Periscope Depth

wind it up

Question: when did Gwen Stefani start to reliably produce the worst music ever heard? For many years “Hollaback Girl” held the title of World’s Worst Song. Annoyingly vapid lyrics, even for pop music, an oddly dissonant sample and no particular melody. And now “Wind It Up,” also by Gwen Stefani, has displaced that champion. It has all the advantages of “Hollaback Girl” but with an even stupider hook.

I curse you thus:

Challenge: Watching Spartacus for the first time this past weekend – and what do I have to add to generations of critical acclaim other than “yes, they’re right” – I was struck by the obvious similarities to Gladiator. Not that I find anything wrong with stealing from a classic, provided you steal nimbly and to good effect, but in some places it was obvious.

So I compiled a short list of movies from which Gladiator stole its best parts. Can anyone add to it?

Spartacus: The gladiator academy.
The Robe: The fight scenes in the Colosseum.
Braveheart: The first battle against the barbarians in the forest.
I, Claudius: The palace intrigues; the Emperor decrying the Senate.

Did I miss any? Obvious hits only; let’s not overreach ourselves.

Finally: I’m soliciting investment advice from the Internet. Tell me what to invest in; I’ll do exactly what you say.*

* I can almost guarantee that I won’t do what you say, because (1) it’s my money and (2) you’re all a bunch of trolling wiseasses anyway. But I like to hear differing opinions.

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