Archive for: June, 2011

Authors Trashing Authors

Jun 22 2011 Published by under Literature

The 30 Harshest Author-on-Author Insults in History. [Flavorwire, via Shelf Awareness]

Nothing so poetic as an author choosing the perfect words with which to criticize another. My personal favorite? Number 12, Oscar Wilde on Alexander Pope:

“There are two ways of disliking poetry; one way is to dislike it, the other is to read Pope.”

Some I agree with, others I don’t. I think the fun here is in the insults themselves, not the merits of the affronted.

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Roman Refs Sucked, Too

Jun 21 2011 Published by under Sports

A Roman gladiator’s tombstone blamed his death on a missed call by a referee. [LiveScience, via Yahoo]

I don’t get how a gladiator – battle, fight, scrum, whatever the word is – has “rules.” Perhaps out of modern arrogance I just assumed two guys tried to see who could kill the other one first. The article hints without much explanation that there may be more order to these things than I thought.

The important thing here, though is the human element – umps have been blowing calls for damn near 2,000 years. And that only counts games since the year 0, known as the “modern era” of gladiating.

The Roman senate tried replay. Each time a play was under review, they had to bring in an artisan to etch the replay-glyph into stone. The delays became too lengthy so the senate voted to end replay after three seasons. There was one dissenter, who was thrown to the lions.

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RIP, Carl Gardner, Lead Singer of the Coasters

Jun 14 2011 Published by under Music

Carl Gardner, lead singer of the Coasters, has died at age 83. [AP via Yahoo]

The Coasters are hands-down one of my favorite bands of the late-fifties-early-sixties. A bouncy, fun sound, and some of the wittiest lyrics of that musical era. Their songs featured stories, characters, and plots, juxtaposed against some serious jamming. I strongly recommend you get acquainted with their music, if you haven’t already. The AP obit quotes from their page in the Rock and Roll Hall of fame:

Beneath the humor the songs often made incisive points about American culture for those willing to dig a little deeper.

I’m reminded of the wise-cracking title character of Charlie Brown,or the parental dialogue of Yakety Yak.

A couple of other gems from their great oeuvre:

Along Came Jones:

About how everything on TV has essentially the same plot. Also perhaps the best use of a wood block ever in popular music. It’s barely audible on this live version, but those of you who’ve heard the single know what I’m talking about.

Poison Ivy:

You’re gonna need an ocean . . . of Calamine Lotion. Another great, singable pop culture reference.

Thanks for the music, Carl.

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