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The Ellison Bulletin Board

Comments Archive - 3/30/02 to 4/30/02

Chris L <csjlong@hotmail.com>
Philly, - Tuesday, April 30 2002 23:6:25

**Making a decision based on a gut feeling is a very important skill, even for Ph.D's. The fact of the matter is that not every situation you get into will allow you the time or the resources to research all possible outcomes. Sometimes being able to make a decision based on gut feel alone comes in very handy. **

Sure it does. It doesn't have to be an all-or-nothing issue, though.

Empirical reason need not breed automatons. There are no Spocks in real life. The most rational person in the world still needs to make decisions every day with less information than he or she would like to have.

That doesn't mean you can't still try to observe and analyze the facts as best you can and make what you consider to be the most logical decision.

My mechanic may be able to listen to my engine and intuitively know exactly what's wrong with it. The intuition is based largely on his own experiences and knowledge, though. However, if he can't tell just by the sound, I would very much prefer he use rational methods to isolate the problem. I'd much rather see him use more standard diagnostic tools than a ouija board.

If I'm having bad headaches, I would greatly prefer my doctor to recommenda CATscan before considering trepanning as a treatment option.

ZoŽ Rose <ztreuer@d.umn.edu>
- Tuesday, April 30 2002 22:28:51

Kerry- Now that was an evil thing to do - fairly challenging me with a story idea so that it bounces around in my head and insists on being relayed through my fingertips. I've spent the last hour tapping out the story and have finally finished, eyes threatening to shut on me. E-mail me if ya wanna see what you caused! *hee*

--ZoŽ Rose

Chuck <chuck_messer@hotmail.com>
- Tuesday, April 30 2002 21:56:20

Cindiana Jones,

Got the screenplay, safe and sound. It'll be a week before I can read it, then I'll dive in.


Lynn <cavalaxis@digitalcarrion.com>
- Tuesday, April 30 2002 21:35:34

Rich~ I think you hit the nail on the head with the 'path of least resistance' argument.

Lurk~ You ever work in retail? You'll get over that 'people aren't stupid' trip in a heartbeat. Very soon after, you'll realize that by merely intellectualizing such concepts, you yourself are one of the very elitists you claim to despise. Now, go work on a budget and get over yourself. You think too much.

Chris~ Book learning goes a long way. Street smarts go a long way too. Making a decision based on a gut feeling is a very important skill, even for Ph.D's. The fact of the matter is that not every situation you get into will allow you the time or the resources to research all possible outcomes. Sometimes being able to make a decision based on gut feel alone comes in very handy. That being said, I think expecting politicians (who jig and jive on the latest poll like a dead man twisting on the gallows tree) to make informed decisions is just silly. George Dubya makes the motions with his mouth because some puppet master has a hand up his ass. If you watch, sometimes you can even see his words synch up with his lips. His decisions don't prevent scientists from doing their research either in this country illegally or in other countries, just as his opinions don't prevent me from practicing my faith (unless of course I'm in the military, but that's a whole 'nother can of worms).

And if you're an skeptic and an elitist, what the fuck are you doing moving to La La Land? This town is all about plastic - who's got it in their wallet, who's got in their face, who's got it in their ass.

Rich pt2~ I wish Webderland had a mirror for these quotes: "Power, like drugs and penises, can be abused." Classic, my friend. Right up there with one of our all time favorites, "Well, it's hardly the first time I've been on fire."


Cindy <IAMCINDIANAJONES@netscape.net>
TEXAS USA - Tuesday, April 30 2002 20:40:58

What grammatical impropriety? I recently saw some bone head place adversity where aversion belonged!

God what an IDIOT I felt like! Errr I mean, what an idiot she looked like.


You, Sir, have no reason to apologize about a miniscule grammatical faux pas. WE ALL know that you KNOW what is what.

Your friend,

PS I'm elbow deep in rewrite # 8 and finding more and more to help me in your notes. I feel like you just gave me a bigger box of colors-- 64 crayons to work with rather than the 24 I had previously believed to be all I needed. Thanks again, buddy.

Chris L <csjlong@hotmail.com>
Philly, - Tuesday, April 30 2002 20:33:22

Actually, Kerry, I'm pretty sure I don't agree with Lurk at all. In fact, I'm quite sure of it. And while it's absolutely nothing personal toward Lurk to whom I bear no ill will whatsoever, I wouldn't want it to be thought I agreed with him at all.

The whole "you all agree, you just have different points of view" is just another brand of the intellectual relativism I feel is far too prevalent in our society.

There's a right and a wrong. We don't always know which is which but sometimes we do. The obsession with "acknowledging everyone's point of view" is just new-age, P.C. nonsense.

All IMHO, of course.:)

Cindy <IAMCINDIANAJONES@netscape.net>
TEXAS United States - Tuesday, April 30 2002 20:30:18

Thanks Heather,
That sounds like the same advice I gave her. I appreciate it.

Alex Jay Berman,
My mom worked for the Veteran's Administration.. that's part of the irony that she's a deceased veteran's widow. She's been through the EEO and they haven't done much. The Union wimped out too. Maybe it's hard for some people to get fired up about defending the rights of a little old lady. When the bastards got her alone in their office to fire her they wanted her to sign something and she said she wouldn't sign anything. She said she intended to fight it.

Jim Davis,

I told her what you said and I think it gave her heart. I'm with you, the documentation is enough to sink a barge.

THANK YOU TOO! I am now dying to see THE LAST LAUGH.

I hope you're wrong. Boy, do I hope you're wrong on this one.
But I do understand the truth in what you wrote.

GUNTHER, ROB, JAY AND XANADU, I Love you all for being so sweet.


Jon Stover
Canada. A is for Adamantium - Tuesday, April 30 2002 20:2:45

"My science phone conversation of the week"

Me: So then the other person at the table said, "I was surprised. I thought the fifth element was boron. That, and the movie sucked."

Friend who has a doctorate: Well, I guess it would be, alphabetically.

Me: Hunh?

FWHAD: Boron's the fifth element alphabetically. The periodic table's arranged alphabetically, right?

Me: Didn't you take chemistry in high school?

FWHAD: No. I didn't take any science after Grade Nine. My math's really bad, too.

Oh, well. At least we got to discuss elements for ten minutes.


- Tuesday, April 30 2002 20:0:37

Chris L,

It's true, I have attacked "reason" to make my tepid point. But I'm not really against reason. I'm against being against unreason. I know that many here froth when they hear someone stand up and say humans descended from angels, not apes. So be it. But I froth when I hear "reason" put forth as the smug, oh-so-obvious answer to everything. It DOESN'T serve one every time, although it certainly is nice to have around.

But let's give the commons a break, when they turn to the psychic phonelines or go to Whitley Streiber seminars. They are not, finally, the problem. They are not the ones who will send your sons to Iraq or stripmine your hillside. I'd say the rage is better directed at the ones who should know better, not the ones who don't know at all.

Broken Hill, NSW Australia - Tuesday, April 30 2002 19:40:50

Chris L and Lurk

I have to agree with Lynn here. In your efforts to make your points, and hardening your resolve to do so, you seem to be receding from the fact that you basically agree with each other. I think you just look at it from different points of view.

Joseph Finn

Thank you for the information regarding the Nebula Awards

Zoe dot dot

Astronomy, astrology and the alignments of three planets affecting the sleep of children. To me it sounds like a story waiting to be written.


Your version of the chair analogy reminds me of a real example, that of wearing a baseball cap backwards. I know they dont do a good job of keeping the sun off anyway, but backwards is just silly.

Random Musings from my chair


Chris L <csjlong@hotmail.com>
Philly, - Tuesday, April 30 2002 19:21:38


You buy into the same false dichotomy so many others do.

Valuing reason does not make a person heartless or unimaginative. I embrace the scientific method but I am awed by the sight of the setting sun on a breezy May evening in the Badlands of South Dakota.

I hear echoes of your sentiment in my baseball work. It usually takes the form of "Why don't you eggheads stop studying numbers and watch a game every now and then?" As if analyzing something means a person can't enjoy it the way it's meant to be enjoyed.

Isaac Asimov was a genius and a great man of reason. He also took the time to collect some of the best and some of the lamest jokes in the world in his Treasury of Humor.

Reason doesn't preclude joy. Science is not the enemy of the emotions. You've set up a straw man here and you're getting nowhere with it.

- Tuesday, April 30 2002 18:51:53

Chris L,

I don't know about "intellectual relativism," but I doubt I embrace it. What I do embrace, and where you and I clearly differ, is that I don't necessarily want the "best and the brightest" in charge of everything. The best and the brightest, in my experience, are just as likely to fuck up as anyone else, and if they've been sanctified by society as being the best, and it's gone to their heads, which it usually does, they're even more likely to screw up on a scale that is often difficult to undo.

I have enough faith in the final authority of the human heart to not panic if the cranks and the wackos occasionally get their turn at the wheel. I can't imagine anything more boring (and probably dangerous) than a society run by eminently reasonable men and women. A kingdom of logicians, all markedly qualified in their highly-specialized fields...hey, maybe we'll even genetically engineer them someday.

That is the final turn in your utopia, Chris. A people free from the motivations of murder, chaos, and orgy. No more dancing round the maypole, no more blessings of baptism, no more divine madness. These things, should they fund your imagination, are just as valid as the big fat facts everyone is trumpeting as manna when informing your decisions.

So I'll take the warlock over the engineer anyday. I've seen the society Encyclopedia Man built these past 100 years, and I think the crystal fools could do nothing but help it.

- Tuesday, April 30 2002 18:34:27

I think the world's days are limited as I will now seek to defend Frank's use of the word "herd" and basically, jump all up and down on Lurk, a denizen of webderland I usually find intelligent (but, not at the moment).

It appears Lurk doesn't like the word "elitism" as it conjures up images of people abusing power and/or not using their intelligence or reason for the right...um...reasons. Given a choice between choosing the herd (those that go along with the rest of society without bothering to think of the consequences) or the elitists (those that gather the facts and come to a conclusion without worrying what everyone else is doing), I'm choosing the elitists every single time.

Look: Most people are not stupid. Some will beg to differ on this point, but most people are not stupid. People, like fluids, will take the path of least resistance. If it's easier to go along with everyone else and not cause waves or rock the boat or (insert cliche here) then most folks will do that. They don't have time to worry about the difference between astrology or astronomy because how is that going to help pay the bills? People aren't stupid, they're just lazy.

The elitists will take the time to figure out the difference between astrology and astronomy because it may not pay the bills, but it gives them knowledge. And as Saturday morning Schoolhouse Rocks taught me, knowledge is power. Power, like drugs and penises, can be abused, but for the most part, I think the elitists of the world are trying to work at separating themselves from the herd and trying to use their knowledge to tell us that astrology is superstition and has nothing to do with our lives whereas astronomy lets us know our place in the universe.

So, Lurk, I think identifying the herd is not a bad thing. Contrary to popular opinion some of us are better than others as mediocrity appears to be the norm. You don't have to work at being mediocre so I have no problems being associated with elitism.

One last thing. Lurk sarcastically mentions that the world would be a better place if we just used reason to govern ourselves. I would agree with that statement minus the sarcasm. The world would indeed be a better place if we used reason to govern ourselves. Just because we make decisions based on our gut (and I'm assuming you're not being ironic when you state that "we regret half of them later"; you don't include Bush's "gut" call as being one those regretful decisions?) doesn't mean we shouldn't rule out reason because in the end, reason will always serve you.

You're welcome. I'm gonna use it 'til I can't use it no more.

Subject: The Horror - Tuesday, April 30 2002 18:25:52

Holy crud - please ignore the complete lack of grammatical ability exhibited by my last post...

Xanadu <X_a_n_a_d_u@yahoo.com>
Subject: The Chair Analogy - Tuesday, April 30 2002 18:24:20

rich: Thank's for keeping my little conceit alive - I laugh evry time someone mentions it...

Chris L <csjlong@hotmail.com>
Philly, - Tuesday, April 30 2002 18:3:41


I used the term "intellectual relativism" before and it seems to me it's something you fully embrace.

I hate to tell you this but there really are people in the world who know better than other people. Chances are overwhelming I know morethan you do about baseball. It is even more certain (as in 100%) that Stephen Hawking knows more about astronomy than I do.

My opinion on astronomy or related issues is NOT as good as Dr. Hawking's. It is inferior. If I take one position and he says I'm wrong, I'm willing to bet the bank that he's in the right. Why? He knows better. He's smarter and he has the facts.

Who do I want making the decisions in the world? The best and the brightest. The most qualified. That doesn't mean only academicians and intellectuals. The best and brightest person to make a decision about my car is my mechanic. He needs to decide what to do when fixing my car, not me. I don't know enough. I don't have the knowledge. I don't have the skill. I don't have the facts. He does.

I am definitely an elitist by that standard. I think that for any particular issue, most people are completely unqualified to offer a useful opinion or to make a decision. I'd still support their right to do it under most circumstances but that's not the optimal strategy for a functioning society.

ZoŽ Rose <ztreuer@d.umn.edu>
- Tuesday, April 30 2002 17:46:54

On Astrology: My main problem with 'beliefs' like that of astrology is that it completely puts the blame or praise on events we can't control - celestial stuff. I suppose that really is like any religion... I suppose that's why I'm not real religious.

For the most part, I figure let people have fun with what they want to believe. Personally? Doesn't do it for me. But hey, whatever floats their boats.

Warning- Going off on a tangent...
MY problem with it is that people don't know the difference between astrology and astronomy, nor do many care. I work in a planetarium, and it's hard to keep a straight face when answering the questions of the chaperoning parents of a third grade class: "So I heard on the news that there are three planets in the sky right now. When they align will that affect the children's dreams?" Or some such nonsense.

It's even harder to answer the question that I've gotten from more adults than kids, when the lights are all out and the stars are up: "Ok, so where's Earth?"

People often come up to me after star shows and ask if I'm an astrologer. It takes a long time to convince them I'm not an astrologer at all, nor do I take any stock in what astrology says.

Believe what makes you happy, I say - but don't let it dumb you to the point of not understanding simple things like the difference between astronomy and astrology - though both are highly theoretical, at least one of makes an attempt to explain things.

Sorry 'bout the rant. The astrology thing just gets on my nerves sometimes.

--ZoŽ Rose

- Tuesday, April 30 2002 17:41:58

>When a President who doesn't know anything about the subject determines national policy regarding cloning, people might die.<

I'm gonna defend the usually defenseless here, and cast my vote of appreciation that Dubya is making a decision based on his own moral compass. Whether or not you think it's a stupid decision, sometimes people make the calls from their gut, not from the balance sheet of facts and figures. Bush feels cloning is immoral for his own and his consituency's spiritual reasons. That must be respected. That's actually leadership, from one who is generally considered unable to lead.

A big step towards balance is understanding that reason in the end doesn't always serve you. I'd wager that any of the really important life decisions made by anyone here were completely devoid of reason. That's why we regret half of them later...

- Tuesday, April 30 2002 17:34:42

>My point, however, is that way too many people don't even know how to think in the first place<

Elitism. It's both cozy and happily isolating, isn't it, to believe that one is a member of the select few who THINK. And it's sure easy to shake our heads at the witless saps who don't require EVIDENCE at every turn.

Unfortunately, elitists are often on the sidelines of history, doing nothing but bitching about how stupid everyone is and if we just used REASON all of our problems would be solved.

Um, Frank, once the conversation moves into the realm of calling people "herds," I back out. Herds usually require pens, and thinking one is grander than the sheep leads to delusions, and occasionally, if one has power, actions. You're in good company with history there.

I can just imagine what things would be like if the we the denizens of Webderland ran the world. Corraling those thinkless herds, so to speak. Judging from the weekly flame wars on this board, we see little more than a lot of screaming about how stupid everyone is and if we just used REASON all of our problems....never mind.

- Tuesday, April 30 2002 17:34:13

I'm gonna have to go with Lynn on this one: You boys are preaching to the choir.

"That chair is made to sit on."
"Yeah, but some people sit on it backards."
"They're entitled to sit on it any way they please."
"Yeah, but the chair is made for people to sit properly; what'll happen if everyone turns their chair around and starts sittin' on 'em backards?"
"They'll be comfortable?"
"Well, reasonable people sit aright."
"Sittin' backards don't hurt me none."
"Well, pretty soon people wanna be leanin' in 'em, too. Then where will we be? That's right. Them legs'll get weak and won't be right for sittin' right nohow."

Thanks to the Chair Analogy as the hole it's in continues to get deeper.

Xanadu <X_a_n_a_d_u@yahoo.com>
Subject: Rational Thought - Tuesday, April 30 2002 17:14:52

Chris: " My point, however, is that way too many people don't even know how to think in the first place."

They never did, at any point in our history. And to cap it off, they likely never will. Most people don't WANT to think - and you can lead them horses to all the scientific/rational water you wish and they will refuse to take that drink.

This is not to say we shouldn't strive to educate all who are willing, but don't despair too seriously because most prefer idiocy.

- Tuesday, April 30 2002 17:10:53

Chris, you have an affecting effect on me.

Chris L <csjlong@hotmail.com>
Philly, - Tuesday, April 30 2002 16:59:53


Affect/Effect still drives me ape shit.

I don't think I'll ever figure it out.

It's my kryptonite.

Chris L <csjlong@hotmail.com>
Philly, - Tuesday, April 30 2002 16:58:56


Sure I want people to think for themselves. My point, however, is that way too many people don't even know how to think in the first place. Either through their own inability or through a fault in their education, they were never given the tools to properly evaluate the world in which they live, how to separate fact from fiction, science from nonsense.

Jim Davis
- Tuesday, April 30 2002 16:47:42

Oops. I meant to write "the stars in their courses DO affect us," not "effect." (See, David--I'm hardly a grammar maven, either.)

NOW it's time for dinner.

Lynn <cavalaxis@digitalcarrion.com>
- Tuesday, April 30 2002 16:46:9

Chris~ So what you're saying is you want people to stop being sheep and think for themselves, yes? Take a number, the line forms to the left.

Jim~ Don't track mud on the carpet, keep your hands to yourself, and make sure to say thank you to the nice Mr. Wyatt for letting you make a mess of his livingroom.



Chris L <csjlong@hotmail.com>
Philly, - Tuesday, April 30 2002 16:41:12

It's all about proof. Evidence.

The problems crop up when people base their decisions on something other than evidence.

It's an attitude I (and everyone else) encounter(s) every day.

"Willie Mays was hurt by his home park. He'd have hit more home runs than Aaron if he played somewhere else - that was a terrible ballpark."

"But Mays hit more home runs at home than on the road. And his Giants' teammates as well as their opponents hit just about as many home runs there as they did on the road. There's no evidence whatsoever to suggest it was a bad home run park."

"I don't care about any of that - I know what I saw. That was a terrible home run park."

Now that's pretty harmless. Nobody is likely to be harmed because somebody makes a mistake in their perception of a baseball stadium. The problem is the way they go about making decisions and forming opinions. The facts don't matter. They just want to believe what they want to believe. That's what's dangerous.

"Blacks are inferior to whites."

"There's no evidence to suggest that's true."

"I don't care, I still think it's true."

I'm not claiming we can know everything or even 1% of everything. We don't and we never will. But if we don't aspire to make our decisions rationally, by studying the evidence available to us as best we can, we're in serious trouble.

When the AMA gives out shoddy diet advice based much less on hard evidence than it is on money and political expediency, people die.

When a President who doesn't know anything about the subject determines national policy regarding cloning, people might die.

I strongly recommend Carl Sagan's _Demon Haunted World_ for a great read on this very subject.

Jim Davis
- Tuesday, April 30 2002 16:31:33

Oh Mom, WE'RE JUST PLAYIN'. (Next you're gonna tell us to get washed up fer dinner. Are we havin' spaghetti tonight? Can Bobby stay over? His Mom said it was ok. Huh, can he?)

(Actually, I DO have to get something to eat, now that I mention it...)

Jim Davis <scythian66@hotmail.com>
- Tuesday, April 30 2002 16:26:58

Lurk wrote: "The superstitious unwashed that you seem to fear had little to do with designing tanks, gas chambers, or nuclear weaponry. Nor were the decisions to use these toys prompted by casting rune stones or reading star charts."

To a certain extent, that's true. Technology and science HAVE been employed towards some pretty heinous ends. But were the Death Camps, for example, REALLY the result of rational thinking? You could argue the opposite, that the MOTIVATIONS behind them were based solely in superstition and fear. The belief that Jews were a bacillus and needed to be exterminated for the good of civilization sounds pretty irrational to me.

Lynn <cavalaxis@digitalcarrion.com>
- Tuesday, April 30 2002 16:18:40

Hey you guys. Tone it down a smidge. You're getting all toasty about something you agree on, that life-changing decisions shouldn't be made based on the position of distant celestial bodies. Anyone that does so is setting themselves up for a fall. Science is a tool, and as such, is merciless in the hands of the merciless.

At least you guys don't have to put up with a President who thinks your religion isn't "real." (Translation: My beliefs are religion, yours are superstitious hogwash. Thank you for that lesson in logic, Dubya.)


Frank Church
- Tuesday, April 30 2002 16:12:47

Astrology isn't based on sound reasoning, and that is the point, I'd think. Things that are anti-reason should be given a once over--especially, if we do actually live in a sceptical nation.

There is a lot of proof that Astrology is bunkum, but the herd swallows the divining coin anyway. See, we LIKE to believe in things in this country; even if those things are beyond rational thinking. And you don't have to be a Sceptic to understand this.

Jim Davis
- Tuesday, April 30 2002 16:5:6

LURK: I DO agree the nonsensical, the mystical, and the absurd have a place in our lives. Hell, I wouldn't read sf/fantasy if I didn't. But I have to go with Chris on this: When nonrational beliefs start influencing decisions on public policy, it's time to be worried. Call me a fool, but I'd rather have Spock than Nostradamus running the show--at least there's some basis for dialogue with the former. If leaders believe that they're getting marching orders from the the Heavens, why should they listen to ANYONE here on Earth? (See the latest response of the Catholic Church to the molestation crisis.)

- Tuesday, April 30 2002 15:54:49

>Ignorance is not something to embrace and it isn't harmless<

Chris L, maybe I'm reading this the wrong way. But last I looked, the vast swaths of warfare and destruction that our past century endured, including the mass murder of countless millions of innocents, was conducted by well-educated individuals, many with advanced degrees in science and math.

The superstitious unwashed that you seem to fear had little to do with designing tanks, gas chambers, or nuclear weaponry. Nor were the decisions to use these toys prompted by casting rune stones or reading star charts.

It also took a fair degree of brains and expensive college educations to trash the environment with air, water, and land pollution, mow down the rainforests, drive numerous species into extinction, and poison everyone's immune systems for probably the next century. This was all done with a calculator, not a crystal ball.

To suggest that elections are going to be taken over by professed UFO abductees and creationists seems to me a pretty weak argument. Given these past actions by our friends in the Ivy League, and their counterparts in Europe, could it have been any worse?

- Tuesday, April 30 2002 15:42:5

Jim, I wasn't defending astrology as a subsitute for science. What I was defending was the right of nonsensical, the mystical, and the absurd to not be heralded as the downfall of humanity. Along with our formulas and theorems, we must also live with our demons and our shadows.

Now, one can climb into the ring waving their copy of "The Skeptical Inquirer," but should they expect any more leverage with the final judgement than the goon with the Bible or the dude with the guitar? Rationalism and its scientific tropes have done wondrous things, expecially for commerce, health care, and the national defense, but when it comes to explaining the human heart, and its ongoing wrassle between passion and despair, it's as worthless as week-old toast.

So yeah, I get a little honked when I'm told my brains are falling to the floor because I'm no more threatened by the nitwits who believe the Earth is flat than I am the great white fathers who promote the efficacy of controlled nuclear theaters. I personally am growing a little weary of running to the math book for every answer, and I don't think having Spock and the Professor from Gilligan's Island running the show is going to make things any better.

Viva Lunacy.

Chris L <csjlong@hotmail.com>
Philly, - Tuesday, April 30 2002 15:32:1

The problem, Xanadu, is not that Joe Schmo in Walla Walla believes in astrology. It's that Joe Schmo likes to vote for people who "think like him" which means that we wind up with a country where the people who make decisions that impact our lives are unqualified to do so. Science policy is determined by panels of Congresspersons ignorant of even the most basic scientific principles.

Ignorance is not something to embrace and it isn't harmless. We live in a unique time in the sense that we now have developed the capacity to destroy our own race or at least very large swaths of it with relative ease. This is not the time to hunked down on our haunches and tremble in fear at the thunderbolts angry gods cast down at us.

Little Washu
- Tuesday, April 30 2002 15:27:2

I'll briefly follow up my 'just plain sick SOBs' statement. I'm referring to the men and women that have a perfectly decent childhood, a strong morale upbringing, a good job, a loving husband/wife and kids...

...and yet skinning little children alive in their basements remains their favourite hobbies alongside golf and sailing.

Jim Davis
- Tuesday, April 30 2002 15:24:7

LURK: The thing is, the stars in their courses DO effect us in some way, and scientists know why. It's called gravity, and it states that every bit of matter in the universe exerts its pull, however small, on living beings here on Earth. (And vice versa).

The problem is, that's not what astrology says. It claims that a specific alignment of celestial bodies in the sky can determine our personalities, our behaviors, and even whether we live or die. And that simply has no scientific validity. There's not one shred of proof that people born under a particular astrological sign differ in any way from the rest of the population. Now, we can call a belief in astrology harmless and fun, and I'd (mostly) agree. But should we deny the lack of evidence for it, and claim that it has an equal footing with astronomy, cosmology, or any of the other hard sciences?

Little Washu
- Tuesday, April 30 2002 15:19:46


"I have always wondered why America creates so many serial killers in the first place"

Well, overpopulation could have a lot to do with it, but that's as tired an argument as the 'evil media' excuse. You don't have to look any farther than China to see how sparse America is in comparison. I really do believe most serial killers have been treated like shit for the majority of their lives, suffering non-stop abuse, humiliation and belittlement a la Ben Stiller in MEET THE PARENTS until the urge to remove some people's faces becomes incredibly dominant.

And then, of course, some of them are just plain sick SOBs.

LW (Benjamin A.A. Winfield)

Lynn <cavalaxis@digitalcarrion.com>
- Tuesday, April 30 2002 14:59:36

If you can see astrology (or any divinatory system) as a tool, take from it what you need, be it entertainment or spiritual sustenance, it is not the end of civilization as we know it. If you start planning where to aim the bombs as a direct result of the alignment of Saturn in Sagittarius, then you're whacked. Such things are merely reflections of what we take into them. What is the quote? A monkey can look into a mirror but should not expect a saint to peer back at him?


Xanadu <X_a_n_a_d_u@yahoo.com>
Subject: Science in Society - Tuesday, April 30 2002 14:50:27

Just a quick thought Ė I agree with Lurk, we're not gonna die because our species is full of folk who live life intuitively, rather than rationally or logically. Has there ever really been an "Age of Reason"? Where a significant majority of the general populace has had more than a passing notion of science and the scientific method? I could be wrong, but I don't think so.

BUT, I 'm not worried for the reason Chris L. states Ė we don't get to vote on reality. Whether _I_, or anyone else, believes in dark matter, or anti-gravity, or anti-matter, or astrology doesn't change what's actually going on out there. Reality IS.

What scares the hell outta me is when the tin-foil-helmet-people gain control of scientific funding and science education, when the idjits try to warp our perception of reality, or bend the principles of the scientific method to advance a predetermined agenda - THEN we're fucked. It's one thing for an individual to champion a far-out theory, it's another altogether for a society to deny the mainstream scientific thought on a subject, and to fail to teach it.

Chris L <csjlong@hotmail.com>
Philly, - Tuesday, April 30 2002 13:59:18


An open mind is good.

Keeping your mind so open that your brain falls out is bad.

Life is not just an opinion. You don't just get to vote on reality. You gather evidence and evaluate the facts.

Astrology had been around many centuries, has been studied for many centuries and has never, in any way, shape or form, been proven to have any validity as a predictive tool.

I know we are steeped in a culture that prides itself on intellectual relativism where everybody is right about everything. That's part of the problem, not the solution.

- Tuesday, April 30 2002 13:47:9

>The fact that 60% of Americns don't accept astrology is valid (meaning that 40% do) is hailed as good news. We're all dead.<

Open minds, now. Astrology has been around for a long time, very long, and the fact that it isn't qualified by experimental science doesn't make it less a part of the human scene. People believe in a lot of things not measurable by the microscope...I wouldn't say "we are all dead" because of it.

Not being lab-certified is often not a requirement with "hard science," either. Witness dark matter, yet another creation by the research world to fit their math, despite not one shred of evidence for its existence (anyone remember ether?) You'd have a better chance proving that the moon in Scorpio makes you horny.

Someday, and that day may never come, we may actually find out that the stars in their courses DO affect us in some way. There's plenty left out there for us to not have a clue about. I believe radio waves were a complete unknown for about 98% of recorded human history. For now, astrology is crude, it's escapist, and it's also silly fun.

I'll take the mystic dancing of the quirkies over the dull march of the uber-rational. They dress better, too.

Heather Lovatt <heatherlovatt@yahoo.ca>
David..., - Tuesday, April 30 2002 13:18:19

Made any decisions about school?


Chris L <csjlong@hotmail.com>
Philly, - Tuesday, April 30 2002 13:17:46

Wanna raise your blood pressure? Take a check on the latest survey regarding the state of scientific literacy in America.


How bad is it? The fact that 60% of Americns don't accept astrology is valid (meaning that 40% do) is hailed as good news.

We're all dead.

Heather Lovatt <heatherlovatt@yahoo.ca>
Re: Cindy's mom, - Tuesday, April 30 2002 13:16:31


I thought you were telling us a story at first. It sounds so unreal. Make sure your mom stays healthy. I'm sure she has connections..

Meanwhile, butttinsky here, says..

CHARLIE.. CEP.. You listening?

Cindy, tell your mother to make some time for cooldown. Forty-four years is a hell of a long time. Then.. go kick somebody's butt.

Ya dig?

Thanks for sharing.


Frank Church
- Tuesday, April 30 2002 12:48:49

I have always wondered why America creates so many serial killers in the first place: Maybe it is our sense of selfish superiority, or the way people are treated like property. More than likely the way we downplay the need for better mental health services, in this dictatorial "marketplace".

But I would never blame the media. Too many facts that get in the way of such a lame arguement. Like Frank Zappa said, since there have been so many love songs written, then why haven't people been programmed to love?

Frank Church
- Tuesday, April 30 2002 12:37:44

Changing Lanes: Great film, marvelous acting, great way of handling the concept of stress and how it eats at you; especially when things all seem to be going down the sewer. I give it plunger up.


I also recieved that dreaded email. Does anyone know if that thing actually was directed from Africa?


Finally saw, Lord Of The Rings. What an amazing use of special effects, no wonder it won all those Oscars. Beginning to think that Peter Jackson might have let Opie screw him. Petey Jackson, you are one bad man. This had to be the hardest movie ever to make. The thought scares the hell out of me. Put er there Petey. Now that's dedication; and to think: He made THREE Rings movies in a row! Yikes. Now I can see why Neil Labute only does small films.

- Tuesday, April 30 2002 12:29:35

Don't know if that ninja site is for real or not, but _it_is_hilarious. For those that haven't seen it (www.realultimatepower.net) Joe Bob Rich says check it out.

Also, Bermie-nator, what was the name of that book again you mentioned quite awhile ago regarding serial killers and their upbringing/motivation? I hope you know what I'm talking about 'cause I believe it was you that mentioned the book. If it wasn't you, then ignore me and I'll do some sleuthing.

(When I worked in a bookstore, I always hated the customer who came up to me and asked, "Do you have that book? The one that was on that show the other day? Not sure which show and I'm not sure what the book's about, but it was written by a doctor. I think. It had a blue cover. Or, maybe it was green because the television color hasn't been too good. Do you have it?")

Joseph J. Finn
Chicago, - Tuesday, April 30 2002 12:13:16


A) You are correct on Ackerman. Which, to put on my personal opinion hat, is just an example of a certain tin ear he has toward words & phrases.

B) I prefer to think of it as a dimunation rather than an abbreviation. Gives the impression that the genre is till pointy rockets whizing around space with Tom Corbett.


Zoe Rose <ztreuer@d.umn.edu>
- Tuesday, April 30 2002 12:4:55

Lynn- I _love_ the "I got flamed by" t-shirt idea! My brother'd be so jealous... in a little online weblog (bloglet), he wrote: "I just learned that my sister got into a flamewar with Harlan Ellison. ::cries:: I've never been so happy in my life!" Where I don't know as it was a 'flamewar' (especially on HE's low-gear end), it certainly was funny. Never knew he was a HE fan 'til this!

--Zoe Rose

Focus! Bofus?
- Tuesday, April 30 2002 11:30:38

Get your Smoking E tshirt today.

Lynn <cavalaxis@digitalcarrion.com>
- Tuesday, April 30 2002 11:28:45

You guys have way too much time on your hands.

I picked up the term "schwag" from local radio, and in that context it means promotional items generally of little or no value that is given away to the masses (e.g. bumperstickers, cheap tshirts, drink insulators, magnets, program directors, etc).

In *this* case, schwag is indeed promotional in nature, but you have to pay for it, which means it is of a much higher quality than your usual schwag. And the E is Smoking as a direct result of your kind and loving nature here on the Webderland board. Yes, we are still bandying about the idea of the "I got flamed by Harlan Ellison and all I got was this lousy tshirt" shirt. Of course, the url would only be given to those who have actually *survived* the loving tongue caress of our esteemed patron, and lived to tell the tale.

Now get back to work. ALLYA DAGOS! GET OFF ME LAWN!


David Loftus <DavidL@ci.oswego.or.us>
SUBJ: quiescence, - Tuesday, April 30 2002 11:26:31

Jim: I knew you were kidding. Just wanted to let everyone know why I haven't been exhibiting my usual ebullience (or verbosity) in this venue. At least I get to dance up the sun tomorrow with my morris team (May Day, ya know), and two friends have asked if I want to sing the National Anthem with them before a minor league game at the end of the month. Cheers!

Little Washu
- Tuesday, April 30 2002 11:19:30

Y'know, the term 'sci-fi' was actually coined for the first time by a film producer...Forrest Ackerman, I think. Anybody is welcome to correct me on this.

Never knew so many people could despise an abbreviation...

LW (Benjamin A.A. Winfield)

Jim again
- Tuesday, April 30 2002 10:8:19

Is THAT why the "E" is smoking?

Jim Davis
- Tuesday, April 30 2002 10:5:30

So Lynn is now selling DRUGS to raise money for KICK? Oy vey...

DAVID: Sorry to hear about your difficulties. I hope you don't think *I* was trying to be dogmatic or anything--I was just kidding around. (Though I DO enjoy a good grammar rumble now and then...)

CINDY: I can't believe, in this litigious age, that people actually think they can GET AWAY with this shit. I hope a lawyer takes your mom's case, and they sue the Holy Hell out of these dirtbags.

Joseph J. Finn
Chicago, - Tuesday, April 30 2002 9:33:5

Lorin & Xanadu,

I think Schwag is a different term than Swag. Appears to be a word for the lowest grade of weed, according to a bunch of stoner web pages.


Alex Jay Berman <smeghead@erols.com>
Philly, - Tuesday, April 30 2002 9:30:7

CINDY: What agency does your mother work for?
She should go to the EEO office. She should go to the union. And I'm certain a good lawyer will step up.

Helz <helzapoppn@aol.com>
- Tuesday, April 30 2002 9:21:54

Re: GAE's obit in the Cleveland Plain-Dealer -- since when does any part of "When Gravity Fails" take place on Bourbon Street?

Lorin O.
- Tuesday, April 30 2002 9:18:50

Gosh, I really need to do some WORK this week...

Anyway, I'm pretty sure SCHWAG = SWAG = (from bartlebys.com)

"NOUN: 1a. An ornamental drapery or curtain draped in a curve between two points. b. An ornamental festoon of flowers or fruit. c. A carving or plaster molding of such an ornament. 2. Slang Stolen property; loot. 3. Australian The pack or bundle containing the personal belongings of a swagman. 4. Slang Herbal tea in a plastic sandwich bag sold as marijuana to an unsuspecting customer.
INTRANSITIVE VERB: Inflected forms: swagged, swag∑ging, swags
1. Chiefly British To lurch or sway. 2. Australian To travel about with a pack or swag.
ETYMOLOGY: Probably of Scandinavian origin."

Helz <helzapoppn@aol.com>
Livonia, Mich. - Tuesday, April 30 2002 9:16:28

Cindy: What happened to your mother just plain sucks. But after 44 years and the last few years of abuse, it may well be a relief. As long as they're not screwing up her pension, that is...

I knew several soldiers during my time in the Army -- good, solid, hardworking NCOs, maybe they didn't win medals for valor in combat but certainly had never embarrassed the uniform they wore -- who were driven out after 18 or 19 years to keep them from getting their 20 years in. It's not right, it's not fair, and if your mom has all that documentation then she needs to find a lawyer who will take the case. Once the lawyers for the VA get around to reviewing her documents during discovery, they'll make a settlement offer.

Xanadu <X_a_n_a_d_u@yahoo.com>
Subject: Origins of the Language - Tuesday, April 30 2002 9:10:56

Ok, I'm going to risk sounding even stupider than is my normal want and custom...

I understand the meaning from the context - but I am curious - does anyone know the origin of the term "schwag"?

No particular need - just general curiosity.

Thanx in advance.

David Loftus <DavidL@ci.oswego.or.us>
SUBJ: None, - Tuesday, April 30 2002 8:38:12


It ain't age. It's exhaustion and low spirits. I too have been shifted into a much shittier position at my day job. My book is stuck in Editing Limbo (the publisher fired one editor and just hired another one). I can't get to this board or anywhere else on the Web as often as I used to -- as often as I'd like -- and I need a big change. I think I'll go get a Ph.D to stave off boredom; people keep mistaking me for a professor, anyway. But that'll take some groundwork. * sigh * And I don't claim to be an expert on rules of grammar, just a natural writer. No point in being dogmatic about it, anyhow....

Joseph J. Finn
Chicago, - Tuesday, April 30 2002 8:15:52

That, and they used the mutant term "sci-fi" in the hed. Oh well, it's still decent obit. Though I'll admit that I'm intrigued to find out how you manage to drop out of Yale twice, as the obit says Mr. Effinger did.


Alex Krislov <Alexkrislov@cs.com>
Shaker Heights, OH United States - Tuesday, April 30 2002 7:32:15

Well, well--a prophet DOES have honor in his hometown. For the Plain Dealer obit on GAE, check out


Okay, so they misspelled Harlan's name.

Lynn <cavalaxis@digitalcarrion.com>
http://www.cafepress.com/webderland, - Tuesday, April 30 2002 7:16:9


GETcher WEBderLAND SCHWAG Here! *T*shirts! BALLcaps! COFfee mugs! TOTE bags! FIVE, count 'em, FIVE dollars of EVERY item purchased goes to KICK! GETcher SMOKING 'E NOW!


Limited Time Only! Stainless Steel Travel Mugs, Frosted Rootbeer Mugs, and collared Golf Shirts! Get 'em while they're hot!

Xanadu <X_a_n_a_d_u@yahoo.com>
Subject: Cindy's Mom - Tuesday, April 30 2002 6:41:37

Alex: Point taken. But we gotta keep the faith, don't we? (he says, plaintively, knowing Alex is more right than wrong...)

Little Washu <colonel_clive@hotmail.com>
- Tuesday, April 30 2002 6:20:21

CINDY: My sympathies. We seem to be living in a world that is growing more faster and hyperactive with each passing minute, sacrificing dignity and decency in the process. Funny enough - your story reminded me of the silent film THE LAST LAUGH, where the master bellhop -after serving countless years at a prestigious hotel - is suddenly demoted to the degrading postion of restroom attendant. The total cluelessness (or apathy?) of his superiors to how this will affect him emotionally, physically and financially seems to be more in effect today than ever before.

Not that any of this helps, but hope it brightens your world a little.

LW (Benjamin A.A. Winfield)

Alex Krislov <Alexkrislov@cs.com>
Shaker Heights, OH United States - Tuesday, April 30 2002 6:15:27

Xanadu, er, MAYBE Cindy's mother will do well once she gets a lawyer--and maybe not. The Federal government, in its wisdom, sometimes grants itself exceptions from the laws the rest of us must follow. I hope Cindy's mom finds a good lawyer, but I know from long experience that the law is a screwy thing, and justice is often a surprising by-product of its workings, rather than its inevitable goal.

Not to be a cynic, mind you. It's just that I come from a family of lawyers. Father, brother, twin sister, all in law. (Sorry, none in Texas.)

Rick, let me add my belated congrats on the new job.


Xanadu <X_a_n_a_d_u@yahoo.com>
Subject: Cindiana's Mom - Tuesday, April 30 2002 5:16:33


Keep looking for a lawyer - there will be one who will take the case, and your mom will do well then.

Jay <zebrapix@hotgrail.com>
- Tuesday, April 30 2002 4:42:27

Bureaucratic fucknuts...that's all I gotta say.

Sorry, Cindiana

- Tuesday, April 30 2002 1:36:19


Your mom:

Rant by all means! That utterly sucks and I'm very sorry to hear it. I wish there was more machinery (for the little I know in that area there is) to deal more readily with that kind of blatant, low, cut-throat sovereignty...whether dealing with a government office or the private sector.

- Tuesday, April 30 2002 1:27:58


Your mom:

Rant by all means! That utterly sucks and I'm very sorry to hear it. I wish there was more machinery (for the little I know in that area there is) to deal more readily with that kind of blatant, low, cut-throat sovereignty...whether dealing with a government office or the private sector.

Gunther Schmidl
Linz, Austria - Tuesday, April 30 2002 0:26:19

Oh, and Cindy:

what fucking assholes. You and your mother have my sympathy.

Gunther Schmidl
Linz, Austria - Tuesday, April 30 2002 0:24:7


"Wizard's First Rule" is Terry Goodkind. One of my favourite "epic fantasy" series, but it's HIGH on blood and gore and sex (the first novel contains a 100-something page torture scene)

My favourite authors in fantasy are, however:

URSULA K. LE GUIN -- Wizard of Earthsea being the most known, but most of her other books are beautiful too.

ROBIN HOBB (aka Megan Lindholm) -- The Farseer Trilogy (Assassin's Apprentice, Royal Assassin and Assassin's Quest) and The Liveship Traders (Ship of Magic, Mad Ship, Ship of Destiny) are some of the most beautifully written books ever; they're finished trilogies instead of ever-continuing series like Sword of Truth or (ugh) Wheel of Time; and for a change, they concern themselves not with the fate of an entire world, but just a small town.

and, of course

GEORGE R. R. MARTIN -- A Song of Ice and Fire (currently out: A Game of Thrones, A Clash of Kings, A Storm of Swords). Best. Epic. Fantasy. Ever.

(all in my opinion of course)

Cindy <IAMCINDIANAJONES@netscape.net>
TEXAS USA - Monday, April 29 2002 23:23:58


Who worked for the Federal government for 44 years got fired today. They decided that they didn't want her to get any more money at retirement so they started dogging her about ten years ago. The last thing they came up with was that she made two KEY stroke errors in two weeks... it didn't matter that she corrected them before she sent the job off. She was the only one in the office whose work they have been scrutinizing. Also one of the men in her office stole her umbrella.. a 20 year old BEN HOGAN umbrella in pristine condition that she had gotten from Dillards during a promotional deal in the early eighties. The guy took it a year or so earlier, then when the heat started getting turned up at the office he brought it back and put it in a place where she would have to walk by it. She asked him where he had gotten the umbrella and he said his uh sister had given it to him. So she told her supervisor about the incident and the supervisor wrote my mom up for " accusing him of taking her umbrella". They said things to her like, " I'm going to fire you by next March." And " Old woman." and " Some of us aren't going to be here much longer." Constant harrassment for YEARS. Some of it stemed from a time when she filed a greivance because she was denied a promotion ( she remains a GS9 after all these years), she had been the only one who had filled out the application correctly. The day after they were due the supervisor personally rewrote all of the other applications for everyone in the unit and put them in the proper form. They were promoted, Mom was not.

There was more and worse. One man told her that he knew people who could take care of her and they'd put the body in the trunk and haul it to Mexico where nobody would ever find out.

So today around one they called her into the sub-director's office, the director refused to see her. There were four or five of them there and she was alone when they told her that they were removing her from her position. They demanded her badge and the sticker from her car.

Never mind that she had been awarded and commended and people from Washington requested to deal with her on matters that required speed and efficiency. Never mind that she was working at the Veterans Administration and her second and last husband who died in 1969 was a veteran.

44 years. That is what kills me. They kick her out on the street like a bum who refuses to work.

She has about fifteen pounds of documentation for the treatment she's recieved over the last ten years.. alot of it is SMOKING, but she can't even find an attorney to take the case in Austin.

Go Figure.

Sorry for the rant y'all ,


Tony Rabig <arabig@par1.net>
Parsons, KS - Monday, April 29 2002 22:48:1

Re: Help us get millions of $$$ out of Nigeria fraud.

The version I've seen dresses it up with a story about how they need somebody honest and reliable to let them do the transfer, because the last guy they tried to work with vanished with a huge chunk of their money. Nudge, nudge, wink, wink, say no more. It's nice to imagine that the only people who'd fall for something like this are clowns who actually think they'll be able to skip the country with millions ripped off from the Nigerians. You know--the ones who deserve to fall for it.


- Monday, April 29 2002 22:41:15

Sorry, forgot to mention that Lori is divorced.

Chuck <chuck_messer@hotmail.com>
- Monday, April 29 2002 22:39:31


"Chuck~ Saw Caesar sippin' a piŮa colada last night at Trader Vic's, did you? Was his hair p e r f e c t?"

Yep. What there was of it. The older he gets, the balder he gets.

By the way, where do I find the T-shirts, etc. you spoke of with some proceeds going to KICK? I went to Digital Carrion, but I didn't see anything there. I did see your photo. LOVE the tinted glasses.

Darwin's drunk again, eh? Must be hanging out with Caesar.

Now, for all, a little venting. Gotta get this out. I was having a telephone chat with a freind of mine, Linda. We've known each other since college. A longer time than I can believe. How did so much time pass? Linda was upset. She's jewish, quite orthodox, but not a tight-ass about it. Her niece, Lori, a rather mixed-up young lady, married a guy outside the faith. Not that I think that's all that shocking, I'm a goy myself. but Lori has been having a problem with her oldest daughter, Boston. The little girl can't sleep, keeps waking her mother at all hours.

Well now we know why. Her rotten, waste of protoplasm father has been telling Boston that jews are people of the devil, and that Lori is a whore, and that her loving aunt and grandmother will harm her. He says he gets this from his church.

You hear about this shit going on, about how someone takes their particular "bully pulpit", in this case an altar, and turns it into a way to broadcast ugliness to everyone there. And there seems to be no end of people who swallow this as "gospel" truth. That's why I enjoyed the humor tonight, more than usual. I needed a laugh.

Okay, vent closed. Thanks all, for coming to this oasis, and thanks to Rick for creating it, and Harlan for inspiring it. Keeps the slope-headed, knuckle-dragging monkeyboys at bay.


Cindy <IAMCINDIANAJONES@netscape.net>
TEXAS USA - Monday, April 29 2002 22:25:37


The website you mentioned is down at the moment, I'll keep trying!

CHUCK!!! My screenplay is probably in your email box as we speak. I THANK you for reading it.


Joseph J. Finn <JosephFinn@yahoo.com>
Chicago, IL USA - Monday, April 29 2002 22:0:41


There is not always a Grandmaster award presented (technically, it is not a Nebula, but is presented as part of the awards ceremony). You correct that the nomination is by the President of the SFWA, after which it needs to be approved by a majority of SFWA officers. Here's the year-by-eyar list of recipients:

Robert A. Heinlein (1974)
Jack Williamson (1975)
Clifford D. Simak (1976)
L. Sprague de Camp (1978)
Fritz Leiber (1981)
Andre Norton (1983)
Arthur C. Clarke (1985)
Isaac Asimov (1986)
Alfred Bester (1987)
Ray Bradbury (1988)
Lester Del Rey (1990)
Frederik Pohl (1992)
Damon Knight (1994)
A.E. Van Vogt (1995)
Jack Vance (1996)
Poul Anderson (1997)
Hal Clement (Harry Stubbs) (1998)
Brian W. Aldiss (1999)
Philip Josť Farmer (2000)

Considering this past few months, I think they need to pick up the pace. It's a shame that more great writers haven't been recognized in this manner. Anyway the rules that cover Grandmaster & President awards are 20 and 21, found here:



Broken Hill, NSW Australia - Monday, April 29 2002 21:11:53

With all these recommendations for Ginger Snaps, Iíve now ordered it. It sounds like an intelligent, well acted movie.

Thanks for the mini-reviews and recommendations from all here. Webderland is a mine of information, and itís everyone that makes it that way.


Broken Hill, NSW Australia - Monday, April 29 2002 20:58:37

Hi all,

Could someone answer a question for me? In a post was the mention of a Nebula Award that was not being given this year. I notice, now that the awards are out, that the Grand Master Award and the Bradbury Award were not given, but a Presidents Award was.

As the Grand Master Award is nominated by the President of the SWFA (I think), what is the idea of not having the Grand Master Award this year, and of having a Presidents award?

Iíve had a look around, but canít find anything about this, and it intrigued me.



Jay Smith <investigations@fbi.gov>
Just the Facts, Ma'am...or perhaps a rumor.... - Monday, April 29 2002 20:54:54

Some food for thought courtesy Darkhorizons.com

"Dragnet (TV): Emmy-winning "Law & Order" producer Dick Wolf and Studios USA are developing a prime time new updated take on the classic 50's & 60's cop drama with Wolf expected to write the pilot and serve as exec producer. It's expected Wolf's show "will be more of a revisualization of "Dragnet" as a modern-day Los Angeles cop drama rather than a simple remake of the old series". The original became famous for its very straight-ahead procedural style to cop dramas with Jack Webb starring as Sgt. Joe Friday. The show is not expected to begin airing till late 2003 at the earliest even though a network deal should be announced relatively shortly. Thanks to 'Miqque'"

Heather Lovatt <heatherlovatt@yahoo.ca>
Stuff..., - Monday, April 29 2002 20:43:56

Cindy... Hmmm...it was more an IMPRESSION. I can't cite a specific something..hmm..I think women, in general, fall into personae traps. Hmm.. HMM... I shall pray on the matter.

You speak like an expert, in your screenplay. I think...because..and bear with me I'm trying to figure this out as I write..you were very familiar with the landscape (language, people, situations) of which you wrote, in your screenplay; I heard no..hmm..hesitation.

Sometimes, I hear.. hesitation in the way you speak on the forum. I'm sure that's not all of it..but..

And as I know you ARE an expert--being a parent; being a spouse; being the wife of a trooper (on a number of levels--he sounds pretty cool, your babelet), the sound in your screenplay bespoke your..depth.

Does that make sense, Cindy?

The movie, "Ginger Snaps"... Nobody talked about "Ginger Snaps" when it came out, here in Canada. I can't recall WHY I went to see it--I worried, as I think it's a Canadian film, isn't it?--it might be..ech.. or another one of these stupid teen type horror movies with blood and breasts--you know the type.

But I was AMAZED by it. It really creeped me out. And I BATHED in the wonderful sensation of watching TWO, count em, TWO good female performances. I just couldn't figure out why I didn't hear more about it. Too many movies floating around in the universe, I guess.

The movie, "Quo Vadis... Oh, and I watched Christians die the other night. I mean, for REAL. It felt real and it really upset me. What asses the Romans were..in "Quo Vadis." Some BRILLANT performances though. The movie is in subtitles. I sat and watched it as a Catholic church charity screening--not planned, just that I wanted to see this movie--at the Towne Cinema. I think MOST of the people there WEREN'T reading the subtitles; I'm not sure what language it is.

Something went through me ...like a soul..when it came to the Christians and the lions..and other atrocities. This concept of watching people die..as an event, as a sport..that fucks with my head.

I was in the library the other day. I started a Tabitha King book--sorry, I forget the name. The character was out picking berries. She came upon three guy who had caught a cat in a metal trap. It was half dead anyway. One fucker splatted down on the cat's head with his boot, killing it. It shocked me..as it shocked the character, who immediately threw up. People do fucking strange things.

I read today of a six or seven year old boy, found in the mud, killed by his older brother and sister. They were, like, 10, 12, something like that. Where do these people come from? *Sigh*

Harlan... I thought of this when first I heard you mention Effinger. The thing is..these passings seem, in my recollection, to always come in threes.. or more.

Here's a view: Two guys left for the great beyond. They needed an arbitrator for the yak fests they'd finally be having--they's never met before--and called for this Effinger dude to complete the trio. Just an idea.

Regrets, in any case, in you need em, k?

Oh yeah, I bought a lottey ticket after the movie. If it wins, it goes to KICK. (I picked up this tidbit at the gas station job. Wouldn't have known otherwise. There's a 2.2 Million jackpot waiting. Stranger things have happened. (Okay, we have to deal with exchange rates and probably fucking income tax..but hey. Whaddayat gonna do?) I've never played lotteries. I find the concept weird. I save my luck for real life. But I also find footing a the bill of a large lawyer fee weird, too.

Jay, Cindy: a tiny child story. I thought it so amusing, so enLIGHTENING to see a completely different view, when a tiny child on the bus the other day, pointed to a baby and say, "John?" (or some name like that.) His mother, in a fairly serious tone, said, "No, that's not John." And the little kid, as serious as day, said, "Why not?"

Rick: Glad to hear you found a job. I'm sure your dog is highly relieved. *grin*

Lorin O.
- Monday, April 29 2002 20:30:16

Thanks, Lynn! How could I forget FOUNDATION? And Eddings' books? Sheesh. Will pass on those recommendations.

- Monday, April 29 2002 20:15:47

And to read a first novel (and perhaps learn from someone else's mistakes) Terry Cook's WIZARD'S FIRST RULE.


- Monday, April 29 2002 20:14:50

Well, how about Asimov's FOUNDATION? McCaffrey's PERN? One of my personal favorites, Susan R. Matthews EXCHANGE OF HOSTAGES and PRISONER OF CONSCIENCE, though not for the faint of heart. There's always Zelazny's AMBER, Eddings' BELGARIAD & MALLOREAN, Simmons' HYPERION, or Barker's IMAJICA.

Just to name a few,

Lorin O.
- Monday, April 29 2002 19:51:41

Yup, got that same email letter today. I seem to get it, or one like it, about once a month now. I really hope that NO ONE *EVER* falls for something so obvious. Not to mention ridiculous.

But, to a question: I've got a friend who is about to embark on a new novel--SF--that's rather expansive in scope. I suggested that in preparation he might read other "epic" novels, especially epic SF/Fantasy/Speculative novels. First ones that came to mind were Lord of the Rings, Dune, The Stand...but after that I was stumped.

Any suggestions?

Thanks in advance!

- Monday, April 29 2002 19:41:19

Chuck~ Saw Caesar sippin' a piŮa colada last night at Trader Vic's, did you? Was his hair p e r f e c t?


- Monday, April 29 2002 19:12:53

E-mail fraud:

I got one weeks ago from a supposed family member of Mobutu Sese Soko. His widow. I think I got that one at work. Damn, the recession must be hitting hard. I keep getting more spam than an army field kitchen.

Chuck <chuck_messer@hotmail.com>
- Monday, April 29 2002 19:8:31


Glad to hear (read) about your new job. Best of luck to someone who demonstrates that the web does not have to be full of aimless crap.

Alex Jay,

(But I've always had a story in mind about it--Caesar had seizures ["Moses supposes"?], you see, and if I can ever do some in-depth research on pre-Christian Rome, I'll write about the plot to rid the Empire of its lycanthropic rulers ...)

Ah, yes. I do remember the case. Caesar had siezures by the sea shore. As I recall, he was the only bald wolfman in Rome. Everybody knew who had mutilated that little old lady last night, despite Caesar's denials.

"Oh, great! There goes Caesar, carrying off another sheep. That's eight head so far! Just wait'll Brutus hears about this!"


Broken Hill, NSW Australia - Monday, April 29 2002 19:4:6

Shane, I recieved the same e-mail today. I have had a few different versions of this fraud sent to me.



Jay Smith <agenttalbot@fbi.gov>
Shane and the Money Fraud Gig - Monday, April 29 2002 18:53:17

I've seen this dealt with in a clever manner. What the bank and FBI do when they receive a tip like this is offer a "dummy number" that the FBI forwards to these schmoes. Then they watch for transactions on that account, track to the source and freeze the account making the withdrawl.

I understand that the con is often pulled off six months later, after recieving the account number and after they forward a "Thank you, but we've resolved the issue" email which either disappoints the potential lottery winner or tries to convince the Feds they got cold feet. Then, after the memory fades, they wait until payday and WHOOOSH, transfer the lot offshore, or - more commonly - they suck off the account like a parasite, assuming they are too dumb to watch their account closely.

Sadly, most really are offshore, so it's hard to prosecute or recover money lost to them.

Shane Shellenbarger
Phoenix, Arizona USofA - Monday, April 29 2002 18:36:58

Well, it has now been attempted on me: fraud. Today I received an e-mail from a "Mrs. Catherine K. Saro Wiwa Ogoni Tribe Nigeria" offering to share 10 percent of her dead husbands $45,000,000.00 dollars in oil holdings if I would allow her to use my bank account to transfer the money out of Nigeria. Can you believe that people fall for this crap? Of course, I immediately filed a complaint with the F.B.I.

Dennis <dhughes1@insight.rr.com>
Columbus, OH USA - Monday, April 29 2002 18:31:24

Thanks for all the information, folks. I realize the information I provided was a bit sketchy so I thought I'd fill out the rest.

My son had bad ear infections when he was very young which caused some hearing problems for several months. After getting the infections cleared up and his hearing tested again we began speech therapy. While in the speech therapy class his therapist noticed that he did not seem to engage in "imaginative play" which is one of the hallmarks of Asperger's syndrome. We will be having a developmental asessment done in a few months to confirm/disprove this diagnosis.
The reason for waiting so long for the diagnosis is because my son will be having surgery to fuse some vertebrae in his back that did not form properly when he was born. He'll be in a cast from shoulders to pelvis for six months afterwards.
Please don't read the above as a "oh woe is me" plea for sympathy. My son is a happy soon-to-be three year old who is currently fascinated by banging on piano keys and being read to by his mother and father.

Wow. I think that's the most I've told anyone about my family... well, ever. What can I say? You're all such a friendly and helpful bunch I just wanted to fill you in on the details.



- Monday, April 29 2002 18:1:30


"Ever seen the trailer for PSYCHO, or THE BIRDS for that matter?"

Those were REALLY funny; esp. the 'Psycho' trailer which took me off guard considering the tragedy that befalls the characters in the film.

Chris L <csjlong@hotmail.com>
Philly, - Monday, April 29 2002 18:0:52

**You are way off fella. The camera movements are meant to convey a sense of cat and mouse subversion. It added to the suspense. **

Since there was exactly zero suspense in the movie, would that mean there was negative suspense without the use of the endlessly roving camera?

That's a pretty impressive achievement!

Bill Gauthier
- Monday, April 29 2002 17:59:5

Bermanator: I know. I still think Fred tipped you off, though.


P.A. Berman
Different FROM Terry Gross - Monday, April 29 2002 17:37:49

Thanks for confirming that "different from" is correct and "different than" indicates not only a tin ear, but grammatical ignorance. I heard Terry Gross say it today on NPR.

Bill: I'm sure your hair is *fabulous*. I honestly didn't even think of you when I used that name, as those are the two names I use in class when making up sample vocab sentences.


Frank Church
- Monday, April 29 2002 17:15:2

Even a movie critic has the right to have guilty pleasures. Ebert is usually pretty open minded--which is the reason he is one of the better critics--and doesn't look down on movies that merely, "entertain".

The reason I probobly like him so much is because he loves Indiana Jones And The Temple Of Doom. Sorry, Lynn, had to say it.


Chris L, saw Panic Room for a second time: You are way off fella. The camera movements are meant to convey a sense of cat and mouse subversion. It added to the suspense.

Bill Gauthier <gauthic@attbi.com>
- Monday, April 29 2002 16:39:15

Bermanator: Leave my hair out of this! Damn Fred straight to aych-ee-double-hockey-sticks!!


Jim Davis <scythian66@hotmail.com>
- Monday, April 29 2002 16:8:2

BERMANATOR: A cursory look at the usual suspects (Strunk and White, O'Connor, Follett) confirms it: "Different from" is correct, "different than" is not.

DAVID LOFTUS: Geez, you aren't even going to put up the TEENSIEST fight over the correct use of "none"? You're showing your age, Loftus...

Little Washu
- Monday, April 29 2002 16:4:18

Funny thing about Hitchcock. He seemed to be one of the few directors who were true showmen in every sense of the word. Ever seen the trailer for PSYCHO, or THE BIRDS for that matter? That man had style.

David Loftus <DavidL@ci.oswego.or.us>
SUBJ: Different, - Monday, April 29 2002 15:27:11

Of course "different than" sounds wrong just like that. The confusion tends to come in when the two words get separated by a bunch of others, e.g., "Larry had a different way of doing it than John." I hear and read this kind of rendering all the time.

I don't know the rules, and I tend not to remember them, according to the parts of speech, etc. I just try to look at what's reasonable. "Than" typically applies when direct comparisons are made: larger than, faster than, dumber than, earlier than. "Different" doesn't offer any direct comparison; all it says is that a distinction exists or may be argued.

Bottom line: I try to avoid sentence constructions that encourage or allow the use of "different than."

Lynn <cavalaxis@digitalcarrion.com>
- Monday, April 29 2002 14:51:18

Re: Grammar. Different from=correct, different than=incorrect.

I just recently had a writer of some prominence (not HE) make that very correction on a story of mine. It seems the "my mother is an English teacher" excuse only covers used commas and infinitive joinery.


Lorin O.
DIFFERENT FROM/DIFFERENT THAN - Monday, April 29 2002 14:30:37

P.A.B.: As I understand it, "different from" is the correct form, though "different than" MAY be used when it comes before a clause.

So, for example, you couldn't say, "The cat who ran up the stairs is different THAN the other cat" because the part after "different THAN" is not a clause (no verb).

But you CAN say, "The cat who ran up the stairs is different than the cat who ran downstairs (because you've got a subject and verb at the end there)". Of course, it still sounds lousy to my ear, too, and since either is acceptable in that case, I'd probably just stick with "different from."

Two cents, for what they're worth!

-- Lorin O.

P.A. Berman
Than/From Dichotomy - Monday, April 29 2002 14:20:53


Example: Fred's hairstyle is *different from* Bill's because he has a blonde streak.


Fred's hairstyle is *different than* Bill's because he has a blonde streak.

Or are both correct?


P.A. Berman
Calling Struck and White... - Monday, April 29 2002 14:19:2


Which is more acceptable, "different from" or "different than"? I have to admit, "different than" just sounds wrong to me, and I want to know if it is in fact a correct formulation.

Rich: That Ninja Website was sweet, or should I say, awesome? I read the intro of it to my study hall and showed them the picture "Mark is almost all the way through puberty, which is bragable." We collectively laughed our asses off. Is that site for real?


Jon Stover
Canada. Hitchcock - Monday, April 29 2002 13:42:19

Rob: That's fair. I can see how a quote like Kael's "Hitchcock (the master of a piddling domain, a 'petit maitre' if ever there was one)"* affects your reading of Kael.

Cheers, Jon

* "Three." Pauline Kael. _Reeling._ Toronto: Little, Brown, 1976. 175-182. 179.

Joseph J. Finn
Chicago, - Monday, April 29 2002 13:15:58


Perhaps your efforts were not in vain. The Chicago Tribune carried a nice approximately 8-paragraph obituary from the AP for Mr. Effinger.


- Monday, April 29 2002 13:7:57


Just for final clarity on the "Hitchcock collaboration" thread: I'm not taking away credit for those writers' abilities (particularly Stefano, whose own personality came through in the dialogue). The point is Hitch worked the strings to keep his themes in place; those writers whose approach weren't to his liking went out the door (he didn't like Chandler's dialogue for 'Strangers on a Train', for instance). By writing framework material and sketching (he'd had an art background; also in engineering...the reason sprinkled references to math come up in his films often...and the reason he was very good working the floor plan for camera tricks, sfx and technical problems) he had a fixed method in the process of assembling and constructing the material that went back to his beginnings in the silents. There were CERTAINLY writers like Lehman and Stefano who understood better than others what he was after in the structuring; unlike Hunter who'd literalized many elements in the original script for 'The Birds' which Hitchcock removed in preference to metaphor and ambiguity (frankly, to my liking). And LEHMAN, who'd been a hot success with 'North By Northwest' also did 'Family Plot', a relative failure. It's simply inaccurate to infer the film's success depended on who he teamed up with: the films that failed did so because of HIM; those that succeeded did so because of HIM. It was the same situation for Kubrick and Wilder.

Hey, listen: film is a collaborative medium no matter WHO you are. It's just the depth of influence directors have on the themes, style and voice of those movies that varies. Without Hitch's personal eccentricities flooding out of his films the way they do - even in the tv episodes he directed - his collaborators WOULD probably be more important to discuss. He is among the few directors ever who personify their movies.

- Monday, April 29 2002 12:57:4

Lorin: Yup, sorry, I'll be in Italy and Ireland during the next academic year, so I'm out. Good luck though!


ZoŽ Rose <ztreuer@d.umn.edu>
- Monday, April 29 2002 12:53:6

Group W - I admit I've got NO idea who y'are! But Betty's Pies sounds like a superb trip. My parents are coming up for graduation, so maybe we'll take the trip there. My father has mentioned the Twin Cities book store several times, and so it's a definite destination during my next trip there. Thanks for the suggestsions!

--ZoŽ Rose

Alex Krislov <Alexkrislov@cs.com>
Shaker Heights, OH United States - Monday, April 29 2002 12:46:47

Grumble, grumble, grumble, kvetch.

Yesterday, I notified the Associated Press in New Orleans about George Alec Effinger's death. They were receptive--at least partially because my long-time associate Janet McConnaughey is part of the New Orleans AP bureau. She knew and liked Effinger. She arranged for me to send info on GAE, including awards info, and Harlan's number (with Harlan and Susan's permission), in case they wanted a quote.

The Plain Dealer, Cleveland's only major newspaper, was an entirely different adventure. First, they'd never heard of him. Good enough, I sent the information (minus Harlan's number). They called again. Did George have family in the Cleveland area? I didn't know. Could they wait for the AP obit? Sure. And now today they called again, same questions, looking for other notices, etc. I suggested contacting a publisher and Barbara Hambly. The earnest young woman doing the obits means well, I'm sure. But I'm beginning to despair of GAE getting a proper obit in his hometown paper.

Faz baz. Just needed to blow off steam. I don't know if a prophet is without honor only in his own country, but it seems that a writer surely is.


Group W
Go for the pie! - Monday, April 29 2002 12:34:49

Zoe dot dot, you must not leave Duluth until you have been to Betty's Pies.
It's a requirement of spending time on the north shore. Well worth a 30 minute
drive. http://www.bettyspies.com/
http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=Betty%27s+Pies&spell=1 (google search)
I always take an extra cooler for a 5 layer chocolate pie when heading up to
Temperance River or Cascade River state park.

If you or Lorin O end up in the twin cities, be sure to stop by Uncle Hugo's.
http://www.visi.com/~sfreader/unclehugo.html Open since 1974, I'm told it's
the longest surviving bookstore of it's genre(SF/fantasy), as well as one of the
largest in the states.

Several on this page may have met the late Scott Imes, a long time employee there.

- Monday, April 29 2002 12:29:5


--it's that videogames and movies are blamed for violence in society--

One politician fueling his campaign with a current tragedy is not a social mandate.

--there're several studies showing the opposite--

What, that videogames and movies make one peaceful and loving?

--any normal human being can distinguish reality from fiction, especially when they're 19 and thus have at least 11 years of education behind them--

A large assumption. Depends on the education, of course, as well as a host of other things (that I suppose "normal" people have); quality family life, balanced mental health, etc.

Jim Davis
- Monday, April 29 2002 12:16:49

Yet ANOTHER piece on MULHOLLAND DRIVE: http://www.locusmag.com/2001/Reviews/Lalumiere11_MDrive.html. Though it subscribes to the standard "2/3 dream, 1/3 reality" theory, it raises a few points I hadn't seen before, especially about the true identities of the elderly couple and the "Silencio" woman. Maybe I WASN'T so off the mark with my "God and the Devil" crack, after all.

(I bought the DVD over the weekend, and I'm going frame-by-frame through the lesbian sex scenes--purely to discern any satirical intent on Lynch's part, of course.)

Gunther Schmidl
Linz, Austria - Monday, April 29 2002 11:53:25


It doesn't matter if he had, it's that videogames and movies are blamed for violence in society when a) there're several studies showing the opposite and b) any normal human being can distinguish reality from fiction, especially when they're 19 and thus have at least 11 years of education behind them.

Todd Mason
- Monday, April 29 2002 10:19:15

It's too easy to be obit guy of late. Joining George "Piglet" Effinger among the missing this weekend is John "Richard Cowper" Murry, another excellent writer. His novels were probably not the place to start, but the shorter fiction was often extremely impressive.

Lorin O. <lorin@free-expressions.com>
- Monday, April 29 2002 9:42:25

Oops redux: PETER - drop me a line, re: the seminars, too.

- Monday, April 29 2002 9:34:13

Cindy (and anyone else for that matter),
Please please please check out this site: http://www.realultimatepower.net

I don't know if it's for real or not, but it is (as the Sports Guy would say) FEEEEEEE-nomonal. Check out the PUMPUP and PUMPUP2 links (no nononono no, it's not porno). The comments at the end are priceless; specifically, The Kings Gold/Babes.

Jay <zebrapix@hornpail.com>
Movies...yay! - Monday, April 29 2002 9:31:1

Jay's AQ = 13, baby... what do I win? K Mart Underwear?


Filmmaking as a Democracy. I don't think so.

Re: "I wrote the thing and I would pick the title whether anyone else liked it or not." <--- Channeling Ellison there, eh? Since you were Director AND Producer, you're pretty much THE MAN on that shoot. "You wanna take this to the UNION?" I've heard said. Apparently it shuts people up. Of course, if the instructor is nurturing a collaborative effort, then all bets are off and you'll end up with another mixed-up piece of filth.

I love college productions. Everyone's a fucking Coppola or Kevin Smith or Tarantino.

When my buddies and I shot "Ringo" it was pretty clear that since I was the guy footing the $$$, I ruled the universe. Of course, this works both ways. None of that $$$ was lining THEIR pockets so they could easily spend the day doing something that didn't involve sitting in the woods in mid-summer or creating zombie make-up.

When you need advice, they're there to give you their best and it's often best to allow them to give their advice. At least in school/amateur productions, you can't push too hard or your "talent" takes a hike. On a crappy shoot like "Ringo" we needed all the help we could get.

I miss those days. :)


Lorin O.
- Monday, April 29 2002 9:29:11

Oops, BILL - I see your address! I'll write you!

-- Lorin

Lorin O.
- Monday, April 29 2002 9:27:12

PETER: Nothing personal, I promise! :-) Just something so symmetrical about the Zoe/Justin pairing.

BILL, JUSTIN, ZOE, and any other writers in Minneapolis, Boston, Atlanta, Phoenix, and probably Orange County area of CA: drop me a line at lorin@free-expressions.com, and I'll give you the skinny on the writing seminars. (Also, check out www.free-expressions.com for info. on the seminars! Might help to know what you're getting into.)

Basically, I'm looking for folks who are willing to do some venue scouting (helping select hotels) and local promotions in exchange for a free seminar and probably a little cash. Also, probably, some help at the seminar itself.

Ideally, the writer in question would live in/be QUITE familiar with the city in question. I don't have any objection to someone schlepping an hour or two to get there (and that may be great for someone who is ONLY helping out at the seminar), but it might end up being a lot of time and effort for the reward.

I SHOULD have mentioned that this is for end of '02/most of '03, so I don't know if that puts you out of the running, Justin (will you still be in Italy?). If not, let's chat.

BILL - if you send me a note (or just your email address), I'll drop a line w/ some details.

And the same for everyone.

Re: the AQ score - I think it really just measured levels of extroversion and introversion. Apparently, I'm the social butterfly of the south! Who knew?

Best to all -

Cindy <IAMCINDIANAJONES@netscape.net>
TEXAS USA - Monday, April 29 2002 9:21:48



The pee pee comment was priceless!

I thought your response was PERFECT. You held your ground like a forty year old man! Careful, sticking up for yourself can be habit forming.


Chris L <csjlong@hotmail.com>
Philly, - Monday, April 29 2002 8:34:44


I think you have the right idea. My own experience working on short films at film school showed that any collaborations were disastrous. Of course, almost all student films are disastrous.

At the end of the first year, we shot a five minute film in groups of four students. We had to decide for ourselves how to divvy up the responsibility. Being such nice guys, we decided that we would have two co-directors (I was one of them) and we'd pick different scenes to direct.

The film was an embarassing, non-sensical mish-mash with only one strength, good cinematography (on the student film scale of things.) Of course, there was only one cinematographer on the shoot.

Jon Stover <jmstover_ca@yahoo.com>
Canada - Monday, April 29 2002 8:20:33

Well, my amazing flame car is now fixed. Sort of a shame, really, as its gas line leak and fused fuel flow chip made it ideal for destroying any Doomsday Machines in this area.

Rob: So we disagree -- I really like your non-budgingness re: Hitchcock, as it reminds me of my own rants about Jack Kirby in other venues. I'd just like to point out one logical bit of three-card monte you pulled. Joseph Stefano may be a 'nobody' compared to Steinbeck and Faulkner, but that doesn't reflect on his ability to write. And Steinbeck and Faulkner had sometimes spotty records in Hollywood, apart from their great achievements as novelists. Beyond that, I think it's a shame that Hitchcock never won an Oscar (or five or six), and of course Hitchcock's films bear the imprint of his interests. They certainly do, and I'd count *Psycho*, *Shadow of a Doubt*, *The 39 Steps* and probably half-a-dozen others on any list I'd compile of '100 Best.' Timon of Athens is a dud, and Hamlet's dramatic structure is a nightmare -- neither of those change my assessment of Shakespeare as pretty much 'it'. Hitchcock's grand successes far outnumber his failures, and even the failures are interesting in a way that I think points to Hitchcock as being a great artist -- because they *are* interesting at points.



- Monday, April 29 2002 7:47:0

For those that have the Independent Film Channel, tonight's show of "Dinner for Five" will include the following guests: "...Jon Favreau as host to special guests Ron Livingston (of Swingers and Office Space fame), Sarah Silverman (of SNL and MR. Show fame), Kevin Pollack (of The Usual Suspects) and Rod Steiger (if you don't know... ::sigh:: On the Waterfront, Dr. Zhivago, Mars Attacks, etc). They're eating at Saddle Peak (Los Angeles)."

The above quote was taken from Ain't It Cool News.

I am a fan of Rod Steiger and don't know how you go from "On the Waterfront" and "Dr. Zhivago" to "Mars Attacks". I don't know how one leaves out "The Pawnbroker" or maybe even "In the Heat of the Night" or any other countless GOOD movies Steiger was in and put in "Mars Attacks". But, that's just me.

Also, just some thoughts on collaborations and whatnot. I am taking a film class and we just shot my script over the weekend. Nothing great and the only reason my script was chosen was because mine was the only one submitted in a reasonable amount of time. Given that it was my script, the instructor said I was producer and probably should direct. (Hitchcock's got nothing to worry about, but I think I'm a cut above Ed Wood.)

I've got a working title and kicked around a couple of things and mentioned it to the class. After getting blank stares and perplexed looks at the title I suggested, someone in the class said, "Since this is a collaborative effot, we should all decide on the title."

I immediately said no. After the uproar died down I explained that I wrote the thing and I would pick the title whether anyone else liked it or not. Also, since I was "producing and directing", I wouldn't mind input but the final say was mine.

You'da thought I yanked out my pee-pee and waved it all over the place based on the reaction I received.

Based on this experience, I think I'll be doing my own stuff with folks who don't feel a need to impart their "creativity" on something that's already been created.

Again, Bill Gauthier
- Monday, April 29 2002 7:18:51

Oops. That should've read:

"Please, contact me about the Boston seminar."


Bill Gauthier <gauthic@attbi.com>
New Bedford, MA - Monday, April 29 2002 7:17:29

Lorin: Contact me with some info on the Boston seminar.

Rick: Congrats!


- Monday, April 29 2002 7:16:41

Gunther, if he had a stack of bibles in his room and his walls were plastered with posters of Jesus Christ, they would have reported that too.

Political candidates are weather vanes....they have no opinions, they just follow the wind.

I wouldn't worry about it.

Gunther Schmidl
Linz, Austria - Monday, April 29 2002 5:58:54

These killings in Germany piss me off no end.

Not just because the killer was a complete nutcase (apparently it turned out that he'd planned the shooting for quite a while and even called friends warning them not to go to school that day).

No, the media reports bug the hell out of me. What was the FIRST REMARKABLE THING they reported about the killing?

That he had violent movies and computer games in his room.

Oh noooo, it didn't matter that he had a fucking ARSENAL of weapons and belonged to a sport shooter's club and trained like a madman -- IT WAS THE MOVIES AND THE GAMES!!! AS ALWAYS!!!

Next they'll find a Marilyn Manson CD behind his bed, and then we'll know who's REALLY responsible!

Now the chancellor candidate is calling for a law to ban violent games and movies (aside the fact that every single game involving the killing of humans gets banned in Germany and isn't available to buy for people under 18, nor may it be advertised or positively reviewed once it's banned) while CNN continues to show SUICIDE BOMBER LIVE WITH DETACHING HEAD ACTION.

I hate this fucking hypocrisy.

ZoŽ Rose <ztreuer@d.umn.edu>
- Monday, April 29 2002 5:57:40

Good morning, all-

The countdown is really going now - only officially 19 days until I graduate/get commissioned...

Re: AQ test - I got a 12, so does that mean there's very little chance I'm any form of autistic? Also, Dennis- try to make sure everything about your child gets looked at. I'm no expert (or parent, even) but I do know that I was being considered for LD (learning disabled) classes as a child until it was discovered I couldn't hear anything. Got tubes in the ears and *wham!*, I was suddenly the smart kid in class.

Re: Me and match-ups here. Goodness. Is it sad that I have more potential hookups here than in real life? *laughs* Even completely fabricated cyberspace ones? Aah, well... (and yes, I'm just kidding. Kinda.)

R: Whose Line... a show I thoroughly enjoy, though I don't know much about the individual people. I'd have to say Colin's my favorite, though. He's always the one to make me snort whatever liquid it is I'm drinking through my nose.

Loren O. - I'm in Duluth, a mere 2 hours from Minneapolis. If you come here, do let me know and I'll try to help out in whatever way I can!

Dangit. My "time to go" buzzer just went off.

Off to school, off to school.
ZoŽ Rose

Peter <writerpo@pacbell.net>
Union City, CA - Monday, April 29 2002 5:57:32

Lorin, I don't know whether to be relieved or insulted...

I'll be neither. Heh!

I'm in No. Cal, about seven hours North of L.A. If I could find a cheap place to crash I could easily drive down and help out. (I become unemployed in a couple weeks anyway.)


Broken Hill, NSW Australia - Monday, April 29 2002 1:56:1

Ok, so wondering what this AQ test was about, I found and took it.

My AQ is 21.

I'm very sceptical about these type of tests, because you know what there testing for, and that may influence your answers.


Justin <thedogindiana@hotmail.com>
- Monday, April 29 2002 0:15:10

Lorin: Thanks for helping to clear that up. I'm about 80 minutes south of Phoenix, although the way I drive tends to cut that figure in half. I could probably give you a hand, depending on what exactly you need. Also, it depends on when. As of right now I'm pretty free from late May until I leave for Italy around the 13th of August. Most of May is busy with finals, a sea kayaking trip to North Carolina, and a trip to Vegas with my pops, but I'll have SOME free time in mid-May. Let me know, I'd love to help in any way I can.


Alex Jay Berman <smeghead@erols.com>
Philly, - Monday, April 29 2002 0:6:11

Dunno, Lorin; mine was a 32.
Should I be worried?

Lorin O.
- Sunday, April 28 2002 23:56:52

ONE LAST THING: What does it mean that my AQ score is a *9*?

Lorin O.
- Sunday, April 28 2002 23:51:44

1. Please, not Zoe dot-dot and Peter! I'm still hoping for the Zoe/Justin match-up. (As a thirty-six year old who has now been with the same person for exactly HALF of her life, I must live vicariously through other people's romances. Even completely fabricated cyber-romances. I'm not picky.)

2. Gerbils named "Sex" and "Violence"? I can live with that.

3. Rick, CONGRATULATIONS on your new job! And, though it's been said many times in the last couple of days (I was AFK from Friday on...), I greatly appreciate the work you do here. I've put together a couple of websites myself--nothing as expansive as this one--and I know it's a ton of work. I also do enough interacting with the public (mostly writers, which can be a pretty high-maintenance group) to have had my share of run-ins like the one you related (I'm so glad the guy apologized, though it'd have been better if he could have exercised a little impulse-control in the first place)). It can be quite a buzzkill. It's like handing someone a lavish twelve-course meal and having him bitch because his napkin is wrinkled (not even, I suppose, since the whole thing was his oversight in the first place).

ANYWAY, again, just know your efforts here mean a lot to me, and I'm only a semi-regular (at best).

4. Justin, re: show/don't tell. This has probably been covered already (have only scrolled back about 100 posts, and you guys had a BUSY weekend). This will be covered ad nauseum for the rest of your writing life (believe me). Basically, the difference between showing and telling is the difference between saying, "He was angry" and saying, "He barged into the room, picked up a chair, and hurled it at the window." One is simply information you're feeding the reader (telling). The other is a demonstration, in OBSERVABLE terms (imagery) of the emotion you're trying to express. The more you can put into concrete, sensory language, the more you create a SPACE for your reader to enter. The more you do that, the more involved they become in your story.

Hope that helps.

5. Any writers in Boston, Atlanta, Minneapolis, Phoenix, or Orange County area of CA (haven't settled on a location) who'd be interested in helping out with a series of writing seminars (in exchange for a free seminar and possibly a *little* cash)? I've got Lynn pegged for CA, but could probably use another hand there. Could use a COUPLE of hands in all locales, I'm sure.

6. Sorry if this is cryptic. The first of my seminars was this weekend, and I think I burned out my verbal skills chatting for about sixty hours straight (man, we writers are a VERBOSE bunch!). It was, however, PHENOMENAL, one of those occasions that unfolds even more smoothly than your fondest imaginings. Won't bore everyone w/ details. I'll just say that apart from the fact that my instructors did an excellent job (as expected), it was the HOTEL that actually blew me away with how smartly they handled things and how solicitous they were. So, miracles do happen!

Thanks for reading! Blabbingly yours,
Lorin O.

Alex Jay Berman <smeghead@erols.com>
Philly, - Sunday, April 28 2002 23:51:44

CHUCK: Well, I'm epileptic, my eyebrows grow together, and when I was a child I growled at people when I was angry.

Wasn't hard to link stuff up, really.
(But I've always had a story in mind about it--Caesar had seizures ["Moses supposes"?], you see, and if I can ever do some in-depth research on pre-Christian Rome, I'll write about the plot to rid the Empire of its lycanthropic rulers ...)

Chuck <chuck_messer@hotmail.com>
- Sunday, April 28 2002 22:47:7

Alex Jay,

Interesting idea linking grand mal siezures and legends of lycanthropy. What brought you to link the two together? Just curious, as I'm always interested in the origins of legends and icons.


Say, why don't you shoot me a copy of your screenplay while you're at it? As soon as your e-mail settles down. See address above.


Joseph J. Finn <JosephFinn@yahoo.com>
Chicago, IL USA - Sunday, April 28 2002 22:2:20

By the way, since we're discussing "Ginger Snaps," I was pleased to note that it won an International Horror Guild award for Best Film this month. Cool.


- Sunday, April 28 2002 21:38:0

Incidentally, Cindy...

You probably understood this but you were never part of the target in my shit-slinging Hitchcock rail; just wanted to state that point because my posting kind of put you in the line of fire. It may not have been clear when you first read it.

...those guys kin really piss ya off sometimes...lemme tell ya all about it over a drink here...

Lynn <cavalaxis@digitalcarrion.com>
- Sunday, April 28 2002 21:37:23

My AQ Score: 26

It would explain a lot. Both my parents graduated from Rice.


Jim Davis
- Sunday, April 28 2002 21:15:45

DAVID LOFTUS: Actually, Rob's plural use of "none" was correct. ("None of them are empty.") Many people have been mistakenly taught that none always means "not one." But it's now generally agreed that none is closer in meaning to "not any (of them)", so use of a plural verb is perfectly acceptable in most cases. The singular use of none applies only when it means "none of it," or "no amount." (See works on grammar and usage by Wilson Follett, Bryan A. Garner, and Patricia T. O'Conner--they all agree that none is mostly plural in nature.)

Some examples: None of the chickens are hatched. None of the conversation is worth repeating.

Yes, I'm a pain in the ass.

Joseph J. Finn <JosephFinn@yahoo.com>
Chicago, IL USA - Sunday, April 28 2002 21:7:43

Personally, I think of the American version of "Whose Line Is It Anyway?" as superior in one respect: the dynamic between the regulars is a bit more developed and adds to the whole character of the show.

Oh, and there's nothing funnier than the sketch that involves Colin in front of a green screen while Ryan and whoever act as studio guys and Colin has to try and guess what's being projected in back of him. Especially good when the projection was Colin's greatest moments.


P.S. I'm sleeping with the lights on. Even a TV version of "Sixth Sense" creeps me out more than almost any movie.

David Loftus <DavidL@ci.oswego.or.us>
SUBJ: Odds and Ends, - Sunday, April 28 2002 20:49:15

Some brief responses to the passing flotsam....

Melissa -- Please let us know your reaction to "Seven Samurai," truly one of the utterly awesome works of film. And I hope you got the full 201-minute version, not one of half a dozen hacked-up jobs Americans had to settle for during most of three decades after its original release.

So Chris Long is a Haverford grad? I almost went there: They accepted me early, really seemed to want me, and it looked like a great place ... but I sorta got waylaid.

I must have read Kael's review of "2001" somewhere along the way, but I don't remember it. I'll venture a wild guess that she referred to the film as "unimaginative" in its human character aspect. The vast majority of homo saps in the movie were nearly colorless blanks. Yes, I know that was probably part of Kubrick's point, but it don't make for a warm fuzzy moviegoing experience. "2001" is a cerebral, even visual, marvel but it's kinda cold. In fact, I remain unconvinced that Kubrick had any particular skill at directing actors. He put music and light and sets and all other sorts of technical stuff together into an amazing whole, but I get the impression the actors kind of sank or swam on their own. If he cast sharp, inventive, or even just charismatic actors (George C. Scott, Kirk Douglas, Malcolm MacDowell) then they added to the whole, but if they didn't have the chops (Ryan O'Neal, Matthew Modine), then they got smothered in the mix.

(Speaking of chops, is anybody else joyful to see Vincent D'Onofrio getting regular work these days? The 2-hour season finale of "Law and Order: Criminal Intent" is on in 15 minutes and I'll have to log off. I think he's doing a kind of Fox Mulder thang on that show -- intuitive, magpie mind -- but it works anyway.)

Rob -- You were right the first time; "none is" is the proper construction, as in "not one is" or "no one is." Folks tend to get confused about this one because a plural noun or plural-sounding noun often shows up closer to the verb (e.g., "none of the turtles was able to make it to the water" or "none of the people in my group is going to the meeting" -- ""were" and are" sound so much more appropriate next to "turtles" and "people" ... but they're wrong). Best solution: Come up with a different way to say it. Your original phrasing was pretty ungainly, anyway.

I just saw the Pearce "Time Machine" cheap this evening. It wasn't that bad, but it wasn't terribly good. Some nice, understated visuals, so-so set design. Pearce was merely okay -- odd career choice for him, and the team let him down. What was the SECOND name mentioned in the museum, after Asimov and before Ellison?

I was much happier after coming out of an early matinee of the reissued "The Last Waltz." It struck me that Rick Danko had something of the same eyes/facial structure as Richard Gere, oddly enough. Joni Mitchell and Emmylou Harris, zowie...!)

Jim Davis
- Sunday, April 28 2002 20:45:28


Ha! I beat you! I got a 27!

("I take pride in besting people in meaningless little quizzes:
Definitely agree, Slightly agree, Slightly disagree, Definitely disagree...")

Brian Siano <bsiano@bellatlantic.net>
- Sunday, April 28 2002 20:27:11

I'm still kind of cold on a period-authentic version of _The War of the Worlds_. Yes, I know, it'd be a really _right_ version of Wells's work, and it's be cool to see all that Victorian foofaraw get blasted to flinders.

But really, does it _need_ to be done? Why does a great book _have_ to be adapted into a movie? Is there a way of doing the _ending_ in some new and surprising way? I imagine a fiasco similar to that of the _Planet of the Apes_ remake.

Also, I'm thinking of a wonderful bit from _Invader Zim_ that parodied the ending. Zim and Gir are watching a movie on TV where the aliens-- a nice cross between Pal's and _Starship Troopers_-- are taking over. Scientists are panicking. One of them demonstrates, by snorting pepper, that the Aliens Are Allergic to Germs. We next see soldiers marching into battle and blasting huge wads of phlegm onto the aliens, which explode obligingly. Last title card reads "Hooray for Earth."

Re Asperger's. _Wired_ had a nifty article about the mini-epidemic of autism and Asperger's that's hitting Silocn Valley. The culture there selects for traits which are related to such syndromes, which means that people with predispositions towards it are both meeting women with similar tendencies, and having kids more frequently than they would have otherwise. The article's available at http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/9.12/aspergers.html?pg=1&topic=&topic_set=

I ought to mention something. My childhood wasn't terribly great, but there was a _lot_ about the way I dealt with things that made me wonder if I suffered from a form of autism or Asperger's. But there were a lot of areas where I didn't fit the diagnosis, so I chalk my earlier difficulties to my environment. (Still, I took the little test _Wired_ made available. Average score is 16, a score of 32 or higher may indicate something. I got 25.)

Alex Jay Berman <smeghead@erols.com>
Philly, - Sunday, April 28 2002 20:23:37

An odd resonance with George Alec Effinger's passing--Ruth Handler, creator of the Barbie Doll, just died Saturday.

Lynn <cavalaxis@digitalcarrion.com>
- Sunday, April 28 2002 20:19:14

Cindy~ You should differentiate between a Gulf Coast accent (a softer drawl), a West Texas accent (the more nasal one you reference), a Pan Handle accent (more like Oklahoma), an East Texas Accent (a hint of Cajun), and then a Dallas-Ft. Worth citified accent (what Yankees think Texans should sound like). I'm sure I've missed some, not having lived in Texas for almost twenty years, but I have friends, and I'm one of those "detail oriented" folks who pay attention to how people speak.

I'm half way through your script and liking it so far. How do you want notes? I almost wish you had acts & scenes so I could be specific.


Cindy Jones <IAMCINDIANAJONES@netscape.net>
TEXAS USA - Sunday, April 28 2002 20:7:44


I love you!

Thank you for doing TWO reads of my script that was ABOVE AND BEYOND! The notes that you included were excellent. It's amazing how blind one can become after working on the same thing for a couple of years. I'd guess this is around rewrite 7 and you pointed out some important things that I have probably looked at fifty times and never identified.

I'm going to read y'all's script next.

Oh and the thing about Texas Accents is that they differ and vary greatly. We've discussed it on the board here before. A thick Nasal Texas Accent is different than a regular drawl... believe me.. it's profoundly different.

Thank you so much you are a wizard and a prince,


Yours in debt and gratitude,


Alex Jay Berman <smeghead@erols.com>
Philly, - Sunday, April 28 2002 20:5:49

SHANE: Yes, Brady was on the British version. In fact, at the Comedy Central website, there's a good clip of him improvising a song to sing to an astronomy student picked out of the auddience in the style of Barry White (actually, it seems more in the style of Peabo Bryson/James Ingram/Luther Vandross, but hey; it works).

Chris C <ChriCour@yahoo.com>
St. Louis, - Sunday, April 28 2002 19:53:9

Dennis - My son was diagnosed with Apserger's Syndrome in the first grade. He is now in the fifth grade and doing all right. The biggest problem is socialization. He is incapable of reading facial expressions, mostly because he never looks at people when he talks to them. However, he has a couple of good buddies that he hangs around with. He has a tested verbal IQ of 143 and a writing IQ of 90. He has never been able to connect the word he reads to the one he is trying to write. Actually, my son didn't start reading until he was given a copy of "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone." In one year his reading level went from ungradeable to a sixth grade level. My advice to you is, see a good pediatric neurologist, make sure all of his teachers understand his indiosyncratic behavior,and make friends with the school nurse and the counselors. I spend a lot of time talking to all of them and it has helped my son a great deal. Good luck and feel free to email me if you need anything.

Shane Shellenbarger
Phoenix, Arizona USofA - Sunday, April 28 2002 19:48:8

While Colin, Ryan, Greg, and Brad have all appeared on the British original WLIIA, I don't believe I've seen Wayne Brady appear on that version. Does anyone know if I'm right or wrong?


Shane Shellenbarger
Phoenix, Arizona USofA - Sunday, April 28 2002 19:39:16

No, for shorthand purposes I could have easily said, "the black guy." I labeled Colin the bald guy and Ryan the tall guy.

BTW, I made an error when I said, "He also had his own show briefly last summer and even briefer last fall." His show returned this spring, however briefly.


Little Washu
- Sunday, April 28 2002 19:27:17

ROB: As I said...'too British'. The fact that these nimrods are changing the setting of a story that is QUINTESSENTIALLY BRITISH to an American location just displays how clueless they truly are. I mean, just think how hilarious (and cool) it would be for well-mannered, well-bred, up-tight Victorian ladies and gentlemen to scurry this way and that with cries of "Cor blimey!" and "Goodness gracious!" as Martian monstrosities stalk towards them.

DENNIS: Thanks for the address, and I loved the designs. LOVED them. Now, if we get the action back to England, we're ready to rock 'n' roll. If there IS to be no originality in Hollywood to come, let them please return at least to the good, sturdy, meaty classics of old.

Oh, and...'Wushu'?

re WHOSE LINE IS IT ANYWAY: Drew and Clive rival each other in great yuks very nicely. I don't really like comparing the two; to me, it'll always be just WHOSE LINE IS IT ANYWAY. Favourite skits: poor ol' Colin as Captain Hair. Ryan as Dr. "His Name's Garry!" Frankenstein. Wayne as Chucky, the evil doll. Heavy death metal songs called WE DON'T NEED NO STINKIN' BRACES. And on, and on, and on...

LW (Benjamin A.A. Winfield)

P.A. Berman
Asperger's - Sunday, April 28 2002 19:13:6

Dennis-- Last month's issue of Harper's Magazine (May, I believe) had a very lengthy and interesting article about a man who the author believed had Asperger's called "The Boy Who Loved Trains" (something like that). It was about a man who was obsessed with mass transit.

The magazine is in my car, but if you have trouble finding the article, post and I'll look it up for you.


Alex Jay Berman <smeghead@erols.com>
Philly, - Sunday, April 28 2002 18:32:56

DENNIS: Asperger's is actually very common, and often so faint or controlled as not to be noticed. Of all the development disorders, it's the best one to have (not that you necessarily WANT the choice, but ...). If you hit http://www.aspergers.com you'll get a LOT of info; only in the last decade or so has the disorder gained attention, but they're really making up for lost time. One other thing you should know: Asperger's is NOT autism. It shares with autism and PDD (Pervasive Developmental Disorder) some of the isolation and fixations, but it is very different, and very much a less severe problem. If Asperger's is a firecracker or an M-80, then autism is Fat Man or Little Boy. It'll be tough and it'll be frustrating, but this can be worked around.
I should also point out that the general impression I get is that most people I know of who have it are very intelligent, and often-to-usually go on to become rigidly successful in their chosen fields. Just a little ray of hope there.
(Note: I have a friend with mild Asperger's, and a friend whose daughter has PDD: I am NOT an authority.)

JAY, CHRIS: Don't forget Matt Ruff, and Michael Swanwick, and Chip Delaney now teaching at Temple, Scithers and Schweitzer, and a lot of others--as well as the great Golden Age of SF history that Philly has.
Yo, yo, and yo. Anon. Blues.

Chris L <csjlong@hotmail.com>
Philly, - Sunday, April 28 2002 18:30:49

Irony of ironies:

Wizard World finally comes to Philly, on my birthday no less.

I, of course, have to drive out to Cleveland that Friday for a pre-trial hearing and won't be able to get back in time for the convention.

Now that's just not fair.

Cindy <IAMCINDIANAJONES@netscape.net>
TEXAS USA - Sunday, April 28 2002 18:26:43


I would get an opinion from a physician, preferably one who specializes in pediatric neurology. The speech therapist might be a bit out of her depth on this one.

Meantime, there is a book that came out recently, called
AUTISM and PERVASIVE DEVELOPMENTAL DISORDER. It was written by Karen Seroussi who appeared on the Today show earlier this week. She said that her son was diagnosed with profound Autism. Through her research she discovered a link between Autism and food allergies to dairy products and gluten. She said that by eliminating these things from his diet his condition was reversed and he is now normal. She said she noticed the change in a relatively short amount of time. They had photos of her son and the difference was astounding.

How old is your son? I have one who didn't speak until he was three. He went to speech therapy for three years.They tested him and he qualified for the gifted and talented program this year.. he's eight. Sometimes it's just a matter of things coming at different ages for different kids. They are all snowflakes, no two are alike.

Take your time on that screenplay- I understand about water in the basement.


Jay <webmaster@fbi.gov>
- Sunday, April 28 2002 18:21:23

To the Berman Entities -
I will endeavor to do so in the future. Sorry for the confusion.

Chris - re: Eastern PA Ellisonites.
I think this forms the core body of a group that will influence our patron author to visit the area sometime in the near future. You don't deny the SusquehannaValley/Philly connection, yo. :)

The WizardWorld convention is coming! Let us represent!

Weirded out,

Chris L <csjlong@hotmail.com>
Philly, - Sunday, April 28 2002 17:57:22

Jesus Tap Dancing Christ, now we have someone posting from Bryn Mawr, PA?

What's the deal with all the Ellisonites in the area?

Piers Anthony grew up around here too - he went to school down the road from me and he says in his Bio of an Ogre that there is a "science fiction-fantasy" beltway in SE Pennsylvania - a lot of writers have come from here and presumably fans as well. But I don't recall any names he mentioned.

By the way, Bryn Mawr sux!

-Chris Long, Haverford '93

Dennis <dhughes1@insight.rr.com>
Columbus, OH USA - Sunday, April 28 2002 17:52:39

Little Wushu: Here's a web address for you: http://www.pendragonpictures.com/WOTWKEY.html

This is the latest attempt at an adaptation of War of the Worlds. Originally they were going to update it but after 9/11 decided to set it in the original 1898 time period.

Cindy: Working on reading the script now. Unforseen plumbing problems are taking center stage at the moment. (Always fun when you turn on the water in the shower and you hear a waterfall forming in your basement).

To the group at large: I'm looking for some personal experiences here. My son's speech therapist just told my wife and I that our son may have a mild form of autism. I believe that the form she mentioned was Asperger's syndrome. Anybody out there have experience working with/raising mildly autistic children? I want to know what to do if the developmental asessment comes back to confirm her diagnosis.

Thank You,


Cindy <IAMCINDIANAJONES@netscape.net>
TEXAS USA - Sunday, April 28 2002 17:49:25


I can't answer your question. I don't know why you thought I was "dumb". If you had said that you percieved me to be stupid after meeting me in person I would say you thought so because I am beautiful. Since you've never met me face to face I am at a loss!


I don't exactly know why you found a discrepancy in my screenplay "voice" and my persona on this message board. Maybe if you could give me specific instances when I posted something dumb I could figure it out.

My best friend said it was my Christianity and anti-gun control stance that gave you the false impression that I am sub-standard intellectually. LOL! Becky's such a bitch!

I'm just happy that you were surprised and impressed that the dumb girl from Texas could write.

INGENA was originally a short story I wrote around '82.More recently, I signed up to take a screenrwiter's course through UCLA and the only class that wasn't full was a science fiction screenwriting class. So I dug up my old INGENA story. It didn't take long to wake her up. Once it started going it wrote itself. I didn't even know what nasty thing she was going to do next and some of the things made me sick.

I do broadcast news on the radio. KNEL out of Brady, Texas.
I don't work for a newspaper. It's much simpler, I don't have to worry at ALL about typos or misspelling as long I can read it I can get my job done.

In any case, I think you're a nice person and I would love to read anything you would like to send me.

I'll be glad when my email works again!



I have broken every one of my nails and STILL I can't get that attachment open! I'm really frustrated and longing to read what you wrote about my INGENA script. If you have any suggestions PLEASE let me know!


Thanks again for reading it!


King Lurk
- Sunday, April 28 2002 17:46:0

RE: weak writing

I never read the Moonlighter stuff; I took the word of the board that it was lame. But taking potshots at unknown or barely-published writers for their weak prose is a piker's game. There's a lot of bad writing out there, some of it from very good writers. Everyone has produced their share of clinkers; it's part of the trade.

A more illuminating (certainly more incendiary) pursuit would be to cite weak passages from the very titans oft-revered on this board (i.e. Asimov, Bradbury, King, Ellison), and wonder what went amiss therein. Granted, you'd quite possibly be gutted, but at least you're taking on prose that merits attention. Moonlighter's clearly didn't.


Helz <helzapoppn@aol.com>
- Sunday, April 28 2002 17:45:25

>>I thought the film was so bad it actually showed no sign of even being made by professional film-makers. It was as if they just picked a couple guys off the street and had them make a movie. <<

The grand irony of that statement is that the director was Simon Wells, great-grandson of H.G.

Andrew Milner <Andrewjmilner@cs.com>
Bryn Mawr, PA USA - Sunday, April 28 2002 17:28:17

One of my all-time favorite short stories is Effinger's "Naked to the Invisible Eye," about a man with telepathy who becomes a major league pitcher (i.e. telepathically telling batters "Do not swing").

He will be missed.

Cindy <IAMCINDIANAJONES@netscape.net>
TEXAS USA - Sunday, April 28 2002 16:38:25



I see what you are saying and I understand. It makes sense that these two powerful men, each driven by his own intensity, prior success and need to do things " his own way", would lock horns.

As for your Gone With the Wind vs. The Third Man statement, I am always astounded by the former, no matter how many times I watch it. The latter I have yearned to see for a number of years but my remote location coupled with a painfully limited selection at the local video store has postponed that pleasure.

Another giant, Orson Welles. What a crop of amazing men they had floating around Hollywood in those days. Lucky women of that era.


P.A. Berman
- Sunday, April 28 2002 16:17:41

Rob: I freely admit being a member of the Philistine Nation in many areas of life... and I would never argue with you about Hitchcock. I just think it's funny that you're using that word after the hullaballoo I caused when I used it way back when.

Long may your tower waver,

PS--Remember, Jay and everyone, the Original Berman on here is Alex, but when I see the word "Berman," I still look. Please specify WHICH Berman you're addressing, por favor.

ALEX JAY Berman <smeghead@erols.com>
Philly, - Sunday, April 28 2002 16:15:36

I hate to be a whiner here, but do you guys think you could start differentiating between Bermans?

We are a diverse and fun-loving genus, comprising many species ...

Cindy <IAMCINDIANAJONES@netscape.net>
TX United States - Sunday, April 28 2002 16:12:18

. Whether you think one or a few of his films were 'execrable' is your own problem

- Sunday, April 28 2002 16:9:19


Actually, funny you should mention it, a Hollywood producer/director IS working on a 'War of the Worlds' remake set in the Victorian era even as we speak; they've been working on the sfx over the last year. Except I believe - like Pal's version - it is placed here in the U.S. instead of Britain (fer God knows what reason; if you're going to set it in the period, might as well leave it in the place it began).

Since we were talking about Hitchcock here's another tidbit: Hitchcock one time considered filming 'War of the Worlds' in the 30's; he was disuaded by Wells himself.

- Sunday, April 28 2002 15:58:45


"I love it that you can call people who disagree with you Philistine."

...it's not that they disagree with me. No, noooooooo. It's just that they are, to put it TACTFULLY, so...well, so lost in commonplace ideas and lacking in aesthetic refinement and smug in their boorish, misguided notions. When they are better illuminated about Hitchcock they will prove otherwise. It's that simple, eh?

Oh, yeah: you've had YOUR moments too. There...you just helped me add 50 feet to my already wavering tower.

Jay <zebrapix@hmatalr.com>
- Sunday, April 28 2002 15:35:54

Berman -

Thanks for the link!

League of Extraordinary Gentlemen looks good, though I'm concerned they keep adding extra Victorian characters. I am MORE excited about the Alan Moore follow-up.

"Whose Line Is It Anyway" - Both versions are good. The American version seems a little forced and I, too, prefer Clive Anderson. I like how they break up the cast on the British version. There were many different and funny improv artists, though there were also many mediocre ones as well.

Alex, again again
- Sunday, April 28 2002 15:23:25

Couple things I forgot.

RICK: Congratulations and good luck in Atlanta!
(By the way, should I mention that there's a three-point-five-megaton nuclear missile missing somewhere right off the coast of Georgia? http://www.commondreams.org/views01/0803-08.htm
I'm awful, ain't I?)

MORE FILM CRITIC STUFF: I'm currently reading a book of essays on film called BENEATH MULLHOLLAND by David Thomson, who also wrote a great bio of Orson Welles. I'm really enjoying the book; it shows Thomson's love of film and his hatred for the system in which films are made. Thomson reminds me pleasantly of Australian film critic Robin Pen, in his blending of serious film criticism with the lyrical and the bizarre. Definitely recommended.

Alex again
- Sunday, April 28 2002 14:55:15

Actually, I'd KILL for a few good Jack Finney adaptations ...

Alex Jay Berman <smeghead@erols.com>
Philly, - Sunday, April 28 2002 14:54:2

TODD: I've only heard of Effinger's difficulties secondhand, so I will demur, and wait for someone more knowledgeable to comment on them. I will also go into my bookcases and reread the stuff of his I have.

WHOSE LINE IS IT ANYWAY: I have to ask: Are you guys talking about the American version, or the British one? I found that while the Drew Carey version was/is fun, I just enjoy Clive Anderson as host a lot more.

There's some great outtakes at http://www2.warnerbros.com/web/whoseline/index.jsp

JAY: If you want to look up myths and legends, start at http://members.bellatlantic.net/~vze33gpz/myth.html
It's a clearinghouse of links for that sort of thing. Granted, it'll take you a little searching, as it's organized by regions and cultures, but I think you'll be okay finding what you need.

Me, I've always been of the opinion that the legends of lycanthropy stem from observations of grand mal epilepsy, but that may just be a bit of self-bias.

ON PAULINE KAEL, AND OTHER CRITICS: I agreed with her opinions on some things, disagreed with her on some things, but you can't deny that she was an excellent writer with a deep and abiding love for film--as well as a deep disappointment in what the film industry has put out these last few decades.

As for Ebert, et alia--I never liked SNEAK PREVIEWS, or SISKEL AND EBERT, or whatever the show metamorphized into. Not because the two were in any way bad critics--and about their successors, the less said, the better--but because the two, good writers on film, were set into a pattern, a paradigm, which allowed for only the briefest explanation of why they liked or disliked a film. And this pattern caused them to cut into even that short time, as they argued with each other over this or that point. Good writers, good chemistry; I just didn't care for the soundbiting nature of the show.
Also, I can't help but think that their visibility paved the way for other critics to also become visible, which led in my estimation to the rise of "quote whores"; critics whose sole purpose is to get their names on movie posters, who enjoy the benefits of "liking" bad films for pay.

H.G. WELLS: I think that the best hope we have for a good Wells adaptation isn't a Wells adaptation at all: I have high hopes for the movie based on Alan Moore's LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMEN. The Invisible Man is a player in this (although I've no doubt that Hollywood will demand his antics be toned down; he's a bit of a degenerate in the comic book), and the feel is very Wellsian/Holmesian. I believe James Robinson has written a screenplay faithful to Moore's vision--and if they screw it up, well, there's always the second LoEG miniseries, coming out in a few months ...
I wouldn't mind an H.G. Wells biopic, either ...

Brian Siano <bsiano@bellatlantic.net>
- Sunday, April 28 2002 14:48:31

Re Wells adaptations. It's not an easy thing to do, considering that his stories are so well known, that they've set the mold for a lot of SF, and that most of them are suffused with the ideas of the late 19th century. I'm afraid that those who dramatize Wells are bound to update his works in some way.

Sure, a lot of it will be silly. Anyone remember the 1970's remake of _The Island of Dr. Moreau_? I could never understand how the "House of Pain" could be applied when Moreau's method was genetic manipulation rather than vivisection. (I did enjoy the Brando version, if only to watch Brando give another bizarre performance, and watch Fairuza Balk draw breath.)

But let's remember the really _good_ adaptations: namely, the updates of _The War of the Worlds_ created by Orson Welles and George Pal, and Pal's version of _The Time Machine_. And I'll even consider a film that _uses_ Wells, namely, _Time After Time_.

P.A. Berman
Lots of stuff - Sunday, April 28 2002 14:32:2

You are all so chatty, man, I have to wrap all my replies into one omnibus post.

Mr. Ellison, et al: This week I am having my seniors read "Ahbhu." I am pretty excited to hear what they think of it. Are there any questions you'd like me to ask them about it? Any subtle points I should highlight? I am teaching it in the context of an article about anthropomorphism and animal intelligence from DEFENDERS magazine.

Re: Werewolves-- Hey, I've always been fascinated by werewolves myself. Last year I finished a story called "The Lycanthrope" that combines elements inspired by "Ahbhu," the idea of a female werewolf, and a personal experience after losing a nonhuman friend of mine. If anyone wants to read it, just ask.

Re: kids today-- Of course kids are kids. I don't think kids have changed. I do think the world is different, though, even from when I grew up. These school shootings are a symptom of *something*, some negative, horrible change in the world. I wish I could offer some brilliant theory as to what exactly is wrong, but I can't. Overpopulation? Single parent families? Too much TV? Mind control rays from outer space? I don't know.

Rob: I love it that I've got you calling people who disagree with you Philistines.

Scott: Gerbils are not poop machines. Mice definitely are, but gerbils are desert animals (no, not dessert animals, no matter what the cats think). They rarely go to the bathroom.

re: names--I'm going with Cookie's suggestion of Thelma and Louise, after all. Thanks for all your suggestions. They made me laugh in a rather unfunny world these days.


Little Washu
- Sunday, April 28 2002 14:8:24

LYNN: I watch WHOSE LINE IS IT ANYWAY? at every given oppurtunity. Funniest show on the face of the planet. The fact that Wayne Brady's talents have been ignored for so long is criminal, and Ryan and Colin are the most dynamic comic duo since Abbot & Costello. I sincerely mean that.

ROB: Oh yeah, baby. I would kill for a new kick-ass WAR OF THE WORLDS movie, set in Victorian London but with all the genuinely awesome special effects they can whip up nowadays. Except it's not gonna happen, at least not in Hollywood. Why?

'Too British.'

JIM: Actually, Guillermo Del Toro said that THE DEVIL'S BACKBONE was such a deep, personal experience for him, he wanted to have just plain simple fun again. BLADE II gave him that oppurtunity. Hopefully, with HELLBOY coming soon, we'll see Del Toro show his REAL colours.

LW (Benjamin A.A. Winfield)

- Sunday, April 28 2002 13:44:19


As I have too little time to argue with the Hitchcock philistines here (just follow along the dotted line of my data, guys; I know more about it than you do. Hitchcock didn't direct 'adaptations'; they all worked closely with him from the writing to the storyboard process. They were as much his puppets as the actors were. And to infer that WHO Hitch collaborated with determined the success of a Hitch film is a total misconception: collaborations with John Steinbeck and Raymond Chandler were vastly outshadowed by those with unknowns like Joe Stefano and John Michael Hayes. And he was at odds with Evan Hunter's literalized script for 'The Birds', as he sought more ambiguity. So your equation doesn't work. A film failed or succeeded because of Hitchcock, not them. Whether you think one or a few of his films were 'execrable' is your own problem; NONE of them are 'empty', as Jon called it. That's MY central point. Weaker films certainly include Topaz, To Catch A Thief, and Family Plot but they are few in measure to the great body of work he did throughout his career and they still have the same subtexts. Any of you misguided bozos see the films he did in Britain or during his silent period, like 'The Lodger' or 'The Farmer's Daughter'? Yes...I DO put Hitchcock above his collaborators...but only in the sense that I do with Wilder and Kubrick; all three were the engineers in control of the blueprints. In sum, you guys are fulla shit...I'm right...and life is that simple) my response goes to you.

Here was the problem with Selznick: drawn by the power of Hitch's British films he brought him over to do 'Rebecca', as you pointed out. Problems between the two began almost right away because they had their visions and their own styles. Hitch wanted to do things HIS way and he couldn't because Selznick was the boss at this point. Examples: Hitch would invariably take the core of a short story or novel and sweep aside the rest to framework it with his own themes. Selznick wanted to make adaptations - particularly the love stories - faithful to their sources. Hitch's editing method from the start of his career was to plan and storyboard every shot, leaving almost NOTHING on the editing room floor; Selznick always wanted lots of footage to toy around with in the editing room. So they both had their methods and their visions. In their projects to follow this creative friction only worsened. By the time they were doing 'Paradine Case' Hitch was more than anxious to get out of his contract so he could do things entirely his way. He could be NO ONE'S puppet and Selznick had been used to puppets for many years. Hitch, essentially, wanted all the puppets to himself. So, I'm not demeaning Selznick's talents. He had an incredible filmography, including 'The Third Man' (which I'll take to 'Gone with the Wind' any time). I'm just saying they stifled each other's creative objectives and you would never see pure Hitchcock in the American phase of his career until he'd been free of Selznick.


Re: Wells adaptations. As we're talking about another British genius here, I would commit murder for more Wells adapatations - if only they would remain faithful to the works of the master. 'Moreau' AND 'The Time Machine' are fucking beautiful, extraordinary novellas. I loathe the recent Hollywood desecrations. Simon's great granddaddy ought to come down and put him over his knee with horsewhip in hand.

Cindy <IAMCINDIANAJONES@netscape.net>
TEXAS USA - Sunday, April 28 2002 13:8:16


Could you post the place to find your story again? I'd love to take a look but I can't find it!


Cindy <IAMCINDIANAJONES@netscape.net>
TEXAS USA - Sunday, April 28 2002 12:52:54

THANK YOU!!!!!!!!

I can wait as long as it takes. I'll send it right there.

Where are you going? I don't get out much so you can help me live vicariously. Cross country sounds exciting.


Chris L <csjlong@hotmail.com>
Philly, - Sunday, April 28 2002 12:44:17


I would be more than happy to read your screenplay. The only reason I haven't asked for a copy is that I am leaving on a cross-country trip in a week and I won't have time to read it until I get back. If you don't mind waiting until June for me to take a gander at your opus (that sounds dirty, doesn't it?) then sign me up.

Karen Williams <branwen@ix.netcom.com>
- Sunday, April 28 2002 12:26:41

Jay -- George wrote sf stories about Barbie, and collected kitschy
Barbie stuff.

Cindy Jones <IAMCINDIANAJONES@netscape.net>
TEXAS USA - Sunday, April 28 2002 12:24:47

I don't know if I thanked you for the information about translating my Final Draft version into a form that could be read by those without Final Draft.

You're keen.


Cindy <IAMCINDIANAJONES@netscape.net>
TEXAS USA - Sunday, April 28 2002 12:20:54


I thought Panic room WAS intense, but it doesn't take much to unnerve me when it comes to home intruder scenarios. I agree with the gas lighting-- I thought that was hilarious! Especially when the guy's arm caught on fire. I was laughing out loud (I was the only one in the theater to do so). I figured the film was over when that happened and like you I marveled that they thought we'd buy her response to that threat. But I was geared to "go there" and I kept watching. No I didn't think there was a chance than any of the main characters would be offed. Still I LOVED the opening credits!!!!!!!! I can't believe you didn't, but then maybe you've BEEN to a city. LOL!

As entertaining as I though Panic Room was-- I wouldn't go see it again. It wasn't THAT good. Quite frankly I enjoyed reading your posts today a whole hell of a lot more than the film. But your posts were EXCELLENT!! I was laughing so hard at your Time Machine observations that one of my kids came in from another room and asked what was so funny. I WILL go see Time Machine JUST so I can see the carriage scene of the girl's demise. GOD what a hilarious description!!! I thought your subsequent idea of how they could have made it even better was PRICELESS! Do you write screenplays? If so I'd love to read them. >

CHRIS????? READ MY SCREENPLAY PLEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEASE? I think it's better than Panic Room. I don't think it will bore you. And nobody puts a flame retardant blanket over her head and lights a gas filled room.


Right now I'm trying to get as much feedback as I can because I think there's a glitch there somewhere and I've looked at it so long that I can't find it. Different people will see different things. I want it to be as close to perfect as I can make it before I send it off to the festival. ANYBODY who helps me will be appreciated more than a fair amount.

C'mon, Chris pleeeeeeeeeeeeease?


Faisal A. Qureshi <faq@ic24.net>
Manchester, UK - Sunday, April 28 2002 11:37:48


Never read any Effinger but condolences on his departure. I shall look out for his stuff (along with Tiptree's).


Sorry, I couldn't find The Time Machine unintentionally funny, I thought it was a bit clunky and thought the future scenes were quite silly (and I could not believe the Lunar holiday camps excavation methods) but otherwise, it was lifted up by Guy Pearces performance. There were some good moments, including the visit to the destroyed library and the meeting between Iron's Morlock and Pearce. I could understand hating the film if you just remembered the last ten minutes (where did that get spliced from!) but otherwise I had no problem with it... and I did not find Pearce's girlfriends death at all funny. Did I miss something there?

I saw The Devils Backbone and do reccomend it though its the setting that makes it more worthwhile that the ghost story. Comparing it to Blade 2 though is like comparing a Lethal Weapon sequel to The Innocents.

Pauline Kael:

I have mixed feelings about her, she did write some interesting reviews but she also had a habit of using her column for personal attacks against film makers which had little to do with the films. She attacked Kubrick for giving his daughter a small cameo on 2001, would never give a favorable review to any Paul Schraeder film (he was a former 'Paulette') and repeated GM black propaganda when it came to looking at Michael Moore's doc 'Roger & Me'. Moore writes about trying to rebut Kael's accusations but was denied by the New Yorker who, apparently, did not print letters at the time.



Jay <zebrapix@hotmail.com>
- Sunday, April 28 2002 10:48:12

Lots of great wolf flicks,but ...any books...like folklore...some Bulfinch for supernatural legends?


Jim Davis <scythian66@hotmail.com>
- Sunday, April 28 2002 9:59:19

Another great werewolf novel: Jack Williamson's DARKER THAN YOU THINK. This and the Endore are essential renderings of the lycanthropy myth, and are easily found. Again, read 'em.

You guys want to see a good flick? Forget all this PANIC ROOM and TIME MACHINE foofaraw, and go watch THE DEVIL'S BACKBONE (EL ESPINAZO DEL DIABLO). I finally caught a screening a couple of weeks ago, and was BLOWN AWAY. With all apologies to MEMENTO, AMORES PERROS, IN THE BEDROOM, THE BELIEVER, MULHOLLAND DRIVE and GOSFORD PARK, THE DEVIL'S BACKBONE is, hands down, the best film of 2001. This ghost story set in an orphanage during the Spanish Civil War is evocative, richly textured, and haunting as Hell. Guillermo del Toro's script reminds me of James (M.R. AND Henry) in places, and his direction is deft and assured. (Forget Blade II, this is leagues away from that movie.) Also, this film has a really nice, understated use of CGI, which is a rarity these days.

I can't emphasize this enough: SEE IT. If it's not playing in a local theatre, hunt down the video/DVD when it appears. You WILL thank me.

Lynn <cavalaxis@digitalcarrion.com>
- Sunday, April 28 2002 9:58:5

Harlan~ There are never enough tears when you love someone. Each tear shed for our loved ones passed makes their journey down the river easier, connects them to us one final time as they trail a fingertip in the water. The day there are no more tears is the day we take that journey ourselves.

Shane~ RE: Wayne Brady, a damn talented comedian. Is it a sin to say he was the black guy on "Whose Line Is It Anyway?" Or are we just left to assume as much from the list of impersonations that he nails? He is one of the most gifted improvisational actors I have ever seen. Having been an improv street actor, I can say I've learned a thing or two from all of the talent on that show. I just don't understand why we can't come out and say, the black guy on WLIIA. I feel like Crocodile Dundee talking about the 'black fellas'. "It's an accurate description, innit?"

Decidedly anti-PC and recalling Bradbury's words about there being more than one way to burn a book, I remain,

Little Washu
- Sunday, April 28 2002 9:22:50


You said it. After ISLAND OF DR. MOREAU and now THE TIME MACHINE, a lot of us should sign a blood pact to unleash the ebola virus within the heart of Hollywood if we're fed ONE MORE teeth-grinding H.G. Wells adaptation.

LW (Benjamin A.A. Winfield)

Chris L <csjlong@hotmail.com>
Philly, - Sunday, April 28 2002 9:10:14


Great comments on Hitchcock. I think Cindy said she'd never seen a Hitchcock film she didn't like - I'm thinking Cindy hasn't seen some of Hitch's duds. That's nothing to hold against him. Everyone other than Kubrick has made bad movies. As much as I love his best material, I find myself getting bored sometimes with even his mid-level work which is much better than other directors' but still feels somewhat unsatisfying to me because of the endless repetition and feeling of formula.

As for Time Machine, though, are you sure you saw the same movie I did? I mean, that movie was bad bad BAD BAD BAD!!! It was so bad, I think I wound up feeling a mild fondness for it. It is so inept it is perfect material for a future episode of MST3K should that glorious show ever return.

I thought the film was so bad it actually showed no sign of even being made by professional film-makers. It was as if they just picked a couple guys off the street and had them make a movie. Just basic, competent editing, writing and acting is hard to come by in the movie. I certainly hope the scene where the girlfriend gets run over by the carriage is meant to be funny because about 2/3 of the theater laughed out loud when it happened. I think they meant it seriously though, judging by Pearce's reaction to the event.

Actually, at that point, they could have saved the movie by turning it into a full-blown comedy rather than an inadvertent one. They could have had himkeep coming back in time trying to save her but each time she winds up getting killed in funnier, more absurd ways. He would get so jaded by it, he wouldn't even react to her various deaths and he would eventually just give up and wander somewhereelse in time.

As it was, this movie was every bit as bad as any Ed Wood movie or Manos, the Hanf of Fate or Robot Monster or any similar dreck. Which makes it better, in its way, than crap like Planet of the Apes.

Todd Cassel <TheDoh@prodigy.net>
NJ USofA - Sunday, April 28 2002 8:56:5

I'm not trying to dig up any dirt or trash or anything with this question, so please don't jump on me as a ghoul: I looooved George Alec Effinger's work. I was just packing up a bunch of books to prepare for my eventual move, and when I came across my Effinger section I made a mental note that it was time to do some re-reading. This was Friday night.

Now he is gone and I am taken back with shock. It appears that some of you on the board are aware of WHY he is gone....comments about finally being at peace. My God, I know nothing about what has been going on.

Please, don't take this the wrong way, but he was one of my favorite SF/Fantasy authors and I am interested in knowing what happened to bring down more of Death's 'charms' upon those who least deserve it.


- Sunday, April 28 2002 8:54:0

Rick - Great news! Good for you...

Harlan - that feeling is the price paid for experiencing the world and the people in it. Taking chances. Yes, awareness of how dark the world can be, yet still having a willingness to explore, to find some of the nobility and friendship out there. Some say the human heart is the seat of emotions and home to many conflicts and contradictions. That's what makes those leaps of faith and discovery all the more daring.

P.A. Berman - re: your post of Friday 26th April.
My wife, the doctor, is a teacher. When we met, she was director of testing and assessment for her district. Since she is an educator first and not a politician, she made the choice to return to working with learning disabled students one-on-one. It wasn't an easy decision, and she's had many challenging days. When you find yourself in that place, wondering what you could have done differently, remember "the person who saves one life eventually saves the world." Hang in there.

Faisal A. Qureshi <faq@ic24.net>
Manchester, UK - Sunday, April 28 2002 8:49:18


Alfred Hitchcock was a fine film maker but to elevate him above his collaborators does both them and the films a disservice. Hitchcock knew how to tell a story visually, he did not know what stories to tell and thats why he hired great writers such as Ernest Lehmann (North by Northwest), Anthony Schaffer (Frenzy) or Evan Hunter (The Birds) to provide or adapt scenarios of which he directed.

I pay some credence to William Goldman's remarks that Hitchcock may have felt overwhelmed by Truffaut and co. concerning his work, which was very well done entertainment, and elevated them to something else. Thus explaining why Hitchcock went from working on popular thrillers to mis-fires such as The Birds or Topaz.

Hitchcock made some great films, he also made some bad ones. To Catch a Thief is smugly weak, Topaz is just excreable and Rope is an over-rated technical exercise that would be later emulated in live TV drama.

Hitchcock worked with good people, but as soon as they weren't around, the quality of his films went down. Look at something like Vertigo (My favourite Hitchcock film) and compare it to Torn Curtain. There is already a noticable difference in tone due to the sacking/resignation of regular composer Bernard Herrmann.

But I do wish that H.G. Wells did not discourage Hitchcock from pursuing an adaptation of War of the Worlds, it would be a much better adaptation than the current version we have.

BTW - Has anyone seen the new adaptation of The Time Machine. It was actually quite good until the last ten minutes. I wish I could have walked out at the point where Guy Pearce and Jeremy Irons go mano el mano. Otherwise, I was surprised by the attacks this film recieved and it being interpreted as a comedy. It was anything but that.


Chris L <csjlong@hotmail.com>
Philly, - Sunday, April 28 2002 8:38:17


Well,that's why I told you to see Panic Room even though I hated it.

To answer your question, I was in a good mood and fully expected to enjoy the movie. I didn't like Fight Club but there wereenough good things in that movie that I still had Fincher relatively high on my list of directors who are must-see.

I just hated every choice he made in Panic Room. Opening credits? Annoying as hell. But people have raved about them.

As for intense, honestly, I am at a loss to understand how anyone could think that about this movie but, again, there are plenty of people who felt that. I found the entire scenario so ludicrous and the characters so uninvolving, I could never feel any tension in even a single scene. I really wanted to either leave or go out to my car to grab my a book and there were a few times I just closed my eyes and dozed off a bit.

I feel the scene with Jodie Foster lighting a spark (that shouldn't be too much of a spoiler) is so colossally, monumentally, legendarily and titanically stupid, it sets some kind ofnon-Pauly Shore record in the history of cinema. It did make me laugh, though, just to think that any writer or director could actually put such a scene in their movie.

Basically, it's a seige movie where there's never a threat to anyone and none of the characters are of any interest. Did you, for even one tenth of one second, feel there was even the slightest chance anything would happen to the two main characters? I never did.

Cindy <IAMCINDIANAJONES@netscape.net>
TEXAS USA - Sunday, April 28 2002 8:25:7

Hey Rob,

I am with you, I've never seen a Hitchcock film I didn't like, but what was that about David O. Selznick?

Alfred Hitchcock's agent couldn't get a bid for him at the time Selzneck signed him. He hadn't worked on an American film until Selznick hired him to direct Rebecca. Selznick was responsible for giving Hitchcock the publicity buildup which afforded him the power he needed to create his peerless brand of art.

Selznick was one of the biggest proponents of all times of strict adherence to the original book or story. He said he never understood why motion picture people insist on throwing away something of proven appeal to substitute things of their own creation. I believe that is why he was able to produce Gone With The Wind with such astounding results.

Although I personally would have enjoyed seeing Hitchcock's adaptation of the beginning of Rebecca in which Max is smoking a cigar that makes other passengers on the boat sick, I can see why Selznick demanded fidelity to the original to maintain the integrity of the film.

He was one of the greatest filmmakers of all times.. if not THE greatest filmmaker of all times.



ZoŽ Rose <ztreuer@d.umn.edu>
- Sunday, April 28 2002 8:20:41

JAY- Working on? Not 'zactly sure which area you mean, so I'll tell you the two major things. In the reading department, I'm doing my best to read three things at the moment, "Left Hand of Darkness" for the Sci-Fi course, "Play It As It Lays" for American Lit, and "Essential Ellison" (I'm skipping around, just finished reading "I have no mouth...") for fun. All make interesting night-time reading. In the writing department, I'm editing and working on a "short" story of mine (URL is posted about 60 or more postings ago).

Did I answer the right question? *grin* 'Cuz other than that, I'm workin' on graduating... two and a half weeks!

--ZoŽ Rose

Alex Krislov <Alexkrislov@cs.com>
Not far from Euclid Beach, Ohio - Sunday, April 28 2002 8:13:51

Aw, for the love of God, will this month never end? George Alec Effinger meant a lot to me.

Though George lived in New Orleans, he was a Cleveland local--grew up right next to Euclid Beach Park, which, when we were all ripening and small, was Cleveland's Disneyland. There have been a hundred homages to the old place, but none better than GAE's "Terrific Park," a strange little story where Euclid Beach is instantly recognizable to any clevelander of the right era.

George was also an early promoter of this medium. He was active in the early years of the Literary Forum, so long ago, some of us were still calling this the ARPAnet. He even arranged to put an entire novel ---THE EXILE KISS-- online before its publication. I've always been honored that he chose my little forum instead of the specifically science-fiction forum on the same ISP.

He was an experimenter, and a laughing madman. Who but GAE would have written a book called MAUREEN BIRNBAUM, BARBARIAN SWORDSPERSON? Who else could have pulled it off? Make no mistake, this stuff is the "Legally Blonde" and "Buffy, the Vampire Slayer" of its era, done much better and much, much earlier.

I called the New Orleans AP (who is one of my online staff, actually) to let her know about this. I hope that'll lead to good coverage. He deserves it.


Cindy <IAMCINDIANAJONES@netscape.net>
TEXAS USA - Sunday, April 28 2002 7:28:27

I went to see Panic Room last night. It was intense and I did get into it. The camera shots that Chis was talking about didn't bother me that much, but I'm not preganant. I think if I had been it might have made me want to whoops a couple of times. Chris are you sure you were in an even keeled mode when you saw it? I've noticed that if I'm in a bad mood or the day has been particularly stressful sometimes things grate on my nerves that might not otherwise.

Jodie Foster is just hard to beat. Forrest Whittaker was perfectly cast. Dwight Yoakum... well I'm a HUGE Dwight Yoakum fan from way back. Even if Sharon Stone said dating him was like eating a " dirt sandwich", he plays white trash with the highest degree of authenticity of any actor I've ever seen. Now he adds consumate bad guy to the growing list of his specialties.

You HAD to love the opening credits--SPECTACULAR! I almost thought it wasn't going to matter how bad the film was, the opening credits were so amazing I got my four bucks worth.

I went to see Show Time with my second daughter a couple of weeks ago, she was in a rotten mood. During the first part of the film she was getting agitated and it had nothing to do with the film. She said, " Is there even a PLOT in this thing?" A few moments later there was a closeup shot of Robert De Nero and she leaned over and said, " He needs to get that thing removed from his face." GEEEZE, Savannah could you be a little critical?

As in Nature vs. Nurture, I think it's 60-40. 60% film- 40% previously exixting mood.


Finder <the-finder@mindspring.com>
- Sunday, April 28 2002 5:47:36

I hadn't seen it here - of course, I may have missed it completely, so excuse me if this is a rerun - but Reginald Rose passed away back on April 20th at age 81. That he wrote "12 Angry Men" was enough in my book; but I found him and Paddy Chayefsky through my early Rod Serling fixation, and where I could find his plays (or teleplays), I was justly rewarded.

Jay <zebrapix@dontsendmespam.com>
- Sunday, April 28 2002 4:10:23

I have to ask: What about the Barbie?

ZOE(dot-dot) -
Whatcha workin' on?

It's fun. I wish I could give the kid a radio headset so when he's out in left field looking for lucky clover I can warn him about the pop fly heading his way.

Out tracking werewolves last night...time for sleep.


- Sunday, April 28 2002 3:6:31


I'll accept your correct spelling of Kael opposed to my Kale but I pretty much stop there. What was it you said? "Hitch is pretty empty when without the right collaborators"? That's, in my view, arguable at best. I utterly disagree with the comment: One, because ANY 'collaborator' did things as he would have them do. Two, whether it was one of his tv episodes directed by himself - I saw four, one with Joseph Cotten as a man paralyzed from head to toe in a car wreck, the entire episode composed of shots of him lying there unable to speak - or any of his films under his full control (opposed to when Selznick was in charge) the cynicism and dark humor that characterized his subtexts of paranoia, identity, punishment, absolution, and 'moms' were always there. His personal neuroses and eccentricities were imprinted on everything he did. The touch of genius. So, whether the work was one of his successes or failures it was never - understand? - NEVER 'empty'. Three, your supposedly much-needed collaborators did not always measure up (to suit what he was after, that is) - people like Raymond Chandler who he'd let go and Evan Hunter - and still he'd emerge with a brilliant success.

Kael couldn't handle his preference to repeat himself thematically. Yet, whether we're talking about his archetypal outings like Frenzy, North By Northwest or The 39 Steps; or his more eccentric variations like Vertigo, Rear Window, Lifeboat, Psycho, Strangers on a Train, or The Birds; or his experiments like Rope, the strokes that were his signature made every one of those films artistically unique. And failure or success, you can look at them all over and over and over and discover nuances you didn't see before (Rear Window is a helluva an example). All you have to do is look at his beginnings - films like The Lodger and Blackmail - and you see the consistancies no matter who he'd been collaborating with. In his early days he was influenced by Murneau and the Magic Realist painters like de Chirico.

I'm not going to scrounge for passages I read by Kael a long, long time ago. I gave you the essence of her gripe - to me a vacuous one. But I know there were a number of essays I felt were very near-sighted. I no longer remember them specifically.

You were WAY off on this one.

Karen Williams <branwen@ix.netcom.com>
- Sunday, April 28 2002 0:37:25

I just heard about George, and I'm very, very sorry. The last
time I spoke with him, he said he was starting to write
again, and that he was rediscovering how much fun it was.
I was just thinking about him the other day and wondering
if he was still finding it fun. I can't believe he won't be
wandering into any more rooms and starting up a discussion on
Barbie. (I haven't been able to look at a Barbie for years
without thinking of George.) I hope he really is at peace,

ZoŽ Rose <ztreuer@d.umn.edu>
- Sunday, April 28 2002 0:8:33

It's two in the A.M. and I'm wide awake - how's that for sick and wrong?

PETER- My thanks for the critique you sent me and the posted backing - far more than I deserve, so my thanks.

RICK- Good luck in GA. I also have some family/friends who live in Atlanta, so I'll ask around and see if anyone has got some useful information for ya re: rental housing, etc.

HARLAN- My condolences; thankfully, only a few more days in April left. Here's to hoping for a brighter May.

JIM DAVIS- Thanks for the suggestions. I might creep in and take a look at possibly sending the story a few places, we shall see!

Well, nothing better than a night spent catching up on the 'board posts and reading a few stories, eh?

--Dotted and dotty,
--ZoŽ Rose

Jon Stover
Canada. Hitch - Saturday, April 27 2002 23:42:33

Rob re: Kael: Which parts of Kael related to Hitchcock piss you off? I've always found the comments of Pauline Kael and others about Hitchcock to be refreshing tonics at points -- namely, riffs about Hitchcock's movies being really good movies when they're written by good screenwriters and acted by good actors. I find Hitchcock criticism to be bumpff when it asserts the wonderfulness of _The Birds_ or _Marnie_ or _Topaz_ when the movies lack engaging characters, engaging dialogue, and much of anything else except techincal skill. Hitchcock's greatness as a director may be defined by some by the watchability of a film like _The Birds_, but Hitch is pretty empty without collaborators who can do something, or who at least have enough power to assert themselves on the set.

Kael's love for DePalma, though, is a bit baffling.


- Saturday, April 27 2002 23:17:26

...I mean, "none ARE always right"

- Saturday, April 27 2002 23:13:55


Don't get me going on Kale...her comments on 2001 only scratch the surface; her comments on Clockwork were equally narrow-minded as were her precis on Hitch and Wilder. Step on their feet (unreasonably) and I leave the auditorium. All three did so much work that moved me deeply.

...and Joseph,

Since your comments on Ebert and Siskel have some relevance here: the interesting thing about Siskel supposedly not liking sf is that 2001 was his number one favorite movie of all time. For this reason I think he raised the bar for sf movies and what he demanded of them (although he underrated 'Altered States' terribly), thereby creating a good balance for Ebert's inordinate generosity. With Siskel gone I think that check is gone and it has left Ebert seeming a bit more looney. All the same, there's no one we agree with all the time. The important message those guys gave us with their chemisty and their heated arguing as critics - for the first time ever - is that none in their profession is always right. It was a departure from the eons of ego-driven self-indulgence critics had suffocated us with - and largely continue to do so.

Earlier babble here inspired me to put on a lycanth movie so I just watched 'American Werewolf in London' - nearly my favorite of the genre...

Griffin Dunne (as the talking 'meat loaf' of the Walking Dead): "David...I'm not having a good time here."

- Saturday, April 27 2002 22:58:9

Hey Harlan, how's Ed doing, by the way? Do please give him my best the next time you talk to him.


Justin <thedogindiana@hotmail.com>
- Saturday, April 27 2002 22:52:29

Harlan: Ooof. I can recall reading several of Mr. Effinger's short stories over the years, in a number of collections the names of which now escape me. But I recognized seeing his name again, years later, because I really liked the stuff. I particularly remember stories he wrote for the delightful Batman books Martin H. Greenberg edited, years ago. I am deeply sorry for your loss. And I worry. Please check in again soon and let us know how you're doing.


- Saturday, April 27 2002 22:43:6

The Wayne Brady Show

Shane Shellenbarger
Phoenix, Arizona USofA - Saturday, April 27 2002 22:36:31

ALL: Laurie and I have just returned from a deeeLIGHT filled evening watching Wayne Brady perform. This is the third time we've paid cash money to attend his show and this was the best one to date. For those of you who are scratching your heads, Brady is on the Thursday night ABC show, "Whose Line Is It Anyway?," hosted by Drew Carey. Brady isn't the tallest guy (Ryan Stiles), nor is he the baldest guy (Colin Mochrie), but he is the singingest/dancingest guy. He also had his own show briefly last summer and even briefer last fall. His 1 1/2 hour act incorporated elements of both shows, with a finale that'll rock you back on your heals: he does spot-on impersonations of Stevie Wonder, Louis Armstrong, Sam Cook, James Brown, Sammy Davis, jr. and a hilarious parody of Michael Jackson. If he comes to your town, please take the opportunity to see him live, you'll have a GREAT time.


Jim Davis
- Saturday, April 27 2002 22:20:31

What can I say, I'm a Kaelite. I dug almost everything that mad, bad, dangerous-to-know woman wrote, even when she eviscerated something dear to my heart. She could really write, and she championed "lowbrow" movies when it wasn't cool to do so.

As for Roeper...the term "Peter Principle" springs to mind. (From the American Heritage Dictionary: "The theory that employees within an organization will advance to their highest level of competence and then be promoted to and remain at a level at which they are incompetent." In other words, unless they REALLY fuck up, people will be rewarded with a higher position if they stick around long enough, even when they're completely unqualified. I'm sure we all know someone from work this term applies to.)

Joseph J. Finn <JosephFinn@yahoo.com>
Chicago, IL USA - Saturday, April 27 2002 21:47:45


I'll give a paltry explanation for Ebert's occasional head-scratcher:

1) he tries to judge films based on well they work, not against other movies. Fair enough.

2) He's a self-admitted critic with his own opinions. Sometimes he gives a break to something he enjoys, even if it's not of the highest quality. But he'll freely admit it. any good critic will acknowledge that they have blind spots and prejudices; Siskel, for instance, never cared for science-fiction movies all that much, while Ebert was much more enthusiastic about them (one of the last arguments I remember of theirs was whether "Dark City" was genius or slop).

As for "Ginger Snaps," here's two websites to whet your appetite:

The official site:


A fan site with gorey pictures (slightly spoiley):


And my last word on GS is: "Best piercing ever."


Jim Davis <scythian66@hotmail.com>
- Saturday, April 27 2002 21:44:53


RICK: I want to host Webderland for May, i.e. pay its bill for the month. Yes, I'm serious. Your little website has done a lot to edify and entertain me, and I want to return the favor. E-mail me with the amount, and I'll kite a check your way. (And don't even THINK of saying "No" to this. I'm in a real generous mood, so take advantage, schmuck.)

ON GEORGE ALEC EFFINGER: Damn. I really enjoyed his novel WHEN GRAVITY FAILS, and his shorter work was always a hoot to read. I actually traded a few posts with him on an old Compuserve forum (I THINK it was Compuserve. I was a real ISP whore back in the early '90s--Prodigy, AOL, Compuserve, Pipeline, it didn't matter to me, I'd shove any 'ol disc in my floppy drive without thinking twice), and he was nothing less than polite and generous in his responses to me. Again, always: What a loss.

RE WEREWOLVES: The best fictional treatment of the lycanthropy myth that I've ever read is Guy Endore's THE WEREWOLF OF PARIS. This 1933 novel was a favorite of Robert Bloch, and is still in print, though you may have to do a little searching on-line. Excellent book with a very continental tone--it reads like something translated from the French, even though Endore was an American. Hunt it down, you won't regret it.

ZOE ROSE: I haven't read your story yet, but I will as soon as I get my new, fancy-shmantzy, space-age copier/fax/printer/scanner/cappucino maker to work. As it is, the damned thing is holding the title for Most Expensive Paperweight In The Davis Manse. One question: Why don't you try to publish this? I mean, you've actually written the thing, so why not get paid for it instead of letting any slobbo who creeps along print the whole thing for free? WRITER'S MARKET has a comprehensive list of short-story markets, if you don't know where to submit it.

SOME NAMES FOR BERMANATOR'S GERBILS: Franny and Zooey. Frick and Frack. Mick and Keith. Fillip and Dollop.

SCOTT AND MELISSA: Harlan and DTS are right. You guys need to lighten up a teensy bit. I mean, when the author of "How's The Night Life On Cissalda?" calls you a "termite", odds are good that he's only kidding. Hell, he can take as good as he gives--I think I called him a "rat bastard" in my second week here, and he didn't even bat an eye. (Is it really a Jewish thing, as Harlan suggests? Maybe. My Goyishe friends DO seem a little quicker to take offense at my seemingly-insulting-but-really-affectionate nicknames.) In any case, he means well, and a Harlan-induced injury is a rite of passage here. With all the scars and missing limbs, a gathering of Webderland regulars would look like a convention of Rubber slaves from the Congo, circa 1900.

FINDER: I know I'm late, but add my kudos to the pile regarding your chase of the purse thief. If people everywhere had some of your guts, there wouldn't be as much petty crime, you can be sure. (Though, in future, be careful if/when you do something like that again. Some of them DO carry weapons, as I once found out. No injuries, but I'm lucky I didn't get my intestines handed to me.)

As for the other thing...again, I wasn't trying to call you out or embarrass you. Sexuality can be a very hard road to travel, and none of us are given any maps at birth to navigate it. I'm 35, and I'm no better at understanding the whole whole sex/romance/intimacy ragout than I was at 16. Still, I'm glad for every foray with the opposite sex, no matter how disastrous the outcome; as cliched as it sounds, it really IS better to regret things you've done than things you've HAVEN'T done. Just don't let fear rob you of some wonderful experiences. If your last post is any indication, you richly deserve them. (And Hell, women throw themselves at SERIAL MURDERERS, for Chrissakes, so why shouldn't a gen-you-wine HERO get some action, as well?)

Cindy <IAMCINDIANAJONES@netscape.net>
TEXAS USA - Saturday, April 27 2002 21:31:43


My email's screwing up so I have to respond to your critique here.

Thanks for pointing out " lightning"-- I needed that! LOL! I'd like to blame it on the spellcheck but it all goes back to me not recognizing the error.

No theme, no message, buddy-- just a little yarn to distract and amuse. I'm with Samuel Goldwyn on that one. He said, " If you want to send a message go to Western Union."


I think you give me too much credit actually. It's a diversion, solely intended to entertain. Really!

I'll go back over the Nila and Jerome conversation, sounds like that needs to be looked at again.

I ALSO read my scripts aloud! Usually to my kids and a few others I trust. Speaking of my kids they'd shoot me if I took out the party scene in the middle of nowhere. That IS how these kids party in the Hill Country. It is an exact representation of rural Texas teenage recreation. A frightening, appalling and dangerous, and yet accurate depiction. This is how it's been in this Texas county for generations in spite of the rattlesnakes and cottonmouth water moccasins, rabid coyotes, bobcats and foxes AND mountain lions.

These kids jump off 40 ft.bluffs into the river( just pay attention to jump "out" there's a shelf of rock directly below but you'll be just fine, is how they put it) they chase cotton mouth water moccasins UNDER the water and CATCH them with their hands. They also catch rattlesnakes for money every early spring. About five years ago a highschool sophomore showed up at my back door with one, he said he figured my husband might want it and he didn't have a box for it. It was around four feet long and he had it by the head.

I would DEFINITELY put my teenagers in a safer place. I don't let my kids ride bikes! But I'll tell you something else about my own kids. My oldest girls were high school cheerleaders and my oldest son was a football player and they did these horrible things. So I got it from the source. After they grew up they told me the stories, verified by my husband ( 4th generation from this County)who did the same things when he was a kid.

But HEY they didn't run away and join a carnival!


Tomato, tomahto. Kids everywhere do things that would mortify their parents if they knew.

My husband upon whom the Billy Character is based said that rural teenagers don't care about wild animals they grow up with them here. This is rural Texas and as he put it " They don't go to the Mall they go to the Pasture. They sneak down riverbeds drop behind bluffs and hide in ravines to build their campfires, so as not to be seen by the local law enforcement". He said he knows because he built them there when he was a kid and he caught them there when he was a cop.

He assures me that Ingena would not be something they would fear, she would be something that they prey upon.

I went to my big kids for accuracy when writing the teenager scenes. Pretty much drawn from life. On the jr. high age boy's scene I went to my 13 year old son for accuracy. He was the one that came up with the one kid correcting the other kid's english he says he does that to his friends and they hate it. Also he brought up the Pepsi gun control issue. I thought that was hilarious so I used it.

Lots of the script came from real life.

As for the Bovine Surrogacy Center, I thought that up 20 years ago, before they even started having successful trans-species gestational trials. I also came up with INGENA 20 years ago before everyone knew the term recombinant DNA. She was originally a short story.

As for making Billy more proactive.. there is a thought. I might have to go back to the drawing board on that one.

My instructors in the UCLA screenwriting program said they loved INGENA in fact one of them said he hated to use the phrase pulsepounding but he did. I hammered it out there with a gun to my head and a deadline each week.

I think it's tomato tomahto.. it's PANIC ROOM! But mostly it's about entertainment.

Tell me this.. did you read it all in one sitting? Were there places it slowed down or made your mind wander to the fridge? If so, then I need to know where so I can shore it up.

Meantime you are such a treasure for reading it for me! I would love to read something for you sometime if you like. You are a very remarkable and brilliant man and I would love to see what you build in YOUR garage.


Brian Siano <bsiano@bellatlantic.net>
- Saturday, April 27 2002 21:21:53

I'm two-thirds done the new Robert Caro book on Lyndon Johnson-- I've just passed the account of his heart attack.

Gang, if you have NOT yet read Caro's books-- the three volumes on Johnson, and his masterful book on Robert Moses, _The Power Broker_-- you are missing out on something special. Caro isn't just a biographer, along the lines of Stephen Ambrose or David McCulloch. He ranks alongside of Gibbon or MacCauley. These are monumental, brilliant, informative, MANDATORY works that operate at the highest levels of history and biography.

There's another joy to be found here. For decades now, I've been reading and hearing people yabber on about the misunderstood genius of Richard Nixon. There's the bullshit about being "in the arena," the presentation of "triangular diplomacy" as some kind of insanely subtle masterstroke, the "brilliance" of the Southern Strategy, and much, much more. But as you read Caro, you learn that Nixon was a fucking mental _pygmy_ next to Lyndon Johnson. Just read Caro's account of how Johnson sank the Bricker Amendment, and _try_ to imagine Nixon pulling off the same feat. I get a great deal of satisfaction from knowing that.

Chris L <csjlong@hotmail.com>
Philly, - Saturday, April 27 2002 21:17:14

There was a lot to like about Pauline Kael and a lot to just scratch your head over.

Her description of 2001: A Space Odyssey as "remarkably unimaginative" has to go down as one of the all-time stupidest things anyone has ever said or written. I mean, not liking 2001 is bad enough but to each his or her own, I suppose (no, not with 2001, actually) but to call it "unimaginative?"

I think that movie whizzed so far over her head she never even felt the breeze.

- Saturday, April 27 2002 20:57:10


I saw your post only now: I'm very sorry about your losses this month.

- Saturday, April 27 2002 20:50:40


Well...after spending half the day retching upon reading, "...better than the original" and expelling the Roeper impurities from my system I can conclude the issue by saying I take occasional glimpses of Ebert and Roeper and that's it; haven't watched it since Siskel's frustrating all-too-early departure.

I agree a bit with your "schitzophrenic" stamp on Ebert's material; he'll thread his reviews of artistically worthy films with solid data to support his points, then give flicks like Star Trek: The Motion Picture or Blade three stars or more.

I used to like Richard Shickel and John Powers a bit. I was never able to warm up to Pauline Kale as she routinely thrashed three Masters: Wilder, Hitchcock and Kubrick. No: she was never able to win me over after that.

Harlan (m'favorite lycanthrope): GINGER SNAPS! That's one I'd never heard of. Y'got me curiosity. I'll look for it.

BTW, while we're on the subject of film: one time you told me Ken Russell caught your fancy. Could you tell me which films in particular? I never gave him a chance because I'd read so much negative stuff about him...from the critics.

Some time I would absolutely dig seeing your film library as I have an ample one myself. The memorabilia I saw had me transfixed salivating; beautiful stuff. I hope sometime you could tell me or us more about it...the vintage posters and books especially.

Joseph J. Finn <JosephFinn@yahoo.com>
Chicago, IL USA - Saturday, April 27 2002 20:35:59


This month gets worse and worse. My consolations on Effinger.

Jay & Cindy,

I always remember the Dave Barry comment about t-ball and Little League. Think of it as every parent having a joystick, and your job is to control your player when the ball gets anywhere near them. Problem is, they're either active as hell or contemplating how nice of a blue the sky is - not a bad attitude to have during a Little League game.

Regards and best wishes,

Jay <prouddad@zebrapix.com>
- Saturday, April 27 2002 20:15:19

Cindy -

I noticed this in my son, too. It's just shock. He scooped up a grounder and threw it to first ahead of the batter and it blew his mind. He was just so excited he left the field to come tell his mother and I up in the stands. I had to escort him back to the field.

It's all new and exciting. Hitting the ball into the field (to the sound of cheers) and catching, running, stealing...just enjoying it all gives them pause to say "HEY! I DID IT!"

T-Ball is great because it focuses on the fundamentals and the skills over score and victory. While it's important to win, it's more important to learn HOW to win. I think T-Ball is time for kids like yours and mine to enjoy the game and have fun.

So if she's stunned, that's great. Eventually, she'll get used to it and move onto lesson #2...TAKE THE BASE! :)


Brian Siano <bsiano@bellatlantic.net>
- Saturday, April 27 2002 20:11:7

Re Ebert and Roeper. Suddenly I'm happy in not knowing enough about a subject, because I have _never_ seen Ebert and Roeper. I don't know why I lost interest in watching Ebert and Siskel-- maybe it was the local affiliate's putting them on at odd times, I dunno. But I'd always liked Siskel, and I was pleasantly surprised when I noticed that I was agreeing with him more then Ebert. Who, apart from a few reviews I disagree with, has never struck me as a bad sort.

After Ebert and Siskel decided to go into syndication rather than stick with PBS, PBS restocked the show with Jeffrey Lyons and Michael Medved. Lyons struck me as a hyperactive dunce, and thus well-suited to mass-media figurehead-dom. But Medved was, and remains, a repulsive little troglodyte whose aesthetic sense is better suited to a Soviet Comissar than an American film critic. His book _Hollywood versus America_ was a vicious, dishonest piece of ugliness that, thankfully, didn't give him enough public recognition to give him a political career. This is a man who _aspires_ to the lofty heights of a William Bennett, for Crisesakes.

Meanwhile, he still draws breath while Geo. Effinger no longer graces us with his presence. I'd trade the two in a second.

Cindy <IAMCINDIANAJONES@netscape.net>
TEXAS USA - Saturday, April 27 2002 20:6:27

Hey Jay,

My daughter just started T-ball too! She's five.
She can hit it harder than most of the kids on the team even though she's tiny for her age. The only problem is that as soon as she hits it she likes to admire her handiwork, laughing at the others who scramble after the ball. While she's enjoying the mayhem she forgets to run.

Any tips?


Jay <zebrapox@hippity.com>
What Entropy Means to Me - Saturday, April 27 2002 19:57:27

5 Left at Amazon.com zshop


Jay <zebrapix@hotmail.com>
Vacation Starts Today... - Saturday, April 27 2002 19:50:40

I can't think of a better way to spend my downtime than to start with that book. I will look for it now.

Harlan -
I send you all the positive energy I've earned this week. Most of it comes courtesy of my son who just started T_Ball Saturday and made me proud with his concentration and effort. I add the joy of watching him play, the pride of seeing him take his first base and the satisfaction of knowing this is the start of a long life of similar joys. I wrap this weekend up in a karmic ball and send it your way.

April sucked. Let's make May a time for honoring beginnings and renewal.


Alex Jay Berman <smeghead@erols.com>
Philadelphia, - Saturday, April 27 2002 19:44:36

ON GEO. ALEC EFFINGER: Damn. Another falls. I don't have WHAT ENTROPY MEANS TO ME anymore; I read it to death, gleaning something new in the story each time. Comments on Art, on history, on the sweet lies families tell ...

Effinger's name was always a billboard to me, stating that an anthology was worth buying--if it had one of his stories in it, the other material had to be good just to stand up. He had a madly comic style of writing that I would have dearly loved to have seen more of.

We've had enough deaths this past year already--someone tell her to LAY THE FUCK OFF ...

Rick Wyatt
- Saturday, April 27 2002 19:28:10

Incredibly old and crappy picture of me, HE, and Effinger at:

Christ, what a month.

Chris L <csjlong@hotmail.com>
Philly, - Saturday, April 27 2002 19:27:1


The problem with organic chemistry?

Way too much carbon. I mean, what's with the carbon fixation? Carbon sucks.

Chris L <csjlong@hotmail.com>
Philly, - Saturday, April 27 2002 19:25:58


Suggestion noted. I have already ordered What Entropy Means to Me. If it gets to me in time, it will be the first book I read on my upcoming trip. I may wind up reading it while I'm visiting the Badlands in South Dakota. That's a perfect place for encoutering great literature.

- Saturday, April 27 2002 19:9:20

Oops. Sorry.

- Saturday, April 27 2002 19:7:36


You want to read Effinger? You want to be knocked out at what a Golden Child he was? Read his first novel, WHAT ENTROPY MEANS TO ME. Start there, I urge you. Start there.


- Saturday, April 27 2002 19:7:35


You want to read Effinger? You want to be knocked out at what a Golden Child he was? Read his first novel, WHAT ENTROPY MEANS TO ME. Start there, I urge you. Start there.


Faisal A. Qureshi <faq@ic24.net>
Manchester, UK - Saturday, April 27 2002 18:58:43

Hey, whats wrong with organic chemistry!?!


Chris L <csjlong@hotmail.com>
Philly, - Saturday, April 27 2002 18:37:35

I checked a few links on George Alec Effinger and the first one gave me a smile.


**George was born in Cleveland, Ohio in 1947, and attended Yale University, where an organic chemistry course disabused him of the notion of becoming a doctor. **

Damned if the same thing didn't happen to me. Stinking organic chemistry. I swapped an unofficial pre-med track for psychology.

I admit I have not read any of his work. Since I always feel awkward commenting on the passing of people I didn't know for fear of being disrespectful, I will do the best thing I can and immediately read some of his writing.

Here's another link to a bibliography:


Melissa <entropy_5ca@yahoo.ca>
- Saturday, April 27 2002 18:36:40


You are, if not the most annoying, the most delightful curmudgeon/prankster/imp/charmer I've ever met. I think part of the problem is in the respect I have for a very talented writer. Please understand, we both don't see ourselves, at least in the matter of literary skill or talent as being in the same league as you. After all, I don't have a website named for me, with folks more than happy to converse with me.

Any perceived affront from you towards us has been as quickly forgotten as it was issued. Yes, we might appear to be a bit high strung, but we do keep coming back. After all, you seem to attract some high quality people here, some of whom I would wager have had to go through this little rite of passage. You must admit, you do take a bit of getting used to, and of course, that is likely purely intentional.

Rick: Good to hear that things are turning up. I've heard it said that those who are good enough make their own luck. Maybe you're just proof postive of that.

Now, if all will excuse, I've purchased a copy of "The Seven Samurai", a film I've honestly never seen and one of Scotty's favorites.


Chris L <csjlong@hotmail.com>
Philly, - Saturday, April 27 2002 18:33:18


My best friend lives in Atlanta and is a mensch of all mensches. I don't know what kind of info you need but I can ask him if he can help. Let me know.

Helz <helzapoppn@aol.com>
Livonia, Michigan - Saturday, April 27 2002 18:29:10

Oh holy crap...Effinger, too? The same month as Damon Knight? Somebody needs to tell that dried-up bitch Atropos to take a damn break already!!!

I didn't read a lot of his stuff ("The Bird of Time" [sp?] years ago), but I was very impressed with the Budayeen stories. Arab-Muslim Cyberpunk -- such a simple idea to state, but so difficult to achieve...I waited years for the follow-up to "The Exile Kiss" -- now it'll never happen.

- Saturday, April 27 2002 18:11:7


I have lost so many friends this month. Henry Slesar. Dudley Moore. Ray Lafferty. Milton Berle, whom I knew from our days on THE OSCAR at Paramount, and lunches at Oblath's and The Nickodell. Betty Shapian, the world's best publicist and a long-time pal, from way back in Doubleday days. Damon Knight.
I just got a call from his ex-wife, Barbara Hambly:

George Alec Effinger passed away in his sleep last night, in New Orleans. Released at last, rest in peace, Piglet.

It seems I am not as empty of tears as I thought.

Kerry <kerryb@ozemail.com.au>
Broken Hill, NSW Australia - Saturday, April 27 2002 17:54:34


Glad to hear things are going well for you!


Rick Wyatt <rick@rickwyatt.com>
- Saturday, April 27 2002 17:38:30

Ah, I take a couple days off after a CRAPPY ASS Friday morning, and what happens?

- The gent who sent me that lovely e-mail apologizes for acting childlishly and promises to not err again.
- Heather returns, doesn't escalate, and deals maturely with what must have seemed like a bit of a pile-on
- I get a nice job offer from my company in Atlanta (so nice, in fact, it's going to force me to move back to Atlanta)
- Harlan shows up an entertains us all with his insouciant wit

What a nice bit of stuff to retun to!

Now, if any of you folks know someone in the environs of Atlanta, shoot me a line. I'm starting a search for a rental (probably a house) that can hold me and a 200 lb dog.

Toodles - Rick

CEP <swallace@cyberpromo.com>
- Saturday, April 27 2002 17:28:44

Movie "critics" mostly know nothing EXCEPT movies. All too seldom do they know squat about anything else that provides context to the movies. Exhibit A: Ebert's willingness to let Lucas spout on about how he based Star Wars on Joseph Campbell. Had he consulted a recognized anthropologist, he would have discovered just how ill-thought Campbell's work is, and he would have discovered that Lucas's remarks weren't even faithful to that.

Many, many moons ago, before Gene's first operation, we used to watch Siskel & Ebert. Our first choice would be movies that Gene liked and Roger either didn't like or was indifferent to. Roger's opinion has since changed in some respects; I remember his lukewarm review of Apocalypse Now, of All That Jazz, of The Stunt Man (all from a single year), and his enthusiasm for Kramer v. Kramer. Gene's opinion was the other way. I think time and distance have validated Gene's views on 1979.

In any case, in a couple of hours this year's Nebula winners will be announced. Those of you with much sense of perspective will note that one award that is normally given is not being given at all. And therein lies a tale that, sad to say, is very much like the problems with Ebert and Talkinghead.

P.S. If you want to see just how incompetent the producers of that show really are, try surfing to ebertandroeper.com or ebertandroper.com (with no kids in the room). I found out about this when a couple of the other parents at my oldest son's school mentioned their shock when they tried to find Ebert's review of the Harry Potter movie last November...

Jay Smith <zebrapix@hotmail.com>
Question for Mr. Ellison from Kadodie - - Saturday, April 27 2002 17:7:26


I understand you spent some time with the traveling carny. Your account in "Gopher in the Gilly" was quite interesting. If I understood correctly, you only spent a short time with them but you were able to paint a vivid picture of the seedy, lecherous undertones of the side show.

I'm curious if those were observations you made as boy, or something you came to understand later in life?

Also, is there an account of those small, dirty carnies out there that you'd recommend to get a better understanding of how they operated or collected stories of that time?


Peter <writerpo@pacbell.net>
Union City, CA - Saturday, April 27 2002 16:55:2

I'd like to toss in a recommendation for ZoŽ's story. She really is a gifted storyteller. Needs work, but _damn_ if it ain't mostly technical.


Jay Smith <zebrapix@horndogs.com>
Scripts, Jips and Werebeasties... - Saturday, April 27 2002 16:49:12

CINDY! Got it. Will review tonight once the Missus has gone to bed.

ALEX JAY! Interesting twist on the werewolf legend. What do you recommend as source material for the legend?

I'm more interested in reading recommended texts on the folklore, history and variations of the werebeast. The modern interps I've read have a pseudomedical explanation like the one you debunk. Blood taint leads to genetic mutation or cellular disruption. That sort of thing.

I just had this image of a scene where a man has been pursued by a werewolf for hours through a deserted city. He finds himself on a rooftop still vigilant as the sun rises. He breathes a sigh and laughs. He turns and collapses against the eastern ledge and rests his eyes. He hears a growl, turns and sees the werebeastie standing on the western ledge, a wide full moon behind him still many degrees above the horizon.

Nothing complete, yet, but...

St. Pete, FL - Saturday, April 27 2002 16:6:52

Harlan/Susan: Thanks a million for relieving the concerns and lunch is on me when you come to F-L-A!

Alejandro Riera
chicago, il - Saturday, April 27 2002 15:56:6

And had I bothered reading all of the posts before jumping directly to Harlan's I would have noticed that Joseph's correction.

Somebody, quick, smack in me head

DTS <none>
- Saturday, April 27 2002 15:53:28

SCOTT & MEL: I know we've never tossed notes back and forth at each other on this board, but I gotta tell you guys -- yer a couple of pansies. Quit running to your room every time HARLAN makes with the playful jibes. Hell, first time he met me he shook my hand, smacked me on the head and called me a dickless wonder (or maybe that was his bastard son, Dan Simmons -- I get the two mixed up). But he's called me plenty of names since then, and I always fell honored. Don't you guys needle your buddies? Personally, when I like someone I can't refrain from teasing them from time to time. Harlan's that way. If you want him to be curt, to the point, and generally inattentive, then you'll have to get on his bad side. Until then, come back out of your rooms (and bring the ball with you okay) and toughen up a little.
-- DTS

Alejandro Riera
Chicago il - Saturday, April 27 2002 15:51:42


A quick correction if I may. Roger and Roeper (or, as I like to call them, the critic and the fratboy) work for our competitors, the Chicago Sun-Times, place from which Mike Royko ran screaming like a banshee when it was acquired oh so many moons ago by Rupert Murdoch.

Ain't I the corporate lackey?

Chris L <csjlong@hotmail.com>
Philly, - Saturday, April 27 2002 15:46:35

I suspect Harlan is right about Roeper being accepted by the network as the most banal of the choices to replace the sorely missed Gene Siskel. Even somebody as bland as Joyce Kulhawik (sp?) would havebeen a superior choice. I suppose it was too much to hope that Peter Bogdanovich was going to do anything more than the occasional cameo on that show.

I wouldn't characterize Roeper as an effete snob, though. He's too low-rent and anti-intellectual for that. This is the guy who made room on his Top Ten list for Shallow Hal and thought Not Another Teen Movie was hilarious. Roeper is a tyro and a simpleton. Gene Siskel's corpse would do a much better job. No disrespect intended to Mr. Siskel and his memory, of course.

Roger Ebert remains a favorite of mine but his work seems to have schizophrenic quality to it. His print reviews are insightful and his knowledge of film history is matched only by a handful of cineastes in the world. I've spent the last several months using Ebert's Great Movies' list as a guide for both viewing and study. Just in the last week, I've seen Last Year in Marienbad, The Last Laugh, Persona and Pandora's Box and have used Ebert's reviews as a launching point for further research on each film. I liked them all with Marienbad really striking a chord for me.

For all his scholarly work and genuine enthusiasm for the medium, Ebert still has this inexplicable fondness for selected Hollywood dreck. A thumbs up to Tomb Raider? Roger, Roger, don't embarass yourself!

I'd love to hear him talk more about his experiences working with Russ Meyer though. Meyer was no Kubrick but if you watch some of his movies, you'll see that the man was a damn fine film editor.

Joseph J. Finn <JosephFinn@yahoo.com>
Chicago, IL USA - Saturday, April 27 2002 15:46:24


Er...while I agree on the stupid demographic reasons for bringing Roeper on board (nothing against Roeper, but there were many better choices), there's a few errors in your conclusions. Buena Vista is a division of the asinine ABC/Disney conglomerate. Ebert and Roeper both write for the Sun-Times, a division of the Canadian-based Hollinger corporation, which also owns the Jerusalem Post, the Daily Telegraph and a bunch of other papers whose editorial pages have jumped to the right of George Ryan. (Incidentally, in verifying the spelling of Hollinger, I noted that they own an obscene amount of local newspapers in the Chicago area. Depressing as hell, considering how nutty their editorials have become.) Just noting. Really, the Tribune Company has nothig to do with Ebert and Roeper these days.


P.S. Not to toot my own horn, but I was the one raving about "Ginger Snaps" a few months ago (unless there was someone even earlier whom I am forgetting). Fabulously oddball movie.

- Saturday, April 27 2002 15:5:53


The trouble with gentiles is that they let us yids whip guilt on them till they fall to their knees.

I was nuhdzing you.

It was in fun.

Of COURSE the previous brouhaha was put to rest.

Does that mean I cannot annoy the shit out of you?

Does that mean I'm forbidden snapping at you heels?

Does that mean I have to be as serious as you two?

(Listen, Scott, YOU got all warped out of shape when I called you a termite, with tongue in cheek. Who the hell was to know you'd get pissed? If I'd known, I wouldn't've joshed with you. I no more meant you were a "termite" than I would that you're Heinrich Himmler's illegitimate transsexual daughter!)

Don't be silly, Melissa.

You are not to take ANY of that riff as serious.

It is my JOB to discomfit, to harangue, to bark and howl.

If I can't insult and debase you, then what good is our being friends?

And I do wish the two of you (if in fact there ARE two of you, and not just S or M with an Ed Gein Syndrome, yes mother I'm coming) would LIGHTEN the ---- up. See, you've got me so badly unstrung that I cannot even use the King's English as the Good Lord intended without Bowdlerizing for fear I'll ---- you off.

I mean, can't you TELL this is all in jest? Have I ONCE mentioned yo mama?

You have distraught me with this advisement.

Please, PLEASE, tell me all is forgiven! I shall know no surcease till your forbearance is visited 'pon me. PLEASE end my travail! Plz.

I was clowning. Ridi. Pagliacci. Ridi.

Haplessly, supine, and remorseful,

Yo Mama.

- Saturday, April 27 2002 14:47:43


You want a really TERRIFIC contemporary werewolf movie, go rent the Canadian low-budget but nonetheless knockout film GINGER SNAPS. One of our Canuck Webderlanders dropped a mention some months ago, so on the strength of that alone, we went out and rented it, Susan and I; and it was so good I bought one for my library. GINGER SNAPS.

And if you want a tasty bite of lycanthropy every week, you mizzuble buncha whiners, why aren't you watching Lou Diamond Philips starring in WOLF LAKE on UPN? It is smart, it is cool, it is intriguing. The Missuz and I wouldn't mizz it.

Howling for attention, I remain, yr. lap-dog, Howlan

Bag-O-Scott <moebiuslooped@hotmail.com>
- Saturday, April 27 2002 14:46:46

Nothing like a weekend with Mel and the kids to put both heart and hale back in an aging, decrepid soul...

Mr. Ellison: Completely understood, and I'm remarkably envious. I'll close the question for now, but I would be remiss (to hell with understatement; I would be an incredible idiot) if I didn't say "Should you change your mind, let me know..."

Of course, that would mean standing in line, holding a ticket and hearing "Now serving 3.578 to the tenth power."

Now, to a comment of yours, one that seems to have Mel a mite confused.

"Particularly where Melissa is concerned. She sees me as Shylock already. But, listen, I don't take it to heart. I'm a poor Jew from Ohio, heir to 4000 years persecution. Why should your wife's remarks bother me?"

She was under the impression that, after the small misunderstanding, the matter was closed with no harm to either party. Shylock? Not hardly. She's not read that much of your work, but what she has read she's quite enjoyed. Your appearance on "Conspiracy Zone" was the first time she'd ever seen you in action and she not only found you charming, intelligent and funny, she thought you quite handsome (a small twinge of jealous, but I'm all better now). Hell, over the termite comment, she defended you to me fer Chrissakes!

She's read this, and is a bit hurt. Not angry, but thinking she's been misread somewhere. She doesn't want to know what comment triggered this feeling on your part, but she'd like you to know that she sees you as a decent, upstanding person trying to get along the best way you know. She respects you more than I do for (insert name of relevant deity or daemon here)'s sake.

Personally, I think we should just erase the board and start again.

Bermanator: Naming gerbils? My thought is to save up your money and buy a real pet, something along the lines of a cross between an Irish Wolfhound and a Greyhound Bus. Then you can name him Satan and teach him to eat little swastika drawing punks in one bite...or perhpas a train them in career of knocking over liquor stores to supplement your income.

Bag-O-Scott reminds you that gerbils, rabbits, mice, etc. are nothing more than little furry shit factories...

- Saturday, April 27 2002 14:39:42


After James Agee, who should be the high-water mark for all of you, there were only a handful, led by Pauline Kael, who died recently. Most of them are simply fools. A few of them are anti-art, anti-movies, anti-entertainment.

Nonetheless, I adored Gene Siskel, and miss him terribly. With Gene, who was intelligent, kind, and a gentleman, to balance him, to keep him operating at a stratospheric level of craft, Roger was superlative. I've known Roger for thirty years (though trying to contact him in the last decade has been like trying to speak to the gatekeeper at Valhalla) and I've always thought he was doing decent work. Honest, informed, responsible.


Disabuse yourself of the idea that ROGER brought Roeper in. Roeper was the most acceptable choice among all the tryouts-on-air ABC threw at him... most acceptable to the boneheaded venality of network "teeniebopper demographic" thinking. ABC wanted to "skew younger" and so, since the Chicago Tribune Syndicate owns the show, and Ebert works for the Trib, and Roeper works for the Trib...


You get a parvenu. An officious, self-serving, posturing, argumentatively bullheaded and bullying punk. Look up "effete snob" in the OED, and you'll see Roeper's cartoony phizz staring back at you. I have no idea whether Roger LIKES the liaison as it now stands, but he's going for it, so he has lost all coin with me.

Bottom line?

For the first time since Siskel and Ebert came on PBS, decades ago, we no longer watch the show. It is out of touch, out of steam, and out beyond the fringe. My home is closed to them.

Roger is welcome to Roeper. But I shan't waste another half hour on them.

Stolidly, Harlan

Little Washu
- Saturday, April 27 2002 14:25:25

ROB: True, true...maybe I'm just letting Jack's berserk performance from THE SHINING fog up my judgement. Keep in mind, though, that I had seen WOLF shortly after BATMAN, and the amazing restraint Nicholson is putting himself through as a human AND as a wolfman is startling, compared to his portrayal of the Harlequin of Hate. I'm still waiting for Jack to surpass his performance from FIVE EASY PIECES. Great shtuff.

ROEPER/PLANET OF THE APES DEBACLE: I don't know much about Mr. Roeper, but I am repelled by his 'better than the original' take. The minute you start comparing a remake to the original instead of judging it on it's own merits first is ultimately pointless and redundant. (Unless the remake happens to be THE BLOB or PSYCHO or ROLLERBALL or...)

LW (Benjamin A.A. Winfield)

- Saturday, April 27 2002 14:8:8


I bow to the Greater.

Berman has finally hit the most brilliant choice for the naming of the Brothers Gerbil:

"Shatner" and "Toupee" is cosmically inspired. No competition. You win Berman!

I bow to the Greater.

- Saturday, April 27 2002 13:59:12


Your assumption that the answer was "no" (see your own post for referrent) is both correct and incorrect.

We, in fact, have ENDLESS rare items of my work here in the vast subterranean Wonderland vaults...

The MEFISTO IN ONYX limited edition Death Cell hand-made steel box with French crushed-velvet lining, individually keyed, signed and numbered, created by Steve Kirk (who was head man at Disney's Imagineering for years). I haven't seen one offered in a few years, but the last time one popped up, it was (I think) in the stultifying ascendancy of $3-4000.

The STALKING THE NIGHTMARE carved wooden box limited edition, with the demon proffering the lock to be opened. Done in buckram leather, gold-edged, and on and on. Five grand. Considered by such antiquarian booksellers as Barry Levin as the single most beautiful limited ever published in the genre.

1st Edition Doubleday 1967 DANGEROUS VISIONS, mint condition with unsullied and unfaded dust jacket.

And on and on and on.

So, the answer is YES, we got 'em.

But the answer to selling them is NO. Because we need money, yet I cannot bring myself to sell stuff like this for the prices I know they'll bring, from strangers and dealers, to you guys. You may not be my dearest closest bosomest friends in the world, but you ARE my friends and neighbors, and I would have to bleed you to let go of these hot items...and I just cannot do it. As many of you know, from time to time I'll just send something you need, to one or another of you, as the spirit moves me. But I don't charge; and so I've put these treasures off-limits till we do the BIG HUMUNGOUS AUCTION. Yet do not fear: as I promised, before we go public with this stuff, it'll be offered to members of HERC first, in a special mailing. But at the moment--DO NOT NUHDGE ME WITH QUERIES ABOUT THE AUCTION--everything is in abeyance till I'm over my deadlines and have a spare moment.

If there's something you see on e-bay or somewhere, Scott, and it intrigues you, ask me if I've got an extra copy; let me know what it's selling for on the web; and perhaps I can do you some good. But...this is on a case by case basis.

Particularly where Melissa is concerned. She sees me as Shylock already. But, listen, I don't take it to heart. I'm a poor Jew from Ohio, heir to 4000 years persecution. Why should your wife's remarks bother me? Cut me, do I not bleed? Hurt me, do I not cry? Force me to listen to 'N Sync, does not my brain turn to barnyard mulch?

Humbly, yr. pal, Harlan

ZoŽ Rose <www.angelfire.com/mn/ZoeHome/forgottenmagic.html>
- Saturday, April 27 2002 13:54:1

Good afternoon, all -

Well there's a link for any bored enough and curious enough to want to read my "short" story. It's not really that short, but oh well.

You know, I've never been a huge fan of movie critics myself. Granted, I don't know oodles about many of them, but I do know my taste is usually directly opposite most of the critics.

Quiet day - it's _still_ snowing, for the love- I'm trying with them weather gods but they ain't listenin'!

--ZoŽ Rose

- Saturday, April 27 2002 13:32:12


I am conveying for Susan. She says 2-2&1/2 months for return of the green card is standard these days. And up to a year and a few months for copyright registrations to be returned. Minimum. Everything is going as it's supposed to; do not kvetch; do not fret; do not worry.

We used to get our copyright registrations back pretty fast before 9/ll. But, as with many government aeries in D.C., everything went straight up in the air, was Kansas twistered, and came down in a snowstorm of epic proportions. We've had copyright reg paperwork in their hands for eight/nine months now; and it's only starting to triculate with molasses slowness.

Take heart. You'll see your new paperwork before we see ours, Bunky. They're taking the fresh stuff first, and catching up with poor schlubs like us in the stray open minutes.

The bill for all this assistance is in the mail.

Yr. pal, H(arlan). R. Block

Chris L <csjlong@hotmail.com>
Philly, - Saturday, April 27 2002 13:28:22


To address the idea of movie critics in general, I think they can provide a very valuable role in the artistic and analytical process. Like all fields of endeavor, there's a big difference between the good critics and the bad ones. And only a few of themcan really be called good.

Giving a movie a star rating or a thumbs up/thumbs down is pretty useless. But a critic can contribute to the artistic process. Not that he is an artist, hemost assuredly is not, but he can still help analyze and promote good art.

I'm currently enjoying theheck out of the series of little, I dunno what you call the, chapbooks maybe, from the British Film Institute each on various films. I thought the one about Night of the Hunter was very good and I am currently enjoying the one about Last Year in Marienbad.

Chris L <csjlong@hotmail.com>
Philly, - Saturday, April 27 2002 13:24:31

I don't know if Roeper is a dumb guy - I know he's a dumb critic. I'm notjust basing that on Planet of the Apes but on having watched him for the last couple years. I don't know why Ebert brought him on. Maybe to represent the "common man" but it's not like Ebert doesn't like a lot of schlock too. It's just Roeper's taste (thumbs up /thumbs down), it's the asinine comments he makes.

He trashed Lord of the Rings because it's "too long." He ripped Dancer in the Dark because it "got on his nerves" and had an unrealistic plot. Ebert's print review directly repudiated this saying that it was fine and well to like or not like Dancer in the Dark but criticizing the realism of the plot was not valid. The film made a stylistic choice of extreme melodrama over realism. Roeper likewise tore apart Training Day because it "wasn't realistic." Idiot idiot idiot.

Yes, Rob, Roeper praised Planet of the Apes. He actually started off his reviewby proudly proclaiming it's "better than the original."

I already had a low opinion of him at that point. When he had the nerve to say that, I think I fainted.

- Saturday, April 27 2002 12:58:47


You're kidding...you're KIDDING...right? RIGHT?

You're not. You're NOT?

Yeah, don't gimme that shit. You're kidding.

Roeper actually gave the PLANET OF THE APES remake a thumb skyward?

I have an interview with Kubrick sitting on my desk even as we post. A quote from him: "Explaining works of art contributes nothing but a superficial 'cultural' value which has no value except for critics and teachers who have to earn a living."

Roeper must be getting minimum wage.

I dismiss critics nowadays but some more outright and justifiably than others. Roeper's thumb is a reminder why.

Frank Church
- Saturday, April 27 2002 12:47:37

Chris L, doesn't mean that Roeper is a dumb guy. Ebert must trust him for valid reasons. The fatboy knows his movie people.

Chris L <csjlong@hotmail.com>
Philly, - Saturday, April 27 2002 12:43:43


Go see Panic Room. I think it's terrible, the worst movie of the year so far, but some people like it. But I think there are a lot of bad movies still worth seeing.

As for the thumbs up biz, Ebert thumbs up is encouraging. A Roeper thumbs up is always a warning sign. This is the man who raved over the brilliance of the remake of Planet of the Apes and told Ebert he would wind up feeling embarassed to have given it a thums down.

Frank Church
- Saturday, April 27 2002 12:41:43

Brian, yes and yes.

Brian Siano <bsiano@bellatlantic.net>
- Saturday, April 27 2002 12:36:44

To Frank Church, re Parecon. For the benefit of Webderlanders, "Parecon" is an economic system proposed by Michael Albert of _Z_ magazine. I haven't look at it in enough detail to make much of an opinion about it, I'm afraid.

I am wondering about Frank's question, as to whether I think it's a "valid" system or not. By what do you mean "valid?" Do I think it could work if implemented? Do I think it's even _likely_ to be implemented? Do I see an, a nervous animal is a dangerous animal.
I really hope this is clearing everything up for you. I mean, all that Lon Chaney and Maria Ouspenskaya crap really muddies the waters. "Yooooouu cann-not essscape the cooo-urse!" I mean, come _on_. Total bull.
Actually, "werewolf" and "wolfman" are misnomers when you think about it. True wolves are dirty little bastards, actually. Sure, they're not carrion eaters, but I'm convinced that they would be, if they didn't enjoy hounding animals to death so much.
Also, they tend to bugger anything that moves ... okay, so maybe that has its merits sometimes, but really now! Once I saw a wolf trying to mount a _squirrel_--and then, after he decided he was through, he _ate_ the poor little bastard!
That's one reason I don't like the name "werewolf"; another's that we don't change into _wolves_ per se--the closest I can come to describing what we Callen become is, well, some sort of bestial humanity; stuck between man and animal and not really either of them. The third reason I hate any "wolf" comparisons is that wolves tend to travel in packs (kind of like schoolyard bullies, come to think). Now, I'm not sure if I speak for the rest of the Callen, but myself? I don't want to see anyone else who sprouts fur and grows claws (unless she's both willing and in heat) as long as I live, and I sure as hell don't want _them_ to see _me_."

There; it's over now ... you can come out ...

Holy Typos, Ratman.... - Saturday, April 27 2002 4:40:20

DAMNIT! Someone stole my tools. Even the chair I made to replace the collapsed chair collapsed! Saturday mornings require Jay to use the PREVIEW button from now on.

Anyone else notice how ridiculous Star Wars character names are becoming? Just another pointless observation to distract you from my poor typing. :)

Jay <zebrapix@hornpail.com>
Bad Structure, Rick's Job, & Cindy's Screenplay... - Saturday, April 27 2002 4:36:32

Ouch. Sorry for the awkward construction. I guess the metaphorocal chair I made this morning fell apart.

Still love that analogy, Rich.

Rick Wynott - Helluva Board, Helluva Tribute. The schmoe who emailed you probably can't program a VCR much less a web page of this design. As Lynn said, it has influenced me and given me joy in the brief time I've have it bookmarked. Have you heard of the Pyxis Corporation? They are a division of Cardinal Health. It's health care=related so jobs won't vanish and they have computer-specialist and support positions around the country. If you're still looking, check them out. They've been great to two friends of mine and I might have joined them except for this tendency of mine to not like math...or science...or sick people.

I'd enjoy reading your pages if you would like to send them my way. Same email as above, but hotmail.com

Jay <zebrapix@hormell.com>
Daytime Werewolves? - Saturday, April 27 2002 4:1:51

An interesting question for folklorists (florists with extra "olk"!)

Driving my fiance to work this morning early in the morning hours we noticed the big full (or just slightly waning) moon still hanging in the sky about 20 degrees over the western horizon. This prompted the question:

According to folklore, do lycanthropes remain in animal form during a full moon even AFTER the break of day, or is the curse broken by dawn?

Of course I don't ask for practical purposes...even though the hairy man with the hangover who crossed in front of us on the Harvey Taylor Bridge this morning looked quite the part.

Kerry <Noble Hamster's>
Broken Hill, NSW Australia - Saturday, April 27 2002 1:23:6

OK, I can't take it anymore.


Sir Boris (the finest swordsman in the World)and
Sir Morris (not the finest swordsman in the World, but the most enthusiastic)

They actually have a pet hamster called Sir Dorris, and a dog, Sir Horace.


- Saturday, April 27 2002 0:48:0


- Saturday, April 27 2002 0:42:52

Gerbils (that's all my scotch-soaked brain can handle this early on a Saturday AM):

Lucy and Ethel?
Betty and Wilma?

- Saturday, April 27 2002 0:2:48


- Saturday, April 27 2002 0:2:16

Gudanov and Badanov? Boris and Natasha? Sporty and Scary Spice?
Gertrude and Prudence?

Chuck <see below>
- Friday, April 26 2002 23:59:4

Damnit. More misspellings. Gotta use that other neat feature, "PREVIEW".

I'm a victim of soicumstance! I was framed, I tell ya!


Chuck <chuck_messer@hotmail.com>
Lakewood, CO Land of Ire - Friday, April 26 2002 23:54:53


When I first popped in here, it was to complement your work here, especiall the scalable number of posts I can call up when I come in to the bulletin board. Then, I read your post about that rude individual who came back with the "thanx for nothing" e-mail. What the hell does he know? Does this member of the booboisie run a website? He probably couldn't.

I think you're doing a fine job here, adding features I haven't seen on ANY bulletin board, including and especially the scalability feature. (I like that word scalability. I promise not to overuse it like Zippy the Pinhead) Keep on doing what you're doing, which is usually above the call of duty or whatever calls on the WWW. And what a fine advocate you have in HE. Just remember most of the radom fucks that come onto your website are not like the terrible tempere Mr. Bang.

Oh, and I asked if my company needed any IT people. Unfortunately, they don't. What the hell, it's outside the area you wanted look in, and the pay would probably suck.

I just became an official member of the HERC. Sent in my membership today. Too much cool stuff in there to pass up. Now I need to look into Lynn's site.


Jon Stover <jmstover_ca@yahoo.com>
Ontario Canada. Grrrrr.... - Friday, April 26 2002 23:25:54

Yes, bad Todd. The roastfully boastfully Todd, who roasts and boasts until the milquetoasts roast in the post. Whenever I think of Todd, I think of...well, exchanges with Frank which leave me with the distinct impression that the two of them would probably get along quite well at a table together, in between tearing ideological strips off each other.

Yes, bad Todd. Bad bad bad bad Todd.

He is bad.



Jon Stover
Canada - Friday, April 26 2002 22:57:2

Bermanator: My father, who taught high school English from 1960-1995, and who did both public and high school at a rural one-room school house, gets on my ass whenever I opine that kids are different. His comments frost me off, but they also act as a necessary rejoinder.

His contention (and he still coaches grade nines and tens in football now) is that kids aren't any different at all, except that they may be _less_ prone to violence in total as a kneejerk reaction or as a social norm, at least within the groups he deals with -- namely, kids from a small town of about 14,000. And many of the stories he's told -- about life in a rural area in the late 1930s and early 1940s, about what was tolerated as schoolyard behaviour, all in particulars and not in the generals that I'm giving here because it's late and my brain's fused -- at the very least give me pause before thinking that kids are 'worse.' We've got some high-profile bullying trials and investigations going on in Canada right now. I do think, as someone who was tormented by peers for being fat in public school, that this focus indicates a paying-of-attention to things that weren't paid attention to much before except by 'outsider' writers -- like Orwell, like Ellison -- in their accounts and stories of 'acceptable (unacceptable) school behaviour.'

The murders in Germany really suck.


Heather Lovatt <heatherlovatt@yahoo.ca>
Subject: You aren't making a difference., - Friday, April 26 2002 20:39:10

First off, P.A. something about your post gave me chills. The real world is invading the school. Unfortunately, (and no, I know it's not that simple) that puts some of us (literally) in the line of fire.

But you aren't reaching them all?

I beg to differ.

I worked at the hub of a plethora of kids this year, working as the cashier. Offering comments, jokes and compliments to a cross-section of kidkind. There are a lot of them out there. It's hard know what they are thinking. But ya know something? (and I won't pull the spotlight on my own anecdote to prove the point) you affect ALL OF THEM...

Trust me on this one. It may not surface. (Damn, I was only a cashier. I was AMAZED at the casual coments I got later on about the simple things I proffered. It kinda floored me.) You may not see it happen in your presence. But you are as a stone cast in a clear pond.

You CAN be seen. You'd be amazed. _I_ was.

Keep up the fight. Someone is winning. Believe me.


Heaher Lovatt <heathrerlovatt@yahoo.ca>
Subject: You have to ask?, - Friday, April 26 2002 20:21:14

Todd, get a life.

I have a pretty good idea what some of the people here I am dealing with are about. I grew up with a supportive father who influenced me greatly and who taught me a few things about picking my battles. I also have two brothers--intelligent folk, actually. (And come to think of it, despite a strong sibling rivalry with my older brother, he NEVER called me a bitch. Go figure.) I live in the real world. With more shades than just black and white. There are a few men (and women) there. Some of them do things I can't explain and try not to worry about. Life is too short.

If you feel the need to nitpick, to fill your roast/boast quota, be my guest. I've seen you do it enough with others and I have no qualm with you or anyone else here, but I WILL speak my mind from time to time. A mind? Yes, I have one. A little different from yours, Thank Christ, but hey, that's what makes the world go round.

So flip me the bird, turn me into some caricatured female figure you find it easier to snot at, or pass my posts at your leisure. It's a free country. If all you look for in exchanges with people are things to get mad as a hatter about, enjoy yourself. I'm RIGHT here.

I've dealt with programmers. There are a number of them here. My observations have a basis in reality. If that's a problem for you, tough, ignore me. It's an easy to do.

Cast me as a villain? Take a hike. Woman as bitch? Give me a fucking break. Contrary opinion? Live with it. Keep the gender out of it.

Oh my, this IS fun!

Cindy <IAMCINDIANAJONES@netscape.net>
TEXAS USA - Friday, April 26 2002 20:14:45


I am grateful for the time that you spend on my behalf.
Your wife will probably be delighted with your efforts. Good women who marry manly men don't begrudge them their masculine tendencies but admire them.


P.A. Berman
I just wanna be the catcher in the rye. - Friday, April 26 2002 20:13:34

Aside from the exciting gerbil acquisition/naming (Heather: no initials for my girls-- they get GOOD names), I have to say... I'm pretty freaked out by the school shooting in Germany. 17 people killed and 14 of them were teachers. All I could think was, that could be me, in some horror nightmare. I wish I could be eloquent about this, but all I can think of is...are kids really this fucking unhappy in school? Have things changed so much since I was a kid? Sure, I fantasized about my high school going up in flames, but to DO it, and on such a scale?

I try to be a teacher who gives a damn, who loves the individuals more than the rules, more than the books, more than the status quo. And I think I'm succeeding a lot of the time... tonight I chaperoned Battle of the Bands. A kid, whose brother I had last year, told me his brother had come to the show that night specifically to see me because I was his favorite teacher ever, K-12. (I wound up missing the kid; he was going to sing but he left early because they wouldn't let him say THE EFF WORD).

I felt faint... I reached that weird, tough kid. I felt so honored, like a success, but... I'm babbling...all that doesn't matter if one kid is alienated and miserable and crazy enough to put a handgun in my face and pull the trigger.

And I'm not going to kid myself. I don't reach them all.



Cindy <IAMCINDIANAJONES@netscape.net>
TEXAS USA - Friday, April 26 2002 20:11:59



I am SO grateful for that comment! You are so kind. Are you finished with it? The form that you got it in was so bad I apologize. Faisal's suggestion makes all the difference in the world. I sent you the improved one from a final draft translation this evening. I think it will help your reading experience.

Again, your words encourage me and give me such confidence!

Now where did you want me to send your payment for the comment?


Todd Cassel <TheDoh@prodigy.net>
NJ USofA - Friday, April 26 2002 20:11:4


Got it, thanks. I promise a complete reading and honest comments. Give me a few days, though. Though I am officially unemployed for the first time since 1980, I do have a lot of work ahead of me next week preparing my home for sale later this summer. Yup, as a manly man, I will be swimming in paint and dust and God knows what else (and pissing off the wife everytime she comes home from work to see what mess I've gotten myself into).

But I will get to it, fer sure! Thanks!


Cindy <IAMCINDIANAJONES@netscape.net>
TEXAS USA - Friday, April 26 2002 20:4:28


The script is probably there as we speak! Ain't technology grand?

I can't thank you enough for helping out.

I'm beholden. MOST beholden.

Y'all are fine as frog hair.

Heather Lovatt <heatherlovatt@yahoo.ca>
Subject: Belated congrats, - Friday, April 26 2002 19:51:7

Zoe...Hope school is going well. Books in the mail. Feels GOOOOD, don't it? Congratulations on your prized piece. It doesn't matter how many entries there were--you won a prize! Enjoy it! And let the gerbil be a Zoe. Zoe Berman. What's the middle name? Will we get yet ANOTHER P.A.-like initial here?

Peter..Why the English department? You work at a school or something? Congratulations, as well.

I would be glad to see either piece from either or you. Or anything else (Peter.)

Chris...You go, girl! Good for you to make a decision. Get some sun while you are out there. Hit the beach and be a manly man. Maybe you'll meet a babe or two.

Cindy...(My screenplay experience notwithstanding but...) I am in awe. As I mentioned in private post, your piece seems to convey a real, emotion-filled, solidly written story with nifty little characters. Not a word out of place. The pace is wonderful. I LOVE the catwoman. (Hmm..you should do a comic of this for KICK. Anybody listening?) Good luck at the contest.

Congratulations to you others for your current triumphs and heroics. Seems the full moon is having a positive effect this week. This is Good.

Rick...Need help, or a buttinsky ear, let me know, as always.

Heather Anne

Todd Cassel <TheDoh@prodigy.net>
NJ USofA - Friday, April 26 2002 19:44:51

Heather, I rarely address any of your notes, as I really am able to get past the first few lines. But I read your last post, and I must ask: Are you purposely acting like an asshole to rile up the intelligent people here? Do you really think these people are 'programming' nerds (how many of you guys and gals are programmers besides Rick? Me, I don't program, I boss around programmers...or used to) who have no better things to do in life than crack jokes.

A) Jokes are fun. Cracking jokes brings joy to the world, unless your jokes suck.

B) The people here are fun.

C) You are becoming a fucking stick in the mud.

I'm sure your post, in which you refuse admit your complicity in placing the match to gasoline by asking for comments on that piece of shit writing exercise, will elicit quite the number of pissed of responses.

In advance....I agree with them all. You know why? Because these programming losers who crack jokes at other's expenses are far better people than you are proving to be.

I used to think you were an eccentric rambler. I now think you are a bit of a bitch.



P.A. Berman <virulentstrain@yahoo.com>
- Friday, April 26 2002 19:41:14

Peter, Cindy, Zoe (if you want): E-mail above. Send stuff.

Gerbils: I had to get girl gerbils. They didn't have a boy one in black. So I have a black girl and a grey girl. Boy, the woman behind the counter thought I was nuts-- she actually tried to talk me out of getting them. I guess it's not too often that full grown adults come in asking for gerbils. Hmmm. Wonder what her fevered imaginings conjured (Richard Gere? Gezundheit.)

Your suggestions are all quite compelling. I honestly cannot decide. I'm a Libra, I'm indecisive by nature. I think I might go with Death and Taxes. That cracked me up...The Gerbils of Inevitability.


Heather Lovatt <heatherlovatt@yahoo.ca>
Subject: Ha!, - Friday, April 26 2002 19:32:46

Dearest Harlan

Stay out of it. I don't waste time pouting at people with nothing better to do but point fingers and snicker. I made my point; more than I usually bother to do with this crowd, as I'm not as anal as some of you. Heh.

If you missed the point of my original post, so be it. Don't feed me my thoughts on this matter. Your points posed in prose may be true--as you sometimes tend to do when pressing a point of debate (with the essence of the original exchange getting lost in the reply)--but they are beside the point. I thanked the specific parties for their specific replies. I spoke my mind to the willy nillies who needed a joke break from their programming.


I could have pulled up this person for your perusal and comments, as I've done with a few others in the past, while I was surfing. (Per Jay's comments, I should have shown you a piece of prose that DIDN'T comment on said person being PUBLISHED; as many of you chewed a little too long on THAT point versus a civil discussion the kid's prose.) I came across this chap last year. I read a number of his pieces (which is more than I can say for some of you.) I went back to visit the site recently and saw what I showed you, casually asking for pros and cons on his abilities. Even Hemingway preferred specific feedback from Gertrude Stein when he showed her a piece. Saying "Bad boy" or "Good boy" served him little purpose. (And I personally can't imagine her making jokes as his expense as many of you lazy ones did.) And that's the extent of my involvement with this Moonlighter chap.

I am here to attempt intelligent exchange. If that's too tall an order for any of you, the Cartoon Channel is over there, by your Pee Wee Herman doll.


Todd Cassel <TheDoh@prodigy.net>
NJ USofA - Friday, April 26 2002 19:28:46

Cindiana, I would enjoy taking a look at your screenplay. Is this the one that uses my The Sister Who Came From The Basement story? Regardless, still interested!


Cindy <IAMCINDIANAJONES@netscape.net>
TEXAS USA - Friday, April 26 2002 19:13:12











I HAVE SENT YOU ALL THE SCREENPLAY. If it doesn't come through holler at me please. In the meantime anybody else want to read it- I'd be most beholden.

I am going to submit it to a film festival and this is the best way for me to see what needs to be tweaked or pruned.

Faisal, you are THE MAN! I took your advice and managed to get it from Final Draft into a text format. It still off centers a little bit of the dialogue.. I'm sure that's part of the design so people will be compelled to buy the product.

Meantime you saved me on this.. thanks so much. AND if you change your mind and want to read it I WOULD BE EVEN MORE IN YOUR DEBT.

Shameless ain't I?


You are all the best people.

Rick, I would be happy to kick in for the keg so to speak. I can send a little for the cause. What you do is such a boon to ALL OF US. I get more of a kick out of your website than I do out of most of the movies that come through my little "burg" as my mother calls it as in " I can't grasp how you can stand to LIVE in this little burg."

Anyway you have only to email me with your address and I'll send you what I can.

Thanks for all you do and piss on that bastard that was rude to you. I think we should do a villiagers from Frankenstein number on him.

All of y'all's friend,


Alex Jay Berman <smeghead@erols.com>
Philadelphia, - Friday, April 26 2002 17:34:15

Well. Lots of congratulations have to wing their way out here.

ZOň AND PETER AT THE CLAIR DE LUNE: Good on you both. Keep writing, keep winning, keep it up.
(An aside: Peter, I've seen you express yourself here and elsewhere for some time, and I have to say that while proud, I am wholly unsurprised. [Sorry, ZoŽ; while a great addition to the board here, I just haven't read you as much--I look forward to, however ...])

CHRIS: Hey--I know you've been pursuing film school for some time. Good to see you're going ahead with it--an maybe the Fluffya Webderlanders can give you a sendoff ...

PETER: The "No writing on webpages" is a rule of mine, as well. If they pay me, fine. If not, it has to be something extraordinary (the only ones I can think of are a review of a friend's musical group, which they now use in their onstage intros and in their press releases, and an article on an antiwar site in reply to an article by one of my best friends--oddly, this is the article that got my byline on the same page as Chomsky and other luminaries).

NAME THE GERBILS: Sex and Violence. Bogie and Bacall. Hornet and Kato. Sacco and Vanzetti. Aubrey and Maturin. Tits and Ass. Shatner and Toupee. Channon and Yelena. Buck and Bubbles. Edmund and Tenzing. Kavalier and Clay. Bailey and Olivaw. Passion and Warfare. War and Peace. Stanley and Livingstone. Leopold and Loeb. Simon and Garfunkel. Simon and Kirby. Simon and Schuster. Simon and Simon. (I got a million of 'em ...)

RICK: I don't like ZoŽ's idea of a mass flame at all, but I do believe that the person who e-mailed you has forfeited any rights to polite conversation--or, for that matter, ANY conversation. Brush him off like a grabby ex (and delight in the Ellisonian emasculation to follow).

JUSTIN: Regarding the "Show, don't Tell"--gimme some time; I'll have a good explanation for you later tonight.

DAVID: *I* wish that Fantagraphics would resume its POGO collections!

BRIAN: You need me, I've got your back. I'm free on weekends for bullybashing.

RICK: I almost forgot--though you may be loath to join The Great Satan, the IRS is ALWAYS hungry for IT pros and other techies, and the starting pay is actually not bad.

ALEX K.: No matter what Harlan says, there is no finer aim for Art--ANY Art--than between the legs of one's desire.
(and I recommend MIND FIELDS)

ZoŽ Rose <ztreuer@d.umn.edu>
- Friday, April 26 2002 17:27:22

Quick correction, the HE books were the ESSENTIAL, and SLIPPAGE, not SHATTERDAY...

--ZoŽ Rose

ZoŽ Rose <ztreuer@d.umn.edu>
- Friday, April 26 2002 17:25:34

Hey all-

I know I'm still new-ish here, but thought you'd appreciate how greatful I am to a certain someone I met here, who recently sent me a treasure-chest of literature. This afternoon there appeared a box on my doorstep, taking me a minute to lug into the house because of its weight. Digging inside I found books, books, boks! Harlan Ellison ("Essential Ellison" and "Shatterday"), Dan Simmons (too many to list), Alice Blanchard, Lucius Shepard, Nevada Barr, Stephen King, Carol O'Connell, and a couple others.

Not even out of college and I've got a little library started! If it hadn't been for this board and the quick and astute responses (friendly... and not, too, sometimes, but can be just as fun), I would never have stuck around and met such a great bunch.

Thanks to one and all for making my "stay" here superb. Y'all rock.

-ZoŽ Rose

Lynn <cavalaxis@digitalcarrion.com>
- Friday, April 26 2002 15:56:25

Xanadu~ ::LOL:: Or from Good Omens, The Other Four Bikers of the Apocalypse: Grievious Bodily Harm, Cruelty to Animals, Really Cool People, and Things Not Working Properly Even After You've Given Them A Good Thumping (secretly called No Alcohol Lager).


Xanadu <X_a_n_a_d_u@yahoo.com>
Subject: Peter's Story - Friday, April 26 2002 15:42:8

If you have no objections, Peter - I'd love to see how you've progressed since the days of shaz... ^Email above^

Xanadu <X_a_n_a_d_u@yahoo.com>
Subject: Doomsday - Friday, April 26 2002 15:39:11

More suggestions for the Two Gerbils of the Apocalypse:

Fire and Brimstone
Crash and Burn
Fear and Loathing (in Binghamton)
Mashed, Potatoes
Odd and Even
Burp and Fart

Which thoughts led me to - The Four Horsemen of the Moderately Bad Day: Hunger, Discomfort, Unconsciousness and Slap Fight.

Peter <writerpo@pacbell.net>
Union City, CA - Friday, April 26 2002 15:2:55

They just posted the winners list for that competition, and I placed (where I placed, I don't know, because they haven't actually said which winner got which place) in the short story comp, 2000+ words with my story O'RYAN'S BELT.

P.A.Berman: If you still want to read it, let me know your email addy and I'll shoot it off to you.

Goodness I'm tired.


- Friday, April 26 2002 15:0:40


Okay, how about "Sleepless Nights..." for non-fiction and "Mind Fields" for fiction? Come to think of it, "Sleepless Nights..." was the first HE book I gave to my son.

- Friday, April 26 2002 14:58:51

Holmes and Watson

Bag-O-Scott <moebiuslooped@hotmail.com>
- Friday, April 26 2002 14:56:35


Christ almighty, as one who puts up with a endless parade of those who both feel the need to be able to tell me precisely how it is I'm screwing up at either managing the rink or calling a game, and yet never seem to be able to be available to take a turn at doing it themselves, you have my sympathies. A pity I don't have a means to get to the individual. Still have a few skills learned on the wrong side of the tracks and during my purgatory within the CAF that would come in mighty handy...

Michael: Drew Mel's attention to your post; our favorites for illness are ginger ale, dry toast, and peppermint ice cream. Don't know why, but it really seems to settle the stomach. Hope Alia's both feeling better soonest, and her new job is working out.

Mr. Ellison: Mel had asked if you'd had any other books or items for sale other than those listed. We take silence as inferring the word No. Not a problem, but should something of interest come up, please let us know.

Well, out of here. Taking the kids to their grandparents, then out on the town for a much needed night out. Don't wait up, kiddies; we be goin' long on this one.

Hehehehehehehehe, and a nice little leer...

A lecherous Bag-O-Scott

DTS <none>
- Friday, April 26 2002 14:18:31

Zoe: <-- see the sideways dots? Congratulations on your contest win -- you rock, baby.
-- DTS

Michael <leftearpro@hotmail.com>
- Friday, April 26 2002 13:46:36

Alia has a nasty stomach bug today. I'm spending my day running Sprite and crackers to the bedroom, and wasting time on the Internet. Thus:

Alex, as regards your story...THAT'S why I suggested Harlan's work to Justin!!!

You see, Justin? It works! Ask Alex! Ask Harlan!

Wups, gotta go get the Maalox....

Joseph J. Finn
Chicago, - Friday, April 26 2002 13:44:55

Castor and Pollux

Gunther Schmidl
Linz, Austria - Friday, April 26 2002 13:43:8

Another few gerbil monikers, sparked by Mr. Ellison's mention of Gog and Magog:

Hugin and Munin
Phobos and Deimos
Oberon and Miranda

Alex Krislov <Alexkrislov@cs.com>
Shaker Heights, OH United States - Friday, April 26 2002 13:23:17

Rick, sorry to read of your hassles with a netnerd, but unsurprised. I've been doing this stuff even longer than thou, I'd wager. There are nations of idiots who assume that visiting a webpage is like visiting a store, and they demand instant service. Sounds like Harlan's up for stomping the guy, which might be fun. Can we all watch? I can always use the entertainment.

To those who suggested "The Essential Ellison" for my old college buddy's son: Um, thanks, but I think I'd like to get him something less terrifying. I'm remembering how daunting I found the original "Dangerous Visions" when I was 16. It was a lot shorter than "The Essential Ellison," and I read compulsively. It still made me gulp. Think I'll go with "Dreams with Sharp Teeth" (Susan, the order will be coming in the mail).

Which brings back a fond memory of the late sixties. I used to get girls hooked on Harlan's writing and then I'd get him to sign copies at conventions. Finally, at one convention, Harlan looked at the latest stack and said, "Krislov, you gotta quit using my stuff to get laid."


Shane Shellenbarger <ShaneS@Cox.Net>
Phoenix, AZ USofA - Friday, April 26 2002 13:14:53

May I say right off the bat, thank you. I know it isn't said often enough, but I want to thank you for the YEARS of dedication you've put into this website. You've done a great job and everybody here is (or damn well SHOULD BE) grateful for the blood, sweat, toil, and tears you've shed to make this a neighborhood community that spans the planet.

Secondly, the ass who made those comments isn't worth a second thought. You are better than that cretin and I hope that once the anger in you subsides you'll feel a little pity for that jerk and a great deal of pity for those around him.


Joseph J. Finn
Chicago, - Friday, April 26 2002 13:14:44


A) You're a mensch as well, despite being a dirty Yankees fan.

B) That's "First Place White Sox," thankyouverymuch.


Todd Cassel <TheDoh@prodigy.net>
NJ USofA - Friday, April 26 2002 12:58:48

Rick, please, Mother of God, PLEASE get Harlan in touch with that rat bastard and his 'quick witted' snottiness. People like that need to have their asses reamed by the nearest telephone pole (a real splintery one)!

Rick is cool, gang! I had a lost-mail matter to ask Harlan and Susan about a month ago, and I asked Rick if he could bring it up in any future conversations. He didn't have to.....he's not a manager of some internet company here, he's just a guy who gives us a fun place to converse. But he did, and got me an answer right away. He's a mensch, but I'm sure everyone here would agree (except for Heather, but I haven't found too many rat's asses that care in regard to that matter).

Rick, please get Mad Dog Harlan on that prick! These people need to know what asses they make of themselves in the world....it might actually prevent more stupidity in the future and make the world a better place.

P.S. If you need donations to keep the site running until you are employed again, please don't be afraid to ask! I became officially unemployed today, but being that I come from a large company I received a separation package that would allow me to sit on my ass until February 2003 if I wanted to....but I don't, so I will be happy to chip in! The only other board I have ever gone to on the web is the new Webderland board, but all I do there is mock Joseph Finn about his White Sox and his first place Webderland Team (while I yearn to stay above the Mendoza Line and pray my pitching keeps me alive).


Brian Siano <bsiano@bellatlantic.net>
- Friday, April 26 2002 12:43:30

The mention of Bill Moyers' history with Lyndon Johnson prompts me to mention that I'm about halfway through the third volume of Robert Caro's incredible biography. Titled _Master of the Senate_, it covers the years that Lyndon Johnson served in the Senate-- and how he managed to change decades-ossified procedure, upend the seniority system, stack committees for his own purposes, and managed to get the Civil Rights Act of 1957 passed. Utterly flabbergasting portrait of a political genius in his element, and alongside of Caro's own _The Power Broker_ essential reading for any intelligent American.

I'll pass this next anecdote along for your personal edification. I've describe the local battle over an Historic District proposal here before. This past Wednesday was a public meeting hosted by the advocates. We, the opponents, spread some flyers around to encourage people to attend. I focused on the more run-down areas of the district, because the people who live there are going to be hardest hit by this-- and I noticed very few of the advocates' posters in those areas.

Anyway, a few days before this public meeting, I wrote a note on a local listserve where I described some of the comments made by the advocates at a local block meeting. I'd taken good notes, and some of their comments were a bit hair-raising. Well, after this public meeting, the main guy behind the HD proposal sidles up to me-- along with two buddies, who surround me in the classic schoolyard beating-up configuration. They nod at each other, agree to get their stories straight, and begin haranguing me about what an evil person I am. "We're gonna watch you," they say, "you be careful what you write, because we're watching you." Straight out of _The Big Knife_.

I took it pretty calmly, surprisingly enough; the main guy's on the zoning board, and one of his thugs is my block captain, so they could give me some grief if they really wanted to. I gave an account of what happened with some others on our side within a few moments after it happened.

But I am astounded that the advocates could revert so quickly to schoolyard bullies. And there's a certain amount of pride I have in the fact that they did this to _me_, probably because it's no secret that I've been doing most of the writing against their proposal.

What's actually saddest is this; these guys probably consider themselves to be decent liberals who believe in tolerance and diversity. But they're basically thugs, and the more power they get, the more this area will turn into another whites-only enclave.

David Loftus <DavidL@ci.oswego.or.us>
SUBJ: Short bits, - Friday, April 26 2002 12:28:48

These days I continue to find myself bereft of the proper amount of time to read, never mind contribute to, the interesting threads (such as the nature of writers and writing) on this board. Just some short items:

My beloved grandmother adored _archy & mehitabel_. Shortly after she married my grandfather (this was in frontier Fairbanks, Alaska in the late 1920s), she tried to read it aloud to him as her parents had once read to each other, but the experiment was a miserable failure. My prudish grand-dad thought mehitabel was a bit of a slattern. And I've never gotten around to that book, I'm sorry to say. But a Marquis quote has become permanently lodged in my brain, to wit:

Publishing a book of poetry in America is like dropping a rose petal off the rim of the Grand Canyon and listening for the echo.

Justin -- The dictum "show, don't tell" is a nearly universal line of teachers of writing to their pupils, and hard to define as it is, nonetheless useful for all that. What it means is: Don't cut corners. Get the details right. Don't say "he felt this," "she thought that," -- show them saying and doing things that intimate to the reader what they're feeling. Learn to describe inanimate objects and landscapes or cityscapes in concrete details that connote states of mind and mood. It's much easier to discuss specific examples than to define this in the abstract....

Somebody mentioned that Fantagrafics is getting back on line with its Krazy Kat series. I wish they'd continue with their complete Jules Feiffer collection!

Some time ago, when Joseph Campbell was the subject of discussion, Bill Moyers was mentioned for the documentary work he did with Campbell and I think Heather asked about Moyers. I was reminded of this last night when I caught up with the tape I made of an hour-long show he did on corporations v. Free Speech a few months back.

Moyers is not a philosopher, folklorist, or theologian, he's a broadcast journalist. I believe he was President Johnson's press secretary, or at least worked in Lyndon's press office, but since then he's done a lot of interesting projects, mostly for public broadcasting. Many are political in content, although three years ago he did a series called "The Genesis Project," in which he got various priests, ministers, rabbis, and literature professors to talk about the first book of the Bible as a literary and cultural artifact. It was surprisingly interesting.

The show I watched the other night talked about how money trumps free speech in this country. The illustrations included how a female conservative Republican state senator was crushed by hog farming coalition once she began to notice that her constituents were suffering from fumes and pollution, and the rivers were getting clogged with algae because of hog farms, how Big Tobacco killed McCain's bill to make cigarettes pay more for the health effects of tobacco, and how the 1996 media bill got lobbied in Congress and smothered as a story in the media so that digital wavelengths belonged to the public and could have been auctioned off for billions were handed over to the networks for free.

Moyers tends to be pretty liberal, but he's also fair and does stories nobody else will do.

St. Pete, FL - Friday, April 26 2002 12:15:39

SUSAN: I sent the document to the copyright office on 4/4, by certified mail. I haven't rec'd the green return card. I went to my PO today and the computer indicates the package is in DC, but hasn't been accepted or rejected. The postal worker indicated the copyright office could be busy like IRS and you won't get the green card for maybe 2 1/2 months. Does this sound accurate and what is the approximate length of time until the registration is rec'd from the CR office? Thanks for helping me clarify this. Charlie

Chris L <csjlong@hotmail.com>
Philly, - Friday, April 26 2002 12:11:49


Hey, Rob, can we also wage the occasional internecine war over the merits of Roger Ebert?

I just read his review of 8 1/2 and I think he offers a very valid observation. He hardly came up with the notion but it's an idea that seems to be forgotten by most modern filmmakers and critics:

"The critic Alan Stone, writing in the Boston Review, deplores Fellini's "stylistic tendency to emphasize images over ideas." I celebrate it. A filmmaker who prefers ideas to images will never advance above the second rank because he is fighting the nature of his art. The printed word is ideal for ideas; film is made for images, and images are best when they are free to evoke many associations and are not linked to narrowly defined purposes. "

I like that.


Joseph J. Finn
Chicago, - Friday, April 26 2002 11:48:2

Frodo & Sam? Aragorn & Arwen? Suraman & Gandalf? Yin & Yang? God & Goddess? Fish & Fowl? Woodward & Bernstein? Franklin & Eleanor? Soddom & Gommorah? Abraham & Sarah? Bernie & Eve?

Perhaps more later as the mood strikes...

- Friday, April 26 2002 11:44:55

You may want to sit down because I have some news that will shock you this afternoon: my gelatinous simian brain is not adequately processing something. It could be the lack of sleep and the two Jolt colas that currently have me amped up like a Peavey at an Aerosmith concert, but I don't think I'd know what this thing means even in a semi-lucid state. I got a paper back from my English teacher today and she gave me an A on it, and thanked me because it made her laugh. I was pleased with myself, because mostly I just try to make people laugh in the stuff I write for school (Harvard won't be beating down the door any time soon, rest assured). But she went on to say that "the main advice I can give is to work on showing rather than telling--then good use of imagery will become great use of imagery and you will be able to lead your audience where you want it w/out readers feeling led." I'll make an appointment with her to discuss this further, but if someone can help me out here I'd appreciate it. I think I need the difference between showing and telling illustrated for me more clearly, because right now I'm still not sure what precisely to fix. Aren't you "showing" people what you want them to see when you "tell" them what's going on? Me is confoosed. Thanks in advance.

Rick: That's awful. Sorry you have to put up with the joiks like that on accounta your nifty site here. 'Taint right.

Harlan, you amaze me. With all the shit you have to deal with right now, you're still willing to take the time to hunt down a weasel for a buddy. I wouldn't be surprised if the words "too" and "busy" never crossed your lips side by side in that particular order. It's not just that I aspire to amass a Hoplite phalanx of friends like you, it's that I aspire to BE a friend like that myself. Good, solid, manly stuff. Makes me wanna go drinking with some guys and whistle and women and make crude remarks.



Zoe Rose <ztreuer@d.umn.edu>
- Friday, April 26 2002 11:44:11

I just had to giggle madly and clap my hands in glee at HE's most recent posting - it must feel great to have Harlan on your side, eh Rick? Even if nothing ever becomes of it, it's like knowing you have a loaded weapon ready to fire - you don't have to actually shoot it to know what the end result would look like.

Could you IMAGINE HE's response to that idiot?

*mad giggles and hand clapping again*

-Still Dotless
-Zoe Rose

- Friday, April 26 2002 11:20:20

I appreciate the Don Marquis discussion. I'd never looked at his work. I'll seek him out. Every now and then you people have your uses.

Re: Harlan's backyard.

I had this image flash in my head as we all cut up his lawn with our cloven hooves: Chris and I will spout off Atheist dogma while doing a rigadoon - leaving the others galled and incensed -and upon drawing borders we divide the yard into two tiny nations to be led to Armageddon by Satan...'gainst the kingdom of God himself. (Stage hands...cue the mad laughter please).

Harlan may get pigeonholed as a numen by neighbors...but das vut 'appenz ven you pud up vis us.

...uh. What a way to wake late in the morning. It's not like I have anything better to do.

- Friday, April 26 2002 11:1:31


Nobody fucks with my friends. NObody.

Send me a way to reach The Heir to the Throne of the Kingdom of SnakeShitAnia, and I promise you, old chum, I will either contact him physically and make the point that he is a prime example of the demise of Western Civilization, or reach him by phone/fax to send him into the outer darkness he deserves.

You actually do not have to put up with such crap. Not on my behalf, nor that of the dear Webderlanders. In a world where Jesse Helms retires in January, it is our duty to eradicate hyena droppings such as your avatar.

NOBODY fucks with MY pals.

Gilgamesh J. Ellison

Jay Smith <zebrapix@hotmorals.com>
Gerbils, Priests and Geeks... - Friday, April 26 2002 10:53:58

Wyatt & Doc...Cook & Dudley (I know)... Sturm & Drang... Vladamir & Estragon... Jay & Bob... Rosie & Guildy... Vic & Blood... Hope & Crosby... Lennon & McCartney... Elton & Bernie... Threepio & Artoo... Billie & Satchmo... Bruce & Dick... Jekyll & Hyde... Snap & Crunch... Thing 1 & Thing 2... Death & Taxes... Deathroll & Necksnap... Sunshine & Rainbow... Jesus & Judas

Rick - The guy's wife and/or daughter probably demasculated him for his inability to search the web. His attack on you was projecting his shrinking dinkie issues on you. Fuck 'em if they can't find their soul.

What can I say about RELIGION without going off on a rant? Not much. About time those dress-wearing cloistered elitists catch up to this century. Just my humble opinion.


Zoe Rose <ztreuer@d.umn.edu>
- Friday, April 26 2002 10:45:34

Uncloaked Lurker- Yeah, I know, but plotting makes me feel better, anyhow. *malicious grin*

--Zoe Rose

- Friday, April 26 2002 10:13:49

Rick: That man is a total failure as a human being. His rude behavior is beyond the pale. Only an idiot would presume that running this website is your bread and butter; that you are here to serve any and all who query you about things Harlan; that your life permits instant replies to emails from nits who have a casual questions that could be answered with a 15 minute search on the w.w.w. My blood is boiling because (without ever having met you) I know you're decent guy. This boy doesn't deserve to carry your mouse pad. A pox on his house from a pissed Wilder.

a lurker, uncloaked
- Friday, April 26 2002 10:9:25


Flaming them does look like a good idea at the start, but it can at times cause much more trouble than it's worth. Let it go, the person's not worth it.

I understand anger at someone's childishness, but the correct answer is not to become childish yourself.

Lynn <cavalaxis@digitalcarrion.com>
- Friday, April 26 2002 9:38:49

Rick~ You could always try the cyber-version of Harlan's "Dear Sir: Someone with severe mental illness is sending emails on your behalf." Preferably with a copy of your response attached.

Little minds, my friend. I can't tell you how much I appreciate this forum. I can honestly say to you that it has changed my life in subtle and powerful ways. I don't think we could ever say thank you enough.

As for the job and the anniversary, I know virtual hugs don't count for much, but if you ever need someone to talk to, you have my number. Sometimes I even shut up long enough to listen to your problems. Just ask Harlan. ;)

Cindy~ I'm savoring your screenplay one page at a time. I finally had to print out a copy to take to lunch with me. I'm not a screen writer, so all I can give you is thumbs-up feedback, but I gots two of 'em and they're way up so far.


ZoŽ Rose <ztreuer@d.umn.edu>
- Friday, April 26 2002 9:18:12

Michael and Bermanator- Please don't name the gerbils Zoe and Peter! Because when they suddenly start going at it and having babies, I don't want to have to explain to everyone that I'm really not having 16 babies a month, nor that I try my best to refrain from 'fucking like gerbils'. Cute idea, but the scary outcomes are endless...

Rick- You should tell us the e-mail address of this obvious loser - we'll flame him for you. I have no compunctions about doing so either! It was his goddamned mistake!! If there's anything we faraway few can do to help, let us know.. we owe you, Rick, and bigtime. You rock. Period. Nobody should screw with our webmaster.

-The Dot Dot Warrior out for blood (on Rick's behalf)
-ZoŽ Rose

Melissa <entropy_5ca@yahoo.ca>
- Friday, April 26 2002 8:43:52

archy & mehitabel? freddy the rat? warty bliggens the toad? the old soak? i've loved them since childhood, at first reading them as a child would, but starting to see Marquis' satire becoming stronger with age. all the while, I've never lost my enjoyment.

"i climbed upon my boss his desk
to type a flaming ballad
and there i found a heap grotesque
of socks and songs and salad..."

for our fifth anniversary scotty surprised me with a copy of the album "archy & mehitabel, a back alley opera", with carol channing and eddie bracken as the characters. i've got it on just now. has anyone else seen the movie "shinbone alley"?

if you get a chance, find Marquis' poem, "an ode to hollywood", about his short and frustrating stint as a screenwriter.

Rick: You have mine and Scotty's sympathies. If I've not said how much I get a kick from what you've created here, and the fun I have speaking to others of intelligence and creativity, well, it has gotten said now. Thank you, and I hope all works out for you.

I'm off, the man wants to go to lunch.

Love to all, Melissa

Joseph J. Finn
Chicago, - Friday, April 26 2002 8:37:23


Here's a big boid to the petty nitwits you ahve to deal with (myself sometimes included).


Harlan's mention of Herriman reminds me to note that Fantagraphics is resuming the anthologizing of the Krazy Kat comics (that was lkeft off by Eclipse a decade ago), in the volume "Krazy and Ignatz: The Komplete Kat Komics 1925 & 1926." Really, really essential. Funny as hell and touching beyond belief. Also has a good amount of analysis and essays on the work. Good stuff.

As for the amazing gerbil brothers, how about Cuff and Link? Hey,a good "Rocky" reference never hurt anyone. Or Jay and Silent Bob. Or Tristan and Isolde.


Chris L <csjlong@hotmail.com>
Philly, - Friday, April 26 2002 8:34:45


Unless things change drastically (like Loyola Marymount actually gets backtomeAND I decide I want to go there),I'll bemoving to Orange,CA. My understanding is that most L.A. folks don't even consider that to be part of the L.A. area but rather a different world altogether. Hey, what can I say? Not every school accepts old men. I can't be choosy.

I intend to spend quite a bit of time in L.A. even if the "only 20 minutes from L.A." really means I have to spend an hour or more driving into the city. Oh so damn much I want to do out there. I have traveled the country rather extensively on several solo cross-country drives but despite spending a great deal of time in the southwest, I have not yet so much as set foot in the state of California. I had a feeling I'd wind up there one day so I always wanted to leave it unexplored until I make my big move.




TRISTAN and ISOLDE (they don't what gender they are so it doesn't matter)

Xanadu <X_a_n_a_d_u@yahoo.com>
Subject: Three words, redux - Friday, April 26 2002 8:29:47

Cindy: Not priests so much as cardinals.

To answer your question: "Zero Tolerance" conflicts with church doctrine that states all individuals have the potential to be redeemed, and defrocking priests or turning them over to secular authority would permanently extinguish that potential. In the minds of the cardinals, this should only be _considered_ if the offending party meets the below listed criteria.

Jon Stover <jmstover_ca@yahoo.com>
Canada - Friday, April 26 2002 8:23:0

Film-writers: I've got a copy of David Mamet's _On Directing Film_ if anyone wants it. It's currently part of my emergency storage space clean-up pile, which means that it's gotta go anyway. As it cost a mighty 99 cents to begin with, you can have it free of charge to the untraceable PO box of your choice. How's that for a non-sales pitch? Respond to the email address above.

archy and mehitabel: Reading about the cat and the cockroach are forever linked with reading James Thurber in my mind, as I encountered both around the same time when I was small. Or at least smallish. If you can find any of those great Thurber collections in your travels, pick them up too.



Rick Wyatt <webmaster@harlanellison.com>
- Friday, April 26 2002 8:15:24


Here's a little story.

This monday I get an e-mail from a guy who'd had some material posted on my site. He'd recently lost some of his HE collection. The e-mail asked in which story or book Harlan's recounting of his days working for Disney appeared. It referenced the "Don't fuck with the mouse" bit.

I'm pretty busy lately. My job goes away this Tuesday and I don't have another one yet. This month is both the one-year anniversary of my divorce and the time in which the government demands I pay the piper. But I did a bit of research, which sparked my memory that not only is this bit from "THE THREE MOST IMPORTANT THINGS IN LIFE" but that essay is available on my website. I shot back (less than an hour later) an e-mail with the URL, then just after another e-mail because I'd forgotten to answer the question and tell him the book source was STALKING THE NIGHTMARE.

Well, unfortunately, this gentleman had sent his query from his wife or daughter's Juno account, and didn't include any other return information. So my response went back to that source, and he never got it. So what did he do? He sent me this last night:

Rick Whynot:
The quote that I was asking you about earlier was from "stalking the nightmare."
I should have thought that you'd either know it or that you would at the very least point me in the right direction.
Two of my more intense dislikes are dealing with incompetent wannabes and frustrated bootlickers. You can also add contrived arrogance and childish petulance to my list of distasteful qualities.
Tell me rick, were you breast-fed? Or are you a bottle baby?
Again thanx for giving what you had to offer: nothing...
Sweet dreams babycakes.


So if anyone ever wonders, is it cool to run the Ellison website? Well, sometimes. Harlan is a great guy and a good friend and he makes me laugh at least once a week. I've met a lot of great people and I feel like I'm serving the common weal.

But I also get to field a lot of trivial questions, and GOD FORBID I don't pony up an answer. I also get 2 or 3 things a week like the little number above. Sometimes more. I get them purely because in running Harlan Ellison's web page I get in the way of people's misdirected feelings of fury and entitlement.

So if I at times seem pointed or curt, it may be because of nothing more than the number of shitheads I had to work through to get to you. And you have my apologies.

Brian Siano <bsiano@bellatlantic.net>
- Friday, April 26 2002 8:7:28

Quote of the Day, from Crossfire: From William Donohue, head of the Catholic League, describing his worries about the punitive policies towards pedophilic priests:
"There's going to be a national policy that all can agree to on the easiest cases. What about the cases where a priest at a Christmas party, straight or gay, has a bit too much to drink and he hits on somebody in the parish? One time..."

Aren't priests suppossed to restrict their drinking to the sacramental wine?

Later on, Tucker Carlson makes the following point about robotics and space travel:

GARVER: Would we have sent -- would Jefferson have sent robots to explore the west. We need to go as a people. We're part of exploring...


CARVILLE: Well, he couldn't send a robot.

CARLSON: No, but if Lewis and Clark were robotic, it would have been an entirely different trip. You must admit.

Michael <leftearpro@hotmail.com>
- Friday, April 26 2002 7:57:18

Let me add my congrats to the prize-winning team of Zoe Dot Dot and Peter! And if you look at the synchronicity of it all, Captain Bermanator, wouldn't "Zoe" and "Peter" sound great for a pair of gerbils?

Of course, P.A., if you were to get a mated pair, "Michael" and "Alia" are really the only names you need...

Word has come down the pike from the local constabulary that Coffee-boy, a.k.a. "Scumwad," has indeed been arrested. No further details as yet.

BUT, what has really moved me to actually write something here is my renewed amazement at the depth of literary savvy around here. archy and mehitabel. I suppose by now I should not be surprised that Harlan and the rest of you have read something so close to my heart...but I truly thought that this particular jewel was one that I alone remembered! I have been telling people about Don Marquis' wonderful writings for years, and all I ever got for my trouble was a blank stare (yes, from you, too, Justin m'boy). I first discovered the cat & cockroach when I was but a wee tad, in a book owned by my great-uncle George, a book he was kind enough to give me, one which has become a prized possession. Over the many intervening years I have tracked down and devoured every word I could find by Don Marquis. It was well worth it. What a delight to find that there are others who love it as well as I! What a swell bunch of eggheads you all are!

And to this day, whenever -I- get writer's block, I just imagine archy hurling himself head-first into the typewriter keys. If he could work that hard, so can I.

Best to all,
toujours gay, archy, toujours gay

Cindy <IAMCINDIANAJONES@netscape.net>
TEXAS USA - Friday, April 26 2002 7:47:39


Are you referring to the Priest debacle?

I don't understand their reluctance to implement a one strike you're out policy. What the fuck?

They're lucky I am not the Pope. I would have the HEADS of every swinging son of a bitch that KNEW about it and covered it up or (WORSE)passed the trash. It's pretty bad when the church won't commit to protecting the children. I would think that step one would be to drive the rats into the sea.

I love the Catholic Church and this breaks my heart.

Even if I'm a Lutheran.


Cindy <IAMCINDIANAJONES@netscape.net>
TEXAS USA - Friday, April 26 2002 7:40:12



I was secretly hoping you would read it.

Thanks for the honor you do me.

Little Washu <colonel_clive@hotmail.com>
- Friday, April 26 2002 7:34:13

Well, I momentarily attempted to revert back to my real name, but it seems that 'Little Washu' and 'Benjamin' have become interchangeable now. Not that I mind, but never let the 'Little' fool you. Real life...big person.

For anyone interested: Finally saw METROPOLIS last night (the anime, not the Fritz Lang vehicle) and I was...impressed, I guess. The animation and character designs were indeed spectacular, but I kept getting the feeling as if I've seen this all before...that is, the gigantic future city, the robot trying to discover what it means to be human, the evil government, everything (and everyone) going berserk at the end, etc. If anyone else here is a veteran of anime, you'll know what I mean. The production is FANTASTIC, but ultimately you're left with a feeling of, "And?"

MELODY: I've been tempted time and again to watch the adaptation of A BOY AND HIS DOG, but have decided to crack down and read the novella FIRST. No, I haven't read A BOY AND HIS DOG yet. I've read probably the most obscure Ellison stories out there, and I haven't read A BOY AND HIS DOG. I know I'm gonna get bashed for this.

LW (Benjamin A.A. Winfield)

Xanadu <X_a_n_a_d_u@yahoo.com>
Subject: Three Words - Friday, April 26 2002 7:29:30

I somehow missed the news yesterday and the world I give to my children saddens me beyond measure...

Notorious. Serial. Predatory.


Parents of Webderland Ė hold your kids close Ė protect them. No one else will.

Andrew <drew71@hotmail.com>
San Diego, CA - Friday, April 26 2002 7:29:6

Alex K.~ Funny, my Aunt has a cat named Ignatz as well. Sounds like you've got good taste. :)

P.A.B.~ I've tried looking at the name-the-gerbil issue from the point of view your cat might take. Howzabout "Lunch" and "Dinner"?

Justin~ How many times have we told you? No gunplay in the house, take it outside if you're gonna make a mess. Sheesh...


ZoŽ Rose <ztreuer@d.umn.edu>
- Friday, April 26 2002 6:29:8

Good morning, all!

Thanks again for all the positive support and warnings - unlike Peter I'm not experienced in submitting things places, so although I like to think I'm prepared for rejections, I'm sure I'll come crying to you all sometime. Indeed, the last time I wrote for a contest was in third grade, I think - and I won third place for a Halloween story.

As far as sharing, well.. I can't really go and post it now, Peter! Actually, I have a webpage elsewhere and I might post it there once it's cleaned up a bit - although, I'd love if any comments could come to my e-mail, so I won't be afraid to show my virtual face hereabouts. *heh* I'll be posting it soon and will be sure to let y'all know.

Justin - Could you at least take the slaughter over a ways so I don't get splattered? :)

Harlan - Where? All I know is I'm slated for missile school in the military. If that's not a place to write freely and imaginatively, I don't know where is [insert sarcasm here]. We'll see. I do know I'll be camping in your backyard.. invasion of the dots? Well, you never know.

I'm sure I've forgotten someone, but will post again later. Must return to sleep (aaah, got to love these class-free Fridays).

ZoŽ Rose

Jon Stover
Canada - Friday, April 26 2002 6:23:39

Zoe and Peter: Congratulations! If you don't want that money clogging up your lives, though, send the cheques to me and I'll reimburse you with the so-much-more-permanent Grade 6 Remembrance Day Poetry Prize plaque that I have stashed around here someplace. Although I guess you'd half to saw it in half...

PAB: Brute and Glob were characters in Joe Simon and Jack Kirby's short-lived Sandman series from the 1970s. I don't know whether or not B&G appeared when Roy Thomas revived the yellow-and-red Sandman in Wonder Woman and Infinity Inc. There's a Sandman page out there somewhere that goes through the origins of the various characters that Gaiman plays with but didn't create in the series (Scott Free, Prez, Dr. Destiny, Element Girl, others) as well as those he did.



Peter <writerpo@pacbell.net>
Union City, CA - Friday, April 26 2002 6:7:49

Mr. Berman: Over the last four years I have set up a series of rules for myself about my writing, one of which is "no posting on webpages," unless it is an honest to goodness sale (another rule is "write for myself and not a market -- worry about market later). I set this rule up for two reasons. The first is simply that posting a story online smacks too much of vanity press to me, and I'm too confident in my ability to go that route. The second is a little more complicated. Posting a story online, in a forum, on a webpage, or anywhere else is technically considered "published." Unless you've got a name behind you (and I don't) it is really difficult to get something re-printed. I do not want a story rejected for things that I can control, like format, grammar, clunky sentences, or the fact that I'm sending in what is technically a "reprint."

However, I am willing to share my writing, stories, or poems, with people who ask. Since you asked, I will send. I assume you want to read my winning entry. Since I don't know what that is yet, I ask for your patience.

This goes for anybody on the board, too. If you want to read what I wrote, ya just have to ask. I hope you understand my reluctance to share publicly, though.


P.A. Berman
- Friday, April 26 2002 5:28:44

Congrats to Zoe and Peter. Winning rules. I'm sure you both richly deserved it. Maybe you'd post your stories somewhere that we could all read them? IF we promise not to be envious, intellectual assholes?

Cindy: if you wouldn't mind, I'd like to read your script too. Please? Willya send it to me too?

To all who offered gerbilious names: an embarrassment of riches. I'm still pondering them. Maybe I'll have to look into their little rodent faces to truly know what names would fit. I was also thinking of Brute and Glob, from Sandman. You know, the little nightmares who esacped? Gaiman's always good for names.


- Friday, April 26 2002 3:47:39

For those of you who actually have money...Amazon.com carries aRCHY and mEHITABEL, ARCHYOLOGY: THE LONG LOST TALES OF aRCHY and mEHITABEL, and ARCHYOLOGY II : (THE FINAL DIG) THE LONG LOST TALES OF aRCHY and mEHITABEL, at prices that won't break the bank, unless of course it's mine. But I'll pick 'em up soon. It looks like great stuff.

I could have sworn there was something else I'm supposed to be doing right now. Something to do with school, mabe. I wonder what it could possibly be. I seem to have forgotten.

Oh that's right. Commiting suicide so I don't have to go to class tomorrow: So, uh, Harlan. Up late, huh? What happened? I thought people your age were legally required to go to bed after MATLOCK. Tee hee hee. (Aim for the head, please, sir. Open casket funerals give me the creeps.)

Too snarky to live,
too clever to die,


Justin <I have PT in 3 hours and haven't slept in 40@I am sooo fucked.com>
- Friday, April 26 2002 3:22:39

I interrupt this all-nighter to congratulate Zoe and Peter on their achievements! Huzzah! I salute you!

And now, before the books regain consciousness, I must resume hitting them until they can be hit no more. Sleep is fo' pussies.


- Friday, April 26 2002 1:14:8


Does this mean that not only do Susan and I have to put up with Rob and Lynn, but Zoe Dot Dot and Chris L. in our backyard, as well!!?!!

My life bids fair to metamorphose into a hideous rigadoon.

(By the way, Chris, I still have a WHIZ COMICS to return.)

Malthusianly thine, yr. pal, Harlan

- Friday, April 26 2002 1:7:39


Yes, THE LIVES AND TIMES OF aRCHY & mEHITABEL by Don Marquis (best edition: the "new edition" with an introduction by E.B. White, illustrated throughout by George "Krazy Kat" Herriman, Doubleday, 1950) is one of the nonpareil wonders of American literature--toujours gai, toujours gai--but it is only in the past twenty-five or thirty years that it has become "neglected."

I envy all of you who will be entering the lower-case world of the cockroach/reincarnated vers libre poet and the raunchy concupisant cat for the first time! Ah, such laughs and smiles will soon be thine.

But. The quotation I served up is not from archy & mehitabel, Alex, it is from one of newspaperman Don Marquis's books of essays . . . I just cannot remember which, at 1 in the morning.

Congrats Zoe Dot Dot and Peter. That's how I started, too. Won the National Scholastic short story prize while attending Champion Junior High School (no longer standing) in Painesville, Ohio, in 1948 or '49. Without ever having read it, or indeed even knowing of its existence, apparently I won with a story that very closely paralleled Karel Capek's famous "R.U.R."

I never found that out till ten years later.

You're on your way. The question, always, is WHERE?

Yr. pal, Harlan

- Friday, April 26 2002 0:48:18


Two sets of gerbil monickers assert themselves in my sleepless brain.




Peter <writerpo@pacbell.net>
Union City, CA - Thursday, April 25 2002 23:27:28

Thanks everyone. I'm not sure if it's completely sunk in yet, and I still don't know which category, or which place, I've won. I find that out tomorrow.

As for rejection . . . As I write this, I'm staring at an ever growing pile of rejection slips pinned to my wall. So I'm way ahead of you on that one. In fact, I had just received my latest (and most impersonal to date) slip on Tuesday. I just have to keep plugging away. I'm in this for the long haul. Always have been.

This and I'm turning twenty-four on Saturday. Seems to me that this has actually turned out to be a good week.

ZoŽ: (I will forever remember that alt-0235 now) Congratulations on your award as well. Sorry I didn't say so earlier, but I was between classes.

---Peter (who is actually in "Cali")

Lorin O.
- Thursday, April 25 2002 23:24:57

CONGRATS TO ZOE AND PETER! Great going. Here's hoping you have many more triumphs along the way.

-- Lorin

Cindy <IAMCINDIANAJONES@netscape.net>
TEXAS USA - Thursday, April 25 2002 22:3:2

ZOE!!!!! GIRL CHILD!!! Kickin' ASS and takin' NAMES. You're a firecracker. High FIVE!


Chris!!!!! I think that's just grand! You go to film school and tell me what they're teaching you.. a bit of vicarious living is good for those who live in the middle of nowhere.

Good for YOU!

Peter! OOOOOOOOOOO an awards CEREMONY!!!!! That is SO FUN!!!!! Don't start freaking about what you're going to wear.. you have PLENTY of time. You WON! You WON!

I'm delighted on your behalf.

And NOW I am SIGNING off, so y'all can quit your murmuring about how I should be shutting my yap and going back to the FINAL DRAFT ROCK PILE to work on my glitch.

So I say to you all, Good NIGHT, Adieu!! TOMORROW I WILL LAY BEFORE YOU MY SOUL!

Uhhh lie before you my soul? Noooo that doesn't sound right at all.

It's late and I'm gettin' punchy.

Cindy <IAMCINDIANAJONES@netscape.net>
TEXAS USA - Thursday, April 25 2002 21:54:9



I beg your pardon as well and ask for one more day to fix the FORMAT PROBLEM.

Picture the kid in the 70s movie Oliver Twist " Playze suh, kin oye 'ave some mooowa?"

Only in MY case it's " Kin oye 'ave one mooowa dah-eee?"

You KNOW I know I owe you all.

God love yer little hearts,

Cindy <IAMCINDIANAJONES@netscape.net>
TEXAS USA - Thursday, April 25 2002 21:44:39

I owe you most of all.

Have a sweet night.
Yer pal,

Cindy <IAMCINDIANAJONES@netscape.net>
TEXAS USA - Thursday, April 25 2002 21:42:49



I set about to send you the Final Draft Version via RTF or however I could get it done. I took one last glance around and found a few more glitches which WILL BE IRONED OUT BY TOMORROW EVENING!!!!!!!!

I promise you-- I will provide you all with engaging stuff to curl your toes and make you wonder BY THIS TIME TOMORROW NIGHT.

That means you will have something lovely and creepy to peruse for the weekend.

I am terribly sorry for the delay, but wasn't it Dorothy Parker who said she couldn't write five words without editing seven?

I am no Dorothy Parker, who is? BUT I do tamper and tinker and tweak when it's clearly necessary. This is some strange formatting problem that mixes my action with my dialogue in spots. Very distracting and annoying but fixable.

Can y'all bear with me please? I promise you won't be disappointed.


Subject: Whoops, forgot.... - Thursday, April 25 2002 21:32:45

Bermanator: How could I forget - Strunk and White? Piss and Vinegar? Rock and Roll? Dumb and Dumber?

It's late, I'm tired - have a good night folks.

Xanadu <X_a_n_a_d_u@yahoo.com>
Subject: Musings - Thursday, April 25 2002 21:25:7

ZoŽ and Peter: Whoo-hoo! Good job and good luck! Let's hope this is the start of something great for both.

Chris L. : Best of luck to you, sir. Some among us need to dream the impossible dream for all of us.

To Melissa and Bag O' Scott - thank you for the lovely vignettes of parenthood - I find myself smiling in recognition at every mention of your little ones and their whims and wants. Please continue.

To those who have dealt with recent medical and/or family traumas - I hope all involved are doing well. With special nods to Michael and Alia, Lynn, Faisal and anyone else I may be forgetting.

With a quick knock on wood to avoid jinxing things, perhaps these are signs 2002 will turn out better than '01.

Happy thoughts to all.

Chuck <chuck_messer@hotmail.com>
- Thursday, April 25 2002 20:55:58


Congratulations, kid! Feels great, huh? I just loves it when I win once in a while. By the way, as long as you're talking to the weather gods, who are dumping on you right now, could you PLEASE ask them where the hell they were this winter? We're so dry out here in Colorado that we've got a major brushfire situation already. Not TOO far from my old home town, Evergreen. (okay, it's not that close, but still...) Just wait until summer comes. Maybe the parsimonious bastards could give us a little rain, maybe?


Congrats to you too, buddy. Looks like you've been hard at work. I hope this is but a harbinger of things to come.

To you both,

Of course, if you WANT to really be writers, that will mean a lot of hard work and rejection. I hope you both can cope with rejection because that is part of the landscape. Of course when it works....


And, don't forget the REALLY STRANGE PICTURE SHOW (or was that "incredibly strange"?) also did Ed Wood. A very insightful look into the man's work and life. He had no talent at all, in my opinion, but he had such a PASSION for filmmaking. If his talent had matched his passion, he would have been dangerous. Extremely dangerous, especially for the fifties.

It is unfortunate that you got no recognition for the act of saving a child. But then, you weren't thinking about that at the moment it happened. And, one kid got to grow up because of you. Hip, hip, HURRAH, is what I say. By the way, do you know the child? Is he doing alright these days? Sometimes one can lose touch.


How about Gaspara and Dactyl? Pluto and Charon? Frick and Frack? Olson and Johnson? Stanley and Ollie?


ZoŽ Rose <ztreuer@d.umn.edu>
- Thursday, April 25 2002 20:48:37

Chris L- good job on chasing the dream! GOod luck, and you're NEVER too old, I'd say. Where in Cali ya moving? I'm moving there myself, soon... about two hours north of LA.

--ZoŽ Rose

ZoŽ Rose <ztreuer@d.umn.edu>
- Thursday, April 25 2002 20:44:32

Wow- thanks, all. Your guys' comments made me hop around almost as much as the Composition person who posted the sign with my name in big bold letters (in a hallway no one traverses, but oh well) did. *sniff*

Peter - High five!

And, as for a sample... heh. After rereading it, I've decided it needs not only a major overhaul in editing of the basics (repeated words, grammar, etc) but a few fixer-uppers. But.. maybe sometime soon when I've worked on it a bit more.

Wow - you guys are now responsible for this big goofy grin plastered on my face.

--ZoŽ Rose

Chris L <csjlong@hotmail.com>
Philly, - Thursday, April 25 2002 20:31:1

Congratulationss to Zoe and Peter on your success. I hope it's the start of something big for both of you.

I can't match that news but I did just get into film school. Again. I went in the mid-90's but had to drop out when my father died. I decided that even though I am "too old" to be doing this sort of crazy thing I would pick up my old dream and try to finish what I started. What can I say? I just love me them movin' picshurs.

In September, I'll actually be living in California. As Charlie Brown would say, "Good grief!"

Duluth, Mn - Thursday, April 25 2002 20:29:20

I watched "A Boy and His Dog" for the first time today. I enjoyed the movie and am looking forward to reading the story (novelette?). I would like to say to Mr. Ellison that I found your post regarding the stupidity of thinking Quilla to be in love amusing to say the least. My fiance (who works third shift and was dosing through out the movie) was puzzled by the same thought. No doubt if he had been fully awake while we watched, the thought would not have crossed his mind. Anyway, I am curious as to your view of the film. Were you disappointed, or did it turn out as you pictured? As I have not read the story, I am not sure how close the movie came, but I would like to know how you feel. I am personally not a Don Johnson fan and was distracted by his acting, so my opinion is rather biased. This is my first visit to this site and I have enjoyed reading the comments. I would like to say that the chair analogy in regards to the Moonlighter story made me laugh. I can't remember who wrote it, but good one!!

Jay <zebrapix@hornflail.com>
KUDOS AND KARMA! - Thursday, April 25 2002 19:12:18

Zoe dot-dot! CONGRATULATIONS! A kind word from our patron author AND a winning work in the same day??? Could it be more than simple luck? ;)

Peter! Way to go buddy!

Good days all around then!

Alex Krislov <Alexkrislov@cs.com>
Shaker Heights, OH United States - Thursday, April 25 2002 18:41:31

Leave it to Harlan to pull a perfect quotation out of a unjustly neglected classic. Harlan, have you ever considered putting together a reader's bibliography? That is, a short tome of recommended books, with reasons why everyone should know these authors? Okay, okay, you've got enough projects underway. Still, you've made so many recommendations that have enriched my library over the years...

For those who want to sample archy and mehitabel before seeking out a genyoowine book, here's a URL to a page that links to some samples: It also sports a wonderful George Herriman picture. Bet I don't have to identify _him_ around here, right? Hey, Ignatz, izzat a brick?

I ever tell you guys our cat's name? Ignatz?


Zoe, congratulations on the award. Bet it's the first of many.


Melissa <entropy_5ca@yahoo.ca>
- Thursday, April 25 2002 18:22:8

Dammit, forgot (a sure sign of impending old age):

Zoe: My husband's and my heartiest congrats, and best wishes on a good start to a great career.

Melissa (still glad she doesn't watch hockey)

Melissa <entropy_5ca@yahoo.ca>
- Thursday, April 25 2002 18:19:0


Might I suggest Dog and Cat? Irrelevant, inane; the perfect combination for a lunatic grin when someone asks why, and you explain:

"I bought them during my 'Better Living Through Consumption of Various Chemicals Week'."

Melissa (happy she's not watching hockey)

Bill Gauthier
- Thursday, April 25 2002 18:12:21

Congrats to both Zoe and Peter.


Michael Hurley
- Thursday, April 25 2002 17:47:34

I once had two mealworms named Sturm (und) Drang. These names seem equally appropriate for hamsters; you're welcome to them, as the mealworms, along with the beetles the eventually became, are long gone.

- Thursday, April 25 2002 16:53:22

Peter~ Congrats to you too! Y'know, I had a sneaking suspicion something was in the air this morning, when I got my word-of-the-day from Dictionary.com.

propitious \pruh-PISH-uhs\, adjective:
1. Presenting favorable circumstances or conditions.
2. Favorably inclined; gracious; benevolent.


Peter <writerpo@pacbell.net>
Union City, CA - Thursday, April 25 2002 16:49:5

Actually, I have news similar to ZoŽ's. I seem to have won an award from my school's english dept for my writing. Only, I do not as yet know the category(ies) I won in, or where I placed. I only know that I won . . . something. So it may be fiction, metrical verse, free verse, critical essay, humor, or some mixture thereof. I'll post more as I find out. All I know for sure is that I was told to keep next Thursday free for the award ceremony.


- Thursday, April 25 2002 16:47:59

Bermanator~ How about Scylla & Charybdis? Castor & Pollux? Eng & Chang? Elvis & Jessie Garon?

Hmm, gonna have to think on that one.

ell why enn enn
- Thursday, April 25 2002 16:43:55

ZoŽ~ Way to go! I bet cold hard cash is the *best* feedback you can get! Congratulations and are you gonna share?

ell dot

Zoe Rose <ztreuer@d.umn.edu>
- Thursday, April 25 2002 16:43:41

I always thought Goober and Snot would be great names for a pair of dogs - but it'd work for gerbils too. Not very clever, I admit, but I snicker when I say it, so...

Still Dotless
--Zoe Rose

Lynn <cavalaxis@digitalcarrion.com>
- Thursday, April 25 2002 16:41:31

A literary cockroach and his fractious feline friend? Am I looking for one in particular? archy and mehitabel, archyology, or archyology II? I know, I know. All three.

Who needs a pillow? I'll just use the books I have no place else to put.

Slayer of nightstands, toppler of tomes.

Zoe Rose <ztreuer@d.umn.edu>
- Thursday, April 25 2002 16:41:24

Some good news!

Woohoo! Speaking of amateur writing, I recently found out that I won a little bitty cash prize from the English Dept. at my school in podunk Duluth for a "short story" contest! Never mind that I'm fairly sure there were probably only two or three other entries... and never mind that I didn't strictly adhere to the rules (they said 5000 words or more, and I gave'm 52 pages)... wheeee! I can pay for groceries AND utilities this month! And _on time_ too!

Anyhow - just thought I'd share that with y'all. It doesn't take much to make me hop around the Composition Department here like an idiot. Besides, it kept me warm - it isn't fair that it is STILL SNOWING. It's April 25th, weather-god. Time to warm into spring, dontcha think! *grumble*

Your dotless wonder for the day,
--Zoe (dot dot) Rose

P.A. Berman
Help name the gerbils - Thursday, April 25 2002 16:39:34

Because I'm not afraid to show you all how ridiculous I am...

MOOD-LIGHTENER: Tomorrow I am going to get two gerbils. Why? Because I have a tank and a wheel sitting around looking forlorn, as such things will when no rodents are present; my incredibly vicious white mouse died unexpectedly last week.

My cats miss their Pay-Per-View.

They will both be boy gerbils. I'm looking for extraordinarily clever suggestions for names, a set of gerbil names that will make me grin idiotically whenever I say them. My best attempt came up with Frodo and Samwise. Shame on me.


- Thursday, April 25 2002 16:23:47


LYNN: The unattributed quotation you attributed to me is, in fact, me quoting the famous journalist Don Marquis, creator of the legenday "archy and mehitabel" (intentional lower-case); if you've never read Marquis's work, rush to your online sources for used books and get the COLLECTED archy and mehitabel.

HEATHER: Stop this juvenile pouting. Pay attention to Zoe dot-dot. She nails it. And the underlying awfulness of this whole matter is that it elevates to the level of "something you should not spend a fart's worth of time on," that which is essentially amateur. It is part of the arrogance of the generation used to running its every vagrant thought and study-hall doodle up onto the web. A place where ALL opinion--learned or lackluster or loony--has the same weight. Where ALL writing--in the minds of amateurs--is equal. That's why they think the KICK lawsuit is detrimental to their free-lunch universe: they think this kid's joyless prose is great, because he's publishing on his own...hell, ALL writers should do that...and not try to stifle the internet! This kid writes at the adolescent level of a writers' conference beginner. The kind of barely-readable stuff that would be kicked out of him in the first week of a Clarion Workshop season. But because he has the web, he can proffer this immature bilge and get naifs--like you--to pay attention. Writing is too serious, and too hard, a craft for dabblers and parvenus to distract us from that which IS worthy. But you got honest answers, Heather, so stop "mewling and puking" as Shakespeare put it.

You've wasted more than enough of everybody's time with this kid. Let him go his way. If he keeps at it and learns what voice is his, sans the arrogance of vanity publishing and roping in the gullible, he MAY one day be a writer. If not, good riddance. There are already enough poseurs in the world selling their verse on street corners, filling the precious pages of little literary magazines for no recompense, self- or vanity-publishing books of minimal ability or interest. We don't need any more lazyass scribblers who think they can go it without some training. That's like having amateur engine repairmen in garages. They don't ACTUALLY know how to do it, but they've got this cosmic sense of universal literary excellence. Holistic psychointelligence sprinkled with unicorn dust. The whole freakin' lot of 'em ain't worth a page of Donald Westlake or Gerald Kersh. Asking for opinions on upstarts like this, and then going ooooo, poor baby, is they pissing on you . . . well, Heather, you are being the worst kind of bleeding heart bad news intellectual. Writing well takes stern stuff and a clear head. This kid, at this stage, has neither. Survival of the cleverest.

Yr. pal, Harlan

Lynn <cavalaxis@digitalcarrion.com>
- Thursday, April 25 2002 15:56:40

Easy on the Hooptedoodle
by Elmore Leonard

"These are rules I've picked up along the way to help me remain invisible when I'm writing a book, to help me show rather than tell what's taking place in the story. If you have a facility for language and imagery and the sound of your voice pleases you, invisibility is not what you are after, and you can skip the rules. Still, you might look them over."


- Thursday, April 25 2002 15:18:48

I had a plan. To take a moment to stop by a favorite establishment, grab a cuppa, see who's around, catch up on who's stopped by recently.

I was going to thank Lynn for her posting of this morning. A good reminder. After that, I was going to acknowledge that I agree with some of the sentiments expressed by Roger Gould. Tell Rick I hoped the reference I sent to him would pan out, and that there's no need to thank me; small repayment for what you've done for me.

Then, make some time to reply to ZoŽ on the topic of "source material," how a film (picking on "Field of Dreams," as an example) can be connected to and, at the same time, so different from the previously published work it is based on ("Shoeless Joe"); what's kept, what's discarded, what's added and/or altered, the "A Film By..." debate and such. From there, make time to mention something Harlan wrote in the afterword to "The Prowler In the City At the Edge of the World":

"I was furious at the limitations of the printed page, the line-for-line rigidity of QWERTYUIOP. I wanted to break out, and the best I could do was use typographical tricks, which are in the final analysis little more than tricks. There must be some way a writer can write a book that has all the visual and sensory impact of a movie!"

...which may be why he paints such vivid portraits when he lectures, performs public readings, records audio books, etc., so WE can hear the rhythms and tones and inflections running through HIS head. Toss in a mention of Harlan the teacher, who can illustrate how to do it and also how not to do it, as in his foreword to "The Power of the Nail":

"To be absolutely upfront about it, neither Chip (Delany) nor I feel this story is successful....At least, perhaps it'll be a learning experience for all of us."

Well... okay, then... I think I'll just grab a seat over there in the corner, take my coffee with me and work on the crossword puzzle. Quietly. 'Scuse me.

Peter <writerpo@pacbell.net>
Union City, CA - Thursday, April 25 2002 15:1:39

I've been involved with enough good workshops to know that the biggest critical fallacy made by too many receivers of criticism (and I take Heather as a proxy to messer Moonlighter) is the personalization of the work---a projected ad-hominem attack wherein _any_ criticism directed at the work is _automatically_ an attack on the author, his ability, his personal grooming, his pets, and his mother.

I may have been flippant in my response to his writing (my criticism was of his redundant phrases by comparing them to a scene from Holy Grail) but most _everyone_ else offered not only constructive, but very astute criticisms of the writing. These were the kinds of critical analyses that would have made a successful writing workshop.


Channel Twenty Three
Trouble that starts with 'T',, that rhymes with 'B' and that stands for Bulwer-Lytton - Thursday, April 25 2002 14:57:54


Bag-O-Scott <moebiuslooped@hotmail.com>
- Thursday, April 25 2002 14:37:8

Ah, respite from the thankless task of having to explain to folks who can, at an instant's glance, ascertain with absolute certainty when one of their hockey heroes slashes or trips an opponent from the vantage of a couch in front of a 25 inch TV screen, yet somehow become blind when their own child does the same deed to an opponent not more than ten feet in front of the parent's face in the reality of an arena.

Okay, so I don't get thanks. I did get paid, and well enough to have my baby hitting on me again. As it's been said, money can't buy you love; but it sure can rent it awhile.

A brief pause to duck a swing of Mel's hand...

No comment, re Moonlighting. I get little enough time to read as it stands. Hell, I've got a pile of reading I've been wanting to get to; copies of Borges' "Nonfictions", Doris Lessing's "Briefing For a Descent into Hell", Richard Cramer's biography of Joe Dimaggio, "Word Virus" by Burroughs, a command performance of The Bag-O-Scott players interpreting "The Gingerbread Man" to my youngest daughter...I've no time for somebody who can't do it right. With apologies to all, but I'll sit out the minor spat with Heather over her poor taste in writers, and her even worse choice of insulting the good little elves who habitate the environs of the glorious Webderland, turning out that delicious cheese, particleboard coffee tables, rhinestone studded demin jackets and clog sandals so desired by folks recovering from serious bouts of failure to maintain a satndard of discriminating taste...There'll be no edam for you, Miss Heather!

A small request, guys? Let 'er up when she's had enough?

Now, if all will excuse, I've the opportunity to spend some time with the peoples who populate my life. Y'all are fun folks, mind, but tonight my beloved Canadiens are playing the Bruins, and the little ones and I have the task of cheering them to victory.

Look guys, I root for the Jays. Sportswise, the Habs being in the playoffs is probably the zenith in my year.

Tonight: One Show Only! "The Gingerbread Man"! Starring Pee Wee Herman as the Gingerbread Man, Mae West as the Old Woman, James Mason as the Farmer, and a star studded cast as the various animals! All voices performed by the Bag-O-Scott players...

- Thursday, April 25 2002 12:48:38

Just to clarify (and apparently my writing skills aren't what I thought they were as I re-read my post): My sarcasm of the jealousy thing didn't quite make it in the post. I should've been a bit more over the top. Trust me, I'm not jealous of Moonlighter. I've read his work and there's no reason to be jealous of him. Even if his book somehow someway exceeds all of our expectations and is picked by Oprah and sells like hotcakes and stays on the bestseller lists for years and is optioned to be made into a movie and wins awards, I will not be jealous. Of this, I am definitely serious.

(I apologize to those for misunderstanding me as I really wasn't all that clear in my previous post unless I'm misunderstanding you and the understanding of the misunderstandings was misunderstood of which I would apologize profusely for misunderstanding the original understanding of misunderstandings being misunderstood and now my head hurts)

And, I think that is the last thing I say on Moonlighter.

Rick Wyatt <webmaster@harlanellison.com>
- Thursday, April 25 2002 12:39:41

"Everywhere I go Iím asked if the universities stifle writers. My opinion is that they donít stifle enough of them." - Flannery OíConnor

Bad writing, especially egregiously bad writing such as the examples from Moonlighter's work we have seen here, invites abuse purely on its own merit. Such abuse does not require any sort of failing or jealousy on the part of the critiquer, nor does it imply an animus towards the writer or the presenter of the writing. Rather, people who love the written word feel an obligation to discourage bad writing whenever they see it.

Harlan will confirm this. Anyone who is serious about the craft will confirm this. It is a natural tendency which says absolutely nothing about the person except that they love GOOD writing.

I will admit that people went a little too far in this, took a little too much glee in the endeavor. And you are right to defend Moonlighter, to express your own opinion and explain more clearly what you wanted. But let's look at how you conducted this defense. Let's see what you had to say about the people that disagreed with you.

- You claim that they, unlike you, cannot see writing as a joyful endeavor and instead operate from fear and envy.
- You state, with a good deal of sarcasm I might add, that they don't think but instead engage in an reflex response of scorn and derision directed at the person instead of the work.
- You conclude you have little to learn from them because they have given up on their own achievements (even including a suicide metaphor) and instead like to moan with each other in despair.
- You attribute their opinion to a desire to kick and bring down someone who is getting "one up on" them. You say this is their worldview.
- You imply that they do nothing worthwhile with their energy and time and instead spend it all making clever insulting jokes.
- You say that they don't think they are capable of this man's acheivement.
- You state that they are jealous of this man because he is actually DOING something, while instead they do nothing but sit around criticizing each other.
- You claim you got no specific advice or opinion (I saw plenty) but instead nothing but "I HATE THIS!"
- You poo-poo their honest attempts to suggest writers to look at.

What a miserable, mean-spirited, despicable, reprehensible, ill-advised, ill-conceived, and ill-executed collection of statements to make about a whole bunch of people! And how righteous you must feel for making them! What a difference you yourself have made in the world with your trenchant observations of their character! How delightful, how positive, to call someone an "asshole" for taking the time out to suggest some good writers to you!


And besides - how wrong, how terribly wrong, you are! The folks here are not intellectual effetes cynically clawing at that they cannot themselves produce. They are not envious and bitter failures who peck at their betters or anyone who dares to strive. They are writers and teachers and programmers and journalists and workers in all facets of society and life. They are successes. I have seen them share their triumphs and defeats, and I have seen their companions here congratulate them in the one and commiserate with them in the other.

These are good people. Some are kind souls. Some are champions of various good causes. Some are even heroes.

And I am tired, Heather, of you waltzing in here like a doe-eyed orphan child and declaring that these people, my guests and my friends, are petty and mean. You are unequivocally worse than any of them in the relentless insult and innuendo you direct at anyone who dares disagree with you. Your shabby treatment of such people not only ranges from the merely disrespectful to the outright inexcusable, it also makes people reticent to express their opinion for fear of being slapped with one of your damning labels.

That's an awful thing. No one should feel afraid to speak because they are going to be needled and tormented by you. No one should be insulted and belittled because they said what they thought, ESPECIALLY WHEN THEY WERE ASKED.

If you really think the people here are as horrible as you say, I invite you to either swallow your disgust or find a new forum with a crowd more to your liking. Because what you are doing is misguided and wrong. It makes me so sick to my stomach I can't write anymore.

Jon Stover
Canada. A Brief Defense of Self-publishing - Thursday, April 25 2002 12:19:30

Hmm. _Bone_ and _Cerebus_ argue against a wholesale declaration that all self-published works are tripe. Then again, they're comics, and they had to establish a monthly readership in the marketplace to keep them going. I'll be damned if I can come up with a success in self-published novels that isn't simply a commercial success (_The Celestine Prophecy_ started out that way, and hoo boy, man the bilge pumps). Hurrah for professionals, definitely -- but I'm sure any of you can come up with cautionary tales about rejected manuscripts that would seem to suggest that marketplace controls are going to stop some very good writers, and not just the Moonlighters of the world, from invading the marketplace.


Barney Dannelke <dannelke01@enter.net>
Allentown , - Thursday, April 25 2002 12:16:35


It's a rain day for me. Walking an aluminum plank in pouring rain is never a good idea and since the bay window went in yesterday and the decking material delivery has been postponed I have the day off. I'm sitting here at my workstation and I can't figure out if the play I'm working on needs to deal with Clara's [one of Mark Twain's daughters] homosexuality or if we can skip that and just concentrate on trivial things like Twain's problems with race, politics, American imperialism, his own art and the death of his loved ones. Rather than make that decision I have decided to deal with you. Lucky lucky you.

I take pleasure in writing. My own as well as the writing of others. When I see a sentence like "It's a brand of air I never thought I'd find." my ability to indulge that pleasure is somewhat diminished.

Despite your petulence you will learn more and more quickly by concentrating on people with some sort of track record for being able to put out interesting and notable writing. I am belaboring this point because you are taking fairness and openmindedness to an extreme that I think is ridiculous. An open mind ought not be a dumpster. Everybody on this board has found this persons writing to be sub-standard except you. We have cited examples that addressed bad grammar, bad stylistic thinking and bad prose. At your request.

I also think you are wrong about the competetive nature of writing. I think Hemingway was close to nailing it when he characterized writing as beating dead men at their own game. At the very least, on a personal level you should be competing with the last thing that you wrote.

Using your critical faculties to come to the conclusion one persons writing is bad, really really bad, I mean to say just awful, is not a function of envy. This is not to say I'm above envy. I envy the guy who got to hold Janet Jackson's bosoms for that Rolling Stone cover. I envy people who were born rich. I envy the ability of a Jack Vance to lay down a certain kind of sentence or a Francisco de Goya y Lucientes to paint a certain type of picture or capture a certain quality of light. But trust me on this, envy is not the force that urges me on when I tell you that continuing to sing this clowns praises is the equivalent of pouring mule piss into the open eye.

As for your misguided notion that I have in somewhichway kicked "Moonlighting" in the shins [although a certain scene from Walter Tevis' "The Hustler" is what really comes to mind] I would deny this. I did not post where he posts and to the best of my knowledge he does not post here. You asked for my opinion on this board and that is exactly where I responded. The fact that my comments were negative and were received with such umbrage says to me that this is something you really didn't want to hear. Like some teen-age girl asking her friends what they think of some guy she has already made up her mind about and then having to cope with her friends ALL telling her she could do better. Too bad.

As to your spurious concern that this may alienate you or Moonlighting to me, well, you are correct in your second assumption that I already know plenty of people. With 6 billion people on this orb it's a risk I am willing, even eager to take. As to my existential despair, well one of my favorite pages in literature is the last page from the essay "The Myth of Sisyphus" by Camus. You should check it out. I'm just not all that despondant. Eeyore is a role model for fools and losers.

There is a middle section of your post here that gets rather muddled but I will attempt to address it anyway.

Jokes? No Heather I was, and am serious. Furthermore my opinion was solicited and given freely. Buy what you like.

Regarding Moonlighting's flaws - They may be legion but his public flaw is his prose style. As far as his [in your mind] commendable trait that he is doing something, my continued opinion is that his time might be better spent doing just about anything else.

So finally we come to your closing three paragraphs.
I mention Harlan for no reason other than my own pleasure. I spoke of Harlan in the sense of arguing from the lesser to the greater. I have a lot more on my mind and my plate than either your opinion of me or Moonlighting's ultimate success or failure as a writer. Scroll back a few years and things may become clearer.

but most suprising of all;

"Barney, my friend"

Ah you whipsaw me with your own web of words. Which is it to be? Shall I be your friend or an envious asshole? Could I be neither? Aristotelean logic says yes! I choose door number three.

- Barney

Lorin O.
RE: MOONLIGHTER, RICH, AND HEATHER - Thursday, April 25 2002 12:7:17

RICH: No need to be jealous. This gentleman really seems to be going the e-book route. His posts have all the tell-tale signs, not the least of which is the notation that his books can be ORDERED via the bookstores he mentioned. The other sign being that he's talked to his "publisher" (not editor) and that his book is apparently going from editing to the printer to distribution in what seems like very little time. Traditional publishing, even small houses, don't generally work on that schedule. Lastly, of course, he hasn't MENTIONED the name of his publisher, something most traditionally-published authors are pretty quick to do! I COULD be wrong, of course, but that's my guess.

Look, I've got no truck with self-publishing or print-on-demand, except that when it allows people to fool themselves into thinking they're getting published. REALLY published. For better or worse (sometimes worse), the publishing industry has a filtering mechanism. Vanity and POD presses, for the most part, do not.

I've seen it time and time again. A writer will come to me with a book they're about to publish through one of the big e-book publishers. Invariably they say, "Can you just do a quick proofread? That's ALL it needs." And INVARIABLY the book is a complete mess. Not just the surface stuff--typos, syntax and grammatical errors, organizational difficulties--but the big stuff as well--characterization, scene and sequel, dialogue, pacing, rhythm, theme (what theme?)--all of it needs attention. LOTS of attention.

Most times they don't want to hear it (though I tell them, anyway). Because a lot of people are quick-fix-self-gratification junkies. What's important to them is having a book in their hands. Even if it's a book with amateurish cover art and content that seems like it was randomly generated by only a NEAR-infinite number of monkeys.

As to this fellow Moonlighter's fiction...well, like Melissa, I resisted checking out his site for a long time. Part of the reason is that I make a chunk of my living critiquing writers. For PAY. So, doing it for free, especially for someone who hasn't asked me to, didn't have much appeal. The other part was that, given other people's criticisms, it didn't seem like something I had to rush out to read.

But I did take a QUICK peek today, and my impressions are just like everyone else's. No, this isn't the worst writing I've ever read, but it's sloppy, trite, and overwrought. Right away I was confronted with a misplaced comma (first sentence!), a misused apostrophe (possessive 'its' written as 'it's' - SEVERAL times), passive language, adverb and adjective-overload, the use of "weasel" words ("The tire landed JUST at his feet" (I'm paraphrasing; I don't want to look it up again)), sentences like "The car approached at a high rate of speed," which is a classic example of overwriting (Hey, how about "The car SPED toward him"?) and on and on.

HEATHER: Like many who have posted, I'm not quite sure what you were hoping for here. Kudos to the guy for likely paying someone to publish his work? Nah. For just going through the process of writing in the first place? Well, yay for him! Seriously. Even at my harshest as a critic, I don't see it as my job to disabuse people of their dreams. However, I don't see it as my job to inflate their opinions of themselves (something this guy really seems to be perfectly able to do on his own), either. People gave you their honest feedback of this work. Maybe they treated it lightly, but that's their prerogative. I didn't see jealousy as much as I saw dismissiveness, and every one of us has the right to dismiss an artistic (term used loosely) endeavor that doesn't, in our opinion, have much merit. Publishing is a tough business. It only makes it tougher on the rest of us if we're expected to pull a collective "Emperor's New Clothes" and pretend that this guy isn't butt-naked.

His being out there and getting his work in print does not equal his being an artist of any quality. And I don't think I'd want to live in the world where it did.

Over and out,
Lorin O.

Melissa <entropy_5ca@yahoo.ca>
- Thursday, April 25 2002 11:20:6

Finally, I managed to get over to read what this chap Moonlighter has managed to spread forth as an attempt at the great American(?) novel. It's not fun having any number of small or large obligations, on top of what ever little sins or pleasures I'd like to engage in during a day, and it often leaves me little time to keep up with you all.

I have to state that I am a reader, not a writer by both trade and choice. That will, to some degree, limit the range of criticism I might make in regards to any debate of literary talent. Well, the chap seems to have bought wholesale into the gothic, heavy with King and Poe-like adjectives; his prose seems a bit work-a-day, laboured, as if he was trying to force the words onto the page with a small fear that they somehow wouldn't hold to the paper. Further thought leaves me to think that this is an immature voice, and I might even venture one that knows it has talent, but isn't sure of it yet.

Even then, my thoughts on Moonlighter are just opinion, with little more worth than the cost of the electricity it will take to spread my bundle of sentences out onto the web.

Heather, and all others who either agree or disagree about Moonlighter's prose are in the same boat. I don't read any overwhelming anger in anyone's comments; just the opinions of others who themselves are trying to work at being a writer. To me, and pardon the analogy, the writer is a person toiling in a field which always seems to have a good harvest being guaranteed to only a scant few fortunates, while the vast majority toil on, often never to be able to pull a meal from the ground. Talent and literary skill aren't prerequistes; luck of climate and circumstance favour the writer as often as their skill.

I know that Moonlighter's seeming success has a few of the good folks here perhaps a bit chagrined, but that's natural, Heather. They work the field too, and I must say I find it a delight to read David, or Jay, or Brian, or Faisal or you with your scattershot prose (in a humble reader's opinion, each of you display ample skill in your own right). But perhaps you're not looking at this quite right. When I see their comments regarding Moon's writing, I get a sense that they are less taking apart Moonlighting's work as a task of character assassination, more as criticism of their own work, seeing in Moon much of the mistakes they themselves have made in the past, or might be making in the present. At least that's my impression, please feel free to correct me.

As for other Webderlander's adverse comments, Heather, Scotty and I have a little saying which I'll wager sits in each of their minds: "De gustibus non est disputandum" (Tastes cannot be argued). There are going to be tons of times when I'm not going to like what, say, Chuck thinks of Kafka, or whether Barney likes "The Three Stooges". I will like them for their obviously thoughtful and engaging opinions, however.

Ooops, gotta go. I've a three year old who's woken up cranky from a nap, demanding juice in that small insolence that fatigue creates, making her somehow more endearing. Have a wonderful day, all.

Love to all, Melissa

- Thursday, April 25 2002 11:17:9

Yes. I admit it. I'm jealous of Moonlighter. I'm jealous that, based on the stuff that was excerpted, he found someone to publish him. I've had two stories published in very small magazines (actually, one I wouldn't even count as a magazine) and considering how hard it is to get into any magazine, when I see what Moonlighter is capable of, yes, I get jealous.

My half-assed "lambasting" of this Moonlighter was done in a mock-serious tone as it was apparent that everyone (and I do mean everyone) that commented on Moonlighter's work did so in a much more serious and compassionate manner than I would've expected coming from this group (and I believe that was after your second attempt at asking us what we thought of this guy). I believe I was the only one that did not offer constructive criticism to this guy because it was apparent that everyone (and I mean everyone) had already done that.

Bottom line: The guy ain't a writer. Whether published or not, he ain't a writer. And it does gall me when people, when anyone, shouts to the world, "Look at me!" and it turns out there's really nothing to look at.

To beat that chair analogy all the way to the ground (and to second and third and fourth what was previously said): If you bring the chair you made to a bunch of chair makers, don't be surprised when they look at the chair and ask, "Fine, but where's the seat? And the legs? And the back? And the armrests? 'Cause that don't look like no chair I've ever seen."

- Thursday, April 25 2002 10:58:36

Sorry, that unattributed quote is Harlan's.


Lynn <cavalaxis@digitalcarrion.com>
- Thursday, April 25 2002 10:51:37


"If you make people think they're thinking, they'll love you; but if you really make them think, they'll hate you."

I think the same thing goes for truth, sometimes. Tell someone what they want to hear, they'll love you. Tell them the truth, and they'll hate you. Calling a spade a spade does not, in any way, lessen the accomplishments of said spade. And by asking for opinions, don't expect to get anything less than what you ask for.

All: I highly suggest Damon Knight's CREATING SHORT FICTION. He talks about the four stages of a writer (briefly): 1) Narcissistic 2) Trivial 3) Overcoming Technical Issues and 4) Professional. It speaks to me as much about the growth of a person as it does about the growth of a writer.


P.A. Berman
Amateur v. amateurish - Thursday, April 25 2002 10:34:34

Heather: Yes, your friend the writer is an amateur. Anyone who's not a professional is an amateur, including me. There is a vast difference between being an amateur, and writing in an amateurish manner. Also, it's arrogantly amateurish to brag about one's publication and post an excerpt before one has even proofed one's manuscript. That's actually sort of rude.

I'm not sure why you're lashing out at the people on this board. What did you expect? Do *you* really think his writing is GOOD? Because, I'm sorry, it's not. In fact, it's aggressive in its badness.

I have to agree with Barney: if you want to learn about how to write horror, read good horror writers. Imitation is the best way to pick up on style and effective techniques. Do you want to talk about who good horror novelists are and have us discuss their styles? That I would be willing to do. Arguing about your Moonlighter friend is just barking up the wrong tree. All you're going to learn from that guy is to get a good editor.


Jay <zebrapix@hotmail.com>
Okay THIS is my last word on it.... - Thursday, April 25 2002 10:26:12


I think most of the folks on the board put in time to review Moonlighter's work and took the time to respond. Yeah, we made light of a few things based on the idea that he was "published" which I maintain - regardless of vanity or sponsored printing - establishes a higher standard. I know, I've said that a hundred times, but it is KEY here.

He says on the 22nd: "Shivers will be available for order online in probably...... mid August. You will be able to order it through Barnes & Noble, Amazon.com, Books-A-Million, etc.... Any of the big chain bookstores should be able to get it. Should you have any trouble let me know and I can give you the ISBN to simplify the process of finding it."

I'd say he's beyond vanity press, or he's got a LOT of $$$$ to spare.

If, as he says, "'Shivers' will be running through the veins of readers everywhere before you know it !" then a bunch of avid readers, writers and consumers of mass media have even more reason to be critical.

That space on the bookshelf could have gone to Loftus, or Berman, or you, or me, or even Ellison. I'd be resentful of any self-proclaimed author who proudly displays work like the sample we reviewed.

I also think he's full of donkey-squirts. But that's just my personal opinion.

So it is no longer a question of "Look at this kid's writing. Let's make him better." If he really is going to be published, he can expect MUCH MUCH more of this kind of criticism once someone plunks down their buckage on his work.

I appreciate you championing and wanting to nurture this guy, but perhaps the money he's spending on immortalizing his stillbirth would be better spent on a few writing classes and some choice books to read.

Zoe Rose <ztreuer@d.umn.edu>
- Thursday, April 25 2002 10:12:24

Heather - Don't you think you're getting a bit worked up over nothing? Seriously... quoting from your first mention (I think, I only went back 200 messages) of Moonlighter:

"Go dig him up and tell me what you think of his writing."

Well, folks did and you got lots of responses. Quite a few folks told you what they thought of his writing, in no uncertain terms. YOU ASKED. Don't get all uppity because people gave you responses you didn't like; after all, it seems like you've been here for a long time, so you should KNOW the type of response you'll get when you ask for a critique of writing. It's gonna be harsh, no matter what. Not due to envy of some kid slapping down a thou to be able to say his writing got published, but because folks on here appreciate a good writer and the art of putting a good story together. Only harsh critics and honest opinions can make a writer better. Encouragement, too, of course, but most of all critiques. I hardly think anyone here is envious or jealous of Moonlighter.

I liked the analogy someone made about the wooden chair. I think we've all got our opinions on the guy (ranging from your persistence to give him a thumbs up for his stick-to-itiveness to Professor Tinglebum's review). Call names, rant and rave, but seriously - everyone's told you what you wanted to know in various ways. Seems to me it's time to move on?

Just my opinion, of course.

--Zoe Rose

Jon Stover
Canada - Thursday, April 25 2002 9:50:55

Finder: To quote J. Michael Straczynski (whose last name I've probably just mangled), who was himself quoting Goethe, "Be bold, and powerful forces will come to your aid." Although I'd guess the original was in German...and I'd guess in this case the powerful force was yourself.

Cheers, Jon

Heather Lovatt <heatherlovatt@yahoo.ca>
Subject: The usual suspects, - Thursday, April 25 2002 9:15:52

I feel joyful about my ability to write. It's a brand of air I never thought I'd find. I'm not afraid to learn from anyone, great or small. It's not about competition. It's not about envy. Do you understand what that's about?

Probably not.

You guys amaze me.

Well, not really. Some of your (and I said SOME of you, not all) response patterns are pretty standard. You've got a nice set of filters, too, when it comes to interpreting what you THINK was asked. And killing the messenger, not the message. (You know who you are. Or maybe you don't. Maybe that's the problem. It's such an auto-reflex, you don't even notice it. Such busy little beavers you are. So much to scorn, so little time.)

The one thing I DO realize is I don't envy any one of you. And I don't think much more can be learned from you. Unless, I just want to give up and cut my proverbial wrists, like it appears SOME of you have done. Gawd, yer afraid of some shitkicking kid who's simply put some of his OWN money into promoting himself--I DIDN'T SAY any COMPANY believed in him. All that COMPANY is eager to do is take his money--and managed to acquire a following with his shitty little prose? FOR SHAME!

What a way to view the world. They're getting one UP on me ma, you say or you convince yourself--so I should KICK EM IN THE SHINS. That'll make it better.

No it won't. It just continues to alienate people who really have no reason not to like you. But that's cool, there are enough of you here; you can keep each other company in your hmmm..despair? Envy? I don't know anymore and I really don't care.

I didn't think asking anyone for specific reasons as to what is right or wrong with someone else's writing (so I can learn from it) was an invitation to question MY skill--as one person mentioned.

If you had spent one IOTA of the energy you spent making clever comments about this guy versus giving me specific reasons why you did or didn't like his stuff, I'd have gotten some useful instruction of what writing horror is about.

But no, it's so much easy to make jokes, isn't it? Or tell me how great some other writer is and that I should read some other writer. (Ah DUH. I've been reading plenty, you asshole.)

Pile on the rabbit. Especially if he/she is doing something (at the moment--who knows how quickly tables can turn?) that's seem beyond your reach.

Oh? Writing a novel and walking into a quick copy/vanity publisher and slapping down a few thou is beyond your reach?

You are what you think you are. And on grit alone, I'd buy into this young fellow's ability compared to your yuk yuk jokes about his flaws.

His biggest flaw--in your eyes, I think--is he's DOING something. He's not sitting around cleverly criticizing his mates.

And Barney, my friend, to continually remind me to read other writers or to tell me that this person (or any person I offer up for comment) is not as good as Harlan Ellison, wastes my time. I have a pretty good idea of what good writers are about but I'm not afraid to look at bad ones and try to figure out what's bad.

But I wouldn't just tell them they are bad ("Oh, I HATE THIS!") and walk away. The first thing I would wonder was hmm..is that all he can tell me? I wonder why he said that? Could he be jealous? Nah.. why would someone be jealous of my skills? _I_ know I have things to learn. But a critique that spins nothing but a web of how clever the critiquer is at lambasting someone, is a waste of time, in my view.

And pretty much shows me what the critiquer is made of.

Finder <the-finder@mindspring.com>
- Thursday, April 25 2002 7:51:19

ALL - You help me see and recognize a part of me that I've always denied myself. It's an unusual feeling, but there's someone different in the mirror when I look. His jaw is a little more squared off. And he knows he's capable of walking the walk now.

And women can see him, too. hehehehehehe

CINDY - If you want another set of eyes on your screenplay, feel free to abuse the e-mail address above. I've got two shorts I'm doing pre-production on for Memorial Day weekend filming in New York, but between shooting schedules and casting, I'd love to take a read.

HARLAN - Goofus? I had Highlights for Children flashbacks. But thank you none the less, a'cause you'se right. Or as the caterpillar said upon exiting the chrysalis, "Holy shit - I've got WINGS!!!"

BENJAMIN - My take: Tyrone figured he'd laid the smackdown on his victim and could simply walk away. I don't think he was counting on apathy. I think he was counting steps to the door in his head and, as team Python would have said, was demonstrating How Not To Be Seen.

TODD - I feel your Yankee pain. Displaced to the Hell of Washington, I only have access to pinstripes when they're playing the O's or on a national feed. And I pine for the good old days in Catskill, NY, curled up in front of WPIX, listening to Phil Rizzuto emote "Holy cow, White - that huckleberry got all of that one!", before greed destroyed broadcasting, too.

ROB - The Lakers - they're from out on the coast somewhere, ain't they?

BARNEY - I'm always up for a road trip - EXCEPT I'm headed in the opposite direction the weekend of the 11th, which is a shame, because I'd love to spend a little time in the glow of Kevin Smith. And splitting a pitcher and comparing notes over grub (or grubs, even - I get less particular every day) would be the bomb. Alas, I'm committed in the prior sense. Mayhaps next time.

Jay Smith <zebrapix@hotmoral.com>
Conventions...ahh the memories... - Thursday, April 25 2002 6:45:55

Ahh Barney, bringin' back the ole memories of dealer rooms and Q&A sessions, overpriced toys and comics that drop $10 in value if you so much as expose them to an instant of flourescent light.

I'm looking forward to WizardWorld East. Having heard great things about the Chicago version and with the HUGE list of guests, it will be a great time to network and learn as well as consume mass quantities...er, of merchandise. Boozles optional.

As far as Harrisburg goes, we've only had a handful of genre conventions. Most recently there have been hastily-organized comics conventions with guests like one of the guys who played Superboy on TV. $15 bucks, a dealer room the size of a minivan filled with case boxes you couldn't look through without blocking the narrow aisle for the other fifty guests. :)

One of the best genre cons in the area was over 10 years ago. John DeLancie was the guest. He was trying to talk about things beyond Trek and the locals were having none of it. He mentioned this new project he was working on with Leonard Nimoy. At the time there wasn't even a name for it, but a few Trek actors were going to perform classic stories...maybe live maybe for CD...but he was really excited. It was very cool to hear about Alien Voices at its genesis. Of course, Trekkers didn't want to hear anything about it when the subject matter wasn't to do with the Enterprise.

I wish I had the stone back then to approach the guy to talk more about it as he mingled with the local media. I would have loved to talk more about the Golden Age of Radio and classic horror and SF stories. I got the impression he would have enjoyed the chance to talk more on the subject, too.

Subject: Typos - Thursday, April 25 2002 5:26:37

I _say_ appears to... (grumble)

Michael and Alia <leftearpro@hotmail.com>
- Thursday, April 25 2002 5:26:10

FINDER: Thank you. From both of us. Really. You done real good.
Don't stop.

M & A

Xanadu <X_a_n_a_d_u@yahoo.com>
Subject: Final Draft Viewer - Thursday, April 25 2002 5:25:37

Cindy - you can also direct people to this link:


where it appears they can download a copy of Final Draft Viewer. (I saw appears to, because I am heading to work right now, and I don't have time to test it out.)

Faisal A. Qureshi <faq@ic24.net>
Manchester, UK - Thursday, April 25 2002 3:8:20

Cindy - Final Draft

Cindy, you don't need to re-type your Final Draft documents onto Microsoft Word. Just go to "Save as" and change the format from Final Draft file to Rich Text Format. If you have Final Draft 6.0, there is a function to save the file as a PDF (for reading with Adobe Acrobat).

Sorry, I won't be able to read your script as I keep quite busy and am usually buried in paperwork. Lynn would be more than happy to tell you about how long I kept her waiting to read her short story! Abuse from her via MSN Messenger finally convinced me to move my arse and finally read the few pages she sent ;-)

Hope it goes well.


Cindy <IAMCINDIANAJONES@netscape.net>
TEXAS USA - Wednesday, April 24 2002 22:52:20


Sorry about the delay. I'm sending the screenplay. I normally use Final Draft software so it fixes typos and puts everything in proper format. UnFORTUNATELY it won't translate across the net unless the recipient has the Final Draft Reader.

So I am hurriedly retyping it in rtf so I can share it with any of y'all that want to see it. I appreciate you so much, the more input I get the more likely I'll be to hit the target in the middle.

Sooo I'll finish typing tomorrow and shoot it right over to you.

Meantime you have my

eternal gratitude.


- Wednesday, April 24 2002 19:27:10


I'll be at the Convention all geeked out for the Kevin Smith love-fest.

Jim Hess <Feed a brain, starve a soul >
- Wednesday, April 24 2002 17:23:13

A starter set of things Unca Harlan? Oh, easy: "The Essential Ellison, 50 years (and counting)".

Come on: Let's all be literary johns, and get the kiddos hooked on reading.

It's better than drugs.

Until next time. . .

Barney Dannelke <dannelke01@enter.net>
Allentown , PA. - Wednesday, April 24 2002 17:13:49



Now there is a word to conjure with. It's as though Bruce Sterling and the ghost of H.P. Lovecraft are conspiring to make stuff up to give me the whim-whams.

*** Hey Gang *** It looks as though I am going to go to a convention that is utterly non-Ellison related. This is only remarkable because outside of my incarnation as a comic dealer I haven't been to a convention that didn't feature Harlan since, umm - holy crap! - 1979. As per usual I will not know how to act. The reason I mention this is that it's the Wizard World East Con in Philly May 10 - 12th. I know a few regulars and perhaps some lurkers are in driving distance of that con so if anybody wants to say hi or pick a fight or throw a pie in my face or challenge me to a duel or split some local grub and a pitcher of Yuengling this would be your chance. It's a one day road trip with a couple of buddies and since most of the "pros" are now younger than me [cripes, when did that happen?] I don't know if I'll be able to kill 8 hours in a giant dealers room the way I used to. Everybody has my e-mail. Get in touch if you're into making plans and I'll see what I can accomodate.

Since I mentioned the '79 convention - here is the deal. I saw Harlan at a MonCon in 1978. Had one of those life altering good times. Decided to go back the following year assuming ALL conventions were that fun. Hey, I was 18. What the hell did I know. I can hear the voice of Harlan as AM shouting into the cyberdiorama "about as much as you do now kiddo!!".

I won't say who the guest was in '79 because she is probably a very nice person and I mean her no ill will but the experiance was a wee bit different. Like the difference between walking into a bar on a Saturday in Georgetown and being asked to officiate a wet t-shirt contest and ending up going home with the winner and the first two runners-up and walking into a bar in Soho on a Tuesday afternoon when your too early for happy hour. Dull. Really dull. Tumbleweed time. So not since 1979 have I willingly gone to a Harlan-lite convention.

- Barney

- Wednesday, April 24 2002 16:42:24



I was thinking: for next Mother's Day we all ought to treat our moms to a viewing of Psycho. The movie has more uses than I once considered.

A toast to stability.

- Wednesday, April 24 2002 15:32:39


How about "Essential Ellison" and, if they still have them, "Repent, Harlequin" or a tape of "Prince Myshkin"?

Alex Krislov <Alexkrislov@cs.com>
Shaker Mountain High, OH United States - Wednesday, April 24 2002 15:22:41

Hey, folks, Harlan's battle with my former employer gets news coverage in the new issue of THE WEEK. It's listed as ELLISON AND GOLIATH on page 8. No picture, but a good write-up, and quotes that will bring Harlan's voice into your ears. It's good to see the media are finally paying some attention--if for all the wrong reasons.

On another Ellisonian note: I recently got together with an old college roomie whom I hadn't seen in 20 years. His son is about to graduate high school, and, lo and behold, the kid's an Ellison fan. So I figure I'll buy him an autographed book from HERC. But which one? I can't decide. I'm open to suggestions.

Finally--anyone else going to the BEA this year?


- Wednesday, April 24 2002 15:17:45

E-nough problems, indeed. I thought for sure you were going to let me have it for the bad pun.

Lynn <cavalaxis@digitalcarrion.com>
- Wednesday, April 24 2002 15:11:12

Where do I find this stuff? In my mail box, that's where. People send this crap to me. I suppose in this case, it's better than getting e-knocked up.

Like I don't have e-nough problems as it is.

- Wednesday, April 24 2002 15:8:59

Lynn, where do you find this stuff? Is this an extension of those "virtual pet" toys that were being sold a few years ago? Or just another example of those who want the rewards without having to do any of the labor?

Lynn <cavalaxis@digitalcarrion.com>
- Wednesday, April 24 2002 14:46:17

Just when you though the Web couldn't possibly get more useless:



Jon Stover
Canada. Clarity - Wednesday, April 24 2002 13:17:50

Rob: I should have written "writer or interviewer discussing the film Psycho" to be clearer, as I wasn't actually referring to the writer of the screenplay (Stefano) but articles and pieces I've seen about the movie.

Cheers, Jon

- Wednesday, April 24 2002 13:4:1


On Psycho and Ed Gein:

Actually, Stefano - the film's writer (if I understood your reference) - knew nothing of the Gein case at the time; I'm not sure if Hitchcock did. I believe it was just that he had been intrigued by Bloch's basic premise.

Bloch, of course, DID base the book on Gein.

Xanadu <X_a_n_a_d_u@yahoo.com>
Subject: Sources - Wednesday, April 24 2002 12:56:36

ZoŽ: I think you might be overthinking the plumbing here. Source material is source material Ė movie, book, real life experience, dream messaging. Whether that material is, in turn, based on something else is only a citation consideration, as pointed out by Helz, and others more indirectly.

If you saw only the movie Ė the movie is your source. If you've read the book, too Ė they're both separate sources Ė one just happens to be based on the other. If you lived through the events of the book then that, too, is separate "source material". (But then my question would be: if you lived through it, why the hell did you read the inadequate book and watch the downright crappy movie, because the actor they got to play "the bad guy" was waaaaaay too good looking, and everything seemed so much cleaner than you remembered...)

For academic purposes, you would need to point to an independant document of some sort, so I suppose dream messaging wouldn't be particularly useful there, either.

Depending on the "seriousness" of the your paper/research, obviously, material closer to original is "better", but each are separate "sources".

Joseph J. Finn
Chicago, - Wednesday, April 24 2002 12:56:13


Jesus, sorry about that. I meant to respond yesterday and then the analog world got in the way. No, I think it's hilarious! Bizzare, drunken as hell and just plain wrong, but hilarious!


- Wednesday, April 24 2002 12:55:56

All you damned Yankees here: does anyone care at all that the Lakers are on the edge of a potential three-peat in the championship; that they lead Portland despite Kobe only shooting 10 of 28; or that Stockton and Malone are still in the race?


I think MOST people - least ways those I know (whatever their ages I might add) - know Psycho is from Bloch's novel. What they don't know is the necessity for the changes to make the tale filmable: the novel opens with Norman having a dialogue with his "mother" and there's no way to shoot it unless you want to reveal his situation right away and show he's talking to a corpse. Norman himself was much different, much older and unlikeable. The complexity of character transfer (switching the sympathy for Marion to Norman half way through the film) left an open blue print for Hitchcock and Joe Stefano who ingeniously worked out the inherent problems, the biggest of which hung on the question of a character audiences could care about. Themes like personal traps and the lure of madness when we're desperate were beautifully constructed.

I like Bloch; but this was one of those books using the subjective power that only a book can manipulate. It couldn't survive its form translated as a movie.

Jon Stover
Canada. Psycho - Wednesday, April 24 2002 12:50:21

Little Washu: _Psycho_-weirdness also involves instances in which the writer or interviewer mentions the Ed Gein case as inspiring the Hitchcock movie _without_ mentioning Bloch's novel.


Jay <zebronipox@hormell.com>
"Inside the Tights" - Wednesday, April 24 2002 12:32:28

Hey Joseph!

Am I to assume your silence means you thought the script sucked?

(big grins)

Bill Gauthier <gauthic@attbi.com>
- Wednesday, April 24 2002 12:15:25

Have more time than I thought...

Zoe dot-dot: The reason the book that has been adapted into a movie isn't always the source material is because of what I said before about deviating from the book. If you are going to use something, a quote, that has an actor's distinct inflection, a screenwriter's own touch, then you're using the film. The credit to the book is an easy way to allow others to know there's a book out there but isn't NEEDED. I'd probably put it only because that was the basis for the movie and some sort of credit should be given to the book's author. I know it sounds contradictory, even to me, but if you're using the film adaptation ("Life is like a box of chocolates..."), then that's how I'd do it. Otherwise, go to the book ("Life ain't no box of chocolates" or something like that--I can't find my copy of Winston Groom's novel). That's what I meant. I'm probably wrong but that's my crazy thinking.

- Wednesday, April 24 2002 12:2:11

I blame the lull at work for continuing to read this board and posting. At home, it's always something: washing dishes, taking care of baby, cleaning the toilets, taking care of baby, cutting the grass, taking care of baby, finishing the monstrosity of a bitch of a half-assed deck out back, and, finally, taking care of baby.

Celluloid treatment? "House of Leaves"? Pshaw. An exercise in fiction (though, come to think of it, an example of something starting on the web and evolving into a by God published book that's made some money). The movie that NEEDS to be made from a book is Ellroy's "The Big Nowhere". Now, that's a fuckin' book that'll do well on the big white tablecloth on the wall. A few years ago, I was thinking that Jonny Depp would be Danny, Mickey Rourke would be Buzz, and the DA played by a Kevin Costner-type. Dudley Smith would, of course, be played by Brian Dennehy.

- Wednesday, April 24 2002 11:35:38

Melissa: Thanks for the correction, and the book is on my to-read list...

That's pretty much the point of talking about books vs. movies, especially biographical films based on a written biography. What if there were to be a film biography of the Kennedys based on Doris Kearns Goodwin's book? Would one cite the film, the book or the unattributed source material that got plagiarized into the book?

Or for a more historic example, consider the three different TV movies about the "Long Island Lolita" case. As I recall vaguely, one was based on Amy Fisher's story, one was pro-Buttafuoco, and the third started with news reports and court transcripts and extrapolated the rest. Which would a person look to for the "facts" of the case, or must one slog through all three to get a _Rashomon_ style perspective?

Bill Gauthier <gauthic@attbi.com>
- Wednesday, April 24 2002 11:34:34

Bejamin: You are correct about PSYCHO. On the DVD of the Hitchcock-directed version they mention the book a lot at the beginning, but I would've loved to see more about Bloch and the book. Hell, I'd like to be able to see more of anything about Bloch, I've bought all the novels of his I can in the area bookstores. Except the adaptation of TWILIGHT ZONE THE MOVIE. I haven't bought that. Yet.

Zoe: I'm not ignoring you. I don't have time to post. Do you mind if I e-mail and answer at some point? Let me know either here or by e-mail.


Benjamin A.A. Winfield <colonel_clive@hotmail.com>
- Wednesday, April 24 2002 11:24:49

Speaking of Mario Puzo's GODFATHER and films that overshadow their literary counterparts, does anyone even REMEMBER that PSYCHO was based on a book by Robert Bloch?

And on the subject of books that should've been converted into movies aeons ago, Mark Z. Danielewski's HOUSE OF LEAVES is screaming for the celluloid treatment. True, the plot and the characters would have to go under a major overhaul to work on film, but isn't that what book-to-films are ultimately about?

Melissa <entropy_5ca@yahoo.ca>
- Wednesday, April 24 2002 11:1:35


Actually, the book "A Beautiful Mind" deals far more extensively with Nash's fathering of a child out of wedlock, and his realtionship with the mother, than the film. It also confronts Nash's experiments with homosexuality much more directly, and with a distanced, more critical eye.

Of the film and the movie, based on my experiences dealing with Scotty's brother's struggles with schizophrenia, I would state that Sylvia Nasar's biography is a far more accurate representation of a schizophrenic's life, and of the disease and its onset. Ron Howard, in my opinion, sterilized the tale to a degree where it seemed like the perennial "man overcoming difficulty" story, told with all the impact of a thrown marshmallow. You don't just think your way out of serious mental illness, as the film suggests.

If you haven't read Nasar's book, please do. I found it excellent.

Love to All, Melissa

Helz <helzapoppn@aol.com>
Livonia, Michigan - Wednesday, April 24 2002 10:16:48

Source Material Debate:

Didn't we all go through this with "A Beautiful Mind" just last month? How Ron Howard's film took so many liberties with Sylvia Nasr's book, expressing John Nash's mental illness as an actual plotline with actual characters, etc...then of course there were all the whispers that the book itself took liberties with Nash's life story, deemphasizing his out-of-wedlock child, the allegations of homosexuality, and so on.

Who to believe? Who to trust? Most of all, who to cite in an academic paper?

Rule of Thumb -- when a film or television production uses the term "based on real events," it's not going to be a trustworthy, journalistic account (but the broad facts are more or less right). If it's "inspired by real events," assume it's pure fiction...

I'd say, look it up in Strunk & White, the Associated Press Stylebook, and the APA Guidelines for academic citations (American Psychiatric Association, which for some reason is the standard format for academic papers). Don't trust our opinions, even our informed opinions.

Jon Stover
Canada. Enh? - Wednesday, April 24 2002 10:5:3

Zoe Rose: I'm really not getting the "making real" point as some sort of universal guide to film adaptation. One example might be the Godfather movies. The first two films generally (and I agree with this assessment) get cited as being crowning achievements in film and fight it out with _Citizen Kane_ whenever 'Greatest American Movie Ever' lists get bandied about. The Puzo novel was a best-seller and a perfectly fine read, but I've never heard or read anyone who suggested that it should be jockeying for position with _Ulysses_ or _Clarissa_ for best novel ever honours, and if I did read or hear that, I'd expect to later find that that observer had been either carted off to the cuckoohouse or hired by USA Today to review books. And you can certainly come up with examples from the other parts of the adaptation spectrum -- movies that fail miserably despite original texts that succeed wonderfully; perfectly serviceable adaptations that sit there stolidly and leave the mind once they've been viewed; and so on, and so forth. Obviously the original work may supply anything from the complete intellectual and structural architecture of the film to an outline for wherever the film team's going, good, bad or indifferent. If that's what you mean by 'idea,' then no argument -- but not every 'idea' (which you may also be using as a catchall term for everything from images to characterization to plot) in the first two Godfather films has its origin in Puzo's text. The original work will hopefully be respected in the creation of the film, and the original work's creator(s) acknowledged and reimbursed. But _Ran_ and Peter Brooks's _King Lear_ do pretty different things with the same original text.

Cheers, Jon

Melissa <entropy_5ca@yahoo.ca>
- Wednesday, April 24 2002 9:56:30

Joseph: Scotty's not too perturbed. In fact, the man balmes me for his failure so far. I'll admit to a couple of screwups in maintaining his lineup, having worked as his GM 'til he can finally get back to a resonable schedule, but he's made more mistakes than me. So I've told him, it's your funeral; you dig the grave from now on.

Actually, he's having a good time with it, it's been a good diversion from endless work; league commitees screaming that they want their teams to get the best slots for playoff games, having to dig up officials to referee (most times meaning he'll wind up doing it himself), seeing to regular maintenance of the facility. He's bearing it well, and hopes all is well with all.

Love to All, Melissa

Joseph J. Finn
Chicago, - Wednesday, April 24 2002 9:29:51


Aw, Scotty's just annoyed that he's getting his butt whipped at the moment. I'm sure it'll turn around and I'll have my time in the dumps.

As for the flirting, that's just part of my Irish charm.....


P.S. White Sox! First place! Let the adventure again!

- Wednesday, April 24 2002 9:28:44

Finder, whose post I too had to scroll back to Find:

You may be a "shrinking violet" - with a mental etching rendered by acid on glass - but you do bloom when the moment counts. Way to go. The Tick himself couldn't have done a better job.

Melissa <entropy_5ca@yahoo.ca>
- Wednesday, April 24 2002 8:31:32

Good morning, all. Just a quick one, whilst waiting on a firing to cool.

Faisal: Accept my warm regards for your act, and a thank you. It would be nice if people could be a bit more appreciative to those who act on their behalf; sadly, it doesn't always work out that way. Here's a thanks and a kiss. Don't worry, Scotty won't mind.

Joseph: On the other hand, Scotty grumbles that first you're taking over the league he'd helped to build, now you're hitting on his wife. As the old man is want to say, "I'm gonna give somebody's noggin a floggin'!"

Todd; I guess the Vatican's stance on child molestation is that anything worth doing is worth doing well...

Mr. Ellison: I looked at the list for sale here, but there doesn't seem to be anything Scotty wants. Do you have any first editions in slipcases, other than the ones listed (the husband has those)? If not, I hope all is well between us.

Cookie: What's the word on the CD? Any closer to fruition? We here have money in hand.

Well, that's it from here. Oh yes, Cindy, in regards for "Billy, Don't Be A Hero", Bo Donaldson and the Heywoods, the Osmonds, and all other noxious forms of bubblegum rock that seemed so pervasive in the early seventies, I carry the shame of having been a Bay City Rollers fan...

Scotty won't let me live it down.

Love to All, Melissa

St. Pete, FL - Wednesday, April 24 2002 8:19:28

ZŲe: If fiction, then my argument is the same. The book is the true source as that's the first hand account, as it were. So, I suppose I agree with you and not your dad. The movie is just Franklin's bastard son, not the original Ben F.

Zoe Rose <ztreuer@d.umn.edu>
- Wednesday, April 24 2002 8:12:20

Good morning, all!

FAQ- It sounds weird, but apparently I was born with them and nobody noticed, somehow. What can I say? I'm a freak. All I know is that one day as I was heading to gymnastics in my leotard, I noticed a bump where a bump shouldn't be. Of course, at the time I freaked out because I thought I was turning into a boy, but... c'mon. I was /twelve/. We were all dumb once. Hope your father recovers quickly, anyhow.

The Source Material Debate

Justin - After rereading your posted answer to my question, I realized that maybe you and I were saying the same thing, even though you say you were agreeing with my dad. You say in your post,

"Books and films are definitely separate entities, but nobody should watch a movie and confuse that with learning real history or reading an actual book..."

So you're saying that in order to get the full meaning/lesson/whatever, you'd have to read the book. So doesn't that make the book the source material?

Bill- I'm going to send the same kind of argument your way. You said at the end of your post,

"I think a film adaptation can be it's own source, but I'd mention, even if it's just in passing or in a footnote, the novel/story/play it came from."

See, you said 'it came from' so doesn't that make the book the source material?

John Stover - But if you could watch the movie and get the general overall idea for the book... I mean, that would lead viewers to believe that the movie was based on the book, yes? Leading to *drumroll* the book being the original content and birthplace of the idea that the movie subsequently tried to visualize and make more real. Right?

Charlie of St. Pete - Agreed, insofar as your analogy of going to the source if the book was based on reality. How about fiction, though? Just as an example, "Boy and His Dog" was based on (not written! I didn't say written!) HE's novelette, which would be the source material, to my way of thinking.

An interesting debate. Part of it is a semantics problem, as someone stated, but I'm still not convinced.

--Zoe Rose

Helz <helzapoppn@aol.com>
Livonia, MI - Wednesday, April 24 2002 8:5:20

Finder -- good work. Your tale has all the classic elements of instinctive heroism. If you ask them, most Medal of Honor winners would say that they really weren't fully aware of what they were doing, and if they had stopped to think, they never would have done it (the rational soldier stays in his damn fighting position and waits for backup, keeps his head down when the bullets are flying and falls back when told).

Nobody mentioned "My Hero" by Foo Fighters (from The Colour and the Shape, 1997), so I thought I'd throw that in.

Cindy <IAMCINDIANAJONES@netscape.net>
TX United States - Wednesday, April 24 2002 7:58:1

Thank you!

I will look there too.

Meantime, want to read something reeeeeeeeeeeeally scary?

I'd love to have your take on my little yarn. I figure the more feedback I get from diverse people the more likely I will be to get the job done correctly.

Just holler,

David Loftus <DavidL@ci.oswego.or.us>
SUBJ: Our Guy, Finder, - Wednesday, April 24 2002 7:52:11

Superb Job, Finder!

Regarding your post-incident worries: I think these are calls that are impossible to make, either during or after the rush of circumstances. If the guy had been armed, I don't think he would have run -- not from you, anyway -- and besides, all the security and FBI that came down on him a moment later would have had him cornered and disarmed. The important thing was that you "carried the message," in a sense, from Melanie to the larger world.

Too often, we watch something bad happen and don't step up to the plate because we're afraid of what MIGHT happen. But my experience has been that bad things happen to us when we least expect them, out of the blue, when there really hasn't been any way to prevent them (I got knifed in the chest when all I had done was walk through a bad neighborhood at the wrong time of day and stopped long enough to tell a guy that no, I don't have a cigarette because I don't smoke) ... not when we're racing to meet them.

And widening the circle of attention, by yelling and running and showing bystanders that something out of the ordinary is going on here, maybe I could use some help, is probably the last thing a malfeasor wants. It's usually a good response because you'll often get the help.

And Harlan's right. You're a hero for a day, and we're all very proud of you.

Faisal A. Qureshi <faq@ic24.net>
Manchester, UK - Wednesday, April 24 2002 6:26:12

Zoe- Hernia's when you were 12!!! I hope they got your appendix out just to make it worthwhile. As to silly movies, thanks for the advice but my father has no interest in films or television... kind of strange considering what I do for a living but...

Finder - Yeah accept the applause. Years ago, when my parents were visiting a neighbour, I once grabbed his eighteen month old grandson off the road and prevented him being mowed down from a speeding motorist. Did I get any thanks? Did I fuck. The old fart still doesn't recognise me, let alone remembers the incident. Maybe one day, I will be the subject of an arty Volvo advert with M People banshee wailing 'Seeeaaarch four the heeeroooo inshide youuu' self', who knows? Just take what you get.

Chuck - I remember the Really strange picture show. It was presented by Jonathan Ross and produced by his Channel X company for Channel 4. Other participants were George Romero, Alejandro Jodorwosky and David Lynch.

Cindy - Also check out www.moviebytes.com for script competitions. The vast majority of them will only give a pittance for a hefty application fee so be careful. I always go for the ones with a bit of history behind them (i.e. Nicholl, Chesterfield, etc.)




Todd Cassel <TheDoh@prodigy.net>
NJ USofA - Wednesday, April 24 2002 5:16:27

This morning, on CNN.com, the headline reads: VATICAN CONFERENCE TO ISSUE SEX ABUSE GUIDELINES.

O.k., once I confirmed that I had not accidently logged into The Onion, and once I finished laughing at the thought of the hunched over pope handing over a manual with diagrams for those priests who have not yet mastered the art of child molestation, I had to wonder: who is approving this headline for the #1 internet news outlet in the country?????


Xanadu <X_a_n_a_d_u@yahoo.com>
Subject: Cindy's screenplay - Wednesday, April 24 2002 5:7:26

Cindy: I have not received any screenplay pages. But I do filter my Xanadu mailbox pretty aggressively, so I might have trashed it (sorry, if that's the case) - I have emailed you from a different account - try sending it there.


Jes Bickham <jes.bickham@futurenet .co.uk>
Bath, England - Wednesday, April 24 2002 5:7:21

Hey all
If I may de-lurk momentarily, I'd just like to add my appreciation to Finder's story - magnificent, bravo sir, do as Mr. Ellison says and embrace it. A wonderful tale.
And "Way to get arrested, dumbass" had me laughing out loud.
Best regards

Benjamin A. A. Winfield <colonel_clive@hotmail.com>
- Wednesday, April 24 2002 3:59:29

When I noticed how everyone on the board were heaping praise on Finder like there was no tomorrow, I knew I had missed something that I shouldn't have and scrolled back in the archives. Congrats, Finder. Everybody else has pretty much vocalized whatever I'm feeling about your tale.

I actually find it somewhat disturbing how Tyrone WALKED towards the exit rather than fleeing at top speed. Why is that? Was he just trying to draw as little attention to himself as possible to make good his escape? Or had Tyrone just adapted to how indifferent people usually are to acts of violation and violence? WHIMPER OF WHIPPED DOGS, indeed.

Alex Jay Berman <smeghead@erols.com>
Philly, - Wednesday, April 24 2002 2:38:44

Quick hits:

FINDER: A sincere and austere, "Thank you." Hero or no, you stood up. And that's what's needed today.
You know, a great man once said: "... when you're down and out, and everybody thinks you're finished, that's the time to stand up on your own two feet and shout, 'Who do you have to fuck to get a break in this town?!?'"
(Um, okay; so that was from Mel Brooks' musical version of THE PRODUCERS, but still ...)

COOKIE: I swear, I REALLY want to sing with you, just for kicks, sometime.

- Tuesday, April 23 2002 23:30:26

Thanks for the props (and the listen!). Believe me, I took your mere *mention* of widdle ol' me to be a positive stroke. Mmmmm.....!


FINDER: I scrolled back after HE's post and found your story. Like Lynn said: YOU ROCK.

Had you been shot or knifed and killed, you would be a martyr in the cause of good against evil. Because it wasn't your fate to die for this justice you helped to facilitate, you are a mere hero. Congratulations and thanks. I don't need "celebrity" heroes. I just need to know that there are decent, brave people like you.

I admire you and hope that I would be as savvy and active in a similar situation. Guess you'll never know until it happens.

I just can't heap enough benifecent blessings upon you and all you hold dear. Blessings, blessings; more blessings and heaps of good ol' fashioned, inexplicable luck to you!!!!!

Chuck <chuck_messer@hotmail.com>
- Tuesday, April 23 2002 21:35:40


GodDAMN, but you got steel ones. I'm glad you're okay, and I agree with Unca Harlan: don't knock it, don't diminish it. Anything that diminishes the malevolent god of WHIMPER OF WHIPPED DOGS is more than okay in my book.

We are a feisty and querulous bunch, but this group is chock-a-block with great folks.

As for the early films of Sam Raimi, I remember that Discovery Channel had a series called THE REALLY STRANGE PICTURE SHOW. I think it was called that. I'm pretty sure it had "strange", "picture", and "show" in the title. There was an episode devoted to Raimi and his growth as a filmmaker, including the magnetic sound 8mm movies he, Bruce Campbell and others made. Think Three Stooges with gore. You can see a lot of that in the Evil Dead movies.

Clips from the 8mm "WOODS" movie were also shown. They had a two by four with a camera rigged on it to get the low-to-the-ground steadycam effect. They called it "shakey cam". The 8mm film was used to get investors to fund EVIL DEAD. So, it impressed someone.


Lynn <cavalaxis@digitalcarrion.com>
- Tuesday, April 23 2002 21:34:11

Cindy~ Original Cindy is Max's (Jessica Alba's) lesbian sidekick. She is just as kick ass as Max is, in her own right. Then again, I haven't watched it since the first season ended. After that, it went really weird.


Jay <zebrapix@hotmail.com>
- Tuesday, April 23 2002 21:22:52


Dark Angel teleplay? Huh? Did I sleep through something? You've written one? May I?

This has Jessica Alba? Gosh I wish I were younger so my own lusts wouldn't seem so lecherous. :)

St. Pete, FL - Tuesday, April 23 2002 21:22:4

ZŲe: I donít accept the premise how you are defining source material. The best source is a first hand account. An authorís account is usually a second hand re-telling of an event, unless the author was the participant. Over the past few years Iíve interviewed several WWII veterans and IMO Tom Brokaw is wrong calling those WWII vets the ďGreatest Generation.Ē By giving them such an appellation dismisses all past, present, future generations as less great. Many were young men draftees who were sent into battle, trained others to fly planes, repaired vehicles and airstrips, guarded the coastline in blimps, etc. I know they are not the only generation throughout history who would accomplish such things. Want to learn about the Holocaustóbooks and movies may provide a nice foundation; however, go talk to survivors; go to a concentration camp. I did. Went to Dachau. The scariest place I ever set foot. The barracks were gone, but the ovens werenít and the memories still lingered. Thatís source material.

Cindy <IAMCINDIANAJONES@netscape.net>
TEXAS USA - Tuesday, April 23 2002 21:1:53


Kiss, kiss!

Couldn't help myself.. I only regret that I forgot the instrumental hot licks between the lines.

As in:

Beeeleh don't be a heeroh don't be a fool with
yer lie ie ief. ..

Nyair Nynair Nynair Nynair nuh nuh nyair,

Billeh don't be a heeeroh etc.

Thank you for affording me the opportunity to add that. It really seemed naked and counterfeit without it.

When I re-read the post I realized my oversight and was certain I'd be judged as some sort of faux retro music guru.

Again, you are sweet to acknowledge me.. I won't forget!


Cindy <IAMCINDIANAJONES@netscape.net>
TEXAS USA - Tuesday, April 23 2002 20:53:39


I'd be most honored if you would read my screenplay. I need all the input I can get right now. I'm fixin' to enter it in the Austin Film Festival's screenplay competition ALSO I am hoping for another round of Project Greenlight.

Tell me about the Dark Angel character. All I know is my son is in lust with the girl that plays her.


Thanks again so much for reading, I appreciate it more than you know.


Indy, - Tuesday, April 23 2002 20:28:46

Finder: "Way to get arrested, dumbass!"

Hell, I thought I was the only one who yells that.

Congrats for having the balls most wish they had. Sitting back and thinking about what could have happened doesn't do you any good. The act was a good one. That's all you need.


Jon Stover
Canada. Source material - Tuesday, April 23 2002 20:11:39

Zoe: Sounds more like a semantics problem than anything else -- the novel (or stage play or comic or opera) is the source material, but the movie's still a different text. They're not really incompatible ideas. Watching _The French Lieutenant's Woman_ in lieu of reading the novel for an exam involving the novel is going to really bugger your answers, but that's a different problem.


ZoŽ Rose <ztreuer@d.umn.edu>
- Tuesday, April 23 2002 19:32:45

Bill & Justin - What you say is true... but doesn't the fact that if the book hadn't been written, the movie wouldn't have ever been made, have some effect on the discussion? I mean, I can see where a movie can garner some different interpretations, involve some unique 'action' or 'lines', but... I'm not quite sure how to word what I'm thinking. It seems to me 'source material' means original intent/direction/beginning structure, kinda, and the movies based off books owe their origins to the books themselves.

Does that make sense, or am I stating something obvious and defining 'source material' wrong, do you think?

--ZoŽ Rose

Justin <thedogindiana@hotmail.com>
- Tuesday, April 23 2002 19:22:40

Zoe dot dot: I'm with your pops. Movies can be used as source material. Still, if you're going to use a film as such then a mention of the inspiration for the flick should figure prominently somewhere in the piece. The problem is that your average uncultured Joe will watch, say, CIDER HOUSE RULES, and assume it's the same as the book, that he knows everything he needs to know about the book, and that he certainly doesn't need to sit down and actually READ the thing now. Or he'll watch SCHINDLER'S LIST, and try to come off as though he suddenly knows everything about the Holocaust. Books and films are definitely separate entities, but nobody should watch a movie and confuse that with learning real history or reading an actual book, which happens more often than not, much to the supreme annoyance of Harlan Ellisons and college professors at the Universtiy of Arizona.

Bill Gauthier
New Bedford, MA - Tuesday, April 23 2002 19:17:59


I think it depends on the movie but, in lots of cases, they could be their own source material simply because they are a different medium. A movie has to have its own internal logic that might not coincide with the novel's to tell the same story. Take Jack Nicholson's "Heeeerrre's Johnny!" from THE SHINING. That is purely from the screenplay by Stanley Kubrick and Diane Johnson (unless it was an improvisation on Nicholson's part), but never appears in Stephen King's novel. However, if I were to use that line as a source, I would mention it was from the movie adapted from King's novel, just to cover all ground. Please, fill in your own scene with authors if you wish. So, yeah, I think a film adaptation can be it's own source, but I'd mention, even if it's just in passing or in a footnote, the novel/story/play it came from.

Cindy: There's always one...


Justin <thedogindiana@hotmail.com>
- Tuesday, April 23 2002 19:10:28

Finder: Awesome! Guys like you date ladies with names like Lois Lane and Vicky Vale, brutha.

I read "The Universe According to Robert Blake" when I was 15 or so, and ended up writing a paper about it in school. Having spent lots of time in schools were I was in a pretty small minority, I wasn't exactly a total stranger to racism (or "reverse racism" as it's called), but the story really packed a huge punch for me. It dealt with the subject of racism more effectively than in anything I'd ever read up to that point. You really FEEL it in your bones. It definitely heightened my appreciation for a lot of the racial texts I read subsequently. It's a very powerful story and worth reading, so check it out. It's in Edgeworks vol. 1.

Peace out.


Todd Cassel <TheDoh@prodigy.net>
NJ USofA - Tuesday, April 23 2002 19:8:56

Frank, tell your 'unfair money advantage' whiny tales to the Dodgers. Tell them to Baltimore who just two years ago had a humongous payroll and finished just inches above the Devil Rays. Tell it to the Mets who also live in NY and can spend as much as they choose to spend. And the Mariners owned by a very rich corporation who can go to town on payroll whenever they choose. Or to Cleveland and their looooong streak of sellouts at the Jacob that was just ended late last year. And to the Cubs who are owned by a corporation that can easily spend the money...if they choose. Crying about the Yankee payroll is quite the cliche when most teams in baseball have the revenue to spend but choose not to.....or spend it poorly like the Dodgers do year after year after year.

Sure, there are those small market teams that don't have the money backing.....but if you count them up, and then count up the teams that have the money and don't spend it, or spend it poorly, I would hardly say that the Yankees have an unfair advantage. I root for the Expos and the Twins and the Royals often, especially to prove to those money whiners that it ain't always the big bucks that bring success.

Wah wah wah. A very tired argument.


Lynn <cavalaxis@digitalcarrion.com>
- Tuesday, April 23 2002 19:4:45

So I suppose Tina Turner's "We don't need another hero" is just right out then. (Too bad. Good song.)

Finder~ You rock. Nuff Said.

Cindy~ (Every time I hear your name, I think of the character from Dark Angel, Original Cindy.) Can ya fling me some script pages too? Thanks in advance!


ZoŽ Rose <ztreuer@d.umn.edu>
- Tuesday, April 23 2002 18:54:46

Good evening, all-

FAQ- Ish, dad got a hernia operation? Don't rent him any funny movies. That might seem an odd thing to say - ok, it _is_ an odd thing to say, but I had two abdominal hernias operated on when I was twelve, and my loving, well-meaning parents rented me silly movies. It hurt so much to laugh that I was sobbing and they thought I was still partially drugged. Very sad. So, hence the 'no funny movies' suggestion.

CINDY- Got the pages here, thanks

FINDER- Ditto to all these other well-worded folks. There really ARE decent people out there...

Question for all of you - my dad and I were getting into a discussion via e-mail about whether or not a movie could be considered source material, even if it was 'based' on a book. What do you all think? My position was that movies based off a book weren't source material, and his point was that perhaps movie become their own story, with unique dialects, sounds, and other features books don't necessarily have - thus becoming, in effect, their own source material, like they're telling their own, separate story. Thoughts?

And I promise this isn't part of a college-course discussion, guys. *smile*

--ZoŽ Rose

Cindy <IAMCINDIANAJONES@netscape.net>
TEXAS USA - Tuesday, April 23 2002 17:57:38

Oh c'mon don't deprive us.


don't be a Heeeroh

Don't be a fool with you li ie ief

Billeh don't be a heeeeroh

come back and

make me yer wi ie ief..


as he started to go

Ah said

Billeh keep yer


low oh oh


don't be



come back to

me hee hee.

Sorry, couldn't resist.

I'm a mom too.


Bill Gauthier
New Bedford, MA - Tuesday, April 23 2002 17:40:57

Shane, thanks for skipping past "Billy Don't Be a Hero." My mother used to torment me with that song.

Seriously, though, good for you, Finder. In today's cynical, apathetic world, where too many people stand back thinking of the consequences and allowing the evildoers to get away, it's inpiring to find someone who's done the right thing, the selfless thing. I toast my tea to you, sir.


Shane Shellenbarger
Phoenix, Arizona USofA - Tuesday, April 23 2002 17:18:14

Let me add my quarter to the jukebox, finger sliding right past "Billy, don't be a hero" and instead landing on Bonnnie Tyler's "Holding out for a hero." You done good and a whole lotta people are glad you were at the right place at the right time and took the right action.


Jon Stover
Canada. Angry Furniture - Tuesday, April 23 2002 15:52:16

Xanadu: That was very, very funny. I'm going over to the Mel's Furnitureland Virtual Web Warehouse to raise hell using bad poetry as an example now.

O! I have seen thee, Queen of Cheese,
Lying gently at thy ease,
Thy fair form no flies dare seize.

If you were hung from balloon,
People would think it was the moon,
Come to fall and crush them soon.

Ladies and gentlemen, James McIntyre, the Ingersoll Cheese Poet.


Jon Stover
Canada. Angry Furniture - Tuesday, April 23 2002 15:52:1

Xanadu: That was very, very funny. I'm going over to the Mel's Furnitureland Virtual Web Warehouse to raise hell using bad poetry as an example now.

O! I have seen thee, Queen of Cheese,
Lying gently at thy ease,
Thy fair form no flies dare seize.

If you were hung from balloon,
People would think it was the moon,
Come to fall and crush them soon.

Ladies and gentlemen, James McIntyre, the Ingersoll Cheese Poet.


Frank Church
- Tuesday, April 23 2002 15:50:40

I noticed that the E channel showed, the Terminator. One thing that was obvious was the lack of the name, Harlan Ellison in the credits. Did I miss something?

Faisal A. Qureshi
Manchester, UK - Tuesday, April 23 2002 15:46:13

Frank - Thanks. I have yet to have a look at it but have saved the relevant pages, but I can't comment until I read it.

(which is going to take time as my father just had a hernia operation... ouch!).


Frank Church
- Tuesday, April 23 2002 15:44:45

Let's get some reality based forensics here: The Yankees win because the team have an unfair monetary advantage, ala, the greedy Steinbrenner. When you can buy the best players, then ergo, you win--capice?

Joseph J. Finn
Chicago, - Tuesday, April 23 2002 15:42:53


A) Lamentable White Sox season? Have you looked at the stats lately? It's going to be a damn exciting regular season for both our teams!

B) Oh, I understood your TV point. I was just whining, as I choose not to pay for cable (Netflix fulfills my movie needs, and I glom off friends for things like "Longtitude").


Barney <dannelke01@enter.net>
- Tuesday, April 23 2002 15:33:28

*** Finder *** That's about the best thing I've heard in weeks. High fives and back slapping and all that stuff. Harlan has it just right. Good on ya mate!

*** Cookie *** I would like to go all Lamont Cranston on you or pretend I sat in on one of your New York gigs and then vanished in a dark blue fog but the simple fact is I know exactly what you sound like because I actually downloaded and listened to that audio file you posted awhile back. I just came to it a couple of weeks after the fact and didn't have much to contribute beyond something like "nice pipes". Mentioning you was a giggle because it propped up my somewhat bogus claim to inclusivity. Bogus NOT because I don't like you, but because anybody reading my posts here for the last 3+ years knows that I am an out of the closet elitist.

I hope you know that even though Tom Waits has a voice like 80 grit sandpaper that was a compliment. Plus, for those who care we get 2[!!!!] new studio CD's from Mr. Waits next month.

A friend of mine [Nick Nguyen] just sent me a compilation cd with some great stuff on it [ Manu Chao, Beck, Parliament, Me'Shell N'degeOcello, Massive Attack, Morphine, etc.] BUT the two tracks that blew me away were Nat King Cole doing "Aquellos Ojos Verdes" and the Propellerheads doing "History Repeating Itself". Now the Nat King Cole catalog I already own but will now get some dusting off. What I want to know is if anybody else is familiar with that Propellerhead track. IF that is representative then I have a new aquisition bug up my ass. The only "new" music I've had time to absorb is Don Byron's "Bug Music" which everybody should quickly dogpile on.

*** Stockbridge thread *** To whoever called me on this. Busted. Stockbridge was the house name. BUT the stuff that we associate with the full tilt boogie demented nature of the Spider prose style [which should only be replicated under controlled laboratory conditions] should ALL be attributed to Norvell Page. Before Norvell Page got on board, and during the one extended break The Spider was a weak sister (a Shadow if you will) of the Master of Men that Spider fans are familiar with. I have a book by Don Hutchison called "The Great Pulp Heroes" [Mosaic Press / isbn #0-88962-585-9] which devotes 18 pages to this mostly unsung twisted wordsmith. I'm sure Ron Goulart also wrote about him but I think Hutchison has the True Gen. If the pulps had their own Ed Wood it may have been this fellow.

- Barney

Todd Cassel <TheDoh@prodigy.net>
NJ USofA - Tuesday, April 23 2002 14:59:21

Joseph, P.S., I'm not lamenting that I don't get my Yankee fix on free teevee....I'm lamenting that I'm willing to pay for my Yankee fix, and because my cable company wants to cry like big babies because the team started their own network, and because the network wants to cry like big babies that our cable company wants to make them a pay-channel and not an everyone-who- subscribes-to-cablevision-pays channel, I CAN'T!

I assume you can at least pay for those silly little figure skaters you root for, but just choose not to......?


Todd Cassel <TheDoh@prodigy.net>
NJ USofA - Tuesday, April 23 2002 14:56:32

Joseph, Blackhawks? Is there such a team out there.....oh, wait, I forget, you Chicago folks are all into those teams that never win championships unless they feature Michael Jordan. That's right....Blackhawks....they're the guys that ice skate and hit cow pucks around before going home for a disappointing summer of watching the Cubs and White Sox.


Cindy <IAMCINDIANAJONES@netscape.net>
TEXAS USA - Tuesday, April 23 2002 14:50:54


Did you get some screenplay pages from me?

Joseph J. Finn
Chicago, - Tuesday, April 23 2002 14:42:7


Oh, boo hoo. You can watch only 30 games on free TV. Try being a Blackhawks fan. Wanna know how many games are on free TV a year? 0! Zero! A Big Fat Goose Egg! And by choice of the owner!

So go cry a Yankee river to someone else. I'm gonna go crawl in a corner and feel sorry for myself.


Todd Cassel <TheDoh@prodigy.net>
NJ USofA - Tuesday, April 23 2002 14:33:3

Turn around, Joseph, there's now no one between you and the Deathbird's Tail. We's gonna flush the Flash before the weekend is out.

Now if only I could WATCH MY FUCKING YANKEES ON TEEVEE!!!! I'm hot in the middle of the war between Cablevision and the YES (new Yankee Entertainment and Sports) Network. While they each stand by like petulant children waiting for one to give in, us Yankee fans who are stuck with Cablevision or nothing (I can't go satellite, I live in a condo)must drift in the world of baseball on the radio. Monopolies are against the law? Hmmm, when was the last time I could switch cable companies.

So here I sit, 50 miles from Yankee stadium, a man who normally watches about 120 Yankee games a year, and all I get is my team on free teevee just 30 times this year until one of the babies gives in (since they are both losing boocoo revenue in this fight, it's proof that they are just acting like children who don't want to cave first).

Ahhhh, but I have Yankees on radio, you say, and baseball is still a wonderful game on radio. I do agree....except for the fact that THE YANKEES MOVED TO A NEW RADIO STATION THIS YEAR AND IT COMES IN LIKE SHIT AROUND THESE HILLS OF NEW JOISEY!

Ahhhh, you say, but you can listen as best you can on the radio and every so often check the live updates on the internet since you have cable modem through Cablevision....yep, sure can, except when GODDAMN CABLEVISION DECIDES TO UPGRADE OUR CABLE LINES FOR DIGITAL ALL WEEK AND MY FUCKING CABLE MODEM GOES DOWN EVERY FRIGGIN' TIME I REFRESH THE SCREEN.

Ahhhh, Todd, it's only a game. Just think, if you get your wish and move to Phoenix, you will have to follow your Yankees long distance anyway. Get used to it. You still have the newspapers.

Yup, I say, except the sad fact is that if I were in Phoenix right now, I bet I could get the fucking YES network on satellite out there while I can't get it here, 50 miles from the fucking stadium.

Todd, this is the Harlan Ellison web board. Though we all talk about many topics, we really don't give a rat's shiny ass about your problems, so minor that they are. So please stop wasting our time.

Ok Ok, I'm sorry. I promise not to bitch too much. (razzafrazza friggadigga)


Xanadu <X_a_n_a_d_u@yahoo.com>
Subject: Heather on moonlighter - Tuesday, April 23 2002 14:13:13

All: Just remember, during the whacking of moonlighter, that _he_ did not come here, _he_ did not ask for our input Ė in fact, he didn't even ask for the input of the board he posted to. It was Heather who wanted to know whether what she read was good. Folks, _Heather_ can't tell when she reads something that bad.

Now, to Heather: Writing is a craft. Like making furniture, blowing glass, weaving a basket, singing, painting, or creating pottery. It is the collection of nuts-and-bolts skills, talent and discipline to take the raw material and from it, fashion something useful, entertaining, or in rare cases, enlightening.

For writing, the raw material is words Ė with a dash of punctuation thrown in for good measure. That's it. Everything a writer evokes is through their ability to put words together well. If they cannot, they will fail.

Let me translate this discussion to another craft for the sake of argument...

Heather: "Hey guys, I found this guy who's about to release a new line of Victorian furniture. Here's one of his chairs, what do you think Ė is it Victorian?"

The Rest Of Us (variously): "Uh, will that thing stand?", "Can you even sit in it?", "You'd think having one of the legs in that position would hurt any male who tries to sit down.", "Did he use BALSA WOOD?"

H: "Thanks a lot guys, I wanted to know if it worked as a Victorian and you guys just piled on his woodworking ability without answering my question."

TROU (variously): "It's not really a chair at all.", "It's poorly constructed.", "This guy better get out of the furniture business quick, he is gonna lose a lot of money!", "It's not Victorian Ė in fact, it's hard to ascribe any particular 'style' to it..."

H: "Fine, don't answer..."

What I am trying to say is this: you're asking the wrong question, Heather. His ability to reuse common tropes and situations of a particular genre (stuff that seems familiar) is irrelevant Ė he doesn't have the BASIC SKILL-SET necessary to be a writer. (and at 28, if the age I read was correct, he will likely never will) He uses awkward constructions, badly drawn similes and he punctuates badly Ė failure at the most basic level of this craft. He could have the coolest ideas on the planet, but if he doesn't have the talent, the skills OR the discipline to express them, he will never succeed.

And if you cannot recognize his lack of skills at a glance Ė despite a desire to admire his stick-to-it-tivness, I fear for your future in this craft as well.

I'm sorry if that seems harsh, but I just calls 'em as I sees 'em.

Cindy <IAMCINDIANAJONES@netscape.net>
TEXAS USA - Tuesday, April 23 2002 14:6:27


I just sent y'all another chunk of my screenplay. Thanks for asking.

Let me know when you want more.


- Tuesday, April 23 2002 13:52:15

Finder, reminds me of the one good moment in Tom Clancy, when in the movie Patriot Games, Harrison Ford responds, when asked why he risked his life to stop a terrorist action:

"Because it pissed me off."

Well done, Lurk

- Tuesday, April 23 2002 13:1:34


Stop scuffing your toe in the dirt of humility. Gary Cooper is dead; you're not his replacement. Bite into that succulent fruit of Calling Things By Their Real Names. Enjoy the cool, reifying savor accepting the simple appellation, the absolutely correct designation: HERO. Trust me on this, boychik, I've been there, done that. Many times. It is a heady vintage. And, like cowardice, it is habit-forming. Do it once, get that rush, eschew the demeaning "gee, I don't think of myself as a hero, just an average guy, y'know, who charged a machine gun nest and saved the lives of seventy men," and you'll find it outdoes dope or drink or sex or Art as an aphrodisiac. Just because your moment never came previously, you misidentified yourself as, what did you call yourself, a "shrinking violet." Face the reality, goofus: obviously you are NOT a shrinking violet.

This has been a life-clarifying moment for you. Most people never get blessed with one. Stop trying to make it small. Embrace it, learn who you Really Are, and live the new life you've given yourself. In psychiatry, they call less blazing moments of truth and clarity a "breakthrough" or--theologically--an "epiphany."

You're a hero. We spend our lives waiting for Fate to give us our marching orders. You've gotten yours. Congratulations.


My short story, "The Universe of Robert Blake" was written when I was in the Army, 1958 or 59. Long before I came to Hollywood and met Bobby. Or, in fact, ever thought of him as anything other than Bobby Blake, Little Beaver of the Red Ryder western movies. It is a story about a little black kid on the day he discovers he's a "nigger." Has nothing to do with Robert Blake, the actor. Coincidence, is all it is.

Yr. pal, Harlan

Frank Church
- Tuesday, April 23 2002 12:25:5

Todd, with Entertainment Weekly as your cultural guide, I am not surprised that you would downplay the wonderful, and in depth reportage of Jews For Justice. But I expect this from you Todd; at least you didn't let me down.


Faisel, what do you think of the Jews For Justice study?

- Tuesday, April 23 2002 12:17:42

Yes. Yes, I do.

Good man. Just remember not to sign up for any active duty or anything. That same "switch" that made you run after the guy is the same one that's gonna make you jump on top of that grenade to save your buddies.

The badge and decoder ring can be found in specially marked packages of "Churlish" cereal. Accept no substitues.

- Tuesday, April 23 2002 12:2:5

I can hardly keep up with y'all, but one topic catches my eye and that is that we owe it to be "nurturing" to folks learning an art form. On one level, yes, if we want to see an art flourish, we need to keep our eyes open for young, new talent. At the same time, young artists are wise to study and LEARN craft.

Barney, man! You've never heard me so how do you know you wanna leave the singing to me???:) Seriously, I'm a good musician though I'm not a genius. Singing (and some wheelin' and dealin')got me two degrees and a little regional niche to hang out my "jazz singer" shingle.

Anyway, the hardest thing in the world to hear is criticism. As an adjunct instructor teaching a .5 credit "class" (actually, I'm runnin' a band), grades are a joke. Still, I must professionally criticize and offer solutions to what my musicians do. It's the same job that editors and writing teachers do.

Usually, students are receptive to that criticism, but sometimes they are not. They remain locked in the world of their own perceived genius and worth. I remember thinking I knew it all and was so goddam hip when I was an undergrad. Good thing I got my ass kicked. It's hard to be receptive to criticism because it seems so personal. I mean think about it: My voice is the only one I have. Criticizing my singing is criticizing ME. Some people don't like the sound of my voice and some people don't like the way I use it. It was difficult to study classical singing because its aesthetic was so different from the music I play. It was like learning grammar. At the same time, classical technique gave me some useful tools to make my music more easily. It was a painful discipline and included having a teacher continually tell me I sounded "tense in the jaw" or was "pressing on the tone" or "scooping" when I was getting a lot of strokes and some cash from singing even more outrageously in bars. I hated going to the voice studio. I eventually learned to separate criticism of my technique from criticism of my ideas and potential (that, BTW, was due to an open-minded voice teacher who loved and believed in me). I then began to sing more easily because the technique facilitates the expression. The thing is, though, that I had to be willing to LEARN.

In short, pay your dues.

Also, if someone just has NO potential, it's a kind thing to tell them. They'll either persist and fail miserably, or they'll persist and slowly improve through sheer determination and optimism. Or perhaps they'll turn their interests in another direction and thank you for it later.

I've forgotten the gentleman's name, but a very famous 18th-century voice teacher wrote a terrific treatise/instruction book about singing. A couple of things made me laugh because I recognize them as timeless and universal. One was that a singer never feels well today. She felt well yesterday and expects she'll feel better tomorrow, maybe next week. The second was that if a child showed no aptitude for music, the right thing to do is to tell the child's parents to save their money.

David Loftus <DavidL@ci.oswego.or.us>
SUBJ: homegrown recordings, - Tuesday, April 23 2002 12:0:47

Jay -- You tell me you're interested, and post me a mailing address. Are you interested in Bradbury stories, Milne poems, or Sherlock Holmes stories? I've also recorded Peter Mayle's _A Year in Provence_ and Bradbury's _Something Wicked This Way Comes_, but being longer efforts (six or eight 110-minute cassettes apiece), they take longer to process and mail.

Edward Champion
San Francisco, CA - Tuesday, April 23 2002 10:32:27

Jay: Anchor Bay just about got "Within the Woods" on the most recent limited edition of "Evil Dead." But, in the end, as Joseph pointed out earlier, despite feverish efforts, they couldn't claim the rights. I know there's an outfit in Miami that sells really bad copies of Raimi's Super 8 work (they have a tape that not only contains "Within the Woods," but the infamous Pillsbury Doughboy movie and "The Happy Valley Kid"). Unfortunately, I can't remember the name of it. I wish someone would release Raimi's Super 8 work on DVD. Given that Anchor Bay was insane enough to release "Thou Shalt Not Kill...Except," a remarkably terrible movie directed by Josh Bender featuring Sam Raimi as a wig-wearing bad guy and a gaunt Ted Raimi trying to look tough as "the Chain Man," one would hope that the same feverish zeal eventually leads to Raimi's other work making the rounds.

Washu: I understand that Tinglebum's job security faces serious jeopardy after the publication of that essay. But word on the street about Carpenter is that he's trying to go back to a simple storyline (a la "Assault on Precinct 13" or "Halloween") for his next one.

Rich: The "more power to him" line was largely thrown out there as a token gesture. But perhaps they were poorly chosen words. And as someone who sweats every morning, the idea of handing this kid the keys to the castle certainly frightens the hell out of me as well. But I don't wish Moonlighter any ill will. The guy can't write, true, but for all I know, he could be a hell of a nice guy or, years from now, he could eventually develop into something beyond where he is right now. But I don't see any real reason to dwell on offal for a lengthy period of time and let tinny shrpanel immerse itself beneath the flesh in this case, do you?

millimeters, schmillimeters.... - Tuesday, April 23 2002 10:13:51

Joseph -


- Jay

Hey did you ever finish that doorstop of a script I sent you?

Jay <zebrapix@hotmail.com>
My Last Thought on Moonlighter - Tuesday, April 23 2002 10:12:32

He was presented to the group as a writer proud of being published which, to me, put him at a higher level of inspection than a kid who needs simple advice on moving forward with his budding craft.

We approached him honestly and critically, though I agree with Heather we were quite harsh. This is because of that status he pretends on the website. While I highly suspect this "publisher" is a vanity press, Moonlighter certainly doesn't go out of his way to clarify the point so I have to judge him as though he's reached this plateau in a very competitive field. I feel, as I think most of us do, that once you've "arrived" (been published) you become a target and subject to the same strict, hyper-critical analysis as anyone who has a name in print.

Heather maintains that we should nurture this budding talent and offer critical advice to help him grow into a bright, beautiful literary flower. In a way, I think we've provided more than enough fertilizer to help the kid examine his key faults, including the really icky metaphor I just used.

She also contends that vanity is no different than having a company buy into your work - it's being published and shares the same status. I respectfully disagree. Moonlighter's work requires a significant amount of work to be considered by a slushpile reader, much less be sought out by a major publisher. I say that realistically, not to the slap the kid in the face. As a member of the Rejection Letter Collector's Guild, I know it is much different to earn that coveted acceptance letter, to earn that moment of excitement and pride. THAT is something you can't get in a vanity press; when a group of individuals decide to invest in you as an artist and as a commercial property.

I think we all have the same idea of where Moonlighter's skill places him on this road to publication.

If this is, as Heather indicates, some uninitiated scribbler with a vanity press contract - a student in need of assistance - how would we react to him? What would we tell him differently? I think the advice we gave is strong and important to his growth, so perhaps the TONE is the only aspect that could be changed? I dunno.

In any case, I wish him well and humbly suggest that Heather take the best bits of advice and pass them along to Moonlighter. If he's not ready to take the criticism as we posted it, then he needs more help than the board can provide.


Joseph J. Finn
Chicago, - Tuesday, April 23 2002 9:50:37


Even worse - "Woods" was shot on 8mm film. "Evil Dead" was shot on 16mm.


Cindy <IAMCINDIANAJONES@netscape.net>
TEAS USA - Tuesday, April 23 2002 9:48:34


You ARE a HERO!!!!!!!!

But God DAMN, don't EVER do that again! Let 'em run if it's just a purse.

Still, I'm so proud of you! You're the impression of US that the German lady is taking back to her country.

You're a real man, which is the highest compliment I can give a guy.


Jay <zebrapix@hotmail.com>
On the Road - Tuesday, April 23 2002 9:25:59

L'il Washu/Joseph -

Yeah, I've heard the quality of "Within the Woods" is lousy, but its the first time they worked with 16mm and TRIED to be professional. Campbell talks about it fondly in his autobio and refers to tricks Raimi invented to keep costs down. Which leads to a LEGAL question...

What is the Internet version of "Fair Educational Use" for (C) material? What is fair and reasonable use when downloading visual media for this purpose?

Finder - Bravo. Congratulations. Take an Free Absolution card out of the fishbowl on your way out the door, courtesy Reverend Jay and the Universal Life Church. :)

David Loftus - Where can one get these marvelous recordings Heather speaks of... or "of which Heather speaks?"

More later as I must get food in my belly.

Jon Stover
Canada. Sunlight Gardner and Smokey Updike - Tuesday, April 23 2002 8:26:54

It's _On Becoming a Novelist_, David. Part of that search turned up this interesting interview with Dan Simmons. Scroll down for his advice on dealing with "I can write better than that" if you're interested:



Melissa <entropy_5ca>
A Note For Finder..., - Tuesday, April 23 2002 8:22:47


You stand with Jay, my Scotty, Alia, and probably more than a few of the others who come here as one of those people who gives a damn; one of those who know that if you want a better world, you've got to do some work toward it.

You're one of those who can throw off the malaise that seems to permeate our society, that ennui toward others that so many display and justify with a gutless "Well, what can I do about it?", or "It's not my problem". As a result, you show that us scuttling little creatures, with a bit of effort, can show a little of the decency we always profess we have.

All I can say is well done. Not much, I know. And thank you.

Love to all, Melissa

- Tuesday, April 23 2002 8:15:33

You just fucked us all an awful lot, Todd...

But I did like Carpenter's 'They Live' in spite of the disappointing direction he took it in the thoid act (sinking his feet in predictable Schwarzenegger cliches, which didn't even work as a send-up).

Finder <the-finder@mindspring.com>
- Tuesday, April 23 2002 8:6:25

WARNING: Long-ass post with no bearing on the Middle East, the Evil Dead, piss-poor writing or anything else - just a brief tale from the improbable files of the Finder, postmarked Saturday, 4/20/02 that I needed to share.

His name was Tyrone. He had come in the rear courtyard entrance of the Renaissance hotel - across from the DC Convention Center. Sauntered in through the doors near the restaurant. My cousin Melanie noticed him. He looked out of place in the lobby of the Renaissance - hip-hop gear, hat turned around. He passed behind me - I never saw him walk in. Mel saw, though. Her hackles went up. He went down the hallway to the restrooms. Mel ticked off a mental note and we continued keeping a lookout for the friends we were meeting.

Her name was Winnie. She'd been in the United States from Germany for less than two hours - her first trip to the US. She was with her boyfriend Michael, down from PA to meet her. They were going to see some sights - the White House, the Washington Monument, and so on - before moving on to Boston on Sunday. They stopped at the Renaissance to check rates - they still didn't have a place to stay. Winnie talked to the people at the front desk, then went on from the front desk to the ladies room.

Tyrone was waiting for Winnie in the ladies room. Not specifically for her - for the next woman in. Could have been my cousin, I note in retrospect. And she wonders why I walk with her when she walks the dog at night. From Winnie's account, when she walked through the door, Tyrone grabbed her by the hair and threw her down on the floor, liberating her handbag from her in the process. And then he started to walk - TO WALK - out of the hotel.

Except two things happened: Winnie, who hadn't been knocked senseless, began to scream. And Melanie turned around upon hearing the screams to see Tyrone walking towards the rear doors of the lobby, where he had come in, clutching a handbag against him, and she screamed "OH MY GOD, HE'S GOT HER PURSE!!!"

The next four seconds are a blur in my head. Just the next four, because the rest is etched in the mind as if rendered by acid on glass. Melanie likens it to a scene from the Beastie Boys "Sabotage" video: Tyrone upgraded his "draw no attention" walk to an "oops, gotta flee" run; Winnie came running out from the bathroom area screaming "Stop him!"; and, according to Melanie, I vaulted the low wall and planter behind the small couch I was sitting on in order to give chase.

I may have lept over it. Hell, I must have, because I didn't get to the doors on sunshine and good wishes. I remember landing on the tile floor of the lobby and having a momentary concern about slipping and falling on my ass, because I was in my black leather shoes. No one likes a clumsy man of action.

I pursued. I ran after Tyrone - out the back doors, through the courtyard between the Renaissance and the Technology Center, out to New York Avenue. If he'd gone right, he'd have gotten away - I've dropped 45 pounds in the last two years, and I've been going to the gym, but my speed burst has a max duration of about a city block, and I doubt I could have kept up for very long. But I cut my turn into the courtyard wide to the right, and so he veered left, ran into the street, spilled some of the contents of the bag in the street, continued left when he hit the far sidewalk. He dropped the bag, and ran right into the arms of hotel security, who had gone out the front door and seen him coming their way.

I never laid a hand on him. Never got closer than twelve feet. But I helped Tyrone make a hasty choice that worked against him. The hotel security people, the two FBI guys who broke cover on their World Bank/IMF detail, the three city cops and the Park policeman all saw to that. They put him down, knee in the back, arms behind him, Tyrone screaming to be let up, that he hadn't done nothin', that he just wanted to sit up, that he was the wrong guy, never mind what the people who'd seen him running with and dropping the bag said.

Winnie got her bag back, intact - passport, cash, keys, credit cards, phone, everything. She clutched on to me for dear life until her boyfriend was located and brought over to her, thanking me repeatedly for keeping after the guy. Statements were collected, information was taken down by the hotel and the DC police, Winnie asked me to pose with her for a picture (I've become a vacation story for the folks back in Germany), the hotel put her and her boyfriend up for the night and fed them well in an attempt to show good faith for a very bad thing that happened on their property, the Detective on the scene thanked me and called me a "good citizen" for chasing after him, a passenger in a passing car heckled Tyrone ("Way to get arrested, dumbass!") and as I was getting ready to go back into the hotel (where Winnie and Michael later bought me a Guinness, once they were settled, in thanks that I didn't feel were necessary), Winnie said observationally "It's a good thing he didn't have a gun or a knife."

And THAT'S when, for the first time in the entire event, it dawned on me that Tyron COULD have had a knife or gun, that he could have put my lights out or gutted me like a hundred ninety five pounds of mackerel if he thought it worth his time - and THAT brought on the mental shakes when I finally came down off my adrenal high about 90 minutes later.

He didn't, and that's the start and finish of it. Except that he COULD have. And I never even considered it.

And I'm sitting here, three days later, still trying to process it all, and I'm still asking myself where the "GO" trigger inside came from that burned through my typical caution. I'm a wallflower. A shrinking violet. Always have been. Three family members in a row said (in puzzled voice) "DJ did that?" when they heard the story.

Believe me, no one was more surprised than me.

Something snapped inside. Someone cried for help. I went. I did. I have no idea of the flashpoint - how or where or why or from what point in my inner most core the switch was thrown - I simply needed to do something. Should it scare me that I only thought it through after Tyrone had been stuffed into the back of the unit sent to ferry him to jail? Dad was a cop, mom is a court clerk. Maybe it's in the blood.

It is, perhaps, in the scheme of things, an event of very little cosmic significance. I helped a lady get her purse back, and kept her from the hell of being stuck in a foreign country with no identity and no access to her life. I think I even helped blot away some of the bad first impression Tyrone gave her of the nation's capitol.

Mel says I'm a hero. I don't know about all that. I figure I'm just a guy who was in the right place to try to do the right thing at the right time. But it makes me smile to feel like I made a difference - what is it Emerson said - "To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded."

I'm just glad they caught the son of a bitch. I hate running for no good reason...

JIM DAVIS - I don't feel singled out at all. Wouldn't have gone there if I wasn't willing to stare into the mirror. The very simple fact of the matter is that I have intimacy issues. I'm fine up to a point, but when I reach a certain line in the sand, I tuck tail and run. Where these issues come from is a sedimentary-style set of layers that will make some psychologist's trip to Aruba much more souvenir-friendly. I also choose badly. Very badly. Godzilla yanking the wings off Mothra and kicking over Mount Fuji badly. Or, as one friend told me, "Your picker is broken." Which must be said very slowly and deliberately in order to avoid those pesky misunderstandings. It's all very strange at times, and a little silly because (not to toot my own horn, but no one else will do it for me) I'm a real sweetheart with a deep and abiding sensitivity and attentiveness to the opposite sex. (The other friend quote (no kidding): "Dude, you're a MAN who LISTENS. Knock it off. You're going to fuck it up for the rest of us.") Knowing my stumbling blocks, I'm working on curing them.

As for a pro to "break me in" - no. Not yet. There might have been a time I'd have gone in search of one, and I never say never, but I don't look on this as a boil to be lanced, either. When I'm ready, I'll jump. And if I shuffle off this mortal coil before I've had that maddening kind of experience that burns itself in long, echoing moans and sighs and giggles into the gray matter for the rest of time, well, you can't miss the taste of ice cream if you've never had any. My two cents, anyway Ė your mileage may vary.

Dan Thorne <wordsmith_@hotmail.com>
- Tuesday, April 23 2002 8:2:14

Dropping in to say that I'm a new member of the Barney and Rich Fan Club. Where can I get my official badge and decoder ring?

Amen, guys!

David Loftus <DavidL@ci.oswego.or.us>
SUBJ: Persistence pays off (but first, you suffer), - Tuesday, April 23 2002 8:0:51

Just a little evidence in support of Barney's theory that Harlan "learned to write in public" and his literary reputation may have suffered for it:

In one of his books about how to write, the serious novelist and writing teacher John Gardner (not the author of James Bond novels and cool pastiches of Holmes from the point of view of Moriarty, but the late author of _Grendel_ and _October Light_ and _On Moral Fiction_ and _In The Suicide Mountains; they're different writers, never mind the former head of Common Cause, who is John W. Gardner!) just happened to pick on two passages from early Harlan Ellison as examples of bad writing.

I can't remember which Gardner book it was, probably _The Art of Fiction_ or _On Becoming a Novelist_, and offhand I can't remember which Ellison book he selected for criticism (I can look 'em both up fairly easily, if anyone's interested -- in fact, folks can probably flip through both books and find the passage quickly enough), but that had to hurt.

Hey, has anyone seen a copy of that vol. 10 issue of "Animal Fair" magazine that was supposed to have "Furry Muse" stories by writers about their pets, including Harlan and Ahbhu? Shortly after it was heralded on this board weeks ago, I went to my local Borders but vol. 9 was still on the rack. I've been back several times and still not seen the new issue. Did I miss it somehow? How often does it come out?

- Tuesday, April 23 2002 7:37:52

Barney touched on this and I want to expand on the notion so bear with me and do not take anything personal, but PLEASE PLEASE do not say "more power to him" in regards to moonlighter (or, whoever the hell he/she is) publishing this crappy book "Shivers". True, I haven't read the book, but if the excerpt is any indication I don't have to. THIS BOOK SHOULD NOT BE PUBLISHED. And if it's a vanity publishing press, fine, more power to him. If he wants to distribute that crap instead of using that money to give to a homeless person or NASA or the Salvation Army or KICK or Guys with Short Peepees then that's his business. It's his money, he can burn it if he wants.

But, and this is a big BUT, to say "more power to him" if this waste of paper gets published by ANY publishing house and they paid him for this scab, then it demeans those of us who sweat over each word and try to produce something that is not at the fifth-grade level and who hope to have something published someday. Yes, I am offended that this bile might actually get published other than vanity publishing and that YOU GUYS aren't any more pissed off about this than if he went to the Middle East and lit a firecracker under Arafat and then shoved pork down Sharon's throat. It is taking away resources from getting your work published and "more power to him" is idly standing by and watching the baby seals get clubbed. This guy should be hunted down and force-fed the writer's Barney mentioned. I don't give a shit if this guy is ten-years old. Fuck 'im. If he's gonna post that crap on there so the whole fuckin' world and God can see it, then he deserves the ire and scorn that is bestowed upon him. You let others see your best work, goddammit. And if that's his best work, then I'm back to my first critical opinion: Fuck 'im. And if that shit gets published then we may as well just fuckin' bend over and let the non-writing, simile-sucking, metaphor-mangling, cliche-cunts fuck us up the ass. And no, I haven't checked the keyboard layout so "cliche" is gonna stay like that.

And Todd, "The Prince of Darkness" sucked, so fuck you.

And for those imparting symobolism and aura-reflecting and deep meaning into David Lynch's pseudo-masterpiece "Mulholland Drive", it's like this: The guy had an idea for a series. That fell through. He took what he had and put a fucking end on it. End of story. And the lesbian scenes? It was hot action by two fine looking women who wanted to fuck. And I was fuckin' turned on. I had to have a towel in the theater.

Joseph J. Finn <JosephFinn@yahoo.com>
Chicago, IL USA - Tuesday, April 23 2002 6:50:20


Oh, I don['t know. The odder people in "Fanalysis" seem to me to be not that far away from slipping into a darker corner of their psyche (hell, the "Xena" fan was seriously kind of creepy). And I do think "Fanalysis" dips a bit into the subject, though it's a much lighter piece. I certainly wasn't trying to imply that it was as dark or weighty as "Xenogenesis."


Little Washu
- Tuesday, April 23 2002 6:37:47


I've seen 'Fanalysis', all right, but personally I don't feel it's that similar to Harlan's XENOGENESIS. XENOGENESIS chronicled the more puerile, cruel, petty, malicious side of fans while FANALYSIS seemed more easy-going and benign. Mind you, you don't have to look very far on the AICN chat boards to see the obnoxious workings of putrid minds on display. (One reason why I don't read them.)

Like you, I am very much a fan. Of what? Different things from different sources: literature, comic books, movies, etc. My namesake is from a fairly obscure anime character, but I don't go as far as seizing the personality of that same character. It's more of a kind of nod of admiration, nothing else. However, I do not dress up in wacky cornball outfits and go to various conventions across the country, probably because they would just depress the hell out of me. Ever seen Todd Browning's FREAKS? Remember the scene where the freaks are chanting, "One of us, one of us, one of us"? Then you'll know exactly how I feel about conventions.

Nevertheless, it's great to chat about our hobbies once in a while...as long as we don't start saying 'May the Force be With You' and 'Live Long and Prosper' and 'I'm a Barbie Girl in a Barbie World' and...

LW (Benjamin A.A. Winfield)

Barney Dannelke <dannelke01@enter.net>
- Tuesday, April 23 2002 6:25:9

*** Heather *** All in all I'm a pretty inclusive fellow but you will be getting no apology from this quarter.

Heather hiccups despondantly - "I didn't ask for highbrow snottiness."

The first phrase that flashed through my brain was the Bogart line, "you'll take it and you'll like it." Heather, if you want lowbrow just turn on the tube. We're trying to cut down on our lowbrow intake here.

"between some of you lot and the intellectual assholes..."

Intellectual asshole? Moi? You really are too kind. Could I have that stiched on an armband? Put me on the train to that "Camp Concentration" where I can piss away the rest of my days kicking folks around the block who, IF they have a writing style is best likened to attempting prose in a second language. And in that category of fiction [English prose as a second language] may I recommend Joseph Conrad as an excercise in compare and contrast with the notorious Mr. Moonlighting.

My point is some things ought not to be encouraged. He may get better some day but I'm not waiting for that to happen. Nor should you. There are a humptymillion great books out there. Read those.

As to your Bradbury defense, well, that's an exercise that should be gotten over VERY quickly. Life really is very short. I am 42 and hope to absorb another 1100 to 1500 books before I die. That is less than 1/10th of the books I presently own. The weeding process gets tough in the middle game and Machiavellian in the endgame.

Here, I will even point the finger at myself. I may learn to write gooder someday but I will never be able to carry a tune. Not in a bucket. I leave it to the Cookie Coogans [and the chic who fronts the Propellorheads and Tom Waits] of this world. I do not inflict my "singing" on people in public. That guy [Moonlighting] is the writing equivalent of tone deaf. He should be stopped. Or made to get MUCH better REAL fast. Likening him to Stockbridge was a kindness.

I'm NOT saying you have to be a natural. Very few are. I think T.C Boyle might have been. Either that or he has done a very good job of hiding the bodies. Twain and Vonnegut were very very good right at the start but even Twain grew embarrassed of some of his early work. Particularly the mock-journalism and much of the contents of his first collection.

This actually brings us back to our fearless leader. I hope I say this the right way. One of the things that makes Harlan so interesting to me as a writer is just how far he went and just how much he learned. And presumably continues to learn. Harlan HATES it when I unearth some obscure piece he did for rent money in the mid-1950's. At first [and this is because he is so polite to his friends] I really didn't/couldn't understand how much this hurt him but I do now. Those pieces are the things that I think kept him from being ranked with Mailer and Vonnegut and Updike and Bellow. Don't misunderstand me. I think he ranks up there or in there or whatever but my opinion doesn't count. Those pieces are the lingering evidence of the Ellison Problem.

[Don't worry, the skinhead Dannelke will be offering no Ellison final solutions.]

Harlan taught himself to write IN PUBLIC. Not just the storefront window gigs but in just about every sense you can impart to those words. He taught himself short story, novella, essay, screenplay, film crit., lit. crit., spoken word, public lecturing, the ART of the letter and he did it incrementally, shamelessly and anywhere they would pay him for it. They will never forgive him for that. There may be an American Heritage set of the essays of Harlan Ellison and many of the stories from "Gentleman Junkie" on up through "Slippage" will have legs and a healthy afterlife in some collected comprehensive authorized edition promoted by the NY literary establishment someday but I will be really fucking old or dead before that happens or even gets to comittee. They're going to make him wait. Boy howdy will they make him wait. It's a shame because his only crime was succeeding so publicly and not adopting some sort of "Shucks little missy, twarn't nuthin'" attitude.

[You may consider that last paragraph part 1. of a preface to a transcript I hope to post REAL SOON about that Blish question.]

The coda here Heather is this - Real life is harder than school not easier. Applying basic standards of competence is not the same as intellectual snobbery. It's Darwinian but it is fair. Get good or get gone.

- Barney Dannelke

Joseph J. Finn <JosephFinn@yahoo.com>
Chicago, IL USA - Tuesday, April 23 2002 5:58:42


Agreed on the Book of the Dead DVD that we both own. Fine commentaries (Campbell's is fun as hell), and if you haven't looked at Campbell's documentary "Fanalysis" (stuck somewhere in special features), it's really worth a look. Shades of "Xenogenesis."

Gotta say though, my favorite part is the TV commercials. They're fairly slick, with quotes from papers and Stephen King, and then at the end have a horrid cable-access-green screen with the five or six theaters in the Detroit area that are carrying the movie. It's so 1983-cheap it made me laugh out loud.


Little Washu
- Tuesday, April 23 2002 5:0:2

To share a few thoughts of modern cinema:

JOSEPH: I have the BOOK OF THE DEAD special edition myself. It's a decent buy (the wonderful cover is worth the price alone)although, like many others, I was disappointed by the absence of WITHIN THE WOODS. Mind you, from what I've heard it was pretty...crummy.

LYNN: I have no clue what's wrong with Carpenter these days. He seems to have taken an utterly bizarre, inexplicable 'I don't give a fuck anymore' attitude which is greatly depressing, considering his fabulous films from the past.

PROF. TINGLEBUM: Regarding your essay, I would just like to make a few critical judgements of...pffft...the analysis you made of...mmmff eeep...the character of...


Ye gods, that was funny.

BTW, as it hasn't seemed to have been reported here yet, I'll go ahead and say it: the HELLBOY movie has been 'officially greenlit', at least according to Harry Knowles over at AICN. Knowles is a personal friend of the director, Guillermo del Toro, so I'll trust him this far. Take it as you will.

LW (Benjamin A.A. Winfield)

P.S. Most hotly anticipated film? 'Spider-Man, Spider-Man, does whatever a spider can...'

Cindy <IAMCINDIANAJONES@netscape.net>
TX United States - Monday, April 22 2002 23:3:38


Not this time.. not ACTUALLY. I was afraid I had committed a faux pas that could have brought an F-5 down on my head.

It was just a false alarm. Smooth sailing and blue skies..you know how it goes when one predicts a squall, something will happen to make a fool of you. Believe me in this case I'd rather look like a fool for ducking when no one has aimed a blow at my head than to be caught flat footed with the full brunt of the storm in my face.

Storms are beneficial if they aren't too brutal. In this case it was just a lovley darkening brought about by my hand over my eyes.

Thank you so much for asking though Chuck, you're a peach.


David Loftus <DavidL@ci.oswego.or.us>
SUBJ: West Africa and recordings, - Monday, April 22 2002 23:1:9

Jeffrey -- Thanks for the feedback on my West Africa essays. It's always nice to hear somebody actually READ my writing, never mind that he or she got something out of it. I keep meaning to write something about my incredible three-week trip to Estonia and St. Petersburg back in '94, but there's just too much else going on in my life. (Regulars here will notice I haven't been posting much the last couple of weeks.)

Heather -- Glad to hear you got the tapes and enjoyed 'em. I'm sure it's not JUST your tape recorder that was a problem. I recorded the stories in a low-tech studio that's a nonprofit service to blind and elderly housebound listeners -- held together by the largesse of a public radio station, listeners' contributions, and the loving labor of dozens of volunteers -- and then made copy of my duplicate tape on a cheap home boom box, so we're talking pretty low fi here. I'd love to hear what a professionally produced recording of my vocal talents would sound like, but who knows if that'll ever happen...

Joseph J. Finn <JosephFinn@yahoo.com>
Chicago, IL USA - Monday, April 22 2002 22:33:21


By all accounts, you don't want to see "Woods." Including the accounts of the people who made it.

Anyway, "Within The Woods" was going to be on the "Evil Dead: Book of the Dead" Special Edition released by Anchor Bay last month, but the plans were scuttled in January for some reason:


So, you can try to find a 12th-generation video copy, but what's the point? It'll look even worse than it started at. Also, they'll be bootleg videos and VCDs.


Chuck <chuck_messer@hotmail.com>
- Monday, April 22 2002 22:27:39


Many apologies for not mentioning you in my posting on moonlighter's typings. I have to start taking that Ginko Biloba herb for memory. Of course, I have to remember to BUY it first. As I mentioned before, there were many amateurish mistakes in the writing, which other webderlanders have illustrated quite well. And if you think being published by a vanity press is so impressive, remember that you pay THEM to publish x number of books, and then distribution is up to you. The book I mentioned in connection with SHIVERS; RAINBOW ARC OF FIRE, is incredibly bad. Even makes SHIVERS seem half-way decent. I have put the contents of the book out of my memory, I only remember it was a vague rambling about some guys racing to find an artifact, a sort of RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK, in a new agey sort of way. Oh, and it was really, really bad. This is the kind of book to keep around as a doorstop, or if you need to press a flower. It would also keep some tables from wobbling. A vanity press published this stinky literary suppository. They'll publish anything.

Sorry to hear about the job situation. I hope things will pick up soon.


You have a tornado out there? That's what your posting sounded like. Glad you made it through.


Todd Cassel <TheDoh@prodigy.net>
NJ USofA - Monday, April 22 2002 21:46:11

Just finished reading my Entertainment Weekly Summer Movie Preview issue and the movie I am most anticipating is Road To Perdition starring Tom Hanks and directed by Sam Mendes (I loved American Beauty....fuck you all!).

Of course, I plan on attempting to have fun at Spider-Man and Star Wars Attack Of The Clones and Minority Report, and I'm intrigued by Christopher Nolan's remake of the splendid Insomnia (mainly because of Al Pacino, who always looks like he needs a good nap and Robin Williams playing bad guy....though if you saw the original, you would know that they shouldn't really be showing bad guy for awhile...oh well).

Naturally, being a lover of all things Woody, Hollywood Ending looks like a fun little frolic that I pray will wipe the bad taste of the one (ok maybe second to Alice) Woody movie I didn't like, Curse Of The Jade Scorpion.

But the king of all movies that I am anticipating....ok, after Road To Perdition.....is the wonderfully titled Eight Legged Freaks. Holy shit, men and wimmen, I have seen 2 hilarious and downright creepy trailers for this giant spider movie......I want it now!!!!!

Oh, and Syamalan's Signs looks cool. and. and. and.

OK, I know, as usual, I will be letdown big time as the August breeze begins to chill into September (Maaaaa, I don't want to go to school), but I'm gonna have fun at the theaters this summer.....then, maybe after all the popcorn is picked from my teeth, only then will I begin to look for another job!


Jay <zebrapix@hotmill.com>
SAM RAIMI SHORT FILM - Monday, April 22 2002 21:45:4

I'm re-reading "If Chins Could Kill" the autobio of Bruce Campbell. In it he describes the making of the short film prototype for "Evil Dead" called "Within the Woods." Anyone know where i can view or buy this short without shelling out another $40 for an Evil Dead "special" edition DVD? I'm very interested in seeing Raimi's evolution from student filmmaker to pro director.


Lynn <cavalaxis@digitalcarrion.com>
- Monday, April 22 2002 21:29:27

Todd~ Hey, I paid money to see Vampires(**) in the theatre, and would have for Ghosts of Mars(**) but it was apparently showing in the revolving screen theatre it came and went so fast. But I did rent it. Great concept that fell utterly flat upon execution. This one looks to be the "necessity is the mother of invention" revival of chivalry in a post-apocalyptic age. Maybe I'm reading too much into the trailer, but then again, I'm so positively green that I didn't get to write that script, who knows? It was London, and the special effects looked magnificent. And I like Matthew McConaughey. And by now you know I saw that trailer opening night at The Scorpion King(***), which I enjoyed, showing that it doesn't take high Shakespearean theatre to keep me entertained. (I also enjoyed Brotherhood of the Wolf(***), which was all over the map.) For $9.00, a good flick just has to keep me interested. Which Training Day didn't. So to each his own.

I'll let you know when I see it, how it fares compared to Vampires or Ghosts of Mars.

L. (All ratings are entirely my own opinion.)

* - Highlander 2 Bad. (The Musketeer)
** - Wait till video, if you must see it.
*** - Worth the popcorn but not the line. (Ice Age)
**** - Wow. (The Mummy, Independence Day, The English Patient)
***** - Lord of the Rings WOW. (Raiders of the Lost Ark)

PS. I've been catching up on all of the Justice Leagues on video. What a great show that is. Hawk Girl is my favorite. "Keep talking like that and you'll be the fastest man alive with a limp."

- Monday, April 22 2002 20:51:26

Hey! I've been lurking a bit and read the post from Steve about finding a good indie bookstore in Los Angeles. I've been in New York for a few months now and would love suggestions on a few good indie bookstores anywhere in the five boroughs. Thanks!

Joseph J. Finn <JosephFinn@yahoo.com>
Chicago, IL USA - Monday, April 22 2002 19:43:42


You want crazy on the net? How about a page claiming that Mac OS X is a tool of anti-Christian evolutionists (third section):


God, I love this century.....


Edward Champion
San Francisco, CA - Monday, April 22 2002 19:37:37

Heather: All right. I'll 'fess up. I was the Prof. There was some time I had left at the office and, curious about the reports of legionnaire's disease here, I checked out "Shivers" and almost immediately sank my molars into my hand to see if what I was reading was fer real. Then again, I've just come down from a two-book Ian McEwan extravaganza over the past week ("Amsterdam" and "Atonement," both of which I highly recommend to anyone who hasn't had the privileged opportunity to pick up the man's books; his prose is so razor-sharp that even the most obtuse reader couldn't possible confuse the genuine article from the dregs of, oh say, Rod McKuen). I was having a bit of fun. I may have been a bit cruel. But if the kid got published, more power to him, even if I'm inclined to side with Berman, et al. on the kid's merits.

Todd Cassel <TheDoh@prodigy.net>
NJ USofA - Monday, April 22 2002 19:37:19

Whoa, Frank, you made me do it. You made me laugh my muthufucking ass off by citing Jews For Justice In The Middle East as if it was some straight forward group writing a fair 'book' on the Israel/Palestinian conflict. Goddamn, not only did I laugh my ass off, but I almost laughed my tenderkins off as well.

Whew. Thanks for the laugh.....I can always count on you for finding the most hilarious citings available on the 'net.


Todd Cassel <TheDoh@prodigy.net>
NJ USofA - Monday, April 22 2002 19:30:24

Hate to say it, Lynn, but the trailer for Reign Of Fire does not leave me with squishy feelings of anticipation. It is apparently impressing a lot of people on the net, and obviously piqued your interest, but aside from an interesting production painting of dragons attacking a city (was it NYC? I can't recall, but I could have sworn that the trailer mentioned London)I found the trailer to be bland as all get go. It reminded me of bad John Carpenter. Not Halloween John Carpenter or The Fog John Carpenter or They Live or Prince Of Darkness (fuck you all, I love this one thanks to the quantum physics and the devil discussions) or even The Thing (fuck you all again) John Carpenter, but more like Vampires or Ghosts Of Mars John Carpenter.

A bunch of people banding together in a future world to fight off impossible power. Wake me when the second feature starts.


INFOMAN <...---..>
- Monday, April 22 2002 18:54:46

ALL: Positively Fuh-ascinating article at www.ireadpages.com --
click on "online contents" on the menu to the left, and then scroll down to "Emissaries of Evil." (Would I steer you wrong?)

Informationally, the man

Heather Lovatt <heatherlovatt@yahoo.ca>
Subject: P.A. I don't mind opinions, - Monday, April 22 2002 18:41:11

if they show me something more than "pile on the rabbit" glibly lipped bandwagoning.

Now, to your post.

The couple of sentences you mentioned. Hmm..It would never occur to me to write like that. Where is he GETTING that kind of stuff? It reminds me of...of..what I've read in a classroom. There's something that reminds me of a kid in class CRIBBING from something. Hmm..Hard to explain. Using phrases he doesn't understand. Like a french student speaking English. _I_ know. Something to do with language as it is written and language as it is spoken. Does that make sense, P.A.?

Yes, I'm sorry if the lad hurt your ears and bloodied your eyes. Heh. As you ARE a teacher and do this all day long. Thing is, that's not the only piece of his I read. And I'm still not dissecting each sentence I read. I know these people are amateurs.

So, fuck, am I.

I had a friend who complained of another friend's writing. He used to say the guy wrote like a Russian--too long and flowery or summat like that. Is that similar to what this guy is doing?

Thanks for the feedback, P.A.


Jon Stover
Canada. Shivers. - Monday, April 22 2002 18:27:46

OK, am I missing something here? Otherwise, beating up someone over at the Stephen King bulletin board on this bulletin board is so postmodern, I'm getting a nosebleed. Anyway, the kid's got spunk, and the piece is much less wince-inducing than the latest David E. Kelley laughathon on Boston Public. Now there's some bad writing.

On the other hand, I do hate spunk.


P.A. Berman
Shivers - Monday, April 22 2002 18:12:8


OK, I caved in and read the Shivers piece to see if everyone was being mean, or what. I read other people's writing for a living, and it has made me a stickler for certain errors and conventional cliches. Also, on my leisure time, I want to read quality prose, so my tolerance for juvenalia is low in the PM.

Suffice it to say, I thought the piece was bad. Not only are its images trite and stilted, it's not even punctuated correctly. Others have pointed out some really cheesy metaphors and similes, poor constructions and phraseology. I cringe to look at them because they read like (average level) high school prose.

But, so as to offset the anticipated epithet "intellectual asshole" I will give some quick examples that really bugged me:

"The car was traveling at a high rate of speed and Billy dove to one side of the roadway to remove himself from it's path. The car flew by as Billy hit the ground, missing him by not more than a few inches."

First off, wordy. "High rate of speed"? "Not more than a few inches"? Surely these are not the most elegant ways to describe the incident. In fact, it's pretty awkward. Also, this passage, like so many others, is rife with incorrectly placed apostrophes, which drives me INSANE. I am grading research papers now and if I see one more incorrectly used apostrophe, I'm gonna start taking hostages.

"He admired it's beauty, it's essence of life. "Death and diamonds. The two things that really do, last forever" he said."

Incorrectly placed comma, missing comma. Not the only ones in the passage either. More bad apostrophes. Not to mention an ending line so corny it would make Orville Reddenbacher cringe.

Even if the story was compelling, which it isn't, I could not get past these kinds of errors. They are distracting and demean the reader. Maybe I'm just an overly critical pedagogue. Screw it, I'm sure I am, but you wanted an *honest* opinion, right? Here's mine: Shame on him for not at least having someone with a grasp of basic punctuation proofread it before he plastered it up on the Web. It's pretty freakin' annoying to be asked to take something seriously when the author couldn't be bothered owning a copy of Strunk & White.

Ask for people's opinions, take what you get. It's more gracious, I find.


francie balke <queenofallcreation@yahoo.com>
Jefferson City, MO Is there a better one than the USA? - Monday, April 22 2002 18:12:1

My favorite part is "Rants", I love that HE just lets it all hang out, writes what he means, and his "Fuck you if you can't take a Joke" attitude. I believe that he means what he says. I admire that. Wish more people felt the same. Less Bull, more Bite. Bravo!

Love the website, and the Chat room is one of the most interesting, and original, that I have ever been in. No trivia games, no age/sex checks, no IM's asking if my picture is on the web. (Actually, there's a site out there dealing with...no, never mind.)

I'm not entirely sure how I ended up in here, but I sure am glad I did. The last time I tried to look up Harlan's web site, my computer crashed. For humane reasons, I had it put down. I'm still not entirely sure it was a coincidence.

But until Them (and if You are Them, then you know who Them is) catches back up to me, I will risk the pain of having to euthanize another trusted computer, and I'LL BE BACK!

Heather Lovatt <heatherlovatt@yahoo.ca>
David: Received your tapes, - Monday, April 22 2002 17:38:50

David Loftus: I got your tapes. Thank you for sending them. I had some trouble with the sound on a few pieces--perhaps it's just my tape player--but overall..

you have an amazing voice. Amazing. Not at all what I expected, for one thing--you sound YOUNGER than your posts. Heh. You should do this professionally, if you aren't doing it (enough--I realize you do SOME) already.

I loved the Sherlock Holmes voice. And the A.A. Milne was very sweet. I can still SEE the Bradbury stories. Heh. You changed your cadence significantly between the different kinds of stories. I enjoyed that.

Thank you.


Heather, My Dear... - Monday, April 22 2002 17:29:42

I hope the brief basic writing analysis I gave you constitutes more than a "This guy sucks" because he doesn't. If he's 28 and been writing for years, I'd say that's trouble. Otherwise its the start of a long, exciting road that requires a lot more reading and writing.

Heather Lovatt <heatherlovatt@yahoo.ca>
More re: moonlighter, - Monday, April 22 2002 17:23:5

I asked for some comments on what made this gentleman's work good or bad. (And I appreciate the input of those who offered me some tangible feedback.) I didn't ask for highbrow snottiness.

I don't even KNOW this guy. I read some of his stuff. I was, MOST OF ALL, impressed by his stick-to-it-tiveness. Some of what I read, I found interesting; some of what I read, I didn't find to my liking. I wanted to find out why; as I once read Ray Bradbury suggesting to read the good AND the bad, the fine AND the rough, to understand what was or wasn't being done.

I would have expected more than simply, "Oh, I don't like it."

I HEARD that already. If you're so finely tuned of intellect--those of you with so little to say--tell me WHY you don't like it. 'Course. I suppose that might require some of you breaking out of your topical ruts, hmm? Clearly, sometimes, I don't see a whole lot of difference between some of you lot and the intellectual assholes I've spent my life steering clear of. There's obviously a big difference between the things Harlan Ellison writes about and the people who gravitate to his writing.


Jay <zebrapix@hotjail.com>
- Monday, April 22 2002 17:14:24

Dear Lord...

Funny as that was, it was NOT me under a pseudonym and Rick can prove it.

Funny...poor guy.


Prof. Limpid Tinglebum
- Monday, April 22 2002 17:2:42

"Shivers: A Critical Examination"
by Professor Limpid Tinglebum
Dean of Humanities
Peoria Community College

Moonlighter, a young writer who is reportedly "a big Bruce Willis fan," has with his latest novel, "Shivers," merged Bulwer-Lytton at his peak with the common detective story of the 1940s. Witness his opening first paragraph in which he personifies "a wail of sirens." The wail, which is a singular object, is growing closer. Moonlighter then singles out the inability of his protagonist, Billy, to distinguish between objects, specifically a "wail," "sirens" and "they." In this magical personification of a wail into an unexpected "they," Moonlighter gives the illusion that he is an amateur scribe. But then this is the main thrust of "Shivers." Have not we all in our own respective ways become unable to differentiate between a wail, sirens, and in that obfuscation, suddenly called whatever the sam hill it is merely a "they?" In his stunning attempt to transform the English language into an anarchic mess, Moonlighter has hit upon a formula that he maintains throughout 357 pages.

Consider Mr. Moonlighter's other metaphors. In the "Shivers" universe, cars "flip violently into a nearby building," thus suggesting a world in which vehicles turn over of their own accord. Police cars "barrel into the intersection," thereby colliding somehow while transporting itself to the intersection as if it were a barrel. But Mr. Moonlighter doesn't just stop there, for this spinning police car, defying all physical laws of the universe, approaches "from the south." This is not the stuff of sloppy prose, but a chronicle of a world in which objects do not travel in the manner that we are accustomed to. Mr. Moonlighter seems to be suggesting that we should watch our eyes as we cross an intersection. Before we know it, the world itself will go crazy or "shiver," as the title suggests.

CEP <swallace@cyberpromo.com>
Chambanana, - Monday, April 22 2002 17:0:38

Faisal, try rereading my modest proposal and recall what Swift's modest proposal actually "advocated." I have no more trust of government than most (having been a somewhat more than trivial gummint official myself)--but I've seen the alternative, too, and it's worse.

Aside: In case y'all hadn't caught on, that is a completely fake e-mail address. I figure that the guy who essentially invented commercial spam deserves to get any spam resulting from putting that address out. Rick and Heather know how to contact me. So, for that matter, does Belinda (Hi, Belinda! Do they still have you monitoring this board?). Harlan does, too, but asking Harlan how to contact one of his lawyers may not be the best way to brighten your day ;-)

Jeffrey Lampert
Sunnyvale, CA - Monday, April 22 2002 16:45:3

Surprised that no one mentioned this so far (Then again, I only
noticed it as a link at the bottom of a different page that I
happened to be reading).

Reginald Rose, 'Twelve Angry Men' author, dead

DAVID LOFTUS: I never got the chance to thank you for pointing me to your essays on visiting West Africa. The section on the high death rate seemed timely when I read it, since my girlfriend had recently remarked on the death of a child in the village. Like the volunteer you mentioned in Guinea-Bissau, she's frustrated by how little difference she feels she can make. Her lack of command of the language is part of it (she had to learn 3 languages: French (for her reports to the govt), Wolof (the most commonly understood throughout the country) and Sereer (her village) -- she refers to herself as tri-unlingual; Still, the toughest part is acceptance that solidly entrenched notions are not going to evaporate overnight. In training, she was told that she would have to repeat and demonstrate her teachings many times before people would take her seriously. A little of that is due to being a woman in a patriarchal society, but most of it is due to the fact that, in their culture, it would be considered impolite to show disagreement, so they keep silent and continue to believe what they will. They are certainly *not* stupid, and their memories are flawless (one of the characteristics that tend to decrease in cultures where one has devices to record things for later reference), but cultural mores and superstition are hard to overcome. (Although, let's face it, deeply-held beliefs aren't changed quickly in any culture, including our own. Nevertheless, it's frustrating to hear evil spirits, rather than a dead animal in the well, blamed for illness). "...grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference."

The Peace Corps aphorism you mentioned at one point -- "...volunteers return from South America more politically aware, they return from Asia more spiritually aware, and the return from Africa laughing" -- seems particularly apropos. Then again, she's had that general attitude for as long as I've known her. She's had plenty of nasty things happen in her life, usually in bunches, so she adopted that outlook on the world long ago.
Maybe that's why she's well-suited to Peace Corps; I dunno.
"The toughest job you'll ever love" seems to pretty much hit the
nail on the head.

If I've calculated correctly, the 27th'll mark the halfway point
of her time in West Africa. Can't wait 'til I visit!

RICK: The archive stops at March 9th, but the earliest current
entry on the board is March 30th. Is there any way to view
messages posted between these two dates?

- Jeph

- Monday, April 22 2002 16:32:50

Anybody else seen the trailer for "Reign Of Fire"? Hollywood has disappointed me so many times, I can't help but hope this one doesn't suck. It's directed by Rob Bowman, of X Files fame.


Joseph J. Finn
Chicago, - Monday, April 22 2002 15:56:27

And a movie to reall look forward to, from a Reuters news story on the Disney/Pixar relationship:

"In the 2004 holiday season, audiences will see "The Incredibles," an action-adventure comedy from director Brad Bird ("The Iron Giant"). It centers on a family of superheroes who save the world while living a quiet suburban life."

Yay! A new Brad Bird movie!

Lynn <cavalaxis@digitalcarrion.com>
- Monday, April 22 2002 15:54:51

RE: Moonlighter's Novel can be found at: http://bbs.simonsays.com/bbdocs/Forum4/HTML/009118.html
(Search for "Excerpt from my forthcoming novel, Shivers.")

I resisted reading this at first, but Barney's post made my teeth hurt at the mere thought, so of course, I had to know more. Let me say this through my aching incisors: I'm glad the guy is getting published. I really am. I won't even state the obvious about the kind of market these editors must have to select from.

I'm gonna go chew on some aluminum foil now.

- Monday, April 22 2002 15:47:59


Re: "explanations" for a Lynch movie.

Jackson Pollock said: "When I am in my painting I'm not aware of what I am doing."

I think David Lynch may be the first director to capitalize on this philosophy in the commercial market SUCCESSFULLY. And it's the only way to deal with him as a viewer. It's c'oitenly a vent'ia that woiks fa ME.

ZoŽ Rose <ztreuer@d.umn.edu>
- Monday, April 22 2002 15:45:44

Well, I finally went to look at this writer that's so terrible. In all honesty I thought y'all were probably being a mite bit harsh on some poor kid.

I can admit when I'm wrong.

My disclaimer is, of course, that I can probably write no better. However, it does seem to me that the writer has a huge problem with matching things up. For example, at first he says he could hear sirens. Then later, he tilts his head and is sure there are more than one -- eh? Or how about, there are two cars, but when talking about both of them he says "its"? Ah, well...

The sentence that cracked me up was: "The glare from the lights blinded Billy momentarily, but then the blue strobes punched their way through the glare and his eyes readjusted to the night."

So, uh... the blue part of a cops light helps eyes to readjust to night-vision? Huh. I'll have to try that one.

Again - I'm probably not one to criticize others, but just thought I'd jump on the bandwagon for a moment. *hee*

--ZoŽ Rose

Barney Dannelke <dannelke01@enter.net>
- Monday, April 22 2002 15:31:45

*** Heather *** I feel like I'm beating a dead horse here BUT what he is doing wrong is writing REALLY BAD PROSE. Doesn't matter where he's going with it. Doesn't matter if he is a nice guy or picks up litter in his neighborhood or builds dog houses for homeless puppies or cures AIDS. That one little sample is just screamingly bad writing. Harold Robbins and the comittee that wrote "Naked Came the Stranger" PHONE IN better work.

Do not take my word for it. Pick up a book by Robertson Davies or T.C. Boyle or John Updike [who doesn't float my boat but knows his way around a sentence] or Joyce or Lafferty or Twain or Westlake or Tiptree or Neruda or Naipaul or LeGuin or Ellroy or Sturgeon or Collier or DeHaven or DeLillo or... AND read any single page of any work from any of these folks and then go back and read that sample. REPEAT this process until you are unable to read that sample without developing a facial tic. You will have done yourself a favor.

If after trying this experiment or variations of it for a week you are unable to see why we are beating this person like a
red-headed stepchild I would strongly suggest you send me all of your rare 1st editions and take up gardening or synchronized swimming. In other words "use your time wisely" like they taught us in school.

Coda: After my initial post I started to wonder if this was a prank. It's the sort of sample that is so consistant I started to wonder if it was King or some protege was having everybody on. That one sample breaks almost every single suggestion King makes in "On Writing" on what not to do. It's painful.

Edward Champion
San Francisco, CA - Monday, April 22 2002 15:13:27

And that should have read "this occurred," but somehow it came out "they occurred." But on second thought, perhaps they did occur after all.

Edward Champion
San Francisco, CA - Monday, April 22 2002 15:9:19


No pun intended about the lesbian sex scenes, but since you brought it up, I saw it partly as a wry retelling of the Narcissus legend. Consider that they occurred shortly before the last scene of the movie in which Rita has transmogrified into Camilla (I think) and, almost immediately afterwards, we see the sad potent imagery of Betty masturbating, tears streaming down her face. There are a few other things that seem to hint at the state of the movie, which seems to exist somewhere between a dream and a John Bunyan allegory as applied to Hollywood and cultural decadence. In roughly around the first ten minutes of the film, up until the point where night becomes day (with day involving Betty's discovery of Rita), there is always some kind of major spotlight in the background shining directly into the camera. There is a distinct 1950s fixation upon the color pink shortly after the scene at Pink's hot dog stand. And then we see pink in nearly every shot, a color that could be expressing Betty's innocence shortly before she sheds her pink garbs and kisses her dreamlike idolization of herself as movie star in the form of Betty. The confirmation of twins is seen in the landlady Coco, a name that can be easily bifurcated and who, in warning Rita of the presence of Betty in her apartment (representing her mind?) almost appears as a matronly conscience.

Chris L <csjlong@hotmail.com>
Philly, - Monday, April 22 2002 14:43:23


I have nothing to add to the theories about the film's "real meaning" because I haven't thought about it yet. I prefer, for now, to let the images and sounds of the film wash over me and leave me both confused and impressed.

However, I couldn't help but think that if you really wanted your head to explode, you should watch a double feature of Mulholland Drive and Last Year at Marienbad.

Who needs drugs when we have movies like these to provide true mind-alterind experiences?

Frank Church
- Monday, April 22 2002 14:42:2

Film Comment had the best take on, Muholland Drive. Check it out.

Frank Church
- Monday, April 22 2002 14:40:15

Remember that the elite in America are overwelmingly pro-Israel--especially the media--so I doubt you will get an acurate picture of the nature of the actual conflict, or it's bloody history.

But spouting off at the mouth with ignorant statements like, "I am pro-Israel, and that's all there is to it" is not a very sane way of dealing with this conflict. "balance" on this subject is unthinkable in this country; especially since the elites are overwelmingly knee-jerk pro-Israel. But I will say that Faisel mentioned some good books.

The organization, Jews For Justice In The Middle East has just published a book detailing the conflict in very fair terms. You can read the entire book for free, at this websight:


Other interesting essay's about the current conflict:


Todd Cassel <TheDoh@prodigy.net>
NJ USofA - Monday, April 22 2002 14:31:5

Little Washu, David Lynch says that a movie is a piece of art, like a painting, that should not be broken up into easy to jump to chapters. Thus, his movies on DVD do not feature chapter stops. I don't know when he started doing this, but in The Straight Story DVD, he has a quick blurb on the inside cover that states "I know that most DVDs have chapter stops. It is my opinion that a film is not like a book - it should not be broken up. It is a continuum and should be seen as such. Thank you for your understanding."


Little Washu
- Monday, April 22 2002 14:16:17

"I found David Lynch's clues sometimes helpful and sometimes infuriatingly confusing."

Welcome to the club, Bermanator. Ever read LYNCH ON LYNCH? Endless chapters of fascinating, insightful and yet fundamentally vague conversation with David himself.

Recently purchased MULHOLLAND DRIVE on DVD, and I noticed something odd. There was no chapter/scene option. This is peculiar, as even the most bare-bones DVD had such an option available. Did David Lynch have something to do with this? Did he believe that such an easy way of leaping over a 'dream' like MULHOLLAND DRIVE unfair? Hmmmm.

- Monday, April 22 2002 14:6:18

>I've been wondering--how much does it cost per month to host this site? <

does kilaminjaro corp and HERC kick in to cover costs? Seems fair.

P.A. Berman
Mulholland Drive - Monday, April 22 2002 14:3:17

Lynn, et al: Let me just say that the knife that nearly sliced my finger off on Thanksgiving WAS maniacal cutlery. That thing was like Stormbringer, man, it was out for blood. So go easy on this guy; maybe he's had a bad parsley-chopping experience.

MILD MULHOLLAND DRIVE SPOILERS...I just wouldn't want to ruin the utter confusion for any of you...

Matthew Davis, Jim, Rich, and all others I have sucked into my Mulholland Drive obsession: I read the links to the Guardian. I found David Lynch's clues sometimes helpful and sometimes infuriatingly confusing. I also read the contest winners AND the Ebert review AND the salon.com review and so far, NO ONE has offered my theory besides me. Everyone seems to think that the last 1/3 of the movie was "real". Not sure why, as the whole thing seems to go from dream-like to nightmarish with nothing real except that gunshot at the end. I like the Homeless Person as God and Cowboy as the Devil. That works. Cool.

Thanks, guys,

Todd Cassel <TheDoh@prodigy.net>
NJ USofA - Monday, April 22 2002 13:18:10

Rick, have you done any dabbling in SAS at all? Is Connecticut, most likely Hartford, out of your preferred areas? I have a friend out there who used to consult for me on the job that is dumping me this Friday (Whoo Hooooo, time to get all those chores done and change my life WHILE GETTING PAID FOR IT) and he has worked for a number of the top consulting companies out there. His current company has placed him at Bayer, maker of drugs (perks anyone?), a few months ago and I could see if they are looking for more programmers.

He said they are big on SAS, but I'm sure other languages are also appreciated.


Jim Davis
- Monday, April 22 2002 13:12:18

JAY: Oh man, you are bringing back some memories. I was one of the many kids who took the Hershey chocolate factory tour in the early 70's, and damned if I can't flash back to the smells at a moment's notice. *sigh* To go back to the days when chocolate was a major food group...

RICK: I've been wondering--how much does it cost per month to host this site? Would you accept donations from Webderlanders towards its upkeep?

Joseph J. Finn
Chicago, - Monday, April 22 2002 12:57:16


The LA Webderlanders swear by Dangerous Visions in Sherman Oaks. Here's their address:

13563 Ventura Boulevard
Sherman Oaks, California 91423
818.986.6963 | 818.341.7354fax

Web address is www.readsf.com.


Sorry, no dice on my company. However, our IT head told me he'd keep an ear to the ground for you.


Jim Davis <scythian66@hotmail.com>
- Monday, April 22 2002 12:55:34

I forgot this (mis)translation: Slackness Ape (Soft Monkey)


Look, I'm not trying to ridicule the guy or say his work is the worst thing to come down the pike since
Eric Von Lustbader. Nor am I holding up MY writing as a sterling exemplar of lucid prose. If he's bagged a book deal, hey, I honestly wish him well.

But that doesn't change my opinion. That excerpt was poorly written, and the notion that an actual, non-Vanity publishing house may print and distribute the novel it came from is shocking in the extreme. Have editorial standards completely gone to Hell?


PAB: Yeah, the jealousy scenes were a little over-the-top; maybe they WERE products of Diane's overheated imagination, after all. But that still doesn't mean they couldn't have been based on ACTUAL EVENTS, restaged to play up Camilla's duplicity. I dunno. My gut tells me that the final 1/3 is real (more or less), though your theory that the whole furshlugginer thing is the dream of an obsessed stalker seems valid as well.

As for the homeless guy and the Cowboy...who the Hell knows? God and the Devil? Sounds good to me. I'm more interested in the singer at the theatre--if Diane really did kill herself at the end, then were the last frames ("Silencio") images from her dying brain? Or did the singer actually exist? Mysteries upon mysteries, and I'm not really equipped to parse them further. I only saw the film once several months ago, though I plan to buy the DVD at the first opportunity.

Whether Lynch was clear on ANY of this when he wrote the movie, well, that really is the crux of the matter, isn't it? Let's review the options:

1) There's an explanation to the film, and it's this: The first 2/3rds of the film are Diane's dream, the final 1/3 reality (more or less).

2) There's another explanation: The ENTIRE film is Diane's dream.

3) There's ANOTHER possible explanation that we haven't even considered yet. What it is, I don't know, but it's as good as the others.

4) There IS no explanation for the movie. Lynch had no underlying structure in mind when he wrote it, and was just boogying from one demented plotline to the next with no rhyme or reason.

If #4 is true, it begs the question: Does it really matter? Can't a work of art contain meanings that the artist wasn't even aware of when s/he was creating it? Maybe Lynch is figuring out what happened in MULHOLLAND DRIVE just like the rest of us. Even though I'm a control freak, I kind of like the idea that a piece of art can mystify its creator, and transcend its mundane origins to become something truly ineffable. That gives me hope.

(One last note: Were the lesbian sex scenes Lynch's commentary on how Hollywood titillates the movie audience? Partly satirical or not, they worked for me, and I'm not even INTO lesbian sex scenes...)


Joseph J. Finn
Chicago, - Monday, April 22 2002 12:54:8


Thanks for your good wishes and encouragement, but I think my wife would have an objection to your kissing me.

Not to mention Scott.



Steve Cole <tall_cole@hotmail.com>
Los Angeles, CA USA - Monday, April 22 2002 12:53:38

Greetings! I have just moved to L.A. and am looking for a good indie book store. I know there must be a few that are large like a chain location, but are free from the corporate BS. Any suggestions would be great. I trust Ellison readers to know what's what. STEVE

Joseph J. Finn
Chicago, - Monday, April 22 2002 12:52:35


Strangely, my company does use AS/400. I'll contact our IT people and see if possibly they're looking for someone.


Melissa <entropy_5ca@yahoo.ca>
- Monday, April 22 2002 12:36:19


Good for you! I was so happy when Scotty quit, even more pleased at his remaining that way. It is one of the best decisions a person can make, and here's wishing you succeed. if you're going cold turkey, apparently that's the best means, at least according to our family physician.

I just love kissing a man who doesn't taste like an ashtray.

Love to all, Melissa

heatherlovatt@yahoo.ca <heatherlovatt@yahoo.ca>
LYNN!!!! LYNN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!, - Monday, April 22 2002 12:34:38


Could I get you to go to this address and get a copy of the sample newsletter:


I was just idling by there, picking up some info and subscribed to the newsletter. David B. Silva, the editor, replied immediately and sent me a newsletter.

There is a blurb in it for Harlan and KICK right near the top.

Being the ass that I am (and you may come to love that feature) I told David BRIEFLY, VAGUELY about the chapbook. I mentioned royalties; I mentioned your sponsor idea; I said I was looking for Ellisonites--devotees of Harlan.

He asked me to send him more details. He said he'd be willing to consider putting a "calls for writers" in this newsletter.

Can you contact him, pleasest? Thank you.

His email is:

"David B. Silva" email:dbsilva@shasta.com

and what he said is this:

"Give me as much information as you can on the chapbook and we'll run something in the newsletter. That's the quickest way to reach lots of potential writers."

So you now know everything I know.


Blocks away... - Monday, April 22 2002 12:33:26

Thanks for the feedback on my procrastination/block/laziness...

I spent the weekend with my boy and fiance. We went to Hershey's Chocolate World where they introduced their new 3D interactive "Sweet, Sweet World of Chocolate" exhibit. The video host was the guy who now presides over "To Tell the Truth" and he had more syrup in his veins than in the entire town of Hershey. It oozed from his pores. As luck fared, the 150 of us stuck in the "Ready Room" of this exhibit only had to put up with him for 15 minutes before being led into a theater and shown this AMAZING show complete with huge yellow 3D glasses, bubble-makers, wind machines, live actors, artificial snow and mylar streamers. The on-screen show was wonderful and only a little cheesy. My 7 year old loved it.

There has also been a "chocolate factory tour" ride in the facility (not the real factory) that has evolved over the past 30 years or so, with the same cars giving an animatronic tour and story of how chocolate is made, showing the machines (conchers, pasters, packagers, even an oven with hot air vents) that make us fat and happy.

Then we went to a comic and toy store. All in all a relaxing day. I came home, put the boy to bed and wrote...

...about 300 words.

But its better. The words are there, muddled and out of order somewhere in my brainpan. Thanks for the assist.


Rick Wyatt <rick@rickwyatt.com>
- Monday, April 22 2002 12:24:44

JUST ON THE OFF CHANCE someone here has their ear to the proper area of ground, I'm looking for a job. My work contract is up 4/30 and instead of renewing it my company is going to probably offer me a full-time job...in Atlanta. For less money, of course. So I'm looking for alternatives - and I figure as my ability to cough up bucks for site hosting may depend on this you may have a vested interest in checking about for me.

I'm an AS/400 programmer with 15 years of experience, working in ILE/RPG, SQL, CL, and a smattering of other stuff like C and Cobol. Preference is for consulting contracts but if there is a good job I'm all ears. Would like to find a job in Chicago, LA, New York, or maybe even Washington D.C.

- Monday, April 22 2002 12:15:4

That Dare-I-Say-It-Devil. Mmmmmmm. Nothing like red-hot leather to make a girl feel ever so swoooooooney. Simply Divine. And that Ben A-Ffleck on my ass. Oh, mercy. I'm having a hot flash. He can't act, but he can look good and that gets my vote. He can change my lanes any day. Can't wait to see that 'Devil extend his billy-club. Ooooohhhhh. Slap me silly and give me twenty across the cheeks. I'm not saying Daredevil's gay, I'm just saying he looks like rough trade to me.

(my apologies to Kids in the Hall; specifically Scott "Buddy Cole" Thompson)

Jon Stover
Canada. Pulp. - Monday, April 22 2002 11:31:18

Barney: Guy Stockbridge was a real person? I'd always assumed that was a house-name. The Spider was loony, though -- the only thing I ever read that resembled it was Bob Burden's Flaming Carrot. And I mean all of that as high praise. Because now we must all fight and die like famous heroes for a world that considers us, well, a little goofy. But it is good to be brave, to use detectiveness, to fight -- and to win!

When in doubt, whack with a two-by-four!


Joseph J. Finn
Chicago, - Monday, April 22 2002 11:30:1


What's weird is that I do have a bit of nausea and headache today - probably due to cutting down on smoking on my way to quitting, though.


Jay <again here>
"The Future That Never Happened" - Monday, April 22 2002 10:50:11

Very interesting show on the History Channel featuring Robert Bloch and other futurists discussing the "future" predictions of the last hundred years, from the ridiculous claims of advertisers and industry to the prophetic works of Verne and Wells. Quite good if you have a chance to watch. Check your local listings.

ZoŽ Rose <ztreuer@d.umn.edu>
- Monday, April 22 2002 10:44:46

Hey all-

Heather- No army brat here, thankee... my parents were happy protesters in the '60s and dedicated students at Antioch College. When I first mentioned joining the JROTC in high school... heh. Well, let's just say it wasn't the path they sought for their little girl. In any case... it appears Harlan attracts all kinds, so why not us "hoo-ah" types too, eh? Thanks for the welcome.

--ZoŽ Rose

ps - Heather, I assume you meant 'civilian' and not 'non-civilian'? That threw me. *grin*

Cindy <IAMCINDIANAJONES@netscape.net>
TEXAS USA - Monday, April 22 2002 10:37:13


I have my hands full at the moment but by tonight I'll send you more of the screenplay. Hope you're enjoying it.


Heather Lovatt <heatherlovatt@yahoo.ca>
Oh, and Lori..., - Monday, April 22 2002 10:24:15

I like this bit:

"Send blame out of your life. There are no justified resentments."

Later gators

Melissa <entropy_5ca@yahoo.ca>
- Monday, April 22 2002 10:12:14


Well, we'll see. Scotty just purchased his Joseph Finn Pale Hose Voodoo Doll (doubles as an air freshener with the clean scent of pine) at K-Mart for $4.99. So if you feel the painful onset of a pimple, or a slight angst as you go about your busy day, you'll know the end to be near.

Have Fun, Melissa

Heather Lovatt <heatherlovatt@yahoo.ca>
Subject: various, - Monday, April 22 2002 9:59:19

I've got a headache. Gee. Wonder why. This job situ went for a crap and didn't come back. Glad I positioned it this way--I just sorta forgot about it for the weekend. Good thing I did. Will be back job-hunting after this missive.

Cindy: I got your cut and paste email. I tried to email you at the other addy you gave me but it bounced. Will contact you, in some way, when I need more pages of the screenplay.

Zoe: What is this? Harlan attracts nothing but army brats or summat? Am I the only non-civilian here.. or what? *laugh* Welcome to the crew. Hope you get what you need.

Anyone: What's this about Cyberdreams going belly-up? THIS I did not know. Is that how Harlan got screwed, to some extent, with this bunch? Are there no legit businesses out there?

(And not that I was planning to BUY a CD--don't have a computer; all I have is a ellimouse pad. Heh. But I had the same impression. I'd thought sales outside the U.S. were forbidden. Glad you helped cleared that up, Melissa/Bag-o-Scott.)

I also read, that Neil Gaiman had some books at Dreamhaven where the owners were selling said books at an amazingly high price. Neil commented that he doesn't GET any of that. How does this royalty thing work? I thought writers got a percentage of the total sales. Are you saying that Neil would only get, oh, $5 for every book sold, whether Dreamhaven (I think it was) gets $15 or $100? What a rip.

Also, can I invest in Edgeworks Abbey? I figure whether I'm sending money for KICK or money to get Harlan published, it's all the same stick of glue. I've never found a company I really wanted to invest in. I want a product I believe in. I believe in Ellison--old fart or not. Heh.

Lynn: Yes, that's where I read the writer's block reply. At Gaiman's site. I was there the other day.

Lori sent me an email newsletter of her free-expressions.com site. In it, one of her writing trainers, Elizabeth Lyon said:

'It takes a lot to stun me, but I was nothing less than stunned when I read an obituary for the prolific Isaac Asimov where he said, and I paraphrase: "I've never had an idea for a story
that I didn't write about."'

Jay, THERE'S some food for thought.

As for moonlighter, if you go to the search function at that site at:


(I think that will get you there) and pump in a user name search for this guy, you will see he's posted quite a number of pieces. This might give you a better view of the guy.

My take, presently is, be he using a vanity press (which I automatically imagined, as he's a young fellow) or not, he's seemed to keep at it. Writing, that is. I find THAT impressive.

But go back to my previous questions here, Jay. What's he doing wrong (as far as the GENRE is concerned.)


and finally....

That other job was a teeny weeny bit of bullshit. The PetroCanada on Portage is only looking for a part-time person--30 hours a week. At less than what I was making at the cafeteria. (The FIRST PetroCanada position was offering MORE. Hmm..) I can't afford that. So. Back to the damn job-hunting drawing board. Least I've got money from the cafeteria job (and a little from this short but sweet one. Hmm.. Don't dat figure.) I swear if I was to say I'm not interested in being a writer, I'd stop having these stupid little adventures. Since I got to Manitoba, my life has been one big Alice in Wonderland, I tell ya.

With no real signs of letting UP, it appears. Argh.

Jay Smith <zebrapox@pixmaster.com>
Hmmm.... - Monday, April 22 2002 9:44:20

Heather -

I think Lynn illustrated the main problem very well. But let's step further with the example...

"Sirens sliced at the air like a maniacal butcher knife."

The first part, without the similie:
"Sirens sliced at the air."

AT? Sirens sliced the air? Better, but I still have trouble with sirens SLICING things, which forces the similie:

"...like a maniacal butcher knife."
Lynn said it perfectly. I hope I never cross paths with homicidal cutlery.

The same can be said of most sentences in the excerpt. Now, I don't claim to be the next (insert favorite novelist here) but I graded and edited more developed material in Writing Lab by non-writers. Its not HORRIBLE. It reads more like inexperienced, undisciplined prose from a youngster.

Examine the last, long paragraph, Heather. Pretend you're the author and your editor has instructed you to cut 1/2 of it. Do NOT pretend you are Harlan Ellison and tell him to take a leap onto a pointed stick. Try to do this without losing the "spirit" of the paragraph. I'm sure you could. So extraneous words, long paragraphs, inappropriate simlies, awkward structure, unclear images, and poor pacing. Beyond that, it's great.

Joseph J. Finn
Chicago, - Monday, April 22 2002 9:42:38


Trying to catch up to me, eh? Good luck! BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA!


Melissa <entropy_5ca@yahoo.ca>
- Monday, April 22 2002 9:31:35

Lynn: I've sent you another email about Webderland Park, so that you're informed. I had my signals crossed on the weekend, and didn't explain the situation properly. I hope this one clears matters up.

Procrastination? Never heard of it. Scotty and I have three children; creatures who demand all, and would wait for nothing. Any who doubt this, please consult Jay or Cindy or Rich to confirm this phenomena.

I would love the ability to have a couple hours required to be able to put something off...

Love to all, Melissa

Jay Smith <zebrapix@horkmeroyal.com>
eeks. - Monday, April 22 2002 9:19:48

Now, as we're bashing one poor guy, I ask myself is it because he's so, um, raw, or because he allegedly landed a book deal?
Those words still haunt me. Perhaps that is why the deal was made?

Also, Here is a picture supposedly of Daredevil's movie costume. More like Ben Affleck leaving a fetish club...

Heather Lovatt <heatherlovatt@yahoo.ca>
Subject: so, - Monday, April 22 2002 9:16:6

Since I got some of you people's attention as to this moonlighter dude, can you explain to me what is WRONG with his stuff?

About a year ago, I visited that forum. This guy was writing a lot of little bits for the kids there to read. He wrote quite a lot of stuff and (whether I have an opinion or not) I'm glad to hear he followed through on his plan to create a novel and is getting it published (as of his April 18th comment). That, in itself, is an accomplishment.

I read his stuff, back then, and as I didn't (and probably STILL don't) know a whole lot about the genre, my comments to him on his work were that the ideas never seemed too original. I grant you, he was using his own stylings but I never read a piece that didn't remind me of something I'd come across in my reading or movie watching career.

That aside--and he explained he was 'practicing' sometimes with the pieces he put on view--we weren't getting the whole story, sometimes only vignettes--one of my comments to him, at the time was, his use of blood and gore seemed to always move past the point of impact. He'd MADE his point, in one story, where a madman friend caused great pain to his friend on a train.

But for my (albeit limited) genre views, he shoulda stopped. I guess it sort of reminds me of what Harlan mentioned about the gross out/fear/surprise factor of that "Omen" movie. It's like, 'you've creeped me out, you can stop now.'

Is THAT one impression you get of whatever you may have read of this guy? Or..what else is it that you had problems with? I'm just trying to look at someone's work--that I know to some extent--and figure out what's the matter with it (or.. if it IS good, why is it good.)

His descriptions are good. But sometimes--as I mentioned to him--it felt like all he was DOING was describing something. The action was predictable and...hmm...

Any comments, to my comments here?

Xanadu <X_a_n_a_d_u@yahoo.com>
Subject: Now for something completely different - Monday, April 22 2002 9:9:1

As a thematic followup to moonlighter's bit - you guys have GOT to read this (my fellow mac users especially) (If you can stomach the logic, it should have liquids spurting out your nose.):


THIS is tortured logic.

Lynn <cavalaxis@digitalcarrion.com>
- Monday, April 22 2002 8:58:21

"Sirens sliced at the air like a maniacal butcher knife."

Wow, slicing *at* the air and missing? And a maniacal butcher knife, as opposed to a calm, rational butcher knife?

Let me run right out and read the rest of this masterpiece.


Peter <writerpo@pacbell.net>
Union City, CA - Monday, April 22 2002 8:34:5

I tried to read the excerpt from that moonlighter guy, and couldn't get past the first paragraph because that scene from Holy Grail started running in my head . . . I'm sure y'all know the one: the Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch.


- Monday, April 22 2002 8:24:54

I agree with your "Mulholland Drive" theory. It's been awhile since I've seen it and I have no earthly desire to stop each frame (or scene) and analyze it as that's the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard (sorry, Joseph, but I'm telling you, that guy's demented) and defeats the purpose of watching the "moving image". Taken as a whole, that's my motto.

I must admit, PAB, that I saw the "Mulholland Drive" with a friend and he was very upset with the movie. I "got it" (per your theory), but felt it was a bit convoluted and a little too "arty" for art's sake. Seeing as how it was supposed to be a mini-series, I was a little more forgiving of the loose-ends, but overall felt that it just didn't work. However, the film wouldn't get out of my mind and the more I remembered some scenes the more I felt the movie did work (loose ends and all) and I must admit that my initial reaction of "Humph. Big deal." became "Hmmmmm" there's something to this thing.

My friend, on the other hand, thought about the movie for about 3-5 days afterwards and kept bugging me with his theories on the movie. He even had one for the "homeless man", but I can't remember what it was at this point. Anyway, a long post about this movie and all I really wanted to say was that I agree with you, Berman. (and Jim Davis; your sentiments on watching the film are almost exactly my sentiments---and I paid no more particular attention to the lesbian scenes as opposed to any other scenes. Maybe. Ok, maybe I paid more attention during those scenes than others, but hey...whattya want from me. I'm a guy.)

Harry Crews was the guy that would spend three hours in a room, desk facing the wall, and force himself to do nothing but sit in front of the typewriter. He would become so bored that eventually he would start writing just to be doing something.

And speaking of Stephen King (and not at all of that failed writer, moonlighter; published or not), I just finished "Everything's Evntual" and must say it runs quite the gamut of stylings. Very uneven piece of work. I think that "The Man in the Black Suit" (the O. Henry award winner) and "All That You Love Will Be Carried Away" are the best ones in the book. All the others seem to me to be mediocre at best. (ok, maybe "Lunch at the Gotham Cafe" is above mediocre, with it's unreliable narrator, but that's it. I'm telling you. Trust me on this one.)

Todd Cassel <TheDoh@prodigy.net>
NJ USofA - Monday, April 22 2002 8:3:19

Oooohfah, I just read that Moonlighter excerpt. Gotta agree with everyone here who has discerned that the writer is either lying or going the vanity press route. "Both cars were totally destroyed." Were they totalled? Were they destroyed? Damn, these suckers were TOTALLY destroyed! That's some friggin' destruction going on there. Mygawd, this guy is the next Stephen King!!!!


Dan Thorne <wordsmith_@hotmail.com>
Royal Oak, MI - Monday, April 22 2002 7:3:10

Heather: Regarding "writers" online, I hate to admit this horrifying fact in an open and esteemed forum such as this, but I frequent various chat communities. I typically target rooms that are related to writing, and after about 6 years of this, I've discovered that 98% of the people ONLINE who say they're having a book published (or that they HAD a book published) have gone the vanity route, i.e., they're wanna-be writers who simply aren't very good.

I realize your comment was regarding an individual you've discovered at a message board, not a chat environment. However, seeing that that too is an online community, I'm not surprised by the comments of those that have perused this individual's work and have said less than stellar things about it.

Now before people jump on my case and take exception to my commentsÖYES, I know there have been occasions where a vanity published work has gone on to great acclaim. YES, I know there are some savvy writers who can make the vanity publishing system work for them. YES, I know this forum has a higher ratio of "legitimate" or non-vanity published writers than other places on the digital highway. But all of these are exceptions that exist within a massive load of excrement.

(Just came upon Jay's posting of the quotes from that person's alleged book. Shaking? Hell, I'm apoplectic! Thanks, Jay!)

Little Washu
- Monday, April 22 2002 6:43:42

TODD: Who knows. The way Lynch works, it may have been God after all. As for the bum with all the fungus on his face - I seriously believe that he was just another manifestation of the 'evil Id' we've seen before with the character of Bob in TWIN PEAKS.

Nooooooooow, IIIIIIIIIIIIIII, wiiiiiiiiill, gooooooooo, aaaaaaaaaaaaannnnnnd, feeeeeeeeed, theeeeeeeee, doooooooooooooooooooog....

LW (Benjamin A.A. WInfield)

Matthew Davis
Redditch, UK - Monday, April 22 2002 6:4:55

The Guardian had an ďexplain Mulholland DriveĒ competition a few months back.
David Lynch supplied hints and clues which are online here:

The results are online here:

Make of it all what you willÖ

Todd Cassel <TheDoh@prodigy.net>
NJ USofA - Monday, April 22 2002 5:36:42

Bermanator, It's been a few months since I've seen Mulholland Drive, and my memory has leaked a few brain cells since then, so I don't remember why .....but.....as I exited the movie and discussed it with the little lady I interpreted the homeless man (who was actually played by a woman) as God.

Why? I don't fucking know. I have to see the movie again. I was not high, I swear. I've never been high. I just recall something in the last scene with this being and the blue box making me say "Hey, that's God, and here's why" and I'll be damned if I remember why.

Go on, mock all you want. It made sense at the time.


Jay <zebrapucks@hotmail.com>
Shiver me Timbers... - Monday, April 22 2002 4:59:56

Jim/Heather -

"Sirens sliced at the air like a maniacal butcher knife."

"A hubcap rattled on the highway as it did a circular dance just at Billy's feet."

I'm shaking.

P.A. Berman
More Mulholland Drive Spoilers - Monday, April 22 2002 3:36:36

Jim: Your interpretation seems to be the more accepted one, from what I've read on the 'Net. I understand what you're saying, that in my interpretation, it's hard to care...but the thing is, you don't KNOW what's really going on until the end (or, in my case, not until a day later), so it's too late by then, you've already cared. That's David Lynch for you.


The reason I thought the WHOLE thing was a delusion of Diane's was because the "jealousy" scenes seemed so absurd, so much like a paranoiac's nightmare. Camilla kissing all those people right in front of Diane seemed kind of unlikely, especially at a dinner given by Adam's mother. Camilla was too cartoonishly cruel to be real, just as Rita was too cartoonishly lush and pliant; both were delusions, Hollywoodish delusions at that.

These are all just theories. I wonder if Lynch was clear on these things when he created the movie. I had a Creative Writing prof who said, when you write something that's purposely ambiguous, YOU yourself must know the truth, even if you never reveal it. Not sure if I agree with that or not.

How did you interpret the homeless guy/monster in the alley? I couldn't figure out what that was all about. Maybe it symbolized failure? Who was the Cowboy? Was he supposed to be Death?


Matthew Davis
Redditch, UK - Monday, April 22 2002 3:29:22

Mr Ellison, may or may not be interested in rebutting this article in the current ďThe London Review of BooksĒ about copyright in the online arena. The author describes the situation regarding copyright pertaining to books and also the scenario as it currently stands regarding music and the internet. However he never satisfactorily brings these two threads together. The LRB often gets healthy response to its articles both in its letters pages, with debate often spreading to other newspapers. And while reading the response of various UK writers, publishers, academics will be par for the course, in this instance I think that Ellison might have a lot to add to the debate. I think that readers of the LRB would be interested to learn of and hear the experiences of a writer fighting for his rights online. Also, for what itís worth, the contents of the LRB are scrutinised in the other UK broadsheet newspapers, and a good appearance might (just might) lead to further attention for Mr. Ellison and his case outside of the US.


Jim Davis
- Monday, April 22 2002 0:7:3

You wanna talk about procrastination? I've got a pile of bills as high as my tuchis, and instead of paying them, I'm screwing around on the Lost in Translation website. (See http://www.tashian.com/multibabel/ for details. Thanks to Brian Siano for pointing it out.)

Here are some, ahem, INTERESTING multiple translations of Harlan titles:

Delusion for the flying red deers of the assassin (Delusion For a Dragon Slayer)
The Calm one is the Grasshopper Known as (Quiet Lies The Locust Tells)
All lies, those are my life span (All The Lies That Are My Life)
Disturbed refinery of sugar (Angry Candy)
Collection with incubus (Stalking The Nightmare)
Motivatings luminous of the fire the resistance (Soft Monkey)
Expensive loss stops in the Swimmingpool I gave Gloria Swanson (Face-Down In Gloria Swanson's Swimming Pool)
Extremely of the condition with cheeks of the moment (The Thick Red Moment)
In the balance stream control (Driving In The Spikes)
A duration, replenishing in advance the payment in the poverty (One Life, Furnished In Early Poverty)

HARLAN: Is your story "The Universe Of Robert Blake" actually ABOUT Robert Blake? Or is the title just a coincidence?

Barney Dannelke <dannelke01@enter.net>
Allentown , PA. - Sunday, April 21 2002 22:45:48

*** Jim *** I'm gonna go out on a limb here and completely agree with you. That's just really bad writing. I mean, we're not talking about stylistic interpretation here. I found myself re-writing, compressing, editing or discarding each sentence as I scrolled. Guy Stockbridge wrote stuff like that but he had some demented strengths to fall back on. Also he was on a bitchin' deadline schedule and getting something like a penny a word. Maybe more for the Spider material. Nevertheless, posting that excerpt on the Stephen King board is tantamount to pissing in the punchbowl.

Now I'm going to have nightmares but for all of the wrong reasons.

Cindy <IAMCINDIANAJONES@netscape.net>
TEXAS USA - Sunday, April 21 2002 21:48:3


It's a lovely feeling to come out of the shelter and find that the house and barn are still standing.

This morning on the Today show the reporting individual said that the Chief of Police in LA is retiring soon and doesn't want to see another high profile case fall apart or go unsolved while he's behind the desk. She said there had been no grand jury indictment against Mr.Blake prior to his arrest. She added that this was not the norm. She went on to say that after placing Mr. Blake under arrest the cops were still scrambling for more evidence. Doesn't sound to me like they have him dead to rights.

I'm glad that he has at least one friend who will not shy away or condemn him. It seems like so many "friends" are ready to jump ship whenever something unpleasant befalls another.

I don't know what will happen next out there. That is a mighty big town with potentially infinite variables in the jury selection arena.

The county where I live is still socially 1952 in most ways. A no nonsense approach is still applied to individuals who show utter disregard for basic decency in a marriage situation. In FACT there is an old veteranarian here that spent a brief (like 30 days) stint behind bars for literally castrating a man who slept with his wife. He used a disinfectant so they didn't charge him with attempted murder.


Lynn <cavalaxis@digitalcarrion.com>
Subject: Writer's Block, - Sunday, April 21 2002 21:14:17

A brief excerpt from Neil Gaiman's FAQ (http://www.neilgaiman.com/faq/faq.asp) on writer's block (there's more than this, but this is the crux of the matter):

"Necessity is a pretty good cure for writer's block -- not the getting stuck bit, necessarily, but the Not Writing bit of it. (My father once told me about a novelist he encountered in the 1950s who, when asked how he began writing, blamed, rather bitterly, er, Somerset Maugham if I remember correctly, who locked him in a room and wouldn't let him out for dinner each day until he'd pushed 5,000 words under the door.)

There's a wonderful essay by the great Daniel Pinkwater (in, I think, Fish Whistle) where he talks about his own cure for Writer's Block. He goes down to his study, and sits down in front of the computer, and he has to be there for a certain amount of time. He can either write, or he can do nothing, but he can't do anything else. No reading books, no doodling, no browsing the internet or making phone calls. He can write, or he can just sit there. Pretty soon, he gets bored of just sitting there, so he writes.

It works for me, too, mostly, although I also make cups of tea."

Joseph J. Finn <JosephFinn@yahoo.com>
Chicago, IL USA - Sunday, April 21 2002 20:52:58


Nah, you've pretty much captured my thoughts on Woo (especially "The Killer"). Pretty, dramatically engaging and violent with a point. Got great performances from Danny Lee and Chow Yun Fat. Damn good director that manages to rise above splatter/slash flicks.


Virginia - Sunday, April 21 2002 20:50:25

Washu: About Woo, well, wow! The Hong Kong stuff (most of which has already been mentioned in other posts) is pretty amazing stuff, like Douglas Sirk with automatic weaponry or something. His "A Better Tomorrow" series is also well worth checking out. What worries me about his American movies is how visually redundant they've become -- like, okeydoke, John, how many times can you run the slo-mo doves in flight bit? And whatever skill he has in setting up action sequences matters but nought when you realize how awful he is with his American actors. So I dunno; I still dig his older movies, but I've given up on his Hollywood productions.

If you like "The Killer," you ought to check out Ringo Lam's Hong Kong movies if you haven't already. For my money, "Full Contact" is better than anything Woo has or will ever produce (plus it has a Boston Terrier in it!) and "City of Fire" (the film Tarantino "borrowed" bits of "Reservoir Dogs" from) runs a close second.

Chuck <chuck_messer@hotmail.com>
The Mile High Cowtown, The Rectangle State O' Confusion - Sunday, April 21 2002 20:41:47

Jay and Jim,

I read the excerpt from "Shivers". You're saying THIS guy is being published? It was downright amateurish. Grammar blunders from one sentence to the next. Bad sentence structure. Hell, I couldn't get past the english. I sure hope he's being printed by a vanity press.

I read parts of a vanity press book years ago. It was called "Rainbow Arc of Fire". This was a book that was so bad, it defies description. Silverfish stay away from this book, and tell their friends it's a bad neighborhood.

Of course, you never know. "Shivers" could end up being published, then made into a movie produced and directed by Adam Sandler, starring Pauly Shore and Yakov Smirnoff. That'll give you the shivers. And, it'll hoist your gorge to the top of the mainmast, matey. Arrrrrr.


Now I'm really jealous. Shuttle launches, at night yet.



Edward Champion
San Francisco, CA - Sunday, April 21 2002 20:33:31

Jon: Thanks for the info on Canadian mass produced food products. Personally, as an American, I'm more inclined to have my incisors connect with a bagel rather than the soft congealed horrors of a Krispy Kreme donut. I braved one once and I was shocked at the lack of flour. But then the U.S. is also the land of Wonder Bread. But if Tim Horton's is as disturbingly addictive as you maintain, then I fear that we may be challenged by the rash inventions of Canadian food entrepreneurs. 25 cigarettes to a pack? Fred Leutcher indeed.

As for John Woo, the number of deaths in a John Woo movie per minute is as regular and as stunning as the number of pages that biographer Robert Caro has committed to LBJ.

Alex Jay Berman <smeghead@erols.com>
Philly, - Sunday, April 21 2002 20:29:0

LI'L WASHU: I agree with you on John Woo's films--except there needs to be a caveat added--a rhyming word triptych:

Woo used to.

His films like THE KILLER and HARD BOILED *are* amazing; both for their film artistry and for their depth.

Then he came to America.
And directed a Jean-Claude Van Dumb movie, a Travolta-as-villain movie, a Travolta-as-hero-no-wait;-villain movie, and a Mission Impossible sequel. I can't comment on his new WINDTALKERS, but even though it touches upon a subject dear to my heart, the Navajo codetalkers in WWII, I can't say as I hold out much hope for it.

Looks like he may have decided to do work in Hong Kong again--or at least, work that is split between HK and the US--so maybe there's still hope.

Jim Davis
- Sunday, April 21 2002 19:48:36

JAY: The excerpt is here: http://bbs.simonsays.com/bbdocs/Forum4/HTML/009118.html.

Read it, and tell me if I'm fulla crap for hating it.

Watching Futurama again...sides hurt. - Sunday, April 21 2002 19:38:31

Heather -

If you took the time to suggest it, I'm interested in giving it a look. Based on Jim's critique, I'm not going to play scavenger hunter to find it on the 'net.

Have a link I could click?

- Jay

Little Washu <colonel_clive@hotmail.com>
- Sunday, April 21 2002 19:37:1

Just saw John Woo's THE KILLER. Yowza.

Mr. Woo maddens the hell out of me. His films display the most unbelievable gushings of pure unrefined bloody violence ever committed to celluloid, and yet somehow merge a compelling story and moments of genuine style and beauty amidst all the bullet-ridden corpses.

I'll try to describe my impressions of Woo as best I can: "Wow, that character is going through some serious angst and moral dilem- wow, he's just blown away twenty guys with his machine gu- wow, this is a very conflicted and complex fi- wow, I've seen less people die in a FRIDAY THE 13th movi-"

And so on.
Anyone here with their 2 cents on the Woo?

LW (Benjamin A.A. Winfield)

Jim Davis
- Sunday, April 21 2002 18:31:37

Oops. I accidentally hit "send" before I could proof. "Simultaneously...at the same time"? Oy.

Jim Davis
- Sunday, April 21 2002 18:26:45


BERMALANGADINGDONG: Your thoughts on MULHOLLAND DRIVE seem pretty dead-on to me. Of course, we can't completely rule out that Diana actually HAD a relationship with Camilla--if you posit that the final 1/3 of the movie is real/not dreamed, then a failed relationship between the two gives everything an extra dimension of pathos. Not only has Diana failed as an actress, not only has she stood by and watched Camilla grab the fame and glory that should have been hers, she finds out the bitch is fucking other people, to boot!

I kind of prefer that interpretation--if the entire film is nothing but the fever dream of an obsessed wacko, then it's difficult for me to really care. That's why I think the discovery of the corpse in the bungalow is so significant--that's the intrusion of the awful reality that Diana has in store for herself. She's planning to commit suicide after news of a successful hit on Camilla comes through (which she does at the end), and that knowledge invades even the cozy interiors of her Nancy Drew fantasy.


(I had the strangest sensation while seeing this film: I was simultaneously infuriated and enraptured at the same time. No matter how nonsensical the movie appeared, no matter how much I felt Lynch was dicking around to no discernable purpose, I watched with full attention, just the same. Weird, huh?)

Jim Davis <scythian66@hotmail.com>
- Sunday, April 21 2002 16:56:16

HEATHER: I know you directed this to Jay, but I'll butt in anyway: That exerpt from moonlighter's soon-to-be-published novel is DREADFUL--it's muddled, trite, redundant, and completely bereft of ANY concision or zing. I can't believe for a second that a reputable publisher is actually going to print this book (he MUST be talking about a vanity press). For his sins, lock him in a closet with King's ON WRITING, release dependent on the production of ONE uncliched, clearly-written page.

Sorry if I seem a little mean, but it really is that bad. Also, I've just finished James Morrow's CITY OF TRUTH, and it's temporarily knocked off the needle on my tact-o-meter.

Jay <zebrapix@hotmail.com>
- Sunday, April 21 2002 16:33:7


If you're on the west coast, watch it. IT'S HILARIOUS.

Sorry I didn't know about it sooner.

Plot- Fry travels to Omega 3 when he learns that the original Star Trek (all three seasons and six movies) has been outlawed, takes Leonard Nimoy to reunite with the original cast. Guest starring all but Doohan and Kelly


Faisal A. Qureshi <faq@ic24.net>
Manchester, UK - Sunday, April 21 2002 16:20:41


The basis you are stating that Arafat would have been able to build up a Palestinian state through the Oslo 'peace' accord is, and I hate to say the word, naive. The Palestinian controlled terrortories were the equivalent of the 'homelands' that Apartheid South Africa set up. Also given the internal Police force was being cultivated and trained by the CIA (yeah, wasn't that a surprise) and Israeli security forces, these were just areas were Palestinians were controlled by Palestinians who had something to gain from supporting Oslo (or as Said K. Aburish likes to call them, 'the Beirut on Thames' set).

Palestinians supported Arafat. Again, not really. Though certain liberalisations were accepted, the PLO authority started using its muscle to lock up any dissention to its and Israeli authority. I have over 50 email press releases from AI concerning these issues, dating from 97, you can find them on the AI website should you choose to explore further.

Resolution 194 - I presume you are unaware of the history of this resolution and UN Mediator Count Folke Bernodette who, when dealing with the Israelis, said that (and this is simplified) if Israeli's weren't prepared to accept UN authority and recognition of a Palestinian state then they also were not recognising the UN authority when it came to recognising Israel. The Stern gang thought hard about this and then shot him. I would reccomend looking stuff up on Bernodette, he was a very interesting and brave man though I have heard him being vilifed as an US anti-semite. Something I don't give any credence too.

Oh and the recognition of Israel. Well Palestinian acceptance of UN resolution 242 calling for Israeli withdrawal from the occupied terrortories and to go back to its pre-1967 borders was accepted by the PLO. A blind bit of difference that made.

And finally said lack of support, what I should have said was lack of diplomatic support. The Palestinians are paid lip service and thrown a little money just to make sure certain regimes domestic population are kept reasonably satisfied and don't get too angry to overthrow them. Why do you think Mubarak and the Saud family is worried? They know that if Israel doesn't accept to resolve the conflict without resorting to automatic weaponry, their own power bases will also be under question. Also, Israel has Dimona, nuff said. And that 'English double-talk' comment just convinces me that you actually don't know that much about what has been written in the Middle Eastern media.

Frankly, Israel diplomatic policy seems to be not to give a toss in having its neighbours recognise it. Sharrett secret negotiations with Egypt were tampered with and later on Saddatt had to have a war to get them to realise he was serious about peace. At the end, this is futile, because of all what I say is going to be ignored. I doubt your going to look at the references and I don't know about your contact network in the middle east. Why bother?

Harlan - I try my best, thanks. If I ever do visit LA, a mutual friend of ours, Steve Austin (director of the short film 'Moment of Silence') has promised me his sofa. So one day, I hopefully can go out for some beverage with you.

CEP - Isn't that the kind of solution all those milita groups are afraid off? Before we know it, the all knowing world goverment is monitoring us by Black Helicopters and every copper on the corner is replaced by a Blue Beret.

Getting to write - I often do a Borges thing and write a review of the work I AM TRYING TO WRITE. Of course, my attempts can never equal Borges style but its a good excuse in structuring the piece... otherwise, piece of advice. Use one computer for writing and get the other for the internet. And lock that computer up! Don't even go near it until you have a coherent sentence or two... maybe.

Lynch - I have yet to see Mullholland Drive but am a passionate fan of Dune. Liked Blue Velvet hated anything afterwards apart (have yet to see The Straight Story though) but Dune, though flawed, is a wonderful film and I just wish Lynch, one day, would choose to go back and do a re-edit his way. Won't happen though.


Heather Lovatt <heatherlovatt@yahoo.ca>
Jay..., - Sunday, April 21 2002 15:48:1

Some guy named moonlighter at the main Simon and Shuster (SimonSays) Stephen King discussion board is having his book published.. He's been a regular on that site for a long time.

Go dig him up and tell me what you think of his writing.


Virginia - Sunday, April 21 2002 15:30:53

Jay: As far as procrastination goes, all I have to do to get myself working is remind myself of two things. Number one is the fact that I've wasted an awful lot of my life thus far puttering about and accomplishing nothing, and that I'd better get my ass in gear and begin producing before I wake up in a retirement home with a surly teenage attendant rifling through my wallet. Number two is the fact that Harry Knowles received, I think, a six-figure advance on his "book." Yeah, those quotes are intentional ...

And if reminding myself of those two things doesn't work, I read record reviews. Go figger.

Los Angeles, - Sunday, April 21 2002 15:21:49

Hi again. Just wanted to note for those in the Los Angeles area 4/27/02, Ray Bradbury will be making an appearance at the LA Times Festival of Books at UCLA around 1pm: Fahrenheit 451: One Book, One City: Ray Bradbury Speaks out (with introduction by Steve Wasserman.)

There's a ton of other speakers that I don't immediately recognize as well--tickets are free, but apparently must be obtained from ticketmaster outlets in advance.

Hoping it's nice where you are...

ZoŽ Rose <ztreuer@d.umn.edu>
- Sunday, April 21 2002 15:9:59

Jay - As a college student, I've really mastered the procrastinate until hours before-its-due action. Not on purpose, of course... it just happens that way. Right. While I do usually work better under pressure, there are times I can't get myself on task.

What I usually do is this: cook. No, I'm not a good chef, and I usually don't make anything more than soup, or a bowl of cereal, or cut up some veggies. However, it gets me away from the computer and thinking either of other things, or just half-heartedly about my subject. Then, when I come back, I can stare at my screen for a few minutes while munching away thoughtfully. That's usually enough of a break for me to get going again.

--ZoŽ Rose, eating a bowl of peas between typing pauses.

P.A. Berman
Mulholland Drive: Spoilers - Sunday, April 21 2002 14:41:11

Jay: I am in a similar dilemma. I have a pile of Grade 9 research papers to read and return in a week. I am on this website writing this message instead of working on them. What I do is, screw around for a while, setting a time limit. Then I sit in my special grading chair, listen to NPR and grade for a set amount of time. Then, at the appointed hour, I stop.

Writing is the same. I just sit down and type. It might well suck, but I can always go back and revise. Ah, the joys of the word processor.

CEP: I was being facetious about the Harry Potter comparison. They sound completely different in theme. I appreciate your insight.

Joseph: Thanks for the link. After you rent the movie, let's talk about it.

LW: Mulholland Drive--I found a very interesting analysis on salon.com that I highly recommend. They try very hard to explain it and, like any explanation of David Lynch, they fall short but not due to lack of intelligence or insight. While I agree in principle that one should not over-analyze, I am a critic at heart, that's my training, so I had to give it a stab.

My idea is that the ENTIRE movie is a fantasy within a fantasy for Diane Selwyn. I think she came to Hollywood all idealistic, but failed as an actress. Camilla Rhodes is a famous actress, but was never Diane's actual lover-- that entire thing was her fantasy, even during the last half-hour when she was Diane and witnessed Camilla's infidelities (this accounts for the lurid and fantastical lesbian love scenes--they never happened except in Diane's mind). I think the grouchy female neighbor was Diane's real lover, they broke up, and that sent Diane on a downward spiral. The blue key is the key to her old apartment, symbolizing the break-up.

There is a lust/envy feeling towards C/R that I think comes from Diane's idealization of and jealousy towards the cinema idol. Perhaps she did lose a role to Camilla, which led to the obsession. Like any stalker of a movie star, Diane imagines a deep personal relationship with Camilla, in her mind cast in the role of "Rita", the lusty but helpless sexpot. When reality begins to set in and she realizes she can't and doesn't have C/R, then her hatred surfaces, she imagines herself spurned (as for a role in a movie) and wishes Camilla dead. None of it really happened.

Diane's own failure as an actress and Camilla's success must, in Diane's mind, be the result of a conspiracy, hence the whole Mafia aspect. The only part I am pretty sure isn't a dream is that Diane kills herself at the end, unable to cope with her own horrible feelings of paranoia, rejection, and failure.

Sorry to go on so long. It's that damned procrastination again. Feel free to punch holes in this analysis, as I'm sure it fails to account for something (the Cowboy, the homeless guy, etc.).


Alex Jay Berman <smeghead@erols.com>
Philadelphia, - Sunday, April 21 2002 14:24:11

JOSEPH: Channel Harlan?
Seriously; procrastination is my worst habit. If you're doing nonfic, here's a good trick--look up articles on the same subject on the web. You'll hit the, "Shit; I can do so much better than this!" nudge. And you'll know that if you keep putting it off, you WON'T have done better than the crud you see.

That's usually a good impetus.

But yeah; Lawrence Block plays solitaire; me, I play FreeCell.

Jon Stover
Canada. Blocked - Sunday, April 21 2002 13:49:23

Put on _Bitches Brew_ and start typing?


Heather Lovatt <heatherlovatt@yahoo.ca>
Jay remedies, - Sunday, April 21 2002 13:38:19

I think Laurence Block plays a few hands of cards with himself..it gets his mind off the work for a bit.. but out of anything else..then he keeps getting back to the work.

Somebody else..forget who.. all I've read is Asimov lately..or was it someone else.. no matter. (Couldn't be Asimov. I don't think he HAD a problem too often with this.) (Stephen King? Peter Straub?)..Isolates himself in a room with nothing BUT the typewriter. He can't do any other writing.. and after a while, he gets bored of not doing anything and begins to type.

That what you meant?

Jay <inthemiddlewithyou@stuck.com>
SteelersWheel, STUCK. - Sunday, April 21 2002 12:36:12

ARGHHHHH... I'm on a deadline.

I'm also being very lazy. I've been distracted. What's your favorite, most effective way of avoiding this and getting back into the craft without forcing the art?


Heather Lovatt <heatherlovatt@yahoo.ca>
Subject: End of messages?, - Sunday, April 21 2002 10:46:19

I just scrolled through a few pages to a message that ends with:

Also, Israel appears like a well armed man backed into a corner by five big thugs whose sisters he humped and dumped. It's fightin' time 24/7 and sometime the big guns are gonna go off...soon.

I can't go beyond it. Is something out of kilter?

Lemma know. Will try again, of course.


Joseph J. Finn <JosephFinn@yahoo.com>
Chicago, IL USA - Sunday, April 21 2002 10:21:35

P.A. Berman,

Have not yet seen "Mulholland Drive," so I can't offer a 1st-hand experience. However, there is a highly interesting article from Ebert that I will have a link to at the bottom of this post. At a yearly gathering in Colorado, Ebert and 1,000 people watched the film for a week, using stop-frame on DVD whenever someone wanted to look at something interesting and discuss it. Interesting method, eh? Would love to give that a try. Anyhoo, here's Ebert and the rest of the participants...er..."conclusions:"



Little Washu <colonel_clive@hotmail.com>
I have returned... - Sunday, April 21 2002 10:14:5

Hi, everybody. It's good to be back.

I'm at home in my comfy coral-stone cottage in Bermuda and have FINALLY been able to access this forum again. Today it's fairly bright and sunny - might go for a walk with Elvis soon (my cherished basset hound, for those who don't remember).

BTW, I wrapped up college sooner than usual because I ha donly two exams out of four courses. For the other two classes I only had to do massive essays, but come April 16 everything was done and over with.

I knew I should have written a list for all the great threads I've had to miss. At the moment I'll only cover the topics I recall off the top of my head (or more accurately, right on the front page of the forum).

CINDY: I haven't seen WE WERE SOLDIERS, but the tagline alone (THIS TIME, AMERICA HAS THE LAST WORD) was almost enough to make me collapse into pathetic sobbing right in the middle of the theater. The thing that irked me about that catchphrase is that the film is set in Vietnam - subliminally indicating the U.S. will be victorious not only NOW, but back in Vietnam as well. I'm mostly indifferent when it comes to patriotism, but America seems to be going through one huge hissy fit.

P.A. BERMAN: I enjoyed MULHOLLAND DRIVE, and yet I still couldn't appreciate it as much as Lynch's other works. To answer your question, the entire narrative seems to be set up in a gigantic circular path, the trigger being the mysterious box we see in key scenes. Lynch has said that he never tries to rationalize or intellectualize his work or else it ruins the entire creative process for him. Suffice to say, I follow the same course and just try to EXPERIENCE his films rather than muddling them through my puny brain. That's what methinks. What doth youthinks?

Let's see...anything new? Well, I brought Peter David's novelization of SPIDER-MAN (I usually avoid movie tie-ins, but hey, it's Peter) and found it a great, light, quick read. I have GOT to find some of Mr. David's original works, because this guy has some serious talent. Some of the jokey pokes Mr. David made at the comic book world were hilarious, such as the ever-present alliteration of names (Bruce Banner, Matt Murdock, Peter Parker, Green Goblin, J. Jonah Jameson...) and the 'blink-and-you'll-miss-them' character cameos only someone as well-versed as Peter David could drop with such ease. My personal favourite was the scene in the Ascot Club between Norman Osborn and Jonah Jameson. Jolly Jonah had entered a rant about the idiocy of the 'digital age' in general and was tossing off various 'cyber-names' common in the internet to prove his point. Fuzzydice, the Destroyer, and Deathscream were among the delights he mentioned.

I mean, seriously, what the hell is up with that? Is that psychologically screwed up or what? Why would a sane person destroy any decent respect anyone may have for him by dressing up in an absolutely ludicrous name that-


Okay, fine, whatever. At least I didn't call myself 'Hoppybunny27'.

LW (Benjamin A.A. Winfield)

Melissa <entropy_5ca@yahoo.ca>
- Sunday, April 21 2002 9:50:26

Good afternoon, all. We've a gorgeous day here, and spent the morning in pursuit of kites. Honest to god, the kids wanted to, but Scotty and I had as much fun as they did.

Mr. Ellison: You are sincerely welcome. I look forward to doing business with you in the near future.

Chuck: The wheel turns, and seems to be giving me a great year financially. But there's the the trap of success; the more I earn, the more work I seem to have. Still, summer's coming, that things tend to slow down then. I just don't want to give up the time for my kids; you all can call me a sentimental fool if you like.

Here's a little article that might be of some interest. I'd forgotten it a number of times, and can't recall if others have posted any word on this issue (Jon tends to be the one to keep folks abreast of happenings in the Great White North):


Sorry the URL's so large, just copy it to the address.

Myself, I'm of a mind that says that here I am as a taxpayer, paying for a system that feels comfortable to excuse itself from dealing with society when it feels its rules are being challenged. I look at Mr. Hall and his boyfriend this way: Mr. Hall is obviously openly gay (a courageous enough act, considering how tough it tends to be for gay kids in the school systems), and his fellow students don't seem to be upset at this. It only became an issue when the school board decided to make it one and these people are the ones on my dime.

Even more: My kids are in Montessori (I've had some past difficulties with how the public system treated Danny), and will not use the public system at all, yet still pay taxes for it.

Well, slowly, we'll move forward.

Now, if all will excuse, I'm going to have some lunch, then head out to a flea market. Scotty's on a bobblehead hunt again. We apparently missed the Dave Windfield Blue Jays Bobble giveaway last week at the Skydome, and he's been near suicidal ever since.

Love to all, Melissa

P.A. Berman
Mulholland Drive took me for a ride - Sunday, April 21 2002 9:33:21

Just saw _Mulholland Drive_ last night. Whoa. That was supposed to be the pilot for a TV show?!?

I would love to hear what interpretations you guys have of that movie. I must say I rewound and rewatched some parts, in an attempt to clarify it, and I have a working interpretation, but I'm not too sure if I'm right (or if there is a right answer). Anyone care to offer his take on it?


Bill Gauthier <gauthic@attbi.com>
New Bedford, MA - Sunday, April 21 2002 9:27:25

I finished Gerald Kersh's NIGHT AND THE CITY a little while ago. Man, oh, man! Whatta book! To say I enjoy wouldn't do it justice. And, if it's not his best novel (this is going by Paul Duncan's essay about Kersh after the novel), I sure as hell hope iBooks--or someone--reprints his other work.

Thanks, Mr. Ellison, for the recommendation.


P.A. Berman
Ramen rules - Sunday, April 21 2002 9:17:10

May I make a practical suggestion about why Ramen is more popular in college dorms that Kraft dinners? The Kraft dinners IIRC (there's an acronym for you-- "if I recall correctly") required milk and butter... Ramen only requires hot water. I never had dairy products on hand, but my dorm had a special spout attached to the sink that put out boiling water. Thus, Ramen, at $0.25/package, was the favorite choice. Kraft dinners would have seemed luxurious, decadent even.


Old Virginny You Ess Eh - Sunday, April 21 2002 8:20:42

Harlan: Thanks for the good word on "Watching." I plan on giving Dangerous Visions a shout as soon as they open their doors today. And, oh yeah, I do agree that it is one fine-looking tome, and many were the times I gave the green eye to my old library because they owned a copy.

If you don't mind, though, I have a second question, this one about "Mefisto in Onyx," which was set in Alabama, my old (and longed-for) home. There's a moment in the story when Rudy is about to arrive at Holman, and he mentions that he's "about three hours south of the last truly imperial barbeque in that part of the world, in Birmingham." Now, this question has plagued me ever since I read the story -- is this joint real, and if so, which one is it? I only ask because I know of your passion for verisimilitude, and because all your other Alabama details are so dead-on, and because there is a wild abundance of classic BBQ shacks in that area; and because (I'll admit it) it would be pretty gawdarn cool to say I ate at a place Rudy Pairis thought well enough of to note. (And yeah, I'm a bit nutty, but do forgive me, please ...)

I also picked up a reference in the story (I'm re-reading it) to one Fred A. Leuchter, a name that meant nothing to me when I originally read the story years ago. Has anyone on the board seen Errol Morris' wonderful documentary "Mr. Death," about Leuchter? It's a great, tragic story (I don't want to give away what it's about, but he's an execution specialist) in the true sense of the word tragedy (as opposed to, say, the 420-lb people on the daytime freak shows who talkshow hosts refer to as "tragic" instead of just goddamned sad). Ah, Leuchter, you poor, dumb bastard.

Final note, to all: I've really enjoyed keeping up with all of your posts, and I hope to maybe start adding to the conversation. So, it's okeydoke if I play, I hope? Thanks!

Barney Dannelke <dannelke01@enter.net>
Allentown , - Sunday, April 21 2002 8:19:14

*** Harlan *** Urging Brian toward a career in farmwork is a profoundly bad idea. I once had to jump about 4 feet straight up in the air and OVER a bailing machine that I had just attached the PTO [power take-off] to in order keep from being turned into a colorful combination of Barney and hay [or perhaps alfalfa] by a Pennsylvania-Dutch lunatic who was too lazy to turn his fat ass all the way around and scope out where I was standing before giving her the gas.

The farm is no place for the inattentive.

Speaking of alfalfa I also hope Bobby Blake didn't do it. But we're in for it now, regardless. I really don't know if I can cope with a middle-east meltdown, 2-6 more years of the shrub AND another O.J.-esque [it's a word now damnit] type trial. Never thought I'd miss the eighties...

- Barney

Joseph J. Finn <JosephFinn@yahoo.com>
Chicago, IL USA - Sunday, April 21 2002 7:30:27


Sheesh. You make Canada sound like Bizarro Earth.

"Me am so sad to have 25-pack!"


Jon Stover
Canada - Sunday, April 21 2002 6:27:25

Oh, not just regular Kraft Dinner, Joseph -- there's White Cheese Kraft Dinner and Extra Creamy Kraft Dinner and Sharp Cheddar Kraft Dinner and about 14 types of Kraft Dinner cold pasta salads and Egg Noodle Kraft Dinner and Spirals Kraft Dinner and even the Bizarro Earth Kraft Dinner Spaghetti and Powdered Just Add Water Spaghetti Sauce. The boxed pasta market in Canada is undergoing some crazed explosion into hitherto unpondered econiches. Why noone's come up with a Kraft Dinner-filled doughnut yet is beyond me. Served with the weirdly addictive not-exactly-coffee coffee of Tim Horton's, I'm sure it could become a staple, to be celebrated afterwards with a cigarette from one of our amazing 25-cigarette packs. I mean, a friend and I got the entire waitressing staff of a Perkins in Wisconsin congregated around our table for fifteen minutes because of our 25-cigarette cigarette packs. With a conversation piece like that, who needs charm?


Joseph J. Finn <JosephFinn@yahoo.com>
Chicago, IL USA - Sunday, April 21 2002 5:32:51


I'll admit, the 1st time I heard "If I had $1,000,000," by The Barenaked Ladies, the line about Kraft Dinners threw me. What can I say - I didn't know they were from Canada or what the hell Kraft dinners were.


Jon Stover
Canada - Sunday, April 21 2002 5:21:53

Edward Champion: Well, Mordecai Richler used to observe that he had to have tins of Habitant pea soup shipped to him whenever he lived out-of-country -- call it another cultural divide. Kraft Dinner, besides getting numerous shout-outs on Terence and Philip eps of South Park, has also spawned numerous feature articles, including one in the now-defunct Saturday Night that delved into the great Canadian KD consumption mystery. Along with the vast difference between Canadian and American doughnut consumption levels and the attendant Canadian DSPC (doughnut shop per capita) conundrum (1:500-1:1000, based on anecdotal observation), I'd have to say that yes, we do eat things differently here. The inability of Tim Hortons to make a significant entrance into the American market and the entrance of Krispy Kreme into the Canadian market have also spawned numerous business features in Canada's finest newspapers.

Acronyms: All the LOL, ROTFL and SOL makes me feel like observing TANJ and, of course, TANSTAAFL.


Edward Champion
San Francisco, CA - Saturday, April 20 2002 21:1:34

Jon: To attest to the Great Northern divide between Nissin and Kraft, which strangely enough has particular bearing in the Melissa-Harlan dialectic, I believe that the American propensity towards excessive frugality is the answer here. Unless a college student (or other social misfit, aspiring or willing, with a dour dollar figure on an ATM printout) has access to a Costco membership, unless they have conned some warehouse or written some demented communique towards the companies in question hoping that a generous shipment of product can change said customer's mind (In my case, a few years ago, my "pain and suffering" in not having won a free Coca-Cola beverage during one of their contests was rejoined less than a week later by a plentiful billfold of coupons for free six-packs. This tactic also worked with Pepperidge Farms. And I think the compunction to write bizarre letters to companies is embedded within my genotype, for my grandfather once wrote a letter to Campbell's Soup, only to be visited in person by two representatives of that company, who talked with him about his letter and left with several plats of soup cans at his doorstep.), chances are they will adopt the lowest common denominator in matters of sustenance. A box of Macaroni and Cheese is about the cost of three or four of the beastly little Top Ramen packages that populate endless bins in corner stores, supermarkets and, yes, even Costco. In the mind of this prospective masochistic, retrograde gourmand, who has placed himself in a position far from affluence not necessarily by choice, there appears the illusion that one is getting something more for the power of the buck, when in fact there is hardly any advantage in this terrible resort towards processed foods with powdery substances resembling dust from a Martian fine or the remains of a late billionaire's urn contained in packages of a sterile and silver color.

What I never understood in my college days was why a lot of people resorted to this tactic when a quick jaunt to a farmer's market to obtain produce at cutthroat prices was not only more advantageous to one's health and palette, but tantamount in price with a watchful eye.

There may be some perceived Arthurian quest value, some qualifier that one is without a doubt living in poverty, in slapping down scant amount of cash for packages of Top Ramen. Much like an overpriced Acrombie & Finch shirt, the presence in some cupboard of endless packages of those ghastly noodles may very well be exhibitional in nature. But if the qualifier is at the expense of painful raisings of the mandible, then you can count me out. Besides, a good solid Bartlett or a York Imperial has more substance than slimy noodles, with nary a sauteed veggie or even Spike, the lazy man's spicy anodyne, with merely a dubious "flavor" stirred in.

ZoŽ Rose <ztreuer@d.umn.edu>
- Saturday, April 20 2002 19:45:20

Another evening spent snubbed by the roommates. Aah, patterns are such comfy things to live in. I think they're frightened by the fact that I find so much interesting material to read on the internet and in books. Things without pictures, even. Will wonders never cease. *sigh*

Right-o. Sorry for the glum beginnings.

CHUCK - Yep, that's one of the things I'm truly looking forward to in moving to Vandenberg AFB... the launches. I've been lucky enough to get to see two shuttle launches (in the middle of the darkest hours of the night) down in FL, and I'm looking forward to seeing a different version of the same, awesome event. You live anywhere near there? Be glad to get you on base to see a launch, if times coincide and they let me do that... KIDNEY beans? Yeccchhhh.

HARLAN - SOL! It's practically my nickname in my ROTC unit. We have a ceiling tile that we're painting for the senior class, with symbols representing each of us - mine is a person who doesn't reach to the "must be this tall to ride" sign by an airplane, with a thundercloud over her head zapping her with lightning. In the cloud is going to be inscribed, "SOL". I'm just that lucky, I guess. Anyway, my favorites are FUBAR and SNAFU. And the everpresent CF (charlie foxtrot, usually, by the phoenetic alphabet).

CEB - Your job sounds incredible. In my case, it's too late to change what I'm going to be doing, for my first tour at least. If I decide to stay in longer, I'll keep your suggestions in mind! What branch were you in, by the way? Are you still active duty?

LYNN - BFRC and broken windows... thanks for the warning. Looking forward to the coffee-talk!

--ZoŽ Rose

- Saturday, April 20 2002 19:38:35

SOL is SOP at our HLP.

Translation: Shit-outta-luck is standard operating procedure at our homey little pit.


Lynn <cavalaxis@digitalcarrion.com>
- Saturday, April 20 2002 19:36:28

Chuck~ An anecdote to put Titan IV launches in perspective: I moved down to LA from Lompoc to go to college in 1988. The first time I was in an earthquake of any real magnituted (5.3), I ran to the window, expecting to see the bright blue day star atop a column of white smoke. Upon arriving at the window I realized two things in quick succession: A) Trees do not quake in fear and B) This was not a missile launch. Needless to say I dove for cover as my furniture tap danced across the floor of my dorm room.

I think the last Titan launch was a couple of years ago, but when they were going off, they *regularly* broke windows all over VAFB and sometimes in town (6 miles away). And I will always remember the fun and excitement that has come to be called the "BFRC" (Big Fucking Red Cloud). That was a Titan II that exploded about half a mile up (don't quote me on that) and left a BFRC of solid rocket fuel hanging in the atmosphere. For a few hours, there was talk of evacuating the whole town of Lompoc before the winds changed and blew the stuff out to sea.

Exciting times,

PS. ZoŽ, coffee it is. And never say it isn't a small world (after all?).

CEP <swallace@cyberpromo.com>
Chambanana, - Saturday, April 20 2002 19:30:40

I've been busy for a couple of days...

(1) Bermanator: HIS DARK MATERIALS cannot be validly compared to Harry Potter as of yet, as the latter is not finished. That said, it's more that they're different than one is (or could be) "better" than the other.

(2) To all the future officers out there interested in the dark underbelly of covert/special operations: If you're not prior-enlisted, you'll get much closer to the action by learning a few foreign languages and getting assigned to something that sounds particularly innocuous: Area Studies. (I was a Southwest Asia Area Studies Officer while on active duty... although that's not what the unclassified parts of my personnel records say. Suffice it to say that I watched the Berlin Wall come down. From the other side. While retrieving a compromised intelligence asset.) Officers don't get to be Rambo, or at least shouldn't be Rambo. An officer's job is to make decisions, not get his/her bloody head shot off. Thus, it's more... entertaining, I think... to be the one making the decisions, which one is trained to do.

(3) Having said that, there's plenty of blame to go around in Southwest Asia. Most of the governments are totalitarian; all of them are theocracies. Having spent my military career trying my darndest to neutralize some of the more-extreme factions, or at least keep them from killing too many civilians, I have little respect for the power structures in place, whether Israeli or Islamic. There are plenty of a*&)^)es whose personal interests are in keeping the conflict going on both sides.

Consider the following modest proposal: Get rid of nations. Substitute a single, centralized but broadly representative, self-criticizing, gives-a-sh*t-about-maintaining-peace-and-individual-dignity world government. If you don't think that's a good idea, please show me an alternative that is more likely to keep tribal chieftains from eating each other's children. (Yes, this from a US military officer, who is no more enchanted with the a&*)^)^!es in OUR government than those anywhere else after spending too much time inside the Beltway with eyes and ears open and mouth shut.)

- Saturday, April 20 2002 19:27:55


Thank you for the response. It has prompted Susan and me to look at something no longer applicable: "not for sale outside the USA." Cyberdreams is out of business. MGM's license is defunct. There is no earthly reason we shouldn't sell our stock ANYWHERE. Which we wouldn't have thought of, had we not had this liaison. Thank you. Serendipity works for me yet again.

Would you please remove that warning, Rick? Thank you. And you can substitute "available for order worldwide" in its place.

Thank you again, Melissa.


Sadly, HARLAN ELLISON'S WATCHING is one of the very few of my books that we DON'T have for sale. The original publisher went through three or four hardcover printings, mostly distributed by
Publishers Group West, and it sold excellently. One of the tastiest-looking books I've ever designed; I was true proud of that package. Then they did three or four trade paperback printings, and it continued to sell well. Then, a few years ago, the two partners of that firm split up, after many years, and one of them retained WATCHING. I don't know what happened, but he didn't sell it well, and a year or two ago he returned all rights to me. But the book had done so well, there was no remainder stock. So we're SOL (an acronym most of you don't seem to know), and while it will definitely be one of the early reprints when we get the Edgeworks series up and running again--this time under my own Edgeworks Abbey imprimateur--at the present it ain't in our pouch. But it's not a hard book to find. You can try Dangerous Visions in Sherman Oaks, California, or some of the other specialty bookshops, or just go onto e-bay or Amazon.Com. You'll find it. I promise.

Yr. pal, Harlan

Chuck <chuck_messer@hotmail.com>
- Saturday, April 20 2002 19:2:53

Zoe: You're going to Vandenburg?!! I would LOVE to see the launch of one of those Titan IV birds. Hey, at least what they're launching won't vaporize anybody. That would be spectacular. Of course, I know there will be a large work-load for you there. Enjoy the good stuff while you can.

Scott: Better watch out for Politeness Man. I understand he eats the "free-range rude". With fava beans and a nice chianti. But then, I really don't see you as a rude guy, so maybe he'll eat the next troll that comes slouching onto the b-board. Tell Melissa she's a better conscience than Jimminy Cricket. Oh hi, Mel! Just talking with Mr. O'Scott. How's the pottery business going?

Jim Davis: Don't get me wrong, Jim, I wasn't heading a cavalry charge, here. I understand that many gay people do have more disposable income since they have no children, though some would like to adopt. If only the pecksniffs in congress would keep their pointy, blue noses out of other people's business, more would.

Cindiana Jones: So, correct me if I'm wrong. I am getting the impression, from a previous post, that you kinda, sorta, maybe, well, I dunno...might have HATED the movie WE WERE SOLDIERS. Is the the impression you were trying to get across? >:^))

Zoe: So, you're on the Ramen College Diet. When I was in college, it was kidney beans. My roomate put them into everything. I mean EVERYTHING. They were cheap, nutritious, they stretched everything we cooked. And to this day, I cannot look at a kidney bean without a rumbling deep in my gorge, "IGNITION SEQUENCE STARTS!" Betcha won't eat any ramen after graduation.

Kidney beans. Ugh.


"Does it come wif wafers?"

Brian Siano <bsiano@bellatlantic.net>
- Saturday, April 20 2002 18:56:45

Okay, lots of points to respond to.

First of all, Cindy, whose neighborhood is facing their own issues re Historical Preservation. I cannot speak on every Historic District designation that's being proposed, because they are run differently in different areas of the country.

And it also depends on the area being proposed for preservation. I can say that the area of West Philly, where I live, has usually been a college bohemia where 85% of the residents are renters. We, the opponents, believe that the HD requirements'd push the rents up, and change the character of the neighborhood into that of, well, a strictly-governed suburb. For more information, browse to http://www.briansiano.com/sprucehill and behold my web glory.

(By the way, my area has a bit of history, none of which is to be preserved by the proposal. This was the area where Satterlee Hospital stood, where many casualties from Gettysburg were treated. At 45th and Walnut, Isaac Asimov made his home when he, Heinlein, and de Camp were stationed at the navy yards. And until a few years ago, the esteemed SF editor George Scithers was based a block or two west of me, and both _Asimov's_ and _Weird Tales_ came out of my neck of the woods.)

Just one comment about Israel and Palestine. I'd like to make one thing perfectly clear, and I think it applies to all of our opinions. There's not going to be much of a solution that won't involve a lot of blood and fury. Israel's become a heavily-militarized religious state that has fallen from an ideals behinds its formation. The Palestinians, ground into the dirt for so long, have had their movement for a Palestinian state subverted by the corruption of Arafat's governance-- so many have given up hope, or place their hope in the lunacies of Hamas. The United States has supported Israel to such a degree, and even after the worst of its excesses, that even if the US were to change its decades-long position and make Israel aid contingent upon establishing a Palestinian state, nobody'd want to bite at the offer. That said, my sympathies are with the Palestinians for a very simple reason; no matter how you look at it, they're the ones who've been attacked, fucked over, and ruined, and it's my nature to side with those people.

Okay, now for a follow-up on that poster thing. I went ahead today and made lotsa copies of my poster. I did, however, take the logo of our group off the poster. (Note that I wrote "off," and not "off of." I try, Harlan, I try.) This way, the posters are _my_ statement, not the group's. I'm courteous like that.

The advocates have been putting up their own posters. Their headline, I'm happy to say, was a direct reply to the title I used for our earlier flyers. I saw a few when I made my rounds, and every where I saw one of theirs, one of mine went up right beside it.

The interesting thing is, I did posters in the area of town where the houses are run-down, and populated mostly by people of limited English and darker complexion. I did this because I wanted to make sure that these people _knew_ what was being planned for them. Oddly enough, while the advocates of the HD proposal covered _my_ affluent area with their posters, the poorer area I hit had almost _none_. Gee, you don't think they were hoping that those po' li'l Nigras wouldn't _notice_ or anything, do ya?

As I put up posters, I also dispensed brochures, and chatted with homeowners who asked what I was up to. I found that these people tend to fall into two groups. The first are People who Know about the Proposal, and Hate It. The second are People who Don't Know about the Proposal, but After I Told Them, They Hate it Too. I'm beginning to really enjoy being a Community Organizer; I'm wondering if maybe this was some unknown talent of mine.

I'd like to mention that, in addition to my own posters-- printed on bright green paper to be extra eye-catching-- I also posted the _map_ of the Historic District proposal. This way, people can see that it _will_ affect them.

Now, all we need is someone named Brian Berman to come onto this board.

Melissa <entropy_5ca@yahoo.ca>
- Saturday, April 20 2002 18:53:47

Mr. Ellison:

I see your point perfectly, but I think you missed something. If you look at the listing here at the site for the game you'll read "no sale outside the US". I live in Canada, and that's obviously beyond your borders. I assumed that some copyright law, or legalese concerning the retailing of computer games was the reason; not you, your wife or any such thing. Lynn was nice enough to give me an explanation, and so I moved on. If someone had informed me to ignore the assertion about legal sale, I would've whipped out the plastic then and there. Sadly, as it stands, I've bought a new copy elsewhere, and at a slightly higher price, leaving me to kick myself. Your information came a bit late and there's really no one who is to blame.

The bit regarding the tiff comes from Scotty's attitude about being called a termite. I know, so what?, and yes, that was my comment to the husband. Scotty always had a thin skin when it comes to namecalling, and you unknowingly struck that nerve. Not your fault; you're a quite talented man, but probably very unqualified to use mental telepathy (sorry, couldn't resist).

I've taken the liberty to print the list of goods you have available, and will compare against Scotty's collection. If there is anything my husband doesn't have, I'll be ordering it. Not out of sympathy, sir, partially to fill the husband's collection, partially to get a rise out of him. You've got to understand, I like to keep a fire lit under him. He's much more attractive to me that way.

I'm sorry for any misunderstanding, and please, my best wishes for your continued success,


- Saturday, April 20 2002 16:2:2



Well, yes, there is a need on my part to continue re: the CD-ROM of I HAVE NO MOUTH, AND I MUST SCREAM which you are apparently still contemplating purchasing for Scott.

The "tiff," as you call it, with Scott, is reprised in your recent posts about wanting to obtain the game. First of all, there's nothing "wrong with the game." It sold thousands of copies and won half a dozen game designer awards. That's your paranoia speaking. Second, if you'd prefer to buy from someone other than HERC through our book sales, that's just fine; but do not for a second believe that if anything DID go wrong with the unit you received from us, that you'd have less trouble returning it to some stranger than to us. We've been doing this for years, we have NO COMPLAINTS, and we don't charge an arm and a leg for postage and the mythical "handling" that adds two, three, five bucks to e-purchases. We charge what it costs us to ship, and Susan packs everything splendidly herself.

To pursue that a tot further. You're going to pay more for whatever used or opened or second-hand or shelf-soiled remainder that some e-merchant unloads on you, including all the postage and "handling," than you'd pay us for a mint-condition, still-sealed Mac or PC version of the game, with a free complimentary extra mouse-pad tossed in, signed if you requested same, personalized if you requested same. Because WE OWN all the new stock. What you'll get elsewhere is stuff bought from a distributor ten years ago, shunted around, remaindered, and finally proffered to comparison-shoppers like you.

But here's the bug-up-my-ass that caused the "tiff" with Scott, and which you now reprise:

Kindly do me the favor of not walking into my store, pawing the goods, then announcing in a loud voice to the other prospective patrons, "Shit, I can get one of these down at the flea market for two bucks less."

I have little hope of ramming the concept through either of your heads, but the discourtesy is as follows: we--that is, Susan and I--watch booksellers, hucksters, e-merchants and random hustlers taking my readers to the cleaners for the purchase of books and other items asociated with me, only because (even with all the much-vaunted worldwide access of this net) they are ignorant of what is available at a reasonable price. They are like naive country bumpkins, eschewing bookstores and shops a block from their home, in exchange for the bogus "convenience" of buying the same stuff off the net, with the additional taxes and charges and postage and "handling."

So we--Susan and I--two little people running a genuine old-time mom'n'pop shoppe--own ALL the remainders of most of my works from the last ten, twenty years. We have it written into my contracts. Or we wind up with the goods when the producer of said goods fucks us over...as with the CD-ROM of I HAVE NO MOUTH... We offer this stuff to make a buck, rather than letting strangers make that buck and stiff you in the process. We do it as self-serving, ABSOLUTELY, but we also do it as a service to my readers. We do not charge exorbitant prices, we do not hoard the goods till they become scarce and then run up the price, we do not mislabel and pass off shoddy or damaged goods. Everything is mint condition, straight from the publishers' warehouse, and everything is guaranteed by two little people to be okay. And if it isn't, a postcard or phone call gets the matter rectified almost overnight, not in six to ten weeks or whenever the computer spits it out.

So. Your husband came in here, and opened his big bazoo that he could get one or another of the books he was looking for by only spending six hours on the web tracking down every used paperback shop in the Western Hemisphere, and though the copies had Komodo Dragon cum all over the back cover, and there were three pages missing in the middle, why golly gee whiz . . .


Now, get this, I'm saying it slowly, with emphasis, but politely:

I don't give a shit WHERE you buy my books, if you are inclined to spend your money in that fashion. In specific fact, I don't give a rusty-nail fuck if you DO buy my books at all. Purchase of my emanations is not a necessary ticket to come in here and post till your little wren heart bursts. It's not my business where you spend your hard-earned pennies. I don't hustle, I don't ram the books down anyone's throat, there are apparently dozens of people--some of whom even post here regularly--who don't KNOW there's a bookshop link here. They go off and get clipped buying on e-b ay or Amazon or wherever, and they come back crowing that they lucked onto a ripped but serviceable copy of, say the HORNBOOK, and it only cost them ten bucks...when they could have had a pristine copy at $23, which is exactly what the book cost, cover-price, when it came out a decade ago, even though I've seen it offered for $50 on some greedyguts website.

And if that $13 difference plays hell with their budget, if they can't afford a serviceable copy from HERC as opposed to a near-serviceable copy from E-Squallor Books, I wish them well. Good luck! They're not REQUIRED to buy from me, and I don't diss them for going where their exchequer directs them. I'd do the same! Take the deal and live happily. But that ain't what you and Scott did/do.

You came on here, Melissa, as did Scott, and you ran your number about how you wanted to buy him a copy of the game, and you checked out what we were asking for it here, and yeah, it was a pretty good price (in fact, mint condition, ten dollars or more below what it sold for new at Blockbuster half a dozen years ago), but you were going to go shopping around, anyhow.

I have no problem with that. Go with gawd, says I (or whoever's in charge).

That's your privilege. I have no problem with it. NONE. Buy here, or don't; but kindly refrain from walking into my store, sniffing around the goods, picking up the melons and squeezing them, and then announcing to the horde, "I'm goin' down to the used casaba emporium under the bridge. They got only slightly rotted melons for half off."

You see what caused the "tiff"? You see what's got my ruff up with you?

And I didn't notice anybody snubbing your old man; he announced he was taking off for a while. And MY "tiffing" with someone has next to NO effect on anyone else here. For all the bullshit posturing that people will get struck by a bolt of lightning, it seems to me they just keep on boogie'ing.


CINDY (who pretends to be hiding in the storm cellar):

Yeah, I'm with you on sticking it out with Blake. Good post, baby! Bobby Blake is an old friend of mine. Or was. Haven't had any contact with him in thirty years or so, but we used to be tight; and I don't know if he whacked that harridan he was married to, but whether he's guilty or innocent, I think of myself as his pal, and, like you, I stick with him. If he needs anything from me. (Spoke to his attorney, Harland Braun, a few weeks ago, before the bust came down, and had a strange premonition, and told Braun if Bobby needed me for anything, well, thirty years' silence wasn't that big a deal.)


I come to admire you more and more with each posting. I hope one day we cut trail so I can buy you a cup of good coffee. If there were more hearts and brains like yours, on both sides of the Impending Horror, our chances for living through the new decade would be fatter. My best wishes to you, sir. You're a mensch.

And that concludes the remainder of my posting.

Yr. pal, Harlan

P.A. Berman
Layne Staley, RIP - Saturday, April 20 2002 15:59:49

Not sure if anyone else is interested in this, but Layne Staley, lead singer of Alice in Chains, died of "unknown causes" today. I am a big AIC fan, and their sound has been very influential. Mr. Staley finally lost his battle with drugs, methinks. Sigh.


Alexandria, Virginny - Saturday, April 20 2002 15:49:32

Harlan or Susan: Before I start searching online for a copy, I was wondering if you had any extra copies of "Harlan Ellison's Watching" just sitting around, begging to be sold. I'm a member of HERC, and don't remember seeing that title listed, but I thought I'd try before I sent my money elsewhere. Thanks!

ZoŽ Rose <ztreuer@d.umn.edu>
- Saturday, April 20 2002 15:46:42

I find myself logging on just to see if folks have posted. I feel an addiction coming on...

CINDY- Never heard of "The Gift", but I'll check it out if the local movie shops have it. Sounds great! Unpredictable is hard to find these days. Although... I recently saw... lordy me but I can't remember the name. Dangit. Brain fart. The one with Bradd Pitt as the indecipherable guy, and there's a diamond heist going on... sheeez, can't think of it! Anyway, in the beginning it's got a great Rabbi-scene. I believe they discredit Christianity comletely. Hilarious! Anyway, that was an unpredictable one, too.

I spent time at Sheppard AFB, in Witchita Falls TX. What little I saw of the actual city was hell-holish. The base was all right, though! Great racketball courts.

Got it- SNATCH! That's the movie.

I'll e-mail ya responses to the part you send me. Thanks, new pal.

--ZoŽ Rose

Cindy <IAMCINDIANAJONES@netscape.net>
TEXAS USA - Saturday, April 20 2002 15:5:16


Thank you! I'm delighted you appreciated my analogy.

Yes when I notice my ass hurting in a theatre seat that is a very bad sign. That movie almost crippled me. Mel with a Russian accent... say it ISN'T SOOOOOOOO!

That reminds me ... I saw a film recently with Keanu Reeves.. oh yes, The Gift. A sweet little jewel of a film-- everything except Keanu's stinkin' bad excuse for a southern accent. The hilarious part came AFTER the film (on HBO I think) when he was discussing the merits of his dialect coach. I bet that poor woman wants THAT segment BURIED.
Everyone else she worked with was flawless... but when Keanu opened his mouth I wondered, " Where the FUCK is he supposed to be from?" It certainly wasn't Georgia. Did you see that film? I really enjoyed the hell out of it! It was completely unpredictable. Giovanni Ribisi was excellent as always. Kate Blanchett's accent was perfect, never a missed dipthong. After the film I watched carefully to see who the writer had been-- it is SO unpredictable. Guess who it was?
Billy Bob Thornton. No surprise there.

You mentioned that you spent some time in Texas? Where abouts?

As for you reading my screenplay I would be so honored Zoe!
I will send it to you first part first.

yer new pal,


ZoŽ Rose <ztreuer@d.umn.edu>
- Saturday, April 20 2002 14:43:23

A lovely day goes to car-shopping and puts me in a fit of jealousy of all those people who are willing to put themselves deeply into debt. Damn the over-awareness of money my dad passed down to me. *sigh*

Anyway, replies -

CINDY- I'd read that screenplay you were talking about - can't promise quickness, but I like reading that kind of stuff.

JAY- I'm trying to make myself a three or four hour slot to go to the local used bookstore and see if I can't find any of these HE things you're talking about. Someone is sending me THE ESSENTIAL ELLISON so that should be covered, heard lots of great stuff about that one too. I've got a list going of all sorts of must-reads (by HE and by others) that I've gleaned from this board.

PAPA HARLAN- I'm speechless. I don't have a thesaurus around or else I'd try and find some alternate ways of saying thanks. In any case... thanks. I will be sure to send you an engraved invitation when Justin and I decide when we're getting married. And about the dots - it's the thought that counts. One of my friend's dads used to call me "Zoe dot dot" after I told him how to spell my name. Mind, this was verbally- "Zoe dot dot's on the phone... well hello there, Zoe dot dot." While it did get old, it was silly too.

Heh. Digression. Sorry.

JUSTIN- When're we getting married? *grin* Let's find us a real expensive catering service... HE is paying! Hehe...

Go security forces, and if you can get into the Scuba deal, do it! Even if you drop out, at least you tried. I missed out on an opportunity when I was a freshman to go do a Freefall program at the AF Academy. I'll always kick myself for that. In any case.. sounds torturous and like lots of fun. The shadow program, I did that last summer. Got to go to good ol' Texas and sun a lot. Also got a T-38 ride, which was too breathtaking to make a post short enough about.

RE: The two dots (which.. just so y'all know, they aren't umlats, at least not the ones in my name.. my turn to be nitpicky) can't be done if you don't have a number pad to the far right of your keyboard, I don't think. That leaves out most laptops. Oh! Unless it's a Mac laptop.

CINDY again- I love your Caucasians killed Kennedy analogy.

JON- TROUBLEMAKERS has been added to The List. Thanks! I did, in fact, OD on raman (though I still adore tomato-flavored), and switched to Kraft for awhile. Then the price went up and now I'm into the "hey, frozen vegetables are quick, healthy, and can stay in the freezer for YEARS!" mode.

BERMANATOR- I'm not sure about the dots over the O... someone else posted quite a few of the tricks. I'm partial to dots over the E, and ignorant of all other letters, t'be honest.

CINDY once more- You, uh... didn't have a strong opinion on "We Were Soldiers," did you? *hee* I guess while I wasn't quite as repulsed by it, I did note the bad acting. Did you see there's a movie coming up where Gibson has a Russian accent?! Terrible.

That's all for now, folks. Got to bury my nose in Consumer Reports on cars. *sigh*

--ZoŽ Rose

Cindy <IAMCINDIANAJONES@netscape.net>
TEXAS USA - Saturday, April 20 2002 14:31:19

I saw We Were Soldiers. God DAMN I haven't been so pissed since The Matrix. I think they should have called it We Were Acting.
I couldn't WAIT for them to all get home or get shot so I could leeeeeeeeeeeeave.

Mel Gipson is a hell of an actor. WHY DID HE HAVE TO USE THAT STUPID FAKE ACCENT? That was all I could do, stare at him and think about how AMAZINGLY BAD that accent was. " WAY WEEEL RAAAAAAAAAHD INTO BATTLE AND THEEEUS WEEL BE AIR WHORSES."

The young soldiers were WORSE they were unconvincing and mincing and their wives all needed to be slapped.

Losing all interest in the story my mind began to wander from the dialogue. I reflected on the way the scenes were shot, the lighting the blocking, my own minor pangs of envy when Madeline Stowe got to roll around in the rack with Mel Gipson. Rather than empathize with her character, who was about to send her warrior husband off to war perhaps never to see him again, I am thinking, "Wouldn't an actress HAVE to get turned on in a position like that with him? I wonder if that is her ACTUAL upper lip or if it was plumped up like that with collagen or ass fat injections... oh WAIT no ass there.. she must have had collagen.

Did I tell you that I HATED IT???????????????


Melissa <You know my Name ( and other Beatles' tunes)>
- Saturday, April 20 2002 14:6:0


"a blatant instrument of patriarchy."?

Okay, and I suppose the killer ice-cream cone in "The Doomsday Machine" was a representation of the evils of female sexuality; that the spaceships had to penetrate the device in order to assuage the threat of castration of the male libido?

God, I need a night out...


- Saturday, April 20 2002 13:58:53

Mr. Ellison:

No need to continue: I've made a couple of other inquiries, and am waiting on a response (although I must admit I'm wary of the dealers, but don't like blowing people off). I'd just thought there was the conumdrum that Lynn explained (by the way, thanks Lynn), so I moved on.

I read the last of your post, re "A Boy and his Dog", one of the few of your stories I'd managed to find prior to meeting the husband. You made my day proving I was right.

It puts paid to all the dumb brunette jokes...

Love to all, Melissa

P.A. Berman
- Saturday, April 20 2002 13:25:47

Jim: I told my best friend about the whole "gay people are more affluent" statistics. Aside from noting the irony considering his own financial situation, he said that could easily be accounted for the by fact that most gay people don't have kids. Makes sense to me, and doesn't mean that the Gay Gene is next to the Rich Gene, right?

Faisal: Everyone needs to apologize, not just Israel. Everyone has stalled the peace process. I wish I could cut through the moral morass and choose a side, but I know that I could read every single source you've cited and still not get on board with your view of things. Sorry.

Zoe: How did you do that two dots over the O again? I got the I but not the O.


Jim Davis
- Saturday, April 20 2002 13:12:29

CHUCK: Apologize if I lectured you in my last post--I know you know that Gays aren't all livin' the high life (obviously), and I wasn't trying to suggest you didn't. (Now taped to my laptop's screen: DON'T POST IMMEDIATELY AFTER WAKING.)

Jon Stover
Canada. Zany Academic Hijinks - Saturday, April 20 2002 13:11:41

Ah, ah. So a friend of mine is teaching a Star Trek course at a local university (yes, you read that right). So he dug up a student midterm to share with me, because he thought I'd find it funny. One student, in the course of analyzing "City on the Edge of Forever," deemed the Guardian "a blatant instrument of patriarchy." About all I could muster in reply was the "thp-thp-thp" sound Sylvester the cat sometimes makes, followed by a fit of giggling about absurdity on a number of levels. My head hurts now, but reading Dan Simmons's *Hyperion* for the first time seems to be clearing it up, along with healthy doses of stories from my Year's Best Horror paperbacks from the 1980's.

Oh, and Zoe -- Harlan's *Troublemakers* is a nice, relatively inexpensive recent collection that should be in your local bookstore. The immense 50-year Essential Ellison is obviously great, but I also assume you're on a student end-of-year budget, with all the Ramen festivals that that entails. Why you Americans never developed the dependence on Kraft Dinner that Canadians did escapes me.

Well, off to meet Ugly Bob at the Kraft Dinner Restaurant.


Jim Davis
- Saturday, April 20 2002 12:29:51

What's goin' on? Is Harlan gonna kick someone's ass? Huh huh huh huh huh?

--Jim (Who JUST woke up. Don't ask. Very strange evening here in the Serengeti.)

P.S. CHUCK: Read your message. Just so you know, I didn't necessarily agree with Frank's comment vis-a-vis the opulent lifestyle of the gay population--I was merely pointing out that SOME polls have shown a slightly greater average per capita income for homosexuals. Even IF said polls are absolutely correct (which is hardly a given), that doesn't mean every gay person is wondering whether to vacation in Ibiza or Majorca this year, and if Kandinskys are a good investment on the auction circuit. Got it? Good.

(By the way, the similar assertion that Jews control the world's money supply obviously doesn't account for me, who's never owned a new car in his life. Where's MY cut from the International Jewish Conspiracy? I haven't received ONE goddamned check in the mail, NOT ONE. Maybe it's time to switch sides. I've heard the Shakers have a pretty good racket with the furniture...)

- Saturday, April 20 2002 12:26:18


Well...CALL me stubborn:

"There are...people on both sides trying to acheive a dialogue that gets lost in the corrupt political rhetoric."

Give me examples of people in the Muslim world - Saudi Arabia, Syria, Iran, Jordan, Egypt, Iraq - who are interested in serious dialogue with Israel (particularly among corrupt leaders). Seems to me the only way to convince you opposition to Israel as a state is preponderant is if we arm them all to match Israel's military strength and watch their actions. I hold they would move in for the kill in a night. Even prior to Sharon's direct response to the suicide murders (which, in themselves, suggest so).

"... the horrendous treatment of the Palestinian population..."

How well does that REALLY hold up now in light of the efforts Israel made when they brought Arafat back? He could have built the path to a Palestinian state, ruled by its own laws. Israel - it seems to me - was trying to take steps to eliminate these problems. Arafat himself was the problem...and since he enjoyed overwhelming support from the Palestinians they themselves were the problem.

"most Muslims want Israel destroyed...Won't happen, its a fact of life that is ACCEPTED."

History - right up to the present day (for the billionth time I direct your attention to R194 in "fine print") - has suggested otherwise. But I certainly praise YOU for apparently accepting it along with the likely minority over there (Where were you living "out there" btw? Which nation are you talking about?).

"And speaking frankly, you seem to be quite ignorant of the amount of flak, muslim counteries have taking for years concerning their lack of support of the Palestinians."

Well, the arms being channeled from places like Iran to conduct the suicide bombings (in addition to - I THINK - money that was traced to Saudi Arabia; I could be off on that detail) don't exactly suggest outright abandonment either...although I know the majority of Muslim countries do not believe in resorting to suicide missions, nearly a Palistinian specialty (which, perhaps, is why they took the flak you mentioned). That still doesn't convince me they're interested in recognizing Israel as a state. They'd have come forth - in ARABIC, not just English double-talk - some time ago if they were.

- Saturday, April 20 2002 12:14:37

Harlan: If memory serves, you (however reluctantly) use a laptop to post here. I also use a laptop, and I couldn't get that alt 0259 shit to work either. My computer said "Beep beep beep beep" to me as well, and I laid the matter to rest by calling it an exceedingly nasty word and giving up. Laptop keyboards aren't the same as regular desktop computer keyobards, so it's not our fault. It's these uppity contraptions of ours.


Cindy <IAMCINDIANAJONES@netscape.net>
TEXAS USA - Saturday, April 20 2002 12:2:23

What's HE going to say to meee?

I think I'll get in a closet on the lowest level of my home and pull a mattress over myself.


Justin <thedogindiana@hotmail.com>
- Saturday, April 20 2002 11:56:12

John G and Zoe: I did mean Special Forces. I guess the ERMA's (Easily Recognizable Military Acronyms for those of you wondering) vary between Army, AF, Navy, etc. Thanks for the link, John. I checked it out and it looks like really solid info. The reason Scuba School could get me a shot at further SF training in and of itself is because it's primarily a school for SF guys. Why ROTC command decided to send ROTC cadets there I'll never guess, and we'll see how long it lasts before some kid gets himself severely fucked up. Of the four guys we sent over, only one of them made it through pre-scuba in Coronado, California, and will advance to the actual 4 week Combat Dive training course in Key West. One guy got hurt and two others got sick of it and decided to come home. One of my buddies went and he said he got sick of them drowning him every day. But I'm glad they're doing it because the more opportunities ROTC cadets have the better. Before now the only schools we had open to us were Airborne, Air Assault, Northern Warfare, and CTLT (where you basically shadow a 2nd Lt. for 2 weeks). For anyone interested, here's the deal on the school: http://members.tripod.com/~thede/scuba.html. If I'm going to do it I'll have to swim my ass off while I'm overseas next year to get used to being in the water. I did drownproofing the other day (where your feet are bound together and your hands are strapped behind your back, then you get thrown in the pool), and discovered that my comfort level in the water is nowhere near what I thought it was. I didn't freak out, but I came close. Fun stuff.

- Saturday, April 20 2002 11:55:24

That's INFRINGE, not "in fronge."

I KNEW I should've proofed that damned thing.

Cindy <IAMCINDIANAJONES@netscape.net>
TEXAS USA - Saturday, April 20 2002 11:53:51

I don't get the "Jews Killed Jesus" thing.

Isn't that like saying, " The Caucasians killed Kennedy"?


- Saturday, April 20 2002 11:53:43


BRIAN (the one who didn't like the film "A Boy and His Dog"):

Though I weary of the ongoing ignorance of people who confuse a movie with its source material--a cultural stupidity that goes to the burning core of my basic hatreds--I will point out the idiocy of the responses to Brian's original post. Pay attention.

Brian says he doesn't believe Quilla June would fall in love with Vic after one night of sex in a boiler.

All of you accepted that statement, and tried to alibi me out of it, saying that there are, indeed, fuckees and fuckors who can blind the partner with--if not science--sensuality. Folks, that only happens in cartoons like the James Bond movies, where 007's ultra-dick is so mesmerizingly potent that otherwise competent, dedicated, even fanatically committed, women switch sides, kill their bosses, throw themselves teeth-first at his zipper, and get offed for their hormonal duplicity.

"A Boy and His Dog" is not a Bond cartoon.

Well, if Brian had understood AT ALL what was going on in that movie, which I don't think he does, not by the teeniest friggin' clue, he never would have thought for a moment that Quilla June was in love with Vic. And as I do, I completely agree with him--and sniff disimissively at all your well-intentioned but wrongheaded cripplings of logic intended to prove that good ole Harlan actually knew what he was doing, if only you were wise enough to penetrate his arcane symbolism and subtle manipulations of plot and character--I AGREE with Clueless Brian
that it's unbelievable, improbable, and unacceptable that Quilla June fell in love with a brutal, scruffy, rape-drooling total stranger after a single night of getting her ass scraped with rust in a boiler.

IF that were what had happened in the movie--not to mention the novella--IF--IF--then Clueless Brian would be dead on, and the rest of you apologists would be fulla shit, as well as imprudently overprotective of me and my great talent.


Not in the story. Not in the film.

Quilla June has been sent out as a judas goat, a lure, a snare, a decoy by the elders of the Downunder. The sperm of the men Downunder has been mutated, and they're only able to produce
girl children. They need an untainted, hardy stud from the feral roverpacks aboveground. A lab sample. A milking machine.

So they send out the most attractive, but rapacious, female they can find. To lure a guy downunder.

She purposely singles out Vic in the movie, purposely lures him into following her, purposely lets him peep her tom so he gets a
hard-on; and she has no compunctions--like Mata Hari or an actual CIA spy--about letting him fuck her.

So he does. And Vic, who knows only--as the story makes abundantly clear but the movie doesn't--one kind of love: A BOY LOVES HIS DOG--for the first time in his parentless, debased, brutal existence, FEELS SOMETHING LIKE LOVE. It probably isn't love, but it is a primal urging that Vic cannot understand or relate to. Blood tries to warn him his dick is ruling their destiny, but VIC IS IN LOVE with the vague, burgeoning resonance of LOVE, and when Quilla June whacks him over the head, totally confusing him the way a teen-age girl in high school will flummox a football jock by spurning him, VIC GOES AFTER HER! Exactly as the elders from Downunder scoped it, and exactly as Quilla June planned it.

He has been suckered in to delivering himself into Topeka's milking machine.


She is a thoroughly amoral, self-interested manipulator. Read about her reaction to her own parents in the novella. Note the way she treats Blood.

Where the hell did you get the lack of insight or common deductive ability to misread the movie so horrendously, Brian.

Quit school, kid. Go find a job in farming somewhere.

(You see, Zoe, we weren't kidding when we said this was an ongoing pain in the ass, trying to educate the shambling masses
who ought to have developed the most rudimentary analytical skills by the time they get to us. Clearly, you are the exception to the Clueless Brian Rule. You WANT to know, and you're neither affronted nor scared off. I got that feeling off you from your first, make that SECOND, post here, and I was right. You're okay, kid. I've decided to gift you and Justin with the cost of the caterer when you two sweet kids get back from killing everything overseas, and tie the knot. I feel just squishy all over that you two lovebirds have found a chunk of raw meat to share.)

I tried the umlaut thing--holding down the alt key and punching in either Lynn's 0239 or Zoe's 0235--and nothing happens. Little bells ring. That is yet ANOTHER bitch I got with you goombahs: you ASSUME everyone is as pc-besotted as you, and you leave out some basic instructions. And then you snarl WELL, EVERYONE E L S E KNOWS YOU HAVE TO DERANGELIZE THE FLOPMOP KEY BEFORE YOU OSTERIZE THE NUM LIK!!! So you get no umlaut over the e on this post, Zoe. Sorry, kid; I tried.

MELISSA: The code on ordering the I HAVE NO MOUTH CD-ROM game specifying no overseas orders (which doesn't mean Canada) is very explicable. When we--Susan I--got all the remaining stock of the game, after the production company Cyberdreams went belly-up and the CEO absconded with all the money, including my royalties, we had to move against the distributor, which was MGM. They settled with us, paid us a pittance, and we took the balance due--as much of it as they'd assume--in units of the game, plus sev eral thousand mouse-pads with my face on them. The one condition to the deal was that we not in fronge on sales of the game overseas, because that would leave MGM open to lawsuits. So we agreed.

I have to go tend to a meeting now. I'll finish this post with responses to Melissa, Cindy and Faisal when I return, in about an hour.

Yr. pal, Harlan ---- who doesn't have time to proof this, so
excuse any typos

Melissa <entropy_5ca@yahoo.ca>
- Saturday, April 20 2002 11:47:31

Hey, Lynn, the team I Have No Bat, and I Must Bunt has a potential deal for ya...

I'm acting as Scotty's general manager.

Love to all, Melissa

Cindy <IAMCINDIANAJONES@netscape.net>
TEXAS USA - Saturday, April 20 2002 11:38:36

Hey Brian,
Where are you? What part of the country?

We have the same thing going on in my town.

I'm all for encouraging folks to protect the historical value of their property, but when the city government puts teeth in their ordinances to afford them an iron fist of control, it's not cool.

Can you imagine a town that wants to tell you what sort of plants and trees you can put in your yard, how many and how tall they will be permitted to be?

An angry mob showed up when the council was to take the vote on the ordinance change. 300 people of the town's 2400. The council passed the ordinance anyway telling the people that they didn't understand it but it was for their own good.

It is now election time. Those who stuffed the ordinance down the throats of the people will now have to pay the piper.. well maybe they will. We will know on May the 4th.

Sounds like y'all need a change of guard too.
What did you specifically write that pissed the old bastard off?
Did you say you have a website? I'd be curious to see it.


John G <john07700@hotmail.com>
New Jersey - Saturday, April 20 2002 11:2:39

Justin---pardon me for interloping, but I'm guessing you mean "Special Forces". If that's the case, give www.specialoperations.com a look-see. There's a ton of good info on how to best plan for a shot at SF stuff, Rangers, etc. It's pretty complicated, reading through all the mil-speak stuff, but they have a lot of been-there-done-that types who can give you the straight poop on picking MOSs, schools,programs and the like to optimize your chances.

Good luck with it--it ain't easy, but then again it's not supposed to be.

Faisal A. Qureshi <faq@ic24.net>
Manchester, UK - Saturday, April 20 2002 10:52:21

Bermanator - Yeah, my 'solution' was facetious, but lets look at like this. Israel has never apologised for any of the attacks on Palestinians and the neighbouring arab nations. It doesn't need to and its previous goverments do not care too (though there seemed like hope during Moshe Sharett's time).

In fact, Israel has always done its best to stall most peace treaty. Look at the Lavon affair as the most insidious example. I gave references above, why don't you look at them.

Rob - your comments on Muslim nations in the middle east. For a start, having lived out there and continuing to have friends out there, I disagree with your assessement that most Muslims want Israel destroyed. Won't happen, its a fact of life that is accepted. What isn't accepted is the horrendous treatment of the Palestinian population.

And speaking frankly, you seem to be quite ignorant of the amount of flak, muslim counteries have taking for years concerning their lack of support of the Palestinians. Have you ever looked at magazines and periodicals from the Middle East in which you will find criticism not only of Israel's policies but also critiscism of certain goverment policy. A risky thing to do in some counteries where journalist who criticise the regime can be easily silenced.

Again, look at the reading list I gave above. If you have any texts that I think should be worth reading, yeah drop me a post. I'll look it up.

Justin - Yes, I do believe there can be peace in Israel. I may not believe in the lone gunman, alien visitors or the literary merits of Fay Weldon but peace out there, I do believe. There are good people on both sides trying to acheive a dialogue that gets lost in the corrupt political rhetoric.

Enjoy those waitresses.


Bag-O-Scott <moebiuslooped@hotmail.com>
- Saturday, April 20 2002 7:45:14

Mel just cuffed me in the head for my bad manners...

To both Chuck and Jay: How's things with you all?

Bag-O-Scott feels the brutal force of Politeness Man, in the hero's never-ending quest for manners and good behaviour

Bag-O-Scott <moebiuslooped@hotmail.com>
- Saturday, April 20 2002 7:3:51

Got a little time before having to don the stripes for a few games.

This is where it is fun, Chuck; I'm doing novice and atom games today. For those uninformed, that means kids ages 7 - 10 years old. At that age most of the little shavers can barely hold themselves upright on their skates, much less get anywhere. You'd not see hockey at it best, but you'd see it at its funniest. And, it seems that the parents, coaches, and the kids are totally no pressure; enjoying hockey just for the fun.

Jay: I'm one for blame and apology where warranted by act, and so far I don't have any reason to fault a pilot's decision, albeit mistaken. As to Bush, yes, I've seen ball peen hammers with more going for them intellectually. If he'd like to save face, it would be a nice gesture for he to come and visit the victims families, although I won't hold my breath for occurrence.

On the subject of Ellison introductions, the one for "Angry Candy" hit hardest; events were quite similar to a circumstance I'd experienced about the time I'd first read it. The one for "Slippage" struck me with near the same force, out of a creeping sense of fear it brought about. Visceral enough to have had me taking a long look in the mirror for signs.

With that, I take my leave. Good Christ, I'm in sixth place in Webderland Park? What the hell has Mel done to me?

Referee Bag-O-Scott reminds all that you should keep your whistles clean...

P.A. Berman
- Saturday, April 20 2002 6:31:45

Faisal, re: your chicken and egg solution-- Lynn called *ME* naive? So, a simple apology will lead to a "kiss and make up" scene. Sure. And then the Middle East will accept a Jewish state. OK. Got it. Please, write a letter to Colin Powell.


Joseph Finn <JosephFinn@yahoo.com>
Chicago, IL USA - Saturday, April 20 2002 4:23:18


You're thinking of the collection "Best American Short Stories of 1994," and indispensable collection each year. Somehow, they've managed to expand it to various genres without diluting the worth of the whole idea. I have a very good collection called "The Century's Best Sports Writing" which has some fantastic stuff in it, for instance.


Jay <zebrapix@hotmail.com>
Morning rumbles and grumbles... - Saturday, April 20 2002 4:12:54


Ellison's introductions (esp. in AC and Slippage) are as powerful as any of the stories. The Intro to "Angry Candy" still puts a knot in my gut, for personal reasons. My personal favorite story remains "The Man Who Rowed Christopher Columbus Ashore" from Slippage which through a series of powerful vignettes can smash you in the head or tickle you at the base of your neck. I also believe that story won another of Ellison's gajillion awards...either an American Short Story award or the Bestest Cool Story in the Universe award. I forget. (Anyone want to bail me out here?)

In other news: ANYONE ELSE out there see the commercial for Mike's Hard Lemonade with the paratrooping army of Yeti in the mall parking lot? My god, I nearly burst my spleen laughing so hard.

Scott - Thanks, buddy, but I take it personally when my leader does something stupid on my behalf, esp. in international politics. It's like we're royalty and can't afford to apologize for our mistakes. I know an apology is almost an admission of guilt and we CERTAINLY don't want that. So when Bush says "We send our deepest sympathies" assume its the royal "we" and consider the Apology of those of us who feel responsible.

Also, Israel appears like a well armed man backed into a corner by five big thugs whose sisters he humped and dumped. It's fightin' time 24/7 and sometime the big guns are gonna go off...soon.

Brian Siano <bsiano@bellatlantic.net>
- Saturday, April 20 2002 1:16:0

I can't add much to the Israel-Palestine debate right now, because I am amazingly FURIOUS about how my local bit of Community Politics is going.

I'll give y'all a short description. There's this community group that wants to make my neighborhood a Historic District. A nuymber of people are against it: poorer renters, who expect rents to go up; landlords, who expect maintenance costs to go up, which pushes up rents; homeowners, who don't want a government agency telling us what to do with our houses; and me, because I know the guys pushing the proposal, and they are _gleeful_ over the prospect of siccing a city government agency against people who don't restore their houses to their tastes. So the stakes are high here.

A small group of us have organized another community group to oppose this. I've been doing most of the writing-- setting up a website, writing flyers, that sort of thing. I've also circulated drafts to everyone, asking for guidance, suggestions, whatever-- exercising a little editorial discretion, of course. All of my work has been getting a LOT of praise. People are telling me that the flyers I'd composed were far better written than anything they'd seen on the matter.

You'd _think_ that this would garner me some leeway, right? "Gee, Brian's done a great job, maybe we oughta trust his judgement a little?"

Nope. One of the big organizers of our group is a local landlord who seems to think of me as a lackey. So when he asks for a change, he won't hear a word of doubt-- and when I make a suggestion, he doesn't want to hear the arguments for it.

He's fond of shouting that I have to "Simplify! Keep it Simple!" And he likes to cite his having edited some journal years back as proof of his expertise. But this is propaganda, not an engineering manual, and _style is important_. I've also learned that his definition of "simple" is "what he says." He's turning into a royal pain in the ass, despite his qualities for the group, but this morning was really fuckin' infuriating.

I'd left a point in a poster that he didn't want there. My attitude was, the point was good, impportant, and needed. So he circulates an email to everyone talking about how he's tried to work without formal autority, but people are going off half-cocked, and potentially doing things that are damaging to our cause.

Now, the fact that this guy is talking about unnamed co-workers who are _unreliable_ ain't the best way to maintain _esprit de corps_. The fact that he's saying this about _me_ pisses me off.

And no, I am NOT getting paid for this. GNARGH!

- Friday, April 19 2002 23:29:52


"...let me contact someone at Menwith Hill who can, within three days, give me details of every Palestinian on Earth and then we'll phone them up and ask them. Howabout that? Satisfied?"

Absolutely. That'll do jus' fine.

For the record, my sources are more than just those I posted so far as my information base goes (among them being very close friends I once had from Iran). Whatever info I'm missing and however bias your OWN reponse may be let's simplify the problem: the majority of the Muslim world wants Israel OUT. So long as that's the case the violence will never cease. And the violence, in turn, will reinforce bigotry in all camps. The West is learning to concede its own mistakes (well...to SOME extent where it wouldn't before; don't worry, it's not getting off THAT easy); we're all criticizing Israel for ITS mistakes; I feel it's time for the Muslim nations to start growing up and conceding where they are in error too. Get past the idea of pushing Israel into the sea and all that follows will be a relative breeze (however simplistic THAT sounds I'll repeat it if you like). I think the international community would see to it; I think the left-wing Jews would see to it. Thus far most of what I sense from the Palestinians in particular is calculated martyrdom (and largely achieving effects they wanted). To whatever extent I'm right or wrong, to deny it flat out is to be locked in a lie and/or a fantasy.

And the core of my LOGIC has nothing to do with my "Jews killed Jesus" allusion (just something to exemplify a point) but Resolution 194 and Arafat's rejection when he had a chance to build a Palestinian state (please recall it was the liberal wing of Israel who allowed Arafat back - with the right intentions - to build a better relationship; HE blew it, friend...in a way that sent us a fairly unmistakable message). Though I've been quite critical of Sharon I'm convinced those problems provide adequate parameters to form some basic conclusions.

Your "black" analogy is inapt because you're still assuming I'm making a racial hit (b'sides, since there are plenty of gay blacks no such sample space as "all blacks hate gays" can exist). It's cultural. Can you understand the difference? Common characteristics shared by any culture - positive and negative, West, Middle East, Far East - are always open for a critical look. It is sound to say certain attitudes, sentiments and notions are intrinsic to given regions of the world.

In sum: not everything I stated was inaccurate.

But get back to me about those phone calls and we can get a good empirical analysis cranking...since NEITHER of us is being entirely scientific here.

ZoŽ Rose <ztreuer@d.umn.edu>
- Friday, April 19 2002 22:35:35


That's so awesome, no way! From what I understand, even just being a student there I will most likely be urged to find housing in.... Lompoc! That's such a neat coincidence. Coffee'd be great - you'll have to fill me in on the 'small town' factor. I'll let you know, when I move, where I actually am living (there's a small chance I'll get on-base housing).

--ZoŽ Rose

Lynn <cavalaxis@digitalcarrion.com>
- Friday, April 19 2002 22:29:0

ZoŽ~ Small world, indeed! My folks live in Lompoc and my dad works for Boeing on base! (Lompoc would be one of the bedroom communities for Vandenberg AFB). It is a beautiful base. You'll love it! It is small town America though, I'll warn you now. I graduated from High School there and met my high school sweetheart/first husband while his dad was stationed there.

Maybe we can get together and do coffee in July or something?


ZoŽ Rose <ztreuer@d.umn.edu>
- Friday, April 19 2002 21:55:48


Thanks for the congrats, and I offer you the same, and good luck in ROTC. That's what I'm doing as well, up here in Duluth. Very small Detachment, only about 50-60. I've been in the program four years now, with a 3-yr scholarship so I've been contracted most of the time. You said you're going overseas - where? Is it study-abroad? In any case, I'm sooo jealous. Scuba School, huh... I had my scuba license while I lived in Miami, FL, and let me tell you - there's no feeling like feeling as if you're in free-fall, looking UP at the surface of the waves. It's.. incredible. Breath-taking. Good luck with that.

SF meaning Security Forces? That's what I wanted, after they dq'd me for pilot (too short, dammit!), but the Air Force is odd: I know! Let's put an unscientificly minded English major into the Space and MIssile program! Oh, well. I'm going to Vandenberg AFB in California in mid-June, should be there for about a year I think. Then it's probably back up here-abouts, to ND, WY, or MO - silo duty.

I applied to all the academies, but thank whatever power may be that I didn't get into any of them. I like having a real college life.

Lots of luck to you, Justin! Keep me posted on whatever you do!

--ZoŽ Rose

Chuck <chuck_messer@hotmail.com>
- Friday, April 19 2002 21:48:46

Oh, and Faisal,

I agree wholeheartedly with your assessment of Sharon and Arafat. Perhaps it would be best to send them both to an island where they can pelt each other with cocoanuts.

Not practical, but one can dream.


Chuck <chuck_messer@hotmail.com>
- Friday, April 19 2002 21:41:29

Well, when it comes to food for thought, this place always leaves me feeling stuffed.

First, I thought Scott was away for awhile, and I haven't been able to post every time I've dropped in here. Which sounds like a lame excuse. I have much admiration and respect for you, Scott and Melissa, and I hope all the running around you've both been doing has been at least a LITTLE fun. As for the "friendly fire" incident ("Freindly fire...ain't")I don't blame you, Scott, for feeling angry. I have no words for that. I can only tell you that sooner or later the truth will out. God, that statement is SO inadequate. Feel free to drop in any time. Unburden yourself. You'll find many a sympathetic ear (or eye) here.

I can't really answer Heather's question on *A* gay experience. But it is a good question.

As to the statement by Frank and others about the income level of gays, well, that may well be, but I and many others have heard the same thing from the local right-wingers, and asked, "Hey! How come *I* don't have one of those 50,000 dollar jobs? Where do I apply, huh? What a gyp."

I know Frank is anything BUT a right winger, but you know how the stiff-arm righties love to glom onto a single statistic and use that to prove their twisted thesis. By the way, about a year later the righties changed their minds and said that most gays were quasi-street people who were on welfare. Must have been a recession.

I think Frank just fumbled a little in his typing. He does that from time to time.

Israel & Palestine: It was once suggested, about the year 1850, that Massachussets and South Carolina should be towed out to sea until they cooled off, in order to avoid a civil war. Not a practical solution, however, even in the middle east.

I think that accusations of racism around here might be a bit overstated, unless bias that severe can be proven. I don't see anyone here as a racist. Biased, yes, but not racist. Everyone has a bias. It seems to come with being human.

It is a tragedy that people who are brothers under the skin are so dead set on annihilating each other. It is unfortunate that Rabin was assassinated by some idiot with a religious excuse. I think that one incident threw the whole process of peace out of whack. It certainly threw Israel off the path. Peres, I think, was seen as too much of a dove. Remember Natanyahu? Maybe nothing would have changed it Rabin hadn't died, but we'll never know that for sure, will we?

I am just sick and tired of living in a world where psychos make all the rules. Our over-the-counter medications and packaged foods are all "safety-sealed" all because tweny years ago, some sicko decided it would be fun to poison some Tylenol tablets. We watch our children closely, and shy away from the children of others because some unspeakable perverts abducted and sexually molested some kids. We'll never know if Lincoln would have made the union heal better than it did without him. We'll never know if JFK would have really amounted to anything. We'll never know if RFK would have been a decent leader. A nation with a president Nixon. Think about it.

A middle east that doesn't murder anyone who says, "Say, maybe if we just stopped killing each other...." What effect would that have on the whole world?

End of rant.


"I'm not getting you down, am I? I'd hate to think I was getting you down." - Douglas Adams by way of Marvin the Paranoid Android

ZoŽ Rose <ztreuer@d.umn.edu>
- Friday, April 19 2002 21:28:33

JAY - I will! Not right away, too much reading material at the moment and moving in two months anyhow. But I will get them. The two you said weren't fiction.. are they essays by HE, then?

I guess I could find out easily enough, now that I think about it, silly question.

Any suggestions on how to read, in the time allotted, two required-for-classes books and two for-fun-reading books, all at once, without confusing the characters? I dreamt last night that HE was yelling at me for thinking Knox was a black woman character from Brewster Place, who further was trying to slaughter the people of the world of Winter that Le Guin wrote about. GAH! When Ender got into the scene the dream faded off and I fairly cringed when I logged on to see if any new comments were on the board. Ah, the power of dreams.

Talk about too much pizza before bed.

--ZoŽ Rose

Justin <thedogindiana@hotmail.com>
- Friday, April 19 2002 21:26:53

Faisal: Thank you for the wealth of information! I will read several of the books you've mentioned. As it stands, I honestly don't know enough about the situation to really be able to stand firmy behind any half assed opinion I have on the matter. All I know about the situation comes from the utter hopelessness I see on the news, so I shouldn't really be mouthing off. As Harlan says, people are entitled to their INFORMED opinions, and I should work harder on mine when it comes to this issue. Thanks again for the info. I'd like to read some titles that support the Israeli position as well, however. If anyone can name some books, please do. Anyway, I'm making a notation of the location of the Italian waitresses and the comic shop. Idea: Waitress sandwich whilst reading latest issue of Detective Comics in Italian, having the ladies translate for me betwixt moans of pleasure. Bliss.

Zoe: Cool! Congrats on your upcoming commssioning! Where are you going to be stationed? As for me, I'm a first year student in the ARMY ROTC program at the University of Arizona. I won't contract until I'm a Junior though, as I am spending the next academic year overseas. I'm not sure what I want for my M.O.S. yet, but I'm told that I'll have the opportunity to attend Scuba School after I contract. If I pass Scuba School (an iffy propostion. Let's just say I was never issued gills), that allegedly opens a lot of doors in the SF world. I really don't know if I have what it takes for SF though. My dad was an MP when he was an officer, and that always sounded like a lot of fun. The largest ROTC program here by far is the Air Force ROTC program, probably because of our proximity to Davis-Monthan AFB. A lot of Air Force cadets do Army P.T., so I see them most mornings and they seem like really good people, though the Army NCO's that run the P.T. sessions do harass them from time to time. Did you do ROTC, OCS, or the A.F. Academy? I understand the Academy is damn near impossible to get into, not unlike the Naval Academy (I understand Westpoint is easier to get into).

Read and Buy and Read... - Friday, April 19 2002 20:37:21


Slippage and Angry Candy are worth owning and in print. The intro to AC alone is worth the paperback price.

Not to say Edgeworks or "Watching" aren't worth owning, but I'd just put the fiction first because there is already a lot of truth in those books. If that makes sense.


Faisal A. Qureshi <faq@ic24.net>
Manchester, UK - Friday, April 19 2002 20:4:28

The Israeli myth of defensive offensive action

What I would ask all those who support the above thesis is that they go to the library and check out Stephen Green's 'Taking Sides: America's secret relations with a militant Israel' (1988, Amana Books) and the follow up 'Living by the sword - America and Israel in the Middle East 1968-1987' (1988, Faber & Faber).

For those curious to know about US relations with Palestinian groups I would say the best place to begin is 'One day in September' by Simon Reeve (2000, Faber & Faber) especially chapters 8-13 which cover the reasons behind Mossad's targetting of the people they believed were responsible for the Munich massacre. And yes, this was the spin off from the Academy award winning documentary which had a lot of material that was cut due to lack of space.

Off course, two indispensible readings are Pity the Nation by Robert Fisk and The Fateful Triangle by Noam Chomsky. For those who can find it Maxim Ghilan 'How Israel lost its soul' (1974, Penguin) is worth seeking. Joe Sacco's two volume comic book of Palestine is also worth exploring as it deals with the day to day living within the occupied terrortories. There are also works by Dilip Hiro, Said K. Aburish and a lot of others which I reccomend searching out when you have time.

To the question about Arab Israelis, yes they are Palestinians who got Israeli citizenship. This gives them an advantage in certain areas (i.e. able to stand for seats in the Knesset) but again, they do not have full rights that are accorded to an Israeli Jewish citizen (Who have got ethnic troubles of their own but thats another story...). BTW - Arabs getting Israeli citizenship is reputedly an extremely difficult process.

Justin - If your looking for Venice waitresses to bang, may I reccomend staying at the Armenian museum hostel just near the Plaza square. Theres a wonderful sea food resturant nearby where you will joyous young waitresses who might accomodate your needs. Also, next door a comic book shop, Solaris, where you can enhance your foreign language skills by reading all the latest comic books in Italian.

Alex - Yes you have a point about the treatment of Palestinians by the arab goverments. It is shamefaced and they have been betrayed plenty of times by them. It is only through domestic pressure from their own population that a fraction of aid can reach them. I might oversimplfy but the Palestinians are the gypsies of the middle east (look at Kuwait and Jordan for bloody examples...)

Rob - The comment about Arab anti-jewish feelings (and thats what I'm calling it as Palestinians are about as Semetic as Israeli jews) is somewhat flawed. For a start you operate under the assumption that Arabs hate Jews because they crucified Jesus. A fallacy if you know anything about Islam where Jesus (or Isa) was not crucified at all.

As to the comments concerning tolerance of Jewish populations in middle eastern counteries. Well, I've met Jews who have family in Iran, Iraq, Egypt, Lebanon, etc. Their complaint is the same as Muslims and Christians who have to live under dictatorships who are only interested in building their own powerbases. I doubt that such attacks do not occur but have yet to see a study on it though from AI or HRW. If you know of one, please forward to me ASAP.

And don't take Saudi Arabia as an example of what the rest of the middle east is like. I grew up in Saudi Arabia, I know what kind of country it is and I know the rest of the middle east isn't like that. Unfortunately, I learnt a lot by my parents discouraging television, I presume this Barbara Walters is one such glass teat personality.

And as for the data you ask for when it comes to Palestinians opinions, what do you want me to do? Commission a market research company to get the definitive answer that you can knock back in my face. Why, let me contact someone at Menwith Hill who can, within three days, give me details of every Palestinian on Earth and then we'll phone them up and ask them. Howabout that? Satisfied?

At least you admitted your source was limited too just one person. If I took the same logic, maybe I too should think that Jewish people should be tarred with the brush of being trained to think from birth that Palestinans and all arabs are scum and the sooner we can give you a gun, the better the Holy lands will be.

Maybe again, by your logic, if I heard a black man say that he and his mates think all homosexuals should die, it would be Ok to think that all Blacks hate gays.

Oh, I will say one thing, I know that anti-Jewish feeling is on the increase due to Israels action... but when Syria started published 'The Protocols of Zion' in Arabic, the goverment couldn't even give them away.

I hope thats revealing.

Berman - Chicken/Egg situation. Heres a way to resolve it. Israel says we fucked up over the years, can we apologise and make it up. Then you have Palestinians doing the same.

The mechanics I leave to you.


ZoŽ Rose <ztreuer@d.umn.edu>
- Friday, April 19 2002 19:54:21

Whew-eee! Vietnam-story movies really tend to take it out of me. Went to see "We Were Soldiers" tonight (yes, yes, I know! I should read the book). Anyone else seen it? Thought it did a semi-all right job of not saying "Americans were right, Americans died, what a tragedy - Vietnam sucks, Vietnamese deserved what they got". That is, it at least attempted to be uniform in its sympathies. Anyone else seen it?

JUSTIN: You're getting a commission in the Army? When? Is it through school? I'm getting commissioned in the Air Force (I promise not to call you a grunt if you promise not to call me a wingnut) in about a month. And while I won't be getting my head split, I get an even dirtier job in some ways: missile duty. Woe is me... could I have seen (and soon read! I swear!) "Boy and His Dog" at a better time?

PA BERMAN and JAY: Dangit! I just checked out the entire EH collection at my library (all 7 books) so that I wouldn't be so friggin' ingnorant about references y'all make. And so I couldn't be accused of not reading the books anymore. ;) Go figure, I don't think any of the five stories/books you guys suggested are in there. I'll have to catch up and find them elsewhere. Thanks for the suggestions... slowly but surely, I WILL get to them!

The short stories I've read so far have been out of "Approaching Oblivion" and the one that sticks out the most is Knox. Made me shiver. And the intro by HE was amusing (as always) to read.

HEATHER- Sorry to hear... that is AWFUL.

That's it for now on my end. For any curious, it's alt 0235 for the over 'e' dots on PC, and option U E on a Mac.

--ZoŽ Rose

Todd Mason (courtesy Joyce Scrivner)
- Friday, April 19 2002 19:44:43

Damon Knight memorials:
Kate Wilhelm requests no flowers and that donations in honor of Damon can be
sent to:

Womenspace, (the address isn't listed because battered women are
sheltered there) Eugene OR US (541) 485-7262,


Food for Lane County
770 Bailey Hill Road
Eugene, OR 97402



the Knight-Wilhelm Endowed Scholarship Fund.
c/o Mary Sheridan
E-193 Holmes Hall
Michigan State University
East Lansing, MI 48825-1107

National Public Radio coverage in Real Audio from April 17 All Things
Considered: http://www.npr.org/ramfiles/atc/20020417.atc.18.ram

Dan Thorne <wordsmith_@hotmail.com>
Royal Oak, MI - Friday, April 19 2002 19:41:54

ALEX: Not only did I send it to David Mack, he saw it in person on a couple occasions and took photos. The young woman that David uses for the model of Kabuki has also seen it. David said it was the best Kabuki tattoo he's ever seen, and he was very flattered that I chose to ink my flesh with his creation. As you can imagine, it's something I'm quite pleased with, and it garners a lot of attention when I choose to expose it. The artist who did the inking, Tom Renshaw, is a world class tattoo artist who has won over 200 awards.

Bag-O-Scott <moebiuslooped@hotmail.com>
- Friday, April 19 2002 19:33:20

Well, well, well, sort of nice to see the wife having to use the oral Desenex lozenges to treat a case of athlete's tongue. All the same, she meant no harm. I've told her of the folks good karma.

Jay: No need for apology, mon ami. You did nothing wrong. I'm a bit leery of blame just yet, after getting a bit more information from friends of mine still in uniform. The scenario placed by their comments paints a more alarming picture, and even a mud-sucking grunt like I was is starting to shake his head at the decisions that the Canadian command may have made.

Apparently, here was a unit of the Princess Pats out in an active combat theatre, the possibility of hostiles on every mountain, firing lit tracers at 2 a.m. in a training exercise. If this is true, it could've drawn fire from any active Taliban scout unit in the area, let alone the attention of an F-16 pilot flying close support patrol, SOP in any active military operation. Moreover, this is real combat; what the hell were soldiers doing engaging in training in the middle of a combat area?

My real problem comes in communication. Wasn't the American C&C informed of the exercises, and in turn informed pilots flying patrol of the activities the Pats were engaged in? If they were unaware, who was derelict in the duty to keep the US C&C informed?

As to Bush, and his seeming faux pas, well, I do think this is where his lack of foriegn policy experience seems to really start to show. Twice he's been in situations concerning us where he should've shown more tact and diplomacy, especially in this unfortunate situation, and he wound up looking like a hick. Somebody buy the man a map...

Now, I've done a bit more looking into this, and the Canadian investigation is scheduled to deliver a preliminary report in 21 days, a full report in 60. That's one I really want to get a read. Simply, Jay, it shouldn't have happened, and the fear I have is instead of real admission of failures and subsequent real change in the SOP for allied personnel in combat areas, we're going to walk down this road again.

Damn, man, this one smells, and I don't think the US alone needs to take a shower.


Alex Jay Berman <smeghead@erols.com>
Philly, - Friday, April 19 2002 19:28:13

JAY: "Earth Day: The Movie" can be viewed at: http://www.hypnotic.com/hypnotic.asp?content=films.asp?ID=487
but you have to register for Hypnotic (for free) first.

And now, to get away from a deep and troubling issue for a moment, here's one of the crassest things I've seen on the internet lately (not dirty, mind; just crass):

Heather Lovatt <heatherlovatt@yahoo.ca>
Subject: Okay.., - Friday, April 19 2002 19:17:29

Just to update you..

Hmm...lemma see. How can I start by setting the tone here? Ah yes.


You know that PetroCanada job I got this week? With the neat boss? Nnkay..it kinda went......OVER THERE. *laugh*

Poor Rob. (My boss.) He comes to me at the end of the shift tonight and tells me that the other store--that he ran and is getting out of to come to THIS one--has informed him that the new owner/manager is bringing his staff with him. Apparently, the Northgate owner-to-be just now decided that he's bringing some staff from HIS old store to Northgate. Problem is, that puts this woman, name of Verna, who's about 58, out of a job. There's more detail to it that I won't go into, but Rob had to come to me tonight and tell me..he didn't WANT to tell me..he's more upset about it than I could be, really..cos it put him in this idiotic position..that he wants to bring Verna to the current store. (My current location.)

So, in brief, in a sense, I'm out of a job.


We talked about it. (As I say, I'm leaving out details but I agree with Rob that it's not fair for Verna.) And as it happens Rob knows another retail outlet that needs a fulltime days person.

That, as they say, is kinda lucky for me. I'm going down there Monday to see the guy and Rob says he's a lot like Rob so it may all work out.

I was busy being very supportive of Rob's situation--and I am, as I'm bloody ethical about stuff like this; as is Rob--and we talked at length about the whole situation.

Funny thing is.. now..since I left the store, I feel a little.. hmm...in shock..maybe? Like, CHRIST, why does stuff like this keep happening to me? Argh. Good job. Good boss. All set to settle down to some routine and then WHAM.

I'll be fine tomorrow. I have a strong feeling--due to Rob's description of this other/new boss I could have--that it will work out okay.

but STILL!

I'm getting too OLD for this shit. Did I mention that?

Heather *sigh*

- Friday, April 19 2002 19:13:11

And actually I'd like to ask Faisal if he thinks there is really a way out of this. It just seems too far gone to me, man. I mean, even if you give the Palestinians everything they want (and in many cases flat-out deserve), the resentments run so deep and go so far back that true and lasting peace between these two neighbors seems like a pipe dream.

- Friday, April 19 2002 19:2:3

...which is not to say that I disagree entirely with Faisal. That's the damnable misery of the situation, is that I think it's going to come down to us having to kill a whole lot of people who hate us and hate Israel, but certainly not for no reason. It's such a mess. And I probably shouldn't go around making remarks about camels and whatnot. I mean no offense, I just lapse into barracks talk sometimes. I do sympathize with the Palestinians and the Israelis alike, and I wouldn't put on my I'M WITH ISRAEL t-shirt with any great joy if it ever came down to that. Messier than Vietnam, and that's saying something.

Justin <thedogindiana@hotmail.com>
- Friday, April 19 2002 18:51:48

I'm going to end up getting shipped over there to deal with that mess (or the consequences of it) one day, I just know it. But I'll be honest with you. If it's between the U.S., Israel and our allies, and our enemies in the Islamic world (all 125 millon or so that support Bin Laden)...all I can say is that I hope someone gets a few cell scrapings from a camel and preserves them in a lab so that the poor things don't go extinct. I'm a lot more partial these days than I used to be, even though the inescapable fact is that both sides are behaving like selfish children. Those assholes were going at it even before Harlan was born, for heaven's sake!

Personally, I don't see any end to it. EVER. All I can see is a full scale war in which Israel just levels Palestine, and we spend the next twenty years fighting off everyone in the Islamic world pissed at us (we're just a Jewish sewer to those people, no two ways about it) and pissed at Israel. Let's just face it. We'll probably end up doing it anyway, even if the situation doesn't escalate into a balls out war. It's like Carlin says, "Ancient hatreds and modern weapons. My kinda fuckin' show." I hope it doesn't come to that, but I'm prepared for it.

Why do you think I'm taking off next year to see the world a bit and hopefully not get kidnapped by Hezbollah operatives while I'm at it? Because I'm almost positive that when I get my commision I'm going to end up in an Army involved in a the biggest conflict we've seen since WWII, vastly bigger than Vietnam, so I figure I'd better bang an Italian waitress in Venice before I run off to get shot in the face by a 12 year old with a Kalashnakov. The right and wrong of any larger war that springs from this Israeli/Palestinian conflict might not be as clear is it was 57 years ago, but nobody said life was going to be easy. I just don't see any way around it. I just know I'd rather that my kids live in a world where they're free to chow on McDonald's Toadburgers whilst watching cartoons. It's not a perfect world, but it's worth fighting for, if it comes to that.
Either way, speaking in the short-term, I don't know how much longer we have before we get hit again, given the current situation. Not 9/11 scale, but some dingbat is gonna do something, what with all this business going on.

- Friday, April 19 2002 18:41:20


"...the fantastically-armed Israel..."

It NEEDS to be. Of course Israel only expanded boarders whenever it was attacked. In the war of '48 when Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon, Transjordan and Syria launched a combined assault and in '67 when the Soviet Union had some involvement. Unless you feel Israel SHOULD be toppled and wiped out I wouldn't want any of those Muslim states to have that much armed capability. They would show FAR less tolerance toward Israel than what little many among us seem to be saying Israel has shown the Palestinians.

And why are you responding to Alex's points? I put a question to you before that I think is worth some weight: given the few options (and consider the factors I brought up in my first post)Israel has what what YOU do?

Jay <zebrapix@homatail.com>
Weekend Gibberings - Friday, April 19 2002 18:37:58

Zoe -

2 suggestions...well, three actually

Get "Angry Candy" and "Slippage" for fiction.
Get "Harlan Ellison's Watching" and the first Edgeworks book for essays and nonfiction.

...er, that's 4.

Sorry, no lesbian stories here, either, unless you count second-hand and "just-on-the-other-side-of-the-wall" stories.

Time for a beer and an "Evil Dead" marathon with the guys.

HEY JOSEPH! Ever heard of a short film called "EARTH DAY: THE MOVIE"? Apparently its a video version of Twisted Mego/Toyfare Theater.


Joseph Finn <JosephFinn@yahoo.com>
Chicago, IL USA - Friday, April 19 2002 18:34:41


A) VX2000? Drool......

B) Final Cut Pro is bodacious beyond belief. Adobe better have something real special planned for Premiere 7, or they're goign to completely lose the video market. Hell apparently the Avid people are concerned as hell.

C) I'm tempted to send the "Cadallic sumbitch" comment to Apple. They'd probably enjoy the compliment. Especially since it's apt.


Jay <zebrapix@hotmail.com>
- Friday, April 19 2002 18:32:48

Interesting post script to the lng-forgotten dead baby signs...

They've come down. For the last week, the theme has been "ABORTION INCREASES RISK OF BREAST CANCER!"

Of course, no breasts to illustrate the point, thank Allah.

Mr. Ellison, sir: The bloody digit arrived today in the post. What a delight! I've put it on the mantle between James Doohan's and Jerry Garcia's. :)

Thanks again.

I don't want to set you off about the recent mishap between a Weekend Warrior F16 and some perfectly decent and innocent Canadian soldiers, but I wanted to express my sincere disappointment at President Bush's failure to issue an apology and instead offer "our" condolences. We should have been more forthright to our closest friend, apologized and asked what we could do to make it right.

Just my humble opinion.

Off to enjoy der weekender...

Alex Jay Berman <smeghead@erols.com>
Philly, - Friday, April 19 2002 18:12:46

BRIAN: First off, SQUEE! is good, I've never seen INVADER ZIM, but it looks cool--but Vaszquez's JOHNNY THE HOMICIDAL MANIAC ("Call me 'Nny' for short.") is flippin' HILARIOUS!

I wouldn't assign the Arab states any more culpability than simply providing aid, were it not for the two-faced manner in which they either vociferously or weepingly argue the plight of the poor Palestinians; "our brothers", yet treat the Palestinians in their own states as second-class citizens, as well as having coerced, cajoled, or outright FORCED Palestinians to leave their countries for the happy life of a refugee camp in the disputed territories (As Jordan, Syria, and Saudi Arabia did in the Seventies). You can't spit on your cake, and praise it, too.

(And the award for Worst Possible Aphorism goes to ...)

I can understand your distaste for the "dagger at our loins" argument, seeing what came of the Monroe Doctrine, Manifest Destiny, and the Domino Effect--and for the reason of it being terribly THE SUN ALSO RISES scary.
But I don't really know that it would even apply to the proposed Palestinian state--after all, if it were fixed in place, what reason would Israel have to attack it, unless there was an actual attack on Israel mounted through the proposed state? And driving a country back into its closest allies is not so bad a fate as driving another country into the sea.

I know I harp on this, but I just think that there should be a part carved out of the once Transjordan. I think that the original terms of the dissolution of the British Mandate over Palestine, in which there was to be created an Arab and a Jewish state both out of the land of Palestine, with Jerusalem (or "al-Quds") to be under the auspices of the UN, is perhaps the most workable of all plans made for the region.

By the by, here are a couple sources that you might find interesting.
The State of Jordan's official history with regard to Israel and Palestine can be found at http://www.kinghussein.gov.jo/his_palestine.html

A British view, detailing the White Papers and all the machinations which went on leading up to the end of the Mandate, is at http://www.archiveeditions.co.uk/Leafcopy/557-0.htm

And a more Israel-centric view of how the Jordanians and Palestinians have regarded and treated each other is at http://www.hf.uib.no/smi/pao/nevo.html

Of course, I've always thought that the best argument for Israel's legitimacy as a better country was the fact that they field a pretty damn good basketball team ...

Brian Siano <bsiano@bellatlantic.net>
- Friday, April 19 2002 17:40:45

I ought to reply to a few of Alex Berman's points.
"I STILL don't understand why no one seems to hold the Arab states responsible for their own treatment of their brothers and sisters the Palestinians, and I still don't understand why no one, when discussing the situation, lays any culpability on the Arab states for their goading of and arming of the more militant Palestinian factions. But that's as may be."

Well, how much responsiblity should they bear? The comment about Arab "brothers and sisters" is sort of oversimplistic; it's a bit like talking about Europeans as an undifferentiated group, disregarding the mutual histories of Germany and Poland, Germany and France, France and England...

As for arming the factions, no quibble there-- except to state that Israel is the beneficiary of greater amounts of aid from the U.S. And many of the Arab states are also beneficiaries as well.

"Another thing that people tend not to take into account when saying what should and should not happen in the region: Israel, sans the West Bank, is in three places less than nine miles wide, from border to sea. If a full handover of the disputed territory were ever mandated by NATO or the UN or the USA or any outside body, that outside body would be, in effect, responsible for the murder of a sovereign state."

I'd disagree, for lots of reasons. The first is that this very same argument could be applied equally well to a hypothetical Palestinian state. It'd be even _smaller_, and unlike the fantastically-armed Israel, it'd be a country building itself up from a county-sized ghetto. (I'd also disagree because I'm suspicious of "dagger at our loins" arguments, for various reasons.

As a matter of fact, turnover of the conquered land _has_ been mandated by the U.N.-- the international consensus has been for Israel to retreat back to its pre-1967 borders. (I'd also like to mention that the narrowness of Israel in those days didn't seem to keep it from winning wars and expanding its territories.)

On a lighter note, I've just discovered Jhonen Vasquez's wonderfully sick comic _Squee_. From the man who gave us Invader Zim.

Lynn <cavalaxis@digitalcarrion.com>
- Friday, April 19 2002 17:17:34

The umlaut for the Ô is done by holding down the Alt key and pressing 0239. For most PCs (macs have nifty pre-keystrokes to put in diacriticals), you can go to the Start Menu, go up to Accessories, and look for the Character Map application. (Sometimes they hide it under System Accessories). With it you can do all sorts of nifty characters: ©,ô,ģ,Ü,ę,Ľ,ß,•,§,£,Ę,į,Ī,∂,Ĺ,ĺ,Ņ,Ů,ť, and my favories ú, ś & ∆.

Being a leader means knowing what your presence means to the people you're responsible for governing. The ones that like you and the ones that don't. In politically tenuous times, if, by your deliberate actions, you knowingly incite mass violence (by putting yourself in the most offensive position you can possibly contrive), I think you are in part responsible for the reaction to your actions. Imagine Mengele showing up at the Holocaust Memorial just to take a look around. Would the negative reaction be justified? Would a violent response be justified?


P.A. Berman
- Friday, April 19 2002 16:56:12

Zoe Rose: My advice-- Get a hold of DEATHBIRD STORIES. Read "The Deathbird." That was the story that convinced me that Harlan Ellison was ... words fail me. Suffice it to say, I expose my students to him whenever I can sneak him in. If you read it, tell us what you think. I'd love to hear your reaction.

Alex Jay: OK, I'll be "that other Berman." You can be the smart one, I'll be the good looking one.

Gotta stop posting. Procrastination makes me verbose.


P.A. Berman
Naive (how do you put those dots over the "i"?) - Friday, April 19 2002 16:48:45

Ya know what? I am naive. I can't even bring myself to kill bugs that are in my house. So no, I can't "understand" or "comprehend" Palestinian violence. No more do I understand "state sanctioned mass murder." As I see it, mass murder is being perpetrated by both sides, though, and someone is sponsoring all of it. Racism exists on both sides. You (meaning every one of us) have your reflexive sympathies; you can make a case for your side. You'll have to ignore a good bit of the valid anguish of the other side, but for some reason, that seems to be the easy part.

Lynn: Israel electing Ariel Sharon does not make suicide bombing understandable any more than electing George Bush makes 911 understandable. Would you dig being blown up because of stuff Bush does? For me personally, I would find that wildly ironic. I try not to mistake the government for the people.

Faisal: Yeah, re: the violence--"it started somewhere." I think you'll find opinions rather at a variance if you try to assign WHO started it. Chicken, egg, you know the drill.


Cindy <IAMCINDIANAJONES@netscape.net>
TX USA - Friday, April 19 2002 15:56:39

I use a Sony VX2000. For editing a sony vaio system with Premiere 6. But I've heard the Final Cut Pro 3 on a G4 is a Cadillac sumbitch.

Premiere works well but it is tough to figure out initially.

The Sony is my favorite possession of all times.


Alex Jay Berman <What; you didn't see it the other twelve times?>
- Friday, April 19 2002 15:52:32

DAN: Nice. Both pics in the montage look to be from #1 of the new series; where Mack redrew a lot of the scenes from Kabuki: Dreams and Circle of Blood. Thumbs way up to the tattoo artist.

Did you send Mack a copy? He appreciates seeing that sort of thing.

Joseph J. Finn
Chicago, - Friday, April 19 2002 15:48:13

By the way, may anyone recommend a good reference for learning spot color and CMYK in Adobe Illustrator (versions 9-10)? Book or online, either one.


- Friday, April 19 2002 15:9:34

The new Neil Gaiman book, Adventures in the Dream Trade, has a couple HE articles: Banging the Drum for Harlan Ellison (7/99 Readercon 11 reprint) and Intro. to Beast that Shouted Love... For you completists (you know who you are, right Barney). The book is from NESFA press and sells for $26. It is limited and if you're lucky you might find some signed copies.

Melissa <entropy_5ca@yahoo.ca>
- Friday, April 19 2002 15:4:15

Actually, it's wasn't your actions that might've seemed a snub; it's my phrasing. I'm sorry for the comment, and the way it was worded. I got to realize this in a phone conversation with the husband just after posting. He repeated what he told me yesterday, including FEELING HE HAD PERHAPS MADE SOME SMALL OR LARGE INSULT TO ONE AND/OR ALL. I capitalize this to display that extremely rare occurence when I'm wrong. I couldn't fall back on implying he'd not said it; my mother and father were witnesses.

The worst part is hearing that little rise in his voice that tells me he is enjoying my mistake. Believe me, he'll get his.

Please accept my apology, honestly and humblely. Next time I'll listen before saying something slightly stupid.

Love to All, Melissa

Dan Thorne <wordsmith_@hotmail.com>
Royal Oak, - Friday, April 19 2002 14:11:52

Regarding David Mack and Kabuki, I have a spectacular (I think it is, anyway) Kabuki tattoo. You can see it at the following url:


Joseph J. Finn
Chicago, - Friday, April 19 2002 14:11:31

In the spirit of full disclosure, Mr. Lee's tiger art is in all black - all color is mine.


Joseph J. Finn
Chicago, - Friday, April 19 2002 13:43:55


And Andy Lee has also done work on "Kabuki," so the friendly nepotism continues....


I'm using home camcorder at the moment, saving for a Canon XL-1. Editing using Final Cut Pro 3 on a G4.

Cindy <IAMCINDIANAJONES@netscape.net>
TEXAS USA - Friday, April 19 2002 13:35:33



Cindy <IAMCINDIANAJONES@netscape.net>
TEXAS USA - Friday, April 19 2002 13:34:12

Hey Joseph,

I'm working on short film now. I'm trying to line up some monkey footage. I also have a feature length screenplay, want to read it? I'm trying to get all the input I can at the moment because I'm going to be entering the Austin Film Festival's screenwriting competition.

In fact ANYONE that wants to read it would be MOST appreciated. Those who would like to, I will send you the first ten pages and after that you tell me if you want to see more. I think you will. My son and his college friends made fun of his roommate because he stayed up until 3AM reading it. He said he couldn't stop. Then they read it and said they couldn't put it down either. This from college boys.

Any takers?

Joseph, what sort of equipment are you using and will you be editing it yourself? Have you done anything with soundforge?

Y'all let me know!

Alex Jay Berman <smeghead@erols.com>
Philadelphia, - Friday, April 19 2002 13:22:14

JOSEPH/MELISSA: Andy Lee's artwork can also be seen in this month's issue of ULTIMATE MARVEL TEAM-UP--he contributes some great breushwork in a set of framing sequences that serve as Chinese fairy tale and allegory for the Ultimate Marvel version of Shang-Chi: Master of Kung-Fu. I assume this is a welcome bit of friendly nepotism: The rest of the artwork is by Rick Mays, a longtime collaborator of writer/artist David Mack, who supplies the cover art. Mack and Lee are best friends, and Mack is good friends with series writer (and, like Harlan, nice Jewish boy from Cleveland) Brian Michael Bendis.

Joseph J. Finn
Chicago, - Friday, April 19 2002 13:17:49


Actually, I though Scott was stepping back this week because of work commitments. Didn't mean to seem like I was snubbing him.

As for my logo, thanks for your thought. The color is actually preliminary until I can teach myself spot color in Illustrator - then I'll be trying for a celtic gold-red-green look. The logo is one of seven that we commissioned from the fabulous Andy Lee, of Paperbrush Studios in Atlanta. He does lovely work with Buddhist calligraphy techniques. Really, I'm fiddling around with scans of the seven paintings, trying oput different combos (you can see one as my logo on the fantasy league). For more examples of Mr. Lee's work, check this out:



Jon Stover
Canada - Friday, April 19 2002 13:13:26

Melissa/Scott: I did post the names of the Princess Pat's light infantry earlier, but neglected to mention that that's who the four were. About the only, very minor good thing that came out of it for me was that it caused me to do some reading up on the Winnipeg Grenadiers, the Second Canadian Division, and other Canadian military groups that got badly used. There's a fine Alden Nowlan poem about Canadian troops in WWI; I think I'll probably try to find it tonight.


David Loftus <DavidL@ci.oswego.or.us>
SUBJ: A Boy and His Dog, - Friday, April 19 2002 13:3:48

You guys are putting WAY too much content on this board for me to keep up, especially in my time of diminished ability to visit the site and read all the posts.

I noticed but did not digest all the responses so far to Brian's objections to the movie of "A Boy and His Dog," so forgive me if I repeat some of them, but I wanted to get right to it before another day or week goes by.

As someone already said, Ellison did NOT write or make the movie. It is only based on one of his finer stories -- a novella, to be precise. The part of the movie you liked best, Brian (the "back and forth between Vic and Blood"), is in fact the part that Ellison actually did write, before the director L.Q. Jones took over the script. To hold Ellison primarily responsible for what is, at best, a so-so if memorably quirky movie rendition of his story would be like holding Bradbury responsible for Truffaut's cold rendering of "Fahrenheit 451" or Hemingway for whoever made that syrupy version of "A Farewell to Arms."

Several people have also addressed your objection to the girl falling in love with Vic after one night in the boiler. Quite apart from the way real people can tumble hard and fast on much less contact and acquaintance out here in the real world, let me put it this way: Both of these characters inhabit a very circumscribed and artificial world, by our standards -- Vic in one of great violence and a hard scrabble for survival, Quilla June in one of crushing politeness, social niceties ... and utter hypocrisy. The searing honesty and NEWNESS of passionate fucking (accent on the passion for him, the fucking for her) would tend to make them respond strongly to the experience.

"Innovative but bad" is not an overly harsh judgment of this movie. I can let you keep it. But for gosh sakes don't stop there as your assessment of the work of Harlan Ellison! If you feel like exploring a little further, several people here and I would be happy to recommend a handful of pieces, fiction and nonfiction, that are likely to blow your mind.

Melissa <entropy_5ca@yahoo.ca>
- Friday, April 19 2002 12:57:56

I hope none read Scotty's post as an indictment; he was just blowing off a bit of steam. My father was in the CAF too, and they're both a bit dismayed at this occurrence, and want to see the right thing come of this for the victims and their families.

I find it interesting that, since Scotty's little tiff with Mr. Ellison, suddenly people don't seem to speak to Scott very much. Leaves one thinking...

Now, as to Joseph's logo, I do like it. Did you create it yourself, or was it done for you? If there was anything I might change, it would be the color. Sorry, but I see tigers as orange and black.

The children are hitting the door, so that's it from here. Have fun all. Melissa

Alex again
- Friday, April 19 2002 12:56:54

FAISAL: By the by, I DO hope that my (mostly) pro-Israel screeds don't come off as didactic and wholly one-sided; I know that your posts certainly do not at all.

Alex Jay Berman <smeghead@erols.com>
Philadelphia, - Friday, April 19 2002 12:55:3

LYNN: Actually, rubber and plastic-bead bullets are de rigeur for Israeli troops in most situations.
Dunno if that's still the case with the intifadeh, but that's what it was as late as February.

And I happen to think that Sharon's being elected was the worst thing ever to happen to the State of Irael. I'd like Shimon Peres to head the government again--though his name may mean "Hawk," he's at heart a man of peace.
Funny thing is, most of the Israelis I know are for peace, whereas most of the Americans I talk to (of any religion) are very much for a swooping down on the fold and kicking the Palestinians out.
I STILL don't understand why no one seems to hold the Arab states responsible for their own treatment of their brothers and sisters the Palestinians, and I still don't understand why no one, when discussing the situation, lays any culpability on the Arab states for their goading of and arming of the more militant Palestinian factions. But that's as may be.

And as Jim said, a separating wall is the worst idea that could happen to the region. What you have to remember is that the bombings and attacks and whatnot by Palestinians only started really getting to epic proportions after a goodly part of the contested West Bank and Gaza Strip were apportioned off to the Palestinian Authority.

Another thing that people tend not to take into account when saying what should and should not happen in the region: Israel, sans the West Bank, is in three places less than nine miles wide, from border to sea. If a full handover of the disputed territory were ever mandated by NATO or the UN or the USA or any outside body, that outside body would be, in effect, responsible for the murder of a sovereign state. Surrounded by countries whose stated aim is to "push Irael into the sea" or "wipe it off the face of the earth," Israel would, if forced to give up the West Bank, be soon looking at its own death warrant.

Any way you look at it, both sides lose.
And what REALLY angers me is that the road to dusty death and destruction is awash in the blood of men of war who changed their minds and changed their ways, like Sadat and Rabin and the president of Lebanon who was succeeded by his brother after his assassination in the Eighties. Can't remember the name at the moment ...

A coworker with whom I've grown quite friendly is of Palestinian-American descent. She is for a Palestinian state, just as I am pro-Israel. She bemoans Arafat as I bemoan Sharon. And both of us commiserate over the actions of "our" countries which are not truly "ours" ...

P.A. BERMAN: "ANOTHER Berman," am I? Pfft! I, you'll remember, was the FIRST Berman, as far as this board goes ...

LYNN AGIN: I'd dispute the "anti-Arab media"--at least when it comes to the Palestinians. Christine Amanpour of CNN has always been an advocate of the Palestinians, as have much of the CNN staff.
(Having a bias in the journalistic world these days is, I suppose to be expected, though I had much rather it not be consciously acted upon--but I lost all respect for Amanpour when she did a heart-rending piece with the families of ethnic Bosnian Muslims burying their dead as backdrop ...
... in a graveyard that had nothing in it but Serbian Orthodox crosses.)

Faisal: The thing that I don't get is that there are and have been for a long time, Israeli Arab members of the Knesset. What's the difference between an Israeli Arab and a Palestinian? That's always confused me.

And may I amend your suggestion to a blanket, "STOP KILLING!"?

LYNN AGIN AGIN: The way I se it, Heyerdahl died a week ago, when first he slipped into the coma. I just started my fifty-year-old paperback copy of KON-TIKI today.

(And hey--when are you going to get Cafe Press to offer dead gopher stuffed animals?)

Joseph J. Finn
Chicago, - Friday, April 19 2002 12:52:9


That comes out of my pocket. *grin* Anyway, I'm filing as Type S Corporation, so having my partner's proceeds go directly to KICK would be interesting to explain.


- Friday, April 19 2002 12:43:29

Joseph~ Cool logo, but how much of your proceeds go to KICK, huh? Huh? Okay, then. ::grin::

As for the mention of Mr. Heyerdahl, geez, I should keep up better with the board. Somedays it just slips away.

Gone to lunch,

Joseph J. Finn
Chicago, - Friday, April 19 2002 12:32:45


Actually Thor's passing was mentioned previously on the board. Sucks, don't it?

And when y'all going to buy shirts to support my burgeoning film company, Celtic Tiger Films. Help me make documentaries and short films! Hell, anyone in the Chicago area who wants to be in my planned short for next year "Opening Day" (examining the culture and impact of Opening Day for both teams in Chicago), feel free to contact me. Anyway, tell me what you think of my lofe. I really am looking for good feedback:


And speaking of baseball, I'm going to indulge in a little smack-talking: how about that sweep, Cleveland fans? BWAHAHAHAHA!


ZoŽ Rose <ztreuer@d.umn.edu>
- Friday, April 19 2002 12:28:44


No, it's pronounced like it rhymes with the name Joey: Zo-ee. That's what the dots are for. Yes, I know the real name for them, but as I'd mangle the spelling beyond recognition, I won't try. But they're not umlats, in any case. It's a Greek name meaning Life, in case you're interested.

I've had lots of folks tell me they had a dog named ZoŽ... at first I used to be insulted, and even asked my parents if they named me after a dog. Turns out, they named me after a book about cats. Go figure. Anyway... great taste in names, Lynn!

Glad I stayed.

--ZoŽ Rose

Lynn <cavalaxis@digitalcarrion.com>
- Friday, April 19 2002 12:20:29


Cafepress has added some great new products for a limited time only! FROSTED MUGS(the really big ones that make for perfect rootbeer floats), STAINLESS STEEL TRAVEL MUGS(perfect for bashing potential road-ragers over the head), and GOLF SHIRTS! Golf shirts, with collars, suitable for wearing in respectable company! So get your cool Webderland schwag now and remember:
Five dollars from each item you purchase goes to the KICK Internet Piracy Fund.


We now return you to reality, already in progress.

- Friday, April 19 2002 12:19:47


I agree with your points wholeheartedly. They align with the argument I was making for some time prior to the Resolution 194 proposal and Yasser Arafat's rejection of the extensive land agreement Israel offered to build an independent state with no counter-offer. The notion of land (or anything else) as some divine gift ordained by a Supreme Being (evidently a bias one) is a primitive concept and a historical trigger mechanism for war. But these two outcomes have swayed my view for the time (I'm always learning something knew on this issue). No compromise is voiced by the Arab countries; they remain - it seems to me - steadfast on the one goal of dissolving Israel entirely. So long as this is the case - so long as they cling to this fantasy world - they impede a path to diplomacy. The Hamas conducts its rain of suicide bombings (compelled by the sick, twisted idea of the gift of Eternal afterlife for the act), in effect, waging war on Israel. It doesn't leave Israel with a LOT of options. What would YOU have them do? They've been driven to dismantle the terrorist groups just as we have in Afghanistan. Given that military action alone will not resolve the situation - diplomatic strategies will HAVE to be incorporated, something Sharon doesn't appear to understand (he's tightening an unbreakable circle) - the steps Israel had to take going after the Hamas were warranted. Let's say Israel had stopped their attacks at Arafat's pleadings early on. They declare cease-fire and try diplomacy (for the billionth time). What happens? The suicide bombers continue deliberatly murdering innocent civilians. Again: what would YOU have Israel do? What kind of alternatives have the Palistineans given them? If you're in a position to condemn someone for his acts you must have the better alternatives ready to put on the table.

The struggle by Jews for a Jewish state in Palestine had begun in the late 19th century and had become active by the 1930s and 40s. The militant opposition of the Arabs to such a state and the inability of the British to solve the problem led to the establishment of the UN Special Committee on Palestine. The plan was devised to divide Palestine into a Jewish state, an Arab state, and an internationally administered zone. The General Assembly adopted the recommendations in 1947 or '48 (forgot which). The Jews accepted the plan; the Arabs rejected it. Simplistic as it sounds, in the ideal world, I don't think the Jews should have gone there to begin with (particularly using the Biblical argument as a basis). Yet, at the time, deep anti-Semitic sentiment throughout Europe and the U.S. denied the Jews options (even in light of world sympathy upon discovery of the Nazi death camps) . They could have gone to the U.S. The U.S. didn't want them. The British didn't exactly open its doors. You can always count on France on copping out. Where else were they to go?

Nations everywhere have taken land unjustly at some point in history. The U.S. was a voracious, greedy, murderous predator throughout the 19th century. But cultures evolve in a tortuous path over time when they find resolutions and cooperation lead to a better life for everyone. People slowly mature. Israel is there; it won't pack and move. It's time for the Arab world to mature a little and learn to accept that one fact. When they do it will be Israel's turn to ante up (even though they already tried to do so).


Mine wasn't a thesis so much as a reaction to the events I cited above. There are probably many holes in my present assumptions. But my indictment was not racist; it was cultural. My sources - limited though they are - come from conversations I had with an Iranian (I know: Iranians aren't Arabs; but they ARE Muslim) and Barbara Walters' recent visit to Saudi Arabia (note their "Religious Police"). If those Muslim countries are more diverse in their perception of Jews than I've implied give me examples. Prove to me the majority reject notions like "Jesus killed the Jews". To make another point, Israel has its members of government who sympathize with the Palestinians; tell me how many Palestinians (or ANY of the Muslim countries) offer the like to the Jews.

Yes: at this point I'm convinced those countries of the Middle East are terribly brainwashed and bigoted with corrupt leaders reinforcing it all. If you know otherwise, enlighten me. Don't give me your philosophy on it. Just the data (bearing in mind I think the psychology is inherent to the Middle East not Arabs and Muslims EVERYWHERE; itís not like I go into an Iranian market here and glance at people behind the counter with the same sentiments. I get angry by news of Mosques being assaulted just as I do when Synagogues are assaulted. Iím not walking around with a brand if you can understand that).

Now you can tell me what Iím missing.

Lynn <cavalaxis@digitalcarrion.com>
- Friday, April 19 2002 12:10:43

Zo-uh? Not Zo-ee? ::grin:: My very first, most cherished canine companion was an Ibizan hound named ZoŽ. And I'm glad you stayed. You fit in here.

You guys!!! You're falling down on the Obit-Watch!! Thor Heyerdahl passed away yesterday. He was the explorer of both Kon-Tiki and Ra II fame. A great man. Got me hooked on National Geographic when I was a wee'un. I can almost hear the news reports.

"Intrepid explorer Thor Heyerdahl arrived in the Afterlife today, announcing that with Charon's help, he hopes to seek out the source of the River Styx. And when that's accomplished, he hopes to cross the Sea of Dreams using only an eggshell and a sow's ear for a sail."



Faisal A. Qureshi <faq@ic24.net>
Manchester, UK - Friday, April 19 2002 12:4:8

I have heard plenty of comments concerning Israel's right to pursue its policy of ethnic repression against the Palestinians and there is an easy answer to it.

STOP KILLING PALESTINIANS! Give them rights, human rights! You know the same rights that an Israeli citizen has. To walk away and claim that the conflict is beyond resolution - fine. I'll keep writing, researching and protesting thank you very much. Sometimes, I think if one side was darker than the other, maybe people won't be so content sitting on the fence about it.

As to my bias... well, interestingly enough, I don't see any merits to Israels action when it comes to shooting up ambulances, legal torture, death squads and secterian murder. You see, I rather have the same feelings when an Islamic country does that kind of thing. Its something in me that just kicks in and goes "Now thats wrong".

Not that I'm saying that those that elevate themselves to Palestinian leadership are saints. In fact, I don't have much respect for them either. I don't have much respect for PLO terrorist operations or the suicide bombings carried out by the other groups but you see... I can comprehend them (read that I said 'comprehend' I did not say 'condone'). As much as I can understand why the Israeli military and society can be so nasty towards Palestinians.

(Oh gosh, yes! For FAQ also knows Israeli and Jewish folks who make no secret of what they like and dislike about Israeli society)

But one set of actions did not appear without the other and anyone who has any pretensions of respect for the human rights of their fellow being regardless of race, religion, colour, politics or sexuality should not be quietly condoning a policy of state sanctioned mass murder.


ZoŽ Rose <ztreuer@d.umn.edu>
- Friday, April 19 2002 12:1:55

Whaddaya know, I got the two dots over my name! Neat-o. Wonder if it'll show up on the post... anyway, just thought I'd put in my own acronym (I work in a planetarium and have found this one remembered by several kids who visit more than once) for the planets:

Many Very Early Men Just Sat Under-Neath Pluto.

--ZoŽ Rose

Bag-O-Scott <moebiuslooped@hotmail.com>
- Friday, April 19 2002 11:49:23

Hey all. In for a bit, then off to don the stripes for three games. The money's about the only thing good in it.

Bit depressed, as a former member of the Canadian Armed Forces:


Don't quite know what to think yet, but somebody's got some massive explaining to do. Personally, I'll be very wary of American findings in this matter, and even more suspicious of the US Air Force admitting culpability, if it is found to be their fault. But then, how could it be the Canadian servicemen at fault? They were on a live fire training mission, doing their jobs.

Gonna leave before getting angry. I know, none of you are to blame.


- Friday, April 19 2002 11:44:44

Oh, Be A Fine Girl (Guy), Kiss Me

Hertzsprung-Russell star types, in order -- OBAFGKM. Our Sun is type G.

King Phillip Came Over From Germany, Stoned

Biology classifications, in order -- kingdom, phylum, class, order, family, genus, species

Jim Davis
- Friday, April 19 2002 11:39:33

JON: Thanks. That's one less word I'll mangle in the future.

The only acronym I can think of is the one for the electromagnetic spectrum, RIVUX G. (Radio, Infrared, Visible, Ultraviolet, X-Ray, and Gamma.)

FINDER: Um, I don't want to sound like I'm singling you out, but you DID bring it up, after all: Why still a virgin at 33? And have you ever thought of hiring a professional to, ahem, "break you in"? (I'm sure I'll get some flack for suggesting this, but what the hey...)

Not matter how contentious things may get here, this board is still better than the snakepits of usenet. We send each other FLOWERS after an argument, for Chrissakes!

Lynn <cavalaxis@digitalcarrion.com>
- Friday, April 19 2002 11:36:44

PA~ I never ridiculed you for advocating peace. I did, however, lecture you because your post was incredibly naive for someone who should have been paying closer attention. (And I quote, "Why wouldn't non-violent resistance work for the Palestinians?") I pointed out that in some cases, holding hands and singing songs gets you shot. That simple. Peaceful protests have been tried and have failed. Don't expect them to keep lining up to be shot.

My other point was that if you elect General Hawk to rule your country, don't expect him to act like a Dove. Violence is never a solution, I agree. I never stated otherwise. But it is understandable in this situation. You can only poke a dog with a sharp stick for so long before it whirls and bites your hand off. Just don't act surprised when it happens.

***I reiterate, neither side is pure of heart in this conflict. *** But personally, I'm sick of seeing the Western, anti-Arab media overlook blatant human rights abuses by the *last* country in the world we'd expect that kind of behavior from.


Astronomy Domine
Planet, schmanet, Janet! - Friday, April 19 2002 11:34:37

Mary's Violet Eyes Made Jon Stay Up Nights Pining.

Subject: Sheesh... - Friday, April 19 2002 11:9:18

And how could I forget Mr. ROY G. BIV?

Xanadu <X_a_n_a_d_u@yahoo.com>
Subject: Memory - Friday, April 19 2002 11:8:10

Jim Davis: Engvall, yes.

Jon Stover: ....Just Served Us Nine Pies... was how I always heard it. Here's one from my armory: ICBM - Incisors, Cuspids, Bicuspids, Molars.

Jon Stover
Canada. Separate - Friday, April 19 2002 10:54:47

Jim: Just remember, "There's always a rat in separate." For some reason, that mnemonic (if that's the correct term, as I think mnemonic may only correctly apply to acronymical phrases like All Good Boys Deserve Favour or My Very Excellent Mother Just Said Unlikely Names Persist) has always worked.


P.S. Before someone says 'What the?', please note that I made up that mnemonic for the solar system just now (and badly) as the 'real' mnemonic slipped my mind, although the planets didn't. Ha!

P.A. Berman
All we are saying is give peace a chance, for fuck's sake - Friday, April 19 2002 10:42:35

Lynn: Please, don't assume that, because I disagree with you, I am less educated about this issue that you are. Don't lecture me. You will not convince me that Israel is the evil villain here and the Palestinians the virtuous victims. It's not that easy and you're not going to convert me with your polemics. You are becoming an illustration of how irrational and divisive this issue can become-- you are ridiculing me for advocating peace. My god.

Call me naive, but I think advocating violence to answer violence is circularly absurd, self-defeating, and plain old ineffective. If you think of suicide bombings, tanks, and gunfire as workable solutions, you're the one who has been living in a hole. Fighting isn't going to solve this, and even if it could, I don't think anyone would relish the outcome. Someone's got to choose peace sometime or the bodies of innoncents will keep piling up. The whole thing sickens me-- both sides. I can't believe there is any other rational reaction.

I wish we could not find OURSELVES fighting about this issue. It helps nothing, just feeds the rage that's fucking up the world. It's ridiculous. So please, relax. We're not doing some sort of Yom Kippur War reenactment on here.

Also, there is another Berman on here, so you might wish to distinguish between us.


Sam Reed <sam_reed_approximately@hotmail.com>
Only a fool here would think he's got anything to prove ..., - Friday, April 19 2002 10:35:42

Hi there and sorry; didn't want to interrupt all you fine folks but I haven't been able to find PAB's email address, so I gave up and decided to clutter up the board a little.

Mr. Berminator, you may not remember me at all but I had a pleasant online "conversation" with you a long while back and would appreciate it if you would drop me an email.



Again, sorry to interrupt everyone else - won't happen again!

Kind Regards,


Jim Davis
- Friday, April 19 2002 10:30:42

LYNN: You're thinking of Bill Engvall. Not a bad comedian, but Hicks is on a whole other level. He died in 1992, but his work is enjoying a renaissance as of late. I highly recommend his albums DANGEROUS, RELENTLESS, ARIZONA BAY, and RANT IN E-MINOR. Check 'em out.

You know, I can spell words like "renaissance" with ease, but damned if "separate" doesn't throw me every time. *sigh*

Xanadu <X_a_n_a_d_u@yahoo.com>
Subject: Sign Giy - Friday, April 19 2002 10:29:19

Lynn: That would be Bill Ingwall.

Joseph J. Finn
Chicago, - Friday, April 19 2002 10:25:43


"Here's Your Sign" is by Jeff Foxworthy, which gives him a pass for all of his silly "You Might Be A Redneck" jokes for a while.

"Say, got a flat there?"


Lynn <cavalaxis@digitalcarrion.com>
- Friday, April 19 2002 10:18:18

Jim~ Duh. Good point. West Bank, Jerusalem, geographically speaking, wall stupid idea.

Is Bill Hicks the guy that did "Here's your sign."?


Jim Davis <scythian66@hotmail.com>
- Friday, April 19 2002 10:6:12


Does this mean I have to stop posting in the nude?

To be honest, a wall seperating the Israelis and Palestinians is the WORST idea I've ever heard. It smacks of Cold War-era Berlin, and wouldn't stop the violence one bit. Many Palestinians are effectively segregated from the Israeli population as it is, and that's not resulting in any peace dividends, so what good would a physical wall do? Would it actually stop attacks by either side? Also, where would it go? A major goal of the Palestinians is to return displaced populations to Israeli lands, so, unless there's some kind of zig-zaggy barrier that snakes through Israel like a crepe streamer, an arbitrarily-chosen scrap of land won't cut it. Why would Palestinians consent to being penned into an area of the Israelis' choosing anyway? Let's face it, if they can't figure out a way to live together as peaceful CO-EXISTING neighbors, then a brick wall isn't going to solve the problem.

(A big "what if?" of history: What if the Jewish State had been founded somewhere else? For a brief time, Argentina was the front-runner, if you can believe that. Sure would have avoided a lot of bloodshed down the line...)

ALEX JAY: Oh, I know who Bill Hicks is, you better believe. I heard his albums sometime in 1990 or so, so I've been a fan for awhile. I almost saw him perform once, but didn't make the show for some goddamned reason or another. Needless to say, I regret that very, very much. (BTW, I've never read PREACHER, but you've now given me another reason to check it out.)

"While you were out, I got the keys to your car. And drove it into a big wall. And if you don't like it, tough. I've had my fun, and that's all that matters."--FATHER TED

Lynn <cavalaxis@digitalcarrion.com>
- Friday, April 19 2002 9:53:18

{The passion in this post is representative of my own strong feelings about this situation, and are not to be taken personally.}
Berman, have you been living in a hole for the past two years? Have you *seen* what the Israelis do to *peaceful* protesters? Israel doesn't have a Bill of Rights, or care anything about Freedom of Speech. They don't use tear gas, they don't use bean bag bullets, they use LIVE AMMUNITION against peacefully protesting Palestinians. Do you know how Intifada II got started? Sharon showed up at the Al Aqsa mosque, one of the holiest Muslim sites in Jerusalem. (http://www.cnn.com/SPECIALS/2001/mideast/stories/timeline/templemount.html) Afterwards, Palestinians protested the Butcher of Beirut's presence in Al Aqsa and Israeli troops opened fire on them.

Why didn't we in the West see this? Because Israel doesn't have the same Freedom of the Press that we do. (Ask any of the NBC reporters that have been fired on in the last few months how the Israeli army feels about the Press).

The Palestinians don't have a Gandhi or a Martin Luther King. They have Arafat. A crusty old bastard who only knows how to fight. People like Martin Luther King and Gandhi are very rare, and forgive me if I doubt the Israelis would let such a figure ever come into the public eye. That's what they have helicopter gunships for.

I don't support terrorism or the killing of innocents, but if you look at the WHOLE picture, not just the five second sound bytes and tasty video clips, you will begin to understand that there is a lot more going on here than righteously indignant spotless conscience Israeli leaders routing out the evils of terrorism. Look at all the things that have happened over the few months, like the US finally speaking up on a UN referendum in favor of a Palestinian state, when historically they have never opposed Israel's handling of their own state affairs. Look at the death tolls for each side (in the hundreds for the Israeli's, well into the thousands for the Palestinians) compared to the relative population count and you tell me it doesn't reek of genocide.

To read more about the Butcher of Beirut, Ariel Sharon, read here: http://www.monitor.net/monitor/0102a/em-palestinebloodbath.html (search for the phrase 'women and children').


P.A. Berman
Any eye for an eye makes the whole world blind - Friday, April 19 2002 9:23:15

Why wouldn't non-violent resistance work for the Palestinians? Hell, for either side? Don't you think the side that chose to approach the conflict from a non-violent stance, with peace truly in its heart, would immediately gain the much sought after and hereforeto completely unattained moral high ground? The world is watching this conflict very carefully, and novel solutions like laying down arms, though radical, might actually lead to change. The only thing that IS clear that violence is definitely *not* the solution to this heartwrenching problem.

thinking, "Where is Solomon to just cut the baby in half?"

Lynn <cavalaxis@digitalcarrion.com>
- Friday, April 19 2002 9:9:26

Cindy~ You watch the Today show, don't you? I heard Matt Lauer say that this morning and I thought to myself, 'That's the best damned idea I've heard yet.' The only problem I see is the Israelis using it to cage the Palestinians. Put them in a box and forget about them. Am I the only one that sees the irony in the Jews oppression of the Palestinians? (no, not the ones with the bombs, the other ones.)

And someone else brought up the fact that suicide bombers go after innocents, not military targets, thus invalidating their act of defiance. And I suppose Sharon's tanks rolling through people's houses are acceptable military targets... I hope George Dubya is taking notes at how futile it is to track down a few terrorists in the midst of an innocent population. Excuse, a population that must be "harboring" terrorists. You folks in Florida had better watch out. Under Dubya's definition, you might be considered to be "harboring" terrorists.


Have you gotten your Webderland t-shirt yet?
$5 from every purchase goes to the KICK Internet Piracy Fund

Cindy <IAMCINDIANAJONES@netscape.net>
TEXAS USA - Friday, April 19 2002 8:47:14

How difficult would it be to build a wall to divide the Israelis and the Palestinians? They don't want to be together why not help them be separate? Would they keep jacking with each other anyway?

I don't think anybody wants foreign troops in Israel but somebody needs to step up and help sort it out.

I can't remember which one of y'all asked what I meant by "get rid of Arafat". Well, they have all of those tanks aimed at him, how difficult would it be to...uhh.


I suppose they could send him to Florida. The problem with relocating him is that he would still be able to manipulate his minions from a distance.

Whatever it takes the killing has to stop, for both sides.


Brian Siano <bsiano@bellatlantic.net>
- Friday, April 19 2002 8:19:14

I didn't get into Bill Hicks because of "Preacher." Found that on the Web while searching for Hicks material. I got into him after seeing his BBC special, which got rebroadcast on NBC after _Saturday Night_.

Odd coincidence about the passing of Thor Heyerdahl. _Vanity Fair_ has a pictorial of great explorers, and they had a dandy pic of Thor. And I thought, "My God, he's still alive?" Had the same though about Edmund Hillary, too.

Re Israel and Palestine. Boy, it'd be nice if I could simply shout "I support Israel" and get that wonderful feeling of stalwart bravery. But I can't. Maybe it's the fact that Israel's become a religiously oriented police state that's frequently run by its crazier and fundamentalist factions. Maybe it's the fact that it's governed the West Bank and Gaza Strip in a manner far less humane than, say, apartheid-era South Africa-governed bantustans. Maybe it's because of years of hearing commentary about undifferentiated "Arabs" that sounds amazingly like prewar European propaganda about Jews. And maybe it's just a matter of secular principle for me-- the idea of establishing a state on the basis of a promise from God in two-thousand-year-old holy writings strikes me as a BAD idea, generally.

By the way, if anyone wants to talk about Arab anti-Semitism, you'd so well to read Karen Armstrong's history of the Crusades, _Holy Wars_. Thanks to the Crusades, anti-Semitism became a major factor in both European and Middle Eastern life. (I'd also caution against patting the West on the back for lacking anti-Semitism-- the Holocaust was only sixty years ago.)

Melissa <entropy_5ca@yahoo.ca>
- Friday, April 19 2002 8:17:0

Good morning, all. My mother has taken my daughter for the day, and it's the eeriest feeling listening to an empty house.

Alex Jay: I don't want to be presumptive, but are you inferring that if I sent you the money you would mail the game? If that is the case, I wouldn't want you to have to do it. First, I've got a few other avenues I'm looking into, my preference being to deal direct with a vendor, especially if there's a problem with the game. Makes a return policy work better for me. Second, I don't know how busy you are and it would be an inconvenience, however small. If I didn't misread your intent, please accept my thanks for the offer.

By the Way, Canadians are just too dammed nice, sitting up there in their igloos, watching hockey as they eat their seal blubber and back bacon sandwiches smothered in maple syrup, bought with their undervalued monopoly money. Americans just can't trust people who smile and are so polite all the time.

Faisal: Our information comes out of NAMI newsletters, a few journals of the American and Canadian Psychiatric Associations, and various sites across the web. Scotty is very specific, a result of wanting to know what happened to his brother, giving him (and I) a sense of order against a chaos of not knowing, or understanding.

I haven't waded into the morass concerning the Middle East up to this point; as far as I'm concerned both parties are equally responsible, and a lot of innocents are wasted in the crossfire. Watching images of people pulling bodies out of a crowded restaurant bombed by an Palestinian extremist, then images of people pulling bodies out of the rubble caused by Israeli extremist response, all the while knowing that this will happen again and again...

Scotty ventured the opinion that both the Palestinians and Israelis who want to continue this psychotic endeavor should be separated from the vast majorities on both sides who want peace, be given all the weapons they want, and then be left to eradicate one another. I find this repugnant and have told him so, but he always states that both sides have never truly sought any other means of ending the conflict, and so give them all the bloodshed they want. Maybe if both sides gorge themselves enough, they'll finally stop from mere exhaustion. Common sense and reason have never worked.

Well, I'm going to do a bit of work, then off to see the man. Take care.

Love to all, Melissa

Jon Stover <jmstover_ca@yahoo.com>
Canada. - Friday, April 19 2002 7:34:43

Oh, and add to the list the names Nathan Smith, Marc Leger, Ainsworth Dyer and Richard Green. Bad millennium, indeed.


Cindy <IAMCINDIANAJONES@netscape.net>
TEXAS United States - Friday, April 19 2002 7:22:41

Darling Joseph,

She's an actual lesbian! Really! She's been in that mode for about a dozen years now.

Couldn't lesbianism or any other form of sexuality be as individual as fingerprints? Can one formula be applied to any two people, let alone a group?

It occurs to me that someone who is injured by a particular gender might seek comfort in another direction. Once in that, (I'm not going to use the word "rut"- THAT would be a mistake) hmmm, once in that pattern perhaps it is less distressing to stick with it than go with a way that didn't work so well in the past.

I would reiterate that this does NOT mean that I think this is the case for most or all just some...perhaps.

I'm in the dark on this one. Enlighten me, don't kick my ass!



Looks like I'm going to have to be the one to kick your ass a little. Go talk with some actual lesbians, not someone who was going through a traumatic time and may or may not be a lesbian. They can give you a much better perspective on lesbian sexuality than what you have right now. Basically, you're dealing with incomplete data and drawing conclusions that are therefore faulty.


- Friday, April 19 2002 7:18:29

I used to support Israel. Now I support neither side. The whole affair is just so base, and violent, and indicative of everything that's wrong with humanity, and very little that's right. Two groups of people, who are actually brothers, and who should be living together for the betterment of both, in a hopeless totem pole war that no-one is going to win.

Lynn said that she felt non-violent resistance (such as Ghandi, I suppose) would not work for the Palestinians. I'm not sure I agree. If the Palestinians had such a leader (like Mandela or Ghandi) and were able to stage this kind of resistance, world support would be quick in coming, and pressure on Israel would be immense. Britain DID leave India.

But Palestine's way has been to murder people to stir the pot. I'm very tired of Islamist bombing, and the sympathy I had for their cause has almost completely evaporated. Meanwhile, Israel's foreign policy is to run over villages with tanks, lending credence to the idea that maybe they should indeed be pushed into the sea, if this is all they have to offer the region.

Todd Cassel <TheDoh@prodigy.net>
NJ USofA - Friday, April 19 2002 7:7:59

I agree wholeheartedly with Bermanator. Arguing the Israel/Palestinian issue will almost always degrade into the same endless argument that is inherent in the issue itself. You are a racist, no you, you support murderers, no we support suppressed peoples trying to survive, you, no, yes, hate, scum, die.

I support Israel. That's it. No waste of hundreds of words to explain why. I support Israel and I cannot be swayed by any argument that tells me about innocent lives lost. Innocents are always caught in the middle of these horrible situations. That's why they are so horrible. World Trade Center innocents. Afghani innocents. Israeli innocents. Palestinian innocents. All sides die. It's shit.

And now, I go back to keeping my mouth shut on some of the more volatile political issues.


- Friday, April 19 2002 6:50:48

Alex: Funny you should mention "The Young Ones". Use to watch 'em all the time and caught the show yesterday for the first time in yonks. Neil spilling supper on the floor, the talking rats, Vyv. crashing through the wall, Rick espousing his anarchist views, and Mike doing whatever Mike does. I miss that show. Fawlty Towers: too many funny episodes to call one a favorite, but some of my standouts are: when Basil invites his and Sybil's mutual friends to their anniversary party and Sybil thinks Basil forgot and storms off and Connie Booth pretends to be Sybil sick in bed. Somehow, all the guests leave slightly injured and one remarks to Basil, "Thanks for the great time, must do this more often". Then, the "real" Sybil runs into everyone. Then there's the one where Basil wins the money on the horse, breaks the vase, the ol' lady can't hear, oh...nevermind, they'll all great episodes.

P.A. Berman
No one is right when everything is wrong - Friday, April 19 2002 5:14:1

Discussing the conflict in the Middle East is a very risky proposition to undertake if you don't want to cause a serious ruckus and hard feelings all around. It seems to me that both the Israelis and the Palestinians are behaving badly, both have sound reasons for feeling as they do, and there is no great answer to this question--no one side is right. Faisal, just as Rob's argument sounded racist to you, your inability to see any merit to the Israeli point of view at all smacks of your bias. In fact, I don't think you CAN have this discussion and take a side WITHOUT sounding racist. The situation is that complex and that fucked up.

I'm not saying you all shouldn't discuss this, but I'd hate to see it get out of hand. This issue tends to create little replicas of itself in these debates. I guess I personally am going to try to skip those posts because they make me feel reflexively angry. I realize this is only an iota of the anger the actual participants feel, and therefore don't want to add my emotional response to the already insane situation.
The futility of taking sides or arguing about this has worn me down. That's my $0.02.


Alex Jay Berman <smeghead@erols.com>
Philadelphia, - Friday, April 19 2002 4:58:33

JON: Actually, I picked up RANT IN E-MINOR a few months before Garth Ennis and Warren Ellis really started pimping for Bill in their lettercols.

Reading, I shrieked with joy when Jesse met Bill--my two favorite preachers hooking up.

But yeah; I think I'm one of the few who didn't get Bill through Garth.

Todd Cassel <TheDoh@prodigy.net>
NJ USofA - Friday, April 19 2002 4:51:47

I'm sticking by my man Blake! He's a relative (my mother-in-law, maiden name Gubitosi...not sure if I'm spelling that right...is a distant cousin to Robert Blake. She knew of him while growing up in Joisey, I think she lived a town over from him, but there was no family togetherness.

So, by marriage, and by my teenage love of Baretta, I'm sticking with my man. After all, in L.A. they've proven that the only way to lose a murder trial if you are famous is to have someone actually videotape the murder. Doesn't matter how much evidence there is....no videotape, let him go!

Blake should be golfing in Florida by next spring!


Jon Stover
Canada. Sundry Short - Friday, April 19 2002 4:50:1

Alex Jay: Ah, so now it turns out that I share a trait with you and John Constantine. Actually, you're supposed to get a prize -- a membership card and a decoder ring, but all the messages turn out to be "Drink Ovaltine."

Incidentally, virtually everyone I know who listens to Bill Hicks does so because of *Preacher.* Is this the case with you as well?


Finder <the-finder@mindspring.com>
- Friday, April 19 2002 4:43:49

Heather - Nope. Never had a homosexual encounter. I fell ass over tea-kettle in love with a woman who was my best friend and closest confidant in college, and the entire time never noticed, had an inkling, or felt on the breeze that she was a lesbian. (Blinders were on. It was my major operating mode in 1991). We broke each others' hearts on the back steps of Mad Murphy's Irish Pub on Saint Patrick's Day evening, both of us too drunk to keep secrets any longer. But I hardly think that counts. We're still thick as thieves, she's happily co-habitating with her partner, and at 33 I'm still a virgin, looking for an energetic, passionate frolic to break up the monotany of the never-ending summer of my discontent. C'est la vie.

Alex - Not a die-hard line quoter, but The Young Ones always, always, ALWAYS made me laugh.

Alex Jay Berman <smeghead@erols.com>
Philly, - Friday, April 19 2002 4:16:50

ZOE ROSE: "This page isn't being used as a text in the course." Well, no; no more than a cadaver is used as a "text" in a pre-med bio course. But it--and, by extension, WE--are being used as a resource. For a class which is not free.

You pay for your books, you pay for your supplies; even when you, as students, are told, "Go to the library and look up three books in the Dewey Decimal System," the library is receiving yourfunds via taxes--but hey, it's okay to put the product of Rick's work in the syllabus, unsolicited?

"It's not that I mind being used;" as the altar boy said to the other, "It's just that I like to be ASKED first!"
This is not "Ellison's Webderland;" rather, it is a site created and maintained by one Rick Wyatt which celebrates Harlan's work. And Rick's own work should be acknowledged when using it for class credit.
Or so I believe.

And, speaking of RICK: Thank you; the new display mode is helpful indeed.

FAWLTY TOWERS: One thing I liked was the fact that with every episode, the sign outside was rearranged to spell something different, with one episode inevitably announcing FLOWERY TWATS. Fell over in my chair, I did. And sick or no, I absolutely LOVED Basil's German-baiting after (I think) he was hit in the head ...

On the subject of Britcom, is anyone beside me a YOUNG ONES fan?

CINDY: Rape is the subversion of the sex drive into a power drive. At least, that's the way *I* see it. Now granted, a good deal of regular consexual sex is attended by a base drive of power, but that's more a play-acting, or a means toward two (or more) people sublimating their arguments or conflicts into another forum. It's SAFE, sex is, when it's good--or meant to be good. Just my take.

JOSEPH: Everybody's Skeet Surfin'!

LYNN: I was getting ready to respond with my own rant about how the Arab states--those kind, caring Arab states--are just as if not more culpable in the treatment of the Palestinians as Israel, with their own less-than-stellar dealings with the Palestinian people. How the Palestinians were given their own state in 1947--called Transjordan--but were kicked out by the Saudi-born King Hussain scant years afterward ...

... but fuck it. Neither side has clean hands; in fact, none of the MANY sides involved--Israel, the Palestinians, the Arab states, the West--has anything but blood on their hands and recriminations in their mouths.

And the people keep dying ...

MELISSA: Perhaps one of us could buy the game, then ship it to CanuckleheadLand? Careful, though--I have it, but it doesn't seem to work with my Windows98 ...

And regarding the "can't straight people be talked into being gay?" question you had for Lott: Of course! he would say. That possibility is what justifies his constant ranting against gays and their private bedroom practices. No one will fear a boogeyman if the boogeyman can't insidiously harm you: Jews make matzo from the blood of Christian children, Italians are all mobsters trying to control businesses, blacks are all muggers and rapists who want your daughters, aliens just want to cook and eat you, gays want to seduce away your special, innocent childrenm, and Canadians are all ... um. Symied on that last one.
But nevertheless, the politics of fear are the best way to get reelected, it seems.

LURK: Genetics is only good if we use it to cure people of their diseases, and ignore the other edge on that sword. Cures and medics, not Final Solutions and eugenics, thank you ...

JAY: I just sent a Canajun friend a package, and it didn't cost me that much more than the package I sent to Texas.

For those looking into soundtracks for the day, you might want to try Spinner, an internet radio application--a million channels of different things (***SIX*** Blues channels! Heaven!), all without commercials. It's at http://www.spinner.com

RICH: "Man, I just wanna hear that there's oil underneath the White House." Of COURSE there is! Leaving aside the oily bastards within, think of all the dinosaurs who lived and died there ...

JON: Tenor-baritone here (Not sure how many octaves I currently span, but it's still a lot more than the average bear).

HEATHER: Have I ever had a gay/lesbian experience? Not really, but not for lack of trying--theirs, not mine. I seem to have often been a gay man magnet. I have to admit, it's a hell of a compliment, and that's how I take it. Only one person has ever not taken that well, over ten years ago, and I freaked and almost broke his kneecap (was grabbed from behind, so ...).
And the thing is, people talk about how many gay friends they have. I don't think of my friends that way; they're just friends, gay or straight. A destructive relationshop is bad; a loving one, good. I want the best for my friends.

I HAVE dated a couple bisexual women, and even one avowed lesbian (John Constantine: "Do I win a prize?"), and they've much bemoaned my aberrant (to them) monosexuality. I shrug, in the main. It's just who I am. No genes, mind. Just what's in the jeans.

BRIAN THE COLLEGE STUDENT: Read the books. 'Nuff said.

CINDY: Whereas *I* understand lesbianism or female bisexuality more than ever I could fatrhom the attraction to another man. I wonder if this is endemic?

Also, though I can't understand being with another man, I've never wanted to ask any gay friends, "But wouldn't you really prefer a woman, deep down?" I dunno; if I were gay--lesbian, I mean, you might come off as slightly offensive.

JIM DAVIS: Bill Hicks. The heir to the Lenny throne--ohjeez; I don't believe I just said that, considering how Bruce Elvised. Anyway. If you love Lenny (and Pryor, and Carlin, et alia), you'll enjoy the hell out of Bill.

Jon Stover <jmstover_ca@yahoo.com>
Canada. - Friday, April 19 2002 4:8:34

A few bits. Thor Heyerdahl has died. I found his accounts entertaining and nourishing as a kid, so I thought I'd note his passing.

Robert Blake: I'm a little hopeful that CNN has gone off the rails with this one -- the other networks didn't pick it up live. Also, attempts to film the police car going down the freeway struck me as being so freakishly attemptedly OJ in execution that I imagine a lot of people must be saying 'What is CNN doing here?'

Palestine: There are some fine Fisk and Said pieces at www.counterpunch.com which I'd recommend for anyone who's od'ed on mainstream coverage of the Middle East, or who's at least finding a lot of mainstream coverage to be a bit Orwellian in its assignation of different, loaded terms for similar behaviour on different sides. They also helped me in going in search of what the various suggested plans actually entailed and what sort of death tolls have occurred over the decades. As a sidebar, I'd be a bit worried about Egypt not meeting with Powell on his way out -- if Egypt's fed up and tired of not being listened to, any hope for peace may be already gone.

FAQ: There was an Israeli suicide bomber, I believe -- a militant who was described by the media, not as a terrorist, but as a "maniac" after he killed a couple of dozen Palestinians.


Faisal A. Qureshi <faq@ic24.net>
Manchester, UK - Friday, April 19 2002 2:18:26

Melissa - Yes, I am aware of Greenberg's work though I haven't had a look at it for years. It was interesting area to go through and much more fun to examine than Glycolysis ;-)

When I do have time to read the literature, its often involves the biochemistry of aging, a bit of cancer and anything else that is the new hot thing. Due to my finances, I cannot afford a subscription to New Scientist of Scientific American as much as I would like too. Apart from the odd Oliver Sacks...

Which then brings me to Rob's comments about Palestinians and the Muslim world....

Frankly Rob, I'm not going to argue your flawed thesis about Arafat and all that but I am going to take you to task about your racism.

Yeah, you heard me right - the racist comments that were contained in your post.

Let me take one comment of yours and show you:

"And the fact that the Arab world is LITERALLY weaned on prejudice against the Jews ("Jesus killed the Jews"..."

If you knew anything about Islam and the middle east, you would know that Muslims do not believe that Jesus (or is Islam, Isa) was not crucified! Yeah, Arab Muslims, the majority of the population, still hold the cruxifixtion against anyone whose Jewish even though it isn't accepted in Islam.

How about this:

"Whatever human errors Israel might make in this struggle the Palestinians brought it on themselves...many of them literally asking for it. Blame THEM for killing the innocents on both sides, not Israel."

Replace Israel with the US and Palestinians as Black and see what I mean. Heck, I'll forget to mention Palestinians lack of civil liberties when it comes to Palestinians, the legal right the Israeli goverment has to use torture (remember this is a country that would like to be part of the EU and has a greater chance than Turkey), the fact that Palestinians can get heavily taxed and yet not recieve a single iota of help from Israeli administration or bureocracy, the fact that settlers in the West Bank have a licence to maim or kill any Palestinian without the Israeli army or Police (and God, would some of them love too, I know...) stepping in to arrest the culprit and put them behind bars, the facts...

Why am I even entering into a response to your ignorant remarks? I've got to know folks in Israel and the occupied terrortories, they've given me a far clearer picture than what you seem to have picked up from a CNN broadcast.

Lynn should have added one more thing about the desperation of suicide bombers - They have nothing to lose. You ever hear reports of an Israeli suicide bombers?


- Friday, April 19 2002 0:43:40


Kick me in my manhood and call me Bunny Breckenridge, I think you finally came up with a meaningless line:

"Homosexuals do have a good standard of living..."

...half the bums munching out of the bins in my back ally are probably gay. I don't pretend to be well-informed on this subject. But be it the orientations attributable to a neuron group in the anterior hypothalamus, or some other region of the brain, or a specific gene it is an innate feature to be sure. It can be argued in what cases and to what extent environment plays a role but how many good old-fashioned American nuclear families have had that one deviant sibling who, for no discernible reason, found him or her self to be somehow... "different"... and often at emotional odds with parents because of it? Provides a pretty good lab to examine and implies anyone from all walks of life, all races, all intelligence levels, all incomes, all social traits can be gay or bi. Living standards have nothing to do with anything; it's not like some correlate.

Outside of being some bizarre generalized misconception your line just doesn't make sense.

As for the Israelis' racism: Separating the fact that human is human the Muslim world proved to me they are solely bent on pushing Israel back into the sea. The sound deal the Palestinians were offered as a basis to build their own state turned down FOOLISHLY by Arrafat without a counter-offer; the subsequent onslaught of suicide bombings (the Palestinians' way of conducting war sans the military resources of wealthier countries); and this Resolution 194 (if I have the number right), the fine print contract offered by Saudi Arabia that would open Israel to practically every Palestinian who ever walked the earth, in effect dissolving the country. Arrafat's mock martyrdom is placing the Palestinians (and the Arab World) ahead in the game right now in the judging eyes of a gullible world. But they've lost my sympathy completely because of those factors (that phony resolution is what told me what I needed to know). And the fact that the Arab world is LITERALLY weaned on prejudice against the Jews ("Jesus killed the Jews", they utter by rote; even when theyíre Stanford graduates like the ones Barbara Walters interviewed about 2 weeks ago) makes it a reservoir of bigotry. How do you think that's going to effect Israel's perception of them?

Whatever human errors Israel might make in this struggle the Palestinians brought it on themselves...many of them literally asking for it. Blame THEM for killing the innocents on both sides, not Israel. The two cultures are caught in a war. Innocents are sadly killed in a war. Such sick, regrettable necessity was the case when the Jews were fed the ovens by Hitler - a juncture at which formal diplomacy was useless. Many innocents were killed in the collateral. The card deck is no different today. The more imperiled survival becomes the simpler the criteria, but the more complicated the answers.

Zoe Rose <ztreuer@d.umn.edu>
- Friday, April 19 2002 0:14:28


I'm a mixed-drink and wine only type of gal, but I get your point. I'd have to agree, substitutions don't do it for me. But that's not to say that the urge for others couldn't be satisfied by substitutional means. I dunno. They were made for some reason, weren't they (substitutes, not lesbians)?

--Zoe Rose

Joseph Finn <JosephFinn@yahoo.com>
Chicago, IL USA - Thursday, April 18 2002 22:20:2


Looks like I'm going to have to be the one to kick your ass a little. Go talk with some actual lesbians, not someone who was going through a traumatic time and may or may not be a lesbian. They can give you a much better perspective on lesbian sexuality than what you have right now. Basically, you're dealing with incomplete data and drawing conclusions that are therefore faulty.


Jim Davis <scythian66@hotmail.com>
- Thursday, April 18 2002 22:7:41

BARNEY: I'm with you 100%--pedophilia is a LEARNED BEHAVIOR, not a genetically-based alternate form of normal sexuality. I have no doubt that these pedophiles are replicating the abuse they suffered as children, and I can't believe for even one second that an allele is to blame for their acts.

HEATHER: Nah, I've never had a homosexual encounter. But this straight man wants everyone to know that David Bowie can have him ANYTIME he wants.

(This is kind of a safe admission to make. Bowie is very happily married to a woman--Iman, no less--so I don't think the Thin White Duke will be ringing my doorbell anytime in the near future. Still, if I had to go gay, he'd be the one...)

I feel compelled to kinda sorta stick up for Frank Church. I HAVE heard of some polls that show a greater per capital income for gays than straights--in America, anyway. So there IS kinda sorta a basis for his statement that homosexuals enjoy a higher standard of living. Kinda sorta.

The recent posts on Lenny Bruce have inspired to me to relisten to my CDs of his work (not that I need much prodding to do that). What a loss, his dying at 40. The man wasn't only a comedian, he was a trickster/shaman/hierophant-of-language. I especially love his skit "The Palladium" on the THE LENNY BRUCE ORIGINALS, VOL.2. What other comedian would have the BALLS to do a piece about, well, a BOMBING COMEDIAN? And make it so funny and tragic at the same time? Again: What a loss, what a loss, what a loss.

(I also love his line, "He was so tough, he wore wool suits without any underwear." KILLER.)

Cindy <IAMCINDIANAJONES@netscape.net>
TEXAS USA - Thursday, April 18 2002 21:41:40




Jim Davis
- Thursday, April 18 2002 21:16:15

Yes, Cindy, it's sad. But sadder still is how CNN and all the other networks have gone completely apeshit over this Robert Blake arrest. It's O.J. Redux, and man, they can't fill the pigtrough fast enough. So if you're sick of the story already, well, you'd better just take a vacation from your TV set for the next few weeks. Hell, take the next YEAR off.

Wasn't 9/11 supposed to have stopped this kind of onanistic celebritycentric bullshit?

(Sorry, but watching Aaron Brown lecture me about the necessity for ANOTHER hour of analysis on Bob Blake's travails has made me a littly cranky. This is why the mainstream media, which showed signs of turning itself around after the WTC attack, is completely bankrupt in terms of actually informing the public about the issues that matter. I've always admired Blake's work, and I hope he didn't do what he's accused of. But the whole thing doesn't deserve 24-hr, blow-by-blow coverage. Just tell us what happened--not what is SURMISED, not what is SPECULATED, but WHAT IS ACTUALLY KNOWN AND IS VERIFIABLE--and move on, for Chrissakes.)

(Or am I just a party-pooper?)

Cindy <IAMCINDIANAJONES@netscape.net>
TEXAS USA - Thursday, April 18 2002 20:30:55

Robert Blake arrested for the murder of his wife?

The whole thing is sad.


Cindy <IAMCINDIANAJONES@netscape.net>
TEXAS USA - Thursday, April 18 2002 20:12:22


On the lesbian-needs-a-man discussion:
Hey I totally agree with nothing being quite as satiating as a man, but it occurs to me that there are a lot of ways to, well - fake having a man in there with ya. "

You can't tell me that you'd just as soon have a Pearl Light beer as a Guinness. For some things there ARE no substitutions.

I guess I've been to the mountain.


Heather Lovatt <heatherlovatt@yahoo.ca>
Subject: Gonna go lay down but.., - Thursday, April 18 2002 20:10:1

Melissa, you make me laugh. I liked that last part of:

"The problem is with three kids, well, try to find time."

H, going away now. Too much sun, wind and jogging, I think.

Heather Lovatt <heatherlovatt@yahoo.ca>
Subject: DANGER DANGER Incomplete thinking..., - Thursday, April 18 2002 20:7:22

Let me see if I can write this out. This is definitely a situation where I am writing to TRY to explain what I think I think.

I may fail.

You said, you can understand what a male sees in another male because you can see it too. This is true. Here's another view: (bound to befuddle so bite me, okay?)

I was staring at the ubiquitous magazine rack in my local convenience store the other day. Girlie mags on the top rafter, women's mags on the bottom. Girls in scantily dress in the top, WOMEN, in scantily dress but oh so healthy, happy and..WAIT A MINUTE..

Suddenly, I DON'T see a difference. I see men's magazines with half-dressed women on the front with "come fuck me or I'm oh so virginally" looks and women's magazines with..HMMMMMMMM...

Let's look a little closer, shall we?

I'll start with this: Years ago, I was in a bookstore looking at this book. I don't remember the title but the book was filled with naked men. I DON'T remember (this was too long ago and I feel if I draw it out, I'll just apply my CURRENT view to what I saw back then) how it struck me except that I remember saying..hmm..that man is sitting on a lawn chair and I can see his penis. Am I supposed to be aroused the way a man is when he see the cunt and breasts on a naked woman?

(Hmm...*my head hurts. I'm getting a headache here. I don't get headaches. Either I'm tired, or I'm fucked to find a solution to what I'm trying to figure out here. I may not FIGURE OUT anything.)

I remember watching skin flicks on either a french pay channel or maybe, some porn channel that I was able to access. I REALLY can't remember. All I remember is seeing men being shown to get ready to be revved up by the sight of this woman..either playing with herself ..or..us seeing long, alluring shots of her body in seductive dress or her breasts jangling and her going oh oh oh, as the male mounted her from behind..


I have seen..so many IMAGES..in my life..that were MADE..obviously for a man's enjoyment (titillation..whatever). I think I have a better understanding of what turns on a man--by way of things I've VIEWED..that's the key point, here..VIEWED..in the media.

I have VERY few images from which to draw on what _I_ as a woman, as supposed to find titillating about a man.

Oh.. I'm sorry.. that's partly IT, isn't it? Men aren't SUPPOSED to appear 'titillating,' are they? There's an element to these WOMEN'S images that one comes to realize (if one is not DEAD, that is) of woman as support hose--you just put them ON, don't you? They're in a supporting role.

Couldn't ever have THAT for a man's image, now COULD you?

Hmm..I think I need to go write such a story. I'll see how it turns out. MAN as a titillating object.

Hmmm..(and I didn't say gay.) (or DID I?)

Heather, too few brain cells, too little time.

P.S. I think my head DOES hurt. I'll stop with what I've written so far.

Melissa <entropy_5ca@yahoo.ca>
- Thursday, April 18 2002 20:6:7

Heather: Sorry, but no lesbian/gay sexual experiences here. I think myself and Scotty enjoy what we have well enough. The problem is with three kids, well, try to find time.

A Boy and His Dog; Brian, what film were you watching? Do you recall the sequence where you see the three sets of feet watch Vic from a distance? Lew's (Jason Robards) voice tells the others that he'll work nicely.

Vic and Quilla June (I've been exposed to this film a fair number of times) get it on because Quilla wants to set the hook. How else is a woman going to get a man to follow her across a post-apocalyptic Earth? For the night-life? The only way she'll get Vic to go down under is to make it worth his while, and Vic, who as a solo is motivated merely to eat, sleep and fuck will follow willingly if he gets one of the three.

Look, it's a sad thing for a guy to be led around by his scrotal sac, but in the case of the film, where those who live above the surface sacrifice their civilized nature to lead a more primal existence, it fits into the story's and film's logic.

Now, to an argument my sister and I had over the conclusion of the story. Sis screamed misogyny, claiming that the act of cannibalism was displaying the author's (forgive her, Mr. E., she knows not what we know of you, of your loving kindness for all things and all people) hatred of women. After the good laugh I had (Sis was always one for supplying a chuckle) I asked her a simple question.

If the genders were reversed; if Quilla had eaten Vic to save Blood, what would it have been then?

It would've been survival, the same as Vic eating Quilla.

You know, I love "Eating Raoul".

And after that, I'm off to read a bit, and sleep. Have a good evening everyone. Melissa

Cindy <IAMCINDIANAJONES@netscape.net>
TEXAS USA - Thursday, April 18 2002 20:5:10

I think the big mistake was made around 1919 when a British Commission recommended that "the project of making Palestine distinctly a Jewish commonwealth should be given up".

If things had been constructed then, put into place perhaps we would have avoided the subsequent decades of horror.

No one could object to the SUICIDE of those who are oppressed but when they blow themselves up IN HOTELS with people holding a wedding party or passover celebration it goes way off the chart.

Sympathy becomes dislodged when teenagers and babies who have nothing to do with the angst of the insane are blown apart.
Who could blame the Israelis for stepping up the violence in response to such reprehensible acts? Did you see the news clips? Those weren't soldiers they blew up.

War is bad. No sect is blameless.

We took Texas from Mexico and the United States from the Indians. What do you glean from that? People are territorial they demand their piece of Earth and the strong usually whip the under gunned.

Cats eat mice and it's never pretty.


Will someone please explain to me why it's such a surprise that children raised in refugee camps, who have known nothing but occupation their entire lives, why is it such a surprise that they're willing to *kill* themselves in an act of defiance against their oppressors? It isn't as if they can go out and join the Army, fight for their country, and get money for college at the same time, now, is it? It isn't as if they can hope to protest peacefully without being shot down by Israeli troops. It isn't as if any form of non-violent resistance would do anything to change their situation. Israel has created the perfect breeding ground for terrorists by their treatment of Palestinians and now they act as if they have no part in the violence. I'm not a poli-sci specialist, but jumpin' jehosaphat, you don't create loyal citizens by treating people like animals! You don't gain the love of your people by bulldozing their homes! And you certainly don't make a bad situation better by escalating the violence! If the Butcher of Beirut's first response is violence, why should he expect anything less from the Palestinians!

These people are sitting on the greatest tourist trap ever created and all they can do is shoot at each other! Rule #1: BULLETS AND BOMBS ARE BAD FOR BUSINESS!

::sigh:: And no, I don't feel better.

Xanadu <X_a_n_a_d_u@yahoo.com>
Subject: Does Anyone Really Read These Things? - Thursday, April 18 2002 19:43:44

Brian of the college-level course. Thank you for coming, enjoy the show, let your prof. know you got a response - but here's the skinny.

Harlan is a writer - he wrote this novella called, of all things - "A Boy and His Dog". It was pretty popular, it won some awards and someone decided to make a movie about it.

You saw that movie.

It's an adaption of the original work - an adaption not completely or even primarily written by Mr. Ellison.

As Harlan is fond of saying - please, read the novella. He's really a rather good writer (many of his works have won awards, from many different organizations across many diferent media).

The novella will more clearly illustrate exactly what the movie tried to say. You'll come away with a subtext that apparently escaped you from the film.

And from my personal experience - it's a good story as a WRITTEN WORK.

(Sorry Zoe, I don't think he's gonna like this one as much as yours)

Heather Lovatt <heatherlovatt@yahoo.ca>
Subject: Cindy, you said:, - Thursday, April 18 2002 19:31:10

"I can understand male homosexuality alot easier than female. I can see what men see in men because I SEE IT TOO."

Someone is yapping beside me. I can't think. Remind me of this. I'll come back to this issue, okay?

Heather, who wants to kill people who yap in the quiet area of a library.

Zoe Rose <ztreuer@d.umn.edu>
- Thursday, April 18 2002 19:30:42

Eeeps. I'm just going to go ahead and wince, here...

Brian - Prepare for a beating. It's fun if you can take it. By the way, you from Duluth?

On the lesbian-needs-a-man discussion:
Hey I totally agree with nothing being quite as satiating as a man, but it occurs to me that there are a lot of ways to, well - fake having a man in there with ya.

On Star Wars:
Justin, I haven't read that page you posted, but I will. Just a question, not meant in any way to be religiously insulting to anyone. In the first of the 'new' Star Wars movies, didn't things seem to be getting a bit.. well, Christian? The devil-like guy, conception without the sex, etc? Whatcha think?

Think I'll stop there...

--Zoe Rose

Broken Hill, NSW Australia - Thursday, April 18 2002 19:22:56

Brian, regarding A BOY AND HIS DOG; go to the top of this page and click on the Archives link found in the Forum Links area. Then select Comment Archive 11/04/2001 to 12/08/2001.
A search of this page may answer many of your questions.

Proudly brought to you by cut and paste, and the letters deja vu


Cindy <IAMCINDIANAJONES@netscape.net>
TEXAS USA - Thursday, April 18 2002 19:22:54


That one got away from me before I could edit it.


Cindy <IAMCINDIANAJONES@netscape.net>
TEXAS United States - Thursday, April 18 2002 19:20:51


Darlin'! Spoken like a kid who has never had a woman fall like a tree at his feet. OH, buddy it DOES happen and sometimes it doesn't even take ONE NIGHT!
Fucking in a hollowed out boiler of some deserted bunker AFTER one night IS something that could not only happen but also be (sadly) considered the HIGHT POINT of some individuals lives!

I'm not KIDDING!

For the guy to go after a woman met under such circumstances is ENTIRELY possible if all of the cogs in both wheels align in such a spectacular fashion that it is inescapable and life altering.

My advise to you my dear boy is to live a bit longer and then watch this again when you've had a few life altering encounters with perfect women who shake you to the marrow of your bones by just looking at you.

I might surmise that you have never had such an experience compounded by The girl falling in love with Don Johnson after ONE NIGHT fucking in the hollowed out boiler of some deserted bunker? Him going after her seemed incredibly out of character, cliche' and just ill developed.

Listen to the dialogue again when you don't have a migraine from cramming for exams. It is a riot.


Now giddowdahere kid yabug me!


- Thursday, April 18 2002 18:52:1
I have just watched "A Boy and His Dog" for a college level science fiction course and was just curious to get some feedback from you fine people. I had never heard of Mr. Ellision before watching this movie so I know next to nothing about his works, his level of involvement in production or anything.

My first impression wasn't a very peachy one. While the premise and the on-screen back and forth between Vic and Blood was excellent, I found the movie lacking substance. It seemed to get it's main thrust from some sort of hyper symbolism which I could never really understand. Truth be told... I'm not sure if there even WAS any symbolism or this was supposed to just be a farce, spoof, film of the absurd or what.

The plot seemed incredibly thin, but maybe that was the point? The girl falling in love with Don Johnson after ONE NIGHT fucking in the hollowed out boiler of some deserted bunker? Him going after her seemed incredibly out of character, cliche' and just ill developed.

After reading Mr. Ellison's biography and all the fans clammoring to praise him I had a hard time trusting my own judgement. I really just want to call this a bad movie and get it over with. Interesting yes. Innovative... maybe....
but bad.

I'm having a hard time because I think I could be wrong.
Any advice, information etc... would be appreciated.

Heather Lovatt <heatherlovatt@yahoo.ca>
Subject: Being as I can see this COMING.., - Thursday, April 18 2002 19:17:25

all the little Internet rats jumping on ship, that is; I just wanted to comment--unrelatedly to this guy's post, where he said, about "A Boy and his Dog"...

"The plot seemed incredibly thin, but maybe that was the point? The girl falling in love with Don Johnson after ONE NIGHT fucking in the hollowed out boiler of some deserted bunker? Him going after her seemed incredibly out of character, cliche' and just ill developed.

Uhmm..I dunno what planet you (or others like you, soon to visit) live on but I hadda laugh at this comment above.

Christ, when DOESN'T the woman fall in love with the man after one night, inna movie, hmm? Cut the crap, eh? We're talking movies here, aren't we? You getting a version of them that I've been missing out on or summat?

And finally (not that I need to say this--we have plenty of other who will) what's with you, person? Harlan Ellison didn't MAKE the fucking movie, some bloody director did. (And as I recall Ellison mentioning, the director put the famous last phrase in, contrary to Ellison's intent.) (Or will someone correct me by saying that Ellison wrote the screenplay or summat..which is it? Not that THAT completely matters.)

All I plan to say on this crapola. Let others play with it. What is this called, "pseudo-academic baiting" or summat?

Cindy <IAMCINDIANAJONES@netscape.net>
TEXAS USA - Thursday, April 18 2002 19:7:33

Okay Heather,

Lesbian experience.

I have a good friend who was once in love with a married man. He didn't care about his wife and he didn't care about her (as is usually the case). He broke her heart and she moved to a bigger town. She's not a pretty girl, she has some masculine attributes and would probably have been a rather fetching guy, I guess. She's buff and built. She was desolate over the loss of the big loser and not really getting great odds for another man coming down the pike any time soon. So, she ended up going to a gay bar with a guy friend and met all these women that treated her like she was just the cutest thing that the cat ever dragged up.
Lonely and hurt, she suddenly found herself the bell of the ball in the Lesbian "in" crowd of this cow town. So she turned gay. I'll never forget the day she told me of the big switch. She had gotten involved with a woman with a HUGE ASS and they were going to be "joined in a holy union ceremony." Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmm, this was so foreign to me. I said, " So you're telling me that you can go the rest of your LIFE without a- a-- a payoff? " I shook my head. See I heard what Harlan said, I didn't shake my head "no".
I added, "You're going to be happy with nothing but endless foreplay?" She said that was crass and I suppose it was, I prefer "frank". I thought she was making a huge error and that there would come a time when she'd have to have a MAN again.

She and the little woman with the ass that looked like it was smacked with some sort of nuclear frying pan broke up a couple of years later. No divorce just apart and finished. She's alone now and I wonder if she ever thinks about men. I know she has classified herself as a lesbian, but still the memory of having a man would linger wouldn't it? Even if he didn't love you. His arms, his weight his smell-- GOD there is NOTHING like a man.

I can understand male homosexuality alot easier than female. I can see what men see in men because I SEE IT TOO.


Heather Lovatt <heatherlovatt@yahoo.ca>
Subject: Apropos of ...I dunno, - Thursday, April 18 2002 18:57:59

I was in the drug store the other day and read a little of Michael J. Fox's bio. I LIKE Michael J. Fox. It annoyed me sometimes that the roles he was given, way back when, limited his progression as an actor. (Typical Hollywood planning. Find a key/stereotypic role for an actor and make him REPEAT that role for the rest of his career. *sigh*)(I liked "Bright lights, Big City, for example.) I haven't seen the current show he was in. I hope it was a little meatier for him, but no matter.

It saddens me to know that this disease has tapped him on the shoulder--I sometimes wonder if the real hyper ones (and he struck me as a hyper one, in his early days, of doing films and television back to back to back to back to back) are predisposed to their brains running a little fast, ergo their brains (and metabolisms) being a little more prone to deadly blasts like his Parkinson's disease.

Yet, what also comes to mind, despite the huge amounts of money he is helping to raise for this disease...well..I'll give you an example..

There was a woman in the local paper the other day being talked about. She is dealing with cancer and apparently dealing with it nobly. Why shouldn't SHE matter just as much as Michael J.?

I hope you get my point. I don't think it's bad that focus is put on any cause by way of ANY one person. The chance for cures might be increased, due to this. I just think the other, not-so-famous Parkinson's diseased person are saying, "Hmm..NOW they make a big deal of it. NOW, because it's some celebrity. How about when it's just li'l ole me?"

Does that make sense?

Yes, I realize Fox and other celebs like him, who unfortunately, have found themselves in really crippling (literally) situations--Christopher Reeves is another example--are to be CONCERNED about.

But why did you have to wait for some CELEBRITY to get sick to find these causes important? Doesn't 'just some guy' matter too?

Hmm..tossing out small bombs, perhaps. Deal with these as you will.

Heather, staring a little hard at the universe these days, I suppose...

P.S. I started reading this URL on Michael J. Fox, on the weekend. It's quite long and it's about his "coming out," you might say. (Another thing that angers me--that he'd have to keep this ailment hidden. *sigh* Damn, that makes me angry; the more I think of it.) You might find it interesting:


I think it's partly because I am interesting in diseases of the brain (I guess you could say. I found Robin Williams/Robert DeNiro movie, "Awakenings", on this subject interesting.)

Andrew <drew71@hotmail.com>
San Diego, CA - Thursday, April 18 2002 18:53:29

Wading into the gene pool (briefly)...

Genetic predisposition aside, let's not forget how dicey sexual determination really is. It's amazing to me, that anyone winds up (basically) normal at birth. I was astonished at the number of gender "re-assignment" surgeries that are actually performed in this country. I was equally astounded by how many of those "re-assigned" individuals end up switching gender roles entirely. With that in mind, is it any wonder that so many folks end up confused about their sexual preferences (or their gender)?

So I guess it comes down to; How much of our sexuality is determined by genetics? What about hormones during gestation? Howzabout environment?

Food for thought...


Who is *not* saying that being homosexual is necessarily confusing...

Brian <limbbomb@hotmail.com>
- Thursday, April 18 2002 18:52:1

I have just watched "A Boy and His Dog" for a college level science fiction course and was just curious to get some feedback from you fine people. I had never heard of Mr. Ellision before watching this movie so I know next to nothing about his works, his level of involvement in production or anything.

My first impression wasn't a very peachy one. While the premise and the on-screen back and forth between Vic and Blood was excellent, I found the movie lacking substance. It seemed to get it's main thrust from some sort of hyper symbolism which I could never really understand. Truth be told... I'm not sure if there even WAS any symbolism or this was supposed to just be a farce, spoof, film of the absurd or what.

The plot seemed incredibly thin, but maybe that was the point? The girl falling in love with Don Johnson after ONE NIGHT fucking in the hollowed out boiler of some deserted bunker? Him going after her seemed incredibly out of character, cliche' and just ill developed.

After reading Mr. Ellison's biography and all the fans clammoring to praise him I had a hard time trusting my own judgement. I really just want to call this a bad movie and get it over with. Interesting yes. Innovative... maybe....
but bad.

I'm having a hard time because I think I could be wrong.
Any advice, information etc... would be appreciated.

Cindy <IAMCINDIANAJONES@netscape.net>
TEXAS USA - Thursday, April 18 2002 18:31:39


YOU wrote:
" If the two primary things a person contributes to the planet are carbon dioxide and human suffering, no argument in favor of their continued existence on this planet has any validity. "

I think that comment kicks ass. You're good kid, really good.

Heather Lovatt <heatherlovatt@yahoo.ca>
Subject: Ah, well.. then.., - Thursday, April 18 2002 18:18:51

the next question is: Have you ever had a gay/lesbian experience---of any nature?

I'd have to dig a little harder to recall more than this but here are two that spring to mind:

When I lived in Hamilton, years ago, I worked for a guy who had a client who ran a clothing store. I can't remember what situation PUT me in the store, but I was helping there one day--this other lady working with me, showing me around--and a rather "mysterious" looking woman came into the store. I was trying on clothes (they were trying to dress me up for working in the clothing store), and I put on this blouse with an animal print on it. I just liked it for the animals but I suppose the woman who started eyeing me and complimenting me a little more than it seemed reasonable, liked me in it for other reasons. She left the store and my coworker cued me into the fact that the woman was a lesbian. It felt a little strange.

More recently, I worked in a family restaurant as a cashier, waitress and short order type. I wore one of those standard waitress-like uniforms and I must admit it fit me pretty nice.

There was a regular customer who came into the restaurant most nights; she hung with her current girlfriend and they'd sit and natter like an old married couple. I caught her eyeing me a few times, a little more appreciatively than a woman might do with another person.

I talked to her on a few occasions--this was a small restaurant, you see. She was interested in writing, as it happens, so we'd chat about this or that. The thing I found interesting though--and I don't know why I never considered this (probably because it never happened before)--she acted "macho" like a guy. I'm talking in that stereotypic sense that _I_, as a female, generally find a little annoying.

She would sit sometimes with her other cronies who frequented the play, and talk a bit too loud, making stupid comments about women they liked and.. (hmm..how to put it without every guy in the Internet room here trying to peg himself as a similar type and getting annoyed with me) well.. ACT LIKE A GUY.

After a while, and due to a few go-rounds with her and her current girlfriend (who seemed to start acting a bit cool towards me once she sensed this woman was "ogling" me, let us say), I kinda stopped talking to her. I sorta felt bad about it but then I realized, I wouldn't put up with this behaviour from a guy; why would I put up with it from a girl?

*sigh* Never mind. I'm gonna hear crap on this comment. I just know it.

Anyway, both experiences were a still strange.

Has this happened to any of you? (or vicey voo, of course.)

Justin again
- Thursday, April 18 2002 17:42:33

Lynn, you'll get no argument from me. My tail always gets bushy when people start discussing theories as to why these predators do what they do, as opposed to discussing hard facts about what happened the victims.

You all might be interested in this article I just read at Salon.com (in case you haven't noticed, I'm sitting around on the 'net tonight, catching up on all the internet nonsense I've missed this semester). The article is called GALACTIC GASBAG:


It goes a long way toward disproving the story George Lucas has tried to cultivate, about how he got the inspiration for Star Wars from ancient myths. The article really gives lots of credit to the early pulp SF writers like E.E. "Doc" Smith. I've been into Star Wars since I was four years old, don't get me wrong, and I've got nothing but love for Uncle George. But come on...credit where credit is due.

Lynn <cavalaxis@digitalcarrion.com>
- Thursday, April 18 2002 17:24:1

Justin wrote: "On no? I've seen what sexual predators do to people, and how it fucks their lives and the lives of their loved ones. The only crime I can think of that's worse is outright murder. "

Justin, I have a dear friend who was molested from age 6 through age 13. Let me just make the observation that murder victims only suffer once. Molestation victims suffer in ways you can not begin to equate with anything you've ever experienced. DID, flashbacks, suicidal tendencies, these are just a few of the symptoms.

Death isn't good enough for serial abusers of children.


Melissa <entropy_5ca@yahoo.ca>
- Thursday, April 18 2002 17:22:13

A good evening to all. Scotty sends along his best; after sixteen hours of work, and then two more chasing his children about a man can get tired.

Faisal: So, you're aware of Paul Greenberg's work into dopamine receptors? Stunning stuff, from what I've been able to decipher so far. (I have to admit; advance biochemistry takes a bit of slogging for me) What fascinates me is his proof of how the kinases functions to change the protein in order to control the function of the neurotransmitter. Now he and his team have ascertained over 100 phosphorproteins within brain function, hoping to further unlock schizophrenia, Parkinson's disease and a host of neurological dysfunctions.

In an aside to another topic of discussion here it's a hell of an improvement over somewhat antiquated conceptions of psychiatric disease. Freud's conceptions regarding homosexuality comes to mind.

Gotta go, all. Have fun.


- Thursday, April 18 2002 17:19:19

Xanadu, this works better if we argue about the issues, not about each other.

>I'd hollow out their skulls and use them as soup dishes if the government would let me. <

Yes, the whole issue is dehumanizing. For the children, the perpatrators, and those who must judge. Nobody wins, and everyone comes out stained.

P.A. Berman
Big Gay Gene (Al's Twin Brother) - Thursday, April 18 2002 17:14:47

NOTE TO ALL WHO ARE RANTING AGAINST THE GAY GENE: Officially dropped as a subject by me, the person who said it originally. No one said anything about isolating a gay gene. In fact, no one is even saying that gayness is completely genetically determined. So go right ahead and continue arguing about it, by all means, but not with me.

Brian/Faisal: When I said people who are gay will say they were always gay, I clearly stated "self-identified gay guy." I don't mean people who were experimenting in college, had that one experience, were in prison, or whatever. I mean people who are out, part of a gay community, etc. They will tell you they were always gay. What exactly are you guys arguing against? That these people are just choosing to be gay? That there is nothing inherent or immutable about it? I'm never going to concede that and I think it's false. Not sure if you still want to hammer away about it, but hey, knock yourselves out.

I don't believe sexuality is a linear, measurable quantity. Rather than charting it on a two dimensional line with a point on either end ala the Kinsey Scale, I think of it as being three dimensional, fluid, and operating on so many levels pervading a person's life. People self-identify, and they would know better than we, outside labelers, would. If they say they were born gay, who are you to disagree? Therefore, if you're trying to convince me that being gay isn't simply genetic, or whatever, no need. I know sexuality is a complicated issue and we're not going to nail it all down on this BB.

Frank: Crass? I think I've been very patient. Look not to the mote in my eye.


- Thursday, April 18 2002 16:55:22

Oh yeah...Michael: THE MALTESE FALCON was da bomb. Now I know why Bacall married him.

"When you're slapped you'll take it and like it." WHACK! WHACK! Genius.

- Thursday, April 18 2002 16:42:39

On the genes in homosexuality issue: I've heard it remarked that there's no way, because the purpose of genes is to reproduce themselves. To live on in future generations. So therefore the evolution of a gene for homosexuality would be staggeringly unlikely. On the other hand, we see now that more and more homosexual couples are wanting to have children through various methods, or at least wanting to adopt children, so I don't know how much weight the previous argument holds. Interesting question. Genetics is fascinating, as is memetics.

Justin <thedogindiana@hotmail.com>
- Thursday, April 18 2002 16:35:57

Christalmighty. Who even CARES if there's a "gene" for predatory sexual behavior? If only the government would let me, I'd pull the switch on every repeat-offending (I'm being very nice here) sexual predator, from date rapists to child pornographers.

"Oh, Justin's just posturing and he wouldn't really do that to a mass of living, breathing human beings."

On no? I've seen what sexual predators do to people, and how it fucks their lives and the lives of their loved ones. The only crime I can think of that's worse is outright murder. So yeah, I'd honest to god flip the switch and then go have a snack. In fact, I'd hollow out their skulls and use them as soup dishes if the government would let me.

I don't care what the "contributing factors" are. Someone was raised in an environment where sexual abuse was prevalent? I know for a fact that people can overcome that. For those who choose not to? I have no sympathy for anyone, I don't care what their background is, who can ignore the sqealings of a woman or a child in the process of being traumatized. You can chastise me if you want to about making decisions about who deserves to live and who deserves to die, but lines have to be drawn somewhere. If the two primary things a person contributes to the planet are carbon dioxide and human suffering, no argument in favor of their continued existence on this planet has any validity.

If only somebody would put me in charge, just for 24 hours.

Frank Church
- Thursday, April 18 2002 16:32:12

Gore Vidal makes the point that there are no gay people just gay acts. He gets in trouble for these thoughts, especially since he has been living with the same man for years.

Camille Paglia also makes the point that she doesn't believe in actual monogamous gay relationships. Her view is that most people are bi.

Just food for thought.

Faisal A. Qureshi <faq@ic24.net>
Manchester, UK - Thursday, April 18 2002 16:27:56

The great Gay Gene debate

OK... let me ask one thing, isolate the exact location of the 'Gay Gene'? OK, I know that certain 'MARKERS' are on the X chromosome and that these 'MARKERS' seem to have a higher incidence's in people who practise male homosexual activities. This is not a definite indication of the 'Gay Gene'. Do I have to get out my copy of Stryer, Voet & Voet, and contact dear Prof. Higgins, a man who opened my eyes and interests to the complexities of sexual development, to specify in terms why saying that there is a definite 'Gay gene' is about as substancial as finding one that determines an individuals 'air guitar' activity. In fact, so bemused have I become with the current happening, I am going digging up my notes, my essays and emailing colleagues to try and make this a lot clearer.

Berman, I have to agree with Brian here about citing your friends feelings towards their own homosexuality. I did, for a while, work on gay issues with the NUS and I met homosexuals who came from a wide variety of backgrounds. Some of them don't feel gay, some of them oscillate between male and female relationships, some of them have been gay and then went straight, some of them... All I'm saying is that there are a wide variety of people who practise homosexual behaviours and then you have to take into account upbringing, cultural differences, etc. (in some African and Asian communities, homosexuality isn't even defined as a seperate sexual activity but just a everyday part of growing up). Some of the people I knew never thought they were gay until years later, others just went looking for love, etc. etc. (On this very subject, I reccomend the book Out in the Open by S. Norris and E. Read, Pan Books, 1985).

Mellissa - Yes, there is stronger evidence that patients suffering from Schizophrenia may be more susceptable to the condition due to a genetic factor. I can't cite the studies (the most famous being the Amish geneology examination) but this can be easily monitored when chemical levels within schizophrenic individuals show higher levels of IP3's.

If I was shown a chart where a person has higher than usual phosphorylation level in their brain, I could say that theres a high chance that they 'might' be schizophrenic as there are only a limited amount of stimuli that could produce such a result...
(For example, from drug use, especially PCP).

But if I saw the dietary record of an individual with low Tryptophan levels, I would be VERY reluctant to label then as a potential homosexual.

Jay - Lynn is quite right. Yassar Arafat and Palestine, frankly, Arafat didn't have much power over dipshit other than a pretty corrupt police force. The Israeli action actually made him more popular. Arafat has little control over suicide bombers and this is just another excuse by Ariel Sharon to go and practise some more ethnic cleansing for the sake of his major supporters. Arafat recognised years ago that accomodation with Israel is more plausible than outright destruction. May I reccomend Fisk, Chomsky and Said for this (With a bit of Ghilan and Stephen Green on the side).

Now I hope the above made sense as I'm tired, hungry and haven't spelt check the dratted thing.


Frank Church
- Thursday, April 18 2002 16:26:48

Lynn, there is never a justification to kill innocent people, but you are right in your overall rant. Also, you would think Israel would not resort to this kind of racism, especially with their human history as a guide.

Frank Church
- Thursday, April 18 2002 16:19:9

Actually, I have seen the idiocy in my last posting: Homosexuals do have a good standard of living, on average, but I was seemingly implying that they were not an abused class. I appologize, exceedingly.

Bermanator, no need to be crass.

Barney <dannelke01@enter.net>
Allentown , PA. - Thursday, April 18 2002 16:7:48

*** Lynn ***

I enjoyed that rant. I suspect 2002 - 2004 is going to be one of those "throw some more gasoline on the fire" periods of history the likes of which we haven't seen since the deaths of JFK / MLK, Jr. / RFK. Makes me wish CNN had a fast forward button.

*** the homosexuality thread *** If there is a gene for REALLY Gay, I'm talking 'Big Gay Al' "welcome to the next level sweety" type gay, I expect it will be linked to the 'prefers Ford to Chevy' gene. Hey folks, it's just a postulate!!

*** child porn / kiddie porn *** Jim's closing paragraph comes close to how I feel but there are aspects of this where I still cease to be open-minded. I can only find the Supreme Courts decision acceptable if they actually address the fall-out cases which ought to crop up as the logical result of such a decision.

I wish one of our regular lurkers would jump in on this topic. He worked with minors incarcerated for sexual predatory behavior [you do NOT want the examples] and a few dinner conversations with this fellow (you have to imagine a human wolverine with a teaching certificate and a minor in head-locks) will turn your thinking around.

I'm going to say a couple of things and if I'm wrong I'm sure he will let me know real soon.

1.] The 1 in 8 recidivism statistic is way too optimistic. These people are MOSTLY permanently bent in the head and have NO desire to be cured. Lifetime incarceration or early death seem to be the career path of choice.

2.] I believe that the gene theory falls by the wayside with this particular sexual orientation profile. If I am understanding my friends anecdotal evidence correctly it seems to be mostly learned behavior - ie. Mommy and Daddy teach you what's "normal" and in these cases what is perceived to be normal by the damaged children of these folks, if adequately described would make most folks lose their cookies. Daddy and Mommy showed them. It must be normal. And then they pass it on.

3.] Finally, to bring it back to the kiddie porn [it hurts my heart just to type those words] issue I don't think it works the same way as adult 'porn' or 'erotica'. This is not the kind of scenario where some 15 year old kid can't date Suzy the cheerleader and steals his dad's Playboy and rubs one out. This is not the scenario of a 45 year old guy who can't click with the new dating scene on the bounce or some other sad but common set of circumstances and finds himself standing in the back room of that privately owned video store. Building a file of Calvin Klein ads doesn't keep these guys from dragging some kid behind the dumpster of a 7-11 and doing things that only Alestair Crowley would condone. These folks are not big on sublimation. They are also not going to spend time fooling around with the Adobe Photo-Suite of tools or Power-Goo or CorelDraw 8.0 What they will do is videotape Johnson Baby Powder and Huggies and Michelin Tire commercials.

I hope to hell it isn't a gene.

- Barney

[my rainbow coalition stops within the visible spectrum]

- Thursday, April 18 2002 15:38:1

P.A. Berman: Good for you! I'm surrounded by college kids at work, and when I've called them on it, some don't even realize the correlation.

- Thursday, April 18 2002 15:35:1

Harlan is not an alto, not a baritone; he probably is a tenor.
We'll have to listen closely to "On the Road...Volume 1." Which makes me wonder, will we get a Volume 2? I would love a recording of a full evening with Harlan Ellison; every time I've been to a lecture/performance it has been three hours of blissful intensity.

P.A. Berman
Queer is as queer does - Thursday, April 18 2002 15:32:15

R.Wilder: YES! I hate when kids say, "That's so gay." That word is banned in my classroom unless it means happy or homosexual. I have gone to the mattresses with kids on the usage of that word.

Brian said:

"By the way, a side note to P.A. Berman, who has twice cited his gay friends "always feeling this way" as some kind of evidence. I'm not impressed. I've always been a reader."

Well, I never set out to impress you, just tell what I've heard from scores of gay people. I find it rather odd that you'd compare a fondness for literature with an overwhelming orientation towards having sex with other men. It's just not the same thing. Sex is a fundamental biological function that all normal animals have; I'm here to tell ya from sad experience that reading is NOT. However, there is a basis for saying that people have different brain structures that predispose them towards aptitude in areas and deficiencies in others. So you haven't really debunked my thesis at all by making this specious analogy.

I also don't understand this tone you're taking. I have never said that homosexuality is entirely biological. I don't think anyone KNOWS what makes people act the way they do; usually it's a combination of nature AND nurture. However, being gay is an immutable part of an individual's identity. You're not arguing that fact, are you? If so, by all means go ahead, try to find me a self-identified gay guy who will tell you one day he up and decided to be gay because it's so much fun to be persecuted and socially ostracized by one's peers and often, family.

Not even going to dignify Frank's flagrantly ignorant comment.


Rick Wyatt
- Thursday, April 18 2002 15:13:21

"Homosexuals have a very high standard of living..."

Which ones? The six you know, or the hundred you've seen on TV? Where the fuck does this come from?

Jon Stover
Canada. Tenor - Thursday, April 18 2002 15:7:26

You know, I see "tenor of the board" and even though it's correct, I think "Pavarotti?" Also, is Harlan a tenor?

Hey, I got sidetracked by a 'what if?' discussion regarding how history would have played out had Neil Young and not Plant and Page been the Lord of the Rings fan, so give me some slack. That's a full hour of coming up with revised lyrics for "Sugar Mountain," "Tonight's the Night" and "Keep on Rocking in the Free World" that I'm never going to get back.

Whoop whoop whoop,


- Thursday, April 18 2002 14:54:39

Re: DTS's Comments. I have been struck (momentarily) mute by comments by otherwise open-minded people regarding homosexuality; the most recent being a high-minded liberal fellow commenting on the lamentable trend of gay characters on network TV, and cable shows like "Six Feet Under." Also, otherwise intelligent young people saying, "That's so gay," when labeling something strange or weird. Subtle homophobia at work.

Xanadu <X_a_n_a_d_u@yahoo.com>
Subject: Lurk's comments - Thursday, April 18 2002 14:48:14

Lurk: Cynical? I went back to my dictionary to see if there was a alternate definition of the word I was unfamiliar with. (It's happened in the past, so I check when I suspect I'm not using the term the same way.)

These are the definitions found:


Given to sneering at rectitude and the conduct of life by moral principles; disbelieving in the reality of any human purposes which are not suggested or directed by self-interest or self-indulgence.

An attitude of scornful or jaded negativity, especially a general distrust of the integrity or professed motives of others.

Implies a sneering disbelief in sincerity and integrity.


By "interpreting" the "tenor of the board" as cynical, you were simultaneously painting yourself as sincere and having integrity (a position with which I do not have a problem) and those of us having the temerity to suggest your advocated points were not particularly efficacious as sneering, scornful and jaded (a point with which I do take umbrage).

Disagreement, even passionate disagreement, is not cynicism.

What you are doing is a thinly veiled slap in the face, and I didn't like it.

Because Ė using facts, we pointed out your position on therapy was nothing more than a ephemeral construction of good intentions, hopes and wishful thinking. Dependent more on somedays and somehows than the cold hard reality of the moment.

And your closing jibe Ė meant to dismiss any presentation of outside factual information as slightly bumbling and automatically non-credible fails miserably. The primary difference between my presentation and Frank's less effective ones is this: I didn't go to papers that supported my cause. I didn't go to sources that could be dismissed as propaganda for my way of thinking. I went to the opposing camp and I used THEIR papers and THEIR numbers. By doing that, one eliminates the blustering and dismissiveness you're attempting now. You cannot dismiss the facts presented by your side. And that, sir, is effective debate.

DTS <none>
- Thursday, April 18 2002 14:16:9

HARLAN: Just got my copy of "Publishers Weekly" and now I know what you were talking about in a previous post. Glad to see that they finally ran a story.

FRANK CHURCH: In a posting just below, you wrote, in part, "Homosexuals deserve the same rights that the rest of us deserve, but I dissagree that they are some abused class. Homosexuals have a very high standard of living, and society seems to except the lifestyle much more than before. Just let them live their
lives, and we can live ours. Hold hands and sing campfire songs--you know, that kind of shit."

To borrow an apt phrase from the always eloquent Zoe Rose, Holy Fucknuts! Does the name Matthew Wayne Shepard ring a bell? It's not as if that is ancient history (say, from the 1970's).
I don't know which world you live in, but homophobia is still alive in well in this one. When I worked in the Coporate world here in Kansas City (Sprint, in Gardner,KS) there were a couple of idiots (married men, with children) that bragged about ocassionally getting drunk and looking for fag to "beat hell out of." One of them even carried a baseball bat in his truck for those purposes. (I actually pulled one of them aside -- the black one -- yeah you read that right -- and reminded him of a time not to long ago in a land not so far away when "people of color" were treated in much the same fashion -- didn't faze him -- to his way of thinking, I was comparing apples and crowbars -- homosexuals were not normal -- I think he even said they weren't the same as normal humans -- ironic). And while such violent fucks may be few and far between, the standard rejection of gays from "polite society" still goes on and on (a friend of my wife's was almost turned down for a job at AT&T some years back because his voice was a bit too feminine -- she called someone on it and embarrassed him into hiring the guy -- who turned out to be one of their best workers). Yeah, treatment of homosexuals -- from being outcast to being laid out on slab in the morgue -- may differ from state to state and country to country, but for you to believe that society accepts "their lifestyle" (especially our deeprooted Puritanical society), is just plain dumb. Holy fucknuts!

-- DTS

Brian Siano <bsiano@bellatlantic.net>
- Thursday, April 18 2002 13:51:39

For further reading on the doubtfulness of attributing behaviors to genes, I suggest that people read _Exploding the Gene Myth_ by Ruth Hubbard, _It Ain't Necessarily So_ by Richard Lewontin, _In the Name of Eugenics_ by Daniel Kevles, _The Science and Politics of Racial Research_ by William Tucker, and _Vaulting Ambition_ by Philip Kitcher.

Second, I have to disagree with Rick about the politics of biological claims. I'm not convinced that attributing sexual orientation to genes is such a powerful argument. The reasons are simple:

1. It's based on very tentative science, which if proved _wrong_ will be extremely damaging for the cause;
2. Bigots can use the biological arguments in the opposite way-- likening homosexuality to congenital defects or diseases, and urging that quack "cures" be found.
3. It shares the same sordid history as many other claims of behavioral biology-- admittedly, it's advocated for a more humane reason, but it's a history that gives me a LOT of pause.

By the way, a side note to P.A. Berman, who has twice cited his gay friends "always feeling this way" as some kind of evidence. I'm not impressed. I've always been a reader. I've always enjoyed music. I've always enjoyed cartoons. I've always been a social outsider who doesn't like sports, loves to read, and hasn't had any problems with peoples' sexuality. Does this as-far-as-I-can-recall thing indicate a biological basis for these?

- Thursday, April 18 2002 13:19:0

>here you are, busily rewriting the history of that discussion<

Hardly. I said that cynicism was high about the effectiveness of therapy. That's not a rewrite of anything, but an interpretation of the tenor of the board at the time. You, if I recall, were one of the most cynical. Whether or not your feelings were based on so-called "facts" was not at issue.

And let's not go down the "published papers" road again. Frank trundles that one out every now and then, and it never works.

Xanadu <X_a_n_a_d_u@yahoo.com>
Subject: Revisionism at work - Thursday, April 18 2002 12:46:39

Lurk: "Oh, and Xanadu....there are lies, damned lies, statistics, and finally Internet bulletin board 'facts.' "

Huh? The facts, such as they were Ė were gleaned from the published papers _supporting_ therapy options Ė FROM THE PEDOPHILE CAMP. And THEY said there was still a 1 in 8 to a 1 in 5 chance of recidivism in the first 4/5 years - regardless of treatments or therapies applied. THAT was the source of opposition to your advocated therapy position, not cynicism or reliance on unsupported polemic.

"Let's just accept that Webderland is a place for polemic, and hardly usable as a citable referent." Ė Done.

But I have to note, you speak out so strongly against revisionism in moviemaking and yet here you are, busily rewriting the history of that discussion...

Frank Church
- Thursday, April 18 2002 12:46:15

Wow, someone actually mentioned XTC. This music goes far beyond the limited term, "Rock And Roll" and qualifies as free floating art in my book. Apple Venus reminds me of the Beatles mixed with Morricone. Amazing stuff; everyone should try and check this band out.


Actually, the Beastie Boys are quite talented--but to each his own.

Harlan, sorry about your financial situation. I know from first hand knowledge that money plays a large part in stressful situations, but I hope all goes well. Just keep having those nirvana like typewriter moments and all will be fine.


Lynn, a bit over the top again, as usual. I never implied that Pedophilia was a good thing, or was I rationalizing it at any time. But Psychology studies do indicate that pedophiles don't aquait what they do with abuse; they think of it as love. They are wrong, but that is beside the point. This is how they think. I also agree that it is a fetish, but even fetishes are a mystery. I certainly think pedophiles should be locked away for life, but studying them is also important.


Zoe, ah, um, your self esteem harp recital is getting obvious. Harlan is having fun with you, you understand? Take certain things with a grain of salt--or gunpowder.


Homosexuals deserve the same rights that the rest of us deserve, but I dissagree that they are some abused class. Homosexuals have a very high standard of living, and society seems to except the lifestyle much more than before. Just let them live their lives, and we can live ours. Hold hands and sing campfire songs--you know, that kind of shit.

- Thursday, April 18 2002 12:15:22

Well, whattaya know? Maybe, the Senate CAN do something right. They just nixed the bill to drill for oil in Alaska.

Man, I just wanna hear that there's oil underneath the White House.

Andrew <drew71@hotmail.com>
San Diego, CA - Thursday, April 18 2002 12:14:32


I'll second that suggestion. I might also throw in a newer album of theirs, "Apple Venus Vol. 1", as very springy (for the most part).


Jim Davis
- Thursday, April 18 2002 12:5:1

Um, I have NO idea how that happened...

Jim Davis
- Thursday, April 18 2002 12:4:9

Can I just say, apropos of nothing, that XTC's SKYLARKING is the PERFECT soundtrack for a beautiful spring day?

"Trees are dancing drunk with nectar
Grass is waving underwater..."

Jim Davis
- Thursday, April 18 2002 12:4:8

Can I just say, apropos of nothing, that XTC's SKYLARKING is the PERFECT soundtrack for a beautiful spring day?

"Trees are dancing drunk with nectar
Grass is waving underwater..."

Jim Davis
- Thursday, April 18 2002 12:4:8

Can I just say, apropos of nothing, that XTC's SKYLARKING is the PERFECT soundtrack for a beautiful spring day?

"Trees are dancing drunk with nectar
Grass is waving underwater..."

Melissa <entropy_5ca@yahoo.ca>
- Thursday, April 18 2002 12:4:6

Lurk stated:

"I say fuck genetics. I know, it's a useless thing to say, and nothing is going to stop the bulldozer of genetic research and applications, but it feels good to say anyway. So I'll say it again: fuck genetics."

Where it is used to spurious purposes, such as Seinfeld's gag about scientists choosing to create a seedless watermelon over a cure for cancer, I would wholly agree with you.

However, in the discovery of the genetic marker for the illness of schizophrenia being located on the 22nd chromosome, and the resultant possibility to isolate the genetic dysfunction that triggers this disease, I can speak from experience that I would give a great deal to see this research go forward. Just personal experience combined with a desire to not have others go through what my brother-in-law tried to cope with.

When it comes to suffering from difficult illness, how many others sit in the same boat?

Love to all, Melissa

Lynn <cavalaxis@digitalcarrion.com>
- Thursday, April 18 2002 11:57:11

Melissa~ International sales of software are restricted due to the level of encryption used on the software. When I worked for a software company, we actually had two different versions of the product - one domestic, one international. It's the silliest thing, a gentleman's agreement not to compromise (????) the national security by shipping such encrypted items overseas. I could write "jelly beans" in the package contents on the customs form and be done with it.


Jim Davis <scythian66@hotmail.com>
- Thursday, April 18 2002 11:51:18

Personally, it doesn't matter to me whether Homosexuality is a result of genes, environment, or personal choice. I'm not particularly offended by the practice, and I certainly don't believe it's a sin. HOMOSEXUALITY DOESN'T BUG ME ONE IOTA, and the fact that people STILL fulminate against it just confounds me to no end. Oysters and snails, after all.

Still, as Rick pointed out, the notion of a Gay Gene can be an important political tool against discrimination. Certainly the testimony of my gay friends indicates something innate; I haven't heard ONE say, "Well, one day I just got TIRED of (substitute slang word for genitalia), so I decided to try something new." It's hardly been determined that the GG exists, however. Even if there IS a common genetic marker among homosexuals, that doesn't necessarily mean that it's there JUST to determine sexuality. MANY phenotypical behaviors can arise from a single genotype, so the jury is still out on that one.

Someone pointed out that evolution would seem to select against homosexuality, since gay people don't reproduce. Actually, I don't know if that's true. I don't have any hard statistics on hand, but gay men and women appear as eager to breed as anyone else. Even if they aren't bisexual, many engage in straight sex purely for reproductive purposes. And, of course, we have artificial insemination which bypasses hetero intercourse completely. So the notion of homosexuality as an evolutionary dead end isn't as cut-and-dried as it seems.

BERMANATOR: You wrote: "Of course you're right-- if the kiddie porn is completely fabricated and there are no real children involved at all, then it's no one's business. But if real kids are just being cut and pasted into sexual positions, what do you think of that? That can't be legal, can it? Bottom line is that I don't know enough about that issue to really say more than that."

Hmmm. Well, I'd say that cut-and-pasting would STILL be protected under the First Amendment. As long as the overall SITUATION is imaginary, and doesn't reflect actual events, then it doesn't matter if the materials are drawn from real life. Collage and satire both do the same thing, and THEY'RE protected as free speech. If I manipulated a photograph of G.W. Bush to make him look like a total goofball (imagine that), and then used it as wallpaper on my laptop, that would be well within my rights.

Of course, the situation we're talking about wouldn't be EXACTLY the same. If some pervo snaps a picture of his neighbor's six year old son, and cuts-and-pastes him into sexual positions, then said pervo couldn't post it on the Web or trade it with other sickos. That would definitely be an invasion of privacy, and there would be legal and civil recourses for the kid's parents.

*sigh* I have to admit, this decision bums me out not a little bit. Don't misunderstand me--I'm the biggest First Amendment freak you'll ever meet. I think the Bill of Rights is one of the strongest arguments that the human race ISN'T an evolutionary misstep that the Earth would be better off without. Just the same, I'm not raising any lighters about the Court's decision. Yes, it was the right call, but the idea that virtual kiddie porn is perfectly legal and protected under the law is a depressing one. Sometimes I'd like to just put aside my beliefs, and go all Hulk Smash! on some issues.

Ideals can be a real bitch to have.

P.A. Berman
His Dark Matter - Thursday, April 18 2002 11:36:8

CEP: Your assessment of Pullman's third book is almost exactly what my friend said about it. I guess I'll try them out, with the knowledge that the ending may disappoint me. Thanks.

Do you think they're better than Harry Potter, if you HAD to compare?


- Thursday, April 18 2002 11:29:9

>Actually, the _facts_ revealed the efficacy of such a course was unacceptably low,<

Oh, and Xanadu....there are lies, damned lies, statistics, and finally Internet bulletin board "facts." Let's just accept that Webderland is a place for polemic, and hardly usable as a citable referent.

Jay Smith <zebrapix@HOtRKMEaROYiAL.com>
Child Tools in Aisle 4 next to the gas masks and pony girl bits.. - Thursday, April 18 2002 11:28:49

Pedophilia is no more a fetish than rape. While a fetish reflects a desire that extends, or supplements a natural sexual energy, love of children isn't some sexual garnish: It's a desire to act out aggression and power. Period.

As for Arafat, I'm beginning to think Arafat's only purpose for living is the destruction of Israel. Didn't Israel offer him 99% of his demands at the Oslo Summit and he simply walked out?
He has said repeatedly in his office as the JDF penetrated his fortress: "I want to be a martyr. Martyr! Martyr! Martyr!"

There are those in the PLO who disagree with Arafat, but I doubt they're very popular or have a long lifespan if they become vocal. It seems like a Palestinian homeland is secondary to driving PLO politics. Again, it just SEEMS to ME that a leader who is unwilling to demand his people stop blowing themselves up in markets and at bus stops really has no desire for peace.

Melissa, I've bought a few things from Canada in the last few weeks and the seller insisted on using Canadian Post which cost almost as much as the items I bought for 4-7 day delivery. I can only imagine the other way is as much? I guess package tracking costs money, too. Is there still something like the OLD American Express international mailstops? Perhaps FedEx?

- Thursday, April 18 2002 11:26:0

>But that was an interesting way to slant the opposition to your position.<

Hey, I try my best.

Rick, no doubt that there is value in scientific research to fight crummy attitudes. IF that's what the research is used for. It's also just as likely to be used for the opposite purpose (a la Gattaca), and I think some of our friendly neighborhood insurance companies are trying their damndest to do that very thing right now...lump people into groups based on their genetic codes, and discriminate against those who don't meet their current standards.

I say fuck genetics. I know, it's a useless thing to say, and nothing is going to stop the bulldozer of genetic research and applications, but it feels good to say anyway. So I'll say it again: fuck genetics.

P.A. Berman
Have a gay old time - Thursday, April 18 2002 10:52:17

Some links:

Compares homosexuality to hand preference as a genetic trait:


Explains Dean Hamer's theory


There is also a lot of debunking info on the web, which discredits the gay gene research. I really don't have the depth of understanding of genetics to go toe to toe on the science. From my friends who are gay, I generally get the impression that being gay is inherent to who they are, and that even if they chose to be celibate or pretended to be straight, they would not be able to "overcome" or ignore their gayness. I'm sure some of it is nurture, some of it is hormones,and some of it is predisposition, just like anything else. I'm fairly sure it's immutable, though, and not simply a matter of "preference."

But ultimately, Lurk and Lovegod, I agree with you. It doesn't matter WHY a person is gay. What consenting adults do in the privacy of their own bedrooms is nobody's business, and people shouldn't have to be ashamed of who they are if they're not hurting anyone. As long as they love each other, isn't that what we want in the world?

Anyone watch The Shield? There was a serious, deep, long soul kiss between two guys the episode before last. That show really pushes the boundaries of TV.


Melissa <entropy_5ca@yahoo.ca>
- Thursday, April 18 2002 10:43:11

Hello all. Not much time here for the last few days; there'll be far less time available in the near future, so I'll make this quick.

I was looking to purchase the "I Have No Mouth, And I Must Scream" game for the husband from the store here at the site. Yes, I know, he and Mr. Ellison got into a bit of a tiff over shaving pennies, but the price offered here is the cheapest so far. I read a bit about it, until I get to the point where it states: "no orders from outside the USA".

No problem with that, except a query; Why?

Re; being gay. I recall the interview with Senator Lott where he postulated that persons of alternate sexuality could be talked out of their sexual proclivities with counselling. Well, if that logic follows, shouldn't straight people be able to be talked into being gay?

Well, I'm off to luxuriate with my daughter in our tremendous above ground pool, courtesy of my husband's breath to inflate it. Who needs the Riviera?

Love to all, Melissa

Xanadu <X_a_n_a_d_u@yahoo.com>
Subject: Grabbag - Thursday, April 18 2002 10:26:30

Lurk: "Others, including myself, advocated therapies, but the level of cynicism about the efficacy of such a course was pretty high." Ė Actually, the _facts_ revealed the efficacy of such a course was unacceptably low, even when drawn from the statistics provided by _advocates_ of the therapy course. But that was an interesting way to slant the opposition to your position.

Genes: Brian summed it up pretty well, by my book, with a nod of agreement to Lurk, too.

Rick Wyatt <rick@rickwyatt.com>
- Thursday, April 18 2002 10:17:30

There is scientific evidence that indicates there is a genetic component to homosexuality. The twins study Berman mentions is a good example, and there's nothing "quasiscientific" about it. It's correct, as Brian states, that we don't know too much about the actual gene, but the research, if you care to look it up, makes a pretty strong case that there IS a strong correlation.

This is not important because homosexuals want to support the notion that one is "born gay." It is important because many of the people and organizations that bash gays do so by claiming that homosexuality is a pure choice. This allows them to claim that (a) people can be "indoctrinated" into the practice and (b) a gay person can "change" their orientation by willpower and the love of God (any maybe being tied to a chair and being screamed at for 4 or 5 days).

Establishing a physical basis for the reasons people act a certain way prevents us from demonizing them. This is true for homosexuals, for people who are severely depressed or bipolar, even for pedophiles. And how horrible it is that the prevailing attitudes of much of our citizenry would group these three together as "unfortunate choices."

I don't think it takes too big a leap to see that there is value in using scientific research to fight such attitudes.

Lynn <cavalaxis@digitalcarrion.com>
- Thursday, April 18 2002 10:7:0

Will someone please explain to me why it's such a surprise that children raised in refugee camps, who have known nothing but occupation their entire lives, why is it such a surprise that they're willing to *kill* themselves in an act of defiance against their oppressors? It isn't as if they can go out and join the Army, fight for their country, and get money for college at the same time, now, is it? It isn't as if they can hope to protest peacefully without being shot down by Israeli troops. It isn't as if any form of non-violent resistance would do anything to change their situation. Israel has created the perfect breeding ground for terrorists by their treatment of Palestinians and now they act as if they have no part in the violence. I'm not a poli-sci specialist, but jumpin' jehosaphat, you don't create loyal citizens by treating people like animals! You don't gain the love of your people by bulldozing their homes! And you certainly don't make a bad situation better by escalating the violence! If the Butcher of Beirut's first response is violence, why should he expect anything less from the Palestinians!

These people are sitting on the greatest tourist trap ever created and all they can do is shoot at each other! Rule #1: BULLETS AND BOMBS ARE BAD FOR BUSINESS!

::sigh:: And no, I don't feel better.

Helz <helzapoppn@aol.com>
Why Not Get Rid of Arafat?, - Thursday, April 18 2002 9:43:22

Cindy, I too wonder about the lack of logic behind the treatment of Arafat. Before the current wave of suicide bombings and Sharon's military response, Arafat was increasingly seen as a marginal leader, not in control of his own factions (Fatah, etc.), let alone Hamas and Islamic Jihad. Destroying his headquarters and besieging him in his office -- where he still can make phone calls, send out video messages and meet with advisors and foreign dignitaries like Colin Powell -- has done more to restore his reputation on the so-called "Arab street" than anything else since Intifada II began...

If Sharon had simply blown him up, or captured him and given him a one-way ticket to Tunisia (as happened before), the damage to Israel's standing would have been less than what has actually happened. OTOH (sorry, On the other hand), for all of Arafat's posturing about dying a martyr, I don't see him charging out of his hideout, guns blazing, "Butch and Sundance" style...

Basically, Arafat's a coward more willing to send teenage girls to die than actually act like the leader of a nation. And Sharon has never been anything other than a soldier -- put a suit on him, give him a fancy title, and he still believes that enough military force will break the Palestinian people (and if not, then enough will die to avenge the deaths of Israelis).

But to answer your question -- the men waiting in the wings should Arafat die are every bit as radical, but younger and more energetic. Some few are considered moderates, but most are on record as advocating driving the Israelis into the sea...

- Thursday, April 18 2002 9:30:55

Talkin' about a "gay gene" is ok, just remember what's really important: lovin'. Lovin' in the morning, lovin' in evening, lovin' that afternoon delight. It's not what's up your alley (as long as it is consenting adults), it's that someone's up your alley, my alley, everyone's long corridor. If you're Christian, follow the juicy Jesus; if you're Buddhist, get the bountiful Buddha; if you follow the Muslim path, or you're Jewish, love each other's Middle-eastern meat. Feel your hormones poppin' and snappin' and the blood flowing; penetrate life; open wide the moisture of your mind. Become a Lovegod.

- Thursday, April 18 2002 9:29:43

>Why don't the Israelis get rid of Arafat now <

"Get rid of" suggests either shooting him or stuffing him on an airplane and sending him to...where?

Neither option is an easy one.

Helz <helzapoppn@aol.com>
"Whizzer" White, RIP, - Thursday, April 18 2002 9:23:34

Jon, I did note the passing of Justice White. Unfortunately, I live near Detroit, not known as a particularly great newspaper town (although we have great sports writers like Mitch Albom and Joe Falls, and the immortal Ernie Harwell calling games for a team that celebrated being 1-11).

So you can see where this town's priorities lie...and you probably won't be surprised when the eulogies for Byron White in the News and Free Press actually had the headline:

"Justice White, former Lion, dead at 84"

Like the most important thing is this great man's life was his three-year NFL career in the '40s!

I now dread the eventual eulogy for Gerald Ford, a University of Michigan football standout who just happened to have a minor career in politics...

Cindy <IAMCINDIANAJONES@netscape.net>
TEXAS USA - Thursday, April 18 2002 8:58:6

Why don't the Israelis get rid of Arafat now that they have him surrounded in his compound? Is it because they don't know if his successor might be worse?


- Thursday, April 18 2002 8:56:0

>As for Pedophilia, honestly? I think it's just an extreme fetish<

Good point, Jason. If so, the question becomes what to do about them. Previously we discussed this here, and there was a sizable group who basically wanted to go the Frankenstein villagers route, and just burn the bastards. Others, including myself, advocated therapies, but the level of cynicism about the efficacy of such a course was pretty high.

The current approach (I suppose a compromise between execution and rehabilitation) is jailing. Kind of the fallback position for any social problem, and it of course does nothing to prevent new cases from arising. We'll never get rid of this problem until we ask ourselves, honestly, why does it happen? I just hope that we don't look to GENES for the answer, because it ain't therer.

- Thursday, April 18 2002 8:50:35

>Why does homosexuality require this quasiscientific rationale? <

I'd hope that the gay community wasn't gunning too hard for this. These kinds of things tend to bite you on the ass, if you're not careful. While the upside may be...hey, it's natural, accept us, the downside will be like you said, Brian...hey, this is a birth defect, let's terminate the pregnancy. Or if you happen to be alive, let's develop gene therapies to wipe out your homosexuality...

Jason K
- Thursday, April 18 2002 8:41:31

just stepping into the minefield of the nature nurture debate. I gotta agree with CEP. Just because you're genetically predisposed to something doesn't mean you're going to do it.

Also Berman I may be wrong on this, but I remember being taught that homosexuality wasn't just genetic, it was also influences by what hormones are present or not present during development.

Personally I think sexuality is a little more fluid than gay straight, and a lot of it has to do with development and environment. That's not to say being gay is a choice, I don't think it is, but I do think that like strict heterosexulality it's one an extreme end, and most people fall somewhere in the middle. Culture and society I think tends to obscure that. In 16th-17th century Japan samurai, thought it normal to have sex with each other. In ancient Greece and Rome sex with men and women was culturally accepted. Do I think that everyone who had sex with a member of the same gender is gay? No. I think culturally since it was not looked down upon I think that bisexuality or homosexulaity was allowed to be more open. A good modern day example is that two women together in today's socity doesn't have the same stigma that two men does. Women are allowed to explore that aspect of their sexuality, and (it may be just the greater exposure that bisexual women have, but it appears that there are more bisexual women then there are bisexual men, and I don't think that's genetics.

As for Pedophilia, honestly? I think it's just an extreme fetish. A disgusting one sure, but it's just a fetish, and fetishfor the most part has external factors. Something happened to them that hit that part of their brain that associated children with sexual pleasure and they succummed to it. are some people predisposed to it? Probably, same way some people are predisposed to alchoholism, but doesn't make 'em a born alchoholic.

Brian Siano <bsiano@bellatlantic.net>
- Thursday, April 18 2002 8:33:30

Re gay genes. I'm sure it sounds more precise when we say that "it's located on the leg of the Y chromosome," but that doesn't constitute proof that this gene governs sexual orientation.

The arguments over "gay genes" don't have very much scientific support-- as I'd pointed out, we're barely knowledgeable about things which everyone has, and which clearly _are_ based on genes, let alone things that affect only certain segments of the population. To be really blunt, it's as much a scientific issue as developing Star Trek transporter technology-- sure, we _might_ find an answer, but we're far from it right now.

Rather, the arguments are mainly advanced to offer the argument that homosexuality congenital, and not a "learned" or adapted behavior. It's an attempt to draw an analogy to hair or skin color-- it's there, it has no bearing on the content of one's character, it's natural, and shouldn't be oppressed.

But the problem is that congenital conditions can be equally treated as _diseases_, and this is the danger of using genetic arguments to defend homosexuality; a bigot is more likely to see a "gay gene" as a birth _defect_. (A _really serious_ bigot would also see black skin as a birth defect as well.)

My own position is this. Why does homosexuality require this quasiscientific rationale? Let's say, for the sake of argument, that it was firmly established that sexual orientation was _not_ derived from the genes. Would this make homosexuality "wrong?" Should we then condemn it because it's an acquired behavior, like learning to play the piano or use a word processor? I don't think so.

I forget who said "The various forms of fucking do not require my endorsement," but it's a lovely sentiment, doncha think?

Joseph J. Finn
Chicago, - Thursday, April 18 2002 8:28:4

Okay, stepping away from the whole genetic question for a second (quickly - I think this whole genetic predisposition thing is rather overstated), I have some interesting news for fellow fans of silly movies: "Top Secret" finally comes out on DVD in July. Yippee!

CEP <swallace@cyberpromo.com>
Chambanana, - Thursday, April 18 2002 7:39:10

Sigh. [SARCASM] Let's hear it for predestination as an excuse for intellectual dishonesty and outright misconduct, shall we? [/SARCASM]

I am so sick of an individual's worth being defined by genetic means--usually as an excuse for the definer's fear of something he does not understand or share becoming a mark of superiority of the definer--that I've had to clean the puke off my keyboard twice. Dammit, I have Ashkenazim genes from my mother's side of the family. Does that mean that I have a predisposition for borscht? Or does my love of shellfish, particularly oysters, and pepperoni pizzas somehow mean that I've overcome my genetic heritage?

OK. Diet is a somewhat less imperative issue than sexuality (although if we're dealing with lactose intolerance and phenylketonuria, that's a bit different!). So what? Our genetic heritage is the blank paper on which the stories of our lives are written. Sometimes it's a bit harder to write clearly on a crummy paper towel than Southworth Bond. However, one can write subpornographic drivel on the Southworth Bond, just as one can write WAR AND PEACE on the paper towel. Can we please move on to something that (a) matters and (b) isn't an argument designed to treat individuals as faceless members of a class?

CEP <swallace@cyberpromo.com>
Chambanana, - Thursday, April 18 2002 7:29:45


His Dark Materials is certainly worth reading. Contrary to US marketing, it's not a "children's book." Pullman's reach exceeds his grasp, particularly in the last segment of the third book (where he is rushing to tie up loose ends). They're worth looking at for just the cover art--proof that cover art can be attractive, affordable, consistent with the contents, and NOT look like something that would grace the cover of a 1926 AMAZING.

THE AMBER SPYGLASS (the last book) is a rather frustrating book. Until Will and Lyra emerge from the underworld, things are moving along quite nicely. Suddenly, though, it's as if Pullman was told, "You can finish your story, or you can finish your polemic--but you've only got 100 manuscript pages to do it in. Choose one and do it." Unfortunately, he chose to finish the polemic, which terribly weakens the book and partially undermines the entire trilogy. That said, the underlying vision of the book and the unpretentious respect that he shows for readers who don't turn their brains off when they open a book are particularly welcome in this day and age of Grisham's Law ("bad fiction drives good fiction out of the public's eye").

- Thursday, April 18 2002 7:1:0

>However, most gay people I know say they've always been gay, that they were born that way <

P.A., I'm sure this is true. But how does genetically mapping this help anyone? My first son has always been shy and introverted, he was born that way...is there a "shy and introverted" gene? Even if there is, does it matter? Is the ultimate goal here to target those genes and modify them in utero?

"Mrs. Smith, we have reason to believe from our genetic scan of your fetus that your child might be gay." Or "according to the mapping, Mrs. Smith, your kid will be short, have an excitable temper, and may or may not become a great writer." Mrs. Smith decides neither scenario is worth the hassle, and aborts.

Slowly but surely, choice dwindles away. We start to accept the notion that we have no choice, everything that we are is predetermined. We've already bought into that as citizen-consumers. Dammit, I'm not going to let every part of me be mapped onto some allele and be told I finally have no control over who I am. Jean-Paul Sarte, where are you now that we really need you?

- Thursday, April 18 2002 6:34:43

I honestly don't know if there is a gay gene or not. My point is that is DOESN'T MATTER. Pointing to genes as a reason for our behaviors is a dead end, people. We have to take responsibility (and pride) for who we are.

I just don't like the trend these days of passing the buck. If it's not genes, it's our parents, or "society," or whomever or whatever else we can find to attribute imperatives to. Whatever happened to free will, or the existential mandate? Just watch, when the lawsuits against the Church really get going, for how many psychological and maybe even medical profiles are dragged out to defend these priests. "He couldn't help it, he's got a fondling gene," or "he's not to blame, his parents were nudists," etc.

Xanadu <X_a_n_a_d_u@yahoo.com>
Subject: URL's - Thursday, April 18 2002 5:41:27

Bermanator: Please, send me the URL's.

P.A. Berman
His Dark Matter - Thursday, April 18 2002 5:5:56

To change the subject: Has anyone read the trilogy "His Dark Matter" by Philip Pullman? I've heard good things and bad things about it. Is it worthwhile?


P.A. Berman
Gay Gene - Thursday, April 18 2002 4:57:36

The Gay Gene was located on the long arm of the X chromosome. It is carried by the mother, who may not be affected by the gene herself but would pass it on. There are trends in families which can be mapped, and studies of twins who were raised in different households seems to indicate a familial link. I can provide some URLs to source material if anyone really wants them.

I realize that homosexuality is influenced by socialization. Isn't everything? However, most gay people I know say they've always been gay, that they were born that way and, in spite of valiant efforts to suppress it or subvert it, they remain gay. Homosexuality is part of nature: there is ample evidence of animals being homosexuals-- and not just out of sexual frustration, either.

For me, the bottom line that people are what they are. It's not a choice to be gay any more than it's a choice to be a brunette-- you can hide it all you want, but that's still what you are. It's not worth me arguing about it.

And that's all I'm going to say about this.


Todd Cassel <TheDoh@prodigy.net>
NJ USofA - Thursday, April 18 2002 4:52:32

I was just listening to The Howard Stern Show on the way into work (one more week, and I'm free! Free! ...picture the old man in the dungeon in Mel Brook's History Of The World Part One as he shouts with glee that he is free and then tosses the stiffened, dead carcasses of the little birds that kept him company through the jail bars, one by one, as they drop to the ground......Free! Free!).

Ahem, anyway, I'm listening to Howard Stern talking about being stuck in traffic and being forced to read The New York Times cover to cover and he hit the obituaries and got depressed. Why? He asks Robin, his sidekick, what her favorite episode of Twilight Zone is. "The cookbook episode" she shouts excitedly and Howard agrees, "Yes, To Serve Man". He then, get this, eulogizes Damon Knight. Not that he knew who Knight was, but the obituary obviously mentions To Serve Man and Howard is remarking on the loss of a writer who gave him one of the great joys in his television viewing life.

Later, he starts talking about Robert Urich.....so, on the Howard Stern show, we see the first example of the common media addressing the death of Damon Knight BEFORE they address the death of Robert Urich! Who'da thunk it?


Jon Stover <jmstover_ca@yahoo.com>
Canada. Various positions - Thursday, April 18 2002 0:59:7

Helz: You know, there's a "private members' bill" joke somewhere related to Clarence Thomas, but I can't come up with it right now. I'm surprised no one noticed that Byron White died, though -- there are now no living former Supreme Court Justices. I hadn't known that White, a conservative judge, was appointed by Jack Kennedy.

Damon Knight: The Man in the Tree was a fine novel 'about' religion, the only novel-length work I read by the man. The newsticker on Cablepulse 24 ran an obit for him, which I thought was nice (and surprising).

Tom Bacig: Is the sf course at Minnesota stuck in the same 'it's a generic bums-in-seats-course-that-we-only-deign-to-offer sometimes limbo that seems to happen at a lot of Canadian campuses? Actually, maybe you shouldn't answer that. The English dept. of the university here runs most of its 'popular' courses with sessionals and tends to avoid expanding the courses or allowing for upper-level honours courses, even though the 2nd year pop culture course draws 600 people a year and the new quasi-communications faculty has started to poach sessionals and advanced level topics because the English dept. won't use them. The sf course got split into two half courses, which had the interesting effect of dropping enrollment from 100 to less than 50 -- pretty funny, given that the half-courses were supposed to boost enrollment. The children's lit course, though, continues to grow and devour like the Chicken Heart, in part because it fulfills a second teachable requirement for a lot of people planning to go into teacher's college. Ah, fun days.


Cindy <IAMCINDIANAJONES@netscape.net>
TEXAS USA - Wednesday, April 17 2002 23:32:8

LEE-YIN ( The Texas pronunciation of Lynn),

I agree with your assesment about pedophiles having something missing in their brains. It seems to me that they must have something missing in their brains to think that the public would buy that bullshit. If they honestly believed they weren't hurting the children but loving them then wouldn't they be doing it in public, in broad daylight? If they don't believe that what they do is wrong then why should they scurry like rats when the lights come on? If they really held such conviction about their behaviour then wouldn't they be trying to educate the public rather than hide?

Wait though, Lynn, disabuse me of this idea if you can but it seems to me that rape IS about sex or it wouldn't be a sexual crime. Isn't it oversimplification to say it isn't? Aren't rapists just perverts who get turned on by forced sexual intercourse in the same manner that pedophiles are perverts who get turned on by the bodies of children?

If it was only about power and control wouldn't some rapist be satisfied to just grab people and sit on or pin them?


Chuck <chuck_messer@hotmail.com>
- Wednesday, April 17 2002 22:57:53

Well, this place certainly never has a dull day. Not one.

Jim Hess:

"Yes? And?"

And the good guys won one. One. I won't settle for that, but one is better than none. It's a start. One has to fight one's battles, and win what one can. That's all. I'm just damned impressed with the folks at Tattered Cover, more now than before. Your statement does bring up a question for all: which is worse, the dedicated goose-stepping enemies of freedom, or the cynical opportunists who pander to them?

You have to battle the T-Rex to get to Tattered Cover (or other points north). You poor sod. I was wondering if there were any alternatives to I-25, and if they were any good. One never knows if one has to go the other way, which can be just as congested.

Okay, Rick, that was damned funny. I wonder now if I can watch the new Twilight Penis with a straight face.


I have a particular interest in the nature vs. nurture debate going on concering homosexuality, since I'm gay myself. I'm not sure how I ended up this way. I did not make a conscious decision to be gay. In fact, I really did not want these feelings that I vaguely knew were frowned upon. However, they were a part of me and would not go away. I did not have an absent father, nor did I fit any other part of the "profile" that psychiatrists came up with long before I was born.

As far as how such a gene would survive, since it would seem to mitigate against procreation, keep in mind that there are many genetic traits that should have spelled death to a genome before we created civilization (such as it is). Poor eyesight, for example.

I was a facilitator for a men's coming out discussion group for many years, and several of the men had married and had children, all in hope of "curing" themselves of their sexual orientation. Some were still married, and trying to figure out how to tell their wives. In most cases, they even loved thier wives, but were not very involved sexually. Homosexuals can procreate, and still have the instinctive desire to do so.

Still, I can't help feeling the jury is still out on this one, and I suspect that the causes of homosexuality may be a maddeningly complex mixture of nature AND nuture. The answers will take a long time to come to the surface.

A question to all:

Has anyone here experienced a microburst? One hit my place of employment yesterday. There were almost no clouds in the sky, suddenly, WHOOOSSSHHH! A gust of wind sounding like the California Zephyr roared by, the front door to the building was almost torn off its hinges, and then the ceiling tiles were pushed up, rippling down the hallway like upside-down waves. Damn. It was lucky no one was outside when it hit. I understand the wind velocity in a microburst can exceed 100 mph.

No wonder they can slam airliners down to the ground.

Freaky deaky.


- Wednesday, April 17 2002 21:18:6

Rick~ The flexible number of posts is quite handy. Bravo. Buy yourself a beer from me.


Joseph Finn <JosephFinn@yahoo.com>
Chicago, IL USA - Wednesday, April 17 2002 20:15:9


Goddamn, but that was funny! A dimension of penis, indeed....


Jay Smith <zebrapix@hotmail.com>
A FINGER! - Wednesday, April 17 2002 20:9:21

I gleefully await the post... (giggle)
DAMN! I wonder how much it'll fetch on Ebay?

Thanks, Mr. Ellison, but I'd settle for a humble scribble someday. :)


Zoe Rose <ztreuer@d.umn.edu>
Les Infante Terrible, - Wednesday, April 17 2002 20:4:46

Rick - Love the entry choice dealy. Very helpful.

Jim - I wouldn't wish seeing it a second time on anyone, so we'll just say - it happened, it rocked, thank god it's over.

Tom - My thanks.

Frank - I should already be regretting it, tell the truth. But even if it's in low gear and I probably don't even register to the man, it's great to be able to look on this page, see a well-spoken, educated, truly sharp-tongued Great Author like Harlan responding to half-educated, blossom-like, and faraway unimportant me. As for having a head on my shoulders - so THAT's what this college degree has done for me! ;) My thanks.

The most recent of your notes to me has made me realize that age is indeed a factor here. Had you not called it forth I may have let this tidbit slip my mind; alas, you have managed to highlight it clearly. Having never really met anybody as impressive as the crowd of articulate, witty, etcetera, etcetera, folks that you are lucky enough to have been in contact with, I will have to make do with my precious few online acquaintances with the heroes of the day - such as yourself.

Never fear. Your low, energy-conserving first gear that you employ when posting to me is good enough for this poor uneducated slob of a college student. I will forever remember that in some way I attracted your attention, if only by my initial stupidity and enduring need to respond in kind.

You say I've no idea how awfully you could destroy any kind of positive thought I may have had about myself (you expressed it much more impressively, I admit). Untrue! The previews, however lacking in effort by you they may be, are enough to keep me well satiated for some time. Easily pleased? Damned skippy.

The fact that you likened me to someone that could be related to you made me pick up the phone immediately: "Mom? Dad? Tell me again that I wasn't adopted." But really, Papa Harlan - I'm flattered. Amazed, too, that you offer hope that we might share some traits. I feel validated; I feel martyred; I feel numb with the anticipation that someday I, too, may feel better about myself by merely pointing out the lack of experience (education? wittiness? intellect? All of the above.), the errors, and the modern-day foolishness of others in a humorous and infamous manner. Oh, that the day might come sooner.

I'm enjoying my daily viewing of this board immensely, awaiting the day you tire of even initiating that lowly first gear in order to reiterate to me the redundant idiocy of my posts. Hopefully THAT is a faraway day. Meanwhile I will stay and enjoy the company of this new crowd.

Music, daddy-o? You would cringe at my actual taste and lack thereof, so I will answer only that the Bumphuque Boys will have to await the perversion of younger illiterates than I. A pleasure, as always.

--Your partially eviscerated carcass of a plowboy (I'm assuming plowgirl would be an inappropriate alteration),
--Zoe Rose

Brian Siano <bsiano@bellatlantic.net>
- Wednesday, April 17 2002 19:37:16

Re "lie" versus "lay." I recall an aside Harlan made about one of his many mentors-- perhaps James Blish, or Theodore Sturgeon-- where he said he was still "doing battle" with the distinction between "lie" and "lay." So I figure, if Harlan's telling _us_ to get it straight, he's doing it out of hard-won wisdom.

Re gay genes. Gang, _always_ take chatter about genes for behaviors with a grain of salt. For one thing, an actual "gene" isn't always so easy to quantify. For another, the behavior is even _harder_ to quantify-- especialy in something as fluid as sexuality.

For example, let's say we have a man who's never had a gay experience in his life. Put him in prison for ten years. Or, isolate him in a men-only facility of some sort for a long period of time. Chances are, he'll have a gay experience-- if he's a strong enough guy, he might even do it voluntarily. Now, at what point would we say he has a "gay gene?"

Most of the claims are based on a simple methodology. We have two groups of people, one of whom performs a particular behavior. If we analyze their genes, and find a significant disparity in a particular gene in group A, then it's claimed that this disparity contains a "gene" for that behavior. This isn't exactly proof.

Consider that a great deal of organic development occurs after the genes have arranged themselves. There are factors within the womb that are significant (viral infections that can raise the chances of schizophrenia, exposure to Thalidomide, etc.), and many of these are unknown at the present time. So it's really far too early to start taking this chat about "gay genes" seriously.

After all, we don't talk about a "gene" for the mating urge, or a "gene" for language, or a "gene" for having erections or controlling one's bowels. And _all_ of these are behaviors that are strongly rooted in biology. If we can't talk about "genes" for those, when how can we possibly talk about "genes" for something whose causes are _not_ clearly rooted in biology?

Todd Mason
- Wednesday, April 17 2002 18:58:49

Read Damon Knight's short fiction, read his CV trilogy of novels, read his IN SEARCH OF WONDER, read his CREATING SHORT FICTION, check not a few of his anthologies...and also read Kate Wilhelm. They've done better for us than we have any reason to expect.

Subject: Clarification needed. - Wednesday, April 17 2002 18:52:25

Lurk, you said "It's all an eerie, disgusting mess, and I'm sure we'll end up blaming it on something else besides ourselves."

Since I've made it a habit of jumping down your throat and I really DO try to learn from my errors, I'm requesting some enlightenment.

When you say, "besides ourselves", are you referring to society as a whole, or the specific individuals involved?

P.S. All: Since my writing is for shit. Would "something else besides" be one of those multiply redundant redundancies Harlan just whacked us about?

Los Angeles, - Wednesday, April 17 2002 18:52:15

Ooo--thumbs up here also to Fawlty Towers! My favorite bit is the one previously mentioned, in which Basil deals with the deaf woman who refuses to turn up her hearing aid because it uses up the batteries. He repeatedly pretends to talk, causing her to turn up her hearing aid all the way, and then starts yelling at the top of his lungs. She startles back, hitting her head on something, and while Sybil tries to comfort her, Basil picks up an imaginary object from the floor and says "is this a piece of your brain?"

I also love the one where a kid keeps making obnoxious demands on Basil and tells him that his chips are "awful" and "the wrong shape." Basil then enters a tirade asking him how he usually has his chips--"Mickey Mouse shape? Smarties shape? Amphibious landing craft shape? Poke-in-the-eye shape?" Afterwards, as he leaves, he swiftly elbows the kid in the head.

For a fun read, "The Complete Fawlty Towers" which has all the scripts from the show (I think--there didn't seem to be that many) must be recommended. On a vaguely English-related note, the book of radio scripts from "Hitchhikers" is awfully funny as well--more British references than the TV or novel versions, I thought.

Xanadu <X_a_n_a_d_u@yahoo.com>
Subject: Gene's, gene's, everywhere there's genes... - Wednesday, April 17 2002 18:38:9

Bermanator: Actually, I have to go with Lurk on this one. You're gonna have a serious, uphill battle proving a genetic basis for homosexuality.

First of all, any specific gene for homosexuality would almost automatically die out, since homosexuals do not, generally, pass on their genes. Thus, it would have to be part of one or more seperate genes that have some evolutionary advantage - a tough thing to identify on a good day. Next, you would have to remove any significant environmental factors to PROVE it's genetic factors at work. As a cross-check, you're going to have to examine identical twins and correlate sexual orientation between them, after factoring out environmental factors there, too.

Since no other species practices permanent homosexual pair-bonding - you lose a significant pointer to genetic factors there. (You can find isolated incidents, especially among adolescent males - but in any significant mixed population - pair-bonding is strictly hetero.)

Heather <heatherlovatt@yahoo.ca>
Damn yer eyeballs, - Wednesday, April 17 2002 18:37:34

I'm still waiting for this page to load.

Never mind. I'm going home to bed. *sigh*

H yeesh..first evening this week I get down here at a reasonable hour and I'm starting at that stupid progress bar.

Heather <heatherlovatt@yahoo.ca>
Just checking..., - Wednesday, April 17 2002 18:30:19

Is the Internet slow..right this minute? Or is this this web site?


- Wednesday, April 17 2002 18:26:1


JAY: Sorry, dude. I did indeed miss the satire. First joint, little finger, right hand, in the regular post to you. Thass how we Yakusa apologize.

ROB: Copies of THE HARLAN ELLISON HORNBOOK are available from us on the booklist. The HERC booklist, which is reproduced somewhere in this electronic Sargasso of Rick's. Books in mint condition, and personally signed by Algerian hunchbacked dwarfs.

CHARLIE: Schenectady, not Poughkeepsie.

MR. TOM BACIG: First off, I'm actually rather flattered and pleased that you've paid such attention to my poor efforts, Mr. Bacig (he said, attempting humility but hampered by the blinding effulgence of his glowing talent). There are several vital corrections you should make, however, to the precis of the assignment as you've posted it. First, the title of the sequel to DANGEROUS VISIONS is AGAIN, DANGEROUS VISIONS not "Dangerous Visions Again." Second, the film is based on the story, true; but it ain't a "short story." It is a novella. Lengths of fiction are specific as to designation--said lengths I'm not going to look up, as I'm sure some pedant hereabouts will enter the clarification--but it goes . . . short story, novelette, novella (or short novel), novel. "A Boy and His Dog"--just that section of the proposed full novel--which is actually part 2 of the book--runs something like 18,000 words. Novella. Short novel. Not short story. Third, as the film credits clearly state, I did NOT write the screenplay. The truly demented director, my compatriot Mr. L.Q. Jones--Quincy's mother--wrote it after I bowed out, having worked myself so hard for the three years preceding that I just splattered flat on my face from exhaustion. I did, however, write the first 15 minutes of the script as filmed.

Now, Ms. Rose . . . having met Dorothy Parker when she was still wry and lively, having exchanged bon mots with Gore Vidal, Norman Lear, Robin Williams, Damon Knight, Neil Gaiman and a host of articulate, witty, mordant and incisive men and women who could slice you into luncheon meat with their jabberwocky and jive, I MUST get you to perceive that I have been running in a very low, energy-conserving first gear when posting to you. Kid, you don't KNOW what a portmanteau of scathing remarkage can be draped bloodily over your eviscerated young carcass were I actually rankled by you. But you remind me of the daughter I never had. Or wanted.

As the great sadly-now-departed bon vivant, raconteur and aphorist William Rotsler once said of me, "When you're the fastest gun in town, you don't pull against plowboys."

So welcome to Tombstone, li'l lady. Hang out, listen . . . and learn. (Oh, did I err? Is it The Backstreet Boys you sigh for?
Or The Beastie Boys? Or The Bumphuque Boys? It's so hard keeping each new week's no-talents straight when you're a feeble geezer.)

BERMAN: You dolt. It's "lie" down, not "I'm gonna LAY DOWN."

And if anyone is wondering why I'm so much on my muscle these days, well, shit, gang, it's this muddlefuggin' lawsuit. Even with the pieces in PUBLISHER'S WEEKLY and PAGES and VARIETY and USA TODAY, the spigot for the KICK Internet Piracy fund has been tightly turned off . . . AND . . .

THAT WAS NOT, repeat, NOT A POORMOUTH TO GET ANY OF YOU (including, and especially you, Heather) TO SEND ANY MORE DOUGH.

I spoke briefly to Kate Wilhelm today. From her tone of voice, I guess she's holding up. Damon did a lot of fine work. But his greatest legacy is Kate, and HER magnificent work. If you would honor Damon, read his HELL'S PAVEMENT; then read Kate's astonishing ouevre.

It's been a coupla shit days. I'm gonna go lay down off of the bed.

Yr. pal, Harlan

P.A. Berman
The Bad Touch - Wednesday, April 17 2002 18:10:32

Lurk: OK, I'll bite-- what is the big difference between "pedophilia" and "fondling a young child"? Please enlighten.

In a very real sense, we do "take orders" from our genes. Not really the same as taking orders from Himmler, though. Gotta watch those analogies.

Lynn: While I agree that abusers do not abuse out of love, sadly, quite often the child does love the abuser and thinks the abuser loves him. Often, pedophiles prey on children who do not have male figures in their life; for instance, NPR recently described a priest who abused a boy from 11 to 14. The boy had no father, and the priest told him, "this is normal, this is what fathers and sons do together." The kid believed him. He didn't know any better. It's horrible.

By the way, the abuse was discovered by a nun who found the boy sleeping naked in the priest's bed-- in a rehab clinic for abuser priests, I might add. I'm sure it was just fondling going on, not pedophilia. Mmm hmmm.



- Wednesday, April 17 2002 17:53:8

>I mean if you think about it, isn't American Beauty technically kiddie porn? Remember, the young girls in that film were seventeen <

Frank, now we're back at the hoary old question of whether having sex with a seventeen-year old, who is a physical adult capable of procreation, is child molestation.

The law had to draw a line somewhere. But I think the penalties are far more severe for seducing pre-adolescents than senior class cheerleaders.


- Wednesday, April 17 2002 17:47:56

I agree that pedophilia and power are linked. But I think this fondling issue in the church is something else, something more juvenile. I think most of the accused priests would genuinely be sickened at the idea of actual sex with children, especially pre-adolescent ones, unlike sex offender pedophiles. I doubt most of them are regular viewers of child porn. The accounts I've read about all involve furtive groping, kind of like 10-year olds playing doctor. A sexuality unformed, still in its child stage.

- Wednesday, April 17 2002 17:29:11


Don't forget Graham was also the one who described heaven as "1500 miles long and 1500 miles wide and 1500 miles high, and (we'll) drive down streets paved in jewels in solid-gold Cadillacs." One of many examples of how goddamn dumb people, supporting him, Falwell, Swaggert, Robertson, et al; talking awesome and infinite one moment and making it materialistic and finite the next.

At least Rev. Ike ("If you're willing to wait to get your pie-in-the-sky bye-and-bye, then the Reverend Ike is not your man!") was upfront about it.

As Alan Rickman said in "Dogma":

"Metatron acts as the voice of God. Any documented occasion when some yahoo claims to have spoken with God, they're speaking to me. Or they're speaking to themselves."

- Wednesday, April 17 2002 17:18:48

I think there's a difference between pedophilia and the kind of abuse that is being called into the light within the church. The accused priests are generally accused of "fondling," which is a very different type of sexual activity than actual sex with children.

It's all an eerie, disgusting mess, and I'm sure we'll end up blaming it on something else besides ourselves. The "I was just taking orders" routine has become quite popular since Nuremburg; you're taking orders from Himmler, or your genes, or the subconscious your parents screwed up, etc...

- Wednesday, April 17 2002 17:13:15

NPR is a genuine class act. I'm grateful for their very existence. (That reminds me, I need to renew).


Jay Smith <zebrapix@hotmail.com>
Last Comment - Wednesday, April 17 2002 17:3:46

My fiance thanks you all for being the target of this rants and sparing her the hour of my bitching. :)

(she says it'd be more than an hour, but hey...)

NPR's All Things Considered had a very nice eulogy for Damon Knight this afternoon. Surprised since Robert Urich only rated a few words, Knight rated a whole 3 1/2 minutes with sound bites.

"IT'S A COOK BOOK!!!!!!"

Jay Smith <zebrapix@hortfail.com>
- Wednesday, April 17 2002 16:57:17

Okay, maybe not all pedophiles dig kiddie porn, but all kiddie porn is consumed by pedophiles.

But, you ask a pedophile what he likes best about the pictures he views and a common answer is "The look of innocence on his face" or "The helpless look in his eyes."

Yep, its all about power. Helpless adults resorting to the domination of the weak and innocent.

Lynn <cavalaxis@digitalcarrion.com>
- Wednesday, April 17 2002 16:27:21

"Actually, most pediphiles(sic) reject pornography anyway. They consider it degrading to their sick rationalization of the so called, "innocense(sic)" of their actions. Pediphiles(sic) actually think they are loving the child, not hurting them. Sick to be sure, but that's how they view it. They have something missing in the brain. "

Really, Frank. How many pedophiles have you polled or talked to come to this estimation? And how many sexual abuse victims have you talked to that felt *loved*? Pedophilia has nothing to do with *love* and everything to do with *power* and exerting that power over a helpless victim. If I were you, I'd quit reading all that NAMBLA propaganda and do some real research into the subject. Victims of pedophilia don't descend into Dissociative Identity Disorder and block huge chunks of their memory because they felt *loved*. That's like saying that rapists do it for the sex.

The thought that you actually believe their bilge sickens me.

Jay <zebrapix@hotmail.com>
- Wednesday, April 17 2002 15:55:5

Rich -

If it's a Kevin Smith DVD, I'm on the preorder list. :)

- Jay

Jay <zebrapix@hotmail.com>
- Wednesday, April 17 2002 15:54:37

Rich -

If it's a Kevin Smith DVD, I'm on the preorder list. :)

- Jay

Frank Church
- Wednesday, April 17 2002 15:53:44

This "shouting fire in a crowded theatre" line is getting old fast. Online speech, no matter how icky, doesn't instigate the same power that shouting fire would do. That's the line the Religious Right likes to use when they try to censor things like Marilyn Manson. Because some kids take Manson's lyrics to heart, that means that Manson is responsible for some one else's personal responsibility. This does not fly. Speech, even horrible speech is protected by the First Amendment, period.

The virtual kiddie porn stuff is protected because one has to actually degrade a living child before that offense is considered legitimate. It may degrade someones good taste, but speech isn't democratic when it just holds your hand.

Actually, most pediphiles reject pornography anyway. They consider it degrading to their sick rationalization of the so called, "innocense" of their actions. Pediphiles actually think they are loving the child, not hurting them. Sick to be sure, but that's how they view it. They have something missing in the brain.

I mean if you think about it, isn't American Beauty technically kiddie porn? Remember, the young girls in that film were seventeen at the time they had their scenes filmed. How about Maplethorpe? Some naked kid on a bear skin rug that is used in a cute post card? See, there can be a slippery slope if we let this kind of idiotic legislation go through--not to talk about the civil liberty fallout.


Zoe, you do have a head on your shoulders, I will give you that. It is not everyone who can step up to the plate and take on Harlan like that. You will regret it, but that's for another day. Hehe.

P.A. Berman
The Gay Gene - Wednesday, April 17 2002 15:49:5

Faisal: If you give me a few days, I will pass on my "plethora of scientific information" to you. My best friend is both gay and a scientist, but it sometimes takes me a while to hear back from him. So, I'll get back to you b/c I don't want to just spout off some crap off the top of my head.

Jim: Of course you're right-- if the kiddie porn is completely fabricated and there are no real children involved at all, then it's no one's business. But if real kids are just being cut and pasted into sexual positions, what do you think of that? That can't be legal, can it? Bottom line is that I don't know enough about that issue to really say more than that.


Faisal A. Qureshi <faq@ic24.net>
Manchester, UK - Wednesday, April 17 2002 15:38:7


There is a Gay gene? I think the jury is still out on that one. In 1999, a paper published in the journal Science reported that there was little correlations of genetic markers with male homosexuals. I unfortunately never read the paper though sexual development was one of my favourite topics. There have been other papers looking at brain physiology differences with homosexuals but I don't know whether any of them referred to the original 1993 study which inferred that people born with these markers would have a higher chance of becoming homosexual.

From memories from my lectures, it was thought that the markers indicated a region on the X chromosome that produced less than average Tryptophan. This reportedly resulted in Billy Graham statement that society should inject homosexuals with said Amino Acid. Probably more humane than the tried and tested technique of medical institutions, shock therapy and cold baths.

if you want, I can dig up my old notes and papers and have a look at the more recent publications on BIDS.

This then leads to the question of whether homosexuality is a genetic choice or is it a through how an individual has developed in society? Schizophrenia seems to have a genetic link and various trials have taken place showing violence might be due to a genetic factor. Then the big question of all - Is it ethical to carry out research on sexual behaviour and what could be the possible application of this research.

Billy Graham Sexual Re-Orientation Clinics anyone?

God... I can imagine William Burrough's having a lot of fun with that.

"Paging Dr Benway..."


- Wednesday, April 17 2002 14:54:49

Jon, I was making a specious comment on the fact that 98% of the time (roughly), Thomas votes the same as Scalia. That Thomas actually raises legal issues in his opinion -- rather than just coming out and SAYING he gets off on porn (especially the "Long Dong Silver" ouevre), so what the heck are we doing trying to outlaw even the most reprehensible examples -- is to be expected.

The rest of it, I take your word on.

Jon Stover
Canada. The Supremes - Wednesday, April 17 2002 14:24:46

Helz: There are a couple of excellent U.S. legal sites which, alas, I didn't bookmark -- but they both came up close to the top of a google search for supreme court justice appointments, and one also contained the official briefs for decisions. Thomas did say he was in favour of a more focused bill on the same issue.

Re: Forest Whitaker: Well, he was in Battlefield: Earth, but I think his work in Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai made up for that.

Re: Camera Angles and Movement: Someone mentioned the pointless camerawork in Husbands and Wives. Well, that film did make me feel ill when I was in the theatre. Only time that happened due to camera movement, too. The extraordinary tilted camera used throughout Battlefield: Earth did cause me to start giggling after about 40 minutes, though.

A Brief Moment of Hockey: I suppose if anyone's interested in catching NHL playoff hockey based on the excitement of Olympic hockey, the Vancouver/Detroit series might be the best bet.


Tom Bacig <tbacig@d.umn.edu>
Duluth, , Minnesota USA - Wednesday, April 17 2002 14:14:9

I thought all of you might like to see the assignment that sent Zoe Rose to this forum. She has done very well for herself in responding to what she has had to respond to, so I won't add a word to any of that. I do want you to know that she is stuck with having to take this course on the web and can't even see her instructor face to face because I happen to be on leave and because the University won't fund teaching this course as often as Students would like to take it. It also won't let me give you all access to the syllabus for the course since they charge students to take the course. The assignment I can share. It speaks to what I'm trying to get studetns to understand about the film and the writer.

Harlan Ellison is another of the "new wave" writers of the sixties and seventies and the most important editor/critic of science fiction in the second half of this century. His short stories set new standards for craftsmanship and wit, and in editing two collections of short stories written by his peers, Dangerous Visions and Dangerous Visions Again, he freed science fiction writers to experiment with the themes and techniques that have produced the new science fiction. He wrote the script, based on his own short story, for this film. Visit Ellison's Webderland Forum and make a comment or ask a question about A Boy and His Dog. Send me a note indicating that you made this post and letting me know if you got any responses. Then take the A Boy and His Dog quiz. Finally, join this "virtual" discussion. Read the commentaries listed under this heading and then write your own. You can agree or disagree with the comments of your virtual classmates. If more than one of you is taking this course at any time, you can also respond to each other.

- Wednesday, April 17 2002 13:57:19


Yeah, All in the Family was inspired by a Brit series called Till Death Do Us Part. Have you ever seen the Beatles' Hard Days Night? The geezer who played Paul's uncle was the sitcom's star (though I may be confusing that with Steptoe and Son, its counterpart known here as Sanford & Son).

The 'poisoned cat' Fawlty Towers episode: yeah, I have it. If it's one thing customers could count on in that place it's watching their plate vanish whenever they're about to put a fork in the food; then when they get it back and they think they can finally eat it disappears again. Just ask the food inspector in that episode.

Jim Davis
- Wednesday, April 17 2002 13:8:40

You know, I should really try to combine all my responses into ONE post, instead of doing this. *sigh* Anyhoo...

ZOE: I'm pretty sure that scene was in the train, but I could be wrong. Of course, if I really wanted to know for sure, I'd have to watch the damned movie again. You understand if I pass, don't you?

Jim Davis
- Wednesday, April 17 2002 13:4:13

On to a lighter topic:

I love FAWLTY TOWERS, too. Actually, I have a big crush on Britcoms in general. FAWLTY TOWERS, MONTY PYTHON, BLACKADDER, FATHER TED, ABSOLUTELY FABULOUS...wonderful, the whole lot of 'em. And let's not forget British drama, either: CRACKER, PRIME SUSPECT, and the single greatest miniseries in the history of television, THE SINGING DETECTIVE.

Why are the Brits so damned good at creating memorable TV?

Jim Davis
- Wednesday, April 17 2002 12:54:23

Though I understand the concerns voiced by many, I have to reiterate: Speech conducted in the privacy of your home is fully protected by the Constitution. No matter how distasteful, no matter how perverted, if it is not directly harming anyone, then it is a fundamental right. Now, if someone is downloading photos of pedophilic acts, then you can certainly argue that is not free speech, but is participation in a criminal act (the molestation of children). And I'd agree.

If someone, however, is creating and viewing images of acts that have never occurred in reality, then it's none of the government's business. Yes, it's disgusting; yes, it's a red flag; yes, individuals can and should do whatever they can to decry such expressions.

But the notion of the Feds monitoring people's homes for ANYTHING that might have the taint of pedophilia...that's just frightening. I wouldn't want to live in such a country. Would you?

Cindy <IAMCINDIANAJONES@netscape.net>
TEXAS United States - Wednesday, April 17 2002 12:0:28


The one you mentioned is one of the greatest episodes, right up there with the moose and the one with the guest that Basil thought died of eating bad kippers. Another prize was the one in which the deaf lady keeps giving Basil hell and he holds up ( can't remember if it's the hearing aid or what) something and says,"Is this a piece of your BRAIN?"


I envy your collection.

Those English are nearly peerless when it comes to wit. I saw a documentary not long ago that established the fact that All In The Family was based on a British comedy.

Did you ever watch The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin? I would laugh so hard that I'd get cramps. To The Mannor Born was another one. But, Fawlty Towers was my favorite.

You have excellent taste too senior.


Helz <helzapoppn@aol.com>
Livonia, - Wednesday, April 17 2002 11:57:24

Jon, thanks for the Supreme Court voting breakdown. What's really interesting here is that Justice Clarence Thomas actually voted against his mentor/massah, Antonin "I wanna be Chief Justice so I made sure Bush won the election" Scalia...

Must have been Thomas' "first-hand" experience with pornography that tipped the scales...

TEXAS USA - Wednesday, April 17 2002 11:44:3

I think that different perverts go to church for different reasons. No doubt some do it for the easy accessibility to children-- the Biblical metaphor of the congregation as a flock of sheep is accurate. So many Christians take things at face value when they are offered under the banner of Christ. I am always put on guard by any business owner or politician who makes a big show of his belief in THE LORD. Likewise Christian signs and symbols are a HUGE red flag to me whether on bumper stickers, websites or advertisements. I'm a Christian as most of y'all know but I am highly suspicious of those who wave the flag with too much verve.

Catholics don't have the market cornered on pedophiles either. In Austin last year they busted a babtist ( that's Texas for Baptist) "youth minister". If you ask me, Youth Minister is also a suspicious position, . I have kids, some are or have been teenagers. Who would WANT to hang around with them for a LIVING unless there was some sort of underlying masochistic tendencies or worse.


- Wednesday, April 17 2002 11:31:2

A DVD will be released on May 14th with Kevin Smith talking with Stan Lee. Called "Stan Lee's Mutants, Monsters & Marvels", it's apparently chalk full of information. You can read about it at DVDReview.com. Amazon has a listing, but not a lot of info.

And a no prize to the first person that gets the DVD. 'Nuff said.

- Wednesday, April 17 2002 11:27:15


I have a batch of FAWLTY TOWERS taped and I'm utterly stoked to have every one of 'em (and, yeah, you can't help but love Manuel - with his crappy English and chimp-like movements); but the one episode that really sent me into arrhythmic paroxysms, particularly the first time I saws it, was when the dude was sneaking his girlfriend into his hotel room against rules and Basil was determined to catch him with the evidence. Every time he took a measure - putting his ear to the wall or accidentally groping a blonde's breast (he'd reached around to turn on a light switch) - either his wife or a psychiatrist guest with his spouse would walk by. One scene is brilliantly cut and timed when he goes outside with Manuel (don't want to give it a way in case Todd hasn't seen it yet), and it is the scene that really endeared me to this episode. You may recall the sequence I'm talking about. Damn hilarious.

You have excellent taste, ma'am.

Lynn <cavalaxis@digitalcarrion.com>
- Wednesday, April 17 2002 11:7:36

Your friendly neighborhood nit-picker here. Rick, I had no idea what your little skit was about until I tried to look up the names in IMDB. Forest has only one 'r' in his name, and Mr. Rea is sans 'H'. Having figured this out, now I get it... ::duh::


Zoe Rose <ztreuer@d.umn.edu>
- Wednesday, April 17 2002 10:53:38

Jim- I remember that! Only, I thought it was the scene with the pool, and all the blood spattered around on the patio and mixed in the water. The team put together to find the alien appears on the scene, and everyone's horrified except Whitaker, who then says his line. When I saw it, it was in theater, and you're right... at LEAST two minutes.

--Zoe Rose

Jim Davis
- Wednesday, April 17 2002 10:45:36

RICK: Excellent work on the variable # of posts option. Also, I like your Forest Whitaker sketch. For some reason, it reminds me of his work in another movie, where he delivers what may be the unintentionally funny line of dialogue EVER. In 1995's SPECIES, a government-created alien/human hybrid (played by the delectable Natasha Henstridge) has escaped, and a crew of bounty hunters and federal agents are hired to find her. Whitaker plays a psychic/empath member of the crew with, how shall we say, an incredible talent for stating the obvious.

So Henstridge is sleeping on a train, when she suddenly metamorphoses from her human form into this H.R. Gigeresque monstrosity, creating a hideous amount of gore, lymph, and discarded alien chrysalis in her compartment as a result. I mean, we're talking major disgusting here--the whole thing looks like an explosion in a lasagna factory. Later, after Henstridge has left, Whitaker walks in, sees this gut-wrenching display all over the walls, the window, the bunks, etc., and portentously delivers this stunning insight:

"Something very bad happened in here."

I'm telling ya, it took at LEAST two minutes for the laughter in that theatre to die down.

P.A. Berman
Suffer the little children - Wednesday, April 17 2002 10:32:38

Lurk: There *is* a "gay gene." You can scoff at that and place it alongside "prefers Fords to Chevies" but there's a plethora of scientific evidence that homosexuality has a genetic component. Maybe genes also cause bad taste, hence the Ford preference, but I hardly think I need to point out that homosexuality is an identity issue, not a preference issue.

However, I do agree with you about pedophiles in the Church. I think the Church attracts people who wish to repress their taboo sexual urges by immersing themselves in a celibate environment. Probably some of them also choose the Church because it gives them a lot of authority and access to children. It's an unhealthy environment of enabling and trangressing that has gotten pretty out of control. I'm glad it's out in the open now.

Maybe there is a pedophilia gene. I wouldn't write that off flippantly; it's certainly possible. We haven't really figured out the genome yet. In that case, a whole array of new treatment methods would open up for it. But, since homosexuality requires no treatment, acknowledging it as part of a person's identity is quite healthful.


- Wednesday, April 17 2002 10:9:26

Post script: The Church is also the most sex-free environment I can imagine. Another factor to take into consideration.


Lynn <cavalaxis@digitalcarrion.com>
- Wednesday, April 17 2002 10:8:18

Lurk~ How about the thought that pedophiles enter the Church in the hopes that the discipline of the life style will give them the strength NOT to indulge? How about the thought that these monsters don't choose the Church because of the ready availability of children, or the unwillingness of the Church to make such scandals public, but because they imagine that living closer to their source of morality will give them strength to overcome their temptations? With pedophiles that choose occupations specifically to be close to children (bus drivers, school teachers, day care providers), it is logical that they have made the decision to indulge their sickness. I would think that the lifestyle of a priest would be counter to such indulgences.

Just my two cents,

- Wednesday, April 17 2002 9:57:0

I don't really want to wander down the alleys of this topic anymore either. How about this one: is there any connection between the beatific embrace of the sublime and the need to fondle children? Do the fairy-tale, fantasy elements of the Church attract individuals whose own sexuality is regressed or infantile?

Where's Freud when you need him? Oh yeah, he's a source of cheap laughs now. Sure glad that all the answers are to be found on the genome...can't wait for the "pedophile gene" to be announced, probably right next to the "gay gene" or maybe the "prefers Chevies to Fords" gene.

- Wednesday, April 17 2002 9:41:35

Much to my chagrin as I really didn't want to contribute to this current discussion, I find I must respond to one of Jay's comments:

"Excusing it by saying we accept graphic splatter doesn't work. In films we don't pop the heads off children. When children die in film, its done with much more care and dignity than films with heavy body counts. Sex and death between adults is handled much differently than sex and death of or between children."

I don't buy that a bit. I don't know about the sex thing since I can't recall too many films (independent or hollywood) that are about sex between children, but the violence done to kids may not be given care and dignity.

I offer as an example the scene in "Usual Suspects" where Spacey recounts the Soze story of Soze killing his own family to set an example to the other mob. In the scene, one of the mob guys slits a little boy's throat. No, the camera doesn't linger on it, but the viewer sees it and it's quite disconcerting. From the audio commentary of the DVD, Singer mentions that he thought that scene would have a hard time making it past the MPAA. Singer says the MPAA didn't mention it. I am inferring from those statements that Singer (and, McQuarrie, also) didn't really give a damn about the kid and the effect that kid's death would have other than showing what Soze was up against and showing what Soze was capable of doing. No care and dignity there.

You're giving way too much credit to filmmakers, Jay.

Jay Smith <zebrapix@hornpail.com>
- Wednesday, April 17 2002 9:5:46

A large number of original child porn is being created outside the United States where it is easy and cheap to find subject matter. Many sites originate in Russia and, while I do not have hard statistics on the $$$, from what I understand parents put their kids in front of a camera for what is, to us, breakfast at Micky-Ds. Crack mommies and prostitutes need to feed the same babies they're selling.

So, once its done and on the web, its copied and distributed to several other sites, some domestic, and filtered down to the hard drives of our most sexually-challenged citizens. Nearly impossible to track material is cheap to produce by the gigabyte within 24 hours. I use Photoshop to airbrush portraits of vain old women. I require an original to scan, so you STILL need to photograph a kid. Then you need to scan and alter it. I've been using Photoshop for years and it takes me a while. Of course if you don't what photorealistic, you can just get an artist. I charge $75 an hour, too. In Russia, I'm sure it's far less expensive to hire a shemp with a laptop, but it would take a day for one picture, which won't fill the coffers quick enough.

Excusing it by saying we accept graphic splatter doesn't work. In films we don't pop the heads off children. When children die in film, its done with much more care and dignity than films with heavy body counts. Sex and death between adults is handled much differently than sex and death of or between children.

Many of the pictures I seized where of children 2-9 altered so they look like splayed, nude angels or cherubs. These bare no resemblance to classic paintings except in the lack of clothing.

Romeo & Juliet depicts a romance, necking, but no illicit sex. If we compare this, most of the WB and UPN line up would be deemed illegal.

As for keeping my mind open to "other considerations" in the discussion of child porn, I only have two. The Protection of Children FIRST, and the Protection of the First Amendment SECOND. I leave it to the courts of the land to balance my bias.

Cindy <IAMCINDIANAJONES@netscape.net>
TEXAS United States - Wednesday, April 17 2002 9:1:32


You wrote:
Michael: You're half jewish? Top or bottom half?

A valid question where I'm from and I'm fascinated to see you ask it. Do you have ranchers in your family? Top refers to sire and bottom to dam. Was that what you meant?


Bill Gauthier
- Wednesday, April 17 2002 8:56:39

Beautiful spot, Rick. Beeea-YOU-tiful!


Cindy <IAMCINDIANAJONES@netscape.net>
TEXAS United States - Wednesday, April 17 2002 8:55:45

Hey Jon,

Thank you for the voting breakdown. Pretty interesting isn't it?


Rick Wyatt <webmaster@harlanellison.com>
- Wednesday, April 17 2002 8:54:55

Webderland now has a "roll your own" number of comments display. Change the number and re-bookmark the result to consitently get the desired number of comments at once.

Recommended normal maximum value is 50 (to spare my webserver costs, this board gets about 2500 hits a day) - I did allow a maxmimum display of 100 messages for those of you catching up.

Rick Wyatt <rick@rickwyatt.com>
- Wednesday, April 17 2002 8:10:45

Forest Whitaker hosting The Twilight Zone? Here's my idea for a promo spot:

(fade into FOREST WHITAKER standing in front of a black blackdrop with a lightly-scattered starfield, wearing a tasteful suit)
FOREST: Hello, I'm Forest Whitaker. Starting next month on UPN, I'll be taking you to a new dimension. A dimension not of sight...
(commotion heard in the background, voice in background "Where is he!")
FOREST: not of sound...

(STEPHEN REA lurches onto the set, panting)
STEPHEN: There you are! You bastard!

FOREST (puzzled): I'm sorry?

STEPHEN: SHE HAD A PENIS, you bastard!

FOREST: Wha...?

STEPHEN (grabbing Forest by his coat lapels): All that time together and you coulnd't be bothered to mention it? A PENIS?

FOREST: Look, Steve, that was just a mov...

STEPHEN (continuing): I mean, what, you couldn't work it into the bloody conversation? "Hey, is that a picture of your girlfriend?" "Why yes, Steve, and did I mention SHE HAS A PENIS?!?!?" .. "Boy, that's a nice looking chick, I'd fancy a go at her I think" "Well if you do, don't worry about it being that time of the month because SHE HAS A PENIS!" .. "Wow, nice looking girl there!" "Yes, and she also has quite a nice looking PENIS!"

FOREST: Can someone....?

STEPHEN: You sod! I kipped on my own shirt! I ought to...

(while this is occuring stagehands come on screen and pull Stephen off Forest)

FOREST (recomposed): A dimension not of sight, not of sound...

STEPHEN (just after being dragged off screen, fading): I'll give you a dimension, Forest! A dimension of PENIS!

FOREST (only slightly pausing): ...but a dimension of mind. And yes, for one man...

STEPHEN (muffled, fading): This isn't over Forest! This isn't over!

FOREST: ...a dimension of penis. Next month on THE TWILIGHT ZONE.

(Forest fades out to leave starfield with show logo. End spot)

Brian Siano <bsiano@bellatlantic.net>
- Wednesday, April 17 2002 8:7:16

First word, to Harlan: Sorry about the "off of" business. Old habits are difficult to break. But, I shall search through my hard drive and seek out all recent documents with that particular error, and correct them.

Re the Supreme Court. I'm surprised that this particular court made a decent decision. It's always seemed to me that the one really concrete reason to ban kiddie porn was because its production required the abuse of children. If that's involved, then by all means, prosecute the abusers.

But when the material is created _without_ that kind of abuse-- by drawing, Photochopping, Poser graphics, whatever-- then the harm becomes a lot _less_ concrete. That's when people start complaining about the thoughts of others-- the thoughs of the people who make the stuff, the people who look at it, etc. And that's just not something I feel governments should have a role in regulating.
I'm not worried about the difficulty in telling Photoshopped images from the real thing. For one thing, most Photoshopped porn isn't very well done, and it's pretty easy to see the fakery. For another, the "real thing" isn't prosecuted solely on the basis of photographic evidence-- it's prosecuted on the basis of eyewitness testimony and forensic evidence.

Others have brought up the observation that suc works as _Lolita_ and _Romeo and Juliet_ could be prosecuted under older laws. I'd also like to mention that Chris Morris' "Brass Eye Special" on the pedophilia hysteria in Britain, titled "Paedogeddon," uses a LOT of concocted fake-kiddie-porn imagery. It is also one of the best pieces of modern satire I've ever seen. Try to find it on the Web if you can, and download it.

Zoe Rose <ztreuer@d.umn.edu>
- Wednesday, April 17 2002 8:0:54

Jon Stover - Forgot to reply to your post. Interestingly enough, I think you hit on an old version of the Sci-Fi course page. I'll check out that url you posted. Now, the Sci-Fi course is at:


Sadly, you have to have a school-given username and password to see any of the assignments/quizzes, but the discussion forum is open to anyone with username 'guest' and password 'tempass'.

Anyway, the newer one has the following blurb on the assignment page for Boy and His Dog:

Harlan Ellison is another of the "new wave" writers of the sixties and seventies and the most important editor/critic of science fiction in the second half of this century. His short stories set new standards for craftsmanship and wit, and in editing two collections of short stories written by his peers, Dangerous Visions and Dangerous Visions Again, he freed science fiction writers to experiment with the themes and techniques that have produced the new science fiction. He wrote the script, based on his own short story, for this film. ***Visit Ellison's Webderland Forum and make a comment or ask a question about A Boy and His Dog. Send me a note indicating that you made this post and letting me know if you got any responses. ***

--Zoe Rose

Xanadu <X_a_n_a_d_u@yahoo.com>
Subject: Muddy Waters - Wednesday, April 17 2002 7:44:29

Lurk: "And I can't think that the "real thing" would be cheaper or easier to create. Just the opposite." Au contrare Ė reality is always easier. I, with my limited ability and tools could produce "real" child porn, were I so inclined. I have neither the time, talent or skills necessary to fake something with digital compositing/animation tools. That takes a level of dedication to the final product not many are capable of sustaining.

But I am behind you one hundred percent saying even a single child saved is a major "win".

Lurk, you also said: "With child porn, if we understand that it's faked, we may not approve of it, but we don't have much ground to make it illegal."

By allowing simulated images to exist legally it becomes difficult, if not impossible, to identify the so-called "law-abiding" images. Pixel-level control is astonishingly powerful.

And now we can add another level to the legal confusion Ė how much manipulation of an image will make it legal? If we change the child's eye-color? Skin color? If we substitue something for the popsicle the child is eating? If we convert the footage to a "Waking Life"-style animation? If we destroy the original footage Ė is the derivative, clearly simulated, animation legal? How could we tell if it's converted or simply the product of an active (albeit twisted) imagination?

Muddy waters are worse, now, and I can't see this as a win for anyone.

Zoe Rose <ztreuer@d.umn.edu>
- Wednesday, April 17 2002 6:38:31

Alex Berman - This page isn't being used as a text in the course. Just as a way of getting in touch with Ellison-fans.

Jim Hess - While I agree with your a and b, your c is wrong - nobody takes anything off this webpage, period. We merely have to look around and post on it. I'd tend towards the "we like this page" attitude, rather than the "we want to use someone else's work to not have to do our own" attitude. That's just me though.

Bill - Wow. :) An invitation? NOW I feel special.

Frank Church - Working on it! I'm coming back here every day to see what you're all talking about, aren't I? And to be bitch-slapped around by HE, which is more amusing than I can say.

Speaking of which...

We meet again, Harlan. Rather - my brain hurts again from your last posting. I DIDN'T care for your manner, no. Now I realize that it's just damned funny. I'm the first to admit it: I'm still looking up quite a few words from your sweet little note to me. You'll be happy (or disappointed) to know that I'm insulted by only three things:
1) You imply that I like N'Sync (shoot me in the head first), and that I go to chatrooms named after them (hack off my fingers next).
2) That I give a flying fucknut what cool is (I'm a friggin' English major... cool? I think not). And finally,
3) The idea that your rantings - while wordily humorous even to I that am oh-so-bruised by them - would have the power to crush this so-called blossom, tender blossom, even, of the latest scum stuck in your back teeth. Allow me to be phoenetic: Puh-lease.

I know you insulted me far worse than these three, but I can't seriously bring myself to feel badly by them. So nicely worded, so padded in sarcasm and wit - who would have thought that a podunk Duluthian would get not one, but two adoring, responsive, and endearing messages from God-like you? *sniff* I'm touched.

In short- Me- Tender? No. Blossom-like? Nope. Getting a kick out of all this? Hell, yes. I really do hope to get another romantic love letter from you again, complete with mentions of flowers and comments of how smart I am and all that nectar-sweet cow manure. No really, I am. You crack me up!

Justin- You're looking for a girlfriend?

--Zoe Rose

- Wednesday, April 17 2002 6:33:21

>This picture, which looks real, is OK; but this picture, which looks real, is not.)<

Xanadu, an interesting observation, and really the nut of the argument. It seems to me that the images themselves are not what is in question here...it's do they portray an illegal act taking place? Are they evidence of lawbreaking, and is your purchase/viewing of such making you an accomplice in that lawbreaking?

It's generally illegal to shoot people dead. But images of people getting shot dead are considered acceptable in our movies. We understand that it's faked. We may not approve of such imagery, but we don't outlaw it like we do the actual act.

With child porn, if we understand that it's faked, we may not approve of it, but we don't have much ground to make it illegal. It's an unpleasant concept, to be sure, but it's still miles of improvement over actually using children.

- Wednesday, April 17 2002 6:26:35

>problem of adults who desire children is to provide them with media that SIMULATES <

No, that problem, which is large, insidious, and which no-one is in a great hurry to find the real reasons for, is not going to be solved by this.

Hell, nothing will be SOLVED. But if the legal use of Photoshop means just one kid is spared, it's worth it to me. And I can't think that the "real thing" would be cheaper or easier to create. Just the opposite.

The point about discerning is it live or is it Memorex is a good one. I suppose we could hope that as technology becomes more available and easier to use, pornographers will take the easier road and use it. They already are, in many cases, usually with celebrity images, which of course brings up a whole other legal issue. Leonard Nimoy once sued a British beermaker for using his image in their ads (Spock's ears perked up after a cold one). Imagine what he'd be suing for if something else perked up, on your computer screen...

Dan Thorne <wordsmith_@hotmail.com>
Royal Oak, MI - Wednesday, April 17 2002 6:1:56

With the all the recent postings about Panic Room, thought I'd pass this news along from the TV Guide site:

Forest Whitaker has signed on to host UPN's Twilight Zone update.

Xanadu <X_a_n_a_d_u@yahoo.com>
Subject: Muddy Waters - Wednesday, April 17 2002 5:28:19

Gunther: Whoever pointed out the "fact" that Romeo and Juliet would have been illegal was wrong, since, as I recall, R&J has no simulated sex acts. (But, my memory is faulty of late and I could be wrong - I just don't have time to read R&J this morning - give me the weekend and I'll be definitive.)

Two: As Lurk argued so passionately last time - we already give "them" a panalopy of choices - adding another level, "simulated but not real" is just muddying the waters even further, not helping in the slightest. I'm afraid the poor devils confused by what's right and wrong already will have a far worse time of it now. (This picture, which looks real, is OK; but this picture, which looks real, is not.)

Three: Authorities are going to have a devil of a time proving whether new pictures are simulated (old ones can be cataloged, indexed and identified). Then we raise the inevitable argument down the road, from the defense lawyer, that his client was told all the images he got over the internet were simulated, and since he is not a photoshop expert, he cannot be held liable for not checking them...

Lastly - what is our society's problem with saying - there are some behaviours that are not acceptable, under any circumstances, for any reason? Would it be acceptable to create the game "Kike Killer", in which you get to play the hero, a simulated Nazi variously gunning down, or gassing, or performing experiments on simulated jews and slavs? Or "Wop Whapper", or "Mick Masher", or "Nigger Nailer" - as long as the "speech" was safely simulated? When can we say enough - THIS IS WRONG - don't do it or face punishments. (Kind, humane punishments - I am not in charge)

Still saddened.

Todd Cassel <TheDoh@prodigy.net>
NJ USofA - Wednesday, April 17 2002 5:27:30

It's funny you guys mentioning Fawlty Towers. I had bought the complete Fawlty Towers DVD Set last month (only 12 episodes! Amazing how so few episodes can last so long) and just started watching it last night.....and then boom, the Webderland Gang starts Fawlty-chattin'. Coincidence, thy name is Webderland.

Joseph, I smell something all right! I smell the disappointment of another season in Chicago with two teams from the Third City (sorry, but I put L.A. second) once again getting excited over some home runs and strikeouts and then setting up the ole Barcalounger in preparation for watching the Yankees win World Series #27. And watch out for The Deathbirds! We start slow, but we wipe up the competition with our bloodied mops! Huzzah!


Earl Wells
- Wednesday, April 17 2002 5:9:8

I must take issue with Barneyís characterization of Damon Knightís sf criticism as ďsavage without redemption.Ē My impression of Knight as a critic is that he often found books that delighted him and he was very skillful at conveying that delight to the readers of his reviews and essays. For evidence, see his collection IN SEARCH OF WONDER. The chapter devoted to Kuttner & Moore is titled ďGenius to Order.Ē On Sturgeon: ďHe writes about people first and other marvels second.Ē On Leiberís CONJURE WIFE: ďÖeasily the most frightening and (necessarily) the most convincing of all modern horror stories.Ē I could pull similar kinds of quotes from his comments on the works of Asimov, Heinlein, Capek, and lots of others. Anyone even slightly interested should give the book a try; itís a good read. I think the 3rd edition is still available from Advent. Your local library should have at least the 2nd edition.

P.A. Berman
Picture this. - Wednesday, April 17 2002 5:2:1

Perhaps I am not understanding this issue completely. I'm hoping one of you might be able to explaint this to me so that I'm not spouting off ignorance. The Supreme Court ruled that it's not illegal to photomanipulate pictures of children to make them appear like they are committed sexual acts. Does this mean they are creating fake children who never existed, then making them look like they are having sex? Or are they taking pictures of real live kids and messing with them so they appear to be doing things they haven't done?

To me, it would make a big difference. However, I'm not sure how one would know, when one was looking at such a picture, whether or not it was a picture of a real kid. It all seems like hair-splitting to me.


Gunther Schmidl
What, AGAIN?, - Wednesday, April 17 2002 3:40:9

Concerning the recent Supreme Court decision, while the matter is indeed a double-edged sword, it's been pointed out that ROMEO AND JULIET would have been illegal under the old legislation.

Which is stupid.

Gunther Schmidl
- Wednesday, April 17 2002 3:37:23

And speaking of disgusting photoshopped fantasies:


Gunther Schmidl
Linz, Austria - Wednesday, April 17 2002 3:34:15

I realize I'm coming in extremely late here (number-of-posts wise, not time wise), but here's b&w movies I've enjoyed:

Kubrick's PATHS OF GLORY (which is one of his best films IMO)
Darren Aronofsky's PI
Andrei Tarkovsky's genius ANDREI RUBLYOW
And, of course, THE THIRD MAN and CITIZEN KANE

Jon Stover
Canada. Supreme Court - Wednesday, April 17 2002 2:37:43

Cindy: The voting breakdown for the decision was 6-3, with Rehnquist writing the dissenting opinion and O'Connor and Scalia agreeing in part with that dissent. The make-up of the Supreme Court by appointment is:

For Striking Down:

Clarence Thomas: Bush (1991)
John Paul Stevens: Ford (1975)
Ruth Bader Ginsburg: Clinton (1993)
David Souter: Bush (1990)
Steven Breyer: Clinton (1994)
Anthony Kennedy: Reagan (1988)


William Rehnquist: Reagan (1986)
Antonin Scalia: Reagan (1986)
Sandra Day O'Connor: Reagan (1981)



Jim ohferchrissakesyouknowwho
- Tuesday, April 16 2002 23:29:21

OH, RICK: HBO Signature is reshowing BAND OF BROTHERS on Tuesdays at 9pm EST. What a great show--consider me hooked, and a guaranteed customer for the eventual DVD release.

Jim Davis
- Tuesday, April 16 2002 23:20:13

Yeah, Harlan, I *KNOW* I freakin' spelled "possession" wrong. And I should've written "an answer" in my last paragraph. (Did I also mention that I regularly forget to brush my dogs' teeth? Hey, since my flaws are being displayed here for all to see, why not go whole hog?)


Jim Davis <scythian66@hotmail.com>
- Tuesday, April 16 2002 23:7:48

HEATHER: Huh? Where do I come from? Uh, I wuz birthed in Carbondale, Pennsylvania, if that helps.


This is very tough. Part of me understands the Court's need to protect what are, essentially, works of the imagination. If some pervo is wacking off to computer-generated images that have no genesis in reality, the government has NO right to prosecute him/her for it. As a lawyer friend of mine puts it, "You're either down with the First Amendment, or you're not." Whether it's a poem, a story, or some Photoshop-cobbled grotesquery, the principle is the same: It's free speech, and it must be protected. End of discussion.

But there IS ample evidence that pedophiles eventually graduate from viewing images to acting on their fantasies. Pedophilia is not normal sexuality; it is a compulsion of the highest order, and comparisons to regular sexual activities are only true up to a certain point. You can argue that Playboy, Penthouse, and the Spice Channel act as healthy valves for sexual tension. I doubt you can say the same for child pornography.

Also, this decision will make possesion of "real" child porn well-nigh impossible to prosecute. Without knowledge of their origin, it's impossible to distinguish virtual kiddie porn from the real thing. If police discover pedophilic images on a hard drive during a legal search, and the owner claims that they are purely computer-generated, what can the cops do? The Supremes may have guaranteed that child porn will become untouchable, and I don't think ANYONE here agrees that's a good thing.

I wish I had a answer to this quandary, folks. But I don't. The 21st Century is shaping up to be a very scary time.

Cindy <IAMCINDIANAJONES@netscape.net>
TEXAS USA - Tuesday, April 16 2002 22:34:29


I'm with you on this one. Fawlty Towers was my favorite show when it first came out. Remember Manuel and the Moose? "Hello-- I speeka engalish-- I larna eet frrrrrrom a buke!"

Jeeze and the lady with the dog!

Basil says, " What kind of dog is it?"

The lady says, " He's a little Shih-tzu."

Basil says, " I'm terribly sorry to hear that but.. ah what KIND of dog it?"

It's one of the best shows ever-ANYWHERE!


Chris L <csjlong@hotmail.com>
Philly, - Tuesday, April 16 2002 21:53:4

I seriously question the assertion that this sort of material only "feeds" pedophiles. I would think it would provide an outlet for people who have the desires but don't want to hurt any actual kids. But maybe not. I guess you'd have to study the issue but, uh, let's just say that would be a difficult experiment to design.

I don't think you can legislate against objectionable material because of what someone might or might not do with it. We don't outlaw alcohol even though it can lead to deaths on the road.

I understand why everyone feels that "It's for the children" is a kind of talisman that obviates the need for any other considerations. I'm sure I'd be willing to break all sorts of laws to protect my own children. However, I think we need to avoid censorship of thought and protect freedom of speech.

Freedom of speech is not absolute, of course. Is this the same issue as shouting "Fire" in a crowded theater? I don't believe it is but I can understand that point of view.

Joseph Finn <JosephFinn@yahoo.com>
Chicago, IL USA - Tuesday, April 16 2002 21:45:15


Oh, just needling you a bit. How 'dem Yankees doing? Ready to come to the South Side? Maybe it'll help ya bridge that 15.5 point deficit in the Webderland League, eh?

Can you smell that? That's the smell of the Flash, my man!


St. Pete, FL - Tuesday, April 16 2002 21:43:22

Speaking of Poughkeepsie (isn't that where the idea factory is?), I was watching John Cleese the other day on America BBC (If you all have never seen Fawlty Towers, you MUST rent the videos-very humorous, you will be LOL or ROTFWL)in a special about himself. His response to people who ask him where he gets his ideas:(paraphrasing) I get my ideas from a man down in Devonshire, who gets them from a little old lady in White Cliffs. Problem is the little ol' lady recently died and the ideas stopped coming in.

St. Pete, FL - Tuesday, April 16 2002 21:27:4

Damn, was Peter's post on LOL really 3(!) years ago! Remember that one as if it were posted a couple months ago. Can someone please put the brakes on mother time. Thank you.

- Tuesday, April 16 2002 21:23:14


Hi?! Hi? Hi. Hmmm, Hi. Hi??? Huh...hi...

I dun't un'rstand.

- Tuesday, April 16 2002 21:19:51


Thanks for the lead.

Susan, do you have a copy of 'Hornbook'? I'd like to pursue it in the summer.

- Tuesday, April 16 2002 21:11:14


"I believe the origins of LOL can be traced back to the mickweepei tribe of southern makdonaland. Whereas Eskimos have 26 words for snow, the mickweepei have one word for everything. Lol? one of them asks. Lol, a second replies. Lol! the third responds defiantly while sharpening his pointed stick."

Where díyou get this stuff, Pete?

Everyone knows LOL is traced to the ancient traditions of the Wodabe, a nomadic, polygynous tribe on the Niger. Their ceremonies were of the passion of the flesh which was considered adulterous heresy in the West up to the 11th Century. Through explorers LOL found its way to the West in the myths of the Troubadour whose tropes of romantic love stirred hearts and shook the will of the Church. The Church had imposed its will for centuries to prevent romantic love; marriage was a contingent of property not passion (the spike of the Devil): marriage by arrangement was the law. But now the winds of heresy would shake the legal system; couples embraced each other in a boiling cauldron of passion and married for love not property...and they LOL in their triumph.

Common knowledge, Pete...common knowledge.

Jay <zebrapix@hornbook.com>
Let's give the child-lover his own magazine.... - Tuesday, April 16 2002 21:5:36

Lurk -

Respectfully, you mean to tell me the solution to the problem of adults who desire children is to provide them with media that SIMULATES child rape? Or purposefully offers them the pedophile's version of "Playboy" with illustrations and CGI toddlers?

Um. No. That's like saying we can cut down on the rape problem by giving sadists pictures of CGI rape victims.

So the kid in front of the camera is spared (or at least some until it is realized that some moms will rent their kids cheaper than a Photoshop whiz will charge to design new ones) but how about the kid who gets raped as a result of this feeding of their desires?

Sorry, but the idea of finding a happy medium here has no appeal. We protect the kids by protecting the real kids from active predators, not appeasing those who like the read yank mags or DL porn pages. It's not methadone. Its propaganda.

I agree this is a strong challenge to First Amendment rights and something I doubt the FOunding Fathers predicted in their visionary plans for America. The First Amendment has been amended. It has been eroded and curbed, so unless we're will to fight the reality and restore total freedom of speech, we must accept that it has to be curbed in the interest of public safety (as it has been countless times in the past). Do I like that idea? No. Does it give me pleasure to say it? Not at all. But it equals my displeasure of having a man I put away appeal his verdict because half the evidence that took him away from a household with potential victims was made up of "illustrated" child fucking. A man who is interested in seeing children in such an act will no limit his interest to what some scumbag draws up in Photoshop.

I'm not prepared to make that ideaological distinction.

(BTW, Lurk...that rant wasn't a focused attack on you, my friend. I respect your POV. I felt a rant coming on and there you have it.)

Todd Cassel <TheDoh@prodigy.net>
NJ USofA - Tuesday, April 16 2002 21:0:19

Joseph, leave it to you to jump on my usual 1-2 typos per note. I know the difference between hail and hale....my mind just refuses to feed my fingers....ahh, to hell with it.

The line from French Connection is used to simply catch the bad guy off guard....confuse him during a heated moment; give him no time to think. Popeye Doyle uses it to keep the perp from feeding him the typical perp excuses for being the wrong man at the wrong place. Intimidation by craziness.....it's scarier that way.

I got this from both Friedkin (probably spelled that wrong) and Hackman themselves on the commentary for both FCI and FCII, so there is no room for debate here (though someone will jump in and argue it anyway).



Lynn <cavalaxis@digitalcarrion.com>
- Tuesday, April 16 2002 20:56:36

Heather~ Links covered. Heck after Barney contributed, links sealed behind a wall of bricks a lŠ Amontillado. Thanks for offering.


Heather Lovatt <heatherlovatt@yahoo.ca>
Heather: A few things, - Tuesday, April 16 2002 20:49:32

Lynn: I asked you what links you were seeking. I still haven't gotten a reply on that.

Rick: Do 25. It works.

Alex Jay: What size is your computer? If it's a sample average, Rick, give him what he wants.

Rick: Two addies is fine. Continue.

Michael: You're half jewish? Top or bottom half?

Barney: I stand corrected. Though I read Ellison, who once mentioned how he liked "Rogue" because they let him write what and how he wanted. No editing.

Bill: Sorry. Don't know where Jim came from. 1001 pardons.

Little Washu: Have fun in Bermuda. Send postcards.

Rob: Hi.

To anyone/no one: I liked "Panic Room." It was a thrill. And I like Jodie Foster. I also liked "The Rookie." More than I expected. My, Dennis Quaid looks different.

Re: Passings...

I only read Damon Knight briefly. It moreso makes me feel the circle is getting smaller. Hope H.E. is doing okay--though I realize they may have no longer been as close. I read something else the other day, that put me in a similar frame of mind. Not sure what it was. hello, he

Condolences to Kate Wilhelm.

I am saddened by the passing of Mr. Urich. He was a fave on television, for many years. Rest easy, Monsieur.


Cindy <IAMCINDIANAJONES@netscape.net>
TEXAS USA - Tuesday, April 16 2002 20:45:17


The main problem I see with this ruling is that it's going to be a bitch for the cops to prove that a picture is real and not manufactured. It leaves enormous gaps for real perps to fall through.

I'm glad I am not on the Supreme Court for this one. What is the political affiliation of the Justices who voted to protect virtual kiddie porn?

Any body know?


Chris L <csjlong@hotmail.com>
Philly, - Tuesday, April 16 2002 20:26:39

Just to take the contrary position and actually agree with Frank (did I just say that?), I think the Supreme Court made the only just decision they could have made. In fact,my concern and frustration is that 3 judges didn't understand the basic principle of free speech at work here.

Would you make it illegal for Nabokov to write _Lolita_? I'm guessing not. What's the difference, then, if a painter or digital photographer does something similar in his or her medium?

Is it dangerous? Sure. Is it free speech? Definitely.

This finding doesn't make child pornography legal but only determines that the law, as it existed, was too broad in its scope. It could have been used to make any simulated sex act with a minor illegal, including the depiction of underaged characters in movies even when played by actors over the age of 18.

Also, I don't see how it's the government's business to determine how someone is allowed to arrange a bunch of pixels on their screen. If someone wants to create a fake image of a naked child or a child in a sex act, how can this be a crime when no actual child is involved? Should it be illegal to discuss or think about sex with minors?

Jay <zebrapix@hotmail.com>
Satire is sometimes lost - Tuesday, April 16 2002 20:19:15

Mr. Ellison said, "Quincy Jones was not the director of A BOY AND HIS DOG."

YES I KNOW. Have you that little faith in me? It was meant as a JOKE. I have the deluxe DVD of the film with a very interesting commentary by LQ. Would you care to autograph it for me sometime?

Joseph Finn <JosephFinn@yahoo.com>
Chicago, IL USA - Tuesday, April 16 2002 20:16:56


Good hale!


P.S. OK, I'll admit my ignorance. What the heck is the reference "picking toes in Poughkeepsie" to? I know it's a line from "The French Connection," but for the life of me can't remember the context...

Todd Cassel <TheDoh@prodigy.net>
NJ USofA - Tuesday, April 16 2002 20:1:57

OK, who else here thought that the beginning of Heather's latest posting was leading us into a seamy Penthouse Letters tale of rain and hale and huddling for warmth at the boss's desk and suddenly, his hands were on my blouse, slowly unshackling my yearning breasts as the Canadian dollars dropped not only a few more points on the world market, but also dropped gently from his pocket as I slipped off his pants and released his, ahem, huskie......

Ummmmm, Heather, you must stop teasing me that way! Dammit.


- Tuesday, April 16 2002 19:53:18


IMHO is an ETLA (Enhanced Three Letter Acronym).

Xanadu <X_a_n_a_d_u@yahoo.com>
Subject: The Supreme... - Tuesday, April 16 2002 19:50:35

As I'm sure you can all guess my thinking and approximate language regarding our superior court, I shall simply let it be known that THIS particular decision bothers me in a way even the signed, sealed and delivered election did not.

I respect the idea that the only time the Constitutional Protection of Free Speech is really needed is when the speech is abhorrant, unpopular or even dangerous. But I have some difficulty wrapping my mind around the concept that this behaviour is SPEECH.

I am saddened.

- Tuesday, April 16 2002 19:47:12


"When I Was a Hired Gun," Pts I & II can be found in "Hornbook."

Jon Stover
Canada. Web Research - Tuesday, April 16 2002 19:45:31

Hmm. I think I've done this before.

The sf course at Duluth has a webpage, at http://www.d.umn.edu/cla/faculty/tbacig/hmcl3220/summary.html

To quote from the webpage entry on A Boy and His Dog, "Ellison wrote the script for this film, based on his own short story. Prepare for our discussion by visiting the Ellison Webderland site and going to the FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) file there and find an interesting question and answer, and email me a copy. Look at the A Boy And His Dog Discussion Guide as well."

Of course, there may be another sf course at Duluth doing A Boy and His Dog.


- Tuesday, April 16 2002 19:42:44

For anyone who can stomach it, I recommmed the movie "The Lost Son" (with very similar video cover as Lost Souls, unfortunately...the well of shamelessness in video marketing is indeed deep.)

It's a harrowing, realistic look at a child-sex ring in Europe, that puts a face on the bland statistics. I rented it because I rent anything with Nastassia Kinski, and I didn't know what I was in for.

Jim Davis
- Tuesday, April 16 2002 19:35:18

RE RICK'S LIST: Loved it! JEOMK! (Er, maybe I shouldn't share that...)

If Harlan ever uses an emoticon, check the skies for rains of blood, and the maternity wards for two-headed babies.

Heather Lovatt <heatherlovatt@yahoo.ca>
Subject: It happens, - Tuesday, April 16 2002 19:33:47

The PetroCanada station I work at is filled with windows, ceiling to floor. You can see the sun, the wind, the rain. IMAX and surroundsound has nothing on this place.

Six-thirty this evening. The rain came down in a pour. I mean a pour. I'm talking a wall of water. Just to be sure I got my money's worth, it hailed briefly. I heard it on the roof. I'd finished changing to go home and knew I couldn't. I would get soaked. I would get soaked just crossing the street to the taunting bustop. I mean, it was RIGHT THERE, right across the street. But I'd be sloshing in my shoes and track pants and teeshirt by then. I'd ride home in the bus only to be dropped a twenty minute walk from home. I'd be soaked. Am I being clear here?

So I waited. I bought some food, sat in the tiny back office on a chair near my boss at his desk, and waited. I'm too old for this shit, you see. I've dealt with too much weather in the last little while--I would wait. So I folded open the book to where I'd stopped reading and sucked on a sandwich.

I'd wait.

Rob, my manager was working quietly at his desk. A fellow Petroperson was covering the front for him, while he fiddled over computer applications and paperwork. The phone rang. I half-listened to him speak.

He got off the phone, and said he was going to get some guy's bag of groceries--he'd left them in the bus kiosk. That's all I knew at the time. I thought some customer was calling him. I watched him get up, put on what looked like a leather coat, his head bare, wearing black slacks and black street shoes.

He didn't have to do it. That's what I thought later. He didn't HAVE to do it. But he did.

He went out the front door, his friend at the til chattering and laughing at him, and I slowly got up and watched him cross the street, carefully avoiding traffic and large piles of water--note, I didn't say puddles; I said PILES--go into the kiosk at the opposite corner, bend over and grab a bag of groceries in a plastic bag, and make his way back across the street.

He didn't have to do that. Are you with me?

When he got back inside, I found out that my coworker, a young guy named Leon, had forgotten his bag of groceries, in an effort to catch a bus home--his girlfriend had come to meet him; I think he just got distracted--but he'd called my boss to ask him to retrieve his bag of groceries in the rain.

He could have waited. He could have told the kid he'd watch the kiosk from the store til the kid arrived. But he didn't even take the time to think of these things (and I wonder if he would have, even if he had.)

Someone wanted something of him--a small favor; he didn't really know what was or wasn't involved--maybe it wasn't a very big bag of groceries; any number of things..

But he didn't think about it. He just did it.

And I'm amazed.

When I realized what he'd done and who he'd done it for--just some kid, just his employee, just some guy he'd hired to watch his gas station--I said, "That was SO NICE of you."

I thought about it some more.

"That was soo NICE of you, Rob."

I thought even further.

"Jeese, Rob, THAT was so NICE of you."

He shrugged it off, with hardly a word.

Leon came and picked up his groceries. He was wearing a large tentlike raincoat; and he gathered up his bag, quietly said thanks, and waited in the store for a while, to watch for the next bus. It was still pouring like a one-day Spring season.

Damn, that was nice. Damn, I got to wait in the rain and see it happen.

People like that DO exist, and I got to witness it.

Yanno what I'm saying?

K Lurk
- Tuesday, April 16 2002 19:32:23

Re: the porn decision

What the Court is saying, I think, is that photos or images are just that, photos or images. If they are a record of illegal activity, then they become evidence.

So, child porn that is animated, or created, without the actual act ever occuring, is not a crime.

In a sick way, maybe this could be a partial answer to the rampant problem of child porn (or any porn). If the images can be created, without abusing actual children, that's a huge step towards getting this problem under control. We can worry about the sickos who look at this stuff later...let's protect the kids, first.

Lynn <cavalaxis@digitalcarrion.com>
- Tuesday, April 16 2002 19:27:13


I thought that imho had made into the lexicon when I heard it used in every day conversation. "Well, imho, George Dubya is a great president." I shit you not.

I personally like IMNSHO (In my NOT so humble opinion). And the one I'm most guilty of perpetrating, ROFLMAO (Rolling on floor, laughing my ass off).


Chris L <csjlong@hotmail.com>
Philly, - Tuesday, April 16 2002 19:21:26

Hey, who wants to be the one to tell Harlan about "emoticons," huh? :) :-p <:

What makes a neologism a good neologism anyway? I think if it's really irritating, we should tell it to go fuck itself. Which is a good method of dealing with people too.

Rick Wyatt <webmaster@harlanellison.com>
- Tuesday, April 16 2002 19:19:50

Speaking of those little shorthand phrases, I loved this list from THE ONION (www.theonion.com):
LODLSM -- Logged On Dressed Like Sailor Moon
XIF -- Christ, I'm Fat
DYHTNTMBG? -- Did You Hear The New They Might Be Giants?
18/F/NYC -- Pockmarked 46-Year-Old In Bathrobe
IHTWBSAP -- I Have Trouble With Basic Spelling And Punctuation
JEOMK -- Just Ejaculated On My Keyboard
NTBUSWAB -- Not To Bring Up Star Wars Again, But...
TOMTB -- Taking Off My Training Bra
CILYIMBF -- Can I Lock You In My Basement Forever?
HOGMP -- Hang On, Getting More Pringles
WSTS -- Weeping Silently To Self
© Copyright 2002 Onion, Inc.

Chris L <csjlong@hotmail.com>
Philly, - Tuesday, April 16 2002 19:18:11


I have a strong tendency to dislike films in which the camera draws attention to itself but it's not like it's some diehard rule that you can't do it. I think the kinetic camera works great in Evil Dead, for example. I even liked the shaky hand-held style in Blair Witch.

I didn't like it in Panic Room. I felt there was no good reason for the camera to be constantly gliding along corridors and around corners then swooping down through floors (showing us the inner composition of the woodwork along the way) and diving into keyholes and such. I know he was trying to create a sense of creeping paranoia by this technique but I thought he would have been better served to focus on a superior story rather than gimmickry.

Of course, Fincher knows a lot more about directing than I do so I'm sure he couldn't care less what I think so I'm doing nothing but expressing my personal taste.

I feel there's a lot of MTV video-style pyrotechnics in films today and that many directors mistakenly consider those tricks a valid substitute for solid story-telling.

Wanna take a look at a beautiful camera move (I know there are millions of 'em but I just watched it last night so it's fresh) look at the opening sequence of 8 1/2, directed by Fellini. The protagonist is having a nightmare. He's trapped in his car. Most of the early cuts are static one or two-shots establishing the claustrophobia he feels as he is trapped in his car with onlookers ogling him the whole time. When he finally gets out of the car, the camera makes a beautifl sweep up to a bus then back to him as he escapes soon to be flying through the air. Well done and done for a good reason.

Rick Wyatt <webmaster@harlanellison.com>
- Tuesday, April 16 2002 19:15:53

College students are welcome here, especially from a program that esteems this site enough to suggest it. I am sure the professor's goal in doing so is to encourage students to do something ACTIVE with their learning and to see a community interested in speculative fiction. I laud that effort.

What you will run into in communities like this, though, is a sort of residual anger and weariness at people that come here as an alternative to doing actual work. Often this comes in the form of copying paper assignments here. If there were a "Dostoevsky's Dungeon" website with a similar board, you'd occaisionally something like the following:
"Hi, I am a big Dustoyevsky fan (does anyone know when his next appearance is?) & I was reading THE BROTHERS KARAMAZOV tonight & the following question occurrred to me: Dostoevsky employs a number of narrative techniques in THE BROTHERS KARAMAZOV, often nesting recollections 2 or 3 levels deep. Why does Dostoevsky employ this technique and what does it say about the reliability of hs narrators, especially when they are conveying 2nd, 3rd, or even 4th hand information? Can u help me wiht this question? I am a big fan and it wud really help me."

So when we get someone who has a legitimate simple question, the tendency is to come at them like piranhas. You'll note I don't usually involve myself in the feeding frenzy, but I'm also not inclined to stop people who are trying to do the Good Work.

If I could tender some advice it would be to place a caveat that if a question is to be proferred here it be one that would not be readily answerable by brief research of the movie or its source material.

Jim Davis
- Tuesday, April 16 2002 19:14:51


(=You Know, I Really Hate Those Goddamned Pea-Brained Substitutes For Clear Writing, Too.)

Peter <writerpo@pacbell.net>
Union City, CA - Tuesday, April 16 2002 19:12:2

Since Lynn got to dig up the past, I thought I'd dig some up too.

Peter San Jose, CA - Wednesday, May 19, 1999 at 10:14:21 (CDT)

I believe the origins of LOL can be traced back to the mickweepei tribe of southern makdonaland. Whereas Eskimos have 26 words for snow, the mickweepei have one word for everything. Lol? one of them asks. Lol, a second replies. Lol! the third responds defiantly while sharpening his pointed stick.

In modern times the phrase LOL has taken on meaning in the wilds of cyberspace as an expression of hilarity. The phrase, roughly translated into the queen's english literally means "laughing out loud." however, other variations of this phrase have appeared in the wilds of cyberspace and can only be attributed to the phenomenon of continental shift. ROTFL is a common derivative which can be translated to "rolling on the floor laughing." Another is LOLSHICBHHHIPOPCAA which can be translated into "laughing out loud so hard I cannot breath. help. help. help. I'm passing out. Please call an Ambulance."

Oh course the phrase LOL is commonly misused to mean various other things. Two of the most common misuses of LOL are "lot's of luck" and "look out lonny" though the latter isn't as popular as most of the other misuses due to the small percentage of the population named lonny.

Further studies can probably determine where the mickweepei tribe got the word LOL and how it was that they were able to construct an entire language from it. But I doubt it.


Todd Cassel <TheDoh@prodigy.net>
NJ USofA - Tuesday, April 16 2002 19:5:46

Barney, I always read LOL as Laughing Out Loud.

Regardless (or should I really send Harlan into a grammar uproar and say Irregardless?), I hate the fucking things. I understand most when I'm reading, but I hate them and never use them.

LOL.....how about "gee, that was damn funny"?


P.A. Berman
Free speech? (or, at least, talk is cheap) - Tuesday, April 16 2002 19:2:42

Frank: Free speech, like free lunch, is an illusion. You can't shout "fire" in a movie theatre, after all. And free Internet, hell, all of us here should know what a bunch of crap that is.

All I have to say about the Supreme Court decision is, it's great to be so idealistic, but ask yourself: how would you feel if it was *your* kid that was photomanipulated to look like he was committing sex acts, and then plastered across the Internet for all to see? I'm sure you'd be overwrought with concern for the perpetrator's Constitutional rights. If so, you're a better man than I, Gunga Din.

Am I really getting into this discussion again? I'm gonna go lay down.


- Tuesday, April 16 2002 19:2:28

I haven't time for detective work right now:

Harlan apparently once confronted some punk mobster or Mafia godfather and I believe he wrote about it. What collection can it be found in? Is it available? (Harlan? Susan?)

Barney Dannelke <dannelke01@enter.net>
Allentown , - Tuesday, April 16 2002 18:57:35

Picture the time-delay brought on by poor typing skills - I know as I type this with my sunburned monkeypaws one of you is going to beat me to this.

IMHO - In my humble opinion.

It's about the only chatroomspeak I use because I find it says much and usually captures a certain tone. The other two most commonly seen are
LOL - lots of laughter and
ROTFWL - rolling on the floor with laughter

the latter is to be used only when keyboards must be cleaned. Like the standing ovation it should not be debased by overuse.

Although at first blush it may seem Orwellian it's no better or worse than all the FANAC abbreviations I've learned in order to make sense of the crumbling woodpulp that used to serve this purpose.

Stopping now to see how many posters beat me to the punch - B.

Todd Cassel <TheDoh@prodigy.net>
NJ USofA - Tuesday, April 16 2002 18:50:1

Harlan, more webspeak to never make it into a real dictionary: IMHO = In My Humble Opinion.

Of course, just writing the statement makes it the writer's humble opinion....but hey, webnerds love to shorten things that don't even need saying!


Barney Dannelke <dannelke01@enter.net>
- Tuesday, April 16 2002 18:47:12

them to be?
- arrrggghhhh

were better?
was better?

- AAAAAAaaaaaarrrrrrrrrrrggghhhh look away, it burns!!!

- Tuesday, April 16 2002 18:46:4


Love ya, baby! Just love ya. And by the way...all of you seem to know what IMHO means. I do not. Just what the fuck DOES IMHO mean?

Indolent Mice Hate Oleomargarine?

Irradiated Melons Harbor Oligarchies?

Indira Mahndi Has Osteoparosis?

I Miss Hermann Oucken (1869-1946)?

Kindly shitcan the infobahn esperanto if you intend to reach poor dumbasses like me. This is idiot corporate jingoism.

Charmingly, yr. pal OJNCDFG-KKREEMN ellison

Barney Dannelke <dannelke01@enter.net>
Allentown , - Tuesday, April 16 2002 18:29:59

*** Lynn *** I just sent you 349 active Ellison links. Pester me at your peril baby. ;-]

*** Damon Knight *** Wrote some great stories. Can't speak to his skills as an editor. Have a rather cool opinion of him otherwise. I read his attacks on Van Vogt and his other SF criticism from the 1950's and found it to be savage without redemption. IMHO. I think much of the tone of 'zines like Thrust and Ansible can be traced right back to Damon Knight. It's a tough thing for me to forget. I think the SF criticism done by Blish [as William Atheling, Jr.] and the formidable Budrys was better in that you always came away knowing more than what you did before even if the work being examined was forgetable.
His inability to cut Van Vogt any slack whatsoever, long after the point was moot also mitigates against rosey eulogizing from this corner. We choose who we are going to miss in this life and that's a choice I'm going to live with. I suppose if I knew that circle or had ever met Kate Wilhelm I would have kept my mouth shut but I don't and I haven't so there you go.

*** the Fincher thread *** I've never made it a secret that I enjoy his films. "Fight Club" in particular. Still, I think "Panic Room" is a lesser effort. If I had to choose one quibble it would be that I wish he would open up his palette. I'm getting real sick of the washed out green /anemic blue / puke yellow triad.

On the upside, I had no problem with the camera work. I know Harlan doesn't feel the camera should draw attention to itself but I think it's more to do with who is holding the camera. D.W. Griffith said movies should move and while he was wrong about any number of things I'm pretty sure he was right about that. There is a parallel in prose. Sometimes you want the transparent prose style of a John D. MacDonald. Other times you want something more showey like a Lafferty or an early T.C. Boyle. OR a Harlan Ellison. I think Fincher salvaged material that would have been unwatchable in the hands of a hack like DePalma. Yes Virginia, I hate DePalma.

- Barney

*** dept. of having Van Cliburn at your recital ***

I thank Crom and Mitra everyday that Harlan doesn't rip me a new one the size of the Grand Canyon every time I post here. My abuse of the language combined with my inability to proofread even simple errors like their / they're / there & two / to / too will probably have me setting type in hell before much more time passes.

- Tuesday, April 16 2002 18:28:33

TODD: It's "lying about in the grass," not "laying about in the grass." (And spare me the juvenilia response we anticipate from you, anent lying/laying.) Nyuck nyuck nyuck, my ass. As for my equine attitude, Sunny Jim, you may tell me to fuck myself and the high horse I rode in on, but I respond with fuck you and the snake you slithered in on. Nyuck you, Chollie.

JAY: Quincy Jones was not the director of A BOY AND HIS DOG. Geezus, don't you people ever check anygoddamthing? No wonder the internet is so paranoiacally untrustworthy, if even smart cookies like youse guys can't get it right. The director's name was L.Q. JONES. White, southern drawl, never wrote a bar of music in his life. QUINCY JONES is black, urban East Coast, big-time Hollywood, speaks in a dignified manner, and never appeared in Sam Peckinpah westerns. Otherwise, they were separated at birth.

Which brings me to


I gather you don't care for my manner. As I've been saying more than a few times lately, "Yeah, I get a lot of complaints about that." But if you actually think my mild and exhausted mumblings toward you were expended to "ground you down," child, then best you go back to the N'Sync chat-room where one can spend endless hours without once detecting the passage of a thought. And no one gets stroppy with you unless you have the bad taste to point out that the group's frightened-chipmunk chittering is to music as a bag lady is to Marlene Dietrich. I was treating you with courtesy. Granted, my twisted and barbaric standards of civility and opprobrium (look it up) are not generally those of civilized folks, but then, I'm a "charming guy" (I think that's what you called me, or something akin), and I think by the time someone is in college, they ought to have enough smarts to read the fuckin' credits on a movie to find out where it came from. I know that's UNCOOL, but to be absolutely mop-up straight with you, toots, I'm fed to the back teeth with Young Moderns who equate "cool" with being as informed as a Swiffer.


Oh, hell, Zoe darlin', don't be so snappish. Hang around here a while and you'll soon find the doofus crowd you bond with at school very wearying indeed. The folks hereabouts in Cozy Corners for the most part spell things rite, they use good grammnner (except they can't find their way around "off of" or "lying vs. laying," which I'm sure you can), and they almost never pick their toes in Poughkeepsie. (Ask them for the referent.) In fact--New Horrors! New Horrors!--you might actually pick up some life-altering insights. Painless. Yet nourishing. And Justin's looking for a new girl friend, so who knows . . . ?

I'm sure the Webderlanders will rush in now to balm your bruised sensibilities. Oh, what a MAWNSTUH I am, crrrrrrushing the tender blossom of the zoe rose.

I go now to shrive myself. Yr. abject srvnt.,


Frank Church
- Tuesday, April 16 2002 17:52:24

Zoe, sheesh, being informed is not that hard. Just study hard and be well read and all will be right with the world. At least you will be ahead of most of America; who barely read their cereal boxes.

Being informed is free like the wind. Curl your sails into the horizon and let it flow baby.

Frank Church
- Tuesday, April 16 2002 17:48:39

I agree with the Supreme Court on the new decision. Simulated aint the actual thing guys, just as a faked snuff movie aint the real thing.

Both should be legal. If you cannot protect dangerous speech then all speech is on the chopping block.

Bill Gauthier
- Tuesday, April 16 2002 17:42:10

"Bill - I think he figured it was full of smart people such as all of you."

She labled included me in the smart people here! She included me!!!!

Welcome, Zoe, and please stay!


Jim Hess
- Tuesday, April 16 2002 17:40:28

Frogs. . . pesticides. . . hairy palms. . . blindness.


I don't get it.

Until next time. . .

Todd Cassel <TheDoh@prodigy.net>
NJ USofA - Tuesday, April 16 2002 17:28:9

From CNN.COM today: I gotta stop laying around in the grass; I'm having way too much fun with myself!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



April 16, 2002 Posted: 10:55 AM EDT (1455 GMT)

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Male frogs exposed to even very low doses of a common weed killer can develop multiple sex organs -- sometimes both male and female -- researchers in California have discovered.

Jim Hess
- Tuesday, April 16 2002 17:15:40

So this board (and related site) is now being utilized in a university course.

I suppose this means I have to start wearing pants when the highbrows, the academic sparrowfarts are about? Long pants, at that?

With no offense to Mr. Ellison, who is right to scream and rant: READ THE &^%$# BOOK INSTEAD OF WATCHING THE ^%$# MOVIE, I gotta wonder: What the hell is going on in universities if a) they are not encouraging students to read source materials--BOOKS, b) how it is they can make students pay insane amounts of tuition when they are basically saying: Go play on the web 'cos I'm too lazy to actually teach anything, and c) can a university course legally take what is found on a message board such as this one without consideration of copyright, intellectual property, and use it in a course where people pay to attend?

Oh, what a web the web doth weaves.

Understand: I think it a wonderful thawng if one can incorporate such technologies as the web into a workshop, class, or course, but, um. . . something don't feel right here.

Am I being paranoid with regards to this matter, or is there a valid concern here?

Gotta dash. Have to get this here 'creative non-fiction' article I am writing done and flung in the general direction of the editor-god type person. Upside to it: I reference the WRITTEN works of one Harlan Ellison in it.

Stay tuned.

Until next time. . .

Jay <zebrapix@toalmih.com>
Now I'm getting pissed off.... - Tuesday, April 16 2002 17:13:27

Some frustrating news from the Supreme Court Today.


So an illustration or a photomanip of a child in a pose or engaged in a sex act is not NECESSARILY illegal. If it is computer-generated, performed by legal-age actors or otherwise SIMULATED, it is okay.

I feel a rant coming on.

Lynn <cavalaxis@digitalcarrion.com>
- Tuesday, April 16 2002 17:5:38

Barney~ You promised me links. When ya gonna cough 'em up? (I've been google mining and there's some pretty cool stuff out there. Don't worry, I'll share soon.)


Alex Jay Berman <smeghead@erols.com>
Philly, - Tuesday, April 16 2002 16:41:28

RICK: Important question that everyone seems to have overlooked.

The website you painstakingly built, and the community of this board which depends on your hospitality and hard work, are being used as a text in a university course.

Shouldn't you be getting some remuneration?

King Lurk
- Tuesday, April 16 2002 16:15:9

The Twilight Zone....

Since I spent the better part of the day today at a software conference in Downers Grove, IL (which despite its name is a very up place), I though I'd pop over to nearby Naperville and visit the main store of Graham Crackers comics, which some from Chicagoland may agree with mas as being a fine comics shop, but woefully misplaced in Naperville, which might as well be in Iowa if you live near the lake.

Anyway, after browsing for about an hour, I looked down at the back issues of the independents on the floor, and right there for my eye to catch was The Twilight Zone--Crazy as a Soup Sandwich, by Harlan Ellison and illustrated by Neal Adams.

Well, I snatched THAT up, and later upon reading it, noticed that it was published by NOW Comics (apparently NOW defunct). The kicker...NOW's Northbrook address is (was) two doors down from where I work.

Doo dee doo dee
Doo dee doo dee

Peter <writerpo@pacbell.net>
Union City, CA - Tuesday, April 16 2002 16:0:7

Harlan: Kee-rist! I already admitted that I fucked up after Rick pointed it out. What more do you want from me, blood?

Oh well, back to the nettle lashings.


Zoe Rose <ztreuer@d.umn.edu>
- Tuesday, April 16 2002 15:48:36

Bill - I think he figured it was full of smart people such as all of you. He just didn't realize how sick you were of getting the questions. I've told him to take a look at the board, and so maybe he'll remind students to sound as educated, yet as little like college students, as they can.

--Zoe Rose

Zoe Rose <ztreuer@d.umn.edu>
Duluth, MN USA - Tuesday, April 16 2002 15:46:23

All right, all - I don't feel put out, or special, or anything. In fact, it's great that such a response is being given. I do love to read, and now that I read closer I see that the overview of the movie says, "Based on the book written by H.E." and so dummy me.

For the record, I enjoy reading the books better than watching the movies. I'm not a kid trying to get out of work by phasing my brain out into mindless screen-watching. Hope to hear more great comments and stuff. And I promise to keep my piddly college-class questions out of it from now on.

--Zoe Rose

Jim Hess
- Tuesday, April 16 2002 15:41:39

Thickness of skull and dullness of mind presently causes me to forget who it was who brought it up, but, thank you. (Chuck? Sue? Bob? Nancy?) About The Tattered Cover and the fact the police of Denver maintain what amounts to an enemies list, sanctioned by the mayor of Denver:

Yes? And?

That The Tattered Cover won this round means nothing. Meeeester Big, Wellington Webb, is looking, like Bill Clinton, for a legacy (and flushing the toilet thirty million times to get rid of all the fish at Ocean Journey don't count), so he will happily assault the First Amendment. Which means, locally, The Tattered Cover Bookstore.

A thought: Gotta get there and get my latest fix of things literary. Yes, I know: They have a web site, but I just gotta play in all that &^%$ traffic T-Rex is causing.

Until next time. . .

Jim Hess

Bill Gauthier
- Tuesday, April 16 2002 15:34:10

I just don't get the my-professor-wanted-me-to-post-on-this-website-because-it's-cool thing. And that's all I'm saying.


Jay <zebrapix@tohmila.com>
On "A Boy and His Dog" - Tuesday, April 16 2002 15:27:46

Lynn, Zoe, et al...

It seems to me that any study of the film would DEMAND an understanding, even in passing, that it was based on another medium. Otherwise it's just movie-watching time with no more insight gleaned than the usual Saturday night crowd at any Hoyt's or AMC theater.

The name Harlan Ellison passes the desk of a college course and ISN'T put into context with the vast, mind-manglingly huge library of work the man's produced? Sheesh. I'm sorry. Either the message in this course isn't being reliably transmitted or adequately received.

I can only imagine the syllabus referred to it as "This cool sci-fi movie with the guy from 'Miami Vice', a talking dog (just like Knight Rider...except it's a dog, not a car) and sex jokes. Directed by Quincy Jones and Written by Harlan Ellison. Not very good movie by Jones (he should stick to music) but pretty good by Ellison who wrote a cool Star Trek episode once. Thumbs up."

Demand a refund. Or, better still as Mr. Ellison put it


OH, Zoe... If you have a copy of the syllabus for this course, I'd love to see it. :)

Lynn <cavalaxis@digitalcarrion.com>
- Tuesday, April 16 2002 15:5:48

Zoe, don't feel special or put out because of the response you got from Harlan. That's the standard response that everyone gets who comes here asking about the movie. Really, it wasn't personal. What you should really be getting angry about is a college class you're paying money for that's teaching you about a film without even *telling* you there was a novella to go along with it. That'd really chap my hide if I were you.


Frank Church
- Tuesday, April 16 2002 14:58:52

Zoe, once you read, A Boy And His Dog, you will kick yourself for your overwrought rant. The heart of the last line in that story proves that writing will always be superior to the visual medium.

Chris L <csjlong@hotmail.com>
Philly, - Tuesday, April 16 2002 14:52:47

I do know how to spell "siege" - I just don't always know how to type.

Frank Church
- Tuesday, April 16 2002 14:42:39

Chris, ok pal, it's numchucks in the alley with you sucka!

No, I found the film riveting. I am a hard guy to thrill. but as you said, to each his own. but do not let me catch you after sundown in this here part of town again. Wink.

Zoe Rose <ztreuer@d.umn.edu>
Duluth, MN USA - Tuesday, April 16 2002 14:35:14

By the way - thanks, Chuck, for giving me your insights. They really helped me understand the movie more. Hopefully the next time I watch it I'll catch the things I missed this time around, and reading the book should help even more. Thanks for taking the time to answer!!

--Zoe Rose

Todd Mason
- Tuesday, April 16 2002 14:30:24

Well, Xanadu, the Knight was usually very careful with his work, but that site you cite is even more incomplete than the SF Site's bibliography, which misses his term as editor of IF, WORLDS OF SCIENCE FICTION magazine (and his scriptwriting for CAPTAIN VIDEO, not perhaps the most important work of his life).


Fantasticfiction UK is a good site, but this one's a bit better, at least for most US sf writers. He was a busy man for a fair amount of his life. Hope you like the book, Lynn. Yeah, Alex, life's funny that way, eh? TM

Zoe Rose <ztreuer@d.umn.edu>
Duluth, MN USA - Tuesday, April 16 2002 14:27:8

Harlan Ellison-

Ok, look, I apologize for my ignorance. I didn't really know there WAS a novella. Just so that you're better informed, questions posted on your lovely webpage here AREN'T posted by lazy students hoping to get ahead of the others. This is an Independent Study course where it's part of the assignment to post on your webpage because it's known to be a cool page. Ok? So lay off a bit, eh? Seriously.

I don't get any extra points for getting answers here. In fact, all I had to do was post, and then tell the prof that I posted. So instead of just posting dumbass questions I tried to ask ones that I honestly didn't know the answer to.

Well, it's your page. I like reading the posts because everyone's so.. in touch. Didn't realize I'd get ground into dust for posting here, and will try and remember to add a note at the end from now on for these types of assignments-

"Only a dumbshit college kid doing an assignment for class - please ignore."

Thank God someone bothered to e-mail me to see if that was the case. Thanks, you know who you are.

This person was even so gracious as to inform me there WAS a novella - which I'm trying to get from our library now, so I WILL be reading the goddamned book. I'm actually looking forward to it, even. Especially now that I know what a charming guy wrote it.

--Zoe Rose

Chris L <csjlong@hotmail.com>
Philly, - Tuesday, April 16 2002 14:25:8

If you liked Panic Room, fine with me. To each his own.

But what's "to get." [MINOR SPOILER WHICH YOU ALREADY KNOW FROM THE COMMERCIALS] Three guys break into a house and try to steal something from the room that the two protganosits are also in.

Ain't nothin' to get. It's supposed to be a simple suspense story much like Straw Dogs' seige sequence or Assault on Precinct 13.

It doesn't work because it's just plain boring, boring, boring. There's not one ounce of tension to be found in a single scene in the movie.

Frank Church
- Tuesday, April 16 2002 14:23:27

Lynn, now I got ya sister. You aren't allowed to ever critisize me about grammar again. Hehe.

Frank Church
- Tuesday, April 16 2002 14:14:27

Chris, Panic Room has clever directing that to me was fun to watch. The directing tricks were meant to imply a format of "cat and mouse" misdirection. The camera movements were used like a suspensful operetta with the minds eye--not unlike some of the ways Hitchcock used it. I see cleverness in what you see as disquieting. This is the Blair Witch excuse: Because of the shaky camera work, in Blair Witch, people dismissed the film out of hand, without first looking at the premise, or the film as a complete whole. This is nit pickyness at it's worst. Panic Room is a great thrill ride, nothing more. The script has holes in logic, but what it promises it delivers on. I ask for nothing more.


But I will say, the shaky camera in Woody Allen's, Husbands and Wives made no fucking sense, artistically. Go get a steadycam Woodman!! Sheesh. You can afford it.


Also saw, Frailty. What an odd film. Good, but strange. I will admit the ending surprised me. Maybe I'm a shill.

Subject: Damned Typos - Tuesday, April 16 2002 14:10:11

That would be _impaired_.

Xanadu <X_a_n_a_d_u@yahoo.com>
Subject: Mr. Knight's Passing - Tuesday, April 16 2002 14:8:39

Not a prodigious output, to be sure - but I do have several of his books, and I did enjoy them...

Here's a bibliography for the search impared...



Frank Church
- Tuesday, April 16 2002 13:47:53

Chris L, Panic Room is wonderful; if you didn't get it, then I cannot or will not try to sway you. To each his own. The movie is very well acted, and has a clever, suspenseful edge. There are flaws, but the fine acting and amazing directing by Fincher made it for me.

Rotten Tomatoes.com gave the film a 77 percent positive rating; which is quite high for most films, especially of this type.

Alex Jay Berman <smeghead@erols.com>
Philadelphia, - Tuesday, April 16 2002 13:39:11

TODD: What annoys me is that Robert Urich's passing was front-page CNN.com news, whereas Knight--who, aside from his own writing, was a huge force in writers' education, with books, Milford, and a lot of other workshops, isn't even mentioned. I LIKED Urich, true, but I had much rather that we see less disparity between how those who WRITE the words and those who SPEAK the words are regarded.

Pipe dream, I know ...

St. Pete, FL - Tuesday, April 16 2002 13:36:22

Lynn & Todd: I'm surprised there wasn't more chatter about him. Lynn, in the original TZ series, do you remember the episode "To Serve Man"? Where supposed friendly aliens come to Earth ending all strife and transport humans back to their home planet...to eat them. Anyway, that episode was based on DK's short story. He was also the founder of the SFWA back around 1965 and edited the first Nebula annual anthology. He also edited the Orbit series. He was married to Kate Wilhelm. Anyway, there is so much more about the man and many will surely miss him.

Lynn <cavalaxis@digitalcarrion.com>
- Tuesday, April 16 2002 13:20:35

Charlie & Todd~ I did not note Mr. Knight's passing on the board, because I am unfamiliar with the man's writing. I did, however, go to alibris.com and buy a copy of Mr. Knight's Creating Short Fiction. I figure the most honest tribute from one writer to another is to go out and buy a book.


Cindy <IAMCINDIANAJONES@netscape.net>
TEXAS USA - Tuesday, April 16 2002 11:51:14

Dear Harlan,

Thank you for what you wrote. I didn't know those things. There is so much I don't know. Would you give me the title of a book that might enlighten me on this subject?

My formal education is slight. I did not attend college except for the occassional writer's workshop and online extension course.
You once gave a class some advice. You said to read the classics. I listened.

I learned by reading The Brothers Karamozov, Madame Bovary, Les Miserables, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, A Tale Of Two Cities, The Three Musketeers, Wuthering Heights, Jane Eyre, and on and on. Twenty years ago last summer you set my feet on a path that changed the course of my life forever. I learned to communicate by reading those books. They gave me the words that I lacked and needed. They made me laugh and cry and ponder things that count.

Don't get me wrong, I'm still no silk purse. Without instruction I'm apt to look up at the sky or sit down, but I am not nearly as nauseous as I once was.

Thank you, Harlan.


- Tuesday, April 16 2002 11:38:13

Lynn, nice job on the search. Here, you still have some dust and cobwebs in your hair...now go fix your hot-water heater.

Todd Mason
- Tuesday, April 16 2002 11:36:32

Charlie--Glad you also took the time to note Damon Knight's passing.

Pity no one else has.

Helz <helzapoppn@aol.com>
Livonia, Michigan - Tuesday, April 16 2002 11:29:18

Has anyone happened to notice that the current top-ranked 3-year-old thoroughbred in the country, and likely favorite in the Kentucky Derby, is...

Harlan's Holiday?

Just thought I'd mention it. No pressure to actually lay down bets or anything...as opposed to $325 million Big Game Lottery tickets.

Lynn <cavalaxis@digitalcarrion.com>
- Tuesday, April 16 2002 11:10:21

Reading a story with smooth language is like wearing an old pair of jeans. You don't even notice it. Language should never get in the way of the story.


PS. Jay: LOL. That was an excellent parody! I think there's a film short in that!

- Tuesday, April 16 2002 10:35:52

Mr.Ellison: Thank you for Grammar 101. Even literate, book-reading people fall into slovenly patterns of speech and writing.
I'm going to dig out my Strunk & White after I leave the coal mine for home.
P.S. I'm reading the recent Pevear and Volokhonsky translation of "Anna Karenina,"and greatly enjoying it; Tolstoy's grammar is exceptional.

Todd Cassel <TheDoh@prodigy.net>
NJ USofA - Tuesday, April 16 2002 9:45:48

Harlan and Lynn: Get off of your high horse!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


nyuk nyuk nyuk

Lynn <cavalaxis@digitalcarrion.com>
- Tuesday, April 16 2002 9:28:39

FRESH IN FROM ARCHIVE DIVING. ::cough, sputter, sneeze:: {Let us not mention the names I came up with when searching for 'off of'.}
- Friday, August 24 2001 11:22:33
Lynn & Adam: It is ungrammatical to say "off of," as both of you did in your latest posts. It's a double negative, and what is commonly referred to in writing workshops as "schoolgirl grammar." So many of you talk about being writers, and lament "writers' block" (which I shan't go into now, though most of your musings do make me hide my mouth behind my hand so you won't perceive that I'm giggling), yet you apparently have not rubbed Strunk & White into your pores, and neither Follett nor Fowler seem to be your bosom companions, or even on your must-read lists with the shoals of contemporary fictioneers.

"Off" is sufficient. "Off of" is wrong. Oh, and Adam, when you speak of "skimming off the top," it's the equivalent of saying, I live in a big house home." Skimming MEANS across the surface.
The top, that is. Even if it's at the bottom of a filthy pond, and you're skimming the crud off (not off of) the bottom, you're STILL skimming off the top...of the bottom surface. Many of you use unthinking redundancies that are a dead giveaway to editors who KNOW good writing, that the person submitting the manuscript is an amateur, a parvenu, a tyro. I'll give you a few examples, and a way to avoid them:

"He looked up at the sky." No shit. You cannot look "down" at the sky. (Now, let's get something out of the way from the git-go. Yes, I suppose if you were seeing the sky's reflection in a pool, a mirror, your highly-polished parochial school Mary Janes, you might conceivably be smartass--but no less rdundant--in rationalizing the postulation that one of these rarest-of-the-rare exceptions will justify your gaffe. That is what assholes who don't really want to learn, but need desperately to justify their errors, do. They think the exceptions, no matter how convoluted and improbable, get them off the hook, and prove what a dolt the teacher is. Yeah, sure, if you stretch the rationale till it creaks, you can probably find some convoluted "what-if" bullshit reason for your redundancy. But those smartass exceptions only muddy the water for your understanding of this common flaw in most people's speech and writing. So don't be a smartass.)

He knelt down. No shit. You can't "kneel up."

The snow fell to the ground. No shit. Unless you're living on the planet Zxymllll in the anti-matter galaxy of GHtyrl, that's what happens when gravity rules. Snow falls. To the ground. Or the tabletop. Or the ragtop. Whatever the object of the sentence is. It falls to it.

He shook his head no. No shit. Try shaking your head yes.

He used his mental telepathy. No shit. Since telepathy MEANS mind-to-mind, I challenge you to use your "physical telepathy."

He waved his hand goodbye. No shit. Try waving your adenoids goodbye. He waved goodbye. Period. End of sentence.

The examples go on and on and on. Just go back and reread any contemporary paperback, or one of your own postings, and ask that "reverse" of each redundancy: "he turned around," for instance. If he turned "around," he spun 360. If he "turned," which is precise and correct, he need only rotate sufficient for your purpose as a storyteller. Ask the reverse. He sat down. No shit. How can he sit "up," unless he's on the ground or in bed or lounging on the sofa. When someone standing sits, he or she only sits. Down is the only way s/he can go. He cannot--ask the reverse--sit up on a chair. (Unless he's in an Amish or Mennonite household where they raise the chairs onto wall-pegs after the meals; and our protagonist has developed the amazing Olympic competition ability to fling himself upward and backward, plonking onto the wall-ensconsed seat. I am smartass, hear me bleat.)

This has been Harlan Ellison's Writing Lesson #8,000,001.

Gee, I wish someone were listening.

- Tuesday, April 16 2002 8:40:48


You have GOT TO STOP using the ungrammatical redundancy "off of."
You're making my eyeballs bleed! Please. Have I ever asked you for anything? Please.


This Duluth course is getting to be an embolism in the cascading Ellisonian bloodstream. Yes, those who inquired re: "A Boy and His Dog" on this website previously--interminably--got ANSWERS. And most of those answers were:

READ THE GODDAM STORY!!!! You saw a movie, kiddo, not the original. ALWAYS read the source material. Apart from learning the answers to ALL YOUR QUESTIONS and getting an ace in the class because you'll be better informed than your classmates who're too lazy to go to the wellspring, YOU WILL ENJOY THE STORY! Classes that let students "entertain" themselves with derivative incarnations of the work, no matter how faithful, do the students a disservice. So don't bother looking up all those past Webderland postings . . . go read the story.

In case I was unclear on that last . . .





Wearily, Harlan Ellison

Jim Davis
- Tuesday, April 16 2002 8:12:29

You wanna know what really honks me off about PANIC ROOM, a film I haven't even SEEN yet? It's the title--it should read *THE* PANIC ROOM, not PANIC ROOM, but *THE* *THE* *THE* a thousand times *THE* PANIC ROOM. What's with the rampant omissions of the definite article from movie titles today? Are the mass injections of sheep placenta causing some kind of collective aphasia among Hollywood execs?

JON: Skinny on the street (ok, on AICN) is that Guillermo del Toro wants to write/direct an adaptation of AT THE MOUNTAINS OF MADNESS. After seeing his STUNNING film THE DEVIL'S BACKBONE, I say give him the money and let him rip.

Oh, and yes, I *WAS* using the Upper Canada Rebellion as the cutoff date for the modern novel, you smartass, you. (Said with affection, of course.)

Jay Smith <zebrapix@noyoucantstoreyourmillionsinmybank.com>
Anyone else still getting these messages? - Tuesday, April 16 2002 7:51:4

Dear Zebrapix,

I am writing to you out of deepest respect and urgency. My name is Zupo Renfield and I am Minister of Defense for the small African nation of Wakawanda. We are currently experiencing a brutal civil war in which hundreds of our people are dying every day to prevent a violent overthrow by the Presidentís brother Frakanaka Zeballa.

Frakanaka (nicknamed ďKenĒ) is an evil madman intent on enslaving the people of our nation, who will desecrate the Christian monuments, repeal all civil rights laws passed since the start of his brotherís reign, and subject all citizens to round-the-clock reruns of ďMama's FamilyĒ and ďHollywood SquaresĒ.

It is of this threat that I write to you. The Ministry of Defense has an urgent need to relocate its warehouse of small American bills, jewels, and gold bars to your garage until the coming war has ended. If it remains here, above the garage of our Minister of Labor Ponse Rashiki, it may be discovered and plundered by rioters.

And if you do not mind terribly, we would like to store our pool table, video collection and John Denver records. If you have room for an additional Presidential limousine, please let us know. We hope to make the transfer as soon as possible. Upon receipt of your keys, our Republican Army will transfer the material into your storehouse. We promise they will not drink your beer or break any crystal miniature bells on your kitchen shelf during this transfer.

I ask you to respond quickly to support our effort against Ken. In victory, you will be given a heroís welcome and honorary citizenship in Wakawanda, a statue in your image to stand among the great leaders of our nation, and a lifetime supply of Fizzy-Time Root Beerô our nationís primary export.

Thank you again for your attention. Please respond to this email.

The Right Honorable Zupo Renfield
Minister of Defense
The Peopleís Republic of Wakawanda
Embassy Road
Washington Heights

Jay Smith <nospamfrom@africanroyaltytryingtolaundermoney.com>
- Tuesday, April 16 2002 7:34:42

Oh, and last night on the Starz Mystery Channel... (or was it Sunday?)


Oh yes...what a horrid piece of filth with Pam Grier playing super-foil to William Marshall. Oh the 'fros and the rainbow dyed dashikis, poly-stretch pantsuits and a bunch of the ole exploitationary stereotypes. Wow. And and ending that will leave you confused, amused and, yes, even a little amazed by its abruptness and lack of sense.

Cinematography on the same level as mine, writing worse than 'Batman & Robin'. It was quite hilarious.

Jon Stover
Canada. Invasions of Privacy. - Tuesday, April 16 2002 5:15:8

Hmm. Chuck's posting made me think of a recent case here, in which the police infiltrated a Narcotics Anonymous group while investigating a murder. The police officer who did so won an officer of the year citation; the case was thrown out; a lot of media coverage now is now focused on the number of people who have left Narcotics Anonymous because they no longer feel safe, and how much damage this investigation may have done to the whole process of people seeking help at AA, NA, etc. It's an ugly case. The police pointed out that there are no rules stopping them from infiltrating NA and AA groups on a case-by-case basis. I have a feeling that this may spur some new privacy legislation in Canada related to reasonable expectations et al., given our already strict controls on wire-tapping and recorded conversations (except when the intelligence community is involved -- ain't that always the way?).

Little Washu: Oh, I liked The Thing. I liked it even better when it first came out when I was 14. The effects are almost ludicrously influential -- the shifting double-face effect gets echoed in T2 and The Matrix, to name two, and Steve Bissette and Rick Veitch and John Totleben used it during the Etrigan storyline in Moore's Swamp Thing run. Watching the 1950s version was a big disappointment -- the snivelling, accomodating scientist in the Nyby film is alone almost as annoying as the frat-boy antarctic researchers in Carpenter's work.

I'd like to see a decent film version of the novella that looms behind Campbell's novella -- "At the Mountains of Madness" -- in part because it gets at some of that Wellsian indifferent universe vibe that often seems scarier than booga-booga creepy aliens stuff, although it's got them too. That the narrator 'forgives' the unfrozen scientist aliens who slaughter one camp because he realizes that, compared to what they face later, they have motives humans share (fear, curiosity, a tendency to fall into ice), is a nice grace note. I'm not advocating Trek-level mushydom here -- but as an antagonist, the Thing in pretty much any version remains a complete outsider, a cipher. I don't know that I want a story from its POV, ala *The Dracula Tape*, but what exactly is it doing, and what are its plans for Earth? Would it really replace all fauna with itself? Then what? Come to think of it, Greg Bear's *Blood Music* takes that and runs with it, to great effect.

No exams? Geez, is that why you get to knock off early?

Cheers, Jon

Todd Cassel <TheDoh@prodigy.net>
NJ USofA - Tuesday, April 16 2002 4:57:23

I won't debate Mr. Chris L on Panic Room, though I found it to be entertaining enough for this so-far dismal movie year....I won't debate, I won't debate.

What I do want to comment on is Frailty. You know how Chris L appears to loathe Panic Room? You know how he was tempted to walk out? Well, as a man who has never walked out on a movie (that I paid for) no matter how bad, I could have easily walked out on Frailty but for the comfy dozy position I had attained in my seat.

Frailty is predictable, has very sloppy camera work, and is just gawdawful dull.

Frailty wants to be a small film that sneaks up on you and generates buzz.

Nope. Didn't work for me. I could not wait for the big surprise revelation that I figured out in the first 20 minutes to come out already so that we could all head to the exits. Give me Panic Room over Frailty any damn day of my life!

I didn't like it.


Jay Smith <zebrapix@hatmoil.com>
Bye Robert.... - Tuesday, April 16 2002 4:48:37

Dan Tanna, RIP. Last words: "Binzer, keep your damn hands off the T-Bird."

Barney Dannelke <dannelke01@enter.net>
Allentown , - Tuesday, April 16 2002 3:39:27

Heather writes - "I ain't putting down Cavalier or any girlie mag. It was an outlet for BOTH Steve and Harlan--when no one else would take them."

I'm posting this when I really should be doing something else -like sleep - so just a quick note to get my fingers moving while waiting for the coffee to take hold.

Heather, I can't speak for King because I'm not nearly as familiar with his exact progression through the markets. I think in his case you may be correct, in that some or all of his Cavalier sales were pre-Carrie, so, yes, he would have needed the money. But with Harlan that assumption is dead wrong. In most cases [and I'm talking about hundreds of appearances in mens magazines here - not just the 20 or 50 100 you may be familiar with] the choice was not desperation but fiscal self-interest. Those markets -

(Knight,Gent,Rogue,Adam,Mister,Cavalier,Adam Bedside Reader,Genesis,Knave - enough already - Tim Richmond and I kid each other that when we die or our Ellison compounds are broken into by Bradbury-esque "firemen" they will find us hoarding huge stacks of cheesy "blue" magazines and scattered 1st's of Twain in my case and Poe in his and ask themselves "what's wrong with this picture".) fuck, where was I -

Those markets almost always paid better than the Science Fiction alternative. Also a lot of the material Harlan was writing in the early 1960's had no business in an SF venue. Can you see most of the stuff in "Gentleman Junkie", "Deadly Streets" and "No Doors, No Windows" in Venture or Galaxy or Analog? Fuhgedaboudit. Other advantages were length and art choices.

A couple of dozen of Harlan's better/best early works were published with color or duo-tone[?] illustrations by Leo & Diane Dillon which certainly enhanced their impact and these would have been impossible to do in any of the SF mags of the era. Even the bedsheet sized Analogs were still doing simple line work illos.

Length - size does matter. You could sneak in more novella length material (Harlan's favorite writing length when the story is cooking) in that genre. Especially if you knew [or were] the editor. ;-)

One of Barry Malzberg's many regrets was that he didn't publish "The Resurrgence of Miss Ankle-strap Wedgie" in the mens magazine he was editing at the time because it would have essentially been the entire content of the magazine minus tits and advertisement [the REAL T&A folks]. He was worried at the time what the publishers would have thought and then realized later that the publishers [the mob?] NEVER read the damned thing. Of course this may all be revisionist bullshit as to reasons but I believe the regret was genuine.

Well this has gone on way to long and REALLY needs a re-write but the gist is there - in between the Fitzgeald dashes and the badly placed parenthetical remarks. Just found out one of our guys on my crew went AWOL so I will be climbing around on a roof all day. Don't expect much of a response until I recover.

- Barney

ps. Spoke with the King of the Flying Monkey Brigade [FMB's] yesterday by telephonic device. He kindly answered my James Blish question at length. I taped it and hope to transcribe it on the weekend. Sooner if I get a rain day.

Play nice - and wear sunblock. - B.

John Pickett <johnp32608@yahoo.com>
Gainesville, Fl USA - Tuesday, April 16 2002 2:50:2

Robert Urich, an Emmy-winning actor best known for his starring roles in "Soap" and "Spenser: For Hire," has died after battling cancer. He was 55.
Thank you Mr. Urich

In other local news the spring Library sale starts April 20th

Alex Jay Berman <smeghead@erols.com>
Philly, - Tuesday, April 16 2002 2:16:33

If I could just cast my own vote for having, say, fifty messages read on the screen at a time?
Mine is the most selfish of reasons: I read and post, for the most part, in the wee wee hours
("... I sit alone and think of you ...")
after the posting day is done and before it begins. It would just aid my reading and posting greatly were the screen, which I usually RELOAD when I get home from work, a little more capacious.

- Monday, April 15 2002 23:8:38


Maybe it was too obvious to everyone else so I'm the sucker to step into the freeway...African Queen was color...in spite of what your tv screen informed you.

I was going to toss in Pleasantville too - no one is a bigger fan - except that not only was it essentially a color movie but it's the first movie ABOUT being a color movie. So it stayed out of the category.

I mentioned Ox-Bow earlier as well. Never saw it before and it really did captivate me. I heard Eastwood refer to it as the movie that had the most effect on him (there ARE some echoes of it in Unforgiven). Historically important but at the time of its release it was not only held from distribution for two years because of WWII - considered the wrong time for such an intense, in-your-face message - but subsequently failed in the box office. They were about 25 years too early when the cynical, anti-hero wave of movies hit the scene in the late 60's.


From Hell had the same problem with ceaseless camera swishing. I haven't seen Panic Room but in the case of the former, even though you could understand what the director was trying to achieve it was more annoying than effective. Dizzying camera movements is one of those tricks that really has to be offset by another effect to make it work or it just gets outright monotonous.

I'm not big on Bergman personally but yours is an excellent choice - Seventh Seal - so far as really using b&w to its full advantage. It looks gorgeous.

Chuck <chuck_messer@hotmail.com>
- Monday, April 15 2002 22:50:5


On your posting on 2001, and the structure of the Discovery, I sure you know that the model actually had rings and stringers to stiffen the spine of the ship, but Kubrick had them cut off. He was right. They were just plain ugly and cluttered up the beautifully skeletal look of the ship.


Thanks for the warning.


25 works fine for me. I don't have to wait 1/2 an hour for the whole page to load. I say keep the 25 per page structure.

Zoe Rose,

Yes, the last person to post on A BOY AND HIS DOG got an answer, including one from Unca Harlan himself. My take on the story is that Vick is quite human, and that the things that live in the pits are the major radiation mutants. Formerly human, perhaps, but no longer.

Blood is telepathic because military dogs were altered to communicate that way with their trainers. Blood was descended from those specially bred dogs. Blood was also intended to be Vick's professor of the humanities. Blood was the articulate, civilized character. Vick was just learning. In a taped reading of BOY AND HIS DOG, Harlan, when speaking as Blood, made the dog sound like Ronald Coleman, whose voice always sounded eminently civilized. Check out Coleman's movies sometime. TALE OF TWO CITIES, PRISONER OF ZENDA, MAN IN THE IRON MASK are good examples.

The killing of women didn't happen all the time. Read the story again. Not everyone in the post-apocalyptic world was psycho. Vick described a woman who he raped, but left alive, but bound up. He went by later to see if she got loose. Just a small fragment of civilized behavior.

And remember the most important line in the story: "You didn't eat the meat".

Little Washu,

Have yoursel