Cultural choices, or How Cool Am I?

Terry Teachout’s cultural quiz, via Sheila O’Malley:
1. Fred Astaire or Gene Kelly? Gene Kelly
2. The Great Gatsby or The Sun Also Rises? The Great Gatsby
3. Count Basie or Duke Ellington? Duke
4. Cats or dogs? Dogs
5. Matisse or Picasso? Matisse
6. Yeats or Eliot? Yeats
7. Buster Keaton or Charlie Chaplin? Chaplin
8. Flannery O’Connor or John Updike?. Can’t really make an educated judgment on either.
9. To Have and Have Not or Casablanca? Casablanca!
10. Jackson Pollock or Willem de Kooning? Pollock

11. The Who or the Stones? Stones
12. Philip Larkin or Sylvia Plath? Never read either.
13. Trollope or Dickens? Dickens
14. Billie Holiday or Ella Fitzgerald? Ella
15. Dostoyevsky or Tolstoy? Tolstoy, by a hair. Both big fat bores, though.
16. The Moviegoer or The End of the Affair? Dunno.
17. George Balanchine or Martha Graham? Balanchine
18. Hot dogs or hamburgers? Hamburgers. Of course.
19. Letterman or Leno?Letterman.
20. Wilco or Cat Power? Huh?
21. Verdi or Wagner? Ooh, tough one. Verdi, but it was close.
22. Grace Kelly or Marilyn Monroe? Grace Kelly.
23. Bill Monroe or Johnny Cash? Cash.
24. Kingsley or Martin Amis? Neither/both.
25. Robert Mitchum or Marlon Brando? Brando.
26. Mark Morris or Twyla Tharp? Mmmmm, Mark Morris.
27. Vermeer or Rembrandt? Rembrandt.
28. Tchaikovsky or Chopin? Tchaikovsky, for the “Souvenir de Florence” sextet and “The Queen Of Spades”
29. Red wine or white? White. Red gives me wicked hangovers.
30. Noël Coward or Oscar Wilde? Oscar
31. Grosse Pointe Blank or High Fidelity? I’ll get back to you after I’ve seen them.
32. Shostakovich or Prokofiev? Shostakovich, fo’ sho’.
33. Mikhail Baryshnikov or Rudolf Nureyev? Nureyev.
34. Constable or Turner? No entiendo.
35. The Searchers or Rio Bravo? Searchers.
36. Comedy or tragedy? Comedy.
37. Fall or spring? Fall.
38. Manet or Monet? Monet.
39. The Sopranos or The Simpsons? Simpsons!
40. Rodgers and Hart or Gershwin and Gershwin?Les Gershwins.
41. Joseph Conrad or Henry James? Conrad.
42. Sunset or sunrise? Sunset. Sunrises are too early.
43. Johnny Mercer or Cole Porter? Not a fair question. Cole Porter was a composer/lyricist, while Johnny was basically just a lyricist. In any case, Cole Porter.
44. Mac or PC? PC. Macs are stupidly overrated.
45. New York or Los Angeles? Oh my gods. As if. New York. No contest. Please.
46. Partisan Review or Horizon? PR.
47. Stax or Motown? Motown, I think.
48. Van Gogh or Gauguin? Gaiguin
49. Steely Dan or Elvis Costello? Elvis.
50. Reading a blog or reading a magazine? Eek. I’ll say magazine, because I can’t yet carry a blog on a bus.
51. John Gielgud or Laurence Olivier? Sir John G.
52. Only the Lonely or Songs for Swingin’ Lovers? I need this one explained to me.
53. Chinatown or Bonnie and Clyde? B & C.
54. Ghost World or Election? Election.
55. Minimalism or conceptual art? They’re both crap.
56. Daffy Duck or Bugs Bunny? Bugs.
57. Modernism or postmodernism? Modernism.
58. Batman or Spider-Man? Don’t really care. Batman, I guess.
59. Emmylou Harris or Lucinda Williams? Emmylou.
60. Johnson or Boswell? Johnson.
61. Jane Austen or Virginia Woolf? Austen. Shoot me before I am forced to read any more Woolf.
62. The Honeymooners or The Dick Van Dyke Show? “One of these days, Alice, one of these days…”
63. An Eames chair or a Noguchi table? They both sound nice.
64. Out of the Past or Double Indemnity? Double Indemnity.
65. The Marriage of Figaro or Don Giovanni? Figaro, absolutely.
66. Blue or green? Green.
67. A Midsummer Night’s Dream or As You Like It? MND, since I’ve never seen AYLI.
68. Ballet or opera? Opera by several orders of magnitude.
69. Film or live theater? They both have their places. Theater by a hair.
70. Acoustic or electric? Acoustic.
71. North by Northwest or Vertigo? NBN, though it’s close.
72. Sargent or Whistler? Sargent.
73. V.S. Naipaul or Milan Kundera? Not read either.
74. The Music Man or Oklahoma? Music Man.
75. Sushi, yes or no? Bleargh. No.
76. The New Yorker under Ross or Shawn? I don’t read the New Yorker.
77. Tennessee Williams or Edward Albee? Williams.
78. The Portrait of a Lady or The Wings of the Dove? Portrait.
79. Paul Taylor or Merce Cunningham? Paul Taylor… never seen any Merce.
80. Frank Lloyd Wright or Mies van der Rohe? Frank.
81. Diana Krall or Norah Jones? Diana Krall.
82. Watercolor or pastel? Watercolor.
83. Bus or subway? Subway.
84. Stravinsky or Schoenberg? Stravinsky, for Pete’s sake.
85. Crunchy or smooth peanut butter? Crunchy.
86. Willa Cather or Theodore Dreiser? Dreiser, though I read both of them so long ago I can barely remember.
87. Schubert or Mozart? Yikes. Another toughie. Mozart by a slim margin.
88. The Fifties or the Twenties? The Twenties for the music and the clothes. The Fifties because you could get a drink. I’ll have to go with the Twenties.
89. Huckleberry Finn or Moby-Dick? Huck.
90. Thomas Mann or James Joyce? Not really a fan of either.
91. Lester Young or Coleman Hawkins? Dunno.
92. Emily Dickinson or Walt Whitman? Emily.
93. Abraham Lincoln or Winston Churchill? Winston.
94. Liz Phair or Aimee Mann? Dunno.
95. Italian or French cooking? Italian.
96. Bach on piano or harpsichord? Piano.
97. Anchovies, yes or no? No, no, a thousand times no.
98. Short novels or long ones? Good ones? Long. Bad ones? Short.
99. Swing or bebop? Swing.
100. “The Last Judgment” or “The Last Supper”? Last Supper.



  1. Alan K. Henderson

    18. Hot dogs are overgrown hors d’oeurves. Hamburgers are a real meal.
    19. Johnny Carson!
    20. Haven’t watched Saturday morning cartoons in a long time…oh, they’re Gen X music acts? Never mind.
    21. Wagner. With Bugs.
    29. Iced tea.
    32. Prokofiev.
    38. Whichever gets me the most $$$ on eBay.
    42. Sunset – you’re not awake enough to appreciate a sunrise.
    48. Whichever gets me the most $$$ on eBay.
    56. Bugs. With Wagner.
    63. Whichever gets me the most $$$ on eBay.
    66. Green – no, blue…aaaaaah!
    72. Whichever gets me the most $$$ on eBay.
    80. I don’t think I can sell their stuff on eBay. (I need to start surfing to see what these works of art and architecture look like.)
    81. I’m a Boomer. Get real. (At least the name of Norah Jones is familiar.)
    83. Never saw a subway in person. Where’s the nearest one to Dallas?
    88. The Twenties, and sell all my stock in 1927.
    93. Churchill.
    94. I’m a Boomer. Get real.
    96. Harpsichord.

  2. Mitch

    I can’t help it, but I kept wanting to answer so many of the questions with “What makes you think I give a s**t?”
    Is that so wrong of me?