Movies: Local Hero, The Third Man, Never Cry Wolf, Ikiru, 2001: A Space Odyssey, After Hours, Stalker, I Know Where I’m Going, Halloween, Duck Soup, Stranger Than Paradise, The General, Pee Wee’s Big Adventure, The Seven Samurai, Strange Brew, I Walked with a Zombie, Playtime, The Thin Red Line, Manhattan, Aguirre: The Wrath of God, Phantasm, The Wild Bunch, Housekeeping, Amarcord, Grosse Pointe Blank, Possession, It’s Such a Beautiful Day, The Evil Dead, Lost in Translation, Make Way for Tomorrow, Barton Fink, Days of Heaven, The Killing, Two-Lane Blacktop, Take Shelter, Bubba Ho-Tep, Wake in Fright, Messiah of Evil, Dead of Night, Nightmare Alley, Lonely Are the Brave, Frederick Wiseman documentaries.
Filmmakers: Andrei Tarkovsky, Buster Keaton, Terrence Malick, Preston Sturges, Akira Kurosawa, Bill Forsyth.
Actors: Warren Oates, Barbara Stanwyck, Takashi Shimura, Sterling Hayden.
Birds: Prairie Warbler, Eastern Wood-Pewee, Nighthawk, Gray Catbird, Common Loon, Green Heron, Osprey, Yellow-breasted Chat… don’t get me started!
Books: Desert Solitaire: A Season in the Wilderness by Edward Abbey; The Dharma Bums by Jack Kerouac; Walden by Henry David Thoreau; It’s A Good Life If You Don’t Weaken by Seth; Coming Into the Country by John McPhee; Blue Highways by William Least Heat-Moon; The Journals of Lewis & Clark; Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S. Thompson; The Holy Bible.
Music: Neil Young, R.E.M., Jimmie Rodgers, Uncle Tupelo, Judas Priest, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Dinosaur Jr., Ray Charles, Townes Van Zandt, Blondie, Tom Waits, Beethoven, Devo, Mark Knopfler, The Replacements, Vic Chesnutt, Emmylou Harris, Los Lobos.
TV shows: Northern Exposure, SCTV, Late Night with David Letterman, Detectorists, The Twilight Zone, Blackadder, The Joy of Painting with Bob Ross, Siskel & Ebert, Children of the Stones, All in the Family, On the Road with Charles Kuralt, The Larry Sanders Show.
Comic Books: Palookaville by Seth, Eightball by Daniel Clowes, The Incredible Hulk (various), American Splendor by Harvey Pekar, Frank by Jim Woodring, The Man-Thing by Steve Gerber, Reid Fleming: World’s Toughest Milkman by David Boswell.
Radio: The Dr. Demento Show, A Prairie Home Companion with Garrison Keillor, Cincinnati Reds baseball, The Thistle & Shamrock.
Words: Treacherous; ghastly; cumbersome; discombobulated; flippant; ruffian; bucket; grandiose; mediocre; flabbergasted; grope; plexiglass; poof; tomfoolery; fisticuffs; spittle; afoot; debauchery; doppelganger; donnybrook; aficionado; bop; pummel; thud; huh; and pshaw.
Comics: Andy Kaufman, Steven Wright, Norm Macdonald.
Sports: Baseball. I’m a lifelong Cincinnati Reds fan. Also, I threw a pretty mean change-up back in the day.
Belcourt Theatre: My home away from home and Nashville’s independent movie theater since 1925.
Angelo’s Pizza: Making my mouth water for 30+ years.
Anything written by the late, great Jim Ridley, former film critic and editor of The Nashville Scene. Here’s a sampling: The Umbrellas of Cherbourg: A Finite Forever – By Jim Ridley
Interview: Local Hero: Bill Forsyth
Video essay: Tarkovsky: Life as a Reflection
Film festival: Harry Dean Stanton Fest
Video essay: Terrence Malick: The Art of Voiceover
Combustible Celluloid: Essential Horror Movies
Movie trailer: Real Life
Stand-up: Norm Macdonald
Music video: Jocko Homo
Radio spot: The Human Tornado
Best line in a film: Chief McClelland
A tribute: Larry “Bud” Melman
“We simply need that wild country available to us, even if we never do more than drive to its edge and look in. For it can be a means of reassuring ourselves of our sanity as creatures, a part of the geography of hope.” — Wallace Stegner
“Improvement makes straight roads; but the crooked roads without improvement are roads of genius” — William Blake
“Most of the luxuries and many of the so-called comforts of life are not only not indispensable, but positive hindrances to the elevation of mankind.” — Henry David Thoreau
“Don’t loaf and invite inspiration. Light out after it with a club” — Jack London
“Then he was told: Remember what you have seen, because everything forgotten returns to the circling winds.” — Navajo Wind Chant
“Distrust any enterprise that requires new clothes.” — Henry David Thoreau
“How to Overthrow the System: brew your own beer; kick in your TV, kill your own beef, build your own cabin, and piss off the front porch whenever you bloody well feel like it.” — Edward Abbey