Pavilion Digest: March 2006

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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"The Culture Of The Book"

Postby Duane » Sun Mar 05, 2006 8:08 pm

Name: Duane
Source: unca20060316.htm
I didn't catch the name, but it might have been one of the writers of Brokeback Mountain. I loved what he said about preserving and continuing the "culture of the book." Great words.

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Postby Eric Martin » Sun Mar 05, 2006 9:15 pm

Name: Eric Martin
Source: unca20060316.htm
>Not that I care much about the Academy and it's decisions, but I'm thrilled that CRASH won. <

Todd, how can you be thrilled about something you don't care for much?

Admit it, you love the Oscars. It's ok.

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Postby rich » Mon Mar 06, 2006 5:29 am

Name: rich
Source: unca20060316.htm
I, too, felt that BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN, though a good movie, was not deserving of a nomination. I am curious, seem to have more experience with what constitutes a "realistic look at gay love". Does your wife know?

I thought Jon Stewart did a pretty good job for his first time out. I thought the jokes were funny, but the audience didn't seem to warm up to him until his "Cheney shot Bjork" joke. Someone mentioned that it would be better if the Oscars were hosted by a "local", and I think that's probably true.

Lily Tomlin and Meryl Streep were fantastic.

"Dame Judi Dench took out my eye."

Will Ferrel and Steve Carell looked good.

It was an okay show. I'm not going to demand my money back, but this one won't be the one everyone remembers ten years from now.

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Postby DVG » Mon Mar 06, 2006 10:49 am

Name: DVG
Source: unca20060316.htm
The only thing worse than the Oscars is having to sit through a week of post-Oscars discussions.

That said, neither Brokeback nor Crash seemed particularly interesting or well done. I am looking forward to seeing Capote, however.

Munich goes straight into my bin of films I refuse to watch on general principle. This bin also contains every other film by Spielberg as well as every film ever so much as breathed on by Quentin Tarrantino and/or Oliver Stone.

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David Loftus
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do not tease the watchdog

Postby David Loftus » Mon Mar 06, 2006 11:30 am

Name: David Loftus
Source: unca20060316.htm
> Strange. After hearing (and reading) the misanthropic,
> bile-bloated rants of George Carlin and his disciples,
> it's almost startling to see a quiet, low-key sign of
> geniality from the alleged Master Cynic himself.

Geniality there is plenty, I'm sure. But in this case, it's a simple expression of good manners, and perhaps even gratitude.

My wife has a very different image of Harlan Ellison from that of most people who have heard more about but seen or encountered less of the man.

Since I am often not available on those rare occasions when he tries to call me on the phone, she has spoken to him several times, and she has always found him a perfect gentleman, so his reputation in some circles is a mystery to her. (I'm the one he's said bad words to.)

It should be perfectly obvious that people tend to get the response they expect . . . or deserve.

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Postby Brad Stevens » Mon Mar 06, 2006 11:52 am

Name: Brad Stevens
Source: unca20060316.htm
Harlan - While doing some research for a Buster Keaton-related project I'm working on, I consulted the filmography in Tom Dardis' book KEATON: THE MAN WHO WOULDN'T LIE DOWN, and noticed that you had written a 1964 episode of BURKE'S LAW in which the great Buster played the lead role. Did you ever meet him?

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Postby Todd Cassel » Mon Mar 06, 2006 12:06 pm

Name: Todd Cassel
Source: unca20060316.htm
DVG, "...neither Brokeback nor Crash seemed particularly interesting or well done. I am looking forward to seeing Capote, however.

Munich goes straight into my bin of films I refuse to watch on general principle."

So, DVG, why would we even care to have an post-Oscar discourse with you if you only base your opinion on how some movies "seem" or on the fact that you hate a director so much that you will refuse to see anything he does.

So let's see, you didn't see BROKEBACK MTN or CRASH (as they don't 'seem' interesting or well done to you), you haven't seen MUNICH and never will. You haven't seen CAPOTE (a terrific film) and you make no mention of GOOD NIGHT, AND GOOD LUCK but we can all assume you missed that one too. So, whatever the opinion is on Oscar discourse, I'm pretty sure that you just logged on to say "I'm bored by discussion about things I haven't seen/done."

Y'know, on that note, I must now state that I do not want to be involved in any discussion about how the flesh in my nether regions gets stretched out of shape when I give birth. Nope, don't wanna talk about it. Please don't bring it up.


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Postby Moderator » Mon Mar 06, 2006 12:39 pm

Name: Steve Barber
Source: unca20060316.htm
... to what Loftus said. Word for word.

I've often found that the people who complain about the prickliness of others are generally those who do the poking to begin with. People who develop the reputation for prickle tend to become targets by those moronic emmeffers who think it's manly to call them out. The old "fastest gun in the west" syndrome, and it's usually the loser in this tournament who describes the winner as "an ass" in some lame attempt to regain some of the lost bravado.

Harlan has always been the epitome of a gentleman whenever we've crossed paths (me in complete obscurity, him the focal point of the room's attention). I've only seen him rude upon a single occasion (the recently recounted rude college sorority girl story). He's been gracious at book signings, focuses completely and fascinatedly upon whomever is speaking to him, and is always glad to give compliments and kudos to others for their efforts.

Then again, maybe the legend has its worth. I would venture to say that not many untrustworthy sorts would dare cross swords with him, and those that do often are warned against it. Only an fool would go poking a finger at a quiescent cougar, and only a bigger fool would blame the cat for tearing his head off.

Harlan gives better than he receives, and there aren't a whole lot of those sorts left in Hollywood. It just ain't that sort of town.

(And to be perfectly honest, he's got me acting on good behavior these days. Even though she hasn't yet met him in person, if we ever get divorced my wife has stated she gets Harlan in the settlement.)

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Postby DVG » Mon Mar 06, 2006 12:41 pm

Name: DVG
Source: unca20060316.htm
I did indeed see both "Crash" and "Brokeback Mountain." Neither one seemed, to me, in my opinion, myself, personally, to be interesting or well-done.

I am very interested in seeing Capote, about which I have heard many good things.

I'd also like to see "Good Night & Good Luck."

I will not watch a Spielburg film. If you find this morally suspect, that's your problem. Allow me to point you in the direction of the nearest cassette copy of "The Color Purple" and you can knock yourself out.

The vomit-inducing coverage, per and post, of the Oscars, and resulting arguments about a closed system vote process riddled with politics and gilded with bad taste seems a worthy target of scorn.

Thank you for leaping to your conclusions, and please do excuse this second post.

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Postby Jim Davis » Mon Mar 06, 2006 1:09 pm

Name: Jim Davis
Source: unca20060316.htm
DVG: I am SO inviting you to my next Oscar party!

The biggest shocker from last night? It wasn't the winner for Best Picture or Best Supporting Actress (I love Rachel Weisz to pieces, but Catherine Keener was robbed), but, rather, the news that Robert Altman underwent a heart transplant eleven years ago. The man is one of the genuinely great artists of our time, and we're lucky to have had him on loan for so long. (True, there is PRET-A-PORTER to reckon with, but GOSFORD PARK more than makes up for it.) Of course, it would have been sweeter if, instead of giving him a lifetime achievement statue, the Academy had actually awarded Best Director or Picture to any one of the dozen masterpieces he's helmed over the years; but in this life, we'll take what we can get.

Mark S.

Good Manners

Postby Mark S. » Mon Mar 06, 2006 3:36 pm

Name: Mark S.
Source: unca20060316.htm
I have met Harlan a number of times at the sadly departed Dangerous Visions and Change of Hobbit bookstores and at Comicon where the number of alleged 'fast guns' almost outstrips the hygenically-challenged fans that crowd the halls. Harlan, has always been polite and cordial to me under all these circumstances.

I did see him do one of his lengendary one man performances at Comiccon and the thing that stood out was the attempt by the video camera operators to bate Harlan into a diatribe that would "make good video" when replayed through the hotel closed circuit system.

Harlan walked down the aisle to the camera boys and said softly "You will have to do better then that, to get a "Harlan Story". The geek boys tried to avert his gaze, the crowd remained quiet and Mr. Ellison went on to entertain and educate in his classic style.

Xenogenisis indeed.

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Bud Webster
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An example

Postby Bud Webster » Mon Mar 06, 2006 3:54 pm

Name: Bud Webster
Source: unca20060316.htm
Our Host has acquired a reputation. Or several, actually, but the one I want to address here is the one where he's a cranky, volatile tightly-wrapped-bundle-of-anger, a walking time-bomb with a short fuse which smolders constantly, waiting only for some hapless (they're always hapless, at least the way they tell it) Innocent to look at him the wrong way for full ignition and explosion.

Hah. And again, I say "Hah."

Let me recount an Ellisonian Legend, one which was commonly held to be gospel by fandom, and which I believed (if not fondly) for years. Once upon a time, there was this anthology, an original one, edited by Ed Ferman (then editor and publisher of F&SF) and Barry Malzberg (then, as now, a fine writer who has also done plenty of editing) and titled _Final Stage: The Ultimate Science Fiction Anthology_. It was published in 1973 by Charterhouse, a small imprint of a larger publisher, David McKay.

Ferman and Malzberg asked a number of the best writers in the field at the time for the ultimate story on specific subjects, said subjects being tailored to their own specialities - Asimov wrote the ultimate robot story, Silverberg the ultimate alternate worlds story, and so on.

The ultimate sex story was a twofer, since there are (last I checked) two genders. Joanna Russ wrote one, Harlan the other.

Skip ahead now to the completion of the book, Ferman and Malzberg turning it in, and the commencement of actual publication. At some point, perhaps from the very beginning, Charterhouse's acquiring editor, Carol Rinzler (who was editor Ferman's cousin, by the way), decided that a) sf readers were dumb and unsophisticated, unable to read anything other than basic English; b) sf writers were pretty much comic book people and thus in need of dumbing-down so that the moronic sf readers could understand what they were saying; and c) she was the one to do it.

Can you see where this legend is leading? Let me elucidate further. She picked up the first three stories off the pile to begin rewriting. They happened to be by Poul Anderson, Robert Silverberg, and Harlan Ellison. Let me quote from my own aritcle about the book, originally published in the Summer 2005 BULLETIN of the Science-Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America:

"What was actually done to the stories? In the case of the Ellison, I can give personal, if anecdotal, evidence: in 1975 I obtained copies of the original Charterhouse edition as well as the Penguin reprint from that year. I sat down with pen in hand and listed the alterations in the text, ranging from simple changes in punctuation to wholesale re-ordering of sentences and the excision of entire paragraphs. When I was done, the list covered both sides of two and a half legal-sized pages. Ellison's own list of changes runs a dozen letter-sized pages. I think that qualifies as extensive, by any definition.

"At this point, after having seen the documentation, I'd like to address some of the mythology that surrounded this book when it came out, especially in the fan press. I'd heard, and for years had believed, that Ellison brought suit against Charterhouse and Rinzler on behalf of himself and the other injured authors involved; that, as befit his reputation in fandom, he had gone ballistic, threatening and demanding reparations, causing the demise of Charterhouse and Rinzler's resignation. This is demonstrably and provably untrue.

"Ellison did, in fact, bring suit against David McKay, Charterhouse's parent company a small claims suit for a little over $100 to cover phone calls, secretarial fees, and photocopying costs, all relating to the costs of documenting the situation and informing Anderson and Silverberg, as well as the two editors, of what was going on. What's more, in all the correspondence Ellison had with Rinzler and Charterhouse, he was courteous, polite, and professional. So much for legends."

Indeed. If Harlan was so prone to histrionics, so close to the abyssal edge at all times so that the least provocation would send him screaming and ranting, you'd have thought that THIS would have done it. It didn't.

My advice is, no matter what the circumstance, if somebody comes to you with a Harlan-breathing-fire story that they themselves have not witnessed, ignore it. If they say it happened to them, shake a handful of salt on it before you swallow it.

Harlan is more than capable of telling horror stories about himself, and has done so in the past on any number of very public occasions (ask him to tell the Dr. Shedd story sometime, or the Seaview model story). Master of Invective he certainly is, but Gentleman in the strictest since he certainly is as well. Harlan will tell you when he's been a Monster; all else is, at best, dubious.

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Postby cljohnston108 » Mon Mar 06, 2006 5:25 pm

Name: Chris Johnston
Source: unca20060316.htm
Really glad Haggis won, since I was a big fan of "Due South" & "EZ Streets".

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Postby Ben » Mon Mar 06, 2006 5:49 pm

Name: Ben Winfield
Source: unca20060316.htm
See, this is why my visits here have been less frequent. Online discussion is a constant source of strife for me. I have the mysterious, innate ability to create posts with easily misinterpreted tones.

I wasn't trying to "tease the watchdog", David. I had just slogged through one of Carlin's darker stand-ups on DVD, and I was in a vulnerable state of mind. Harlan's passing comment of gratitude made an impression on me, for some reason. I didn't mean to spark an entire goddamn DISCUSSION about it.

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Postby Eric Martin » Mon Mar 06, 2006 6:00 pm

Name: Eric Martin
Source: unca20060316.htm
>I didn't mean to spark an entire goddamn DISCUSSION about it.<

You mean, you don't like having your attitude policed? You're in the wrong forum, pallie.

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