Where the Interview process goes Wrong

Employers of the world, your prospective employees are not idiots. You wouldn’t be considering hiring them if they were (unless you were looking to hire drug mules or something). They can read subtext as well as, if not better than you can. So you might want to consider a little more closely how the way you handle hiring new staff makes you look. Here are a few suggestions to get you started:
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Oh god, I’m drawing inspiration from the MX now…

But sometimes you just gotta do what you gotta do.

There was a headline on last night’s MX letterpage that asked “Wit gives you the right to be cruel?” The letter it related to was a plea for people to be nicer to celebrities like Amy Winehouse, so that we have fewer celebrity depressions and so on.

It got me wondering, admittedly at something of tangent, whether wit does give you the right to be cruel.
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MetroFAIL: Southern Cross Station

We spent absolutely millions redeveloping a station that was working pretty well already, and all we got to show for it was a prestigious architectural award (the Lubetkin Prize, if you’re curious).
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An open letter to Google

Hi there!

You probably don’t need me to tell you that you’re the world’s pre-eminent site for search. However, having just spent a fruitless hour on your site looking for a way to send you a message, I can tell you that you are almost certainly unaware of how ironic that is.
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Something that annoys me, and my promise to you

As you probably know if you’ve spent much time wandering around on this site, I have devoted a fairly considerable amount of time to working out what order events in various fictional universes – primarily comics universes – take place in. This takes a not inconsiderable amount of research, since it means reading most – if not all – of the comics listed.
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The Festival of Rants: #2 “Make ‘em think you might stop”

Surprisingly few rants actually set out a concrete agenda – most of them are happy just to blow some steam. But every so often, a ranter comes along who transcends the form, and actually delivers a program for action. Such a ranter is Happy Harry Hardon.
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The Festival of Rants: #3 “when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbour”

Very few rants get to become part of the foundation of a genre, but this one did. Bluto’s rant in Animal House became a part of the cultural landscape in a way few others ever have.
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The Festival of Rants: #4 “…1 through 9, no maybes, no supposes, no fractions…”

The rant in modern cinema has often been drug-fueled, at least by the character. It’s an open question just how much of the ranting of Dennis Hopper’s never-named photographer in Apocalypse Now is truly the character, and how much is just Hopper.

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The Festival of Rants: #5 “…not going to take it anymore!”

When you’re talking about cinematic rants, there’s any number of great ones, but there’s a peculiarly modern type that was more or less inaugrated by Mr. Paddy Chayefsky in his Oscar-winning screenplay for the 1976 film Network.
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The Festival of Rants

I love a good rant.

I love to make them and, so long as I’m not the target, I usually enjoy listening to them as well. A well-executed rant is a pleasure to behold.

So for the next five weeks, I’ve decided to list the all time top five cinematic rants. If you were stuck on a desert island with one of these ranters, well…

…well, actually, I’d feel sorry for you. But to watch, rather than to be forced to watch, these rants are the gold standard.

Now, before we go any further, it’s important to distinguish between a speech and a rant. Because while all rants are speeches, not all speeches are rants. (Arguably, if your definition of a speech includes that it must be a monologue, not all rants are speeches. But let’s not split hairs too finely.)

A speech is much like a rant, in that it is spoken to an audience and intended to make a point, with the further intent of swaying the audience to agreeing with that point.

Rants differ in three major ways:

Firstly, the audience of a rant may be known, but it is rarely chosen. Speeches are pre-meditated, but rants are in the heat of the moment. Top Dollar’s inspirational outpouring to his men (moments before the Crow shows up and kills every man jack of them) may feature many rant-like aspects, but it’s a speech all the same, however fiery – he invited them there for the specific purpose of addressing them, after all.

Secondly, rants as a rule make their points with rather more force than a speech does. Consider the example of Tyler Durden: while there is much in the content of his words that resembles ranting, his delivery (most of the time, at least) is measured, almost laconic. A rant is expressed vehemently, or not at all – any attempt to provide a transcription of a rant should feature exclamation marks, possibly multiple exclamation marks, at the end of at least 90% of its sentences.

Thirdly, and finally, rants do not suffer from the same burdens of consistency or internal logic as speeches do. A rant, far more often than not, is incoherent, representing as it does the triumph of emotion over logic. Bugs Bunny rarely rants – Daffy Duck rarely does anything else.

Rants also have certain other qualities that distinguish them from other styles of speech. For example, a rant is rarely if ever brief. Riff Raff’s meltdown at the end of The Rocky Horror Picture Show certainly manifests in rant-style, but at a mere seven words in length (“They didn’t like me! Never liked me.“) it’s too brief to be truly considered a rant. (Or, alternately, at a mere seven words, it’s the shortest rant in cinematic history.)

So, who made the cut? Join me here next Saturday, and we’ll begin our countdown.