As charged by [ profile] chickenfeet2003:

Reply and I’ll give you a letter. You have to find five songs that start with that letter and post them to your journal.

"Keep Me In Your Heart For A While," Warren Zevon
"Killing Floor," Howlin' Wolf
"King Of Rock," Run-D.M.C.
"Kirsten Is A Fuckmachine," Tiger Tunes
"Kung Fu," Curtis Mayfield

Five songs starting with the letter K. (

I do memes

Aug. 17th, 2006 11:30 pm
From, originally, on my friends' list at least, [ profile] buffyannotater:
Here are the rules: Answer all the questions with the song titles of one band/group/artist. Multiple albums are fine (recommended, in fact). State the band/group/artist you're using in the subject line. Perty simple.

Use songs whose titles answer the question, not songs whose lyrics do. Not all of us know these songs, so it's not as fun.

Covers are NOT legit unless it is on a normal (non-live) CD.

For a true 10 questions challenge, do this without the aid of the internet/CDs/outside sources.
1. Are you male or female?: "I Could Never Take The Place Of Your Man"
2. Describe yourself: "Baby I'm A Star"
3. How do some people feel about you?: "Why You Want To Treat Me So Bad"
4. How do you feel about yourself?: "U Got The Look"
5. Describe your girlfriend/boyfriend/interest: "Another Lonely Christmas"
6. Where would you rather be?: "Alphabet St."
7. Describe what you want to be: "The Ballad Of Dorothy Parker"
8. Describe how you live: "Computer Blue"
9. Describe how you love: "Shy" (erstwhily "International Lover")
10. Share a few words of wisdom: You know, I'm actually drawing a blank on drawing wisdom from Prince song titles. Lyrics, sure, but titles? Uhhh . . . "Let's Go Crazy"?

Also from [ profile] buffyannotater, and more interactive, try to determine my favorite:

1) Television drama
2) Television comedy
3) Movie
4) Band
5) Novel (I'm going to accept any of three for this)
6) Painter
7) Pie

Good luck!
Ben Ratliff:
SEVERAL weeks back, someone directed me to a Web site to see a clip of George Clinton and the Parliaments, in you-will-freak-out tones. I looked on the Internet at and found my way to it. I was freaked out, though not just by the music.

There is Mr. Clinton, in 1969, on "Say Brother," a television show produced by WGBH in Boston. (This is early Clinton, even before Funkadelic's first album; the Parliaments would soon become Funkadelic.) He is wearing a purple jumpsuit with crossed suspenders over bare shoulders and a kind of rounded Mohawk, a shaved band of scalp below a bulbous crown of hair.

The band plays a series of vamps. The first builds on Sly and the Family Stone's "Into My Own Thing." "What is soul?" Mr. Clinton yells, in the middle of the song. "What, brother?" responds the band's other lead singer, Fuzzy Haskins. "Soul is the hamhock in your cornflakes!" Mr. Clinton intones.

After a break, the Parliaments stretch out at length, playing their acid-Motown for almost 10 minutes, going from vamp to vamp; at a climax, Mr. Clinton rolls on the floor. The band becomes a mob of rising fists and shaking hips. The sequence ends with the guitarist Eddie Hazell detuning his strings and distributing a cloud of feedback, with various band members whacking cymbals.

I am not a collector of music, or of video. I have had friends play me the best clips from their music video collections, in full, collectorish, this-will-freak-you-out mode, and enjoyed it. Still, I don't really love music on video, per se. It reduces a performance so brutally.

But a missing link of performance history as potent as that George Clinton thing? Even if on bad video? It's hard not to keep looking.
That's right, I scooped The New York Times.

In related news, I went to see The Constant Gardner at the fifty-cent movie theater the other day. The movie itself was made more interesting by the tourettic fellow a couple of rows behind me. But what stuck with me was the preview for The Family Stone. I've long complained about the producers' attempt to piggyback on the success of a well-known brand, though perhaps I should not overestimate the confusion created. After all, one of these things is not like the other:

The Family Stone

Wall-to-wall white people

(Pace Tavon, that is.)

What I hadn't known until I saw the trailer, though, is that at some point in the movie lily-white Luke Wilson counsels ceramic-complected Sarah Jessica Parker, "You have the freak flag . . . you just don't fly it," co-opting the other founding father of the black bohemian bourgeoisie, Jimi Hendrix.

But Rachel McAdams is cute.
This must be seen. (It's thirteen minutes and eighteen seconds, so I suggest hitting pause immediately and letting the whole thing load before playing.) The Parliaments, back in 1969, appearing on Boston public television. I never before realized that Mr. T got his haircut from George Clinton. And while Clinton takes the lead on a burning "Testify," the Parliaments temptation walk, but they're temptation walkin' with anarchy. I knew this was their Temptations-on-acid period, but it surprised me how synchronized they got with it. Clinton was probably looking for one of those four-headed microphone stands like the Temps used, too. Anyway, Fuzzy Haskins sounds amazing on the leads he takes, and you'll get to hear an early version of "Maggot Brain" . . . with words.

From this I Love Music thread, brought to my attention by TMFTML.
Oh, look! Schloss Neuschwanstein to the left! The problem with posting such a vertical picture is now I have to write enough to justify the expanse. Blah, blah, blah. Blahditty, blahdittum. With such sterling prose on display I'll never understand why this LiveJournal is hemorrhaging friends, not to mention the entire nation of Saudi Arabia. As a bit of a reward (or perhaps a goad) to those who have remained, I offer: music. Twenty-six songs, for those who want them. Inspired (cowed) by [ profile] lynnmonster's example. Strange covers! Egyptian funk! Secret Parliament! Parental warnings for strong language, sexual situations, and using Hurricane Katrina as an excuse to slam President Bush.

I haven't put any thought into how these should be sequenced, and the quality is variable as the tracks I've ripped are usually at a much lower bit-rate than the ones I've taken from this or that audioblog. But enough of my mewling; let's see what we have.
  • "Hideous Mutant Freekz" -- axiomFunk. From the Bill Laswell-produced compilation Funkcronomicon, I picked this up almost exactly ten years ago, and with its monster-movie-music allusions, this song makes me think of Halloween, though the freekz in question are more likely encountered in junior high school than in satanic ritual. The track reunites George Clinton, Bootsy Collins, Bernie Worrell, Garry Shider, and Mudbone Cooper, but I'm sure there are legal reasons it's not P-Funk.

  • "Going To The Country" -- Beau Jocque and the Zydeco Hi-Rollers. Mr. Jocque's girlfriend has developed a substance dependency problem, so instead of staging an intervention and getting her into rehab, he goes into the swamp in search of a black cat bone. Now it is my suspicion that black cat bone signifies some sort of Viagra etoufee, but the real voodoo here is that anyone could ever get such a funky sound out of an accordian.

  • "Milk & Honey" -- Beck. "Arkansas wet dreams." "Do you know the way to the Soviet embassy?" Recorded concurrently with the impeachment trial, Midnite Vultures probably doesn't actually contain secret commentaries on President Clinton, but with lines like "You can smell the VD in the club tonight," it's easy to pretend it does.

  • Twenty-three more songs, from Ella Fitzgerald to the Scissor Sisters )
Ok, I'm off to Egypt tomorrow, so enjoy the music in my absence.
Robert Wyatt, whose Soft Machine toured the US as opening act with Hendrix for over a year, recalls, "I saw [Larry] Coryell once -- he was one of the few people who ever got up and tried to cut Hendrix. It was at the old Scene Club in New York, and he was leaping backwards and forwards, his fingers flying, and Hendrix -- when it came to his solo -- just went 'ba-WO-O-O-OWWWW' and it just erased the last ten minutes [laughs] with one note. It was silly for Coryell even to try. It was like walking into a blowtorch . . . the fool!"
Charles Shaar Murray, Crosstown Traffic: Jimi Hendrix and the Rock 'n' Roll Revolution.
Justice League Unlimited just totally ripped off "Soul Purpose".

Rick James has died at age 56 of natural causes. Though one would assume with Rick James that it wasn't so much natural causes as a long, polyrhythmic concatenation of extraordinary causes.

I was thinking about Rick James a few days ago, even before I heard of his passing, as I was reflecting on "lost albums," those records which were made but never released. Certainly the lost album I most wish to hear is the album James made with his mid-sixties Toronto band The Mynah Birds. The Mynah Birds were, with Bobby Taylor and the Vancouvers, one of Berry Gordy's first salt-and-pepper signings in his attempt to find an interracial group that could, like Booker T. & the M.G.'s, bridge the gap between soul and rock markets. The group came down to Detroit and recorded an album, but the album was stored away after it was revealed that James, the group's lead singer, was at that point AWOL from the US Navy. Gordy always demanded that his artists maintain a certain image of wholesomeness, and he suggested to James that he go and serve his debt to society; there might be a place for him at Motown when he had fulfilled his other responisibilities. It took James twelve years to return to Motown; in the meantime, his bassist and guitarist, Bruce Palmer and Neil Young respectively, decamped for California where they hooked up with Stephen Stills and formed Buffalo Springfield. At least one person who has heard the album has called it "Holland-Dozier-Holland with twelve-string guitars." Others have said that you can't hear much of Young's guitar on it at all -- of course, I'd rather listen to the Funk Brothers anyday.

A different album has recently reappeared from the mists of memory: the album John Kerry made with his high school garage band The Electras (certainly one of the three or four greatest surf bands ever to come out of New Hampshire) will be hitting stores soon. From what I've heard of his bass playing, Kerry is competent if unremarkable; of course, he recorded the album in 1962, well before John Entwhistle and Larry Graham emerged with the idea that a rock bass player could be more than competent if unremarkable. Tom Feran (who ends his column with a pun unbefitting a former editor of The Harvard Lampoon) asked a local Cleveland DJ and a local garage band to review the album; their reaction could be summed up as "Kerry was a root note bassist - pretty simple, but that's what you're supposed to do with that style." Entertainment Weekly got The Hives to offer another review:
The bassist is a solid foundation, a good person. Maybe bass players don't have the strongest leadership qualities, but they are good at negotiating, they have a basic fairness, which is very important if you're gonna run a country.
All of which I'd be fine with at this point. But though I don't want to seem overly enthusiastic about Kerry, I do have to point out that occasionally the bass player turns out to be Bootsy Collins.

Bootsy's Rubber Band: "Psychoticbumpschool (Live)" (
Ever since the meme went around in May, I've regretted not putting up a bunch of lyrics from unidentified songs which readers could then guess. It's fair to say that this has gnawed at my heart. I enjoyed, despite my poor showing, the guessing games posted by lynnmonster and Chad Orzel, but I think my favorite set had to be the one by [ profile] tahnan. Instead of just posting the words, he created ten separate puzzles from the lyrics. I know a good idea when I see one, and I am shameless enough to steal not only his idea but his puzzle forms as well. Unfortunately, I was able to solve (and, in fact, understand the mechanisms of) only eight of his ten song-puzzles, so I've had to bring in two other (much more complicated) types of puzzles.

So, following the lj-cut, there are ten puzzles, to which the answers are all lyrics from songs which have played on my MP3 player within the last three months. I won't say that the representation of my musical taste is entirely balanced (I do listen to black music made after 1972, for example, and white music made before 1976), but I like all the answers. Whether or not the puzzles are as likeable, I'll leave up to you.

To prevent the game from being ruined in the comments, I'm turning automatic screening on. If you want your answer unscreened, you should use invisotext; for example, if your answer to number twelve were "Spice Up Your Life" you might type:
Answer to #12: <font color="white">The Spice Girls, "Spice Up Your Life."</font>
Please put each answer in invisotext separately, as different solvers proceed at different speeds.

(The Spice Girls definitely don't feature in this quiz. Shut up.)

And so, without further ado: the puzzles . . .  )


ETA: It is traditional in these memes to outlaw Googling, but I figure that if you've done the work of solving the puzzle, you shouldn't get frustrated because you don't recognize the lyric.

Now, Googling to solve the acrostic? That action rests on a moral foundation made of sand.
I met [ profile] rahael at work yesterday and we walked over to Leicester Square to see Shaun of the Dead. I think I laughed more during that movie than at any movie I've seen in a theater since Soapdish (admittedly, I don't see many movies, especially comedies, in theaters). I am very happy that the movie was such a delight because, well, let's just say that ten and a half pounds seems a bit steep for anything that provokes a response less than ecstasy. I'll get the DVD (in America, presumably at Target) for less than ten and a half pounds! And since our evening viewing, at one of London's premier film-going locations, drew only nine people, I am convinced that it is time that theaters moved to a market-based pricing system. Why should a movie like The Chronicles of Riddick, which was hated by even [ profile] buffyannotater, cost as much to see as Prisoner of Azkaban? I'm sure there are some people out there so driven to be the first to see Azkaban that they'd be willing to pay 10 quid 50 or more, but might be willing take a flyer on Riddick only if it were in the two-bob range. The airlines concentrate on capacity, on filling every seat on the airplane as efficiently as possible, and have developed a wealth of strategies for getting their seats filled at the prices people want to pay -- why should movie theaters not seek to maximize the capacity of their theaters?

The theaters could even adopt the techniques of internet commerce. I sat through twenty-two minutes of advertisements before Shaun of the Dead actually began. Certainly, some of this advertisement money must have subsidized my ticket somewhat (and I think Pearl & Dean, the ad brokers for London theaters, would be happier if their ads were being seen by more than nine people at a time). Perhaps the theaters could make the cheap cineastes sit through ad after ad before the movie, but offer a premium service where one could pay through the nose to just start watching the damn movie already.

Anyway, an extremely funny zombie caper. Spoilers for "Shaun of the Dead" )

Exiting the theater into a crisp London evening -- the temperature must have had dropped fifteen degrees since the day before -- and noting the general listlessness of the few people we passed walking through Chinatown, I saw a slight post-apocalyptic side to the city last night. A group of kids way in front of me smashed a beer bottle and the sound reverberated down Gerrard Street. The cords of people stacked outside De Hem's staring vacantly into the pub -- are they just Dutch footie fans trying to catch a glimpse of the Euro Cup, or are they . . . the walking dead?

I hope that [ profile] rahael stores a few blunt objects in her garden shed. Just in case.
I currently have 4 books and one CD in my Amazon shopping cart, and I was looking at Amazon's blurb for "The Page You Made," when it struck me that the top two items were The Road To Disunion, based on [ profile] rahael's recommendation, and Donald E. Westlake's new Dortmunder caper, The Road To Ruin. I thought that was an interesting synchronicity, though not powerful enough to make me go crazy or anything. Instead, I will have to overstate the relevance of Nick Montfort's Twisty Little Passages, which, in juxtaposition with the others, suggests that while we may be headed to some bad ends, we're going to take our own sweet time getting there.

The CD is Prince's new Musicology; my unfortunate tendency, if left alone with a word, to pronounce it in an atrocious mock-French accent has led me to wonder about the etymology of ponce. My Oxford Shorter gives the derivation as "perhaps POUNCE," which I find inconclusive. Citations date back to the late 19th Century, when, rumor has it, at least one Prince of Wales was associating with prostitutes. Other princes may have been, for all I know, slightly effeminate. It's a tempting induction, suggesting that ponce might derive from "prince," but folk etymologies are often tempting, and always wrong.
I watched (or listened to) most of the halftime show, but must admit that I didn't see Janet Jackson's breast. I just wasn't paying attention. I don't suppose I'll ever have that chance again. Just like the Britney/Madonna/Christina Aguilera kiss, it's gone into the sinkhole of live television, never to be seen.

What's that? I have seventy cable channels? I have CNBC, which will be showing it every five minutes for the next week?

Enh. Watching CNBC makes me itchy.

My basic thoughts during the halftime show went more along the lines of, "Puff Daddy and Nelly are on the same stage and they're not singing 'Shake a Tailfeather'? Don't they understand marketing?"

At this point, I'm all about the Grammys. I had heard that OutKast would be performing a "tribute to funk," but now I have the expectation that Prince and Earth Wind & Fire will show up too.

Oh, and I feel that if a team wins the Superbowl because of a field goal, they should be allowed to accept the Vince Lombardi trophy, but they have to attend the presentation wearing dresses.

Tuesday's mystery numbers are 6:07.

Today's playlist:

"Oliver's Army," Elvis Costello. Definite icon food here, though while I was first thinking of using it to further spread the "Spike represents British colonialism" meme, I'm now leaning towards either a Watchers' Council or an MI-5 image.

"B.O.B.," OutKast. Perhaps it's tainted by its association with a foreign policy that Big Boi has clearly repudiated, but it rocks, and "Don't pull the thang out, unless you plan to manage a large multinational coalition and are prepared for a long period of intensive and sometimes frustrating nation-building" just doesn't scan.

"Come In Out Of The Rain," Parliament.

"Just Like Me," Paul Revere & The Raiders.

"Do You Wanna Get Funky With Me?" Peter Brown. Basement studio one-man-band funk on the cusp of disco.

"Get The Party Started," Pink.

"My Name Is Prince," Prince. For a few months after this was released, it remained true.

"Lipstick," the Buzzcocks. Back during my post-season five Buffy-obsessive period, I had a vision of Dawn bouncing around Spike's crypt to this. Of course, she'd steal the CD.

"You And Your Folks/23rd Psalm," The Blind Boys of Alabama. The old Funkadelic song, intercut with an intonation of the Psalm. It's quite chilling, but would work better had not Funkadelic spent the early '70s interrupting their jams with mock-sermonettes about "Our Father, which art on Wall Street" and "The Good God Big Buck" (in context, a reference to capitalism -- I hadn't considered, until typing this, that there might be another interpretation).

"We Are Neighbors," the Chi-Lites.

"Senorita," Justin Timberlake. Pharrell gets the best lines.

"Grits Ain't Groceries," Little Milton. "If I don't love you, baby, grits ain't groceries, eggs ain't poultry, and Mona Lisa was a man." Symbolic Logic c3451x must have made a deep impression, for I keep feeling the compulsion to deny the consequent. I rather doubt I could get grits in my local Stop 'n' Shop; calling eggs "poultry" would contradict my stance on stem-cell research; and there's at least one sub-Clive Cussler novel on the best seller list that claims that the Mona Lisa is a self-portrait. (That said, I do love you, baby!)

"Mama Said Knock You Out," LL Cool J. This journal's subtitle, at least for the next few days.
Comfort food is making me uncomfortable. I rationalized the economy of my P. F. Chang's trip with the idea that I could stretch out my order of Kung Pao Chicken and Spicy Eggplant over several meals, and then proceeded to eat the entire thing.

It is my understanding that there exist, along with comfort food, comfort magazines, so I bought a couple. I got the new WIRED, for reasons that may later become apparent, and, inspired by the example of [ profile] hermionesviolin, the current Rolling Stone. This is the Rolling Stone which contains its list of the 500 "Greatest Albums Ever Made." Hmmm. It seems like just six years ago that they were prying my money from my fingers for their list of the 200 "Greatest Albums Ever Made." I'm not buying another issue until they come out with the 10,000 greatest. Take that, exponential progression!

Perhaps because I've had the earlier list as a subconscious influence since 1997, I own a higher percentage (54 out of 200, compared to 87 of 500) of what was then the "definitive library of the best albums ever made). My suspicion is that the earlier list was actually superior (and thus, my tastes are actually superior). It was chosen by a smaller panel with more of an eye towards history, and thus contains selections by Ruth Brown and LaVern Baker. On the other hand, the later list has a lot more jazz on it (a surprising amount of which I own -- not that I listen to it -- not that the panelists listen to it either). The earlier list also has the advantage of being arranged chronologically instead of in some supposed order of quality, which prevents us from being consumed with inanities such as "Hotel California is only number thirty-seven? Damn it, that's a top thirty-five album in my book!" It also provides the benefit of disguising the Beatles fetishization by slotting the copious amounts of their records into their proper slot -- the 1960s -- rather than into nearly half of the top ten.

Anyway, what follows is the list of the albums from the new list which I own. Most of these I have on CD, some I bought back when I was primarily a casette consumer and have not updated since I got my first CD player in 1990 (make of that what you will), and a couple I only have because I ripped my girlfriend's CDs onto my MP3 player. I have not included tapes I made of CDs my high school friends had, mostly as a discriminatory measure designed to keep Pink Floyd off the list. I was a bit confused with how to count some of the anthologies: for example, I do not actually own Sly & the Family Stone's Greatest Hits, but I own Anthology, which contains all of Greatest Hits plus tracks off of there's a riot goin' on and Fresh. However, I have not checked whether or not the anthologies of Otis Redding, Sam Cooke, Howlin' Wolf and others correspond to what I have in any way.

87/500 )

I suppose one could compare the above to the full list, then cross-reference with my preferences stated both in my user info and my response to [ profile] shadowkat67's meme and come up with a reasonable approximation of an Amazon Wish List. And with the holidays just around the corner. Of course, on any list of the 500 things I need most, 413 albums have to come pretty low.
I have promised myself that I will write a real, substantial, LJ entry before Friday. It will pull no punches and speak truth to power. It will change your life, give you renewed purpose, and blow the lid off the military-hiphopdustrial complex.

In the meantime, please excuse the following blather.

Item the first: should I ever be in the mood to scare my cats, I now know exactly what to do. I just need to get them on edge by carting them off to the vets for some yearly boosters, then bring them home, let them get snug and warm and comfortable, almost to the point where they trust me again, then slip on my headphones and dance (if one can call a semi-epileptic crossbreed between the Watusi and a torn anterior cruciate ligament "dancing") around the kitchen to O{+>'s "Billy Jack Bitch."

Item the second: it crosses my mind that I'd like to see whether or not my spawn, my scion, the sole heir to all my worldly widely webly possessions, [ profile] atpotch will be able to get down to London around the weekend of the 22nd. I assume that my meeting [ profile] londonkds and [ profile] yabyumpan is, as we say in O{+> speak, a 4gone conclusion. But I would be willing to expend an especial effort to meet the one I sired; though, obviously, it would be all the more convenient if I could get him to be the one who goes through all the hassle of UK travel.

Item the third: it's amazing how a not-that-flattering picture can, with the judicious application of just a little Photoshopping, be turned into an absolute nightmare of blotchiness and bignosiness. Errr, I mean, GIP.
I don't care what any damn quiz says; I'm "That's one spunky little girl you've raised. I'm gonna eat her."

Actually, the above quiz did contain one interesting self-revelation. After I puzzled over which music genre to pick as my favorite (bluesy eclectic post-psychedelic proto-funk not being on the list), I got to the question "how would YOU describe yourself?" I immediately selected "Powerful, intense, and all around fuckin' awesome." Then I thought about it a little and chose "Not that great. You're not even sure why people hang out with you." Then I switched back. Then I decided that I could be considered, "honest, upbeat, and bright"; some even consider me "romantic, loyal, and loving" or even, just possibly, "strong, determined, and capable."

Of course, it's no surprise that I would contain all these multitudes: I am all around fuckin' awesome! I don't know what you people could possibly get out of reading this.
I don't usually gakk stuff -- but then, when you come right down to it, I don't usually post -- but this bit of [ profile] ponygirl2000's is too good to pass up. Though I tend to denigrate the conspiratorial mindset, I have to admit that the possibilities of historical figures having met under strange circumstances sends my mind to some interesting spaces. The fact that Jimi Hendrix, Miles Davis and Sly Stone were all in London soon after the 1970 Isle of Wight festival makes me wonder about secret recordings of late-night jam sessions. (In fact, Jimi had made tentative plans to jam with Sly on the night of September 17, but he didn't feel like going and instead died.) That the Unabomber studied math at Harvard at around the same time as Tom Lehrer was teaching there makes me reflect on the different manners in which one can release one's cynical and anti-social impulses.

Indeed, I'm not sure that Alan Moore has done anything that exotic in The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. Philip Jose Farmer's Riverworld series takes a similar idea of a group of figures from history and literature banding together for adventures. From various television cartoons, I remember Al Gore's Action Rangers and Leonardo Da Vinci's Fightin' Genius Time Commandos (all good things ultimately spring from The Tick). In any case, this game of Moore and ponygirl is one I have played before. I remember wandering among the tombs in the Basilica of Santa Croce in Florence thinking to myself, "Those interred here would, should the resurrection occur, make a kick-ass A-Team." Galileo would be the MacGuyver of the team; Michaelangelo (whom all the women go crazy for but he has his eyes squarely on the mission) would be the artful one; Dante (admittedly buried in Ravenna despite having one of the largest tombs in the church) would have the inside track to the post-apocalyptic landscape; and the conniving Macchiavelli (who has a bit of a complex over everyone else having such wonderful monuments while he got chucked into the floor) would be the team's wheeler and dealer. But this is not the team I want to outline today.

I once had the idea of writing a novel based on the idea that Francis Bacon, still seeking a return to royal favor, faked his death in 1626 so to be available to serve on missions for the British Crown, which he undertook with the assistance of his recent secretary, Thomas Hobbes. This would be its sequel, sort of its Forty Years After. I have decided to eschew the parameter that I can choose figures from anywhere along the space-time continuum and have focussed on Restoration Britain, though I have fudged some ages. In any case, I present the Order of the Squared Circle, Defenders of the Crown and Anti-Papist League!

The Leader: Thomas Hobbes, philosopher, traveller, garrulous arguer, suspected atheist, possibly the worst mathematician ever known. His loyalties to both the crown and to the Cromwellians were suspect; his loyalties to himself never needed any such scrutiny.

The Team: Aphra Behn, playwright and actual spy in the service of Charles II. In another age, one might say that anything a man could do she could do better, but considering the men with which I've surrounded her, one can see that that is faint praise indeed.

Peter Blood, physician and swordsman. A fictional creation of Rafael Sabatini's, made famous as the debut starring role of Errol Flynn. Might be, technically, a little young for inclusion. He distrusts the Catholic tendencies of Charles II, but is willing to defend the rights of free Englishmen up to slavery and death.

John Wilmot, The Earl of Rochester, poet, nobleman, favorite of the King. Famously dissolute. Not afraid to wield his blade, but is more cutting with his verse. Might be considered a little young for inclusion, but Dumas includes a young but clearly adult Rochester in Charles's court in 1660 in Le Vicomte.

The Recruiter: Oh, I don't know, Monk or Clarendon or someone.

Minor Villain: Christopher Wren, whose dastardly and insane plan to put London to the torch so that he can have the space to erect large buildings must be averted at great peril to our heroes.

Subsidiary Villain: Marco da Cola, from An Instance of the Fingerpost, an Italian gentleman and adventurer, curious about all things scientific. Or, just maybe, a Jesuit agent secretly trying to suborn Charles into the Catholic faith. Not easily disposed of, but really just a front for the true villain of the age, the General of the Jesuits, a man with the determination and the resources to rechart the course of history itself.

Major Villain: do I really have to say?

Hmmm. I'd have to read Pepys to really pull this off. Is it any wonder that I started dating someone whose speciality is 17th-Century English History? Saves me all that research.
From The Minor Fall, The Major Lift, a link to an article about study by University of Texas psychologists matching pop-music preferences to personality traits. Being that I own more music than personality, this is a lot more interesting to me than Enneagrams. Here are the examples they give:
Bob Dylan

Blowin' in the Wind: Inventive, solid, open to new experiences, consider themselves to be intelligent, good conversationalists, but not too clever at maths or analytical stuff. Politically liberal, but not very sporty. Unlikely to be depressed.


Ode to Joy: Active imagination, values aesthetic experiences, inventive, tolerant of others, consider themselves to be intelligent, and reject conservative ideals. Least likely to say something without thinking first.

Rolling Stones

Brown Sugar: Agreeable, open to new experiences, athletic, intelligent, with good verbal skills, and tend to be dominant in interpersonal relationships.


It's the End of the World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine): Not neurotic, curious about different things. Enjoy taking risks, physically active and intelligent. May be prone to depression.

Jennifer Lopez

I'm Real: Conventional, upbeat, cheerful, socially outgoing, reliable, enjoy helping others, and see themselves as physically attractive.

Barry White

Can't Get Enough of Your Love, Babe: A tendency to be talkative and full of energy. They are also forgiving, and have a strong dislike of conservatism.

Harold Melvin and The Bluenotes

If You Don't Know Me By Now: Extrovert, agreeable, also flirtatious with a tendency to express their feelings straight away. Liberal and athletic, and on the whole think of themselves as pretty attractive.
Well now. I only own the Beethoven, Stones, Barry White and Harold Melvin, though I own other works by Dylan and REM, but I have to say I like everything on this except the J.Lo (which I can't remember even just to hum), and honestly don't prefer one to another. So I'll assume that I'm the opposite of the J.Lo characteristics: I'm unconventional, downbeat, cheerless, introverted, unreliable, completely uninterested in helping other people, and see myself as some sort of slimy-antlered Chaos Demon.

This is remarkably accurate.

Also from the article, an explanation of why we like the music we do: "One possibility is that people choose a tempo of music that is consistent with the heart rate that characterises their current or desired mood." This scares me, because I tend to favor densely polyrhythmic musics such as funk and zydeco, or music with too fast a beat, such as punk; my desired mood seems to be an early death from cardiac arhyhthmia.



April 2009

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