Question of the Week

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Born in Lebanon, what poet wrote The Prophet?

International Week

Dunno about you, but America is getting kind of depressing and exhausting these days. So let’s take a trip outside the country this week. All questions this week take place in other countries. Schedule is as follows:

TUESDAY

  • O’Neals 8 pm

WEDNESDAY

  • Locust Rendezvous 6:15 pm
  • Founding Fathers 8:30 pm

THURSDAY

  • Birra 8 pm
  • Bards 9:15 pm

Quizzo Tonight!

I will be hosting the Hamilton quiz at the World Cafe Live tonight. There are still tickets available, gonna be a fun show. My first time hosting karaoke so almost certainly a trainwreck. But a fun trainwreck.

Also, yes, quizzo is on for the Comcast Center at 5:30. It will be hosted by Carl. He’ll also be back at O’Neals tonight at 8 pm. Hope to see ya tonight!

Hamilton Quizzo and Karaoke on Tuesday!

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Hey gang, gonna be hosting a Hamilton quizzo at World Cafe Live on Tuesday! And not only will I be asking questions about the musical (and the man) but YOU’LL have an opportunity to perform Hamilton songs. You can find more info on the event FB page, or you can purchase tickets here online ($10 apiece, with a portion of proceeds going to Art_Reach).

Thursday Night Quizzo

Action starts at Birra at 8 pm, where JGT himself will be hosting the quiz. On to Bards at 9:15, where John Kenney will run the show. Hope to see ya tonight!

Classic Film Project: Future Shock

I watched a 1972 documentary film last night called Future Shock. Based on a 1970 best seller of the same name by Alvin and Heidi Toffler, it was hosted by Orson Welles being his Orson Welles-iest. Puffing on a cigar, speaking with an air of gravitas, and emphasizing the final two words in the sentence: “And with all our sophistication, we are in fact the victims of our own technological strengths –- we are the victims of shock… a future shock.”

The film also has those absolutely terrible keys that are the hallmark of early 70s documentaries, and some rather comical zoom ins of random people’s faces, which it would then freeze on.

But the points the film made were rather important, and things that we don’t think about enough today. It talked about how radical the transience of our society was, how friends and houses were no longer permanent but way stations on our way to new friends and another house. It talked about the constant decision making we had to do every minute of the day, as we were bombarded with ads, products, and ideas, an attack on our brains that our forefathers didn’t really have to deal with.

Though done with plenty of 70s schmaltz, much of what Welles talked about rang just as true in today’s society as it did in 1972. In fact, in some ways we probably haven’t changed as much as we think we have. “Just as things and places flow through our lives at top speed, so do people. Long term commitments are not expected. Involvements are compressed in time. Young people embrace new values in an atmosphere of intimate intimacy.” Swipe left indeed.

In fact, in watching this, there are some reminders that 1972 wasn’t as long ago as we seem to think it is. There is a scene of a gay marriage, talk of the expansion of artificial organ implants, and discussion about the morality of invitro fertilization (which at that time had only been tried on mice). There were also robots that looked almost as lifelike as the ones we marvel over today, and plenty of talk about computers.

It’s only 42 minutes long, and despite the cheese factor, is well worth a watch. I’ll give it a C+, and a welcome invitation to discuss it at the bar with anyone who gives it a viewing.

Question of the Week

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What grandmom fashion icon has almost 4 million followers on instagram, and a bio that reads “Stealing your man since 1928″?

Clothes and Fashion Week

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New topic this week: Clothes and Fashion. From Versace to flip flops, we’ll cover it all. And it starts on Tuesday, with JGT making a guest star appearance, hosting at O’Neals at 8 pm.

The Classic Movie Project: Mean Streets


Haven’t done this in, well, 9 years, but the wife and kid are gone for a few days, so what the hell else am I going to do but sit on my couch, eat Cheetos and watch some movies? For those who have forgotten or simply never knew, the concept is simple: I watch films that are considered classic but which I have never seen. For this movie, I picked the 1973 Scorcese film Mean Streets.

The film primarily focuses on two characters: Charlie (played by Harvey Keitel) and Johnny Boy (played by Robert DeNiro.) Charlie for some reason takes care of Johnny Boy, even though Johnny Boy is a complete and total pain in the ass. And their relationship is a big part of why the movie didn’t do much for me…Johnny Boy brought absolutely nothing to the table. He was a punk who constantly stiffed people money, and Charlie spent the whole movie cleaning up his messes. Why? It was supposed to be because they were friends, but who would be friends with a shithead like that with no morals and nothing to lose, when you had a sense of morality (in Charlie’s case from his Catholic upbringing) and plenty to lose? I really think that if Charlie owed him one from when they were kids or something, it would make more sense. Instead the majority of the movie is Charlie telling Johnny Boy to pay people back and Johnny Boy coming up with excuses to not pay them back. Charlie seems like a nice guy, but he’s kind of a bozo; hey dumbass, get this: your friend is never going to pay anyone back. Why do you keep covering for him when he repeatedly shows you no respect? I dunno, I just thought that it was unrealistic for a friendship to be so unevenly balanced, with one go going so far out of his way for the other with zero re-enforcement from the other guy.

However, the beauty of the film is that it really brings to life a Lower Manhattan and a Little Italy that no longer exist. It is gritty and grimy and gloomy, and the interior shots mostly take place in a seedy Go Go bar, doused in a grim red haze. Does a great job of using a tough Italian neighborhood to create a mood, similar to Rocky in that regard (though Mean Streets is nowhere near as good of a movie). I also liked the fact that really not a whole lot happened. There wasn’t a ton of gratuitous violence or lots of real explosive scenes. It was just sort of a slow burn, an unapologetic look at Little Italy in the early 70s that neither glorified the Mob nor looked down on it.

This is a movie that is worth watching for the scenery, the backdrops, and to glimpse an early, unpolished Scorcese. But I think its status an all time great film is rather overstated. Grade: C+

PREVIOUS MOVIES REVIEWED:

Marty

Road House.

12 Angry Men.

Casablanca

Triple review: Blue Velvet, Magnificent Seven, and Blow Out.

Godfather 2.

Spaceballs.

North by Northwest.

Dr Strangelove.

 

Question of the Week

One Good Cop

What film that won the 1988 Razzie for Worst Picture was based on a novel written by Heywood Gould?

TV Week!

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All questions this week will be based on the silver screen!

The Philly Blunt LIVE This Sunday!

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Excited to announce that we’ll be hosting our first ever live show this Sunday at the National Liberty Museum. And since it’s right next door to his house, our choice of guest was obvious: Ben Franklin. See Philly most famous resident get the Blunt treatment on Sunday. The festival, and the museum, are pay what you wish. Hope to see ya then!

Around the House Week

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This week’s theme: around the house. If you can find it in your home, you just may find it on this quiz. From Bob Vila to Road House, we’ll be covering all household stops. Hope to see ya this week!

TUESDAY

  • O’Neals 8 pm

WEDNESDAY

  • Locust Rendezvous 6:15 pm
  • Founding Fathers 8:30 pm

THURSDAY

  • Birra 8 pm
  • Bards 9:15 pm

State of the Union

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Been a lot happening lately and a lot of questions being asked so wanted to give everybody an update all at once. First of all, there is no more quizzo at the Sidecar, at least for now. People have been asking me if I plan on picking up another Tuesday quiz, and the honest answer is: I don’t know. I’m going to think on my game plan over the 4th of July holiday and try to figure it out then. Hope to have a plan figured out by mid-July.

Speaking of which, next week’s quiz is gonna be 4th of July themed and hosted by Boots. Tuesday at O’Neals, Wednesday at Locust Rendezvous at 6:15, and at Founding Fathers at 8:30.

There are some fun things planned for summer. Stranger Things quiz was cancelled for the 9th of July, but we’ll be coming back with a Hamilton quiz in August at the World Cafe Live. As I’ve said repeatedly, these are terrific quizzes, complete with video rounds, live performances, etc. If you’re a Hamilton fan, keep an ear out. More details coming soon.

YES! I am excited to announce that I am returning to the Oval this summer. Quizzes begin on July 20th and will be every Saturday at 4 pm through August 17th. These have been a ton of fun in the past and I’m looking forward to another great summer season.

I’d love to do an invitational-type event this summer, just put together in a different way than in the past…sort of a “Summer Slam” type deal that we could do, maybe at WCL. Gonna think on this one over the 4th of July week and see what I can put together.

I’m looking for new music to play between rounds! Go to the Johnny Goodtimes Facebook page and let me know what you’re listening to these days.

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In terms of what I’ve been up to other than quizzo, the podcast is doing great. Recent interviews have been with Yards founder Tom Kehoe, NY Times bestseller Jennifer Weiner, and then a totally random but amazing interview with photographer and former cam girl Marissa. New one drops on Monday with former weatherman John Bolaris. And oh man, is it a doozy.

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In Shibe news, we opened a second store at the King of Prussia Mall! We just kicked it off on June 1st, and we’re really excited about it. We got amazing murals put on the walls by Chalk Art Philadelphia which are well worth checking out, whether you buy anything or not. The Mall has been an interesting experience…I had hardly ever spent time in malls until we started on this project, and wow, is it a different world. The KOP Mall is so massive, it really is its own ecosystem. I can’t believe this is me saying this, but it’s actually kind of awesome. Diverse crowd*, lots of young people, lots of interesting places to shop. Hope you’ll come check us out. We’re right by the clock tower.

That about does it. If anyone has any thoughts, concerns, or questions, feel free to hit me up at the Facebook page or on my twitter. Quiz is on for tonight: back in business at Birra at 8 pm and Bards at 9:15. Hope to see ya tonight!

*let’s be real: I was surprised to learn that a suburban mall was more diverse than Center City.