TRUE--the man's magazine
fred.shapiro at YALE.EDU
Sat Jun 3 19:51:04 UTC 2000
On Fri, 2 Jun 2000 Bapopik at AOL.COM wrote:
> WHO WANTS TO WATCH "WHO WANTS TO BE A MILLIONAIRE?"
> I got every question--without the choices. One contestant couldn't
> identify "round up the usual suspects" with the film classic CASABLANCA. She
> thought for what seemed like twenty minutes. Goofy music played in the
> background. You had to know stupid things for the show, like tv sitcom
> history and the birth dates of Julia Roberts and Christina Ricci.
The "hot-seat" questions were pretty easy on that show. Unfortunately,
the "fastest-finger" questions were harder, at least for me. "Hot seat"
and "fastest-finger" require two different kinds of skills, but to win
anything on the show you have to be good at both.
I was surprised that the contestant didn't know "round up the usual
suspects," which is a major movie quote. I was also surprised that
another contestant didn't know "mush" as a command to Arctic dogs and
"Vanity Fair" as the title of a Thackeray novel. In general, the show
reveals the state of Americans' knowledge of history, geography, and
literature to be abysmal. But, it needs to be pointed out, I could tell
even from coming into proximity with the hot seat that the pressure there
is enormous, and, if a contestant doesn't know that a compass points
north, as happened recently, it probably means that they do know but their
brain went bye-bye in the heat of the moment.
Fred R. Shapiro Coeditor (with Jane Garry)
Associate Librarian for Public Services TRIAL AND ERROR: AN OXFORD
and Lecturer in Legal Research ANTHOLOGY OF LEGAL STORIES
Yale Law School Oxford University Press, 1998
e-mail: fred.shapiro at yale.edu ISBN 0-19-509547-2
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