Pavilion Digest: April 2005

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: April 2005

Postby admin » Fri Apr 01, 2005 5:34 am

The following posts contain Art Deco Dining Pavilion messages for the month of April 2005.

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Postby rich » Fri Apr 01, 2005 5:34 am

Name: rich
Source: unca20050524.htm
This will not be received well, but I have to do this.

Ignoring the posts didn't seem to help and as this has become the elephant in the room at the moment and everyone feels like he or she should comment on something that reasonable people agree is between ONLY two people, I offer the caveat and rationalization for this response as these two folks have taken the 'hurt' public.

So fair game.

That being said...Oscar Lim sounds like a dickhead. HOWEVER, his point, lost in his Cro-Magnan musings, deserves some mention. Take for example the post from Harlan which prompted this response. I don't think Paul Foth was trying to play games with his question concerning morality and ethics and Harlan emptied at least one barrel into him. David Loftus made an off the cuff remark which cut Harlan deeply and both barrels were emptied into him.

Thin skin, thick skin. Which is it here? If Paul Foth had responded in any other way than the decent way in which he did, we would've been on him like a pack of wolves. But he didn't and it was just another exercise in Harlan-speak. Entertaining and I'm sure we would've clapped him on the back for the way he dispatched that "amoral sociopath" named Paul Foth--whose only mistake was in seeking clarity and funneling a discussion into something more substantial than the usual trivia that overtakes this place until the next meltdown--if David hadn't said what he said.

And David Loftus types a comment that he has no idea will set off the reaction that it has. Harlan expressed his anger and his hurt in a public forum, as we all have from time to time here, but I'm a little surprised.

Is this the same man that took Paul Foth to task? I had thought that Harlan and David had known each other for some time. Should Harlan have expressed himself in this forum? I don't know, but he did. It's there for everyone to see and from my own point of view, as much as it pains me to say this, I find it somewhat hypocritical.

I'm not saying Harlan Ellison is invulnerable or should not respond as he sees fit, but what I am saying is that I've seen others make off the cuff remarks, respond that those remarks have hurt them in some way, and the response from us has usually been: You need a thick skin around here. Buck up or get the fuck out.

I don't begrudge anyone their posts or to call 'em as they see 'em, and I certainly don't begrudge anyone offering words of comfort to Harlan Ellison as this Oscar Lim seems intent on doing. I admire the man and his work, but...but...

I'm still coming back to the 'buck up or get the fuck out' part. How many times have we said that to others? How many times has the atmosphere in here been one of get out of the kitchen if you can't stand the heat?

Brian said it best: "I can't reassure Harlan about his life and work any better than the facts do." And anything else is noise in a storm. So I was wondering about the hypocrisy of it all, and though that may be too strong a word, I can't help but think it does fit in this situation.

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Postby Galen » Fri Apr 01, 2005 6:33 am

Name: Galen
Source: unca20050524.htm
Leave it be. Remember the written words of Victor Hugo:

"My own insult belongs to me,
and I can do as I please about it."

Jean Valjean
Les Miserables

Moving wistfully on, I would be interested in any passages from Harlan's life-works that have affected you in such a way that you have them memorized. You won't find this one in Barron's because it has to be taken in context, but one of mine would be from PALADIN OF THE LOST HOUR:

"One of these men was black; the other was white."

So deft. So piercing.

My 8 year old daughter is adopted. One of us is black; the other is white.

Jeremy Powell

Postby Jeremy Powell » Fri Apr 01, 2005 6:43 am

Name: Jeremy Powell
Source: unca20050524.htm
But, the way I understand it, Harlan _is_ getting out of the kitchen for a while. The prevalent and worst elements of our culture feel certain that learning to "take the heat" is the honorable, and getting "out of the kitchen" the dishonorable, action prescribed by this particular pair of alternatives. I disagree. To me the actions of both parties, as they've been presented on this board, demonstrate nothing about said parties except a human capacity to receive and to commit accidental pain, and to own one's emotional responses to same. Admirable, right? And, what news?

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Thank You Jim Davis

Postby Peggy » Fri Apr 01, 2005 7:49 am

Name: Peg
Source: unca20050524.htm

I want to thank you for apologizing about your remark and the maturity in doing so publically.

What you and others may not know butperhaps surmised from comments posted, is that my mother was suffering from brain cancer. Her condition was terminal, and I had spent a month here while she was being treated. And while I knew the intent behind your comment, and did not hold it against you one iota, it still affected me.

Sadly, unexpectedly, my mother passed away earlier this week. I was enroute to California when she went but was assured she went quickly, without excess of pain or suffering. But what I would like you to understand, is that right now, to see you retract that comment, however little it meant to you, outweighed for me by far any unintended transgress incurred earlier. It means more to me than you can imagine.

So thank you for your gesture, and the comfort it's given me.


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Postby Cindy » Fri Apr 01, 2005 7:53 am

Name: Cindy
Source: unca20050524.htm
Reading the words written by Dorothy Parker leaves NO doubt that she was utterly lacking any compulsion to impress, ingratiate herself with or falsely flatter anyone. Ain't no way. I am sure you know that in your heart. Nothing has changed, your memories are as solid, accurate and dependable as your instincts, my dear friend.

I believe David's words did not convey his actual intent. I had a similar experience at Beau's varsity baseball game on Tuesday. The other team's batter hit a homerun that ROLLED by three of our boys. The bases were loaded at the time, which vaulted the score in the top of the sixth to 12-3. We only have seven innings. I glanced over and saw the coach, ( a skinny, red headed kid of 24 years) take off his cap and stare down into it for a good long moment. Remember, my kids have been going through baseball coaches in Mason since 1988, I've seen a string of older coaches with years of experience scream and cuss boys individually and by name. Almost without exception they fairly fell on the ground frothing at less incompetency than had just unfurled before this home town crowd. Yet, THIS coach, barely more than a boy, looked down calmly at his cap in his hands and uttered not one expletive. Overwhelmed with respect and admiration for the astounding way he managed to contain his anger I impulsivley yelled out," Good containment Coach!" I flashed him the thumbs up and hollered, " You're a class act!".

He looked so hurt and disturbed by my outburst that I was taken aback. I quickly reflected on what I could have said to upset him so. Then it fell in on me- he thought I was being sarcastic. I said " good containment!" as in; the ball slipped past three of your players, coach, you're a real class act." Jesus, Mary and Joseph, I swear-- I felt like the tip of a cleat. I couldn't get to the guy quick enough after the game to straightened it out.

Selfishly,I would be mightily saddened if you left this place for long. I so look forward to your posts. There are others here who also love you fiercely and would champion you
to the ends of the earth in any cause as well; Jay and Alex Jay, Alex Krislov, our lovely Daryl, sweet, firey Lynn, Chuck, Faisal, Paula, Frank Church, Adam Troy, Steve Dooner, Brian Siano and above all Rick. I believe David has great affection for you as well and I don't think that he intended for a moment to hurt you.

Please don't go. The times I spend smiling and laughing and thinking about the things you write here are like tiny oasis,' oasises, oasees-- oh hell, right now, they're more welcome and needed than you could know.

Your friend,
p.s. I pray for your speedy return to the blush of good health.

This is a place where friends of Harlan gather. HE can write what he wants and say what he wants and the swarm of us will be on ANYONE who tries to hurt him.

I fuckin' swear.

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Postby Jan » Fri Apr 01, 2005 8:23 am

Name: Jan
Source: unca20050524.htm
David: I think the fact that you werent there when Harlan and Parker met makes you unable to say anything authoritative on the subject or even anything that someone would take to be valid. This is a given under which you operated when you speculated on what had happened. Since Harlan would have known the difference had Parker really been dishonest, you could not suspect he would be hurt by mere speculation from a non-participant.

It is also clear that your remark wasnt written for Harlans eyes. Sometimes we forget that he sees everything (and reads some) that is being written here, which I believe is basically healthy. Its not like he comments on everything or answers every question, so people have conversations among themselves. I understand why Harlan was hurt by your words, but I also think that theres always that risk if people are communicating in different directions - you can never really know who will be hurt by what, and of course we can only try to avoid that as much as possible. In normal conversation the speculation could have been retracted in a split-second and nobody would have dwelt on it, but what is written, and be intended as conversation, tends to be taken more seriously and gets thought over.


Postby Kathy » Fri Apr 01, 2005 9:00 am

Name: Kathy
Source: unca20050524.htm
I'm surprised anyone would consider Mr. Ellison's writing to be second-rate (as he, himself, pointed out in his post with regard to Mr. Silverberg). So much of what passes for speculative fiction is so poorly written and lacking in wonder and imagination. I've always found Mr. Ellison's work to have a sense of wonder, to be edgy, and to get to the heart of the matter at hand. And even better, his stories cause me to continue to think about them long after the initial enjoyment of the first read passes. Stories that you can go return to again and again offer delight and refreshment to the soul. So thank you, Mr. Ellison, for both the delight and the refreshment.

John Thompson

Postby John Thompson » Fri Apr 01, 2005 10:43 am

Name: John Thompson
Source: unca20050524.htm
Kathy: The reason Harlan's work stands out is because it isn't sterile--it is filled with brio and feeling. Too much SF is concerned with ideas, to the detriment of all else, including emotion. Harlan may have started in the genre as a young man, but he has long since surpassed it.

Todd Cassel
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Postby Todd Cassel » Fri Apr 01, 2005 10:48 am

Name: Todd Cassel
Source: unca20050524.htm
People, please don't make this a funeral for a friend. I'm sure that Harlan is strong enough to weather his upset over David's comment. It pissed him off, it saddened him because it affected a memory that he has obviously held dear for decades, and so he lashed out at David as he (and others, including myself years ago)has done in the past: he reminded David that sometimes his tossed off bon mots betray a smarmy, cynical attitude that is just not fun to be around.

But Harlan is a strong man, and if he chooses to drop the board for awhile because it is presenting on a golden platter layered with doodoo exactly what he has always stated it would, then it's not the end of the world. Many authors have boards dedicated to followers (and haters) of their work, and those authors don't make appearances as often has Harlan does. Appreciate when he is around, and appreciate even when he isn't.

Cindy, you are a sweet person, but you need to be careful with your phrasing. Your comment listing those who "love (Harlan) fiercely and would champion you to the end of the earth..." is an innocent one, but as you can see by the feelings that weave throughout these internet communities, it is also a comment that could hurt others. You list regulars on the board, and unlike an Oscar speech you do not say somesuchsuchas "and anyone out there who I've forgotten".

That listing was innocently written, and yet those who feel a part of the community who would have been left off it could take it as a comment that maybe they really don't belong. I wasn't on that listing, probably because I only pop in when I have something to say; perhaps once a week, or every couple of weeks, and yet some people are on that listing who haven't made an appearance in months.

Others on this board never post. They read, they enjoy, but they lurk. Lurking is not a bad thing; they can enjoy this community just as well. Many of them would also express a passion for the man and his work.

Even those we currently hate appear to love Harlan in their own special way: Michael, or whoever he is today, for one.

Internet sites that offer this participation can go off into directions of sickening adulation and spastic anger. This one doesn't; most of the time. So, to keep the tone; be careful if you mean to be. Be a prick if you mean to be. Be thin skinned or hard skinned if you mean to be.

But watch out for the tossed off comments that express something that you really didn't mean to say: David is well aware of that this week.



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Feel-Good Sentiment Not Included

Postby remarck » Fri Apr 01, 2005 11:22 am

Name: Keith Cramer
Source: unca20050524.htm

That's a terrible pain. I have never EVER conceived of that kind of pain.

There is nothing I can say but that you have my sympathy.

I hope someone gets you these links. Your works are prominently mentioned in them: ... 040105.htm


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Deliberate Vehemence and a Gentle Moment

Postby Moderator » Fri Apr 01, 2005 12:01 pm

Name: Steven Barber
Source: unca20050524.htm
I have, for years, felt that the relative armor of internet message boards have given rise to the vehement words of people like Oscar Lim. While Rich agrees with the basic sentiment he is quick to point out that the tone and tenor of Lim's comments are repugnant.

One of the primary tenets of some SF stories (including Mr. E's) have to do with the consequences of a society without personal interaction, and therefore interpersonal skills. Here we have excellent examples of the inner beast getting the best. I am sure Mr. Lim is a great deal more circumspect amongst people who could quite readily pop him should he say something like that in person. The question is, does the very anonymity of a message board give rise to Dr. Jeckle, or is it simply the society itself that is to blame?

Separate note: I am taken a little by surprise that Ellison has been rebuffed by the SFWA, etc. I was blissfully unaware of the this. Does anyone know the source of the "shunning"? Harlan's always been known as prickly, but I cannot believe an honorable organization would ignore a body of work like his, regardless of personal relationships.

And, since others have shared a moment of Harlan's life touching their own, I'll always remember seeing him at Dangerous Visions (before it closed), and having a quite nice discussion regarding a new translation of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and Mr. Tom Clancy (relevant only because of a certain publisher, to whom I am closely related). It took Harlan off of what must be the typical patter, and I believe he rather enjoyed it as well. In those few minutes I gained a solid respect for him that continues to this day.

My 2 cents. Back to the dark corridors of down-below, where all lurkers must abode.


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HE piece in San Diego Union-Tribune

Postby Tony » Fri Apr 01, 2005 12:22 pm

Name: Tony
Source: unca20050524.htm

First off, thanks to Finder Doug for the link to the article. I enjoyed it a lot.

Question: Am I the only one who thinks the picture of HE in that piece looks kinda like Brother Theodore? Just a kinda small resemblance, mind you, but that's who I thought of when I saw the pic. No offense intended at all (if there were any offense to be had.) :)

Much thanks!!!

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Postby Ben » Fri Apr 01, 2005 3:17 pm

Name: Ben Winfield
Source: unca20050524.htm
Harlan's getting out into the sunshine for a while. Good for him. I've had extended breaks from the Webderland before, and it's always done a world of good. I wish him the best of luck.

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Postby Alan Coil » Fri Apr 01, 2005 8:06 pm

Name: Alan Coil
Source: unca20050524.htm
I am but a small part of this Pavilion. Cindy didn't mention my name. I take no offense. I agree with everything she said. Keep on speaking up, Cindy.

I gotcher back, Sister.

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