roald Dahl or Beverly Cleary
96. Annie Hall or Sleeper
97. Jello Biafra or Ralph Nader
98. Virginia Woolf or Arnold Bennett
99. "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" or "The Wasteland"
100. Weird Tales or Amazing Stories

When I was completely out of my league on some of these (Kahlo, Strindberg, Schubert) I took Cheney's pick because I would be interested in it if he recommended it to me.
To add up my score: "At the end, count up the left column (my choice) and subtract the sum of the right column from it, thus creating your MCCI." So that comes out to 36 percent MCCI. (Actually, there are two #95, so it's actually 37 percent. Although I'm not sure it's a percentage with 101 questions.) Wow, I thought that would be much higher.
UPDATE: OK, now that I understand math a little better, I find that I'm at 68 percent. Much closer to what I expected.


Matthew Cheney said...

Actually, I think my instructions were wrong. Since there are 100, just add up the # in the left column, and give yourself a freebie because of the double 95s.

I almost didn't graduate high school because of my math grades...


Brian said...

Well that boosts me up to a 37% then.

Brian said...

Actually, I'm the one with the awful math skills. I got a 68. Much more like I expected.