M.C.F.A.T. X: The Answers
And now, my answers:
1) You loved it, but critics hated it, or vice versa. Who's right?
Some people answered this with specific examples, and that's cool. I was mostly thinking in general terms, and find I often disagree with critics. Sometimes I disagree with my friends too, but ultimately ANY form of art is subjective. I know the sort of things I like, and I think that's a problem with most film critics. Everyone has individual tastes, but critics are called upon to review a wide variety of genres. It's hard not to skew toward your personal tastes, and I might give comic book, science fiction, or horror movies higher ratings than most people, and lower ratings to anything with Barbra Streisand, for example. I think critics should specialize. One person should handle comic book movies, another romance, and so on. That will never happen though; Ebert needs to eat.
2) What's the most expensive hobby you've had?
Comic books were my drug for eight years. I started saving my lunch money in high school, buying only a box drink of tea and saving the rest. By the time I was earning money, I was spending about 20 dollars a week, which was a lot of money for a kid back then. I visited my dealer on a regular basis, and even had an arrangement where new books would be pulled from the shelves and saved for me behind the counter. They had a list of my poisons, but I checked the racks anyway in case they missed anything. I used to justify squandering my money to my mom by saying it was an investment, but the truth is I never intended to part with them. I was yanked out of the world I knew, thrust into an unfamiliar Catholic high school away from my friends, my home town, and from girls. I took the train home every day, but new comics day offered an escape. My mom once called me on it too, saying I was using comics to escape reality. My interest did lead to a career in the art field though, and I try not to dwell on the thousands of dollars I spent before the books became too expensive and I felt no one was putting out original stories or decent art anymore. I quit my addiction in 1996 and I've been mostly clean ever since, although in the past year or so I have picked up the occasional trade paperback. Could I have bought a house by now had I invested my money instead, as my mom once posited? I don't know, but I am glad I grew up at a time when comics ranged from 75 cents to $1.50. I've seen books more than twice the most I ever paid now, and without any special printing or gimmick covers.
3) What sports, if any, have you played as part of an organized team? What sports, if any, have you played for fun?
When I was 9 and 10, I tried to play soccer for two years on a local league but, despite my parents' best efforts, I was more interested in the cartoons I was missing on Saturday mornings in the dark ages before we had a VCR. I wasn't very good at it, but I'm happy with the “Dribbling” ribbons and trophies that every player automatically received. With my friends, we played everything from baseball to football to basketball. I was probably best at football and worst at baseball. My neighborhood friends were athletic and 4 or 5 years younger, and one even played basketball on his school's team. While he was dunking, I was lucky if I could get a simple lay-up. My friends tried to teach me and I did improve and learn things, like how to tell when someone was going to fake right and then run left. Of course there weren't many 5'6” Italian guys on my college basketball team, so I had to content myself with being a pep band geek.
4) What would you do if you had a pet monkey?
I would command him to destroy all my enemies swiftly and without mercy, and then bring me women, video games, and comic books. I'm kidding. Maybe. I probably would have him retrieve and deliver things for me, maybe maximize my time at the office and allow me to stay at my desk longer and get stuff done. While my health might theoretically decline from lack of exercise, being more efficient during the day would mean leaving on time and getting in a better workout at the gym. And with my rock hard abs, I'd be irresistible to all the women my monkey brought me, were I not completely kidding in my first sentence. I've said too much. I better move on and answer the last question swiftly and without mercy.
5) Which is better: extreme heat or extreme cold?
This is kind of a trick question since neither extreme is good but with these choices, I'd say extreme cold is better.