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Posted: Thu Jun 01, 2006 10:43 pm
Jim Davis Source:
Despite my STRONG criticism of Shrub's invasion of Iraq, I'm no fan of FAHRENHEIT 9/11, a muddled and self-contradictory film. Still, I gotta agree with Harlan on this one: Damon will lose, big-time, if he goes to trial, ESPECIALLY if this is true: http://www.reason.com/hitandrun/2006/06 ... _the.shtml
. Apparently, an armless soldier named Sgt. Peter Damon flanked Ted Kennedy when he made an anti-war speech in '04, which, if it's the same Damon who's suing Moore, kind of negates his claim of misrepresentation.
It'll be interesting to see how this develops.
TWISTIN' IN TH E WIND
Posted: Fri Jun 02, 2006 2:57 am
CINDY: Who Loves ya, Darlin? I'm 100 percernt behind you regarding the punishment you say Mr. Moore's actions merit...as long as that applies to EVERY one of the suckers who "deliberately twist the statements of others to suit their purpose du jour." Which means President George Bush, Vice President Dick (and I DO mean "dick") Cheney, Good ol' "Rummy" and "Condi" and on and on and on throughout that vile, deceitful, self-serving administration that so many unthinking people put in charge of the country -- including their new, "Fox News"-grown mouthpiece who thinks it's clever to play word games with the press corps instead of giving straight answers to the American people -- the folks who elected his boss, and now pay his check. I say hang them all...er, out to dry...and let 'em twist in the wind.
Anybody else notice that the Administration now in charge has out-Nixoned Tricky Dick, out-Reaganed Ronnie Raygun, and, in a lot of ways, out-done the USSR during their final years as a world power?
--DTS (Cindy's lovin' fan in KC and the enemy of ALL Facist-style governments)
my opinion rarely matters, but
Posted: Fri Jun 02, 2006 3:16 am
Name: Keith Cramer
First, Harlan, Happy belated birthday. 72 is the number for Hafnium in the Periodic Table of Elements. Here are some of its properties: "Most zirconium minerals contain 1 to 3% hafnium. Hafnium is a ductile metal with a brilliant silver lustre. Of all the elements, zirconium and hafnium are two of the most difficult to separate. ... it is used for nuclear reactor control rods." So there's your Scientific Zodiac Reading for 72.
Michael Moore may be disappointing (Bowling for Columbine), or sensationalistic (Fahrenheit 911), but he's a good filmmaker. I enjoyed both movies (mentioned above), and not just because he's the only one firing back at the Republican Chocolate Factory with large-caliber projectiles. He engages viewers and makes them think. People seem to get bogged down in the fine details of both movies so much so that they can't experience the movies. I suppose, if you get nothing else out of Fahrenheit 911, the footage of the Shrub sitting there in a classroom reading a children's story for a photo-op AFTER he learned of the disaster is worth the price of admission. Shit, when my NETWORK goes down I boogie like Bruce Wayne to the pole: Bush sat there like a pussy and waited for someone else to tell him what to do.
Just found out Dr. Rodney William Whitaker died in December. I'm very upset about it. No more Trevanian. I mean, he wasn't B. Traven, but I liked him and his way with words.
Mark, got your e-mail: replying sometime today.
Rob Ewen, Crystal was wondering why her bikini was stretched out after that trip. I'm going to have to write up my memories of Minneapolis and Tempe soon before I forget them. But it was great seeing you again, and if I ever make it back to London I'm going to look you up, if only to return the bikini bottoms.
Posted: Fri Jun 02, 2006 4:35 am
Name: Steve Dooner
I'm afraid this question has nothing to do with your patriotism or your support for this war. It has to do with montage and fair use of a public quotation that had been broadcast on the NBC Nightly News. You can hate everything Moore says in the movie, but this soldier is asking for $175 million because his image and quote were juxtaposed with those a congressman who was against the war. Moore said nothing about this soldier's views at all. The claim of the suit is that this cinematic juxtaposition "implied" that the soldier was against the war. Well, that's only one inference that could be made among many others, and so the claim is as thin as a claim could be.
The entire suit depends on how one interprets a set of images in montage for what they supposedly imply. If the court were ever to find for the claimant, we might as well start prosecuting thought crimes.
You seem to be focusing on the affective aspect of this story, feeling the soldier was exploited and that his voice was unheard. That may well be true. But it has nothing to do with the free speech that we must allow.
Yet, since you care deeply about our fighting men, does it bother you that this adminsistration sent our soldiers into battle with insufficient numbers and insufficient defenses, that they made our soldiers pay for their own battle armor, that they used battle vehicles for National Guard troops that were also improperly armored, that they put the National Guard into situations that they were not trained for, that they have made our soldiers pay for their own medical treatment and that they cut veterans benefits, including veterans disability pay?
I would be more outraged at this than what a film-maker may or may not have "implied."
Posted: Fri Jun 02, 2006 5:12 am
Name: Brian Siano
He lost his arms in service on behalf of all of us."
Then let's give him a big _round of applause_!
Posted: Fri Jun 02, 2006 5:24 am
Name: Rick Wyatt
The main thing you guys are forgetting is that if this gets before a jury, all bets are off. There are two possibilities for this lawsuit:
(1) It gets thrown out by the judge before going to trial for being groundless (pretty likely: regardless of how you feel about the ethicality of Moore's actions, the lawsuit really is on incredibly shaky ground legally).
(2) It goes to trial before a typical jury. A crippled war veteran and patriot lays a sob story and complains about how he was tricked and mistreated.
You can talk all you want about the legal basis of this suit, but juries in civil cases are FAMOUS for handing down sympathy judgements, ESPECIALLY against parties perceived to have deep pockets. This is why hospitals and doctors both shit their pants over malpractice suits even when they are completely blameless. If this makes it to trial Moore better hold on to his ankles.
About that McDonalds coffee...
Posted: Fri Jun 02, 2006 6:08 am
Delurking for a moment to comment on one thing. It is becoming shorthand in discussions of frivolous lawsuits to mention "McDonalds" and "hot coffee" in the same sentence.
While I agree that there are many frivolous lawsuits in our ever more litigous country, this was a lawsuit which had merit.
There are many details, the most salient are below:
1. The 81 year old woman who filed the suit had never sued anyone before.
2. She suffered 3rd degree burns on her legs, thighs and buttocks, requiring skin grafts and a week long hospital stay.
3. For years, McDonalds knew they served their coffee 20 degrees hotter than other restaurants, and they refused to turn down the heat or post warnings about how hot the liquid was (more than 700 complaints about injury settled).
4. The woman said she wouldn't have sued, except the corporation denied her request for compensation for her medical bills.
5. The jury awarded punitive damages of $2.7 million dollars. They calculated the gross sales of TWO DAYS OF COFFEE SALES, and awarded her that.
Frivolous lawsuits abound. This was not one of them.
and one from that noted lefty rag the wall street journal
P.S. Cindy, you know I love you, but I have to disagree on the issue of this guy's lawsuit. (Insert Steven Dooner's fourth paragraph here, which is what I have said in discussions about this war several dozen times, though less eloquently succinct).
Posted: Fri Jun 02, 2006 6:56 am
Steve Barber Source:
I do not question the sacrifice this particular soldier made on behalf of the country, nor can I dismiss those additional sacrifices made by the hundreds of thousands of other warriors who are serving in "Dubya's War". The rank and file of the military does not choose their destination nor the cause they are told to fight for. They are, almost to a person, to be commended for the commitment they make in what they must at least be allowed to perceive as a righteous war, reality and politics notwithstanding.
I do not doubt this soldier feels violated by Mr. Moore. It would be a harsh reality indeed for him to accept that his loss of arms was for a cause he could no longer believe in -- what a harsh blow that would be.
A) Does this "connection" in the film entitle him to tens of millions of dollars in recompense? No.
B) Does this entitle his wife to ten million? No.
C) Will this result in damages or awards? Unlikely.
D) Is there a political purpose behind the action and timing? Possibly.
It's a very sad and regretable situation all around, and much the sadder since clearly there is an agenda of either financial or political gain at the rear of it all.
I agree with Rick, Harlan, Bud and the rest in that there is much more to the story than is currently on parade.
On a lighter and much more fun note: The BBC website has a great article about comics and characterizations entitled "Whatever happened to the superheroes of old?"
Posted: Fri Jun 02, 2006 10:17 am
Name: Mark Goldberg
Harlan and Susan, the package for my Dad arrived today and he actually called to thank me (he never calls me, especially when I am at work). Thanks to you both for making his day and mine.
Steve, that is an interesting article and I am glad you shared it. The reporter makes some very valid points, especially how comics have gotten much darker of late and have moved away from the heroic ideal.
The recent event in the DC Universe, Infinite Crisis, was reaction to that darkness. Several key characters, including Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman, were going to take a year off to try and rediscover themselves and they ideals they once exemplified.
What is Marvel doing? It seems like they are heightening the shades of grey between heroes and villains in their current mega-event Civil War. However, their story lines, especially in regard to the X-Men have been so confusing lately that I am considering staying away from Marvel titles almost exclusively. The exception being Neil Gaiman's The Eternals, only because it is Neil.
I will start a thread over in the Pop Culture board to continue the state of comics discussion if anyone is interested
Posted: Fri Jun 02, 2006 10:46 am
JAMES BOYER Source:
This is my first post here, so I absolutely must express my complete gratitude and appreciation I have for Harlan's work. Ellison is by far my favorite author and I can only aspire to be able to expose myself (legally, of course) as completely as he does through his writing. I've tried, I'm not that strong. I love many writers, but Harlan has the unique ability of capturing everthing I love from those writers and blending them into a mind-altering uber-amalgam. I'm sure this has all been said ad nauseum, probably so much so that the sincerity of these comments may appear diminished.
OK, I think I am done (for now) with stroking Harlan's hubris(like an irresistible persian kitty).
Onto topic #2 (referring not at all to the act of moving one's bowels): Mr. Clifford Lawrence Meth.
Like I said, Ellison is my #1 absolutely favorite author of all time. It's probably no surprise that my absolutely second favorite author of all time is Clifford Meth. He is the only one who has been able to have an effect on me in a way that even approaches an Ellison effect. Most of you out there may be familiar with Meth and in fact, it was only through Ellison that I came to be familiar with Meth myself (I absolutely had to have Strange and Stranger Kaddish because of Ellison's contributions and when he did the afterword for Meth's God's 15 Minutes, I anxiously checked the mailbox every day until it arrived).
So, when Meth found me on the oh-so-trendy MySpace.com, I was immediately excited and willing to help with anything he needed. To get his name and writings out to a wider audience, I started a Clifford Meth Group on MySpace. Under the supervision of Meth hisownself (sorry, I had to put that in), we are going to try and use this group as a tool to get Meth into the hands and hearts of many more people, people who may not have the honor of being a devoted Ellison fiend.
If anyone wants to check out the group, join the group, or simply refer anyone to it, the URL is:
And, Clifford's own profile can be found at:
We are also planning on having some cool things (like interviews, contests, etc) once things get rolling a little more.
Harlan, a simple "Thank You" would be light-years away from what you deserve. You are far more than a writer and your impact is greater than anyone could possibly imagine.
Posted: Fri Jun 02, 2006 12:30 pm
Think of this place as the online equivalent to the Ministry of Silly Walks. You SHOULD find a slow, steady leak in your sanity from this time on. Welcome to the pack.
You've good taste. Harlan's an ace at imagery.
Susan: Have you received the UPS receipt and check?
Posted: Fri Jun 02, 2006 12:58 pm
Name: Shane Shellenbarger
I haven't received a report from my bank showing you've cashed the check as of yet. Just want to be sure everything is okay.
Expect a package in the next week.
Posted: Fri Jun 02, 2006 3:33 pm
Name: HARLAN ELLISON
That was one nice letter. Thank you. Say hello to the THREE girls for me. How come three? Because Chloe and Me make two, and you know who makes three.
Thanks again. You're a nice man.
Posted: Fri Jun 02, 2006 3:43 pm
Name: HARLAN ELLISON
I just yelled your post over my shoulder. Susan yelled back, "Yes, got it; deposited; tell Shane thank you."
And next time, IIIIIIIIIIII pick the restaurant! Moleeeeeee w/ mango or whatever the fuck that crap that tasted like feet had in it...geezus, save me from Cuisine Minceur, Shellenbarger! Or its sunburnt Southwestern ponce-y relation, avec mango this an' crocodilia that.
Love from us both, Yr. pal, Harlan
Posted: Fri Jun 02, 2006 5:39 pm
Name: John Greenawalt
Do you remember the "Jumping Jack Agnew Show" in Cleveland, Ohio, 1950s. "Jumping Jack" is a friend of mine and a legend in broadcasting.