Pavilion Digest: June 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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Postby wcf42 » Tue Jun 27, 2006 11:02 am

Name: William C Francis
Source: unca20060807.htm
Jason: The Django clip has been noted here before. Worth a look and listen again. Thanks for the reminder. I've been playing guitar for 42 years and wish I could play 10% as well as Django on a bad day. He makes it look effortless.

Flying Blue Monkey Squad addendum: Lee Ritenour/Dave Grusin's Album Two Worlds is also available on iTunes at $9.99 to download the album or $.99 per cut, standard iTunes charges.The only thing I miss from downloading and burning a CD is that in most cases, I don't get the commentary and musician info printed in cover notes.

Thanks - whenever talk here turns to music I find something I like.

yr obdt srvnt

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Harlan Ellison
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Postby Harlan Ellison » Tue Jun 27, 2006 11:03 am

Source: unca20060807.htm

That de Falla I wanted.

Rick called, located it, we ordered it. Abort the mission! Return to base. Repeat: We have termination; mission terminated; return to your trees and hollows.

With my thanks.


John Gillespie

Postby John Gillespie » Tue Jun 27, 2006 11:08 am

Name: John Gillespie
Source: unca20060807.htm
Did anyone look at Josh's excellent picture in expanded form?

Benjamin, you mentioned the character on the left. Is that Chris Farley or are my lasik-ed eyes slowly turning to stone?

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Postby Eric Martin » Tue Jun 27, 2006 12:13 pm

Name: Eric Martin
Source: unca20060807.htm
>Did anyone look at Josh's excellent picture in expanded form?<

Yeah, although I'm not sure what's "excellent" about it. Looked pretty grotesque to me.

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slippages in technology

Postby Anthony Ravenscroft » Tue Jun 27, 2006 12:39 pm

Name: Tony Ravenscroft
Source: unca20060807.htm
tnx, William, for this:
"available on iTunes at $9.99 to download the album"

I was fortunate to speak with Bill Hill, who led many of the subtle ergonomic quirks in the Microsoft Reader e-books project. He'd just addressed 100 book publishers & editors. When asked onstage, "What is the single most important thing we should remember, when getting into e-book?"

Without hesitation, he replied, "Don't get greedy."

His point was that, if you've already bought the book, had it edited, & converted it into electronic files, everything else is gravy. When you've got an e-book ready to download, you don't have to print a million or a thousand or a dozen to meet anticipated demand, so there's no risk to lay off. There's no warehousing. There's little or no cost from the distribution channel. There's little or no retail display cost, or storefront costs.

But at that time, most e-books cost as much or more than paperbacks, & were sometimes issued at more than the hardback (if that's all that was on the shelves).

Does anyone believe that the author received more per unit? C'mon.

And even at the same SRP, per-unit profits were multiplied, not merely inflated. Again: does anyone think this goes to the author?

When I got home, I checked out some e-book, & darned if Hill wasn't right. You could get a Pocket paperback "Star Trek" novel for $5.99, then pass it around, gift it to someone else, keep it on your shelf for some rainy day, or sell it at the garange sale.

Or, you could pay $5.99 for the e-book, & keep it on your computer, or on the computer.

Presently, in the "ST" universe, you can get the real-world book from Amazon for $7.99 + postage, or the e-book for $6.99 (no postage). (Demonstrating that this is a matter of crass marketing, the publisher does drop the e-book price on older low-demand titles to $2.99.)

So, now you can download an entire $15.99 CD for $9.99 from iTunes.

Never mind that, a couple years ago, major CD distributors & retailers were nailed in a class-action suit for collusion in price-fixing.

About 15 years ago, someone told me, "CDs are a lot easier & faster to make than cassette tapes, & there's less quality-control problems & overhead. If reality was in charge of this, a CD would cost the retail cutomer less than half what a cassette does."

Rather than 80% more.

I was part of that class-action suit. It got settled out-of-court. (Like most plaintiffs, I got $15. Wheee.) I wanted it to go to court -- you can see how CD prices have plummeted...

By keeping prices artificially inflated, the Big Boxes can buy truckloads of CDs & sell 'em at cost, to draw the rubes. And because of this Gargantua approach, they can put 'em out for less than the independents & small chains can even buy 'em!! (That's why I don't buy at Best Buy, & I don't buy new releases at Amazon or any chain.)

That $9.99 from iTunes, to me, represents a grossly inflated price for reduced-quality music to be played on a reduced-quality device -- okay, so maybe I'm the only low-buck audiophile around here: back when I was making $4.85/hour, & living with my new wife, we scraped together $100 for a CD deck.

Ten years ago, I worked for a lawsuit-support company. The case we were working on was where various musical acts dating back to the 1940s (albeit worst in the mid/late 1950s) either had been hornswoggled into signing away all their rights to recordings (sometimes sheet as well) or for ridiculous deals like "a nickel a copy." Then, decades later, they'd hear their tunes rented to Apple or Nike or Nissan, & be told that those six- & seven-figure deals didn't count -- they were, in fact, promotion!!

I guess you could say I'm highly suspicious of iTunes & their pricing....

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iTunes, etc.

Postby Moderator » Tue Jun 27, 2006 1:55 pm

Name: Steve Barber
Source: unca20060807.htm
Tony -
I'm unfortunately of mixed opinions on iTunes and I frankly don't like eBooks, for reasons both purely personal as well as professional.

eBooks: Don't like 'em, don't think I ever will. First, the laptop looks pretty lousy up on the bookshelf next to copies of Moby Dick and Slippage. Secondly, and more to the point, I simply don't like to look at a computer screen long enough to read a full novel or even a short story. (Point of note: I print out the stories at and read them that way rather than online...)

Given this approach to the service as my primary motivator -- and going back to your financial model -- the cost of a ream of paper, plus the cost of the download, as well as the temporary nature of that kind of printing (and the fact that a bunch of laserprinted pages also looks funny on the bookshelf), makes an eBook a financially unwarranted and unwanted item (at least in my household).


First, disclaimer: My wife has all three of her cds available on the service. All opinions about it should be cast in that light.

Second: My wife owns and runs a freelance cd design and duplication service at a recording studio. Obviously, iTunes has a direct impact on the success of her business and the interest from the bands and labels she works with.

Third: My wife reports that once she went online at iTunes, sales of her cds on dropped like a rock -- though this might also be attributed to a decrease in promotion as well as two new distribution deals internationally.

Okay, that said, I am a fan of iTunes. Just yesterday I downloaded thirteen songs from a variety of artists (ranging from the Manhattan Transfer to very obscure jazz bands doing covers of well-known songs). This morning those songs are playing in the cd changer in my car, as well as being available to me when I'm sitting at my computer at work or at home.

I have a number of such cds, including the recording of Harlan and Robin Williams (if you have not heard this one, download it -- legally! -- immediately).

So, there you are. I like the service, feel it provides a useful option, and feel I get fair product for my money -- even though it threatens a portion of our income while (hopefully) contributing a larger portion in the future.

Comic-Con. Non-profit or For-profit matters not too much for me. The publishing company my father used to run is a non-profit, but runs a very large event of their own at the San Diego Convention Center every January. All of their employees were paid, and all of the speakers rec'd a nominal fee (primarily attending to boost the sales of their books or make political statements). Comic-Con is fundamentally a different kind of event than LACon, Dragoncon, or all of the fancons in general.

I was a semi-drafted semi-volunteer at Starcon San Diego in 1979 and had a blast taking over the art show (being honorably added to the "organizers" list as a reward).

I attended one of the earlier Star Trek Conventions, back before Creation drove out the little guys (Philadelphia, 1973), and enjoyed the heck out of it. I've also attended ComicCon for a number of years and look forward to it for both the artistic and fanboy charges it gives to me.

But, again, ComicCon is a different beastie altogether than the old fancons and should be approached as such. To me, it's more in the category of the LA Times Festival of Books than it is Starcon.

IMHO, of course.

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Dan Simmons

Postby Paul Jon » Tue Jun 27, 2006 2:26 pm

Name: Paul Leslie
Source: unca20060807.htm
For anyone interested,in relation to the debates here in april about Dan Simmons message/story about a nightmare future where the Islamo-fascistic powers have ascended to dominance, Simmons has a May-June message responding to the reaction to his April message and explaining some of the context of said message as well as attacking the critics.

I say attacking based on passages such as this paragraph " There's nothing new in this response.It is a very small (although very common)mental box and it seems to satisfy it's occupants' needs for superiority ,condenscension ,simplification, demonization, and conspiracy. It does interest me that the two people posting the most hyperbolic condemnations of the United States on this forum-explanations that it is actual genocide that the imperialist America and it's lying, conniving, murderous president (and, by
association, all other Americans) are promulgating and executing--are from Germany and Serbia.The irony here speaks for itself and will be passed by without further comment." (any typos mine)

There are other attacks of a more personal nature, but what does the fact that someone is from a country that has practiced genocide at some time in the past have to do with the ligitimacy of someone from that country ever being able to criticize anyone ever of said atrocity. After all, Americans commited genocide against the indigenous people of America. To follow Simmons logic Americans would be unable to criticize nazi Germany for their genocides of Jews, Gypsies, Gays, Leftists , etc...

There is also a forum section with a post of "Hipocrisy of SF community re Dan's message" that states that on the Harlan Ellison Webderland forum Dan was referred to as "basically being a fascist and a Nazi, a reacionary bigot, an intolerant loon calling for genocide." Dan Simmons takes these statements to heart.I cannot say I read everything on the Webderland during those days in April/May but I do not recall such rhetoric.

My purpose here is not to start some kind of war with the Simmons board or anyone else but just to state my disagreement with the attitudes expressed by Simmons and many on his site. It turns out that the april message by Dan of an Islamic nightmare future were not so much meant as toung in cheek or April fool as Simmons inner thoughts, which is fine but just dissapointing to me as a past Simmons reader/fan.

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Postby FrankChurch » Tue Jun 27, 2006 3:05 pm

Name: Frank Church
Source: unca20060807.htm
Those Blue Monkeys fart arpeggios; joy along the rising river, the embalmed shore.

The Wicked Witch has nothing on you fucks. All hail the Blue Monkey league of method actors. No escape rought when you see them coming.



Yea, Bush, jail the NY Times and see what happens. Nixon will look like a dust bunny in comparison. He knew the truth, that if you go after powerful people, they can defend themselves.

Floyd Abrams is the best First Amendment lawyer in the world, making Fox News eat shit, when they tried to sue Al Franken, over his Fair And Balanced flak. Bush will retreat, because he knows that the media will flay his flesh, if he fucks with their bounty. I can smell the cinders as I type. Mmmmm, bar-b-q.

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Harlan Ellison
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Postby Harlan Ellison » Tue Jun 27, 2006 4:14 pm

Source: unca20060807.htm

1) Please pass the following along to wherever needs be, to make the point.

2) If the anti-Simmons "rhetoric" to which you refer actually appeared here -- and --

2a) I don't give a shit whether it did or not --
2b) I don't care if it was taken out of context or misworded or misrecalled or just plain made up --
2c) I don't care if it was a regular here, or a lurker, or a troll, or a gnome, or a harpy --

3) Either I missed it, or perceived it to be such codswallop that even noticing it would give too much attention, either way I have no recollection of such badinage at this site. Because:

4) If I had taken proper notice, I would've had Rick delete it the moment it crossed my eyeline. Because:

5) Fuck this whole internet bullshit about "free speech" that allows every running-sore of an uninformed half-baked punk-ass adolescent to shoot off his/her big bazoo every time s/he gets a parboiled notion in those great mushmelons they call skulls.

6) And this is the bottom line, please circulate. Dan Simmons is my friend. He is a good friend. I admire and respect and love him. Goes for Susan, as well. We think he is one of the finest writers working today, significant, singular, steadfast; and I've thought he was a knockout since I first met him in a classroom in the Rocky Mountains, decades ago. And, as it goes with ALL my friends:

7) NOfuckinBODY disses MY friends and gets away with it. I will travel wherever, whenever, to wreak my venegance on pinatas
who come here to say dishonest and disrespectful things about my pals...Stephen King, Dean Koontz, Robin Williams, Peter David, Dan Simmons, Warren Ellis, Mike Moorcock, and on and on.

8) If anybody knows of this material still extant here, in the archive or anywhere else, please contact me or Rick ASAP and let us deep-six it.

9) Go back where the shithead used me and my site as some sort of revolting accreditation, and tell him/her that Ellison said:

10) Dan Simmons is the best. Smarter than the rest of you. Deeper-thinking than the rest of you. And if he proffered an essay that spilt your milk, well, you're bloody lucky to have lived in a time when a Dan Simmons was accessible to you.
And you can add:

11) Yo momma, muthuhfugguh!

With teeth skinned back, Yr. pal, Harlan

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Harlan Ellison
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Postby Harlan Ellison » Tue Jun 27, 2006 4:16 pm

Source: unca20060807.htm

Dan asked me not to do this.


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Postby Kate » Tue Jun 27, 2006 4:21 pm

Name: Kate
Source: unca20060807.htm
Harlan says:

"7) NOfuckinBODY disses MY friends and gets away with it. I will travel wherever, whenever, to wreak my venegance on pinatas
who come here to say dishonest and disrespectful things about my pals...Stephen King, Dean Koontz, Robin Williams, Peter David, Dan Simmons, Warren Ellis, Mike Moorcock, and on and on."

Absolutely! So few people have any loyalty anymore. You are the man a grateful friend would want standing behind them. Good for you!

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Postby Eric Martin » Tue Jun 27, 2006 5:08 pm

Name: Eric Martin
Source: unca20060807.htm
I was one of the people who opined on this site that the Simmons piece on our ensuing Islamo-future was crap.

You are welcome to go back and delete it out of the archives, but it won't change my opinion on that particular essay. Nor will it convince me that labeling the works of certain writers out-of-bounds for critical response, because they are Harlan's friends, is a very honest or welcome policy for this forum.

I don't know Dan Simmons, I'm sure he's a great guy, a wonderful friend, but he posted something on his public website, something quite provocative, for all of us to read and respond to, and I did. It had nothing to do with who he is, and everything to do with what he wrote, which I as a reader found to be seriously lacking in either prescience or merit.

If that kind of response is not acceptable here, because he's on some short list of untouchables, well, then the shoe has really dropped.

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Postby Bodkin » Tue Jun 27, 2006 5:24 pm

Name: Bodkin
Source: unca20060807.htm
I'd agree there's nothing wrong having and voicing an opinion. Our esteemed host would insist on an informed opinion, I'm sure. Maybe it's just me, but I'd stop short of conversationally crapping on your host's carpet. It's unseemly. Besides, its his house and his rules.

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Dan Simmons

Postby admin » Tue Jun 27, 2006 6:55 pm

Name: Rick Wyatt
Source: unca20060807.htm
As far as the comments about ad hominem rhetoric being posted here - nothing of the sort appeared on this site, and nothing will. There was certainly some spirited discussion of Dan's blog entry here, and not all of it was positive. But it was almost entirely focused on the piece itself. There were certainly no accusations of fascism, bigotry, or genocidal mania directed at Mr. Simmons. Whoever said so is either making a mountain out of a molehill or just simply off their nut.

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Postby Eric Martin » Tue Jun 27, 2006 7:05 pm

Name: Eric Martin
Source: unca20060807.htm
I'm going to beg the webmaster's permission for a multiple post (which if honored I will repay by staying off for the rest of the week...I'm going to Florida) to note that Dan Simmon's most recent "letter" is considerably more erudite and informative than the one that we discussed previously.

In this one, Simmons makes a long and persuasive case for the dangers and realities of Islamism. Those were never in doubt for me, and I'm probably just as "anti-Islamist" as Mr. Simmons might be, if not more. He did not, however, specifically address what I felt were the main problems of his previous post, such as predicting that the USA and Europe would be under sharia law in two generations.

It's possible he was using the fictional device of the Time Traveler and the hyperbolic imagery of the US under the Mullahs to get people riled up a bit...well, he succeeded, but I think he sold himself, and our own society, short, and ignored the realities of American culture. The previous piece was too overwrought, and came off as propaganda of the most hysterical sort. Much better is the new one, although be warned, it's long.

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