Sunday, July 29, 2007

John M. Scalzi's Weekend Assignment #176: What's Overrated

For this week's Weekend Assignment, I thought it would be fun and interesting to think of all the things think too much has been made of: The overrated.

Weekend Assignment #176: Tell us of one piece of culture -- book, movie, album, painting, play, architectural "masterpiece," whatever -- that you think is wildly overrated. Note I said to focus on an object, not the artist: for example, explain why Sgt. Pepper's is overrated, not The Beatles, or The Godfather, not Francis Ford Coppola.

Extra Credit: Have you ever changed your mind about how good a book, movie, etc., was? You know, you read a book once, hate it, come back to it several years later and find out it wasn't so bad after all.

Dear John,

Hope this missive finds you hale and hearty, with all dependants likewise. Things remain the same around the old home place. The burdocks are knee high to a giraffe, the kitten on the porch has decided I'm not so bad, because I bring it food each morning, but my wife remains unable to catch the furry little feline and the dog is still the devil incarnate in its little blue eyes.

Heat has been this week's theme. In the eighties and nineties. In Maine! In July! Who'd a thunk it? The air conditioner needs recharging in the car and doesn't work at all in the “blimpmobile” but that'll have to wait until the snow flies before we've saved the money needed to fix them. Being poor sucks. Speaking of sucking, the bloodsuckers at the town office have upped taxes again this year. I am now paying the equivalent of buying a used car every year to keep them in paper towels and sharpies. And there's a new hatch of black flies eager for my vital fluids to aid in their reproductive process. I thought they were bad here, until I saw this video that Miss Shauney made of the experience she and Dr. Garth had camping on the Scottish Moors last week ... positively makes the black horde here look anemic.

This week marks the fourth anniversary of the birth of The Daily Snooze, if such things were able to celebrate or be born, for that matter. Not that it matters, really. I still have thirty or forty visitors a week. With the overall paranoia of the populace ratcheting up into the stratospheric range in response to the administration's machinations, this bit of fluff and stroke is of “no nevermind” in the grand scheme of things. No new directions planned for the Snooze as we head into the fifth year of this nonsense.

OK, time for this week's meme question. Over rated. Overblown. Most so-called “rock stars” of the day can't play their way out of a wet paper bag, but that's an easy target. Most things are overblown in this day of public relations hype and corporate bluster.

Here's one: “The March of the Penguins.” A movie that puts me to sleep. I just don't see the attraction. I hear the wind whistling over the ice, the droning of the narrator's voice, the up swell of the typical Hollywood musical score and it's like someone turned off my switch. “Poof” and I'm out like a candle. I did watch it, once. Never again. We'd bought the DVD because of the hype – that's probably the last of that type I'll ever buy again. Any way, in my lexicon, it's a prime example of “over rated” - your mileage may vary.

Do behave yourself, keep your lovely wife in the manner she wishes to become accustomed to and spank Athena for me, on general principles. By the way, your editor called. What's up with the request for the extension because you have had to deal with “hordes of Christians” - is that a case of sore loser or what?


P.S. Now, John, you know me. When my mind is made up, it's like Fort Knox -- with “Montezuma's Revenge”, that is. Of course I've changed my mind on a few of the classics. Moby Dick isn't bad at all, despite the weary slog of my high school years. “Catcher In The Rye” isn't all it's cracked up to be, as you so ably pointed out. I couldn't stand Philip K. Dick when he was alive. Now, I love his stuff. “Dahlgren” seemed pretty cool to me in my twenties – pretentious twaddle now. The likes of John D. McDonald and Robert Parker seemed to be “trailer trash” reading in the seventies and eighties – the economy of the writing, the immediacy of dialogue – pure genius from my perspective now. Wish I could write like that...


Kat said...

Happy blogiversary!

The Scarlet Letter is overrated. It was just an okay read. Actually there are a few classics like that. Once they're called classics you have to love them or you're a clod. I am a clod.

Wil said...

If you are a clod, that makes me a troglodyte! :D