Pavilion Digest: March 2009

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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Chris Noble

Postby Chris Noble » Sun Mar 01, 2009 12:33 pm

Name: Chris Noble
Source: unca20090314.htm
Harlan: My mistake. A misremembered "Harlan Ellison's Watching" column, I think. Still, 50% is better than my usual batting average.
I now return to my usual lurking.

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Harlan Ellison
Harlan Fucking Ellison
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TICKTOCK TICKTOCK TICK and TOCK

Postby Harlan Ellison » Sun Mar 01, 2009 12:42 pm

Name: HARLAN ELLISON
Source: unca20090314.htm
Josh and I are going to see my pal Neil Gaiman's CORALINE (CRINOLINE? CORALSEALINE? CORALATOLLSEALION?) at the ArcLight, and he'll be here in approximately 20 minutes, and I didn't want to get involved with Real Work, so I'm killing the intervening minutes. Perhaps "killing" is not properly expeditious. I'm actually just maiming this interregnum.

-he

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Harlan Ellison
Harlan Fucking Ellison
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OH DEAR ... OH DEAR ...

Postby Harlan Ellison » Sun Mar 01, 2009 12:49 pm

Name: HARLAN ELLISON
Source: unca20090314.htm
Those of you who seem to have received a somewhat truncated version of the recent RABBIT HOLE, oh me oh my, how sad how bad how unacceptable! We have taken note of your nascent complaints, and will be sending out the missing pages by the very next post. I urge you to wait beside your mailbox for receipt of these treasures, which should arrive concurrently with your Certificate of Failure from the University of Udon'tGetIt.

Mr. Ellison

BrianSiano
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Postby BrianSiano » Sun Mar 01, 2009 1:15 pm

Name: Brian Siano
Source: unca20090314.htm
Re the Nightmare on Elm Street movies. Harlan, are you sure you've never expressed a tolerance for these? Because I have a fairly clear memory of a _Watching_ column where you'd said something complementary about the "Freddy films" taking on a surprising and interesting turn into surrealism. I'm also reasonably sure that this piece mentioned William Kotzwinkle's having co-written one of the scripts. This must have been one of the later "Watching" columns, as it's not in your collection, which means I'm relying solely on memory here. But if Chris is thinking of the same piece I'm recalling...

... well, it's not as if you have to stick by every opinion you've ever had, but I'm pretty sure Chris might have had a reason to make his assumption.


Okay, now about Rush Limbaugh's insistence that he wants Obama to fail. Sure, it's loathesome. But here's why. Generally, we don't wnat our leaders to fail. Most of us probably didn't want George Bush to fail-- not because we liked him or his policies, but because we didn't want human lives to be ruined.

But, if his efforts _succeeded_, we'd have been upset because we don't want bad people or politica opponents to be _vindicated_. I mean, when your spouse bets the mortgage on a roulette spin, it's a hell of a risk, but you don't want him or her to _lose_-- you just don't want them to think that such gambles are a good idea or the right thing to do. And when they do fail, there's always going to be a sliver of schadenfreude there as well... because it vindicates our own caution.

Most of us know enough to keep that schadenfreude under wraps. Especially when the country's tanking and we want the President to frix things. But Limbaugh not only embraces this petulance, but he believes it to be a worthwhile reason for policy... and he congratulates himself on the "bravery" required to announce this publicly.

If Limbaugh said he liked to roll in shit and lick bicycle seats, and that it took bravery to say this publicly, he couldn't be more loathesome.



Jordan Owen
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Question on violence....

Postby Jordan Owen » Sun Mar 01, 2009 1:59 pm

Name: Jordan Owen
Source: unca20090314.htm
I don't disagree with you, Harlan, that the films you mentioned are bloodbath pornography, but I have to ask- what about your own ultra-violent work? Surely a story like Prowler in the City at the Edge of the World has a similarly sadistic bent, so what is the defining difference between the violence in films like Saw and what you do? This is not a condemnation of your work or a call of hypocrisy at all but rather a query into how and why you use violence in your work. I for one abhor actual real life violence but feel that all people need to find a healthy outlet for their natural blood lust, be that horror films, sporting events, video games, etc.

Strapping myself into a G-force simulator in anticipation of your response,
-Jordan

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Jan
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Prowler & Regency Books

Postby Jan » Sun Mar 01, 2009 2:30 pm

Name: Jan
Source: unca20090314.htm
If you mean The Prowler in the City at the Edge of the World, Harlan wrote about the use of violence in it in the respective SPIDER thread over in the forums:

http://harlanellison.com/heboard/forum/ ... c&start=30 (this is page 3)

While I'm here: I have stumbled upon a great, LONG (vertical) page about Rogue magazine and Regency books (actually an electronic version of a paper fanzine eI 11 (Vol. 2 No. 6) December 2003 (c) Earl Kemp). This was never mentioned when the subject of Regency came up, to *my* knowledge. Those who want to know about Harlan in 1959-1961 might want to take a look at it. Among the many goodies there are two photos of Harlan from the era that I didn't know.

http://efanzines.com/EK/eI11/index.htm

Also eI in general seems to be well worth a look (index page):
http://efanzines.com/EK/index.html

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Jan
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Postby Jan » Sun Mar 01, 2009 2:32 pm

Name: Jan
Source: unca20090314.htm
(And Josh, sorry about the errors, the Beverly Cinema page was unclear.)

William Sherman
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A (Personal) History of Violence and Lush Rimbaugh

Postby William Sherman » Sun Mar 01, 2009 3:31 pm

Name: William Sherman
Source: unca20090314.htm
Dear Mr. Ellison et al.:

Mr. Owen: I never enjoyed those few of the "Nightmare on Elm Street" or "Friday the Thirteenth" or "Saw" movies that I did view for one simple reason: the simple focus on gratuitous violence. No plot exists, no character development exists, and no resolutions at all appear at movies' ends.

Motion pictures, however, whose plots require some violence in order to facilitate resolutions--most war pictures, Shakespearean tragedies, zombie movies--do resonate with me. Even "Casablanca" had violent moments, or references. Said films also display character development and discernable narrative flow, again, with violence only shown incidentally.

As to Mr. Limbaugh, I feel I ought to share an observation I made to my reading group--to great applause-- some months ago during the general election campaign: "Limbaugh has the gab of Goebbels and the girth of Goering (another addict)."

Will see "Coraline" tomorrow after finishing Mr. Gaiman's "The Graveyard Book". Must preview before gifting to my dear niece, of course, and before meeting Mr. Gaiman at WorldCon in Montreal in August.

To understand Limbaugh and his brood, please read "Nixonland" by Rick Perlstein. All there.

A gratuitous plug for a local author hereabouts: "The Book of Tormod" by Kat Black. A YA Templar novel. To my nephew, of course.

Regards, waiting for another eleven inches of the white stuff.

William Sherman
Boxford, MA


Bret Bertholf
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Re: Rabbit Hole #47...

Postby Bret Bertholf » Sun Mar 01, 2009 3:34 pm

Name: bret Bertholf
Source: unca20090314.htm
Dear Mr. Ellison,

Received the 26 extra pages, and my certificate. I am, however, returning the certificate, as I already have several advanced degrees from said University. Thank you. Also, the enigma of page 20 was wrapped in riddle, but had a cream filling, similar in content to that of the fabled Oreo "stuffing."

I remain, as ever, an idiot. Bret



wcf42
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Location: Brunswick, GA

Overly wordy catching up and responding to comment hooks

Postby wcf42 » Sun Mar 01, 2009 4:43 pm

Name: William C. Francis
Source: unca20090314.htm
By way of apology for my long absence from the Dining Pavilion (and in some cases it may be chosen to take it as an apology for my return), I say, "Sorry 'bout that."

By way of explanations/excuses - I lost a lousy job in mid-November and went into an unbelievable level of depression and denial for the financial disaster my life has become, mostly my fault. I am going to survive, somehow.

I hope all of you are well and prospering. I reviewed recent comments here back to February 24th. A few hooked me too much to remain silent due to the relative lateness.

Tears filled my eyes when I learned of Phil Farmer leaving. Then I read Harlan's immediate comment of Wednesday, February 25 2009 12:57:8 wherein with 136 words he conveyed such a sense of loss I was crying. I tried to read it aloud to Mary and choked up with tears pouring down my face.

Sorry for your personal loss, Unca H, so much more than this world's loss which is far from trivial. The bell tolls once again, my friends.

Khalil Gibran died 1931, _The Prophet_ was written in English and published in 1923. I do not know enough about copyright laws (US or international) to know whether it has yet moved into the public domain. But knowing Harlan's level of love for the internet I would hope that if it is indeed public domain, that one of the Flying Blue Monkey Squadron would have made the effort to print it and mail the physical pages to our dear host, in the absence of a real book, which I understand has been procured.

KOS: Sturgeon's Law has been quoted with many variations usually in the numerical percentage of excrement (as well as different levels of euphemism), with the number as high as 93% (was that you, Unca Harlan?). My own aphorism - at least I have never seen anyone else say this: call if Francis's Law and I will be honored (my dad loved it too). It could also be called the Law of Conservation of Intelligence. Here it is: There is a finite amount of intelligence in the universe and the population is expanding.

And, I must say, agreement on matters of opinion and taste is a poor standard for friendship. I like - hellfire, PREFER - having friends I can disagree with, it certainly raises the intellectual level of conversation (and sometimes the volume level as well). If you surround yourself with only people that agree with you in all particulars, it can be disastrous. An example comes to mind - the conservative Republicans and their horrifying intellectual inbreeding and repeating each others' lies as "talking points". I will add my voice to others and say to Diane Bartel - please stay. This is a wonderful place for casual dining because of the diversity of opinion and the ability of the diners to express their ideas in distinctly interesting ways. And, Diane, you contribute to this atmosphere. Please, stick around. It will always be interesting, but you add something that no one else could.

Uh, music. Hmmmm. Three chord rock. I started to become a self-taught amateur guitarist 45 years ago. Not great, but passable. My first lesson was, yup, ya guessed it, how to play three chords - E, A and B7, actually, rather than C, F and G7 or D, G and A7. As I get older, I find myself getting more into blues and folk, going back to the basics. (aside: If I amplify for my solid-body guitars I use a tube amp for the warmer fatter tone. For that matter, my arch-top jazz guitar and my thin hollow body electrics go through tubes when amplified, too. Anyone want to buy a couple of small solid-state Peavy rehearsal amps cheap?) The blues was the primary forerunner of 3-chord rock, with a major influence from folk as well (especially after Bobby Dylan created controversy by picking up an electric guitar in a concert all those years ago). And I still marvel at the depth, variety and richness available without straying too far from the simplest combination on the circle of fifths. (Yes, I've taken a cursory look at music theory too. My own theory of music is: If it sounds good, play it.)

"Flummery" is still one of my favorite words. I especially liked hearing it delivered by Maury Chaykin in his brilliant portrayal of Nero Wolfe in the A&E series, the one with Timothy Hutton portraying Archie Goodwin.

Duane, thanks for the shout out to CLASSIC ROCK MAGAZINE's CD sampler. I spend a lot of time on the internets looking for independent music and musicians. You will be amazed at all the talent coming to fruition that you will never find on the radio. Some of it manages to get on iTunes, more on CD Baby. But Look, my children and ye shall find. No limits on the variety. For so-called "popular" music, I have some favorite artists that I will buy commercial stuff from. But I continue to be rewarded as I search for talented quasi-pros making great music. I recommend that you do the same. You might even stumble on to some of my stuff.

Shagin - Convention math. We all HOPE the majority of attendees subscribes to the "1 - Shower per day". I often take more, 1 for hygiene and more for the formula in other con math: 1 shower = 2 hours of sleep.

Frank Church - comedian Rush Limbaugh (as he is referred to by Keith O) says he loves this country and in nearly the same breath wishes on it years of depression, suffering and financial woes merely because he thinks it will enhance his power. He is a sick, power hungry psycho drug addict who apparently hates America and Americans if he would prefer the suffering of Americans over the success of a politician he dislikes. Why is anyone, even among the 20% to 25% that could tolerate W, the ultimate failure of national leadership, still listening to this reeking pile of lies? I do not wish a coronary on him; I want him to see his listeners abandon him - and send him fire extinguishers to put out his flaming pants.

One more comment about forum structure: after all these years, I still have a bit of difficulty with the "Next" entries being earlier in time and the "Previous" entries later in time. And I'm a computer geek of long standing.



maggiehoyal
Posts: 55
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Junk violence

Postby maggiehoyal » Sun Mar 01, 2009 4:47 pm

Name: maggie hoyal
Source: unca20090314.htm
Jordan There are writers through lack of talent and imagination that fill in the blanks in their quote work with violence,blood and horror. Mr. Harlan Ellisons' writing is brilliant. His talent as good or better then any living or dead mainstream writer in the country. When and if he includes violence in a story it is with a purpose and there in lies the difference. best maggie

Edward Brock

Patton Oswalt

Postby Edward Brock » Sun Mar 01, 2009 5:33 pm

Name: Edward Brock
Source: unca20090314.htm
Just have to say that I saw Patton Oswalt at the Lisner Auditorium in D.C. Saturday night & nearly choked to death with laughter. Patton is the funniest & most educating comedian entertaining us today.


As for such films as "Nightmare of Elm Street", "Friday The 13th" and others of their ilk...

I will admit to being a fan of "horror" films, but prefer a good "monster movie" (such as the classic Ray Harryhausen, Godzilla, Hammer or Universal films, as well as the occasional & B-Level flicks) or the cerebral ones that rely more on playing with your mind that trying to gross you out. I think The first Nightmare film did just that, but quickly devolved into silliness.

As for films like "Saw" & "Hostel" (films that Clive Barker has labeled "torture porn"), I have no interest. Watching someone get beaten, butchered, bludgeoned, broken & bled.... well, it seems to me that there are much better ways to spend your time & money.

Adam-Troy
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Splatstick

Postby Adam-Troy » Sun Mar 01, 2009 6:21 pm

Name: Adam-Troy Castro
Source: unca20090314.htm
And yet there are some over-the-top violent junk horror films that I adore: FEAST, for instance. Would never confuse it with a conventionally good movie, but I think it was made with a genuine sense of humor, and thought it a greet hoot.

I can say that I enjoyed the first SAW movie, and not just because it gave me the opportunity to write the sentence, "I saw SAW, and saw SAW 2 too." (Though that was a major consideration. The sentence itself, I mean. It gave me the giggles.) Believe it or not; I considered that nasty tale fun in a grand guignol kind of way, not confusing it for a good movie for even one moment. I shuddered with nausea at my later exposure to the sequels. Unless you're talking about something like the Showtime series DEXTER or Bradley Denton's equally marvelous BLACKBURN -- both of which use the form to play out morality tales of surprising depth -- something's gone seriously wrong when the serial killer becomes the protagonist of the piece.

*

Amazing Race followers: this was not a good week to be on a team with anybody named Victor or Victoria.





Jordan Owen
Posts: 32
Joined: Mon May 04, 2009 11:12 pm

Violent Porn

Postby Jordan Owen » Sun Mar 01, 2009 6:41 pm

Name: Jordan Owen
Source: unca20090314.htm
I'm well aware of Ellison's superior skill- it is for that reason that the section of my bookshelf which houses my extensive collection of the man's work bears a striking resemblance to a Shinto shrine.

Anyway...

I would assert this: I'm a fan of Boyd Rice, who creates soundscapes that aren't music in the traditional sense but rather sound collages that are meant to stimulate the brain. In an interview I once heard him say that where most people make music for the mind, he makes music for the brain. This means that while most music uses psychological stimulation to effect emotion, his work provides direct stimulus to the nervous system. I think that sex and violence in any artistic medium are very similar. The plot, characters, prose, etc, affect the mind while the sex and violence target the "brain" directly. Its the capable artist can use the two extremes in tandem to create something that is mutually beneficial.

In any case, I was interested in what Harlan had to say. The fact that he's more than a cut above the average was already apparent to me.

Ave Satanis,
-Jordan

maggiehoyal
Posts: 55
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Jordan

Postby maggiehoyal » Sun Mar 01, 2009 7:35 pm

Name: maggie hoyal
Source: unca20090314.htm
You are right. I butted in and am double posting to boot. I'll take time off. I stay with my meaning but plead the foulest of spirits in this waiting game to hear if my husband has cancer. The results are draging out and I became quite unpleasant. Not like me. Sorry and my best regards, maggie


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