Eternal Sunshine #129

February 2020

By Douglas Kent - 911 Irene Drive, Mesquite, TX  75149


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Quote of The Month“You're going to look pretty silly with that knife sticking out of your ass.” (The Stranger in “High Plains Drifter”)


Welcome to Eternal Sunshine, the only Diplomacy zine that is universally hated by Diplomacy players and non-Diplomacy players alike.  I figure that’s simply because of how many people hate me and/or want me dead.  The line forms to the left, folks.  Take a number and be patient.


It hasn’t really taken a lot of work to get back into the swing of things.  GMing has never been a problem for me, with maintaining the same methods for record-keeping and such.  I’d love to see the Balkan Wars game get filled, so I could start it next issue.  I was a bit hesitant to begin By Popular Demand this time around, if only because I don’t know how many of you are going to play.  Hopefully there will be enough participation.  If not…oh well, who cares?  It’s still a fun game.


As for the issue itself, besides the first game results, nearly the entire issue is taken up with reviews of movies I’ve watched.  I was thinking about writing up my baseball predictions, but I don’t know if I have strong opinions about the season (or the new rule proposals).  It feels like it’s a bit late to go on a rant about what arrogant cheaters the Astros are.  I’m not even sure if I’m continuing my annual baseball fantasy league, or playing in other people’s leagues this year.  I’ve been so apathetic about a lot of things in the past year.  Restarting Eternal Sunshine was one of the few active decisions I made recently.  Andy York has a subzine coming, but he’ll be starting next issue.


My life has been very hermit-like the last eighteen months or so.  I haven’t even had a single date during that time.  So, my schedule is a lot of get up, go to work, come home, go to sleep, repeat.  Weekends are stay home and watch movies.  Last weekend I actually left the house on both Saturday and Sunday!  I don’t remember the last time that happened.  Saturday wasn’t a big deal, just some errands…buying some household items, looking for a cheap table lamp to replace one I have where the shade has become cracked and ripped.  It seems stupid to pay $20 for a replacement lamp shade.  For the time being I just keep the worst part pointing towards the wall.  Nobody but me and the cats see it anyway.



Sunday I decided I should get out of the house as well.  I considered a trip to the Dallas Museum of Art, but while I was taking a shower I changed my mind and instead made plans to go visit Free Play.  Free Play is an arcade of mostly 1980’s-era original video games.  They have a few locations in the Dallas-Ft. Worth region, with the Richardson one being an easy 20-minute drive from my house.  Admission is $11, but all the games are free.  They also have half a dozen random pinball machines, mostly more modern ones (some of the video games are 90’s-era or later games too, like Street Fighter or Area 51).  It was fun to play a couple games of things like Space Invaders, Dig Dug, Joust, and Centipede; these were games I haven’t played on true upright arcade stands since I was in High School.  But mostly I found myself playing two old friends: Robotron and Tempest.  I dropped countless quarters through the slot playing those games when I was a teenager, with Tempest being a particular favorite.  Oddly, I watched most of Night of the Comet on Shudder recently; in the opening scene, the star is playing Tempest at the movie theater where she works, and angrily notices someone with the initials DMK has joined the leader board on the game, a board previously populated only with her initials.  I thought of that as I played Tempest, entering my name on the high scores of the day list…DMK happen to be my initials too.


It was a good time, and I plan on going back.  They have a full bar and a kitchen there, neither of which I sampled this time around.  The only disappointment for me was that I didn’t get to play any Galaga.  They have that game presently, but some girl was planted in front of it the entire time I Was there.  I’m hoping they rotate games now and then, as I’d love to play some Defender and Battle Zone too.  And I bet there are more games I’ve completely forgotten about that I used to love.


One other note about Sunday.  I had also considered going to Dave & Busters instead of Free Play, as I have some old D&B power cards that probably have some money on them.  But I decided I was more interested in the old-style games.  I was at Free Play from around noon to 2:30pm.  Around 2pm at the Dave & Busters I was going to go to (the original D&B location, although it’s moved half a block to a newer building since it opened) two groups got into an argument over some stuffed animal at the prize table.  Somebody took things way too far and fired a gun into the ground three times, and one bullet ricocheted up into a bystander’s leg.  The injury wasn’t too serious.  With my luck I would have been standing close by and took one to the head.






Game Openings

Diplomacy (Black Press): Signed up: Heath Davis-Gardner, David Cohen, needs five more.

Balkan Wars VI (Black Press): Fast-paced six-player variant.  Rules on request.  Signed up: Brad Wilson, Jack McHugh, Kevin Wilson, Hugh Polley, needs two more.  Let’s fill this by next issue!

By Popular Demand: Starts this issue!  Join in the fun!  You can join at any time.

Where in the World is Kendo Nagasaki?: Coming soon, will likely start next issue or the one following.

Movie Photo Quiz: I am considering bringing this previous staple of Eternal Sunshine back.  Let me know if you’d be interested in playing.  It was my attempt to do a movie quiz that eliminated the ability of anyone to nudge their scores higher by doing internet searches.  Take a look at the end of an old issue like #68 if you want to see how the game went: (

Coming Soon: Open to suggestions…but let’s fill Balkan Wars VI first!  Fast, fun, easy variant!

Standby List: HELP!  I need standby players! – Current standby list: Andy York.


Meet Me in Montauk

The Eternal Sunshine Letter Column


Again, I received a few “glad to have you back” emails, but no true printable “letters.”  So this section remains vacant…THIS time.


The Dining Dead – Eternal Sunshine Movie Reviews


I’ve decided to include reviews of whatever movies I watch on physical media or streaming, if I think they’re worthy of mention.  Some of these will be older movies I’ve stumbled across, and some more recent releases.  I don’t go to the movie theater often these days (The Lighthouse was the last movie I saw, a few months ago), but if I do I’ll certainly include any movie I see there.  When possible (i.e. if I remember) I will include what service I used to watch the movie, in case you want to find it there.  I’ll also be doing my best to keep all reviews spoiler-free.  I still get involved quite a bit with independent films so anything I back or am tied to will certainly be included in this section.


Before I begin, I’ll mention that Gorman Bechard has three documentaries coming out this year (possibly more, who knows?) that you need to be on the lookout for, and that I was either Associate Producer of Executive Producer for.  I think it was near the end of the previous Eternal Sunshine life cycle that Gorman did the powerful A Dog Named Gucci, which I still consider a must-see for all animal lovers.  Yes, it has sad moments, some very sad, but also many uplifting ones.  I get tired of hearing people tell me “oh I can’t watch animal stuff like that.”  It isn’t graphic animal abuse caught on camera; it is recounting a few specific stories of animal abuse, and detailing how much work it took to get the laws changed to punish animal abusers more appropriately.  And most importantly, it is the story of how one person can make a difference.  This beautiful puppy, Gucci, had something horrific done to it, and one man stepped forward.  He didn’t just get the dog the care it needed so it could live a healthy, happy life.  He loved Gucci, and then he (and Gucci) became the driving force, fighting for years to get state laws changed.  One man, that’s what it took.  One person.  Watch the damn movie, it’s still on Amazon Prime and available on DVD.  As a matter of fact, if you have Netflix, go to and ask for them to add A Dog Named Gucci.  It deserves a much wider audience.


Since Gucci, Mr. Bechard has released two fine “rockumentaries” – documentaries about up-and-coming musical talents: Who is Lydia Loveless? and What it Takes: film en douze tableaux.  Both are great, although I think I prefer Lydia’s movie a bit more.  What it Takes documents Sarah Shook and the Disarmers, and the original intent was to follow the band as they worked towards trying to find a record deal.  Ironically, just as filming began a music video Gorman had done for the band got noticed by Rolling Stone, and almost immediately they were signed to an independent label (Bloodshot Records, the same label which Lydia Loveless had been with at the time).  So while the film is still a good one, the “story” had to be adjusted on the fly.  You should bug Netflix to add both of these films too.


Anyway, as I mentioned there are three more Bechard documentary films coming out soon.  The first, Pizza – A Love Story, is already getting rave reviews as it makes the rounds of the festival circuit.  (Side note: if you love documentaries, and live in the New England area or travel there in the spring, check out which is the web site for the documentary film festival Gorman and three of his friends created.  Michael Moore was the featured speaker last year.  Unlike some festivals, this one is legitimate, and not one of those ones that gives an award to every film it accepts for a screening). 


As I was saying before I so rudely interrupted myself, Pizza – A Love Story is a film about the “holy trinity” of New Haven pizza, which many consider to be the finest pizza in the world (as well as the source of some of the staples of the industry now, including the first pizza box, the Italian guy with a bow tie and a big hat, etc.).  Whether you stand with Pepe’s, Sally’s, or Modern Pizza, everyone in the area has a strong opinion about what’s best.  Even if you’ve never tried New Haven-style pizza, the film is a celebration of pizza itself, and of the communal experience sharing a pie can be.  Screenings are usually posted on the NHDocs web site, and it should see streaming and DVD availability in the near future.


The other two films I want you to be on the lookout for are Where Are You, Jay Bennett? and Seniors – A Dogumentary.  Bennett is a documentary about the late Jay Bennett, best known for his work with Wilco and his contributions to what most fans consider their three best albums: Being There, Summerteeth, and Yankee Hotel Foxtrot (as well as their Woody Guthrie collaborations with Billy Bragg, the Mermaid Avenue albums).  The beauty of this film is you don’t have to be a fan of Wilco – or know anything about their music or history – to enjoy Jay’s story, to appreciate his musical talent, or to understand the undeserved negative legacy some Wilco fans direct at him. 


Seniors is sort of the anti-Gucci when it comes to animal films, and that’s partly the point.  Instead of fighting animal abuse and going over some traumatic stories, Seniors is a celebration of senior dogs and an exploration into how much love and life they bring into people’s lives, whether they’ve been a part of the family from puppyhood or adopted as senior dogs from the get-go (which is something I’ve done three times so far).  It’s a sad fact that many people teat their older dogs as disposable, instead of family members deserving of love and comfort until the end.  This film will help you realize how much more a senior dog has left to give to anyone who takes the time to find out.


Both Seniors – A Dogumentary and Where Are You, Jay Bennett? Are in post-production and will likely be out later this year.  I’ll mention them again, but keep your eyes open.


And now, on to the movie reviews for this issue…


Midsommar (Amazon) – Writer/Director Ari Aster is the filmmaker who brought us the controversial Hereditary in 2018.  The controversy continues with Midsommar, the kind of film you either really like (or love) or simply find boring and terrible.  A lot of this has to do with Aster’s style.  Both films are slow-burning, atmospheric, and psychological more than the modern slashing gore horror fans have come to expect.  I’m not convinced either film belongs in the horror category the way many people define it, unless you agree Rosemary’s Baby does.  My horror genre casts a very wide net, so for me there’s no problem.  But I really think a good deal of the “controversy” surrounding these films is one of audience expectation.  Some of the people who went to see one, or both, in the theater were expecting something much more familiar.  Likewise, part of the audience that might greatly appreciate Midsommar will never watch it because it’s “another horror movie.”


Aster shoots beautiful films, and while Hereditary was in ways dark and claustrophobic, Midsommar is exactly the opposite: bright and sunny and open.  The film tells the story of Dani (Florence Pugh) and Christian (Jack Reynor).  They’re a college-age couple with a somewhat rocky relationship, one that Christian’s friends are urging him to cut loose from.  After tragedy strikes Dani’s family, inertia and a sense of obligation keep Christian hanging on.  A friend of Christian’s from Sweden who goes to school with them is returning home for the midsummer festival and Christian and his friends are going along, either for anthropological thesis work or just to have a good time.  Begrudgingly Christian invited Dani to come along (hoping she won’t accept), but she agrees, and despite her still-fragile mental state they all head off to a remote Swedish village to participate in and document the festival.


Aster’s film carries a similar mood as you find in the classic Christopher Lee film The Wicker Man.  There’s the beauty of the land, the close-knit community, and the general undercurrent that there’s a lot more going on than any of the visitors (or the audience) understand.  But at the same time, unlike the reception Sergeant Howie received in The Wicker Man, in Midsommar the travelers are welcomed with open arms, encouraged to participate in the festivities (or not, as they please), and treated like additional members of the huge communal village family.  It’s less a case of secrecy and manipulation and more one of very different customs, which are freely explained to anyone who asks at nearly every turn.


I quite enjoyed Midsommar, but it’s inevitable that it gets compared to Hereditary and in that regard, I put it one notch below.  Part of that I leave at the feet of casting.  Florence Pugh brings a strong performance for the most part.  Moving between uncertainty to panic to confusion to happiness, she carries the extremes particularly well.  When she smiles and is enjoying herself, you feel it and want her to experience more of that.  When she’s sobbing in emotional pain, you want her to be comforted.  And when she is cracking under the weight of her personal problems, you want to step away from the whirlpool the same was Christian seems to.


In truth, Pugh carries the movie.  I never felt much for the other characters one way or another.  The locals are all played well but none are developed enough for that to be a major concern.  Will Poulter as Mark, one of the college students, is appropriately annoying.  But Jack Reynor was a weak link in this film for me.  You always know what emotion his character is supposed to be experiencing, so it doesn’t ruin anything.  But he doesn’t have the weight to properly express them.  You know what’s going on by watching, not by feeling, and that’s a shame.  Antagonism between he and fellow student John (William Jackson Harper) that develops at one point feels empty and forced, and I lay that more at the feet of Reynor, although Harper only does a serviceable job.  At least his character is mostly one-note. 


If you saw and enjoyed Heredity, or if you like the atmosphere of films such as Rosemary’s Baby and The Wicker Man, you should give Midsommar a shot.  You’ll probably know within forty minutes whether to see it all the way through or not.  It’s either your kind of movie, or it isn’t.


Thirst (Shudder) – This is a 1979 Australian vampire movie with a twist (one that is revealed very early on).  It brings with it the idea that the mythical vampire is simply superstition, but that specific familial bloodlines carry with them genetic benefits to the consumption of human blood.  Chantal Contouri plays a direct descendant to the famous Hungarian Countess Elizabeth Bathory, who reputedly drank blood and bathed in the blood of virgins (although those tales are often thought to be only folklore; that Bathory was a cruel murderess and sadist seems fully documented).  Unaware of her blood line, she is kidnapped by a group of blood drinkers and brought to their modern “dairy farm” where blood is drained daily from groups of servants (or “blood cows”) for consumption.  Their goal is to get her to join them, and to accept her proper royal spot in their hierarchy.  There are a few familiar faces, notably Henry Silva, and overall, it’s a nice change of pace; sort of Brave New World meets vampires.  But I wish they had ended I about fifteen minutes sooner, as the final twists and turns feel unnecessary and draw things out much longer than necessary. 


Four Hands (Shudder) – [German language with subtitles].  Sisters Sophie and Jessica see their parents brutally murdered as children.  Twenty years later the perpetrators are released from prison, causing the unstable Jessica to become unraveled.  Her lifelong mission to “always keep Sophie safe” grows to a dangerous obsession, threatening everything in Sophie’s world.  Frida-Lovisa Hamann as Sophie gives a very strong performance.  There are a lot of twists and turns in the plot that preclude me from giving you more of a description that I have already provided.  It has a few slow-moving moments but overall, it’s enjoyable and suspenseful, and worth the watch.


Lake Mungo (Amazon) – Lake Mungo is a dramatic film, but delivered in the format of a “documentary.”  The story focuses on the Palmer family from a small town in Victoria, Australia.  During a family outing at a local dam, teenage daughter Alice accidentally drowns.  Soon after her death, the family begins to experience strange noises and activity in their home, which they believe may be the result of paranormal activity.  With the help of a local psychic they hear on a radio broadcast, the family tries to determine the source of the uneasiness in their home, and along the way begin to uncover some upsetting secrets Alice had kept from them.  The movie itself is slow paced and quiet, with none of the jump scares you’ve come to expect.  Part paranormal investigation, part drama, and part mystery, Writer and Director Joel Anderson provides enough twists and turns to keep the story interesting.  The film itself will leave you thinking a bit about the nature of life, death, and the meaning of dreams.  It’s not a great film, but it’s a generally good one and worth your time.


Voyeur (Netflix) – This film is a documentary detailing the process journalist and author Gay Talese went through writing his book “The Voyeur’s Motel.”  It also details the thirty-year relationship Talese had with Herald Foos, the subject of the book.  It’s a well-done documentary, slow paced and steady, which will appeal more to hose interested in the process of true reporting and journalism than those necessarily looking for salacious details.  In the late 1960’s, Foos buys a motel in Colorado with the express purpose of spying on his guests, a practice which he documents in detailed notes.  After seeing Talese do promotion for his book on American sexuality “Thy Neighbor’s Wife,” Foos contacts him and begins to share details about his activities.  Talese can’t (or won’t) report on these activities because Foos does not want his name or location revealed to the public, so the two enact a plan that years down the road, when it is safe to do so, Talese will write a book about Foos and the motel.  But as the years go on and the time to write the book finally nears, some inconsistencies begin to emerge.  Has Talese invested too much time and effort in the project to let it go?  Can Foos be trusted, or has this decades-long friendship been built on deception?  Directors Myles Kane and Josh Koury have a very hands-off approach to the story, documenting both men and allowing things to progress wherever they naturally are headed.  And their selection of scenes and interview moments helps reveal that both Foos and Talese may have more in common than either wants to admit. 


The Stranger (Netflix): A British series about the secrets we keep, and a stranger who reveals them to others.  I liked this series (eight episodes) but as it went on,I started to get a good idea of how things were going to all come together.  I kind of hate watching mysteries (I suppose this is a suspense/mystery series in most facets) because my brain automatically puts the pieces together.  It isn’t something I can tell it not to do.  But now that I just finished watching the 8th episode, I’m also wondering if the way they put the series together was meant to lead you towards the solution all along.  In other words, it might have bene built into the suspense that you as the observer would figure out the answers before the main characters do.  If that’s the case, I think they did a fine job.  And for some it will be harder to figure out.


The entire topic of mysteries, and whether you can figure them out or not, reminds me of the “big finale” in Neil Simon’s Murder by Death, where Lionel Twain (played by Truman Capote) berates the various famous detectives for the way their books are written.  “You've tricked and fooled your readers for years. You've tortured us all with surprise endings that made no sense. You've introduced characters in the last five pages that were never in the book before. You've withheld clues and information that made it impossible for us to guess who did it. But now, the tables are turned. Millions of angry mystery readers are now getting their revenge. When the world learns I've outsmarted you, they'll be selling your $1.95 books for twelve cents.”


Not all mysteries require secrecy.  Hitchcock’s films usually revealed everything to the audience, even though the characters remained oblivious.  And the greatest detective show in television history, Columbo, was never a whodunit but instead a how’s-he-gonna-get-him (with one episode, Farewell to the Commodore, a delightful exception to that rule).  I’m glad I saw films like Charade before I was intuitive enough to figure everything out in advance (if they could have been figured out at all…who knows?).  Anyway, The Stranger is decent.  I felt things got wrapped up a bit too quickly and cleanly, but it had to end at some point.


Stan & Ollie (DVD) – A semi-historical movie about Laurel and Hardy’s tour of variety halls in Great Britain in 1953.  They’d made their last true film together in 1945 (The Bullfighters) and then reuniting in 1951 for Utopia which they both hated, didn’t write, and were each seriously ill during.  The tour that is the subject of this film was meant to try and resurrect their careers and lead to another film.  Steve Coogan and John C. Reilly do an admirable job as the comic duo, but aside from their strong performances there isn’t much of a story here.  I’ve been a lifelong fan of Laurel and Hardy so I enjoyed this as a sort of send-off to their careers.  Otherwise, it’s mostly forgettable and not 100% accurate.  The one thing the movie does help bring to light is what a talented comedy writer Stan Laurel was.  If you want to learn a bit about them or you’re an admirer, it’s not a bad way to spend 90 minutes.  Otherwise, you’d probably do better to go and watch one of their original films and enjoy that instead.  The Music Box is probably their most famous and popular short (about 30 minutes long).  Way Out West or Sons of the Desert are two great features.  If you’re in a holiday mood try March of the Wooden Soldiers (originally known as Babes in Toyland) which is the first of their films I remember watching as a child (although I remember seeing some of their shorts, including silent shorts, at a, even younger age…they’d often come on when the independent TV stations would begin their broadcast day on Sunday, usually followed by an Abbott and Costello feature).


Legend (Netflix) – A few films share this title, but the one I watched was the Brian Helgeland film about the notorious Kray brothers, who rules London’s gang world in the 1960’s.  Tom Hardy plays both Kray brothers: Reggie (the more stable and businesslike of the two), and his twin Ron (who was mentally unstable, exceptionally violent, and when not on medication even more dangerous that usual).  The film is done very well, and feels a lot more like an American gangster film than a British one.  I don’t think I’ve seen a film that has one actor play two roles so seamlessly; if you didn’t know in advance that one actor was playing both roles, you probably wouldn’t even realize until you saw the credits.  The only downside of the film is that, for a Monty Python fan like myself, it’s hard to concentrate on the Krays without being reminded of the Piranha Brothers of Python fame (who were created as a send-up on the Krays).  The film probably should have been fifteen minutes shorter, but it’s still enjoyable. 


3 From Hell (Shudder) – The sequel to Rob Zombie’s The Devil’s Rejects.  I really enjoyed House of 1000 Corpses and The Devil’s Rejects.  They were fun and different.  But this thing is just crap.  Bad dialogue, bad acting, and a terrible storyline.  I first I liked how they were making it into a pseudo Charles Manson kind of thing, but (spoiler alert) come on, there isn’t a person in the history of death row who goes out on a work detail.  It only gets worse from there.  I can suspend disbelief to a point, but not beyond stupidity.  Not even a cameo by Clint Howard could make this piece of crap watchable.


Misc. Movies: Phantasm (Shudder) – the new restored print (gorgeous)…as goofy as the plot is, the film remains a favorite of mine, with the nightmare atmosphere; the late great Angus Scrimm as “The Tall Man” was enough to haunt you just seeing him in the original commercials.  Elizabeth and Elizabeth: The Golden Age (Netflix) – I decided to enjoy this double feature instead of watching the Super Bowl.  I like them both despite the historical inaccuracies.  Geoffrey Rush is always a bonus in any film.  Child’s Play (Shudder) – The original is such a goofy, fun movie.  “Ugly doll.”  Fuuuuuuck you…”  Philadelphia (DVD) – Still holds up pretty well.  It’s a view into the past which isn’t especially pretty.  Two arias from Maria Callas are always a major bonus.  Casablanca and Key Largo (TCM) – A nice double feature a few evenings before the zine deadline.  Hal Wallis was my ex-wife Heather’s Grand Uncle (And Martha Wallis nee Hyer therefore her Grand Aunt, although it’s the other way around, as it was Hyer she was directly related to, sister of her grandmother).  If you read her autobiography “Finding My Way” you learn Hal Wallis’ famed cheapness extended to his marriage as well, which I can attest to from the things I learned. On another note, I have never been especially fond of Lauren Bacall as an actress.  I always found her between serviceable and good, but never great.  Perhaps if I had been alive during her heyday my opinion might be different.  The Big Sleep is probably my favorite role of hers. 



Eternal Sunshine Game Section


Diplomacy, “Indestructible Machine”, 2020A, Spring 1901

Austria: Rick Davis – - A Budapest – Serbia, F Trieste – Albania, A Vienna - Budapest.

England: Mark Firth – - F Edinburgh - Norwegian Sea, A Liverpool – Yorkshire,

 F London - North Sea.

France: John David Galt – - F Brest - Mid-Atlantic Ocean, A Marseilles – Spain, A Paris - Picardy.

Germany: Tim Haffey – - A Berlin – Kiel, F Kiel – Holland, A Munich - Ruhr.

Italy: Toby Harris – - F Naples - Ionian Sea, A Rome – Apulia, A Venice Hold.

Russia: Bob Durf – - A Moscow - St Petersburg,

 F Sevastopol - Black Sea (*Bounce*), F St Petersburg(sc) - Gulf of Bothnia, A Warsaw - Galicia.

Turkey: Jack McHugh - - F Ankara - Black Sea (*Bounce*),

 A Constantinople – Bulgaria, A Smyrna - Constantinople.





Berlin - London:.  The North Sea is yours if you even move.  Silence is golden but sometimes it can be hard to swallow.


From: Jack Mehoff of the Russian Propaganda Press:


From Greek underground News (GUN)  Trusted sources say Turkey and Austria may be teaming up against Russia?   Where is Italy.  Greece just wants to remain neutral.. Sources say Greece and Italy are negotiating for Italy to support Greece..other reports have Russia and Ausstia moving into Gal.  Will that be a counce?What we here at GUN can find out it seems pretty quit up north,  Fleet activity in Breast and Mar seem to suggest the fleets will be moving somewhere soon.     Germany is just as tight lipped as he can be and England is even more so..

We wii geep you updated.


From: Documentary Crew:

An early look at Spring 1901 Negotiations


Deadline for Fall 1901 Moves and Press is: March 17, 2020 at 7am My Time (U.S. central time)


By Popular Demand


I’ve run this game (or By Almost Popular Demand, a slight variant) a number of times in Eternal Sunshine.  The rules are simple: I supply you with five categories.  You send in what you think will be the most popular answer for each category.  Research IS permitted.  You get one point for each person who submitted the answer you gave.  So, if you and two other people send in the same answer that’s three points.  You also get to choose a Joker category, where the points are doubled.  So in the example I gave, you’d get six points in that category if you chose it as your Joker that round.  If you don’t specify a Joker, it gets applied to the first category listed (so you don’t “lose” the Joker).  Always answer for every category: any answer is legal, and will earn a point even if you’re the only person to give it.  High score after ten categories wins.  Any player who joins after the first round starts with the lowest score so far; if you join starting in Turn 3 and the person doing the worst has 27 points so far, that’s what you start with.  Also if you miss a turn, you get the lowest score that round rather than zero.  This makes the game more competitive and keeps you playing even if you arrive late or forget to play one turn.


Turn 1 Categories:

(Don’t forget to specify a Joker category, or it will be applied to Category 1)


1.    A Johnny Depp film

2.    Something you can’t buy on

3.    A card game that children play

4.    Someone you tip other than a food server

5.    A geometric shape


Deadline for Turn 1 of By Popular Demand is: March 17, 2020 at 7am My Time (U.S. central time)




Deadline for the next issue of Eternal Sunshine is: March 17, 2020 at 7am My Time (U.S. central time)


See You Then!