So, I have had a 7×7 Award bestowed upon me by the Mythical Monkey, partially because he put me in this category: “Here are seven bloggers (and twitter-ers) who never seem to respond to this sort of thing and thus whose answers might prove interesting.”  Given that he put me on a list that includes the President, the most famous film reviewer of all-time and an Oscar-nominated director, I feel honored.  But, it also presents me with a problem that I will explain at the end of this.

So, what is this thing?  Well, it’s a thing you hand out to people whose writing you like, in the hopes that those who don’t know the treasures they can find on the web can find them as well.  And it’s a nice thing to do, to help expose other blogs to some of your own traffic.

Basically, you answer several questions about your own blog, then pass on the award to seven other blogs.  So, here we go.

1. Tell everyone something that no one else knows about you.

I could say something like “I think Vertigo is way over-rated” or “Godard is even more over-rated” or “Henry James and Jane Austen aren’t worth reading” or “I actually like the prequels” but anyone who’s read any of my posts already knows I think that.  I could say that if you put me on a boat, I am liable to throw up over the side, but that seems to have come up a lot lately.

Part of the problem is that my whole persona relies on everyone knowing everything about me.  I even wrote about it in a story, where the character based on me is able to keep a secret so well because no one ever pries, thinking that they already know everything about him.  I’m a very liberal, Red Sox-lovin, Yankee-hatin, Lord of the Rings / Faulkner / Star Wars fanatic who can quote Springsteen at length and who’s seen every movie worth seeing and read every book worth reading.

I could say that almost no one knows that I once tried to save a person from dying only to have him bleed to death before the ambulance got there with a store full of people refusing to get involved, but I wrote a flippin piece about it on the blog (and still no one knows it).

I’m gonna go with the secret I kept even from my siblings.  Back in February, for a ceremony in front of the director of the National Endowment for the Humanities, I bought a suit.  If you look at the slideshow, there’s proof. And they probably still won’t know it – they only read the posts about Thomas.

2. Link to one of the posts that I think best fits the following categories:

a. Most beautiful piece:

My review of The Diary of Anne Frank, which appears here.  I had to write it twice because the blog crashed as I was saving it.  I think I am as proud of my final paragraph of this review as of anything else I have ever written.

b. Most helpful piece:

In a sense, it was my Year in Film: 1932 – 1933.  That was where I reviewed The Story of Temple Drake.  I have one of the few reviews available on the IMDb (two of them actually – I wrote a second review of it here when writing about the novel Sanctuary).  That review is what lead the Mythical Monkey to me and opened up a world of classic film writing on the web.  At least it was helpful to me.

c. Most popular piece:

It used to be my ranking of all the Best Picture nominees, but thanks to Google changing the way their images come up, the stats suddenly tanked in the middle of 2010.  For one day, it was absolutely my Oscar trivia page for 2009 because I had wisely used a picture of Kathryn Bigelow and it mentioned the Oscars, and from the second she won her Oscar, for about 24 hours, I had far and away more hits on one post than I have ever had before or since.  But, this post has now passed the 100,000 total hits because I am still one of the few people who has bothered to put up a list of the best novels so far this century.

d. Most controversial piece:

Presumably, this piece where I ranked the Top 100 Directors and didn’t include Godard.  I constantly get questions about where Godard is, in spite of the fact that 1 – this list has now been replaced by the 2.0 version and 2 – it says in the introduction that Godard’s not on the list.  Doesn’t stop people from complaining.

e. Surprisingly successful piece:

The piece where I ranked all of Dickens novels was surprisingly successful at pissing people off.  It ended up on some aggregate site and you should see the histrionic vile hurled my way for my choice of order.  Granted, I’m not sure anyone claimed I gave them cancer, like one guy on the Top 100 did for ranking Fellini 40th, but I had to stop reading that aggregate site because it was just appalling.

f. Most underrated piece:

I wrote two reviews of books by David Louis Edelman.  Granted, he is a friend from high school, but I still wrote those honestly and earnestly.  The first is here and the second is here.  They are among the two lowest posts in terms of overall hits.  That’s painful because I really think people should read the books and I haven’t been that successful in getting people to these books (at the Booksmith I have done better, where I have handsold them a number of times).

g. Most pride-worthy piece:

I wrote this piece for my Top 100 novels series.  Later, I found my piece cited in an article in the Guardian.  That was a nice surprise.

3. Pass this award on to seven other blogs/bloggers:

Do you see the problem?  Well, I do.  I don’t read other bloggers, with the exception of the Monkey, and he gave me the award.  So, what the hell do I do here?  I occasionally look at Ebert’s blog, but the Monkey listed him as well.  So who the hell am I going to list?

Well, I think I have figured it out.

The only other blogs I ever look at are ones I click one in the Monkey’s sidebar when their subject looks interesting.  These seem to be the ones I go to the most.

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