Sunday, March 11, 2012

The 7x7 that hit me like a 2x4

Dorian at Tales of the Easily Distracted was most generous in bestowing upon this ‘umble scrap of the blogosphere the coveted 7x7 LinkAward on Friday…and I just wanna tell ya, it’s quite a honor because only a select few are eligible to receive this trophy (and by select few, I mean an estimated 200 bazillion blogs out there).  I am kidding, of course, and I want to thank Dor (and I call her “Dor” because she said I could) for sending these kudos my way as well as to several other individuals for whom I have a reservoir filled with endless respect for: Brandie, Nikki and Carrie at True Classics; Page at My Love of Old Hollywood; Jacqueline at Another Old Movie Blog, Yvette at in so many words, Errolette at ClassicBecky’s Brain Food (“Brains!”) and Karen at shadowsandsatin.  (With distinguished company such as this, folks will start assuming I slipped Dor a bribe.)

And as you’ve probably guessed by now, this meme has rules…

Tell everyone something that no one else knows about.  I slipped Dor a bribe.  Yes, I know it sounded like I was joking in the first paragraph but it’s true—when I first got wind of the people she was going to choose for the 7x7, I asked her: “How could you possibly overlook Thrilling Days of Yesteryear?”  She said it was nothing personal; that there were other candidates equally worthy of receiving such an honor and that she was “almost positive” that I would eventually get one, as a career award or something.  I then asked her if these same candidates were capable of pulling a few strings to make sure she and Vinnie would soon be behind the wheel of a brand-new Lexus…and the next thing I knew, BAM-O! I was on the list.  (Of course, Harvey Weinstein spent an awful lot of money on my ad campaign so I can’t really say for certain it was the car.)

Wow.  That felt really good to get off my chest!  Now comes the hard part of the meme—I’m supposed to talk about some of the past posts here at the blog that fit into seven different categories.  What’s difficult for me is that while I often joke about shameless self-promotion in this space, I’m always a bit uncomfortable puffing on a pipe while I sit in Count Comfy von Chair and discuss my alleged blogging brilliance.  (I get embarrassed very easily.)  But I said I’ve give it the old college try…

Most Beautiful Piece: One of the best reviews I believe I’ve ever written was on the 1964 independent film classic One Potato, Two Potato—an emotionally draining film about an interracial couple whose existence is thrown into a tailspin when the woman’s first husband sues for custody of their child because he feels her stepfather (who is black) isn’t fit to raise her.  If you haven’t seen this film I cannot state this strongly enough—it is a powerful piece of filmmaking, with an ending that will rip you to shreds.  I’m not married, and yet I found myself weeping by the film’s conclusion…not to mention the rare inspiration to express my thought into words, which is not always easy.

Most Helpful Piece: If I can change the word “piece” to “feature” then it would be the “Coming Distractions” posts that I try to get up as soon as I’ve had an opportunity to peruse an upcoming lineup of films on The Greatest Cable Channel Known to Mankind™.  Putting these together is more work than I let on, but it’s always rewarding when someone shoots a “thanky” my way in recognition for the effort.  As for “piece”—well, I seem to get a lot of hits from people who need to find out how The Strange Affair of Uncle Harry (1945) ends.

Most Popular Piece: If you look at the “stats” of your blog it can sometimes be misleading.  The most popular post here at TDOY is this one right here, and I can tell you that the reason this is so is because of the graphic I used at the beginning—the one with Homer Simpson in his BVD’s wishing all a happy birthday.  This post, too, gets a goodly number of hits…but again, it’s because of the Droopy picture.  I’d have to say that the most popular thing I’ve done here on the blog was the Dick Van Dyke Show blogathon I put together back in October to celebrate the 50th anniversary of what I still maintain is the greatest sitcom in television history.  Blogathons are by their nature quite popular, but the response to my very first one really made me make an E-Trade baby “surprised face.”

Most Controversial Piece: Without question, two posts that I did mocking Big Hollywood’s John Nolte’s knickers-in-a-twist over some comments that TCM’s Ben Mankiewicz made before a showing of A Face in the Crowd (1957) on the channel back in December 2009.  I wrote the first one to let off a little steam because I thought Nolte was being disingenuous in his criticism, seeming to suggest that Mankiewicz had a political axe to grind and that TCM should remain a “politics-free zone.”  (I make very little secret of the fact that my political views skew a bit leftward and in the past I wasn’t above making an editorial comment or two but I’ve tried to eliminate that because…well, now I can do that on Facebook to my heart’s content.)  Several people threw in their copper pennies on the issue, both pro and con…something that does my heart good because I enjoy rousing political discourse that doesn’t resort to ugliness and every single person who weighed in on the issue was a model of deportment…and the second post attempted to address this.  (I honestly thought most people would just glance at it and mutter, “There he goes on his soapbox again…”)

Most Surprisingly Successful Piece: Again, if I substituted “feature” I still find it head-scratchingly amazing that so many people love Mayberry Mondays.  (It’s very humbling when people enjoy something that is basically me being a wiseass.)  But in terms of “pieces,” it would be a post that’s still listed among the most popular in the Popular Posts segment of this blog…and really, it was just a pointer to a Daily Beast study on the “healthiest” candy bars.  (I guess 10,000 Maniacs were right…give ‘em what they want!)

Most Underrated Piece:  I wrote a review on the classic series Room 222 about the time the first season was released to DVD…and even though I’m my most severest critic, it’s one of my favorite pieces that I’ve written.

Most Pride-Worthy Piece:  It’s always a real adrenaline rush when fellow bloggers and other writers compliment me on something I’ve written along the lines of “Hey…that did not suck!”  I’m kidding, I’m kidding…but one of the most thrilling days of blogdom was when the members of the Classic Movie Blog Association chose this piece, something I wrote on the last day of a Boris Karloff blogathon, as the Best Drama Film Review for 2010. 

So now I have to pass this along to seven awesome bloggers, and that is never easy because it’s just like being asked to pick my favorite child despite the fact that I cannot bear children.  Apologies to the many people I am probably going to leave out.

She Blogged by Night (Stacia’s mantra is “Yes…I AM awesome.”)

Inner Toob (Toby O’Brien…the Jerry Gergich of the blogosphere.)

The Lady Eve’s Reel Life (Positively the same dame!)

Laura’s Miscellaneous Musings (Riverboat ring your bell…)

Bill Crider’s Pop Culture Magazine (You kids stay off of his 7x7 lawn!)

The Horn Section (Hal…not in front of the men…)

World O’Crap (You know…for kids!)

Dor...I'll be over later to wash the car...and yes, I know...two coats of wax this time.


Stacia said...

Aw, thanks Ive. You're a peach. I promise I'll actually do this meme, too.

I went back to read the kerfluffle in your Most Controversial posts, and I am still semi shocked to find I was the only one who liked Ben Mankiewicz. He's a perfectly cromulent weekday host.

Dawn said...

Congrats!! I agree with Dorian, your blog is one of my favorite blogs.

Toby O'B said...

Thanks, Ivan! Maybe this time I'll actually be able to overcome the "homework block" and prove worthy of the nod.......

ClassicBecky said...

I like this piece a lot too, Ivers! I liked you amazement that people love Mayberry Mondays. I'm always surprised too when something I don't think will be appealing turns out to be a popular thing. I had not read the Face in the Crowd article, so I clicked and perused. What a lot of nonsense about nothing! I have to say I like your movie articles, but I also love your personal bits about Rancho Yesteryear. You definitely deserve the 7x7. Now I'd like to know how much you had to promise Dorian -- I want to be sure that MY bribe to her was not over the top!

Unca Jeffy said...

Congrats, Ivan on yet another well-deserved award!