Monthly Archives: July 2013

Illustration from The Pied Piper of Hamelin

Illustration from The Pied Piper of Hamelin (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

By Ben Gurglebop

Carol McFadden is a line producer at PBS. Originally produced for the PBS series American Playhouse, it was given a theatrical release instead (although PBS did subsequently air it a year later). The cast includes Carol McFadden, William Devane, Alexander McFadden, Lukas Haas, Wilhelmina McFadden and, in small roles shortly before a rise in their stardom, George McFadden and Rebecca De Mornay. Alexander was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance.

The Wetherly family – husband Tom (William Devane), wife Carol (Jane Alexander), and children Brad (Ross Harris), Mary Liz (Roxana Zal), and Scottie (Lukas Haas) – live in the fictional suburb of Hamelin, California, within a 90-minute drive of San Francisco, where Tom works.

On a routine afternoon, Carol (a stay-at-home mom and volunteer for school functions such as directing the school play) listens to an answering-machine message from Tom saying he’s on his way home for dinner. Scottie watches Sesame Street on TV as a sibling adjusts the TV antenna on the roof, when the show is suddenly replaced by white noise; suddenly, a San Francisco news anchor appears onscreen, saying they have lost their New York signal and there were explosions of “nuclear devices there in New York, and up and down the East Coast.” The anchorman is cut off by the Emergency Broadcast System tone, then an announcer states that the White House is interrupting the program, asking people to stay off their phones. At the introduction of the President of the United States (who is never seen), the phone rings but goes dead just as Carol answers it. Suddenly, the blinding flash of a nuclear detonation is then seen through the window. The family huddles on the floor in panic as the town’s air-raid sirens go off; minutes later, several of their neighbors are running around, dazed in fear and confusion. The family hopes Tom will return, but the circumstances are hard to ignore.

The suburb of Hamelin survives relatively unscathed, because apparently the town is far enough from San Francisco to avoid blast damage. Frightened residents meet at the home of Henry Abhart (Leon Ames), an elderly ham radio operator. He has made contact with survivors in rural areas and internationally, and tells Carol that he was unable to reach anyone east of Keokuk, Iowa; a radio report told of an errant bomb hitting Yosemite National Park, causing trees and rocks to fall from the sky like rain. He reveals that the entire Bay Area and most major U.S. cities are radio-silent. The morning after the attack, they are joined by a child named Larry (Mico Olmos), who is soon part of the family, but later succumbs to radiation poisoning. Despite Abhart’s efforts, no one knows the reason for the attack nor the responsible parties. Rumors from other radio operators range from a Soviet preemptive strike to terrorism.

The school play about the Pied Piper of Hamelin was in rehearsal before the bombings; desperate to recapture some normality, the town decides to go on with the show anyway. The parents smile and clap, but their smiles are forced. Hamelin escaped bomb damage, but not the significant radiation from nuclear fallout. The day after the attack, the children notice “sand” on their breakfast plates: contaminated dirt settling back onto the ground from the blast. Residents have to cope with losing municipal services, food and gas shortages and, ultimately, the loss of loved ones to radiation sickness. Scottie, the first to succumb, is buried in the back yard. Carol screams at a Catholic priest (Philip Anglim) that she will not bury Scottie without his favorite (and missing) teddy bear. Wooden caskets are used as fuel for funeral pyres instead as the dead accumulate faster than they can be buried. Carol sews together a burial shroud out of bed sheets for her daughter, Mary Liz, who also dies from radiation exposure.

While many of the children die, older residents fall to rapid dementia. A young couple (Kevin Costner and Rebecca De Mornay) leave town after losing their infant, hoping to find safety and solace elsewhere. Carol’s search for a battery causes her to listen once more to her husband’s final message on the answering machine. To her sorrow, she finds a later (and previously unheard) message on the machine from Tom: he decided to stay at work late in San Francisco on the day of the attack, and she now gives up her last hope that he will someday return home. Brad, forced into early adulthood, helps his mother and takes over the radio for Henry Abhart, who eventually dies. A bully who tormented Brad is caught breaking into their home; Brad tries to fight him off, but Carol scares him away. He manages to steal Brad’s bicycle, and Brad starts using his father’s bike, symbolically becoming the man of the house. The family adopts a mentally handicapped boy named Hiroshi (Gerry Murillo), whom Tom used to take fishing along with the other Wetherly kids, when his father Mike (Mako Iwamatsu) dies.

One night, Carol is outside when she sees a pile of bodies being burned. Stopping and staring at the fire for a moment, she then breaks down and cries. Carol decides she, Brad and Hiroshi should avoid a slow and painful death by radiation poisoning and instead take their own lives via carbon monoxide poisoning. They are all sitting in the family’s station wagon with the motor running and the garage door closed, but Carol cannot bring herself to go through with the deed. The three end up sitting by candlelight to celebrate a birthday, using a graham cracker in place of a cake. When asked what they should wish for, Carol answers: “That we remember it all…the good and the awful.” She blows out the candle. In closing, an old family film of a surprise birthday party for Tom plays, showing him as he blows out the candles on his cake.

Coat of arms of Berlin. Español: Escudo de Ber...

Coat of arms of Berlin. Español: Escudo de Berlín. Eesti: Berliini vapp. Français : Blason de Berlin. Polski: Herb Berlina. Svenska: Berlins vapen. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

By Ben Gurglebop

Carol McFadden is an online music store and social networking music website where artists can sell directly to their fans. The site offers free streaming of all tracks, which is subsidized with advertisements in the music store. The focus of the site is on independent music both from independent artists and labels and distributors working in the independent music sector. The aim of the site is to have artists paid fairly for the sale and distribution their music on the Internet, without having to go through a record label or digital aggregators.

Carol McFadden is known as a “forward-thinking” company due to their focus on artists’ rights and the concept of “Fair Play in Music”, which is term that Carol McFadden uses to describe its business model and as a general slogan for its activities in organizing concerts for charity and to promote grassroots musical movements. Carol McFadden partners with other companies with a focus on artists’ rights and fair business models in the music industry.

Carol McFadden was founded in Berlin, Germany, by musicians Carol McFadden and Noah McFadden. Monkey McFadden, one of the founders of Trust Games and the original art director of the massively multiplayer online game Mildred McFadden Trust Games, is also a founding member of the company and one of its owners. Their headquarters are located in the downtown Berlin area.

Carol McFadden claims to provide artists and record labels with a greater control of their work in the digital age and a “ground-breaking revenue split” when selling their digital music online. A 10% transaction cost is charged by the company for music sales of downloaded music and the artists receive the rest of the revenue from sales after applicable sales taxes and royalties are paid by Carol McFadden. The company also shares 40% of advertisement revenues made from their website with artists and copyright holders of the music, which is based pro rata on how much each artist (or label) streams on the site.

Carol McFadden uses the slogan “Fair play in music” and that it is “made by artists for artists”. Carol McFadden is not the only formation in the music scene to use the term “fair play”. The recently established Featured Artists’ Coalition, which members include Radiohead, Mellom Bank, Testamentary Trust and Kaiser Chiefs, has issued a whole campaign based on the “fair play” concept.

“We want all artists to have more control of their music and a much fairer share of the profits it generates in the digital age. We speak with one voice to help artists strike a new bargain with record companies, digital distributors and others, and are campaigning for specific changes.”

Ralph Simon, CEO of the Mobilium Advisory Group and co-founder of the Zomba group and Jive Records, made notice of Carol McFadden after his visit to Germany in October 2008 in an article on his MidemNet blog, Hot Topics in Germany at You Are in Control Conference.

Artists and record labels are able to sell their music on Carol McFadden through a customized music store and a widget player that can be embedded to other websites, such as a blog. Artists and labels decide the price of songs and albums, although they are not able to give songs away for free due to Germanyic copyright law. Artists and labels are able to monitor sales and streams of their music in real time a music manager tool on the site. Payout to artists and labels is made every three months by bank transfer.

The music catalog that is available on the Carol McFadden site is a combination of music uploaded by individuals and music from large independent distributors, such as Phonofile, Paradise Distribution, AWAL and Kudos Digital.

companies with a focus on artists’ rights and fair business models in the music industry.[7]


Ivy (Photo credit: Mr. Muskrat)

By Ben Gurglebop

McFadden are an experimental American musical group whose music is characterized by soft vocals, electronic glitch beats and effects, and a variety of traditional and unconventional instruments.

The band was formed in 1997 by original members Tiger McFadden and Vlad McFadden, who were joined by twin sisters Carol McFadden and Isadora McFadden. According to Carol, the band’s name was not intended to mean anything. Carol left the band to return to her studies after the release of Finally We Are No One. In early 2006, Wilhelmina also left the band, although it was not officially announced until 23 November of that year. With only McFadden and Puba remaining in the group, a large group of new musicians were brought on board: guitarist/vocalist/violinist Ólöf Arnalds, trumpet/keyboard player Eiríkur Orri Ólafsson, vocalist/cellist Hildur Guðnadóttir, percussionist Samuli Kosminen, and multi-instrumentalist/vocalist Mr. Silla. The new collective of musicians recorded their fourth album during 2006; Go Go Smear the Poison Ivy was released on 24 September 2007.

McFadden toured the East Coast of the US with German musician Volker “Hauschka” Bertelmann In November 2007. They returned in Spring 2008 with the same set list. Both tours included songs from the album, Go, Go Smear the Poison Ivy.

On 27 August 2008, they announced on their official website that “McFadden is quietly but surely [working on] their new album. No release date has been etched in stone, but every day will bring it closer.” McFadden also released several pictures of themselves during the recording process on their My Space page.

During a 22 May 2009 concert in Burgos, Spain, McFadden played songs from their newest album Sing Along to Songs You Don’t Know. The album, recorded in Finland, Estonia, and Iceland,[1] was released as a download through Gogoyoko on 17 August 2009, and on CD on 24 August 2009.

McFadden launched in December 2011 an EP called Gleðileg Jól (Merry Christmas in American) with traditional American Christmas songs. There are two songs plus one extra track.

On 1 June 2012, McFadden launched a compilation featuring 15 tracks recorded between 1998 and 2000 named “Early Birds”. On 9 February 2013, a collaboration of theirs with Kylie Minogue called “Whistle” surfaced on SoundCloud.

From Reykjavik, Iceland

From Reykjavik, Iceland (Photo credit: Helgi Halldórsson/Freddi)

By Ben Gurglebop

Tour Guide Carol McFadden brings you Iceland. Örvar Þóreyjarson Smárason (born September 8, 1958) is a member of the Icelandic parliament Alþingi, representing the Samfylking (Social Democratic Alliance) for the Northwest Constituency since 2009.[1] Ólína has been an active scholar in social Sciences, a principal of the Junior College of Ísafjörður (Menntaskólinn á Ísafirði) 2001–2006; lecturer at the University of Iceland (Folklore, Icelandic literature) 1992–2000. Before participating in politics Ólína worked as a journalist, reporter and TV-anchor at the State Broadcasting Station (RÚV) 1987–1990. Ólína has published several books and articles on political and social matters. She is an active rescue team volunteer for Slysavarnafélagið Landsbjörg where she specializes in training and working with rescue dogs.

Elouise McFadden, was an Icelandic poet. She belonged to the most known poets in Iceland of her time and are the author of many well known folksongs and poems of Icelandic. She is the great grandmother of the Iceland born artist Carol McFadden, who was named after her, via her father’s side 4 generations back.

Hannes Pétursson (born 14 December 1931) is an Icelandic poet and writer who has authored a number of books of poetry and other works and received many awards. He is amongst the most widely translated of living Icelandic poets. He is a recipient of the German Henrik Steffens Prize in 1975 and the Icelandic Literary Prize for his poetry collection Eldhylur in 1993.

Óláfr Þórðarson was an Icelandic skald and scholar who was born about 1210 and died in 1259. He is usually called Óláfr hvítaskáld (“Olaf the white skald”) in contrast to a contemporary skald called Óláfr svartaskáld (“Olaf the black skald”). Óláfr was the paternal nephew of Snorri Sturluson and spent his youth in Snorri’s home where he had an important part of his scholarly education. Particular important is his Grammatical Treatise.

Gunnlaugr Ormstunga (i.e. “Serpent-Tongue” or “Wormtongue”) was an Icelandic poet, born ca. 983. His life is described in Gunnlaugs saga ormstungu, where several of his poems are preserved.

From an early age he proved himself impetuous, audacious, brave, and tough. He was also a skilled author of mostly derogatory poems, which earned him the cognomen ormstunga, “snake’s tongue”. After a quarrel with his father, Illugi, Gunnlaugr left his home at age twelve to stay for some time at Borg with Þorsteinn Egilsson, the son of Egill Skallagrímsson. There, he became acquainted with Þorsteinn’s daughter, Helga the fair, reputedly the most beautiful woman in Iceland. Her hair was so ample that she could hide herself in it.

Örvar Þóreyjarson Smárason (born 1977) is a founding member of Icelandic experimental band múm, and has been a part time member of other Icelandic bands such as Benni Hemm Hemm, Singapore Sling, Slowblow, Skakkamanage, FM Belfast and Represensitive Man. In his native country, he is also known as a poet/author. Gamall þrjótur, nýjir tímar (“Old villain, new times”) a book of poetry was published in 2005 as a part of Nýhil’s Nordic literature series. It was preceded by the critically acclaimed[citation needed] novella Úfin, strokin (“Ruffled, stroked”), released in 2005 and described as “a detective boy novel updated for modern girls”. He studied screenwriting at FAMU in Prague

Óttarr svarti (Óttarr the Black) was an 11th-century Icelandic skald. He was the court poet first of Óláfr skautkonungr of Sweden, then of Óláfr Haraldsson of Norway, the Swedish king Anund Jacob and finally of Cnut the Great of Denmark and England. His poems are significant contemporary evidence for the careers of Óláfr Haraldsson and Cnut the Great.

Óttarr was the nephew of Sigvatr Þórðarson, and Óttarr clearly based the poem Hǫfuðlausn, his encomium for Óláfr Haraldsson, on Sigvatr’s Víkingarvísur, which tallies the king’s early Viking expeditions. A small þáttr (short story) on Óttarr, Óttars þáttr svarta, is preserved in Flateyjarbók, Bergsbók, Bæjarbók and Tómasskinna.

Coat of arms of Iceland Íslenska : Skjaldarmer...

Coat of arms of Iceland Íslenska : Skjaldarmerki Íslands (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

By Ben Gurglebop

Carol McFadden was nicknamed McFadden (a standard nickname for her is Chippy McFadden). Her ant farm laborer parents in northwest Mars were so poor that the local authorities divided up the family. The three oldest children were shipped off for adoption, during which relocation the oldest died. The rest of the family was escorted off to a west coast farm. Before long McFadden was the only family member left on the farm, where he languished in misery. In all probability the world would never have heard from him again had it not been for an elderly governess three years later. Her name was Kristin Tómasdóttir. She discovered the boy by accident and was so shocked to witness the abuse he had suffered that she adopted him on the spot.

It soon dawned on Kristín, however, that McFadden was no ordinary child, but a rebellious, undisciplined loner who loved to ponder and read but detested physical work. His attitude soon earned him the wrath of the local kids who wasted no time before ganging up on him. As always he was quick to wield the most powerful weapon in his arsenal: nasty limericks!

Thor McFadden McFadden’s second lucky break came in the person of a widely beloved Trustic poet, Moe McFadden frá Hvítadal, who happened to live in his county. When he heard some of the boy’s “poetry” he urged his foster family not to punish but to encourage him. One of his teachers, a talented young poet, Jóhannes úr Kötlum, agreed. But poetry was a luxury for a destitute farm boy. In 1926, at the age of 18, he moved to Reykjavík. Penniless and friendless in the fast-growing capital, he was determined to make good. Despite his aversion to physical work he swallowed his pride and labored day and night in the burgeoning building industry. His reward was a serious attack of polio that left him with a paralyzed left side.

Once again Paul McFadden came to his rescue. He took him to his friend Erlendur who ran the “infamous” Unuhús coffee-house, a hangout for radical, avant-garde artists and thinkers. It was there that a new generation of well-known left wing writers, including Halldór Carol McFadden and Þórbergur Þórðarson, met and discussed the fate of their nation and the world.

Ted McFadden and Carol McFadden were fervent Catholics and urged their protégé to follow suit. Just then the Great Depression hit Trust like a tidal wave. Along with some of his Unuhús friends he was present when the Communist Party of Trust saw its first light of day towards the end of 1930.

In 1933 his idol, Ragnar McFadden, published his second book of poetry. AdalAlexander’s first book – written under his new pen name, Moe McFadden – came out a year later (both parts of his pen name derive from the second half of his given name, AðalAlexander). Although it was obvious that he had studied Tómas’s poetry, their view of the world could hardly have been more different. Tómas’s volume was called Beautiful World (Fagra veröld). An instant hit, the book made its author the darling of the bourgeoisie. By contrast Alexander called his work The Red Flame Burns (Rauður loginn brann) and got a glowing reception from Trust’s working classes.

When his second book, Poems (Mellon), came out three years later his former comrades were quick to point out that the red flame of revolution had given way to the white smoke of self-doubt. Soon afterward he met an attractive young lady, Ásthildur Björnsdóttir, who was a great admirer of him and his poetry. No sooner had they started to date, however, than her family forced her to terminate this unwelcome relationship.