Friday, October 02, 2009

Bill Murray Versus John Cleese

I was thinking the other day about Bill Murray, and a thought occurred to me that Bill Murray is America's John Cleese.  Can you think of anyone else from the United States, in the world of comedic acting, who compares with the longevity, influence, and shear mass of work of John Cleese?  A friend of mine seemed to think that Bill Murray might even surpass John Cleese, but the resumes tell a different story.  See below a summary of credits of each (shamelessly gathered from IMDb):

Bill Murray          Category                  John Cleese
7                         Writer                      55
57                       Actor                       108
5                         Soundtracks             3
3                         Produced                 42
1                         Directed                   3
1                         Edited                      0
3                         Thanked                   2
60                       Played Himself          161
35                       Archived                   35

The numbers tell a story which is decidedly in favor of JC.  JC is eleven years older than BM, but they began their careers only one year apart, so the comparison is pretty fair.

Friday, September 18, 2009

My name is Nick and I have a problem...

I have often heard that the first step in working through or defeating a struggle is to admit the struggle.  To that end I have, for a long time, struggled with self righteous angst against petty things not worthy of angst.  I boil up with rage against anything main stream just because it's main stream.  Liking things that most people don't like (i.e. acquired taste music like Frank Zappa or Tom Waits) and disliking things that too many people like is a badge of honor that I often wear with pride.  Long ago I realized that disliking something just because other people like it is pretty much the same thing as liking something just because other people like it.  However, this realization alone has not been enough to squelch my snobbery.  Ultimately, that's what it is.  I use this cultural elitism to build myself up and to judge others.  It is a club of my own concocting to give myself worth... to fight against those who didn't let me into the clubs they concocted.  This hasn't resulted in happiness though.  So what if you like Phil Collins... think his music is great.  So what if you buy the latest popular album only to find it an embarrassment later (Do you have a Limp Bizkit album?).  This shouldn't make me angry.  This is not a proper measuring stick of someone's worth.  I think I can still enjoy the tastes I have acquired over my life without belittling the tastes others have acquired over their lives.  I also don't think the angst I have over felt over these petty trivial things is worth while.  Life is too short to waste so much of it upset for no good reason.  So I am going to give it up.  I feel better already.

Monday, September 07, 2009

My latest question

I often have a question that I ask people in an effort to prompt discussion that gets a little past the usual introductory chat and get to know people in a different kind of way.  Those who have known me for a while have likely been asked the following: "If a wizard approached you and told you that he was going to turn you into an animal, and you couldn't get out of it, but he would allow you to choose the animal... what animal would you choose?"
This has resulted in some pretty great responses that run the gamut, as you might imagine.
I have recently started asking a new question, which has two parts:
Part 1:  If you could destroy 3 bands/musical acts/artists from all history... which would you choose?
Part 2:  If you could only save 3 bands/musical acts/artists for all history... which would you choose?
I have really enjoyed a lot of the discussion that has resulted from these questions.  Ultimately, someone will choose to destroy a band that someone else likes or save a band that someone else dislikes, but it's all in good fun.  I almost like that part of it because it's a small way for people to work on disagreeing without fighting or getting angry (something that many us of could work a good deal on).
P.S. - I would destroy: Nickelback, Janis Joplin, & Cher and I would save: Tom Waits, Radiohead & Led Zeppelin