Pavilion Digest: May 2004

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: May 2004

Postby admin » Sat May 01, 2004 5:43 am

The following posts contain Art Deco Dining Pavilion messages for the month of May 2004.

Jon A. Bell

Odds and Ends

Postby Jon A. Bell » Sat May 01, 2004 5:43 am

Name: Jon A. Bell
Source: unca20040527.htm
Chuck: Sure, quote away. What particular thing in my diatribe struck you as particularly worthy?

Heather: if your email was harvested, then you may have a virus/trojan/small demon living inside your computer. Perhaps a dumb question, but are you running recent anti-virus/anti-spyware software on your computer? Id give it a thorough check. Also, if youre running Outlook as your email program and youre not running Cloudmarks Spamnet, I highly recommend it. $3.99 per month, and it kills 99 percent of all spam dead before it even reaches your inbox.

Rob: FWIW, the actual Libertarian Party is not an outgrowth of the conservative yuppie movement: "I'm all out for ME and who cares about those who flounder" (rally cry of the 80's). It was actually formed in 1971 by David Nolan and several people (of various political persuasions) who were sickened by the Vietnam War, Nixons dirty tricks (soon to get dirtier, of course), and the governments abuses of power. Its first 10 years were actually pretty interesting. (You can read a brief history of it here:

What that history WONT tell you, however, is that a major schism in the LP occurred after the 1980 election a struggle between the original founders, who were largely Constitutionalist," and newcomers, who were much more militant. (Moderates vs. hard-liners, basically.) The latter group ended up largely taking control, and many of the original members left to work on political activism separate from the LP. The LP has been (slowly) trying to recover from this, but this rift damaged it enormously. The no-compromises wing of the LP makes it difficult for them to grow and get the mainstream to take them seriously, and to gather members based on a few important issues, e.g., the erosion of the Bill of Rights, the separation between Church and State, fair ballot laws for 3rd parties, etc. (If you want to get really pissed off, take a look at how many state ballot access laws are literally designed to prevent any 3rd party LP, Green, whatever from challenging the Repubs and Demos.) Ultimately, the LPs hard-line positions on many subjects is what keeps a lot of people of libertarian *leanings* from actually joining the party.

Actually, all this political stuff is a bit depressing, so Id like to ask: whats everyone been reading lately? Whatve you been listening to? What TV shows or films have struck your fancy? What projects have you been working on? Sights youve seen, trips youve taken, goals youre setting?

My details tomorrow, but in the meantime: Harlan, I know youre a big Ennio Morricone fan. Theres a new 4-CD set out of his film music and concert pieces; I dont know if you already have a lot of its contents on separate CDs, but thought Id mention it if you hadnt already seen it.

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Postby FrankChurch » Sat May 01, 2004 6:12 am

Name: Frank Church
Source: unca20040527.htm
Rob, the point I am making is that the people who call themselves Libertarians are not actually true Libertarians. Sure, they are right on social issues, and things like the Patriot Act, but their defense of unregulated capitalism is far from Libertarian. Capitalism is highly authoritarian and structured very Stalinistically; much unlike any democratic model I have ever heard of. The worker has no control over his work or wages and his boss can fire him at will. Or fire him if he wears the wrong color t-shirt to work. That my friend is not libertarian or American.

The biggest defender of Libertarian values is of course my Noamie. His defense of Libertarian values comes from his muse Emma Goldman, who wrote exclusively about her love of Libertarian ideas. Real Libertarianism, to be exact. Control over work and wages, and freedom to form unions. I know for a fact that the right wing Libertarians hate unions.

"Indeed, conceit, arrogance, and egotism are the essentials of patriotism. Let me illustrate. Patriotism assumes that our globe is divided into little spots, each one surrounded by an iron gate. Those who have had the fortune of being born on some particular spot, consider themselves better, nobler, grander, more intelligent than the living beings inhabiting any other spot. It is, therefore, the duty of everyone living on that chosen spot to fight, kill, and die in the attempt to impose his superiority upon all the others."

That about sums up our Republic now.

Libertarianism without economic justice is debased. When you are a slave to the owners you have no liberty. Simple.

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Chuck Messer
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Postby Chuck Messer » Sat May 01, 2004 10:29 am

Name: Chuck Messer
Source: unca20040527.htm
Jon Bell wrote:

"What particular thing in my diatribe struck you as particularly worthy?"

It was your main point that there are more than just two sides of facets to an issue. There was a book that came out in 1994, THE SECOND AMERICAN REVOLUTION by James Patterson and Peter Kim based on the same idea: the polarizing hot-button issues weren't as polar as the media (who LOVE a good guy/bad guy story) would have us believe. There's more common ground that we realize on many issues.

Also the number of people killed by careless corporations vs. those killed by murderous goverments was an interesting point. A lot of people, including the opinion-mongers among the punditry, who suffer from what I call "party blindness". They simply can't see past thier own party doctrine, the party line, so everything they see, movies, TV shows, speeches, news stories, are all filtered and translated through a rigid matrix of pre-programmed responses. The reactions of people like Charles Krauthammer and Armstrong Williams seem almost mechanical at times - I can predict almost word for word what they'll say.

Anyhow, I just thought your statement struck home with me personally.


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Jeffty is Five, Non-Fiction

Postby Lee » Sat May 01, 2004 12:37 pm

Name: Lee
Source: unca20040527.htm
Ive struck up quite a friendship over the past five months with the old lady that owns the servants quarters that I stay in when working away from my family. Since late 2003 weve spent many evenings together in her old domaine house, sipping good wine and sampling local cheeses. Shes a tough old firecracker, but is slowly going blind and has recently had several unsuccessful operations that are steadily slowing her down. Still, as the time came for me to finish up my work in that city, she insisted that I not leave her domaine without letting her prepare one authentic French meal with me. I was not too keen on the idea, with her health not being good, but she called me up last week and said that we were having frog legs on Friday. Lunch at noon, and dont be late.

Friday came, and she welcomed me into her home and sat me down to dinner. There was a rose-colored fois gras, locally prepared, with corners of toasted home-made bread to eat it with. That was followed by a pile of little parsely sprinkled frog legs braised in clear drawn garlic butter, and served with lemon wedges on a hot steel plate. All of this was accompanied by vegetables, two kinds of wine and homemade bread to die for. There was a selection of local fermier cheeses to follow and for dessert a shallow dish of thick crme brule. We finished everything up with a little ball of fresh vanilla ice cream shot through with caramel and fresh strawberries and nestled into a curled-up almond cookie. We sipped coffee afterwards, and though wed chatted as usual during the meal it came to a point where I had to get back to work, and didnt know what to say. And as the silence lengthened she kept looking right at me, and her eyes teared up, and she said, I want you to remember.

In one of lifes oddly theatrical flourishes, I returned the following Monday for my last week in the servants quarters. The tulips had blossomed, the domaine grounds surrounding the servants quarters were a riot of spingtime color, and the old lady was gone. I spent that whole last week alone on the domaine, taking runs through the countryside, and listening to the churchbells. Hedgerows right where the Germans left them, blocking in fields next to old shaggy yards furnished with stone farm houses and century old iron hand pumps, and busted plastic battery powered scooters. Dodging late-model cars going way too fast, and listening to television noise leaking out onto the street from the local bar.

Ive always understood what Harlans Jeffty Is Five is about.

But last week, in the little town of Lentigny, I absolutely lived it.

The present is killing a past there, that by all rights and measures should already be dead.

God bless you, Madame Gaume.

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Postby remarck » Sat May 01, 2004 2:28 pm

Name: Keith Cramer
Source: unca20040527.htm

You are a bad man. You made me cry.

Ive got one surviving grandparent, and Im definitely visiting her this summer. The last time I saw her, she grabbed my bicep and pulled me down to her level, and told me I HAD to visit soon. It was not a request. Shes 85, and thinks shes near death. If she hadnt fallen out of the apple tree in her yard a few years back and broke her ankle, shed be as healthy as a charivari in Las Vegas. So now Im planning it. Sooner, rather than later. Thanks for sharing.

Jon A. Bell:

Amen, brother! The political stuff is not only depressing, but using this forum for debate is not intelligent. Maybe in Colonial days, when pamphlets were the stock and trade of the debaters, this type of forum might have made sense. But this is 200 years later, and other forums have risen which are much more conducive to nation-wide debate than this one (telephone, e-mail, instant messaging, Usenet, television, video-phones, web-cams, IRC, etc. etc.). The one post per day rule should give people a hint that this is not a scrappy debate forum. Nobody cares who wins an argument here. Almost every time these political issues take over, somebody gets upset, things start to get heated, people hone their bloated arguments over the course of several days to little tiny barbs, and then sit back and gloat, as though they won something. All the while they are misquoting, misreading, and misinterpreting each others posts. They call names and insult each other. I can only imagine what Harlans book-signings of the future will look like when some of these people run into each other.

Rick is a very tolerant overseer. The one post per day rule is frequently abrogated (at least a few times a week), in aid of correcting a point or scoring points. Unfortunately, some people have nothing better to discuss or share than their politics, which is a little sad.

You asked a great question: whats everyone been reading lately? Whatve you been listening to? What TV shows or films have struck your fancy? What projects have you been working on? Sights youve seen, trips youve taken, goals youre setting?

Since you asked, my reading habits of late have been very contemporary. Im reading The Thurber Letters, edited by Harrison Kinney, and Ian McEwans Atonement, which contains some of the best writing I have ever seen. The first 3 paragraphs induce in the reader such a gallimaufry of images and characterization its as if youre a servant cleaning up the spent feast-table in the main hall, and popping the various orts and leavings into your mouth as you go along. I cant read more than 10 pages without stopping and digesting.

Im getting ready to watch the movie The Ghost and Mrs. Muir tonight, the one with Rex Harrison, Gene Tierny, and the 6-year-old Natalie Wood. I bought it on DVD last year, and I really enjoy it. I have a thing for romantic movies, even the flawed ones. But I never could stand Youve Got Mail, and I didnt like Sleepless in Seattle. In general, my fondness for Meg Ryan comes from When Harry Met Sally. When youve done the best romantic comedy movie of the 20th Century, why would you want to do a bunch more that can never be as good? And did anyone see that time-travel thing with her and Hugh Jackman? It should have been cut up on the editing room floor and shoveled into a hefty bag and left out back next to the bio-hazard waste from the plastic surgeons office across the alley.

Et Tu?

Anyway, cheerio!


Steven Dooner
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Location: Weymouth, Massachusetts

An End To Rancor--Let's Move On

Postby Steven Dooner » Sat May 01, 2004 2:57 pm

Name: Steve Dooner
Source: unca20040527.htm
Keith: I agree the political debate is getting tedious. Everybody's made their points, and it's time to move on. I also love Ghost and Mrs. Muir as well. Was anybody more beautiful than Gene Tierney back then?

Jon: Judging from Rob's previous remarks, he seems pretty familiar with pre-eighties Libertarianism. I think he meant that a lot of Yuppies got on board as Right-Wing Libertarians during the eighties.

You and I agree on most points. But I am not so sure if Government or Corporations should be feared more nowadays. Governments might have bombs and prisons, but ours at least has a token form of representation. Still, corporations can have Pinkertons and Goon Squads, and they can wreck whole countries with governments, eg: The United Fruit Company. They can also use their vast resources to take over governments, eg: Haliburton taking over both the USA and Iraq.

Frank: Does't Noam (who I love as well) also call your form of Libertarianism, "Communitarianism"? I've always liked that word because it emphasized "community" as opposed to the communal living of pure Communism.

Since I began the discussion, I hope that I can end it with all parties on friendly terms. I'm sure those of us here are all thinking individuals who are doing our best. We have to be; we read Harlan Ellison!

Steve Dooner

Dorie Jennings

What we've been reading lately

Postby Dorie Jennings » Sat May 01, 2004 4:35 pm

Name: Dorie Jennings
Source: unca20040527.htm
Ian MacEwan's Atonement got so much media attention when it came out that I figured it was a must-read, and I had liked other books he'd written (First Love, Last Rites was my favorite). The world thought Atonement was brilliant but I just couldn't get into it, and I tried twice. Something must be going over my head. Kind of like the Joyce Carol Oates thing.

I've just read The Usual Rules by Joyce Maynard, which I enjoyed. No it's not an IMPORTANT book, but she writes well and I've liked everything of hers which I've read.

Worth reading twice: if anyone here is a fan of southern flavored literature, check out CRUM by Lee Maynard, FAREWELL I'M BOUND TO LEAVE YOU by Fred Chappell, and A PARCHMENT OF LEAVES by Silas House. All wonderful.

Jeez, Lee, everything you write impresses the hell out of me-- if you haven't written any books or stories yet, you should get started!

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Jon Stover
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Postby Jon Stover » Sat May 01, 2004 6:16 pm

Name: Jon Stover
Source: unca20040527.htm
That was a lovely piece, Lee, and a lovely tribute to your friend.

And speaking of Southern literature, anyone ever read Body by Harry Crews? It's a wild one set in the world of competive female body-building.

Cheers, Jon

Mark Walsh
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My Stack o' Books

Postby Mark Walsh » Sun May 02, 2004 3:30 am

Name: Mark Walsh
Source: unca20040527.htm
Dorie, The books that currently make up my reading stack are:
Animal Dreams by Kingsolver
A Game of Thrones by Martin
The Best Democracy Money Can Buy by Palast
The Jan. 2004 issue of Fantasy & Science Fiction
(Plus various articles from Newsweek, The New Yorker, Locus and the Boston Phoenix)
Just Finished:
Letters to a Young Contrarian by Hitchens
Very Old Bones by Kennedy (reread)
Up Next:
The Color of Magic by Pratchett
Experienceing Philosophy by Falikowski (the new text for my Intro to Philosophy course)
His Dark Materials trilogy by Pullman (on load from a collegue)

What? No Harlan? Not at the moment. I read Stange Wine and Again, Dangerous Visions in March.

Mark W.

Jon A. Bell

Books, Films, Music... and Submarines (?)

Postby Jon A. Bell » Sun May 02, 2004 4:32 am

Name: Jon A. Bell
Source: unca20040527.htm
In response to my question yesterday, Whats everyone reading/watching/enjoying/doing?, for me, its the following:

Novels: I just finished Broken Angels, Richard Morgans sequel to his kick-ass noir SF novel Altered Carbon. Im also starting Neil Stephensons Quicksilver after a long delay (and hope to get it and The Confusion finished before the 3rd book in this trilogy comes out in the fall!) Definitely looking forward to Harlans Justice League, and China Mievilles Iron Council, set in the same universe as his extraordinary dark fantasies Perdido Street Station and The Scar.

Non-fiction: Mainly, computer graphics books (its what I do for a living; my fourth CG book was just published two months ago, and Ive got to keep up with the technology.) Ive been thinking about dusting off Jean Francois Revels How Democracies Perish, Without Marx or Jesus and The Totalitarian Temptation to see how his 20-30+ year-old ideas stand up today.

Comics: the graphic novel Superman: Red Son, an alternate-universe tale wherein Kal-Els rocketship landed in the Soviet Union, rather than Kansas. Cool premise and dynamite artwork here.

Movies: I forced myself to see Kill Bill II (Im not a Tarantino fan; to me, if youre going to devote your life to making meticulously-crafted knockoffs of your favorite genre, why pick grindhouse cinema, for Gods sake? Its like a French chef determined to make the best Velveeta/meatloaf casserole in the world.) Anyway, I agree with the SF Chronicle critic Mick LaSalle on this one QT shouldve cut them together into one 2.5-hour movie and called it a day.

Music: CDs from Cold Blue Music ( Contemporary classical ensembles, experimental pieces, dark, moody, mysterious. I like em a lot, and if youre into introspective, somewhat minimalist instrumental music, I highly recommend them. (Also, Keith mentioned watching The Ghost and Mrs. Muir. Im a HUGE film music fan probably 3/4's of my CD collection consists of film scores, and I love Bernard Herrmanns music. But man Listening to his heartbreaking score to Mrs. Muir will plunge me into depths of melancholy that would take the Trieste to salvage.)

And, speaking of submarines (now theres a forced segue) The Discovery Channel tonight is airing a show called Dive into the Bermuda Triangle. I dont know if theyre going to debunk the alleged mysteries of this area or not, but I mention it for one reason: it should feature prominently the Deep Flight Aviator mini-submarine, built by Hawkes Ocean Technologies. ( Ive done volunteer CG work for them since 1996, and a year ago last March, when the BBC was shooting the show in the Bahamas, I got to ride in the sub for 2 hours as we circled a shipwreck, and then pilot the beast for a few minutes as we headed back into port. It was the culmination of a dream Ive had since, well, I was a little kid watching Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea. The sub itself looks like an F-18 fighter plane, and if youre into nifty technology, you might check it out.

-- Jon

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To-read pile

Postby Adam-Troy » Sun May 02, 2004 5:57 am

Name: Adam-Troy Castro
Source: unca20040527.htm
My pile to-be-read is always subject to whim, and some books keep being put on the bottom of the file, but these are near the top:

The Kill Artist by David Silva
Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom by Cory Doctorow
Finder by Greg Rucka
The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
The Emperor and the Wolf by Stuart Galbraith (giant bio of Kurosawa
and Mifune)
The latest Robert K. Tannenbaum "Butch Karp" thriller
There's also a new collection of Cornell Woolrich I want to buy.

I actually have so many books on my current to-read pile that the continued accumulation and my recent unemployment have led to a rule: NO MORE NEW BOOK PURCHASES UNLESS THE BOOK BEING PURCHASED IS SO BADLY WANTED IT'S THE VERY NEXT BOOK I WANT TO READ. This keeps me from saying, oh, that looks kinda interesting, and adding it to the tower but never getting to it. Authors whose books would shoot straight to the top of the pile do include the astonishing Mieville, already cited...Westlake...and of course our host.

Eric Martin
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Postby Eric Martin » Sun May 02, 2004 7:39 am

Name: Eric Martin
Source: unca20040527.htm
Currently reading:

Teklords, by William Shatner (annotated edition)
Danny Dunn and the Homework Machine, by Jay Williams
Chevrolet Mid-size (1964-1981) by Chilton
Merck Manual of Medical Information (a hypochondriac's bible)
Eat Great, Lose Weight, by Suzanne Somers
Captives in Space, by Joseph Greene
Webderland Archive 1995-97, by Various Authors
Best of Tumbleweed, Tom K. Ryan

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Postby FrankChurch » Sun May 02, 2004 9:50 am

Name: Frank Church
Source: unca20040527.htm
Books in my sanctified neon pyramid:

Upton Sinclair's The Jungle
Rereading Picture Of Dorian Gray; the greatest horror novel of all time.
Eric Schlosser's Reefer Nation
331/3 guide to Prince's album Sign O' The Times
Harlan's Shatterday again
Gogol's Dead Souls
Endless political dreck from the internet

Steven Dooner
Posts: 32
Joined: Mon Jan 10, 2005 4:05 pm
Location: Weymouth, Massachusetts

The Pile of Books I am Currently Reading

Postby Steven Dooner » Sun May 02, 2004 10:12 am

Name: Steve Dooner
Source: unca20040527.htm
Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
The Ways of a Philosphical Scrivener by Martin Gardner
The Spirit Archives (Volume 13) by Will Eisner
Don Quixote (new Translation by Edith Grossman)
The World's Most Dangerous Places by Robert Young Pelton
Dante in Love by Harriet Rubin
Dante by R. W. B. Lewis
The Adventures of Cavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon
Albion by Peter Ackroyd
Fancies and Goodnights by John Collier
The Botany of Desire by Micahel Pollan

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