thinglets: 25 Single Words That Identify Authors

I tried to avoid character names which would be very obvious and key title words that didn't exist within the texts. I've also tried to go for the most generic words I could find that the authors "made their own"... well, maybe except for "fardles". Feel free to add your own in the comments.
  1. riverrun - James Joyce
  2. Shantih - T.S. Eliot
  3. fardles - William Shakespeare
  4. towel - Douglas Adams
  5. windmills - Cervantes
  6. robot - Isaac Asimov
  7. soma - Aldous Huxley
  8. Maine - Stephen King
  9. precious - J.R.R. Tolkien
  10. thoughtcrime - George Orwell
  11. plague - Albert Camus
  12. horrorshow - Anthony Burgess
  13. jungle - Rudyard Kipling
  14. ode - John Keats
  15. tyger - William Blake
  16. albatross - Samuel Taylor Coleridge
  17. paradise - John Milton
  18. inferno - Dante Alighieri
  19. waiting - Samuel Beckett
  20. nevermore - Edgar Allan Poe
  21. darkness - Joseph Conrad
  22. moors - Charlotte Bronte
  23. Rockland - Alan Ginsberg
  24. daffodils - Wordsworth
  25. whitewash - Mark Twain

lovehate: Pete Frame's Ink Links and Monetizing Music

Okay, right off, if you don't know who Pete Frame is, let me drop some science on you (I feel so lame saying that!)

I first discovered Pete Frame through my love of 70's progressive rock. Frame became known for laying out elaborate family trees of musicians and bands to throughout different lineups and generations. 60's and 70's music was almost incestuous in nature. The concept of the Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon as it relates to film, could almost be distilled down to the Two or Three Degrees of Bill Bruford or John Wetton when it comes to progressive rock. But Frame laid out every type of pop music: folk, rock, funk, metal, etc..

The great thing about rock family trees is they told a story. If you had a favorite guitar player or drummer and wanted to find out where they came from, you could go to a family tree and track their career back to bands you'd never heard of before. Such a journey opened up the possibilities to music you never knew existed but were willing to take a chance on buying a cassette or album due to the tenuous links set out before you on paper. The ink link had become a recommendation engine that was based on career tracking of musicians.

I'll never forget when the first Asia album came out and the geek in me fell hypnotized to the Roger Dean fantasy dragon on the cover and hearing about this supergroup of musicians I had never heard of before. I had no older siblings and never was initiated into much of the music of the early 70s. My formative years were spent listening to AM radio and top 40 hits. But when that Asia album broke, and it was the biggest selling album of 1982, I fell in love with it and started to research this supergroup's origins. With no world wide web or older siblings to turn to, I happened upon Pete Frame's book of Rock Family Trees.

I learned that Asia was comprised of Steve Howe from Yes, Carl Palmer from Emerson Lake and Palmer, Geoff Downes from the Buggles [remember Video Killed the Radio Star?] and John Wetton from almost every other 70's group combined. I also learned that Yes had a ridiculous amount of lineup changes from the early to late 70s which included Bill Bruford who went on to play drums for King Crimson with John Wetton. Geoff Downes was in the Buggles with Trevor Horn (who would soon produce Frankie Goes to Hollywood), but before that they joined Steve Howe in Yes for a single album. Carl Palmer had played with crazy psychedelic outfits like The Crazy World of Arthur Brown and Atomic Rooster before joining Emerson Lake and Palmer. ELP's Greg Lake came originally from King Crimson which, after he left, counted John Wetton and Bill Bruford among its members (this surrounding a short stint Bruford did with Genesis). Lake ended up touring with Asia on a Japanese tour in 1983 for an ailing Wetton. Wetton also played with Roxy Music and Uriah Heep. Keith Emerson played with a band called The Nice before ELP and The Nice's Davy O'List joined a band called Refugee with Patrick Moraz (who also played with Yes for an album). Rick Wakeman of Yes also played with The Strawbs, and Alan White, who took over on drums for Bill Bruford, played with John Lennon, Eric Clapton and friends in the Plastic Ono Band.

Before wikipedia or the worldwide web, I had an incredible two page resource that distilled down the stories of dozens of musicians into a digestible format. I went on a spending spree buying up all the used albums I could find. Pete Frame had unwittingly become the Digg of the early 80s. If music companies want a tool that would be great to take digital music into the future, they should join together to allow users to generate their own family trees. One could track their favorite band back through time, or sideways through side projects to discover new artists. I suppose one of the biggest problems with modern music is that we'd have to eliminate the "feat." appearances from many modern recordings lest the connections become too unwieldy. And I also fear that most teenagers today have lost the ability and desire to commit to a band's infrastructure, much less an entire CD or discography. And I know that iTunes has a Genius and Amazon has a "people who've bought this have also bought" section at the bottom of every page, but these systems don't tell a story. They don't give a musician's evolution. I would always prefer discovering something on my own (or at least have the illusion of it) than buying related goods just because other people have.

Wherefore art thou Pete Frame. Music needs you again.

lovehate: John Hughes - The 80's Shakespeare

"Screws fall out all the time, the world is an imperfect place."
- John Bender (The Breakfast Club)

Upon the passing of John Hughes, who most of us remember as a director, it behooves us to think back to his writing output that extended up until 2008. Hughes only directed eight films, including many 80's teen classics, and even though many of his scripts could be deemed silly, populist, or juvenile, there was an undeniable ability to tell a story and reach niche audiences.

As you peruse the following list, there are certainly some films that you may regard as "stinkers", but you'll have heard of almost all of them if you are a fan of Hollywood productions.

I know that John Hughes is not often referred to in the canon of great directors or Hollywood writers, but his are some of the most loved stories of a generation. He was master of the youth archetype. He married contemporary music with interwoven plot. His characters exuded fun, angst, and shared in conclusions of poetic justice. I daresay that had I the energy or inclination, I could draw parallels between Hughes' plots and The Bard.

John Bender as the tough guy with a heart of gold. Samantha Baker as the tortured teen who's fantasies come true. Gary Wallace as the quintessential 80's tech geek. Ferris Bueller as the untouchable Puck who we all wanted to be.

He inspired us to fight authority, have fun, be individualistic and fight for what believed in. He was an icon of pop culture and there was a time when his name attached to a film meant, at the very least, an entertaining character-driven romp.

We'll miss you Mr. Hughes. I can think of no better eulogy than the contemplation of the following:


Drillbit Taylor (2008)
Beethoven's 5th (2003) (V)
Maid in Manhattan (2002)
Home Alone 4 (2002) (TV)
Beethoven's 4th (2001) (V)
Beethoven's 3rd (2000) (V)
American Adventure (2000) (TV)
Reach the Rock (1998)
Home Alone 3 (1997)
Flubber (1997)
101 Dalmatians (1996)
Miracle on 34th Street (1994)
Baby's Day Out (1994)
Beethoven's 2nd (1993)
Dennis the Menace (1993)
Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (1992)

...and the decade we'll all remember...

Beethoven (1992)
Curly Sue (1991)
Dutch (1991)
Career Opportunities (1991)
Home Alone (1990)
Christmas Vacation (1989)
Uncle Buck (1989)
The Great Outdoors (1988)
She's Having a Baby (1988)
Planes, Trains & Automobiles (1987)
Some Kind of Wonderful (1987)
Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986)
Pretty in Pink (1986)
Weird Science (1985)
European Vacation (1985)
The Breakfast Club (1985)
Sixteen Candles (1984)
Nate and Hayes (1983)
Vacation (1983)
Mr. Mom (1983)
Class Reunion (1982)

lovehate: Rediscovering Ezra Pound

To some, Ezra Pound was a crazy mofo. To others, he was a crazy mofo genius.

His ability to paint images with words is often hit and miss for me, but generally the hits are illuminating and the misses are because he's written 100 cantos in cunieform.

How many writers can claim such a biological paragraph as framework for their writings:

"After the war, Pound was brought back to the United States to face charges of treason. The charges covered only his activities during the time when the Kingdom of Italy was officially at war with the United States, i.e., the time before the Allies captured Rome and Mussolini fled to the North. Pound was not prosecuted for his activities on behalf of Mussolini's Saló Republic, evidently because the Republic's existence was never formally recognized by the United States. He was found incompetent to face trial by a special federal jury and sent to St. Elizabeths Hospital in Washington, D.C., where he remained for 12 years from 1946 to 1958. His insanity plea is still a matter of controversy, since in retrospect his activities and his writings during the war years do appear to be those of a sane person." - via

With this brief context in mind, (and I encourage you explore his writings and life more) I provide some of my favorite thoughts of Pound.

"And New York is the most beautiful city in the world? It is not far from it. No urban night is like the night there... Squares after squares of flame, set up and cut into the aether. Here is our poetry, for we have pulled down the stars to our will."

"Genius... is the capacity to see ten things where the ordinary man sees one."

"I have never known anyone worth a damn who wasn't irascible."

"I have always thought the suicide should bump off at least one swine before taking off for parts unknown."

"The modern artist must live by craft and violence. His gods are violent gods. Those artists, so called, whose work does not show this strife, are uninteresting."

"The real trouble with war (modern war) is that it gives no one a chance to kill the right people."

"Religion, oh, just another of those numerous failures resulting from an attempt to popularize art."

"Music begins to atrophy when it departs too far from the dance... poetry begins to atrophy when it gets too far from music."

"The image is more than an idea. It is a vortex or cluster of fused ideas and is endowed with energy."


The Encounter

All the while they were talking the new morality
Her eyes explored me.
And when I rose to go
Her fingers were like the tissue
Of a Japanese paper napkin.


O generation of the thoroughly smug
      and thoroughly uncomfortable,
I have seen fishermen picnicking in the sun,
I have seen them with untidy families,
I have seen their smiles full of teeth
      and heard ungainly laughter.
And I am happier than you are,
And they were happier than I am;
And the fish swim in the lake
      and do not even own clothing. 


"The art of letters will come to an end before A.D. 2000. I shall survive as a curiosity."