According to Brian and Frank...

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

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Eric Martin
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According to Brian and Frank...

Postby Eric Martin » Mon May 15, 2006 6:41 pm

one must first be a published writer, of some note, before offering comments, suggestions, or criticisms of other writers and how they conduct their business.

So I hope that for now on, when Brian chooses to comment on a film or the career of a director, which he often does at some length and with some expectation of being taken seriously, he'll provide a list of his own films which he directed or scripted, their theatrical and video grosses, and their reviews.

And I dearly pray that when Frank decides to criticize the President, the Congress, or any of the 260 million people in this country who don't share his politics, that he will post his own political curriculum vitae, including offices held, position papers published, and appearances on Meet the Press.

Perhaps next time these two great minds could address the ISSUE that was raised. Granted, that takes more intelligence than rank sarcasm, but hey, miracles happen.

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Postby BrianSiano » Mon May 15, 2006 6:54 pm

Eric, since you obviously _plan_ on going through life as a snide, irritating, ill-informed lout, making pitiful attempt to provoke others, offering bogus advice out of ignorance, and imposing your increasingly repulsive presence upon your betters... you're probably well aware that you're going to attract criticism every so often.

And you're obviously making an issue of this _because_ of this weird and well-known desire to _be_ an unpleasant jerk.

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Postby Moderator » Mon May 15, 2006 7:15 pm

Brian -
Much as you may be loathe to accept, Eric has a point. My thoughts regarding his original posting is documented in the Pavilion, but in all honesty your reply to his above comment is the one that aims below the belt. Yes, he's being sarcastic but he's absolutely right that one does not have to be a writer to suggest -- as a fan -- that that writer might produce work more of one genre than another given the circumstances.

And his point that you do not have to be in the film industry to offer an opinion of a film is also correct. Sarcastic, yes, but not nearly as openly aggressive as your response.

Just my two cents, but this agreeing with Eric has got me in an unaccustomed position...

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Postby DVG » Mon May 15, 2006 9:28 pm

I'm still trying to adjust to the fact that Eric's wife bought him a Mustang.

When I would have thought the classic GTO would have been more his bag.

Still, what else is there to do in the country.

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Postby Eric Martin » Mon May 15, 2006 9:43 pm

Harlan's not my "better," Brian. Although it's clear that most people here are yours.

That's what frosted your ass, isn't it? That I spoke to him like I would anyone else on this board. You call it provocation, I call it feedback. Harlan can ignore it, respond to it, whatever he cares to do. I presume he wouldn't come to this board just to hear flattery, although he gets that in droves, daily.

No-one is going to argue the point, because it's inarguable...if Harlan wants to live on as a writer past his time, it's not going to be through tv work. You know this as well as I do, but since you're so fundamentally dishonest, you're unable to say it to him, much less me.

Webderland is not a pajama party, Brian. It's a forum for readers of Harlan Ellison. And as for being snide, well Brian, I think we both know just how bitter and unpleasant you really are.

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Postby Eric Martin » Mon May 15, 2006 9:48 pm

No DVG, she didn't buy the Mustang...she bought the movie poster of Steve McQueen in Bullitt AFTER I bought the 2005 V-8 beauty that still thrills me every morning.

Steve hangs in the office, scowling down and invoking me to get off my ass and get on the road.

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Postby DVG » Mon May 15, 2006 9:55 pm

Well, if I may say so, Mr. Ellison has
already produced an impressive collection of
novellas, short fiction and essays, many of which are certainly
keepers. While he may continue to produce
Ellisonia of high caliber, wouldn't you agree that,
really, if he doesn't, he still has a crack at posterity?

What would he write for now
if he didn't think that much of his work had
truly a reputation worth augmenting?
Hell, these are his golden years.

Aruba beckons.

Methinks your request, while not in any way
ungracious, represents what I am
sure we all feel in the face of a
talent we admire--the desire to
always have the font flowing as it were.
"Never again" is a characteristic of a career, alas.
Good things always come to an end.

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Postby Eric Martin » Mon May 15, 2006 10:25 pm

I would agree, but I think the out-of-print problem is a nagging one. I'm not convinced this is due to a lack of market interest. I think inadequate publishers have been chosen for too long, most of whom are now out of business.

My post was a response to Harlan's own message about wanting to write another hundred stories. I can live without any more Ellison, but if he's serious about building onto his legacy, then I think it would come from more books, new ones *and* effectively reprinted old ones.

You know, The Discarded is the big news right now, and I sure hope it gets made, and it gets aired, and I'll watch it with happiness when it does. But in 10 years it will be forgotten. The same can't be said for the fiction, which is still being read 30, 40 years later NOW.

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Postby FrankChurch » Mon May 15, 2006 11:37 pm

Eric, I am in the mainstream of politics, or at least according to the PIPA public opion studies, which I have posted in the past. It is the right that is on the far fringe. The reason they rule is because they have the ear of the media and control the elite consensus and pr machine.

The only way I am outside of the mainstream is on social views. But, you could say that about everybody in this forum. We are seen as heathens. Amen, to that.

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Postby Rudiger Treehorn » Tue May 16, 2006 4:52 am

I think one of the reasons some of us (me and Eric, say) react to Harlan's publishing problems and the question of why there isn't more written stuff in the last ten years is because Harlan talks so much about how hard he's working, how much he's writing, and so on.

I don't blame him for this self-fashioning and self-promotion, but the truth is that by talking up how much he's writing all the time, some of us start to say 'where is it?' or 'what are you working on?'

As DVG noted, Harlan's already created a substantial body of work. That most of it is out-of-print is one problem. That Harlan habitually announces projects that never appear or generally talks up his non-stop writing pace but never publishes anything I think feeds my and some others' bullshit detectors. With all this work, where's the work? If he's semi-retired, why not say so?

Let me reiterate -- Harlan owes me nothing in terms of new work. But I am allowed to question what's coming out of the horse's mouth.

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Postby Ezra Lb. » Tue May 16, 2006 7:09 am

Just because you like my stuff doesn't mean I owe you anything.
--Bob Dylan


I include the quote above not to make light of anyone's concern for Mr Ellison but to point out that there is a limit on the demands that an audience can make on an artist.

The truth is that very very very few people in this country read for pleasure any more. And the few that do aren't reading short story collections, much less essays. They're reading zircon encrusted turds like Dan Brown's novel, or worse, the Left Behind series. (Much much worse.)

As a consequence the vast majority of writers have "day jobs". Mr Ellison's "day job" is writing scripts. But this has been his modus operandi for the last forty years, has it not?

Last time I checked Mr Ellison's last two collections, Angry Candy and Slippage, were both in print. And his career overview, Essential Ellison, as well. Sure, a lot of his back catalog is out of print, welcome to modern publishing as we know it. Mr Ellison is better off than most.
“We must not always talk in the marketplace,” Hester Prynne said, “of what happens to us in the forest.”
-Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter

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Postby markabaddon » Tue May 16, 2006 8:23 am

There is only one point that Eric made, and that is to highlight that much of Harlan's work is out of print. Ezra does correctly note that both of his most recent collections are still in print, as are the two editions of the Essential Ellison, but that leaves gaps in large portions of his career. Sure, you could look on Alibris or eBay, but I do find it surprising and lamentable that his works are not more easily found to inspire a new generation of readers.

Ezra's quote from Dylan captures what I was trying to express more eloquently than I am able to. Basically, Eric, Harlan does not owe you a damn thing. You prefer his work on short stories to his work on TV or movies? That is great. Being a fan does not give you the right to then say to the artist, I think you should stop the other projects you are working on and concentrate on what I like.

Also, having heard Harlan read from some of his stories at MiniCon, I would say that he is in no way past his prime. The one story he read, "The Man Who Searched for Happiness" was absolutely riveting and I cannot wait to read the entire story once it is complete.

Eric, I do not know you, and honestly do not want to know you. Your comments on this board, and in your personal email to me, are condescending and belligerent. Webderland is not a "pajama party" for Harlan and I can think of a very recent example where the members of this board took Harlan to task for something he was planning to do that would have been monumentally dumb (having another confrontation with Priest).

It really cracks me up when you call others bitter and unpleasant. I had a conversation with some others at MiniCon about these boards and a number of people said they stayed away because they did not enjoy being attacked, several of them citing you as an example, Eric.

With that, I am done with this discussion,

Mark

Eric Martin
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Postby Eric Martin » Tue May 16, 2006 10:02 am

Thanks Mark. Webderland is a welcoming home for nascent scolds...you're fitting right in.

I think you misread...I said it was NOT a pajama party. And I modestly submit that my post to Harlan about his proposed punching of Priest was one of the first, and most forceful in suggesting it was a dumb thing to consider. The old man needs his back watched sometimes, just as he can benefit from some honest feeback, whether you find it appalling or not.

See you in the fray, Eric

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Postby Eric Martin » Tue May 16, 2006 10:07 am

I should add, Mark, that my comments to Harlan were hardly belligerent. But you jumped right in and let me (and everyone else) know that you didn't approve of me or my comments. I think you even breathlessly wondered about my "right" to post such a shocking suggestion.

So I think you kind of started this one, pal. You were certainly free to disagree with my point (but you won't, and no-one will). But to hector and scold me on the Pavilion for a tone that YOU took offense too was simply a jab, a flame. Who's being belligerent?

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Postby Eric Martin » Tue May 16, 2006 10:07 am

I should add, Mark, that my comments to Harlan were hardly belligerent. But you jumped right in and let me (and everyone else) know that you didn't approve of me or my comments. I think you even breathlessly wondered about my "right" to post such a shocking suggestion.

So I think you kind of started this one, pal. You were certainly free to disagree with my point (but you won't, and no-one will). But to hector and scold me on the Pavilion for a tone that YOU took offense too was simply a jab, a flame. Who's being belligerent?


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