In the comments a while back, a guest named “Joe Giarratano” delivered the following challenge:

Someone list for me the BEST 3 books you ever read. Then list the BEST 3 politicians you have ever heard of, the BEST 3 movies you ever saw, and maybe even the 3 BEST blogs on the internet. I’m not finniky about the political leaning of any of the above, I just want to know what EXCITES you as being the VERY BEST of its kind. One risks a lot more when he does so.

It’s not a bad exercise, so I’ll go for it. I don’t really like the label of “best”, though, as that implies objective, rather than subjective choices. These are my three favorites in the given category (or three of my favorites; it’s very difficult to pick the absolute top three); whether they’re the “best” of that category is of course up for debate.


  1. Foucault’s Pendulum (Umberto Eco)
  2. Carter Beats the Devil (Glen David Gold)
  3. Godel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid (Douglas Hofstaeder)


  1. Al Gore
  2. Dennis Kucinich
  3. Howard Dean


  1. Star Wars
  2. Brazil
  3. Raiders of the Lost Ark


  1. Slacktivist
  2. Making Light
  3. Defective Yeti


  1. Oil and Gold (Shriekback)
  2. Joy: 1969-1990 (Ultra Vivid Scene)
  3. Lifes Rich Pageant (REM)

Comic Books

  1. Usagi Yojimbo (Stan Sakai)
  2. Doom Patrol (Grant Morrison)
  3. Hellboy (Mike Mignola)


  1. Power Grid
  2. San Juan
  3. Magic: the Gathering

Things in Life Not Mentioned Above

  1. Pizza
  2. Legos
  3. Doctor Who

What other categories do I need?

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7 Responses to BEST. POST. EVER.

  1. Jeff says:

    Beers. Places. I may have others, but I gotta go.

  2. Joe Giarratano says:

    Not Bad, here’s mine. You will think these are pretty ho hum, but at my age, I am starting to appreciate things that last through time.

    1. The Bible, (KJV only – great poetry, I certainly appreciate it more now than I did in the 1960s)
    2. The Iliad and the Odyssey (2 for 1 here. It covers so much of what we should know about that civilization.)
    3. The Complete Works of William Shakespeare. (Everybody else just borrows from him.)


    1. Machiaveli: (It’s what works.)
    2. Napoleon Bonaparte: (Incredibly changed the anarchy of the Rein of Terror back to a dictatorship.)
    3. George Washington: (Pretty good job considering he started from scratch.)

    1. 2001: A Space Odyssey: (I just remember the colors, Man, and this baby that was bigger than the earth! Hey, don’t Bogart that joint.)
    2. Cool Hand Luke: (More succinct and entertaining than Sartre in explaining existensialism.)
    3. The Da Vinci Code: (Sniker Sniker)

    1. Sargent Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band – (Single handedly turned our kiddie music from “Yummie Yummie Yummie, I’ve got love in my tummy” to something more mature.)
    2. Sound track to “2001: A Space Odyssey” (while watching ripples of colored water projected onto a dark ceiling and smoking a joint)
    3. Amadeus (The man was a genius… a crazy genius.)

    1. The Watchmen. (Who watches the Watchmen?)
    2. The Dark Knight
    3. Maus

    1. Cowboys and Indians, uh I mean Native Americans who were NOBLE savages.
    2. Monopoly – Unrestrained capitalism. (Mu ha ha ha ha…)
    3. Pong – (Intense hand to eye coordination)

    1. CiCi’s Pizza – Senior Buffet $3.25 for all you can eat.
    2. Little Caesar’s – $5.00 for a large pepperoni and you don’t have to wait for it.
    3. All the others.

    1. Gene Krupa
    2. Buddy Rich
    3. Ringo Starr

  3. Dave says:

    Now Joe, in your original challenge, you stated that “One risks a lot more when he” denotes his favorites, things he thinks are the best, rather than just pointing out flaws. This list is risky? The Beatles? Shakespeare? The Bible? The holy Watchmen/DKR/Maus trilogy? George Washington? This list couldn’t be safer if it was covered in foam rubber, painted orange, and had a protective fence built around it.

  4. Joe Giarratano says:


    You are quite right. It was safe. I guess It was because I had just read blog after blog that did nothing but criticize various things. I got a little tired of it. But maybe here is something that is not quite so safe. Since I am going out of town for a week, I may not be able to respond, but here goes.

    George W. Bush made a lot of mistakes in the Iraq war, but they are not what you may think. The war with Iraq was ABSOLUTELY necessary. I just wish that Bush had never mentioned WMD. He didn’t need it. As soon as Iraq told the weapons inspectors to get out we should have bombed them then, without hesitation just for stopping the weapons inspections.

    Iraq lost the Gulf War, and one of their agreements was that our weapons inspectors could inspect until WE were satisfied. That never happened. Of course Iraq was part of the 9/11 attack. What part of “Death to America” don’t you understand.

    We told Saddam that his military could fly in Iraq as long as it was not in either of the “no fly zones.” He used that loophole to attack his own citizens from the air when they tried to overthrow him, and we did nothing about it. We should have. In the long run it would have saved more lives, just like when Clinton FINALLY sent troops into the former Yugoslavia. It finally ended the bloodshed.

    In Iraq, we didn’t send in enough troops and we didn’t attack Syria and Iran with EVERYTHING short of nuclear weapons. Those would have been okay too, if there weren’t so many other countries that also have nuclear weapons. You don’t get peace by talking; you get peace by being strong.

    So here I am criticizing the Bush administration just like most of the bloggers I’ve read, its just from the other side of the fence. I guess maybe that’s what blogs are best at after all…venting.

  5. Dave says:

    Wow, I sure didn’t see that coming! Let’s upgrade that to a post, shall we?

  6. David Thiel says:

    WTF? Dave, your new friend appears to be unclear on the concept of the comment field. Not to mention the phrase “not quite so safe;” these days it’s safe as houses to spout willfully misformed, jingoistic bullshit. Maybe not as much as it was four years ago, but there are still plenty of idiots (29%, in fact) who’ll back him up.

  7. Dave says:

    Maybe not as much as it was four years ago, but there are still plenty of idiots (29%, in fact) who’ll back him up.

    And unfortunately, many of the people who are now expressing dissatisfaction with Our Glorious Leader are doing so because he’s not enough of a ruthless, bloodthirsty, God-spouting, corporate whore.