Not long ago, a group of people were sitting around a New York City Laotian restaurant and a challenge was made. The challenge was to create a list of a particular kind, drawing upon the wisdom of the groups. The producer of the dare (not myself, the person wishes to remain anonymous) put it like this:
…these are MUSTS, not “here’s something I like.” You aren’t recommending, you are obligating. That is a much larger responsibility and I urge you to use it with extreme caution. Also, adding to the list constitutes a commitment to take in the list [emphasis added by TC], with the one caveat.
There is currently no food or visual art on the list. We briefly discussed adding some food but I think it was going to get out of hand, plus Amazon can’t drone you tacos from Tyler’s favorite gas-station Mexican restaurant. If the food or visual art is in NYC and readily accessible it could be considered.
Yes, we all obliged ourselves to consume the resulting list. And what did we put on it?
[I am going to remove Upstream Color from the list. I think it’s a better movie than Primer, and I would watch it again twice back to back right now, but it’s less of a cultural touchstone. ]
The Power Broker (book)
Nature’s Metropolis, especially Chapter 3 (book)
“Blink” (episode of Dr. Who from TV)
Before Sunrise trilogy (movies)
A State of Wonder: The Complete Goldberg Variations 1955 & 1981 (music)
The Forever War (book)
A Deepness in the Sky (book)
[Redacted and I agree that the first book, A Fire Upon the Deep, is excellent but not as good as this. All voices say the third book is a pass]
Prisoners of War (TV series, Israeli)
Loveless (music, 1991 album by My Bloody Valentine)
The Lives of Others (movie)
[there was some controversy around this one]
Thought of You (animated short)
Persona (movie, Ingmar Bergman)
The Godfather (movie)
Beethoven String Quartet Opus 132 (music)
What would you add to such a list? Of course from this list I do not endorse every pick, but I can report that I do not have “too much extra work to do.”