Pavilion Digest: May 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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Postby robochrist » Fri May 08, 2009 1:19 pm

Name: Rob
Source: unca20090603.htm
Even-Handed Critiquing 101, 102, 103, etc, etc, etc:

Steve Perry:

Listen, I'm not trying to rally Trek fans here, but there are still a couple of pet-strokin' rules to follow in the principle of critque:

One, read the original argument carefully so that you address the context correctly (Roger used the phrase, Trek "stories MIGHT play with questions of science, ideals or philosophy)

Two, never use a couple of frivilous points on which to base an entire point-of-view or argument (that's the Republican way of snivelling): we ALL know the original show's failings, most of which are common in tv shows anyway. Take it up with David Gerrold and HE'LL tell you all about it.

We're talking here about the HEART behind the original series; the intentions, which were to bring some intelligence and thought to the wasteland common on tv.

The best episodes are demonstrative of these intentions: having no need to even get into Harlan's episode, we have The Menagerie - one of the best-written pieces of sf to EVER from the tube; and Errand Of Mercy, The Corbomite Maneuver, Where No Man Has Gone Before, Space Seed, This Side Of Paradise, The Naked Time, Amok Time, Trouble With Tribbles, and several more.

But we don't even need to get into those: even the AVERAGE episodes - bland and trite as they were - offered something more to think about than the stupid-ass flicks and spin-off shows we've seen since the 80's, bound to ingratiate Palin-level IQs.

Whatever failings we saw in the original, at least it wasn't trying to be a condescending crowd-pleaser.

Having said THAT, I dun move on.

(Side-note: People miss one thing in this argument that the original Trek was basically a cop show in space. That idea is NOT necessarily a bad one. Some episodes easily falling under that label proved very effective: Errand Of Mercy and This Side Of Paradise were examples. So were Arena, Balance Of Power, and Journey To Babel.

While I realize the larger point was that the show followed a well-worn formula, it's still a format that can use the elements really well)


My new "discovery": Paul Muni

Jeezus, what an incredibly GREAT actor! I recently recorded "I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang", "The Story of Louie Pasteur", and "The Life of Emile Zola"; I had NO fucking idea this guy was so diverse. He was even ahead of his time in his technique, anticipating the Method style. He should be brought back into public memory, because this was a MEGA-talent!

I totally rate this guy now as one of my all-time favorite actors.

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Postby Josh Olson » Fri May 08, 2009 1:32 pm

Name: Josh Olson
Source: unca20090603.htm

"Every review I read mentions something that, if you watched the shows and know the canon, is wrong. Perhaps it's nuts to care, but I do. "

Well... yeah, it is. This isn't Shakespeare. It isn't even Mamet. But more important is that the conceit that drives the reboot actually leaves the canon intact, even though it seems to change everything. If you have somehow managed to read all those reviews, pick up all that picayune info about the characters and the film and NOT learned the simple, basic concept that makes it all okay, I won't ruin it for you... but there IS a simple, basic concept that makes it all okay. Not only that, it solves the big problem that was always at the heart of an Early Years series, which is "Where's the suspense?" Not that I expect Kirk is gonna drop dead in the middle of a movie, but the new, re-conceived notion does, actually, leave room for that.

They have come up with a pretty simple, basic idea that allows for changing everything while still leaving it all intact. Not only did they make a grand piece of entertainment, but they actually took the concerns and passions of the hard-core psycho fans very, very seriously.

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Postby Duane » Fri May 08, 2009 2:02 pm

Name: Duane
Source: unca20090603.htm
Putting STAR TREK aside for just a small moment...

Anyone else see SIN NOMBRE? It's playing in "smaller" movie houses, and I won't say anything about it. Info is easy enough to find.

All I can say is... SEE IT!


I do a lot of backpacking in the wilderness areas behind Santa Barbara, so these large fires are profoundly unsettling. The forest is SUPPOSED to burn, gently, once every two or so decades. But fire suppression and encroaching development means that some areas haven't burned for nearly a century, so instead of relatively mild and rejuvenating fires that allow flora to absorb new nutrients and flourish, we have scorching conflagrations that leave the landscape looking like the surface of the Moon.

I took a backpacking trip this spring into an area that burned in 2007 in the Zaca Fire (look it up). While flora is growing back in this area, there are drought adapted species of chaparral and scrub oak that are now gone for good, replaced by invasives such as tamarisk and fireweed.

SoCal is the land of dreams and opportunity, believe me. It's why I'm here. But to some of us, it's also a beautiful but extremely fragile ecosystem bounded on all sides by the press of millions. And since most of these wildfires are started by human error or arson, the forest's survival is very much in doubt. Tread softly.

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I thought it has been already established.....

Postby Alan » Fri May 08, 2009 2:39 pm

Name: alan
Source: unca20090603.htm
That 1960's series SUCKS! Why would you go see it? HE is in the battle of his life.He is taking on the best money launderers the entertainment business has ever known;ask Saul Bellows.There will be without dought retribution aimed back at him and here you are putting your money in their pockets when you could easily wait until Blockbuster gets it depriving them of revenue that could be used coming back at HE. Now everyone of you that have seen that shitty attempt at entertainment take equal dollars spent and purchase an item of equal value from HERC for your repentance.And this is from someone who never gets attention at this wondering site of infinite imagination.

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Chuck Messer
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Postby Chuck Messer » Fri May 08, 2009 3:02 pm

Name: Chuck Messer
Source: unca20090603.htm
Doc, I thought I'd take a quick look at the value of a Colt 1871 single action (open top?) revolver, and the average asking price is usually around $5,000 for one with ivory handles and visible wear?

If you want to get the real value of your example you'd need to look at the condition of the weapon, serial number, what the handles are made of, etc.

Here's a link to one site that may help: ... p?catID=13

On the current subject of chat, I might observe that HE has said numerous times that just because he's in a legal tussle with a particular entity, that didn't mean none of us should do business with said entity or partake of their product. Nor was any penance required.

Remember the man's record: He has NEVER lost. He'll kick ass this time, too.


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Postby robochrist » Fri May 08, 2009 3:05 pm

Name: Rob
Source: unca20090603.htm
Yeah...well, so much for intelligent insight. Now I see why these flicks sell tickets.

Game o'DOOM, anyone?

Alisha Autumn Brown


Postby Alisha Autumn Brown » Fri May 08, 2009 4:42 pm

Name: Alisha Autumn Brown
Source: unca20090603.htm
Hello Harlan,

Most excellent and splendid - never had I imagined the day that I would be referred to as "Your Highness" by the Great and Mighty Harlan.

The titles that I purchased are:
1) The Twilight Zone #1 - Gold Edition
2) Run for the Stars (paperback)
3) Night and the Enemy (graphic novel)

If you do happen to have the bookplates for those titles, that would be most nifty! I would even pay for such goodness if you wish.

I will send you an envelope to the HERC address (as I do not have your personal mailing address) with some blank labels and a self addressed envelope. Thank you for being so accommodating in this matter. I appreciate your time and efforts on my behalf.

Here's hoping everyone has a great weekend!

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Postby steveperry » Fri May 08, 2009 4:46 pm

Name: Steve Perry
Source: unca20090603.htm
Rob --

I didn't say I didn't like the show. I just allowed that it ought not to be heralded as anything that it wasn't, and that it was hardly an exception to Sturgeon's Law (Hey, I had a walk-on, well, okay, a shuttlecraft fly-on, part in the web-version of ST, "World Enough and Time." I'm a fanboy.)

I am not saying the original didn't have its moments, nor that it wasn't a fine guilty pleasure. But it was never really science fiction, was it? There wasn't just one suspension of disbelief necessary to go along for the ride, but a plethora of 'em.
If you have a device that can make a cup of Earl Grey tea from scratch, cup and all? The rest of the hardware onscreen is like a stone chisel compared to a cyclotron.

Does anybody need an explanation why?

Shooting fish in a barrel might not be much of a challenge, but that's because they are in a barrel. The original ST -- and all of the spin-offs -- had more holes in them than a cargo ship full of colanders, science and sensawunda-wise, and holding up Jim and Spock and Bones as examples of the "real" stuff and denigrating the series that followed is, not to put too fine a point on it, silly.

Like being the world's shortest giant ...


Postby Me » Fri May 08, 2009 4:53 pm

Name: Me
Source: unca20090603.htm

diane bartels
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Postby diane bartels » Fri May 08, 2009 5:00 pm

Name: diane bartels
Source: unca20090603.htm
Hi, Harlan, Susan and all,
Glad to hear your good health news, Harlan. May all such blessing grow and multiply on both your heads. It was great to meet you, and everyone. The movie was grand. I love L.A.. But apparently I am not a good flyer, as I still don't feel well, and my ears still occasionally pop. Oh, well. Thank you all. I had a marvelous time.
The New Beverly is a great cinema. It reminded me of the movie palaces which were in their last glory in my childhood. I miss them That is the way to see a flick. I think I am now a true old fuddy-duddy. Love all the old stuff, books, buildings, movies.
I am tentatively planning on returning to L.A. with my sister Karen, her hubby and the children. Maybe mid-June. Harlan, if such time is convenient to you and Mrs. E., it would be my vast pleasure to treat you both to dinner or lunch or hot dog at establishment of your choice.
I am going to send my subscription in to the Rabbit Hole, and an order for books. Should be there soon, if I dot my i's and cross my t's. Happy Mother's Day to all the moms out there.
Oh and Steve and Cris, when I know dates, if Cris is singing during that time, I would love to see her perform. I'm sure my sister would too; she loves music. Take care all.Diane

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Concomitant wordlings

Postby paul » Fri May 08, 2009 5:39 pm

Name: Paul
Source: unca20090603.htm
Sara, no downside to the Mac. Get the protection plan, just on the safe side.
All hail the apple.

Tony from Sydney, welcome.

MAN ON WIRE was fantastic, and if you get the extras on the DVD, watch the show first, then watch the animated short afterward.
Seconds (or thirds) on SIN NOMBRE.

"Game o'DOOM, anyone?"

Right after I finish Castle Wolfenstein. I just found Evan Braun's diaries!!

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Postby MichaelRapoport » Fri May 08, 2009 8:03 pm

Name: Michael Rapoport
Source: unca20090603.htm
Harlan, regarding Dreams With Sharp Teeth reviews: I have regular access to the Factiva database, which contains the text of thousands of periodicals, well-known and obscure alike, all easily searchable. If you'd like, I would be more than happy to keep an eye out for reviews of the Dreams DVD and forward to you copies of any I find - in plain-text format at the very least, but knowing via Factiva that a particular review is out there may enable me to track down the original so I can make copies of that for you. Just say the word.


And to both Harlan and Susan: The books I ordered arrived today and were waiting for me when I got home. Very pleasant, VERY cool way to end a hectic week. Thank you both.


All this talk about whether the new Star Trek has "ruined" the original reminds me of the old story about Raymond Chandler when he was asked what he thought about what Hollywood had done to his books. His reply: "Hollywood hasn't done anything to them. They're still there on the shelf."

Whatever you think about the new movie (which I haven't yet seen), and whatever reality-altering gimmick it has or doesn't have, it's not going to displace the original series. If you don't like the changes Abrams has made, just go back to the DVDs with Shatner, Nimoy and the rest. They're still there on the shelf, and always will be.

Robert Lidgren

Postby Robert Lidgren » Fri May 08, 2009 11:08 pm

Name: Robert Lidgren
Source: unca20090603.htm

Greetings from The Great White North!

I will keep this entry very short.

1. What brand or model of manual typewriter(s) does Harlan use? Is obtaining ribbons a problem yet?

2. I know where to find the address for HERC. What is the current fee for a member in Canada? Can back-issues of Rabbit Hole be bought? BTW Thanks, Susan - you are remarkable and much loved by all of us!

3. Harlan: I just received and am reading Mind Fields: The Art of Jacek Yerka - The Fiction of Harlan Ellison. What an astonishingly beautiful volume!! Your writing perfectly enhances and is inspired by the many paintings. My favourites are: Susan, To Each His Own and Ellison Wonderland. This book is the kind which demands one to return again and again, I am certain. How did you ever meet Jacek Yerka? When you the two of you shared the same room I cannot imagine how the walls were able to contain so much talent energy without creaking outward. MY HARLAN ELLISON SHELF is now over eight feet long!

All the best...and may good health be long renewed!

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Postby FrankChurch » Sat May 09, 2009 5:24 am

Name: Frank Church
Source: unca20090603.htm
Obama did a press conference. He told us we should wash our hands, because of the Swine Flu. According to the news, people started washing their hands more.

The Conservatives are right, he is Hitler.

Soap is evil--runnnnnnnnnnnn!


Harlan, I take it you don't make any doe from CBS running City On The Edge Of Forever on their website?

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Death Cell Presentation

Postby remarck » Sat May 09, 2009 5:25 am

Name: Keith Cramer
Source: unca20090603.htm
Harlan and Susan,

Thank you both for letting me be the caretaker for this marvelous piece. I hesitate to say "owner" because art is not something to be owned by one person...I imagine it will go through many hands of many caretakers. The "Mefisto in Onyx" Death Cell is stylish, and such a great conversation piece. I can't wait to order my new display library book cases and put this work of art in a deserving spot.

I thought the Grimoire box "Stalking the Nightmare" was the end all/be all of cool Ellison incunabula, but the Death Cell pops a bit more because of the red velvet border. Plus, you can actually see the book behind the bars, so it is more clearly a "library piece" than the Grimoire box.

FinderDoug dropped by on Thursday. I showed him the Death Cell and he ooohed and aaaahad. I unlocked the Death Cell and opened the door to remove the book. Ha! Foiled! The deceptively firm velvet border gripped the book and would not let it go. I had to explore around it and find a way to get purchase. It seemed impossible. There was no way in or around it! My fingers seemed like stiff sausages, and I almost gave up. But finally, with patience, I was able to insinuate a pinky around the edge, and was able to pull the entirety of the velvet frame up to get some purcase around the book, and then was successful. That'll be the last time I pry the book loose from its cage.


PS - Susan, I want to thank you personally for facilitating this purchase. Everyone should know that I didn't speak to Harlan at all on this deal; only you. I did find it quite amusing that you kept asking me if I was sure I wanted it. This, from the same person who was trying to sell me every bit of ephemera even peripherally related to Harlan ("Harlan wrote the introduction to this book," and "Harlan wrote the forward to the Introduction of this book," and "Harlan's uncle owned a book by the same writer of this book") at Dreamhaven books a few years ago. You had some crazy flu bug, but it didn't stop you from climbing all over that place to find stuff for me to buy. I'm sure Greg was appreciative. As was I. Thanks again!

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