Spreading the word on the Star Trek complaint

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

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Anthony Ravenscroft
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Postby Anthony Ravenscroft » Wed Mar 18, 2009 9:20 am

Okay, maybe I've shorted a neuron (again), but isn't Ellison a big fan of Lost? Crap; if so, I'm impressed by the irony of Abrams running the show.

No, I won't see it in theatre. Thus far, the trailers make it look like Michael Bay ramping up to do Terminator IV. Maybe they shoulda got Shyamalan -- "...James, I'm your father!!!"

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Postby reddragon70 » Wed Mar 18, 2009 10:34 am

Ezra Lb. wrote:Will the lawsuit prevent any of you from going to see the movie and thus tacitly if not explicitly supporting Paramount?


Gee let me think, which would I prefer.... Root canal work or another trek movie???

Gimme the novocaine and drill away my good man. Frankly I doubt I would go see the new Trek movie. Quite apart from not liking Trek very much, I have a strong hatred of Trekkies. Frankly I find them embarrassing beyond belief, dumb beyond the call of duty and the most reprehensible examples of fandom to have ever walked gods clean Earth. The idea of sitting in a cinema with a horde of them is a nightmare beyond words for me.

So you can take that is a rather large NO from me ;)

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Postby Moderator » Wed Mar 18, 2009 10:46 am

JohnE - That's a prevalent attitude, I'm afraid. I recently shot a wedding (which I try never to do, but this was as a favor to a friend). One woman decided that she would "rib" me about how her point and shoot was taking photos every bit as good as mine,and that maybe she ought tobe paid. At one point she actually said "it's such as easy job!"

*sigh*

To your point with you partner: yes, no one owns the subject -- the photographer owns the image of that subject. Ten shots taken by ten photographers may look absolutely identical, but each and every one of them is owned by a different person.

*double sigh*

_______________________________________

Ezra. I'm going to see it. It looks good. Harlan isn't trying to prevent anyone from seeing the movie, he's taking advantage of the film's publicity to increase his own. If, as they say, he'd sued them during a "slow news day" Trek-wise it probably would scarcely have merited a comment. As it is, it's 2nd page Variety, with articles on Scifiwire.com, startrek.com, Airlock Alpha, and this little paper called The New York Times.
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Postby FinderDoug » Wed Mar 18, 2009 10:47 am

I think a lot of specific fan animus (setting aside blatant fan ignorance, which snipes and jibes and generally gets pissy because you're either fer us or ag'in' us) stems from two prongs:

1) The average person who becomes an immersed media junkie exists in a state where any threat to his or her supply of dope (or to its sacredness) becomes a reason to scream and rage. Egad! Paramount might never again allow the Guardian of Forever to be used because they might have to write a check. How inhuman of the writer to be so selfish as to back the corporation into such a position that they might deprive us! This lawsuit might hurt the new movie! Harlan Ellison is the devil!

2) We've built such a cult of celebrity in this nation that the prevailing attitude is that if someone is a professional artist, they must obviously, by that descriptor, be filthy stinking rich and not need (or even be entitled to) the revenue lost by [activity X]. And so for Harlan - obviously famous, who has written a pile of books and for television, and has famous friends and lots of awards and lives in Hollywood - well, he's just a bitter, cranky, rich SOB who's trying to extend his greedy reach by bending the law to his will - never mind what he's entitled to under the agreements signed by his guild with the production company.

And really, there are too many contributing factors to these cultural attitudes for a dozen posts to dig in to, from easy access to sense of entitlement to exploitation of technology to basic psychological dependencies.

Ezra - Will I go see Star Trek? I don't know.

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Postby FrankChurch » Wed Mar 18, 2009 11:05 am

My Princesweetie Dougie gets it correct.

What Harlan should tell the judge is that he could have made millions, but decided to write the stories he wanted to, not caring about the commercial appeal.

That's obvious when you notice the lack of Ellison books in most book stores. People steal them from libraries, so they must have some worth.

Harlan doesn't play the game, he just wants his little chunk. The sarcastic press release doesn't help, but that's another issue.

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Postby admin » Wed Mar 18, 2009 11:34 am

You guys had just better hope Trek fans are not as bad as Penny Arcade fans.

I have been on pins and needles since this news broke waiting for someone to post webderland's address on some trekkie newsgroup or forum and tacitly condoning or suggesting making trouble here.

I still have a whole page section in my Pavilion script with various Penny Arcade bans. The site also faced three separate denial of service attacks, one from heaving pinging and two from people setting stuff up to download stuff from the site as much as possible to kill my bandwidth and make me have an overage with my provider.

Of course, none of this really did anything more than irk Harlan a little bit. It just fucks me up.

So if any Trekkies are reading this I want to point out that I personally have never sued or attacked Paramount, Gene Roddenberry, Pocket Books, William Shatner, Professor X, the Quantum Leap Guy, that XXY chick from that other series, or that bald-headed black dude from Deep Space 9.

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Postby John E Williams » Wed Mar 18, 2009 12:21 pm

I think FinderDoug is dead-on correct.

As to Ezra's query about seeing the film, as asked here and at the Pavilion: I don't see how one has to do with the other. Are you saying that if we support Harlan in his suit that we are morally bound... to do what, exactly? Boycott the new Trek movie? Boycott any products or entities that may enrich Paramount? What "both ways" are we trapped between, and how does that make us all hypocrite, and sez who besides you?

First of all: it won't help nor hinder Ellison's efforts if I say "Fuckin A Harlan" or "Fuck You Harlan" or any damn other thing, pro or con. A judge is unlikely to be swayed by the opinions of a bunch of nerds on the internet, and God help us all if he/she were. Second: my seeing or not seeing the new movie will also make no difference to Ellison, at least in any material sense. It takes no money from and puts no money in his pocket. (It would be different if the flick were, say, a remake of "City" or something like that.) So what the hell difference would it make, beyond making a fairly useless gesture which may or may not mean anything to Ellison personally? Third: if we accept for a moment that personally boycotting the film gives us some moral superiority over "Trekkies" (which I don't in fact believe), is boycotting the film enough? If I boycott all Paramount-related properties, am I even more non-hypocritical and superior to Trekkies? Not for nothin', but that would entail a shitload of boycotting. I'm not quite ready to stop watching The Daily Show.

The Trekkies everyone is complaining about are the ones who know-nothingly insist that Ellison has no case, that he is greedy and ungrateful, that he is trying to steal Star Trek away from them, and all the other douchey crap that gets posted whenever something like this is announced. I may not be superior to a single one of these dopes, but I am adamant that what I am posting is a helluva lot more thought out and reasonable.

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Postby FinderDoug » Wed Mar 18, 2009 1:02 pm

Rick - Trek fans come in more flavors than Skittles. I believe the majority remain thoughtful and passionate about their show and draw it in to find greater insight into themselves, or just enjoy it as plain old entertainment.

But as "Xenogenesis" suggests, it's not that 95% you need to worry about. THAT said, it's a lot like watching the Republican party - many factions that are as vehemently opposed to each other as they are to anything external. Case in point: the convention-goer with the t-shirt that depicted the Enterprise-D using its weapons to blast the hell out of the original Enterprise. (Somewhere, I have a draft of a very old essay I crafted titled "Star Trek Fandom Will Eat Itself"). These are not a people at peace with themselves. Just tell anyone in a Captain Janeway t-shirt that DS9 was a better show and see what I mean.

I wouldn't expect them en masse. A malcontent or one of our old, favorite Harlan-bashing lovelies with a new reason to axe grind, perhaps, but not an invasion (unless someone spurs one deliberately.) The ones for whom Harlan resonates (well or ill) are too old to care enough to fire their photon torpedoes (and David Gerrold's statements should really level out the old timers who may have an issue). To the younger ones, he's just a cranky old writer they can't relate to, even on a historical level. And to the younger ones with an open mind, well, Star Trek is what introduced me to Harlan, and I turned out okay. Except for that hobo Barney and I killed. But that was our box car, and Barney was scared.

And I could be completely wrong.

Frank - "Princesweetie"? Urm. Two points: first, only one person gets to tack "sweetie" on to me in any fashion, and you ain't her; and second, "Fellow Purple Fancolyte" would be a lot less skin-crawly.

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Postby FrankChurch » Wed Mar 18, 2009 1:25 pm

They will mostly make cute little comments on the pavilion, with lots of typos and bad mental posture. This Jack Napier fellow should be watched, to be sure.

Rick, be cool, remember, I gave you brand new balls.

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Doug, calm down, your macho ego has a wall the size of Zeus.

As you know, I am a new member of the Lori--Gynnie sex cult. We have special hand shakes--Jello wrestling, body painting with chocolate. You boring married types are safe.

Barber, quit hiding, it's over. I put my clothes back on.

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Postby Ezra Lb. » Wed Mar 18, 2009 2:18 pm

John I'm scratching my head at your use of the word "boycott". I just asked a question. Over at the other place I stated what I'm going to do. Then I ask, what are you going to do?

Please don't pretend that if the movie is a big hit that most of the money is going to the writers. Your ticket money will enrich a corporation that is being accused of exploiting and cheating a writer whom you claim to admire.

On a fundamental level I don't really care what anybody else does. And probably HE will post saying he doesn't care either. So we're let off the hook and nothing ever changes...

The Trekkies I'm complaining about are the ones that don't dress up in the stupid clothes. The enablers.
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Postby John E Williams » Wed Mar 18, 2009 2:36 pm

Ezra: true, you didn't use the term "boycott, but you did say

You can't say "Fuckin' A, Harlan!" and then go plunk down your 10 bucks thus tacitly if not explicitly supporting Paramount. Of course you can but you'll be a hypocrite.


If plunking down my 10 bucks means I am supporting Paramount, then it follows that not plunking in support of Harlan Ellison is purposely not supporting Paramount. Hence, a boycott.

I have no idea whether I will see the film or not. Maybe, depends, too early to decide, I'll wait till the reviews, I might if a friend asks, if I'm in the mood, assuming I'll find a job by then... these are just a few of the reasons that motivate me to see most films. Proving I'm not a hypocrite or that I am better than obnoxious Trekkies or helping Harlan's cause don't even make the list.

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Postby Ezra Lb. » Wed Mar 18, 2009 2:57 pm

If plunking down my 10 bucks means I am supporting Paramount, then it follows that not plunking in support of Harlan Ellison is purposely not supporting Paramount. Hence, a boycott.

No you're wrong. When you plunk down the money it is Paramount who is receiving the vast bulk of the profit. Just because I don't go to see a movie doesn't mean I'm boycotting it, it just means I didn't go see the movie.

John I stated why I was not going to see the movie. But you cannot pretend that your 10 bucks is being magically funnelled through the corporation to the "good guys".
“We must not always talk in the marketplace,” Hester Prynne said, “of what happens to us in the forest.”
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Postby Moderator » Wed Mar 18, 2009 3:06 pm

I have to take exception to the statement I -- along with other people -- would be hypocritical if we go see the film.

Nonsense.

If the Walt Disney Company enacted a policy to openly discriminate against gay people, as an advocate of gay rights it would be hypocritical of me to spend my money with them.

If my employer decided to ship thousands of union jobs overseas, as a supporter of unions I would be hypocritical not to take a position opposing the action.

If the US government decided to attack another country in a pre-emptive strike (which would never happen), remaining silent would be hypocritical.

Boycotting or not boycotting (because John's assessment of your description is accurate) the product of a company because a friend of yours sues them for money owed isn't hypocritical. It might be disployal. It might be dismissive. But Harlan's lawsuit is not designed to stop STAR TREK from being seen. If that were the goal, yes -- going to see it would be hypocritical. His suit is to recover monies owed, not to actually block the release of the film.

Nope, I look in the mirror with not even a hint of hypocrisy when I say I support Harlan's suit and still look forward to seeing the flick.
Last edited by Moderator on Wed Mar 18, 2009 3:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby reddragon70 » Wed Mar 18, 2009 3:15 pm

I have to say that im in no way boycotting the movie, I am just not that interested. I am however interested in seeing Harlan get the money he's due. I am also interested in seeing those morons who iconise Trek getting a little egg on their face if a court should decide that Harlan is right. Which I for one think he probably is.

Good luck Harlan. Hope you win.

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Postby John E Williams » Wed Mar 18, 2009 3:34 pm

Ezra, god bless ya, but you keep moving the goalposts. First you say that refusing to see STAR TREK XI or whatever they're calling it would be hypocritical because it puts money in the pockets of Paramount. Then you say "Just because I don't go to see a movie doesn't mean I'm boycotting it, it just means I didn't go see the movie," which is utter nonsense because your stated reason for not going is to keep money out of the pockets of Paramount. Good god man, what the hell do you think the term "boycott" means?

Other than that, you're the one who has me scratching my head, because who the hell said anything about money being magically funneled to good guys? I say hah wha?


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