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General discussions of interest to readers and fans of Harlan Ellison.

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ReverendTed
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Postby ReverendTed » Wed Sep 28, 2005 10:37 am

I think one of the biggest problems of the Internet Mentality (and I've fallen victim to this many-a-time) is the issue of "When the hell did this become YOUR business, anyway?"

The nature of the medium provokes EVERYONE to voice their opinion on EVERYTHING.
We become emotionally invested in events that would otherwise be "none of my business".

Speaking generally, if the same argument were taking place on the street and you just wandered up and made the same comment, you'd get a couple of "who the hell asked you" stares.

rich

Postby rich » Wed Sep 28, 2005 11:05 am

Amy,
Zingers and hanging out with friends and family is one thing and completely separate from what I was talking about. And I also wasn't talking so much about Harlan as us, you and me and the rest of us and our attitudes to Harlan when he is in the wrong.

And if that still doesn't make any sense, go back to Jim's words. The ones about Bilbo, I mean.

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akojen
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Postby akojen » Wed Sep 28, 2005 11:51 am

I do get you, rich. And yes, I realize I was addressing a different set of circumstances. Of course Harlan CAN be an asshole. I don't think he was in the G&T case. I'm amazed this throwaway, minor incident has become such a big deal.

But yeah, I've seen him stomp all over the feelings of people he loves for, say, the punchline of a joke. I think that sucks, and I think that's pretty rotten payback for being his friend. I don't think he realizes the damage his words can do, but it doesn't excuse his behavior. He is not perfect. His feet do touch the ground. He's as prone to fuck-ups as anyone. Once in a while, he pisses me off royally. People who claim he's perfect are as wrong as those who say he has no redeeming qualities.

Good enough? Can we reach a happy middle ground here? Peace and all that?

Amy
"Now give me some inner peace or I'll mop the floor with ya!" -- Homer Simpson

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FrankChurch
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Postby FrankChurch » Wed Sep 28, 2005 3:19 pm

Why do conservatives like Harlan anyway? His work is obviously the work of a progressive, albeit an independant one. His stuff would make the ACLU blanch.

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Steve Evil
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Postby Steve Evil » Wed Sep 28, 2005 4:07 pm

FrankChurch wrote:Why do conservatives like Harlan anyway? His work is obviously the work of a progressive, albeit an independant one. His stuff would make the ACLU blanch.


Who knows. Maybe for the same reason some progressives like Heinlein. Just enjoying the prose and ignoring the message.

I would wager most conservatives concentrate on the earlier fiction, and ignore the essays.

As for the paper hat crowd, they can go fuck themselves.

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robochrist
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Postby robochrist » Thu Sep 29, 2005 12:01 am

"Why are there Conservatives who like Harlan?"

I think Steve Evil got most of it.

I used to ask more or less the same question myself...after several years of walking with a smirk believing NO conservs could handle Harlan. I didn't think it was possible till I came here.

THEN - only fairly recently, actually - I began stepping back and considering some of my OWN indulgences. Heinlein is a good example; although with STRANGER IN A STRANGE LAND I think he took something of a turn, he was, overall, intolerably conservative by my standards; yet, as with PUPPET MASTERS, I enjoyed his stuff while distancing myself from his sadder excesses.

I might point to Patrick McGoohan as well. Conservative - worse! PURITAN - yet astonishingly imaginative and vocal and iconoclastic - delivering SOME points-of-view (as in THE PRISONER) that were easily shared by both ends of the political spectrum (his grievances on an issue were one thing - as on gun control or education, for example - but his SOLUTIONS are, I suspect, where he and I would be trapped in a shout match).

Only recently was I able to answer my own question by reviewing some of my OWN indulgences. Funny how you do that all your life, then you're incensed when a Conservative actually digs Harlan. We rarely seem to use ourselves as reference when trying to figure out the other guy.

That doesn't make it any less annoying: that they can patronize him (a more honest word, I think, than "tolerate") when it comes to his socio-political grievances, rather than consider some of their validity. Most of them, settled in their cozy, blind little faiths, will NOT follow up and research his arguments to weigh their own interpretations against the facts. I've come to do that more and more, and I find when you have facts you don't NEED belief. So, I think if these guys who "enjoy" Harlan's stories were to pursue some of those facts, they might appreciate more what he's been trying to say.

ReverendTed
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Postby ReverendTed » Thu Sep 29, 2005 1:00 am

robochrist wrote: I've come to do that more and more, and I find when you have facts you don't NEED belief.

And fortunately for most ultra-conservatives (unfortunately for the rest of us), the converse also holds.

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FrankChurch
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Postby FrankChurch » Thu Sep 29, 2005 11:02 am

Todd and Cindy must read in Harlan what is really not there. Sometimes a cigar is a pickle.

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robochrist
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Postby robochrist » Thu Sep 29, 2005 11:49 pm

RevTed: "And fortunately for most ultra-conservatives (unfortunately for the rest of us), the converse also holds."

A long-established given.

Would you like a mile-long tract from me on THAT one too?

Jack Renfield
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Postby Jack Renfield » Fri Sep 30, 2005 3:30 pm

[quote="Steve Evil"][quote="FrankChurch"]Why do conservatives like Harlan anyway? His work is obviously the work of a progressive, albeit an independant one. His stuff would make the ACLU blanch.[/quote]

Who knows. Maybe for the same reason some progressives like Heinlein. Just enjoying the prose and ignoring the message.

I would wager most conservatives concentrate on the earlier fiction, and ignore the essays.

As for the paper hat crowd, they can go fuck themselves.[/quote]

I guess I lean towards teh liberal side of the political fence, all things considered, and I have to say that Heinlan is never more entertaining then when he is in full on political preaching mode. It was hard to stop laughing through most of Starship Troopers. Its so incredibly heavy handed, how can you not?


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