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A Surprising Revelation

Posted: Sun May 28, 2006 6:32 am
by Alex Jay Berman
Name: Alex Jay Berman
Source: unca20060606.htm
HARLAN: I'm probably the only one here who can or would say this, but I actually AM interested in the ongoing saga of Ms. Jolie's and Mr. Pitt's loinfruit--but, I might add, only in a purely sociological fashion.

No, I haven't gone gibbetmind; hear me out.

Whether on their own part or on the part of their publicists, the whole thing speaks to a particular astuteness in owning one's own celebrity. Think about it: Though each has a small handful of solid acting performances in their respective oeuvres, the two are known and are famous mainly through being easy on the eyes, and little else.

Yet they were able, through judicious appearances and releases, to shape an entire ongoing debate and spate of coverage over what is a simple act of life which billions perform on a regular basis with little fanfare. They were able to do everything entirely their own way, and have it roundly reported on a constant basis in the "news" media.
Contrast this with the reports in the last several years of pretty much all the other celebrity couples or weddings, where the principals were uniformly harassed, put-upon, or painted in unflattering lights.
(Also bear in mind that the last celebrity adulterers to share such a happy relationship with the press as Jolie and Pitt were Burton and Taylor--and the bloom went off that rose pretty quickly.)

This, along with the forays each has taken into social activism, bodes well should either or both ever take a shot at the celebrity-to-politics polka--and politics DOES interest me.

(And hell; if I ever get together enough money to fulfill my long-held dream of running for Congress, I would try to get their publicist as a consultant ...)

Posted: Sun May 28, 2006 10:37 am
by Edward Brock
Name: Edward Brock
Source: unca20060606.htm

Sorry that it's late, but Happy Birthday!!!! I am sorry it has been overshadowed by the birth of the "Brangelina" spawn. (I can't believe I actually used the word "Brangelina" in sentence). Damn, I did it again.

But on to more important matters. I recently picked up a large lot of The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction (almost a complete set from 1977-1981). One particularly nice piece is the November 1980 issue with a Kent Bash rendition of you on the cover (and your story "All The Lies That Are My Life" inside). Would it be too much of an inconvenience for me to send it to you for your autograph?

I assume sending it to the HERC address will get it to you, and since it's unlikley I'll ever get to meet you in person, it would be greatly appreciated.


P.S. Thanks for the William Irwin Thompson book suggestion (I do own "Coming Into Being" & intend to pick up more). Although not as influencial to me as Joseph Campbell, his work is very inspiring.

Posted: Sun May 28, 2006 11:02 am
by Harlan Ellison
Source: unca20060606.htm

You'll love this: though I may be disinterested to the point of UNinterested in the (to me tedious) birth-tube peregrinations of Brad/Angelina's offshoot, I was knocked-out AND interested in YOUR take on all this persiflage. Fascinating filosophy, my old friend. Thereby making THEM of value to me, via you.

RE: ALEX TOTH: Met him only once. He was brought by mutual friends to visit me in my home, many years ago; and though it wasn't as charming an encounter as I'd wished--having revered Toth and his many different works all the way back to my youth in the 1940s--it bore out the sad reality that putting two set-in-their-ways curmudgeonly eccentrics in the same small space does not usually result in "a good time was had by all." He was (in my opinion and recollection) way over the top in unprovoked rudeness and impoliteness, which I would not brook in my own home; and I asked him to leave. It broke my heart. I wanted ever so much to be a friend of Alex Toth's, but he was having none of it. To this day, I don't know what made him so contumelious. Maybe it was a bad day. I don't know. BUT THIS I DO KNOW: he was, in the truest artistic use of the word, a giant. His work never once failed to enrapture, capture, cajole me. In more than thirty or forty years. His passing is as saddening as it was inevitable. His work stays behind for us to enjoy to the last tick of our days, but his going cannot but dismay us. I regret--even though I tried several times, later in our lives,to hire him to do work for the Dream Corridor, which efforts he dismissed summarily--that the judicious moments never presented themselves in which the great, the much-revered, and justly so, Alex Toth and I might have become pals. It is one of the things in this life I look back upon with genuine regret. Though there was apparently nothing I could do to cobble up that miracle, nonetheless, it was simply: heartbreaking.


Goodbye, sir. Go softly, rest sweetly.

Harlan Ellison

Posted: Sun May 28, 2006 11:05 am
by Harlan Ellison
Source: unca20060606.htm

Sure. Send it along. No prob.


Posted: Sun May 28, 2006 11:37 am
by FrankChurch
Name: Frank Church
Source: unca20060606.htm
The Cult Of The Personal revolves around us all. The unseen camera pans with snakelike precision. All the foibles of the super-rich and celebrity culture are played out, like their lives mean more to us then our own. We stick our eyes into the keyhole, when we should be looking into our own souls.

Sure, when Angelina brings up politics it's an unpardonable sin, but sure, when she gives birth to some actor's muffin spawn, the snake eye zooms in and the gulled ones masterbate, roving around on their creaking Lazy Susan.

Now, if Angelina wants to have a baby with me, then that's another story. That fucking kid would be shooting dice and talking smack as soon as he or she came from the steaming womb.


SEVENTY TWO!! This is one hip Seventy Two year old, that's for damn sure. Susan must have the Holy Grail next to Harlan's typewriter.

Happy Birthday ya vivacious ole' coot. Yowsa.

Many Happy Returns

Posted: Sun May 28, 2006 12:14 pm
by Jes
Name: Jes Bickham
Source: unca20060606.htm
Just de-lurking to wish Mr. E. a very happy birthday indeed. Here's to many more!
(Also, apropros of not much other than that I know that Lost has some fans here, not least Mr. E. himself, but what did everyone think of the season finale? Was I the only one that thought 'Homer Simpson' when they saw the statue?)
Best regards

Posted: Sun May 28, 2006 3:18 pm
by Roger Gjovig
Name: Roger Gjovig
Source: unca20060606.htm
There was so much going on in "Lost" I think I need to watch it a second time. Is the guy that turned the key dead, and how about Locke and Mr Eko? If you have a conscience how could even a father, especially one having been as far removed as this one, kill 2 people and leave 3 more on their knees ready to die just so you can leave with your son? Where in the world were they at the end of the show when the 2 radio guys tracked a signal for the lady who was in love with the guy who turned the key that may or may not have blown everything to kingdom come at that station? I thought I had a modicum of intelligence when it came to figuring this stuff out, but I am very confused.

Posted: Sun May 28, 2006 5:48 pm
by Chuck Messer
Name: Chuck Messer
Source: unca20060606.htm
Belated happy birthday to you, Harlan! It sounds like it was a happy one indeed, and I hope you have many more with sound mind and body.

This was also the third anniversary of my having a stent installed in my ticker. I remember you mentioned Terry Dowling had one put in not too long ago. How is he doing?

He should be all right, if I'm any indication. Three years and still tickin'.

May your ticker never miss a beat.


Posted: Sun May 28, 2006 6:08 pm
by JosephFinn
Name: Joseph J. Finn
Source: unca20060606.htm
"muffin spawn"?

Oh, and happy birthday Harlan!

Posted: Sun May 28, 2006 6:39 pm
by Sebastion Cavendish
Name: Sebastion Cavendish
Source: unca20060606.htm
Only an idiot would think that the tepid Garris/King adaptation of King's The Shining was better than the Kubrick rendering. The ending of the TV version is completely different from the book with the high school graduation stupidity. King went from destroying high schools with telekinesis to having the spirit world itself intervene on the behalf of some corrupt high school ceremony. Kubrick builds suspense with innuendo and suggestion which are more frightening than King's ridiculous spiders crawling out of mouths. But I have to admit that I like knife kill films that victimize sexually independent women in the minds of politically correct leftist do-gooders like Harlan who could never have foreseen the creatively neutered atrocity that is the Lifetime Corporate Network. Otherwise he would have renounced his errant leftist ways many a moon ago.

A posthumous collection of the great scientist Carl Sagan's writings is being published by his widow. You can pre-order it here. ... id=4860546

Posted: Mon May 29, 2006 6:50 am
by Eric Martin
Name: Eric Martin
Source: unca20060606.htm
Loony Alert

Harlan, Don't Take it Personally...

Posted: Mon May 29, 2006 7:55 am
by Bob Ingersoll
Name: Bob Ingersoll
Source: unca20060606.htm
Alex Toth was, from what I understand, like that to everyone, abrasive and sometimes rude.

Although I never met the man, everyone -- and I mean EVERYONE -- I've ever talked to who had met him said the same thing: As an artist the man was a genius, but he was extremely difficult to get along with.

Even our mutual friend Mark Evanier had stopped trying to get along with Toth, because of Toth's attitude. And if Mark can't get along with a person...

Well that speaks volumes as to what that person may be like vis-a-vis interpersonal relations.

Please remember, Harlan, I'm not chiming in to take this opportunity to speak ill of the dead. But there seemed to be some pain in the tone of your recollection of Toth. And I wanted to do what I could do to assuage that pain by saying, it wasn't to you personally that Toth was difficult; it was to, pretty much, all.


Posted: Mon May 29, 2006 8:17 am
by paul
Name: Paul
Source: unca20060606.htm
Happy birthday.

Question for Harlan re Peter S. Beagle

Posted: Mon May 29, 2006 11:30 am
by BrianSiano
Name: Brian Siano
Source: unca20060606.htm
Harlan, a friend at Balticon reported back about the problems Peter Beagle's had in getting his contracted-for royalties from Granada Films, who produced _The Last Unicorn_ in the late 1970s. According to the sources the friend cited (listed below), Beagle needs to raise money to even lodge the lawsuit.

I know there's very good chance that you've heard about this, or already offered advice and assistance to Beagle. But on the off-chance that I'm wrong I'll ask anyway: Is there any advice, or recommendations of experienced and willing attorneys, you might pass along to Beagle? ... le_su.html

(BTW, you don't have to comment about this here if ya don' wanna.)

Harlan and Sagan

Posted: Mon May 29, 2006 2:03 pm
by James Levy
Name: James Levy
Source: unca20060606.htm
Dear Mr. Cavendish:

I found your comments about Harlan's "leftist" thinking rather odd in the context of praising Dr. Sagan, a many much more publically associated with the Left than Harlan Ellison. The only thing I might say about both men is that their work is humanist and skeptical--perhaps that makes them leftists, perhaps not, but I do believe they share these intellectual attributes. Your comments come across, I fear, as more misogynistic than anything. Perhaps I'm wrong.