Robert Nason's Culture Café

General discussions of interest to readers and fans of Harlan Ellison.

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Robert Nason
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Re: Robert Nason's Culture Café

Postby Robert Nason » Mon Aug 18, 2014 11:45 pm

Chuck,

I've had a little fun, a lot of aggravation. I was hoping to have a fantastic love affair this summer, but it hasn't happened, at least not yet. How many days of summer do I have left?

"Meatspace" -- that's a somewhat chilling but entirely apt description for we flesh-and-bloodys out here.

Thanks, Steve, it's good to be back!

Ezra, cognac and cigars sounds great, but the next morning your head hurts and the place stinks to high heaven. I like having fun but hate cleaning up. I need a robot. Therefore...

This one's for Mark: Can a robot be too nice?

http://www.bostonglobe.com/ideas/2014/0 ... story.html
"Thought is a strenuous art -- few practice it, and then only at rare times." - David Ben-Gurion

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Chuck Messer
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Re: Robert Nason's Culture Café

Postby Chuck Messer » Tue Aug 19, 2014 6:08 am

Be careful when you try to simulate personalities in robots. They might turn out like ABE: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3xovQcEOdg8

Creepy, creepy.

Chuck
Some people are wedded to their ideology the way nuns are wed to God.

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Robert Nason
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Re: Robert Nason's Culture Café

Postby Robert Nason » Sat Sep 06, 2014 9:07 pm

Once again, my apologies for being unforgivably absent for so long. My college pals have all packed up and gone home, and after cleaning up the place I was fervervently building up my blogs with entries on Bettie Page, Israel (yeah, that again), Budd Schulberg, American architecture, a British play about Gorbachev under house arrest, a sentimental post about my late mom, and on and on.....feeding the beast, as it were. Now, whenever I get an idea, I not only want to post it on my blog, but also expand it and send it out to whatever magazine I think it might be suited for. Then I take down the post, because it doesn't seem wise to be offering a piece of writing for sale when you're, ahem, giving away for free on your blog -- though many magazines give away free content from their latest issues these days, so who knows?

In any event, Steve, that Chesley Bonestell painting I have at the top of my blog is one of my favorites of his work. I give credit to him at the bottom of the page where the copyright for the blog goes (to Blogger, not to me), as well as to the 1940s issue of Life magazine it appeared in. I hope I'm not violating any copyright laws.

Other than that, I've been going on one bad date after another, amazed that I'm still doing this after all these years. The dates keep getting more expensive with less sex. Or rather, no sex. And no second date. Apparently I "talk too much," and I "interrupt" and I'm not good-looking or rich enough to make those non-issues. Or so my dates frankly tell me. ("Let me give you a tip, Robert. When you start a sentence and a woman turns her ahead down or away and is not looking at you, it means the topic bores her and you should change it or, better yet, shut up." This was actually told to me recently by a date, right in the middle of the date. I wish I'd asked her how I can signal to the woman that she's being not only boring but rude, obnoxious, insulting, and patronizing. In a nice way, of course. I guess it's like therapy -- you shell out a lot per hour to have someone tell you what a screw-up you are.

After the horrible death of Robin Williams and then Lauren Bacall, some of my friends were saying, "These Hollywood deaths always come in threes." Then Joan Rivers died. But Hollywood never really accepted her, so let's change it to "Big Entertainers' Deaths." The world is becoming a less and less funny place -- or is that just how it feels to me? I suspect I'm far from alone in this.
"Thought is a strenuous art -- few practice it, and then only at rare times." - David Ben-Gurion

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Robert Nason
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Re: Robert Nason's Culture Café

Postby Robert Nason » Sun Sep 07, 2014 12:55 am

By the way, here's an interesting piece from the British magazine PROSPECT on how time machine fiction has become all the rage among "mainstream" novelists these days:

http://www.prospectmagazine.co.uk/arts- ... ne-fiction
"Thought is a strenuous art -- few practice it, and then only at rare times." - David Ben-Gurion

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Chuck Messer
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Re: Robert Nason's Culture Café

Postby Chuck Messer » Sun Sep 07, 2014 12:02 pm

No need for apologies. I've found that dating is like job hunting, activities I detest and suck at. I'm beginning to wonder if one should bring a resume to a date, complete with references and a cover letter.

Of course, with my work schedule, having a social life that includes dating is nearly impossible.

And blind dates are a great way to find out how desperate your friends think you are.

Chuck
Some people are wedded to their ideology the way nuns are wed to God.

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Steve Barber
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Re: Robert Nason's Culture Café

Postby Steve Barber » Sun Sep 07, 2014 12:24 pm

I admire your restraint in not telling that date exactly what she apparently needed to hear. I've become less tolerant of boorish behavior, and likely would have ended the date there and then and suggested we split the check.

Keep your head high, Robert. As Harlan, on this occasion of his 28th anniversary, can readily attest: all things change. Look at his record before Susan walked in the door...
All I need is a change of clothes, my Nikon, an open mind and a strong cup of coffee.

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FrankChurch
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Re: Robert Nason's Culture Café

Postby FrankChurch » Sun Sep 07, 2014 12:39 pm

Nason, Ann Coulter is single.

Mark Tiedemann
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Re: Robert Nason's Culture Café

Postby Mark Tiedemann » Sun Sep 07, 2014 1:18 pm

FrankChurch wrote:Nason, Ann Coulter is single.



Oh, now that's just cruel.

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Robert Nason
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Re: Robert Nason's Culture Café

Postby Robert Nason » Sun Sep 07, 2014 8:41 pm

Chuck,

Yes, I suck at both dating and job hunting, which often tend to wind up with me sitting in front of not only the same kind of woman but the very same woman. "I see there's a gap of two years between relationships. What were you doing during that period?"

I should really throw in the towel on the relationship thing. I've been trying to figure it out since my teens, and seem to know more about it than I did then. Although I did have more hope back then.

Steve, some of my friends have suggested I get up and walk out when I'm clearly being insulted, or keep a hundred dollar bill in my pocket so I can throw it on the table before walking out, or just go to the men's room and on the way tell the waiter "Separate checks, please." I like that one -- it's not as in-you-face. The truth is, I don't think I've ever beeen rude, nasty, insulting, or expressed anger on a date, even when the situation clearly warranted it. I think a part of me is just afraid of having a furious woman hurling glasses at me. Now that I think about it, that would actually provide some fun.

True, Harlan had some pretty rough times before he met Susan, but I remember reading my paperback copy of LOVE AIN'T NOTHING BUT SEX MISSPELLED where he mentions in the introduction that he'd been to bed with around 380 women (or something like that), adding, "and if you're impressed by that you clearly don't understand that it's not something to be proud of." I was 17 at the time, and yes, I WAS impressed by that. I still am!

Frank, I'd never go out with Ann Coulter. She'd do all the talking and I'M the one who wouldn't be able to get a word in edgewise.

Mark is right, Frank. That was just too cruel.
"Thought is a strenuous art -- few practice it, and then only at rare times." - David Ben-Gurion

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Robert Nason
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Re: Robert Nason's Culture Café

Postby Robert Nason » Sun Sep 07, 2014 9:55 pm

Too bad Joan Rivers died. She was single, too.
"Thought is a strenuous art -- few practice it, and then only at rare times." - David Ben-Gurion

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Rick Keeney
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Re: Robert Nason's Culture Café

Postby Rick Keeney » Mon Sep 08, 2014 8:53 am

Chuck Messer wrote:And blind dates are a great way to find out how desperate your friends think you are.

Chuck


Quote of the day.

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Steve Barber
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Re: Robert Nason's Culture Café

Postby Steve Barber » Mon Sep 08, 2014 10:38 am

Robert Nason wrote:Too bad Joan Rivers died. She was single, too.


Soooo not your type!

:shock:
All I need is a change of clothes, my Nikon, an open mind and a strong cup of coffee.

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Lori Koonce
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Re: Robert Nason's Culture Café

Postby Lori Koonce » Mon Sep 08, 2014 11:50 am

Robert Nason wrote:Too bad Joan Rivers died. She was single, too.


First things first, welcome back. I've missed you and your way of expressing yourself.

Now about Ms Rivers, do you really wanna look like what ever phrase is out there for a male gold digger? I mean it's not like she was the only elder!y, rich and singleJewish woman in the entire state was she?

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FrankChurch
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Re: Robert Nason's Culture Café

Postby FrankChurch » Mon Sep 08, 2014 1:45 pm

Nason likes em waspie. he.

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FrankChurch
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Re: Robert Nason's Culture Café

Postby FrankChurch » Mon Sep 08, 2014 1:54 pm

Lori, ah, Nason, ah, runz.


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