Pavilion Digest: April 2003

A plethora of perplexing pavilion posts. The Pavilion Annex thread, the Pavilion Discussion thread, and monthly digests of all messages from the Pavilion.

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DTS
Posts: 197
Joined: Thu Aug 13, 2009 12:04 am

Postby DTS » Mon Apr 28, 2003 3:23 pm

Name: DTS
Source: unca20030523.htm
ALL (last time Rick, really): After sending your suggestion to Modern Library on their internet site, you can email your suggestion to them (and the "Rediscoveries" series editor) at:

modernlibrary@modernlibrary.com

Get crackin'!

--DTS

BrianSiano
Posts: 386
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Location: Philadelphia, PA
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Postby BrianSiano » Mon Apr 28, 2003 7:44 pm

Name: Brian Siano
Source: unca20030523.htm
Okay, gang. Time for me to vent about a local political issue I've been involved with. And how it's taken a really bizarre turn.

Here it is, in short sentences. Local community groups want to have Philly dsignate our neighborhood an Historic District. Said community groups have a long history of desiring to micro-manage the neighborhood, even to the extent of suggesting that porer people ought to move out. I was one of the core people who organized against this.

In the core group re two alpha males. One's a local landlord and Libertarian crank who manages to irritate people more often than not. The other was a local activist/yuppie who sees himself as the Voice of the Black Man in the area. (Guy's got five cars, including two Alfa Romeos.) Third main guy was Me. People began to drop out when meetings turned into arguments between the two Alpha Males. Within weeks, the group was effectively the Landlord, the Yuppie Activist, and Me playing peacemaker.

Tensions grew as the Landlord took it upon himself to instruct me in the art of writing, and calling me "uncooperative" and a "loose cannon" when I dared to disagree with him. While everyone else in the group was urged to coordinate their efforts with the rest, this guy was fond of going off on his own tangents, claiming group support wven when we thought he was crazy.

When he launched his own personal effort to elect people to the board of the Community Groups, he edged me out of the picture, botched the job, and then accused me of sabotage. He basically wanted to turn the whole debate into his personal TV show, and when he realized that I was a better and more effective writer than he was, he became Salieri to my Mozart. I've decided that I'd rather staple my eyelids shut than work with the fuckhead ever again.

Began to work with the Yuppie Activist, who was cultivating City Hall contacts to enact a compromise Historic District designation. He and I brainstormed, all the while planning to start a new community group. This went on for months-- the community group we organized was little more than a website and a few position papers, but it was the only anti-Historic District game left to me at this point. The Yuppie Activist became very closed-mouthed over his contacts. Also, any effort to recruit members or go public or do _anything_ beyond brainstorm kept getting delayed, delayed, delayed...

Finally, last week, things broke. The Landlord, opposed to our compromise as well as the original HD, suddenly announced his _own_ compromise project. The Yuppie Activist, knwojg that the Landlord did this because he wanted to fuck _us_ over, responded with emails that were angry and personal even _after_ I toned them down for him. In an angry phone conversation, he accused me of being "ignorant" of what's goin' on, when he was the main reason for the ignorance. I told him to organize his _own_ fuckin' activist group, and hung up.

So I'm feeling all kinds of an idiot, for having wasted my time and effort with these two. I'm angry because my efforts have been _crucial_, but everyone sees the matter as the Landlord's project. I'm angry because none of _my_ tactics backfired, and because I submerged my _own_ pride for the sake of working "with" these people. I was thinking of starting a third effort of my own... but others against the HD would want to work with the Landlord, which would be a complete disaster.

I spent the days after the Last Phone Call hashing this over, eve writing a long narrative to circulate to everyone so I can clarify everything and make sure they don't repeat my mistakes.

Just when I finish the document-- hadn't decided whether to circulate it or not-- the Philadelphia Historical Commission suddenly announces that they ain't got the staff or money to designate my neighborhood. It hasn't ended the matter-- the advocates are probably busy trying to raise money or volunteers-- but it has put it to sleep for a while. And it wasn't the result of _any_ of our work.

So I'm feeling very strange this week.

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Alex Jay Berman
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Postby Alex Jay Berman » Tue Apr 29, 2003 12:03 am

Name: Alex Jay Berman
Source: unca20030523.htm
HARLAN: I'm happlified to hear you're almost well, sir.

BEN: Though I go through books too fast to actually post a reading list, I'm currently enjoying a fine thriller by Norman Spinrad called THE MIND GAME. It moves along at a very good pace, and makes me wonder exactly how Spinrad avoided having a fatwa put on him by the L. R*n H*bbardites. I like discovering these books of which I've never heard.
(And I've been putting off reading the WWII Kersh books I got, THE WEAK AND THE STRONG and THE DEAD LOOK ON, waiting for a leisurely Saturday afternoon to spend reading them both with the attention they deserve.)

DTS: I don't mean to be contrary, but I suggested ANGRY CANDY. I just love the book, and I'm of the opinion that they're flagging keywords, either by hand ("eye"?) or by computer. If an author has a preponderance of books on their lists, then they'll throw that clout behind the one which has the most votes.

BRIAN: Yes, it's disillusioning. But often, Fighting the Good Fight is of itself a good thing to do.
Hell; how many times do you think Pete Seeger succeeds? How many failures did Cesar Chavez have to his credit?

Look; it's a learning experience, as well--you now knopw you can pull this shit together all on your own. Imagine what you would have accomplished had you not been playing to the other schmucks.
All you need do, should there be a next time, is draw just enough Alpha Male out of yourself to sway people--rank-and-file people; not the glory hounds or control freaks--to your side.

I would think, with all the work you've put in on the house, that there's little more powerful than the experience of DIY.
So--if it comes to shoving again, Do It Yourself.
*I* know you can.

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Peggy
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Joined: Fri May 30, 2003 9:59 am
Location: Houston, TX
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Short info request

Postby Peggy » Tue Apr 29, 2003 1:57 am

Name: Peg
Source: unca20030523.htm
Hi, I've ended up on a 3 week assignment in Houston on short notice. Just curious if there are any webderlanders in the area who'd like to meet up. Also, does anyone know what appearances Harlan might be making in the next month? Depending on location/timing I might squeeze in a weekend trip... Though I suppose after their travels and health travails the Ellisons are looking forward to staying home for a while!!

Thx,
Peg

rich
Posts: 78
Joined: Sat May 26, 2012 6:25 pm

Postby rich » Tue Apr 29, 2003 6:25 am

Name: rich
Source: unca20030523.htm
Ben,
For what it's worth, First Blood was mentioned in my high school sociology textbook as recommended reading. So I read it. And, yes, it's much better than the movie, though I'm biased towards Morrell anyway (and I actually liked the movie in a visceral sort of way).

Frank,
Return of the Living Dead is indeed a very good movie. And for the Clu Gulager (not "Gallagher", Frank) fans out there, pleaseplease check out The Killers on Criterion.

Svaha

Random House Modern Library

Postby Svaha » Tue Apr 29, 2003 6:28 am

Name: Svaha
Source: unca20030523.htm
I did as was requested (suggested) and submitted my vote for Mr Ellison's book, "Deathbird Stories"

"S"

BrianSiano
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Postby BrianSiano » Tue Apr 29, 2003 7:15 am

Name: Brian Siano
Source: unca20030523.htm
To Alex, re _The Mind Game_. I read that years ago, and boy, is it ever a mishmash. The first third is a terrific thriller about a screenwriter whose wife gets involved in a Scientology-like religion. The second third turns into a really awful Harold Robbins narrative, where Our Hero starts screwing the church's founder's wife. The final third is just fantasy, where the church's founder-- a John Huston role, definitely-- emerges into the narrative, and suddenly the story doesn't have any relevance on the issues brought up in the first third.

Not much to add on anything else. I know you're all disappointed that I won't be writing a long post.


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Melissa Reeston
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Postby Melissa Reeston » Tue Apr 29, 2003 7:30 am

Name: Scott Reeston
Source: unca20030523.htm
Shamblin' back from the ether for a bit. Not much of weighty consequence to report, except the reading of Atwood's "Oryx and Crake" (odd, how much SF imagery makes its way into Margaret's work). Good, not great Atwood; worth reading nonetheless.

Good to hear that illness is abating in La Maison Ellison. Christ, up here these days, a sneeze seems to bring out a fear of a world ending.

Somewhat diffident about "AI", having read "Supertoys Last All Summer Long" and its two sequels. Aldiss seems to have come closer to the drama of the pursuit of humanity by David in the stories, while Spielberg seems to have come a better job of speaking to the personal and global apocalypses humanity creates for itself in the film.

Have not seen "Spider" or any other of the smaller releases. The theatres in Timmins will only get the blockbuster films, irrespective of how shoddy they are, feeling that the big grosses are what most will want to see. As a result, the smaller, less marketed flicks get a pass, leaving me hunting for them online. Makes for one hell of a large DVD collection for yours truly.

On that subject:

"Standing in the Shadows of Motown": A must see, for a version of music history that goes beyond the ego that was Barry Gordy.

"The Adventures of Antoine Doinel": If anything, get it for the remaster of "The 400 Blows". The later films in Truffaut's cycle tend to be be much more comical fluff (although I do like "Stolen Kisses") as Doniel is reduced to becoming a caricatured Lothario rather than the pained and lonely milk thief of the original film. Do look for the fine short "Antoine and Colette", amongst other shorts on the fifth disc.

That's all, I'm out.

Scott

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Harlan Ellison
Harlan Fucking Ellison
Posts: 847
Joined: Mon Jul 14, 2003 10:24 am

Postby Harlan Ellison » Tue Apr 29, 2003 8:33 am

Name: HARLAN ELLISON
Source: unca20030523.htm
DORMAN: I'm not certain if it was the Larry Block anthology -- wherein I raved about, and selected as a fave, the Futrelle story -- that prompted MJ Devaney, the Modern Library editor, to select me as the editor of a collection of stories about Prof. S.F.X. van Dusen, "The Thinking Machine," but I suspect that's a pretty good leap of logic. I do recall asking her (just before she went off to have a baby, turning over the editorial reins to the wonderful Judith Sternlite), and I do recall her giving me an answer; but I'm unclear if she cited the Block anthology as the impetus for my hire. I think there was another element in the equation. Perhaps I'll re-ask when she comes off maternity leave. But till then, we can go with your surmise.

If I were starting my career today, and couldn't make a decent living writing short fiction, what would I do? Oh, a million different things. Remember, I started out as an actor, a cafe singer, and a monologist. I'd probably turn out to be a George Carlin or Robin Williams or Al Franken or Dennis Miller sort of combination entertainer/commentator who writes his own topical material. Or, I could go back to bricklaying or truck driving, for both of which I showed a keen aptitude.

RAY CARLSON: Many thanks. Let me know what I will owe you.

Yr. pal, Harlan

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Jim Davis
Posts: 496
Joined: Fri May 23, 2003 9:27 am

Postby Jim Davis » Tue Apr 29, 2003 9:23 am

Name: Jim Davis
Source: unca20030523.htm
HARLAN: Glad to hear you and Susan are finally on the road to recovery. I'm astonished, with all the sneezing and snuffling and hacking and wheezing that went on around me in Long Island and NYC, that I managed to avoid getting sick with ANYTHING, Martian Death Flu or otherwise. Take it easy for the couple of weeks, at least until you're back at full Ellison-strength. Okay?

One question: Do you have any problems with "campaigns" for new printings of your books, such as the one that DTS has started with the Modern Library? Would you prefer that people wait for the Edgeworks Abbey editions, or is it all gravy, in your view? I'm not criticizing DTS or anyone else for championing your work, but before I write any letters, I'd like to hear your opinion. (Assuming you're fine with all this, is there one particular book you'd like to see as a Modern Library selection?)

Ray Carlson
Posts: 23
Joined: Sat May 26, 2012 7:03 pm

Postby Ray Carlson » Tue Apr 29, 2003 9:28 am

Name: Ray Carlson
Source: unca20030523.htm
HARLAN,

You're welcome. Please e-mail me the ship-to address and I'll place the order pronto.





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FrankChurch
Posts: 16283
Joined: Wed May 28, 2003 2:19 pm

Postby FrankChurch » Tue Apr 29, 2003 11:06 am

Name: Frank Church
Source: unca20030523.htm
Harlan, I think you would do quite well as a Carlin, Miller type topical serio-comic kind of cat. Course, Miller's been pissing me off as of late. Or you could also do more essay type stuff; especially political comic stuff, kind of like a liberal version of PJ O'Roarche. Or you could do a talk show simular to Politically Incorrect. The world is your oyster babee.


----------------

I predict, being the seer that I am, that Dustin Hoffman will once again win an Oscar in 2004 for his wildly original take on a mob boss in his new film, Confidence, a surprisingly cracker jack of a heist film. I even like Edward Burns in it, and he usually sucks.

----------------



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Jon Stover
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Location: Ontario, Canada
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Postby Jon Stover » Tue Apr 29, 2003 11:19 am

Name: Jon Stover
Source: unca20030523.htm
Rob: Oddly enough, I too watched _Insomnia_ and _One Hour Photo_ recently. The DVD of _OHP_ has Williams and the writer-director on the Charlie Rose show as an extra, which is almost worth the price of admission by itself.

_OHP_ left me wanting another half-hour of build-up -- mainly dwelling on Cy's character. That's a compliment to the film and the work in it. I was amazed at the number of dumb reviews of the movie that complained about the obviousness of the set design, especially the island-in-a-sea-of-white design for the photo desk itself. Williams does fine work, and I liked the muted echoes of _Psycho_ at the end, in the interview room.

_Insomnia_ was a nice piece of work too, and even managed to make some hoary action requirements interesting -- the chase over the logs that's ended by the visually startling underwater scenes with Pacino's character, for example. The type of guilt in the 'original' film is somewhat different -- you'll probably find the comparison of the two quite interesting.

Cheers, Jon

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FrankChurch
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Joined: Wed May 28, 2003 2:19 pm

Postby FrankChurch » Tue Apr 29, 2003 11:48 am

Name: Frank Church
Source: unca20030523.htm
"After the Koranic Library was set on fire I raced to the headquarters of the Third Marine Force Division in Baghdad and I said there is this massive Koranic Library on fire and I said what can you do? And under the Geneva Conventions the US Occupation Forces have a moral, whatever occupations forces there are, and they happen to be American, have a legal duty to protect documents and various embassies. There was a young officer who got on the radio and said there was some kind of Biblical library on fire, biblical for heavens sake, and I gave him a map of the exact locations, the collaterals on the locations to the marines and nobody went there, and all the Korans were burned, Korans going back to the 16th Century totally burned."

--- Robert Fisk.

Eric Martin
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Posts: 546
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It's cozy, but where's the edge in our voice?

Postby Eric Martin » Tue Apr 29, 2003 12:02 pm

Name: Eric Martin
Source: unca20030523.htm
As in, this forum is getting kind of...I dunno. A little static? I suppose I can live (barely) with Frank and Harlan's Mutual Admiration Society, but with the exception of Delirium Tremens, people stick to the one post a day rule, which pretty well kills any sustained conversations on those classic webderland topics that gigged the fanny and fostered the ire. Oh, for the fucking fuck days of old.

Now it's back to film commentary and top ten lists of books we read a thousand years ago. One-offs. What happened to me todays. It ain't conversation, it's smoke signals.

I'm going off to drink with the Ghost of Gene. Yeah, I know, I won't let the door slam my hot Puerto Rican ass on the way out...


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