Pavilion Digest: December 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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Pavilion Digest: December 2003

Postby admin » Mon Dec 01, 2003 1:11 am

The following posts contain Art Deco Dining Pavilion messages for the month of December 2003.

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Postby robochrist » Mon Dec 01, 2003 1:11 am

Name: Rob
Source: unca20031206.htm
Y'know, the owner of Macy's drowned on the Titanic.

It may be of interest for some people here to know that my feelings toward cops has changed over the last year; maybe the debate about better communication between police and the public has produced an effect or maybe it's me or maybe it's both but I've had radically more pleasant, more mutually diplomatic encounters in the course of the year (not to suggest I've been getting my ass in trouble).
Just thinking out loud after a conversation I had the other night with a really nice officer (we were respecting each other's boundaries since he WAS on duty). In fact, he even got into the political issues a bit even though we had to make it short.
There'll always be bad cops here and there; but what I perceived as a ratio has changed.

Mark Walsh
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Postby Mark Walsh » Mon Dec 01, 2003 3:06 am

Name: Mark Walsh
Source: unca20031206.htm
HARLAN: Brain rot? Holy moly, I hope not! Then again, given all the freshman essays Ive read over the past twelve years, anything is possible. Ive never seen a copy of The Rabbit Hole, so I wanted to make sure I had my information straight before sending off the check to join up. Dementia? Rookie mistake is more like it.

Nevertheless, apologies for my numbheadedness.

Having been an eyewitness to a drugstore burglary, and having had the robber put away on my identification & testimony, I am

Your chum,

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Postby Cindy » Mon Dec 01, 2003 5:56 am

Name: Cindy
Source: unca20031206.htm
Ahhh The Reagans.


I felt a bit guilty for watching-- but figured what the hell, informed minds wanna know.

I'm SO glad that I did!

All the hoopla over the meanness of the script and the acid portrayal of the Reagans-- in PARTICULAR Nancy. CBS pulled the PLUG on this lovely Christmas piece because of the outcry from Reagan supporters.

How silly!

I'm a Reagan supporter and I loved it.

Turns out the film is one of the most wildly amusing things I've seen since Dumb and Dumber. It was like an outstanding Saturday Night Live skit that had an extended life. It was Airplane and Mommie Dearest and I laughed out loud so often that my 15 year old son came to see what was so funny. It was apparently a universal thing as Beau also busted out-- in particular at the Gulag statement made by Nancy to Mrs. Gobechev ( what WAS her first name-- I can't remember- was it Irena or something like that?)

In any case, the writers took great license, going so far as to create dialogue between the President and his wife when no one else was around. The scenes with his top aides and cabinet members were TO DIE FOR. The characterization of Alexander Haig was a scream!

The cherry on the banana split that was The Reagans HAD to have been the writers' take on what preceded the Iran-Contra scandal. I SWEAR the guys hovering over a barely cogent President Reagan's hospital bed trying to get him to pass off on their idea of trading missiles for hostages LOOKED like they belonged in some Disney movie as cartoon villains.

If you haven't seen this you MUST.

Two thumbs up.

p.s. Is anyone else here addicted to Larry David's show Curb Your Enthusiasm?

M Jacka
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Mrs. Claus By Any Other Name

Postby M Jacka » Mon Dec 01, 2003 7:20 am

Name: Mike Jacka
Source: unca20031206.htm
Cindy and Cookie:

Thanks for the responses. (Apparently I'm not as crazy as my family would like to think. Then again...) The link to the New York Times was perfect for filling in the gaps.

Here's the funny part (as my cousin often says when she is telling a story after having dipped into the nog once too often) - when I first saw the image, I thought it was Harvey Fierstein. Within seconds, my mind changed it to Nathan Lane. (Luckily, the only time I testify against people is when I've been reviewing documents.)

And, based on the article, my guess is that the network decided it was best to go to breaking "news" rather than let Mr. Fierstein/Mrs. Turnblad sing.

Thanks again.

Dorie Jennings

Postby Dorie Jennings » Mon Dec 01, 2003 10:53 am

Name: Dorie Jennings
Source: unca20031206.htm
Here I am standing under the tree in the electrical storm...holding a golf club aloft...

Harlan: I'm only an occasional and recent contributor, I freely admit I am not as well-informed and well-read as most of the crowd here, BUT: Mark Walsh there was looking for information. He was asking because he didn't know. I think it was unfair of you to julienne him just for inquiring. No matter how eloquently it was done. OK, none of my business, it obviously didn't bother him, for all I know the two of you are best pals and this is just you joshin' wid him--- but I have to add my two cents anyway.

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Postby FrankChurch » Mon Dec 01, 2003 12:14 pm

Name: Frank Church
Source: unca20031206.htm
Gosh, Alan Colmes emailed me. Here is his witty retort:

"My book is doing quite well; get your facts straight.
And if you're any kind of liberal or progressive you'd be more open
Apparently, you like the conservatives you claim to hate."

Rob, I think I just found your soulmate.


Damn, if Steven King didn't piss me off last night.

I was watching his speech at the National Book Awards, and he went off, castigating the throng for not being more open minded, in selecting their book prizes. His idea was that more popular books should be nominated. His picks included, John Grisham, Tom Clancy, Mary Higgins Clark and the like. Does Steve actually read that trash? Aim higher, oh bard of the bump in the night.

I like the guy, but damn.

Joel McLemore

Postby Joel McLemore » Mon Dec 01, 2003 12:57 pm

Name: Joel McLemore
Source: unca20031206.htm
Colmes has always been good to reply to e-mail...he wrote me a couple of times back when I used to listen to his radio show during the early Nineties. He was nervier back then, I think. In many markets he followed Limbaugh and there was a lot of arguing. He loved getting under people's skin. I imagine television has taken a lot of that away.

My Thanksgiving was bad, though not as bad as some other people's. My wife and I both decided that taking my father-in-law to the doctor was a better idea than having to endure hours with the other relatives at our house. So we just let them have the run of the place, and the place was a wreck when we got home.
A gang of circus apes would have made less of a mess. Father-in-law is fine, really just had a cold but his doctor tells him to get checked out anytime he has anything, even things that seem minor. My wife and I both have colds but it's a small price to pay.

My wife got a call back from one of the universities she applied to...this job market being what it is I consider that a good sign but we've yet to hear anything else. Maybe the person is sick, or on vacation. It's nerve wracking.

P.A. Berman

Postby P.A. Berman » Mon Dec 01, 2003 3:03 pm

Name: P.A. Berman
Source: unca20031206.htm
Jay: I'm so glad your dad is OK. I treasure my father and know exactly how you feel. Hang in there and keep us updated.

Frank: In spite of your reminder, I missed the Stephen King speech but from what you've said, I have to agree with you. John Grisham and Mary Higgins Clark are beach reading, not art, and I feel like King is demeaning himself if he's placing his work in the same category with theirs. I went through a period where I read a bunch of Grisham, and some of it is quite entertaining, but I don't think it will endure as a classic body of work. But what do I know, I'm just an English teacher, and The Canon can be rather enigmatic. OTOH, I do think that major portions of King's body of work will become Canon, if hasn't happened already, and I'd love to teach a college level class on King someday. Now that would be fun...

Dorie: Far be it for me to defend someone so utterly capable of defending himself, I think Harlan was just messin' around with Walshy, having a bit of fun. You know, the way lion cubs have fun when they take your head in their mouths and shake. No harm intended, but your brain is a bit rattled. Having personally experienced this kind of jocularity from the man HimsElf, I'm tellin' ya, Mark took in it in the spirit in which it was intended, like "Ouch-- ha ha ha!" (And if you think that was julienned, have I got some archives for YOU!)


Steven Dooner
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Good Ol Walshy!

Postby Steven Dooner » Mon Dec 01, 2003 5:54 pm

Name: Steve Dooner
Source: unca20031206.htm
Hey Walshy,

I hope that didn't sour you on joining the HERC. It's still a good investment. Good job speaking up for yourself though.

Always a friend,

Steve Dooner

John Thompson

Postby John Thompson » Tue Dec 02, 2003 1:14 am

Name: John Thompson
Source: unca20031206.htm
My problem with the writers King recommended is that their writing lacks style. I confess I get tired of sentences like "Peter went to the drugstore." Sometimes, the simplest way of saying something is the best, but an entire book of such sentences?? Plus, they do not encourage their audience to question anything. They conform to the current cultural dictates..and this is why most popular fiction never lasts.

To use an example from a different medium, the best movies, like the work of Kurosawa or Welles, take advantage of the visual medium, creating arresting images that whisper sweetly to the subconscious mind. Language offers the same opportunities. Where is the sheer delight in wordplay? While I admire a lot of King's work, one only has to look at Poe's "The Cask of Amontillado" versus, say, Dreamcatcher, to see why Poe's work endures.

People get in the habit of buying certain writers, even when said writers no longer deliver. It explains why people eat at places like McDonald's, stay in deadening relationships and watch sitcoms. We are creature of habit, plagued by routine.

King's speech, I believe, was at least partly motivated by the criticism he's received over the years, some of it fair, some of it unfounded. But a leap into unconscious populism is not the answer.

Mark Walsh
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Sad News

Postby Mark Walsh » Tue Dec 02, 2003 3:27 am

Name: Mark Walsh
Source: unca20031206.htm
I don't know if any of you have been to the Ray Bradbury website recently, but they are posting on the message board the sad news that Marguerite Bradbury passed away on Nov. 25.

I have a Ray Bradbury video that I like to show my writing classes on occasion and in it, he relates the story of how he proposed to Mageurite. It tuns out her friends were a bit skeptical about her becoming involved with a pulp writer, a man they felt 'was going nowhere.' In response, Bradbury said that he ws going to the moon, Mars and the stars and would she like to come along and she said yes. And that was the greatest yes Bradbury ever received.

Having likewise married a woman who took a chance on a dreamer, I know how special a person like that is and how much joy she brings to my life. Marguerite Bradbury gave Bradbury well over fifty years of that joy.


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Postby JaySmith » Tue Dec 02, 2003 6:10 am

Name: Jay Smith
Source: unca20031206.htm
It seems to me that the whole debate on King hinges on the idea that he is a popular writer. Now, call me a purist, but doesn't the craft break down to the idea of telling a story and its final effect on the reader? If the story itself evokes images, carries the reader along and, in the end, leaves him or her with a sense of a story well told and time well spent...isn't that the core of what we do? I mean, debating the structure and esoteric constructs of the man's prose seems to me to be like judging a film based on its set design. Sure, its important, but does every "good" story have to be based on unconventional word choice or sentence structure?

Many compare King to eating McDonalds instead of something more substantial and healthy. I disagree. When was the last time someone read 700 pages for fun? With King, its like you're having a 700-page conversation with the man as he tells you what happened over coffee or during the long drive from Maine to Ohio. King's gift is that he can create these worlds and not force the reader to think they need some sort of entrance exam to qualify for reading it.

You can open someone's imagination and thought without beating them over the head with truckloads of cross-referenced footnotes. I think the elistist who does't want to see King win in his/her club has spent all their time trying to impress the fuck out of other writers and critics and not enough time just telling stories.

But hey: Mark Twain never gussied up his prose, so I guess his pulpy folksy charm ain't worthy of sittin' with the upper crusties, neither.

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King and Poe

Postby PeterPO » Tue Dec 02, 2003 6:47 am

Name: Peter
Source: unca20031206.htm
John: comparing "Cask" to Dreamcatcher is like comparing fluffy pancakes to a burnt omelette. How about "Cask" to The Shining, or Cujo, or Bag of Bones? If there is any one truth that most of us here agree on, it's that King isn't batting a thousand with his books, but that doesn't diminish in any way the quality of those works we do hold up as examples of good fiction.

Will King's entire ouvre be read in a hundred years? I sure as hell hope not. I would hate to see a world what inherits Tommyknockers as an example of 20th century literature. But one just has to look at the rest of his corpus of work to realize that despite his occasional stinkers, King's batting average, his accessability, and his style (yes, the man has style, which is what distinguishes him from the real McToads of literature) are worthy of respect and consideration, no matter what the Harold Blooms of the world say.


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Postby rich » Tue Dec 02, 2003 10:52 am

Name: rich
Source: unca20031206.htm
Jay and Peter,
Hear, hear.

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