Unca Harlan's Art Deco Dining Pavilion

Archive - 05/59/2007 to 08/08/2007

Harlan Ellison Webderland: Unca Harlan's Art Deco Dining Pavilion

Unca Harlan's Art Deco Dining Pavilion

Alan Coil <lcoil@peoplepc.com>
Southeast Michigan - Wednesday, August 8 2007 18:10:36


Did anyone here ACTUALLY expect ABC to promote the show in any meaningful way? Come on. Nitwork Television doing anything other than filling the time slot and wishing? Let's get real.

Ratings higher on Star Trek in the 60s? Of course they were. Has nothing to do with quality and everything to do with:

There were only 3 networks back then---many areas had only 1 or 2 channels available, not 50-60 or even over 100---some cities had 1 independent channel that only showed odd stuff and that frequently went off the air early in the evening---PBS was just starting or was just about to start (you do the research, I haven't time)---and finally, American's were still in love with the promise of television and watched it religiously. So of course Trek scored higher than Masters of Science Fiction did.

{{Side note: I am so soured on television that I recently had my cable service disconnected. I can get 2 local channels, and those not very clearly.}}

- Wednesday, August 8 2007 17:31:24


Hey, kiddo ... thanks for the heads-up. Called Keith Addis, producer of MASTERS..., and sent him your post. HE called the honcho at ABC-TV who could do something about this; and he sent HIM your growl. That's ALL we here in the trenches can do.

Hope it works out for you.

We both know that NOBODY here at Webderland would download a skim for you, so you'll just have to wait for the spiffy extras-abounding DVD package, sooner rather than later.

Yr. Pal, Harlan

Brandon Butler
- Wednesday, August 8 2007 16:27:1

Concerning the internet...
Maybe I should have forgone the story, it probably didn't do me any favors...

I didn't mean online gaming or 'net surfing or any ONE or even couple of things people do on the internet. I just meant the attitude, the mindset. The old, y'know, "meeting" people over long distances except you're not really meeting them because they acting in ways they never would 'in the flesh'. Or the flip side, where maybe people show what they're really like because if they did it beyond pushing buttons on a mouse and keyboard, they'd get thumped.

I suppose it sounds better to characterize it as shagin did, though.

And as for the obvious self-absurdity of the idiots... well, maybe. But since it only takes one of them to cancel out my vote, rough me up or say, declare war, I figure it's wise for me to take some time out now and then and consider even what the idiots are doing.

Brian Siano
- Wednesday, August 8 2007 16:24:10

The New York Times ran a headline like "RECORDS MAY PUT NEW SPIN ON HITLER"?

Boy, I'd hate to be Ian Kershaw right now. Completes a detailed, thoroiughly-researched two volume biography of Hitler, regarded as definitive... and now he'll have to _rewrite_ it all because Hitler had a couple of Mahler records. Bet _his_ face is red.

To Rob: what's so effeminate about "charm?" Look who have it. Our host. George Clooney. Cary Grant. Errol Flynn. Clark Gable. Me. What's effeminate about that?

The Batman. I got nothing to add. Damn near every variation on the character's been done. Back in high school, I had an odd idea about a reporter who decides to check into Batman's secret identity, and finds it out in an _instant_: finds old WPA maps of the caves right under Wayne Manor, for example. Guy makes a good case that having the local millionaire be able to exert his own notions of the law, backed up with high-tech weaponry and cloaked in secrecy, is not healthy for Gotham or democracy. In those days, that would never have flown in a comic book. Now... ehh. Old idea. Probably been done by now.

Adam-Troy Castro <adamcastro999@yahoo.com>
- Wednesday, August 8 2007 15:6:20

Harlan wrote a horror story called "Keyboard," which may be as close as he'll ever get to a true internet expose.

I didn't think of asking Scott, my editor at Scifiweekly, to plug my book beside my review. Ah, missed opportunity.

Josh Olson fans, and the man himself, may wanna check out this entry of Entertainment Weekly's Best Twenty Lists -- it's a compilation of twenty of their favorite movie finales ever, which along with such obscure titles as SOME LIKE IT HOT, THE THIRD MAN, and GODFATHER PART 2, mentions a certain scene where a traumatized family meets around a silent dinner table.


Aaaarggghhh. For some reason I'm having difficulty pasting the link; rest assured that you can access it via Ew.Com or through the Entertainment Page at the Huffington Post.

Jeff R.
Philly, Pa. - Wednesday, August 8 2007 14:43:30

A sad prediction
How much ya wanna bet that the already lousy MASTERS OF SCIENCE FICTION ratings get even worse over the next three installments?

It's actually saddening to think that back in the pre-cable days, the worst episode of STAR TREK or any of the Irwin Allen atrocities got ratings twenty times higher than MASTERS did.

Lori Koonce <purplelynn35@excite.com>
San Francisco, California - Wednesday, August 8 2007 14:40:17

Yet another apology
I think I'll just create a word pad doccument, and keep it on hand for the constant apologies I seem to be making. Just edit it accordingly.

Barney, so sorry for the missunderstanding!

john j zeock <k33kong@aol.com>
conshohocken, pa - Wednesday, August 8 2007 13:36:45

travel tip
anyone visiting philly who's tired of the 10,000 sendak prints and original poe and joyce documents at the rosenbach or the impressionist glories of the barnes may want to e-mail gary lassin at Garystooge@aol.com and make an appontment to visit his*****three*****story*** 3 stooges museum. oh,and happy birthday to Stan Freberg.

- Wednesday, August 8 2007 12:59:34

The Day's Priorities
I've always been uncomfortable around effeminate words like "charm" - particularly for a violently visceral and cerebral show like OUTER LIMITS; from chest-exploding squibs to cold corpses popping up every now and then, this was a macho show; a studly show; a GUY'S show!

...hence, the Expressionistic and cinematic POWER of the Outer Limits.

Jeff R.
San Diego, - Wednesday, August 8 2007 11:59:11

Masters of Science Fiction
Just to expand on previous post, "A Clean Escape" drew an estimated 2.73 million viewers Saturday night, according to the Nielsen ratings in the LA Times. I guess the critics all got screeners, but there didn't seem to be very much other promotion, on air or off. The shappy treatment by ABC really is deplorable. Jerks.

Kevin Avery <chidder@optonline.net>
Brooklyn, New York - Wednesday, August 8 2007 10:58:26

A Clean Escape
I must admit, I wasn't all that impressed by the first installment of MASTERS OF SCIENCE FICTION. I found the story and its visual presentation as flat as the acting was overwrought (by two actors whose work I usually admire). For me, it didn't possess any of the expressionistic charm of the original OUTER LIMITS or the often near-cinematic quality of the first season of the revamped TWILIGHT ZONE. It just didn't do it for me, I'm sorry to say. Which is not to say I'm not looking forward to the remaining episodes...

Steve Barber <barbergallery@verizon.net>
- Wednesday, August 8 2007 9:57:50

Masters of Science Fiction performed very poorly against the competition, undoubtedly earning an "I told you so" in the hallowed halls of ABC. I guess putting the show at 10pm on Saturdays with virtually zero network promotion did the job they wanted it to. Self-fulfilling prophecy and all that...

Ditto what Harlan posted regarding Erik's appearance (again, the right word?) on KPFK. Fascinating and fun conversation with the show's host -- though my favorite lines all came from the announcer's set-up to the interview, describing Mr. Nelson as having "been around the block" -- and noting his DWST work with the "incendiary author, Harlan Ellison".

Burn, baby, burn.

(But yeah, the highlights were the discussion of Erik's work with Werner Herzog)


PenultiLastly, it would seem that not only does Mr Hitler paint roses from a canvas in Hell, but also had an ear for Jewish music...

Michael Schwirtz, New York Times

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Outward hatred for Jews and Russians may have belied a secret passion for some of their greatest musical works, if a recently discovered cache of records proves to be the remains of Adolf Hitler's private music collection.

"The nearly 100 records, now worn and scratched, were stored in the attic of a former Soviet intelligence agent, who left a note saying he took them from Hitler's Chancellery after the fall of Berlin in 1945.

"Among the records are recordings of works by Tchaikovsky, Borodin and Rachmaninov, and prominent Russian and Jewish musicians, notably Bronislaw Huberman, a Polish Jewish violinist, an article in this week's Der Spiegel magazine said."



Bruce Wayne? Batman?


Never saw THAT coming.

(And have you ever noticed you never see Hal Jordan and Green lantern in the same room at the same time? Clark Kent oughta investigate this stuff.)

David Loftus <dloft59 (a) earthlink.net>
Portland, OR - Wednesday, August 8 2007 9:11:52

self-evident subtleties

A-T C:

Nice piece. I loved the tag note. But why didn't they flog your book?


Jesus, who got up on the wrong side of the bed yesterday? The flimsiness of your logic makes me suspect you posted before your first coffee.

I don't think it's obvious to anyone that a great story can be made out of a crazy guy chasing a whale, or a buncha guys squabbling over an illusory real estate deal. Hubris and avarice are indeed obvious character faults, but how to dramatize them is another kettle of fish. Art is, well, artistic, and a challenge.

The person who asked about video games was requesting a public statement, an essay, on a matter that is indeed -- instantly, self-evidently -- obvious. Mr. Ellison has spoken out for years about his uninterest in the Internet, the dangers of too much television (whether one writes for it or watches), and various time-wasting, trendy activities of youth.

Why should he repeat himself, especially on such an obvious issue? Now, one trick of a great essay is to take something that looks obvious, and make something different of it; but trust me, I suspect that either little of eyebrow-raising import could be made of this incident, or that Mr. Ellison would not be interested in making the effort.

Mark Goldberg <markabaddon@gmail.com>
Minneapolis, - Wednesday, August 8 2007 8:59:48

Dammit, I knew there was a reason I never saw Bruce and the Bat together. Now if you could just tell me who the Joker really is.....

I understand about not answering openly but I am glad that you have had a chance to work on such a project. I look forward to hearing more about it in the coming months


Todd Cassel
AZ / USofA - Wednesday, August 8 2007 8:20:46

Arizona Will Not SeeThe Discarded
All you denizens of AZ: alas, we will not be seeing The Discarded on Masters of Science Fiction unless a DVD release is planned.

Forget your TV Guides....take a look at the Arizona Cardinals pre-season schedule. This Saturday night (episode 2 of MSF) they are playing and it is broadcast by channel 15 (ABC). Scan through your DVR teevee guide if you have one and note that there is no plan to move MSF to another time or night.

Now check out their pre-season schedule for 8/25, the night of The Discarded. Same thing.....Cardinals on channel 15.

That's all she wrote. ABC dumped the series on the the wasteland of Saturday night television, and then our local affiliate has dumped half of the series for meaningless practice games.



DTS <none>
- Wednesday, August 8 2007 7:42:6

Comedy, humor and the loading docks
BARNEY: What always amazes me is that humor as obviously over-the-top -- or even whimsy (whim-for-chist'ssake-zee) -- is so often missed! I think there was a kinda-famous writer-guy who pointed out that getting whacked was easy but getting others to understand the joke was a pisser (somethin' like dat).

Barney Dannelke <dannelke@gmail.com>
Allentown, PA. - Wednesday, August 8 2007 3:48:34

The Internet reduxded
*** Lori ***

I could say something like my last post needed to be grokked in its entirety - or that you missed a certain sardonic tone in the second half - but humor needing explanation is humor failed.

Off to the loading docks for me.

- Barney Dannelke

Hoffer, PA.

Josh Olson
- Wednesday, August 8 2007 0:20:13


"Saw an article that mentioned you might be working on an anime series filling in the gaps between Batman Begins and The Dark Knight. If so, that would be very cool. Can you comment on this?"

The problem with the internet is I feel like I COULD answer this openly, but within a day, it'd be all over the net. (Not cos of my involvement, just the nature of the project.) I'll say this - the article is fairly accurate. Your characterization is not quite. It isn't a series, and it doesn't fill in gaps between the two films.

I'll also say this - it was a tremendous kick, and a huge honor to be a part of it. Batman is one of my all time favorite characters, and getting to write him - especially in something this cool - was a fantastic opportunity, and I'm tremendously proud of the work I did on it.

I'll give you one big spoiler, though, because I love you and everyone else who posts here.

You ready?


Take a deep breath.

Sit down.

is Bruce Wayne.

Tad Dunten
Hines, OR - Tuesday, August 7 2007 23:7:5

New List, Awesomely?

You got off easy. Y'gotta remember, this is how "Jeffty is Five" got started, after all.

Now, if Unca Hollin comes up with a new story based around your misfortune, won't that make you feel all better?



Lori Koonnce <purplelynn35@excite.com>
San Francisco, California - Tuesday, August 7 2007 21:0:9

A question for Barney
"...I find it to be an electronic ivory tower of high-mindedness and an intellectual refuge in these troubled and confusing times.


Please explain this statement, in light of the fact that the two most venerated things on the internet, Wikkipeaia and YouTube, have little to no editorial viewpoint, or editing for that matter.

The internet is a grand thing for overviews, and learning the basics of a subject, but I'll always turn to books and people who can prove to me that they know more than I for my deep knowledge.


- Tuesday, August 7 2007 18:51:46

Erik was most charming and edifying on KPFK today. Not so much about me or DREAMS (though that comment was jes' fine, jes' fine), but his comments on Werner's work with him. Erik is now officially A Treasure.

Yr. Pal, Harlan

Steve Hatton <stevehatton@blueyonder.co.uk>
St. Helens, England - Tuesday, August 7 2007 18:11:2

Interzone 210
Hi Sue

Interzone 210 is out now, do you want me to send you a copy?

Love Steve

Barney Dannelke <dannelke@gmail.com>
Allentown, PA. - Tuesday, August 7 2007 17:13:51

The Internet
I don't know what you mean about things on the internet being odd or bizarre. I find it to be an electronic ivory tower of high-mindedness and an intellectual refuge in these troubled and confusing times.

And now here is seven minutes of Japanese bikini rodeo pie-fighting which I came upon while reading a sports blog editorial that was implying that Paris Hilton would have sex with a vending machine. With NBC announcing 30,000 hours of Olympic coverage I suppose these could both very well BE sports.


This message and video is also on the way to the stars. Just sayin'.

- Barney

Saddlehorn, PA.

Steambird Springs, Alta California - Tuesday, August 7 2007 16:32:49

Ewe Ess Aay
"I suspect Mr. Ellison feels he has much better things to do with his time than devote the hours necessary to research a piece that would point out to other folks the self-evident absurdity of game players and 'net surfers. Almost anyone could do that."


Seems just about every great novel, play, film what-have-you of narrative storytelling art starts with something "obvious". SO "just about anybody" could research and write, ooh, say "Mody Dick" or "Glengarry Glenross" (sp?)? Hubris and avarice both being such obvious character faults, ones that sea captains and salesmen are so clearly prone to.

I mean, why would ANY artist want to waste their time on such "obvious" matters.

Maybe because men seldom need teaching, but often need reminding?

One trick of art is to take the "obvious", reveal it as marvelous and new, and walk away from the work with a shrug as the crowds wonder "how did he do that?".

You're full of wild blueberry stuffed muffins, or whatever the saying was.

Tasty, though.


john j zeock <k33kong@aol.com>
conshohocken, pa - Tuesday, August 7 2007 14:50:16

i thought it was well done but i question its positioning as the first episode. to be honest it reminded me of the preachier serling twilight zones with the payoff obvious about five miles down the turnpike. why they didn't open with Harlan's episode escapes me- you would have had more of the accepted idea of what a sf episode would consist of, with Harlan's and josh's names attatched to it, with hurt and dennehy and with a tenuous star trek connection. (and is ray winstone in it? that would include an indy 4 connection- all of which would help to market it) (of course they're dumping the series so all of the above is moot.) looking forward to the 25th. jz

Frank Church
- Tuesday, August 7 2007 13:6:10

To all you foodies: Anthony Bordain, who is an exotic eats expert, has a show on the Travel Channel about his travels to find the perfect food. He looks at the exotic and the normal. Love to watch a guy who just loves to try any kind of food or culture. American's need to get out more--explore uncharted realms.

He went to NY, ate a Sheeps head, said it was wonderful, had Russian food, his favorite French food, bone Marrow. Frog chowder in Chinatown, mountain oysters middle eastern style in Queens. It all actually looked wonderful. It's really about how you cook it, not what it is.


I've eaten wild game and snake, about as exotic as I get.

Mark Goldberg <markabaddon@gmail.com>
Minneapolis, - Tuesday, August 7 2007 11:12:24


Saw an article that mentioned you might be working on an anime series filling in the gaps between Batman Begins and The Dark Knight. If so, that would be very cool. Can you comment on this?

Here is the article:



Adam-Troy Castro <adamcastro999@yahoo.com>
- Tuesday, August 7 2007 9:48:41

Response to Todd
Todd: As it happens, I was assigned to review the book by Scifiweekly.Com; I discuss it at length in my review, one of the top ones in the book section. Check it out there, or I'd be repeating myself. Essentially, I thought it was downright apocalyptic, I was stunned by some of the deaths, and I do not know how they will make the movie without going for an R. (The book seems designed to piss off those guardians of taste, some of whom haven't even read the books themselves (Judi's cousin and my parents included), who find it scandalous that the entire series wasn't as gentle and bloodless as an episode of CARE BEARS).

I enjoyed "A Clean Escape," on MASTERS OF SCIENCE FICTION, but I was a little taken aback at the way the episode took pains to assure viewers that humanity would survive (NOT the setup of the powerful John Kessel story that spawned it); the change was not fatal, but I'm curious as to whether this was a decision made at the teleplay level, or whether it was mandated by a timid ABC.

Keith Cramer <remarck@hotmail.com>
Arlington, VA - Tuesday, August 7 2007 9:25:23

I loved DWST so much I want to go out to California again, but it is not in my cards this time. I'm in Philly today and next week I'll probably be in Boston for 10 days, and I don't have the stamina to hit California in between. I just added my 206th pound, and it ain't muscle.

I will be at the Cleveland gig, though, if all goes well (I'm not going unless I get my weight under 200).

As for DWST...yes, it is a must for anyone who knows or is a fan of Harlan's. BUT...nothing quite compares to sitting at the opposite end of the table from him, and having him yell down at you, "So, Keith, tell us about your life!"

I mean, that's so unfair.

And me, being the naive guy that everyone knows I am, took the bait and said the first interesting thing that came to my mind, "Well, I went to a Nudist Colony once."

Harlan said, "What?" Everyone else stopped talking.

I repeated myself, louder.

Harlan asked, "You had a Venusian Colostomy?"

I said, "No, I said I went to a NUDIST COLONY."

He said, "A Nubian Colony?"

I then shouted, "NO, I WENT TO A NUDIST COLONY!"

Every patron at Mogo's heard me.

Good times.


shagin <smodell1995@yahoo.com>
Bremerton, Washington - Tuesday, August 7 2007 8:58:49

Mr. Butler wrote:

"but just odd people and the internet generally and how BIZARRE it can get. I mean, this was a new one on me."

Eh, no more odd than holding a black powder shoot memorial for a member of a rendevous club that died, or holding a memorial blood drive for a favorite writer at a science fiction convention, or getting together with friends for a round or three of golf as a memorial to a fellow friend and player who passed. It's remembering the person, and in this case perhaps even the character, and celebrating the color and joy they brought to people's lives. If the group did have a memorial in a PvP area, or on a PvP server, doesn't surprise me they were attacked.


The move is finished!!! *falls to the ground floor, kissing the tile*


David Loftus <dloft59 (a) earthlink.net>
Portland, OR - Tuesday, August 7 2007 8:49:5

bytes and bites

Brandon Butler asked:

:: Anyway, my question is if, his hostility to the
:: absurdities of the internet well known, Mr. Ellison's
:: ever written any stories about this sort of behavior.
:: Not, you know, online funerals necessarily, but just
:: odd people and the internet generally and how BIZARRE
:: it can get. I mean, this was a new one on me.

I suspect Mr. Ellison feels he has much better things to do with his time than devote the hours necessary to research a piece that would point out to other folks the self-evident absurdity of game players and 'net surfers. Almost anyone could do that.

His last word on the subject of video gaming was likely "Rolling Dat Ole Debbil Electronic Stone," written more than two decades ago and published in _Sleepless Nights in the Procrustean Bed_.

Kevin Avery <chidder@optonline.net>
Brooklyn, New York - Tuesday, August 7 2007 8:32:7

Regarding Erik's appearance this afternoon on KPFK, if you aren't available to listen to the program live (as is the case with me), apparently the programs eventually get archived here for later listening:

If I'm not mistaken, the show you should search for is EXPERIENCE TALKS...

Todd Cassel
AZ / USofA - Tuesday, August 7 2007 8:31:22

Harry Potter and the End of the Hype
So, Adam-Troy, being a loyal reader of your Unauthorized Harry Potter, I need that summary comment: what are your thought on Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows?


Steve Barber <barbergallery@verizon.net>
- Tuesday, August 7 2007 8:18:36

Live Streaming Radio, Pre-recorded DirecTV and a Local News loss


KPFK has an online LIVE audio feed which makes your appearance (do you call it that on radio?) on this afternoon's show available to Webderlanders everywhere.




SUSAN - What Brian sez below sounds good to me. We don't use TiVo (I'm such a luddite, I know), so haven't a clue how to block the second, third and fourth recording of HANNA MONTA... er, JUDGE JUDY.

Still trying to figure out a way to join y'all on Thursday, but Cris heads back into the studio starting Monday and there is a LOT going on. I can heartily recommend that anyone who has NOT seen DWST needs to get their butts into the theater for this showing -- seeing the movie makes you FAR more interesting at dinner parties; reinforces your reputation among THE intelligentsia of America; ANSWERS the question as to the meaning of Life, The Universe and Everything without mentioning the number 42; INTRODUCES the question of what Susan Ellison was doing dancing around naked outside her house; cures WARTS; will make you laugh, cry AND giggle maniacly to yourself -- simultaneously -- and is a bitchin' keen way to spend a few rewarding hours of your LIFE.



Lastly, and this will likely make no difference to anyone outside LA, but we lost another major Los Angeles news icon last night. Hal Fishman, KTLA Anchor for nearly 32 years, passed away after being diagnosed with cancer only a week ago.


Brandon Butler
- Tuesday, August 7 2007 8:2:11

Online Funeral?
Question for Mr. Ellison, but if I'll be permitted, a little background:

So at work on lunch I will at times cruise the headlines and certain forums (such as the present one) looking to see what's new.

Going past MSNBC I notice something mentioned called MyDeathSpace.com in one headline and, interested, I clicked to see what the editorial was about. Skip on ahead if you've read this already, by the way.

Frankly, reading it, I still don't know anything about MyDeathSpace.com as I've already forgotten what all that was about. What DID draw my attention was this story about the online game "World of Warcraft". One of the players died in real life. People that had interacted with this person online decided they would have a memorial for them within the game. I don't know if the memorial was for the person or the online character, though.

Anyway, the upshot is that they conducted this memorial, with thier online characters in something called a 'war-zone'. I guess there's areas in this game where you can fight and places where you can't. As the article said, you may already sense where this is going... the online mourners were attacked and "killed" by another group of players while in the middle of their memorial/funeral. Apparently these guys showed up out of nowhere and outright slaughtered 'em.

Anyway, my question is if, his hostility to the absurdities of the internet well known, Mr. Ellison's ever written any stories about this sort of behavior. Not, you know, online funerals necessarily, but just odd people and the internet generally and how BIZARRE it can get. I mean, this was a new one on me.

DTS <none>
- Tuesday, August 7 2007 8:0:52

Provocative art
ALL: If you folks haven't seen the story about this guy Phil Hansen -- who creates portraits using things as varied as Starbucks cups and graphite as well as his own blood and hundreds of bandaids and photocopies of the bible, ya gotta checkout the sites below (stumbled across it all when the news page popped up, before checking email). He's doing what a lot of artists only hope to do: provoking thought through the audacity of his methods.



Brian Siano
- Monday, August 6 2007 20:10:38

To Susan, re DVR
Okay, I don't know if yours is a TiVo or not, but the problem may not be your settings. On a TiVo, if you set up a Season Pass (the way it records a series), and First Run Only, you've done it correctly.

But for your DVR to _know_ that a show is first-run or a rerun, the show has to be tagged that way by the broadcaster. Some networks do this well, others don't. So you may have your DVR set perfectly correctly, and still wind up with a TiVo full of the same stuff over and over. Simply because the TiVo has no way of knowing that the shows are reruns.

So here are two solutions. The first is to _not_ use the Season Pass, and have it Record by Time or Channel, in which you tell the machine to record a channel at a specific time-- say, every Monday night at 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. That should work pretty well, unless the broadcasters change the timeslot of your show.

The other is to go into your Season Pass, use the option to View Upcoming Programs. This will display a list of upcoming episodes, which you can select and deselect for recording. It's a bit cumbersome, but it'll work.

Hope that helps, best, Brian Siano


Erik Nelson
Vancouver/Los Angeles, - Monday, August 6 2007 16:25:10

Modesty Forbids....
...but I allow...for all you Angelenos out there, I am going to be on KPFK,90.7 FM, tomorrow, Tuesday, at 2PM, LIVE, discussing, among other things, GRIZZLY MAN and the grizzly "Dreams With Sharp Teeth", and no doubt, the subject of working with Our Host will come up.

This program seems to be the public radio answer to AARP, and I am somewhat depressed to now be the Voice Of Experience, but, anything to sell tickets to Thursday's screening.

But -- the REAL reason to tune in is that they have a pre-recorded segment with the great Richard Matheson in the very SAME show, so, I am but an opening act.

Anyway, check it out if you want to hear first hand new ways of inserting feet in mouth.

Here is where you can go for more information:



Michael Benedetti <micben@earthlink.net>
Albuquerque, NM - Monday, August 6 2007 16:15:2

United States
Re: Interzone 210 June 2007

This issue has been on sale in Barnes and Noble for approximately six to eight weeks already. I would recommend that if you are seeking one off the shelf, you zip out and buy it now, because 211 is published and shipped.


- Monday, August 6 2007 14:18:11

Note to Harlan & Tim: The release of the German edition of HOT BLOOD 1 has now been moved to November (no date).

Frank Church
- Monday, August 6 2007 13:26:2

The media, as usual, is overplaying the bridge disaster. They go from reporting to exploiting, usually in one fell swoop. Idealistic American's sadly fall for it, believing the media actually cares. If you notice they never offer to donate their profits from the story to the victims funds.


Here's one for the laugh department: on Hannity's America last night, Sean Insanity did a piece about the myth of global warming, but later did another piece outlining the facts around demon possessions and exorcisms. Logic is lost on the right, but they do make me laugh.


Dennis Thompson
- Monday, August 6 2007 11:33:35

Masters of science fiction
I did enjoy the premiere episode.
But I know why ABC dropped the show like hot magma.
There are no young beautiful people doing trendy things that will sell product.
In my mind this is a good thing.
We got a show that was basicly two people talking.
But it was well written, acted and directed.
Just what I want from entertainment, plus a swipe at the current administration. I'll enjoy these gems, and get the DVD when it comes out to see the two unaired episodes.
I can count the network TV shows I watch on one hand, it's truly a "vast wasteland".

Jes Bickham
Bath, UK - Monday, August 6 2007 10:45:7

Mrs. Ellison - looks like it was 11 May, according to the following (sorry for long link):
(Also sorry for posting twice in one day, will vanish for 48 hours as penance...)
Best regards,

Mark Goldberg <markabaddon@gmail.com>
Minneapolis, - Monday, August 6 2007 10:39:51

The police on Sunday reduced the cordon around the bridge and are now allowing foot traffic on the Stone Arch Bridge that crosses the Mississippi very close to the crash site.

Some co-workers and I went onto the Stone Arch over lunch today and were able to get as close as possible. I was going to make a smart-ass remark about Bush's visit but, after seeing that devastation and how many cars are still in the river, somehow I don't have the heart.

As for the Masters of Science Fiction inaugural episode, I would agree that it compares favorably to the 80s version of the Twilight Zone. I was not as enamored with Sam Waterston's performance at first, only because I was uncertain about the character's motivation. When more of his story was revealed, I realized that it was a virtuoso performance from Mr. Law and Order. I am very much looking forward to subsequent episodes

- Monday, August 6 2007 10:28:59

I have two quick questions.

This first one may be for the Brits. Does anyone know the pub. date (onsale date) of INTERZONE #210 (June 2007)?

Second. A Direct TV question. I set my DVR to record a series. Even if I set it for First Run only, it will tape ALL the first runs for that week. Any thoughts on how I can get it to tape a first run for one particular hour and date?

Thank you.

See you on Thursday.


Tony Ravenscroft
South Canuckistan, MN - Monday, August 6 2007 9:52:13

scattered thoughts:

Note that _Death Ray_ is looking for a Staff Writer, should anyone feel inclined to audition.

The Thing That Squats, GW Bush, had to go to Minneapolis, because the Governor is dancing fast to avoid overmuch consideration of how he's dragged his feet on road-&-bridge repairs, with years of state Repugnican collusion, so that all them rich people could be bribed into not moving to, say, South Dakota. Those of us with a cynical turn think that such savings could generously be described as "penny wise, pound foolish," & perhaps that this is yet another indicator that the GOP is incapable of doing even the minimum required of a proper featherbedder.

The "Hello Kitty" icon has been on what could fairly be described as EVERYTHING. Like a pastel battery-powered vibrator. Look it up.
Maybe their hope is that the preteens will demand that Tex-Mex Strat of Mum & Da because it's got a cartoon on it, rather than for its superior tone. Marketing usually doesn't depend on rationality.
A book: _Hello Kitty: The Remarkable Story of Sanrio and the Billion Dollar Feline Phenomenon_

Missed #1 of _MoSF_ due to sinus attack, dammit -- knew I shoulda set the VCR before that "short nap."

David Loftus <dloft59 (a) earthlink.net>
Portland, OR - Monday, August 6 2007 9:15:27

point of odor

"Hello Kitty, invented by Sanrio Co. in 1974, has been popular for years with children and young women. The celebrity cat adorns everything from diamond-studded jewelry, Fender guitars and digital cameras to lunch boxes, T-shirts and stationery."

One thing I'm not clear on: How many children and young women go around slinging Fender guitars. . . . ?

Steve Barber <barbergallery@verizon.net>
- Monday, August 6 2007 8:11:35

Headlines. Film at 11.

I woke up this morning with one of those frustrating Everlasting Gobstoppers of a headache, and the damned thing followed me to work. Then, in booting the computer I am advised that corporate is conducting yet another pointless download to fix what was wrong with the last pointless download -- and my laptop needs to reboot a number of times (but the official notices won't tell me how many -- it's kind of like roulette without the possibility of winning). And lastly, coffee was through a convenient drive through, necessitated because I was running a bit late. I've got fast food swill in my mug.

So why am I smiling?


"BANGKOK, Thailand - Thai police officers who break rules will be forced to wear hot pink armbands featuring "Hello Kitty," the Japanese icon of cute, as a mark of shame, a senior officer said Monday."


Ya gotta love it.


Mark - I understand the local press and population are slightly annoyed with Mr. Bush's photo op next to the Mississippi. I guess he blamed the Democrats for not funding the repairs while the Republicans were running Congress.

Any truth to the rumor Barbara Bush is insisting that "it's really working out" for the victims of THIS disaster?

Lastly but not leastly. Okay. Leastly. My second take on MASTERS OF SCIENCE FICTION.

The episode run Saturday night was a good one. The acting was terrific, and the script and execution were very good as well. The production values reflect a lower budget, but they did a good job of masking most of the restrictions. It reminded me, in both tone and tenor, of the reboots of the Twilight Zone and Outer Limits in the 1980s and '90s respectively. This is a good thing.

Sadly, because only six programs were produced, and only four are set to run, each single episode is receiving greater scrutiny than would any one of a 22 ep season. In a full series run, the best epsidoes would be lauded and the lesser stories would be forgotten. And, having a network exec publicly trash the show prior to the premiere only adds to the furor.

It will never happen, but someone at ABC needs to lose their job over the way this was handled.

IMHO. Of course.

Brian Phillips
McDonough (Home of...um...hang on a bit), GA - Monday, August 6 2007 8:5:30

Message for Just John
I cowtow to your comment about Harlan Ellison's picture.

JohnE <jwilliams76@verizon.net>
- Monday, August 6 2007 7:18:6

A.E. Van Vogt
In today's Washington Post (AP article) there is a story concerning Kevin J. Anderson's completion of A.E. Van Vogt's unfinished sequel to "Slans". Included of course are authoritative quotes from some guy who occasionally posts on this board.


Just John
- Monday, August 6 2007 7:0:10

Masters of Science Fiction
Re the picture of Harlan at the bottom of the page: "udderly" horrifying...


Benjamin Winfield
- Monday, August 6 2007 5:18:50

"Aren't the reviews and clips for "The Discarded" coming out a little early? I'm not reading or watching anything! You can put the links up here for J&H, but how about we don't discuss them.

If you've made up you mind about seeing something, you don't read the reviews and you certainly don't watch the clips."

Well, sorr-EE, Calamity Jane.

Jes Bickham
Bath, UK - Monday, August 6 2007 2:48:4

Again, Death Ray
Mr. Ellison,
Wonderful, speak to you then. I'm very excited to hear what you've got planned!
And as for Death Ray, well (trying not to sound like a shill), Barney's helpfully already posted the link to the website, but we're a new UK SF mag - currently working on issue 5 - from a new publishing company set up by Matt Bielby, who launched SFX, Total Film and a number of other UK mags. We try to focus a bit more on the literary side of things than our rivals; for instance, from issue 2 onwards we've run a large (normally 8-page) regular interview with big, important authors - Michael Moorcock in issue 2, Neil Gaiman in issue 3, Terry Brooks in issue 4, Ursula K. Le Guin in issue 5, and hopefully our gracious host in issue 6. Critical reception so far has been encouraging (we get a lot of positive correspondence from US readers, oddly enough) and sales are strong, and it's a joy to work for. If any Webderlanders have seen it, I'd be very interested in some honest criticism on it...
Anyway, advertorial over! Hope all is well with everyone.
Best regards

Kristin A Ruhle <kristin@rahul.net>
Los Gatos, CA - Sunday, August 5 2007 23:5:52

Death Ray...
Thanks for posting the Death Ray link, Barney. Did you look at some of the blog stuff on the website? Note the one about how THE PRESTIGE was good both as book and film. I really enjoyed the film...but was the novel written by THAT Christopher Priest? If it is, that explains a lot ...about why his subject matter is "professional feuds."

Grr...nothing Jes or any of us can do about the sucky (for Americans) exchange rate. I think it is over two dollars to the pound. Back when I first got to buying imported Dr Who stuff in the 80s a pound was about $1.40.

Wow, a *new* magazine that's still on paper! The Internet is killing newspapers and magazines because advertisers want the youth market and the youth market is online - the younger the readership, the more they want E-zines and the less paper ones. Publications like Teen People have become Internet-only. Not that I give a darn about trashy teenybopper celebrity-dirt, (better not to waste trees on it!) but I prefer holding a publication in my hands and fear I may live to see non-virtual periodicals (and maybe even paper books) vanish. Do give me recycled/sustainably grown/post consumer paper though.

Jarod Hitchcock
Australia - Sunday, August 5 2007 22:55:4

Masters of Science Fiction


The review itself is not that great (more of a press release) but scroll down the page of the above link to see a great picture of our host.

Jeez Harlan I sure hope you've had that thing lanced by now, if not I have the number of a competent dermatologist he'll clear that right up for you.

Wishing you a Zit Free Future

Jarod Hitchcock

paul <vaughnrichards@yahoo.com>
Austin, TX - Sunday, August 5 2007 19:50:33

Harlan and Beaumont
The fake news is now the real news.

Harlan, I saw a trailer sort of thing for a Charles Beaumont documentary that shows yourself, and others, as featured interviews.

I love Beaumont's work. Did you guys ever work together? THAT would have been a Partner in Wonder.

- Sunday, August 5 2007 18:22:24

George Carlin?!

"We drink too much, smoke too much, spend too recklessly, laugh too little...and pray too seldom."???

I've no desire to embarrass Lori - as she already got the picture - but I must say I was RELIEVED to find that wasn't George Carlin.

Because when I first read it, I felt ALMOST disillusioned. This is Carlin, whose voice I've practically revered since I can remember? Sure as hell didn't sound like him. But I resolved to myself that - well - this is one of his "off" days, and perhaps an afternoon in Sunday school threw his gyros.

It was the "we pray too seldom"; I KNEW it couldn't be HIM! Carlin has always been a pragmatic thinker, scrutinizing human nature - weighing it by its history - not the blind faiths that, for eons, led to so MUCH of that history.

We don't PRAY enough? If ya ask me, there's way TOO much praying and not enough "DOIN'", if ya know what I mean.

THIS is a sample of the ironic edge George would never lose:

"I'm a positive person, thinking forward, positive, optimistic for myself and the people I know. But it doesn't take much of a brain to look around the world and say, "this is dumb." It's a freak show that's going to end. Thank goodness for the rest of the universe. Maybe it'll end before we get out and infect Mars and these places with our grotesque DNA."

I guess I decided to comment on this, because just the other day I got into a near shouting-match with a very religious dude, in the very place you DON'T want to get into this sort of thing: at work.

He insisted that he prays daily; and that he worships a loving God. But then he admitted that he's a Republican because he utterly opposes a welfare system. "What about those who, in fact, CAN'T help themselves for a time - whether it's due to poverty, illness, unemployment, a lack of education, or just, outright, the lack of an IQ?"

He didn't have any definitive answer, except that they always have the churches to turn to, that God will look after them, and that they need to learn how to be self-reliant, a trait, he felt, builds them into better human beings. It was as black-and-white as a response could be.

But to this day, he will NOT vote for anything but a Republican because - regardless of the realities, he "doesn't believe in a welfare system". (Never mind that, as with all things, the "kinks" could be worked out in an effort to MAKE a system that works, rather than just flat out dispose of it)

In other words, he worships a God that gives, yet he doesn't believe in taking it upon himself the gift of giving to those who can't help themselves. When religionists argue this, I always wonder how they imagine Jesus - whom they often CLAIM to believe in - would react to the policy.

This is among the hypocrisies I've always despised the most. Lip service to the ends that are convenient, but indifference to the roles that defines us as a civilization.

So, I walked away knowing that the office was not the place for me to lose my temper.

That's why - when I first read that "quote" by Carlin, I was momentarily dismayed.

I was SO relieved by the follow-up, and not at all surprised by the facts.

Barney Dannelke <dannelke@gmail.com>
Allentown, PA - Sunday, August 5 2007 16:13:26

Death Ray magazine

- Sunday, August 5 2007 13:54:46



Thursday, 10am my time is fine.

I'll elucidate for you, the m.o. for an unusual -- but promising -- approach to the interview. This will be grand, I think.

Talk to you on Thursday. And in the meantime, Jes, why don't you post here to apprise my friends of the loveliness of DEATH RAY, a terrific magazine I have just discovered (through you) and which I heartily endorse. They may want to order some copies.

Yr. Pal, Harlan

Cologne, Germany - Sunday, August 5 2007 12:26:45

Aren't the reviews and clips for "The Discarded" coming out a little early? I'm not reading or watching anything! You can put the links up here for J&H, but how about we don't discuss them.

If you've made up you mind about seeing something, you don't read the reviews and you certainly don't watch the clips.

MIKE: Agreed, for the most part. (I don't think that not learning about the names of the camps is an attempt to seperate history from horror. You don't forget things on purpose. People in your audience either know a a certain amount about the Holocaust or they don't. The names don't bring you closer, I don't think.)

I guess my problem is the idea that the Holocaust is a sort of random element of business and leadership (of all things) presentations somewhere, coupled with a "Who Wants to Be A Millionare" type "name the river/capitol/planet" type question. If you would take charge and put aside some time to educate your audience in a respnsible manner, that would be terriffic, but if you're just throwing out camp names to put people in categories, to cause embarrassment and guilt (productive though it may be in singular cases), that's hardly seems justification enough. It's tasteless. That's the way I see it anyway.

I appreciate what you're trying to accomplish (business leaders should not neglect their education) but there are plenty of subjects to bring up that can have the additional advantage of being more conductive to a pleasant atmosphere in your seminars.

If I understood you correctly, that is.


Mike Jacka
Phoenix, AZ - Sunday, August 5 2007 10:1:12


I’ve been thinking a bit about your response. First, you are correct that, if there is a failing here, it is with the educational system. To some extent, that is the point I am trying to get across to these individuals. Education didn’t end when they walked away from the ivy-covered halls. I’m trying to reinforce that there is a lot to learn out there, and instill in them the desire to keep searching. I am a manager of internal auditing, and I’ve always felt that there are three things needed to be a good auditor: the ability to synthesize information (that one is probably not a surprise), creativity (that one probably does surprise most people), and inquisitiveness. The constant desire to find out “why” results in constant exploring. Again, in my presentations I am trying to point out how knowledge, learning, and inquisitiveness are the keys to anyone’s success, and I am searching for the ones who want to learn more.

But part two. I am still personally bothered that the names of the camps do not resonate. True, individuals can have an understanding of the holocaust without knowing the camp names, but that is one step toward separating the history from the horror – a step towards depersonalizing what has occurred. As an example, I can talk about the US Civil War and that will cause certain responses in the listener. However, if I use words like Antietam or Andersonville, much more violent/memorable images regarding the horrors of that war should come to mind. The listener with the knowledge of those names will have a more personalized reaction – impact on people rather than just a historical event. And, relating this to the prior point, if I use those names and the listener is unaware of them, they should realize that they may be missing an important fact, and have the desire to find out more.


Jes Bickham
Bath, UK - Sunday, August 5 2007 9:18:11

Death Ray redux
Dear Mr. Ellison,
Fantastic, thanks very much. I'll drop Mr. Wyatt a line forthwith about your contact details and give you a call on, shall we say, Thursday, around 10am your time? Hope that's OK. If not, I'm entirely flexible.
Many thanks again!

Pogue <cepogue@roadrunner.com>
Georgetown, Kentucky - Sunday, August 5 2007 9:1:20

HE, got your goodies at the Louisville Dum-Dum. Great T's. In colour this year. Several buttons, a bag...both with the same logo and Hescox illo as the T. Carson in a helmet brandishing sword and ray gun.

The event keeps getting greyer. It's scary when I'm one of the younger ones. I guess in this age of CGI & whizzy computer games, Tarz and John Carter seem a bit quaint to the younger blood. Had a lot of laughs with pal Denny Miller though.

Benjamin Winfield
- Sunday, August 5 2007 5:33:28


I did indeed read "JEFFTY IS FIVE", but I always felt that story was more a case of society vs. misfit than old vs. new. However, on second reading, I can see what you're talking about.


Speaking of THE DISCARDED, two clips from the episode are available online:


There's too little here to make any fair judgement yet, but I like what I see so far. Harmony Teat looks great (and I mean everything ABOUT her looks great...the actress, the makeup, etc.) and I do like John Hurt's performance in the second clip, where he's talking to Curran. There's some great pathos to the line "The gift that keeps on giving...like another head!!" That's the kind of twitchy black humour people tend to display after being forced into incredibly unpleasant circumstances.

I'll be sure to catch this upon broadcast.

DTS <none>
- Saturday, August 4 2007 22:57:17

Note to Benjamin W.
Benjamin W: He already DID write that story. Read "Jeffty is Five" (If I missed the straight-faced humor, nevermind).

Kristin A Ruhle <kristin@rahul.net>
Los Gatos, CA - Saturday, August 4 2007 20:48:19

Old Versus New
I assume the LA times reviewer was a younger person. I wonder if he/she reads sf (novels/stories, not just movies). Magazines like F&SF and Analog do still exist, you know. What stories would the Times writer have preferred adaptations of? You could send an email and ask! Well, maybe they're only into movies - but if someone was only reading newer SF, I'd be impressed that they read at all!

A lot of the hostility between old and new is *mutual* - face it, most of us here are over a certain age, and this whole board is dedicated to a man who still uses a manual typewriter. In our fast-changing world generations can never see eye to eye.

I think a lot of old stuff is good, but is it a crime to think there is genuinely new fiction, film or other art that is good too?

Young and silly at 42 1/2,

P.S. Science fiction is a genre with futuristic tropes; science fiction writers (those who write exclusively sf and don't mind being *called* sf writers) tend to be people with a future oriented worldview. Some very old sf stories remain enjoyable,(which is why they are called classics) while others date badly.

- Saturday, August 4 2007 20:13:48

The LA times nailed it.


Steve B
- Saturday, August 4 2007 20:6:46

LA Times Review of MoSF

Just watched the Eastern feed of Masters of SF.

The LA Times reviewer is so full of crap -- either that or he's a complete idiot who wouldn't know an allegory from an alligator.

Benjamin Winfield
- Saturday, August 4 2007 17:32:2

A review from VARIETY concerning Masters of Science Fiction:


I quite liked this bit:

"Whatever the business considerations, the best of these hours deserve better than being so unceremoniously shot into space. In that respect, the Ellison story proves strangely prophetic -- reflecting a network that didn't know what to do with an unconventional outcast that didn't fit neatly into a predetermined mold."

I agree with David Webb's comments. Maybe Harlan should write a tale about the world's inexplicably mounting hostility towards all things "old", huh?

Faisal A. Qureshi
Manchester, UK - Saturday, August 4 2007 15:2:30


I so agree with you on Sunshine. Good ideas that could have been better executed. I was even more disappointed by 28 Weeks Later but that had to do with the casting.

For the filmmakers to get two spoilt middle class kids as the leads had me supporting the infected to get them. What is it with filmmakers? Have they never heard of getting someone from the estates? It would have made more sense and probably worked better.

Jeff R.
Philly, Pa. - Saturday, August 4 2007 13:25:1

A Couple of "Fors"
For Mark Spieller: Were you aware of the Ellison-Herrmann connection? Herrman scored "Knife in the Darkness," Harlan's episode of the CBS Western CIMARRON STRIP, having to do with Jack the Ripper out west. Parts of the score can be found on a very obscure CD, MUSIC FROM CBS WESTERNS, which you can probably find if you search the Net.

For Dennis Coleman: Harlan's first AVENGERS comic is part one of a story that concludes in that month's issue of THE INCREDIBLE HULK. You should be able to find the exact issue number on the Net. Harlan's second AVENGERS comic uses a plot that he originally submitted to Julius Schwartz for DC's HAWKMAN a few years earlier. Mr. Schwartz had to reject it, very reluctantly, becauuse he thought that it was way too adult for 1964 mainstream comics and would never get past the Comics Code. For all three of the comics mentioned - the two AVENGERS and the HULK - Mr. Ellison did the plots while Marvel's Roy Thomas did the actual scripts.

Todd Mason
- Saturday, August 4 2007 13:13:53

the other two MASTERS OF SF episodes filmed:
Robert Sheckley's "Watchbird" and Walter Mosley's "Little Brother" are the two episodes ABC hasn't scheduled. Dunno when the DVDs will be out (sooner rather than later, most likely), nor what other broadcasting services elsewhere might have scheduled...


Zack Malatesta
- Saturday, August 4 2007 11:55:33

Any ideas as to whether or not they're going to be making any more episodes of Masters of Science Fiction after these six, or is this going to be more of a one shot, miniseries kind of deal. I know none of them have aired yet, but I find myself wanting more already.

David Webb <docwebb@ix.netcom.com>
Los Alamitos, CA - Saturday, August 4 2007 10:45:21

Masters of Science Fiction
The Los Angeles Times today gave the series a luke warm review, calling the stories so "last century" and pointing out the ages
of the authors (Heinlein b. 1907, Fast b. 1914, Kessel b. 1950 and Ellison b. 1934).
Sheesh, what would they have said about an H.G. Wells story?
They do say the Ellison adaptation has an "old school avant-garde charm".
BTW I plan to watch all of them.

Dennis Coleman
Glendale, CA - Saturday, August 4 2007 10:38:35

Avenger comics by Harlan
Currently on Ebay are Avengers Comics #88 and #101, which they say are written by Harlan. Somehow I missed this part of your work. Any stories about it?

Like, whatever - Saturday, August 4 2007 10:0:42


Steve Barber <barbergallery@verizon.net>
- Saturday, August 4 2007 8:53:47

I, like many of you, have been a soundtrack fan for most of my life. My first soundtrack purchased was from a People's Drug Store in Vienna, Virginia. John Williams' THE TOWERING INFERNO.

Who would I chose to score my own film. Hmmm. What is the film about? Is it a comedy? Musical? Horror? Drama? (Big or little?)

The debate about who was and was not the best film composer of all time -- or who I would use for my own film -- has many possibilities for a defensible response. Given the lack of a specific genre requires someone of a wide range of capabilities. No "one note wonder" here. My choice?

Jerry Goldsmith.

Mr. Goldsmith turned out some terrific and very experimental work, even in some truly horrible films. Unlike Williams' easily identified symphonic style, Goldsmith changed from film to film, an at-times unmelodic chameleon, writing his scores strictly dependent upon the style of the film being scored. To me, that is the answer.

Just a short listen to his various styles demonstrates this nicely -- from the atonal electronics of PLANET OF THE APES, to the fully realized symphonic majesty of the STAR TREK films he scored, to the beauty and humor of MULAN, and the otherworldly claustrophobia of ALIEN. (And let's not forget his intimate "little" scores for, among others, the original series of THE TWILIGHT ZONE.)

So, my choice of all time would likely be Goldsmith.

But. There are two current composers I'm really fond of in the event our resuscitation efforts fail: Hans Zimmer (PIRATES 2 AND 3, of course, BATMAN RETURNS and THE THIN RED LINE) and Michael Giacchino (LOST, RATATOUILLE, MISSION IMPOSSIBLE 3, and *ahem* THE MUPPETS' WIZARD OF OZ -- now THAT is flexibility!).

It depends on the film being made, but both of these composers are currently at the top of their game and'd be my first and second choices, respective-like. (If Mr Gldsmith remains unavailable, that is.)

Rob Ewen
Harrow, UK - Saturday, August 4 2007 8:32:33

Anybody interested in radio drama may like to know that the BBC are currently airing an adaptation of Stanislaw Lem's SOLARIS.

The first part can be listened to via the Beeb website until Sunday afternoon, with the final part available from the same source for seven days thereon:


Rob E.

Bob Homeyer <roberthomeyer@yahoo.com>
- Saturday, August 4 2007 7:46:14

Masters of Science Fiction Question
Six episodes completed, but just four scheduled to air. What are the two stories that have been filmed but are not scheduled? I couldn't find any mention of them in any of the articles I've read.

Tony Ravenscroft
South Canuckistan, MN - Saturday, August 4 2007 7:37:41

Rob, I think you've got the right answer for the wrong question. I've been rereading an excerpt from _Bigger Than Life_, the bio of Lester Dent. In a couple of short pages, Dent detailed a formula plot for the 6,000-word pulp story that he all but guaranteed would sell.

On a writing site, we were discussing how formulaic most commercial romance novels, & how there's millions of rabid readers who don't want the formula "improved."

Just as some romance & pulp writing has justly been recognised for its literary merits, there are film scores that are incredible works of music.

But the fact is that the great majority was meant to be used in a specific context, then discarded. The score is as vital to the film as the sets, the props, the costumes... yet how many people preserve a reproduction & examine it regularly with a critical eye?

I had a friend who did backstage & tech work at the Guthrie Theater. Maybe you'd be surprised at how many of those costumes (especially for mobscenes) are downright laugh-provoking when seen close-up under the harsh light of day. I learned how to make really coll-looking "Roman armor" using sheets of pressed felt & hot-glue guns for the decorative squiggles: from twenty feet & under harsh gels, it's impressive as all hell... & it's thrown away at the end of the production because it gathers dust, the glue breaks down, & where the heck else would you possibly use it anyway?

John Williams is vastly overrated as a composer, as is Andrew Lloyd Webber. I'm surprised how often both steal from themselves, & somewhat less surprised that I seem to be the only listener to notice. I'm more inclined to forgive Williams because most of his work is meant to provide atmosphere or maybe forward movement.

(Yet I am a fanatic for pop composer / performers Richard Thompson & Bill Nelson, who rarely seem to even hint at something from earlier in the career. The latter has filled something like 60 CDs, & more often than not the impression is that one mind could not have created the adjacent tracks, they're so different.)

mark spieller
San Mateo, California, - Saturday, August 4 2007 7:34:26

Movie Music
Although I do have a number of favorite film composers, Elmer Bernstein, Jerry Goldsmith, Max Steiner, if I had to pick one it would be Bernard Herrmann. The favorite composer of Orson Welles (for whom Herrmann did all the musice for The Mercury Theater of Air radio shows before they did Citizen Kane, etc) AND Alfred Hitchcock for that 10 year run of great films peaking with the shrieking violins of PSYCHO. Herrmann also did Westerns, Adventures, Fantasy (The Ray Harryhausen films), The Twilight Zone and did a large number of "library scores" for various CBS-TV westerns, dramas, and action programs

His last score a jazz one for "Taxi Driver" shows that he took his art and talent as serious as ever and ever ready to try something different from his usualy style of outre orchestrations.

What a shame that he is not around when there are so many Science Fiction and Fantasy programs and films that could benefit from his touch.

Vilyamua <Vilyamua>
Unknown, Unknown - Saturday, August 4 2007 6:17:7

Hello! great idea of color of this siyte!

St. Pete, FL - Saturday, August 4 2007 5:17:57

Stanley Wiater - He compiled a book of quotes from 50 contributors ranging from Clive Barker to Gahan Wilson (sans our host) discussing all kinds of topics. Dark Thoughts on Writing was published in 1997 and is recommended, if you can find it as it's OOP.

Brian Phillips
McDonough, GA - Saturday, August 4 2007 4:25:10

Response to Rob
Dear Rob,

I won't knock your taste in music; your opinion is your own, but I do offer the following:

In defense of Tiomkin, age may have been an issue, but do not forget what system he worked under. One can only imagine how many times he might have come up with something of note, only to have someone who swears s/he knows "what sells" , even though they don't have a dint of musical training, or even a good ear.

After years of playing it safe, giving them what they want, can you imagine what kind of artist submitted his work to "Wild, Wild West"? Some can rail against the system, some cannot or didn't want to. Also, truth be told, I would have a tough time thinking of appropriate music for a Western with futuristic and fantastic plots.

Also, even though I was two at the time, I gather from what I have read that a big-time Hollywood film composer would probably not sweat too hard over something for television, especially a Western, which TV of the 50's and 60's had, in abundance. There was even a Western, featuring children called "The Buckskin Kid" that featured adult voices dubbed in, ala "The Creeping Terror", which means, not even synched up properly, like, "The Corbomite Manuever". Given the time and budget, he may not have been working under the best of conditions.

In defense of Rob, however, you can hear what Tiomkin came up with here: http://www.dimitritiomkin.com/audio_clips.cfm , it is the second to last clip.

Also, people such as Tiomkin, Louis Levy, Max Steiner and Erich Wolfgang Korngold were among the first composers for film, so what seems dull now may be dull to you because so many lesser and greater have used the tools that these people helped create.

Having said all of that and since he does manage to squeak by your "before the '80's" timeframe, I would go with Tom Scott as the person I would not have hired to score a film. I have this theory that the powers that be at the time had this theory that Tom Scott invented Jazz and having done so was rewarded with seemingly all of the jazzy soundtrack work that Dave Grusin didn't get. Perhaps if I had not been inundated with his work, I would have had a different feeling about this, but I felt that many better Jazz composers were being rooked by the folks that kept hiring Scott.

Quincy Jones actually backed away from soundtrack composing, because he was feeling constricted by the amount of work. If you listen to "The Slender Thread"'s main title (3rd part) and "The Pawnbroker"'s "Harlem River Drive" you will hear VERY similar music.

I am a great fan of soundtracks and I appreciate the question, Rob. My late Mom is also smiling at you as well, because she REALLY dug soundtracks and movies and passed that on to me.


Here is an account of what Rob was referring to:

P.P.S. One of the worst surprises is the soundtrack album to "Zulu". Barry's music is barely on it and it is replaced by dreadful faux-African pop music. No background music, no chanting. Harrrumph!

- Friday, August 3 2007 22:22:34


Any time, Monday thru Friday, between 9am and 5pm, LA time.

You can get my phone number from Rick.

He can also provide you with my address and fax number.

Have a recorder online when we talk. It can even be a conference call, if you want to bring any other editors into the loop.

Waiting to hear from you, at your convenience. Yr. Pal, Harlan

- Friday, August 3 2007 21:30:21

If you were one of the world's most renowned filmmakers - anytime in the era when movies were really movies (let's figure that prior to the 80's - and there IS a good reason), WHICH film composer would you refuse to consider, REGARDLESS of is Oscar status?

The name I've picked for myself is Dimitri Tiomkin.

Yeah, I know: the man won 4 Oscars; some of his high points include the original Lost Horizon, High Noon, Shadow Of A Doubt (which remains one of my favorite films), Mr. Smith Goes To Washington, Duel In The Sun, etc.

I've seen many movies scored by him, some I hold in the highest regard.

But...BUT...the more listen to him the more I come to feel is one of the most "by-the-numbers", formulaic, and predictable composers in movie history.

He was great at giving you exactly what you would expect the movie to have. And every one of the oooooodles of westerns he scored all sound like yer old-fashioned ho-downs, with ballads of the American frontiersman. Or he would give you a frenetic sound against the loop of kind of a corny theme, as he did for 36 Hours, practically ruining, for ME, some brilliant and complex scenes.

That had been my "feeling" for some time. So, I wasn't surprised to read recently some Wild Wild West history for the tv series, when he was commissioned to write the theme. The producers tried to explain to him that this was a new kind of show. A bizarre show, cutting edge fantasy fusing the Western with James Bond and Jules Verne.

Twice, TWICE he came up with some corny ballad evoking the Old Frontier. First he did the Ballad of Jim West, likening the character to some kind of Davey Crockett figure. The producers handed back to him, and tried to explain the more esoteric dimensions to the show. So, he hands them a second ballad that sounded more like Wagon Train.

When a guy is wedged so far in the past, and hasn't the creative latitude to experiment and work outside the box, I really don't regard him as so remarkable a talent. It took the talent of composer Richard Markowitz - who'd done The Rebel - to fuse elements of Jazz and a "neo-Western" to come up with a sound that emphasized the trippiness of the series.

Even if you could say, "well it was past his time", if you listen to the many Westerns he scored in the 50's, every score he did was as typical as the Western itself; and if it was an ABOVE average Western, it was his score that made it FEEL more typical.

If I were a filmmaker, I'd always be looking for composers with far greater latitude, making the sound part of a film's timelessness.

I never would have hired Tiomkin.

Dennis Coleman <Dcoleman9999@yahoo.com>
Glendale, CA - Friday, August 3 2007 19:14:20

Bob Homeyer --

Agree totally on the introduction of that character; but I still liked the very, very end. But they didn't need that person.

Incidentally, for anyone in the L.A. area, the American Cinematheque starts its Fantasy, Horror and Science Fiction Film Festival this weekend. Fun stuff like THE BEAST WITH FIVE FINGERS, MAD LOVE, I BURY THE LIVING.
Also rarities like Joseph Losey's THESE ARE THE DAMNED, Curtis Harrington's GAMES, Ken Russell's THE DEVILS and such.

Brian Phillips <subah83293@mypacks.net>
McDonough, GA - Friday, August 3 2007 17:50:18

Stanley Wiater and a Harlan Ellison Interview on YouTube
Stanley Wiater has posted an interview from his television show, "Dark Dreamers" on YouTube. While this is one of the rare times that I have seen someone that is involved with the actual project post something like this, I also know Mr. Ellison's disdain for YouTube and didn't know whether this was posted with his knowledge or permission.

Bob Homeyer <roberthomeyer@yahoo.com>
- Friday, August 3 2007 17:27:54

Dennis: I saw "Sunshine" the weekend it came out, and I had a similar take on it. Other than some workmanlike performances and some screenplay short cuts (e.g. the Cillian Murphy character and his antagonist seem to come to blows a priori), the first hour and ten minutes were quite good, and reminded me structurally of "Red Planet" -- a series of unfolding crises, roughly every 10-15 minutes of screen time, that must be identified and solved, that create a war of attrition of sorts against the crew and the overall mission. I was also thrilled to see a decent science fiction film without a "II" or "III" in the title and with a significant budget that shows on screen. The third act though, was dreadful in my opinion, due largely to the introduction of the additional character, who I felt was unnecessary. Additionally, some of the visual homages to "2001" are a little too obvious.

I have recommended this film to others however, based on the first two acts alone.

Adam-Troy Castro <adamcastro999@yahoo.com>
- Friday, August 3 2007 16:40:48

Harlan, Irascible?

Harlan's TOTALLY Rascible.

I've seen him make a Racs of himself many times.

Steve B
- Friday, August 3 2007 15:59:47

Dep't of "For What It's Worth"


Rick. You really outta fix that...

Steve Barber <barbergallery@verizon.net>
- Friday, August 3 2007 15:58:17

Dep't of
I've never found our host to be irascible. Ever.

Virtually every time he's grown annoyed -- in my very limited personal experience -- there has been a provocation.

(And, note, he has personally called me a "lying motherfucker" to my face. With a great deal of love and affection, but still...)

Just sayin'.

CRAMER - Rest assured Crystal will be well cared for after your demise. While, yes, I (as they say on the 'net) "L'd" "MAO" with your final line, I realize you may indeed be an endangered species as a result. Please let her know we care and will give her the appropriate lifestyle as beholden a fallen icon once you're gone.

And Mark has first dibs.

Dennis Coleman <Dcoleman9999@yahoo.com>
Glendale, CA - Friday, August 3 2007 15:47:23

Both Daily Variety and Hollywood Reporter gave good reviews to MASTERS OF SCIENCE FICTION today, with Variety singling out THE DISCARDED as the best of the bunch. Both reviewers somewhat attack ABC for dumping the series in mid-Summer on the dead (TV) zone of Saturdays. Variety calls Harlan "the ever-mercurial Harlan Ellison" and reports that he and Josh adapted his short story, saying "it showcases the kind of rich, detailed material that packs a surprising amount of character development into an hour."
The Hollywood Reporter critic says "the ingenious, irascible Ellison adapted his own material". I think when they grammar-check their reviews, if Harlan's name appears, then the adjective "irascible" must automatically be inserted before it.
The Reporter critic also lambasts ABC for putting on series like "The Bachelor" and "Wife Swap", but relegating this show to Siberia.

So is "ever-mercurial" better than "irascible"?

Incidentally, in regards to reviews and science fiction, have any of you gone to see 'SUNSHINE', the new science fiction one by Danny Boyle and Alex Garland? Most reviewers pooh-poohed it, claiming it is too derivative. Both Roeper and his guest critic went thumbs down; and the other two critics on the other syndicated review show (can't remember their names but it's a man and a woman and the guy admitted "I don't like science fiction" to which I growled: "then what good are ya?") also smacked it down.

Well I had an interesting reaction. As I watched it, my heart started to beat rapidly as I started to realize: "this is a serious character-driven science fiction work about a crew in a spaceship that is actually about something and actually has some interesting ideas in it!" I hadn't seen anything like this in I-can't-say how many years. And, yes, it doesn't all work. And yes, there are tiny elements of 2001, ALIEN, SOLARIS and (unfortunately) the execrable EVENT HORIZON in it. But at least it tries. And it tries to do it without Jedis or magic wands, just with science and fairly realistic characters. And I felt like a thirst I didn't know I had was being quenched -- cause they used to make movies like this a lot. But since this is an adult film that might cause you to think a bit, well it's got to be sidelined and denigrated.
Anyway, you might want to see it. It's not brilliant, but it tries hard -- even though there's some copping out before the end. Still highly worthwhile. Boyle has made some great films (TRAINSPOTTING) and some not-so-great (ever try to sit through A LIFE LESS ORDINARY???) but he's always doing something new.

john j zeock <k33kong@aol.com>
conshohocken, pa - Friday, August 3 2007 14:43:53

Susn -used what i was sent to buy the oracle and the nail. enjoyed Harlan's intro immensely. best to you both, now and always. will know more cardiac wise after august 20. looking forward to MOSF.

- Friday, August 3 2007 13:56:24


Thanks for the reply. I'll keep my creative suggestions to myself from now on unless I'm asked! I definitely will be watching "Masters of S.F." this Sat. and hope it wins the ratings for it's time slot. If anyone wants to use the dreadful "Realms of Phantasm" as an example of the ULTIMATE bad name for a SF anthology series be my guess!

Los Angeles, - Friday, August 3 2007 13:0:27

Hey Keith...

Now **THAT** is what I call a VACATION!!

Anyone can park a keester on a cruise ship, his or her(*) itinerary all planned out in advance, with no time to truly immerse oneself in the... PLACENESS of the place one is spending hard earned money to travel to.


(*)By the way, any progress yet on constructing a decent genderless pronoun? Just wondering....

Alex Schor <aschor@verizon.net>
Washington, DC - Friday, August 3 2007 12:52:56

Dear Harlan,

Please let me offer belated condolence on the loss of Tom Snyder. I only got the news last night that Mr. Snyder passed away. The world is poorer for it.

Daily assaults on our integrity perpetrated by ghouls like Bush, Cheney, Gonzales, O'Reilly and Coulter seem all the more monstrous with people like Snyder gone.

It was from you that I learned the phrase, "God be between you and harm in all the dark places you walk." I think it whenever a great person leaves us.

God rest you, Mr. Snyder.

Steve P.-O. <widmerpool@hotmail.com>
Chicago, IL - Friday, August 3 2007 12:40:39

'Two formerly straight men, ladies and gentlemen.'
Neil Gaiman and Jonathan Ross shared an intimate moment at the Eisners last week in San Diego, and I caught it on video.

(The quote above is from Neil, as found in CBG's coverage here:
http://www.cbgxtra.com/default.aspx?tabid=42&view=topic&forumid=25&postid=31867 )

Here's the video -- and there's more Eisners funnystuff if you click on the "more from this user" link:



Frank Church
- Friday, August 3 2007 12:33:42

It doesn't matter how dumb we think Bush is, there are really smart people who conspired to put him into the anointed pulpit. Tony Blair and now Gordon Brown follow Bush around like grape feeders. The world is warped; best to admit right now that most of us here are certified aliens. Below the floating clouds there are a sorry lot, left to fend for life in a world of bad popular culture and dreck values. All one can do is hope. The aliens have to take over, that's all.


Costa Rica is an odd place; one of the few central American outposts untouched by American imperial terror. Great beaches and suntanned hotties must still the death eye.


I will say this without malice: without the democracy of the internet the left movements would be stone toast. Solidarity is a wonderful thing.

We areee the worrrrllld.

Tally <tally.johnson@gmail.com>
Great Falls...at work, natch, SC - Friday, August 3 2007 12:16:10

Sorry for breaking the law...
But I am a published author and Lori's Question was general. I find deadlines have a great focusing effect on me, whether the publisher has set one or if it's self-imposed. Silly things like no caffenine until this section is typed by 9PM or whatever up to no money unless the copyedit is finished. But I am not freelance and others' milage may vary.

Lori Koonce <purplelynn35@excite.com>
San Francisco, California - Friday, August 3 2007 11:59:54

Apology and a few questions
Mr Forrest and ATC

Sorry about my missattrubition. I never figured my father or friends to be ones to spread missinformation. But I stand by the context in which it was posted. Way too many good people had died that week, and we need to let those we love know it before it's too late.

Now for the questions: Other than not typing on a computer, which is something I just cannot give up, how do you guys discipline yourselves to acutally sit down and write?

Also, I have a seriously nasty self critic, and haven't quite figured out how to quiet the little bastard. I'll show something I've written to a friend, and he'll like it and I put it away. Next morning I take it out, read it to get back into the story and that little voice just savages it, and most the time I end up getting rid of it.

Any and all suggestions are welcome. I have great research for a seriously neat book sitting on my hard drive, but just can't seem to put it together for anything!

Peace and Chocolate

Brian Siano
- Friday, August 3 2007 11:56:49

Yahho has a dandy piece about the show as well:
"Masters of Science Fiction" too artistic for ABC

"The Ellison contribution -- boasting the acting talents of a couple of greats named John Hurt and Brian Dennehy -- closes out a provocative, rich, lavishly produced, sharply performed quartet that ABC has seen fit to disdainfully conceal rather than proudly celebrate. But let them trim so much as a minute from the end of "Dancing With the Stars" and we'd never hear the end of it as the audience rose up in spastic rage."

- Friday, August 3 2007 11:9:42

Masters of SF on Fresh Air
The TV critic on Fresh Air reviewed "Masters..." glowingly, and praised "The Discarded" as the best of the episodes. He also slammed ABC for burying the series on Sat. night in August. The piece is on-line at: http://www.npr.org/templates/rundowns/rundown.php?prgId=13

Germany - Friday, August 3 2007 8:45:3

Warm greetings to Harlan & Susan! (Just because.)

MIKE: Just because people don't know where the all camps were located doesn't mean they don't know about the Holocaust, they just haven't spent a great deal of time on it. I wouldn't necessarily blame them - it's not the most pleasant of subjects, and to really have some understanding about it requires a certain amount dedicated study. I would expect that the minimum of knowledge about the Holocaust that is considered obligatory in the U.S. is to be imparted by public schools, so any testing of the kind you do tells you more about the educational system than about the people you make judgements about. (My opinion.)

We all have considerable knowledge gaps, the important thing is that we understand a few basic facts about human nature and the way history unfolds. In my opinion people simply take too many positive things for granted, while they accept too many negative things, partly because they are used to them, partly because they don't know anything else. (Which is where people like Harlan come in.) :-)

- Friday, August 3 2007 8:37:42

A Query for Josh
Are you involved in the Batman Anime project currently mentioned on Majorspoilers.com? If so, why have you not flogged it here? If you aren't..never mind... as per the late Gilda Radner. Keith, I've not had the pleasure of meeting you or Crystal, but I feel sure true love will conquer...tho' I've heard that Harlan does not subscribe to Marquis of Queensbury...

Keith Cramer <remarck@hotmail.com>
Arlington, VA - Friday, August 3 2007 8:28:3

Not even two Larry's can save you.

Bring your two friends, see if I care.


I'm not dead yet. If you want a crack at Crystal, you better bring better Seconds than Harlan. I suggest two Darryl's.



Mark Goldberg <markabaddon@gmail.com>
Minneapolis, - Friday, August 3 2007 8:11:18

Just spoke with Rick Keeney and he is OK, he was not caught in the crash.

Keith Cramer, hasta la vista, it was good knowing you buddy.
Can I date Crystal once you are gone?

Mike Jacka
phoenix, AZ - Friday, August 3 2007 7:25:25

Worse and worser
We’ve all previously discussed the amount of knowledge most people have about arguably important events. In particular, almost everyone here has heard Harlan discuss the blank looks one will receive when using the words “Buchenwald” or “Dachau”. I get the opportunity every once in a while to give presentations on leadership/management/other business BS topics. I now try to incorporate this discussion any way I can; first asking them if they know Buchenwald, then Dachau, then Auschwitz. (I throw in the latter so more can feel better about themselves. Auschwitz seems more recognizable.) Just last week I had the opportunity to again run this test by a group of about 30 employees.

I now group their responses into one of three categories. The first are the ones that, like many of us, see how few hands go up, and our blood runs backwards. The second are those who just stare blankly, trying to figure out why Lindsay Lohan would care. (Sorry, got a little snarky there.) The third, though, is the important group. The people in the third group are really parts of the first – in other words, they may know about the camps, or they may not. But they separate themselves because they see the broader point. They are not focusing on what people (or they) don’t know. Instead, they recognize there is a gap and want to take personal responsibility to make themselves better. After the meeting last week, one participant and I discussed this for a while. She began to understand that, while gaining knowledge about the business, our profession, etc. was important for her, she needed to broaden her understanding outside our business. Her and I are now working together to give her ideas on where she can learn. Small successes….

During these session I am reminded of two quotes (possibly stolen from t-shirts). The first makes me laugh and cry at the same time. “Make something idiot-proof, and they’ll build a better idiot.” But the second helps me out (a little). “The idiots may outnumber us, but they ARE idiots.” However, it’s those people in group three, the ones who understand the ultimate point, who also understand a quote I use to end the discussions. “If I’m not stupid, I have no right being ignorant.”


Jes Bickham <jesbickham@hotmail.com/jes@blackfishpublishing.com>
Bath, UK - Friday, August 3 2007 7:5:38

Death Ray
Dear Mr. Ellison,
That's terrific news! Thank you so much. And thanks also for the kind words – the office reverberated to the shoop-thud of jaw-to-floor contact when I alerted the team to your post this morning! (I guess issue one got lost in the mail, annoyingly. Will send another one anon. Although issues 2-4 are a vast improvement.)
So, two things: 1) When would it be OK to call and discuss your (excitingly, intriguingly mysterious) idea? I don't want to bother you at anything other than a convenient moment. And 2) (exposing greenhorn foolishness) Where can I get your number? Shall I send a mail to Mr. Rick Wyatt about it?
Thanks again,
Yr. humble servant,

Erik Nelson
Vancouver, - Friday, August 3 2007 6:58:31

There is a nice "plug" for the upcoming Aero screening of "DREAMS" on "Ain't It Cool News", who remain wonderfully supportive of the film, and of Harlan.

Embedded there-in, my favorite "Talkback" comment EVER defends Harlan from a sub-literate detractor. I think even Harlan could not top this for sheer creative invective:

"Watch yer mouths, you prissy little punks...
...There's chunks of panty-waists like you in this guy's stool. This guy was going toe-to-toe with uber-ghouls like Spiro Agnew when your daddy was building his first bong in shop class..."

Now, That's Entertainment!!!

- Thursday, August 2 2007 21:20:32

CHRIS THURLOW: Let me put it this way: it's worser than worse now. Much. Much much!

KEITH CRAMER: Behind the Tuilleries. Noon. Sabers. Yo momma.

Yr. Pal, Harlan

Chris Thurlow <christopherleethurlow@yahoo.com>
Flagstaff, Arizona - Thursday, August 2 2007 20:51:58

Question for HE
I was just reading the fantastic introduction to Strange Wine (Revealed at Last! What Killed the Dinosaurs! And You Don't Look so Terrific Yourself) and you mentioned certain population percentages of book-buyers, illiteracy and boob-tube addiction...frightening stuff. Now, do you think things have improved since you wrote that (literacy rates, television quality, etc.) or gotten worse? I was just wondering what your continued thoughts on the matter are considering how much time has passed since then.


A little over seven years ago, I found myself scrutinizing the amount of time I spent in front of the tube and promptly ripped the cable from the back of the set. I realized that my time would be better spent with friends or family, painting, reading...ANYTHING! And anything is what I have doing ever since.

Keith Cramer <remarck@hotmail.com>
Arlington, VA - Thursday, August 2 2007 19:59:55

an anecdote
On January 16th, 2005, my girlfriend Crystal and I went to Costa Rica. You may know that Costa Rica is Spanish for Rich Coast, but what most people do not know is this: most of the country is mountainous, covered with tropical forests and cloud forests, volcanoes and valleys, and there is as much wildlife in a square kilometer as there are humans on the planet. More than 90% of the country is Roman Catholic, and they offer medical coverage to everyone. They do not have a military.

I had wanted to go for years. I travel a lot for business, and every once in a while I’d find a stranger in an airport, or on a plane, who said he’d been there. Even met an older gentleman once who said he married a Costa Rican woman. In my ignorance at the time, I pictured a Mexican woman with many piercings and tattoos, with plates in her lips. Costa Rica was a vast, sleeping, wild country, full of mystery and myth and darkness.

When Crystal said she wanted to go, I immediately said yes, and only became the least bit nervous when thinking about large insects and their proboscii and stingers.

Crystal left for Costa Rica 2 days before me. She had taken off work a few days earlier than I could. Our plan was to meet in the center of the country and go on a series of eco-adventures, including climbing an extinct volcano in a rain forest, white water rafting, and spelunking. Customs was a bitch, but soon I was in a cab and on my way from San Jose to La Fortuna, the town at the foot of the Arenal volcano in the center of the country. The driver knew about two thousand words of English, and I knew about two hundred words in Spanish, so we defaulted to English in our conversation for the four hours we were on the road.

It’s customary when you stop at a local eating establishment in Costa Rica with your driver to buy him food and drink. The first place we stopped was a road-side shack, without electricity, and we got some ades and orts from the family who lived there, and continued on right away. By the time we stopped again 2 hours later, we were about twenty miles from La Fortuna. The restaurant had electricity, though I’m not sure where it came from. It was about 4pm, and the sun was still high in the sky. It had been a beautiful drive, with the newly paved road snaking back and forth among the dense jungle, and plunging infrequently through villages which seemed to be there and then gone in a blink. The restaurant was at the outskirts of one such village, in the mountains.

With the sun filtering through tinted windows, we sat at the bar and had soup and sodas. It was here that I heard the first story of the bleeding slabs, and I was, as you might imagine, quite intrigued. In the pastures leading up to the jungle on the South side of Cerro Chato (the extinct volcano next to Mt. Arenal), there is a large granite slab which was exposed a few years before by a landslide. (Deforestation for farming is probably the largest threat to the rainforests of Costa Rica). Because of mist and the weather (and the almost pathological lack of desire for maps and markings among the culture), it is notoriously hard to find, and some myths have built up about the place. The locals in La Fortuna say the stone slabs display the secret to your life, written in God’s own blood.

Obviously, this is a vast exaggeration, or so I thought. I get the Skeptical Inquirer. I’m not one of PT Barnum’s fools.

Anyway, I put it out of my mind, and we went on our merry way to the Arenal Country Inn, a small luxury place about a 10 minute walk down the road from La Fortuna. Crystal arrived an hour or so later, and we did what re-united lovers do: we walked to town to grab dinner. Over dinner Crystal divulged that she had already made our first reservation with a local tour company, for a hike up Cerro Chato the next morning. The name sparked recognition in me, and I told her about what I’d heard at the restaurant on the way to La Fortuna. She laughed. I laughed.

The next day we were up at 7:30am, breakfasted, and ready at the front desk for our tour guide to pick us up. It turned out that it was only going to be us and the guide on our hike. We drove up to a farm at the base of the mountain and got out. Our driver left the three of us there and told us he’d see us later. Our guide was a stoner-looking guy named Ande who was a native Costa Rican, and he carried a 2 foot long machete. On the hike through the pasture he pointed out and identified leaf-cutter ants, a beautiful fern-like plant which folds up when you brush it with your finger, and various trees, birds, and insects. It was like being in the 4th grade on a nature hike again.

It was a killer, 8 hour hike up the side of a mountain, and back down again. Crystal had neglected to tell me the hike was described in the literature as an “extreme hike.” I had blisters on top of blisters. And then, to make it all suck even worse, it started to rain near the top of the mountain.

The way back was treacherous and slippery. On the way back down, the rain was getting worse, and the mountain seemed covered in a thick grey cloak. Lightening flashed here and there, and the thunder was offset by the booms from the erupting Arenal Volcano next to us.

Toward the end of the jungle, my feet all torn to hell, I fell into a gully and washed down about 8 feet into a shallow mud pool. I looked up and scrabbled for some kind of purchase, and the water was hitting my face, and I saw the stone slab. I briefly glimpsed that which nobody had a map to. On the grey granite face, for a second, I could see twenty or thirty lines of bloody red words, and then I slipped and it was gone. I went tumbling down into the pasture another hundred feet, sliding down through mud, grass, and cow shit, and eventually coming to rest against a large tree.

We couldn’t go back. The weather was terrible, and I had no idea where I had exited the jungle line. I only remember the last line written on the slab, and it was this: Copyright c 2007 by The Kilimanjaro Corporation. All rights reserved, including electronic transmission & retrieval.

- Thursday, August 2 2007 18:41:31


Got the magazines today. Yoicks!

Never got #1 -- or you'd've heard me squeak before this.

Do I like it???

(Quote) What's there NOT to adore about a magazine titled DEATH RAY?!?(Unquote)

Of course I'll do a big interview with you. In fact ...

Call me. I think I have an idea of how we can do a piece that would be (he said, with charming modesty)(compelling self-effacement)(uncommon forelock-tugging) absolutely dead brill, as the late Neil Gaiman used to say to the late Tony Blair, as the late Eleanor Roosevelt listened attentively, sitting as she was, next to the late Jes Bickham. That is to say, it is an idea that is only IMPERIAL in its subterfugenous multiplicity.

You may quote me.

And please thank your mother for the chicken soup.

Yr. Pal, Harlan

Jarod Hitchcock
Australia - Thursday, August 2 2007 18:9:42

Begging The Pardon of Susan Ellison, RE: RABBIT HOLE Newsletter

Mrs Ellison,

Your gracious Husband has advised me that there is a Newsletter I can subscribe too, Allowing me to stay in the know on all things Ellison, the above mentioned RABBIT HOLE.

How does one go about subscribing to said publication, Any & All help would be greatly appreciated, keeping in mind "I come from the land down under"

Kind Regards

Jarod Hitchcock

P.S, Harlan – Many Thanks for your swift & courteous reply

Vilyamxz <Vilyamxz>
Unknown, Unknown - Thursday, August 2 2007 16:4:55

Hello! great idea of color of this siyte!

- Thursday, August 2 2007 15:59:18



Hard one, actually.

The sort of "what-if" I have never what-if'd.

Frequently, even back in the day, I would write a story from a strong viewpoint diametrically opposed to mine own. For instance, "Asleep: With Still Hand" and "Strange Wine" and "Knox" and "Battle Without Banners" -- or stories in which I questioned my own beliefs and/or actions, such as "Silent in Gehenna" or "Anywhere But Here, With Anyone But You" or a dozen+ others I won't use to add supercargo to what is, essentially, an empty airplane.

What I wrote then, was where I was at ... then.

Would I rewrite any of them today, knowing what more I know? Hell, Brian, I cannot answer better than the above.

Sometimes, to confound my detractors, I really DON'T have an answer.

Yr. Pal, Harlan

- Thursday, August 2 2007 15:38:12


You are, of certainty, free to voice a small, harmless negative vote anent the series title MASTERS OF SCIENCE FICTION.

BUT ... and there is absolutely NO NO NO acid in this reply ...

You can lay the "blame," if any such is due, on the great gray brains at the ABC television network. There WERE other titles proposed, some of which were actually in pre-prod use, every last one of which was far superior to a)the one they went with, or b)your awful suggestion.

The problem with being a voice out in the pasture, out of the loop, and encouraged to voice your every tinkling thought or surmise or bit of contumely, is that in reality, you don't know why, when, how, what-if, who, but what if, and so on. You just figger you're smarter than all of us who worked on the show, all of us dumb and smart, young and old, percipient or blind-hog, professional or newbie. And you speak out ...

Which is O and K, kiddo. But let me tell you the bottom line:
if you want a title that is 100% accurate, MASTERS OF SCIENCE FICTION is dead-on. Heinlein, Howard Fast, John Kessel, Robert Sheckley, Ellison -- true statement: "masters of science fiction." The addition of Stephen Hawking ain't too dusty, neither.

There WERE other titles proposed--including FAR DESTINIES and
DREAMS OF TOMORROW and on and on, lists and lists and lists. But ABC kept clinging to, falling back on, insisting it be called -- and here's where the last battle line was drawn by the Producer, the fine Keith Addis -- MASTERS OF SCI-FI.

THAT IS WHAT IT COULD HAVE BEEN had not all of us threatened ABC with walkout! So, you're entitled to your woolgathering and your assurances that YOU could've done better, blahblahblah, you out in the pasture there, and before I get rude with you, I'll just say that I hope as deeply and as sincerely and as passionately as I can, that you watch the shows, all four of them that survived the ABC guillotine, and that you love them a lot, and that next time you are gulled by this medium, the internet, into believing that your idle supposition is as good as on-the-ground intel, that you are shamed to realize that you and George W. Bush think alike.

Yr. Pal, Harlan
Copyright c 2007 by The Kilimanjaro Corporation. All rights reserved, including electronic transmission & retrieval.

- Thursday, August 2 2007 15:18:23

*Thanks, Don Hilliard. The reference, I think, was pretty helpful. I suspect the Aria by Schubert was the piece I was after. I'll have to look for it to confirm it, of course. But on THAT program list, it's the only possibility. I HOPE I can find a recording of ANDERSON'S rendition.

**Brian, not to take this TOO seriously, but I wish you wouldn't couple Spielberg and Ellison in the same musing, as the former is SUCH a sell-out. Having said that, in CE, Dreyfuss doesn't abandon his family so much as the reverse: he was trying to get them to understand his issue; but they blew him off and alienated him. By the time he was on the brink of suicide (the shower scene was cut out of the original version), they drove off and left him to himself. It was his wife who let him down and abandoned his trust. So, your thesis (or the one represented on that show you were watching) misrepresents the issue. I only make that seem important because, as a metaphor, this happens a LOT in relationships. And, like a painful bee sting, it can linger in the victim for a long time.

Beyond that, I'd say your question to Harlan was an interesting one.

***I was watching on dvd the original OUTER LIMITS' THE INVISIBLES, which explored the motif of moral rot proliferating in the wake of power unchecked; as the episode involves politicians and big businesses alike, I couldn't help but see its mirror in Cheney and the Bush Crime Syndicate. Amusing, vexing, and alarming all at the same time.

Robert Morales
New York City, New York - Thursday, August 2 2007 15:8:58

If there WAS a god ...

James argendeli
Lawrenceville, GA - Thursday, August 2 2007 13:51:36

Masters of Science Fiction
Here is a link to Variety's review of the four wek run of ABC's Masters of Science Fiction: They seemed to like one episode out of four to be broadcast as a stand-out.


Brian Siano
- Thursday, August 2 2007 13:15:43

A question for Harlan and a moment of levity
There's this TV special Richard Schickel recently did about Steven Spielberg. While discussing _Close Encounters_, Spielberg says that he probably wouldn't do that movie these days. At the time, the idea of Roy Neary abandoning his family and leaping off into space was pretty appealing to Spielberg; but now that he's a husband and father himself, Spielberg has very different feelings about the film. That's understandable: he's older, his priorities are different, and I'd say he's a bit wiser in life, too.

Now Harlan, a lot of your work has a pretty strong moral and ethical content to it. But you've been writing for nearly sixty years, and people do grow, change, and reconsider. And while I understand that the stories you write are reflections of how you felt _at the time_ ... are there any stories you've written that you'd approach differently today, if they occurred to you bright'n'fresh right now? Is there a story with a moral point that you have second or third thoughts about?

(I know, the question could be a loaded one. I'm not implying that the stories were _mistakes_, or _ought_ to be changed, and I'm not about to gallivant around with "Aha! He admits that he was _wrong_ about --- back in 1965!" )

And to take the edge off of that question, here's a moment of levity. Today at work, they asked me to take some photos of a piece of lab equipment. This way, a techie could check the photos while fabricating a new part for us.

I took the photos, went back to my desk, and burned the photos to a CDROM. I brought it back, and the techie was impressed. "That's great. Brian. Tell me, do you do weddings or funerals?"

And barely thinking about it, I said, "Nahh. I can't behave myself. At weddings, I always hit on the bride. And at funerals I always hit on the corpse."

Frank Church
- Thursday, August 2 2007 13:9:35

I have lots of family in Twin Cities so was worried, until I found out all is well with the brood. Good to see you with us Mark. Minny is going to be a traffic logjam for a long time to come.

Without tragedy where would we be? Sheesh.


Newbies, come from the ether, we will not hurt you. I even lick on the first date.


Cindy, you invented treacle, but damned if I can't avoid sailing a raft on it. I think your optimism keeps the rest of us from grabbing the sawed off.

- Thursday, August 2 2007 12:48:4


Dear Mr. Hitchcock:

Thank you for the good words.

To answer Question 1: there is considerable work both in the soon-chute, and in-a-moment imminent. One week from now, Tachyon Publishers will reissue SHATTERDAY in a nifty new trade paperback edition. Soon thereafter PS Publishing in the U.K. will reissue a largely annotated (by me) edition of an early book of my stories, ELLISON WONDERLAND. Later this year, or early next (lack of ETA specificity only because these are complex projects that expand, seemingly, on a daily basis) Overlook Connection will publish Tim Richmond's terrific, huuuge
bibliography of my work, under the title FINGERPRINTS ON THE SKY; Joe Stefko's Charnel House will do a gorgeous limited edition, boxed, signed, numbered, that collects--for the first time in one volume--both my books of television criticism, THE GLASS TEAT and THE OTHER GLASS TEAT; IDW Publishers will publish a collection of my musings and chatter from this very site, under the title YR. PAL, HARLAN. Dark Horse has just released the second collected volume of HARLAN ELLISON'S DREAM CORRIDOR and M Press has recently released my favorite edition of my rock novel, SPIDER KISS. There is also the documentary film of my life, DREAMS WITH SHARP TEETH, and all the other books of mine you haven't read. Half a dozen of which are currently available in print and through e.reads online, and others of which--rarer and mostly out of print--can be purchased for a reasonable price in mint condition, and even signed, through the Harlan Ellison Recording Collection (HERC) at PO Box 55548 / Sherman Oaks, California 91413 USA. And this is an excellent place to get most of your queries answered, either in friend&webmaster Rick Wyatt's scrupulous dated site archive, or on-the-moment by the fastidious and always genteel community of Webderlanders.

To keep up, something even I have a hard time doing, I would suggest you get the RABBIT HOLE, the frequent HERC newsletter deftly crafted by my wife, Susan. It's quite inexpensive, usually has special bargain deals on new titles espoused by the publishers, and regularly lists what has just been published ("Abiding with Sturgeon: Mistral in the Bijou," in the magazine INTERZONE) or what is imminent ("For Every Action..." in THE SHADOW #10).

To answer Question 2: the opulent and breath-stopping painting by Jacek Yerka hangs in Susan's and my bedroom. An art-light, when turned on, makes the work glow like iridium. It is one of my great lifetime treasures; and meeting Jacek was an evening not to be forgotten.

On sum, welcome to the dog pound; I think you'll find this a good place to hang out. These are swell folks.

Yr. Pal, Harlan

Steve Barber <barbergallery@verizon.net>
- Thursday, August 2 2007 12:43:50

Point of note: All evidence of any contretemps with Mr. Ellison were removed from the TCJ.com website a few days ago.

Mark G - Glad to know you're safe and sound. Next time pick a shorter movie, yes???

Lori - I appreciate the sentiment with which you posted the email. Those messages have taken in many a good hearted soul.

(I'm reminded of the "Magical Music Machine" that "was built with used tractor parts". The video is, to me, a very obvious computer construction -- but it has taken in quite a number of my very savvy friends.)

- Thursday, August 2 2007 10:56:40

It's a shame nobody could come up with a more interesting title for the series than the rather pedantic sounding "Masters Of Science Fiction". It took me less than 10 minutes to think of "Realms of Phantasm" as an alternate title, although that might suck too.

ATC <adamcastro999@yahoo.com>
- Thursday, August 2 2007 10:43:11

Carlin: "I did NOT write that piece of shit!"
Carlin's website includes an embittered rant about some of the viral e-mail essays attributed to him. It's not, in any case, that he disagrees with some of the sentiments expressed. It's that he finds the essays insipid and the writing third-rate; he's better than that. You could get pretty much the same effect by finding one of the more tiresome and cliche-ridden "Bush sucks" rants out there, and distributing it far and wide with an attribution to, let's say, Arianna Huffington.

Larry Forrest <idoubtabout@aol.com>
Tulsa, Oklahoma - Thursday, August 2 2007 10:20:7


Not to be a persnickety cuss, but what you posted wasn't really written by George Carlin. It's one of those Internet messages which evolves in the sending and is often attributed to various authors. In this case, Carlin, an unknown survivor of the Columbine shooting, and some fellow named Jeff Dickson have been credited with writing it.

The true author is Bob Morehead, former pastor of the Overlake Christian Church in Seattle, Washington. Weirdly enough, he resigned from his post in the late nineties after being accused of sexually assaulting seventeen members of his congregation. Now THAT's paradoxical!

The above information is courtesy of Snopes.com, one of my most favored websites. Just type "George Carlin" in the Search box and you'll find the article.

Lori Koonce <purplelynn35@excite.com>
San Francisco, California - Thursday, August 2 2007 9:50:26

Longish but well worth it
I got the following in an email from my father this morning. I thought that with all the death going on recently, it may be a nice read. Our estemed host is the only guy who Ranks above Mr. Carlin on my list of people I'd most like to be like.

What a difference a sad event in someone's life makes. GEORGE CARLIN (His wife recently died...)

Isn't it amazing that George Carlin - comedian of the 70's and 80's - could write something so very eloquent...and so very appropriate.

A wonderful Message by George Carlin:

The paradox of our time in history is that we have taller building s but shorter tempers, wider freeways , but narrower viewpoints. We spend more, but have less, we buy more, but enjoy less. We have bigger houses and smaller families, more conveniences, but less time. We have more degrees but less sense, more knowledge, but less judgment, more experts, yet more problems, more medicine, but less wellness.

We drink too much, smoke too much, spend too recklessly, laugh too little, drive too fast, get too angry, stay up too late, get up too tired, read too little, watch TV too much , and pray too seldom.

We have multiplied our possessions, but reduced our values. We talk too much, love too seldom, and hate too often.

We've learned how to make a living, but not a life. We've added years to life not life to years. We've been all the way to the moon and back, but have trouble crossing the street to meet a new neighbor. We conquered outer space but not inner space. We've done larger things, but not better things.

We've cleaned up the air, but polluted the soul. We've conquered the atom, but not our prejudice. We write more, but learn less. We plan more, but accomplish less. We've learned to rush, but not to wait. We build more computers to hold more information, to produce more copies than ever, but we communicate less and less.

These are the times of fast foods and slow digestion, big men and small character, steep profits and shallow relationships. These are the days of two incomes but more divorce, fancier houses, but broken homes. These are days of quick trips, disposable diapers, throwaway morality, one night stands, overweight bodies, and pills that do everything from cheer, to quiet, to kill. It is a time when there is much in the showroom window and nothing in the stockroom. A time when technology can bring this letter to you, and a time when you can choose either to share this insight, or to just hit delete...

Remember; spend some time with your loved ones, because they are not going to be around forever.

Remember, say a kind word to someone who looks up to you in awe, because that little person soon will grow up and leave your side.

Remember, to give a warm hug to the one next to you, because that is the only treasure you can give with your heart and it doesn't cost a cent.

Remember, to say, "I love you" to your partner and your loved ones, but most of all mean it. A kiss and an embrace will mend hurt when it comes from deep inside of you.

Remember to hold hands and cherish the moment for someday that person will not be there again.

Give time to love, give time to speak! And give time to share the precious thoughts in your mind.


Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.

George Carlin

Patricia <qtera31@yahoo.com>
Bernalillo, NM - Thursday, August 2 2007 9:38:23

Interviews with 8 New Mexico SF Authors

Thought y'all would enjoy reading this feature in one of our local
Albuquerque newspapers (Alibi). This week they have interviews with 8
New Mexico science fiction authors and a remembrance of some of the
greats we have lost - Williamson, Saberhagen and Zelazny.

Here is the link to the front page (with SF themed cover art) -

And, the link directly to the feature -


Todd Mason
- Thursday, August 2 2007 8:30:51


We'll see how this goes...

Alan Coil <lcoil@peoplepc.com>
Southeast Michigan - Thursday, August 2 2007 8:14:59


Thanks for the correction. Knowing that rumors run rampant during times of crisis, I made sure I put in "unconfirmed".

Rob Ewen
Harrow, UK - Thursday, August 2 2007 6:57:5

Mark - this tragedy has obviously made the headlines over here in the UK.

Horrible to think that we probably went over this bridge whilst we all attended Mini-Con last year...

Glad to hear that you're safe; my thoughts now can only be with those people who have lost their lives as a result of the collapse.

Rob E.

TEXAS - Thursday, August 2 2007 6:51:56

Harlan and Susan,
I received the book and I love it. I was touched that you thought of me when you read the title, Harlan.

Susan, you are as sweet as you sound on the phone...but I knew that already. Mailing and packaging are among the chores I abominate. Your care, trouble and kindness on my behalf are gratefully acknowledged.

God bless you both some more,
hug each other from me.

Y'all's pal,

Douglas Alexander <Syngeon@one.net>
- Thursday, August 2 2007 6:45:1

Harlan mentioned on CNN
"Masters of Science Fiction" and Mr. Ellison got a mention
on CNN.com this morning. I suspect many of you would have
seen it anyways but I thought I would mention it in case
anyone who didn't see it would be interested


Mark Goldberg <markabaddon@gmail.com>
Minneapolis, - Thursday, August 2 2007 5:35:50

I got a couple of emails so I thought I would post here that I and everyone I know is OK. Last night I was out at a movie theater to see a sneak preview of the Neil Gaiman film Stardust. Got tickets early and went to a bar for a pint before the film when the bridge collapsed.

Then I did a dumb thing, I went into the movie and did not call my friends and family to let them know I was OK. My only excuse was that I did not realize the extent of the tragedy at the time. When I left the film and checked messages, I had 3 from my Mom, one from my sister, two from friends and a couple of text messages. Dumb, dumb move on my part.

While this is a horrific accident, I am amazed that it was not far worse as this is one of the main arteries into and out of downtown Minneapolis. For those familiar with Philadelphia (my original home city), it would be as if part of the Schuylkill Expressway or I-95 collapsed.

Right now I am just thankful my office does not have any windows, because you can see the collapsed bridge from certain sections of my building.

Thanks to everyone for their concern,


Don Hilliard <dbhilliard@peak.org>
Bayshore, OR - Wednesday, August 1 2007 22:12:55

Rob: The University of Pennsylvania's website has a copy of the program for Ms Anderson's concert. The pieces were:

"America" (medley, no composers listed)
Aria "O Mio Fernando" from _La Favorita_ (Donizetti)
"Ave Maria" (Schubert)
"Gospel Train" (Burleigh)
"Trampin'" (Boatner)
"My Soul is Anchored in the Lord" (Florence Price)

I don't know about Bernstein, but Leopold Stokowski was one of the sponsors of the concert.

Harlan: Condolences on the loss of Tom Snyder. I spent a few years in TV and radio journalism, and Snyder was one of my beaux ideals of the craft; he was one of a small handful of TV newsmen in my lifetime who respected his audience and cared about getting ideas across to them, whether from a newsdesk or a conversation pit. Bad enough for those of us who knew and loved him through his work - how much worse for someone who knew and loved the man himself.

Dennis Thompson
- Wednesday, August 1 2007 21:15:54

Masters of science fiction
Jeff R. ,
I did know of Harlan's writing credit for this episode. I just didn't know if it was handled well, or another mangling of Mr. Ellison's work. I don't remember details, but heard a review a while back, that indicated some episodes were great, and others, not so much. I hope it's good.

Chuck Messer
- Wednesday, August 1 2007 20:52:47

Well, Shit.

I only read about Tom Snyder's passing yesterday after an absence from the internet for a few days.


I hope he was at peace and surrounded by loved ones. I want to send my condolences as well to Harlan and all who were close to him.

And then Bergman, too.

Well, shit.

Glad the Harlan Ellison Prostitute (?!!) situation's cleared up.

What does go on in people's minds?


Brian Phillips
McDonough (Home of the Golden Ar...MMFF!), GA - Wednesday, August 1 2007 20:51:51

t seems that director Michaelangelo ("Blowup") Antonioni has passed away as well. I also mourn the loss of Mr. Snyder (this was the first time I had seen Harlan Ellison, after reading his stories) and Mr. Bergman.

I have not been active on this board recently, as I have been in Colorado. My Mother-In-Law, Mildred Guy, a devout Christian, Democrat(to the naysayers, you can be both!), dedicated teacher of 26 years, lifetime member of the NAACP, passed away after a fourth stroke. The funeral was yesterday. Not unlike "Shatterday", the good lady wife and I had her at our house for her last years and it was the beginning of our grieving process, which, as many of us here know is a process and not a temporary diversion.

We were sad, of course, at her passing, but we are thoroughly convinced that she is in Heaven, smiling down and no longer in pain and for this, we are happy.

I have been blessed with an amazing wife, a song Mr. Ellison knows very well (his song is "Susan" and mine is "Rhonda" and I am still working on the string parts, so it sounds REALLY good!), and three mothers, my natural Mother, who passed in 2002 and my Stepmother Joan, who is still alive.

To read about this amazing woman, go here: http://www.legacy.com/gazette/Obituaries.asp and do a search for "Guy" under search options.

Some time ago, a reader of a column of Ellison's took him to task for not championing the rights of ____ (I cannot remember the precise quote or cause). Ellison replied that he had marched for various causes, donated money, been arrested, etc. and he challenged the reader to, "...match MY credits, Ace!". I cannot boast this, nor do I wish to "slap leather", but Ms. Guy, I believe, did match him, in her own way. We had to cut out some of the causes, charities and organizations, to keep the funeral program affordable. In a world where everyone spoke to everyone else, I think all who dwell here would have loved her as we did.

And may all of us do what is necessary, when necessary, so when we pass, we can have the slight hint of a smile that I saw on her face when she died, knowing that we not only showed up for work, but we did our jobs well.

Brian Phillips

Nope, MN - Wednesday, August 1 2007 20:11:28

No -- that "northbound lane" is not part of I-35. People are ogling the glass tit & commenting upon what they don't unnerstan.

That's a road that's parallel, running from Riverside Avenue, past Grandma's & the edge of campus, then right over to University Avenue. It connects West Bank to the edge of Dinkytown (a couple blocks from Positively Fourth Street, as in, yes, THAT Fourth Street).

Believe me, I've driven that route a literal few thousand times.

To repeat: the ENTIRE WIDTH of the freeway collapsed at the end of rush hour, where traffic was kinda slow-&-go, though some reports are saying "bumper to bumper."

Sorry about the second post. I'll restrain myself to the Fora awhile in penance.

Steambird SpringsAl, Alta California - Wednesday, August 1 2007 19:46:13

Oh, Josh!
Josh wrote:

"For instance - what I said to M earlier - I wouldn't have posted that if I wasn't prepared to stand by it. If that creepy little coward wants to look me up and confront me with the fact that I said his life is useless and if he ever have kids, they'll be useless, too, he can. If you can't stand behind what you say, don't say it. Pretty simple."

Josh, sweety, if I have a sex change and get that nasty little bacterial thing cleaned up, can I have your love child?

You rock. Seriously. Tell Harlan he has to let you go.


Alan Coil <lcoil@peoplepc.com>
Southeast Michigan - Wednesday, August 1 2007 19:44:30

Links to Minneapolis-St. Paul bridge collapse.


Southbound is the part that fell. I am on Instant Messaging with a friend west of Minn-St.Paul. He says crews are being taken offsite because the north side appears to be moving. This is unconfirmed, of course.

10:43pm Eastern time.

Hope all Pavilion people are okay.

Jarod Hitchcock
Australia - Wednesday, August 1 2007 19:32:46

Excuse me Mr Ellison....
Mr. Ellison,

I wonder if I could trouble you for a moment or two to answer a couple of questions for me.

I am relatively new to your work but must say what I've read so far (Both fiction & Non Fiction) have been some of the most thought provoking and entertaining pieces of literature I’ve ever come across. You strike me as a man grounded by your own principles. Which in today’s world is an all too Rare & Special gift. (Most of us lack the courage of our convictions for you this doesn’t seem to be a problem)

Currently I am in the middle of reading "Again, Dangerous Visions" and find your Introductions a perfect primer for the story's themselves, giving me some wit, wisdom & insight into the authors behind them.
Now Back to My Questions

Is there any new work on the horizon I can look forward to?

Also do you still have the Jacek Yerka painting presented to you on The Tom Snyder show ? (It was a lovely piece and I'd like to think it takes pride of place in your home)

In summing up I’m writing this to try and convey to you what your work has meant to me, I’ve never written a fan letter or posted on the Internet until coming across your Work & Website. I don’t know what if anything that means exactly, but can safely say you are one of the few genuine heroes I’ve ever come across.

Trying Not to Sound Like a Sycophantic Nut

Jarod Hitchcock

Tony Ravenscroft
Far Northwest, MN - Wednesday, August 1 2007 18:41:2

At about 6:30 pm (CST) tonight, a big span of four-lane Highway 35-W in Minneapolis collapsed. It's the chunk overflying the Mississippi River between University Avenue & Washington Avenue.

I'm a little twitchy, as my kids are in the Cities (not to mention a couple hundred friends).

Weirdly, the Twins appear to be playing the Metrodome, which would be less than a quarter-mile away, & there's no mention yet.

Best wishes, lit incense, crossed fingers, etc., going out to Goldberg & Ross & any other Webderlanders in the area

Steve B
- Wednesday, August 1 2007 18:14:29

"Harlan Ellison prostitute 1958" to GOOD GIRL ART PROSTITUTE 1958."

And, frankly, I know which one *I'D* rather own.

(No 'fense intended)

- Wednesday, August 1 2007 17:58:29


Once again, folks, you've done me a solid.

The e.bay seller got the message and changed "Harlan Ellison prostitute 1958" to GOOD GIRL ART PROSTITUTE 1958.

All is calm once again. Wheew. And thankyeeeeewwwwhew!

Yr. Pal, Harlan

Greg Hurd
- Wednesday, August 1 2007 16:24:48

Marian Anderson
This looks like it: Marian Anderson: the Lincoln Memorial Concert Easter Sunday, 1939. http://www.mariananderson.org/site.htm has a contact point. Good Luck!!!

- Wednesday, August 1 2007 15:34:52

Inquiry Of A Different Color
The internet - at times - can be mercilessly lame in searches.

I once saw a PBS bio about the great contralto, Marian Anderson. They ran a piece of film from her famous 1939 performance in DC, Eleanor Roosevelt's invitation, and both the piece and her voice are one of the greatest things I'd ever heard in all my existence!

I very much WANT a recording - a cd - of that performance, if it's at all available. What I haven't been able to get clear from my search is, simply, the name of the piece and the composer. I think I saw a source credit Leonard Bernstein. WAS that a piece composed by Bernstein (not something that went further back?). Worse, another source referred to the piece as something nauseating like, "White House Sonota". Surely, a composition that profound would have a more aesthetically inclined title.

Anyway...if any of you (Harlan?) could help me with this, I'd really be grateful. A confirmation of the title and composer, and if Anderson's performance is available on cd. Amazon, etc, got kind of confusing and vague on this.

(Believe me, the emotional state I get into at times demands a need for her voice and the moments of ease I know it will bring in those moments. I need it for therapy as much as anything else)

Thanks in advance.

Steve Barber <barbergallery@verizon.net>
- Wednesday, August 1 2007 13:39:50

eBay Item

Harlan and Blue Monkeys

So that we do not have a pile-on, I have called and left a polite message at the seller's offices requesting a callback.

Squadron Administrative Assistant to the Second Level Assistant to the Tertiary Secretary Barber

Chris Seggerman <cseggerman@hotmail.com>
Phoenix, Arizona - Wednesday, August 1 2007 13:26:7


I add my condolences, and a memory:

If not for Tom Snyder, I probably would not have found out about Harlan Ellison. I had heard the name and read "A Boy And His Dog"-- seeking out the text after finding the graphic novel at the Glendale Public Library-- but had never seen the personality behind the words. I didn't know about any of the nonfiction works which have since enlightened and entertained, or any of the devastating short fiction. Somehow, I'd lived two decades with a hurricane registering as a faint pulse on my reading radar.

The interview changed that. I saw your zeal and dedication to your craft. I heard you answer a question from a caller about "Memos From Purgatory". I also heard you talk about fending off a private school from encroaching on the land your property either overlooks for the sake of a tennis court. Or perhaps they were actually trying to get some of YOUR land-- which, in the interview, you mention as a former haunt of Edgar Rice Burroughs. I saw all of this through the medium of television.

And the first time I saw you speak live, in person, I wanted to ask you how you'd fared against the private school, but heard you rail against the evils of television. So I had to pose the question in such a way that I would not admit to having glanced upon the sullied box. So I spoke, stammered, and clutched to a "like"-raft before being called on my resemblance to a Valley Girl. I didn't get too much further. You didn't have any idea what I was talking about. I still couldn't describe an alternative explanation for my question, so I finally just said "You were on Tom Snyder's show about this!"

Your eyes lit with recognition and the anecdote flowed.

So not I had two men to watch out for: Harlan Ellison and Tom Snyder. I watched his last broadcast in hopes of seeing you, and did, in a montage of famous guests.

Despite the perfectly justified brouhaha regarding the copyright of your reading from Mind Fields, it tickled me to see the video of Tom Snyder catching you absolutely STUNNED. My girlfriend Krista couldn't quite believe it-- perhaps because at the Nebulas you told me you'd had her auctioned off to some "swarthy gentlemen" and therefore had no shame-- but our lives are richer for witnessing Mr. Snyder's generosity and your reaction.

- Wednesday, August 1 2007 13:11:52


DAVID LOFTUS, STEVE BARBER, and all the rest of the Battalion not currently on shore leave in Samoa:

The e.bay dealer noted in David's post just below, is not really amusing to me. Would any of you as knows how to waft these electronic waves kindly get to said merchant, and advise him that use of my name in an unauthorized way, to sell something based on recognition of my name, is potential breach of a corporate property, as well as misue of a registered trademark, to wit, "Harlan Ellison." And if he/she wants to keep that e.bay item up, and sell it, he/she will have to reword the slug line HARLAN ELLISON PROSTITUTE 1958.

NOW, they must do it. If you would alert them that if it ain't gone by end of business today--LA time or NYC time--they'll get no more polite requests, they'll hear from one of my devil dogs.

Thank you.

Not amused, Yr. Pal, Harlan

Robert Ross <rbrross2937@yahoo.com>
Mpls., MN - Wednesday, August 1 2007 11:21:17

I too want to offer condolences to Harlan on the passing of Tom Snyder. I have fond memories of staying up to watch the Tomorrow Show many, many times when Harlan was a guest. Some people have chemistry; Harlan Ellison and Tom Snyder had a kind of alchemy that I haven't seen on any other TV talk show.

And I remember Tom Snyder's laugh. There was one time in the late '90s, with Dean Koontz as the guest, when a caller asked Mr. Koontz a question along the lines of, since you write scary fiction, you are scared of anything yourself, or do you have any phobias? With perfect deadpan delivery Dean Koontz said something like "I do suffer from Coleman-phobia. That's fear of the child actor Gary Coleman."

Tom Snyder laughed so hard at that I thought he might fall off his chair.

Also ... I hesitate to do this, but I will point out, there is an error in the post from Edmund Boys. Tom Snyder did present the painting to Harlan on the air, but the painting was not a gift from Snyder. The painting was a gift from Harlan's publisher at Morpheus International, James Cowan. I don't want to sound like a know-it-all, or diminish the memory of Tom Snyder in any way. With all the mis-information out there on the Web, I just want to try and keep the record straight here ...

Mark Goldberg <markabaddon@gmail.com>
Minneapolis, - Wednesday, August 1 2007 10:39:55

David, I was having a problem accessing the boards earlier also, but it seems to have corrected itself.

In doing some trolling around the web, looking for more details around a possible Gonzales impeachment hearing, I came across this information from TPM MUckraker:


The article itself is interesting, but the comments section is even more enlightening. In it, someone who posts anonymously goes into a great level of detail around whether or not this was an NSA or NSC sponsored program, details similarities to Iran-Contra, and describes a novel way in which Verizon (Barber may find this of interest) may figure into this case because of a linkage to the lost RNC emails.

Some in the blogosphere are speculating this could be a Deep Throat, or Deep Modem if you will, because of the level of detail this individual provides and the questions he raises

Steve B
- Wednesday, August 1 2007 10:28:54


Forums are back up. Rick was aware of the problem and has resolved it.

Darryl <----@no.com>
Bay area, California - Wednesday, August 1 2007 9:48:55

Tom Snyder
Belated condolences on the loss of your friend, Mr. Ellison.

There's a good tribute you may have missed in today's edition of the SF Chronicle. Weblink below, but if you can't find it, it's at sfgate.com, columnists, Tim Goodman, 8/01/07.



David Loftus <dloft59 (at) earthlink.net>
Portland, OR - Wednesday, August 1 2007 9:43:6


I'm not having any luck bringing up the Forums. Anybody else have this problem? Have they been disabled? Should we report it to Rick?

In the mean time, there's an item on eBay that's described as "Harlan Ellison Prostitute 1958." Once you see the cover, the description makes sense, but initially it's kind of startling/amusing:


Bret Bertholf <bretbertholf@earthlink.net>
Denver, CO - Wednesday, August 1 2007 8:22:33

Tom Snyder
Dear Harlan,

I would like to add my voice, belatedly, to the chorus of condolences. When I heard the news, like many of the people on the forum, I immediately thought of you and hoped you were comforted by the love and friendship of your immediate circle.

For the rest of you, I once posted how my mind was blown when Mr. Ellison mentioned that he was a friend of Shel Silverstein's. If you're looking for some comic relief from the daily bludgeon, I recommend "Playboy's Silverstein Around the World," just out from Simon & Schuster. Though I aspire each day to Take Life By the Balls, like our host, I also wouldn't mind occasionally tickling it there, like Shel. In fact, my aspiration for today is to Tickle Life By the Balls. I'll let you know how it works out. --Bret

Rob Ewen
Harrow, UK - Wednesday, August 1 2007 8:9:48

Tom Snyder
I was sorry to hear of Mr Snyder's passing. Although he was virtually unknown in the UK, many of his interviews have crossed the pond in one (unofficial) form or another. I'm told one website is posting some of his radio interviews even as I write this.

The most memorable interview I've seen involved Harlan and the Yerka painting, as mentioned below. Anybody who can leave Mr. E. speechless with a gift deserves our good thoughts!

Paul (the bro) and I send his family, and all who knew him, our condolences.

(On a personal note, I'd also like to post my condolences for Roderick Jones, a fine fellow community actor (he played Toby Belch to my Andrew Aguecheek some ten years ago), who sadly passed away last week following long-standing complications from Legionnaire's Disease. Your tread will be missed on our boards, sir.)

Rob E.

Mike Jacka
Phx, AZ - Wednesday, August 1 2007 7:8:21

This Sunday I called my dad to wish him a happy 73rd birthday. My mother replied that he couldn’t come to the phone because he was working on the gate. They own a nice piece of pine-covered land in Eastern Arizona, so it wasn’t just a yell out the window that I was on the phone. And this isn’t just a garden gate; this is large, old, wood gate on their main road. I called back later and told him I wasn’t sure that fixing gates was the way to spend a birthday. After explaining that it was a 15 minute job that wound up taking two hours (and knowing my dad, he was exaggerating its simplicity) he went on to say, “I’m just glad the good Lord has seen fit to make me able to keep on doing this at 73.”

Passings should also remind us of who is still with us. And, Harlan, since you are one of those either heading towards or just having left the gates of 73, I’d like to add that I’m glad the good Lord has seen fit to make you able to keep on doing what you do.

(My apologies if this all seems a bit maudlin – but it’s been the kind of week…)


- Wednesday, August 1 2007 6:38:40



Plot Summary: Yet another version of Curt Siodmak's novel about an honest but misguided scientologist (played by Tom Cruise) who keeps the brain of a clueless, uh I mean ruthless, dead billionaire alive in a tank. Paris manages to impose her powerful will on Cruise, and uses him to murder her enemies or at least scratch their eyes out.

‘Paris came in and owned it,’ says director Darren Lynn Bousman

The scenes where Tom takes on the physical mannerisms of Paris to act out her vengeance have already started Oscar talk.

Josh is going to hate himself for passing on this one...

Larry Forrest <idoubtabout@aol.com>
Tulsa, Oklahoma - Wednesday, August 1 2007 4:39:22

What If The Beatles Were Irish?
If you need to be cheered up (and who among us does not?) check out www.royzimmerman.com. The above question is humorously answered, and such songs as "Dick Cheney" and "Ted Haggard Is Completely Heterosexual" gave me more than a few laughs.

It's funny because it's true.

Kristin A Ruhle <kristin@rahul.net>
Los Gatos, CA - Tuesday, July 31 2007 22:20:8

Blame the wire service!
Daily Variety? Snyder's obit is the exact same in the San Jose Mercury News (where it is buried in the second section due to the same-day (roughly) death of former 49ers coach Bill Walsh, who led the team to three Superbowl victories in the 1980s). Anyway, the byline is Jason Dearen, Associated Press. Does Mr Dearen work for Daily Variety?

At least he gets more than a couple column inches. This being the San Francisco /San Jose area, however, Walsh got several pages in the front section not even counting the special pull-out tribute and the lead editorial. All people care about is football. Well, the 49ers actually *won* games back in Walsh's day...

Funny - Mr Walsh and Mr Snyder died of the same cause - leukemia - and at around the same age (early 70s).

Oh, and did anyone notice Ingmar Bergman also passed away, at the age of 89?


P.S. On a lighter note: Susan, you scared me into placing my order for ON THE ROAD Vol 3 with Deep Shag. (It is actually the three disc boxed set they have low stock of.) Well, it arrived yesterday and I had it in my CD player five minutes (oh, maybe ten - peeling the packaging off is a pain) later! Wow, some of the recordings are from Baycon! Ah, now I have it straight... those idiot fan gossips are off base ...they were saying things like "HE didn't get invited back to the 10th anniversary Baycon" when in fact the anniversary con (featuring past guests) was in 1992, the year BEFORE Harlan was there! I wish I could have jumped on them at the time, but I get years mixed up too...well anyway, the anecdotes on the album are priceless as usual.

P.P.S. NICE essay on visiting your parents' graves. Er. nineteen Centigrade in Ohio? Wasn't it Fahrenheit? Nineteen C would be more like a California winter. Well, my own aging parents complain about California winters too so maybe there's a point when you can't tell the difference?

Vincent <oddvincent@gmail.com>
Krebs, Oklahoma - Tuesday, July 31 2007 19:40:50

After reading the anecdote Harlan generously shared with us concerning Tom Snyder's rereading of "Jeffty is Five", it occurred to me that that's one of the (relatively) few stories that makes me cry despite the fact that I've always been something of a crybaby. (I'm ashamed to say that it isn't in my library at the moment. I've lost so many beloved books to moving mishaps, lending to unreliable friends and the like, but rest assured I will replace it.)

"Shatterday" also got me as did "Strange Wine" and I know if I weren't so worn out after a long day, I could think of a few others by Harlan because I'm pretty sure he has my other favorites beat in this department.

"One Hundred Years of Solitude" made me cry (and gasp) as did a couple of other Garcia Marquez stories. So did Rushdie's "The Satanic Verses". The last beautifully remorseful pages of "Lolita" got me as well. And again I know there are others, but relatively few considering how much I read.

I'd like to hear from anyone who'd like to tell, what writers, what stories make you cry. Out loud like. Not tear up, but really blubber in that I-hope-no-one-ever-sees-me-like-this-never-ever-sort of way.

Chris Thurlow <christopherleethurlow@yahoo.com>
Flagstaff, Arizona - Tuesday, July 31 2007 18:7:11

My condolences for the loss of your friend. Saying goodbye is never easy, but it is my sincerest hope that, in all other regards, you are healthy, happy and well.

Now to speak of happier things, I think you are a fantastic writer. Amazing talent and craftsmanship. As I read Web of the City I couldn’t help but think that in a perfect world, middle-schoolers would be reading this instead of The Outsiders (not to mention, if it were done right and faithfully, it would make a damn good film). I have been working my way through The Essential Ellison and loving every page. When I first discovered your work (I picked up the Voice from the Edge CD sets in a truck stop in the middle of nowhere on a lengthy road-trip…brilliant listening for midnight driving) I was hooked. When I couldn’t find your books in any of the three bookstores we have in town, a coworker kindly donated Alone Against Tomorrow to my hungry eyes and bookshelf.

As a painter, I find your work to be very inspirational. I spread the word of Ellison to anyone who will listen and quickly correct those who carelessly call you a “Sci-fi” writer. Speaking of, I was very surprised when I went to Barnes & Noble to buy Spider Kiss and found it in the “Sci-fi/Horror” section rather than the “Fiction” section, and yet Clive Barker is in “Fiction” and not “Sci-fi/Horror”…go figure! Anyway, I enjoy your work immensely and want to thank you for your visionary words and the hours of enjoyment they give me and countless others.

Dennis Coleman <Dcoleman9999@yahoo.com>
Glendale, CA - Tuesday, July 31 2007 16:4:59

Yeah, well, as Harlan probably knows well, DAILY VARIETY doesn't always get its facts straight.
Though I'm of the opinion that an incorrect mention is better than none...

Lori Koonce <purplelynn35@excite.com>
San Francisco, California - Tuesday, July 31 2007 15:55:50

Mr. Coleman

Irascible? Hell yes....

I'm more interested in the fact that of all the places Variety would have the nerve to call our host a Science Fiction writer.

How many years does the poor man have to make it known NOT to call him that before people start respecting his wishes?

Dennis Coleman <Dcoleman9999@yahoo.com>
Glendale, CA, USA - Tuesday, July 31 2007 15:51:24

Tom Snyder obit -- with Harlan mention
Hi everyone --
I'm new to posting here but I frequently check in and enjoy the conversations immensely.
Today's DAILY VARIETY has a lengthy obit on Tom Snyder with the line "... he was more likely to joust with guests such as the irascible science fiction writer Harlan Ellison."

john j. zeock <k33kong@aol.com>
conshohocken, pa - Tuesday, July 31 2007 14:39:28

Susan- received package and envelope. anytime,anyway i can be of service i'm here for you both. jz

Frank Church
- Tuesday, July 31 2007 13:42:59

My God Harlan, what a man Tom Snyder was. He could always get that sweetness out of you in those interviews. He could find the light on the windowsill and teach it to dance. He may be on that magic carpet, but below him there are many sad faces.

Jeff R.
San Diego, CA, - Tuesday, July 31 2007 12:4:8

Masters of Science Fiction
Dennis: Yes, the ABC series has been mentioned here a few times. You may or may not know the fourth and final entry in the teevee run (Aug. 25) adapts Harlan's "The Discarded." There were 6 episodes produced; the other two will be on a DVD set.

Dennis Thompson
- Tuesday, July 31 2007 11:36:47

I just noticed that "Masters of Science Fiction" premieres Saturday on ABC. I'm new around here, so I'm not sure if this a good or bad thing. That's the way I'm approaching this series, TV has a checkered past bringing Science Fiction to the idiot box, so I'll prepare for the worst, and watch with a critical eye.

Erik Nelson
Vancouver, - Tuesday, July 31 2007 11:20:55

The Hwd Reporter....
....does a nice on-line piece on Tom Snyder -- with an even nicer shout out to Our Lord and Master -- and this site!



Steve B
- Tuesday, July 31 2007 10:19:22



(It was the EQUAL. I know it was the EQUAL.)

Steve Barber <barbergallery@verizon.net>
- Tuesday, July 31 2007 10:18:9

Local Tribute to Snyder

Yesterday afternoon, local radio show host Marc Germain ("Mr. K", KTLK 1150) had as his guest reporter/author Kelly Lange. Many of you might know her better as the author of msyery novels, but here locally she is better known as a boradcaster, and she co-anchored KNBC's nightly newscast with Snyder back in the '70s.

The first hour of Germain's show was spent reminiscing with Lange about Snyder (the two had remained close friends after Snyder left the newscast), and asking for call-ins from the public about their own memories.

It is clear he touched so very many of us, all in different ways. KTLK/Marc Germain put together a very fitting tribute.

Lighthearted aside to SUSAN.

I have developed an almost phobic fear of EQUAL in my coffee. Thank you for that. I thought you ought to know.

Edmund Boys <emsboys@juno.com>
Greenville, SC - Tuesday, July 31 2007 9:9:19

I just heard the sad news of Tom Snyder's passing. Back in his CNBC days, I watched his wonderful call-in show regularly. I especially treasured the interviews he did with Harlan. They were a rare instance of genuine friendship and cameraderie in front of a TV camera. For me, the most memorable was when Harlan appeared to promote "Mind Fields", his collaboration with painter Jacek Yerka. Towards the end of the conversation, Tom asked Harlan which painting was his favorite and then, whether he would like to have it. Harlan averred that, of course, he would, but couldn't dream of affording it. Tom then presented the painting to Harlan, as his gift. Harlan was floored and, momentarily, speechless at such a generous gesture. It was a very special moment I felt privileged to have witnessed.

Jeff R.
Phila., Pa. - Tuesday, July 31 2007 5:22:3

Harlan, remember what else Tom said about Jeffty, on the air? Something like, "He's not really dead, you know. He's still alive. He lives." Right then and there I knew that the story meant as much to him as it did, and still does, to me and to who knows how many others.

I always like to remember that moment.

- Tuesday, July 31 2007 2:57:14

Just heard that Michelangelo Antonioni has passed away. Two giants of cinema gone within the same 24 hour period.

james argendeli
Lawrenceville, GA - Tuesday, July 31 2007 2:53:3

WHen I heard about the passing of Mr. Snyder, it just brought to focus how low the state of the television interviewing has become. Now instead of interviewing people who can put sentences together, television wants to talk to people about THEIR problems with drinking and driving and how life is not fair when you are a celebrity (why and how they have reached this status- I still do not get).

Sorry about the complaining. It is early and I have a day of listening to entertainiment reports about L. Lohan.

James Todd Haney <allazar@earthlink.net>
Catawba, NC - Tuesday, July 31 2007 2:21:55


Just saw the news about Tom Snyder. My heartfelt condolences, sir. The first time I ever saw you was during the inteview following your heart bypass work. The rapport the two of you presented went far beyond the talk show static model--you guys were pals havin' a good natter and let us all listen in.

Take care, sir.

Faisal A. Qureshi
Manchester, UK - Monday, July 30 2007 23:40:44

Hi Harlan,

Sorry to hear about the passing away of Tom Snyder. Steve Austin sent me a collection of your appearences on the show years ago and Tom struck me as a genuine nice guy. We need more people like that in the world. My condolences to you and his family.


Faisal A. Qureshi

Tad Dunten
Hines, OR - Monday, July 30 2007 22:33:43

Just popped in and found out about Tom Snyder's passing. Damn. Damn. Damn. I loved his voice, and his style on those rare times when the lizard brains at the networks would blink long enough for some bright guy/gal to seize the chance and wedge in a few precious minutes of intelligence among all the vast wasteland that passes for entertainment, decade after long decade.

Now I have one less thing to hope for.


I'm as sorry as hell for you; I know from reading your work over the years that you not only had a high regard for Mr. Snyder, but you were close to him. All I have are memories of his familiar, comfortable presence onscreen; you have the real thing to remember, and that's gonna hurt for a helluva long time.

Sorry as hell, and hope like hell it's a long time until you have to read an obituary of another friend.


TEXAS - Monday, July 30 2007 22:27:13

Oh Harlan,
I am so sorry about your friend.

- Monday, July 30 2007 21:58:18


I posted my comments about Snyder on the board, but most certainly wanted to convey my OWN condolences directly as well.

I saw you guys together on the show a bunch of times while I was growin' up. One thing that always struck me about Tom is that his eyes consistently projected a harmony of intelligence, kindness, and sensitivity; I mean ALWAYS, in every glance, regardless of the emotion in any particular moment, and never one of these traits without the other. He had a blunt interviewing style - giving him an air of candor I liked a lot - yet, he was a comforter in the shape of a human being.

In short, he always struck me as a damn nice guy.

(I still remember the one you guys did when Reagan was elected. Tom had admitted that he gave Reagan his vote, and you - as I sure as hell would have - went, "DID you? Don't touch me. Don't touch me." He laughed like hell, just as he did when you entertained him - along with us, God help me! - with your rendering of Morricone's theme from Good, Bad Und das Ugly)

The news this am caught me thoroughly off guard. 71, these days , is NOT that old (even though - as I went on about earlier - I can't believe to this day what happened to John Ritter; it's these congenital things that take some us early that freak ME out), and I'd always hoped Tom would pop up on tv again. (In fact, there was a time when I kept wondering why he wasn't even making appearances in places like Politically Incorrect; places I felt his input would have been very effective) I didn't know about his leukemia.

In closing, Harlan, I have to say I'm really, REALLY glad you have your wife so close to you; I imagine it helps you cope with these awful moments. Because we know how many friends you've been losing this way. I'm glad you have Susan. She's very clearly the most valuable asset you have - worth every pain you'd experienced in the long wait before meeting her.

...and I'm glad you and Tom had those times together.

Tom Galloway <tyg@panix.com>
Silicon Valley, - Monday, July 30 2007 21:54:9

Harlan, sympathy on the passing of Tom Snyder. I regularly watched Tomorrow back when I was 13-15 or so, and I think its key point was that unlike most every other talk show, I felt I actually learned something from Snyder's interviews of the varied folk who appeared as guests, instead of just hearing prepared anecdotes (which can be fun, but tend to be shallow in the depth department).

Re: "How do y'all like your beloved internet NOW? The smartest and wittiest of you is now EQUAL to the nastiest, snottiest, most ignorant, most prejudiced, least worthy of you."

One of these days I need to get around to writing up an essay on the history of the Internet and how its users went from possibly having the highest average intelligence of any communication medium to a regression to the mean or, in several cases, below same. For what became the Internet's first decade, access was limited to folk at significant Computer Science research centers, whether academic, commercial, or governmental...and these folk were sharp. But each time access to the Internet opened up to a greater degree, its average intelligence dropped. Hell, I'm part of that first "not quite up to the original class across the board" wave myself.

Jack Skillingstead
Seattle, WA - Monday, July 30 2007 20:56:47

Just ran across this piece about Tom Snyder that also mentions Harlan: http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=D8QN1E680&show_article=1

Apologies if someone else already linked to it.

shagin <smodell1995@yahoo.com>
Bremerton, Washington - Monday, July 30 2007 19:49:47

Mr. Ellison,

I am sorry to hear about your loss. May the pain of such passing ease, leaving the best of memories behind.


W. Owen Powell <ix92391@yahoo.com>
Bloomington, IN - Monday, July 30 2007 19:21:2

My condolences as well to our host for the loss of his friend Mr. Tom Snyder.

He was one of a kind, and we are not only much richer for having had him among us, but far, far poorer for having lost him. May he rest in peace.

Shane Shellenbarger <SharpTeethShane@gmail.com>
Phoenix, Arizona - Monday, July 30 2007 18:54:28

Tom Snyder Remembered
One of my earliest remembrances of Tom Snyder and Harlan was in an interview prior to Harlan's appearance as the Guest of Honor at IguanaCon II, held in Phoenix 30 August – 4 September 1978.
The chemistry between them was apparent at the beginning.
From that time on, I tried to catch Snyder's show whenever I could (I even set up a vcr at my mother's home because her cable service got CNBC when mine didn't), but I moved Heaven and Earth to watch these two friends have a conversation.

Snyder will be missed by many.

Brief history of the Tomorrow Show:

Mark Evanier on Tom Snyder:

Brian Siano
- Monday, July 30 2007 18:39:23

One more nice Tom Snyder memory
I posted soemthing about how much I enjkoyed the _Tomorrow_ show over on my blog, but this one just occurred to me.

One time in the 1970s, Snyder did a special show on mystery writers. His guests were two people I'd heard of, one I hadn't, and another whose name I did not know but whose work appealed to me. The ones I'd heard of were Mickey Spillane and Robert Bloch. The one I didn't know was Dilys Winn, who ran the mystery bookstore Murder Ink. The fourth guy was introduced as "the king of the caper," and when Snyder said that he'd written _The Hot Rock_-- and I loved the movie-- I made a note to remember this guy's name. Donald E. Westlake.

So while I probably would have found Westlake on my own later on, Tom Snyder helped me find him that much sooner.

Main thing I remember was an exchange between Bloch and Spillane about violence in their books. Spillane was, as you can guess, Mickey Spillane: rough, tough, and colorful as hell. Bloch sat back regally, and I _think_ he used a cigarette holder, which reminded me of the Penguin. Spillane said that once, he'd described a bullet hole looking like a period, but the curl of blood made it look like a comma.

And with lightning-like speed that _still_ takes my breath away, Bloch replied, amiably, "If you blew his stomach away you'd have a semi-colon."

Jason Michelitch <jasonmichelitch@gmail.com>
Astoria, NY - Monday, July 30 2007 17:49:32

Tom Snyder
Harlan, condolences on the loss of your friend.

I'm a little too young to have seen Snyder on first air. I've seen some taped segments, including one of yours. And I knew his name through mentions in your writing. If you can take any kind of consolation or pride in the fact that your writing is a tool through which Tom's name was made known to one of the next generation, please do.

Again, condolences, and thank you for sharing the anecdote about Snyder's intelligence and commitment to his profession.


Keith <k_mccrosky@sbcglobal.net>
Houston, Texas - Monday, July 30 2007 17:43:19


I'm sorry for your loss. You two were great together.

- Monday, July 30 2007 17:16:31


Thank you. All of you. Each of you.

Susan woke me with the news this morning.

It's eight hours later, and I think I should say something to you. And this is it:

There was this one time, I'm pretty sure it was 1980, and I was in New York to promote the publication of SHATTERDAY, and I was in the makeup chair in preparation for going on-camera, and I was under a sheet so no pancake would get on my shirt collar, and all at once the makeup lady stepped aside, behind me, and I was looking in the wall-to-wall mirror, looking at myself in the chair, and suddenly there was Tom, standing behind me. (It was, and still is, the practice of most tv talk show hosts not to pre-greet the guests of the evening with anything more than a perfunctory hello and I'll see you in a minute; they just don't mingle much, I suppose on the show-biz theory "Don't leave your best stuff in the Green Room.") Seeing him there behind me was startling. He laid his hands on my shoulders, and I saw tears in his eyes. He was crying. "Geezus, Tom, what the hell's wrong? Something happen?"

He said, "I just re-read 'Jeffty is Five,' and every time it just wipes me out," and he leaned down and kissed the top of my head; and he left the room, and when we did the show he was my old friend again.

In all the years I've been doing television, radio, DVD extras, and internet interviews, from Larry King to Merv Griffin to Joe Pyne and all John Nebels, Jessica Savitches and Studs Terkels in-between, the ONLY interviewer who ever read the book of the interviewee--not the stooge-supplied precis--or the publisher blurb packet--but the BOOK, and usually ALL of the book ... was

Tom Snyder.

What he said to me was, he had "re-read" Jeffty. Not JUST read it, but had re-read it from its magazine publication.

Thank you again. But oh how I miss him.


Charles H. Bryan <c_bryan_98@yahoo.com>
Gladwin, MI - Monday, July 30 2007 16:55:26

I've always had happy memories of watching Tom Snyder. I'm old enough to know the simple pleasure of staying up late on school nights and enjoying the way TS spoke right through that camera to the viewers, those great big fingers pointing right at us.

There were in-jokes, running comments, knowing asides -- all of the things that made one feel like one of the gang and that rewarded repeated viewing. He didn't let his show become pigeon-holed; he was funny or serious when he wanted to be. Guests didn't have to be celebrities. He truly seemed to be able to interview anyone without losing his own persona.

I remember hunting for AM stations that carried his radio show, and then catching up with him when he started his CNBC program (frequently featuring the disembodied head of Janice Lieberman). And I went through videotape like it was tap water when he went to CBS to follow Letterman.

It was obvious that he saw broadcasting as his calling, and that he loved it.

So I think this weekend, I'm going to root around in the video vault, drag out a tape ot two, hope the damn things still work,fire up a colortini, and watch the pictures, even if they don't fly through the air.

I hope knew how many fans he had. Thanks, Tom.

Jarod Hitchcock
Australia - Monday, July 30 2007 16:50:38

Vale - Tom Snyder & Ingmar Bergman
Mr Ellison

I to join the chorus in offering my sympathy to you on the loss of Tom Snyder, Anyone who has seen your conversations with him could tell that there was a genuine rapport between the two of you & that you clearly enjoyed each other company, which as a viewer made them a joy to watch.

I wonder if you would be so kind, when you feel the time is right regale us all with a view tales of you time with Tom Snyder.

So let us all drink a quiet ale to the memory of Tom Snyder (probably the most intelligent broadcaster of the last 30 years) & Ingmar Bergman (one of the truce genius of cinema)

With Respect & Sympathy
Jarod Hitchcock

Kristin Ruhle <kristin@rahul.net>
Los Gatos, CA - Monday, July 30 2007 15:36:50

Tom Snyder R.I.P...
Heard it on this morning's radio news (it was after presstime at the newspaper apparently.) I'm sorry, Harlan - I immediately thought of you, although I'm a little too young to have stayed up that late when you were on Snyder's original show!


Jessi Lee <j_polypi@hotmail.com>
Idaho - Monday, July 30 2007 15:9:58

First off my condolences on the loss of your friend. I hope it is not out of place to answer your previous questions at this time.

I don't know much about Idaho as I've only lived here a year. I am a day trip away from Yellowstone National Park and Grand Teton National Park as well as fantastic camping in central Idaho. It's warm in the summer, cold in the winter, and they like their Lewis & Clark up here. It is fiercely conservative and I find myself butting heads with the locals more often than not, but I find myself butting heads with the locals wherever I may be.

As for how I make my living: no, it's not prying. I am fortunate enough to be able to do something I like which is working at the local library. Someday, however, I might use the degree I worked for which is Mining Engineering (preferably in the field of mine reclamation and related waters cleanup). For now though I like not working myself to pieces as an engineer and will happily spend my days with the books.

Bill Gauthier
New Bedford, MA - Monday, July 30 2007 14:30:58

Tom Snyder
I was very saddened when I read the news. The segment that's on YouTube and had been the source of so much chit-chat this weekend was what turned me on to Harlan's writing back when it first aired. I wasn't even 20 yet. I've missed Mr. Snyder's show (and his guests) since it went off the air.

My condolences go out to you, Harlan.


john j zeock <k33kong@aol.com>
conshohocken, pa - Monday, July 30 2007 13:52:22

those of us who are of an age remember Tom at the old eyewitness news and the talk show he had. it's not just a remark on his height to say he was a giant. once there was a place called the night where names like shepherd, nebel and hodel lived to take us by the hand and lead us to wonderful places. one by one ,they left and no one thought to keep the door open. and now Tom is gone. once there was the night and now there's only the dark.

Lori Koonce <purplelynn35@excite.com>
San Francisco, California - Monday, July 30 2007 13:43:19

At times like this words escape me.

May the many pleasant moments the two of you shared bouy you through the tough times ahead.

BTW, while I'm thinking about it, can any one tell me why Mr Snyder died in San Francisco, I always thought he was a NYC guy?


E. Feldman <efeldman2005@yahoo.com>
LA/Houston, CA/TX - Monday, July 30 2007 13:21:38

Tom Snyder
My sincerest condolences on the loss of your long time friend. I know how much you enjoyed each other (and how much I enjoyed watching).

Jeff R.
Phila, - Monday, July 30 2007 12:49:5

Tom Snyder, R. I. P.
Oh, God. I remember watching you, Harlan, on TOMORROW back in the 1970s, with the sound turned down so as not to wake up my grandparents, who would have made me shut the show off with "You've got to go to school tomorrow!" I loved your appearances on Mr. Snyder's show back then, and, later, in the 1990s,when I never knew when you might be popping up, since TV GUIDE no longer listed the guests each night. The fondness, the warmth, the two of you had for each other was palpable. You two were responsible for some of the best television of my life, and I share your feelings of sadness and loss.

Alan Coil <lcoil@peoplepc.com>
Southeast Michigan - Monday, July 30 2007 11:54:34

Tom Snyder
I feel as if I've lost a Dear Uncle.
From Mark Evanier:


John P
- Monday, July 30 2007 11:0:36

sorry. "than" = "that"

John Pacer
- Monday, July 30 2007 10:59:49

My condolences to the passing of Tom Snyder. I used to love watching Harlan's appearances on the Late Late Show. As others have noted, there was a genuine friendship between Harlan and Tom than one could see on the screen.

The Seventh Seal is the only Ingmar Bergman film I've seen, but it's a true jewel. It is a sad day.


- Monday, July 30 2007 10:48:30

Why isn't there any Library of America edition of the collected works of Ambrose Bierce? They put out a collection of H.P Lovecraft stories but no Bierce? That's strange.

Honolulu, HI - Monday, July 30 2007 10:35:12

My condolences on the loss of your friend Tom Snyder. His interviews with you were a joy to watch. What a great guy.

Alas for losing Bergman-what a magnificent body of work he left behind.

Brandon Butler <brandonbutler77@gmail.com>
Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada - Monday, July 30 2007 10:20:55

Tom Snyder
I read recently the passing of Tom Snyder and immediately came over here. Unfortunately I never watched any of his interviews during the time that they were broadcast.

Although, I have to say, this has to be one of those strange cooincidences of fate: I came across some Snyder interviews with Harlan Ellison early this month on, yes, YouTube: although I don't think it was the same clips that have become notorious here -- this was a 1976 show concerning Star Trek with Harlan only in the latter half and he did no readings -- in any case because of those videos I recognized the name, came here and lo and behold, apparently the days prior to his death he was at least associated with the topic of much discussion.

In any case, if any of you haven't seen these videos, I at least think they're worth watching -- Mr. Ellison's reading aside of course (which depending on the year may have been broadcast prior to the VHS market let alone the internet, as he noted) -- you might want to go have a glance. I had to laugh at one point where DeForest Kelley freely admits he's starting to get tired of the whole fan convention situation... this in 1976!

Dennis Thompson
- Monday, July 30 2007 10:4:22

My condolences to the friends, family and fans of Tom Snyder.
I count myself as one of the latter. I was privileged to view all the variations of his show, and was informed and entertained.
Great guests, and ones you wouldn't see elsewhere on the idiot box.
Truly a great loss.

Brian Siano
- Monday, July 30 2007 9:52:34

I'm ignorant of Bergman's work, sad to say. (I know of it, I know the famous scenes, but I've never watched any of his movies.) But Tom Snyder's passing is, well, pretty damn sad. I used to love staying up late on school nights because anyone Snyder had on his show was going to be _far_ more interesting and enlightening than anything I'd be sleeping through the next day. A show where the guest could be Meat Loaf or Buckminster Fuller, John Lennon or Ayn Rand, special effects men like Douglas Trumbull and Linwood Dunn, an hour-long chat with Ray Bradbury...

One reason I didn't watch Letterman for years was because I knew what his show had replaced.

Larry Forrest <idoubtabout@aol.com>
Tulsa, Oklahoma - Monday, July 30 2007 9:43:22

Death has a way of jogging our memories.

When I heard of the passing of Tom Snyder, I immediately recalled his interviews with Harlan, which were among the most amusing and enlightening I've ever seen; also, his interview with John Lennon, which has to number among one of the better the latter ever gave; and yes, the parody of Snyder by Dan Ackroyd, which was funny without being meanspirited. Snyder not only had the ability to make us laugh, but to laugh at himself. He'll be missed.

My condolences, Harlan.

The first Ingmar Bergman film I ever saw was THE SEVENTH SEAL. Both bleak and hopeful, it made a lasting impression on me. Bergman finally lost his chess game with the Grim Reaper, but, as is the case with all great artists, he achieved a share of immortality with his art. And that is no small thing.

Jon C. Manzo <Voiceodoom@aol.com>
Middleton, WI - Monday, July 30 2007 9:35:8

Tom Snyder
Back in December 1997, I was working on a convention called Mad Media 5, set to run in summer 1998. We had extended an invitation to Harlan to be our GOH, but had not heard anything. A few days before Christmas, I received a very unexpected phone call; Harlan calling to find out what Mad Media 5 was and to decide if he would come on out for it. It was the first time that I had ever spoken with Harlan at any length; he had me laughing, he told me all about the CBLDF (of which I have remained a card-carrying member since), he asked solid questions about the con, and we had a tentative agreement in place before the phone had been hung up. Added to that, he called up another one of our invitees and convinced him to come as well, which was confirmed by telephone before the evening was done. It had been a very good day.

The above is a lengthy preamble to what is really a remembrance of Tom Snyder. Because later that very evening, as I settled in to watch Tom Snyder (as I often did), who should be sitting across from him but Harlan Ellison. I quickly popped the VCR on and taped the show (still have it), which was terrific.

I loved watching Tom Snyder. Unlike so many of the talk show hosts, he never seemed as if he was looking for the next punchline (cough **Leno** cough), he was just looking to have a good conversation. There was no studio audience to mug for, so he engaged with his guests and the callers. He never took cheap shots, and he always seemed genuinely interested in what his guests had to say. I loved the fact that Harlan was one of his regular guests, and that so many of his guests weren't the flavor-of-the-month, they were just interesting people. I haven't watched much of the late night talk shows since he left the airwaves. He will be missed.

Harlan, I know he was a friend of yours; please accept my condolences on your loss.

Jon C. Manzo

Greg Hurd
Sunrise Side, MI - Monday, July 30 2007 9:30:44

I find it funny that Dennis seems to think $$ are related to worth. Poe died broke, Jefferson died in hock and there are hundreds of other examples." F911" was supressed and opened to less than 200 screens nationwide, I would imagine "Sicko" got the same fate. Paris Hilton is worth millions, but up close you can hear the slight whistle as the breeze blows through her ears. And there are hundreds of examples like that. Dollars do not relate to worth.

And as a segue I am sorry to hear about Tom Snyder's passing. Though he was put on NBC's back porch as far as scheduling it was a treat to catch him in action and well worth the sleep lost in the process. "Fire up a colortini, sit back, relax, and watch the pictures, now, as they fly through the air." You fought the good fight!

Vincent <oddvincent@gmail.com>
Krebs, Oklahoma - Monday, July 30 2007 9:27:24

Tom Snyder
My condolences also.

Your appearances on Snyder's shows are priceless, every one of them. I certainly didn't always agree with some of the things Tom Snyder said or laugh at some of the jokes he made, but he was always a delight to watch for many reasons -- most of all because he's one of the few television interviewers I can recall who came across as genuine and just downright human as opposed to a mannequin, a talking head or a multi-media cyborg composed largely of glass and silicon chips.

I'm sorry he's gone.

Kevin Avery <chidder@optonline.net>
Brooklyn, New York - Monday, July 30 2007 9:8:1

Tom Snyder (1936-2007)
Harlan, please allow me to add my condolences. One need only have seen any of your many apperances with Tom Snyder to recognize your love and friendship for the man.

Many years ago (1980ish) in Salt Lake City, when you appeared at the Utah/US Film & Video Festival (which morphed into what we now know as Sundance), I happened to be within earshot when you were approached by a young man with long hair who commented on one of your TOMORROW SHOW appearances. "Man," he said, "you really put Tom Snyder in his place!" You looked at him incredulously, but politely informed him: "Tom's okay. Tom's a good guy. Tom's my friend."

That's what leapt to mind this morning when my wife called with the bad news: that Tom Snyder always came across as a good guy and a friend.

My thoughts are with you.

(I've posted more about TS at my blog: http://chidder.livejournal.com/35064.html)

- Monday, July 30 2007 8:50:3

Now that Slicko Moore's Sicko has tanked at the box office(21 mill as of the week-end)perhaps he should have tried to generate some controversy by naming the documentary "Medicine for Melancholy" instead without asking you know who first!

debbie <yerkesd@gwm.sc.edu>
columbia, sc - Monday, July 30 2007 8:45:24

Tom Synder
Mr. Ellison,

Condolences on the loss of your friend.


Steve Barber <barbergallery@verizon.net>
- Monday, July 30 2007 8:17:56

HARLAN - I sincerely hope you were notified of this before coming to the Pavilion, and that this is not the first word you're getting.

Our most sincere condolences.

Cris and Steve

Marc <wyntre_2000@yahoo.com>
Exeter, NH - Monday, July 30 2007 7:45:37

RE: Tom Snyder passing
One of the best hours of my life was spent back in 1995/96 when you appeared on Tom's show - right around the time Dream Corridor was being published by Dark Horse. Rarely have I ever seen two people enjoy each others' company the way you two did.

Harlan, I am truly sorry for your loss.

- Monday, July 30 2007 7:19:18

On the loss of Tom Snyder
Simply want to add my condolences to the list. Sorry, Harlan...pity how certain faces are only recalled by minor storms not of their making...

Adam-Troy Castro <adamcastro999@yahoo.com>
- Monday, July 30 2007 7:5:40

Two Greats
We have lost two greats, last twenty-four hours; I am sorry that I need to report to Harlan (if he doesn't know) that one of the two is a good friend.

Ingmar Bergman, 89; Tom Snyder, 71.

My condolences, Harlan.

Tony Adams
Indianapolis, - Monday, July 30 2007 4:57:9

Snyder and Bergman
This is just too much today.

Alex Jay Berman <alexjay@earthlink.net>
Philadelphia, - Monday, July 30 2007 2:25:41

In Defense of the Internet
HARLAN: I make no excuse and offer no defense for the yipyops hitting you with their little tautologies and apagogical arguments.

But there is much to be said for the Internet as a whole--yes; even including the furries, the thieves, the Nigerian e-mail scams, and the Freepers.

Because of the Internet, I can add to my library of music via my subscription to Napster, and ensure that the artists are getting paid for my downloading.

Because of the Internet, I have made the acquaintance of Messrs. Siano, Smith, and others on this board--and those acquaintanceships have become treasured friendships.
Even more, because of the internet, I am able to claim friendship with the great lady who writes under the name Alma Alexander--such friendship beginning when we were almost 9,000 miles away; a friendship which began on a newsgroup, moving through e-mails, internet chats, phone calls, letters, and which didn't actually culminate in a physical meeting until three or four years in. (It should be pointed out that Ms. "Alexander", now living in America, also met her husband through the same newsgroup.)

Because of the Internet, I am introduced on a regular basis to authors whose work I never would have found in my local bookstores, libraries, or friends' bookshelves.

Because of the Internet, I was able to sell my first published essay (the editor, you may be tickled to know, was Paul T. Riddell, he of the Green Lantern ring).

Because of the Internet, I am able to keep regular contact with my sister living in Europe, without worrying about proper postage or telephone bills.

Because of the Internet, I am able to do research for both my writing and for my work which would take me months hunting through various libraries in a day.

Because of the internet, I am able to trade bon mots with creators such as Peter David, James A. Owen, Mary Gentle, Kage Baker, Charles Stross, John Scalzi, Laura Martin, and many more--including this fella out in Sherman oaks you may have heard of. Even when a creator is not able or willing to engage in regular discourse with his or her adherents, I can still dash off a note--which, in many cases, is read and appreciated by the creator. (I am much comforted by the fact that Julie Schwartz was given a copy of a review of his autobiography which I had sold before he passed.)

And, in the final estimation ... the Internet has gotten me laid.

So, y'know, it ain't all bad. Even if the most extreme iteration of Sturgeon's Law is applied, that five or ten percent of utter good makes up for all the dreck out there.

(I wrote a long diatribe against those railing against the depredations of The Man, but erased it; though "to live is to war with trolls," we sometimes just have to walk past the bridge without comment, smacking them down only when they rear up their ugly heads to bite us.)

Los Angeles, CA - Sunday, July 29 2007 22:42:48

Well if there's anything the Youtube fiasco has taught us, it's that then or now, The Man rocks a good red shirt.


- Sunday, July 29 2007 22:40:49


AN AFTERTHOUGHT. Just pure curiosity. No sub rosa. No undercurrent.

Idaho is one of the few states I don't know intimately. What's it like in your corner? And if I'm not prying, how do you make your living?

Purely just wonderin', Yr. Pal, Harlan

- Sunday, July 29 2007 22:8:36


Miz Jessi, Ma'am:

You need never be afraid to ask me a direct question. I always answer as best I can. Such as:

Don't go beyond the parameters of my comment. No slur was being cast against ANY self-employed person. Quite the opposite. I consider having given up the security of a regular paycheck for a living-wage life lived on the edge, the best opt I ever opted for. It takes courage to want to be your own boss, to bear total responsibility for your life. But, as the great wit S.J. Perelman said: "The muse is a tough buck." The guy-behind-the-Marcus mask, apart from using every tedious forensic debate diversion from modus ponens to reductio ad absurdum, tried to discredit my remarks by discrediting me . . . that I ain't blue-collar enough, though I've been earning my own living since age thirteen. I'm "well-off" enough that justice and fairness and being mugged is something I have no right to want in the formers, and nothing to which I've the right to bitch about, in the latter. Pure looney diversionary bullshit, to be sure, but not even a particularly good "oh look! a pony!" diversion. Even so... I tried to counter his sleight-of-thought by pointing out that though, yes, there ARE writers like Stephen King and J.K. Rowling and Tom Clancy and Danielle Steele (two of whom are old acquaintances), who may or may not be very well-off, which has nothing to do with the sane portions of this exordium, MOST writers--myself and Adam-Troy Castro and the few thousand others who make their daily bread from WRITING ALONE--no sinecures at Universities or tech-writing gigs or advertising or plumbing or ditch-digging, which usually pay a better, steadier income--all of them, and me too included, literally live from day to day, like Willy Loman "out there on a smile and a shoeshine," and it gets harder every day as the internet gobbles up more, as bookstores fail, as decent- paying magazines like Playboy no longer buy fiction, as magazines like Saturday Evening Post and Collier's vanish, as getting into tv and movies becomes nigh impossible if you're old enough to remember, say, the first POSEIDEN ADVENTURE.

M tried to divert your attention, and I sought to point out that MOST people work for corporations, or companies, or the city, or the state, or the military, or the federal government, or pharmaceutical manufacturers, or farming consortia, or fast-food chains, or transportation systems, or union-protected jobs on the docks or high steel, or...or...or...

But the self-employed, the freelancers, the men and women who just WORK ay after day making their way as best they can, well, Jessi Lee, they never know a day in which they don't have to worry about getting the rent or mortgage money up, getting enough scratch to keep the family fed and clothed and money for a hot school lunch. A smile and a shoeshine, Miz Jessi.

Yes, we never know the knout of a wretched boss, we are the Captains of our ships, the Masters of our fates, we are "self-made," and that looks great from the other side. But we know a kind and a degree of uncertainty, fatalism, and stiff spine that no one who hasn't walked that tightrope over the abyss can know.

If I sound as if I'm ennobling, even praising over others, the men and women who go it alone, well, perhaps I am. I've spent almost all of my life with such people. My Dad worked for "The Man," even though this particular man was my uncle; and I saw my father worked, literally, to death.

I'm too close to this subject to be "fair" or "even-handed" about it. But I assure you the praise of one does not compute with the denigration of any other.

Respectfully, Harlan Ellison

Jarod Hitchcock
Australia - Sunday, July 29 2007 22:4:1

The Wonders of Webderland
Wow you guys love your intellectual discourse don't you, I mean hasn't anyone told you the internet is here to discuss "important things" like what wonder women wears under her Lycra or when did William Shatner start to wear his hairpiece (second season if you ask me).

But not you lot, being a fan of Ellison I stumble on to these boards not only to find intelligent conversation but the man himself, talking about anything & everything a person with half a brain (that’s me) could want. In the words of those who came before me "wacky do"

I look forward to joining in the not to distant future

With Respect & Admiration
Jarod Hitchcock

Tim K
Vancouver, WA, - Sunday, July 29 2007 21:34:29

What an intriguing discussion we've seen this weekend. It began with the YOUTUBE posting, and ended with an on-the-money query about the self-employed. I tip my hat to you all.

Stuck in the middle was Tom Snyder and the TOMORROW program. Because of that show -- perhaps twenty-five or thirty years ago -- I had my first encounter with Ellison. Harlan made a comment about Martin Luther and the uplifting benefits of a good bowel movement that left Snyder gasping; he grabbed me by the collar and I've been a fan ever since.

Again, my thanks to you all.

Jessi Lee <j_polypi@hotmail.com>
Idaho - Sunday, July 29 2007 19:37:37

Clarification please
Mr. Ellison,

Would you please clarify your statements made today in response to Marcus Garvey: “Unless you have been a self-employed creator of Art (upper or lowercase, as you choose), you cannot know what insecurity, hard-work and persistence can be. My annuity, my legacy, my salary, my buffer against Old Age, Infirmity, Poverty...is my work. That's all of it. Just my work. The operative word is MY. That which belongs to me.” posted on Sunday, July 29 2007 14:22:57"

I am greatly disturbed by the idea that only “a self-employed creator of Art” can understand “what insecurity, hard-work and persistence can be”. I asked in the other forum for someone else to give me a different perspective on what you said and Steve Barber kindly replied with some extra context that I didn't think of right away. He also suggested I ask you directly if you would expand that thought. (But, I admit, I'm scared to do so.) My gut reaction to the initial statement made me feel like you were discrediting other types of self-employed hard working folks and that just didn't seem like you based on the other things of yours that I've read.



Zack Malatesta <water_train@hotmail.com>
- Sunday, July 29 2007 18:54:12

A Comment or Four...
On threats:
What can I say? It's in my blood to react violently to things that I find threatening, but I promise to restrain myself to the best of my ability.

On the yahoos:
Don't you just love the Internet? It lets people be themselves without getting slapped across the face for it. It is truly the triumph of Western Civilization. Dammit.

On bisonburgers:
Have you ever had one of those things? They are awe-inspiring. I think we should try to breed more bison (on a cattle level) and send that meat to me and India. A lot of people over there can't eat beef, but bison isn't beef, and you know that they would be crazy for the bison over there. You could finally get a burger in Bombay without insulting anybody! Nobody steal this idea from me!

And on comic-book seller guys:
Ha! I never would have become a fan of Mr. Ellison if the guy behind the counter hadn't tricked my poor, unwitting mother into buying *The Essential Ellison* for her young, sf-loving son as a gift on a holiday past. I remember my first impression being something along the lines of “That's a damn thick book!” Just goes to show you that some of these people recognize good work.

Steve Barber <barbergallery@verizon.net>
- Sunday, July 29 2007 18:25:13

Not that I need to add to the Marcus terpsichorical chaos, but...

"You have the right to ask something, but if someone in the masses says no, you do not have the ethical right to clobber that person with a legal mallet if its a minuscle infraction."

Um. Actually. Wrong. Completely, horribly and unsocially. The person who erred in the first place is the ethical problem, not the one who enforces their right of property. It's the fool who suggests otherwise who is a blight upon "the masses" -- "masses" who themselves usually follow the rule of law.

"You are not that bad off. You live well. The courts are not a weapon for the well off and famous."

Huh? You ... gotta be kidding. Harlan ain't using them that way, but ... well, you gotta be kidding.

(And what does this have to do with the price of rice in China?)

(I suspect you're the same person making these arguments under a different pseudonym over on the boards, but I'll repeat myself just for giggles.)

The relative poverty of a person making a legal claim to their own property has nothing whatever to do with it. If the New York Times prints a copy of Josh's script, or Adam-Troy's story, or my photograph without permission -- or posts an NBC copyrighted late-night television show like, oh, The Tom Snyder Show to their website -- then they deserve to be challenged. If it's a kid with a high-speed modem it's the exact same thing. One is not more right than the other -- that makes no sense.

"The laws you want to use were design by true "robber barons" - conservative business tycoons. That's the compnay you want to keep, fine. I just don't get it. Nor do i think its a philosophy worth praising."

"Robber barons"???


(Please do some research.)

Civil courtesy was not created to help "robber barons". Civil courtesy has been handed down through millenia as a way to keep us apes from beating each other senseless for a bisonburger.

However Copyright Laws -- those things that protect the artist from theft of their work -- were passed by legislatures and the Congress to protect the little guys and the big guys alike.

The internet -- and, trust me, I know quite a bit more about it than you do, both legally and structurally -- is not without its laws. You know as well as I that posting illegal material is frowned upon by Youtube. They just spent many millions of dollars having their legal ass handed to them by the film, television and music companies.

Harlan asked the person who posted it to take it down. The next step would have been to ask Youtube to take it down. Youtube would've been a great deal less understanding with David -- who did the right thing, BTW -- than Harlan was.

This is not Sherwood Forest, and stealing from a moderately well-off writer is not the same as Robin Hood -- it's thuggery, petty theft and shoplifting. Anyone who invisions it as anything grander is deluding themselves as to how the world of the internet (or copyright laws) (or civil courtesy) works.

Oh. And.

ELVIS PRESLEY (well, his estate)

and, as noted, many others.

- Sunday, July 29 2007 18:11:43

For those unfamiliar w/ Castro's work, the fact that he has been nominated for Hugo, Nebula and Stoker awards might place his comments below in some perspective. Not just a journeyman writer.

Derek Anderson <djande@gmail.com>
White Bear Lake, MN - Sunday, July 29 2007 17:48:42

Affirmations all around!
Conversations like the ones happening here over the last few weeks are the reason I love this board.

Keep it up, Webderlanders!


Adam-Troy Castro <adamcastro999@yahoo.com>
- Sunday, July 29 2007 17:44:35

I Should Not, But Must
Adding a postscript to an Ellisonian explanation risks effrontery as well as redundancy, but I feel there is one aspect to this exchange that Harlan did not think of addressing, even though he has addressed similar concerns in the past.

To wit: as one of his arguments urging Harlan to just let unauthorized usage of his work pass, Marcus wrote, "You are not that bad off. You live well."

Yes, he does live well. I know it's not without struggle, even now, but, yes, he does live well. Yay, him.

What about those of us who don't?

What about those of us who DON'T have his legal resources?

When somebody rips off Harlan's work, and he tells them to cease and desist, and they defy him, and he gives them a warning, and they STILL defy him, and he THEN lets them have both legal barrels...he is helping himself, of course, but he is also creating precedents that help those of us who don't have legal sharks on retainer.

My wake in the field of imaginative literature may be a carp's, rather than Harlan's Orca, but I have still been ripped off on the internet, multiple times, and I have, each time, found getting the perpetrators to cease and desist MUCH easier because I was able to reference the fights Harlan has won. MY legal counsel was able to coast on Harlan's tire tracks. And because of that, I was better able to afford the bills in the relative hovel where *I* live.

Multiply my experience by dozens, hundreds, of others who have ALSO been ripped off, and been aided by Harlan's experience.

Oh, and one other thing: that comic-store guy who knows Harlan as the crazy old guy who sues everyone? I can only ask, how many actual books can he discuss with knowledge and authority? If less than five...why is his opinion of any writer decisive, in any way?

Larry Forrest <idoubtabout@aol.com>
Tulsa, Oklahoma - Sunday, July 29 2007 17:42:57

After all the brouhaha about YouTube, I just had to investigate. In the video "Harlan Ellison Mind Fields Part 3," Harlan makes a comment that is more relevant today than it was then.

When a caller to Tom Snyder's show mentions that he belongs to a "computer service," Harlan replies:

"It's not that I don't like computer services. What I don't like are the harebrained idiots who get on these computer bulletin boards and spend all night long bad-mouthing people with impunity, spreading gossip and doing ugliness ... Everyday I have friends who call me and they say, 'You should see what was said on Genie last night, what was said on Prodigy last night'--and I say, 'I don't want to know, I don't want to know. These people are spring-loaded vomit. That's all they are.'"

"Spring-loaded vomit." Now THAT'S funny! (And accurate.)

By the way, the REAL Marcus Garvey said, "Do not remove the kinks from your hair--remove them from your mind." While I do not know the status of the hair of our recent--and rude--correspondents, I feel confident in saying that they should heed the above advice and get to work on those mental kinks, as they are obviously afflicted with an overabundance of such.

- Sunday, July 29 2007 16:34:48

...AND Hitchcock
...AND Mick Jagger
...AND Michael Jackson
...AND The Beatles
...AND Stephen King
...AND Boris Karloff
...AND Asimov
...AND Louie Armstrong
...AND Mel Brooks
...AND Mark Twain
...AND Orson Welles
...AND Wes Craven
...AND Marilyn Monroe
...AND Andy Warhol
...AND Picasso
...AND Ray Bradbury
...................and, indeed, you'll find, somewhere in the millions, the trade name of Harlan Ellison.

When the stupid fucks come over here - I tell's ya - it's like harvest day in the Tontine.

Pogue <cepogue@roadrunner.com>
Georgetown, Kentucky - Sunday, July 29 2007 16:8:38

As the Duke once said to Susie Hayward:
Harlan, "you are beautiful in thy wrath."

Protect what's yours, baby, and decimate the numbnuts who just don't get it. Guess they've never had anything stolen from them.

Yr Pal,


Josh Olson
- Sunday, July 29 2007 15:59:2

To "Marcus Garvey,"

"You live in a white and black world"

Sir, are you aware that racism is a horrific plague on humanity, that many have died its victims, and that by stealing the name of a civil rights luminary AND altering a well known saying so that black ends up in a subservient position to white you are trivializing the suffering and loss of literally millions of good men and women? All in the service of parsing someone's comments online in search of an excuse to express phony righteous indignation?

Shame on you, sir. Would you be so cavalier in the face of a victim of racism? I think not.


- Sunday, July 29 2007 15:24:25

Serves me right. That's what I get for trying to be civil, and trying to educate with logic and truth, those who are deified with even a worm existence on this egalitarian abattoir called the internet.

To quote the great social critics and philosophers Will and Ariel Durant: "Freedom and equality are sworn and mutual enemies. And where one prevails, the other perishes."

How do y'all like your beloved internet NOW? The smartest and wittiest of you is now EQUAL to the nastiest, snottiest, most ignorant, most prejudiced, least worthy of you.


- Sunday, July 29 2007 15:10:50

YO you asshole:

How about


and me, you poor stupid out-in-the-dark ultra-maroon

you ignoramus.

You non-registered, non-trademarkable Nobody representing Nothing Nohow Noway Never.

Ooops, how un-egalitarian of me. How Elitist of me. Did I actually say all of that aloud? Ooops. My bad. Everyone is Equal, and No One is Better'n Anybody Else.

Just ask the yup-yop who cringes behind YO.


- Sunday, July 29 2007 15:10:47

Harl Baby!!!!

Tell a rape victim to her or his face that what they went through was the same as the youtube fiasco.

anyway bye. not going to hear from me again. see ya Harl!

Alex Krislov <alexkrislov@cs.com>
- Sunday, July 29 2007 15:8:29

Harlan, thanks for saying this:
"Legally, it is required of me that I have no choice and MUST go after every breach of my copyrights or my registered trademark."

This is a point I'm constantly repeating to people, and they just plumb won't believe it. You can point out a thousand examples, and they're stunned. "Can't be," they say. "That's just silly." Well, maybe it is. But it's also true. Ask the folks at Xerox. Ask the owners of Harvey Comics. A trademark must be protected. If you find out it's infringed and just let it go, you can quite literally lose title. Did you know (oh, hell, of course YOU knew) that the words thermos, aspirin, cellophane and nylon were all once trademarks?

It's not about being selfish. It's not about being arrogant and giving some poor slob a hard time over very little. It's about retaining title. And while many of us may have little sympathy if, say, Disney loses title to Orpheus the Elephant Man, most writers aren't Disney. These titles are your retirement, your home, your life.

But I do apologize to David, because he stepped up to the plate and did the right thing. Kudos, David!

- Sunday, July 29 2007 15:4:1

Sir: I have read your post of immutable, obstinate advocacy of theft. It is imbecile. You dishonor the noble memory of Marcus Garvey by hiding behind a pseudonym. Yellow-belly cowards should not try to educate their betters about ethics.

Go away. It is arrant foolishness attempting to turn a sluggard into a savant.

-MISTER Ellison, to you.

- Sunday, July 29 2007 14:53:27

You are trade mark and not a man... how sad.

who trade marks their name? You and... you.

The rest of the world gets by fine without it.

- Sunday, July 29 2007 14:48:22



woman of middle years. She's handled well over 200 of these picayune slapdowns for me. I spot one (or some of YOU spot one and tell me), and I pass it on to her--usually save them up unless they're particularly egregious or--like David--the person posting responds positively--at which point I thank'm and go away--and I send her three or four in a bunch. She does her thing, in moments, and she follows up, escalating as is required by obdurate arrogance or sophomoric ignorance; and every time--save once, where it went on toward legal redress, and the kid called me in tears, and I let him off the hook--the pirate winds up paying her for her time and effort. This is a win-win situation for me, for her, and even FOR YOU, Marcus, because it lets the light of sanity and courtesy and the primacy of interest in his/her creative properties, into the big smug internet world, where every snarky child and dimwitted adult learns the value of respecting the property of others.

Angry Old Man Who Sues Everybody. I can live with that. I am a Grand Master, I have many books in print, many more coming back INTO print, a great wife, a smashing home, a congeries of the truest and keenest friends and fans any greedy author could want, a lifetime of brave and charming memories. Do I REALLY give a fuck if some overweight guy scratching his ass behind a comicbook counter doesn't know me from Guy de Maupassant or Mary, Queen of Scots?

Legally, it is required of me that I have no choice and MUST go after every breach of my copyrights or my registered trademark. (And I tell you this in confidence: that trademarking business, which Susan thought of, and effectuated, has made us more than
$50,000 already. Fifty grand and the reversion of five of my books that would've been tied up in bankruptcy red tape and legal pursuits for a decade!)(Do not, kindly, I beg you, tell me I don't know what I'm doing.)(Being a freelance writer is a Mom'n'Pop business, and I run my li'l grocery store better than all but a handful of genre writers.) If I let one slide through without either a)insisting on cease and desist or b)making a $1 courtesy contract PERMITTING use, then when I HAVE TO fight one of the big ones, they can point to it in their briefs or in open court, and say, "Well, you didn't say anything when X put up your reading on YOUtube...blah blah blah...

Do you now begin to understand why Angry Old Man Who Sues Everybody is a commodious accolade?!?!

3) I've forgotten who the hell I was going to respond to, or what I was going to say. Oh well. (For those who think it will do any good to post the foregoing short essay--not a rant--gawd, I despise the misuse of that word on the net--that, and screed--please add

Copyright c 2007 by The Kilimanjaro Corporation. All rights reserved.

and post it anywhere and everywhere you think it might enliven and enlighten. I live to serve. And to sue.

Yr. Pal, Harlan Ellison

Marcus Garvey
- Sunday, July 29 2007 14:44:42

rape? wow.

""If you're going to be raped anyhow, just lie back and enjoy it"

Tell a rape victim to her or his face that what they went through was the same as the youtube fiasco.

Your friends here have made similar analogies.. that the youtube incident is the same as: Holocaust, child rape, beating a cripple, the war in Iraq, Enron scandel.

Sir... the Youtube incident was not that big of a deal. You have the right to ask something, but if someone in the masses says no, you do not have the ethical right to clobber that person with a legal mallet if its a minuscle infraction. You are not that bad off. You live well. The courts are not a weapon for the well off and famous. The laws you want to use were design by true "robber barons" - conservative business tycoons. That's the compnay you want to keep, fine. I just don't get it. Nor do i think its a philosophy worth praising.

There's a more thoughtful discussion over in the other forum here. You might want to look at it.

You live in a white and black world. But that's not the reality of the world. Its not just a stern right or wrong. Either with Harlan or against him... laywer on speed dial!

I think you knew you couldn't even win in court.... not your video, but still tried to scare the dude with the threat of destitution. If cold vengence is your game, then I certainly quesiton your morality.

But you should read this first... its more in line with current society.


- Sunday, July 29 2007 14:22:57


1) CINDY, BABY: I confess that even in the face of excruciating things happening in the world, your indomitable faith in the existence of a kindly and nurturing God makes me smile, makes me love you all the more. You are a great treasure in my and Susan's (and this website's) life. The book coming to your mailbox will spread a smile on YOUR exquisite face.

2) MARCUS: Rather than making me sigh and downcast, the overheard description of me as the "angry old guy who sues everyone" by a total stranger/funnybookstore owner--who ignores 50 productive years of an artist's life to sum him up thus--lightens my spirit. Apart from this guy being so out of the cultural loop that his vita of me is, well, kinda dopey and ignorant, even so, his summation lightens my spirit and makes me smile. I'll explain. As I have MANY times before, and as one of the Webderlanders did just a day or so ago. (It IS wearying, though, continually over and over and over to the point of futility and crankiness, having to repeat the same boilerplate commonsense irrefutable basic logic, time after time after time ad exhaustia, to Those Who Came Late To The Conversation, Came In Halfway Through The Movie, Were Picking Their Nose And Not Listening.)

Unless you have been a self-employed creator of Art (upper or lowercase, as you choose), you cannot know what insecurity, hard-work and persistence can be. My annuity, my legacy, my salary, my buffer against Old Age, Infirmity, Poverty...is my work. That's all of it. Just my work. The operative word is MY. That which belongs to me.

You may trumpet the wonders of YouTube and MySpace and OurShit as much as you wish, your prerogative. But MYwork is M*Y work, and no one, with good intention or casual ignorance of the law, or malice, or anything else, has any say in what is done with MY work. You like the internet, fine. You like YouTube, fine. I don't. Also fine.

But if I countenance your philosophy, which boils down simply to "You can't fight City Hall" or "If you're going to be raped anyhow, just lie back and enjoy it" or "No one can sweep the beach free of sand," then I'll have worked fifty years for no surety in my old age; my wife will be left with nothing of value; and casual strangers such as yourself will have perhaps a moment of pleasure sharing me and what I've done with comicbookstore owners who haven't read a word I've written, are unaware of a lifetime spent defending the First Amenment, care about nothing outside THEIR little moneymaking ventures; and will have given in like a coward to societal pressures--the like of which I have resisted since I was a child.

Why does being thought of by total strangers as "an angry old man who sues everybody?" Stop and think for a moment, Marcus:
how much money on legal fees does this OH SHIT, ELLISON MIGHT SUE ME IF I do such&such or this'n'that save me? How many who simply cannot grasp the concept of copyright, of creative property, of not-everything-in-the-world-is-yours-to-do-with
just because you want to, will this free-floating canard save me the trouble of having to swat?

First of all, I have several attorneys, one of whom is a housebound woman of middle years, a practicing attorney of great skill who can no longer appear in a live courtroom. She makes a nice additional income from handling the more than

TEXAS - Sunday, July 29 2007 12:19:22

Did I put that fuckin' quotation mark in the wrong place?

TEXAS - Sunday, July 29 2007 12:17:24

That's a tough directive, Harlan-- but I'll mind.

I won't try to convince you. I won't cite proof of God and his enormous love for you-- I won't point out that marvels like Susan are as rare as James River pearls... that gifts like her love for you and yours for her could be neither happenstance nor coincidence. Although, I must confess I like to think that I had a hand in it. For years before you met Susan, I prayed for you to never be lonely-- to be happy and (if it couldn't be me) that you would find the perfect one for you. My prayers for you were answered so beautifully and so fully. The picture that Josh took of you and Susan on the street almost made me cry it was so lovely. The two of you are so in love and so blissful in each others company after all these wonderful years. God is wise and he clearly knows best. But-- I'm not trying to convince you of anything... really... umm, because you told me not to.
As for Cheney, you know my brother, Randy, is a Neurologist. He's of the opinion- medically speakin' that "you can't kill shit".

P.S. Y'all sent me a book? That's the sweetest thing! I'm waitin' by my mailbox with a magazine over my head (it continues to rain here)... the suspense is killin' me. I'm anxious to see what the title is for a clue as to why you thought of me. OH that reminds me-- I have been listening to The Secret. Do you realize if this shit is true then Al Gore is responsible for Global Warming? Laughing at my own joke...I remain; yer pal, Cindy

Mark J. Owens <tiktok@peoplepc.com>
Grand Rapids, Michigan - Sunday, July 29 2007 8:5:26

Hi Harlan,
Ya, I have added another item to my collection. I aquired a beautiful copy of the April 1957 issue of the men's adventure magazine BATTLE CRY, where your piece entitled "The Battle of Lake Erie" appeared. I did some research and found that the story was quite factual and described a truely historical event that occurred on September 10, 1813 in Lake Erie, where American
Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry, defeated a British naval squadron. What can you tell me about your desire to write the piece?

W. Owen Powell <ix92391@yahoo.com>
Bloomington, IN - Sunday, July 29 2007 1:46:44

These days, I wouldn't even say hi to a guy named Jack in an airport.

Total agreement here about Reagan serving his two terms in a braindead state. I just couldn't escape the mental picture of the "GIVE MY CREATION... LIFE!" scene from Young Frankenstein every time I heard the news item about Cheney's pacemaker adjustment, though.

Larry Forrest <idoubtabout@aol.com>
Tulsa, Oklahoma - Saturday, July 28 2007 22:17:31

I wholeheartedly agree with Harlan's comment about death threats. Even if the threat is made entirely in jest, vocal inflections and body English (nudge, nudge, wink, wink) don't appear with the written word, and the already paranoid guardians of the High Schuckamucks may serve the threatener with a one-way ticket to Gitmo. (Oh well, at least you'll get top-notch medical care.)

And don't say the word "bomb" in an airport, even if it's in the context of "lip balm": the Homeland Security folk will simply assume you've got the bomb in your mouth.

What a long, strange trip we're on ...

Marcus G
- Saturday, July 28 2007 21:46:44

quick note
Harlan might want to move on to other topics... so please insult me in the other chat room. I didn't intend for this to clog his space for so long.


I respect your work. I question your ethics. Intelligent people can disagree. I wrote something wrong... I didn't mean that I think you need to go back to writing. I just meant that you could just let your career stand as is and not be tainted by being "the crazy angry guy". Remember the Fools Cap incident? Everyone here believed the false version of the story.

The other week before this new incident appearently started at a comic shop I overhead the shop owner refer to you as "the angry guy who sues everyone" And funnily, on a lark I check your website and you're in a tiff with a dude over a mere youtube video.

Your career is your business, and I shouldn't have said anything. I don't get the fuss, as someone who is trying to get into the biz... I don't personally believe the controlled "pirating" of youtube is bad. And certainly many intelligent and well regarded professional artists use youtube as a tool to get their work out there. I also don't see the logic in sledgehammering one guy with the legal system instead of taking things up with the heart of the issue... youtube. I was more defending the other side more than I was attempting to attack. I hope that makes sense.

Cary Bleasdale <warpspace2003@yahoo.com>
Deland, FL - Saturday, July 28 2007 21:7:11

Yeah, I know it's been said...
Just my two cents.

Allow me, Oh Most Well Reasoned Speaker for the Thieves, to give a personal example of what everyone here has been talking about.
About 3 months ago, I wanted to use one of Mr. Ellison's esays in a college course I was taking. Now, even though I am fairly sure (and please, any lawyers, correct me on the specifics of this, I'd hate to give someone wrong info) that "Fair Use" includes teaching purposes. IE, if a professor wants to copy a story in small numbers, he or she can, as long as it is purely for instructional use.
Anyway, despite that belief, and despite the fact that I KNEW FOR SURE that there was no way, no how Mr. Ellison would ever, ever find out, I still swung by here and personally asked his permission.
Why? Now listen carefully, cuz this parts important.
BECAUSE IT'S HIS FUCKING STORY! PERIOD! And if he had decided to say no, I wouldn't have used it. Becuase it is HIS, not MINE, HIS! Written, spoken, translated into the native tounge of the Cro-Magnon and written in jelly on the Lascaux caves, they are still his work and he gets the final say on what is done with them.

And, by the way your brilliant defense of piracy; "But everyone else was doing it" is pretty much exactly the same defense given at the Nuremburg Tribunals.

Just sayin'.

-Cary "Realizing that even visting here just put him on five more Government lists" Bleasdale

- Saturday, July 28 2007 20:39:23

Geezus-peezus, you guys!

Outside my house are two large placard-signs that implore passing motorists to IMPEACH BUSH & CHENEY, and no one should be in doubt that I despise this twisted nest of gartersnakes as much as the most frustrated of you, but


knock off the death-threat stuff. It may seem rebellious and even (in some people's minds) necessary, but this kind of

loose lips
sink ships

and it ain't smart nowhichway. They ARE watching, gang; even if you're totally paranoid. Remember: Dr. Richard Kimble thought "they're after me," and in his case ... they were!

1984 is just around the corner. Play nice. I'd hate to lose any of you. Not to mention Susan would feel REALLY pissed-off if she lost ME.

With a crick in his neck
from looking over his
shoulder and under the bed,

Yr. Pal, Harlan

Argon Neckros
- Saturday, July 28 2007 20:9:2

The Curse of Tippecanoe was broken when John Hinckley failed to assassinate Ronnie Reagan, although many believe he had mentally died in office years before his term expired.

Graham Rae
- Saturday, July 28 2007 19:9:13

PS: thank you to the people here for your best wishes for my daughter. You're very kind. Every time I look at wee Fiona I just fall in love with her more. And I doubt that'll ever change. I am just lucky and blessed and proud and happy.

And leaving here before I warble embarrassingly on more.

Thank you.


Graham Rae
- Saturday, July 28 2007 18:59:45

Thank you Susan. I'm glad my news made you two smile. The last few months have not been easy ones for myself or my wife, for (sigh) various heavy reasons I am not going to go into (which made me a bit argumentative on the net as an outlet for my pains and frustrations, unfortunately), but looking at my beautiful wee lassie tonight (sitting to my left on the floor as I write this, burbling and gurgling happily away in happy sleeping babytalk, as my wife grabs some well-earned rest next door) I feel all my problems melt away. I even read her Repent, Harlequin! in utero, so if she develops crazy habits with jellybeans or japes or jokes or jabberwockys of jive or jester costumes...we'll know who to blame.


Zack Malatesta
- Saturday, July 28 2007 17:40:41

Cheney and such...
I know that the goverment is monitoring all my activities because of my last name, so this will probably get me in big trouble with the man, but I have to say this...

How come no one has assassinated these bastards that are ruining our country and our world? If someone can muster up the balls to kill JFK of all presidents, then why hasn't someone taken out the big flaming bush? What the hell happened to the Curse of Tippecanoe?! I remember a day when you could rely on hoodoo to get things done. But that apparently only works for the bad guys.

And if not death to the bastards, then impeach them! Has our system become so corrupt? I mean it always has been corrupt, but these bastards don't even have the common dignity to hide it!

I'm really sorry about all the ranting, and I'm really, really sorry that you guys may be tagged as terrorists with me now, but I wouldn't be that afraid. I'm banking on the government being to afraid of Mr. Ellison to do anything about it.

DTS <none>
- Saturday, July 28 2007 16:51:50

Harlan and god (God...or Gaaawwwwd-uh)
HARLAN: God working the counter at a KFC: now THAT'S Cah-muhdee!
P.S. I only loved the essay on Sturgeon (I may never get the image of someone scratchin' their fundament and dipping into the fixin's with the same hand outta my head).

- Saturday, July 28 2007 15:20:40


1) DAVID: My thanks. Visit anytime. Courtesy and kindness are always valued by the denizens hereabouts, particularly me.
You are a mensch and, again, a smile and a tip'o'the hat.

2) ALL: From time to time someone plays the "old fogey" or the Luddite card with me. I do not deign to validate such rude and discursive silliness, even by the veriest denial. Yet most of you recognize my true feelings anent cultural and technological shifts, and I am content knowing that; for those who favor ad hominem, well, I leave them to their ipods and their ignorance. But for those of you vacillating twixt'n'tween those opinions, I offer the latest in my sage observations of modern trends that deserve nothing but plaudits. To wit:

When I was a kid, I loved the ice cream cone treat called the DRUMSTICK. Still do. Just had one, nuts and all. Taste as super today as back in the 1940s. Ahhh, but...one of the truly terrifying races-to-the-finish-line when I were a tot, was gnawing away on a Drumstick fast enough to get down through the nuts and chocolate BEFORE the melting of the ice cream started, and it leaked out the bottom of the cone onto your summer-sticky paws, and you had to suck through the soggy sump at the bottom of the rapidly-deteriorating object, thereby diminishing the full pleasure of the treatful procedure.

Today, I realized that modern technology had obviated that brain-awful problem. The makers of Drumstick (long may they milk) have devised a sump-plug of rock-hard chocolate wedged in the tip of the cone. It don't leak! It don't sog! It don't drip! Hallelujah, I is saved, I is refabulasted!! Huzzah for science and technology! (But piss on the ipod, the internet, and overdubbing.)

3) CINDY & UNNAMED OTHERS: Kindly do not try to convince me that god is not dead:

Dick Cheney has had 4 (count 'em 4) serious heart attacks, and he's younger than I. He's had his heart-zapper replaced, now, for the third time. He is EeeVillll Incarnate, and...

He walks out of the hospital not only ticking like the Energizer Bunny, but he's smiling, waving, and munching on the still-beating heart of a baby.

Kindly do not try to concince me god is not dead. Or comatose. Or just not doing a very good job.

God ought to be working the counter at a KFC.

Yr. Pal, Harlan

- Saturday, July 28 2007 13:21:24


Congratulations on the baby. Harlan is all smiles, as am I.


- Saturday, July 28 2007 13:20:52

Reading portion removed

My apologies.

- Saturday, July 28 2007 13:16:31

Lee: $15 dollars / six issues (according to the Rabbitt Hole info box)

- Saturday, July 28 2007 13:10:47



My apologies. It was never my intention to offend you so deeply when I asked David to delete just that one snippet of an interview given years before YouTube existed. I could not, of course, have seen into the future at that distant moment, and refused Tom Snyder's gracious request to read one of the short pieces in MIND FIELDS.

Grousing about it now would be silly on my part, and your excellent point is well-taken. And that is why, in mildest term, I sought that small favor from David. I had no idea it would blossom into such unkindness all around.

And for that, I truly apologize.

Please accept these words from a very old man at the end of his days, who hopes that more than fifty years of commended work is sufficient to buy him a little quietus to, perhaps, all things being equal, turn out a few more stories that may make you think more kindly of

Yrs., respectfully, Harlan Ellison

- Saturday, July 28 2007 13:2:36


paul <vaughnrichards@yahoo.com>
Austin, TX - Saturday, July 28 2007 13:2:9

It ain't me..I ain't no fortunate one....

Just got back here and did a super fast skim from my original posting Re: the Mind Fields debacle.

Thank you Mark, for finding/knowing it was not me who put this on YouTube. Thanks David for clearing that up.

Harlan, just as i would not make such a mistake as to misspell a book title (I would look it up if i were unsure), i would also not post anything to any site without express permission. I do not 'believe in piracy', but i do like seeing interviews etc. that i haven't seen before. I didn't want to cause a stir. I've worn through two copies of Mind Fields and still can't read SUSAN aloud without tears. Be well.

In the interest of full disclosure, i HAVE done a very naughty thing. I was in a Borders, and saw the Harry Potter Deathly Hollows book, and i did not pay for it, i did not know any spoilers, and i.....i...i read the epilogue. Just that. Nothing more. I hang my head in shame.

But then, i have always been a deeply disturbed person. :)

Graham, glad all are healthy and pink. Boy are you in for a helluva ride. :)

I would be interested in the musicians (or their families) stories on music piracy and the financial effects, negative or otherwise, thereof.

*Mother? Am i back in father's good graces yet?*
*After you eat your lima beans.*

Michael Mayhew
Los Angeles, CA - Saturday, July 28 2007 12:35:58

The Absolute


Of course you are right that the main point is to respect the wishes of the artist, and not insult him in his own home.

I got sucked in by M's reveling in his own kleptotic ways. I don't see a lot of grey area there, and I do see a lot of people getting hurt by piracy.

But that's a sideline. The key issue is the artist has the right to control his or her own work. You nailed it.

David Webb <docwebb@ix.netcom.com>
Los Alamitos, CA - Saturday, July 28 2007 11:31:30

discussion with M
There are some gray areas in this discussion and one absolute. Truthfully I don't think posting one reading of a story will hurt sales of a book. And I don't think traffic at book stores is down because of pirating. It's down because people like me are too busy to trek down to the mom and pop bookstore so we order on Amaazon. And of course it is down because some people just don't read anymore.
But there is one absolute here....Harlan is the only one who has a right to decide where his property is displayed. And to go against his wishes and insult him in his "home" is, well, just plain rude.

Mikael Bergkvist <mikael.bergkvist@naltabyte.se>
övik, sweden, angermanland - Saturday, July 28 2007 10:56:32

Curtesy and respect
I think the point is that it doesn't take much to simply respect the wishes of the man, and not publish this over at youtube.
I dont read Harry Potter, but when the author asked people not to reveal the ending in advance, they had the curtesy to listen to that plea, regardless of any legal issues, and so they didn't.
It didn't require much effort to respect it and nobody thought it could serve any meaningful purpose *not* to respect it.
This is no different, except now, not respecting the wishes of the author seems to be the whole point.
- Why?

Josh Olson
- Saturday, July 28 2007 10:27:31


""M" was the guy who sang the song "Pop Muzik" from way back in 1979! We're talking Galaxy-class star here, guys and gals."

Funny. I was getting more of that Peter Lorre child-fucker vibe off him.


"I think it's a lame gripe for those hung up on the issue of posters using pseudonyms. I even like pseudonyms if they're clever. Since we're all faceless in this cyberverse, what the hell difference does it make, so long as sentiments in the postings are sincere?"

And I share your enjoyment of a good cyber character. But if you're going to take cheap potshots at people, it's craven. I know every time I post something that someone could, if they so desired, take the time to figure out where I'm gonna be, and come punch me in the nose for what I said to them online.

For instance - what I said to M earlier - I wouldn't have posted that if I wasn't prepared to stand by it. If that creepy little coward wants to look me up and confront me with the fact that I said his life is useless and if he ever have kids, they'll be useless, too, he can. If you can't stand behind what you say, don't say it. Pretty simple.

Christ, Harlan's been SHOT AT for stuff he's written. He knew going in that that was a possibility. And this buggering knave is going to take cheap shots at someone like that from behind a wall of anonymity?

Truth is, we've all given the little asshole WAY too much attention and respect by acknowledging his existence. I suggest ignoring the fucker.

Michael Mayhew
Los Angeles, CA - Saturday, July 28 2007 10:24:42

First off, I just want to make it clear that I, the person who usually posts as Michael M, am not the same person as the arrogant and deeply, deeply, deeply stupid person calling himself "M."

Probably there was no confusion in the first place, but just in case. Yecch.

Next, "M" you make a couple of statements that are so obviously, provably not true that it's clear you aren't paying any attention to the world beyond your doorstep.

You rhetorically ask who in the field of music or movies or literature has been hurt by internet piracy. Are you nuts?? Music labels (and the musicians they serve) have been absolutely gut punched by piracy. Now, you can argue that they've been slow to adapt, or lazy about formulating new business models, but not hurt? You have got to be kidding.

Likewise book stores. Walk into any bookstore, my friend. Pick one at random. Find the manager. Ask them if the internet has hurt their business at all and then brace yourself for an earful. Bookstores, especially the terrific, mom and pop bookstores that really keep literature alive are having an awful time. Just in the last few weeks LA's lost two excellent book stores. They're dropping like flies, pal. Not exclusively because of piracy or the internet, but you'd better believe that's part of the problem.

All because a generation has grown up believing that they have an absolute right to be entertained, now, for free -- as if the creative sweat of another man's brow was a birthright like air and water.


- Saturday, July 28 2007 10:9:53

"I advocate piracy!"

As does the Bush administration
As did Jack Abramoff
As did Enron
As do all robber barons

M, y'know that's like my declaring the right to pilfer magazines or books from Borders because I happen to be tight on cash. 'Less you're a homeless person with a police record (in which case reality would have a completely different meaning to you), you need a reality check.

It's one thing to say, "I really believe artists should make available SOME of their stuff for free". It's another to say, "I BELIEVE in the virtue of STEALING!" No matter how much you feel you can validate your larger argument, you abandon all reason when you put in lights a policy like THAT!

Are you truly so lame as to need the problem here explained to you? You MIGHT want to review your reasoning.

(BTW, for your consoling on the matter, I think it's a lame gripe for those hung up on the issue of posters using pseudonyms. I even like pseudonyms if they're clever. Since we're all faceless in this cyberverse, what the hell difference does it make, so long as sentiments in the postings are sincere? That's what counts to ME)

Tony Adams
Indianapolis, - Saturday, July 28 2007 9:22:9

The subject is "M"
We had no idea a star was in our midst, folks.

"M" was the guy who sang the song "Pop Muzik" from way back in 1979! We're talking Galaxy-class star here, guys and gals.

I wonder if he's ever had his songs posted or ripped off without his knowledge? Probably has (being a singing superstar and all).

- Saturday, July 28 2007 8:51:32

Sharing is caring
"If Harlan Ellison didn't want his books scanned & e-mailed to everyone in the freakin' world, FOR FREE, I guess he shouldna published, eh? Same effin' argument."

First off... it's not the same argument.

Maybe I'm wrong but there is no product which one can buy which has a AUDIO version of that story. And the shot of the graphic was weak. It would be inconcieveable that people think: "Well gee, now that I saw that grainy youtube clip of one out of 33 stories, there really isn't any reason to buy that book."

If anything that clip could boost sales of the book. In fact if one of his fans or his laywer or he or someone set up a Harlan Youtube account, which many many many professional artists do... Harlan could easily boost interest in his works.

Secondly, you are setting up what is known as:

a slippery slope fallacy.

It's a type of flaw in reasoning in which the argument assumes a continued cascading pattern of events based on a single event.

It's not an uncommon claim made by certain personality-types of artists that if the consumer can get x amount of stuff on the net for free, then the consumer won't pay for anything. But that's simply not true. Who, in the field of music, movies, literature, illustration, etc, has actually been put out of business by youtube? Or has seen such a sharp decline in sales that the internet was actually a threat to their career?

People still like to experience things. Yes I pirate loads of stuff, so does everyone I know from ages 10-70. But we all still buy things. So do their aquantences. Becuase it's a richer experince of the art, and becuase it's morally right to support artists. I've never been to an empty bookstore. I've never had a sales clerk come up to me and say "Thank god you're here! Ever since the net really took off... we're lucky to make enough just to eat.... catfood, but it's still something."

I spend a lot of time with the poor. I've never met a writer who was squashed by youtube or by pdf scans and now begs for survival.

I am a huge advocate of piracy; I also spend crazy money on artistic endevour. It's the same old story.... blame the youth, or new technology, even though you don't understand them.

Thirdly, I didn't swear other than the word hell. And it was just a general exclaimation of hell. Not like "go to hell" or aynthing. But you swore. So any arguement about my character....

Fourthy, why do you need to know my name? Frank Church isn't his real name. Plenty of people here use aliases. If I had posted as "Fred Jones" you wouldn't think twcie about it, even though its not my name. So what's wrong with just an M?

Alex Krislov <Alexkrislov@cs.com>
Shaker Heights, Oh hi ya - Saturday, July 28 2007 8:51:16

Why they do this stuff
Charlie, your comments may have been meant rhetorically, but there really IS a reason these doofuses let themselves in for lawsuits:

They don't believe it can really happen.

People on the web are always making noises about suing. Running the oldest Book-and-Author site on the internet, I used to keep a lawyer on retainer because I was threatened with suits on a monthly basis. Eventually, I stopped, because none of the threats had teeth. They didn't even have gums.

So these doofusae are assuming that all such threats are toothless. Clearly, they should not. Anyone with a modicum of websavvy can find how seriously Harlan protects his property (as well he should). But they kid themselves. "No one's gonna hassle ME," they say. "He can't find out where -I- live." They're so used to white noise that they can't hear the sonic purity as the air-raid sirens peak.

Here's the belly-laugh of it all: the biggest malefactors, the constant cretins are almost always people who think intellectual property doesn't exist. Somewhere along the line, they got the idea that because it's hard to prevent copying and redistribution, it's really "legal." Thus you get incredibly lame rationales. David's "it's a promotion piece" is typical. He doesn't grasp that it's not his to promote.

On my webpages, we have the following boilerplate.

The Books & Writers Community respects copyright law. Copyrighted material may not be used here without the specific written permission of the copyright holder. All written, spoken and visual material, including that published on-line, is assumed to be copyrighted unless it is clearly identified as being in the public domain. Photographs are not permitted without specific copyright permission from the original source. This especially applies to photographs published in newspaper, other news media or commercial web sites.

Brief "fair use" excerpts are allowed as exceptions, but the staff must make final determinations of where "fair use" ends and infringement begins. Roughly, "fair use" allows less than 10% of the total of the work copied, or 500 words, whichever is less. No more than 1 stanza of a song or poem may be posted, without such a grant of permission. Remember, even a "fair use" excerpt should be properly attributed. This means that the source must be given even if the item is not copyrighted.

Please note that merely attributing credit is not the same as "fair use." You cannot post a copyrighted work and excuse it by mentioning the owner/creator. Copyright is literally "the right to copy." Without the explicit permission of the owner, you do not have that right. Similarly, though some web sites claim the posting of a copyrighted work is permitted by fair use, their assumption does not grant permission to others to post such material here. They may be in error!

Straightforward and simple--and almost useless. We're constantly removing infringements. "Everybody does it. Therefore it's legal."

- Saturday, July 28 2007 8:42:1

Leaving aside the morality of David's actions, I was wondering if the Berne Act might provide some kind of legal justification for his actions. I'm not suggesting that it necessarily would - I'm simply raising the question. It would be interesting to hear what Charlie or some of the other individuals with a legal background who post here have to say on this subject.

- Saturday, July 28 2007 8:30:25


Time to re-up my HERC membership.

Is it still $8 per year?

Tony Ravenscroft
The Big Damp Spot, MN - Saturday, July 28 2007 7:32:44

Barber: there's stupid & then there's "you won't shoot me -- you ain't got the balls!!!"

Barney: you're far too polite. This "M" is in fact a chickenshit. Any good points he makes were inadvertent, beyond the fact that chickenshits are, ironically, packed with bullshit. (Every time such a twit puts its head up, I reflect that maybe Ellison is right about the Million-Monkey March we call "being connected.") Sorry; since about 2002 I've lost the ability to allow "a good point" when delivered by the morally leprous -- I think it's called Coulter-Savage syndrome.

((I do understand your desire that no ephemera be lost, & perhaps eventually collected in some formal manner. I've lately discovered that some fanzine articles in my collection by Big Names have never been collected or posted, & nobody else I contact has had those issues. I've settled for (a) scanning what I have, plus (b) typing them into the PC then (c) saving copies on acid-free paper. It may simply be a writing exercise, or I may have preserved these from oblivion. Who knows? Meantime, it's a wasted-minutes hobby, & harmless. But note that I have posted NONE of it on the Interwebs, despite a Faaaanish desire to both share & kvell naches.))

If Harlan Ellison didn't want his books scanned & e-mailed to everyone in the freakin' world, FOR FREE, I guess he shouldna published, eh? Same effin' argument. Could be both understood & made by an average seven-year-old.

And Ellison tends to swat these fruitflies with a casual word to the Zombie Attorneys locked in that vault behind the fireplace, so I don't see where it's wasting his Golden Years. (Hell, there's probably already a laptop with a button tagged "complaints to YouTube" that fills in the blanks & sends the appropriate word to the appropriate offices & gets appropriate action in a matter of minutes.)

What wastes HE's time is when he contacts the maroons himself, & actually tries to make nice.

You know as well as I that if "David" or "M" had any skin in the writerly game, they'd be Goooogling snippets from their Golden Words O' Wisdom on an hourly basis & sending C&Ds by the virtual armful.

Adam-Troy Castro <adamcastro999@yahoo.com>
- Saturday, July 28 2007 6:7:17

David, M,and Graham (re Fiona)
"M," let me put it this way, perhaps the most vivid explanation I can provide.

You go to round-the-clock dinner party at the home of a respected personage, and are free to discuss anything you wish, as long as you behave yourself. Sometime during the salmon bisque you fart at the dinner table...and not an accidental release of gas of the sort we all expel from time to time, but a massive, maladorous, tuba honk that lasts thirty seconds and peels the paper off the walls. Even that could be forgiven, since intestinal buildup is part of the price of being human, but everybody at the table saw you straining for the preceding thirty seconds, and everybody saw you lean to one side, as you prepared to release the methane reservoir. You could have gone to the bathroom and done this quietly, but no, you deliberately made this a spectacle.

You are asked not to do that again.

Five minutes later: another Hiroshima cloud.

This time people say you're being obnoxious.

You say, "Hey. There's no *law* against it. I'm *allowed* to do this. If you didn't want me to fart you should not have served the beans."

Which leads to the reason why this is the behavior of a dick.


I can make armpit noises for hours, without being arrested, but it's pretty fucking rude to sit down on a park bench next to a nursing mother and poot away.

True. I'm *allowed* to do this. God Bless America.

I shouldn't if I have any consideration for other human beings.

I'll let Harlan and Josh argue the legalities and the basis of lawsuit. But, seriously, the guy made a genuinely polite request. He prefers not to be "immortalized" on Youtube. Never mind the reason. He might be, by your lights, an old-fashioned fogey who cannot face the new technological paradigm, but it's still his preference. Acting like this preference gets into *your* face is just as idiotic as it would be, in the armpit noise metaphor, as me explaining at length that armpit noises are a capability we all have and that he should learn to live with it because, hey, it's the nature of the world where he lives, God Bless America. That explanation is, at its core, irrelevant. He has *politely* asked you to refrain. If you have any respect for him at all, why not refrain?

The worst part of this idiocy, by the way, is that it overshadows a far more momentous announcement that deserves far more bandwidth.

Graham: The heartiest of congratulations to you, sir. May Fiona bring you years of joy, and may she face a boundless future, in a world that has embraced its problems and thus provided her with nothing but hope and happiness.

St. Pete, FL - Saturday, July 28 2007 5:56:21

David, I'm speaking as one of the lawyers who lurks here, as Barney mentioned. I've handled hundreds, no, definitely over a thousand cases both as a litigator and a quasi judicial officer. And I'll never quite understand the tack people such as yourself take, though I see it daily. However, it's one that keeps us lawyers in business, and for that I thank you. You had a nice request from the owner of intellectual property to please remove his property from the world wide web - probably something you could accomplish in about 5 minutes at no cost to you or anyone else. Instead, you're choosing to possibly commit yourself to unlimited hours defending a lawsuit in which you may be liable for not only paying your own attorney's fees, but the attorney's fees of the prevailing party (i.e., Harlan's attorney), plus court costs. You could face losing tens of thousands of dollars. Why would you want to do this to yourself when it all could have been resolved for 5 minutes of your time - now. Have fun in court.

Alan Coil <lcoil@peoplepc.com>
Southeast Michigan - Saturday, July 28 2007 1:12:48

David---be cool, take it down.

Josh Olson
- Saturday, July 28 2007 1:3:58


You dithering nitwit.

The tragedy is, Harlan will eviscerate you with about five minutes of effort on his part. The resulting piece will sing with a music you will never be able to hear. In his canon, it will be a trivial piece, not worth mentioning among all the mighty and timeless works he's done. In the sad sack travesty that is YOUR life, however, it will be the finest work of art you will ever be associated with. It will be better than anything you could ever hope to write, and it will have more lasting value than anything you could ever create, up to and including any hydrocephalic spawn that may result from one of your unfortunate dalliances with members of the opposite sex, should such a connubiation ever actually occur.

Personally, I hope he ignores you, because I'm kinda proud of that paragraph, and it's gonna sting when mine has to take a back seat to his response.

Steve Barber <barbergallery@verizon.net>
- Saturday, July 28 2007 0:13:59

You know, it annoys me that we almost get Harlan to accept that the internet is not necessarily full of self-important dickheads and this comes along.

David. I have to join the chorus and strongly suggest you comply with Harlan's wishes. You discount his opinion and suggest he go do something anatomically impossible for the average man. Not a good idea in the best of circumstances, but if you're going to be an idiot there's little dissuade you -- but let me offer this: even if you rather blindly ignore and discount Harlan's bite, let me assure you that Youtube and Google will also take a very dim view of you and your transgressions. So will NBC.

There's stupid, and then there's REALLY stupid. Getting the undivided attention of all three falls under the latter category.

Do the right thing.

You've been asked nicely to remove one of your videos before you are forced to by Youtube. Not by Harlan, by Youtube. You see, Harlan's issue isn't with you any longer, it's with any organization that would let you keep the video online when notified of the illegality -- in this case Youtube and its parent company Google. Harlan won't send YOU anything, he will send it to Youtube. THEY will then want to talk to YOU. It's the direction called "downhill", and you're unfortunately in a very deep valley.

(Aside to "M": The people in silly little ski masks who chant and dance around when the video cameras are on, are usually shocked to learn that not another living soul really gives a damn about their anonymous opinions. What you do is precisely the same as those tabloid Fox newsfeeds we see from the Middle East, and about as relevant.)

Barney Dannelke <dannelke@gmail.com>
Allentown, PA - Friday, July 27 2007 23:53:24

M's remarks
"M" raises some interesting questions. The problem is the mean-spirited manner in which he raises them makes one want to attack "M" rather than answer the questions. I'm going to answer one or two of them and if I get the answers wrong I'm sure Harlan or the two (or more) lawyers who lurk here can chime in.

"M" is right that the broadcast rights are owned by NBC. What rights may have reverted to Tom Snyder I couldn't say. Harlan owns copyright on the story and now that there are also trademark considerations this may have media and broadcast ownership ramifications that need to be defended. Defending a multi-media sort of intellectual property leads to all sorts of unpleasant situations where people who are not lawyers often say "but where's the harm?" The example often used is the daycare center where DISNEY asked that a mural with Mickey on it be removed from an exterior wall of a building in Florida. *IF* that happened it certainly looks ugly to outsiders, but is part of the territory that comes part and parcel with defending intellectual property poachers. Which many posters on YouTube clearly are.

One might ask the opposite question - "who benefits?"

*M* talks about Harlan pissing away his remaining years defending his turf as though he got up this morning planning to spend his day that way. That's like saying that I woke up this morning PLANNING to pick up garbage in my stairwell or taking a gang tag off my garage door. Nobody wants to spend their time this way. *NOBODY*

But - assume the video has "some" value. For instance, I've been making arrangements to have a lot of Harlan audio and video transferred to CD & DVD to be archived at a particular University with the idea of creating a big pile of this sort of material in one place like the Twain California or Twain Elmira papers. My instinct is to preserve first and worry about the various copyrights and trademarks second. But in no sense is my goal or intention to violate either. Why?

Because of the benefit side of the equation. In theory it benefits Susan (or, could benefit Susan someday) and in theory every time you "give it away" you dilute the value. Like last year's quote from this board that Harlan enjoyed, "Exposure is overrated. An artist could die from exposure."

Where does this stop? I don't know. Last year, people were prohibited from doing public readings of James Joyce on Bloomsbury Day because the rights went from public domain back to being held by descendants and there was nothing to be done about it but honor the wishes of the estate.

*My* instinct was that might be going to far. BUT that's easy to say when you're not the person in line for a check.

The short version of all this is that the story is Harlan's and not youtube's and certainly not the person who posted it. Since Harlan has a new collection of readings of his stories coming out, clearly someone outside Casa Ellison has determined these readings of Harlan's have value.


And, for the umpteenth time, I will never understand the need for anonymity while taking these pot shots. All it does is undercut the impulse to take the poster seriously when this stuff comes up. I take these matters very seriously. But when I see "M" and no e-mail and then a few paragraphs of "ring and run" it just makes it that much harder to muster a real response.

Especially on a late Friday night.

- Barney Dannelke

W. Owen Powell <ix92391@yahoo.com>
Bloomington, IN - Friday, July 27 2007 23:19:12

Oy, another slow motion train wreck...
"I fear to watch, yet I cannot turn away!!"
-- Pamela Hayden as the voice of "Milhouse van Houten" in The Simpsons

- Friday, July 27 2007 23:1:57

I really don't see the big deal here. You read something that many people could easily have recorded (in fact some did record obviously) and passed around. If you didn't want copies of the reading going around, WHY THE HELL DID YOU READ IT ON TV?

Are video/dvd-records, or tivo units, or audio cassette recorders or etc as evil and insedious as Youtube? Or is it because Youtube is a new technology, and you the stereotypical old-fogey are just afraid of new technology?

You're at the end of you journey here on Earth, a fairly old guy... and instead of sitting back and enjoying your fans and your success, you've chosen to spend your remaining years suing everyone around you who slightly pisses you off. You are like the remaining Beatles (and their family members) - more famous now for legal muscle than for art.

It's sad. You've become the thing you hate. It's about money, and the control, and the power of tossing your weight around. And the ego boost.

Maybe the Youtube "pirate" should delete the videos. Not because of the legal issues (you don't own the right to the video... a certain tv studio does), but becuase you are best forgotten.

Here's a hypothetical... if a random Joe Blow read the passage in question... would you still have an issue? Or are your words so sacred, no man may utter them?

It's a changing world. You have to adapt. It's astounding someone in your field of work has such a hard time with change. Art is about building relationships with people; not about tightly controling ideas and being a bully.



Lame, Harlan... you've gotten really lame. Maybe you always were.

shagin <smodell1995@yahoo.com>
Bremerton, Washington - Friday, July 27 2007 22:18:23

Mr. Rae,

Congratulations on the newest member of your family! I hope this finds you and yours in good health, better spirits, and with more than enough time for love.


Graham Rae <graham_rae@hotmail.com>
- Friday, July 27 2007 21:5:50

Harlan, I would like to tell you something. I wasn't going to mention it, but Film Threat printed a story on their front page about it on Wednesday in giddy excitement, so I figure I might as well tell you here.

I just got back from Evanston Women's Hospital. My wife gave birth to our first child, Fiona Leah Rae, on Tuesday at noon; she was 6 pounds 6 ounces and 19 inches long. Why should you care? Well, in a roundabout way you're partly responsible for her being in the world. You see, I met my wife through the Film Threat forums. If I hadn't seen that old issue of FT with your name on it 20 years ago I never would have read it...never have ended up at the FT website...and consequently never met my beautiful wife and had my heartbreakingly gorgeous daughter. So thanks for all the sleepless nights to come, Harlan!

I hope I didn't annoy you too much with that Michael Moore thing. I can be contentious, but it comes from years of autodidacticism and individualistic thinking. But of course I still have a vast reservoir of respect for your good self, and the intelligent, cultured people here.

My wife brings home Fiona Leah Rae from the hospital tomorrow. I am the luckiest, happiest man alive and in love with two amazing females.

That aforementioned Film Threat story (with pix):


Thanks for the inadvertent matchmaking 20 years ago, Harlan.

Proud Happy Father G.

Robert Morales
New York City, New York - Friday, July 27 2007 20:45:54

David, R.I.P.
I'm reminded of that moment in SIN CITY: After street hooker Becky politely explains to the drunken Jackie Boy and his carload of fellow losers that she's at the end of long night and can't party with them, Jackie points a gun at her and Becky says, with true sadness, "Aw, sugar - you just gone and done the dumbest thing you ever done in your whole LIFE!" Oh well, Darwinism is a bitch.

Chuck Messer
- Friday, July 27 2007 20:1:43

Who was it that said, "The internet is proof positive against the theory of an infinite number of monkeys banging on keyboards eventually producing Hamlet" or words to that effect?

Seems he/she was right.


Josh Olson
- Friday, July 27 2007 17:19:19


Oh, David.

I just....

Oh, David.

I called Harlan this afternoon to talk to him about this. I was gonna explain to him that this is a new world, and it's radically changed due to the technology, and that in this new model, posterity comes, in part, from Youtube. Harlan was more open than I'd expected, and really didn't care much at all about the whole thing. He made his concerns known, and politely asked you to respect his wishes, and - let me say, this is more a guess than a conviction - he probably would have left it at that even if you'd done nothing in response and left it up. You got my pal at his most even handed, his sweetest, his most cuddly.

My God, man, you almost got away with pirating Harlan's work and remaining on his good side. A rarified place indeed. Truly enviable. One for the books.

You are the living embodiment of the adage, "He snatched defeat from the jaws of victory."

I must make a note to myself to ask Harlan how you tasted.

Thanks for yet another reminder that the internet is a silly, stupid place, full of silly, stupid people.

- Friday, July 27 2007 17:12:51


Would someone please explain to David that I begin, quietly, with a polite request...

Would someone please explain to David that when the response is argumentative and tinged with umbrage that "because he can" -- he will, that what follows my polite request is something he truly doesn't want to have to deal with...

Would someone please draw David's attention to my lawsuit against AOL that wound up with their taking down all of Usenet...

Would someone please send the message to David that since I began going after smug, arrogant naifs and pirates, that more than 250 have started out EXACTLY as has David, and that in the end--because I do not go away and just mumble wimpily about the depredations of internet nuisances--249 of the 250 have PAID the lawyers' fees to FORCE them to respond to my polite request...

And would someone suggest to David that if I had the time, resources and determination to sue AOL, Xerox, Paramount and James Cameron (among others) who broached my goodwill and my lifework--and beat them all--that if he thinks his snotty refusal will amount to more than a fart in the wind of my go-at-him, well...

Thank you for passing this along in whatever manner you think will best serve to advise this guy that "nobody throws me my guns and says 'ride.'"

Yr. Pal, Harlan

Paul Shiple <geinmeats@aol.com>
Gibsonburg, Ohio - Friday, July 27 2007 15:27:14


You ask why David would do such a dickish deed. I've been thinking about such things a lot as of late. Why do people do such stupid, selfish, short-sighted & self-destructive acts? A possible answer comes from a track on "On The Road With Ellison" vol.3 (I'm sorry, I don't rightfully remember the track listing), Harlan offers the explanation, "It seemed like a good idea at the time.” From my personal experience, I would have to disagree and offer my own insight: "Because I can".

For what that is worth,

Paul Shiple

- Friday, July 27 2007 14:55:5

Finger-Wagging Flatulent Feebs

You can debate whether Harlan's request is silly or not. But openly refusing to delete that section, against the express wishes of the author you profess to be honoring, amounts to being a dick. Why would you harass somebody you supposedly admire, in this manner?

Honestly Confused

David <hulknolikexxx@hotmail.com>
- Friday, July 27 2007 14:29:58

The guy who posted the Youtube clips
I corrected the book title.

I won't delete the reading segment. If it was going to be a problem, you shouldn't have read it on the air in the first place. It's a promotional clip, like an actor showing a clip of their movie.


Steve Barber <barbergallery@verizon.net>
- Friday, July 27 2007 13:49:19

Always the last to know...

Thanks Mark. I feel EVER so much better about myself at having missed the DWST link until now. Yes. Limited attention span and all that -- though I have it on ... let's say "unimpeachable" authority ... that I may have been the only one to have mentioned what a neat-o keen, bitchin', totally cool and appropriate musical dedication to our patron.

(How woefully surprising.)

If you're out there and lurking, or just haven't a clue as to what I'm moaning about: it's a very cool song, good beat (and you can dance to it), about our buddy Harlan.

"And Harlan
Harlan Says
We're not alone"

Diggin it, Erik. Thanks for posting, even if I am so badly late to the party...


And speaking o' jazz: Got great news today on Cris' new CD. Details on the forum, but over the last two days several items fell into place and basic tracks will be recorded in the next three weeks.

Release expected by the Christmas rush. Tell your friends.

Mark Goldberg <markabaddon@gmail.com>
Minneapolis, - Friday, July 27 2007 13:1:57


I sent a message to the person (not Paul) who posted the video on YouTube, instructing them to remove the section of the video containing your reading. Here is the message I sent:

Dear Sir or Madam,

In response to a request from Harlan, could you please remove the section in the Tom Snyder interview video, section 1, where Harlan reads the short story "The Silence." This is copyright protected material.

Also, for the sake of accuracy, please be advised that the correct title of the work is Mind Fields, not Mindfields.

Please refer to the following website:


if you would like to see the direct request from Harlan.

Feel free to contact me if you have any questions

- Friday, July 27 2007 12:51:31


One more thing.

PLEASE correct the title.

The book is


two words, not "Mindfields."


- Friday, July 27 2007 12:49:30


JACK: Still here, Big-S! Our work nears resumption. Faith, lad, faith before death.

CINDY: So BOMC gets my order wrong, and sends me a couple of titles I don't want, instead of the McMurtry and a reference title I DID want. So I call 'em and tell 'em this is the fourth time in eleven months that some drone on the packing line fell victim to his/her meds, and I want my two proper titles, and what should I do with the two wrongos? And instead of the usual--"we'll send you a return shipment label, throw 'em in the original box, send 'em back--they were so chagrined, they told me to keep 'em.

So I look at one of them and, well, okay, can't hurt to keep this one; but the OTHER one...? Who the hell do I know who'd even countenance this one. And, unbidden, like the song of the meadowlark, the name C*I*N*D*Y wafted in on the plangent breeze.

Look for this gift of love from me'n'Susan. Mmmmmm-suhMACK, a
big squishy kiss on'ya.

ERIK NELSON: Gimme a call. We got to do that chyron thing.

Flat on his back today, but salient nonetheless,

Yr. Pal, Harlan

- Friday, July 27 2007 12:40:3



Well, to be honest with you, kiddo, I despise the entire YOUtube site and concept, and am extremely unsettled at the indictment of ANYTHING (of mine/ANYTHING about me) ensconced
thereat. But since it's a simulacrum of an interview owned
by a broadcast corporation, and not my personal, or copyrighted,
property ... well, it's up to you. But be warned, though IIIII
shan't pursue the matter in any way, these things have an
ineluctable way of coming to the attention of the owners, and
THEY may come after you. The only part I DO insist you delete, is the part you say you like best -- my reading of my story, which IS COPYRIGHT in the name of my Corporation, and if you want to stay cool with me -- are you not aware of my lawsuit against AOL to prevent JUST THIS SORT of thing? -- pull the story reading. Beyond that, kiddo, you are on your own; but it perplexes me how many otherwise keen and sagacious readers of me/my work STILL DON'T GET IT.

I think it was Andre Malraux who said, "Yes, we sent the message; but we have to keep sending it; because no one was listening." Or words to that effect. And the quote is by someone else entirely.

Troubled by all this, Yr. Pal, Harlan

Patricia <qtera31@yahoo.com>
Bernalillo, NM - Friday, July 27 2007 11:41:6

Space Beer
I am not much of a drinker and do not drink beer at all but I do think I need to attend the launch of this beer! Just the thought of it made me smile when a friend sent this today. And, I think I need to keep a couple of bottles around for posterity. It will be an excellent beverage to toast my favorite authors with. Harlan - let me know if you would like some and I will pick up a six pack for you too.


Robert Ross <rbrross2937@yahoo.com>
Mpls., MN - Friday, July 27 2007 10:45:1

Charlie & Barney: Thanks for answering my HERC question. "It is, of course, a trifle, but there is nothing so important as trifles."

Tony Ravenscroft: No, I'm not the professor, nor am I related; but I did attend the U of M and have been asked the question in the past.

Also, I am not the co-author of the MEDICI novels of the mid 1970s.

Further, I am not the author of the much more recent novels WHERE DARKNESS LIVES, CAUSE OF FEAR, et cetera.

And I am not Bob Ross the painter (whom I believe is no longer living).

When TALES FROM THE CRYPT was on HBO years ago, I was quite surprised to see a credit of "Screenplay by Robby Ross" on at least one episode. I'm not he.

In the film WHO IS KILLING THE GREAT CHEFS OF EUROPE, George Segal played a character named Robby Ross. As I recall, Jacqueline Bissett pronounces the name as "Rubby" throughout the film, which has nothing to do with anything, I just wanted to mention it.

So who am I?

"When you have eliminated all which is impossible, then whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth."

The truth is ...

W. Owen Powell <ix92391@yahoo.com>
Bloomington, IN - Friday, July 27 2007 8:7:8

Won't be opining about the YouTubery of this segment, but I will say that I still have a VHS of this tacked onto one of my old Babylon 5 tapes. (Hopefully it hasn't become unplayable sitting packed away in my friend's garage the past several months.)

Man was I ever glad I had a tape in the machine for that moment! Not 100% if it's the same interview, I have several...but this may also be the one where in the first airing, our host proffers the assessment that he'd "rather have (his) wrists cut the *long way than ever go on another cruise again...!" to much guffawing from Snyder and a quick cutaway to commercial break, the first advert of which turned out to be for (you guessed it) a cruise line!

Regrettably, I didn't get it taped till repeat broadcast, after which someone at the network had grown some minimal sense in the interim and substituted a different commercial.

Mark Goldberg <markabaddon@gmail.com>
Minneapolis, - Friday, July 27 2007 6:4:16


Sorry buddy, you may in fact be the last one to know about the Jazz Butcher song. Since I was unable to join you in CA for the event, I made sure I viewed whatever goodies Erik was kind enough to place on the Creative Differences website and listened to the song back in April.

All the best to you and Cris,


Todd Mason
- Friday, July 27 2007 4:51:53

Since we're talking TV...
Enjoyed conducting an interview with Harlan last night, so he's certainly still out there as of 6:30ish pm PDT.

Now for transcription and bloggery...though some of the peripheral questions were not quite gotten to (is a MASTERS OF SCIENCE FICTION anthology book in the offing...perhaps it could be incorporated into the DVD package, if a six-story anthology, as it turns out, is a probably not too robust commercial proposition for most publishers...and, btw, will the sale of IDW affect the new reprint line I gather you're editing, Harlan?), to say nothing of the Great or is that utterly trivial mysteries (was that Keefe Braselle referred to in THE GLASS TEAT columns, the guy who got quickly-cancelled shows onto CBS in his case through perhaps desperate skullduggery?).

So, here's a brief and too-hasty rundown of some of the new series offered this summer in the US:

DAMAGES (FX), which began this week, is by the pilot the dullest mix
of REPULSION and every John Grisham young-lawyer-in-peril trope you
didn't really want to see again. It has a mild variation on the idiot
plot: Glenn Close's antagonist is supposed to be a genius by dint of
not being the same degree of idiot everyone else is. Every "twist" so
far is pretty unsurprising, to say the least, and if it doesn't play
out that much of it is the fantasy of the protagonist (the pilot opens
with the young female lawyer at the heart of it fleeing from the
murder-scene of her boyfriend, and jumps back and forth in time), it
will be even goofier than if so. Jeffery Deaver-level self-important

BURN NOTICE (USA). The third episode was peachy...nothing
extraordinary in plot, but snappily written and acted, witty and fun,
a fine mix of spy and private eye elements. The fourth episode in
comparison wasn't quite leaden, but had far less wit and grace...so
this one is clearly a bit uneven, but even the lesser episode was
worth seeing...I haven't yet seen 1, 2, nor 5, this week's episode.

MAD MEN (AMC) seems to lay on the smug, self-satisfied misogyny a bit
thick, even for a series set in and around a major Madison Ave ad
agency in 1960, wherein our executive protagonist is getting to
grapple with the eternal and 1960-pertinent Big Issues all in a rush
(adultery, love, family obligation, emerging liberation movements, the
Nixon v. Kennedy campaign, the slow constriction on US cigaret
advertising...). I wasn't around for 1960, and it does in this wise
feel a bit like the segments of Joanna Russ's THE FEMALE MAN wherein
the Great Depression never ended and there was no Rosie the Riveter
movement and its suppression to help nudge the next wave of feminism
along...and interesting enough so far.

TRAVELER (ABC) is, like BURN NOTICE, a latter-day espionage drama,
with all the paranoia and what-is-real/who-can-you-trust games one
expects, albeit with a less light touch and more serious intentions
than BURN. Also a youngish cast, for the most part, largely messed
over by their elders...again, a descendant of Grisham fiction and the
films from it, but also from ALIAS (albeit much less campy and
certainly less shallow and awkwardly-written) and another item that
probably wouldn't exist without the success of the Bourne films. As
undersupported ABC shows go, not as good as DAYBREAK or HELP ME HELP
to be...but better than almost everything else on ABC.

THE BRONX IS BURNING (ESPN): these Disney sports channels keep wanting
to dabble in drama, and since this summer everyone's doing that, ESPN
wasn't going to be left out...this short-form historical drama series
about the summer in which David Berkowitz was killing on orders from
his dog and Reggie Jackson played his first season with the NY Yankees
is solid, even if the familiar actors attempting to play George
Steinbrenner and Billy Martin and all keep reminding us that they are
familiar actors not quite getting the look or the sound of their models.

SIDE ORDER OF LIFE (Lifetime) and STATE OF MIND (Lifetime). Two
series straight off the Lifetime template--essentially noble, but not
too noble, youngish (but not too young) women protagonists learn that
they have hidden talents and strengths after being shocked out of
their complacency by ugly turns and insufficient men...in SIDE by the
protag's best friend's sudden relapse into a fatal case of cancer,
in MIND by brazen adultery on the part of her husband. Sadly, despite
Lili Taylor being the star of STATE, it's actually SIDE that comes
closer to being tolerably watchable...it's getting harder to hold out
hope that Taylor will seek out projects worthy of her. Perhaps
nobody's offering.

SAVING GRACE (TNT). Only saw a bit of this fantasy-flavored cop
drama's pilot, but what I saw seemed pretty damned twee.
Producer/star Holly Hunter isn't batting as poorly of late as Taylor,
but the same concern can apply. Clearly a show seen as a good fit
with THE CLOSER, which in its third season finally has Kyra Sedgwick
apparently aware of how utterly unconvincing her affected
trying-for-Atlanta, Georgia accent was in the first two
seasons...sounds like she's been working with a coach or perhaps
simply listening to some southeasterners, finally.

Jack Skillingstead
Seattle, WA - Friday, July 27 2007 3:36:53

You still out there, man?

D.W. Pareis
- Friday, July 27 2007 0:34:39

Yes please ban the old Snyder segment, Heaven forbid someone may watch it and go out and buy Mindfields and actually be exposed to one of the better books by Harlan Ellison and, the art of Jacek Yerka.

paul <vaughnrichards@yahoo.com>
Austin, TX - Thursday, July 26 2007 22:26:51

Woof woof a goldfish

Harlan, just for your knowledge, i just wanted you to be aware this was online, if it's a problem.

Harlan Ellison on Tomorrow~ MINDFIELDS interview, a 3 parter.

But, if i may: if it isn't a problem, if it doesn't hurt, PLEASE let these Tom Snyder vids stand. For all their bad tv recordedness, this is the heyday of televisionia

For one thing, it's got a reading, live on air (tv reading is my favorite). Two, it verifies the Streisand story from the DWST. But the grandest part (at the end of part 2) is the ne plus ultra of astonishment. I have never seen HE...truly...Speechless. From an amazing act of kindness, the quietest squeaking sounds coming from this of all mouths. PLEASE, let this one stand for interest, posterity, whateverthehell you want to call it, just for the sake of seeing you unmanned and undone.

We'll still love you, natch.

Adam-Troy Castro
- Thursday, July 26 2007 19:56:36

Great Moments in Reality-TV banter
I do not particularly recommend the show, you understand, but I need to report this gem.

The source: Episode 1, Season 2 of WHO WANTS TO BE A SUPERHERO?

Dialogue: Perhaps the most commonsensical of the "heroes" -- a 20-year police officer who seems to take this as a lark -- and a twenty-something woman notable for an (apparently legitimate) dumb blonde demeanor.

HE: I'm twenty years older than you. I have a fifteen year old, an eighteen year old, and a twenty-two year old.

SHE: Wow. (Pause) You mean children?

(No, he meant girlfriends, dumbass.)

Tony Ravenscroft
The Big Sweaty, MN - Thursday, July 26 2007 18:31:24

Robert Ross: are you any relation to Prof. Bob Ross, U of M? ...or, stranger still, the man himself?

All the rest o' ya: for what it's worth, I'm a second-gen Freberg fan, thanks to me mum; call it around 1969. She also got me started on giant-bug movies, Alfred Hitchcock in all his guises, Harlan Ellison, Bob Newhart, Raymond Chandler, Spike Jones, & EC comics. (Dad was into Bill Cosby, the Kingston Trio, & The Ventures.)

tnx for the reminder of June Foray. For any other "old time radio" & animation fans, here's the "IMDB" of Voice:

(for any hardcores: how about voice-acting school?:)

The Wikipedia entry for Foray also reminded me that the first voice I learned the name of was Bea Benaderet. I was there for the first episode of "The Beverly Hillbillies," & I said to mom, "hey, isn't Cousin Pearl really Betty Rubble?" She thought it was a stretch, but there was something about her voice. Took me years to track that one down, pre-Internet.

Steve Barber <barbergallery@verizon.net>
- Thursday, July 26 2007 16:47:13


Fuck me.

Am I the last to catch this?

Erik. I'm dumbfucked. No. I'm "bugfucked". I never noticed this before. And nobody. Nobody. Frank, Rick, Mark, David, Doug, Keith, Harlan??? Josh? Susan?

Fuck me.


This ... blows my mind. Jazz Butcher.

Am I the last to know?

(Fuck me.)

john j zeock <k33kong@aol.com>
conshohocken, pa - Thursday, July 26 2007 14:17:35

Susan- surgery postponed, ekg just semi-funky enough so that surgeon wants to check with cardiologist to ensure safety. no one concerned as of yet. hope package arrives safely. by the by the new postal rates are a stench in the nostrils of god (or am i over reacting ?) . i once could mail christmas gifts to friends in brazil and france and family in italy in july, ask for surface rates and not have to take out a second mortgage.

- Thursday, July 26 2007 13:39:41

Dear Pogue:

LATE NEXT WEEK, I'll copy/paste and highlight the sentence in Tollin's post below wherein he says WHEN the cover and ordering info for SHADOW #10 will be available.

But I won't do it until LATE NEXT WEEK.

Look for my post around, oh, the 2nd or 3rd of August.


- Thursday, July 26 2007 12:43:22

Today's Bitching
How do you recognize a TRUE hack?

When you find yerself a director who could actually blow it SO bad with such a great creation and property like the Silver Surfer!

Bill Gauthier
New Bedford, MA - Thursday, July 26 2007 12:39:36

The Shadow May Know, But I Don't
I saw those SHADOW and DOC SAVAGE books at a Borders and wondered about them. I'm glad the topic came up. Now I'm going to have to pick some up. They look like a lot of fun.

- Thursday, July 26 2007 12:1:13


Scroll down on this very site, till you hit the post from


He's the editor of the DOC SAVAGE and THE SHADOW trade books.
Oh, maybe two-three days ago, he posted a notice of my essay, with some minutiae anent Walter Gibson and me, and he included not only a website to go to, but added a free-shipping offer to any Webderlander. That means you. And the books are spiffy, as well as inexpensive.

Just roll back a day or two. You'll find the link in his post.

Love'n'kisses, Sweetums. (Give our affection to Julieanne.)

Yr. Pal (& ex-neighbor), Harlan

Pogue <cepogue@roadrunner.com>
Georgetown, Kentucky - Thursday, July 26 2007 11:28:22

Per your request
Okay, Ellison, per your request, I've come to your little internet clambake here. Went to the site you mentioned could not find any PR or info on #10 with your forward or the Bester story. When's this thing coming out precisely?

Yours in Moloch,


Zack Malatesta
- Thursday, July 26 2007 10:59:54

The idea that certain political figures in America would take actions in a certain desertified region in order to bring about a very Christian end of the World...yeah, that's about the most frightening thing I can think of. What is wrong with these people?

Mark Goldberg <markabaddon@gmail.com>
Minneapolis, - Thursday, July 26 2007 7:35:41

Evangelicals Supporting Israel
This video from Max Blumenthal is scary on more levels than I can count:


Hearing Tom DeLay, one of the most repulsive human being walking the face of the earth, talking about the Rapture and being brought up to heaven is surreal. I do wonder if a person as slimy as he is actually believes what he espouses or if it is done merely to appeal to his constituency?

Sen. Lieberman speaks on the video and cements his place as the one person I would most like to b*tch slap. He compares Pastor Haggee, the leader of this evangelical flock supporting Israel, to Moses, saying that Haggee leads a greater congregation than Moses did. To compare a shyster like Haggee to the greatest prophet of the Jewish people makes me wish we had a Jewish form of excommunication

Elijah Newton
Ypsilanti, MI - Thursday, July 26 2007 6:45:31

Brian : I won't say these are quite what you're after from an aesthetic standpoint, but sometimes seeing something odd jogs one out of a rut and into a new direction. May you find something to intrigue and stimulate!

Off kilter shelving with integrated chair and table.

"Invisible" bookshelf.

Conversely, a bookshelf made of books.

Bookshelf / hidden door.

Refurbishing an old newspaper box to pull and display headlines.

That last project starts to shy towards casemodding (the process of integrating computer parts into more appealing or useful forms than deathless beige boxes). I sometimes think that Harlan would think more kindly of computers if someone would present him with some bit of baroque loveliness. My two favorite examples are :


The creator from the last link says, "the home computer was denied ... the fleeting, wonderful period right after invention, where it is celebrated and honored by the finest craftsman." A good point, I think.

Douglas Harrison
Northeastern BC - Thursday, July 26 2007 0:36:22

Susan: RH #42 made its appearance yesterday afternoon. Thanks much.

Keith: You'll probably read this before your e-mail, so thank you, man, for the DVDs (no, guys, it ain't the Amsterdam stuff), which arrived in fine condition.


David Ray <shaneeray@comcast.net>
Bellevue, WA - Wednesday, July 25 2007 21:49:23

Susan, received the "A History of Violence" dvd. Thanks again to you and Josh.


shagin <smodell1995@yahoo.com>
Bremerton, Washington - Wednesday, July 25 2007 15:20:17

Dust Bunny Treasures
Due to circumstances I control -- which doesn't mean I'm any less terrified -- we're slogging through the house in preparation for the dreaded MOVING DAY. I asked my husband to check for bits and pieces atop the kitchen cupboards, and he came down with a selection of posterboards dusty enough to warrant a sigh of relief that our asthmatic older son was not around. All but one ended up in the garbage, that sole survivor being the signature sign for our fifth wedding anniversary party. Beneath accumulated years, the faux scroll sported signatures of family and friends, some not quite forgotten, too many of them dead.

Ghosts don't always wear sheets and hide in closets. Sometimes they perch in high corners beneath a dust bunny cloak.


Steve Barber <barbergallery@verizon.net>
- Wednesday, July 25 2007 12:58:48


Brian -
My wife remarked this last weekend that she'd like to get a design for built-in shelves and cabinets for our tv and home entertainment center. It would replace a window, existing shelves and frame out a raised fireplace.

Let me ask what ideas SHE had for the look and I'll pass 'em along.


Brian Siano
- Wednesday, July 25 2007 12:2:5

Amazingly Unrelated Question to Everyone, Including Harlan
It's like this. I'm looking for a woodworking project, and bookcases are among the top two or three things I have to do. I've been sketching ideas, mostly Deco, Craftsman and Nouveau influenced stuff. But I'm always up for inspiration.

Since we're all readers here, and many of us are design enthusiasts, I'd like to ask y'all a question. Are there any designs for bookcases-- preferably wooden, floor to ceiling bookcases-- that have struck you as truly interesting, dazzling, or spectacularly functional in some nifty way? Any neat use of lighting? Secret Compartments? Added design trim to give it that extra oomph?

Basically, I'm looking for something that'l boot me out of a design rut.

Okay, back to the regular programming. Best comedian on records? There are lots of standups I love, and many of them have done brilliant records of their nightclub performances.

But when it comes to performances designed to be _records_, I'd have to push the Firesign Theater. Intelligent, surreal, wide-ranging, at times profound... Freberg's funny, but the Firesigns were magnificent.

Barney Dannelke <dannelke@gmail.com>
Allentown, PA - Wednesday, July 25 2007 11:30:54

Rabbit Hole membership #
Charlie is correct. I am member #0001. My original membership number (I think) was #0034 and then there was a "favor"* and I asked for this boon in exchange. I asked what became of the original #1 and was given a look that implied that he or she had either missed their dues payment and they were assigned a new number, OR that the answer to that question would also yield the location of the Hoffa remains. It was how you read the look.

*no kneepads or cartons of cigarettes were involved. I'm just lowering the bar to stick with the "gunsel" theme this week.

More recently someones cute little baby was given the H.E.R.C. membership number of #0001a. Susan thought this was a cute thing to do. Others went "awww" and went the big softee. I have explained to Susan what thin ice this baby now skates on.

- Barney

Patientzero, PA.

Frank Church
- Wednesday, July 25 2007 11:28:54

I agree with Josh, Kane is not film noir but I prefer the term experimental drama or if you like, art-noir.

No matter what dart you throw into the appletree, it sure is one damned masterpiece of a film. But you already knew that.


TBS recently had on AI; everything I said is right, I really watched closely this time. The ending is dark, not fluff.

Minority Report is still great. My new theory: the old lady helped him get into the temple.


Josh, take down this title I just came up with. This is good, so get ready:

Faded Green.

Use it, love it, kiss it.

newberg, oregon - Wednesday, July 25 2007 11:22:21


St. Pete, FL - Wednesday, July 25 2007 10:25:12

Robert, If I'm not mistaken, I think Barney is HERC #1, and I'm sure he can speak for himself on this. In the early days on the black board, he used to sign-off with HERC #1, right Barney?

- Wednesday, July 25 2007 10:17:10

"You can retire anytime, buddy. Your contributions to the arts have earned you that, and a guarantee that you will never be irrelevant."

While we all offer our mutual support, that almost kind of reads, "Thank you. We'll no longer be needing your services"

David Loftus <dloft59 (at) earthlink.net>
Portland, OR - Wednesday, July 25 2007 9:40:2

various and sun-dried

STEVE P.-O. reported that WWN once ran a true news story. Really? That's disgusting! No wonder they collapsed. If you can't depend on a news organization's utter lack of credibility, what CAN you depend on in this world? (As you can tell, I'm all primed for my Catch-22 reading tonight.)

KRISTIN wondered whether back issues of WWN might be scanned and archived anywhere. I wonder if anyone has personally collected all the back issues . . . or if there's a library archive anywhere that dared to keep them?

CHUCK MESSER proudly proclaimed himself a "Freberg Fanatic since 1972." I gotcha beat by 2 years, buddy . . . and I don't yet qualify for MY AARP card.

I treasure Freberg not only for his writing and vocal talents (decent singer, too, at least for satirical purposes!), I also bless him for unleashing Daws Butler (Mr. Yogi Bear, Huckleberry Hound, Quick-Draw McGraw, Elroy Jetson, etc., etc.) and June Foray (Rocky the Flying Squirrel, Natasha Fatale, Nell Fenwick, etc., etc.) into my world. Chuck Jones said, "June Foray is not the female Mel Blanc. Mel Blanc was the male June Foray." I first encountered the Stan Freberg show on the Armed Forces Radio Network out of Frankfurt, circa 1970.

While I was down in LA for the "Dreams With Sharp Teeth" screening in April, I had lunch with voice artist Will Ryan, who had hoped to introduce me to Foray -- 89 years old (she will be 90 in September) and still working! -- but she was unavailable, dammit. Despite all the scratchy-voice crones she voiced, I understand she was quite the dish in her day; you can see it in the 5-year-old photos posted on her IMDb page.

And I believe the correct word is "Consarnit," but I could be wrong. "Cornsarnit" has a nice ring. . . .

I would also appreciate some background on the print versions of THE SHADOW, reprint and otherwise. I am familiar only with the old radio shows and the brooding growl of Orson Welles's voice on them.

Robert Ross <rbrross2937@yahoo.com>
Mpls., MN - Wednesday, July 25 2007 9:37:3

A minor HERC-related question ...
"Rabbit Hole" # 42 arrived yesterday. As I read it, I began to wonder ...

My membership number is low, because I signed up to join HERC when it was first created.

So I was wondering: Is there a HERC Member Number One?? First in line? Top of the list?

Once the question formed in my mind, I couldn't stop wondering ... was perhaps Harlan himself counted as member number one? Or the original director of HERC? Or someone on Harlan's staff?

Or was there a regular Joe (or Jane) or just happened to be the very first person to join?

I'm not asking for the name ... I'm just interested in the concept.

It's hard to imagine a more trivial question, I suppose, but this is the kind of question that can keep me up at night.

So if Harlan or Susan cares to take the time to answer, or anyone else who knows, thank you ...

Keith Cramer <remarck@hotmail.com>
Arlington, VA - Wednesday, July 25 2007 9:22:31

retired and irrelevant

You can retire anytime, buddy. Your contributions to the arts have earned you that, and a guarantee that you will never be irrelevant.

- Keith

Philly, Pa. - Wednesday, July 25 2007 4:59:14

Blunderboy strikes again...
Yesterday, while here, I guessed that Nicholas Musaraca photographed MURDER, MY SWEET. Actually, it was one Mr. Harry J. Wild.

I'm too ashamed to make any "wild, man, wild!" puns...

Alex Jay Berman <alexjay@earthlink.net>
Philadelphia, - Wednesday, July 25 2007 1:8:10

JOSH: Hell, YES, Bill Hicks! Saint Bill is much, much missed. (I speak as one who owns all his original CDs, two of the live performance CDs issued by Rhino, the compendium DVD, the posthumously-released book, and the biography {sadly, the American version, not the allegedly-superior British one}.)

My favorite comedian EVER. ... who was probably more of a social commentator than comedian, but still ...

CLIFF: Awesome sauce.

JOSH AGAIN: Yeah; WWN was always fun, moreso because they didn't put on airs of being anything but an earnestly self-aware pile of hilarious horse puckey. The sad thing is that old comics pros like Paul Kupperberg, Bob Greenberger, and others are now stuck without a paycheck.

DTS: Sorry; nah. About the only "midwest" towns I could possibly live in for any length of time would be Chicago or Austin; I need the kind of town-feel you generally only find in the mid-Atlantic large metropolises ("metropolae"?).
(So where ya going?)

Anthony Tollin <at@shadowsanctum.com>
San Antonio, TX - Tuesday, July 24 2007 22:45:23

Walter Gibson, Alfred Bester and Harlan ... under the covers
Harlan's new foreword will appear in THE SHADOW Volume 10, along with Walter Gibson's THE CITY OF DOOM and THE FIFTH FACE and Alfred Bester's THE IMMORTAL MURDERER (a 1944 SHADOW radio script).

This isn't the first time that Walter Gibson and Harlan Ellison have been found together under covers ... book and magazine covers, that is.

Harlan and Walter both received cover credit 50 years ago on MYSTERY DIGEST #1 (May 1957). Gibson was on top as befitting his senior status, receiving top billing for "The Strange Case of Washington Irving Bishop" over Jack Finney ("Such Interesting Neighbors"), Henry Slesar ("The Man with Two Faces"), Harlan Ellison ("Stand Still and Die"), Fredric Brown ("I'll Cut Your Throat Again, Kathleen") and others. Pure pulp titles, which reminds me of how much I'd love to hear Harlan's cassette recording about the Dying Gasps of the Pulp Era re-released someday on CD. It's a wonderful recollection of HE's early days as a struggling writer.

I'll post the cover and ordering info for SHADOW #10 on my shadowsanctum.com website late next week when I return to Texas. I plan to offer the August release with free shipping to Webderlanders (but you'll have to tell me you're a visitor to the Art Deco Dining Pavilion to receive the free shipping).

Kristin Ruhle <kristin@rahul.net>
Los Gatos, CA - Tuesday, July 24 2007 21:10:45

Aw, Chuck. You don't have to be retired, or even that old...you can join the AARP years before you can cash your retirement accounts or get SocSec benefits....cheer up. They can get you a lot of discounts.

I'll miss WWN. I once heard someone call it "the only weekly science fiction magazine." Not to mention their takes on religion (HALF-RAPTURE LEAVES WOMAN STUCK IN THE CEILING) and paleontology (BIG GAME HUNTERS FROM OUTER SPACE KILLED OUR DINOSAURS) and astronomy (TOP SCIENTIST SAYS EARTH IS AN ALIEN BILLIARD BALL...THE MOON WAS THE CUE BALL THAT HIT IT!) Are they going to stay on the Net somewhere? I think those stories should be scanned-in and archived for posterity.


Stephen <same as it ever was>
Glenolden, PA - Tuesday, July 24 2007 19:36:44

Road Runner
Roadrunner's first name is Mimi.

Do you ask why the storm rages? Don't ask why Harlan writes.

Chuck Messer <Over>
The , Hill - Tuesday, July 24 2007 19:31:7


Well, it's happened. I did not look for this, I did not want this.

Ah did not seek, nor did ah want to accept.

But it finally happened.

IT has arrived.

My AARP membership card. I now have a membership number. Although I see I must reply by September fifth.

It's official. I've been drafted into the Rocking Chair Brigade.

I guess this means I'll have to buy a house now so I can tell kids to get the fuck off my lawn.

I'd better start practicing leaving my turn signal on. I understand there'll be a test.

The Weekly World News defunct? I'll miss headlines like, "PORCUPINE WOMAN STOPS RUNAWAY TRUCK -- WITH HER HEAD!!" Now THAT'S journalism.

And I've been a Freberg Fanatic since 1972. His first job as a teenager was to provide voices along side Mel Blanc. Remember the two mice who were oh, so polite to each other?

"After you, my friend. "
Oh, no, after YOU." "
I beg to differ good sir..." etc.

One of those two mice was this Freberg kid. Imagine writing episodes of the puppet show, TIME FOR BEANY in the back of someone else's convertible. And the owner showing up and yelling, "WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU GUYS DOING IN MY CAR?"

Funny, Bob Clampett swore he knew the guy. Now, that kind of writing took balls.

Practicing to say, "Carnsarnit",


Keith Cramer <remarck@hotmail.com>
Arlington, VA - Tuesday, July 24 2007 19:15:33

Writers: Keep Your Minds Agile!
What is the Road Runner's first name?


DTS <none>
- Tuesday, July 24 2007 17:29:37

Sex, Rivers and Rabbit holes
(Hmmm. It just occured to me that all of the above could be symbolically linked...)
ALEX JAY: You sound like you might fit in well here in the Midwest -- I'm leaving soon, so there's an opening...so to speak (insert wink where needed).
HARLAN: !!! Damn, son! You recorded "Darkness Falls On the River" for the next "Edge in My Voice" collection! I Know it was probably because of the length, but I've always loved that piece -- it's one of your most poetic. (Hell, I've always loved the collection, and still can't figure out why more reviewers didn't notice it and more award committees didn't short list it -- it's one of your top five collections).
SUSAN: Oops. I didn't know that I had one more issue left. In that case, the check ISN'T in the mail. I'll wait till I reach OZ, and have a new address, before re-enlisting in the Harlan Ellison O-WEE-OH Corps.

Give my love to mom,

Alan Coil <lcoil@peoplepc.com>
Southeast Michigan - Tuesday, July 24 2007 17:17:41

Retired and Irrelevant? Hopefully never!

At 5 am, perhaps "tired, yet still relevant".
One of my favorite Monty Python bits is the spam bit. And speaking of spam, I recently found myself offering to sell myself discount watches. Somebody used my email address to send me an email from myself. To think that this is the site where they found my address would be a stretch because I use the same address in at least 30 different places.

Jeff R.
San Diego, CA, - Tuesday, July 24 2007 15:10:40

The weed of crime bears bitter fruit. Crime does not pay.
Holy Mackinac! There's a SHADOW reprint series??? How come nobody told me?????

All right, serious question. Just found the web site for the reprints and this poor working stiff can't afford to buy the whole series. Obviously I'm going to be there for #10, but of those published so far, is there a consensus on which ones might be considered the best?

Zack Malatesta
- Tuesday, July 24 2007 12:40:53

Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men?

- Tuesday, July 24 2007 12:20:21


At five ayem this morn I crawled into bed after completing "For Every Action..." a new 1800 word introduction to issue #10 of the marvelous Tony Tollin-produced (2 "novels" each issue) reprint series of THE SHADOW. I am a stone Shadow wonk, and to have been named (in Phil Farmer's genealogical chart of Doc Savage's bloodline) the nephew of The Shadow, it was a thrill to become a minor footnote in the canon.

This is an advisement for those who continue to insist I'm "retired" or "irrelevant."

Yr. Pal, Harlan

Steve Dooner <sdooner@earthlink.net>
South Weymouth, MA - Tuesday, July 24 2007 11:43:34

Jeff R.: Thanks for the correction. I was--believe it or not-- thinking of Greg Toland's work on John Ford's 'Mary of Scotland,' which was earlier and did share many visual similarities with Kane. This film is clearly not Film Noir, and I have no idea how I conflated it with Dmytryk's film in my disorderly memory.

Josh: I agree with your overall point. In that muddled post of mine, I was trying to make the point that Kane is clearly much larger and greater than a mere Film Noir. I would absolutely not limit the film with such a label. My point was that reporter Thompson's quest for the truth is the "Noir-ish" element of the film, not its biopic elements, nor its story about a millionaire.

Steve Dooner

Steve Barber <barbergallery@verizon.net>
- Tuesday, July 24 2007 11:29:0

Relax. Breathe. Inhale -- exhale -- inhale -- exhale.

Feel better? Maybe a bit lightheaded, but that will pass.

First, ANY place you post using an email address on the web will get "noticed". I use three different addresses, and two of the three are regularly spammed (though most is blocked). The third uses an industrial strength spam control that keeps it virtually unspammed, regardless.

Secondly, if you have issues with spam, let's discuss using "Hotmail" for a second. (Or, maybe not. You probably already know that's a major culprit right there.)

Thirdly, never, ever be afraid of sharing ideas or conversations because you're afraid you might get a few easily deleted messages in your inbox.

Spam is bad. Spam is reprehensible. Spam is no good. Spam happens.

In sincerest concern for your blood pressure,

Steve B

(Trust me. I'm an internet professional. We're here to help.)

HAMMOND CASSOLA <noreplieshotmail.com>
Melbourne, Victoria - Tuesday, July 24 2007 11:0:44



Steve P.-O. <widmerpool@hotmail.com>
Chicago, - Tuesday, July 24 2007 10:48:41

Buz & Tod on the road again -- in your DVD player!
Looks like ROUTE 66 is *finally* making its way onto DVD. Season 1 is due in October. In theory, if sales are good, we oughtta be getting HE's episode from Season 3 in the near future!


About the Weekly World News, I recall the day I saw an actual real news story in it! A college woman fell from the 20th floor of her dorm and survived, with just minor (relatively) injuries. She was wheelchaired for a month or three, but then back on her feet.

I wouldn't have believed it if I didn't know the woman, as it happened at my school. Bizarre, that. My reality came crashing down at finding a true tale in the News. It will be missed.


JOHN J ZEOCK <k33kong@aol.com>
conshohocken, pa - Tuesday, July 24 2007 10:13:25

Susan-got books, will post tonight. Harlan-i'm sure you know this but if not, darryl brock wrote a sequel to if i never... titled 2 in the field. will read during recovery. as ever, obediently yours....

Josh Olson
- Tuesday, July 24 2007 9:20:52

I know I'm breaking the one a day rule, but I just learned some very, very sad news.

The Weekly World News is done. Finito. Over.


This is a sad day for American journalism. I can only hope Fox News steps up and fulfills their destiny by taking over (Hell, Bill O'Reilly's already become Ed Anger, and I suspect Neal Cavuto IS Bat Boy, so it won't take much.)

Clifford Meth <cliffmeth@aol.com>
- Tuesday, July 24 2007 8:48:19

Yes, Harlan is writing an intro to YR. PAL, HARLAN. There will be a signed/numbered edition of this book that we plan to make available to HERC members first, and at a discounted price.

Josh Olson
- Tuesday, July 24 2007 8:38:10

One of the thoughts that's solidified in my addled pate during this noir discussion, noir more of a narrative genre than a stylistic one. While there are visual quirks that are easily idenitifiable (and parodied), they're not essential - You can make a noir in color. You can make one that's brightly lit. You can make one without flashbacks, or voice over. But it's the narrative that always gives it away.

It's the narrative conventions that make something a noir. I used to say, if it could serialized in Black Mask magazine, it's noir, but then I learned that Black Mask used to run horror stories and romances, so that kinda blew that one. But you know what I mean.

On comedy - Bill Hicks! Of course.

james argendeli
lawrenceville, GA - Tuesday, July 24 2007 7:38:43

Hi HArlan & Susan,

How about a screening of the documentary and a public appearance in Atlanta? Please!

Jim & Cindy Argendeli

David Ray <shaneeray@comcast.net>
Bellevue, WA - Tuesday, July 24 2007 6:55:57

Susan, received RH#42 yesterday - another outstanding edition!!

Thanks to you and Josh in re to the HERC drawing. I think I read the blurb about 3 times before realizing it was me who won the drawing.


Rick Ollerman <rick@ollerman.com>
Littleton, NH - Tuesday, July 24 2007 6:50:55

Sturgeon typos
Hey, Harlan:

Here's what I found:

page XV, second to last paragraph: "...I don't think it's every happened..." - should be "ever happened"

page XIX, second to last paragraph: "...Flaubert put is much more..." - should be "put it much more"

I loved the piece. You define it perfectly near the end where you say you wrote it for Ted himself to read. What I love most about your writing is the unabashed honesty, the flaming truth that screams from your words as if you were sitting next to me, shouting them into my ear. Words do not get in the way of the smallest intonation of your emotions; everything you want the reader to feel is directly transmitted from page to brain.

This piece is no different. I saw and heard and listened to Sturgeon in Minneapolis way back when but I'm not sure if I met him or not. (Kinda like when I could have walked up to you in Atlanta but didn't.) The experiences that weekend gave me some sense of the man, I thought, and everything you wrote has brought back that same sense of emotion. I will always remember hearing him read "The Graveyard Reader" and "Miss Proozy's Pot" and now I think those reminiscences have been affirmed by your introduction.

I'll read it again.

Mark Spieller
San Mateo, California, - Tuesday, July 24 2007 6:17:16

Welles, Lederer and Comedy
Welles and Charles Lederer, were not only friends they were connected by the fact that Welles' first wife Virginia married Lederer. Lederer was given a copy of the script by Herman Mankiwicz, whose self destructive tendencies were as famous as his gambling habit. Lederer, read it but did not pass it on to his aunt (According to Lederer) but word of its content still might have gotten out. It was the gossip mongers of Parson and Hooper who started the wheels rolling that would run over KANE keeping it from finding any kind of success.

As for comedy, I love all those that were mentioned but I am thinking of comedians who use the record as their chosen form rather then stand ups whose acts were recorded and released. Think of them as the offsprint of the great radio comedians of Fred Allen, Jack Benny or if you are in the UK THE GOONS.

- Tuesday, July 24 2007 5:38:40


Haven't received my contributors' copies yet. Neither has Noel Sturgeon. Two typos?!? Well, yes, dammit apprise me of them, please. Sharon, I, Noel and, presumably a proofreader at North Atlantic Press, went over that mss. at least seven (7) times. No one was cavalier with it, so I am at 6s&7s wondering what happened, and at what station of the cross the glitches were introduced, and who is responsible. There's nothing much I can do to rectify, but at least if you give me chapter and verse, I can mention it in the right places, and hope someone'll hear me.

Either way, thanks for the head's-up. Hope you like the piece.

Yr. pal, Harlan

Jeff R.
Phila., Pa. - Tuesday, July 24 2007 5:17:29

STEVE DOONER: Edward Dmytryk didn't direct MURDER, MY SWEET until three years after Welles did KANE. Nor did Toland photograph it. Without looking it up, I'd GUESS that Nicholas Musaraca shot it. He has quite a reputation for film noir, did some of the Lewtons, was under contract to RKO at the time.

ROB: Ty Hardin was briefly considered to play Batman in the 1960s TV series!

- Tuesday, July 24 2007 4:59:29

Somebody beat me to the observation that the Orson Welles Batman story is an internet hoax, but re Anthony Tollin's report of an Orson Welles Shadow movie: exactly how ironic would it have been, for his career to be rescued by a nephew of Marion Davies?

Jason Michelitch <jasonmichelitch@gmail.com>
Astoria, NY - Tuesday, July 24 2007 4:39:56

Kane Origins

Where did you come by the information on THE POWER AND THE GLORY? The only info I have on it comes from the (doubtless flawed) Bogdanovich book THIS IS ORSON WELLES. The passage reads:

BOGDANOVICH: There's a film written by Preston Sturges called "The Power and the Glory" which has been said to have influenced you in the flashback style of "Kane". Is that true?

WELLES: No. I never saw it. I've heard that it has strong similarities; it's one of those coincidences. I'm a great fan of Sturges and I'm grateful I didn't see it. He never accused me of it - we were great chums - but I just never saw it. I saw only his comedies. But I would be honored to lift anything from Sturges, because I have very high admiration for him.

In the book Welles does talk about running "Stagecoach" over and over again, finding it a "perfect textbook" on how to make a film.

Alex Jay Berman <alexjay@earthlink.net>
Philadelphia, - Tuesday, July 24 2007 2:35:29

JOSH: If ever you happened to take in a showing of Rocky Horror at the TLA and you noticed that the girl performing the before-the-screen role of Columbia could actually tap-dance ... well, that was my sister.

TONY I.: Where was Harlan when Carella, Meyer, Hawes, et alia needed him? Um, Cleveland, I should think.

ON THE SUBJECT OF "GUNSEL": I have to think that "gunsel"-as-"gunhawk", though originally born from misunderstanding, has become so prevalent that it falls under the categories of accepted usage and linguistic drift. (Though I actually *did* know the original meaning)
This isn't to say that linguistic abortions such as the American usage of "Let's table this" for "Let's take it OFF the table" in exact opposition to the expression's actual meaning, or thinking that "inflammable" means "won't burn" shouldn't be muredered in their sleep.
(You could say that the "savage BEAST" rather than "savage BREAST" bit would also be acceptable linguistic drift, were it not for the fact that it's derived from a quotation.)

DTS: You just don't GET it.

Sex is filthy, evil, obscene, verboten, wrong, and just plain DUURRRR-TEE. It's bad, it's sick, it's terrible, and I hope to Holy God Above that my kids never find out that it's how they got here.

(The best example I can think of for this {coitally-interfaced}-up mindset is a letter to the editor to the Philadelphia Inquirer some months back: The paper recently started running a column called "Carnal Knowledge", a regular feature about sex. And when I say "sex", I mean that writer faye Flam pens essays about mitosis, sexual selection, gender issues, and such; rarely about sexuality.

Nevertheless, this prompted at least one mother to bloviate how a family newspaper should not, never, no, huh-uh, ever have such a horrible issue tackled within its pages--and CERTAINLY not on the front page of the Arts & Entertainment/Life section! She despaired that she might one day find her children--whom, to her credit, she encouraged to read the news--READING about such things. Quel horreur! Quel dommage! (Quel merde des taureaux.)

Now, as for the REST of the paper, that was just peach-dandy.

And she was right. I mean, imagine how warped her children would conceivably become if, whilst perusing the paper, they were interrupted in their reading about war, murder, corruption, rape, genocide, pollution, corruption, ethnic cleansing, racism, gangbangers, organized crime, sexism, intolerance, the continued existence of Paris Hilton, and the woeful state of Philadelphia sports teams, by something as perniciously evil as -gulp!- the reproductive habits of amoebae!)

SUSAN: Got my Rabbit Hole today (Monday); haven't yet had the joy of perusal.
(Would that I could up your Alex quotient at the Cleveland do, but that's about as possible as the Leader of the Free World {kaff!} receiving a Mensa application.)

BARNEY or CLIFF: Will you be soliciting an introduction from Harlan?

MARK SPIELLER: Regarding LEARNING TO KILL, I hate to say I didn't get through the whole thing, simply because it was nowhere near the level of craft I had come to expect from his work. True, the stories weren't BAD, per se ... it's just that they weren't McBain-level.
As for Best Comedian on Records, my money's on Lord Buckley. (But you didn't even allow room for Bruce, Sahl, Winters, Newhart, Carlin, Connolly, Pryor ...)

Don Hilliard <dbhilliard@peak.org>
Bayshore, OR - Monday, July 23 2007 20:37:26

The final zinger on the misunderstood meaning of "gunsel" is that, according to Hammett's pulp contemporary Erle Stanley Gardner, Hammett put it in _expecting_ it to be misinterpreted. Joseph Shaw, the editor of _Black Mask_ magazine, had previously censored an expletive from one of Hammett's stories and given Hammett a dressing-down for using unprintable expressions. When "The Maltese Falcon" was serialized in _Black Mask_, Hammett decided to run a gag on Shaw with two pieces of slang he knew and Shaw didn't. When Spade first confronts Wilmer Cook, he asks the kid "How long have you been off the gooseberry lay?". A bit later comes the "gunsel" line.

The first is a reference to the petty racket of stealing clothing off of washlines and reselling it. The second Harlan has explicated quite thoroughly. Shaw reportedly deleted the first as something obscene (though it does appear in the novel in book form) and left "gunsel" alone, thus being the first in a very long line to get it wrong...exactly as Hammett expected. (Gardner never mentions whether Hammett let Shaw in on it after publication.)

And speaking of the genre, some here might want to know that the excellent _Philip Marlowe_ TV series (the late '80s Showtime/Channel 4 co-production starring Powers Boothe) has just now hit the DVD racks.

Oh, and a warning about the DVD someone spotted of "An Occurrence At Owl Creek Bridge": apparently what's on the disc is the edited version used on _The Twilight Zone_, with Serling's intro and voice-over tag clumsily removed. (Same version that turned up fairly regularly from "public domain" video houses in the late '80s, and probably just as crappy in quality as it was then.)

Chuck Messer <Yadda>
yadda, yadda - Monday, July 23 2007 19:52:45


I received my Rabbit Hole today. Loved all the little tidbits. Thank you for doing this, Susan. It makes this whole Webderland thing a little more fun.


Rick Ollerman <rick@ollerman.com>
Littleton, NH - Monday, July 23 2007 17:38:14


I got my copy of the new Sturgeon collection today and I posted a message in the forum that I found two typos in the first 22 pages of your intro. Jan suggested I note them and share them with you so you could fire them back to the publisher.

You want I should do this? Or are you aware of these?

- Monday, July 23 2007 17:26:49

Josh pretty much got this one down

Genres and sub-genres - I think - were created in part to distinguish the forms and give clarity to the objective in each. Noir requires seedy dark motives, a criminal, a "broad", murder, the dank squalor existence, etc.

Two things about Kane I learned only recently: the Welles examined John Ford's STAGECOACH closely while conceiving and planning the shots he'd use and the reasons for using them; and he examined THE POWER AND THE GLORY, a 1933 film with Spencer Tracy written by Preston Sturges, whereby he formulated the story structure for Kane.

**Two corrections on an earlier post:

I meant HE WALKED BY NIGHT not He Walks By Night (sounds like a Mummy sequel), and PANIC IN THE STREETS not Panic In The City.

***Recent discoveries:

I rented Fuller's PICKUP ON SOUTH STREET, ran it several times and grew quickly addicted. INDIRECTLY, I learned of Jeanne Eagels, and actress of the silents who fell to drugs and alcohol due in part to a studio system that manipulated her as it did later to Judy Garland, and died in 1929 at a young age. She was erratic and difficult...something I remember my own mother for. It's a dark story I learned Fuller had covered in his newspaper days. I'd never heard of her.

****Here's another good one: I was reading about one of those early 1960's Beach Party Bingo type flicks; this one starred a pre-Wild Wild West Robert Conrad, and it was PALM SPRINGS WEEKEND. Well, it co-starred this guy named Ty Hardin. Seemed innocent enough in a boyish way. He later became an anti-Semitic Right Wing nut case; an evangelistic preacher who would come to lead a group of fanatics in the 70's called the Arizona Patriots. He and his heel-clickin' compatriots sought - ever in the BOWLING FOR COLUMBINE spirit - to overthrow government, stockpile weapons and bait government officials.

Then Hardin gets into this dispute with the IRS, and runs a tax protest school called the Common Law Institute, whose packet of materials included a "Patriot Handbook" containing "tested cases and methods to maintain good personal freedom." In 1983 and 1984, Hardin edited The Arizona Patriot, a monthly journal that printed diatribes against government officials, calls for "Christian Patriots" to band together, and reprints of articles from anti-Semitic publications.

Following a two-year FBI undercover probe, Federal agents raided a Patriot camp in 1986, and confiscated a hoard of weapons and publications from Aryan Nation groups!

Ty Hardin left Arizona, and the group soon ceased to function.

After reading that I could only think, "well you're talking about someone connected with Robert Conrad. What else could you expect!"

Anthony Tollin <at@shadowsanctum.com>
San Antonio, TX - Monday, July 23 2007 16:37:47

Orson Welles' unfilmed SHADOW film
Brad wrote: "Orson Welles never planned to make a Batman film! This rumor derives from an internet hoax, as does the one about Welles making an unfinished film of Ian Fleming's MOONRAKER."

But Orson Welles did want to direct a film version of THE SHADOW in the mid-1940s, and had Charles Lederer (Marion Davies' nephew and the stepfather of Orson's firstborn daughter) write a screenplay. Welles had hoped that a SHADOW movie would be a commercial success and might rekindle his Hollywood career. After the screenplay was completed, Orson discovered that the film rights to THE SHADOW were locked up because of the Monogram low-budget B films, and he was unable to move forward with the project. Truly unfortunate, considering what an Orson Welles noir version of THE SHADOW would have looked like ... and considering that THE SHADOW was the highest-rated daytime radio series at the time, it very well might have been a commercial success and restarted his Hollywood career in a way that THE STRANGER and THE LADY FROM SHANGHAI did not.

Anthony Tollin <at@shadowsanctum.com>
San Antonio, Texas - Monday, July 23 2007 16:21:31

HE writes:

"The word "gunsel" does not AT ALL mean what you think it means.
And is NOT, NO WAY, NOHOW, NEVER EVER, a synonym for


Uh, well ... it wasn't, and shouldn't be. But thanks to Bogart's wonderful delivery, the influence of John Huston's film version of THE MALTESE FALCON and the changing/evolving nature of language, that's pretty much exactly what it does mean today.

According to WEBSTER'S NEW UNIVERSAL UNABRIDGED DICTIONARY (2001 edition), the current definition of "gunsel" is:

"n. Slang. 1) a criminal armed with a gun. 2. a catamite (1910-15; prob. Yiddish genzel gosling, MHG gensel {dim. of gans goose); sense of def. 1. by influence of GUN ..."

At the time Hammett wrote THE MALTESE FALCON, the word described a boyish homosexual in the company of an older man. As I recall, the implication was that Wilmer was Gutman's boy-toy. But because of decades of misunderstanding and misuse of the term, it now has acquired that misunderstanding as its primary definition.

- Monday, July 23 2007 16:8:36

Alan Coil wrote: "If Orson Welles had produced his proposed Batman film, which was to have been in B&W, would it have qualified as film noir? It would have had criminals, detective work, violence, guns, etc."

Orson Welles never planned to make a Batman film! This rumor derives from an internet hoax, as does the one about Welles making an unfinished film of Ian Fleming's MOONRAKER.

debbie <yerkesd@gwm.sc.edu>
columbia, sc - Monday, July 23 2007 16:6:0

Rabbit Hole
I received my copy of Rabbit Hole on Saturday and saw the notice about Yr. Pal, Harlan. Barney, you are magnificent, and Cliff, so are you. This is an excellent idea. Thank you.


John Pacer
- Monday, July 23 2007 15:36:59

Susan: I got my Rabbit Hole today. Thanks for everything. It looks like it's my time to renew as well.

Harlan: The new Suydam cover for Shatterday is wild! I really dig it. Granted, the R.H. is monochrome, but the image looks like the love child of Rene Magritte and Francis Bacon.

Mark Spieller
San Mateo, California, - Monday, July 23 2007 15:25:21

McBain Books
I cam to the McBain books via Pennysaver Books, in Pacific Beach California who had a shelf full at 35 cents a copy. Being a nearly broke college student with a huge jones for reading matter, these seem to be a great answer to my habit and they came with the nifty covers of vintage paperback houses like Permabooks and Signet.

Shortly after, I found out that I have read McBain under his mainstream name Evan Hunter, when my folks gave me a copy of SONS to read. If you are looking for some of his noncrimous works that would be a great place to start.

However if its his mean street you like I suggest a new collection called LEARNING TO KILL, which covers the mystery stories he wrote during his first year and half while working at the Scott Meredith Agency. A more vintage collection would the McBain Brief, which also collects some of his short stories together.

I know that there was a early TV version of the 87th Precint books---which I have a vague memory of being like Dragnet, but almost every cop show in my black and white youth was like Dragnet. But I do think that HILL STREET BLUES, and those that have followed in its wake both on the big, small, and cable screen should give a tap or two of the nightstick against the police call box for what McBain did for the police procedural.

As for KANE being noir-noirsh, outside of its looks, it does not have the nilistic, doomed, violent, undertones that Noir has as part of its underpinigs.

Look at DOA, DETOUR, THE POSTMAN ALWAYS RINGS TWICE, there is a darkness and everyone is doomed in one fashion or another because of a inevitable fate bearing down on them. KANE's greatest victim is himself and his wife, and it maybe infered that Susan Kane has placed herself partly on the bottle fed road to oblivion we see her on.

For our next string, I suggest, BEST COMEDIAN ON RECORDS: Alan Sherman VS Stan Freberg VS The Firesign Theater. May the best shtick win.

Clifford Meth <cliffmeth@aol.com>
- Monday, July 23 2007 15:22:9

Steve and onlookers:
As an editor, I search for two types of projects: those that will make money and those that I’d personally like to read. In the case of YR. PAL, HARLAN, I get both. While the volume may not outsell the most recent Harry Potter installment, our conservative P&L analysis--which is based on a keen awareness of market trends--certainly shows this book is a good investment for IDW Publishing. Moreover, had another publisher brought it out first, I’d have been eager to buy the book and read it. Perhaps twice. Reading Harlan is fun.

A year or two ago, when Barney generously mentioned this idea (his idea, not Harlan’s), I turned green with envy. What a splendid project! I’m just grateful I beat another publisher to it.

As for Barney’s assertion, "anyone on ANY board who wants to level some sort of charge against Harlan..." forming two lines will be unnecessary. They can come directly to me. Preferably in person. I’ll be at ComicCon in San Diego all week hoping to be that lucky. But I won’t leave enough of them for Barney to grease his bicycle gears with. I’m not as generous as Barney.

Alan Coil <lcoil@peoplepc.com>
Southeast Michigan - Monday, July 23 2007 15:8:13

If Orson Welles had produced his proposed Batman film, which was to have been in B&W, would it have qualified as film noir? It would have had criminals, detective work, violence, guns, etc.

Josh Olson
- Monday, July 23 2007 14:44:49


Ay yi yi. I'll TRY to make this my last comment on the subject - the protaganist of Kane is not the reporter. It's Kane.

Honestly, I've lived in this genre for decades, and while Kane does come up from time to time as a stylistic progenitor of the genre, I've never heard anyone make the case that it's an actual part of it. It simply isn't. Like I said, narratively, it's not even close. There's all sorts of gray areas with noir (nyuck nyuck), but the genre doesn't have room for biopics. It's sort of like saying the first twelve minutes of Wizard Of Oz are noir because they're black and white. Well.... no. Where's the seedy crime? Where's the femme fatale? Where's the dark past that won't stay buried? (Sleds don't count, besides, it DOES stay buried).

And yes, to Ellis, History has a solid foothold in the genre. Used to tickle me no end when critics would pick up the whiff of Out Of The Past and others in their reviews of it. It was an attempt to marry noir with the western, basically. I like to think we came close to getting it right...

Steven Dooner <sdooner@earthlink.net>
South Weymouth, MA - Monday, July 23 2007 14:27:35

JOSH: The noir-ish protagonist of Citizen Kane is not a millionaire, but an investigative journalist named Thompson. He is pursuing a mystery, he is looking into the darker and seamier side of American aristocracy and he is ultimately confounded by the darkness he is trying to penetrate. Sounds like Film noir to me.

Just as Marlowe is a riff on Marlow from 'Heart of Darkness,' so most foundational noir stories follow the structure of Conrad's novel (Interestingly, Welles had wanted to shoot 'Heart of Darkness' before Kane. He was also intrigued by first person point-of-view and wished to bring it to cinema, way before Montgomery's 'Lady in the Water').

While Kane is, of course, much more than a film noir, I would think that you would make a fatal error in not including it in the "Set of all Film Noir" (apologies to Betrand Russell). It can be on a lot of other lists too.

Greg Toland had just finished shooting "Murder My Sweet" with Dmytryk a few months before; Orson also had a well-known fondness for detective fiction and pulp novels and helped define radio detective fiction; Mankiewicz knew the genre well; and the structure of the narrative and the chiaruscuro lighting of Kane even became essential to Noir story-telling for generations.

When we make up these categories, how slavish should we be about our definitions? Should we include 'Lady from Shanghai,' 'The Stranger,' 'Touch of Evil' and Reed's 'The Third Man' as classic Film Noir while ignoring the obvious 500 pound gorilla in the room?

Steve Dooner

DTS <none>
- Monday, July 23 2007 14:19:13

SUSAN, her foot fetish, and The Rabbit Hole
SUSAN: Doesn't that time -- when Harlan was in the bathroom, combing his hair, shaving his back hair -- that I satisfied your foot fetish count for free issues of Rabbit Hole?
No? Sheesh, okay, okay: the check is in the mail!
Dorman (toe-sucker extraordinare)

- Monday, July 23 2007 13:51:12


Thank you for the poem.

Susan & Harlan

- Monday, July 23 2007 13:12:30

Susan, thanks for the latest RH. By the way, it's either Pavilion or Pavillon, never Pavillion. Heehee. :-)

Sturgeon Vol. 11 was released on the 17th, according to amazon.

Harlan, among the greatest news was to read about your collaboration with a certain publisher as an editor. Judging from the first title that's in the works, this will not be just another line of essential SF that includes the usual suspects which are in print anyway.

Is the title of the line set in stone? Are they using your expertise to their best advantage? Because, you see, I wonder if under that title the line can reasonably exclude any of the books that would normally be included. They would have to put out fifty books before getting around to some of your personal favorites, which are more likely to be out of print than the classics. I would hate for the publishers and audiences to complain about you picking the occasional rare and undiscovered (but nevertheless essential) book for the line, which is what I think you will and absolutely should do. My suggestion to you and the publisher is that at least your name be part of the title.

Either way, looking forward to updates about this project.

Jeff R.
Phila, Pa - Monday, July 23 2007 13:10:46

How about what we might call video (TV) noir?
Certain episodes of THE FUGITIVE, virtually every segment of THE UNTOUCHABLES, "The Four of Us Are Dying" from the original TWILIGHT ZONE, even (believe it or not) some first season black and white episodes of ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN. PETER GUNN. Some black and white DRAGNETs. JOHNNY STACCATO.

What else?

Lori Koonce <purplelynn35@excite.com>
San Francisco, Califronia - Monday, July 23 2007 12:54:42

Advice for the Enemy
B The Enemy

I read the blog post you asked us to and have one suggestion for you. Just keep on writing.

I know from having grown up in a house full of people just like that; that you'll never change their minds, no matter what you say.

But, I am getting ready to put up a comment in your defense, not that you need it, but it would seem to put things in a proper balance. I can't stand idiots like that, and for most of my growing up years I had one for a mother!

And just look at it as a bunch of idiots paranoid about their parenting skills. If they taught their children to stay away from that stuff, they probablly will. Untill they become Teens, and we all know what a group of non conforming conformists that group is....

Anyways Keep up the good fight.


Ellis K
- Monday, July 23 2007 12:44:1

Would History of Violence qualify as a modern day noir?

B the Enemy <BtheEnemy@comcast.net>
Philadelphia, PA - Monday, July 23 2007 11:55:38

Help from my fellow Ellison fans
Hi guys, I could use a little help here. I recently wrote about the Literati and Christian wacko's attacking Harry Potter and popular fiction at my site, and one of the frigging people I wrote about actually commented. He must google himself constantly, because I don't have that big of a site. Anyway, before the crazy right wingers come out of the woodwork, I'd like to bury this asshole. Any help would be appreciated.
(I did use good Harlan's name, so it's not entirely unrelated. Sorry to drag you into this, HE, but what the hell...)


Tony Isabella <tony@wfcomics.com>
Medina, OH - Monday, July 23 2007 10:53:18

My second tour with the 87th

This is my second complete tour with the 87th. I was introduced to the books by Don McGregor circa 1973 in the Marvel Comics bullpen.

Don used to read out loud from them during our lunch breaks. He really sold those books and I thank him for the introduction at least once a year.


David Loftus <dloft59 (at) earthlink.net>
Portland, OR - Monday, July 23 2007 10:4:36


:: This was not Harlan's idea.

Anyone who knows anything about Ellison and has half a brain would have realized this immediately.

Let the unwashed hordes yammer.

paul <vaughnrichards@yahoo.com>
Austin, TX - Monday, July 23 2007 9:56:26

Syncronicity lives

Today is Raymond Chandler's birthday.

That man wrote stories the way Joe Louis fought the first three rounds of a heavyweight bout.

Move it.

Barney Dannelke <dannelke@gmail.com>
Allentown, PA - Monday, July 23 2007 9:17:0

*** Steve *** Thank you. I've been sitting on my hands since that press release went up on Heidi's board last week but the longer I do the more enamel I take off my teeth. So I'm just going to say this once here - and it either "gets around" or it doesn't.

This was not Harlan's idea.

It is what it is. A collection of some amusing ephemera. I have a lot more to say about WHAT EXACTLY it is, and WHY it is what it is - and what forms it should ultimately take - BUT, to anyone on ANY board who wants to level some sort of charge against Harlan plumbing any depths of his own Very Deep barrel - they can form two lines. One in front of me and the other in front of Clifford Meth. One ticket buys a turn in each line. WE thought it was a good idea. Even a Great idea. Harlan just ALLOWED us to go forward - which I am Very Happy about. But as for Harlan "cobbling this up" or pimping in it anyway. Nope. All ass backwards on that front is what I'm saying.

As for the "argument" of it's worth... I'm pacing myself. May 2008 is a long time from now.

- Barney

- Monday, July 23 2007 8:55:55

Thanks everyone for your support regarding the Rabbit Hole.

Hope to see some of you on Aug 9th and on Sept 21st (thanks Alex).

Sorry, DTS--It's time for renewal. You knew this day would come.

Rob--A whole bunch of Dr. Whos arrived--many thanks. Anything I can get you this end? Just ask.

See you at the Aero.

With kind regards--Susan

Steve Barber <barbergallery@verizon.net>
- Monday, July 23 2007 8:34:53

JOSH - I concede the point. Plenty of ther good examples I shoulda used.

SANDRA - Thank you. The reviewer is a well-known jerk who is deluded in his own skills, so I take it with a grain of salt. I'm glad you liked the shot. So, evidently, did the other three reviewers. Thanks for checking it out.

ORPHEUS - Farley Nelson wrote it, but generously allowed Bartizan Mole to take the credit.

METH AND DANNELKE - Terrific idea for a book. (Of course, already the detractors are weighing in -- under the mistaken assumption that Harlan's at-times extensive observations aren't "real writing". Naturally, these are probably the same folks who loved David Gerrold's 'Solomon Short' and Robert Heinlein's 'Lazarus Long' writings...) Looking forward to it.

JASMINE - (Speaking strictly for myself. Rick and Harlan are the lone true authorities for your answers)

1. What's the actual purpose of this site

2. I notice there's a bit about prison. How would you react to spending life in the nick for a crime you didn't commit?
VERY, VERY ANNOYED. And I'd probably find a way to blame society for my incarceration.

3. Anyone come across any dissertations/theses on HBO's 'Oz'?
Can't help with this. Don't pay for HBO, never watched an episode and so would have little use for reading about it.

Went to a "Vegas"-themed birthday party for my niece Saturday afternoon. Got roped into being the croupier for roulette, meaning that I got to slap a few hands and generally talk to the players. One woman -- maybe 29-ish -- had purchased the new HARRY POTTER book at midnight, read for four hours, then completed it by 6pm Saurday evening.


Alex Krislov <Alexkrislov@cs.com>
- Monday, July 23 2007 8:10:35

Rabbit Hole
Susan: the Rabbit Hole has reached Cleveland. Thanks, as always. I just had a chat with Mr Antonucci, and we'll put notices of both the Santa Monica and Cleveland showings on Netscape. And you best believe I'll be in attendance.

- Monday, July 23 2007 7:54:57

Whoops. I just caught the re in "re-reading."

Well, I can envy that, too.

Adam-Troy Castro <adamcastro999@yahoo.com>
- Monday, July 23 2007 7:54:4

Ah, Tony
Tony Isabella: I envy you your first tour of the 87th. You have no idea what treasures are in store. SADIE WHEN SHE DIED, HE WHO HESITATES, AX, GHOSTS, EIGHT BLACK HORSES, LADY LADY I DID IT, HAIL TO THE CHIEF, LIGHTNING, FAT OLLIE'S BOOK...whoah, Nellie, but you have absolutely no idea the greatness that's still coming up. The first few books, good as they are, do show an immature talent still learning his craft, so I think that "Gunsel" can be forgiven. A-TC

DTS <none>
- Monday, July 23 2007 7:28:43

Slinging Slang and Cock-sucking
SAMIAM: Since gunsel was always slang and the word gay wasn't, I'm not sure your comparison will make sense. That said, gunsel now is considered -- and defined in most dictionaries -- as "a gunman," etc. Not saying that's correct, since many of the same dictionaries recognize "irregardless" as a legitimate word.

ALL MALE POSTERS: What the fuck is it with you guys? Seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, years, decades we spend in hot pursuit (pun intended) of sex, sex, sex and, well, more sex -- and still we manage to propogate the idea that things of a sexual nature are somehow degrading (I say we, because even I -- at least until the age of 12 or 13 -- have managed to make the same bone-headed mistakes). Years, months, days, weeks, hours and seconds we spend dreaming, fantasizing about (and hoping for) sexual acts that include all the variations (oral, vaginal, anal and hands-on). And yet, we STILL manage to degrade all of those physical pleasures in the course of everyday, um, discourse (I write that realizing that not _all_ of the variations supply pleasure to _all_ the people _all_ of the time --just call me the PT Barnum of sex lectures). But when it comes to spreading sexual goodwill, the male of our human species is his own worst enemy.

As far back as I can remember, some guy -- or some group of guys -- has always been twisting a particular sexual act, or a particular piece of the male or female anatomy, into an eptithet, putdown, or curse. Cocksucker seems to be the favorite with a LOT of supposedly heterosexual men. That particular word -- like the word cunt -- doesn't have to be one of such dark, angry meaning; but over the years, men have made it so, using it as a put-down. Don't these guys LIKE having a woman perform oral sex on them? (Okay, I'll exclude Richard Nixon because I can't imagine him enjoying sex -- hell, I can't imagine him in a sexual act, thank god, or whoever is in charge). But what moron -- in times past -- decided that the act of having someone pleasure him orally was both demeaning and worthy of degradation? Same goes for all the other oral-sex based eptithets -- or discriptions, of which I heard plenty throughout the years -- including things
like "slobbing the knob" and "blowjob." (I'll admit, the latter doesn't have the same hateful, um, thrust that cocksucker now does, but still...why make ANYone equate that particular act with labor? Once again, clearly the act of a mental midget).
And if that sort of behavior wasn't enough to prove that we men are our own worst enemies, we also walk around alienating ourselves and lovers from our own anatomy, or the use thereof. When we don't like someone, we call 'em a dick or a prick (or, in England, a wanker).

But we're not happy to abuse ourselves and make things tougher for ourselves (by putting a bad image to it all) when it comes to sex; nope, we have to attack the female of the species as well. Any guy who doesn't measure up to others in sports, or who complains, or who cant keep up with the gang, is called a pussy. (Personally, I think that epithet reflects the fear and apprehension most men feel about female genitalia -- if they were brave to dive in and revel in all of that juicy goodness, they wouldn't be so quick to dismiss it). To guys who like to call men they believe to be their inferiors "pussies," I have only one question: when's the last time you passed a 9 pound, 21 inch long living being through your penis opening (and continued to make use of it only weeks later)? Furthermore, someone should tell the self-same idiots that being "pussywhipped" would NOT be a bad thing (doh).
(And I won't even get into the whole "rug-muncher" thing -- oy!)

I could go on, but I'll spare our female readers -- and hope that those dickswingers out there who DO continue to propogate such stupidity will at least try to catch themselves next time they bone-headedly contribute to the war between the sexes -- especially when the verbal "bombs" they're lobbing only serve to blow off their own legs (you may interpret that anyway you like). You guys LIKE getting laid, LIKE regular sex? Then do the rest of us a favor and think before you talk.

Your not-so-local Freelance Paramour and Writer,

Jasmine <literary@mc2.vicnet.net.au>
Adelaide, S.A., Australia - Monday, July 23 2007 6:18:6

Just wondering:
1. What's the actual purpose of this site
2. I notice there's a bit about prison. How would you react to spending life in the nick for a crime you didn't commit?
3. Anyone come across any dissertations/theses on HBO's 'Oz'?

- Monday, July 23 2007 5:26:11

The meaning of slang words tends not to be defined so precisely. 'Gunsel', like 'gay', is clearly a word that now means something completely different from what it used to mean (though it's certainly interesting to know that the current meaning arose as the result of a misunderstanding).

Tony Isabella <tony@wfcomics.com>
Medina, Ohio - Monday, July 23 2007 5:9:49

Gunsel in the 87th
It just so happens...

I'm rereading Ed McBain's wonderful 87th Precinct books from start to finish. I'm currently reading THE PUSHER, third in the series.
A key element is a barely-out-of-his-teens character who'd never heard the word before and subsequently mispronouncing it.

BTW, every character in the book defines "gunsel" as "hitman." Where was Harlan when they needed him?


- Monday, July 23 2007 2:5:52

"Spin out a totally imaginary (but illustrative) case. Let's say there's this TV writer in Hollywood named Farley Nelson. Well, Farley turns out tight product, because he loves to tell a mean story. But, fool that he is, he KNOWS it's superior stuff, & seeing one script after another mangled & mutilated beyond sensibility -- often apparently just for the pleasure of claiming "creative input," like leaping into surgery & slashing at someone else's patient for a few seconds -- Farley decides to exercise his union rights & have the resultant twitching abortion branded as written by one "Bartizan Mole" in order to permanently register his upset. Let's say that one such script was an episode of _My Mother the Car_.

Now, here's the question on whose answer you & I have diverged: who wrote that episode -- Farley Nelson or Bartizan Mole?

I contend that the former did not. It's impossible that he'd write something that lame, & his name ain't even on it. He definitely wrote the original teleplay, & probably the revisions... but the horrible squealing thing on film is barely recognisable as deriving from that teleplay even if filtered through large amounts of bad drugs & a few organic psychoses. An imaginary being has been created post hoc whose walking Hell is to write such crap, & his name is Bartizan Mole"

Well, no. Imaginary beings don't write teleplays. Somebody had to do the bulk of the writing on the final draft. Maybe it was the episode's director, Joe Schmo. In that case, what we would have is an episode of MY MOTHER, THE CAR written by Joe Schmo, based on (and, perhaps, incorporating material from) an earlier teleplay by Farley Nelson.

Josh Olson
- Sunday, July 22 2007 23:27:37


"KANE qualifies, in the opinion of a number of critical beliefs, as an "early" noir if nothing else"

Except none of those folks actually said that. They all point to Kane's duly noted and inarguable influence on the look of the genre, but none of them actually claim it as a part of that genre. It quite simply isn't. It fits the bill on the visual front, for sure, but it doesn't even come close to the narrative aspects of noir. The only way a noir film's gonna have a millionaire for a hero, for instance, is if he's planning on doing in his wife for the showgirl he's banging on the side. On a narrative level, Kane's a biopic. Body Heat, on the other hand, is pure-dee, one hundred percent film noir on every level (Unless you're one of those hard core purists, who insists the movement only lasted five or six years.)

Sorry to be a stickler, but among the three or, at best, four things I know in this world, film noir is one of 'em. And Citizen Kane ain't film noir.

shagin <smodell1995@yahoo.com>
Bremerton, Washington - Sunday, July 22 2007 21:4:50


I can't see what the complaint is about the photo. Very nicel done. Admittedly I know next to nothing about the technical wizadry of photography, I can appreciate the result. Your picture could serve as the stepping stone for a number of different moods or creative threads.

Barney Dannelke <dannelke@gmail.com>
Allentown, PA - Sunday, July 22 2007 19:32:47

Rabbit Hole
Not gotten yet. That will probably drop late tomorrow afternoon so I'll see it in the evening. - B.

Steve B
- Sunday, July 22 2007 18:44:3

Josh -

To a degree, you have me. But ... not to argue with someone who is as deeply involved with the art form as you are ... it's not as open and shut (black and white?) as you suggest. KANE may well have begat the style (or at least contributed heavily to its begatting).

Firstly, CITIZEN KANE was once described -- in a class, unfortunately, not sure if in print -- by none other than Arthur Knight as "proto-noir, the beginnings of the movement". The line is embedded in my noggin because that comment ignited quite a few of the film students in attendance.

Secondly, Time Magazine in its list of Top 100 Films observes: "This crypto-biography of newspaper tycoon William Randolph Hearst worked, fabulously, thanks to the insider's knowledge and narrative savvy of screenwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz, to cinematographer Gregg Toland's openness to experiment (he virtually created the film-noir style with this film) and, of course, to the boy-genius vigor the 25-year-old Welles brought to his first Hollywood enterprise."

Thirdly: "Citizen Kane (1941) Orson Welles's masterpiece is a narrative account, using the techniques of German expressionist film as transmuted through Hollywood film noir, of the life of the right-wing newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst. Welles shows the New Deal liberal mentality in its most effective and attractive form: as a critique of bloated and irresponsible capitalism, but still fascinated by capitalist power" (Norman F. Cantor, The American Century: Varieties of Culture in Modern Times (New York: HarperCollins1997), 521).

Yes, maybe I overrotated on the definition but KANE qualifies, in the opinion of a number of critical beliefs, as an "early" noir if nothing else -- in, perhaps, the same way BODY HEAT qualifies as a late-noir???.

I bow to your experience, but the definition was based on knowledge, not blathering.

Kevin Avery <chidder@optonline.net>
Brooklyn, New York - Sunday, July 22 2007 16:16:26

Sam Fuller
Harlan, interesting (though not surprising) that you should mention Sam Fuller. I've often wondered if your paths ever crossed.

Josh Olson
- Sunday, July 22 2007 15:54:51


“Film Noir describes both a filmmaking movement as well as an overall visual style. The original movement ran primarily during the thirties and forties and yielded such classics as DOA, MALTESE FALCON and (of course) CITIZEN KANE.”

What’s the emoticon for a spit take?

Kane is all sorts of wonderful, and clearly had an impact on the genre - as did German Expressionism - but there is no way no how any serious student or fan of the genre will grant you that Kane is a film noir. Touch of Evil? Absolutely. Kane? Most definitely not. One of the few undeniable and defining aspects of the genre is that the subject matter is invariably related to squalid criminals, from the murderous adulterers in Double Indemnity to the sweaty race track thieves in The Killing.

Manchester, UK - Sunday, July 22 2007 15:50:52

Hi Harlan,

Apologies but I had sped read it as The Old Man. Blame my growing illiteracy and reading it at scroll speed. Bad Faq! Very bad Faq!

Keith Cramer <remarck@hotmail.com>
Arlington, VA - Sunday, July 22 2007 15:4:4

I suspect....
that Harlan went to see "SiCKO" and then, afterwards, snuck into a showing of "Transformers." I can't say for sure, and I don't want to be spreadin' any rumors....

In case you all were wondering (Steve), I have not gone to see the movie. My loud comment in the moment of silence at Pink's was ENTIRELY meant in a humorous vein. Steve.


- Sunday, July 22 2007 14:2:0


Unless you haven't (gotten yet/haven't perused yet) your latest Susan Ellison RABBIT HOLE masterwork, you would've noticed that YET AGAIN, CHURL, VARLET, the might of ellison has manifested itself prior to your puny reference to Arthur Suydam as the brain behind "Cholly & Flytrap," with the knowledge that the new front cover on the new (on sale by 10 August instant) new Tachyon new tpb of SHATTERDAY is by, ahem ...


Ha! THAT for you, Dannelke-Bot.

Yr. Pal, Optimus Prime Cobra Commander Ellison

- Sunday, July 22 2007 13:36:3


Oh geez-whiz, yes, of course, you're right, Faisal!

It was a brain-fart. Raymond Chandler: "Pick-up on NOON Street" ---- Sam Fuller: "Pickup on SOUTH Street."

I'm sorry to've misspoke myself.

But I don't get your advisement that the name of the other film I recommended is "The Old Gun." Yes, that's what I said at the git-go. All these subsequent title interjections by other posters are helpful in locating a copy, I suppose; but why are you advising me of what I already posted at some length? Am I missing some salient linkage, or did you (more explicably) miss my post that began this thread-drift?

Yrs. in total beffudlement, Yr. Pal, Harlan

- Sunday, July 22 2007 13:36:2


Oh geez-whiz, yes, of course, you're right, Faisal!

It was a brain-fart. Raymond Chandler: "Pick-up on NOON Street" ---- Sam Fuller: "Pickup on SOUTH Street."

I'm sorry to've misspoke myself.

But I don't get your advisement that the name of the other film I recommended is "The Old Gun." Yes, that's what I said at the git-go. All these subsequent title interjections by other posters are helpful in locating a copy, I suppose; but why are you advising me of what I already posted at some length? Am I missing some salient linkage, or did you (more explicably) miss my post that began this thread-drift?

Yrs. in total beffudlement, Yr. Pal, Harlan

Brian Siano
- Sunday, July 22 2007 12:50:30

The TLA Theater
Lemme second something about what Josh said about watching a faded, rare print of _Peeping Tom_ at the TLA. I know I posted something here once, about how I'd go to the early Creation Conventions here in Philly in part to see rare SF movies that never turned up on TV: _A Boy and his Sog_, _Wizards_, etc.

Usually, the film would be a 16mm print that had run through a lot of projectors, and the screen would be a sheet string down from the drop-tile ceiling. There's be splices, scratches, and very faded colors. But there was this nice clandestine French Resistance feel to watching movies like this.

The TLA is now a well-stocked video outlet, and there really aren't any revival theaters with the advent of home video. But I did get a taste of that feeling about a year or so ago. I bought a cheap DVD of Orson Welles's _Mr. Arkadin_. And the crummy condition of the source print there gave me a nice, comforting flashback. (And yeah, I did get the Criterion version later.)

Barney Dannelke <dannelke@gmail.com>
Allentown, PA - Sunday, July 22 2007 12:37:7

Lene Taylor Skepchick calender and podcast

Here is the note Lene sent me 4 days ago;


OK, now that I've picked myself off the floor, I will say yes, of course I'll call him. It's difficult for me to call during the day, since I have no privacy in my office - is it acceptable to call in the evening? I mean a reasonable hour, like 7 pm. Let me know what's good and and I can give him a jingle tonight or tomorrow. And I'm still willing to send him a calendar.

You did send him a CD of the "Boy and His Dog" special, right? Just want to make sure he can access it, if he's so inclined.

This is exciting!


PS. Thanks for posting the note to the forum. You're not an idiot and I still love you. ;-)


She has your phone number.


Here is the e-mail I sent her 5 minutes ago;


I got a call from Harlan this afternoon which I had missed. He said he received the package with the podcast and the calender. He wanted to thank you personally but did not have a phone number that you could be reached at.

So, since I don't have a phone number for YOU to pass on to him AND since you have his address and phone number - ... please call him when you get the time, or send him your phone number by carrier pigeon or some such.

Hugs - Barney


For the record - I did send you the podcast on CD the month it went up on the net - last year. I prefer to be seen as negligent on only one front here.

- B

ps. - While I'm here, the new Hard Case Crime this month is FRIGHT by Cornell Woolrich. I mention this since noir is the big topic this week. Woolrich = noir. Also, a stunning Bad Girl Art cheesecake cover by Arthur Suydam who used to do CHOLLY & FLYTRAP sometime back in the Pleistocene when I was younger. It's probably not the best Woolrich in the canon but your still probably getting some top shelf genre fiction. ISBN 0-8439-5774-3

Chuck Messer <chuck_messer@hotmail.com>
Lakewood, Colorado - Sunday, July 22 2007 12:13:40

Spellbound in the Dark


The first time I saw CASABLANCA, it was at the Ogden theater. It was one of those classic theaters that made a huge dark space when the movie started, no ceiling or track lights visible. If you wanted to see a classic film on the BIG SCREEN, or rock with ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW on midnight Saturday, or if you wanted to see the SCIENCE FICTION FILM FESTIVAL, it was at the Ogden. The festival included not only a couple of feature films per night, but short subjects, including CAPTAIN MARVEL or episodes of SPACE PATROL - complete with commercials, done by cast members, for Nestle Quick. "Just pour some in a glass of cold milk, stir, and lickety-split..." it sank to the bottom of the glass in big brown clumps. Still, they kept their big smiles and sold that stuff like their jobs depended on it. Which they did.

Get together with a bunch of friends and make a night of it at the Ogden. God, that was fun.

The Ogden closed as a movie theater in the late 80's. It's still there, a venue for local rock bands. At least Denver didn't tear it down like they did ALL THE OTHER CLASSIC MOVIE PALACES and decent second-run theaters like the Ogden. I think it's probably because the Ogden is wedged between a porn palace and a bar, (along with a few shops) and they'd have to raze the whole block. The only palace-like theater left is the Mayan, which is the art house in these here parts. Still, no classics, no SF film fest.

Oh, I've got my DVD's, but it's just not the same.


- Sunday, July 22 2007 11:12:16


Yer a dork, but I REALLY love that kinky idea with the panties and the flagpole. I’m gonna try it out right now! Spectators are welcome!

Y’know, you DID type, “an early Kubrick film, though I give more credit to Lucien Ballard for cinematography that's breathtaking.”

Kubrick didn’t SCHOOL Ballard. He directed the shots right down to the exposure setting. And I went into the anecdote ‘cause I really like it a lot, not to put on my panties. Whatever hypothetical you want to cradle – and this is my point - had Ballard been left to his own devices, he’d have also CHANGED the look of the movie from what YOU wound up admiring so much, and what Kubrick was striving for; your award to Ballard, then, would have been a fallacy. (And since the look probably would have been different, he most likely wouldn’t have even GOTTEN your award!) Thus, the credit for that photography you love so much goes to Kubrick.


…er…I dink JOSH just gotcha by da shmoooozles!

Clifford Meth <cliffmeth@aol.com>
- Sunday, July 22 2007 10:59:53

Harlan on Gunsels...
Made me laugh all through breakfast... Of COURSE we can't let these chestnuts scroll off and disappear into the ether. Of COURSE these gems must be preserved for posterity. Where would Hassidim be if the Maggid of Mezdrich hadn't preserved even the sneezes of the Baal Shem Tov?

YR. PAL, HARLAN. Coming to your local bookstores this Spring, from IDW Publishing.

Mark Spieller
San Mateo, California, - Sunday, July 22 2007 9:27:20

Susan, I renewed my membership but neglected to put my membership number on the form. It is M427, just in case it makes your work easier. Thank you for everything you do for with the Rabbit Hole, HERC and the Webberlanders.


Steve Barber <barbergallery@verizon.net>
- Sunday, July 22 2007 9:24:25

Was sitting here this morning thinking about Humphrey Bogart and the word gunsel. At first I was of the mind that I couldn't imagine Bogart using the word "cocksucker".

But I can. I really can.

*And, of course, as Andy Partridge always said: "This is Pop".*

Actually, no. That was David Partridge, speaking to his mother Shirley........... And the word was "Poppers".

She was kind of a square.

I believe the "Film Noir" debate is a matter of symantics. (What else could it be, considering this is Webderland?)

In the words of my mother: "You're both right, and you're both wrong."

Film Noir describes both a filmmaking movement as well as an overall visual style. The original movement ran primarily during the thirties and forties and yielded such classics as DOA, MALTESE FALCON and (of course) CITIZEN KANE.

But it also be said that more modern films -- including color -- can be referred to as "film noir" in the same way a painter may still paint an impressionist painting. It doesn't mean the painter is him/herself an "Impressionist", but that their work falls into that categorization.

BLADE RUNNER is, to this audience, a well-known color movie shot as "film noir". This doesn't make it part of the original movement, but stylistically the categorization is appropriate as well as accurate.

So. I got to "experimenting" again with my photography (Sorry Mr Silver. I hadda, I simply hadda).

It produced a picture that -- to me -- is evocative of 1960s music-album visuals. Of course, those images were also echoes of several earlier forms.


As usual, it's become a little controversial, earning three reviews ranging from a lukewarm two thumbs up, to a very negative two thumbs down.

Ahhh...... being misunderstood. Is there any greater plaudit for an artist???

Josh Olson
- Sunday, July 22 2007 8:54:35

“so you'll have to watch it over here, Olson, Mr. Oooo-Gimme-New-Tek-Naw-Ledge-Eeee, if you want to view one of the truly great films of all time.”

Fraid not, Mr. Smarty-Pants.

While The Old Gun has not been released in the States, Abschied in der Nacht HAS been released on DVD in Germany, and my copy is winging its way to me as we speak, thanks to the miracle of the internets.

In fact, I invite YOU to come over HERE and watch it on DVD, because as wonderful as your beta cassette surely is, watching it digitally remastered and letterboxed on my New-Tek-Naw-Ledge-Eeee brand Hi Def projector (using a twelve and a half foot screen and a DVD player with amazing up-res capability) will be just a tad more wonderful.

That said...

There was something about the old, pre-video days. I remember being in junior high, and a die hard movie freak. I’d read about Michael Powell’s Peeping Tom for many years, what an amazing film it was, how it killed his career, how it was years ahead of its time, and so on. The thing never showed on TV, and I never knew if I’d get a chance to see it.

One day, it screened at the TLA downtown, on, I think, a Wednesday. Knowing this was my chance, and that I might never get to see it again, I skipped out of school and headed down to see it.

It was a shitty print, faded and scratched, and I sat through four shows of the thing, burning it in my memory.

Now, I have a gorgeous Criterion Edition DVD of it that probably looks better than it did when Powell sat down to watch it for the first time. I throw it up on my giant screen, and I marvel at the power of the thing. But... it’s not the same. There’s something about having to work for it that makes it a lot more meaningful, a lot more memorable.

Seems to me there’s a lot more die hard movie freaks now, and I guess that’s mostly a good thing, but I also think the younger ones don’t get what a real joy this art form can be, because it’s so easy for them (and us). I know we’re talking about sitting in the dark and just watching stuff, but it seems like it used to be a more active pursuit.

The lazy bastard in me loves that it took five minutes to find and order The Old Gun, but the purist in me just took another shot to the heart, I think.

Eh. I digress....


Re: Harlan’s degree of detail

Heh. I still remember the objects flying at my head when I suggested that perhaps our humble host used a tad too MUCH detail in his scripts. It may have been the first time he called me a gunsel. Or words to that effect...

Faisal A. Qureshi
Manchester, UK - Sunday, July 22 2007 8:30:46

Hi Harlan,

Pick-up on South Street was Raymond Chandler? I've checked the Criterion DVD and its got no mention of his name there. I recently read Fuller's biog and no mention in there. Say it ain't so.

I love Sam Fuller's stuff and am forever envious of his productivity. Have still not checked the two Truffaut flicks you mentioned.

Also the Romy Schneider (who I think is hot. Yeah, really hot. Sorry, just dribbling on my keyboard) flick is also known as The Old Gun.


Sounds good, will check it out on my mates BFI card or get the DVD.

I don't know if this counts as film noir but one of my guilty pleasures is Hangover Square.


Tony Ravenscroft
The Big Empty, MN - Sunday, July 22 2007 7:41:52

Mistah E: mucho tnx for setting me (& my erstwhile virtual student) straight about your once-through writing style. Yah; I used to write the occasional article that way for the newspaper, & while I'll admit that it keeps me from revising some POS endlessly, I'd get to the end totally stoked as if I'd been mainlining java. Like I said, when it comes to writing, whatever works is whatever works. And if I could walk that way, I wouldn't need the talcum powder.

In re "gunsel": ya, dat's why I never use the word. Now I have to reread stuff -- I _thought_ Chandler used it correctly. I also roll my eyes every time a TV show has some black character referring affectionately to "my home-boy" -- be kinda like some skerry white dude waxing warm about "my punk." (Which also explains why I _still_ don't like the term "punk rock.")


Jason: no harm, no foul. Really, it was well-ranted.


Rob Watchamapookie: I never dreamed for an instant that my comments would result in anyone's panties being run up the flagpole. You've run into a confluence of reasoned opinion & this damnable language, & that shoulda taken you about 12.83 seconds to figure out.

Spin out a totally imaginary (but illustrative) case. Let's say there's this TV writer in Hollywood named Farley Nelson. Well, Farley turns out tight product, because he loves to tell a mean story. But, fool that he is, he KNOWS it's superior stuff, & seeing one script after another mangled & mutilated beyond sensibility -- often apparently just for the pleasure of claiming "creative input," like leaping into surgery & slashing at someone else's patient for a few seconds -- Farley decides to exercise his union rights & have the resultant twitching abortion branded as written by one "Bartizan Mole" in order to permanently register his upset. Let's say that one such script was an episode of _My Mother the Car_.

Now, here's the question on whose answer you & I have diverged: who wrote that episode -- Farley Nelson or Bartizan Mole?

I contend that the former did not. It's impossible that he'd write something that lame, & his name ain't even on it. He definitely wrote the original teleplay, & probably the revisions... but the horrible squealing thing on film is barely recognisable as deriving from that teleplay even if filtered through large amounts of bad drugs & a few organic psychoses. An imaginary being has been created post hoc whose walking Hell is to write such crap, & his name is Bartizan Mole.

I stated that Lucien Ballard was the cinematographer of _The Killing_. And in that I am absolutely correct.

And you responded that Stanley Kubrick schooled Ballard. I do not doubt you for a moment.

But if _The Killing_ had taken home a statuette for Best Cinematography, on whose mantelpiece would it have resided?

I've recently reread a whole bunch of Harlan Ellison's published teleplays. Now I know why I'll never write a script: the detail he provides is so turnkey that I'm (as a mere struggling writer) intimidated beyond reason as to what he puts into a project. (Before anyone comments: no, I could probably work past it if writing for The Screen was a major goal -- I'm as obsessive as anyone else, dammit.)

You seem to be saying that, if a director were to take an Ellison script, & follow every cue to the letter, therefore Ellison was the "real" director of the piece. That is what I can't agree to -- if Ellison is to direct, then Ellison should direct... & if Kubrick is going to be a cinematographer, then he should (a) take that job AAAAANNNND (b) get that other lowlife hack's name off'n the titles. Until he does those two small things, Kubrick wears a lot of hats but he's not "the cinematographer of _The Killing_" & I'm completely correct in attributing the wowful visuals to Ballard.

Jason Michelitch <jasonmichelitch@gmail.com>
Astoria, NY - Sunday, July 22 2007 6:28:57

Oh My Stars and Garters
Wow, what an astonishingly ignorant statement I made. Sorry about that.

Obviously all film was not in black and white. However, as opposed to today in which shooting a film in black-and-white gets you a reaction from the common moviegoer like you just punched their mother in the face, in the period that produced film noir (approx. 1939-1962?) it was much more acceptable, and often the norm.

And, Josh - while keeping in mind this whole thing is strictly fun-and-games and in no way are labels an important thing to argue about - I wouldn't ever call Nirvana "punk". I'd call 'em "grunge", which is something I find infinitely more boring. Now, maybe you'd have a case for The Pixies, but I think they're somethin' else entirely and wouldn't put the label on them, either.

And, of course, as Andy Partridge always said: "This is Pop". And other labels are just for the sake of themselves.

Steambird Springs, Alta California - Sunday, July 22 2007 2:48:28

Lip service
Oh, fuck!

And I may have heard or read, somewhere/sometime, something from you about "gunsel".

I always remember "frenum" and "flense", but "gunsel" just has that idiotic folk etymology of "gun-" at work, and thus slides past the "idiot usage" algorithm of my verbal processing lobe.

I believe it was even properly explained in the annotated "Maltese Falcon" that I read years ago.

Ah well.

Anyone want a metaphorical No. 7 Florsheim, right foot, slightly soiled, once I get it out of my leather-reamed butt crack?

"Gunsel means cocksucker, gunsel means cocksucker..." said the man.


Tad Dunten
Hines, Oregon - Saturday, July 21 2007 23:57:9

Harry Potter and the Inconsiderate Boyfriend

I heartily recommend at least one of the following:

1: Cosh, mickey, or otherwise incapacitate your so-called boyfriend and get that book read, posthaste.

2: Get your own copy and a new boyfriend.

Thank me later. Get going.


Todd Cassel
AZ / USoA - Saturday, July 21 2007 20:53:18

Rabbit Hole
Rabbit Hole arrived today. Gotta tell you, the back cover to the new release of SHATTERDAY is worth the price of admission alone. Loved it.

The two saddest words in the mail? "LAST ISSUE" printed on my mailing label. Time flies, checkbook is out. If only Susan would offer a lifetime subscription rate....I would be the first to send in my payment!


Paul Mounts <ziplipp@mac.com>
Chicago, IL - Saturday, July 21 2007 20:27:21

If anyone's interested:

"The Old Gun" is available used in VHS format on Amazon under the name "Vengeance One by One" or on limited edition anamorphic (16:9) widescreen DVD with alternate scenes, several language options, a photo gallery and more at xploitedcinema.com under the same name. It's a Region 2 DVD though, so if you're in America, you have to have a region-free player or use some computer mojo to convert and reburn it to Region 1.

Steve P.-O. <widmerpool@hotmail.com>
Chicago, IL - Saturday, July 21 2007 20:20:50

I'm such a loser!
So many of you fine folks to whom I sent a QUILT have lavished upon me everything from swell thank-you e-mails to cold, hard cash to nifty items of your own choosing, and I fear that I have managed to thank only one or two of you properly.

And now it's been so long that I can't recall who sent what or when or how et al., so I'm in total dickhead land now when it comes to showing proper appreciation to y'all.

Please accept this public THANK YOU ... and do your best to ignore the abject oafishness emanating from its issuer.

Also -- anyone going to San Diego next week? I'll be there from start to finish, so gimme a shout-out if a meet-up is something you might find of interest. If not, no worries -- I've enough on my plate to keep three Comic-Con attendees busy!

Oh, one more thing (yes, I'm in full Columbo mode) -- I'm currently looking to beef up my stable of freelance copy editing/proofreading clients. (Hoping for a few hits from the publishers in SD.) I know there are a lot of writers hereabouts, so if anyone can point me in the direction of individuals or companies that outsource their editing, I would be exceedingly grateful -- and I won't forget to thank you properly!


- Saturday, July 21 2007 19:51:44


For about the millionth time I've told guys like you ...

The word "gunsel" does not AT ALL mean what you think it means.
And is NOT, NO WAY, NOHOW, NEVER EVER, a synonym for


It is a word first used by Dashiell Hammett in THE MALTESE FALCON (the book, not the fine movie that ALSO got it totally wrongwrongwrong when it referred to Wilmer--Elisha Cook, Jr.--the fat man's gofer and messenger boy as a "gunsel").

Hammett had BEEN a Pinkerton, and he used the prison patois and vernacular properly. Those who followed him, including the great Chandler and every pseudo-noir wannabe since, assumed--wrongly wrongly o so wrongly--that because Wilmer packed a rod, and he was an outta-the-corner-of-his-mouth lowlife, that just because the word "gunsel" had "gun" in it...that it had ANYthing to do with a G*U*N, which it didn't, doesn't, and reveals anyone who uses it interchangeably with "pistolero" or "gunslinger" as a parvenu. That would be you, Sunny Jim.

I will tell you this once again, and for the last fuckin' time, so pay attention:

"Gunsel" is a long outmoded bit of yardbird slang for (are you ready?)


Not a dickwad moron, or a bad name for someone who cuts you off in traffic, or a tightwad landlord who cuts off the heat in the apartment, or a deadbeat dad, but an actual, down-on-his-knees, takin' it in the upper channel cock sucker. A pole-painter. A logjammer. A con, usually very young, as Wilmer was supposed to be, whose butt-crack gets reamed in the joint by anyone and everyone till he finds himself a tea-bag, such as The Fat Man, who is supposed to be gay.

Wilmer was his gunself. His pucker-pal. His lip-louge.

Am I finally, for the millionth time, making my point, KOS?

Do not make this universally repeated error. Music doth not have charms to soothe the savae BEAST; nor is there anything odd about having your cake and eating it too...what you CANNOT do is EAT your cake and HAVE it too; nor was Joyce Kilmer or Joyce Carey a woman. The only pistol a "gunsel" packs is the rod he packs away between his teeth.

Yrs. forever for delicacy in all matters epistomological,


DTS <none>
- Saturday, July 21 2007 18:22:25

Late and lost
HeY HARLAN: Running a bit behind with getting things of late, but you'll be getting The Call soon (no, no, no: NOT to join the war in Iraq, but to watch for the crackle).
hEy SUSAN: With everything in a "state of flux" around here, I'm not sure if I'm up-to-date with my sub for "Rabbit Hole." Any chance I can wheedle, whine and cajole, and beg you to check on that for me? (Strangely, I remember my HERC number: 1168 -- if I use a number enough, it gets stuck in my brainpan).

Hugs and kisses to you both,

Michael M
Los Angeles, CA - Saturday, July 21 2007 17:37:13



At the time I saw SE7EN in the theatre, I enjoyed the first 3/4s and was incredibly upset and disturbed by the ending.

Not because it was a bad ending, or the wrong ending. It just wasn't the ending I wanted. I wanted Brad Pitt's character to somehow overcome all his anger and not shoot the villain and thereby foil the elaborate scheme.

My ending would have been utterly wrong for the movie, out of character, and basically sucked.

But I was very invested in the story and thus was very angry that the Spacey character got everything his way.

The ending (the real one) is especially what makes me think SE7EN is noir. It's SO hardboiled. It don't give you no quarter in its bleak view of human nature.

On the "porn" issue. I don't think the movie is any more graphic in what they ACTUALLY SHOW US then, say ALIEN. What's awful is the pictures they get the audience to imagine, and the all-pervasive oppressive vibe that the movie conveys. I suspect that a good deal of your "porn" feeling might be a reaction to the tone.

Also, it depends on what you think of as porn. To me the term means that a work exists only to arouse some aspect of our animal nature. So no real story or cinematography or acting or insights into The Human Condition -- it only exists to get you off (on the sex, or violence, or whatever does it for you)

(and by the by, I don't have a problem with that so long as nobody involved is being hurt or exploited in the real world)

(or at least, I don't have so much of a problem that I would censor - some violence, and some people's appetite for same, definitely does bother me)

By that standard, SE7EN is not, to me, porn. I wasn't getting off on the gore, I was horrified by it and wanted Freeman and Pitt to catch the bad guy before he could do more awful things.

And there was tons of great photography, acting and writing for me to appreciate on multiple levels.

Plus one of the absolutely scariest chase sequences I can recall seeing.

So, yeah, I think it's a hell of a movie. And on repeat viewings I've come to really appreciate the ending that pissed me off the first time.

Sorry for the second post in one day!

Kristin Ruhle <kristin@rahul.net>
Los Gatos, CA - Saturday, July 21 2007 17:31:52

I forget who the director of SEVEN was but wasn't he the same guy who did ALIEN 3? Ugh, I *hated* what they did in ALIEN 3, starting out with the little kid being dead - that was sick and mean-spirited when the whole story in ALIENS was about rescuing her. If I meet that director I'm gonna call him "baby killer" to his face! (Well i live in the bay area so it's not likely I ever will meet any Hollywood directors.) I don't like movies that leave me depressed for weeks.

Yeah, I know about Gein....he inspired PSYCHO and the Hannibal Lecter series too. I remember reading about him in Cecil Adams' wonderful THE STRAIGHT DOPE column. (it's all archived on their website so you can do a search.) Um, he robbed graves and admitted to killing two women and decorated the house with pieces of them, but he swore he didn't eat them! The cannibal legend came later! (OK, I'm being a little facetious...)

Just got my new RH.....whoa....are they really gonna publish HE's greatest posts from this board? I'd have thought that was a bizarre joke if I'd learned it anywhere else! So, there's gonna be another Dreams with Sharp Teeth screening in Cleveland? Cool - having attended the one in LA I can't recommend it enough. Too bad there's no Pinks Hot Dogs in Cleveland.

My boyfriend has the new Harry Potter book (and he kept saying he didn't want to go near that crazy costumed-kid zoo on the first night!) He's finished it, but won't let me borrow it till he reads it again to enjoy all the best parts! Aaaargh!


Lori Koonce <purplelynn35@excite.com>
San Francisco, California - Saturday, July 21 2007 16:21:48

My Humble Opinion on Seven

I'm not ahamed to admit that Seven was one of my most favorite films of that year.

Those crimes were gruesome for a very good reason. I believe that the filmaker wanted to show the "biblical proprportions" of the criminal acts. I haven't seen the movie recently, but to my recolection, the gore and what have you isn't any worse than any other R rated horror movie I have ever seen.

You want really sick and twisted, just go read what some real time people have done to others. I suggest you start with Ed Gein, the serial killer who inspired The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Then may I suggest maybe Jeffrey Dhamer, or maybe even Richard Speck.

I guess I'm just trying to say that Real life horrors are all around you, and you can't control them. Please leave me the ones I can control.

Keith Cramer <remarck@hotmail.com>
Arlington, VA - Saturday, July 21 2007 15:39:37

True Porn, and a Rabbit Hole Sighting!

Got the Rabbit Hole today. Thank you! You are Harlan are going to be busying yourselves out of doors again... You are both, of course, always welcome down here at Altitude Zero.

Michael M.: Did you enjoy SE7EN? I want to say I liked it, because I love Morgan Freeman's work, and the movie was definitely Noir, a style I greatly enjoy (will be checking out Harlan's recommendations, definitely). But the movie was grotesque and pronographic. In fact, it was obscene. I'm surprised it was released with an R rating. I'm not a prude, but the graphic nature of that movie made me, for perhaps the first time in my life, "recognize" something as obscene.

But I have seen it twice.


Steambird Springs, Alta California - Saturday, July 21 2007 13:59:24

Noir As The Night
Martin Scorsese in "A Personal Journey with Martin Scorsese Through American Movies" (1995) spent about thirty minutes of the 240 minute running time discussing Film Noir. It's one of the better such overviews I've seen. I recommend the DVD set for that segment alone.

More here: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0112120/

I recommend for little known but fun Noir:

"Private Hell 36" (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0047370/
Ida Lupino with Don Siegel directing.

"Shack Out On 101" http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0048607/
Worth the search for the delightfully crazed young Lee Marvin as "Slob" the slightly (!) off-center cook.

The early seventies remake of "Farewell My Lovely" (much closer to the novel than the 1944 adaptation) with a simply stunning Charlotte Rampling and a perfectly seedy, tired-looking Robert Mitchum capturing Philip Marlowe. Harry Dean Stanton and John Ireland are good too. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0072973/

Lastly, two early classics:

"The Killers" Burt Lancaster's first film. Watch for William Conrad in the opening as a classic "gunsel". http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0038669/

"This Gun For Hire" Alan Ladd stole the film in a supporting role, and became a star as Philip Raven, the hit man who is kind to cats. It's got Veronica Lake too, which ought to be enough for anyone. The original poster for this movie was a stone litho that you have to see to believe. True Art. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0035432/

I can get large format prints of the posters for most of these Films Noir, as well as several hundred others, if anyone's interested.


Michael M
Los Angeles, CA - Saturday, July 21 2007 13:24:47

in color, pretty recent...

...but noir to the bone, if you ask me.


The Librarian <anywhere@yourlibrary.com>
- Saturday, July 21 2007 12:18:37

Robert Enrico videos
_An Occurence at Owl Creek Bridge_ (dir. Robert Enrico) appears to be available, both new and used at several of the larger online bookstores.

_Vengeance One By One_ (alternate video title for _The Old Gun_, aka, _Le vieux fusil_) is available used (probably Region 2) from one or two vendors.

Check it out!

- Saturday, July 21 2007 11:53:55

Not to forget:





- Saturday, July 21 2007 11:52:12


For me, a pair of the best "noir" films ... either unknown to you, or overlooked in our exchanges:

The first is an easy one: PICKUP ON SOUTH STREET (1953)from Raymond Chandler and Richard Widmark and Jean Peters and Thelma Ritter, with screenplay and direction by the incomparable Sam Fuller (whose CHINA GATE is no sucotash, either).

The other one, though, I cannot recommend more strenuously: an astonishing French film titled THE OLD GUN (1976). You won't find it in your Maltin, and it only had one American release, as a Beta cassette, 1n 1985; so you'll have to watch it over here, Olson, Mr. Oooo-Gimme-New-Tek-Naw-Ledge-Eeee, if you want to view one of the truly great films of all time. Philippe Noiret, Romy Schneider; screenplay by Pascal Jardin; directed by Robert Enrico. It won three (3) Cesars -- the French equivalent of an Oscar -- one of which was for Best Picture.
(Noiret won the Cesar as Best Actor for his role as Julien, the mild-mannered doctor whose wife and daughter are murdered by the Nazis.) You will know the work of Enrico from the famous short film he made based on Ambrose Bierce's "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge" which, in somewhat truncated form, Serling and Buck Houghton edited as a segment of the original "Twilight Zone." Recommended (though gawdknows where you'll find it).


Yr. Pal, Harlan de la Noir Ellison

Jeff R.
Phila., Pa. - Saturday, July 21 2007 11:48:44

Dear Jan: (Film Noir)
Took your advice and checked the archives. My God, Harlan has a lot of favorites! I was here then, and don't quite understand how I forgot the previous posts on the topic. Too much summer heat and humidity, perhaps? Anyway, there's no hard and fast rule against revisiting certain topics here from time to time, is there?

Not all the Lewtons are film noir by any means, but in addition to Harlan's choice of CAT PEOPLE, I would add THE LEOPARD MAN (from Cornell Woolrich's BLACK ALIBI) and THE SEVENTH VICTIM, with an odd shower scene that predates PSYCHO by about 17 years.

Frank Church
- Saturday, July 21 2007 11:12:9

Harlan, I think Todd is afraid of you; that you might make fun of his set of George W. Bush bobbleheads.

Wyatt, Harlan bobblers, I would buy one. Go for it wildman.


Keith, I might just do that, because the Dutch are big fans of Prince, being his biggest audience. I also want to try the great cheeba I hear they have at their numerous "coffee" bars, who we know serve more then coffee. Nothing like those joyous red buds. High Times is my pornography.

As long as they give you plastic sheeting for protection I'd go for that sex show. Reeperbahn is another one on my to do list. Jan, hook a brother up.


Noir? Cough, cough--Blood Simple; not only is this a classic noir, but it is also a great example of grindhouse/art-cult-geek film making.


MM on Hardball monday.

- Saturday, July 21 2007 11:3:43

Tony Ravenscroft,

"One of the best noir films is of course _The Killing_, an early Kubrick film, though I give more credit to Lucien Ballard for cinematography that's breathtaking."

You haven't the vaguest idea of what you're talking about!

Every shot - literally - lighting, angles, choice of lens, diffusion, and planning for the over-all look was Kubrick's. Not Ballard's.

The story, as it went, is fairly well-known in the Bible of Filmmaking.

Ballard, who's ideas were originally opposite to Kubrick's (high contrast photography versus natural light), was well-seasoned when THE KILLING was shot. Kubrick was young at the time. Ballard figured the director wouldn't know enough about the technical stuff.

So, during a set-up (Kubrick designed the apartment set so that the camera would dolly through without a cut) Kubrick adjusted the finder to the lens he wanted for a long dolly shot, a 25mm. At the time, that was the widest lens available to his choice of camera, the Mitchell BNC. Kubrick planned every detail. After going through it, he hands the finder to Ballard, and tells his cinematographer - who's so much older than he - to proceed with the light set-up while he goes off the set to deal with business.

Then Kubrick came back. Ballard had set up the dolly track according to instructions...except that he placed it a distance further from where Kubrick had told him to. Kubrick goes, "what are you DOING?" Ballard, in self-assurance: "I took your dolly shot and instead of the 25mm, I'm just going for the 50mm, but I'm at a distance where you would get the same image size for the distance as that. Everything is the same size, but I prefer to work at this distance. It's a little easier to light, it won't make a difference". Kubrick returned, pointing out that it DOES indeed make a difference because the entire perspective changes. Ballard felt the original option would create a distortion; but what he didn't understand is that it was precisely that distortion that the director wanted. It was a new idea in those days.

So, finally, Kubrick goes,"Lucien, either you move that camera and put it where it has to be to use a 25mm or get off this set and never come back!"

Ballard gave in, followed instructions, and the debate about focal length and lenses never recurred.

After that, Ballard learned quickly to respect Kubrick's expertise.

The film belongs entirely to Kubrick.

Y'know, I wish you guys would do a little reading up on some of these directors before you presume to minimize their vision and expertise - whether it's Kubrick or Hitchcock. That would save me the time of having to jump in here and straighten you out.

RE: Noir versus NEO-NOIR (since you're all getting lathered up in labels)

Neo-Noir films I recommend:

Body Heat, Blood Simple, certainly Chinatown (in spite of Harlan's original dispensing that one), Taking of Pelham One-Two-Three.

I'm not TOO into these, but you might also check out Fargo and the DOA remake.

Altman's The Long Goodbye is a GREAT to check out.

Otherwise, the list can go on and on.

A few noir not mentioned that I'd like to recommend:

Panic In The City with Richard Widmark

He Walks By Night w/Richard Basehart (this was the movie that inspired, quite directly, the series Dragnet)

Ace In The Hole by Billy Wilder

The Big Heat by Fritz Lang

Experiment In Terror (with a psychopathic Ross Martin)

"Oodles" o'others I know I do injustice by leaving out - but who has the time?

Chuck Messer
- Saturday, July 21 2007 10:49:8


I read your post wondering how I'd react if confronted with the crisis you had to deal with. I'm not a stare-at-the-spectacle kind of guy, but I'm not sure how understanding I'd be. I tend to forget there are childred with those problems, even though I'm a twenty milligrams of Prozac per day man.

Your post made me think, made me wonder. I wish the best of success for you and your young-uns.


Josh Olson
- Saturday, July 21 2007 9:23:29

In the perfect world, I would make my living writing two screenplays a year. Every year, I’d write one western, and one film noir. Truly, this would be paradise.

After decades of immersion in the genre, I’ve finally come to the conclusion that while you can point to some shared traits, you really can’t define film noir. You know it when you see it.

While he’s exceptionally wrong in his assertion that all movies of the period were black and white, Jason IS right when he asserts that true noir was a product of a specific place and time. But so was true punk, and yet somehow Nirvana fit the bill, as have many other great bands. Eventually, you have to just admit that it’s a genre, and leave it at that. Derivative and post modern as hell, Body Heat’s still a film noir.

I’m amazed nobody’s mentioned the Big Two, though - Double Indemnity surely belongs in the hall of fame, and the wonderful, greasy no-budget Detour is a dark blast of wonderfullness.

I have two faves to add to the list as well - Where The Sidewalk Ends is terrific, and there’s a really magical poverty row winner called Wicked Woman with Beverly Michaels and Richard Egan that’s not on video, but shows up on the tube from time to time. It’s a classic noir set up with a concluding twist that I’ve never seen before or since. It’s just delightful, and well worth looking for.

Tony Ravenscroft
The Big Empty, MN - Saturday, July 21 2007 8:52:50

"...the fact that ALL films of this period were black and white."

Well-ranted, Jason... but largely incorrect.

Various color processes were all the rage, even wide-screen.

But there is almost direct antithesis between "film noir" & "big budget" films, which is their hallmark. (Been a while since college, so don't quote me.) These films actually have more in common with today's indie film, particularly the "natural" or whatever-they-call-it movement (available light, minimal cuts, etc.).

So while I see what ATC's getting at, noir has to have b&w filmstock -- & it has to be CHEAP stuff so that you are forced to get that overprocessed high-contrast (hence _noir_). It has to be shot with whatever lights are available, whether kliegs or arcs or whatever's in the storeroom. It's mostly interiors (with notable exceptions). It's loaded with severe angles. It makes minimal use of fades because they cost money & burn film. It uses minimal slam-cuts because they burn film & cost money. (There's a theme here.) It's loaded with two- & three-shots, with an occasional maniacal skewed-angle closeup for startle value. Oh, yeah: it's big on weird angles, giving the occasional impression that the tripod's collapsed but the director ain't called "cut!" yet. The actors are walking a thin line between craft & hamminess -- it's basically a filmed stage play.

Having just marathoned about half the original _Twilight Zone_, I see where much modern TV tries to paste melodrama into what once would've been "Hollywood spectable" format, where it'd work much better in "film noir" format.

One of the best noir films is of course _The Killing_, an early Kubrick film, though I give more credit to Lucien Ballard for cinematography that's breathtaking.

Mike Jacka
- Saturday, July 21 2007 8:9:36

Sorry. Wasn't calling anyone a moron. My titled got cut off. Should have been "More on cricks"

Mike Jacka <figre@cox.net>
Phoenix, AZ (where it rained last night) - Saturday, July 21 2007 8:7:33

More on
For my Missouri grandmother, there was no such thing as a creek – they were all “cricks”. And the ultimate point of the saying was that events were contingent on there not being so much rain that “the cricks would rise”, making roads impassable. Here in Arizona (where my grandmother moved while in her 20’s - that would be about 1930) it didn’t take much for that to happen. Everything was usually dry, and there were no bridges, so one decent rain or thunderstorm (and we really do get rain sometimes) would cause the crick to come down, and travel would be impossible. (Even when I was a kid, Arizona had started bridging every dry riverbed they could find. This led to my exclamation, while a 6-year-old traveling in Colorado, “Look at the bridge with water under it.”) I would assume that, in wetter areas (which means almost anywhere but Arizona), it either made the cricks too deep to pass, or even flooded out what bridge might exist. (Although, again based on context, a crick was something that hoped, some day, to be a river.)

Probably more than anyone wanted to know.


- Saturday, July 21 2007 7:55:14

Since we covered Film Noir last year, Jeff, you can use the archives and find some of what you're looking for, including Harlan's list of worthwhile film noir. (HARLAN ELLISON - Saturday, February 18 2006 15:2:0 REPLY TO FILM BUFF)

HARLAN: If only you knew what I was just told... you'll see. Heeheeheeheehee.... *rubbing hands*

Jason Michelitch <jasonmichelitch@gmail.com>
Astoria, NY - Saturday, July 21 2007 4:3:37

A-T Castro, Film Noir

While I think the films you cite are very good ones, (and while recognizing the act of labeling and sorting into categories as one engaged strictly for the fun of itself and kinda silly), I would call the films you mention "noir-inspired", as I am one of those who views Film Noir not as a genre (it includes examples from both Detective and Crime genres and possibly one or two more) but as an historical period of cinematic expression, uniquely Post-War American and BY DEFINITION BLACK AND WHITE, not only because of the telling chiaroscuro compositions by which any of us can identify one of the films of this period but by virtue of the fact that ALL films of this period were black and white.

Much like you cannot make a "German Expressionist" film today, but only a film inspired by German Expressionism, so too can a "Film Noir" film not be made today, but only a film inspired by that period.

(Of course, one of the biggest flaws in the preceding theory: good luck finding where "Film Noir" begins and ends. Is CITIZEN KANE proto-noir? Is THE BIG SLEEP Noir, or merely a Detective movie made concurrent with the Noir period? How long does the period last, and when does it end and its imitators begin? Can we call a Stanley Kubrick film (the Killing) a Noir, or is it his own other thing entirely?)

((and then I froth at the mouth and roll over dead))

- Friday, July 20 2007 22:19:1

Alan - Back in upstate New York in the seventies, while I growing up, one of my grandmother's expressions (she of the "crazy as a red-assed bee") was "God willin', and the crick don't rise." She called the ribbon of mountain run-off that bisected the town the Catskill Crick, as many did, though it's now given way to the more common-for-the-day "Catskill Creek".

Her context typically was related to probability of success in a task requiring timing: "Pies will be ready for Christmas God willin' and the crick don't rise." I always heard it as a disaster allusion - her flowery longhand for "barring incident". She was never much one for indian references (thought she could curse a blue streak in German, the result of a Bavarian-born steelworker father), so that would be a new one on me.

Adam-Troy Castro <adamcastro999@yahoo.com>
- Friday, July 20 2007 20:54:28

Film Noir In Color
Without disrespect to any of the classics cited, film noir CAN work and HAS worked in color. I mention, for instance, CHINATOWN, THE LAST SEDUCTION, and last year's utterly demented teen noir (and *wonderful*) teen noir, BRICK.

857i2my5m0 <e51k902pqt>
lapf0qq5uf, fd0t4z5ut9 - Friday, July 20 2007 20:44:33

v6w8bkrqxhwayc http://www.833756.com/112684.html lfknfk6f0ut

Pam Crossland
Colorado - Friday, July 20 2007 18:29:1

grace and beauty
It's been a rough week all the way around - I'm putting this out as a blessing to fellow travelers.


The minds of our leaders so be as strong and flexible as the bodies of these gifted dancers.

Mark Spieller
San Mateo, California, - Friday, July 20 2007 18:25:53

Strangers in the Noir
A quick hit list of favorites of my favorite Noir or Noir-ish films. I do believe that black and white does impart a sort of truth or realism that color may distract from. When I was in film achool, all our early movies were in black and white, and silent, so that only the comporition, the picturial value, not the color, or the dialogur distracted from what the viusal were trying to do.

I being os a certain age grew up in a world of ONE TV set, with a pair of rabbit ear attenai, and everything was in black and white. And since there was nothing to rerun, my eyeballs were filled with the black and whtie world of films from long before I was an itch in daddy's pants. Hell, some of the cartoons I saw may have been pretty itch in granddad's pants!

Anyway it imparted a world of black and white, that has remained deeply engraned within me and here are a few selections off the top of the head. I welcome comments and additions.

Out of the past
Night of the Hunter
Phantom Lady
Brute Force
The Val Lewton Films
The Phenix City Story (No the spelling is not wrong)
Night and the City
The Stranger
Lady from Shanghai
Touch of Evil
Ace in the Hole aka The Big Carnival
Naked City
White Heat

There is more...lots more and I am sure Uncle Harlan, our esteem Host can share many a special favorite but here is a starters course for those with a taste for the black and white, world where the side walk ends.

shagin <smodell1995>
Bremerton, Washington - Friday, July 20 2007 18:2:28

Me: "You taught me that it was okay to get angry."
HE (hunkered down behind a table piled high with offerings of his various works, trying out a new fountain pen, smiling as only HE can): "Feelz good, dud'n't'it?"
Me (a smile of my own, reminiscent of picking long pig gristle from between my teeth): "Oh, yeah."

-- Foolscap VII, Bellevue, Washington, can't recall the year

McDonald's may have next to nothing to recommend it as a culinary icon, but it is usually fast, inexpensive, and my youngest son James can drink the shakes without much of a problem. They also serve as a passable base for additions such as breakfast drink powder or protein powders to supplement his very limited diet.

Today was one of those connect-the-dots affairs, dictated less by the clock and more by necessity of the most efficient route. With that in mind, I stopped by the nearest McToad's to get both boys something to eat. Seeing the line at the drive-thru, I opted to head into the restaurant with both boys for a quick round of take-out. Behind us came three families totaling ten kids (ranging from two to 14 years) and four adults (ranging from old enough to be grandparents to young enough to be the duty parent while dad is deployed). I placed the order only to be told that the milkshake machine was once again kaput. Not the best of news, but far from earth shattering. The boys and I stepped aside to wait for the feast. I sang to James to pass the time.

What was a minor setback in my eyes was nigh on apocalyptic to my youngest son who has the attention span of a spastic gnat and problems with state control (global delays as part of his diagnosis of 5P- ); top it off with the fact that I wouldn't let the boys wait in the play area, knowing how hard it would be to get them out again, and James began to cry. Loudly. With much enthusiasm. This set his older brother off who began to complain about his brother's crying. Loudly. With much enthusiasm.

I kept my cool, worked to redirect James while communicating the need to wait, and would have been fine hugging my son for his own comfort and a bit of deep pressure stimulation, but I chanced to look up to see if our food was ready only to find everyone, and I do mean EVERYONE, in the front part of the restaurant staring at us. The children, the parents, the employees. Every'frickin'one. I'll credit one or two of them with expressions of dismayed curiosity as they wondered why my son was upset; the others cut a cross section of disgust, amazement, irritation, and outright revulsion at the sight of my son crying because he was hungry and didn't understand why he had to wait for his milkshake.

I snapped. Strike that, I shattered. I exploded in a whirlwind of one thousand razor sharp pieces as I all but shouted and said, "Jeezus, what's wrong with that kid? What's the matter, is he retarded or somethin' to be cryin' like that? Gahd, lady, tell him to shut the fuck up or take him outside or somethin'! It's bad enough that I gotta listen to 'im, but I gotta watch him, too? Lookit that. He's got snot everywhere."

James cried louder. The children frowned, certain something was wrong yet helpless to express it. The adults didn't have that excuse. They couldn't look away. My son was a freak show spectacle too horrific to resist. Bring on Freda the Fattest Woman on Earth and Zippo the Geek! You ain't the only one to watch the carnival crowds from backstage, Mr. Ellison, not by a long shot. If they wanted a show, I'd give them a show, and the admission was a pound of flesh because they were fresh out of courtesy.

"Aw, Jeez, now he goes stickin' his hand in his pants like he's got nothin' better to do. And he's wearin' a diaper! The kid's not even potty trained an' I'm starin' at him with his hand in his pants. What's up with that? I mean, the only thing worse than this kid with a hand in a diaper is watchin' him!"

Some turned fish belly white, others flushed with Sunday morning outrage. And I promise you not one of the adults, and I mean not one of them, had the guts to call me out for the outburst. No one apologized, either. What could they say - "You're right, we're inbred fucknuts who can't be bothered with common courtesy."? James has a diagnosis, not an excuse; they couldn't cop to the same. With wide, guilty eyes, the indignant sheep herded themselves and the children back to the counters. James cried, I gave him what he needed, we continued to wait.

When my order was up, the manager walked around the corner and handed it to me with a brave attempt at at smile. He didn't look me in the eye. By then, all I wanted to do was get out of there and get on with my day. I took the bags and we were out the door to connect the next dot.

I don't make excuses for my kids. My youngest can be loud, frustrating, and is best handled as a three-year-old in a ten-year-old body. My oldest perseverates on the slightest thing and has all the social graces of a bull in a china shop. They're not God's Angels, Gifts From Heaven, Special Blessings, or Punishment For Your Lack of Faith. They're my children and none of them above keeps me from loving them, wanting the best for them, and doing my damnedest to give them a fighting chance in the world. I don't want pity, remorse, comfort, condescension, or approval. Sometimes all I want is my cheeseburger Happy Meal, no pickles, with a Sprite, please. If you want to ask questions, go for it. Feel the need to stare? Happens to the best of us. If you don't understand, that's cool; if you don't care, that's cool, too, but DO NOT, never, ever, treat my children like circus freaks because you're jealous that own parents couldn't be bothered to give you that same fighting chance.

Why is she telling us this? Hell if I know. Maybe it's in the hope you'll think about it before you fork over your admission to the freak show. If you see me watching you from backstage, you'll know why.

Steve B
- Friday, July 20 2007 17:42:46

&%$#. Damn button.

Rabbit Hole sighting in Long Beach this fine afternoon. Details to follow on the 11 o'clock news.

Jeff R.


Steve Barber <barbergallery@verizon.net>
- Friday, July 20 2007 17:37:53

I had a "crick in my neck" on a few occasions. Does this simply imply I'm still "wet behind the ears"?

Inquiring minds, and all that.

"Helen McDonald died Sunday in Dykebar, Paisley, Scotland, after a long battle with cancer, according to the Paisley Daily Express. She was 67."

Given the not-altogether completely unlikely possibility someone who knows David Tennant (The Doctor) lurks or posts hereabouts, allow me to extend the condolences of Webderland-at-large at the loss of Mr. Tennant's mother. Please convey this, if you would.

As Mr. Tennant may -- possibly -- be aware, The Doctor carries some weight, hereabouts.

Alan Coil <lcoil@peoplepc.com>
Southeast Michigan - Friday, July 20 2007 15:45:15

if the crick don't rise
An old saying. Crick being creek. Some have suggested that Creek is capitalized and refers to the Native American tribe. So, 'if the Creek don't rise' means if hostilities don't break out.

Does anyone know if this is or could be true?

Brandon Butler <brandonbutler77@gmail.com>
Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada - Friday, July 20 2007 15:43:29


||"Remember, Reagan was a corporate shill before he became a ||full-time employee of the government, and then head of the ||government, trumpeting that government is the root of all evil.

||I've never been able to figure out whether he was a total
||maroon or genuinely evil."

The whole Reagan dynamic has made me think a bit lately... what would make me angrier, having Reagan as President or having Nixon as President? I overlook Bush the junior because I really don't think he's much different than Reagan.

Maybe it's the time between, maybe it's because I wasn't alive while Nixon was president, maybe it's becuase we know more about what the man was like by records like the ones just released... but I actually think Nixon would be the preferrable poison.

I think it's a bit like Joseph Conrad's dynamic of the lusty, red-eyed devil versus the obese, slothful devil. At least Nixon strikes me as skilled. At least he strikes me as an individual with an imagination. Twisted, yeah, but there it was. Reagan strikes me as someone who stumbled around, made a mess and would get appluded for the privilage. Better to be bested by someone smart enough to BE evil: to be bested by such a confused and ignorant man as Reagan would be absurd, a joke. From what I can tell you could love to hate Nixon because he was worth hating. Reagan is worse, because he dumbed down the question. He was worse than a good man, and worse than an evil man; he was inconsequential: as is Bush Jr.

And also, apologies to all if I've been part of any troubles of late on the board. I'm a good guy, really I is.

Jeff R.
Phila, Pa. - Friday, July 20 2007 15:22:2

For Harlan and/or the rest of the gang:
Are there any particular films noir that you'd strongly advise me to check out on DVD or VHS? I have my own favorites, of course, but I'm very interested in the opinions of such a highly literate group of film buffs as we have here.

Also, can film noir work - I mean really, REALLY work - in color, or is black and white an integral part of the format?

Todd Mason <Todd.Mason@TVGUIDE.com>
- Friday, July 20 2007 13:53:40

A call will indeed be forthcoming, then!
Probably next week, when time is less tight. Thanks!

It struck me as a felicitous means, posting here, of both feeling you out, Harlan; reminding everyone of the advent of the four episodes, at least, getting a play finally; saying hello to the assembled, old and new (and ab Hugh, we're always ready for more fiction, sir); and perhaps even drawing attention to the blog among potentially interested parties.

John Kessel reports being very happy with the cut he saw of his episode, as well, which will serve as the debut (on 8/4). The Heinlein and Howard Fast episodes are scheduled to fall between, with "The Discarded" batting cleanup on 8/25, 10p ET/PT. If the crick don't rise.

Mark Goldberg <markabaddon@gmail.com>
Minneapolis, - Friday, July 20 2007 13:36:48


As someone who has met Crystal, and can attest to both her beauty and intelligence, please allow me to beg for more details on this encounter. If it is not a story meant for public consumption, call me on my cell. I do not have the kids this weekend and should be around.

Tony Ravenscroft, this is not a club I ever wanted or expected to join. The initiation rites are absolute hell. Sorry we were not able to connect during ConVergence weekend


Steambird Springs, Alta California - Friday, July 20 2007 13:21:39

July 20, 1969
Men (and women) seldom need teaching, but they often need reminding.

July 20, 1969 is a date that ought to be a holiday.

Go here to understand:


"Now's the time to touch a star" (Karl Franzen of Broceliande)



"Hope Eyrie" (Leslie Fish)


Keith Cramer <remarck@hotmail.com>
Arlington, VA - Friday, July 20 2007 12:49:24

sex show

Actually, the sex show was widely attended by young couples, old perverts, and Japanese businessmen. The reason we were at a 90 minute sex show for 3 hours was because we got up on stage for one of the 3 acts which invited audience participation. Before I knew it, Crystal was raising her hand when the hot blonde who had been diddling herself with a vibrator 2 acts previously came down into the audience looking for “volunteers.” So Crystal wanted to see the whole show again because different people would, of course, be chosen for these acts, and she wanted to see what they would do….

Maybe that is a story for another time. If you ever get to Amsterdam, though, you have got to see one of these shows. Very entertaining. Usually they consist of a revolving set of six acts, but that night they had 8 acts, and a rotating stage to exploit all angles. If you go, though, don’t sit in rows 1-3. Word.


- Friday, July 20 2007 12:20:7

It's all cool, Jan. Todd wouldn't be bothering me; I'm proud as hell of this current piece of tv writing. It comes exceeding close to wholly satisfying The Unsatisfiable Perfectionist in me, who has ever been frustrated by the essential nature of what is, ultimately, a "collaborative art-form."

Yr. Pal, Harlan

- Friday, July 20 2007 11:47:29

Sorry, didn't see Harlan's post.

Harlan, I think he didn't want to bother you. :-)

Cologne, - Friday, July 20 2007 11:44:51

Todd: We're all looking forward to the HE/Josh Olson episode and almost feel a part of it because Josh let us see some pictures from the set last year and they teased us no end. (Harlan still hasn't told us what happened between him and the costume lady.) You could mention it's probably 90% fresh and new product since it is a one-hour show based on a fifty-year-old SHORT story. I don't know what kinds of stories the other Masters picked, but the one Harlan chose is not very well known and from an out-of-print book. Perhaps they wanted something that's straight SF, which Harlan hasn't published in a while. By the way, you may have heard that Harlan has a cameo in it.

- Friday, July 20 2007 11:26:42


Why don't you just simply call ME (not to downgrade the chattiness of Webderlanders, whom you may prefer) and ask ME what you want to know about the MOSF segment I wrote in collaboration with 2006 Oscar nominee (A HISTORY OF VIOLENCE) Josh Olson, in which I appear as a character in a tiny part I wrote for myself and Josh--though Josh didn't finally play opposite me--because if you call ME, I'll have more, considerably more, to say than a lovely group of folks here...


That's called commonsense and irreducible logic.

Call me, massuh Mason, when/if you choose.

Yr. Pal, Harlan

Frank Church
- Friday, July 20 2007 11:21:55

Larry Forest, once again you hit it straight out of the park. If young Republicans are not willing to fight in Iraq they should shut the hell up and never talk again, except when they give me a blow job. You do know the right is soooooooooooooo kinky--torture chambers and the like. Babee, boink my pooter.


Keith, if you and the little woman went to a live sex show then doesn't that make you the seedy type? I do have more respect for you.


Cindy, never forget the scene in Goodwill Hunting: Hunting is looking at a row of books on Robin William's charactor's shelf. Hunting asks Robin if he has read all those books, Robin says that he had to, in which time Hunting makes the remark: "You people amaze me, you read all these books, but you are reading the wrong books." Look around at the vast array of ideas out there dear lady, you will be amazed at what you will learn. Not be mean or sarcastic; this is only in love and respect. Flaps his owl eyes.


Steve Evil, more bran for you comrade.


Yes, I saw the shock bit of Larry King last night. Tammy Mesner looks like a walking corpse, someone from a concentration camp. Very sad, hopefully nobody will say a foul word about her and let her live in final peace. I forgive her for her past idiocys and knowing she doesn't want pity all I can do is feel really sad and depressed. I prayed for her, yes I did. Sad world we live in. We have a very unfair universe. Maybe God is dead.

David Loftus <dloft59 (at) earthlink.net>
Portland, OR - Friday, July 20 2007 11:3:43

the old shill game

|| Reagan: "The most terrifying words in the English language
|| are: I'm from the government and I'm here to help."

As opposed to the corporations' approach, which is to implant attitudes and desires in you and make you think they were your own in the first place.

Remember, Reagan was a corporate shill before he became a full-time employee of the government, and then head of the government, trumpeting that government is the root of all evil.

I've never been able to figure out whether he was a total maroon or genuinely evil.

- Friday, July 20 2007 10:41:1


I trademarked a biography title I liked a lot, a few years ago, exactly to respond to your suggestion...a thought that, yes, I'd had any number of times. But every time I get a spare moment, and think "well, perhaps I'll try that bio of ellison thing," I stop myself dead in the track. There are several dozen reasons, and I weary myself just thinking about conveying them. Suffice to say, the new film, DREAMS WITH SHARP TEETH is, in a way, that biography...and I'm having entire horizonfulls of personal acceptance of THAT excellent documentary.

Thank you for suggesting it, old comrade, and if we cut trail again soon, I'll just sit and bore you with the reasons. Otherwise, stay well, and stay out of trouble. And forgive me still thinking of you as Scooter, though I do, in fact, actually, realize you are a grown-up person.

Yr. Pal, Harlan

- Friday, July 20 2007 10:35:44

Flame Fanner


Since you tend not to go over to the boards, I'm pasting part of a post, as it offers a bird-eye-view of a socio-political dynamic, check-spotted by 3 quotes (I happen to think it's intriguing, and worth reflecting the implications):

1950's. President Eisenhower, in the letter to his brother:

"Should any political party attempt to abolish social security, unemployment insurance, and eliminate labor laws and farm programs, you would not hear of that party again in our political history. There is a tiny splinter group, of course, that believes you can do these things. Among them are a few other Texas oil millionaires, and an occasional politician or business man from other areas. Their number is negligible and they are stupid."

1980's. President Reagan:

"The most terrifying words in the English language are: I'm from the government and I'm here to help."

No one sums up this dynamic better than Bill Moyers (from 2005):

"One of the biggest changes in politics in my lifetime is that the delusional is no longer marginal. It has come in from the fringe, to sit in the seat of power in the Oval Office and in Congress. For the first time in our history, ideology and theology hold a monopoly of power in Washington. Theology asserts propositions that cannot be proven true; ideologues hold stoutly to a worldview despite being contradicted by what is generally accepted as reality. When ideology and theology couple, their offspring are not always bad but they are always blind. And there is the danger: voters and politicians alike, oblivious to the facts."

And who's been pushing these tides, with its ultimate force since the early 80's (unbeknownst to a placated Left, who failed to notice, and remember the power of media)?

Corporate America.

Todd Mason <Todd.Mason@TVGUIDE.com>
Radnor, PA - Friday, July 20 2007 10:33:1

Any comment for the TV GUIDE blog on MASTERS OF SCIENCE FICTION?
Hello, folks...it's been a while since I was "here," though I was a pretty heavy contributor to the predecessor forum for a while (wonder whatever happened to Keegan or Sue, but see some other familiar names, not least the fellow Pennsylvanians). I'll be doing the TV GUIDE blog for MASTERS OF SCIENCE FICTION, the much-delayed and currently truncated (in terms of number of episodes scheduled for transmission) series of literary adapatations of which ABC will run four in August...the scheduled fourth is an Ellison adaptation, "The Discarded." Any comments from the assembled are welcome...and please let me know if you particularly don't wish to be quoted "over there" on my eventual post or posts about "The Discarded." Thanks.

Todd Mason

john j zeock
- Friday, July 20 2007 8:8:45

anyone going to barnes and noble tonight should check out the remainder aisles for a scream in the dark, edited by mark gerald, originally titled murder plus. an article by Harlan from 1956, along with bloch, hammet, gardner, thompson and others. jz

Great Falls, SC - Friday, July 20 2007 6:2:56

WOO HOO!!!!...next best thing to DWST opening in the AM
I'll be all over amazon.com when it's out.

Elijah Newton
Ypsilanti, MI - Friday, July 20 2007 5:42:8

Brian wrote : "I've lost that childlike sense of wonder that would enable me to enjoy shittily-animated commercials for (admittedly ingenious) toys. Go ahead, pity me."

Heh. A couple years back, I stumbled on a re-run of the Justice League, a cartoon from the (early?) 80s. I used to _love_ that show and have never felt so old as when my eyes boggled at just how stilted the animation was and how badly drawn the characters were. It hurt.

Brian also wrote : "I liked the toys all right, because I knew what kind of engineering skill it took to design something that would fold from being a Mack truck into a big manlike machine. The toys were cool."

Since I was young when I liked them I never gave nearly enough thought to this but that is a compliment that stands even now; the designs were pretty brilliant. When a kid I just liked the idea of getting two toys (a robot and whatever it changed into) for the price of one.

Dafydd ab Hugh <dafyddabhugh@charter.net>
Glendale, CA - Friday, July 20 2007 1:5:4

HE autobiography
Dear Harlan;

You've included a lot of autobiographical material in many of your books. Have you ever considered writing a straight autobiography? Or for that matter, a crooked one... any such thing from you would be worth reading.

You must admit, your actual life is as fascinating as many of your stories (and probably as fantastical). I know an enormous number of people would love reading it; and it's hard to imagine any writer not enjoying writing one!


- Thursday, July 19 2007 22:9:25


Yes, you may tell him, that is the way Ellison does it, because Ellison has been spending the last fifty-sixty years learning how to do from the ground up. It is not a method that can be utilized by most writers. I was a penny-a-word writer, working night and day for a pittance, and training myself as I went along. Just as I am a two-finger typist, so am I a sit-down-and-write-it storyteller. 85% of the magic I do, is possible only because I have been DOING IT for more than half a century. I trust my "on-board computer" implicitly, and it seldom lets me down, because we are a gestalt, a symbiotic arrangement. Only a jackass who believes if you clap real loud it'll save Tinker Bell's life would think emulating "The Ellison Method" would produce for anyone but Ellison anything but stuttering drivel. Tell your friend to find his own m.o. and to save his sanity by ceasing to use me as a model of anydamnthing.

All best otherwise, Yr. Pal, Harlan

Jon R. McKenzie <jon_mckenzie@yahoo.com>
Bellflower, California - Thursday, July 19 2007 21:20:39

Hi Harlan,

Just wanted to say I hope you're feeling well and that life is treating you decently.

That's all. Really.

Jon R. McKenzie
(Yeah, THAT one, from "The Hour That Stretches".)

TEXAS - Thursday, July 19 2007 19:57:13

Ohhh Shiznit,

Mea Culpa. I dropped this match down the throat of the gas can. I'm sorry.
( I need a smiley face with bright red cheeks and a guilty look to place here but alas!)
Yer pal ( with the expression of a sheep killin' dawg),

Tony Ravenscroft
The Big Empty, MN - Thursday, July 19 2007 19:50:0

Larry: in 2004, I got one of those College Repug jugheads to show his/their true stripes on a board. He was about to graduate with his JD, & I pointed out that the JAG always needs more good young shysters. He demurred. I asked him to explain to the gathered his reasons to "support the war" yet to avoid actually doing anything aside from flapping his rubbery lips.

He replied -- & I am not paraphrasing -- "I'm not that stupid."

Kinda said it all, really.


Goldberg: welcome to the club. Sounds like we made similar decision sets. In my case, I'm certain it would indeed have been FAR more stupid if I'd bucked the rising tsunami of BS... but that didn't make the experience any more fun. If I possessed any wisdom whatsoever, I'd offer to lay it at your feet.


M. Ellison: I hate to ask favours, so I'm going to offer this more for your amusement.

I'm a troublemaker on a wannabee-writer board, particularly when going up against certain "natural writing" advocates, as I'm from the "whatever works" school that includes occasional use of severe outlining, the Burroughsian Cuisinart approach, & bibliomancy.

Anyway, another regular there is a fan of yours, & I enjoyed the irony as he said (okay, paraphrasing now) "Harlan Ellison doesn't ever revise. He just sits down & writes a story, beginning to end. I've seen him do it."

Sure, I know he's muddles your store-window writing with your daily practise. But I'm idly (albeit persistently) curious as to whether you've encountered this before, & what your definitive response would be to the "one pass, no revising" advocates. Hopefully, you at least get a chortle from it.


minor "Transformers" aside: the original designer of "Dungeons & Dragons," Dave Arneson, in the mid-1980s settled assorted lawsuits with Gary Gygax, then-owner of its publisher, TSR. It was rumoured to be on the order of $18 million. Dave started Adventure games & burned through his settlement in a few short years. One story goes that he was offered exclusive Western Hemisphere distribution of all toys & derivative doodads, forever, of a certain plastic robot toy that was hot in Japan at the time. For like $1.5 million. "Nah, it'll never catch on."

(Who the heck is Michael Bay, & why should I take his name as some sorta weird hallmark? Hell, give me "Steven Sondheim's TRANSFORMERS" or "Luis Bunuel's TRANSFORMERS" & I'm there....)

(And I too am wondering how cheated some kids will feel when they can't fold their nifty scale-model semi rig into a Corvette in the same scale -- when a "live action" film has more problems with basic laws of physics than Wyle E Coyote, it shoulda maybe stuck to being a cartoon.)

Alan Coil <lcoil@peoplepc.com>
Southeast Michigan - Thursday, July 19 2007 19:32:36

Brian Siano said
"A number of my fannish friends are a year or two younger than I am, which seems to be crucial in some ways; I saw _Star Wars_ when I was 14, and liked it a lot, but I was old enough to know it wasn't a patch on _2001_ as far as science fiction went. My friends saw it when they were 12... and ever since, George Lucas has enjoyed a stature comparable to the Apostle Paul's in their imaginations."


"But there's something about the new _Transformers_ movie that really bugs me. It's partly that the coverage actually raves that Michael Bay made it..."
First --- The different ages of children/very young adults become much more defined the more one studies them. I spoke with my friend Woody the other day about his daughter, now three, about disciplining a young child. At two, she didn't understand punishment, just that Mommy or Daddy was acting oddly. At three, she understands she did something wrong and is losing a privelege as punishment, although I don't to what degree she understands.

"What is the Golden Age of Comics? 12." What is any young persons Golden Age? 12. (Or about then) As the person gets into the teens, everything starts to change. Same as how I noticed that at about the age of 20, a young woman's face changes considerably. Can't explain what changes, just that the look alters to the better.

Second---dare I mention the dreaded Autuer Theory? (Discussion of such is over at the other place.) 99% of the time, I require the movies I watch to have a sensible plot. It has to engage me. If a director doesn't engage me for 2 movies in a row, I usually dismiss him at "not for me". Pearl Harbor, The Amityville Horror (Based on a true story!---my friend Eric said, "Well, it's based on a story.") true disasters both, and nothing else of his looks interesting at all. I'm afraid Michael Bay has the Kiss of Death when it comes to movie making. Perhaps one day he will be equate to Ed Wood.

Brian Siano
- Thursday, July 19 2007 18:11:19

Where Brian Confesses to the Failure of his Imagination
A number of my fannish friends are a year or two younger than I am, which seems to be crucial in some ways; I saw _Star Wars_ when I was 14, and liked it a lot, but I was old enough to know it wasn't a patch on _2001_ as far as science fiction went. My friends saw it when they were 12... and ever since, George Lucas has enjoyed a stature comparable to the Apostle Paul's in their imaginations.

I also missed the Transformers craze. I liked the toys all right, because I knew what kind of engineering skill it took to design something that would fold from being a Mack truck into a big manlike machine. The toys were cool. The show never grabbed me; I never even knew what Optimus Prime was until they did gags about him on _Family Guy_. But I never watched the show.

So when I read about how important it was for fans to have Peter Cullen do the voice of OP, and what the show "meant" to generations of American kids, well, I kinda shake my head a little. So okay, I've lost that childlike sense of wonder that would enable me to enjoy shittily-animated commercials for (admittedly ingenious) toys. Go ahead, pity me.

But there's something about the new _Transformers_ movie that really bugs me. It's partly that the coverage actually raves that Michael Bay made it, because he does big cool explosions and empty effects movies. It's partly that it's still not much more than a way to sell (admittedly ingenious) toys.

It's partly because, when I see the commercials of massive machines flipping around, transforming into sports cars and trucks while bashing the shit out of hospitals and trade centers, I can't _not_ think that these are every bit as stupid as those big-bug movies of the past. Tons of metal don't move like that. Machines that size'd expend immense energies just standing upright, let alone doing Bruce Lee moves. Their feet'd collapse under their own weight. It's still a cartoon.

And no matter how "perfect" the effects look, they're still cheap. It takes skill and work to design toys that transform: but here, all we see is a blur of metal shards and dust, and suddenly a forty-story machine is folded into a truck, a Corvette, or an iPhone. So the movie looks like two hours of watching shrapnel spin around; as though Earl Scheib'd done a number on a squadron of dervishes.

I must be turning into an old fart. Can't enjoy big explosions, and the torture-porn craze of _Saw_ and _Hostel_ left me really cold and uninterested.

shagin <smodell1995@yahoo.com>
Bremerton, Washington - Thursday, July 19 2007 15:50:59

Mr. Newton,

**Shagin : I, too, loved the Transformers when I was a kid, and that's the whole reason I went to see the movie. But please, in the name of all that is good and geek, let us not start debating the flick's merits or lack thereof. I had the good fortune to read an email from a friend that contained the following snippets which ultimately made me enjoy the movie more than I would've otherwise. Let me know if you'd like me to send you a copy - although I'm posting this as a rebuttal of sorts, odds are good that you'd get a kick out of it.**

Not a problem, send the email along.

As for the movie, merits or no aside, I had no problem with the thought of giant alien robots kicking the shit out of everything or even the premise of the plot -- after all, it's TRANSFORMERS and the plot has to fit into 27 minutes even if they turn it into a movie. What has scarred me for life is the horror that was everything else about the movie.

Pardon me...I need to scour my brain a bit more. Kept getting flashes from the movie.



Here's hoping that things work out for the remainder of the divorce proceedings, if there are further steps to be taken. having been there, I offer my support and a chance to vent. Drop a line.

Bill Gauthier
New Bedford, MA - Thursday, July 19 2007 12:47:40

So...not only do I have the new Harry Potter coming via the mail, but a HERC RABBIT HOLE? I have reason to stalk the mailman again!

Thanks for the heads-up, Susan.


Mark Goldberg <markabaddon@gmail.com>
Minneapolis, - Thursday, July 19 2007 11:15:38

Harlan, all I can say is I should have listened to more of your counsel on divorce. Suffice it to say that I am paying a heavy price for trying to be a nice guy and making the process as easy on my children as possible.

It is an unfortunate reality that when one side takes the high road in a dispute, and one takes the low road, that those attempting to be the better party usually comes out on the short end of the stick.

I am not one to moan about my misfortunes. I accept my errors and will learn from them; I simply wish I had heeded advice given earlier so the lesson might not be quite as painful

On a completely different topic, the link to the article and video Larry referenced can be found here:


Larry Forrest <idoubtabout@aol.com>
Tulsa, Oklahoma - Thursday, July 19 2007 10:38:3

Verisimilitude--or Else!
I'll maintain, to my dying day, that "Verisimilitude--or Else!" would make a great bumper sticker.

That said, I urge one and all to see a brief video, "Generation Chickenhawk," by Max Blumenthal at the Huffington Post. After visiting Arlington National Cemetery, where many unlucky veterans of the quagmire in Iraq lie freshly buried, Blumenthal goes to a hotel across the street, where a meeting of college Republicans is being held.

Blumenthal interviews them about the war in Iraq, and finds that they unanimously support it. But when he asks if they are planning on joining the fight, they just as unanimously answer in the negative.

Why are these staunch patriots, these gung-ho defenders of the Bush Doctrine, these godly guys--passing up an opportunity to kill terrorists for Christ? The most popular excuse was "Medical reasons." A few others offered more ambiguous evasions: as one reluctant warrior said, "I don't think it's for me."

(Ah, but it IS for the hundreds of thousands of American troops who have served--sometimes several tours--in Iraq; it IS for the 27,000-plus wounded; and it WAS for the over 3,600 dead.)

How I wish that one--just ONE--of those John Wayne wannabes had told the truth, had said, loudly and proudly, "Hell no, I won't go! Why should I? After all, the poor white trash and the niggers and the spics are fighting for me." Right you are, pilgrim. Just like the millions of other men who fought for Marion Morrison in WWII; just like the millions of other men who fought in Vietnam for Dick Cheney, who had "other priorities" than killing commies for Christ. (Gee, I can't think of a higher priority than that!)

I'll not disrespect our president, who served honorably in the Texas Air National Guard. Thanks to him and all the other brave, courageous, and bold flyboys in his unit, nary a single gook warplane encroached upon the peaceful skies of the Lone Star state. Take that, John Kerry!

It's a pity I don't believe in Hell, as it would comfort me no end to think that, someday, all the goddamned chickenhawks will be frying there.

- Thursday, July 19 2007 9:41:22

Rabbit Hole #42 has just been mailed.

Enjoy. Susan

- Thursday, July 19 2007 8:56:50

I will honor the request of OUR GENIAL HOST and not discuss the Health thing except in one tangential way. In discussing the "system" we have here in our glorious CEO's paradise, the words "Darwinism" or "Darwinian" have been much bandied about.

Now everyone knows what this means, i.e., the "LEX TALIONIS", "nature red in tooth and claw", the "war of all against all", etc, etc.

However, just for the record I would like to point out that a careful examination of "nature" reveals just as many instances of cooperation in evolution as competition.

Preciseness in language is very important and the war against the cliche is never ending.

So watch it people.

paul <vaughnrichards@yahoo.com>
Austin, TX - Thursday, July 19 2007 8:37:10

Steve, I'll blearily "Hear, Hear!" that one, buddy.

Steve Barber <barbergallery@verizon.net>
- Thursday, July 19 2007 8:30:24

HEALTH CARE TOPIC THREAD: Please see the "The Moore the Merrier" thread in the GENERAL TOPICS forum.


It's Thursday and my morning coffee is from a little stand downstairs that is rated "fair", at best. Likewise, there's a blip in the air these days. Something's not a-right with the world. The "vibe", if you will indulge me in a bit of new-age-y terminology, is off just a touch. Not just for me and mine, personally and professionally, but for the world at large from all reports and evidence. Full moon without the full moon. Strange Days.

So, in that regard, A general observation and backhanded compliment is due.

It is a credit to our patron that so many people of such passion come to comment on these boards. Yes, certain topics become headbanging migraines at a point, but the detail and thought that goes into the debates is really a step above your usual posting board intellect.

That this board veers from relentless debates on everything from the artistic merits of the Transformers movie (and I gotta ask if Keith Cramer's seen it yet???) to heated disagreements regarding the US healthcare system -- voicing opinions across the political and economic spectra -- does this place honor.

What RICK and HARLAN hath wrought is a very cool place indeed. I do not mean this to come across as self-congratulatory or pretentious -- but having seen and read the level of discourse on boards dealing with everything from professional stock-market and travel boards to those dealing with celebrity fandom and personal lifestyle issues, the posts here in Webderland stand head and shoulders above the usual discourse on the net.

Just thought I should contribute something useful for a change.

Lastly, a movie review.


Amazing. Fun. Humorous. Best from Pixar yet. Loved it. Completely.

Ray Carlson
Chicago, - Thursday, July 19 2007 6:58:55

Unca Harlan,

Many thanks for asking the deep thinkers to take-it-elsewhere. My tiny brain was this close to exploding.
Ahhh, now I can hear the birds singing once again, instead of all that chirping. (No offense intended, you know I love you guys.)

Elijah Newton
Ypsilanti, MI - Thursday, July 19 2007 6:9:12

Shagin : I, too, loved the Transformers when I was a kid, and that's the whole reason I went to see the movie. But please, in the name of all that is good and geek, let us not start debating the flick's merits or lack thereof. I had the good fortune to read an email from a friend that contained the following snippets which ultimately made me enjoy the movie more than I would've otherwise. Let me know if you'd like me to send you a copy - although I'm posting this as a rebuttal of sorts, odds are good that you'd get a kick out of it.

"...the line of demarcation is really going to come down to how you walk into this. If you can't fully wrap your mind around and really commit yourself to the idea that you're about to watch a film in which robots from another planet come to Earth and then transform into cool looking cars, jets and helicopters before transforming back in order to pummel the living shit out of one another, then odds are you're gonna have issues with what you might refer to as 'The Plot'.

"If you actually think for one second that going into a Michael Bay movie about giant fucking robots is going to have (a plot) - if you are somehow holding onto the delusion that there will be any kind of complexity in this - then you are about to find yourself sorely disappointed.

"What it all boils down to is this: When someone tries to point out a logic flaw or the inherent silliness of a certain reaction, situation or product placement, you gotta ask yourself one question. Was that before or after the giant fucking robots from another planet showed up to kick the shit out of each other? Because if you can somehow manage your way past that conceit, and not any of the others, you've kind of missed the point."

- Thursday, July 19 2007 1:52:57

Tom Galloway,

A very objective, even-handed reply to your obtuse and tired comment waits for you over on the board.

shagin <smodell1995@yahoo.com>
Bremerton, Washington - Wednesday, July 18 2007 23:33:19

I am a child of the 80s; what little I would consider good about my teen years was spent in the passionate embrace of television's attempts at warping my hormone infused imagination so I would hound my parents into buying me the latest gee-gaw or bit of mindless tripe. Too bad for the moguls of marketing, I was more interested in pouring my soul onto the page in the hopes that someone would pay me for the honor. That being said, I did have my occasional boob tube pleasures...Transformers being one of them. Watched the show religiously, even when they brought in that ridiculous pink female autobot. Cheered at the voice of Leonard Nimoy in the original animated theater release.

That being said...

Hubby and I saw TRANSFORMERS this evening. Only SHOWGIRLS, with its 2 hrs. 17 mins. of boring tits, has proven itself to be more of a disappointment than that film. Please excuse me while I gouge my eyes out and scour my brain with bleach in the hopes of purging any trace of the experience.


Keith Cramer <remarck@hotmail.com>
Arlington, VA - Wednesday, July 18 2007 21:24:9

Relax, Harlan, relax....

Have no fear. Keith is to the rescue!

(Hey, stop backing up. Come back over here.)

An anecdote. I recently went to the Netherlands with my girlfriend Crystal. One late night we decided to go to one of the live sex shows in Amsterdam's Red Light district. We were not drinking, and were not high: it just seemed like a good idea at the time. Most of the tour books mention the shows, but they also advise toursists to leave the Red Light district by midnight, because that's when the seedier folk come out to play. We went in to the show at around 11:00 P.M., and did not leave until nearly 2:00 A.M.

I forget the canal. We left the show and started walking back toward the Central train station, Crystal slightly ahead of me, when I found myself cutting through a group of 4 black guys. I'm fairly certain they were NOT African Americans. Crystal had gone around them, but I had a bull-dog's demeanor that night, and I went through. One of the guys, about my height, grabbed my shoulder and spun me around. Behind him, a canal. To my (now) left, another of his friends. To my right (away from the canal) the other two...bigger guys.

He says, "Hey, wanna buy some cocaine? Wanna buy some blow? Make you fuck like a black man!"

Of all the things going through my mind at that instant, I said, "Why the hell would I want to do THAT?!" And turned around and began walking away, but knowing I could put him in the canal, and maybe his friend, before getting the shit kicked out of me by his two other friends. The last I saw his face, he was stunned, not sure what to say, and his friends were laughing.

The train ride back to Rotterdam that night was tooo short. Way too short. Thankfully, there was only one other person in the car, and he was sleeping. I hope.


- Wednesday, July 18 2007 17:45:33


There are a couple of spam sucker posts today. Could you please excise them? Thank you.

(Sigh) I think it's time to move the health care discussion to one of those other chat threads outside the Pavillion, if y'all don't mind. I urge you to continue the exchanges, but just not right here, where I come to relax. I mean no offense, but would you find a comfy cozy drawing-room for these nice folks, Rick? Or whoever it is who creates such warm warrens.

Thank you again.

Yr. Pal, Harlan

Tom Galloway <tyg@panix.com>
- Wednesday, July 18 2007 17:35:33

The thing that bothers me about most of the posts below on universal health care is the frequent repetition that X got such and such care and it was "free".

It wasn't. Someone/thing paid for it. It didn't just pop into existence out of the fairy dust. One problem with health care is that pretty much everyone thinks they and everyone else should get what I call "Bill Gates level care"; the very best care possible, regardless of cost. And that just doesn't work economically. Even though I understand perfectly well the desire for such and why people view such as a right rather than a privilege. And health care resources are limited.

Don't get me wrong; I agree US health care is messed up. But I get very nervous when people argue that a fix is one where people get what's already (Medicare) making up a substantial and growing part of the budget for "free", since it's not. Reform discussion has to start with looking at costs, what's paid for, and where the money comes from and what it pays for. As relevant discussion, how is this different from taking one of Harlan's stories that's posted online and proclaiming that it was "free"?

Steambird Springs, Alta California - Wednesday, July 18 2007 16:58:21

Ray Bradbury and Fahrenheit 451
Interesting interview/article with/on Bradbury, who is still laying major whoopass down at almost 87:


"Bradbury still has a lot to say, especially about how people do not understand his most literary work, Fahrenheit 451, published in 1953. It is widely taught in junior high and high schools and is for many students the first time they learn the names Aristotle, Dickens and Tolstoy.

Now, Bradbury has decided to make news about the writing of his iconographic work and what he really meant. Fahrenheit 451 is not, he says firmly, a story about government censorship. Nor was it a response to Senator Joseph McCarthy, whose investigations had already instilled fear and stifled the creativity of thousands.

This, despite the fact that reviews, critiques and essays over the decades say that is precisely what it is all about. Even Bradbury’s authorized biographer, Sam Weller, in The Bradbury Chronicles, refers to Fahrenheit 451 as a book about censorship.

Bradbury, a man living in the creative and industrial center of reality TV and one-hour dramas, says it is, in fact, a story about how television destroys interest in reading literature."

Steve Evil <evening_tsar@hotmail.com>
T. Ontario - Wednesday, July 18 2007 15:46:48

Weight Thymes. . .
Appologies if I came across as snarky earlier. But every country has its cultural nerve endings.

But I've had enough of Republicans pointing at the flaws in our system to justify the flaws in theirs. (Maybe it was the phrase "death sentence".) They'll have to look elsewhere for excuses. Because:

The Canadian system does have its troubles,

BUT. . .

It works. We are very happy with it.

There is a scene in "Sicko" where George HW Bush says: " You think socialized medicare is a good idea? Ask a Canadian!"

And the theatre errupted in laughter. It was HYSTERICAL.

Because the answer was one loud and unhesitant YES. People thank their lucky stars for it every day. It has its flaws of course, but we want to fix them. We do not want to exchange this system for free market Darwinism. The idea of turning poor away from hospitals is repugnant.

I don't get is this obsession with "choice". Going to a hospital isn't like shopping. I can't even decide what shirt to wear in the morning. I don't want to waste time choosing a doctor from a display counter, while figuring out what his/her rates are. I want someone in front of me right away who can tell me what's wrong with me.

I'm quite happy to have the government "stick" me with someone beause I know that person has been through Medical school and is qualified to practice. Standards at Canadian medical schools are as high as anywhere else and no one is allowed to practice who hasn't met those standards. To suggest it could be a "death sentence" to see one is more than a little insulting.

Finally, I will throw in my own annecdotal evidence (which I mentioned earlier).

Before she died, my grandmother got the best cancer care available. She got chemo, hospital time, medication, and rides in the ambulence. The doctors and nurses were the most caring and compassionate people anyone could have hoped for.

Didn't cost her a cent.

Didn't cost my family a cent. She didn't have to convince an insurence company that her old smoking habbit from thirty years ago was to blame. She was cared for.

Likewise, when my brother had a tumor removed from his leg, he got state of the art laser surgery to remove it,(in backwater Toronto) two days after he signed up.

Didn't cost him a cent.

Didn't cost our family a cent. And he didn't have to justify treatment to some HMO beaurocrat.

How much would you have paid?

Thank God we didn't have to "come up" with the money. We are not wealthy people: we would be on the streets now if they made us pay out of pocket. Mike might be hobbling on one foot now.

That is the horror of socialized medicine. That is the "death sentence" Canada will impose on you with our incompetent Government-appointed doctors.

That's why Americans were flocking up here for free flu-shots.

That's why my inbox is filled every day with promises of "cheap Canadian meds"

Argue for privatized healthcare all you want. But spare me the Red-Scare horror stories. There's nothing up here that's comparable with what happens down there.

-Steve AJ D.

PS. You need more Metal Frank.

Larry Forrest <idoubtabout@aol.com>
Tulsa, Oklahoma - Wednesday, July 18 2007 10:28:2

The Tammy Faye Farewell Tour
Her weight down to a mere 65 pounds due to cancer, Tammy Faye Messner (formerly Bakker) will appear on THE LARRY KING SHOW Thursday night. My sympathy is hereby tendered unto the fading saint, and I confess to having been equally amused and irritated by her and her then hubby, Jim, as they, weeping and gnashing their teeth, with Tammy's mascara oozing darkly down her cheeks, beseeched the righteous rubes in their audience to SEND MONEY.

(Ah, the eighties were boon times for those of us whose guilty pleasure is watching paragons of piety fall from their holy eyries. First, Jim and Tammy; then Jerry Falwell was drawn into the imbroglio; and not long after, Jimmy Swaggart was found in the company of a lady of ill repute. Jimmy's tearful mea culpa was truly the stuff of comic genius. By the way: my sincere thanks to the ex-Rev. Ted Haggard and to US Senator Vitter for continuing this most fascinating of Christian traditions.)

I found a documentary about her (aptly titled THE EYES OF TAMMY FAYE) to be highly entertaining, and it revealed a woman who was far more progressive politically and theologically than I ever imagined. When Tammy passes, many things will be said of her, but I daresay the salient fact of her career will be overlooked by the solemn pundits: she was one-half of the most uproariously funny comedy team since, well, the Smothers Brothers and Rowan and Martin tickled our funny bones in the sixties. Sure, Jan and Paul Crouch get some laughs, but they're not in Jim and Tammy's league.

The Bakkers like will not be seen again. Amen.

Kell Brown <deadjohnny@gmail.com>
Toronto, - Wednesday, July 18 2007 9:40:48


Just to pile on what others have said in defending the Canadian Health Care system.

My kidneys failed ~12 years ago. Bad, really bad. I was walking around with a blood pressure of 230/180 (Didn't know at the time) convinced I had the flu, actually feeling quite a bit better, and was going to the Dr. to get a note for the week of Uni classes I had missed.

The Dr. put my broke, student ass in the cab, paid the fare himself and sent me to the hospital. I was on table, with medication in me and a ridiculously qualified Nephrologist breaking the news to me less than 5 minutes after walking in the emergency room doors. The next morning I had a sub clavian (collarbone basically) catheter installed and I was on dialysis. Four days later I was on the operating table getting a venous shunt made of my own artery and vein to replace the temporary sub clavian as a input/output for dialysis. Nine months later I was on the table again getting a kidney (and another patient was getting the other) from an unfortunate car accident victim from two provinces away. Every year since then I have taken meds worth approx. $50,000.

I have paid my taxes and usually, but not always, a prescription fee of $5 when I pick up my dope every 3 months. Other than that I have paid nothing. Nothing.

Yes, we have wait lines for elective procedures and wait lines for equipment we don't have a lot of but you're never refused treatment because you can't afford it. If they can give it to you, they do, but sometimes you may have to wait.

We are always trying to get more of the budget into healthcare. It happens, slowly.

It's a GREAT system that we're always pushing to be better.

With regards to my condition specifically there needs to be more donors but that's not a policy issue it's a people issue. Sign that donor card/driver's licence boys and girls and don't let Jehovah/Jesus/Mohamed tell you need to keep those organs for after you're dead.

Steve Barber <barbergallery@verizon.net>
- Wednesday, July 18 2007 9:38:26

Rick - Your example makes precisely the argument for universal coverage that insurance companies need to hear. The abuse, on both sides, leads to the inefficiencies and unprofitabilities that are anathema to a shareholder-driven business model.

I've posted about being in the military's version of universal healthcare and it (used to be, pre-Bush) a model that worked. I am not sure if it would be worth examining that system and seeing what lessons could be learned -- nor do I know if most medical practitioners would be willing to change to that sort of a system.

Insurance firms would be able to maintain a GREATER degree of control under the circumstances, given that removing the profit motive from the medical field would reduce the abuse you cite. I don't begrudge a commercial business model for the insurance firms as much as I object to the running of medical facilities themselves for profit. In my opinion, allowing this sort of model is a sign the sate and federal governments are abrogating their responsibility to protect the public's health.

Here in the LA market we have had major issues with the for-profit firms failing to provide care for indigent patiets, and more reprehensibly, DUMPING those patients on Skid Row after they are treated. Again, a sign that for-profit models for hospitals are failing to fulfill their responsiblity to the public.

There are models that work (military, for instance) and there are profound reasons to consider change. Unlike Rob, I am fully covered -- though it takes a major bite out of my paycheck. But I recognize that the system is broken and in sincere need of evaluation. Insisting that for-profit works in a market-driven business economy ignores demonstrated reality.

Rick Ollerman <rick@ollerman.com>
Littleton, NH - Wednesday, July 18 2007 5:5:42

Everyone seems so concerned about wait times and cost of insurance. I think the real problem is that WE are not the customers of the doctors, it's the insurance companies. THEY'RE the ones whom the doctors must please, as many have told me.

Before any changes get made to who pays in the system reforms need to be made as to WHAT gets paid. There were times when I was uninsured and invariably, after a visit to a hospital, the bills were padded beyond any sense of fairness or honesty. Because insurance companies aren't in the room with you, they don't know what happened, so they pay.

I've been billed for medications I was never given, two suture packs when only one was used, treatment for a fractured finger when the doctor told me there was no treatment, and on and on and on. This has happened at EVERY ONE of eight or nine hospitals I've been to in four or five states. I can only conclude that this is more or less a standard practice.

Writing letters to the offending parties got everything I ever questioned instantly wiped off the books, no questions asked. They know what's going on.

Before we move to a single payer system, or universal health care, or anything, we need to enforce an honest system where WHOMEVER pays is paying for actual services rendered.

And then we need to become the customers again, make it so the doctors are there to satisfy the patient's needs, not the insurance company's.

- Wednesday, July 18 2007 1:24:56


I can't afford medical insurance. (At least not yet). I had it for a year once. It was impossibly expensive. You pay huge monthly installments, you get turned down for specific types of coverage (this is, after all, a company looking for a profit; insurance companies don't MAKE profits by approving coverage, they make profit by DENYING it. How the hell else does a private enterprise stay afloat?), and you're restricted to offices they cover. The notion that insurance provides choice is a fallacy.

Recently I had a medical crisis. When my little problem led to 3 nights of lost sleep and a day off from work, the pain ever-increasing, I gave in and ran to the nearby clinic. They gave me 2 prescriptions - FREE - and the ailment is steadily going away. If it weren't for them I'd have lost more than a day of work.

They diagnosed my problem and took care of it in ONE day. FREE. I got 2 weeks of the necessary medication with the dosage instructions...FREE.

No doctor would have helped me without charging me up the ASS!

Sadly, THIS clinic - which receives both government funding and private funding - is one of the few still open in the city. I checked around last week and found 3 had closed or were at that point refusing new patients.

The system works FINE, fer chrissake, when it's not undermined by the corporate lobbyists, and sound bytes to hammer at the gullible, who take it whole forgetting that it is a profit-seeking entity that is putting out the myths, scare tactics, and propaganda.

The system - if people would wake up - COULD work FINE. You fund those clinics from both government grants and private donations, make sure the policies are drafted wisely and even-handedly, without personal biases on such issues as drug addiction or abortion (allowing the doctors to decide what's best for the patients), by some bill maker who really gives a damn (very few DO, and that's a serious problem) and knows what rules WORK...and the system can work FINE.

As for this cliche, "government doesn't give you choice" - well, that's not exactly true. I once complained about a doctor last year at the same clinic. They allowed me to consult a different one in the next appointment. Of course, these places rotate doctors, so normally you see a different one each time you go in, if some condition is being monitored with a prescription. Yet, I also found I could see the same doctor if I wanted to simply by getting his or her name for future appointments.

That's socialized medicine. When it's engineered properly, it WORKS.

Bottom line, there are people who CAN'T afford coverage. Some of those people could be critically ill, or dangerously ill as some bipolar victims can be. For those who can't get access to insurance, they need that clinic. Well, it's the only one left open in this area and that means fewer in town get access to such a facility. Why? Because cuts were made so that wealthy people in the state could be happy.

The one thing left I'd like to urge: before or after you look at Sicko, view Bowling For Columbine (I'm ASSUMING you haven't seen it. If I'm wrong, you may let me know). It is Michael Moore's personal sentiment about a tragic condition in this country, but the data he provides is undeniable and alarming. He focuses on one of the biggest problems underlying these issues: FEAR being used to SELL. Big companies using sound bytes and lobbies to sway uninformed masses with half-truths, non-truths, and contemptible lies so that they can thrive in profits; the GUN lobby is quite comparable in its selling tactics to the insurance industry, as it tells you what to fear most if you don't buy what they have to offer. We also see what's going on in Canada, in both rural and urban regions. Moore's film also demonstrates powerfully the utter indifference many wealthy have to the plight of the poor, and deadly tragedies such rifts often lead to. Take a look at it. And remember such beacons as Dick Clark and Charlton Heston, products of a world detached from that of the middle class.

Socialized programs - WHERE they're needed - DO work. Laissez faire extremism is what doesn't work (no more than socialistic extremism).

Alex Jay Berman again
- Wednesday, July 18 2007 1:23:51

(This is a second post, true, but I believe it is in keeping with the rules, as I just realized that Harlan may be in need on some explanation and clarification)

HARLAN: A "web log", most often referred to by the distasteful (to me) name "blog", is a sort of a diary and journal which you purposely leave open to the world (or just selected friends).

Web logs have grown, however, and many different types abound. Most personal web logs, hosted by sites such as Livejournal, Blogger, and others (or on te owner's own separate website), take the form of message boards, where the web log owner or "blogger" initiates a topic, posts a thought or piece of writing, and those who rea it can comment upon it. This often leads to "thread drift", or the morphing from the original topic into something tangential.

As you may expect, this has fostered a great deal of social networking, with web logs referencing each other, and conversations jumping about.

There are now other kinds of web logs: There are web logs which are little more than collections of web links found by the owners; web logs which are expressly for the posting of pieces of art, photography, writing, or music; and more.

People such as Charles Stross, Teresa Nielsen hayden, and others, famous or no, who use their web logs as a combination of self-promotion and as an ongoing series of essays.

The best of all web logs, in my estimation, are those which follow a journalistic bent. Some of the best (admittedly partisan) political journalism of the past several years has been done by Joshua Micah Marshall and his employees (yes; paid reporters) on his Talking Points Memo web log.

And then there are corporate web logs--be they calculated attempts by large corporations at seeming "cool" and accessible, or the web logs run by publishers and magazines and such, into which the web logs of the Comic Buyer's Guide (CBGExtra.com) or the Fantagraphics/The Comics Journal web log cited in the post below squarely fall.

Hope this helps!

Alex Jay Berman <alexjay@earthlink.net>
Philadelphia, PA - Wednesday, July 18 2007 1:7:33

HARLAN: On the TCJ site, the "Harlan Ellison Sues Fantagraphics" page, with links to all the PDF (a kind of electronic document format)s of the case is still up: http://www.tcj.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=413&Itemid=70

On the official Fantagraphics web log can be seen this post dealing with the case:
(It should be noted that this is not simply a comment posted by outsiders or members of their forum, but rather by the officially-sanctioned "bloggers", who may or may not be Fantagraphics employees)


There are several other posts still extant on the web log which allude to the case, but only by way of pointing out auctions whose monies were to be earmarked to their Legal Defense Fund. All the auctions in these posts are now long ended, and there's nothing in the posts actually discussing the case in any way, so i guess that they're okay.

Chuck Messer <chuck_messer@hotmail.com>
Lakewood, Colorado - Tuesday, July 17 2007 20:30:21

Okay, I hate to do this, but I've got to break the one post per day rule because:

Some of you are getting kinda snarky in your responses to Cindy's opinions. I don't agree with everything she says, but I've see some sold responses to her posts without the writers of said responses getting "clever". They were well-reasoned. Passionate, even. Not one Ad Hominem comment.

Save the brickbats for the OTHER PLACE.

Thank you.


- Tuesday, July 17 2007 20:23:48

Thank you, one and all, for the link-checks at Fantagraphics and The Comics Journal. John Carmichael, Esq. will be monitoring your efforts this evening.


Steve B
- Tuesday, July 17 2007 20:11:58

Third post, for which I will do just penance....
(Undoubtedly, this will cost me.)

From the TCJ website forums, as posted by Kim Thompson.

"We've been taking down the donation solicitations (aside from any settlement stipulations, they're moot anyway now) and missed this one until someone on Ellison's board pointed it out. So I just had it axed an hour ago. That's why if you click on it now it says you're not "authorized to view" it. (Which is a weird way of putting it; I've asked Dirk to change that. It's just a dead link now, NO ONE is "authorized to view it," there's nothing to view.)

Neither of the parties is supposed to comment on the settlement or the lawsuit at present so I can't really address the other parts of the discussion. Everything is proceeding and the settlement should be signed off on and made public soon."

Just thought it was worth posting.

Chuck Messer
- Tuesday, July 17 2007 20:6:52


Actually, I've noticed more people riding bikes these days, and it seems they are using it as their main mode of transportation. Apparently, they can't afford a car. I can barely afford mine, and I own it free and clear. Of course, it's got 134,000 miles on it.

I work way the hell out in the back of beyond, and if I didn't have a car, I'd have to find another job.

Though I may end up on a bike someday. I haven't driven over any bikers, yet.


Barney Dannelke <dannelke@gmail.com>
Allentown, PA - Tuesday, July 17 2007 19:23:27

Horribly late Skepchick Calender post
This e-mail got "archived" nearly into oblivion. It's from Lene Taylor who does the wonderful I Read Comics! podcast at;


She did an entire hour awhile back on "A Boy and His Dog" and I believe has done some Dream Corridor coverage as well. A big booster is what I'm saying here.

She wrote me back in FEBRUARY (hangs head in massive tearful shame) and said among other things;


Hi Barney!

Hope all's well with you - I wanted to pass along something I thought you'd be interested in. You might have heard me mention the Skepchicks, an organization for skeptical women, on my podcast - for the second year in a row, they are putting out calendars to raise money to send women to important conferences. This year I was lucky enough to be chosen to be in the calendar - I'm the Skepchick for September! Each of us had to choose a quote that reflects our skeptical viewpoint. While other went with classical or scientific themes, I, naturally, chose a quote of Harlan's. ...


She sent me the picture as an attachment. Ah, the perks that come with this "job." ;-)

It's the hydrogen & stupidity quote and a lovely black & white photo. The still active link for this calender is;


The link is "safe for work" unless you work in a nunnery or some such. I suppose I should have bought one for Harlan and just sent it to him as a surprise but I've been busy "putting food on my family" and in general am just an all around bad person - as the criminal tardiness of this post so aptly demonstrates.

- Barney "when did you say?" Dannelke

- Tuesday, July 17 2007 19:9:25

"Grr, I lean left, but I think Moore is a twit and his own worst enemy. Going to *Cuba* too look for a better system, indeed - you don't really want to live in a backward communist dictatorship just because they have free medical care, do you??"

First off the film doesn't say a government has to be a dictatorship to provide good health care. And the film shows other systems of governments closer to ours that provide health care better than Cuba's. In fact the film provides a shot of the WHO list of health care ranking, clearly showing Cuba's free health care is worse than our costly one. The point wasn't that Cuba is a paradise, the argument was that if they can do a lowsey job at health care, we surely can do an excellent job at it. We should be ashamed as a country to only be 2 placements above Cuba on a health care list.

Secondly, when Mike went to Cuba the first time on TV Nation, NOBODY raised a stink about it. There was no big fuss from the Conservatives, their pundits, their fan base, nor anyone else. But now all of the sudden going to Cuba to film their doctors is Earth-shatteringly bad.

Talking points are for parrots. And I happen to know for a fact that parrots don't read Harlan Ellison (becuase he refused to use the title "I Have No Beak and I Must Squawk"; its a long standing feud). You are too intelligent a person to have typed what you typed.

Josh Olson
- Tuesday, July 17 2007 19:0:29

Here's what boggles my mind - the folks who are most vigorous in their attacks on Sicko seem to make a great deal out of the fact that sometimes Canadians have to wait for medical attention. I'm not sure I get it, and I wish one of them would explain to me - does this mean you think that waiting in an emergency room is such a horrific concept that you'd rather be uninsured?

The very best thing about the Writers Guild is the wonderful insurance. They even cover my chiropractor. It's fantastic. A couple years ago, I had to go to the hospital for an arm injury. It turned out to be a seriously inflamed case of bursitis that had become infected. I was told after it had been treated that if it went on much longer, the infection could have killed me.

I went to Cedars Sinai, and had to wait in the ER for an hour and a half before anyone could see me. That's WITH great insurance at one of the greatest hospitals in the world. Somehow, it never occurred to me that this was an intolerable trial.

I wonder if it's too late to sue....

Anyway, point being this - even if one accepts that having to wait for attention is a variant of the Bataan Death March, it's not like privatized insurance will ensure you don't have to. Sorry.

Brandon Butler <brandonbutler77@gmail.com>
Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada - Tuesday, July 17 2007 18:16:10

Mucho annoyed

I live in Canada. You have ABSOLUTELY no idea what you are talking about. If you really want to post as if you really understand the matter, don't rely on some film to summarize the party line for you. Come up here and LIVE IT... at least Lee did that (although as I said, I've never heard of anyone I know getting a rap like that).

At the risk of sounding patriotic -- which I usually consider one of the most useless and destructive concepts of the modern age (and especially the post WWI, nuclear age) -- Canada, you know, IS a first-world country. We DO get people care. It happens, just sometimes.

The thing is that in Canada if you're not in dire need, you have to wait. Because someone else is in more need than you.

I'm sick of reading -- and yes, it didn't take too many readings to get sick of it -- people who are not Canadians telling me how bad I got it just so they don't have to re-evaluate thier own myths. Like corporate waste rarely happens (or even happens less often than Government waste), like governments never get things right. All sorts of large bureaucratic bodies never get things right; you don't have to stricly be a communist or capitalist to appreciate that.

To read accounts like yours Cindy, who would think that when I was 12 and split my head open I actually got it sewn up within a couple hours? No, I would have been left to roam the halls, blood seeping through my fingers, screaming why oh why was I cursed with this wretched governmental socialism? If only I could pay someone to force the doctors to pay attention to ME! As for the other guy with no arms, legs ears or eyes, screw him -- "I got my ticket to heaven, so long losers".

Options aren't an American thing (says the person from the nation with only 2 political parties)... they're an everyone thing.

And as for your comments on Capital Punishment versus forcing the innocent into socialized medicine...WHAT?

No wait, hold on, gimme a moment...


Y'know, my family wasn't precisely the wealthiest kids on the block. In fact, we were pretty much lower-middle class. Other kids in the neighborhood were less fortunate. So you're here telling me that if me or the other worse-off kids in the neighborhood split thier heads open or worse, couldn't pay and got pushed out into the street, they should be thankful, becuase at least nobody's crammed that socialized bandage onto thier head, nosiree! Or that cheap stiching! Better to die of trivial causes than endure the half-assed treatment of Canadian health care!

Oh and Cindy... please don't apologize for being a smart-ass. All that tells me is that you think you're being a smart-ass but don't want to take the lumps for being one. The thought of being one didn't stop you from the said act of smart-assedness, so what use is the apology?

Join us next time when I, the Canadian, tell everyone how bad highway travel is in Italy thanks to some graffitti I once saw scrawled in a back alley behind the local bar.

Jason Michelitch <jasonmichelitch@gmail.com>
Astoria, NY - Tuesday, July 17 2007 17:53:25

TCJ page
Breaking the one-a-day just to say quickly that the TCJ page was not "login required" when I posted this morning as it is now.

I have no idea if this information is important.

Darryl <Still NO>
Bay Area, California - Tuesday, July 17 2007 16:45:20

Regarding snobbish comments about fiction...
I searched for a bit and did not find anyone who mentioned this.

So, it seems that a critic, Ruth Franklin, wrote in a review of Michael Chabon's latest book, that "Michael Chabon has spent considerable energy trying to drag the decaying corpse of genre fiction out of the shallow grave where writers of serious literature abandoned it."

Read Ursula K. Le Guin's response at the site below. WOW is all I can say. The column referenced is Jon Carroll's column of July 17, 2007, in case I screwed something up.


Haven't been around in aeons, my job's been kicking my ass. It probably will continue to do so for the forseeable future, so I'll say goodbye for a bit. Be well, all, and a special hello to Cindy and Lynn.


Steve B
- Tuesday, July 17 2007 14:29:36

Dep't of
The tcj.com website has converted the *Defend the First Amendment* link to one which requires registration -- thus, no way to verify if has been modified further or taken down completely.




You are not authorized to view this resource.
You need to login."

It may be gone, but only those with a log-in can verify.

Lori Koonce <purplelynn35@excite.com>
San Francisco, California - Tuesday, July 17 2007 14:20:53

Davey C
Man, there are so many more important fracking reasons to feel sorry not just for California, but our nation as a whole.

If a large number of dougnut shops depress you, don't even think about the fact that as far as I know, our Governor let the Assembly leave for the summer without having a budget planed. And if they got a budget, it's probablly one that looks great on paper, but won't amount to a hill of beans once it becomes law. I'm not even going to go on about Gay marriage or a lot of other concerns I've got about the Governator.

I'm not even going to ask you to consider the new book I heard about over the weekend. Didn't catch the author or title, but I did hear that the author is both femail and a former trial attorney. She's taken all the evidence that has been given for the war on Iraq, and laid it out as if it were being presented to a grand jury. She only used facts that were not reliant on personal opinion. Listening to her talk on NPR made me even more sure that our government lied to us.

But, it is nice to know that while I and so many others are out there trying to figure out the serious stuffs, we can count on you to worry about the mundane, and quite trivial stuff out there. Makes my job so much easier!


Frank Church
- Tuesday, July 17 2007 13:34:49

FinderDoug, I know, flog me if you will, I never rechecked my writing before scooting away. I have mass music street cred, Barber already proved that, and he outranks you. Kiss.


Blue Man Group should be seen as a visual, audio whole. Beyond being boxed into the awful Vegas sun they are really geniuses, their global warming shtick on Live Earth was cool, or, ah, warm.

Prince has a new single, Future Baby Mama; Nice little soul ditty. That don't get your woman in the mood, nothing will.


Cindy, sugarplum, the Moore movie is his most sincere and actually quite bipartisan. He talks to a member of the conservative party in canada about their health system and the gentleman raves about it. The movie is mostly sad stories and horror stories mixed with cutting humour, he even takes on Hillary Clinton, showing that she has taken more insurance industry money then any other democrat. Once you see the woman who loses her little girl because of Kaiser and the lady who is thrown in front of a homeless shelter because she cannot pay her hospital bills, you will come around to our side of the fence. Nicer pool temps here. Water's nice.

I have never seen so many people discussing a movie afterwards as I do after seeing this one. People linger in the theatre and into the street, part angry, part sad, wanting to do something now about our health system. The movie really does that to you.

Kristin, Cuba at least took care of the 9/11 heros, something our government never did.

When you see the lady get her 121 dollar inhaler for five fucking cents in cuba you will bawl like I did, and I have no soul, remember?

Hey, at least the ladies smell better then the rest of you mooks. Burp.

Jason Michelitch <jasonmichelitch@gmail.com>
Astoria, NY - Tuesday, July 17 2007 11:54:54

Odd discrepancy
Everything but the two lines removed here:


But not here:


One is the main Fantagraphics site, the other is the site for the Comics Journal. Is there anything in the agreement which would make the burden of removal different for the two different sites? One considered a news source and therefore not under the same obligation?

Anyway, here's a specialized google search for all mentions of "Harlan Ellison" on fantagraphics.com:


and one for tcj.com:


I think others are better judges than I of what constitutes a violation.

Mark Goldberg <markabaddon@gmail.com>
Minneapolis, - Tuesday, July 17 2007 11:0:24

Comics Journal still there

Just was searching the Fantagraphics and Comics Journal sites. They still are showing the original complaint with an excerpted portion highlighted. It can be found here:


The page with the solicitation for funds for their defense is still listed, but they do have the two sentence disclaimer at the top of the page. That page can be found here:


Let me know if you need anything else


St. Pete, FL - Tuesday, July 17 2007 10:58:38

Harlan, When I checked yesterday, the two links I had previously mentioned many days ago that still had discussed the case had been cleared, to wit:

W. Owen Powell <ix92391@yahoo.com>
Bloomington, IN - Tuesday, July 17 2007 10:51:7

Outer Limits (and one last bit of Harry Potter)
Just scored the entire run of the vintage Outer Limits series, my second favorite sf show right behind Babylon 5.

Shine on anyone who gives this show a bum review and didn't at least write a script for it.

One and only one final Harry Potter thing as well, posted solely because it has nothing at all to do with the recent dustup:


- Tuesday, July 17 2007 10:46:1

UH ... ER ...

That would be "links and such."


- Tuesday, July 17 2007 10:44:18


We are attempting to get the Settlement Agreement signed and posted for all of you who've been waiting.

To do this, we need to know FOR CERTAIN that the Fantagraphics /
Comics Journal / Journalista! sites have been cleared of all references to the case (EXCEPT for the 2-sentence Court-mandated
advisement we have posted here). That includes any kind of solicitations for auction of, or purchase of, artwork to aid the Fantagraphics Legal Defense Fund.

Those of you who know your way around liks and such, which I do not ... I would take it as a GREAT favor if you would flex on over to the Groth-sites and scour exceedingly fine, so we can get the papers memorialized and posted to quell your curiosity.

Thank you. I, and the noble John Carmichael, Esq., await your swiftest responses.

Yr. Pal, Harlan

Larry Forrest <idoubtabout@aol.com>
Tulsa, Oklahoma - Tuesday, July 17 2007 9:55:43

CINDY: Thanks for your comments. I am interested in hearing what you think of SiCKO. I was going to respond, but it occurred to me that Steve Dooner had taken the words right out of my keyboard when he wrote, "The solution is called, 'Learning without prejudice' from other nations and systems about what works best and what is most cost efficient." Ditto!

A-T CASTRO: Thanks for the link regarding His Trickiness. You have to laugh. Someday, "Nixonian" may replace "Machiavellian"
--they are synonymous, after all.

FRANK: Your music list was most impressive--and highly eclectic. But what's this? No Rolling Stones!? C'mon, Keith alone makes them worthy of mention! Speaking of music (segue coming up) the annual Woody Guthrie Folk Festival was recently held in Okemah (oh-KEE-muh) Oklahoma. (The Amerindian names in these parts are as difficult to pronounce as the Spanish ones in California. I mean, who would've thought La Jolla is pronounced La Hoy-yuh? That is the way it's pronounced, right? Oh well ... ) I think it's great that, even in this reddest of states, we can honor the legacy of one of the most liberal of singer/songwriters. Woody was the single greatest influence on His Bobness, who, in turn, influenced ... well, EVERYBODY--up to and including the Fab Four.

The American people may never catch on, but Woody was right when he sang, "This land was made for you and me." Ditto!

Steve B
- Tuesday, July 17 2007 8:43:54


(So THAT'S how you guys accidently post before being finished!!! Damned button.)


... add Blue Man Group and The Swingle Singers, but have to deduct The Police after being royally disappointed by the recent tour stop in LA. (And Elton for his lackluster show in Vegas.)

and finally --

- I plan on getting any and all lawyers a calendar for Christmas. Being in business myself, it is my practical observation that they do not understand the actual dictates of the term "business days". It is not, in business, a negotiable concept.

Steve Barber <barbergallery@verizon.net>
- Tuesday, July 17 2007 8:39:41

Odd Ends

The coffee isn't strong enough this morning, so I'm left with the following simple observations.

- The Nixon "They Just Don't Understand Me" Treatise is astounding and disturbing, and one wonders if there might not be a modern equivalent making the rounds of the White House this very day...

- If I understand the logic of the current Iraq/Al-Quaida news reports we (the US) have allowed Al-Quaida to rebuild its strength almost completely from the hills of Afghanistan (where we had them pinned down before getting distracted in Iraq) -- but the organization now has such a solid foothold in Iraq (where they existed NOT prior to our invasion) that we must stay in Iraq to prevent giving them a platform with which to strike America.

Explain to me, please, the success of the operation so far???? It seems to this neophytic observer that all we have done is made the situation far worse than it would have been had we nailed them in Afghanistan.

- Spudnuts are really very, very good. Haven't had one in years.

- Why is it the military seems to be on the advance guard of all things societal? Equality of the races, equality of the sexes (still working on that one), advocates for peaceful solutions of disputes (comes from having your own head used as target practice if we go to war), the safe use of nuclear power, and now socialized medicine. Things that make you go "hmmmmm...."

- Kudos to Frank's list (despite his typos). Anyone who can lay claim to liking Madonna, Astrud, The Beach Boys AND the Sex Pistols with a straight face gets points from me. To his list I'd add Blue Man Group

Davey C. <spacklepants@hotmail.com>
Iowa, Where There Ain't No Spudnuts - Tuesday, July 17 2007 8:17:11

This is one of the reasons California makes me sad.

Adam-Troy Castro <adamcastro999@yahoo.com>
- Tuesday, July 17 2007 6:36:22

Astonishing Link Of The Day
Astonishing Document, and an Absolute MUST READ.

This 11-page, single-spaced memorandum, by President Richard M. Nixon (available as a PDF on this site, or if you want eyestrain as reduced facsimiles), documents his own, ah, extraordinary warmth, and how the White House Staff should devote more effort to making sure people knew what a nice guy he was. Wow, he actually spoke to a subordinate about to "go under the knife" and wished him luck! Why didn't his staff make sure it made the papers? The self-cited examples of Nixon's warmth qualify as minimal humanity, the 11 pages of serious discussion about
how these can be used to improve his reputation written in perfect Nixonian prose, so stiff it's hilarious, with occasional jarring moments of attempted vernacular like "making nicey-nice" with Congress.

I suspect this is best enjoyed when read aloud by someone attempting (with whatever skills), the distinctive cadence of Nixon's speech.


Else: thank you, Kristin. I did three book-signings for that volume, and each time introduced it as a volume that would be proven entirely wrong in two months.

- Tuesday, July 17 2007 6:5:27

This must be what they mean by Culture Wars
Hey I liked TRANSFORMERS. Giant robots blowing up all and sundry. Cool.

In his wonderful post, Steve Evil asked

"Socialized medicine is the greatest thing we've ever achieved.

Why does it scare the shit out of you?"

Assuming the question was not rhetorical, allow me to attempt a response.

I think we all know why it "scares the hell out of" the insurance industry and big pharma. But it goes deeper than mere avarice.

Consider the act of economic "exchange" as a form of Eucharist. To the true believer of the Church of Free Market Capitalism, the magic doesn't work, transubstantiation does NOT occur, if one side does not profit from the exchange.

In an economic relationship where neither side profits, well hell, you might as well replace the Mass with a puppet show.

I read the interview with Mr King. What a fascinating lot we are! Best-selling author, love and respect of millions of readers, strong stable loving family, why isn't that enough?

Steven Dooner <sdooner@earthlink.net>
South Weymouth, MA - Tuesday, July 17 2007 5:20:28

CINDY: You guessed right! Michael Moore does indeed offer a solution to our healthcare crisis in his film "Sicko." The solution is called, "Learning without prejudice" from other nations and systems about what works best and what is most cost efficient. Interestingly, the solution is as easy as having an open mind and not falling back on political rhetoric about socialism and state administered healthcare. I hope you see the film soon. I know you'll enjoy seeing him challenge the status quo-loving "group think" about how good the American system is. Moore's impetus for seeking a better system is, of course, his devout Christian belief in the dictum, "You will be judged by how you treat the least among us." Save me an aisle seat!

Steve Dooner

Steve Dooner

- Monday, July 16 2007 22:45:19

Frank - You lose all music cred right out of the box when you misspell both COLTRANE and HENDRIX in the span of eight names. Poseur.

Steve Evil <evening_tsar@hotmail.com>
Soviet Canuckistan - Monday, July 16 2007 20:32:49

Ask a Canadian.
Cindy Wrote:

"in Canada you or your children or your spouse are stuck with whatever the government gives you...even if (as those films will attest) it's a death sentence."

Scare tactics. The reality attested to by the citizenry is something very different.

That boogey man won't work Cindy. Our system hasn't killed nearly as many people as yours. There are no "death sentences" here.

You are not "stuck with what the government gives you". You are given what you need. You are set up with someone who can care for you.

You are not given witchdoctors or barbers with bone saws. The doctors that the government "sticks you with" are very very good. Whatever you can get down there, you can get up here. (These days we've even got anaesthesia!).

And it will not cost you a cent. You will not be turned away. You will not have to "find the money". You will not have to mortgage your house, or convince your insurance company that you need a proceedure. It gets done.

And people here are very very satisfied with it. The founder of our system was recently voted the "Greatest Canadian" ever.

Socialized medicine is the greatest thing we've ever achieved.

Why does it scare the shit out of you?

-Steve E.
Heathy, happy
and uninsured

- Monday, July 16 2007 20:4:48


Got it. Thank you, both.

Yr. Pal, Harlan

Kristin Ruhle <kristin@rahul.net>
Los Gatos, CA - Monday, July 16 2007 18:11:17

Back, not online nearly enough.....
Saw the new Harry Potter film. I enjoyed it, but the director was qouted in Entertainment Weekly as arguing that all the other movies were too long and wanting to make the *longest* book into the SHORTEST movie, even KNOWING the fans whould hate it (wonder if he's getting hate mail?) Movie people have little respect for the books their films are based on and NO respect for people who actually *read*.

Wandering through Borders Books today....I picked up Adam-Troy's UNAUTHORIZED HARRY POTTER. I knew I HAD to have it when I saw who the author was! It was 30 percent off but not (yet) on the bargain table. I wonder how cheap they will have to sell some of this stuff for when book 7 is out? (I saw the other book with the debate over whether Snape is good or evil...they'll probably end up giving it away!) Mr Castro, you are a genius and you have me cracking up a LOT with all the "things Rowling will never write..." Yes, I recognized the bit about the elevator.

Ugh, Libertarian Conservative Cindy versus the Left Wing Mob, debating health care and "Sicko." Either health care is too capitalist (Moore) or not capitalist ENOUGH (Cindy and the Free Marketeers.) Grr, I lean left, but I think Moore is a twit and his own worst enemy. Going to *Cuba* too look for a better system, indeed - you don't really want to live in a backward communist dictatorship just because they have free medical care, do you??

Are HMOs evil? My parents are getting very good care from Kaiser, but they are quite healthy for their age (70 plus!) Kaiser is often compared to socialistic systems in terms of the quality of care you get, which is generally prevention-oriented but not as good at dealing with illness. I always hear horror stories about Kaiser not wanting to treat you, but I think for- profit HMOs are even worse.
America in general is better at cures than prevention which is what shows up in a lot of statistics. There's big money in curing cancer - there's no money in simple things like flu shots, which is why we don't have enough producers and suffer shortages even in a normal year if there are problems with a single plant. God help us when Bird Flu mutates into a pandemic.

Well nothing is really going to change because certain interests have too much political power, and deep cultural differences will prevent America ever emulating other nations in many respects. I wish high speed Internet and cell phone service were not dominated by monopolies (Sorry Steve B, I know one of them is your employer, but I think the CTIA cell phone trade group is evil (rigidly closing off net access) and that the price of verizon's fiber optic Internet, where it is available, is absolutely obscene when the Japanese can get equivalent service for the yen equivalent of $30 a month, and I HATE it that my cellphone is so tied to the service company and cannot be used with another company. Hey, you think the Apple iPhone is cool but AT&T isn't? Move to another country!! In many places "mobile phone" and "GSM" mean the same thing and you can switch the SIM-cards around AND there are more than two providers with good networks using the same technology!!! (Here there are two GSM carriers and two CDMA carriers; the latter technology has the edge in high speed data, but is rigidly proprietary.)

Oh, and I wish bicycles were a respected means of transport here....our addiction to the car is evil, but I guess only island countries, nations with heavy gas taxes, or both can manage to avoid being enslaved by monster SUVs. The Chinese are dumping their bikes for cars...


Andrew Fuller <asfuller@owlsoup.com>
Portland, OR - Monday, July 16 2007 17:42:20

A commercial break from your regularly scheduled programmy
"It bugs me, is all. I hate the idea that people avoided Grindhouse, but went ape for crap like Transformers. I hate the fast food tie ins, wish the people involved would be a bit more responsible."

Friends, if you haven't already pictured this in the silver screen reflected in your mind's eye, please join me in envisioning Grindhouse fast food tie ins...

Perhaps the X-rated happy meals with prizes like the bloody severed leg, or the super-sized Planet Terror artificially flavored bursting boils and pustules milkshake, or even a side of motor oil and shattered windshield glass-dipping sauce with your (chicken?) fingers.

What will be your favorite at the drive-thru window? Have it your way!

- Monday, July 16 2007 17:5:27


I read that review once - possibly last year. I spat on it. It's stupid-assed, myopic, and dead wrong. ALL tv is "cheesy"; but a BUNCH of those episodes were really, REALLY beautifully written.

And even the loser episodes were more intelligent and more interesting than the regular segments of MOST other shows.

That's why I avoid most critics now, and certainly all the wanna-bes online.

Encyclopedia of Science Fiction edited by Peter Nicholls did a much better job in the reviewing of that show; it was more incisive and even-handed.

Having SPEWWWWWWWWWWWWed, I MUST say, after renting the original GET SMART series on dvd this last weekend, I'd forgotten what an ass-bangin' hilarious show this thing was. And it struck me while watching Max, the Chief, and Larrabee that THIS could be Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfeld. In spite of the Cold War backdrop, this was SO translatable...

If you've anything further to say to me, we'll have to do it under the Cone of Silence.

Shane Shellenbarger <SharpTeethShane@gmail.com>
Phoenix, Arizona - Monday, July 16 2007 15:43:34

Review of the 2nd Season DVD's of the Outer Limits "Demon With A
It Came From the ’60s, Cheesy but Influential:
. . .with one outstanding exception: “Demon With a Glass Hand.” Written by Harlan Ellison (and an inspiration for the “Terminator” films), “Demon” is the sole reason to invest in the Season 2 DVD, to be released later this summer. . .


Frank Church
- Monday, July 16 2007 14:51:13

Neato Steve King interview: He is worried about his legacy:



Barber, this is funny because I have never seen Sin City. Boy, we better never be driving in the same lane.

Jimmy Buffet and his parrothead buffoons are a bit too lowbrow for my tastes, so I will stick to my Iron Maiden, black T-shirt wearing, mop top broodlings.

My weird record collection:

Prince, Zappa, Coltrain, Beatles, Van Halen, Caetano Veloso, Debarge, Terrence Trent D'arby, Velvet Underground, Jimi Hendrex, The Doors, The Church, Sonic Youth, Black Flag, Dead Kennedys, Gershwin--Rhapsody In Blue, An American In Paris, Metallica, Iron Maiden, Black Sabbath, Miles Davis, Webern, Morricone, Bernard Herrmann, The Carpenters, Joni Mitchell, Henry Mancini, Ray Charles, Stevie Wonder, PM Dawn, Sex Pistols, The Ramones, Millions Of Dead Cops, 45 Grave, Scatterbrain, The Police, Hall & Oates, Mavis Staples, Etta James, Mahalia Jackson, Bela Bartok, Ensemble Modern, Wham, Madonna, Michael Jackson, Gilberto Gil, Astrud Gilberto, Jorge Ben, Bebel Gilberto, Led Zeppelin, The Residents, Crucifucks, Buddy Rich Big Band, Thompson Twins, The Fugees, Van Hunt, Archers Of Loaf, XTC, Stone Roses, Dead Can Dance, Bjork, Johnny Cash, Charley Daniels Band, Ryan Adams, Coldplay, Elton John, Strunz And Farah, Tuck & Patti, Michael Franks, Frank Sinatra, Moth, The Rain Parade, Pavement, Crooked Fingers, The Stooges, REM, David Bowie, Television, Bob Dylan, Gerry and the Pacemakers, Strawberry Alarm Clock, The Strabs, Prokofiev, Glenn Branca, Courtney Love, Nirvana, Nick Cave, GG Allin, Charles Manson, TLC, Beach Boys, Pink Floyd, TSOL, The Damned, Billie Holiday, Chuck Mangione, Carole King, Steve Vai, The monkees, 13th Floor Elevators, The Count Five, Stravinsky, Little Jimmy Smith, Robert Johnson, Chris Isaak, Verdi, Ravel, Big Star, Lenny Kravitz, The Slits, Teenage Fanclub, Tragic Mulatto, The Cars, Wall Of Voodoo....so many more.

Great Falls, SC - Monday, July 16 2007 13:41:13

Thank you Harlan...and Steve
Thank you for your kindness Harlan. I'll pass it on to my dad... who is having a hard time with this despite seeing it coming. As a fan, knowing that one of his literary heroes (along with Bradbury) is aware of his plight may help.
Concerning the link...it was included in an article. Knowing the disdain for which our humble webmaster holds html tags, I decided against the link...which was an error. Thanks for fixing it...

Steve Barber <barbergallery@verizon.net>
- Monday, July 16 2007 13:33:55

(Tally, if I may)


- Monday, July 16 2007 13:21:27


First, Susan's and my condolences. As a gesture of simple courtesy and kindness, though we are certainly far removed from your family's concern and sadness.

Second, and it is a piddling question, so ignore it if you wish:
I tried to locate the Dream Corridor review you noted, but could find it nowhere on the Newsarama site. If you have a spare moment ...

Respectfully, Harlan

Robert Morales
New York City, New York - Monday, July 16 2007 9:35:39

Slipstream & Sterling
Basically, Bruce heard about literature somewhere and rushed to give it a genre classification. This pre-Copernican approach to Art is a common misstep among people who toil in genres; you see the same sort of thing in the comics industry, where books that reflect the real world - outside the "mainstream" superhero mode - are considered "alternative." It's self-delusional bullshit, but it's not worth a fit.

Rick Ollerman <rick@ollerman.com>
Littleton, NH - Monday, July 16 2007 9:33:46

John J. Zoeck used a capital letter!

Steve Dooner <sdooner@earthlink.net>
South Weymouth, MA - Monday, July 16 2007 8:49:33


At Boston's Readercon this year, I sat for several panels on the new (now 17 year old) literary genre Slipstream.

What a load of manure!

First, those involved arrogantly posited a genre that subsumes all of Magic Realism and the best of Post-Modernist fiction, then they threw in the surrealists, Kafka, Sei Shonagon and anybody else who was on their colege reading list, and finally they placed their own stories next to these famous examples and said, "Look we do what they do."

It's sort of like saying that anyone who picks up a pen technically does what Shakespeare did.

What Slipstream is, "Ontological and Epistemological anxiety about the nature of reality," is about a half inch away from what Twilight Zone writers, Rod Serling, Charles Beaumont, and Richard Mastheson were doing, and exactly what Harlan was doing over at Outer Limits. Please forgive me for pointing out the time involved, but that was forty years ago!

The real problem is that they think that they're creating a new label that will make their fiction more appealing to the general market. In reality, this term will only limit them again because people will assume they are writing something other than what Ray Bradbury or Kurt Vonnegut or Harlan Ellison or Michael Chabon have written. They will base their assumption merely on the label and not on the quality of the fiction.

"I thought I was in a box, but really I was in hell! Except that maybe I was only a toy in a toybox or a literary character struggling to get out a story. Help me, Kugelmass, wherever you are! I've gone and lost myself in the slipstream! Hey, is that they statue of Liberty I see before me?"

Steve Dooner

(Apologies to SCTV's Dave Thomas, Rod Serling and Woody Allen)

john j zeock
- Monday, July 16 2007 8:26:32

Harlan-thanks for the correction. can't read my owm writing anymore. sent you a mention in a short ny times release on outer limits dvd. and a 1506 nix nix right back at you,sir, with affection. jz

Tim Case Walker <feliciafxx@aol.com>
Dayton, Ohio - Monday, July 16 2007 8:12:26


We're all familiar with the absolute refusal of Mr. Ellison to have his work shoehorned into any sort of low rent literary ghetto by know-nothing journalists, publishers, et al. The message? Literary categorization can be a bad thing, especially for those who eschew it. Do we really need another subheading in the category of fantastic literature? I think not. However.

Bruce Sterling coined the term "slipstream" years ago in a column in "SF Eye" magazine, and used it to describe a type (brand? mode? ghetto?) of fiction which is sorta weird, kinda strange, almost-but-not-quite speculative but still appeals to those who love the work of fantasists such as Mr. Ellison, Borges, Kafka, Calvino, Ballard, etc. How slipstream differs from magic realism is beyond the likes of my educated-in-the-Ohio-public-school-system self.

To those who are interested: an interesting piece on slipstream, along with a comprehensive reading list of recommended works, may be found on Bruce Sterling's blog at blog.wired.com/sterling.

A categorical aside: At the main branch of the Dayton Public Library last week, I was sent scurrying about like a lab rat on ritalin while trying to locate a biography on Miles Davis. It wasn't in the damned nonfiction stacks, as the computer assured. It wasn't on the New Arrivals shelf, or on the Recently Returned cart. Finally, in desperation, I asked one of the zombies behind the counter to help me, something I am loath to do.

The zombie walked me over to a newly minted "African American Reading" section, pulled the book from the shelf, and placed it in my lily-white hands.

"I didn't realize we were organizing books these days based on race," I commented, drawing nothing but stony silence.

Tally <ifyawantit@happyhunting.com>
Great Falls, SC - Monday, July 16 2007 7:43:16

I'm back from vacation...
Good review of HE's DC v2 on newsarama.com for those interested. I've not read Harry Potter, but if anything makes kids gung ho to read anything deeper than cheat codes for the big video game...more power to 'em. The next ghost book should be out by mid-September. The sister in law is currently hunting a publisher for her next book since Simon and Schuster has quit the romance genre. Her current stuff is out under Lucy Blue and Jayel Wylie...not bad if you like vampire romance and fantasy. It's a good beach book...

Anyway..I'm back in the shadows and I'm through pimping. I may be spotty in my attendance as my dad's father passed away today after a lengthy fight with ALS...

Jeff R.
Phila., - Monday, July 16 2007 5:36:22

A junior Holmes, perhaps?
As a 15 year old working part time in a candy store, I could tell when some guy wanted a pack of Marlboros before he even asked for it. As a 17 year old working part time at Sears, I could tell when some guy wanted a replacement air conditioner filter before he asked for it.

This odd little talent, if that's the word for it, did me no good at all in later years.

Keith Cramer <remarck@hotmail.com>
Arlington, VA - Monday, July 16 2007 4:29:22

quarter problem solved - numismatists vs. doctors
Tad, someone already got back to me on the e-mail side, so it's all taken care of. Thank you for your kind offer, though.

Cindy, Thanks for your reply. Obviously we don't want this to foment into a kind of Frank Church/Harry Potter thing, so maybe we can take healthcare to the other board. But I will say that a person can criticize a system without having a solution ready to replace it, and they shouldn't be written off for doing it.

The current system here isn't the best healthcare system in the world. I think it is not a matter of opinion anymore. It is a fact backed up by the evidence.

Sorry, sorry: I said we should take it to the board. Now I just have to change my avatar so I can appear reasonable when I talk about this stuff.


sandydoesit <sandydoesit>
New York, - Monday, July 16 2007 0:14:2


I have a essay due. I messed up and now I am in a bind. Anyone know where can I find essays for sale or a place with info to write a essay real fast?


Tom Galloway <tyg@panix.com>
Silicon Valley, - Sunday, July 15 2007 23:37:13

Dunno about GEnie archives, but Usenet's archived (as much as is known from the old days) as part of Google Groups at groups.google.com Somewhat frighteningly, this includes some of my earliest posts, which aren't my earliest period as I'm one of the few who predate the earliest known Usenet archive due to having been a CS major at UNC-CH when Usenet was co-founded there and at Duke.

The archives are lacking, particularly in the late 80s. Henry Spencer, then of UToronto, wasn't able to get a tape budget to keep up with Usenet's expanding volume. So he made the reasonable, but in retrospect probably incorrect, decision to focus on archiving the sci. and comp. hierarchies rather than the more social oriented rec. and soc. hierarchies. Thus, we have much archived about how to program an Amiga, but little indicating how the first truly widespread online set of communities developed and interacted.

TEXAS - Sunday, July 15 2007 22:24:7

Keith wrote;
"Not incidentally, within any system, a good person is not defined by their religion. A good person is a capable person. This is a distinction often missed by people in the voting booth."
I would not ever equate religion with goodness. Never. My definition of a good person would be a person who cares for others not just himself. There are many who know what is right and what is wrong and know how to file appropriate papers and push things through the system but don't-- for whatever reason. This is what happened to my friend and the others at Moon Hall.
Mine is in no way an impeachment of all federal employees but an assertion that the chain is only as strong as its weakest link. To give blanket power and autonomy to bureaucrats over something as critical and personal as health care is to court devastation. I posted a couple of links, did you watch the short films? These stories should be enough of an indictment of Canada's socialized system to avert disaster for us if we take heed. I embrace your idea of health care for all-- and yet I quake at the foretaste of socialized medicine that other nations have provided us with. Perhaps if we empanelled a group of physicians and patients who have survived catastrophic illness and injury or their immediate family members who have navigated the jagged shoals of HM Os and Hospital administration, we could come up with some viable idea. As it stands now-- I have seen enough to know I don't want my health care or that of my family to hinge on a stranger's caprice or interpretations
My son Beau considered going into medicine but my father and my brother ( both M.D.s) dissuaded him because they say practicing medicine is not the same as it used to be. My father, a family practice doctor since 1958 said physicians used to see patients. That was their focus-- patient care. He said the moral obligation of being a physician was enough to compel doctors to do what they were trained and aspired to do. It wasn't about money. My father and other doctors like him took care of all people, including the poor and unemployed. He said if he had patients who could not pay he would take whatever they offered in return. He said $5 per month was enough for him to keep someone as a patient. The government came in with their requisite Ararat of paperwork--which required additional office staff. My father had his own private practice for many years but the federal government mandated complicated and ever changing codes, filing procedures and paperwork. He closed his private office and went to work for a while for an HMO. But my father is old school. He believes a doctor must spend as much time as necessary with the patient. The HMO directed him to spend no more than 20 minutes with each individual. The HMO office would over book him to see to it that he kept their pace. Those who run the HMOs are not doctors-- they don't care about individuals or quality of care. It's all about quantity.
Putting life or death decisions in the hands of bureaucrats is like playing Russian roulette-- maybe you'd be lucky enough draw a good federal employee like you or Alex Jay Berman-- or maybe you won't. Options are an American thing. If you don't have the money for what you need there are other avenues here in our country. At least there is a chance that you can raise the money-- in Canada you or your children or your spouse are stuck with whatever the government gives you...even if (as those films will attest) it's a death sentence.
Do you find it interesting that many people who decry capital punishment for the guilty embrace socialized medicine for the innocent?
I'm sincerely not trying to be a smart-ass but please show me one example of something that big government has not fucked up.
I love Barry Goldwater.

Hello Larry,
My report about the troops is a direct look at government health care. It is what it is.
You wrote," I submit that a system in which less care means more money will inevitably place profit over people."
Which is why HMOs should be outlawed. My brother told me there is a CEO in Las Vegas who made over 20 million dollars in one year. There is no reason for a CEO of an HMO to make that kind of money and yet the government dictates how much a physician can charge for his services. I think the government should get out of medicine and let the doctors treat their patents. The paperwork should be minimal and medical malpractice should be a criminal matter not a civil one. There should be no need for malpractice insurance because the doctors should face losing their license and time in a penitentiary for negligence or deliberate malpractice. In Texas each county has to carry an indigent health account. Any indigent person who is sick or injured has the right to go back to the county for medical expenses. The County picks up the tab. I like that idea. A portion of every one's taxes goes to paying for the health care of the needy. The destruction of the current for pay system would be a colossal error. The quality of care here is superior to that of any other nation. Why risk fucking that up?

Steve Dooner wrote;" CINDY: How nice that you are finally coming around to Michael Moore's opinions! After all, it was he who first reported the abuses that our soldiers were facing at Walter Reed and various other poorly run veterans hospitals three and a half years ago. It was also Moore who pointed out how the current administration has turned its back on our 9/11 workers in his current film.

You have--surprisingly--confirmed everything Moore argued in his film, Sicko--that it's not just Canada that suffers long waits and that plenty of Americans are disenfranchised from good health care as well.

When will you be thanking Mr. Moore for SOOOOOOO raising your consciousness on these issues? "
Well Steve,
I haven't seen Sicko yet- but I intend to. Does he offer a solution? If so what is it? If he has come up with a plan, something viable that would work and serve to improve access to good and timely health care for everyone I would support it ardently. But we must protect our American right to circumnavigate the system when our lives (or those of our loved ones) depend on it. If he has solved the puzzle; I would not only write him a letter of thanks I would cheerfully kiss his ass on the courthouse square.

Tad Dunten
Hines, OR - Sunday, July 15 2007 21:55:16

Hey, mista, gotta quatta?

I ought to have a Cali quarter in decent shape around here somewheres. Email tadrow at excite dot com if you'd like one, or any of the other states.



Keith Cramer <remarck@hotmail.com>
Arlington, VA - Sunday, July 15 2007 20:6:27

Josh's tale
I swear I read this tale already. I think Harlan may have missed it, but Josh related it last month... I don't have the time to check the archives, but if any of y'all do, you'll probably find the anecdote.

Anyone have a California quarter? My girlfriend has run out of people to ask. She is hardly the numismatist, but she has one of those Tangerine Books for collecting US State Quarters. I will gladly pay postage. It was issued in 2005: you'd think they would be easier to come across. Last time I went to the bank, I asked the teller if they had any, and she actually looked through her drawer, and the drawer of the teller next to her, and they came up empty.

Cramer out.

Good tidings to all.


Brian Siano
- Sunday, July 15 2007 20:4:40

Re the Rowling thing: I had this tussle with Frank a long time ago. Same topic, same points raised, same old stuff. That's why I stayed out of it this time around. It'll come back when the last two movies come out, too.

Re the Groth settlement: I'm as excited as anyone else to hear the details... but for what it's worth, I can certainly _live_ with not knowing. Tell us whenever you feel it's best, Harlan.

Re "bubblegum." I'd always heard it to describe light pop of the mid-1960s, simply happy music with no content beyond providing some happiness for a few minutes. No intense emotions, no protest content, nothing profound... just happy sounds for two to three minutes. Some exemplars were "Green Tambourine," "Chic-a-Boom," "Mony Mony," and "Sugar Sugar." Don Kirshner used to be the best producer for bubblegum pop. It's not really a genre; it's just a shorthand to describe a certain quality.

Michael M
Los Angeles, CA - Sunday, July 15 2007 19:50:28

"Tell me about the dinner at Mogo's at which Harlan..."


You skated right past the bit where you could enlighten us all about HE's Holmesian trick and instead threw Frank one last elbow after the ref blew the whistle.

Tell the tale, sir!


Zack Malatesta
- Sunday, July 15 2007 18:19:3

What exactly qualifies a work as being "bubblegum"? It seems as if it is used a little too broadly. I've seen things that ooze "bubblegum," and at the same time I see the word attached to things that I otherwise would never suspect to be "bubblegum." I'd drop some names to help you guys and gals understand what I'm talking about, but I don't know any. I just think that that word gets tossed around by people in the biz to help group or qualify an art form, maybe.

Now that I think of it: "Stuck in the Middle With You." I think that 's the title, but I have heard that song called "bubblegum" and I just don't get it. Is it because the song has an upward beat. Or is it a dancewise thing?

There's got to be a better word is all I'm saying. Bubblegum just sounds too sickly saccharin. It bothers me like having karo poured all down my ears and eyes and throat. It feels that wrong.

Steve Barber <barbergallery@verizon.net>
- Sunday, July 15 2007 16:42:6

There is room, IMHO, for entertainment to be "bubblegum" or "cotton candy" and still be the source of considerable enjoyment. I consider myself a fairly edumacated consumer of good both high- and low-brow. Gimme an evening with Cleo Laine and John Dankworth -- or, if the mood moves me, a coupla' tickets to Jimmy Buffett'd be a-okay.

I don't readily accept -- and have never really understood -- the arrogance of "sorry, that's too mainstream for me to enjoy". Telling me that "high culture" is better than "low" gains no purchase in my naive perspective.

Like evaluating the flavors in a glass of wine, my taste may not reflect yours and if we're eating spaghetti a cheap bottle of Carlo Rossi might just be what the chef recommends.

To whit: Had no desire whatsoever to see GRINDHOUSE, but loved SIN CITY. Enjoyed the heck out of PAN'S LABYRINTH and also laughed like hell during SOMETHING ABOUT MARY. I like ABSOLUTELY FABULOUS almost as much as DOCTOR WHO, and haven't watched an episode of MASTERPIECE THEATER since Lady Diana Rigg's last appearance.

Last year I paged my way through LIFE OF PI at the same time I reread A CANTICLE FOR LEIBOWITZ.

I like Renoir and I like James Coleman.

Duck a L'Orange is a special treat, as is a really good barbequed burger. Pink's is cool, as is an evening at Cicada (nee Rex il Ristorante). The Veal Parmesan at Prizzi's Piazza is a truly elegant indulgence, but for a culinary orgasm if you want your eyeballs to roll back into your head, ya gotta have the garlic bread.

Love New Orleans and San Francisco and Paris and Vegas -- not to mention Paris Las Vegas!

Saw DEATH OF A SALESMAN a few days before MAMA MIA, followed shortly after by Cirque du Soleil. Had a memorable time at each.

The west still survives, Bush remains in power, Shakespeare is still performed in the park -- and I think I'm gonna go watch a video of TREASURE OF SIERRA MADRE ... or maybe ABBOTT AND COSTELLO GO TO MARS (I haven't decided yet, maybe I'll flip a coin).

- Sunday, July 15 2007 15:59:6

Wild For The Money

Harlan Ellison shoulda dun a WILD WILD WEST - the one a starrin' Ross Martin n' a Savate-kickin' expressionless Robert Conrad.

Woulda been a damn-tootin' cool'n...'spite a bein'
solamente para el dinero!

Josh Olson
- Sunday, July 15 2007 14:37:30


"I hate the idea that people avoided Grindhouse, but went ape for crap like Transformers. "

Actually, you just gave me a context by which I can be happy Transformers is a hit.

Strange times, indeed....

paul <vaughnrichards@yahoo.com>
Austin, TX - Sunday, July 15 2007 13:43:38

Is that the one that starts "Two bikers are sitting in a booth and one doesn't look ANYTHING like a chess player, when Harlan leans over and says...."?

Always wanted the background on that'un. ;)

- Sunday, July 15 2007 13:28:49



Ask Josh about this Holmesian "trick" I do. I don't think it was the first time he ever saw me do it, but it is the one that made his formidable jaw drop. For reference (probably unnecessary), use the codewords, "Tell me about the dinner at Mogo's at which Harlan..."

Yr. Pal, Harlan

Benjamin Winfield
- Sunday, July 15 2007 13:22:24

Currently listening to ON THE ROAD WITH HARLAN ELLISON, vol. 2. Harlan is recounting his deductive powers with an upper executive and a typist. I wonder how much info Harlan was able to pick up on within a single glance? Could I actually "time" Sherlock Holmes into piecing everything together about a single person within a set limit?

"Okay, Holmes...there's a man out there next to the street lamp...GO!"

30 seconds later...

"TIME! What can you tell me, Holmes?"
"Well, for starters, he's naked..."

- Sunday, July 15 2007 13:14:18



The wheels of the Law grind exceedingly fine, but dear god yes, exceedingly slow, as well. It is a reality both of us will have to support for (it is my, and my attorney's, hope) only a few days more. The suspense should've ended, in my view, a two weeks ago yesterday, at midnight.. But the phrase was "working days" -- not, my error, simply "days" -- and that exempted the 4th of July hiatus, weekends ...

The other side COULD have been as gracious as I have been, taking away ANYTHING pertaining to the case, save the Court-mandated notice required (see above); but they chose (no great surprise) to cling to their postings till the last fearful moment.

And so ... we must be patient yet a bit longer. A bit. Just a bit.

As weary as you, Yr. Pal, Harlan

- Sunday, July 15 2007 13:3:54



I am doing what I admit is unfair, imperial, high-handed and probably offensive: the Harry Potter subject is finished. Adam-Troy has clearly and efectively spoken to Frank Church's lamentable misspeak anent "writing only for the money." It is my unilateral judgment that Frank would swallow that line back if he could; but he can't; and it was so patently goofy that the opportunity to get fahrmished about it (as we say in Yiddish) could not be allowed to pass the line of passion. But we all know everything there is to know, or say, about that slip of the tongue and so ...

I realize I'm giving credence to those from off-this-site who accuse me of Tsarist manipulation -- and yes, I did just finish reading an excellent mini-biography of the sly Machiavelli -- MACHIAVELLI: PHILOSOPHER OF POWER by Ross King, the latest in the James Atlas series of "Eminent Lives" from HarperCollins, $21.95 in hc, excellent reading -- but I fear you will have to live with my autocratic behavior, folks.

Rowling-Potter can slip over to some lesser thread, at which site you can wallop each other with rubber chickens till you piss red, but ... no more here.

Oh, and A-TC: 99.9% of the time Judy is right on the money. This time, I'm glad you cleared your lungs. Now, take a cold compress and lie down for an hour.

All best to ALL of you, you too Frank, Yr. Pal, Chairman Mao-Tse Ellison, Adjudicator of All He Surveys

Steve Evil <evening_tsar@hotmail.com>
- Sunday, July 15 2007 12:56:44

Lighten up dude. Rowling wrote a book. People liked it. Can she help it? Lay off 'em. There's much worse crap out there to get upset about.

-Steve E,
Who has never read a single Potter book.

Frank Church
- Sunday, July 15 2007 10:50:15

Yea, I admit to being a bit of a bitch about this. I don't admire what Rowling is doing, but I shouldn't really be mad at her. I am mad at society, for avoiding good movies, books, albums, to go for the latest pop trend. It bugs me, is all. I hate the idea that people avoided Grindhouse, but went ape for crap like Transformers. I hate the fast food tie ins, wish the people involved would be a bit more responsible. Sure, read the books, enjoy them; I just have no use for them, as you have no use for some of things I like. I see the zombie fans of these books and it scares me. The simplistic black and white morality bothers me to no end. But, I need to let it lie; I don't enjoy this as much as you think.

Castro, me and Rowling just don't alike. Would be nice if we could take some of her money and give it evenly to better writers, artists. People even kill themselves when their art doesn't sell. I live in a fucked up world that I will have to deal with. Better to be like Carlin and watch it from the sidelines and laugh at it. Better then the other options.

Success with your continued writings good man.


Josh Olson
- Sunday, July 15 2007 10:47:20


Just for the record, that's the sort of exhausting, hit every point, leave them no place to go but acquiescence kinda thing I'd be tempted to write, only I'd be more of an asshole about it.

You are, of course, dead right on every level, but hey, that almost never seems to matter in these things.

The notion that if it's popular, it's bad is one of those canards that refuses to die the dog's death it deserves. It's up there with that inane "If he cares so much about the poor, why is he rich?" idiocy.


Nicely said, sir.

Barney Dannelke <dannelke@gmail.com>
Allentown, PA - Sunday, July 15 2007 9:17:38

Old pranks and old GENIE/USENET posts
Just a blanket sarcastic "thanks ass-hat" to whoever signed me up for about two dozen magazines last month. Thanks to the internet and 1-800 numbers this took me less than one hour to sort out. Probably took the Merry Prankster longer than that to fill out the cards. Oh, I just love me some anonymous bullshit. Do come at me from arm's length and see how that flies for another 10 years or so. Jet AND Guideposts? ALMOST funny. Almost.

*** Dept. of last time I'll ask for this. ***

Back in the early 1990's (I think circa 1991-1995) and BEFORE Webderland began there was something called GENIE and the ubiquitous USENET. GENIE was SFWA's "official" internet watering hole for years. On the old GENIE boards I vaguely recall there was a private SFWA thread and there was a public HARLAN ELLISON thread. There MAY have also been a private SFWA only Harlan thread. I may be misremembering that. All this more or less pre-dates Webderland.

At one time I had a small portion of the public Ellison GENIE thread, but never all of it - and none of the SFWA material. VERY occasionally Harlan posted (by proxy) to a couple of these threads. The USENET stuff is still out there somewhere and archived. The GENIE stuff is long gone. At one time someone who was a GENIE administrator who posted here sent me some .zip files of the GENIE stuff - but I had trouble opening them and then had that computer go belly up on me.

I had remembered that JMS and Peter David were Harlan's internet paladins at this time. I have contacted them privately but neither of them has any of the GENIE material. Peter saves nothing like that and JMS only has his own threaded USENET material - which sort of makes sense.

I asked for this once before. I'm asking again. If ANYBODY has the old GENIE/Ellison and GENIE/SFWA archives I'd like to get a copy for myself - and possibly want to store a backup "offsite" at a University or two. Any help would be appreciated.

You have my e-mail. And some of you - clearly - have my address.
Guideposts? Please.

- Barney Dannelke

Righthere, PA.

"The crucial disadvantage of aggression, competitiveness, and skepticism as national characteristics is that these qualities cannot be turned off at five o'clock." -Margaret Halsey (1910-1997)

Michael M
Los Angeles, CA - Sunday, July 15 2007 8:49:19



It isn't properly (or even remotely) any of my business, but I admit the suspense is getting to me.

Is everything okay with the settlement?

Here's hoping.

Adam-Troy Castro <adamcastro999@yahoo.com>
- Sunday, July 15 2007 4:34:34

The Horse Rises From the Grave to Say Stop, Already

No, you still don't get it.

My wife advises me to let this lie, but I’m afraid there’s a point or two still inside my gut, nudging to get out. This may be beating a dead horse into the ground, but I find myself absolutely determined to explain to you why both Potter fans and non-Potter fans have reacted to your statements with the special vehemence shown here.

So let’s say this to start. Once again, none of this has to do with your opinion of the Harry Potter universe or Joanne Katherine Rowling’s skills as a writer. You’re free to think she sucks, and I am free to disagree. There is absolutely no personal animosity toward you involved in any of the following. This is only about your characterization of her as somebody who only writes for the money and “for no higher reason.”

So here’s a series of rhetorical questions.

At exactly what point in her career did she become a money-whore?

Was it when she was an impoverished single Mom, with an idea for a series of seven books about a boy wizard?

Was it when she wrote the final chapter of the final volume first, knowing that was the goal to reach, thousands of pages long?

When she wrote the first volume in a coffee shop and was delighted to get a five hundred copy first printing?

Would you hear that woman’s story and say that she only did it for the money and ”for no higher reason”?

What about when she wrote the second volume and made a little bit more money?

What if the books sold just well enough that by scrimping and saving all the way to the final volume she was just able to put a down payment on a house? Would you say that about her then?

How about when the third volume hit the stands and, on the basis of previous word of mouth and a lucrative deal for an American edition, she became a historical phenomenon?

Was she supposed to say, well, I shouldn’t complete the series, because if I did it would only be about money?

What would you think of her if she quit at that point, because of her deep principles that life should never be about money? Would you admire her for taking a moral stand or would you think that was awfully goddamned flaky?

Was she supposed to quit when the money deal hit? What about when there were millions of people eager to find out what happened to Harry next? What about, as I’ve already said, when she had more money than she could possibly spend in a hundred lifetimes?

What does it say about her that at one point she took time off to live her life, before commencing with the next volume in the series? Is that proof that she just didn’t care? Or that she was a balanced individual?

What does it say that she persisted in writing the books, after the money problems were no longer an issue? Was it really all that important to her to make another hundred million? Or do you think the desperate need for money, that blighted her Single Mom days, had ceased being the primary motivating factor by then? Do you think she knew she had an audience she could not disappoint? Could it be that the audience included herself, the person who had dedicated so much effort to these characters in the first place?

Was she contemptible when she started receiving letters from parents upset that the rather childish tone of the first two volumes was replaced by an increasing darkness, as Harry got older and the stakes of his journey became more dire? Was she contemptible for persisting in the story she’d set out to tell, despite the demands of the readers this angered?

What about when one reader pretty much ordered her to make the next book more kid-friendly, and she wrote back, saying, sorry, I’m the author, this is my story, this is the story I always wanted to tell, I’m not opening it up to votes, please stop reading if that’s the way you feel?

More general questions. You have said that you distrust entertainments that “everybody” likes. Well, fine. What about the creators of those entertainments, before and after they achieve mass appeal? Take the Beatles, for instance. Well, all THEY cared about was money, right? Except…isn’t it true that, for at least half the time they were together as a band, they were not superstars, but rather a bunch of working-class kids playing in dives for shit money? Would you have told those kids, before their fame, that they only cared about money? Or would you have given them some credit for being passionate about their music? What about after the Ed Sullivan show? Was it that moment of breakthrough that suddenly made them contemptible?

Hell, let’s talk about Paul, now. He’s still writing and performing, even though he’s one of the richest performers in history. You can say that his current stuff is shit, if you want. But questions of quality aside. Why is he still doing it? Is this because, now that he’s *passed* 64, he “only cares about money” and NEEDS to keep putting himself through all that effort or start clipping coupons? Or does he keep writing and performing because it’s his passion? Because it’s who he is? Because it’s why he feels he was put on this Earth?

I’m sure that somewhere within the field of fiction writing, there’s another writer of approximately Rowling’s quality range who has been plugging away, publishing books, without ever being able to quit her day job. (That's rhetoric. There are, actually, far better writers in that position. But let's make all factors equal.) The checks from publishers help this writer put a down-payment on a new family car ever couple of years, but let’s be honest: compared to the amount of time she spends writing, it’s less than minimum wage. Let’s say you would despise this writer’s work as much as you despise J.K. Rowling’s. Would you go up to this woman, at a convention, and tell her that she only cares about money? Foregoing actual rudeness, would you just think, “well, her work's not my cup of tea,” and confine all further comments to critical appraisals??

Hey, you said you also distrusted all the other people profiting from the Harry Potter industry. Who, exactly, would you call contemptible? The child actors who have spent half their lives establishing their careers within this universe? Certainly, they could have held out for more rewarding roles! What about Scholastic Publishing? The pimps! What about the movie people? Well, certainly, we know that they’re evil incarnate; Maggie Smith, Alan Rickman, Gary Oldman, Alfonso Cuaron, and all those other guys never made movies they cared about, only those who made them money! And as for the studios – well, shit! It’s always fun to kick them, as we know how often they deserve it! Let’s just say that they’ve never, ever, taken a risk on ANYTHING, that they’ve never made a flop, and that they knew when they invested in this project that success was absolutely guaranteed! NOBODY involved, from the corporate level all the way down to the best boy, ever gave a rat’s ass over whether the movies were actually any good or not! They were just, and only, money-grubbing whores! Right?

Hey, what about me, spending a month of my life writing a book that analyzes the series? I was being paid! So clearly money was the ONLY reason I did it. I took no genuine pleasure in writing the book at all. Right?

And once again…all without arguing the merits of the books…when, exactly, at what point in her career (after the first book, after the second, after the third, or, for that matter, at the very same moment she initiated the daunting task of placing pen to paper), J.K. Rowling ceased being just a lady scratching a creative itch in a coffee shop and became somebody who “only wrote because of the money" and "for no higher reason"?

I’ll tell you the real answer, Frank. This is again, utterly without animosity, and is totally divorced from the question of whether J.K. Rowling can write or whether she can’t, whether it’s my judgment of her worth, or yours, that bears objective truth. J.K. Rowling “writes only for money”, and “for no higher reason,” in your eyes, because you have become personally annoyed by Harry Potter shit. You don’t see its worth, so you deny any possibility of sincerity on her part. But as you wouldn’t take this position were she just the author of disposable books of no particular success, it’s the success, itself, that you use to tar her. That’s goddamned unfair.

Want to say that the books are full of shit? Fine. That’s a different argument. But she writes for the same reason Harlan, Josh, myself, Stephen King, and Charles Dickens write: because the story was scratching at the inside of her skull. The money was an issue, but she couldn’t have expected this degree of success on day one. And if she wasn’t a money-grubbing hack on day one, she wasn’t a money-grubbing hack on day two thousand.


Secret Help <mysecrethelp@yahoo.com>
- Sunday, July 15 2007 2:34:2

Secret Society "Secret Help"
Secret Society "Secret Help" secrethelp.org

shagin <smodell1995@yahoo.com>
Bremerton, Washington - Saturday, July 14 2007 20:7:24

Mr. Olson,

**The method is not the issue, nor is the motivation. The ONLY thing that matters is the end result. **

Thank you.

Shane Shellenbarger <SharpTeethShane@gmail.com>
Phoenix, Arizona - Saturday, July 14 2007 18:57:28

SUSAN: DwST arrived in fine shape. Many thanks,

I just saw Michael Moore's SICKO this afternoon. Applause from the audience and everyone in our group agreed.

Shane Shellenbarger <SharpTeethShane@gmail.com>
Phoenix, Arizona - Saturday, July 14 2007 18:52:27

SUSAN: DwST arrived in fine shape. Many thanks,

Zack Malatesta <water_train@hotmail.com>
- Saturday, July 14 2007 18:24:59

Money for nothing...
Man, if I could make the kind of dough that said English writer-person is raking in, I'd write the same damn stuff over and over, paint it green or purple each time, and feed it to those poor, starving pre-to-post-pubescent fanchildren. All they want is sugar, so that is what I'd give them. At least they'd be reading something, instead of out in the streets screaming about inanities in some squealing tones that I can barely hear, but that still make me want to shoot myself. And besides, this is 'Merica! Land of money and selling yourself for money. In a good way, I think. And the best way to make money is to make something out of nothing! There is very little overhead if you just make the shit up as you sell it. And never you mind that Ms. What'shername ain't from here. Our rules apply over there too. 'Cause, like I said, this'n be 'Merica!

Yeehaw and Money, Baby!

James argendeli
Lawrenceville, GA - Saturday, July 14 2007 15:41:1

If anyone feels that a piece of entertainment is not worth their most important commodity (their TIME) then do NOT READ IT, WATCH IT, LISTEN TO IT and move on. It seems strange to me that people want to put down ultra successful art when it appeals and is caught on by the masses. Personally, I enjoy Harry Potter and plan to pick up the book from the library when it comes out in a week. I buy books I want to keep (Mr. Harlan Ellison) and borrow books I just want to read.

Just my un-asked for opinion.


Rick Ollerman <rick@ollerman.com>
Littleton, NH - Saturday, July 14 2007 14:7:37

David Loftus called John Irving a "literary creampuff." I love John Irving and as far as I know, have never actually eaten a creampuff. Nor have I read Ken Kesey. But I think "A Prayer For Owen Meany" is one of the best novels I've ever read. I think it's laudable that he still experiments with shorter, comic novels like "The Fourth Hand" though he's pilloried by many so-called fans.

On the other hand, I put down "Garp," couldn't get past the act of violent abuse early in the book. I'm probably a creampuff, too.

I just wanted to stick up for one of my favorite authors.

- Saturday, July 14 2007 12:49:45

For the record, when a writer does do some work "JUST for the money" (same goes for any other artistic field), it doesn't necessarily mean it's going to be shit.

A guy named Doyle continued writing about a detective.

Michelangelo took on the Sistine Chapel just for the commission.

Hitchcock did his most famous film to prove he could make megabucks on a low budget.

I don't think it applies to the Potter books; I sense some genuine inspiration and personal pleasure coming from the author. BUT, if simply making a buck WERE the only thing behind it...it's a damn good job.

Even if you're just in it for the bucks, it doesn't mean you still can't be inventive.

Bill Gauthier
New Bedford, MA - Saturday, July 14 2007 10:26:51

J.K. Rowling & Harry Potter
"Rowling (...) writes mostly for the bucks and not much for artistic or enlightened reasons."

I respect your opinion, Frank, but I think that's bullshit. It's sort of sad that anytime someone makes big money, their motives become suspect (kinda like the Michael Moore thing a couple of weeks back). I'm pretty sure that J.K. Rowling said at the very beginning, before the hooplah, before the media frenzy, before she had a lot of readers, that the Harry Potter's story would chronicle from the time he was 11 until 17. Are these books great art? No. Are they great stories told honestly? Yes. And with each book, Rowling becomes a better writer.

Harry Potter is in league with Dorothy and Alice in many ways. Will he stand the test of time, well, considering she's using the classic tropes, maybe. Time will tell. But for now, they're fun books and they do the job, which is to tell a story honestly. They've been honest stories from the beginning, and personally can't wait for the last one to arrive through the mail, because I know that whatever path Rowling chosen for Harry and his friends--artistic and enlightened or not--they'll be HONEST, and well-told.

David Loftus <dloft59 (at) earthlink.net>
Portland, Oregon - Saturday, July 14 2007 10:20:20


Give it up, Frank. You don't know what you're talking about, and among the many typical errors in logic you make here is judging a writer on the basis of his or her fans/readers -- which is like judging Jesus on the basis of his followers. I remember making the same judgment about John Irving's "The World According to Garp" -- if EVERYBODY's reading it, then there can't be much there of interest to me -- and avoided it for several years. When I finally broke down and read it, I enjoyed it a lot. There was a lot there to like. (Of course, right after that I reread Kesey's "Sometimes a Great Notion" and was able to put Irving back in perspective as a bit of a literary creampuff.)

I think you would be just as indignant in the other direction if you overheard someone saying, "man, I can't be bothered to read Harlan Ellison -- he's just a science fiction writer, and I don't read science fiction."

I've enjoyed the Potter books -- in fact, my wife and I have read every single one aloud to each other -- though I wouldn't call myself a fan. I've never bought one and I don't own a single copy.

But they're fun. And I think it's stupid of you to suggest Rowling wrote them "only for the money," as if she could just as well have written one of Steven Pinker's books, or one of Anne Tyler's books, or one of Richard Powers's books and simply chose not to because that wouldn't have gotten her off public welfare.

I suspect Rowling wrote "Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone" and conceived of the rest of the series (while she was incidentally on public assistance with a small child) because she had the idea, and it tickled her to bring it to life, and she thought she might even make a little money off it -- but nothing like what she turned out to make.

Somewhere -- in rereading a dozen Vonnegut books a couple months ago, I did not re-encounter it -- Brother Kurt cautions people against disparaging trash novelists who sell big. It's not easy to write a bestseller, he says; if I knew how, I'd do it.

Keith Cramer <remarck@hotmail.com>
Arlington, VA - Saturday, July 14 2007 9:28:7

jumbled thoughts (this is why I am not a writer)

The argument that big government can’t do anything right is not supported by the facts. It is made by people who have everything to gain from a completely unregulated capitalistic system, and repeated by people who don’t know any better. The free market system automatically assumes the only way people will do anything is if they are chasing a dollar. Isn’t that a cynical view of humanity? Like when john j zeock, on Friday, wrote: “there isn't a play that Will S wrote for any other reason than money.”

Cynical. As if the only reason to create is to make money. I can’t argue the point with John, because he could have meant Will Shetterly or Will Shakespeare. One of them is dead and can’t be asked, the other I don’t know.

In a purely capitalistic system (or a plutocracy), this is a valid argument. The United States of America, however, is a democratic republic, not a plutocracy. Capitalism is not the government here, despite efforts made to make it so.

The free market system works great for creating commodities, from manufacturing, to sales, to purchase, to delivery. But education, common welfare, health-care, policing, fire management, waste management, utilities, retirement, infrastructure: these things are not commodities; they are necessary services for the commonweal, like national defense.

Contrary to popular belief, big-pharma will not stop making new drugs. They will still make profits from new drugs. There will be no incentive for them to stop, because they won’t have to give it away for free.

Contrary to popular belief, no jobs will be lost in the health insurance industry. These jobs can be converted over to a pro-health-care system, the American Healthcare System (with the catchy TLA of AHS, pronounced “Aahs” as in “oohs and aahs.”).

But as long as the free market myth is alive and well in this country, it won’t happen. People are all too comfortable believing that business is business, and that all the problems of society can be solved by Big Business and faith-based organizations like churches, synagogues, mosques, and non-profit charities. The problem is, Big Business won’t do anything that doesn’t make them money, and the faith-based systems are not well-organized, not well supervised or regulated, and they are of limited, local scope. Sometimes only a big government can handle a big problem.

The fear is that our government will become a bloated bureaucratic behemoth: but there is no evidence to support this. It is a conjecture. And, I submit that if we plan it well enough, it won’t happen.

Big government doesn’t mean wasteful government. Like all agencies and companies, the people who run it at all levels are responsible for the quality of service. Having worked 4 years at GSA (General Services Administration), I can tell you from experience there are many good people in government. Good people = good quality. Not incidentally, within any system, a good person is not defined by their religion. A good person is a capable person. This is a distinction often missed by people in the voting booth.


Steve Barber <barbergallery@verizon.net>
- Saturday, July 14 2007 9:23:0


Oh. Sorry. Just sitting here in the reverie of the dream that my artistic endeavors might someday pay me a fraction of what Rowling has earned. Or what Harlan has earned. Or Josh. Or Adam-Troy. Heck, gimme a buck ninety-eight and I'll push your Packard down La Brea for a photo op.

Frank: Personal anecdote you might like.

You might remember that my father was not only a Naval officer, but later became the publisher who green-lit 'The Hunt for Red October'.

He called me one day to tell me he was holding a check for Clancy that exceeded the entire purchase value of my parents house -- it should be noted they live in a fairly affluent section of Annapolis, Maryland.

It was Clancy's first book -- he was an insurance salesman, if you remember -- and the first time my father had signed a royalty check of that size ('Hunt...' was their first true commercial bestseller).

At that particular moment, Dad wasn't entirely sure life was all that fair.

Josh Olson
- Saturday, July 14 2007 9:19:59


"Josh, I'm proud of you for that, but a History Of Violence is not exactly Hostel or Saw or some such rot. Commerciality is not the problem, but the methods behind why one writes or makes art. If money comes, fine, lovely, as long as there is meaning in what one does. Tom Clancy comes to mind. "

The script I referenced wasn't History - it was a big, dumb fun action mlovie remake of The Three Musketeers as a modern day cop flick. That script got me paid, and got me into a position where I COULD write History. Which I wrote, of course, to score with chicks.

The method is not the issue, nor is the motivation. The ONLY thing that matters is the end result.

Michael M
Los Angeles, CA - Saturday, July 14 2007 8:39:33

What Makes Rowling Run
Frank: "She writes mostly for the bucks and not much for artistic or enlightened reasons."

Truly, if you're going to make these sort of accusations, don't you think you ought to have, I dunno, maybe some sort of evidence? Something the lady said in an interview, p'raps? Or the testimony of a former friend, now published in a scandal sheet? Or a pirated hard drive formerly owned by the famous author, improperly wiped and left for junk, wherein can be found her SECRET PLAN to fleece the ign’ant masses? Or, or, or ANYdamnthing other than the fact that a lot of people enjoy the stories she tells and are welling to pay for the privilege???

Frank Church
- Saturday, July 14 2007 8:4:1

Oh, jeez Louise, you all know what I mean; Rowling makes money--cheap money! She writes mostly for the bucks and not much for artistic or enlightened reasons. This reminds me of Misery, where Paul wants to stop writing the Misery novels, but crazy Annie Wilkes, simular to many Harry fans, hobbles Paul, almost killing him to keep her drug fix of mind numbed pop cultural dreck coming. Harry fans are simular; geeks who make other geeks look normal, since I see these droogs while going to see Sicko for about the fifth time. These kids would avoid a documentary like Short Round avoided monkey brains. Will they read higher literature? Will they fill their brains with more then the Justin Timberlake of literary doggie chow? Only time will tell. Knowing our popular tastes, I don't hold much hope.

I respect people here who like the books, I was just giving my take; and I thank Harlan for giving me a big dumb grin. I do not keep my dumb grins in a drawer next to my stealth evil stare mask and my other faces; all rumours and conjecture.


Josh, I'm proud of you for that, but a History Of Violence is not exactly Hostel or Saw or some such rot. Commerciality is not the problem, but the methods behind why one writes or makes art. If money comes, fine, lovely, as long as there is meaning in what one does. Tom Clancy comes to mind.


Cindy, just thought it was interesting, someone actually having an owl for a pet. Sorry about its death. I was curious, because owls tend to be solitary creatures, quite like me, to be sure.

Spit shines here halo. Much better. See Kos, Cindy is a conservative, but I's love her. Snookie wookums.

Larry Forrest <idoubtabout@aol.com>
Tulsa, Oklahoma - Saturday, July 14 2007 7:43:56

Wealth Care Not Health Care
CINDY: What you wrote about how badly our soldiers are being mistreated by the military they served so well is indeed heartbreaking. Furthermore, I commend you for writing to the politicians who--allegedly--serve you and those soldiers. However, I don't agree when you write of these horror stories, "I believe we have a prototype of what we could expect with a national health care system."

True, the government is the responsible party regarding the cruel neglect of these soldiers; however, as you write, "p.s. I am told there is a method in this matter; that the men are being deliberately beaten down by the slowness of the system to accept 20% or less disability."

There it is. The PROFIT motive. The lust for filthy lucre. I maintain that, far from being an indictment of a POTENTIAL system of universal health care, your report about these unfortunate troops is an indictment of our CURRENT health care system, which might better be described as a WEALTH care system: as it seeks to take care of the vast wealth earned by the insurance companies.

There is a scene in SiCKO where John Ehrlichmann and President Nixon are talking about HMOs, and when Tricky Dicky expresses some doubt about them, Ehrlichmann responds that less care means more money (I don't recall his comment verbatim, but that's the essence). At this point, Tricky's mood brightens, and he shortly thereafter comes out in favor of HMOs.

Certainly no health care system is perfect--in fact, no system of any sort designed by Homo sapiens is perfect--but still, some are closer to perfection than others, and I submit that a system in which less care means more money will inevitably place profit over people.

As that great Hebrew prophet, Bob Dylan, once said, "Money doesn't talk--it swears."

Adam-Troy Castro <adamcastro999@yahoo.com>
- Saturday, July 14 2007 7:30:7

The Mess
Michael M:

I'll spot ya Luna Lovegood and the thestrals.

The fact remains that the film STILL fails to explain, among other things, the Dementor attack on Harry, the reason Harry and friends cannot fly their brooms to the Ministry, and the presence of the real Mad-Eye Mooney as an ally. Plus others. I won't repeat the list now.

The movie is just fine as a series of illustrations based on the book, but any movie based on a previously-published fiction needs to stand by itself, including all information relevant to understand that film while it unspools. Sure, in this case we can do without certain other plot elements from the book, dropped for the movie -- such as Hermione's involvement in SPEW, the intrigue involving Rita Skeeter and the DAILY PROPHET, and Ron's angst over his own Quidditch career -- but the elements carried over to the film need to flow in a logical, consistent manner from one development to the next, and the film as made fails to live up to that one criterion, which is just as central to adapting the works of J.K. Rowling as it is to adapting Charles Dickens, Dashiell Hammett, J.R.R. Tolkien, and Stephen King.

This is true, Frank, even if you think Rowling in particular in full of shit. You may be totally unmoved by any of Harry's adventures and still agree that any screenplay adapting them needs to sufficiently establish point B (even if only by implication), as it moves from point A to point C. It's just a requirement of the form. Any screenwriter adapting the work of others needs to live up to this standard or produce an inferior product.

The screenplay for ORDER OF THE PHOENIX pared down and streamlined a very overstuffed book that could have made a five hour film, and while some of those changes were downright deft (the screams of purists notwithstanding), others were half-assed. As I stated before, each of these problems could have been fixed with as little as a single line of dialogue; together, they may have added all of two minutes to the film's running time. Omitted, they turn the story to swiss cheese. I dunno whether the flaws here are the screenwriter's fault, or the fault of hamhanded editing that left out the necessary explanations, but the film shown in theatres now is a pretty, entertaining narrative mess.


Steven Dooner <sdooner@earthlink.net>
South Weymouth, MA - Saturday, July 14 2007 5:35:57

CINDY: How nice that you are finally coming around to Michael Moore's opinions! After all, it was he who first reported the abuses that our soldiers were facing at Walter Reed and various other poorly run veterans hospitals three and a half years ago. It was also Moore who pointed out how the current administration has turned its back on our 9/11 workers in his current film.

You have--surprisingly--confirmed everything Moore argued in his film, Sicko--that it's not just Canada that suffers long waits and that plenty of Americans are disenfranchised from good healthcare as well.

When will you be thanking Mr. Moore for SOOOOOOO raising your consciousness on these issues?

Steve Dooner

TEXAS - Friday, July 13 2007 23:4:47

Hello Frank,
I've missed ya.

The owl was hit by a car several years ago. He liked to hunt at night in the middle of the road. With that crooked wing he couldn't fly very far or fast. Briggs was on the school bus the next morning and somebody commented that there was a dead owl in the road. He had hand raised that bird from a downy hatch-ling so it hit him hard. He cried for three days. He's fourteen now so he must have been about eleven or twelve.

I have a friend who was a game hunters guide in South Africa. He told me once that wild animals raised by human hands always come to a sad end. I guess he's right. I miss that bird. He used to pan handle when I was washing dishes. He'd fly up and sit in the window to get my attention. Then he'd paw around at the door knob with his claws until I opened it. He'd sail in and walk across the floor. I rewarded his bad behavior with chicken hearts and gizzards. I thought I fed him enough to keep him full. I guess even a full belly couldn't overcome his instinct to hunt.

Our Lady Bird was an amazing force. She had the power to bend the immovable LBJ with subtle pressure and gentle words. She effected change for the good in this country without trying to be a man... I loved that about her. She was always a true Southern lady.


Jason, darklink,
Check this out;


After that, watch this, please...


I believe we have a prototype of what we could expect with a national health care system.

From: Cindy Jones
Thursday, May 24, 2007 4:10 PM
Subject: Desperate Plight of Soldiers At Moon Hall

Dear Senator,
Please help.
At this time 187 wounded and injured soldiers, returned from Iraq, are being neglected and mistreated at Moon Hall at Ft. Bragg. All 187 have been placed in the military limbo called "medical hold". One soldier has unset broken bones-- for which he was sent home from Iraq in April because the doctor was concerned about compromised blood flow to his leg causing gangrene. It has been over a month since he arrived in North Carolina ( his home state) and his broken hip and leg remain unset. His pain is unspeakable. Last week he was told that it will be another three weeks before his paperwork can be completed even though the physicians have ordered the surgery to be done immediately. He told me that most of the other soldiers there on the sixth floor have injuries that make his seem small by comparison, head injuries, broken necks etc.
All of the wounded and injured are required to report for formation every morning at 5:30AM, miles from Moon Hall. Some are unable to walk without crutches. During the recent 40 degree weather at Ft. Bragg they were all required to wear shorts and tee shirts. They are prohibited from wearing long pants or jackets, because it is after May 1rst. The cold must be excruciating for those with unset broken bones. They are also required to park their vehicles hundreds of yards from their lodgings. The requisite long treks through the cold, on foot, by men who are barely able to walk seems cruel beyond words.
Some of the soldiers have been there for over a year waiting to receive treatment and be released to go home to their wives and children. Depression is reportedly widespread and debilitating on the 6th floor.
I believe if you could visit Ft. Bragg unannounced; if you could go to Moon Hall-- and take the elevator to the 6th floor or go to the location where they have formation at 5:30AM you would see it for yourself. I think your heart would break too and I think you could address those who are complicit in this matter. The mistreatment of our greatest national treasures should not be tolerated. Those who obstruct our soldiers access to necessary medical treatment and speedy reunification with their families should be relieved of their responsibilities. They should be replaced with human beings who respect the service and sacrifice of our war heroes.
Thank you for taking the time and trouble to read this and reflect on the plight of our soldiers.
Cindy Jones

p.s. I am told there is a method in this matter; that the men are being deliberately beaten down by the slowness of the system to accept 20% or less disability. If a soldier's body is too broken for service I believe he should be gratefully given that to which he is entitled and we as a Nation should care for him the way he has cared and sacrificed for us. It should be a criminal offense to keep a wounded war veteran from his home and family- even for one day beyond the time that is necessary to treat his injuries.


My friend, the soldier I refer to, finally had the operation to repair his broken hip and leg. They did the surgery this week, on July the 11th. That is the way the government works-- he was at the mercy of every clerk at every level and none of them gave a fuck that the man served two combat tours of duty, first in the Gulf War then in Iraq. He was two weeks from retiring when they shipped him off this last time. Anyone with a heart would have seen to it personally that he got his operation immediately. Instead, months dragged by with all of the stress; physical, emotional and mental weakening his already broken body. Tonight I was told that he's got a fever and respiratory complications and they're keeping him sedated. Here's the kicker; the man is an officer, the recipient of two Bronze Stars. The government doesn't give a fuck about a war hero, how do you think they'll treat you and your family?

We better all pray that we don't get a system like this. It's a mournful, hopeless feeling to be incapable of doing anything for a friend in pain. He was totally at the mercy of the machine and there was nothing that I or anyone I could think of could do to help him. I'm still trying to get something done about the other soldiers still stuck at Moon Hall. Can you imagine what it would be like to have this type of cluster fuck in every city in America?


Steve Evil <evening_tsar@hotmail.com>
TO Ontario - Friday, July 13 2007 20:56:3

Canuck Healthcare.
Did someone mention that earlier? Had to chip in.

My grandmother got the best cancer treatment available, and my brother got a tumor removed from his leg after a couple days notice.

Didn't cost them a penny.

Bring on those taxes.

-Steve Evil

shagin <smodell1995@yahoo.com>
Bremerton, Washington - Friday, July 13 2007 19:24:22

***GeezusAsymptoticKeerist! You mean there is MONEY in this damned writing thing? People are getting bloody PPPAAAAIIIIDDDD???????***

Really?! Hot damn! And here I thought I was writing for free all this time. I'll have to notify the markets for my most recent fiction submissions that I want to get paid, too. Maybe I can take my new found riches and buy food for my kids.

Mr. Ellison, stop giving your manuscripts away on the internet. Your financial troubles are over!


Freda <Freda>
Russia, Russia - Friday, July 13 2007 18:26:31

Well done!
http://vkhygkbd.com/ztob/mkok.html | http://elisroel.com/mbft/knqp.html

Luke <Luke>
Finland, Finland - Friday, July 13 2007 18:25:54

Great work!
http://qkyvasww.com/qfdz/lqub.html | http://jvixegfc.com/alro/fmlp.html

Josh Olson
- Friday, July 13 2007 18:5:7


"Rowling only did the seven books to get paid and nobody should respect that. "

Oh, Frank, you rascal, you.

J.K. Rowling wrote her way out of poverty. Gotta love that.

Speaking as someone who has done similar, I can tell you that of all the insane, over the top artistic satisfaction I've gotten as a writer, nothing comes close to the day I sold my first spec to a major studio, a day that started with me living in a flop house in a wretched part of Hollywood with less than $100 in the bank. If that makes me a soulless whore, so be it.

J. K. Rowling has also managed to get kids reading books in enormous quantity. What kind of churl would argue with that?

I'd also say that believing you can determine the motivation of any creator is a sucker's bet. I once made a comment on a screenwriters message board about the soulless hackery that led to Charlie's Angels 2, and was immediately informed by one of that film's writers that the movie had been a genuine passion project for her.

Which made her a no-talent, perhaps, but certainly not a hack.

Barney <dannelke@gmail.com>
Allentown, PA - Friday, July 13 2007 18:4:11

The Squirrel Cage
Harlan, of course, remembers correctly. I'm assuming he's remembering from sometime a LITTLE closer to 1953 than to 1936, but his long term memory about exactly this sort of thing is freakish - so who can say. And allow me to try and slam dunk the cultural assist before Finder Doug wakes from his nap...

From the newly discovered, useful and occasionally brilliant Don Markstein's Toonopedia™ ;


- Barney

History is a vast early warning system. -Norman Cousins (1915-1990)

- Friday, July 13 2007 17:56:52

FRANK, et al.:


Are you fucking KIDDING me????!!!

"She only wrote them for money."

GeezusAsymptoticKeerist! You mean there is MONEY in this damned
writing thing? People are getting bloody PPPAAAAIIIIDDDD???????

IIIIIIII've never been paid...so who the hell is doing this "pay for writing" wonderful lunacy?!? C'mon, one of you people has to've heard about this shit somewhere, how come no one ever mentioned it to ME!!??!

Even Castro seems to know about it. I was wondering how a guy as inept and clueless as him was making a living. I thought Judy was, uh, well, YOU know...hooking, or something.

Now I find out he's been writing for actual MONEY!

Yr. astonished Pal (steps back in wonder), Harlan

- Friday, July 13 2007 17:44:50


John actually wrote NA SHMOZ, not NO SHMOZ; and so I should've made the correction as


Shuddup, alla ya. This is VERY important stuff, right, John?


- Friday, July 13 2007 17:40:14


Unless my oldest memories are slipping away, I believe it's




even as I know fer shur it's "Now, blow!" and "Notary Sojac" and "Always belittlin'!"

Yrs. in Antiquity, Yr. Pal, Harlan

Jack Skillingstead
Seattle, WA - Friday, July 13 2007 16:29:55

Potter Of Gold
Assuming a book or movie is bad because it is enormously popular is as dumb as assuming a book or movie is GOOD because it's only appreciate by a select few. By the way, Dickens was enormously popular. So was Stevenson. Irwin Shaw sold a lot of books. Popularity or non popularity has nothing to do with it. And by the way, the idea that somebody who's already a millionaire many times over would write a seven hundred page novel -- for the money! -- is laughable.

James Levy <susjpl@hofstra.edu>
New York - Friday, July 13 2007 16:16:21

Why people write
I've been trying to figure out the broad categories of reasons why people write. To paraphrase our host: "I write because I have no choice--pity me." That's one reason: compulsion, you just have to write. Others write because they need to be heard. I've published two academic works. The first has sold about 280 copies, the second about 480. Both are in print, and number 1 sells 1-2 books a month, and number 2 about 5 per. I would desperately like more people to read them. If my publishers gave them away to folks who would read them, I'd be overjoyed.

Lastly you have people who write for ego, and those who write for money. Your Dowds, Friedmans, and Safires are classic cases of the former (as are many academic "stars"). Many journalists and genre writers are examples of the latter (although this is far from universal). I see no great moral or ethical advantage in being one of these types rather than another. All can be frauds; all can be inept. As a reader, I could care less about the motivation of the author. It is the product that counts, every time.

Larry Forrest <idoubtabout@aol.com>
Tulsa , Oklahoma - Friday, July 13 2007 14:58:20

Re: Rowling
Frank, being as we are both bleeding heart liberals, I generally find myself in agreement with you; however, I must take issue with your statement about Ms. Rowling writing only for the money. I immediately thought of Samuel Johnson's famous quip: "No man but a blockhead ever wrote, except for money."

There's certainly no shame in writing ONLY for the money, just as there's no shame in digging ditches or driving buses or laying bricks for the money. If you have a talent, and people are willing to pay for the product of that talent, I see no problem with getting rich off it. I don't know what Rowlings' motivations were in writing, nor can I comment on her literary abilities as I've not read any of her books, but I say we cut her some slack (as the Church of the SubGenius would have it) and consider all the children (and adults) who have been grandly entertained by her jottings.

Here endeth the ramble.

Michael M
Los Angeles, CA - Friday, July 13 2007 14:38:58

Potter in Various Media


It strikes me as odd that in the same post that you upbraid KOS for failing to follow up his political assertions with evidence, you go on to make a wildly unsupported statement about J.K.Rowling. Did she tell you she only wrote seven books just for a payday??

Regarding the "fascistic" nature of Potter fans, they’re actually a lot more diverse, democratic, and feisty than you might think. You might want to check out this article from Salon:


The whole thing made me smile; it reminded me of going to SF conventions in younger days

For myself, I enjoy the books a lot and the movies less so (Cuaron and Yates have done about the best with the series, IMHO).

I find the books to be good popular entertainment, and it seems to me that Rowling has some interesting things on her mind, especially about the ways that choices and conflicts of one generation can echo down to the next.

(and Stephen King is right: Delores Umbridge is one of the creepiest villains to come down the pike in a long time. I think because she is closely drawn from real life.)


I think I liked the new Potter film more than you did. I don’t recall all your criticisms, but I think your main idea was that the film needed a bit more explanation in a few key spots.

Maybe, but I think on the whole they were right to try to stay ahead of the audience, rather then let things go the other way around. For example, when it came time for the kids to fly to the ministry and they weren’t sure how best to get there, it was enough for me that they did a quick push in on Luna. We know she can see the thestrals, she is the movie's expert on them, we in the audience assume that the kids figured things out.

Woiked for me anyway.

Bob Homeyer <roberthomeyer@yahoo.com>
- Friday, July 13 2007 14:30:20

Semantics Question
What's the proper term for a 7 book series? Septology? Heptology? The latter sounds like a medical school specialty, though a vowel short.

Adam-Troy Castro <adamcastro999@yahoo.com>
- Friday, July 13 2007 13:51:23

"Rowling only did the seven books to get paid..."
Frank, with all due respect,

"Rowling only did the seven books to get paid and nobody should respect that."


Let's talk sense here, for a moment.

Let us leave all questions of popularity aside, and even take the alleged soul-searing emptiness of the books as a given, for the sake of argument.

Okay. So I'm wrong and all the readers who like the books are wrong.


The Books suck. I don't agree with that, but I'll concede it, provisionally, for the sake of the argument.

But did Rowling write the first two knowing in advance that she was going to be richer than the Queen of England? Or was she a struggling Single Mom with a story in her head, who hoped she'd make a few thousand dollars and maybe get a paperback sale?

Once she had more money than she could spend in a dozen lifetimes, did she continue writing the books because she greedily wanted more, or because the story was STILL in her head and had to be put on paper?

And, by the way, who the hell writes not caring if he's paid? We write WHAT we write because of who we are, and because of what we feel we want to say, and because we're arrogant enough to think the world will be interested, and for some of us because we're such misfits it's all we can do, but damned if I don't hope for that check from my editor, and damned if I don't hope the check will be enough to make a difference in my life.

I write to get paid. Josh writes to get paid. Harlan writes to get paid. Stephen King writes to get paid.

Dickens wrote to get paid.

We also write for other reasons, among them love of the act and hoping to see the stories on paper.

J.K. Rowling could have banked her money after the first five, hired some kid out of college to ghostwrite the last two from her outline, and retired to some beach somewhere. Interviews with her indicate that fame has been wearying, to some extent, so why didn't she? Is it really giving her too much credit to concede that, once the zeros started multiplying, the story was STILL in her head and that she knew she HAD to finish it? Even if, as you assert, it sucked?

Come on. Regardless of your critical judgment, which is utterly within your right, and something fair to debate in another context, THAT was a silly statement.

john j zeock <k33kong@aol.com>
conshohocken, pa - Friday, July 13 2007 13:36:48

to Frank Church-there isn't a play that Will S wrote for any other reason than money . and, in another matter, to quote Churchy LaFemme-"friday the 13th comes on a friday this month." NA SHMOZ KA POP to one and all. jz

Frank Church
- Friday, July 13 2007 12:58:38

Deep pockets that go straight to hell...hey, I am proud of that line; corporate ceos deserve worse then some snappy line.

KOS, when you debate politics it is important to follow that with evidence, that is evidence that is peerless in scope, wonderous in truth, from what is called the evidentiary record. I think conservatism is dangerous, doesn't mean the people are evil, just misguided, as you obviously think lefties are. The activists are evil, but they don't represent the whole. KOS, you seem like a fun guy, better to bring out that fun side; we are one party harty bunch here. Gotta come correct though.

Here's a snuggle, now calm thineself from yonder hyperbole. Ouch.


The popularity of Harry Potter is too uniform, too fascistic. I don't trust anything that gets that kind of universal appeal, especially all the pockets the francise lines. Rowling only did the seven books to get paid and nobody should respect that.

W. Owen Powell <ix92391@yahoo.com>
Bloomington, IN - Friday, July 13 2007 11:40:7

No intention of actually seeing it, but Peter David's posted a socko review at:


Worth a read just for "Herbie Goes to Defcon 4". Which admittedly beats my (sight-unseen) assessment: "Transformers?? FUCK that shit! Survival Research Labs!!!!"

Steve B
- Friday, July 13 2007 10:51:37

Charlie - You're right. The links on the Main Page have been removed, as have the references (official) on the Message Boards -- but the links exist on other pages.

My error, and possibly theirs.

Like Adam-Troy, profound apologies for the repeated posts.

Brandon Butler <brandonbutler77@gmail.com>
Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada - Friday, July 13 2007 9:43:5

Health Care response

It's unfortunate that you didn't feel Canadian health care was up to par. However I live in Canada -- all my life -- and I haven't experienced near that amount of problems with our health care. Perhaps you've been closer to that end of it than I have, though.

Also, I know my taxes here are more than in the US... but there's no way I pay 55% freakin' percent. My income works more to something like 28% -- and I live in the Maritimes (heavy provincial tax due to large provincial debt).

Canada's taxes are mostly really high not because of our health care system, but because we've had a raging deficit we were forced to pay interest on that was accumulated through the '70s and '80s. But it's much better now, thanks, and we're probably due for some tax decreases, if anything.

St. Pete, FL - Friday, July 13 2007 9:22:39

Steve, Pages still appear to be up.


Steve Barber <barbergallery@verizon.net>
- Friday, July 13 2007 8:45:13

Just a pertinent note, then I shall shut up.

Just viewed the Comics Journal site. With the exception of a link to the generic legal stuff on their front page, all official references to fundraising efforts have been eliminated.

Just thought some people here might be interested.

paul <vaughnrichards@yahoo.com>
Austin, TX - Friday, July 13 2007 8:23:22

Massa Tintin


I sense a trend here. You'd have thought they'd learned their lesson after we nailed Helen Bannerman to the cross.

So little time, so much historical context to negate. There's lots o' media to cleanse.

That "boy" Sam (Casablanca) and Mammy best be watchin' they backs, too. Sho 'nuff.

Dennis <Dennis>
Argentina, Argentina - Friday, July 13 2007 7:23:21

Great work!
http://ljabmjpd.com/agjw/bqle.html | http://cenwffwv.com/pezd/vlby.html

Roy <Roy>
Japan, Japan - Friday, July 13 2007 7:23:17

Nice site!
http://kgfjjzhz.com/gufp/hxef.html | http://gadghyof.com/svvo/bskf.html

Ellen <Ellen>
India, India - Friday, July 13 2007 4:2:37

Well done!
http://ddrzncsp.com/ilhn/nqag.html | http://zmpvvjsk.com/tsls/lbxa.html

- Friday, July 13 2007 0:29:22


"I'm overdue praising my honey for no reason at all. Every once in a while frequently, I just get bubbling over with the snuggies for my sensational wife. And I am thus pressed to giggle out a dopey, cartoonish "Whatta sweetie."

Hey...there is nothing more remunerating than knowing you have someone there - that haven of refuge from a fucked-up maniacal world; one of the few things that really, REALLY make life worth it all. When you know you have her there for you (and vice versa), you can deal with all the obstacles wit' nary a sweat.

But at LEAST give the "Whatta Sweetie" a Yiddish twang! (n' after that, kindly leave it on my message machine as well. I haven't gotten one of those in some time - from ANYONE!)

- Thursday, July 12 2007 23:38:1


The aborigines have been warned not to go all-over ad hominem when they disagree, but (sigh) every few wonkdays the splenetic fits git on'm and they begin to eat their young. I've had to send a couple of them to their beds without rice poodie avec raisins, but oh my just let that muddlehead Bush (who blithely confused "perpetrate" with "perpetuate" today and never knew the difference) slap America in the puss, and they get 'way outta line. Politics, religion, questionable movies ... they produce a foaming madness in otherwise civil souls. Do not be estranged, amigo. They would never spill your blood.

Uh, geezus, I HOPE they would never ...

No. That's just being silly.

All is well. Uh, geewhiz, I HOPE all is ... no! Silly!

Yr. Pal, Harlan

Douglas Harrison
Northeastern BC - Thursday, July 12 2007 23:7:42

Canadian Healthcare


Thank you for what you wrote. Canada, where I have lived my whole 40-plus years, has serious healthcare problems. While my experiences have been decidedly better than yours, anyone who has bothered to read a few of the thousands of available RESEARCHED articles on the current state of healthcare here knows that there are terrible problems with wait times in many areas, a shortage of facilities in rural areas (and some urban ones), a dearth of qualified medical personnel--particularly in the north--and poor access to alternative procedures.

As well, it's important to note that the provincial and territorial governments, not the federal one, are responsible for the actual delivery of healthcare in their respective regions. The federal government provides guidelines to the provinces and territories, assists them with funding, and administers healthcare to specific groups, such as the military and First Nations; but there is no single floor in some mysterious federal government building that handles all the healthcare billing for Canada. The very notion is ridiculous.


David Loftus <dloft59 (at) earthlink.net>
Portland, Oregon - Thursday, July 12 2007 22:26:6

kettles and pots

:: I come here in search of light and meaning, not sound and fury signifying nothing.

As one who rarely if ever plays those games here, I have to say your performance in tossing general brickbats toward Michael Moore without either backing them up with hard facts and sources, or devising responses to particular defenses others have offered, leaves me singularly unimpressed with the above statement.

Practice more of what you preach, son.

Steve Barber
- Thursday, July 12 2007 22:5:43


"A rumor mill" of one.

ATC, Harlan -- apologies for inadvertently causing any angst to either of you. Meant to be kidding. Laugh riot and all that.


Steambird Springs, Alta California - Thursday, July 12 2007 21:47:14

Why I don't debate politics here
Prompted by a sense of fairness:

"They're nice people, but their politics are evil."

"Idiot idealogy" (sic)

You're just The Man In The Corner On The Bar Stool"

"We tolerate conservatives, but you're just stupid."

"...deep pockets - they go straight down to hell."

That about sums up it up. I've been married and divorced, I know I can find condescension and pointless, mean-spirited abuse anytime I want to go THERE again.

But not here.

I come here in search of light and meaning, not sound and fury signifying nothing.

That's my story, and I'm sticking to it.


- Thursday, July 12 2007 21:42:57

The new HP rocked, in a kinda goth way. Sent a mom and her 7 yr old scurrying after the initital fifteen minutes. The creators streamlined the novel well. I like that the tone of the movies has evolved towards darkness.

Benjamin Winfield
- Thursday, July 12 2007 20:34:48

Transformers, courtesy of Mikey "Boom-Boom" Bay

Okay, I saw it. Dumber than a sack of hammers (as you'd expect), but aw MAN, what a riot. Forget SHOWGIRLS - this is THE quintessential guilty pleasure movie, people. You know...one of those films you have NO right to defend, but still bizarrely admire for its sheer insanity?

Michael Bay + TRANSFORMERS = Cosmic chaos.

(I've gotta admit, it was sort of cool to hear Peter Cullen from the old cartoon show reprise his role of Optimus Prime here, if only for nostalgia's sake. You'd had to have grown up during the '80's to understand.)

- Thursday, July 12 2007 20:1:34

Combatting the Rumor Mill
Sheesh. Third post in one day, (I'll shut up for as long as you want, if necessary), time-sensitive because of the need to combat the rumor mill and correct an unintentional implication about the 2004 SF film ABLE EDWARDS, which I saw today, as a review assignment for Scifiweekly.Com. (I called Harlan to provide this correction, and assure him that he wasn't facing any more legal rigamarole, but he had to cut the call short, so I didn't get all the info across.)

I never meant to imply that the ABLE EDWARDS screenplay was in any way a ripoff of Harlan's I, ROBOT. If anything, it's just a distant cousin, in that they both riff, to some extent, on the same common ancestor, CITIZEN KANE. Harlan used CITIZEN KANE as inspiration for his screenplay's structure. ABLE EDWARDS is, to a far greater extent, an actual uncredited remake of the Welles film, in science-fictional terms. It's about a rich and powerful man in the future, after a catastrophe has forced humanity to flee Earth in favor of orbital environments. His ambitious life comes to naught, much as Kane's did.

Like KANE, it's in black and white. Like KANE, it starts with a newsreel detailing a life in broad outline, and then proceeds to fill in the gaps with flashbacks illustrating interviews with the people who knew him. The character has a thin pencil moustache like Kane, is brash and egotistical like Kane, has a marriage that turns to shit like Kane's, and even runs for office like Kane, complete with speech at podium while his vastly enlarged face appears on video screen in the background. It all leads to a finale that (thematically, at least) could be called a reprise of "Rosebud." It tells its own story, with somewhat mixed results, while meaning to evoke KANE with every frame. It made me think of Harlan's screenplay only because that also bears KANE's fingerprint, but if we can use a cop-show metaphor here, the print on Harlan's work is only a partial thumb and this one is a fully recognizable handprint, complete with palm. I found the resulting similarities worth a remark, but it won't bear any more than that.

Didn't mean to put a scare into anybody.

(The "run book" cited in recent posts is my recent informal analysis, the Borders Exclusive THE UNAUTHORIZED HARRY POTTER.)

- Thursday, July 12 2007 19:17:57

Of the last ten years, I've spent two in France, five in Canada and three in the US. Here is the health care experience of my middle-class family and friends over that period of time:

French health care was not bad as long as you stuck to run of the mill complaints. Linda had a boy there. The pre-natal care and delivery was excellent, though they refused to circumcise. So, I have one rather European boy to this day. When we got the flu, we had access to a GP and medicine. On the other hand, more unusual problems were not handled well at all. In France, your GP drives the bus. There is no access to specialists without your GPs approval and there is no second opinion. What you get is what you get. As an example, my friend got a painful hernia. She was prescribed homeopathic cream and was told to wait and see if it would strangulate. She got progressively sicker, but the GP refused to admit her until her situation became "serious enough". She looked like hell when she finally flew home to the USA, where she was admitted immediately and got surgery the next day.

In Canada I had a worker with no knee cartilage because he couldn't see a specialist for YEARS. My neighbor's kid went permanently deaf because they could not get a doctor to drain his ears. Canadians pay about 55% total tax, much of it for "free" health care, and yet my more affluent neighbors still invested weak Canadian dollars in an American health policy so that they could go to Buffalo and get treated when they were sick. Linda had no obstetrician during her pregnancies in Canada, because there were only 12 in a city of 250,000 people. When she delivered her baby, there was one doctor for six women giving birth, and he didn't even get to our room until after the baby was delivered. Shortly after, our GP retired and we were rejected from the practice as they could no longer support all their patients. At the time I repatriated, my family had NO DOCTOR and NO ACCESS to health care.

My personal experience with American health care is uniformly excellent, though I have often had problems with insurance not wanting to pay.

So in my one-family acid test, American health care was and is excellent but is as well a study in class-based brutality, having the best health care on Earth, but only for those who can afford it. French health care was perhaps the best compromise, providing solid basic care, with plenty of GPs for everyone, but limited access to specialized medicine. Candian health care was in a shambles. Everyone gets a little plastic card to carry, but the Canadian system seems to leave as many people without adequate health care as the American system, only it is done through unavailability rather than denial, and can result in inadequate health care for pretty much anyone on a random basis and regardless of affluence.

Other experiences may vary, but that is what I encountered in my travels over the last ten years.

Shane Shellenbarger <SharpTeethShane@gmail.com>
Phoenix, AZ - Thursday, July 12 2007 19:4:34

Links to a Chaotic Afternoon and an Unruly Evening with Harlan E.
Part 1:

Part 2:

- Thursday, July 12 2007 18:35:46


1) DAVID SILVER: It arrived yesterday, in superb shape. What a nice gesture, what an imperial gift. I will attempt to have my sweet Susan snap a couple of pictures of the two smart Deco Kodaxes thay have on their mantel, and will pass said pix along to you ... anon.

2) ADAM-TROY: I called you at about 6:30 my time, 9:30 yours.

3) I'm overdue praising my honey for no reason at all. Every once in a while frequently, I just get bubbling over with the snuggies for my sensational wife. And I am thus pressed to giggle out a dopey, cartoonish "Whatta sweetie."

4) Oh ...

Yr. Pal, Harlan

- Thursday, July 12 2007 18:35:45


1) DAVID SILVER: It arrived yesterday, in superb shape. What a nice gesture, what an imperial gift. I will attempt to have my sweet Susan snap a couple of pictures of the two smart Deco Kodaxes thay have on their mantel, and will pass said pix along to you ... anon.

2) ADAM-TROY: I called you at about 6:30 my time, 9:30 yours.

3) I'm overdue praising my honey for no reason at all. Every once in a while frequently, I just get bubbling over with the snuggies for my sensational wife. And I am thus pressed to giggle out a dopey, cartoonish "Whatta sweetie."

4) Oh ...

Yr. Pal, Harlan

jack skillingstead <jskillingstead@yahoo.com>
seattle, wa - Thursday, July 12 2007 17:25:23

I guess you could say Harry Potter is "devoid of original ideas" -- you can say it, but it's a silly claim and pointless, even if true. But it isn't souless. Those books have got a lot of heart.

Alan Coil <lcoil@peoplepc.com>
Southeast Michigan - Thursday, July 12 2007 15:33:36

Frank Church said:
"Castro, I hate Harry Potter. It is soulless and devoid of any original ideas. But, to each his or her own. "
Frank, you cynical old fart. If millions of kids are driven to read it, it must be good and you just don't get it.
Wish I had enough to say to even ---make--- a second post.

Steve Barber <barbergallery@verizon.net>
- Thursday, July 12 2007 15:14:0

"Your book was a run read."

Which one? I thoroughly enjoyed the Amazing Race book -- which certainly qualifies as a "run read".

(Either that, or it's a Scoobie Doo reference...)

"Quick question, forgive second post: Harlan, are you familiar with a 2004 film called ABLE EDWARDS, which is essentially a science-fictional CITIZEN KANE, set in an orbital environment? I just had to watch it, for review, and I found myself immediately thinking of your I, ROBOT script...!"


- Thursday, July 12 2007 13:9:11

Quickie Question
Quick question, forgive second post: Harlan, are you familiar with a 2004 film called ABLE EDWARDS, which is essentially a science-fictional CITIZEN KANE, set in an orbital environment? I just had to watch it, for review, and I found myself immediately thinking of your I, ROBOT script...!

Frank Church
- Thursday, July 12 2007 13:5:21

Cindy, I thought you were our ladybird, with that pet owl and all.

How is the owl any way? Who? Kisses.


Jason, easy solution, if waiting times are a problem, tweak the system, and Canada did just that. Michael didn't even mention Germany and Sweden and their health care is great too.

The wait in America is mostly so that they can check to make sure you can pay your bill. Universal health care solves that problem; you just go in and get er done. Natch.

Chomsky mentioned once that the Blue Cross building in Boston is huge, most of it is for billing, the billing department in Canada is one floor.

Conservatives know that tweaking is how you get government to work better, but they don't want government to work, so they let it rot on the vine--Katrina comes to mind. It goes against their idiot idealogy and their rich friends would not approve. No campaign cash for those deep pockets--they stretch all the way down to hell.


Castro, I hate Harry Potter. It is soulless and devoid of any original ideas. But, to each his or her own.

Robert Morales
New York City, New York - Thursday, July 12 2007 12:53:36

HARLAN - not that you really need it now - f.y.i.:


Todd Cassel
AZ / USofA - Thursday, July 12 2007 12:46:43

....it was also a FUN read.


Todd Cassel
AZ / USofA - Thursday, July 12 2007 12:45:53

Adam-Troy Potter
Adam-Troy, you know what I would love to see next. A sequel to The Unauthorized Harry Potter where you discuss the films and where they failed and succeeded to cut these books down into a theater-going experience. A critique as someone who has read all the books, as well as a critique from the perspective of someone who never read the books (I saw the first 4 films before I even read...actually listened to.....any of the books).

Your book was a run read.


Mike Lane
- Thursday, July 12 2007 11:35:55


I meant that I'm not smug and that I'm jealous ...not you, in case that wasn't clear. Rick sorry 'bout the double post

Adam-Troy Castro <adamcastro999@yahoo.com>
- Thursday, July 12 2007 10:2:38

Based on what I firmly believe to be by far the best of the Harry Potter novels, the movie is emotionally correct but suffers from a logically sloppy-as-well screenplay (or, I will concede, sloppy-as-hell editing of finished product). I understand that the novel had to be radically condensed, that many of the extraneous subplots needed to be jettisoned, and that certain bits of information had to be provided Harry in ways simpler than they came to him in the book; but I counted five, that is five, places where the condensation results in seeming contradictions or major logical holes that could have been fixed with single lines of dialogue. As it is, the film omits the explanation for the opening attempt on Harry's life by Dementors, for the miraculous appearance of rescuers at the end, for the reason Harry and friends cannot fly their brooms when they need quick transportation, for the ability of several characters to interact with creatures that (as has been carefully established) are invisible to them, and for the presence of a character revealed as a villain at the end of the last installment but presented as a heroic presence here. There are explanations for all of these seeming logical flaws, and all of them could have been resolved with single lines of dialogue, but the movie omits them all, odd indeed since it is also extremely creative in conflating plot points that may have taken up to twenty minutes of its running time but which here are resolved in single scenes. Instead: narrative swiss cheese. The film has other pleasures, but whatever you think of Harry Potter (and I recognize that there must be people here who hate him), the condensation plays like a movie viewed on TBS, with random scenes snipped for commercials.

Ray Carlson
Chicago, - Thursday, July 12 2007 9:52:49

Second That Emotion

I too hardily recommend Julie Phillips' bio of ALICE SHELDON/JAMES TRIPTREE JR. Read it last month, it's simply terrific. Jeesh...what a life!

- Thursday, July 12 2007 7:16:34

In case anyone still reads out there...

Julie Phillips' fine bio of ALICE SHELDON/JAMES TRIPTREE JR has been issued in trade paperback from Picador. As many of you are no doubt aware our BENEFICENT HOST figures mightily in the events discussed in the aforesaid literary effulsion (this being a new word invented by, uuuuh, me. It combines effusion, "pouring forth", and avulsion, "tearing away". What the heck, there seemed a need for it.)

In the current issue of SKEPTIC magazine, there is a nice article dissecting the "secret" behind THE SECRET, which of course turns out to be more of the same old New Age blather.

Mike Lane <mflane@odu.edu>
- Thursday, July 12 2007 6:46:42

Keith not so smug but actually jealous,
Sent you a reply via email which you undoubtably have by now. Thanks twice.

Mike Lane

Mrs. Rich <clarkmarty@aol.com>
Ellay, CA - Thursday, July 12 2007 5:11:39

NATURE magazine

Harlan, darlin' . . . Don't have time to scan recent posts to see if others have called to your attention the July 5 issue of NATURE.

If you don't already have it in hand you might ask someone to pick up a copy so you may enjoy the wonnnderful cover, pause a moment on page ix and then mosey at your leisure through several articles spanning pp 15-28.

I'm reasonably certain that Mike Moorcock, among others, is doing so as I type this.

Hugs and smooches,

Mrs. Rich

Jason Michelitch <jasonmichelitch@gmail.com>
Astoria, NY - Thursday, July 12 2007 4:49:33

I found your post about the idiocy of complaining about wait times as a side-effect of universal health coverage to be excellent, and I thought you might want to see this article:


about a recent study, containing these juicy paragraphs:

"A Commonwealth Fund study of six highly industrialized countries, the U.S., and five nations with national health systems, Britain, Germany, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada, found waiting times were worse in the U.S. than in all the other countries except Canada. And, most of the Canadian data so widely reported by the U.S. media is out of date, and misleading, according to PNHP and CNA/NNOC.

"In Canada, there are no waits for emergency surgeries, and the median time for non-emergency elective surgery has been dropping as a result of public pressure and increased funding so that it is now equal to or better than the U.S. in most areas, the organizations say. Statistics Canada's latest figures show that median wait times for elective surgery in Canada is now three weeks."

So even though you're spot on about wait-times...it's a non-issue! Because we're all being buffaloed onto muddy debating ground by the same people who are never able to actually argue the facts and are terrified of losing fair and square.

Let it ring forth: The "long wait times" meme is at best based only on anecdotal evidence from people with no perspective on what it really means to not get proper medical treatment even if you ARE covered, and is, in all likelihood, a well-crafted talking point (read that: LIE) designed to make it that much harder for good people to cut through to the heart of an issue and see the truth.

Link found via screenwriter John Rogers's blog (http://kfmonkey.blogspot.com)

Laurie <lauriejane@mindspring.com>
Los Angeles, California - Wednesday, July 11 2007 21:14:8

Belated congrats to FinderDoug...
Sorry this post is so late. (The pinhead adminstration on my job has taken all teachers off the Internet so it is harder for me to post). It brightened my day to know someone smart and responsible is going to be part of the journalism scene.

Chuck Messer
- Wednesday, July 11 2007 20:43:32

Surgeon General

I've often gotten the impression that the relationship between politics and science has often been rather thuggish, with the politicos being the thugs.

This latest revelation just confirms that. Especially when the politics are as petty and nasty as the administration's little trolls make them.


Patricia Rogers <qtera31@yahoo.com>
Bernalillo, NM - Wednesday, July 11 2007 16:47:56

Fred Saberhagen Memorial
If any of you are going to be in the area there will be a memorial for Fred Saberhage held:

September 14, 11am
John XXIII Catholic Community
4831 Tramway Ridge NE
Albuquerque, NM

Best, Patricia

Herb Helzer <helzapoppn@aol.com>
Farmington Hills, Michigan - Wednesday, July 11 2007 16:33:53

Surgeon General
Adam-Troy Castro, I'm right there with you, horrified anew at the latest revelation that the Bush Administration favored ideology over science, even to the point of reducing the once-influential post of Surgeon General to just another partisan shill.

That said, I note that Dr. Richard Carmona was apparently so distraught at being marginalized and forced to toe the Administration line that...he stayed on the job for four years.

Way to take a stand there, Dick.

TEXAS - Wednesday, July 11 2007 14:59:39

Lady Bird has passed away.

Frank Church
- Wednesday, July 11 2007 13:46:2

This is from a chat Michael Moore gave on Huffingtonpost. This is Steve:

"Can you please explain to Dr. Gupta that in the world that most Americans live in, we're not looking for "Health Care Utopia", and having to wait in a doctors office to be seen is something of a luxury many of us can no longer afford. His comment that in countries with free health care there is a long wait-time to see a doctor and it takes months to schedule elective surgery is laughable. That's like telling a starving person "don't bother with the free food, there's a line to get in and service is just awful." Are you joking?

I'm a self employed carpenter with no health insurance. None. I can't afford it. I go to work everyday knowing that one slip of the saw, and I could be choosing my fingers or sewing up my own leg. That's my reality. Everyday I go to work and listen to the cartilage in my knee CRUNCH when I climb a ladder, and the only thing I can do is pray it holds out for just a couple more years. Everyday, I am one misstep away from bankruptcy

I've been living with a degenerating knee injury for YEARS because I can't afford to do a god damn thing about it, and you think having to wait in a Doctor's office for free treatment is something I care about? If I could schedule a simple arthroscopy, free of charge but it's going to have to be in September, do you honestly think I'm going to say "no, I'd rather wait until arthritis completely debilitates me and I can no longer work?"

Come live in our world for a while, Doctor, then talk to me about "wait-time".

Thanks Michael."

Yea, thanks Mike.


Strangely enough, Jello has become friends with the prosecutor of his trial. The prosecutor regretted the trial and now is about as radical as our Jello. Who needs to be born again when you can be reborn bad.


Josh, great turn at the end of a History Of Violence, with the child setting the table for her dad. I love the look the Husband and wife give each other. You know their lives will never be the same. Sure, he was a killer, but he is the father of her children. Always trumps little damnations; the family as metaphor.

Thanks also for the nude scene. She is hawwwt.


Adam-Troy Castro <adamcastro999@yahoo.com>
- Wednesday, July 11 2007 11:54:51

1) Ah, Charles Lane. Was, in addition to having had one of the most long-lived acting careers in Hollywood history, one of the last remaining survivors of the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake...

2) Today, I watched, for review, a feature about to released to DVD: a remake of the 1919 CABINET OF DR. CALIGARI. Doug Jones, who played Abe Sapien in HELLBOY and the Silver Surfer in the current FANTASTIC FOUR movie, plays the sleepwalking murderer, Cesare. The movie used the original sets, virtually, inserting the current actors into stills and original footage. It was a remarkable technical achievement, not entirely ineffective as drama, but as I say in the review, is to art what carbon paper is to original document.

3) Meanwhile, on another front, there's No Sub-Basement Deep Enough Or Petty Enough For These People. Check This Out.

"Yesterday, we learned from former Surgeon General Richard Carmona that partisan political operatives dictated where and to whom he could speak. Each talk had to mention President Bush at least three times per page. Silence was dictated on stem cells, global warming and other topics. A report on the dangers of second hand smoke was delayed for years.

"But perhaps the nastiest insight came as Dr. Carmona testified that he was discouraged from appearing at a Special Olympics event because doing so might benefit the extended Kennedy family, who were long time supporters. Just consider the context - Iraq is exploding, New Orleans is not rebuilt, gasoline prices are through the roof - and the political leadership of the Bush Administration has the time and the inclination to make sure that the Surgeon General avoids the Special Olympics."



john j zeock <k33kong@aol.com>
- Wednesday, July 11 2007 10:30:6

kerwin matthews 1926-2007; charles lane 1905-2007

Keith Cramer <remarck@hotmail.com>
Arlington, VA - Wednesday, July 11 2007 9:7:53

Mike Lane: Sent you a fairly lenghty e-mail in response to your Prius question.

Elijah is right: I've been generating so much smug in my neighborhood that empowered squirrels and birds are actively assaulting other vehicles. Saw a banana peel laying on the windshield of an SUV the other day, and a BMW got towed last week because a "rodent" had chewed through an electic cable in the engine compartment. Plus my car is mysteriously bereft of birdshit, compared to the other gas guzzling autos right next to it. Over the past 2 weeks, 2 more people have gotten Prius's in our little hamlet. So the smug is multiplying. AND, I can't speak for anyone else, but my farts still don't stink.

The Prius is a joy to drive. Lots of buttons, knobs, and switches. 6 disc in-dash cd-changer, MP3 hookup, bluetooth hookup for my phone so my car can act as a conference center, dreamy fantasy navigation system that talks to me (I have always been bad at directions, and no amount of map reading or anything else has, by this age of 38, been able to improve that defect in my brain), auto climate control (just set the inside temp of the car and let it do the conditioning automatically), voice-controlled EVERYTHING (I can make a phone call, change the CD, etc., with voice commands). I don't even need a key to start my car: the RFID chip in the key dongle just needs to be within 3 or 4 feet of the steering column. Same with unlocking my car. If I pull the handle with my key in my pocket or my bag, the car just unlocks itself.

I feel like I'm living in a science fiction world!



Josh Olson
- Wednesday, July 11 2007 9:5:21


Yeah, I've been to Kellian's. Compared to Murph's, it IS a fern bar. It was my last trip there that prompted the scene in History.

I LOVE Google Earth. The dude I knew lived exactly one block and a few doors west of you, on the same side of the street. There's a red car in front of his house on that there Google Earth. At one point, I lived in the apartment building directly behind it, the one that looks like two long rectangles. That was my first solo apartment, and I recall being madly in love with the tragic, twenty something landlady.

The brief clip from my student film that appears in Dreams was shot right down the street from that apartment. (To be precise, it was shot at: 39°57'5.59"N 75°12'39.14"W GOD, I love Google Earth.)

Here's how big a dealer the dude was - I once dated a girl (dated her - hell, we were married for ten years!) who I found out would drive all the way in from Berwyn to buy from the guy.) A very tripped out fella, hard to describe in a paragraph or two. Back when I was convinced I could write funny, I wrote an entire script about him. It came close to capturing his bizarre essence.

Brian Siano
- Wednesday, July 11 2007 8:41:31

Big thanks to Josh
Complements are always good... but given your work, and your collaborations with two peoople whose work I admire immensely, your comments on the video were _especially_ good to read. (And they came within five minutes of getting a let's-break-this-off email from someone I'd been dating. Good timing, that.)

Okay, local stuff. Murphy's is now called Kelliann's, and they've cleaned up and rebuilt the interior. (A few years ago they got shut down for failing to card some students.) I don't know if it'd qualify as a fern bar, but it's no longer a dive. The Track and Turf is still there, somewhat expanded, and still owned by the same guy. (Good onion rings.)

I'd be interestd in knowing about the guy on "Larchmont" who sold pot. Not that I'm in the market myself. It's just that _my house_ is on that block of Larchwood, just north of the park, one block south of Osage, and it'd be interesting to know if it has that much of a history.

If anyone wants to know the area we're discussing, it's at 39°57'0.33"N, 75°12'36.09"W, according to Google Earth.

Steve Barber <barbergallery@verizon.net>
- Wednesday, July 11 2007 7:33:30

Mike Jacka, that's an awesome anecdote. Just awesome.

Very, very belated congratulations to up-and-coming journalist FinderDoug. There's a desperate need for ethical and curous journalists these days, so you may find it a wide-open field. Great news (pun intended)!

Ditto to Cramer. Sad to hear of the death of your own "Gray Ghost" (okay, "Silver Poltergeist"), but once them bigass trucks get moving it's a bad idea to get between 'em and their destination.

The Prius is also on my list in the next year or two, so your input may be requested.

(BTW - I understand a Prius is a heckuva lot easier to shove down La Brea Blvd in traffic than is, say, a Packard.)

Like the rest of you, I have arrived at the conclusion -- neither confirmed nor denied -- that the Court Approved wait is for ten 'business' days. Hence the reference to Friday.

Then again, no one (else) seems to be in a serious hurry to comply BEFORE said deadline, which woulda been a nice gesture.

I've popped up another of my "October Country" shots at Photosig. Just some Halloween-ish-y stuff to get my mind off July.


W. Owen Powell <ix92391@yahoo.com>
Bloomington, IN - Wednesday, July 11 2007 7:26:55

Frank - you are definitely not the only one who remembers Tipper's role in the PMRC hearings as well as the Biafra trial.

Al made the right decision by opting to just stick to his powerpoint presentations and forget any further forays into politics.

Mike Jacka
Phoenix, AZ - Wednesday, July 11 2007 6:28:28

Regarding Awesome

The Vice President of our department uses the word “Awesome”….constantly. Everything is awesome. A work product is awesome. A suggestion is awesome. A mistake is awesome. We sincerely believe he chastens his bad dog by stating that it took an awesome shit on the rug. (Accordingly, I had great fondness for Harlan’s rant regarding the use of the word.) The good news about this VP is that he is in LA and many of us work in Phoenix. So, much of our dealings with him are through conference calls. Judicious use of the mute button allows us to maintain what little sanity we still have through the use of mockery. (Okay – not overly respectful, but you have to understand.) Our current approach?

VP: That’s awesome.

Conversation ensues

VP: Awesome

More conversation

VP: Awesome

Us in Phoenix in our cheesiest Montoya accents (mute button on): You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.


- Wednesday, July 11 2007 6:19:30

I'll butcher the quote of course...

Of all the words of tongue or pen
the saddest are these
what might have been?

Nothing better illustrates the ultimate contingency of the universe than the events of the last six years of the Bush admin. So many things could have been so different so easily.

But if we insist on looking for someone to blame why not put it where it truly deserves to be? Sure, both Gore and Kerry ran crummy campaigns. Sure, there were GOP shennanigans galore. But the entire controversy of the 2000 election was engendered because the count was so close.

The true culprits are the substantial percentage of American bastards who just couldn't be bothered to participate. To vote.

Billy Bob hit the snooze button on election day and rolled over. And now his is the loudest voice whining about that sumbitch Bush.

Never underestimate the remarkable stupidity of which Americans are uniquely capable. Otherwise you're going to be really shocked when you wake up next year and find out the crypto-fascist Rudy Giuliani has been elected Prez.

Do you really think that America will elect a woman to be Prez? A black man?

When things are falling apart what we really need is a firm hand. Rudy cleaned up NYC, right?


Elijah Newton
Ypsilanti, MI - Wednesday, July 11 2007 5:37:6

Mike Lane : I bought it a couple years back so I can't give you an accurate price quote, but I've been enjoying my Honda Civic Hybrid a great deal. 51 mpg right now, get a range of about 600 on a full tank of gas.

That being said, a Prius was the first hybrid car that I rode in and impressed me a great deal. I'm being a butt-in-ski just in case you're interested in something to compare it to. I wasn't so impressed with the Insight myself; looks like a shark bit off the ass end of it, and the mileage wasn't (then) that much better than the civic hybrid.

Whenever I talk about this kind of thing I remember the South Park episode regarding the toxic levels of smug generated by hybrid owners. Sorry...

audrey <pbonho@hotmail.com>
Los Angeles, CA/US - Wednesday, July 11 2007 2:35:43

"I actually wrote a scene in the first draft of History where Tom - the lead - goes back to Murphy's and it's been turned into a fern bar."

Damn. On first read I thought this said "fem bar," which woulda been so much more interesting. What the hell is a fern bar?

When are we having lunch?

Oh, and hi.

I've never read Woodford, but I have a soft spot for "naughty novels." As a child, when I wasn't reading you, I dug the Frank Yerby novel for pulpish prurience. The Girl From Storyville made me want to be a whore when I grew up. I won't tell you what Harold Robbins and Irving Wallace made me want to be (cut me some slack, I was ten at the time, my tastes have matured somewhat since). You made me want to be older, and now you've finally succeeded.

Oh, and hi.

That micro-photography is awesome (and I use that word after giving it serious consideration, Mister Ellison). I'm also a fan of the tilt/shift aerial variety, I hope I'm not being redundant by offering this link up, I didn't read too many pages back.


- Tuesday, July 10 2007 22:12:11


Woodford was omnipresent when I was in my teens. They were known as "naughty novels," but I cannot remember ever having read one. And I know of the books on writing but, again, never spent any eyetime with them. Probably would've read Erskine Caldwell or Steinbeck before Woodford. Though, in retrospect, he seems a far less "memorable" vector than many others--not the least of whom were Collette and Henry Miller--history has been kind to Woodford: if he is not blissfully unknown by the masses, those who DO know of him seem to have no patina of ick on their perception of his ouevre.

Yr. Pal, Harlan

DTS <none>
- Tuesday, July 10 2007 20:46:36

Slowboats and other methods of shipment
HARLAN: No sweat, schweetheart (say THAT three times fast while imitating Bogie)! I'll have it wrapped up in a manner that will allow the crackle to survive the trip from here to there by wagon train!

Be talkin' to ya soon, buddy.

- Tuesday, July 10 2007 19:51:32


I'll be circumspect.

Have you ever tried to count the number of fartpart ooze&pus sly sneering mattress-tick weasels there are in the world?

Patience, lad. Till Friday, now. Would that it were otherwise.

Fair to go on a killing spree, Yr. Pal, Harlan

- Tuesday, July 10 2007 19:47:25


Both parts of the shipment thing sound great to me ...

BUT ...

Puh-puh-puh-LEEEEEEEEZ don't ship the crackle in a manner that puts me in the poorhouse again. I wants it, lord, I wants it; but finances around here these days are lots less than flowing as doth the lava.

Otherwise, who loves ya, baby?!!!

Yr. Pal, Harlan

Tony Rabig
Parsons, KS - Tuesday, July 10 2007 17:54:11

Woodford FYI, if it matters

I may be remembering wrong, but I think Dean Koontz also discussed Woodford briefly in his book How to Write Best-Selling Fiction; focused on a few points involving character development, I think, though I don't recall that Koontz was necessarily recommending that aspiring writers follow Woodford. Woodford's book Trial & Error is the one mentioned most often, if I remember correctly.

Bests to all,


Steambird Springs, Alta California - Tuesday, July 10 2007 17:39:45

Harlan, did you ever read/make use of Jack Woodford's books? Jerry Pournelle has mentioned here and there of how he has, and I know RAH did, not to mention Richard E. Geis (I bet you and I are the only people here who know what I refer to).


- Tuesday, July 10 2007 16:11:39

I absolutely doubt Gore would have gone to Iraq - for ANYTHING - unless Hussein had proved uncontainable and had continued resisting the inspectors; and I firmly doubt he'd have gone in without support of the international community, as the man knows diplomacy. His pattern would have been very much that of Clinton's.

Gore - in spite of everything - is a smart, smart man and far more pragmatic than any Conservative. He was already doing things that were contrary to the interests of the corporations, ESPECIALLY oil.

Same goes for economic policy, social issues, and obviously environmental (as I'd worked for an environmental organization at that time).

Finally, as I pointed here earlier, Nader himself - once he was being more straight the facts after the election was over - stated on the air clearly that Gore's agenda shared his own far more than that of any Republican.

Josh Olson
- Tuesday, July 10 2007 15:20:43


I remember quite clearly who and what Gore was back then, and share your disdain for the work Tipper did. However, there was a universe of difference even then between him and that drooling imbecile Bush. I never said I was happy about the choice, just that it was an easy one for any sane human being to make.

Would he have gone to war with Iraq? Who can say what would have happened? But it's a specious question - Iraq didn't do anything to instigate the war. Bush did. So would Gore have instigated a war with them because he was in the pockets of the neocons who were obsessed with Saddam? I feel safe saying no.

There's a difference between the sheep-like Democrats the administration bullied and terrorized into supporting the war, and the murderously corrupt sons of bitchs who instigated it.

DTS <none>
- Tuesday, July 10 2007 14:18:50

Does HARLAN need the Mar/April 2003 issue of "Book" Magazine?
HARLAN: In the midst of another go-round with my office/library for the big move (managing to part with more stuff each time I do so), I ran across a copy of the March/April 2003 issue of "Book" magazine. It has the article on writer's, "A Brief History of the Literary World's Most Attention-getting stunts...", including the piece about you and Brokaw (written either by Eric Wetzel or the girl that called me -- and you -- after I mentioned your name). Can't believe they only gave it a "3" on the "hype-o-meter" -- I woulda said at least 5 or 6! I think this was the last issue of that particular magazine before it went belly-up -- but after I had my falling out with the knucklehead editor over a cover story a couple years before. (Come to think of it, "Pages" also went belly-up after I started writing for them...and "Amazing Stories"...I may be bad for a magazine's long-term heath).
If you want the magazine, in pristine shape, I'll wrap it in a plastic bag and tuck it inside box that I use to ship the crackle to you sometime next week.

Frank Church
- Tuesday, July 10 2007 14:7:43

Michael Moore rips holes into CNN, Wolf Blitzer and Sanjay Gupta. Never seen Mike this angry. You go chubster:


Odd how CNN even allowed him on.


KOS, that is how conservatives act in battle; they run away, let better men (not me) fight for them. You didn't let me down.


Josh, Gore was a pretty right wing guy back in 2000, only the change of heart later made him seem more progressive. I still have my doubts. Also remember that Hillary and Kerry voted for the Iraq war, who's to say Gore wouldn't have done the same war that Bush did. Sure, he may have fought it better, but that's not the point. The war was illegal and immoral, beyond the limited debate in our intellectual and political culture.

Gore's wife almost destroyed my friend Jello Biafra, so I have less love for the man and his ways then you do. He also tried to make Prince public enemy number one during the PMRC sham hearings. I notice a lot of liberals forgot about that Gore, the one who got the stinkeye from the late Frank Zappa.

Let's go back in time, shall we:

Jello Biafra gets arrested in 1988 for a record album insert that he did with his then band, Dead Kennedys, the premier political/punk band of the time. The insert, "Penis Landscape" was done by H.R. Giger, noted Swiss artist. Nine police officers break down Jello's door, go through drawers, bust windows, etc. They wake Jello up, who is really scared, worried that they may plant drugs in his clothes, or worse. Even though this is San Francisco, there are LA cops at the ransacking of Jello's room. This is odd behavior, even for the police, especially that they are concerned about one record insert in a rock album. It is obvious to many that Jello was set up, because of his politics and or image. The band had a noted history of police abuse, some concerts, fans got beat up by police, thinking the band was an anarchist gang--a crazy charge. One of the police on the scene notices an album by the group DOA; "Are you with them too," the cops asks. It is obvious that the cops are stalking the underground rock movement, or how would they know who DOA, an obscure band were? One cops says Jello will get a few years in prison. Jello is really scared at this time, treated like someone in a totalitarian country, not a democratic one. Later, at the trial, according to reports, Tipper Gore takes credit for Jello being arrested. Obvious why Jello is not too kind for the Gore family.

Luckily, the Judge later dismissed the case, with a deadlocked jury, or this case could have chilled free speech for a whole host of people. Imagine what America would look like if Jello would have lost. We can thank Al's wife for that.

Steve B
- Tuesday, July 10 2007 12:9:3

Hey kids. Just wanted to let you know I've notified Rick regarding our Xanga.com spammer. He'll undoubtedly block and remove the posts shortly.

However -- if it continues -- rest assured that, should Rick request it, a certain very large telco will let Xanga know our displeasure with their client.

Robert Morales
New York City, New York - Tuesday, July 10 2007 12:5:40

Paul Pope on texting:


john j zeock <k33kong@aol.com>
conshohocken, pa - Tuesday, July 10 2007 11:59:11

"it can't be any new note. when you look at the keyboard, all the notes are there already. but if you mean a note enough, it will sound different. you got to pick the notes you really mean!"-thelonious monk

Mike Lane <mflane@odu.edu>
Norfolk, VA - Tuesday, July 10 2007 11:15:8

For Keith Cramer

I have a 1993 Toyota pickup and it only has 185,000 miles on it so I don't have to worry just yet but I will probably have to start thinking about a new vehicle pretty soon. And given the current climate I am seriously considering a hydrid or with even less of a footprint. If I may be so bold, could I ask you how much you forked out for your new Prius?

Thanks in advance

Mike Lane.

Alex Jay Berman <alexjay@earthlink.net>
Philadelphia, - Tuesday, July 10 2007 9:0:34

HARLAN: So what's going on now that the time of "at this time" as passed?

DOUG: Good on ya, lad! You are hereby charged with bringing true Journalism back to Journalism. I'm sure you're more than up to the challenge.

ALL: Lemme tell you a little secret: Brian is being far too modest.
"I tend to teach myself things."

Well, what he ISN'T telling you is that THAT is his particular and peculiar talent. He wants to learn to do things? Fine. He sets about teaching himself. And without so much as a "Eureka!" moment, he HAS it; he well and truly groks the stuff.
Buy a house? Teach yourself plumbing, and woodworking, and electricianship. And very shortly, he is very good at those things. Learn film, and editing, and whatnot? He teaches himself, and is able to put out beautiful scene-stories like the one to which he linked.

It may seem as if I'm pointing to trifles here, but it's very rare that someone can just remake themselves into a polymath; in truth, I'm quite envious.

Of course, this talent of Brian's comes with a curse attendant: He is well-nigh unable to be satisfied with anything he does, no matter how much others may praise it. It goes beyond simple perfectionism, really; it's more a "can't be good enough" state of mind which I wish he could ditch.

(Of course, it often seems that the other Webderlanders I've met in this mid-Atlantic area suffer from the same thing--Jay, Patty, Doug, Xanadu, and others ...)

shagin <smodell1995@yahoo.com>
Bremerton, Washington - Tuesday, July 10 2007 7:48:1


Your film short was a wonderful way to start the day. I'll keep it in mind as I slog through the trials of moving.



Okay, those were great photos! Some of the mantis shots were exquisite!

Josh Olson
- Tuesday, July 10 2007 7:31:34


I left Philly in 1986, but I still go back once or twice a year. Most of the folks I knew from the area have long since left. There was one guy - huge pot dealer one block South of Osage (can't remember the street. Maybe it was Larchmont), who's probably still there, but I don't know. Haven't heard from him in decades.

And while I can't say I was a Wurst House regular, I was no stranger to its charms. Murphy's Tavern was my regular hang, though. Also long gone. That joint was a beautiful dive. Heh. I still remember having my first legal beer there, on my birthday, after I'd been a regular for two years...

I actually wrote a scene in the first draft of History where Tom - the lead - goes back to Murphy's and it's been turned into a fern bar.

Brian Siano
- Tuesday, July 10 2007 4:13:11

Josh, when did you live in the area? I live a block north of the park, on Larchwood Ave., just up the street from what was called the Wurst House. There's a _damn_ good chance I know people you used to know.

Thanks to all for watching the video. All _I_ see are the flaws, the if-onlies, and the things I wish I coulda done. For example, I _wish_ I could take a year of cinematography classes with Vittorio Storaro. Little things like that. But I'm treating these short things as a personal film school; maybe I'm antisocial, but I tend to teach myself things, and I genuinely love doing this. (The fact that I've spent so much time in my life _not_ doing this is a tad painful.)

Josh Olson
- Tuesday, July 10 2007 0:57:32


Oh my God.

That was absolutely lovely. You have no idea.... I grew up in Powelton Village, and my second, third, fourth, fifth and sixth apartments were all within a block or two of Clark Park. I had one of the best mushroom trips of my life in Clark Park. I've held hands with the second most beautiful girl in the world in Clark Park. Christ, if you've seen History of Violence and wondered where I got the name of the bar in the end, walk three blocks East of Clark Park to the Track and Turf.

Absolutely lovely.

Thank you.

paul <vaughnrichards@yahoo.com>
Austin, TX - Tuesday, July 10 2007 0:7:32

Congratulations Doug!!
Go ahead, get that FOX post. Subversion from within, that's the ticket.

Jon A. Bell <jonbell@esedona.net>
Sedona, AZ - Monday, July 9 2007 21:58:38

Extraordinary Photographs!
Harlan and everyone,

I know how fond many of you guys are of great photography. The links below take you to the online gallery of Igor Siwanowicz, who specializes in micro-photography of insects and other animals. Many of the photos here are both stunningly beautiful and utterly otherworldly (the mantis photos look like alien creatures.) Enjoy!




Connie W. <modelmiss@mindspring.com>
Rochester, NY - Monday, July 9 2007 21:57:31

Biran Siano - "...I'm happy with it. Which is the only thing that matters."

And you SHOULD be happy with it! I thought it was delightful! Thank you for sharing it. I was having such a miserable day at work in the museum, and seeing your little film during my break made me feel so much better. I guess all I needed was a walk in the park!

Much love.

Connie W. (No, not THAT Connie W.) slumming in yucky Rochester

Stephen <same as it ever was>
Glenolden, PA - Monday, July 9 2007 20:50:33

The Brink is available from...
_The Brink_ (John Brunner, Victor Gollancz cover, 1959 First Edition) is available at:
Interstellar Master Traders
33 North Road
I.M.T. is open 10(ish)-7pm (19:00) (or later), Monday-Saturday usually
phone: +44 (0)1524 382181

They have a webpage at http://www.i-m-t.demon.co.uk/index.htm with a specific listing page for John Brunner at http://www.i-m-t.demon.co.uk/books/jbrunner.htm with the edition you are seeking Harlan. You can call to ask about getting just the DJ.

If you want someone in the US, the 6th listing at this link:
gives the first edition in near fine condition from
Book Baron
1236 S. Magnolia
Anaheim, CA 92804
They want $125 for it, you can call them at 714-527-7022 to negotiate for the dust jacket only.

I hope this helps in your search. Mr. Brunner's work _Stand on Zanzibar_ is still an old favorite. I'll be rereading that as soon as I finish reading Robert Heinlein's _The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress_ for the umpteenth time.

- Monday, July 9 2007 18:33:22


1) Thank you, Mike Jacka; the masked rider of the plains cantered into the house today.

2) Does ANYONE out there (but probably most likely in the U.K.)have a dustjacket for the 1959 Gollancz hardcover of the late John Brunner's early novel THE BRINK? I am prepared to pay for the dj only. Respond here.

Yr. Pal, Harlan

shagin <smodell1995@yahoo.com>
Bremerton, Washington - Monday, July 9 2007 16:2:32


*Thanks one and all for good vibes and well-wishes as pertained to higher education for Finder Doug: I was accepted into Georgetown's Journalism Masters program this past Friday. If you sacrificed small children on my behalf, I will endeavor to honor their memory by NOT going to work for Fox News when I've completed my course of study.*

(quickly taping up a cardboard box of misshapen parts, erm, stuff, yea, that's it! Stuff!) Congratulations! The kids are fine, just fine, couldn't be better. Thanks for asking. No, they can't come to the phone. Of course everything's okay, what makes you think anything's wrong?

Lori Koonce <purplelynn35@excite.com>
San Francisco, California - Monday, July 9 2007 15:59:39

Second appology of the month
David Silver

I'm a product of a generation that was not alowed to use an adults first name untill acutally given to premission. But now that I've got it it will be David from here on out.

I did a cut and paste on the Email addy, maybe that's why it bounced. I'll try it again later.

Right now I'm nursing either a really bad case of Tendonitis or a torn rotator cuff. I don't drive, and don't think it would be wise to be bussing it out to the Avenues. But there is a really cool coffee shop out by the Strybing, on eigth and LIncon I think it is.... 'bout 3 blocks from where the old Stineheart used to be....

Love that area, and if you're willing to travel out that way, we can do it once I get better.

As for the rest, you're right about SJ and science fiction. Went to the last BayCon at the San Jose COnvention center. It was way wierd...

Anyway, once I feel ok bussing things, I'll let you know.


John Gillespie
- Monday, July 9 2007 13:49:3

Doug, that's fantastic news, congrats! Newly sharpened pencils and notebooks(ok, maybe digital recorders) all around!

Is this a full time thing? Any idea of what you might want as an area of concentration?

- Monday, July 9 2007 12:53:58


Bugs ME a lot. Such a shift requires incremental strategy. Tactics. Because of Nader's lack of imagination in his approach, it is a process now that will probably have to be put off longer - thanks to the degree of outsourcing, and the masses so long brainwashed on sound bytes to the advantage of Corporate laissez faire policy.

The country is overwhelmed by two great contingents: evil people and stupid lemming-like people. Makes a great team when devolution is the long-run goal.

- Monday, July 9 2007 12:49:6

Keith - So - what now, the buffalo hunt is off again? Bastard. *tosses hand weights in garbage*

Thanks one and all for good vibes and well-wishes as pertained to higher education for Finder Doug: I was accepted into Georgetown's Journalism Masters program this past Friday. If you sacrificed small children on my behalf, I will endeavor to honor their memory by NOT going to work for Fox News when I've completed my course of study.

Dennis Thompson
- Monday, July 9 2007 12:6:44

3rd Party candidates
Reading all the Nader posts brings me back to my voting dilemas.
I hate the Republican party, and the Democrats slightly less.
I prefer to vote independent, but most 3rd party candidates are whack jobs, or just have no chance of winning.
Oh well, maybe someday more Americans will wake up and vote for someone who isn't owned by a corporation, or the Saudi's, or even vote at all?

Michael M
Los Angeles, CA - Monday, July 9 2007 11:30:44

Hear hear!!
"Want things to change? Go vote. Every election: alderman, delegate, dog catcher, school board. Anytime someone puts up a voting booth, go vote. And write letters to congresspeople. Do it. Don't give in to the I-cubed."

Well said.

In my voting life of 26 years, I've missed two elections. One was when Tom Bradley was running for mayor the fifth or sixth time -- whatever his last run was.

The other was a month ago. One of those crazy-making two issue ballots that really should have been lumped onto a larger election, and which are so under-reported that it's actually possible to forget them...

Which I did.

No excuses, though. Next time I'll give myself a prison tattoo: "College board election next Tuesday!"

Keith Cramer <remarck@hotmail.com>
Arlington, VA - Monday, July 9 2007 10:36:3

So I bought a Prius
My POS Ford Contour SVT (1998-2007 RIP) had to be put down 3 weeks ago after an encounter with a large dumptruck. Not one of those landscaping dumptrucks, with the 4 guys riding in back and picket fence around the sides, but one of those industrial dump trucks only slightly smaller than a Terex, with 6-foot tires, reinforced steel box-bucket that can not only hold and transport 10 tons of concrete, but that can withstand said concrete being dumping into it from 20 feet up. Me and my car were in the driver's blindspot, and so it went.

So I got this Toyota Prius. My last 2 cars had to be totalled for me to replace them, and I figure I'll probably have this one for at least 10 years. God only knows what gas prices will be in 5 years, but I want to have as efficient a car as possible in case the price of gasoline continues on the trend it's been following for, oh, the past 100 years. So I got this Prius. (Also test drove the Infiniti G35x, and boy was the Prius a GREAT choice over that car).

Kept hearing non-masculine things said about the Prius in week following. Even CNN did a story on how sales of the Prius were up, but that a greater percentage of people were buying them because it was trendy, not because of the economics of the car.

Then, last week, Al Gore's son was clocked doing 110mph in a Prius full of illegal prescription drugs and marijuana up the San Deigo freeway. So now I have a bad-boy car, and don't have to prove that testosterone still percolates up to my head from my nuts by killing a buffalo with my bare hands, cooking it with a vietnam-era flame-thrower, cutting out its anus and crawling up inside the carcass, and eating my way out.

I'm so happy for that.

AND my farts don't stink anymore!


Harlan - Congrats on the settlement. Another weight off your stooped shoulders.

All - The Nader political discussion is crazy. Nader should have pulled out and endorsed Gore. Big mistake not doing that. HOWEVER...the people who voted for Nader should have been smart enough to realize what was going to happen...and not voted for him. I'm all for free thinking, but in politics you have be be willing to compromise - which includes who you vote for.

In this country not even half of eligible voters turn out at the polls. Those who show up, make the rules. Last few times, the Christians have been showing up in droves. So it is no surprise the policies of this country of ours are reflecting fundamental Christianity: idiocy, incompetence, and intolerance.

Want things to change? Go vote. Every election: alderman, delegate, dog catcher, school board. Anytime someone puts up a voting booth, go vote. And write letters to congresspeople. Do it. Don't give in to the I-cubed.


Brian Siano
- Monday, July 9 2007 9:44:50

Utterly unconnected with health care or Ralph Nader, and
... only distantly connected with Art Deco Brownie cameras, I suggest a diversion of your attention to a short video I made.


It's just a nice bit of music with some visuals at our local park... and we really _love_ our park in these here parts. It ain't gonna make Martin Scorsese worry about competition, but I'm happy with it. Which is the only thing that matters.

David Silver <silver@well.com>
San Francisco, CA - Monday, July 9 2007 9:21:22

Harlan, check this out...

Hiya Harlan,

I bundled up your little parcel and sent it on its way, so it should hit your doorstep in just a couple of days. Let me know when it arrives, thanks. Regarding the art deco inspired box cameras your friend has, take a look at this:


If that's what he has (this is the tan version, but they're also available in black, blue, green, and rose), and that's what you want, I'm on it for you.

All the best,


Steve Barber <barbergallery@verizon.net>
- Monday, July 9 2007 8:54:29

Dep't of "For What It's Worth":

No changes to the TCJ website as of 8:45a PST. I am not a lawyer, but if the agreement was for calendar days, they seem to have ignored the deadline (assuming signature on June 28). If the agreement was for "business days", they have until Friday.

HARLAN and/or SUSAN: I have taken the liberty of predetermining your usual request and already complied.

For what it's worth.

JOSH: "Graham,

Uh.... what?


Uh.... what?"

(That's the WORST Geico Caveman impression I've ever seen.)

I had something far more important and enlightening to impart on the subject of medicine (grew up in a military household, dontcha know, with the military version of socialized medicine), but I can't for the life of me remember what it was.

"Oh. Look." Sees something glittery in his coffee cup. "Staaaarrrbuuckkk's............."

Graham Rae
- Sunday, July 8 2007 22:38:24

Random Harlan mention in Michael Moorcock interview:




DTS <none>
- Sunday, July 8 2007 20:36:15

Michael Moore's "Sicko" -- and Universal Health Care in the U.S.
ALL: What an execellent film (and anyone brainless enough to complain that Moore inserts his opinion into HIS movie, or pulls an obvious stunt with the Guantanamo Bay move, is beyond the pale, and well...brainless)! I have to agree with the French physician who, when asked by Michael Moore if the United States would ever get universal health care, shook his head sadly, said no, and walked off. The majority of people in America are willfully ignornant; so they wont rise up, demand uiversal health care, and vote for the politicians who will meet their demands. My daughter and I were in a nearly empty theater while watching "Sicko." Down the cineplex hall, dozens of people were standing in line, waiting for the chance to see "Transformers." So it goes.

Todd Cassel
AZ / USofA - Sunday, July 8 2007 14:10:27

Harlan and Posthumous Incomplete Writings
Harlan, I've heard and read your opinion a few times on the publishing of incomplete writings after the death of an author. Perhaps your thoughts have always concerned only your own; I don't recall if it was in regard to the family of other deceased authors making some money on such writings. Perhaps your orders to Susan to destroy the tales hidden in the trunk under the bed were only meant for your own legacy.

But if you ARE of the opinion that this should hold true for other authors, I'm wondering about the quote I've seen in ads for Kevin J. Anderson's completion of a SLAN sequel that A.E.Van Vogt was working before his death, SLAN HUNTER. I cannot find a complete review by you, so perhaps it was just a blurb, but the ads are quoting you, "Van Vogt was a Grandmaster. SLAN was his masterpiece. Now, like a dream come true, (Anderson) returns us to that singular world, the world of Jommy Cross."

Now, I'm not knocking your blurb; I'm just asking if this is truly a book worth reading or if your blurb was to assist the family of Van Vogt?

I'm trying to phrase this in a way that doesn't make me sound like a nasty, nosey, prickish internet jackass, yet I seem to be failing on that account. Suffice to say: it's a genuine question.

Thanks. -TODD

Josh Olson
- Sunday, July 8 2007 13:43:34


Uh.... what?


Uh.... what?

- Sunday, July 8 2007 12:53:12


All right, I'm telling you kids for the last time! If I have to stop this car and come back there ...

If you can't play nice together, you just wait till we get home and I tell your father...


- Sunday, July 8 2007 12:50:5


I bought the Mickey Kodak from the highly-reputable Hake's Auction. It was in their catalogue, and I saved the page, as I have paid for that and several other items, but haven't yet received the shipment. Imminent. Next week, I surmise.

But I have the page with the description (sans provenance) and the photo of the item. If it's a knock-off, Ted Hake and Geppi's people are absolutely honest and responsive, and I won't be schmachled. You can call me anytime today, and I'll read you what the i.d. from the catalogue says, and describe to you the item via its photo. Please do call.

Yr. Pal, Harlan


P.S.: Has anybody conveyed my gardyloo to Groth or his Comics Journal/Fantagraphics website? I'd like an unassailable record to substantiate our efforts to alert him, in safe time, of the perceived breach. Please let me know.

Jon A. Bell <jonbell@esedona.net>
Sedona, AZ - Sunday, July 8 2007 7:26:17

Typos and Stuff
LARRY: Argh! Of course that's a typo (can't believe I put "1007" instead of "1907.") My brain must've kept holding that "100" figure in its mass of tangled dendrites.

HARLAN: As of today, 7:25 a.m. Pacific, there are still three references to you (with two of them referencing certain recent events) on a previously-mentioned website. You can find them easily by going to that website and typing your name into the "Search" field.

Benjamin Winfield
- Sunday, July 8 2007 7:7:52

I have a mouth, and believe me, I'm screaming

There's an ALVIN AND THE CHIPMUNKS movie due out this Christmas.


I've already put a bullet in my brain. Try it, it's fun.

Graham Rae
- Sunday, July 8 2007 1:2:28

Ah well ya know...I guess my ill-conceived ill-informed foreigner posts had no effect, or that at least weren't worth responding to (cf: Josh Olson).


"Do you believe in the lies that shape your world? Do you believe in your own fictitious immortality?" - Screeching Weasel (on my headphones right now).

All my posts were ever meant to be were a declaration of independence from everybody in the world (unless they talk sense) as an independent thinker. But I still regard Harlan Ellison as a genius - and always will. Could say more, much more, but...why bother?


David Silver <silver@well.com>
San Francisco, CA - Sunday, July 8 2007 0:27:6

To Harlan, regarding art deco Kodak cameras...

Hiya Harlan,

Fer cryin' out loud, why didn't *I* approach *you* first about art deco Kodak cameras?! Why in the world would I have assumed you wanted one? And on the other hand, you already knew I'm one of the top photohistorians and camera collectors in the world, so if you wanted an art deco Kodak in the first place, why didn't you just ask! Arrgghhhh!

Okay, it's all good, tell me more about what you'd like to have and I'll see what I can dig up. Value depends on specific model, the color, and the condition. Plus there's usually a premium on finding the original box. Here's what you have to consider. Do you want a simple box camera or a fold-up bellows camera? Do you want something in just a fancy color, or also with fancy graphic design? Do you want a certain color (you mentioned red, but there are different choices with different models)? Do you want it from a specific period, ie. 1920's, 1930's, or 1940's? To give you an indication of the range of values, a simple colored Kodak Brownie or Hawk-Eye box camera from the 1920's (no fancy design, just color, these are by far the most common,and they can be red, blue, green, gray, or brown) will sell for $50-$70, some of the simple small bellows cameras in solid colors go $80-$120, a fancier box model with elaborate art deco graphics (like the VERY fancy Beau Brownie series) can reach $300+, and the best of the bellows models flirt with $500. Lots of possibilities.

If you're curious about that little brown beauty I showed on the link, it's one of the extraordinary rare exceptions at the high end of the collectible spectrum for this type of camera. I sold it the other night on eBay for over $1700. Art deco cameras in complete matching outfits, especially in the box, are like money in the bank. Very precious.

Harlan, please tell me more about the Mickey Mouse Kodak you purchased. This is a situation where I really wish you had consulted with me first. If it's the 1946 Target Brownie Six-20 or Six-16, there's a strong possibility it's a fake. I'd need to see it (a decent JPEG digital image showing the front of the camera would be enough) to know for certain. Somebody has been introducing these fakes into the general antiques market since 1995, and there's now quite a few of them floating around. Today camera collectors are pretty savvy about this, but Mickey Mouse collectors seem to prefer living in denial. However, even the fakes have collectible value. Anyway, if you do indeed have the Target Brownie version, I think you'd also like to have an example of the regular non-Mickey Mouse version of the Target Brownie. It's basic black, but comes with a striking art deco front plate. Let me know if your Mickey Mouse is the Six-20 or Six-16 size, and I'll gladly find a matching example of the regular model for you. They're common and I can get an excellent one for about $25.

If it would make it easier for you, give me a call anytime between 9:00 AM and 9:00 PM and we can talk about it in more detail. If you can't find my number, give me a time and day to call and I'll ring you instead. My pleasure.

All the best,


Alan Coil <lcoil@peoplepc.com>
Southeast Michigan - Saturday, July 7 2007 23:50:57

Not being privy to the actual papers, I'd say an argument could be made that the 10th day ends at the precise hour of the signing of said papers, meaning they would have until evening on Sunday.

Otherwise, though, I'll just go to bed now.

paul <vaughnrichards@yahoo.com>
Austin, TX - Saturday, July 7 2007 23:30:28

1:28 am CMT

I think i'm confused. What should have been excised by now? The 'Fanta v. Ellison over there are up and the 'motion to dismiss' here are still up. If Rick wiped everything off the Pavilion, good, but there isn't a separate board on the TCJ for discussion, is there? 'Cause if there is, then i've missed a large chunk of conversation.

I suppose this is all Pacific Time as well, you silly West-coasters. Glad it's over. I was waiting for the state to split and drop off in the sea.

David Ray <shaneeray@comcast.net>
Bellevue, WA - Saturday, July 7 2007 23:14:34

It is almost 11:15 and I just checked the Fantagraphics web-site and all the info in re to the case is still there...


- Saturday, July 7 2007 22:30:24


The short-form agreement we all signed in the presence of the 9th Federal Circuit Mediator, a week ago Thursday, stipulates specific deadlines for eliminating certain website comments and assertions and language. This website has been "cleared" since one hour after the end of negotiations -- just enough time for me to get to Rick Wyatt and to have him remove my "ask for your attention."

The Defendant was required, within 10 days, to eliminate all such references to me, and to the case. That was Thursday. The material remains untouched, as if it were a major problem to remove it, though I was able to satisfy the Court's instructions within one hour.

It is now slightly less than one hour, forty-five minutes till the stroke of midnight, and the ten-day expiration. Defendant's time to cling to these postings is on the verge of over. If the material is up past midnight, into Sunday the 8th of July, it will--in my view--constitute a breach of the agreement.

If Gary or his people are reading this website, the preceding should be duly noted. In the event they're not, would someone kindly waddle through the labyrinth that exists to get a message seen by Dirk Deppey, or whoever it is Groth has manning the periscope presently?

It is my hope Groth hasn't confused the date for posting of the complete settlement agreement, with the last ticking moment available to him to effect his required calisthenics.

I intend to hold him to the LETTER OF THE SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT.

Harlan Ellison

- Saturday, July 7 2007 22:13:3


David, why didn't you approach me first on purchasing one or more of the deco Kodaks? I just bought a Mickey Mouse Kodak at auction, and I wouldn't mind having a red Brownie or other example of the period. If any of these boxes are still extant, and won't cost me an arm and a leg ... well, you know where I am.

Yr. Pal, Harlan

Alan Coil <lcoil@peoplepc.com>
Southeast Michigan - Saturday, July 7 2007 22:12:58

Beverly Sills

This is the first I have heard of her death. I'm on vacation and haven't read a paper in over a week.

I am a lover of music and great musical performances. I am not well versed in opera, and Beverly Sills is the only opera star I could name. I've only seen her performances on television, but was thrilled every time she sang.

Oddly, just a week or so ago I was wondering what she was doing these days.

Here is the link to her obituary in the NYT.


Larry Forrest <idoubtabout@aol.com>
Tulsa, Oklahoma - Saturday, July 7 2007 21:34:3

Jon wrote:

"Robert Anson Heinlein
July 7, 1007-May 8, 1988."

This means that Mr. Heinlein lived to be 980 years old.

Either he was a modern-day Methuselah, or a typo's to blame. I'm opting for the latter explanation. Sorry, I have this compulsion to point out typos--even my own. Someday I'll seek treatment for my typomania, but until then ...

David Silver <silver@well.com>
San Francisco, CA - Saturday, July 7 2007 21:30:49

Replies to Loftus and Castro and Lori...

To David Loftus, who wrote: "(San Francisco) Too weird for science fiction, obviously."

Nope, not too weird, obviously or otherwise! Actually, although I mentioned "reasons unknown", there are a LOT of complex and confusing reasons for San Francisco remaining a "black hole" for science fiction and fantasy fandom. I really don't want to get into it, it's nutsy and political and just downright stupid, but I've been around long enough to see how dysfunctional the San Francisco science fiction scene has been for many years. There was a time, back with Jerry Jacks and Liz Lynn and Dick Lupoff and a mess of others (not the mention Poul and Fritz), when it looked like things were heating up, but, just as examples, Jacks passed away (odd synchronicity with recent mentions of Angry Candy, where Jerry was among the many Harlan laments in the introduction), Lynn disappeared from the scene for her own reasons, and Lupoff, well, sort of got too old to care. Geez, that's just a start, I'm not kidding, it all gets VERY complicated, and even reflects back to a very nasty earlier scandal in the community of the SCA (Society for Creative Anachronism) of such heinous proportions that they lost the San Francisco franchise until I helped reestablish a new one again around 1990. But for the few tried and true San Franciscan science fiction and fantasy fans who MUST find a way to participate in the greater glory of fandom, read on...

To Adam-Troy Castro, who wrote: "Ummm...I have been to two Worldcons in and around San Francisco. Who runs them if not local fans? Just wondering."

Okay, THERE is the point of confusion for folks outside of Northern California. You mention "local fans" and think they must be San Franciscans. Nope. The heart and soul of science fiction fandom in this area right now is firmly rooted in the "silicon valley" to the south. San Franciscans, even with the 1993 Worldcon that was held here, have little to do with any of it. Yes, yes, yes, there are a FEW who participate, but they are as spit on a griddle compared to the mass of coordinated (I use that word loosely, because even they are constantly scrabbling with their own inner political and personality problems) fandom 60+ miles to the south, around San Jose. Strong group, with their own ongoing convention organizers, and feelers throughout the world fandom network, but decidedly NOT originating in San Francisco.

By the way, at the 1993 Worldcon, which was held at the Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco, I hosted the unofficial Worldcon Softball Game that Thursday afternoon at the Moscone Recreation Center (absolutely no relationship to the Convention Center, just a convenient coincidence of names) after the prodding of Nic Grabien, the husband of fantasy writer Deborah Grabien, two of the nicest people you'd ever want to meet in fandom. Incredibly, the Grabiens lived on the other side of my block for several years, but I never knew it until Nic came to see me about softball, and then they moved shortly after that. To think, I had fannish neighbors with whom I could have enjoyed some company, practically a backyard fence away, and just never knew it. As "small" as the world sometimes seems, we do find ways to make it bigger than necessary. Sigh!

And to Lori Koonce, who wrote: " Mr Silver: I tried sending you an email, but it got bounced back to me..." Oh, gawd, *mister* Silver? Lori, please, I'm just David. Regarding bounced e-mail, I'm skeptical. I've had the same e-mail address for nearly 20 years (hmmm, out of curiosity, can anybody on this forum beat that?), and I have NEVER had anybody tell me e-mails to here bounced. Something ain't right...but don't worry about it. It answer to your more recent message, I'm in the far west part of San Francisco, the Sunset area (truth in advertising...it's actually almost always overcast or foggy out here!), I work at home so I have a flexible schedule, so just about any morning would be fine for me to catch coffee with you. Where are you? If you're east of the Twin Peaks, maybe there's a coffee shack somewhere in between where we can get together. Next week might be hell because I'm getting ready for a big photo show in San Jose on the 14th, but there still could be some possibilities if you live close enough to me. Just give me a holler. It will be fun to hook up and talk, and maybe over time we can roust out some other San Franciscan fans.

Finally, to the couple of Webderlanders who responded to my request for some financial backing, but were too late to help, many thanks just the same. To Peg who was in time to help, many BIG thanks! And to all of those who were wondering what the heck it is that David Silver buys and sells on occasion, in this case it was a small collection of prime 1920's-1930's fancy colored art-deco Kodak cameras, very valuable and collectible, and here's a picture of the very best piece from the lot:


That's a 1928 Kodak Vanity Ensemble outfit, a pretty little miniature camera for ladies, featuring a matching case containing a powder compact, lipstick, mirror, change purse, and all in the original art-deco box. Very rare in this sort of condition. Just thought people here would get a kick out of seeing something completely different...

Best wishes to all,

David Silver

P.S. With all the current ranting about Nader and Moore, and all sorts of other things decidedly not rooted in the arts, I'm amazed that nobody here bothered to note the passing of Beverly Sills. So sad.

Steve Dooner <sdooner@earthlink.net>
South Weymouth, MA - Saturday, July 7 2007 21:15:26

Will the dancing hamsters be leaving? Alas!

Lori Koonce <purplelynn35@excite.com>
San Francisco, California - Saturday, July 7 2007 17:5:19

David SIlver
I'm still waiting for you to email me 'bout possible get together times and places!!!

PLEASE write soon!!!


Jon A. Bell <jonbell@esedona.net>
Sedona, AZ - Saturday, July 7 2007 16:2:49

Happy 100th Birthday...
...How about taking a moment today to acknowledge the 100th birthday of one of our most influential writers?

Robert Anson Heinlein
July 7, 1007 - May 8, 1988

Although I'm an agnostic, it nevertheless pleases me to think that (to paraphrase Harlan), R.A. Heinlein is in Heaven, shooting pool with Archimedes and the good Dr. Isaac Asimov, and debating merrily about this strange universe we live in.

Happy 100th to "The Dean of Science Fiction."

-- Jon

Jeff R.
Phila., Pa. - Saturday, July 7 2007 15:3:27

The Revelation
Harlan, I, for one, cannot wait. For Ellison fans, this is going to be a much bigger revelation than the skinny about what was on the eighteen and a half minute gap in the Watergate tapes.

Signing off now, hoping that you nailed the sucker.

- Saturday, July 7 2007 14:20:46


Watch this space tomorrow. "At this time" ends.

Tell your friends. Alert the media.

All will be revealed.

Pass it on.

Yr. Pal, Harlan

K.M.Kirby <kevin.kirby@gmail.com>
San Fran, - Saturday, July 7 2007 13:3:4

and then there was 2004
As for the way Kerry's "swift boat" campaign was sunk before it had even tested the waters of commercial advertisement, one may wonder if illegal wiretaps were involved. By the time the 2004 Democratic strategy had begun to set sail, it had already been sunk. Dead in the water.

Dan Peretti <danperetti@gmail.com>
bloomington, indiana - Saturday, July 7 2007 9:16:37

I have little to add to the Nader discussion, except that there is a decent documentary about the 2000 election, Unprecedented. It was fairly convincing in its demonstration that the election was irrelevant to who wound up in the White House.

Robert Morales
New York City, New York - Friday, July 6 2007 23:28:19

My Favorite Story of the Week

As re: Nader, I have to stand with Frank Church. Gore pissed away his victory - he didn't exhaust his post-election legal battle; he lacked the Clintonian hubris (that so easily matches Bush's) to rally his supporters toward that end. Elections are by and large emotional affairs, and Gore ran a cautiously cerebral, by-the-numbers campaign. He's a professional pol, like Hubert Humphrey was, and those guys are willing to fall on their swords to protect the system - instead of risking all to revamp it.

Bob Homeyer <roberthomeyer@yahoo.com>
- Friday, July 6 2007 19:23:46

Roger Ebert's
I'm delighted to share that Roger Ebert published his review of "The Departed" today. I hope he goes back and reviews some other films that premiered during his convalescence.


Tony Ravenscroft
The Big Empty, MN - Friday, July 6 2007 19:19:46

"We KNEW that Iraq was on his agenda from the beginning of his campaign."

Yay, Josh. I woke up to the TV on 9/11. The idiots in (ostensible) charge of this country had been totally blindsided* by this disaster, yet by 10:15 Mountain Time they freakin' --knew-- that Saddam Hussein was behind it & were saying so.

* -- (the coincidences still bother me: GWB had an emergency photo-op in Florida; Congress was out; the air-defense grid was mostly stood-down for a strategic training exercise;

Anyway, back to the root: I do not blame Nader for putting BushCo in office. I blame the Sainted Ralph for looking goofier every year -- who'd have thought THAT possible -- while refusing to keep the Greens focussed on getting some weight in Congress... like maybe ONE SEAT SINCE GOD WORE SHORT PANTS. His whole "not a dime's worth of difference" schtick could have been lifted from the Libertarians, Birchers, or Perotistas** -- which is to say that it's certainly not original, & it puts Nader in some questionable company. He speaks from some Ivory Tower all his own, & his faithful followers, try though they do, cannot quite whitewash that away.

** -- (I'm trying to remember that other perennial candidate whose party believes in fusion energy research, DDT for everyone, & stop Queen Elizabeth from spearheading the world-wide drug trade...)

I say that if the Naderites were serious about "changing the system," they'd stop jousting with windmills & start doing some of the actual work. Until they do, they're the political equivalent of "Xena" fans, prying loose from the cushions every once in a while to attend a convention.

Rob: don't forget that most of those "cleansed" votes have STILL not been reinstated despite threats from various courts since, what, 1996 to stop doing such crap? I want Harris to do maybe ten consecutive five-year sentences for that alone.

And where were the Greens?? It sure looks like they exist only to swoop in, snatch up the votes, then soar back to their lairs for another four years.

- Friday, July 6 2007 18:0:6

Unchecked grammatical typo in there. Didn't have time to reread my post, so just deal with it.

- Friday, July 6 2007 17:57:5

“No offense, but blame rests squarely on only ONE man's shoulders for Gore losing the election to Bush”

That’s one of many factors. No one’s denying Gore ran a lousy campaign. But for something like nearly a year before that election, the polls were favoring Bush by margins slim to substantial. Thus, we ALL knew the race was going to be damn close. NADER knew the race was going to be damn close.

And while it’s reassuring to know Nader was trying to get a progressive agenda in there, as it were, the means he used was fucked (bashing Gore invariably everywhere he went, without so much as a whisper of Bush’s name, and campaigning against Democrats in districts he’d previously promised not to). He has thereby alienated himself, and therefore a great Progressive voice. He has sabotaged his own cause. That’s what angers me so much: because he lacked imagination, he contributed to the Republicans strength and control. Nader is not the reason Gore lost. But he WAS a contributing factor. To deny it is just denying facts.

Why don’t you guys use some logic: if you really want to get a Progressive agenda going, you work from the inside out, not the reverse – that is when the barriers are as tough they are here. Had he the imagination he could have WORKED with Gore; perhaps even worked for the administration. SOME goddamn thing like that. Once in there, he could have pushed programs through. He ADMITTED after the election that Gore was closer to his agenda than any of the Republicans. He should have WORKED to achieve the massive change that was so vital.

Instead, he’s done the reverse. Few will listen to him now. He’s done his OWN cause a terrible, impractical disservice.

And one more thing: once you become a pet favorite of the Republicans (they DID donate to his campaign), you are not MERELY bringing a Progressive agenda to the race; you are turning into a joke.

HAVING SAID ALL THAT…I wish the REAL culprit – the one more to blame by far more than Nader, more than Gore’s lousy campaign – would take the heat HALF as much as Nader has: The Republicans themselves.

I already made this point on the board, and I’ll repeat it. The corrupt tactics used against voters by Republicans is about the worst possible crime of all against Americans: fucking with the elections (like some Banana Republic):

Katherine Harris - she was Florida’s Secretary of State - hired Database Technologies Incorporated to "cleanse" Florida’s election roles of convicted felons, who under Florida law, are disenfranchised from voting for life. DTI’s job, specifically, was to identify Florida residents who were convicted of felonies out of state and registered to vote in Florida. DTI always had ties to the Republican party; from what I heard on Thom Hartman, they were paid $4 million in Florida state funds for this service.

Then, what DTI identified as a "minor glitch," 8,000 predominantly African American voters who never committed felonies were "mistakenly" removed from the voter roles.

This one only one of several tactics used. And the paper trail is official now. The team to put the final touches on the process was a Conservative dominated Supreme Court.

I only wish as many Nader-bashers would go after Harris and company as much.

The Republicans are a criminal organization fronting for the Corporations. The people involved in fucking with those votes - ALONG with most of those in the Bush administration (including the monkey himself) - should get a prison sentence. This should be the first president in our history to be publicly humiliated, and put away.

I can’t believe how much these people have gotten away with. It makes Nixon’s story seem like cherry picking. And then people wonder why I’m cynical.

Jeff R.
San Diego, - Friday, July 6 2007 15:41:55

Bono's song
Not *just* ordinary, innocuous names in that U2 song ("Peace on Earth"), Josh, as you may already know -- those names, Sean and Julia, Gareth, Ann and Breda -- they were five of the people killed in a 1998 bombing by an extremist group in Northern Ireland that really screwed up the Good Friday peace agreement. That's why "their lives are bigger than any big idea." Breda was 1 year old.

On another subject, if I may...

There's a schedule out for ABC's Masters of Science Fiction and it's got "The Discarded" scheduled for the miniseries finale on Aug. 25. I found the announcement copied here, and don't let the green hurt your eyes:


Looking at the rest of the schedule, the episodes "Little Brother" (Walter Mosley) and "Watchbird" (Robert Sheckley) appear to be the ones that got trimmed out.

Josh Olson
- Friday, July 6 2007 14:17:13

I just want to correct a few things that have been asserted here. I’ll try to set aside my seething hatred/disappointment in Nader for a minute to do so.

Bernard Schaffer writes, “No offense, but blame rests squarely on only ONE man's shoulders for Gore losing the election to Bush: Al Gore's.”

While Gore should have done better, and should have fought harder, it is imperative that we do not ever let the Big Lie about that election take hold. Al Gore won the election.

Frank writes, “And how in the world would we ever dream that 9/11 would happen like it did. At the time I actually thought Bush was pretty innocuous.” Could we have dreamt the specific of 9/11? No. But there were plenty of us who knew Bush was the real deal when it came to Bad News, man. Seriously, this particularly okey doke drives me nuts.

We KNEW that Iraq was on his agenda from the beginning of his campaign. It was a done deal that if Bush was elected, we’d be at war in Iraq at the first excuse. We also knew that he’d demolish the infrastructure, so while one couldn’t predict the specifics of Katrina, one COULD predict that the day something goes seriously wrong in the States, lots of people would be truly fucked.

To those of us who bothered to pay attention, there has yet to be one single surprise from these venomous cocksuckers. Anyone who thought they were innocuous was simply not paying attention, and I hope you learned your lesson from this one. You should have paid closer attention.

Nader didn’t bother paying attention. He lived in the clouds then, and he lives in them now. I remember hearing him talk shortly before the election, on the subject of abortion. He was stating that in spite of all the hysteria on the subject, abortion was always going to be safe, that there was nothing the right could do to take it away, really. And this was AFTER many states had already make it impossible. I’m all for a progressive agenda, but Nader lived in the clouds, and his campaign did horrible damage to Gore, and, finally, to all of us.

I remember standing in that voting booth, thinking seriously about Nader, in spite of his catastrophically ignorant comments about abortion. A line from a great U2 song ran through my head - Bono lists the names of some innocuous, ordinary folks, then closes by saying, “Their lives are bigger than any big idea.”

And I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t let my middle class philosophizing take over my common sense. I couldn’t place my dreamy ideals over the actual lives of the men and women who would surely die under Bush. No matter what, I’d be okay - I was a moderately well to do, middle class white guy living in America. But there were a whole hell of a lot of people who lived on the precipice that we all knew Bush would push over the edge. And we lose sight of the fact that politics is very real. It’s life and death to some people.

Bush has stood watch over the most serious physical damage this country has seen in well over 100 years. Thousands of our brothers and sisters are dead because of decisions he has made, and hundreds of thousands of foreigners are dead, too.

Did Nader help Bush win? Seems like he did, but even if you disagree with that statement, you have to agree that he didn’t do anything to stop him. And he could have.

Fuck him.

Steambird Springs, Alta California - Friday, July 6 2007 14:4:45

The Man On The Bar Stool
Love ya too Frankie.

But ya really got to spend less time in that Okie sun. Frankly, Frank, to be called "stupid" by someone with your politics is, to a Burkean conservative such as myself, a high compliment.

Other than that, have a nice day. You're particular brand of ideology is worthy of little more than a knowing smile when you interrupt the adults.

Which is to say, I'm not going there with you, ever again.


Frank Church
- Friday, July 6 2007 12:51:16

Excuse my syntax. Sheesh.

Frank Church
- Friday, July 6 2007 12:49:37

Ralph didn't run in 2000 because he thought he would win, he ran to get the progressive agenda, that Gore never mentioned, out there, so that Gore could not duck it. Nader was hoping Gore would get the message that to win he had to go left, but Gore, taking orders from his democratic party trolls, went to the right. Remember, this was when Gore was for the death penalty, for Nafta, for the WTO and managed (not free) trade laws. Gore never mentioned universal health care, never mentioned or rarely mentioned Unions and would not mess with the defense (offense) budget. Nader kept him honest; more importantly, Gore won. The election was stolen. Much too much evidence by Palast, among others to show that it was. Gore won, Bush stole it, end of story.

And how in the world would we ever dream that 9/11 would happen like it did. At the time I actually thought Bush was pretty innocuous. The horror popped out from the basement, sure, but Bush's cutesy routine bought a whole hell of a lot of people off.

I voted for Nader, by the way. I believe in democracy, that says anybody can become President. I believe that. Never blame democracy, blame the media, blame propaganda, but don't blame Ralph. He has done too much for this country to deserve this unfair treatment.


I don't ever remember Michael Moore sporting obvious bling, so unlike someone like Oprah, he keeps his pampered lifestyle to himself.

Look, I'm radical, but I also like money--it is fun to spend, I just don't make it a religion. Moore probably puts lots of his money back into more films.

KOS, you have been found out, you are the cranky guy on the barstool, the dude who lost his wife to the milkman--yea, you have milkmen in your world of the pure 50's. We don't mind Conservatives here, but dumb ones we will not harbor. Obvious brickbats just get left in the basement.

Helzapoppn <helzapoppn@aol.com>
Farmington Hills, MI - Friday, July 6 2007 12:0:27

It's very telling that, in 2004 when Ralph Nader was again running for President, that it was Republicans at the state level who contributed money and volunteers to get his name on the various state ballots.

No matter what Democrats and Progressives think of Nader's impact on the 2000 election -- and considering how close the race was in Florida, New Mexico and New Hampshire (all three of whom went for Bush by razor-thin margins, far less than the number of votes Nader received), I think he did contribute to Gore's loss -- REPUBLICANS clearly felt Nader helped put their man in office, and tried very very hard for a repeat four years later.

The fact that it didn't work as well (and wasn't needed, as Bush beat Kerry in both the popular and Electoral College votes), doesn't invalidate the point.

Bernard J. Schaffer <BtheEnemy@comcast.net>
Philly, PA - Friday, July 6 2007 11:57:20

No offense, but blame rests squarely on only ONE man's shoulders for Gore losing the election to Bush: Al Gore's. Nader's piddly showing of 2 percent in the popular vote should not have been an issue. The fact is that Gore appeared wooden and callous against Bush in the debates, and Cheney presented a vigorous case against Lieberman. And as far as Bush winning against Kerry...the blame rests squarely on the entire Democratic Party. My grandmother could have beaten Bush with a platform that supported colonizing Antartica, but we put up a guy so stiff and elitist that Al Gore suddenly looked hip. Sigh. Politics suck, but the least the Dem's can do is present a viable candidate that is not as polarizing as someone like, say, oh I dunno: HILLARY. I say bring on Obama. It would simply be good for America.

P.S.: I checked out Snellings site. Pretty cool. Not a bad group to be a part of, Harlan. I'm just glad to see it was an approved thing and not some sucka trying to punk my homie.
You Have Reached the Line of Division at: www.TheEnemyBlog.com

Steve Barber <barbergallery@verizon.net>
- Friday, July 6 2007 11:46:10

Hiya kids. Back from Santa Barbara. ("Santa Babs" to those of us who know her well.)

Resting on the beach watching what was a surprisingly spectacular fireworks display -- and I've seen the competition (sitting on the steps of the Capitol Building watching them around the Washington Monument; from across the bay in San Diego; in Williamsburg; and over 'le Statue du Liberte' in New York Harbor). Santa Babs done herself remarkably proud.

A wine tasting trip through the Santa Ynez Valley (studiously avoiding anything, ANYTHING, that mentioned the movie "Sideways")

Copious amounts of caffeine courtesy the kind folks at that Santa Barbara Roasting Company (aka "the RoCo").

Almost makes you believe the Republic has a chance again.

Nader has one little mole I have trouble forgiving: the Corvair. By the time Nader's famous "Unsafe at Any Speed" was published, Chevrolet had corrected the problem Nader cites with the car's axle. As a result of Nader's refusal to annotate or otherwise acknowledge that the post-1964 Corvair was, indeed, much safer than he suggests in the book, it withered and died a premature death after several car-afficiado level models had come and gone.

If you're going to rattle the cages of a corporation about a bad product, you have to thank and acknowledge them when the problem gets corrected. Otherwise, they have little or no motivation to even recognize your existence (even when the majority of what you do is for the good). Though only eight years of age at the time, I internalized my first lesson in hypocrisy.

Lori - No harm nor foul. If people didn't take comments out of context we wouldn't have half of the messages that ARE posted.

Steve Evil <evening_tsar@hotmail.com>
- Friday, July 6 2007 11:23:0

Nader merely tried to bring a real progressive slate into politics, against the two headed Hydra on Pensylvania Avenue. It's going to have to happen if you ever want to see real change in the country. Letting the Democrats get away with murder just to keep the Republicans at bay will only guarantee the status quo.

- Friday, July 6 2007 6:32:34

The questionable motives of candidate Ralph Nader,
PAUL & BRIAN SIANO: I think the people -- understandably -- ticked off with what Ralph Nader did aren't blaming him for what Duby did. They're blaming Nader -- who was wise enough when it came to public safety about automobiles, etc. -- to NOT see that George Bush & Dick Cheney and Co. were as evil as (if not more than) Dick Nixon and his crew (which many of Bush's guys once were). Hell, I'm no genius but even _I_ was making noises about Bush before he got elected, teling the more conservative folks on this board that Dubya was "the Man Who Wanted to Be King" (back when the board was still black with yellow print), etc., etc.
So a man as bright as Ralph Nader should have known better. But he was too blinded by his own ego, slamming Gore and (as others have noted) mostly ignorning Bush. When you're given a public forum, you should use it wisely.

paul <vaughnrichards@yahoo.com>
Austin, TX - Friday, July 6 2007 0:17:39

Laying Blame
Thank you, Brian S.

I tend to stay just as far away from political discussions on the web as i can. They will run forever and no one changes their mind, because i believe that it takes nuances of impassioned conversation to cause such a sea change of personal, years-thought out opinions. But even though it's way too late to be up (2am, my time), and i only came here to read, not write, i have to say this, i can't take it anymore. And Brian, thank you SO VERY MUCH for being the speedbump and taking the edge off as i was speed-reading up the posts in a frenzy. Made me back down a bit. This would have been a lot nastier than it should have been.

Nader may have been the cause of a lot of mental political upheaval, and in his own Quixotic fashion has tried to run the "good race" and the "good fight" by being honest and telling it like he believes it is, and there are many other ways he could have gone about it, but in the very end there is only this:

Ralph Nader has absolutely no guilt attached for getting G.W.B. elected. None, zip zilch, zero. That blame lay squarely on the shoulders of every last misbegotten soul who voted for him. Period. If you voted for him, you are directly responsible for the direction this country has ran since 2004. Period. By using the 'also-ran' card, that definition could be applied to every single candidate who continues to talk about politics before or since the election. You want a scapegoat, look in the mirror. Sorry about the pejoratives, but i'm being as nice as i can.

I'm just giving my two cents and i then i don't think i'll say anymore. Not whether Kerry would have been better (I don't think so. I do happen to agree that both parties look more like each other every hour), not whether his message was not cohesive enough (although i believe that corporate oligarchies will be the downfall of our Rome), i am only stating that Ralph is no more responsible that I am if I would have ran for President as a write-in here in Texas and gotten four people to vote for me. They might have gone democratic, but since this is a "red" state, no one really gives a care anyway, right? Because it's a foregone conclusion the GOP has this joint all sewn up. Individuals reeeally don't mater, do they? Damn, i could've fudged Kerry's chances. Then the blood would be on my hands.
Unmitigated bullshit.

If Ralph convinces people that are sick and fucking tired to vote another way, and people wish to vote for someone else, they are inherently trying to change the system, and that is a Good Thing. Their attempt may be part and parcel of an unfavorable outcome, but neither he nor they can be blamed for wanting and doing something different. Power is given. When enough people are tired of being raped, they'll realize they can change even the Constitution itself and, it is hoped, learn enough to make some favorable, real changes. Until then, we'll keep getting the same offal being cum in our faces by the two (two?) party system in this bought republic while we relish in our fake democracy.

Do things. Volunteer. Start local. Vote your conscience. If there isn't anyone who speaks about what's on your mind, tell them, or run yourself. Get on boards. Go to your community affairs meetings. Anything where your voice will be heard.
I agree/disagree as much as anyone else about various political issues, but accountability starts with responsibility, and this administration has neither. And that is not Nader's fault.

Just so we're clear, i love this country. I just have real big problems with the way it's being run.

To paraphrase James Carville, "It's the electorate, stupid."

Or to be more precise, perhaps i should juxtapose those last two words.

ro179ck <new297@gmail.com>
lo519l, lo519l - Thursday, July 5 2007 22:11:4


Michael M
Los Angeles, CA - Thursday, July 5 2007 21:12:23

Nader, redux

I'll try to keep this short since I'm breaking the "once a day" rule.

Rob and Brian:

Please note that I was careful with my language and logic: I think it goes much too far to say that Nader is responsible for what Bushco has done for the last seven years.

While there is little doubt that he pulled a lot more votes from Gore than from Bush, to my knowledge no one has proven that he tipped the election in even a single state. Even if he had, the crimes of Bush, Cheney et al are theirs alone.

However, I think it is entirely reasonable to hold the man accoutable for the part that he did play. He did strenuously assert that the Democrats and Republicans were in fact identical. That wasn't true then or now. There is no way that he could not have known that. He built his campaign around a lie, and in so doing he added a little more poison to the national politics.

And maybe, in the process, peeled off and/or discouraged enough otherwise democratic voters to have made a dangerous difference. I don't know. But I do feel that the choices he made in 2000 were reckless and did not serve his country or his cause.

Brian Siano
- Thursday, July 5 2007 19:55:52

I'm knocking my brains out trying to code a short video I made for the Web and, taking a break, find a lot of people blaming Ralph Nader for everything that George Bush has done.

I, for one, blame George Bush.

I can blame Nader for many things. But I cannot hold him solely responsible for Gore's loss in 2000. Facts and logic work against this. Gore could have campaigned smarter. The press could have decided to _not_ vilify him, by promoting him as a boring technocratic drone who lied about inventing the Internet. The press could have decided to examine the shaky record of his opponent. The good people of the State of Florida could have kept a more careful watch on those initatives to "clean" the voter rolls. The election committees could have been more vigilant at keeping Republican thugs from their offices. The Democrats could have fought harder to ensure a proper vote count. Those Floridans who voted for Bush (including thousands of registered Democrats) could be said to bear some responsibility, too. Maybe almost as much as the Supreme Court Justices who made the final decision.

And even though all of these factors existed, and are widely known and understood... people still feel this need to blame Ralph Nader as the _single human being_ responsible for every evil committed by the Bush Administration. And every additional evil thing Bush does merely adds to the charges against Nader.

Like I said, one can find many legitimate faults with Ralph Nader. I have several. But the _main_ claim against Nader rests on the assumption that the people who voted for him were _supposed_ to vote for the Democrats like obedient little rank-and-filers, and that mean old Mr. Nader misled them. Never mind all of those other factors, and never that roughly half the country voted for Bush... this small group of _radicals_ who _didn't_ vote for Bush must be blamed.

Alex Jay touches on something I find vaguely sinister. Burke's quote works well as a prescription for what people _should_ do. But it can also work well to conscript "good men" into some sinister campaign against whichever faction is deemed "evil." And while one can use it as a personal reminder to remain vigilant against any evils that may come... you're using it as a means to leverage greater condemnation upon the suspect of a crime.

It's one thing to realize that an evil man has triumphed. But to condemn good people because they weren't _sufficiently_ good is, I think, an attitude better suited to Torquemada than a progressive activist.

Peter David <padguy@aol.com>
Long Island, NY/USA - Thursday, July 5 2007 19:27:3

Just thought I'd mention that aintitcoolnews.com has a rave review of the "Dream Corridor" collection. You can find the entire review there; here are the closing grafs:

"But the highlight of this collection of excellence is the adaptation of one of Harlan’s finest stories, One Life, Furnished in Early Poverty. The original, as written by Harlan, is a classic tale of pathos, regret and determination. It is a harrowing read, and I dare not say much more about it other than to say that it is one of my favorites. The comic version, as written by Jan Strnad and drawn to perfection by Paul Chadwick, is easily the best in the book, with all the emotional impact intact from the original. It might even be better than the original (Unless you happen to hear Harlan read the original aloud. Then again, any live reading done by Harlan would be enough to straighten your pubes. Passion, you know.).

Harlan Ellison is a master at his craft, and HARLAN ELLISON’S DREAM CORRIDOR is a masterful creation. It’s certainly evidence enough that the much maligned 90’s was a much better time for comic books than people recall."

Boo-yah (whatever that means.)


Chuck Messer
- Thursday, July 5 2007 18:21:13

I feel that Al Lewis, a.k.a. "Grandpa Munster", did more to help build up the Green Party in his New York gubenatorial campaigns than Nader did by running for president. Nader just did not understand the political process the way Lewis did.


Alex Jay Berman <alexjay@gmail.com>
Philadelphia, - Thursday, July 5 2007 17:51:54

BRIAN: Sorry; what I meant to add at the end of the "outstripped" comment was "for me." Blame insomnia, or my own foolishness. Nader did do a lot of good, yes; a wellspring of activism which cannot be erased by any foul acts a man can commit. But to me--emphasized, *TO ME*--that good was befouled by his arrant insistence that a not-great man backed by not-great men was just as bad as a bad man backed by EVIL men.

Though he never wrote it and probably never said it, Edmund Burke will forever be associated with the quotation "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing." Burke said and wrote a lot of great things, but he probably never said this. The closest he could have come is when he wrote, in 1770, “When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle.”

But still. It is a great quote and a true sentiment, and if Burke, somehow looking down on a world he in many ways predicted in his other works ("The true danger is when liberty is nibbled away, for expedients, and by parts."), sees this quote attributed to him in error, I'm sure he wouldn't mind it overmuch.

But still. "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing."

Not quite true, for all its trenchant wisdom.

All that was necessary for the triumph of evil was that ONE good man did SOMETHING. And it doesn't matter whether the not-great man actually won; nor whether the not-great man didn't run as well as he should have; nor even whether the not-great man was the best man for the job.
The bad man won because of the good man's run.

I look at the hundreds of thousands of lives saved by the good man's actions, and it is a measure of a man to be devoutly wished, yes.
Then I look at the hundreds of thousands of lives ended because of the actions of the bad man, which actions were only made possible by the action of the good man.

And the light dims; the man's measure shrinks.

Such is MY point of view, of course; and others may have it differently. Such is life.

JOSH: What people SHOULD be doing is reporting Coulter to the FBI or the Secret Service every time she makes a terroristic threat against a government official or presidential candidate. Give 'em something to do.

Mike Jacka
Phx, AZ - Thursday, July 5 2007 17:14:23


The Lone Ranger is in the mail.


- Thursday, July 5 2007 17:5:46

Another Review of Dream Corridor

Not a mighty journal, nor even a particularly noteworthy one -- but a positive review of the most recent of Harlan's comics work. You can find the review it at the end of the article.



the mite

- Thursday, July 5 2007 16:53:47

Harlan's expression in the "lovin' him some meat" photo is a dead ringer of that unsettling "lovin' him some hallucinogenic cheese" painting on the '84 Bluejay cover of "Ellison Wonderland".

Same mischief, different decade.

- Thursday, July 5 2007 16:1:26

Not to beat n'belabor it, but since Nader's come up, for my 2 cents (ain't I bein' modest t'day?), the worst thing he did by far - from where I sit - is...

That he undermined and disabled his own cause; he derailed everything he stood for, and handed the country to corporate tyranny on a platter - marginalizing people's lives. Had he been wise and sincere in his strategies, he could have GAINED alliances and listeners...

Not only had he done as Michael recounts, but he went around consistently TRASHING Gore while not even MENTIONING Bush...

AND he went into districts to campaign against the Democrats in those he'd previously agreed not to...

And ONLY after the election was over did he chime to the tune loud on the airwaves, "Gore is much closer to my own position than the Republicans are".

He certainly had a right to run, as he consistently likes to point out. But his strategies were those of an impractical egotist.

Thus, instead of building from the ground up a broad empathy with the public, a popular anti-corporate constituency, he disassembled his cause, lost followers, drew contempt, and became an object of love for many Republicans - who, seeing the advantages, gave money to his campaign.

Nader derailed everything he accomplished in the years prior. That's why I'M so pissed at him (after all, wasn't it he who, in the 90's, WARNED us the consequences of NAFTA; NOW, the whole damn country's being sold out, ever hastened by the Bush Mafia family).

If his passions and incentives were as sincere as Michael Moore's - since we've been on THAT subject - his course belied it.

Incidentally, I just saw Bowling For Columbine for the first time. I'm still "blown" away by KMART, commercial products built on FEAR (which continues more than ever), a bank that gives out free guns if you open a new account, and a rather sniveling Chuck Heston trying to explain himself in behalf of the NRA. I bought it, and I'm gonna run it again.

My tea break is over.

- Thursday, July 5 2007 15:2:3



Though it seems obvious that you haven't read MY work in which the reference was made, have you never read a biography of the life of Dostoevsky?

I urge you to debark from pc-land and the internet, and go to that mythic institution called The Public Library, and READ.
Instead of asking junior high school-level questions because you can.


- Thursday, July 5 2007 14:51:11

Despite my veneration of Ralph Nader, I could not more heartily, yes, sadly, agree with Michael M.'s position and analysis of Mr. Nader's having done a bad, very bad, libertarian illogical bad thing. It breaks my heart to sgree, but I do, absolutely.


- Thursday, July 5 2007 14:42:33

BERNIE, baby:

The Harlan/Zorro Rat is a neat item. It is one of a series of neat acrylic sculptures by the excellent Lisa Snellings (now Snellings Clark). It is, I think, the fourth Ratbag sculpture by Lisa--Edgar Allan Poe, Neil Gaiman, H.P. Lovecraft--and very special limiteds of the creation were centerpiece favors at the SFWA Grand Master banquet, where I got invested.

I have one, and I recommend the obtaining of one for one'n'all.

Yr. Pal, Harlan

- Thursday, July 5 2007 14:19:56

Dostoevsky a monster?
This is the first time I've seen anyone refer to Dostoevsky as a "monster" so I'm curious how he rates that horrific title. I know he was a garden-variety anti-semite but so was the vast majority of the populace of Mother Russia back then.

Tom Morgan <tjmorgan58@cox.net>
Silverado, CA - Thursday, July 5 2007 12:45:21

Weighing in
I usually try to avoid the political discussions here, particularly the ones that start going over the same old ground with the same old arguments. But after reading all of this comment about Moore I cannot contain myself any longer. I tried, but I just have to straighten you monkeys out. So stand back and don't say you didn't ask for it. Here goes:

I am going to be in Dublin and Copenhagen for a couple of days each. Any suggestions on interesting little corners, restautants, pubs older that our country, that the casual tourist might miss? Included the e-mail address this time if you don't want to take up space here.
Tom Morgan

Michael M
Los Angeles, CA - Thursday, July 5 2007 10:8:15

I don't know that Nader is a "posturing, preening martinet whose egomaniacal ways have outstripped the good he did in the late Sixties and early Seventies." That seems a bit sweeping.

But I do know that in 2000 he spent a lot of energy and effort to promote the idea that there is NO DIFFERENCE between the two major political parties, so you might as well vote for Nader because it doesn't matter which of the two major candidates wins, the results will be exactly the same.

That has proven to be profoundly and disastrously untrue. We will be cleaning up the mess of the Bush presidency for a generation. Some of it I fear we will never properly clean up.

Granted, the Dems are not nearly all that I wish them to be.

Granted, Gore should have been able to win that election handily. His campaign was weak.

Granted, Gore did in fact win the thing, but for some meddling by the Supreme Court.

All that said, to the extent that Nader was pushing an idea that he was smart enough to know was not true, to the extent that he used that idea to siphon votes from a very decent and capable man who shared most of Nader's political goals, to the extent, in sum, that his carelessness contributed to the current disaster, Nader did a very, very bad thing.

Lori Koonce <purplelynn35@excite.com>
San Francisco, California - Thursday, July 5 2007 9:47:36

Mr Barber

I'm sorry if I took you statement of last Sunday out of context. I tend to do that from time to time.

While the reason for my post are still valid, IMHO, the tone with which they were said were probablly out of line.


John Hudgens <john.hudgens@easttennesseescw.com>
Knoxville, TN - Thursday, July 5 2007 8:32:59

Harlan Ellison Rat
The rats are made by Lisa Snellings-Clark, an *incredibly* talented artist (and Mafia player, but that's another story for another day). In case you weren't aware, there's an anthology called "Strange Attraction" with stories from Harlan and others that was inspired by her work. I've got several of her pieces - she's quite good.

Buy the rat... You'll be glad you did... :)

DTS <none>
- Thursday, July 5 2007 8:20:53

re: Josh's photos of Harlan
JOSH: great photos! In fact, I copied the one where HE is holding up the chunk of meat and sent it to my wife, with the following caption: "It's 10:30 a.m., do you know where your children are?"


- Thursday, July 5 2007 4:21:59

Wonderful photos, Josh. So when did Harlan turn crazy? Will you remain his friend?

Josh Olson
- Thursday, July 5 2007 0:18:34

A very fine 4th, indeed. Your deponent may sayeth further not... er... but let me just add some lovely pics, posted at the request of our host himself.


J. Herzog <zogboy@gmail.com>
Eureka, CA. - Thursday, July 5 2007 0:17:0

On Serious Literature
Ursula Le Guin sends a cry from the heart:

`Michael Chabon has spent considerable energy trying to drag the decaying corpse of genre fiction out of the shallow grave where writers of serious literature abandoned it.' Ruth Franklin (Slate, 8 May 2007)

Something woke her in the night. Was it steps she heard, coming up the stairs -- somebody in wet training shoes, climbing the stairs very slowly ... but who? And why wet shoes? It hadn't rained. There, again, the heavy, soggy sound. But it hadn't rained for weeks, it was only sultry, the air close, with a cloying hint of mildew or rot, sweet rot, like very old finiocchiona, or perhaps liverwurst gone green. There, again -- the slow, squelching, sucking steps, and the foul smell was stronger. Something was climbing her stairs, coming closer to her door. As she heard the click of heel bones that had broken through rotting flesh, she knew what it was. But it was dead, dead! God damn that Chabon, dragging it out of the grave where she and the other serious writers had buried it to save serious literature from its polluting touch, the horror of its blank, pustular face, the lifeless, meaningless glare of its decaying eyes! What did the fool think he was doing? Had he paid no attention at all to the endless rituals of the serious writers and their serious critics -- the formal expulsion ceremonies, the repeated anathemata, the stakes driven over and over through the heart, the vitriolic sneers, the endless, solemn dances on the grave? (more linked below...)

copyright © Ursula K. Le Guin, 2007


Read the rest:


Bernard J. Schaffer <BtheEnemy@comcast.net>
Philadephia, PA - Wednesday, July 4 2007 20:47:31

The Harlan Ellison Rat??
Uh...just came across this on Ebay:

Not quite sure what to make of it. Anyway, I've been lurking on this site long enough and am just glad I finally have something to contribute (even if it is our beloved writer dressed up as R. Norvegicus Zorro).
You Have Reached the Line of Division at: www.TheEnemyBlog.com

- Wednesday, July 4 2007 19:58:37

By the way, apropos of nothing (as Peter David would say), I had an absolutely terrific day today. Second-best 4th of July in all of what past I can remember. Just a TERRIFic day; and I sit here now all smiles. Further, deponent sayeth not.

Yr. Pal, Harlan

- Wednesday, July 4 2007 19:51:15

JAN, liebschen:

Tuh-tuh-tuh-WENTY bucks per buh-buh-buh-oy vey-booook?!!!?

Uh. Could you send everything by cheapest post, please?

We're not missing any meals, but (and no matter how often I tell this to casual acquaintances who seem to think every writer makes Stephen King's money, and think I'm putting them on) finances are extremely low around here these days.

So if you can save me a deutschmark or two, baby, I will love you the more. (As for my spelling in German, have pity.)

Yr. Pal, Harlan

Josh Olson
- Wednesday, July 4 2007 19:33:50

It's just more right wing trash talk.

If you can't attack what the man's saying, attack who he is. If you can't do that, make some shit up about him. It speaks to a monumental moral vaccum on the right that they sat back happily and watched George W. Bush lead this country into an immoral war but will attack Michael Moore because he has the audacity to make successful movies and not give every penny he makes to charity (although you better believe he gives away a lot more money than any of his damn critics.)

I guarantee you that not one bit of this bullshit Kos has on Moore comes from any direct personal knowledge. And Kos seems smart enough to know that there's a very large machine turned against people like Moore, a large machine with no morality, no scruples, no decency, just an agenda. But people like him buy into it anyway.

And then, when THEIR leaders and heroes turn out to be truly monstrous human beings, leches, child molesters, drug addicted purveyors of gay hookers, and liars of the highest order, when those men and women are caught out red handed, they just turn and look the other way.

Michael Moore makes a movie that speaks to the very real evils of the medical insurance business in America, and he's a lying hypocrite who should be ignored because his kids go to good schools and Drudge just made up some nasty lies about him. But Ann Coulter, who mocks John Edwards' dead child, and wishes assassination on presidents she doesn't like, and speaks odious shit about 9/11 survivors.... she's a courageous freedom fighter.

One day, we'll look back at these times and the people who bought into the Big Lie of the right will, I suspect, hang their heads in shame. But until then, they'll keep stinking up the town square with misdirection and lies and bigotry.

Tim K
Vancouver, WA - Wednesday, July 4 2007 19:29:40

Discovered Treasure
Found in the attic, quite by accident, an issue of FANTASTIC UNIVERSE dated October 1957. Within it, "Soldier From Tomorrow" by HE. Twenty minutes spent sitting cross-legged on the dusty floor, with the world on hold -- what a hoot!

BettyAnn R <balovesart@yahoo.com>
Norfolk, Va - Wednesday, July 4 2007 16:36:48

Michael Moore
I personally like a man who has the balls to say what's on his mind. If someone cannot find truth in what Moore has to say, then perhaps it's because their not looking for any. Narrow mindedness is a blight upon society, and it perpetuates itself by it's own definition. How can one become less so, when they refuse to allow another perspective to breach the iron clad walls of their mind?
And as for that late trimester abortion (way f**king late) that we call the war in Iraq, the last thing that I heard is that Osama is in Pakistan. So, somebody please tell me, what the hell are we doing over there, not only in the first place, but f**cking STILL?! George W.'s motive for sending other people's children to their death, is as transparent as the windows in the oval office. Lest we forget, how he got the position in the first place, should go down in the history books as the biggest betrayal of a democratic society that the world will ever see. Blatant evil as the result of nepotism? Where the hell is Rod Serling in this equation? Because I know that I truly am in The Twilight Zone.

Larry Forrest <idoubtabout@aol.com>
Tulsa , Oklahoma - Wednesday, July 4 2007 16:15:35

A-T Castro nailed it in his most recent post by refuting the notion that one's personal behavior negates the validity of one's ideas or art. To his examples of Thomas Jefferson and Henry Fonda I would add those of Richard Wagner, the great German composer and raging anti-Semite; and Martin Luther King Jr., champion of the Civil Rights Movement and also a serial adulterer and plagiarist.

Does Wagner's music necessarily suck because he was a rabid racist? No. May we dismiss King's views of racial reconciliation because he broke some of the Ten Commandments? Hell no. I don't care if Michael Moore's "common man" shtick is bullshit; I don't care if he wears a baseball cap or a beanie with a propellor on top or a pyramid hat made out of aluminum foil; all I care about is whether the message of his documentaries is sound.

SICKO is an entertaining and enlightening documentary. It may or may not make any difference regarding the reform of our health care system. But at least Moore is TRYING to change things. Sure, one can be cynical and say, "Nah, don't bother; the fix is in and there's nothing we can do." Sure, we can sit on our ever widening asses and shout "Ditto!" at the latest eructation of Rush Limbaugh, or we can chant "The spin stops here!" with Billo--or we can take part in demonstrations, write our congresspeople, write to the op/ed page, contribute time and money to whatever worthy organizations, and TRY to change things.

All of Harlan's campaigning for the Equal Rights Amendment was for naught, as the ERA failed to pass. Does that mean he shouldn't have done any of it? I forget who, but someone said, "Everything you do is insignificant. But you must do it."

That's life, baby: we're all scheduled to be worm food, and most of us will be forgotten within decades, if not years, of our passing; and all of our comings and goings and makings and breakings will have no more significance in the grand scheme of things than a gnat's fart in a hurricane, and yet ...


Brian Siano
- Wednesday, July 4 2007 15:49:6

Michael Moore, Ralph Nader, and far more
It really should be a matter of principle among us: when someone challenges the powerful by calling for humaneness and justice, they will _always_ get a shitstorm of abuse. And it doesn't always come from the powerful, either: even those of us who consider ourselves good and decent people will, perhaps cynically, look for fault or a reason to avoid contact.

Maybe we don't want to sign on to someone else's crusade. Maybe we don't like being shown up for not taking risks. Maybe we don't want to face the possibility that someone else holds to their ethics and morals better than we do. Because I truly doubt that any of us-- myself included-- have morals and ethics so high that we're in a position to find someone like Ralph Nader or Michael Moore less than respectable.

I have differences with Michael Moore-- there's just too much of _Farenheit 9/11_ that struck me as simply wrong. But any lapses that seem to call his sincerity into question are pretty frickin' minor. He's sincere, and serious, even when I disagree with him.

I am interested in this argument that, because Michael Moore may not live according to what an activist is supposed to live like, he's somehow a hypocrite. Well, fancy that-- a man who's made compromises with the world around him. Exactly how does that make him less worthy than, say, those of us who've compromised and _haven't_ done anything to change the status quo? And if we're going to castigate Moore for these "lapses," wouldn't that require us to _applaud_ "honest" criminals like Bush and Cheney because they live according to their lack of principles?

As for AJB's comments about Ralph Nader, i.e., "I think him a posturing, preening martinet whose egomaniacal ways have outstripped the good he did in the late Sixties and early Seventies." That's nice. And I'm sure that any effectiveness you have in your budding role as union rep will be "outstripped" by some odd decision in your future, too. If not, then someone else will be there to proclaim it. (But I would like to know what could _possibly_ outstrip the good Nader's done, which is _considerable_. Did he murder the second coming of the Christ child, or destroy the only cure for cancer?)

Graham Rae
- Wednesday, July 4 2007 15:3:52

I posted a long post on the forum, so's not to clog up this place. It's about Michael Moore and is called 'The Moore The Merrier' by 'Onlooker'. Feel free to go there and rip me a new one for my treasonable thoughts about the folk hero that is Michael Moore.


paul <vaughnrichards@yahoo.com>
Austin, TX - Wednesday, July 4 2007 14:32:17

Just siiiiingin' in the....
I cannot believe that for once in my life, i get a real, no-excuses, deserved Paid Holiday Off to get to see fireworks...and it's raining axe handles and barn doors, so everything is called off.


Can i blame this on the Administration, too?

For what it's worth, at least it'll go on some kind of record.


Have a safe Fourth, gang.

Where the three Magi are buried, - Wednesday, July 4 2007 11:49:29

Harlan, since when do you deem it necessary to talk to me by means of a fable? hehehe

So many long posts all of a sudden - I wish I knew how to be brief.

You're right.

Of course, SPIDER is not a platform for reviews but a discussion forum, so anything I contribute (speaking strictly for myself) is fragmentary. I sometimes have the time to write a review OF SORTS, but mostly it's just first impressions to be elaborated on later or left alone. Either way, when I say stupid crazy things, it's because I feel safe that when I say them (which I know I do, but I don't know how to spot them), SOMEONE ELSE WILL POINT THIS OUT, save me from burning in hell and offer another perspective, which is the whole idea of having a discussion and something I've tried to encourage. It's a safe environment to go out on a limb, and some of us did on occasion.

What you wrote in the essay is funny and profound. Told you so, meant it, and that was all I had to offer in terms of an overall evaluation, everything thereafter was just details that don't disturb the bigger picture. Going on record with specific impressions, at first I didn't even get around to say what I knew even more about a day or two later - the essay had enriched my impression of Sturgeon (who we know little about) and helped me understand his mindset and his writing better.

Anyway, my personal "pecksniffian foof of displeasure" with the essay was that I had read Sturgeon's introduction to your book for the second time just a few weeks earlier. What I failed to do, which I realized only now (*shudder*), is to specify that I was really only talking about the inclusion of Ted's essay about you. I did not mean to object AT ALL to the inclusion of previously available material in general (and little enough of it is available). I understand that for the sake of other readers (and instead of merely refering to it to sell extra copies of IHNM&IMS), even the Sturgeon text had every right to be there.

After telling you my overall opinion, I was noting down bits and pieces of my personal reading impressions and was not concerned anymore with doing the essay justice. (Who needs a review of an obituary?) At the point in the essay where Sturgeon's introduction appears, on the second page, it wasn't clear to me why anything Sturgeon had written about YOU would have to be in your essay about HIM, much less a laudation. That became clear later, and it's why I thought it would have been better to let the readers' expectations work for you, instead of against you, by marking the essay somewhere near the top as one about a friendship, a back-and-forth kind of thing that an obituary is usually not (though with writers it obviously can be). Anyway, just thoughts. I should have been much clearer, and a little more considerate.

I love the essay and am glad you cared enough to intervene.

Moving on to the books - confirmed. I'll determine the exact publication date of HOT BLOOD when it's out (Aug/Sept) and have three copies sent your way (even if it's almost $20 raw cost per book? Boy, has the exchange rate turned around during the past few years.) In the meantime, regarding the Dirac-inspired book that was dedicated to you, I'll send the writer another note, this time via his publisher, to advise him that his secret is out.

I will interpret silence as complete agreement on all points. :-)

Take care,

P.S. KOS: Hasn't Harlan tought you to distiguish between the man and his art?

GRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN - Wednesday, July 4 2007 11:45:45

Hey Kids,
Are you looking for a very nice copy of the 1958 Ace Book edition of Harlan's THE DEADLY STREETS (aka WEB OF THE CITY)? This PBO should go on auction via eBay and sell for plenty, but a true blue fan of Harlan's, should be offered the book first
and for less (people get crazy and poor when entering auctions).
Can I be trusted? Just ask Harlan and lovely Susan. Ok? Nuff said.

Adam-Troy Castro
- Wednesday, July 4 2007 11:40:12

"He treats his Employees like Shit"

I feel I must address your twice-repeated claim, that Michael Moore "treats his employees like shit."

I dunno what this means, exactly, whether he's a foul-tempered martinet, a workaholic, a petty dictator, or a Scrooge. What some people call treating his employees like shit can be another person's reasonable perfectionist.

It really doesn't matter, you see.

I don't know Michael Moore personally. I only know his work.

And for what it's worth, that particular argument, used against him, echoes another that is especially relevant today.

I am speaking of the author of one of the greatest sentences in the history of the English language.

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, endowed by their creator with certain inalienable that include life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness."

Wonderful stuff.

We know for a fact that, as a slaveholder, Thomas Jefferson did not live up to that credo himself.

We can interpret this in two ways, one being that Jefferson was a flawed human being and creature of his time who expressed beliefs easier to speak than to put into practice. We can even call him the equivalent of Moses, in that he pointed the way to that future without ever stepping foot in it himself. You could also call him evil, while still admiring the validity of those words.

Or we can use the fact that he was full of shit in some ways to argue that everything he said was full of shit.

I know what I believe.

I think history has established that, even if Thomas Jefferson was full of shit, those words had importance and relevance.

In this media-saturated age, we should be familiar with the frequent disconnect between what artists stand for and what they're actually like.

Henry Fonda was a cold, emotionally distant father and husband whose life, he freely admitted, was "peppered with suicides" of people he could have helped if he opened himself up. So what. To me, he's still Tom Joad and Juror #6, and always will be.

Our esteemed host is fond of saying that Dostoevsky was a monster, but bought his way into heaven with THE IDIOT.

Harlan himself has, along with multiple kindnesses and acts of outrageous generosity, occasionally said things to me that made me want to bitch-slap him til his ears bled. So what. Even if I ever decided to write him off as a human being -- and don't worry, big man, I'm about a million miles away from that eventuality -- it would not even remotely tarnish my admiration for "Repent, Harlequin" and "Jeffty is Five."

Whatever you think of Michael Moore's work, he is an artist. The argument belongs to the merits of that work. The great sin of a J. Jonah Jameson or a Bill O' Reilly is not that they're assholes, but that they LIE.

He treats his employees like shit?

Whatever that means...okay. I don't know that it's true, but I'll stipulate to that fact.

What else have you got?

- Wednesday, July 4 2007 10:27:49

SHAGIN, dear heart:

Thanks, but I don't need another copy. You should sell it; worth $$$ I hear.

Yr. Pal, Harlan

Robert Morales
New York City, New York - Wednesday, July 4 2007 9:53:41

Kyle Baker's cartoon du jour

Tony Ravenscroft
North Wellstone, MN - Wednesday, July 4 2007 8:37:27

I'm praying for the safety & well-being of my cousin's boy, who's on his third tour of Iraq. And I'm praying for the well-being & safety of my nephew who (to our surprise) shrugged off the recruiting blandishments & went to Texas to learn a trade. I'm inordinately proud of them both.

KOS -- just IMO, but I have no doubt that if folks here were pickin' on some Rightist documentary, you'd be all over us about how "we ought to respect their opinion! it's just as valid as anyone else's! it's not like it was made on tax money! well not much anyway! quack quack quack!!" Consider yourself discounted; whether you intend to or not, you are disseminating outright lies, therefore are certainly in no position to denounce an entertainer as presenting less-than-perfect fact in an entertainment situation, e.g., a commercial movie theatre -- what, gonna go after Robin Williams next? maybe Jim Carrey? oh, heck, remember _The Alamo_!!!

But I forgive you, because clearly you worship a God who lies, & you're therefore screwed from Go.

STEVE -- tnx for Definition Four. "What is God?" "TRUTH!!!" "What is Truth?" "GOD!!!" (Not that this is absurdly childish circular reasoning or anything, eh?)

I don't happen to believe in Faith (& that's not an intentional joke). Either someone _believes_ or they don't -- period. I've never been to Manhattan; people tell me it exists; I've seen pictures, even. I do not have faith in the existence of Manhattan -- I believe; I accept; I send crap off to an address & other crap comes back, so call me a Materialist if not a Functionalist. But I have severe doubts about people (including many of my loved ones) who seek for "proof" of their faith's validity rather than seek to PROVE their faith by performing good works; as the token non-Xtian in my family, I find myself subtly nudging/nudzhing them toward community projects. (And sometimes feel as though I'm the only one who's read both halves of the Bible.)

ALL -- I have a longer piece written up on this... but have ya ever typed out a list of RightWingnut attack-words & let them dance before your eyes? You know: HOLLYWOOD... LIBERAL... ELITE... IVY LEAGUE... HOMOSEXUAL... FEMINIST... INTELLECTUAL... EFFETE... SNOB... MEDIA... ANTI-AMERICAN... ANTI-FAMILY... UNPATRIOTIC... ANTI-CHIRIST...

...& wondered at how many of them are used by the same morlocks as a synonym for "Jew"?

(Except when they say "Jew" which is code for "gay.")

AJB -- thanks for the words about Nader. Ever notice how many Rightists cycle between (a) "all Lefties are part of some Massive Conspiracy!!" and (b) "you're not a Lefty because you don't support all other me-defined Lefty beliefs!!" which makes it easy to conclude that a major effort on the part of the RightWingnuts is to define the Left & tell 'em what to do, what to say, how to act, who to sleep with, etc. ... & then the RW gets all offpissy when we go on behaving as we damn well see fit & that's somehow also a grave offense.

Anyway, I like Nader's party, but I've gotten in big trouble for publicly stating that I will support any of their candidates EXCEPT the Great God Ralph because I'm tired of the party throwing millions into his imminent Earthbound sainthood rather than electing a few more senators, governors, mayors, councilmembers -- hell, at this rate how about library board???

As to the "he owned stock!!!" canard. Again, if the scrutiny-subject is a Rightist that has a board seat, you'll hear" well it's not as though that affects his judgement!!!"

...but let a Lefty once have had ten bucks in a diversified mutual fund of indexed stocks one of which recently bought a blended package including one security that either (a) the self-appointed Moral Dick doesn't like or (b) selfsame Dick can try to spin as contradictory to his target's stated beliefs -- not that it's possible to avoid one or the other -- & it turns into a fan-hitting crapstorm of nonsense.

(note to KOS: when you throw crap at a fan, don't stand right directly in front. I speak from sad experience.)

Kell Brown <deadjohnny@gmail.com>
Toronto, - Wednesday, July 4 2007 8:27:52

Not Better than a Sharp Stick in the Eye

Yesterday a buddy convinced me to go to Transformers. I can normally watch and find something to enjoy in even the worst B-Movie production so a $150,000,000 should buy a few laughs or at least an admirable action sequence

It didn't. Michael Bay makes movies that no one should enjoy but often do and jump cuts so fast and furious they could be considered subliminal messaging. He's lost even that audience with Transformers.

I stayed for the credits just to see who was responsible for what is now the new benchmark in celluloid drek only to find out that the two guys responsible are also writing the new StarTrek film.

I'm not saying that a good writer can't write a bad story but this would be the kind of comeback that we're used to seeing in the last two rounds of a fight with Rocky Balboa in it.

Dr. Braino
Toronto, Canada - Wednesday, July 4 2007 7:49:2

Credit where credit's due, Olson -- "I don't see anyone complaining that Michael Bay doesn't really believe we have a giant robot that can turn into a car problem, or that he doesn't really care about the victims of giant robots that can turn into cars" almost caused laughter-induced self-wetting. Almost.

Dr. Braino

Steve Barber <barbergallery@verizon.net>
- Wednesday, July 4 2007 7:37:51

I shoulda knowed better...

I wasn't going to post today, being far more occupied with packing for a short but well-deserved trip, but I had to look. I had to do it. *sigh*

Kim Owen.

I owned stock in WorldCom. A lot of it. I must be a very nasty person. Before the bankruptcy of that company, I swallowed gallons and gallons of Bernie's Kool-aid and poured many glasses for my employees to enjoy. I must be of an even nastier ilk than is Michael Moore. Despite my loss of that investment, a very long time being a very angry person, and my chagrine at being so effing, effing wrong about things.

You accuse Moore of lies. I genuinely hate when detractors of any individual lob this little grenade across the fence and then don't bother to follow it up. Let's play a new game: if someone lies and you want to accuse them of it, give the details. "Bush lied regarding the weapons of mass destruction because documents which have been released show that the President's advisors knew and advised him the reports were unreliable prior to his statements."

See how that works?

Second topic. Moore's wealth. As you very readily point out, he earned the money. He didn't inherit it, there's no sense of entitlement. He ain't Paris Hilton or George W. And, if you have a lot of money to put into the market, Halliburton -- which is making a bleeding (deliberate use of that word) fortune off of Iraq war contracts -- is a very profitable investment. Did Moore pick the stock, or did his broker? Is it a separately owned stock or is it part of a fund he's invested in? When did he buy it? Does he still own it. These are pertinent points to back up your comments.

Lastly. The word Truth.

I am -- sorry kids if this explodes -- sick to death of the Fundamentalist Christian concept that their God is exactly equivalent to Truth. I believe in God (won't go into details), so feel I am qualified to object. (Yes, I know the fourth definition of Truth according Merriam Webster is "God", but dictionary definitions are BUILT on common usage.) The first three definitions of "truth" have a lot more to do with sincerity and facts. FACTS. GOD IS NOT A FACT, GOD IS A FAITH! God is not demonstrable, despite claims to the contrary. Belief in God is a deeply spiritual personal voyage, something you have to reach deep down into your soul to determine -- which makes it about as far from factual as you can conceptually get.

I am not attacking religios beliefs here. There's nothing wrong with Faith. Faith is a very, very powerful thing. Why hide Faith behind the word Truth? It belies a lack of Faith when you insist it HAS to be Truth. It may be YOUR Truth, but it isn't mine -- which also negates the use of the word Truth.

Sorry KOS. Do't mean to pile on further, but this morning's post (or late last evening's) really got my goat and I haven't had coffee yet. You're an earnest person and I like your posts. The one below just really ticked me off.

Happy Fourth of July everyone. The Republic still stands, and that's reason to celebrate. We may weather the current storm, but only the history books yet to be printed know for sure.

Alejandro Riera
Chicago, IL - Wednesday, July 4 2007 5:31:6

A Who Reminder
Friends, neighbors, kiddies and Time Lords alike:

Just a quick reminder: the brand new season of Doctor Who starring David Tennat as the good Doc kicks off this next Friday at 8 p.m./7 central in the Sci Fi Channel with two back to back episodes: "The Runaway Bride" and "Smith and Jones".

Your fellow Gallifreyan

Alex Jay Berman <alexjay@gmail.com>
Philadelphia, - Wednesday, July 4 2007 4:31:1

Truth v. Truthiness
KOS, we've danced before in this space. In the course of that gavotte, I misstepped, or rather misspoke. When my mistake was pointed out, I admitted that I was wrong, and apologized, you may recall. I present this so as not to seem as if I am "piling on", and to illustrate that I, too, value Truth.

"Truth is God and God is Truth," you say. Well and good; a sentiment with which I wholly agree.

But I have to ask just where it is you GET that truth.
(If you're George W. Bush, of course, you get your truth directly from God, which would obviously make it Double-Plus Extra GOOD Godtruth ...)

In truth (itself), I do not have to ask; I already know the answer. How can this be, you may ask? Well, it's easy. the two allegations you make stem from only one source each, no matter how often they were subsequently repeated.

For your allegation that Ralph Nader owned Ford stock at the time he was attacking GM in print and actually suing the company, the only source is Wall Street Journal editor David Sanford's 1976 book about--or rather, attacking--Nader.

Please note that I have little love for Nader; I think him a posturing, preening martinet whose egomaniacal ways have outstripped the good he did in the late Sixties and early Seventies.
But the only thing Sanford could latch onto, if I recall correctly, was that Nader's mother had perhaps owned Ford Stock at the time Unsafe at Any Speed was published. It may have also been that she bought him some stock as a gift; I can't say with any true certainty.

As for Moore, the allegation that he owned stock in Halliburton stems from the book written by Peter Schweizer, a fellow at the extremely right-wing Hoover Foundation. What Schweizer noted in his book, which was dedicated to exposing the hypocrisy of the liberal movement by singling out celebrities in it, was that an alternative media organization in which Moore had invested and to which he lent his name at times owned some Halliburton stock as part of its portfolio. That does NOT equate to "Michael Moore=Halliburton shareholder".

(The funny thing is that I believe Moore SHOULD invest his wealth in companies such as Halliburton, Tyco, General Motors, GE, and so forth. The status given him as ashareholer in these companies would allow him to vote on their direction, and would give him ready access to the CEOs and CFOs. This would make his job a lot easier ...)

I haven't read the Laura Ingraham book which repeated the concept that Moore treats his employees badly, but in the 2004 New Yorker article by Larissa MacFarquhar which is so often cited by Moore critics as showing him as a shitty boss, it is shown that Moore realized he had been a bad person to the employees in his pursuit of getting things exactly the way he wanted them, and apologized to several people by name as well as to any other employees he may have hurt. Looks to me as if the guy realized he'd screwed up, and had been doing so for some time. Are we to deny him a chance at redemption?

So Truth, you see, God's own Golden Truth, is something which must be pursued and worried at, to make sure it's the real deal.

By the way, I'm far more troubled, frightened, enraged, about the scumbags running the country and running the country into the ground than I could ever be concerning two populist activists with feet of clay.

Phil Nichols <heb@bradburymedia.co.uk>
Birmingham, UK - Wednesday, July 4 2007 1:15:15

Locating F&SF stories
David Loftus (and everyone else looking for SF short stories in collection and anthologies): a great starting point for finding stories is the Internet Speculative Fiction Database:


You can search by author or title, and it will lead you to every known appearance of the story.

- Phil

Steambird Springs, Alta California - Tuesday, July 3 2007 23:32:45

Josh and Michael
Well, gosh, Josh. I mean, lordy knows you are not an moron, but the reason I dislike Michael Moore making all that money is that he lies in his documentaries, which as you rightly pointed out earn him buckets-full of money.

Like Gandhi, I believe Truth is God and God is Truth.

So in my "book" those who lie in order to mislead people into giving them money are scumbags. No matter how rich they are.

Fictionizing is not lying. That's why I have no problem with Micahel Bay getting rich. Not even do I have a problem with you getting rich in a similar fashion.

But Michael Moore is a con man. That he lies for a "good" cause is worth a bucket of warm spit in the balance of whether he is a good human being.

He also treats his employees like shit.

Oh, and he held stock in both Enron and Halliburton. And no, it was not so he could get their annual reports for research purposes. He held a LOT of both.

Kind of like when Ralph Nader bought Ford stock just before "Unsafe At Any Speed| came out. "Saint" Ralph also held beaucoup shares of all kinds of competitor's to Microsoft when he was pushing for the breakup of MS.

That's why I refuse to buy into the cult of personality that says if we can just find the Right Man to lead us, we'll all go to glory.

Depend on yourself, make your life right and happy, and quit looking for someone to follow. That's my advice to anyone who wants it.



- Tuesday, July 3 2007 23:10:35


...since you have a big mouth - yes, I'd say I interpreted and presented the facts EXACTLY as they were SUGGESTED, as reactions from others here on the board clearly indicated.


Bear with me as I get to my point.

Here in Los Angeles, many publicly funded clinics have been shut down cold in recent years - to the delight, I'm sure, to many Conseratives (who enviously, I guess, are without medical issues). One of the few still running is the Venice Clinic. I'm among the luckier to be living in its immediate proximity. I've had to use it over the last few years for two prescriptions.

The upside: all its services are free of charge. The care, thus far, has been pretty damn good. They test and monitor everything carefully, and you are treated with a good deal of courtesy.

The downside: yes, you do have to wait about 3 hours every time you go in for a check-up; and when you have to pick up refills, you have to get them the same day or your chart and the pills will be put back and you have call in again for the refill (with a pharmacy prescription, they will hold the order for you as necessary). All that's a pain-in-the-royal-butt, but considering it's free and the refills last you a month or more, I've no right to complain.

Now, flash forward. Recently, for reasons I won't get into here, I've had to go to a private doctor. Last week was my third visit. For some reason, when I was called, a nurse took blood tests. I wasn't told I needed to do that, but like a well-behaved patient I shut the hell up figuring she knew what she was doing. Well...I'd had the flu for 5 days preceding; my system was loaded with cold medicine. I guess it brought my blood pressure down because I almost blacked out before she finally got that damn needle out of me. My head spun, and a nausea followed. Had I been standing, I KNOW I'd have fainted.

...Turned out she confused me with another patient. She had the wrong schmuck. What's worse, since I have no insurance (I tried once years ago, and its monthly charge was exorbitant), she couldn't send the tests to the labs - which might have been nice because I could have at least checked on things while I was at it.

All that pain for nothing. That ordeal took about 40 minutes. This was a PRIVATE practice...NOT a government-funded program...and it took only the THIRD visit for them to fuck up and mix me up with the WRONG patient!!

At least at the Venice clinic, no such mistakes in my experience had taken place at ALL. Unfortunately, they too are now running into budget cuts and tragically they've had to shut down the dental care they used to offer. And going around to dentists is as bad as finding an auto repair service that won't rip you off!

So much for the theory that the private sector is the only way things get done right. That is just a BULLSHIT banner business use to corner the market, successfully pounding the eardrums of the gullible and uniformed with sound bytes over and over and over, until the public is easy putty. You all listen to this shit, allow yourselves to get brainwashed without researching further, and we get stuck with the robber barons in control.

As others pointed out here, your story is interchangeable with many victimized by the U.S. system. There are many famous stories here too, like the hospital in Florida back in the 90's that amputated the wrong leg on a patient.

And it's an issue of proportion: given the magnitude of wealth and resources here, we SHOULD have the best care in the world; certainly better than it IS.

Who, in his right mind, could accept the premise that a health care system can work for all strictly in a "free market" environment - controlled by the profit motive, hence no real concern for a human being? By such rules - and the fucked-up games those insurance companies play to avoid covering a patient when they can - you HAVE TO HAVE GOVERNMENT SAFETY NETS for the millions who haven't the money and resources. Even conservatives should be able to understand that.

Please read what Blue Cross does in this link concerning an otherwise health patient:


Y'know, I despise Reagan when I have to hear the sound bytes from that era, "The most terrifying words in the English language are: I'm from the government and I'm here to help". I hate his guts for that, because a dazed ignorant public really lapped it up, allowing the Conservatives to proceed with a 20-year brainwashing media blitz - leaving the complacent liberal voice in the dust - all to serve the interests of big corporations.

Do we always have to be like mindless cattle? This country's biggest handicap is the millions of stupid people , so readily manipulated.

It was a conservative here on the board who once said so astutely, "we're in deep shit".

If only he'd understood the real REASON we are where we ARE.

(FINALLY! The END of my harangue! I'm a goin'ta bed now, cuz there seems to be this female type human being a gesturin' her readiness!)

shagin <smodell1995@yahoo.com>
Bremerton, Washington - Tuesday, July 3 2007 21:24:47

Query for Mr. Ellison, and various brain nibbles
Mr. Ellison,

While helping a friend sort through 40+ years of a life well lived in her garage, I unearthed a copy of the hard bound collection of THE SANDMAN - SEASON OF MISTS written by Neil Gaiman and presented with your introduction (ISBN: 1-56389-035-6). There is a very slight discoloration on the back cover and a small dedication on the front page from the gifter to the recipient (approx. the size of a larger postage stamp. It is otherwise in fine condition.

Do you need this for your collection? If so, it's yours.


Steve B.,

The Traveling Willburys...ah, agathering of men as ugly as they are talented.


"And since I have a big mouth, a big ego, and a big dick - and I've utterly nothing better to do with my life - I have to respond to Shagit's antsy protest to my sling at KOS"

Far be it from me to dispute your presentation of the facts.


- Tuesday, July 3 2007 20:8:23



Can you score me two copies ... and ... (I know this is a bit tougher) get me the actual PUBLICATION DAY & MONTH of the HOT BLOOD anthology(ies? Same promise of your choice of good friend remuneration as the last liaison we shared shipmentwise. I'll let Jeff Gelb, the editor, know the German editions are imminent. I only need Volume 1, of course. For my archive & for Boston University. Hmm, wait a minute, I actually need three (3) copies.

By the way...

I've been meaning to speak to you about this'n'that in your SPIDER FORUM discussion of the new Sturgeon essay. I was pleased, some few days ago, when you popped in and said you were starting that discussion; so I did what I almost never do--everyone will feel unfettered in their remarks, sanguine in the knowledge that I'm not looking over their shoulders--I went in and had a look. At that point, if I'm recalling precisely, there was only a two-part posting by you. And I ruminated for some while as to whether I should choose to address, well, what I sorta, er, um, sorta thought was a lumpnoggin complaint. Uh, not actually so much a "complaint" as a pecksniffian foof of displeasure...

I will speak to that foof with an emblematic, iconic, if not apocryphal, true story from my dear Susan:

One day a while back, Susan comes to me with pinwheels rotating in her brindle-colored eyes. She has in her hand a letter from a fan, sent to HERC. And she's waving it as she foams-at-the-id
with Brit-flavored imprecations. And here, approximately, as I recall it, was what this guy said:

(I'm paraphrasing.) I love Harlan Ellison's books. I think he's just wonderful, and I don't know why they don't carve his phizz up there on Mt. Rushmore. But I have a real complaint, and I think you should tell Mr. Ellison about this. I don't have much money, and I can't afford hardcover books, so I have to wait at least a year after a book comes out, to buy it off the web or from a second-hand bookshop, in paperback. I think Mr. Ellison shouldn't publish his books in hardcover, but only in paperback, which would make it easier for me."

There was no point answering the guy's letter. I meant him no harm, loyal friends and loyal fans (i.g. you) are hard to come by, and sweet mercy knows I put you people through enough shit as it is. And though he was a very slow pony encumbered by blinders, I knew if I got into it with him, I would insult him and likely lose a loyal reader. Not to mention that he would probably be bewildered that I'd found something so lumpnoggin'd in his decently, goodheartedly-intended communique.

This has been an Aesop Fable, Jan. True story; but now let's see if you can figure out how it applies to your first/second posts in re the Sturgeon essay ... on which I worked for five years. (If you ever see "Dreams With Sharp Teeth," you will see me, five years ago, sitting at my typewriter, carefully choosing the words--for the eighth, ninth, tenth time, whichever--that begin the most sedulously, exactly-as-I-wanted-to-write-it, hardest essay I've ever ventured.)

And knowing I won't go back to that SPIDER Forum to upbraid you or joust with you, you are free to ruminate on this reply from

Yr. Pal, Harlan

Benjamin Winfield
- Tuesday, July 3 2007 19:17:55

"Nobody gives a shit that Michael Bay will make a billion dollars off of his latest movie, a gigantic, bloated remake of a fucking COMMERCIAL, that will do nothing but promote violence and stupidity. I don't see you complaining that he's getting rich off that. I don't see anyone complaining that Michael Bay doesn't really believe we have a giant robot that can turn into a car problem, or that he doesn't really care about the victims of giant robots that can turn into cars."

BWAHAHA! Aw man, what I would have given to see that happen on the old cartoon show:

"Autobots, transform for action!"

"Wait, Optimus Prime! I'm not out of - GYAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!"

Mark Goldberg <markabaddon@gmail.com>
Minneapolis, - Tuesday, July 3 2007 15:44:26


Excellent listing of the differences between liberals and conservatives. I would define the leadership of the conservative party as fundamentalist believers in the tao of situational ethics.

Another example that Adam-Troy did not mention concerns the linkages between the White House and the Justice Department. When Clinton was in office, Se. Orrin Hatch was zealous in maintaining an independent Department of Justice. He allowed 4 points of contact between the White House and the DoJ: President, Vice-President, Chief of Staff, and the Attorney General. Under Putsch, there were several hundred points of contact between the White House and the DoJ. With that level of contact, the DoJ was doomed to become politicized.

Steve Barber, please don't tell me you were surprised that Scooter Libby was let out of jail time. Do you really think Putsch would have taken a chance to have him testify against the White House?

Todd Cassel
AZ / USofA - Tuesday, July 3 2007 15:10:55

Hard Of Hereing
"Thank you. I'm hear all week."

....I'm also HERE all week.


Todd Cassel
AZ / USofA - Tuesday, July 3 2007 15:7:49

Being a health care insurance professional (Medicaid our specialty folks! Medicaid! You know, help the poor and give them healthcare insurance for "free".....no rocks please, Michael Moore does not attack Medicaid and Medicare in his movie as it's what he is fighting for, remember?)

.....ahem, as a health care insurance professional, I just want to make note of some information about the evil commercial insurance carriers (yes, I used to work for two of those as well) that many people are simply getting wrong: When an insurance company denies a procedure after it has been reviewed by Medical Management professionals (who are often registered nurses and professionals with other medical degrees: not simply the "people in cubes" most often referenced), that company is not denying just to meet their evil bottom line. That company is reviewing the insurance plan that was purchased by the individual or employer group.

Let's use an example: Harlan Ellison works for Ideas Are Us (IAU). IAU goes to Evil Insurance Inc. to buy an insurance plan for their employees. Evil Insurance Inc. supplies IAU with dozens if not hundreds of options from their menu. IAU decides to purchase Plan 69 which does not include brain transplants because their premiums will be too high (don't get me started on premiums and malpractice suits and the high cost of health care due to such suits as well as ripping off insurance companies yadda da da).

So, Harlan is now insured via Plan 69 purchased by IAU. His company's choice: they could have selected another Plan, but they were happy with 69.

Harlan's brain breaks. He goes to the doctor and is advised that he requires a transplant. The authorization for this transplant is sent to Evil Insurance Inc. where their Medical Management staff reviews the request against the purchased Plan 69 and says, "Nope, we will not pay for Harlan's second brain."

Michael Moore then gnashes his teeth and presents a scene in Sicko Part II that lasts for 30 seconds and states, "Genius breaks brain, insurance company refuses to pay in order to make a profit."

It wasn't the insurance company that refused to pay. It was Harlan's employer who refused to select a Plan that included that procedure. If it was individual insurance, and Harlan was counting his nickels, he may have selected Plan 69 as well.

Sure, you can now debate the high cost of insurance premiums etc. etc. etc., but the point of this posting is to enlighten you when pointing that finger at Evil Insurance Inc. only. Yes, the premiums come from them, but it takes a whole heckuva lot in this world to determine those premiums. Go compare the cost of the name drug you saw on television the other night against it's exact duplicate drug that does not pay for teevee ads or pretty packaging: then ask your doctor the next time he writes on your prescription something similar to "name brand only; no generic."

Thank you. I'm hear all week.


- Tuesday, July 3 2007 14:7:16

HARLAN: The first two volumes of HOT BLOOD, the horror anthology series, will come out in Germany/Austria/Switzerland next month or so (the first one has FOOTSTEPS - you'll be mentioned on the back). For your reference, this is the amazon link:
(Should you need a copy, no problem.)

Dennis Thompson <dogsowar@hotmail.com>
- Tuesday, July 3 2007 13:21:41

The agony and the ecstasy
My joy at finding this forum was tempered with sadness of it being brought about by news of Fred Saberhagen's untimely demise. I can't remember reading any of his novels, but must have read at least a short story of his in my 44 years. ( I've read a lot of Science Fiction and Fantasy, but have a poor memory ) But a friend of Mr. Ellison's, must be a great writer, so my next trip to the bookstore will include a Fred Saberhagen book. I am enthralled to find this forum, and have spent hours catching up on the wit, wisdom and vitriol contained within. I'll now resume lurking.

Honolulu, HI - Tuesday, July 3 2007 13:17:43

Memorable stories from F&SF magazine
To David Loftus:
In answer to your query about memorable stories:

1. "Black Air"-Kim Stanley Robinson. F&SF March 1983 issue. Story collection: "The Planet on the Table"(TOR, 1986).

2. "The Piper at the Gates of Dawn"-Richard Cowper. F&SF March 1976 issue. Story collections: "The Custodians and Other Stories"(Gollancz 1976)and "A Treasury of Modern Fantasy", ed. by Terry Carr & Martin H. Greenberg, Avon 1981.

3. "The Samurai and The Willows"-Michael Bishop. F&SF Feb. 1976.
Became part of novel titled "Catacomb Years". Story collection:
"Best SF Stories of the Year 1976", ed. by Gardner Dozois, 1977.

4. "The Night We Buried Road Dog"- Jack Cady. F&SF Jan. 1993.
Story collections: "Year's Best SF-11th annual collection", ed. by Gardner Dozois, 1994. "Nebula Awards 29", ed. by Pamela Sargent(Harcourt Brace 1995).

5. "Spiral Dance"-Rodrigo Garcia Y Robertson. F&SF May 1990. Novelette expanded into novel of the same title.

Hope this helps. Cheers, Colleen

Steve B
- Tuesday, July 3 2007 11:10:18

Proof of my theory.

The sentence shoulda been

"I was reading passages regarding the loss of "name" individuals to whom even some coming to THIS board might find obscure -- and yet, in my ears that fate was being shared by such musical icons as Roy Orbison and George Harrison."

It makes more sense.

(See previous comment regarding writing skills and the lack thereof.)

Steve Barber <barbergallery@verizon.net>
- Tuesday, July 3 2007 11:6:3

I'm thunderstruck how my small little anecdote regarding a conversation overheard at a small little restaurant in a small little town became, somehow, an indictment against a complete generation's cultural illiteracy.

The primary irony of my post was not in the girl's ignorance of The Traveling Wilburys. Nor in her assumption that George Harrison must still be alive -- recording music -- because she had never heard that particular song before. Nor was it centrally ironic because she is not alone in her generational knowledge of the popular music of a preceding generation.

My intentionally and focally ironic point -- small and little though it might have been -- had more to do with finding a recurring thread of human frailty and the events of life reflected in the events of my evening and also in Harlan's introduction to ANGRY CANDY (in literary terms, this is sometimes referred to as "counterpoint"). Harlan wrote far more eloquently than I could ever dream about the subject of death, one's legacy upon that departure, and the vacuum even the most storied among us leave when we go.

The irony was that, as I was reading passages regarding the loss of "name" individuals to whom even some coming to THIS board might find obscure -- and yet, in my ears that fate was being shared by such musical icons as Roy Orbison and George Harrison.

And all this summed up by a person two-thirds my age stating he was "feeling old".

Maybe this is why I no longer consider myself a writer...

Scooter Libby.

I found myself screaming "Fuck You!" several times in succession at my radio yesterday when the news (now gone missing from the headlines) was announced.

I added the following page to my site as therapy:


David Loftus <dloft59 (at) earthlink.net>
Portland, OR - Tuesday, July 3 2007 10:36:52

getting edumacated

Recently KOS listed five memorable stories from F&SF magazine:

1. "Black Air" - Kim Stanley Robinson

2. "The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn" - Richard Cowper

3. "The Samurai And The Willows" - Michael Bishop

4. "The Night We Buried Road Dog" - Jack Cady (The only short story writer I hold to be on the same level as some guy that lives out by Mulholland Pass. His collection "The Children Of Noah" is incredible.))

5. "Spiral Dance" - Rodrigo Garcia Y Robertson

For those of us who don't read F&SF, and rarely dip into the genre in general, could folks steer us to the places where we might find these tales reprinted in book form, or otherwise readily available, short of hunting for the back issues of F&SF in which they first appeared?

- Tuesday, July 3 2007 10:20:52

Interesting commentary
Unfairenheit 9/11

"To describe this film as dishonest and demagogic would almost be to promote those terms to the level of respectability. To describe this film as a piece of crap would be to run the risk of a discourse that would never again rise above the excremental. To describe it as an exercise in facile crowd-pleasing would be too obvious. Fahrenheit 9/11 is a sinister exercise in moral frivolity, crudely disguised as an exercise in seriousness. It is also a spectacle of abject political cowardice masking itself as a demonstration of "dissenting" bravery."


Josh Olson
- Tuesday, July 3 2007 9:50:14


“It's amazing how the conservative wags make comments about "rich liberals" when the ones making the comments are themselves rich. Limpburger must be at least worth $50 million by now. “

Yeah, but because people like Limbaugh openly hate the poor, there’s no perceived conflict there.


“He is a VERY rich man making films that flat out LIE about how great the health service in places like the UK is”

The second half of that statement is obviously arguable. Anecdotally, I know plenty of people who live in the UK (and Canada) and who’d be happy to tell stories that do more than balance yours (By the way - yours all boil down to, “Someone had a bad doctor,” which is hardly an argument against a system. It’s just an argument against bad doctors. Having seen Sicko, I can assure you that nowhere in the film does Michael Moore assert that socialized medicine will eradicate all bad doctors.

I’ve bumped into some useless assholes on the internet, but that’s hardly an argument for eradicating the whole thing, ya dig?

But the first half.... Jesus. Can you even TRY to explain why Moore’s economic status has ANY bearing whatsoever on the issue?

Seriously. Just once, I’d like one of the people who throws that sort of criticism out to actually follow it through logically, and explain it so the rest of us can grasp the thinking. Apparently, you think it’s bad for anyone who cares about social justice to have money. I get that part. What I don’t get is WHY. So go on. You or Kos - explain it so the rest of us morons can understand. I’d be SO grateful.

But before you do, let me explain something that might clear it all up for you, something none of you guys seem to know - Michael Moore makes successful, theatrical motion pictures. These movies cost very little, and gross very much. When that happens, you make money. Lots of it.

Nobody gives a shit that Michael Bay will make a billion dollars off of his latest movie, a gigantic, bloated remake of a fucking COMMERCIAL, that will do nothing but promote violence and stupidity. I don't see you complaining that he's getting rich off that. I don't see anyone complaining that Michael Bay doesn't really believe we have a giant robot that can turn into a car problem, or that he doesn't really care about the victims of giant robots that can turn into cars. But Michael Moore, by addressing a very real problem that kills real people in the real world.... now HE'S a scumbag, and how dare he make money off his movies?

Michael M
Los Angeles, CA - Tuesday, July 3 2007 9:38:38

Graham Rae--

I am curious as to how your US healthcare experiences were financed. If you can afford fee for service, or first rate insurance coverage, I have no doubt your experience was excellent. We do have many excellent doctors and hospitals in this country.

But for those of us who can only afford an HMO (which seems to be the majority of us), long waits and shoddy service and an I-don't-give-a-fuck-about-your-problem bedside manner are shockingly common. Add to that the fact that HMO practitioners are strongly discouraged from providing anything beyond the bare minimum, and you have an absolutely crap system.

I've dealt with US govt bureacracy (even FEMA, back before the Bushies destroyed it). HMO's are worse. I'm ready to try a single-payer system.

Lori Koonce <purplelynn35@excite.com>
San Francisco, California - Tuesday, July 3 2007 9:32:8

Generational Amnesia
Ok time for me to get up on my soapbox for a moment. I'll try to be brief.

A lot of Sunday's posts were railing against what I call Generational Amnesia. That nasty little problem that my generation has of forgetting everything that didn't occurr just before breakfast.

I have just two things to say about that. First of all I'm just curious to know if anyone out there realizes that things like this are just a "seek and ye shall find" kind of thing. Two of Sundays posts were griping about conversations that were overheard, they were never meant for the ears of the complainers. If you expect my generation to be shallow selfish and not culturally literate, guess what! That's exactally what you'll find.

And while I'm at it, what are any of you doing to combat this cultural amnesia. My best friend is a male who is 16 years older than I am. There are a lot of reasons for this, but the one I've come to appericate the most is the fact that he will not allow me to be ignorant of the past or the future. Because he wanted to have intellegent conversations about the entire mess in Iraq, he printed out articles from the Army War College and asked me to read them. I now know more about radical islamism and counterinsurgency than any pacificst female ought to, but it's not bad.

We need more people like that out there. It's one thing to complain, it's another all together to educate those of us who want the knowledge, and believe me we do exist.

Think about becoming a mentor to a young person.

Stepping down off my soapbox for now.


Mike Jacka
Phoenix, AZ - Tuesday, July 3 2007 9:24:13


The Lone Ranger will be in hand on Wednesday, and in the mail on Thursday. Updates will follow.


Alan Coil <lcoil@peoplepc.com>
Southeast Michigan - Tuesday, July 3 2007 8:24:57

Graham Rae---

We can trade anecdotes.


May I also suggest that this health system/ non-health system discussion be taken to the other boards?
It's been a wonderful summer so far here in Southeast Michigan, save for the 5 or 6 days when it was in the 90s with 90% humidity. Now it is a slightly-cool-for-July 74, sunny, and in the beginnings of another drought. I need to mow my small lawn, but only because the weeds are peaking (not peeking, as weeds don't have eyes) above the grass, which really doesn't need to be mowed.

Patty Cryan <pmcsquared@yahoo.com>
Wormtown, MA - Tuesday, July 3 2007 7:56:0

Fred Saberhagen
To Mark Spieller:

Thank you for the link to www.hamiltonbooks.com.

I gathered up a lot of Saberhagen in the late 1990's when Fabulous Fiction still had a brick-and-mortar storefront.

Germany - Tuesday, July 3 2007 7:13:9

WHO ranking
The WHO ranking of 2000 (based on data from the mid-90s) was methodically flawed and thus never updated. It was generally aknowledged over here that it was taken too seriously at the time, for example in Germany (we ranked #25). Here's an old article from the UK (ranked #18). news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/1482756.stm

"It has not, however, provided a valid answer to the question of whether one system is better than another." Very similar articles appeared in Germany at the time.

There is also a very recent, but pre-SICKO article in THE AMERICAN PROSPECT (liberal) examining the very same medical systems Moore did, but with greater care. http://www.prospect.org/cs/articles?articleId=12683

Larry Forrest <idoubtabout@aol.com>
Tulsa , Oklahoma - Tuesday, July 3 2007 6:50:48

Re: Graham Rae
"I have not seen Sicko."

Right there, my bullshit detector went off. Experience has shown me that there is no one with more expertise concerning a film than someone who hasn't seen it. Funny how that works.

"He's rich ...

"He is a VERY rich man ... "

What's next, Graham? "He is a VERY VERY VERY rich man ... " That'll clinch your argument, bloke.

Would you find Moore's documentaries convincing if he lived in a tattered tent on skid row, dressed a la Gandhi, and subsisted on a diet of bread and water with an occasional lettuce leaf for dessert? Once--just once--I wish someone would write a review of Moore's work without mentioning he is RICH, because, after all, that fact is completely, utterly, thoroughly ... irrelevant. I assure you that, as rich as Moore is, he would be a damn sight richer if he'd made documentaries that praised our current health care system in the US; or that advocated for the NRA; or that (prior to the quagmire in Iraq) glorified our Cowboy-in-Chief. You see, Graham, the Powers That Be richly reward those who serve them, and seek to defame those who don't. Funny how THAT works.

"I have had a couple of HORRIBLE experiences with the NHS ... "

I have no doubt that the horror stories you tell about the NHS are true. But, as Steve Dooner writes, "Malpractice is everywhere." Any large bureaucracy is going to have a few incompetent yahoos--maybe quite a few. That said, Graham, I wonder if you'd enlighten us as to how many folks in the UK died last year because they lacked access to medical care, be it good or bad? Here in the US the figure is around 18,000--the equivalent of SIX 9/11s. Is it a regular practice for hospitals in the UK to dump poor, sick people on skid row? It is here. Do employees of the NHS aggressively work to deny health care to its subscribers? The insurance companies here employ people to find any picayune reason to do exactly that.

"I believe that Moore is a caring person. But I also believe that he is a pompous, truth-skimming bullshit artist ... "

Let's look at the record, shall we?

In ROGER AND ME, Moore critiqued corporate America, in essence asserting that some High Muckamucks were intent upon giving themselves golden parachutes while generously bestowing upon their workers golden showers. Ever hear of Enron? Outsourcing? I'll side with Moore on this one.

BOWLING FOR COLUMBINE maintained that guns are waaay too easily accessible in the US, and examined why our culture is so shot through with violence. I don't see anything to argue with there.

FAHRENHEIT 9/11 argued that the invasion of Iraq was based upon cherry-picked information, half-truths, and greed. (President Bush, to his credit, turned in a malaprop-mouthing performance that made every stand-up comedian in America lime green with envy.) Any questions, class? Can we all agree that Moore got it right yet AGAIN?

For a "truth-skimming bullshit artist" this guy has a way of getting the BIG PICTURE right, even if he makes some minor mistakes along the way--as who among us does not?

Michael Moore for President!

- Tuesday, July 3 2007 6:37:38

A Bit More on the Beatles
I have a 14 year old nephew who stunned me recently by proclaiming the Beatles as his favorite band. This is partly because I gave him their "1" CD when he was little but he says his friends love the Beatles as well. (Led Zeppelin and the Who were also mentioned as favorites.)

In a way I envy the kid because he gets to explore the Fab Four without the reunion noise and sickly nostalgia that surrounded everything Beatle back in my day. Culturally speaking, my nephew is in a nice, quiet corner where he can listen and ponder and read at his own pace and make up his own mind. What this tells me is that the Beatles are not in decline as a cultural force, and they don't -- nor will they ever -- lie forgotten in the dustbin of history.

mark spieller
san mateo, california, - Tuesday, July 3 2007 6:16:22

Fred Saberhagen
When I was running a science fiction/comic book store on Hollywood Blvd in the early 80's, one of the most popular books were Mr. Saberhagen's "Berserker" books, which my staff and I were always happy to suggest to other readers.

I recomend to any who want to read them now, that www.hamiltonbooks.com is carrying a number of the Berserker book in omnibus editions that would make for fine reading and saluting a very talented writer. I never had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Saberhagen but his books made me wish I had. The "Holmes/Dracula file", is one of the best pastiche of either of those famed personalities.


Adam-Troy Castro
- Tuesday, July 3 2007 6:11:32

One Quick Addendum
Steve Dooner: tell me about it. I spend eight hours in an emergency room with a wheelchair-bound friend who was suffering loud convulsions throughout. You don't know what I had to go through just to get him a gurney, so he wouldn't topple face first onto the floor.

Adam-Troy Castro <adamcastro999@yahoo.com>
- Tuesday, July 3 2007 6:3:4

The Rules We All Need to Know
The rule written by polemicists on the right is that liberals can never be rich without being branded as hypocrites.

However, righties can be as obscenely wealthy as they wish.

Michael Moore is a disgusting hypocrite because he pays to send his kids to a good school.

Ken Lay, however, was a fine American who had twenty homes within a one-hour drive of one another, and had them furnished with items like $15,000 umbrella stands.

Liberals who are wealthy are hypocrites because they claim to care for poor people.

Conservatives who are wealthy are not hypocrites because they live by the old-fashioned values of the common man.

Conservatives like Richard Mellon Scaife who plow money into supporting the policies they favor are great champions of what they believe.

Liberals like George Soros who plow money into supporting the policies they believe are "shadowy," "sinister" figures "outside the mainstream" who are "trying to buy our democracy."

If a liberal (including any Hollywood star) shows any political activism, it's out of "guilt" and we should laugh at them for presuming that we care what they think.

If a conservative (including any Hollywood star) shows any political activism, it's out of "conviction" and we should start thinking about what political office he should hold.

When Toby Keith writes a kick-ass-for-America song, he's expressing his true beliefs.

If Hollywood makes a message movie with a left-wing bent, they're "preaching."

If Hollywood makes a message movie with a right-wing bent, it's a great moment of patriotism that should get quoted in Presidential speeches, and you need to take everybody in the church to the theatre by bus.*

When the Dixie Chicks express their disgust for the President, they're just trying to be "shocking", and their records should be burned.

When conservative celebrities rush to Ground Zero to get their picture taken, they are showing their love for America.

When Sean Penn drops what he's doing and rushes to Katrina-ravaged New Orleans and spends the day rescuing dozens of people from the wreckage of their homes, it's downright hilarious because he's just trying to look good for the cameras, and personalities who have spent the day sitting behind desks on TV sets are perfectly justified in calling him a self-aggrandizing idiot.

These are the rules, people. I'm surprised you can't get them straight.

*(Related to this? If a Hollywood figure tries to make a message movie? He's overstepping himself. If he makes a throwaway entertainment? He's contributing to the downfall of our culture. This is a good one. My father-in-law, a good man who has completely swallowed the Limbaugh Kool-Aid, subscribes to this one. He doesn't go to the movies because "they" haven't made a good one in fifty years -- not a single good one, though he hasn't seen any; you would suspect in all that time that "they" could have made a halfway-decent one by accident -- but he's mostly boycotting them because he doesn't want to give money to "those people.")

Folks, the only people who attack liberals like Michael Moore for being "rich" are those who don't mind conservatives being "rich."

Steve Dooner <sdooner@earthlink.net>
South Weymouth, MA - Tuesday, July 3 2007 5:16:26

Except Graham, Michael Moore does not found his arguments entirely on interviews and anecdottes(that's the entertainment part). At the beginning of his film, he addresses international ratings on the level of healthcare in nations around the world. America ranks 37, behind England, France and Canada. That propels the discussion. He believes, based on our wealth, that we should a system that is wayyyy better than the NHS.

Meanwhile in America--anecdotally speaking--I have gone face first into an automobile windshield and gotten myself sent home from an emergency room with glass fragments wedged visibly in my face, I have had 18 hour waits in the emergency room, I have seen a girlfriend wait for hours with blood streaming down her face, and I have seen this same girlfriend make a choice over crude stitches that will scar or enduring another 11 hour wait.

At my local hospital in Quincy, Massachusetts, a couple I knew had there stillborn baby misplaced, a man I didn't know had the WRONG kidney removed and another man had the WRONG leg amputated. That's just at one local hospital in sophisticated Massachusetts within a space of 5 years.

Malpractice is everwhere, but it doesn't explain the 50 million uninsured in America, and it doesn't explain why people with health insurance coverage are going broke with co-pays and prescription drug choices. This is a significant problem in this country and Moore simply wants to address it.

As for Moore being an "anarchist," ala Johnny Rotten and Sid Vicious. Well, I believe he's actually a Roman Catholic who professes to be a great believer in the U.S. and the system of Democracy. He actually says in the film that he believes in government; he just wishes that we could elect the right people.

Can government make a difference? Well, every other day I take a walk around my town and see endless examples of parks and civic buildings built by the WPA in the 1930s, and I can see my 78 year old father only surviving because of his social security check, also established in the 30s. American government has had a 70 year hiatus in addressing its people's needs and its getting to be near the time where people need to pay attention again.

Steve Dooner

Dr. Braino
Toronto, Ontario, Canada - Tuesday, July 3 2007 4:2:51

Yes, Canadians have waiting periods -- though the increase in waiting periods was fueled by many of the same politicians who seek to dismantle universal health care in Canada when they slashed funding throughout the 1990's and early oughts. I certainly don't champion the Canadian system as anything close to perfect.


What astonishes me is that the 45 million or so uninsured Americans, and the tens of millions of others whose ability to get decent care is severely limited by their limited health plans, are somehow viewed by apologists for the American system as necessary casualties of faster service for those who can pay, greater research money, and a handful of other things.

It's such a cold equation -- and one skimmed over so blithely by the Anderson Coopers and Sanjay Guptas of America -- that it seems to me the Sicko of the movie title is the American who sees these millions as disposable people.

Dr. Braino

Graham Rae
- Monday, July 2 2007 23:47:32

(I posted on Monday. It's now Tuesday. I would hope that counts as one post a day)

I have not seen Sicko. I have seen Bowling For Columbine and Fahrenheit 9/11, which I found interesting, if flawed. I read a review of Sicko on Film Threat, and it said that Moore suggests that the National Health Service in the UK (along with those of France and Canada) is a great institution, somehow better than the US health service.

This is an utterly MORONIC contention, and I would WHOLEHEARTEDLY dispute it. I have had experience of both the NHS and the health service in America and it's clear that the service I have recieved in this country is FAR better than any I EVER recieved on the NHS. I have had a couple of HORRIBLE experiences with the NHS, as has my brother of late (ie he fell and broke his wrist and when they took his stookie - plaster cast - off they noticed he had broken his thumb too! And also he was prescribed medication for gout, but it was not until a specialist looked at him that they ascertained his medication was wrong and, had actually done him permanent damage. Don't even make me tell you about my kidney stones and stent-fitting operation, and my mother half-jokingly refers to National Health Service treatment as Third World.

Which is why I find Moore's pie-in-the-sky 'socialized medicine in the UK is SO MUCH better than America's health service' contention to be UTTER BULLSHIT, at least on a 'quality of treatment' front if not a 'treatment for all (after endless delays and waiting lists)' one. I could tell you other bad experiences I or my family or friends have had at the hands of the NHS; I could also link you to vast numbers of articles in Scottish/British (for thise of you who thought they were the same: Scottish people HATE being referred to as British) newspapers to drive the point home that the NHS is, unfortunately, FUCKED.

Aneuran Bevin set the NHS up in the UK after the Second World War, but the UK has changed VASTLY since then. The review says that Moore interviews Tony Benn, a noted hardcore socialist (ie fantasist) New Labour politician spouting rhetoric. This is part of the problem I have with Moore. He's rich, and decides that he knows SO MUCH about the health machinations of other countries he will make a film where he interviews a select few people who love the NHS and skim over that institution's VERY REAL problems. Good stuff on the 'scoring socialist points' front...but worth LESS THAN FUCKING ZERO on the ground in Scotland/England, where nurses want to either leave or strike because of low pay or an unbeatable strain of MRSA...or, as I said, a million other things I could point you to.

Michael Moore is a polemicist. This I accept, and I applaud his ideal idea of getting health care for all Americans. But, to me, he also, to a degree, displays the whole 'socialist holier-than-thou' mentality, and this turns me off him. He is a VERY rich man making films that flat out LIE about how great the health service in places like the UK is (I will not comment on Canada or France, as I have no experience thereof - I understand Moore interviews some people about how great the NHS is, but if you interview enough people you can find material to support ANY contention, especially if those interviewed know who you are and what your agenda is) and expects anybody who has dealt with the NHS to believe a fucking word he says after that.

Rich Pop Stars Make Good Socialists, as the old Chumbawumba song title put it. I believe that Moore is a caring person. But I also believe he is an arrogant, pompous, truth-skimming bullshit artist...and for this I will never truly take him seriously as an artist. I grew up on punk music. I undesrtand IMPLICITLY the whole 'leftie/anarchist' mindset. And I agree with much of it, I really do. But when it comes to somebody saying that the NHS is the greatest thing since sliced bread for the sake of ill-informed polemic and rhetoric...

...I will tell them to fuck off to their face, no matter who they are.


- Monday, July 2 2007 21:41:22

With the grand bookends set by Harlan and Steve Dooner in the Moore thread, the most I could hope for now is a few extraneous points to add...

And since I have a big mouth, a big ego, and a big dick - and I've utterly nothing better to do with my life - I have to respond to Shagit's antsy protest to my sling at KOS.

If you're going to tell me "He's (Moore) a hypocritical exploiter of his own workers, stealing credits and appropriating as his own the work of others", you are, in my mind, certainly implying the man fails to live up to his convictions. You better have some data to back that up if you're willing to make such a sweeping, moronic charge.

Today I was listening to callers on the radio, and one guy declared he's lost ALL hope in government (this was in response to the fucked commuting of Libby's sentence (it's a mob family looking after their own, man!). I hear a good number of people say that. What worries me is that it suggests that Bush, Cheney, and all those Neo-Con mobsters are WINNING: they WANT you to believe government doesn't work. They are quite calculatedly bankrupting the country, blowing its resources to hell, balooning the deficit - a burden that will fall on OUR shoulders, not the those of the wealthiest, and balooning government departments as well! (Funny how Clinton - a Democrat - cut back on government during his administration; yet the pathetically brainwashed voters out there - in response to endless bullshit soundbytes - bit the big one and put a mindless unconcerned runt in the White House) These guys are here to prove that government doesn't work ; so, instead, they hand it ALL to corporate control.

You Conservatives here...do you still actually believe the alternative is WORKING? You talk "private sector", and you talk about a bunch of robber barons - who don't give a fuck about the American people, only profit. (On that note, also heard today Google has come out against Moore simply so that they could run ads for the insurance company and the massive money it brings them; they don't give a fuck about you or me, just their money; THAT'S the pattern I'm talking about)

Switching to the next channel, quickly, Moore's strategies to promote himself are essential to any filmmaker's success and independence. Like Hitchcock, Moore has fused his name and image with his movies, turning himself a brand name; when a Moore film comes out you know what to expect. And in a tough market like his, you want to do whatever you can to keep the attention going so that your movies reach the largest possible audience. Moore is pulling it off miraculously.

And criticizing him for, say, not using the public school system while he claims to support it is a bit like my saying I support welfare safety nets, thus I should use them like everyone else; they are THERE for people who NEED them. And the system should as such be run efficiently, with a wiser policy intact. But I don't need to use them, nor do I want to (except for the medical). That's the analogy as I see it. Moore knows many of us need these tools, so that more of us have mobility. He himself doesn't need them, so doesn't USE'em. That's how simple life can be!

Again, Dooner and Harlan...right ON, as ALWAYS. Both of you give me some hope when I think I'm completely bled of it.

Alex Jay Berman <alexjay@earthlink.net>
Philadelphia, - Monday, July 2 2007 20:44:45

ON FRED SABERHAGEN: I never got to meet the man, but I greatly enjoyed his books. Salud en sangre.

PAUL MOUNTS: If you are THE Paul Mounts (as of course you must be, though possibly not the one I'm thinking of), I greatly enjoy your color work. If you are THE Paul Mounts but not THAT Paul Mounts, my apologies.

ON THE BEATLES AND GENERATIONAL OBSOLESCENCE: Though it pained me to read Stevie B's anecdote, I must caution against the inevitable "When WE were kids, we knew all about older music and art ..." chest-thumping. People, we're here because we READ. Voraciously, voluminously, vigorously. That, along with our logs of comments here, marks us as intelligent. We may at times be STUPID, but we are certainly intelligent. And we seek to KNOW things. Old things, new things, borrowed things, blue things.
In short, we are above the norm when it comes to knowledge. So we are not indicative of the population at large.

Just a reminder.

ON MICHAEL MOORE: I enjoy his work; he is a very apt polemicist. The few times he has twaddled the truth pain me, yes, because he's talented enough that he doesn't NEED to. Seems he's on-track with SICKO, though; even critics are finding it hard to dispute any of his facts there.

But KOS, I don't understand something. Where is it written that a populist can't enjoy success? Is it BAD for an advocate to get rich through his art in advocacy? I mean, if you feel he's lost touch with the common man by dint of the profits he's made, fine. But should he live in a garret in Flint, eschewing any benefit the subjects of his films do not have? I don't think so.

Earlier this month, Bush's Attorney General announced legislation the administration wants Congress to pass, legislation which would do an end run around the Supreme Court's 2005 ruling that sentencing guidelines are advisory only--an end run which would ensure that virtually every criminal does mandatory prison time:

Today, Bush commuted Scooter Libby's sentence, saying in part: "I respect the jury’s verdict. But I have concluded that the prison sentence given to Mr. Libby is excessive. Therefore, I am commuting the portion of Mr. Libby’s sentence that required him to spend thirty months in prison."

Way to stay on-message, guys ...

Chuck Messer <chuck_messer@hotmail.com>
Lakewood, Colorado - Monday, July 2 2007 20:35:45

Well, damn.
I've been reading Fred Saberhagen and loving the universe he created around the deadly machines he imagined and the political and societal impact it had on us humans...in his universe, that is. I still want to read his Dracula novels.

I raised a glass of the red in his name tonight. Well, Goddamn.

And being among the millions of uninsured and underinsured in this 'age of instability' where job security is becoming a thing of the past, I'm definitely going to see Sicko. I had a heart attack on May 27, 2003. Five months later, I was unemployed in the middle of a MAJOR recession. The latter was more frightening. I'm lucky to be alive today.

Viva Moore!


Mark Goldberg <markabaddon@gmail.com>
Minneapolis, - Monday, July 2 2007 19:55:24

I just took out my copy of Mr. Saberhagen's Empire of the East and will be re-reading it immediately. I will also mention his passing to some frinds who are on the ConVergence board to ensure he is remembered at the convention this weekend

- Monday, July 2 2007 15:57:13


Patricia was kind enough to call the other day to tell me Fred was gone. I knew him for years--and erroneously thought I was older than he--and kept calling him "kid"--and he was a dear man with oodles of talent. My softest words go out to Joan.

If you would cherish his memory, merely lift a cup in Fred's name at dinner tonight, whether at Maxim's in Paris, or Chili's in Poughkeepsie.


- Monday, July 2 2007 15:41:31

1) MIKE JACKA: Yes, please, I still need that Free Comic Day issue of THE LONE RANGER. Please send. Thank you.

2) KOS: You're a good guy, and we seldom disagree on The Big Stuff, but I must say this for the record: I think Michael Moore is an absolutely inspired polemicist, and a National Treasure. He has more conscience in his least hemorrhoid than do the entire jackalpack of Bush and his cabinet. Michael Moore MAY, at worst, take an op-ed writer's leeway with raw data (though I've yet to see ANY convincing evidence of even that, and certainly NONE of lying or duplicity); Bush (as the news just broke on the radio) has commuted Scooter Libby's sentence. Libby did precisely and exactly what drove the Republican shitwad out of its mind slavering for reparations when Clinto did it--lied to Congress--and they impeached HIM!
But oh no, not "the good soldier" Scooter! And you want to bust our chops about Michael Moore???!!!????

ChristOnaCrutch, kiddo, where the fuck is your brain?! Where the fuck is your sense of outrage?!? Where the fuck is your sense of Richt and Wrong, of balance in the universe, of fear for our very lifestyle and identity ... where the hell is your common sense, your perception of integrity, your I've-Had-As-Much-As-I-Can-Take ferocity, your clearing of the fog of bullshit rhetoric, your active denunciation of being identified, whether you like it or not, as a running dog in the pack that includes Robertson, Coulter, Limbaugh, Dobson, O'Reilly and all the neo-cons who refuse to see the fangs in the mouth of the Cheneys and Libbys and Rices and...oh, fuck...just FUCK, kiddo, you fulminate over someone who humanly c*A*R*E*S...MICHAELMOOOOOOORE!?! I wish to Ba'al that that sanctimonious religio-fascist cocksucker Geo. W. Bush had one one-millionth of Michael Moore's decency! You ought to drop to your knees and thank Dubya's Gawd that we are blessed, every once in a while, with a Jonas Salk, a Ralph Nader, a Mother Teresa, a Michael Moore. (Each of whom has saved a hundred times more lives than that bastard sonofabitch prickdancer Bush has blithely sent off to get guts spilled and faces squashed and braincases exploded. Do not, kindly, sir, piss on Michael Moore, an essentially decent man who spends his life in pursuit of truth, even a KIND of truth, whether you dine well on it or not, while madmen turn this nation into a giant Wal-Mart.

3) Will someone send an e.mail to Rick Wyatt and ask him to get rid of the "Greg Dubl" pharmaceutical come-on post? Thank you.

4) KOS: I apologize for the broken blood-vessels in my eyes.

Incendiarily, Harlan

(Who is just fuckin' fed up with it all!)

Michael M
Los Angeles, CA - Monday, July 2 2007 15:35:23


I am very, very sorry to hear about Mr. Saberhagen's passing. His berserker stories were such smart entertainment. The plots and characters have stuck in my head for years.

I think tonight I'll dig out my old paperbacks and enjoy the man's talent all over.

It ain't much, but it is something.

Patricia Rogers <qtera@comcast.net>
Bernallilo , NM - Monday, July 2 2007 15:21:12

Fred Saberhagen 1930-2007

Hi Everybody -

Sorry to bring bad news.

Fred Saberhagen passed away in his home in Albuquerque NM on the afternoon of 29June. The family will announce a date for a Memorial Celebration later this year. In lieu of flowers donations would be appreciated to any of the following - Doctors without Borders. Catholic Relief, SFWA Emergency Medical Fund, John 23rd Catholic Church in Albuquerque. If you would like to send an email message to the family please use - qtera@comcast.net

And Harlan - Joan especially asked me to Thank You for all your kindnesses and always being such a good friend.

I personally have been blessed to call Fred and Joan friends and I will miss him more than I can say. He was one of the best humans I have ever known.

-Patricia Rogers

Graham Rae
- Monday, July 2 2007 14:50:52

Al Queda finds out why Scottish people won't take their crap:


Scots are born warriors, religious lunatic morons; have had a reputation for it for centuries. They won't stand by whilst you try to murder innocent people in some rubbish error-filled terror attack. You have found that out.


- Monday, July 2 2007 14:49:26

I think the books in the Library of America are the most numbingly banal and boring books ever written with a couple of exceptions which are available in better looking editions. This is little more than totemism the kind of thing intellectually insecure adolescents can grab on to and reassure themselves they are people of quality and Kultuure. It’s clear they just send out little census forms to people like John Updike and E.L. Doctorow and the other Nation magazine redundancies who unfortunately DO represent the American literary mainstream. If you like the formless solipsistic mumbo-jumbo of Walt Whitman that’s your problem. Phillip K. Dick is not an important writer no matter what a 30 something fad like the author of Motherless Brooklyn says, the blurred visions of a pretentious cocaine sop is not literature. A tiny New York based clique of imaginatively dead ivy leaguers dictate their conceited self obsessed neurosis to readers and try to pass it off as the canon. If the embalmed playboy F. Scot Fitzgerald appeals to you rather than an SF contemporary like Seabury Quinn or a little later Lester Dent and the early cinema they influenced then that is also your peculiar problem. I’m sure the cuisine is superb at the Woodsy Knoll genius writers retreat at Vermont and Cape Cod… Degenerate 20 to 30 year olds like that creepy typist from the septic tank of contemporary England Jeffrey Eugenides or Tony Kushner continue to get the critical plaudits, how long will the academic/critical/literary and Oprah Winfrey establishments be taken seriously instead of being isolated and subjected to gamma ray bombardment like any other dangerous bacilli. That kind of incestuous provincialism is no different from the debased mentalities of the lemming hordes who continue to subsidize J.K. Rowlings McDonaldization of culture.

As for the attacks on Michael Moore, what do these asinine jokers think they’re doing? I would guess they’re not wealthy or they wouldn’t be posting messages on Harlan Ellison.com let’s say their mother is stricken with Multiple Myeloma like science fiction writer Jo Clayton…can her monthly social security checks pay for the ninety four thousand dollar chemotherapy treatment? Do they really love the fat and jolly insurance company executives that much? The corporate media moguls answer to their advertisers who own gold swimming pools and penis shaped water fountains that dispense champagne.



Professor, author, and friend of Pricilla Tolkien-Verlyn Flieger

Q. Last, any comments on Peter Jackson's film of The Fellowship of The Ring?

A. I didn't like it. But then, it wasn't aimed at me. It was aimed at the generations who've grown up on Star Wars and hunger for more and more action and greater and greater special effects. Jackson has turned an extremely sophisticated, complex and subtle -- and very long -- story into an action movie that I think satisfies the audience for whom he made it. The time constraint that the film format enforces makes it almost certain that, even making three separate films Jackson cannot get the fullness of Tolkien's story into a movie. Three hours of sitting is about the outside limit. I felt some parts were disastrously miscast, Elrond for example. Not the actor's fault, though if I'd been him I wouldn't have stood for that hairdo. Elijah Wood is just wrong for Frodo -- too young, too pretty, too goggle-eyed. And the script gave the character no chance to develop. His moments of growth in the barrow was omitted; his bravery when he turns and faces the Black Riders at the Ford was left out in favor of Arwen as Our Lady of the Ford. Galadriel was terrible, and since Cate Blanchett is a fine actor, she must have been directed to perform in that wooden, zombie-like manner. The script sentimentalized and overdid the Boromir character's repentance at the end. Boromir is not that good. As for un-Tolkienian lines like Gimli's "Nobody tosses a dwarf," and Strider's "Let's hunt some orc," they are beyond comment.

GregDubl <GregDubl>
USA, Pharma - Monday, July 2 2007 14:38:53


Mike Jacka <figre@cox.net>
Phoenix, AZ - Monday, July 2 2007 14:24:30

The Lone Ranger

Do you still need a copy of the Lone Ranger from free comic book day? My son works at a comic book store and they still have a copy. Let me know, and I'll ship it.


Frank Church
- Monday, July 2 2007 14:22:0

Steve Dooner, hey there fella, nice points, you and your new buddy Coil over der. Yea, once again the mainstream, corporate, sold out media have lied about Moore once again, even though this is obviously his most even handed film ever.

But, the reason is obvious, doesn't take much brain drain to lead one to the beginnings of the spiderweb: All these corporate media swine are paid off by drug companies, just like the politicians profiled in the film. Obvious because they never report this kind of stuff in their real news--balanced or not. Actually, when a new drug is approved by the FDA they can't wait to report on it. I think a kindergarden student with A.D.D. would know why.

Like all of Moore's films you have to look at the gist of what the film is trying to convey. The premise is pretty simple: Our healthcare is awful, unfair and kills people, lots of people. Moore says it best in bald wonder: "who are we?" We have to decide what kind of society we want; one that throws sick people out of bed and dumps them at Homeless shelters, or a society that thinks healthcare is a right that needs to be backed up by the government. Moore mentions socialized medicine because it is the universal consensus of the western world, EXCEPT FOR US! I know, we are the arbiter if all that is holy and good, I forgot.

Moore lets the witnesses make the devastating case for him. The horror heaped up in the film should convince anybody with any shred of morality or scruples that something is dangerously wrong. Sure, Moore plays around at times, but that's his way of getting mainstream movie goers to see his film. Don't blame him, that's the general public we deserve.

The film is important and needs to be seen and more importantly, acted upon.

This, from Democraticunderground kind of sums it up:



Kos, I'm a radical, but love money, need money, got to have money; I just don't make it my religion. This is the main difference between the left and the redneck right. They see property as a holy writ, we see property as responsible ground. Everyone wants to live the good life, the only difference is, we want everybody to have it, even if that means, dare I say it: Socialism.

I live to scare conservatives. Boo.


Sanjay Gupta should tell that lady who lost her daughter that Michael Moore should have been more fair and gave her insurance company its say. He would need medical attention, I'm sure.

It said all it needed to say when it killed her.


Moore also calls Cuba a "Godfersakin third world country." Guess the media missed that one as well.

Man, when that lady found out that the inhaler there cost five fuckin cents I sank, along with the rest of the audience. Then, like her I just got really angry.

Capitalism is the real evil.

Steven Dooner <sdooner@earthlink.net>
South Weymouth, MA - Monday, July 2 2007 11:15:16

Thanks for mentioning that, Alan.

I watched that CNN piece, in which Anderson Cooper had Dr. Sanjay Gupta "check" Michael Moore's facts. It was appalling, but not surprising, to see them fall in line with the same talking points that hit ABC, NBC and CBs's morning shows. Why the same recycled guff even found its way into Jay Leno's mouth during the Tonight Show interview.

If you read the entire CNN tanscript as presented by these "journalists," you would see the exact same rhetoric: "socialized medicine has long lines," "Moore extols the Cuban system while not pointing out that its health care system rates two below America." Yet, these scrupulous "journalists" somehow failed to notice that these very details that they say are missing are, in fact, in the movie.

And they repeat these statements as though they are actually criticisms of the movie, while not realizing the Cuba detail is part of Moore's case. If one of the most impoverished nations in the world--a nation run by a communist dictator, a nation suffering under a needless 40 year trade embargo--if such a nation only rates TWO behind the United States in healthcare, what does that say about us? In Moore's movie this same hobbled nation is shown as more willing to help our 9/11 rescue workers than we are. Even if this were only done for propaganda purposes, how does this do anything but help Moore's case?

And if it is propaganda, how come our own government hasn't realized the propaganda potential of giving free healthcare to the 9/11 rescue workers? What? Are they that stupid that they can't figure out something that Castro's government can figure out?

The Cooper broadcast was one of those dismissive and banal critiques of the film, where Gupta said the film was correct on some accounts while simultaneously reciting the talking points on socialized medicine. Cooper, at the same time, played the fair-minded critic who understands the larger picture that small-minded Moore could never understand. It was more irritating because these folks pretend to be unbiased, while all of their conclusions were reached long before the broadcast and the so-called reportage was completely and noticebaly rehearsed.

Look, Moore's movie is one side of an argument, as he repeatedly states in all of his interviews, and it is an entertainment film. It is meant to provoke thought, but rather than allowing the movie to foster a real debate, the journalistas are simply attacking Moore's personality and dismissing the film. I'm not surprised that so-called objective journalists are finding fault with the movie's "bias" rather than beginning a thoughtful debate.

Steve Dooner

Alan Coil <lcoil@peoplepc.com>
Southeast Michigan - Monday, July 2 2007 10:32:7

CNN checked Moore's facts. "'Sicko' numbers mostly accurate; more context needed".

Copied from Steve Dooner's post: ""Moore doesn't show that Cuba is number 39 in healthcare," they all say repeatedly, completely ignoring that he does indeed show this in the movie and that he also shows the impoverishment of contemporary Cuba."

From the CNN piece: "The United States comes in at No. 37." So, our healthcare system is just slightly better than Cuba's. Maybe that is why Moore went there.
Re: Josh Olson's post:

It's amazing how the conservative wags make comments about "rich liberals" when the ones making the comments are themselves rich. Limpburger must be at least worth $50 million by now. Even those who are merely mouthpieces on cable television must be making salaries in the 6-7 figures. O'Really must be making $2-3 million a year. Pot. Kettle. Black. (As they say on the internet.)

Lori Koonce <purplelynn35@excite.com>
San Francisco, California - Monday, July 2 2007 10:12:52

Catch up!
Man don't you people have anything better to do on a sunday than sit around making a bizillion posts for me to read and respond to! It wouldn't be so bad if my computer wasn't acting up, but seeing as how it is......

I'll do my best to keep this short and to the point!

Mr Silver: I tried sending you an email, but it got bounced back to me, so I suppose untill I get another address from you, here it will have to be. I know the addy attached to my posts works, so would you please send me a few choices for getting together. Thanking you in advance.

To those who made remarks about San Francisco: The Bay Area is a great place for Science Fiction but I'm having a hell of a time finding Ellison fans, which surprises me.

More on that fact tomorrow.... Therapy waits for no one!!!


Steve Barber <barbergallery@verizon.net>
- Monday, July 2 2007 9:51:40

DAVID: You're probably right. Cris does unusually-arranged covers of a couple Beatles tunes which are unlikely to get recognized as such unless you're already a fan of their music.

On the other hand, I've mentioned the Cirque du Soleil show "LOVE" several times, and it's my hope that show alone can contribute a bit towards their staying power.

And, it might simply be my readily and steadily advancing years, but can anyone point to a popular performer who has emerged in the last decade who has the potential to match the staying power of the previous generations of musicians? I consider myself fairly well versed, but am pulling a blank.

Regarding JOSH's post: I am reminded of an old Bloom County strip of two decades ago -- so please forgive any lapses and inaccuracies in the below description -- in which Steve Dallas, Cutter John and Bobbi (and the menagerie) are in a bar, with a soused flower child sitting at the opposite end. The flower child (male) explains that he wrote a treatise on some sort of societal issue and then watched as it became a nationwide bestseller and earned him millions. He had spent the day working with his accountant to find loopholes in the tax code and this unnerved him greatly.

The final panel has the now obviously upset flower child grabbing conservative lawyer Dallas by the lapels and screaming "WHAT'S A GOOD LIBERAL TO DO???!"

(Just because you're a Lib doesn't mean you have to be poor. Or apologetic about it if you're not.)

DTS <none>
- Monday, July 2 2007 9:39:50

Talking points mentioned by Dooner -- and scary, low IQ monsters
STEVE DOONER: A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, an evil emperor...wait, that's something else. Anyone involved in journalism these days should be able to tell you that Ruper Murdoch -- who has bought a majority of the newspapers, as well as lots of TV companies (and is, of course, the puppet master behind FOX NEWS) -- can tell you that Murdoch has long been affecting the way news is "reported." Reporters and anchors rarely verify things anymore, prefering to be timely rather than accurate. Since Fox News grew in popularity, since all the cable channels want to emulate success (even if it is modeled on lies),and since Murdoch purposely floods the media with his biased view of things (he and and his upper echelon henchmen make sure everyone "stays on message"), the majority of news outlets report Murdoch's lies. And the public digests them as the truth. (One good example of this is a forum run by a well-known genre author who -- along with his internet acoloytes -- believes Fox News and the like represent the mainstream, that the Iraq War is a good thing, and that President George W. Bush is an honorable man. Everytime I posted on that site -- a bad habit I've broken myself of -- I left remembering the scene in "Aliens" where Ripley asked if the IQs on Earth had just lowered considerably while she was in cryo-freeze. I feel the same way, except the IQ of the general population in America seems to have taken a downturn while I was away in Germany during the mid-to-late80s. Then 2000 hit and the downturn in IQ levels could be best represented as a mudslide. Aaaaaaah!).

Scary, id'nit?

Josh Olson
- Monday, July 2 2007 9:18:47


"Populism in a baseball cap, sitting in the backseat of a limo on the way to his Manhattan penthouse while his kids go to private schools on the East Side."

Ah, yes. The old "limousine liberal" canard. This one has always amused me - it's the classic conservative swipe, and like much that comes from that school of thought, it doesn't stand up to a lick of scrutiny.

A liberal with money is somehow duty bound to keep his kids in public schools? To not spend any of his money on anything that might be perceived as luxurious? To wear Armani tuxedoes everywhere?


Where in god's green earth is it written that earning a good living and being a liberal are somehow conflicting ideas? And where is it written that being a liberal requires giving everything away to the poor?

See, where the doofuses on the right fall apart completely is with their inane assumption that liberalism equals communism. That somehow, if you care about justice, you must want to give all your wealth to the poor. It's not enough to donate money to charity and to make movies that champion important causes, you also have to live in a refrigerator box down by the river because.... well, like most conservative cant, the reasoning behind this one doesn't reach past the level of knee jerk.

I recently read a piece on some wingnut fundie Christian blog about a book on atheism. The guy blasted the book (without having read it, of course) then stated that the writer probably also thought money was evil. He just leapt across that chasm without a ramp-up. It's the exact same loony reasoning as we see here. And to date, not one of these folks can explain it rationally.

Yeah, Michael Moore's rich. That's because he makes movies that sell millions of tickets. That's sort of how our system works, and I fail to see how criticizing gun culture, or attacking the scumbags who've created our medical insurance mess means one automatically eschews profit.

Michael Moore used to be poor. Now he's not. The goal of these conservative critics is to make that seem like some kind of crime, some kind of hypocrisy, to keep any agenda that includes helping the poor from having any teeth.

And the most amusing assumption behind all of it is this - once one starts making money, it is natural that one will suddenly become a conservative who doesn't give a shit about the poor.

Ay yi yi.

David Loftus <dloft59 (at) earthlink.net>
Portland, OR - Monday, July 2 2007 9:12:58

generational amnesia and insularity

:: Yesterday I picked up The Beatles Anthology on DVD,
:: replacing my old laserdisc edition, and the early-20s
:: clerk at Best Buy shrugged and said, "The Beatles. Huh.
:: I've never heard an entire Beatles song"

Actually, it's probably worse than you think. I'd lay better than even money he HAS heard an entire Beatles song through, and simply doesn't know it. I hear Beatles covers all the time at Starbucks, and the originals piped in over supermarket sound systems, in transit malls, and in pubs.

It's not about his ignorance (or rather, not JUST about that); it's about his insularity and inattentiveness to anything not spoon-fed him by current marketers and his peer group.

Have you ever counted how many passersby, on foot and at the wheel, are on cell phones, and how many pedestrians have their ears plugged into an iPod? No wonder they miss so much that goes on around them.

But I wouldn't spend a lot of time bitching and moaning about it. As Will Rogers said, "Everybody's ignorant, only on different subjects." The peak era of the Beatles is now much farther from us in time than the peak era of the Dorseys, Glenn Miller, Crosby, and Sinatra (his initial peak as a pop idol, I mean) was from my youth, and my knowledge of their work now, as it certainly was when I was a 20-something, though far better than that of my peers, remains but sketchy.

James Levy <susjpl@hofstra.edu>
New York - Monday, July 2 2007 8:56:31

Healthcare in Wales
When I was doing my graduate work on the Royal Navy in Wales, a friend of mine came down to my flat and siad that a mutual friend was acting strangely. We went upstairs and indeed she was becoming incoherent. So, we piled her into my friend's Ford Fiesta and headed off to the hospital. We lived in Swansea, an old industrial city somewhere in size between Youngstown and Pittsburg. We pulled up to Casualty (which is what they rather ominously call the Emergency Room) and rushed inside. By the way, it was about 10:30 on a Sunday night. We saw the doctor straight away, and he asked about her. "Is she on any medication?" "Yes." "Did you bring it?" "Yes." The doctor saw that it was an antidepressant, CALLED HER DOCTOR IN CANADA to consult (his name was on the perscription bottle), then changed her dosage, gave us a perscription, and, as my friend's head started to clear, sent us on our way with orders to keep an eye on her. Not bad treatment for a foreigner in a backwater hospital in Wales on a Sunday night. And, of course, no charge. This is, to be sure, an anecdote. It is not hard science. But the problem with any scientific look at medical care in the aggregate is the whopping disparities that you see between what the rich and poor, what the insured and the uninsured, and, lets face it, between black and white people, get as medical treatment (especially preventitive care) here in America compared with other advanced capitalist states. Like in so many other ways, Am,erica is the best country to be rich in, but it is far from the best country to be poor in. So if anyone says that America has the best health care system, you have to add the question: "For whom? For rich people, certainly, but for poor people and uninsured people, I'd lay heavy odds, no." We use money and job status to ration our health care; others use a more egalitarian approach. I would prefer the more egalitarian approach. It would be nice if the majority could rule on this, but alas the rich and the profit-making healthcare and insurance companies will NEVER let us have such a system; it has simply been taken off the list of allowable topics for public consideration.

Larry Forrest <idoubtabout@aol.com>
Tulsa, Oklahoma - Monday, July 2 2007 8:48:27

More on Moore
KOS wrote of Michael Moore: "He's a hypocritical exploiter of his own workers, stealing credits and appropriating as his own the work of others."

Could you be more specific? I don't recall Moore being successfully sued by anyone for this alleged "stealing" and "appropriating."

"Populism in a baseball cap, sitting in the backseat of a limo on the way to his Manhattan penthouse while his kids go to private schools on the East Side."

I'm not aware of any law requiring a person to take a vow of poverty before becoming a populist. Are you saying that, in order to be a champion of the downtrodden, one must live in a rat-infested tenement or perhaps in a rusty trailer home? Either Moore's critique of our health care system is valid or it isn't. Whether he has one dollar in the bank or one billion dollars is irrelevant to the matter in question--as irrelevant as his weight or which baseball team he roots for.

"Those who play the pretzel logic songs of the heart love to see the crowd dance to the melody."

When I left the theater after seeing SICKO, I didn't feel like dancing; but then it must be admitted that I finished at the bottom of my class in the Prince Charles School of the Terpsichorean Art. Seriously folks, I hope this documentary will result in a lot of angry people waltzing into D.C. and demanding that our coporate-owned-and-operated "leaders" will thereafter boogie to the tune of universal health care.

"Cults of personality always lead to the same thing: blind worship and the surrender of your own moral faculties."

Gee, I didn't intend for my positive remarks about Moore to leave the impression that I would quaff a cup of cyanide-laced Kool Aid to his greater glory. Hell, I wouldn't even do that for Harlan! It seems to me most Moore bashers delight in the ad hominem attack: he's rich, he's fat, he's an egomaniac--while neglecting to challenge his arguments in a substantive fashion. Though one may quarrel with his methods, I don't see how any reasonable person could deny the essential point that Moore makes in SICKO: our health care system is tragically flawed and, in fact, is inferior to those of several other countries. This may come as a shock to many Americans, who have been led to believe that our nation is God's favorite and number one in all virtuous categories, but there it is.

By the way, when I wrote that "I feel a bit odd calling a fat guy in a baseball cap a genius," I meant it facetiously. After all, I'M a fat guy who frequently wears baseball caps; alas, I'm not a genius. Oh well, two outta three ain't bad.

john j zeock <k33kong@aol.com>
conshohocken, pa - Monday, July 2 2007 7:51:46

stupid question
here's the stupid question-i should know this but i don't.. i'd like to use a short w.s.merwin prose piece as a coda for a piece i'm finishing up. how do i contact him or his people and how do i get the rights to it ? i'm not sure if this is something i used to know and just forgotten or if i've never known this and what does that say?

Adam-Troy Castro <adamcastro999@yahoo.com>
- Monday, July 2 2007 7:20:44

The Beatles In Obscurity
It doesn't bother me, all that much, that the Beatles are becoming just another period act, no longer at the forefront of pop culture. They will never again be as big as they were in 1964 or even in 1980, and will soon reach a permanent natural level, as they are subsumed into the strata of past influence. There will always be people who only know what was sold to them this week, whose knowledge goes back three minutes, like the several folks I've met who had no idea who Humphrey Bogart was, and the one, in the anecdote that convulsed Harlan, about the guy who thought the movie JFK was about the airport and who, when told it was about the President, wondered if anything special had happened to him. But the Beatles, in particular, have new fans coming up every year. For instance, my nephews, and Judi's Godson, love the Beatles. They also love Monty Python and, for what it's worth, Charlie Chaplin and Laurel and Hardy. These things have all been shown to them, and have virally connected.

FWIW, I think the Beatles will still have listeners fifty years from now, listeners who were not born when all of the boys are dust. They may be a relatively rarefied pleasure. But, really, to wish more of them at that point, is to wish that the culture stands totally still, and never stops accruing.

I did enjoy a recent conversation with a twentysomething who told me I only liked the Beatles because my tastes had stopped growing thirty years ago. He demanded one artist I liked from the past five years. I shot back, "Nellie McKay!" He said, "WHO!?" I said, well, I guess you're not cool enough to know...

No, what bothers me MORE is a conversation I had with a twentysomething, a few years back. I'd gotten onto the topic of personal heroes, and I'd mentioned a number of writers, artists, historical and political figures. I asked him if there was anybody he looked up to. He said, no. Nobody. I said, no political figure? No creator? No historical figure? He shrugged, no. I asked him, do you believe in anything? He shrugged, no. I was surrounded by several of his friends and they all agreed, nothing matters, so nothing's worth looking up to. I have since discovered that this is a common (if not prevalent) attitude among folks of that generation, and I continue it FAR more pernicious, far more frightening, a phenomenon than that of a generation whose icons have merely changed.

- Monday, July 2 2007 7:15:56

Moore's movie educates about the United States' resistance to what some all a "socialized medical system" (dunno, but we don't call it that in Germany - one has to differentiate between solidarity and socialism, especially when people really mean stalinism). Given that resistance, it shouldn't be a surprise to anyone that we find it reflected in the way the film is being treated by some in the U.S.

Steven Dooner <sdooner@earthlink.net>
South Weymouth, MA - Sunday, July 1 2007 22:50:20

Any good journalist should be able to see Michael Moore's film for what it is--an essay! Has no one in our media ever heard of an "argument" or an "opinion column," the best of which are always dependent on solid facts.

Is there one who can realize that Moore's trip to Cuba was meant as satire and as a simultaneous attempt to shame the American healthcare government for not taking care of our 9/11 rescue workers. Was he a tool for "COMMUNIST PROPAGANDA" or was he using this circumstance to say we can do better.

You don't have to share his opinion to admire what he has accomplished, and the false critical thinking used to assassinate the movie on CNN, NBC, CBS and ABC (It's not worth mentioning FOX), is laughable.

How is it that every single one of those networks with "real" journalists in their news programs were somehow able to recycle the same talking points about the movie?

"Moore doesn't show that Cuba is number 39 in healthcare," they all say repeatedly, completely ignoring that he does indeed show this in the movie and that he also shows the impoverishment of contemporary Cuba.

"Moore doesn't acknowledge that their are long lines in countries that have socialized medicine"--except that he does! And he mentions it more than once.

"Moore slants the facts to suit his purposes" Oh, but they never say which facts he slants.

"Moore gives false impressions of the Canadian, French and English healthcare systems"--not really. He merely chooses to ask people in those countries if they are happy with their healthcare, and then he cites life expectancy rates and approval ratings in those countries. Then he contrasts that with Americans who are terribly disapointed with managed care and with anecdotes of individuals who are suffering because of the system.

Do people suffer in other countries--you betcha! But I can look around me and see people who are terrified of running out of coverage in all our communities.

Moore simply asks why "the greatest country in the world" does not have the greatest healthcare system. he's actually a helluva a lot more optimistic and patriotic then I'll ever be. I'm too much of a cynic to believe we'll ever change.

Steve Dooner

The Silver Surfer <cosmos>
- Sunday, July 1 2007 22:18:34

Yo, HARLAN, me an' Galactus were wonderin' if ya had a table o'contents listing for Volume 3 of your mighty fine series of audio story collections; and, if so, we're hoping you can share it with the class.

By the way: if "On the Downhill Side" and "The Whimper of Whipped Dogs" -- both of which have been out on other, less advanced type of recordings for years -- _aren't_ included in Volume 3, Galactus will be visiting Ellison Wonderland before heading onto the rest of the planet.


Laurie <lauriejane@mindspring.com>
Los Angeles, California - Sunday, July 1 2007 21:57:32

Yes, I know that awful feeling, as if I'd been obsoleted. I was particularly jolted by your mention of Roy Orbison, one of my all time favorite singers. He's gotten me through almost as many lonely tough times and long dark nights as HE.

Maybe it's my age, but it seems to me that when I was a kid, we knew a lot about our parents times. Maybe not a whole lot, but a little. We knew a bit about doughboys and WWI, Prohibition, Al Capone, Elliot Ness, the Crash, the Depression and the Dust Bowl, Okies coming to California, Woodie Guthrie, we read Steinbeck in and out of school, also Hemingway, we'd heard of Al Jolson, Bessie Smith, Cab Calloway, Bing Crosby (even if we didn't listen to them much), we knew something about "the War" (which was how our parents referred to WWII), the Battle of Britain, D-Day, VJ Day etc.

Was it because our parents elicited more respect from us than we boomers have managed to engender in our young? The way I remember it, we kids figured if they could defeat Hitler, Mussolini and Tojo, they could sure as hell manage US.

Or maybe it's just that we had a better school system and better education back then. Most people thought it was normal to read a book and kids read books or at least comic books when I was growing up; most of us read both.

The conversation that shocked me--I'm still mentally reeling from this one--happened in my classroom about 5 or 6 months ago. I was talking to a young woman who was a recent graduate of a two year college and who planned on becoming a teaching assistant and maybe eventually a teacher. I told her I was concerned with laws like Patriot Acts 1 & 2 because of the deterioration of our rights under the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

She told me she and her friends just weren't interested in that stuff and did not care at all if their rights--all of them--just disappeared. I was shocked and questioned her specifically, such as asking her if it was OK with her if a policeman broke down her door in the middle of the night to search for something on a whim with no search warrant because she or her family had become politically suspect. She calmly nodded and said, "Sure." She stated that it would not bother her at all. I gave a number of other strong examples of the violation of rights, such as it being OK for the authorities to torture people or hold them in jail indefinitely with no specific charges or deny them due process for political reasons and she calmly stated that it didn't worry her at all, it was fine with her. I was stunned and stuttered out that I could not understand why none of this was of any concern to her. She spoke clearly, good diction, good grammar, was polite, friendly, and I could not get my mind around her thinking. She had just graduated from college, planned to work with kids in a classroom. I asked her how in the world she could think like that and she answered that it was just a matter of fashion, like the bell bottom jeans my generation wore in the 60s. She told me that nowadays no one worries about people's rights. She told me that our generation did things one way--tie dyes and the Beattles and all that--and most people in her generation just weren't interested in things like the Bill of Rights. If I hadn't been in the middle of my work day and in a classroom, I know I would have cried. Maybe I should have anyway. She was so nice and friendly and matter of fact as she politely explained to me that I just hadn't kept up with today's trends and fashions.

How did this change occur?

On a lighter note....about the Penny Lane reading. First time I had seen HE read (I'd heard him on recordings before but had never actually seen him read in front of an audience). It really stunned me. I was very tired from a particulary stressful day at work (I'd had a physical altercation with a student and he won) so I was not very lively, a touch of delayed stress. But, nevertheless, I was riveted by Harlan's reading. The event rang in my head so intensely that I was moved to poetry, not letting a little thing like lack of serious literary talent stop me. Am I allowed to post the poem here? If so, I will get up my nerve and do it.

DTS <none>
- Sunday, July 1 2007 21:44:3

re: the Beatles, etc., and another way of looking at things...
PAUL: Personally, I can't figure out why the clerk's comments would make you feel old. What they should make you feel is privileged to be smart enough that you seek out worthwhile music (or books, or art, or whatever). After all, _I_ listen to various types of music from the 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s -- not to mention classical music from centuries well before the 20th -- and I'm certainly much younger than the folks who were around when any of the tunes I listen to might've been popular. What you should've said to the clerk was, "Your loss," and then continued about your day with the knowledge that most human beings can't even be led to water, let alone encouraged to drink it.


Dan Peretti <danperetti@gmail.com>
Bloomington, Indiana - Sunday, July 1 2007 21:11:22

RE: The Unraveling Thread

I found your post a good read. The thing is, the problem has been thoroughly diagnosed. Call it cultural amnesia, ignorance, or what have you. It's certainly a disconcerting phenomenon. But what's to be done about it? Perhaps a naive question, but I don't really have an answer.

I was particularly disturbed by the girl's comment George Harrison. It's almost as if she wouldn't listen to someone's music once that person's dead.


Paul Mounts <ziplipp@mac.com>
Chicago, IL - Sunday, July 1 2007 21:9:36


I know the feeling. Yesterday I picked up The Beatles Anthology on DVD, replacing my old laserdisc edition, and the early-20s clerk at Best Buy shrugged and said, "The Beatles. Huh. I've never heard an entire Beatles song"

Really? not even "Yesterday" or "Something"?

"Never heard of those."

I'm 43 and felt 90.

Brian Siano
- Sunday, July 1 2007 21:0:12

There's a lot to dislike about Michael Moore. But face facts, friends; _Sicko_ addresses an important and appalling issue, and Moore does it with wit, style, and undeniable power. Sure, bitch about his use of melodrama, his self-promotion, and all of the "fallacies' lovingly compiled by corporate flacks who've been paid very, very well to take down Moore.

He's nailed this issue more effectively than anyone else. He is our most effective muckraker and hellraiser, and despite some misgivings, I'll take him with all his faults.

And you should all be very, very suspicious of the people denouncing him.

Tony Ravenscroft
The Big Empty, MN - Sunday, July 1 2007 20:57:2

I'm ducking the Michael Moore thing entirely, because the journalist in me doesn't like how he's bent more than a few facts to tell a story, & the storyteller in me utterly admires how the truths he gets across are greater than the damaged (& smaller?) truths he's damaged to get there.

Today, NPR did a nice, all-too-short overview of _Bladerunner_, interviewing some of the primary actors (Hauer & Olmos specifically) as to what they took from the experience.

Last year, when some board or other asked, "What film moment made you cry?" I readily said, "Roy Batty's 'like tears in rain' monologue."

And those media bastards played it again, the last lines at least, & I sat there & cried.

Possibly the only lines I wish Ellison'd written. Certainly the pinnacle of Hauer's eloquence.

Greg Hurd
Same Place-Alpena, Michigan - Sunday, July 1 2007 19:40:42

More Moore
I hate to get on board defending Michael Moore in such a biased forum, but the ploy "He's a hypocritical exploiter of his own workers, stealing credits and appropriating as his own the work of others." was used after the TV Nation days by some whiners who found themselves out of a job after the plug was pulled on the show and hasn't been used since that I know of. Just seems to be the same bullshit regugitated by the Internet. If you stick around for the credits there are dozens of people who are named, and they're not all named Michael Moore. He puts the stuff out and he becomes the target by either the right wing conspiracy or the left wing hypocrisy.

After "Bowling for Columbine" did so well a local reporter who knew Moore in Flint did a hit piece and recounted Moore's days of living in of a hovel, smoking dope and spouting revolution. And he did go on forever about the smoking dope/scoring dope scenario. That piece ran here, Traverse City, Detroit and Flint. Not that it made much of an impact. Moore was in his early thirties at that point in the article and hardly riding in limos. The short stint at Mother Jones did not make him much cash either. He did bust his ass along the way and saw much of what is wrong in our country and does seem to have a conscious about reporting it. Flint may not have the allure of Compton and East LA, but there are still some shitty areas. If I had not been reading Moore's stuff since 1982, I might jump on this particular hay wagon.

By the way, has anyone checked out Zack de la Rocha's stock portfolio?

shagin <smodell1995@yahoo.com>
Bremerton, Washington - Sunday, July 1 2007 19:34:17


Nothing in KOS's remark even remotely implied the thoughts or opinions you're trying to foist on him. KOS didn't claim that Moore did not believe in said causes, he didn't even claim that the causes themselves weren't worthy. I believe his remark was geared more towards the means of how such causes were presented and how the public might respond. Does your challenge have more to do with what was said, or the fact that he came out against Moore's style?

KOS can speak for himself quite well, thank you, and I'll let him do just that. I can't find anything disagreeable about his post.


- Sunday, July 1 2007 19:3:25


"Michael Moore is just a slick purveyor of sarcasm and anger masquerading as righteousness."

In short, you're implying he doesn't really believe or believe IN his own arguments; his films belie his true convictions. Moore doesn't REALLY give a shit.

I'm taking you to task. Back your statement with some facts. PROVE what you just said.

Because I think your comment is utter bullshit.

Alan Coil <lcoil@peoplepc.com>
Southeast Michigan - Sunday, July 1 2007 18:42:10

"and I feel a bit odd calling a fat guy in a baseball cap a genius"

Harlan has been known to wear a baseball cap, I do believe.

Tim Lowe <scabbledogg@hotmail.com>
Red Bank, TN - Sunday, July 1 2007 17:37:54

On Michael Moore

First of all, I bet there are lots of "geniuses" who are overweight and who wear ballcaps.

Second, I don't believe I have surrendered my "moral faculties" because I am a huge fan of Michael Moore's work
over and out,


T <scabbledogg@hotmail.com>
Red Bank, TN - Sunday, July 1 2007 17:37:38

On Michael Moore

First of all, I bet there are lots of "geniuses" who are overweight and who wear ballcaps.

Second, I don't believe I have surrendered my "moral faculties" because I am a huge fan of Michael Moore's work
over and out,


Steambird Springs, Alta California - Sunday, July 1 2007 15:55:9

Michael Moore and emotions
Sicko might be a great film, but Michael Moore is just a slick purveyor of sarcasm and anger masquerading as righteousness. He's a hypocritical exploiter of his own workers, stealing credits and appropriating as his own the work of others.

"Other than that, how did you like the play Mrs. Lincoln?"

Populism in a baseball cap, sitting in the backseat of a limo on the way to his Manhattan penthouse while his kids go to private schools on the East Side.

And yes, I do believe in walking the walk while talking the talk, and calling those who don't the spade they are,

Ah, but his heart is in the right place.

But it's so human to love the manipulator. We all love to be twisted by those who can play the music. Those who can play the pretzel logic songs of the heart love to see the crowd dance to the melody.

But it's stilll a mugs game, and you're a fool to whistle to the tune and think you will never have to pay the piper.

Cults of personality always lead to the same thing: blind worship and the surrender of your own moral faculties.


Steve Barber <barbergallery@verizon.net>
- Sunday, July 1 2007 10:3:35

The Unraveling Thread

(Apologies for the length of this post)

I have mentioned, ad nauseum perhaps, that my wife is a performer. And that her gigs take us from one end of what television executives would refer to as the Los Angeles SMSA to the other. They may be anything from large corporate events on the lawn of some resort hotel in Laguna or automotive showrooms in Santa Monica, to public performances at trendy nightclubs (Martini Blues or the Coach House) or small local venues like our favorite restaurant, Long Beach's Four Olives Cafe. I am the roady for the smaller gigs, setting up and breaking down the gear (the size of which depends heavily on the size of the venue, and at the bigger things we have a professional sound guy who she brings in. However. at all of those events I am welcome to pull up a chair and enjoy the party.

(Wait for it. There's a solid Ellison connection here. Just gimme time for a proper framing.)

There are other gigs she plays, usually at private residences, that -- to me -- require that I make myself scarce. Sitting at someone's house, or at the private hall in some ritzy hotel -- usually for four or five hours -- is uncomfortable for me. I feel very much like a crasher and while I'm well socialized (really, I am) and more than capable of "working a room", it's niot appropriate to do so at a private affair.

Which brings me to last night. A couple of months ago a woman we've never met, but who who considers herself a "major fan" of Cris' music, contacted my wife through her website asking if, for the woman's 40th birthday, Cris would consider playing a few sets. The woman, by the way, is extraordinarily nice, enthusiastic and polite. (This isn't one of THOSE stories.) They talked by phone, and agreed that Cris and two musicians would plays for 'x' hours at her house, blah, blah, blah. It would require our "small" music system, and we could set up in the back yard by the pool.

(No, the pool doesn't feature in this tale either. Give me time.)

Oh. I forgot to mention. This particular gig was north of LA in a town called Stevenson Ranch, which is a couple of miles from the Magic Mountain Theme Park. Roughly sixty miles from our house. Too far for me to set up and go home, but too long a gig for me to use my dvd player without destroying the car battery in the process. So, dinner and a movie for me. (Unfortunately, the only film playing in a usable showtime was "Knocked Up". Cris told me show would have my head if I were to see "Ratatouille" or "Die Hard".)(And no, this isn't about the movie either.)

The movie ended around ten pm, and since the gig had been scheduled to end at 10:30 I headed back towards the house. Halfway there my cellphone rings. It's Cris. The client has asked for them to play overtime -- nice money, and it certainly means they're enjoying the music. It's good, and I'm a good sport about it, but as I hang up I realize I'm in a bedroom community that rolls up the streets at Ten. Finally, I manage to find a Chili's Restaurant where I can park my backside for at least a ha;f hour or so. (Don't hate me. It was a port in a storm. Well. A light rain.)(Hold on. Almost there.)

So I grab my book and go in. ANGRY CANDY. Written by Mr. Harlan J. Ellison. I haven't picked up ANGRY CANDY for a few years, and had recently gotten this copy (hardback) at the Penny Lane event a month ago.

To refresh your memories, the introduction of the book -- THE WIND TOOK YOUR ANSWER AWAY -- deals with the subject of death. Not just death as it impacts us all, but death for those people who have left a legacy, a contribution to the betterment of us all. The years leading up to 1988 were rough ones on our patron (much as have been the last few, I might note). Many friends gone in a short period of time. Harlan goes through a series of events which shook him to his very soul, and tells it as only he can.

He mentions, in one particular passage, the loss of Theodore Sturgeon. In it, Harlan must call the now-dead-itself Los Angeles Herald-Examiner, where he encounters a young fool who doesn't recognize Sturgeon's name. This is too much for our host and he does his thing and leaves the kid something to think about.

Oh. One other point of note: a few pages earlier -- to re-refresh your memories -- Harlan mentions that each collection of his works has a unifying thread that, in many ways, just assembles itself. (Getting to the meat of the post here.)

As I am reading this piece, it strikes me that -- on this night of a brilliant full moon, sixty miles from my house -- the evening itself had a common thread. A fortieth birthday. A film about an unwanted (initially) pregnancy. The book ANGRY CANDY.

And as I'm sitting in my little booth in Chili's reading an introduction on the subject of death and how fleeting fame can be, I overhear a conversation at the table behind me. A Thirty-ish manager with a male voice is sitting, going over little restauranty things with what sounds like a late-teenish young woman. Over the Muzak comes the 'Handle With Care' by the Traveling Wilburys. Also coincidentally released in 1988, which I did not know until this morning.

The manager absently mentions he "loves this song."

There's a pause. "I've never heard it. Who does it?" comes the reply.

"The Traveling Wilburys. With Jeff Lynne, Tom Petty and Roy Orbison."

"Never heard of 'em."

"Really?" You can feel the surprise. It's palpable, even through the booth seat. "How about George Harrison or Bob Dylan? They're in the band too."

"I think maybe....?"

"Harrison. The Beatles?"

"Oh, gosh, THEM I've heard of! Didn't know he was still alive...."

At this point I closed my copy of Angry Candy, closed the introduction dealing with death and the loss of a legacy which should be oh-so-important, signaled for the check, and left to collect my wife at the fortieth birthday party. The last thing I hear from the conversation behind me is the 30-ish manager's voice.

"God. I feel so old..."

Larry Forrest <blabouff@cox.net>
Tulsa , Oklahoma - Sunday, July 1 2007 9:59:26

I saw SICKO on Friday. It's a masterpiece. You will laugh, you will cry, but most of all you will be ANGRY. I think the real genius of Michael Moore (and I feel a bit odd calling a fat guy in a baseball cap a genius) is that he puts a human face on statistics. To hear that 18,000 Americans die every year because they cannot get the necessary health care is disturbing; however, to hear the tearful testimony of a woman whose husband died because their insurance company would not approve an "experimental" treatment, is an emotional haymaker.

Not since JAWS have I seen an audience so masterfully manipulated--and I mean "manipulated" in the best sense of the term. Normally, I'm a "Just-the-facts-ma'am" kind of guy: give me the facts and the figures, minus the emotional spin, and I'll make up my mind, thank you very much. Watching SICKO, however, I realized that there are some issues we SHOULD be emotional about; and that to omit the emotions is to neglect an important part of the equation.

Unless one has a heart of stone, it is impossible NOT to get emotional at the sight of mentally and physically ill people being dumped on skid row in LA; at the story of a mother whose year-and-a-half old daughter died because she was refused care at a hospital, due to insurance company restrictions; and at the woes suffered by people who volunteered to help after 9/11 in New York City, and have been refused treatment by the government.

(A digression: The government pocketbook, which snaps shut in the faces of these noble volunteers, opens wide in the presence of sales reps for Halliburton. Gee, wonder why?)

Whatever one may say of Michael Moore, this much is certain: he is an iconoclast. And, regarding his documentarian style, I think the comment of another iconoclast, H.L. Mencken, applies: "One horselaugh is worth ten-thousand syllogisms." One more relevant quip: "I'm as mad as hell and I'm not going to take this anymore!" as written by Paddy Chayefsky and shouted by Peter Finch/Howard Beale.

See SICKO and get angry.

- Saturday, June 30 2007 21:8:50

San Francisco
Ummm...I have been to two Worldcons in and around San Francisco. Who runs them if not local fans? Just wondering.

Roger Gjovig <rlgjovig@aol.com>
West Des Moines, Iowa - Saturday, June 30 2007 17:19:41

I saw the new Bruce Willis "Die Hard/Live Free" movie yesterday. Wow! What a wild and bloody film from start to finish. It was pretty entertaining as well as being wild. I was trying to decide whether to see that one or "Ratatouille". Talk about the opposite ends of the spectrum. I've been trying yo get to see "Waitress" also. I just haven't made it yet.
CD's on my changer in the car right now. Neil Young "Live at Massey Hall 1971", "Ricky Skaggs & Bruce Hornsby", Kelly Clarkson "My December". The Turtles "Turtle Soup", The Temptations "Greatest Hits Volume 1" and the newest Spyrogyra record that was just released.

David Loftus <dloft59 (at) earthlink.net>
Portland, Oregon - Saturday, June 30 2007 17:6:18

San Fran

David Silver observed:

:: For reasons unknown, San Francisco has been a black hole for science fiction
:: and fantasy fans going back as far as I can remember.

Too weird for science fiction, obviously.

David Silver <silver@well.com>
San Francisco, CA - Saturday, June 30 2007 14:51:42

To Lori Koonce, regarding weekly coffee...
Hey Lori,

I'm here. That makes two of us in the City. Let's see if there are any others, but if not, I'd be glad to hook up with you over the occasional cup-o-mud to talk about all things Ellison or related subjects. Keep it going here for now if you want to catch the attention of anymore local Webderland lurkers, or get back to me via my e-mail. It would be a pleasure to share some time with anybody interested in speculative and fantastic fiction, especially if they're pursuing writing it (yes, I'm *that* David Silver, who moderated the Marina Writers Workshop for many years, and still gets called out of "retirement" every year or so to do a session of the Write Now Workshop), but I have to warn you that we might be the only ones. For reasons unknown, San Francisco has been a black hole for science fiction and fantasy fans going back as far as I can remember. However, let's give it a shot. Whether or not your therapist would approve of me, that's an entirely different can of worms!

Best wishes,

David Silver

BettyAnn R. <balovesart@yahoo.com>
Norfolk, Va - Saturday, June 30 2007 14:24:52

The Green Eyed Monster
Well, Groth sounds as if he is not only an envious p**ck, but that he also makes excellent use of the ego defense mechanism that we know as PROJECTION. His weak attempt to project his own character failings upon H.E. (in regard to Groth's statements about his allegedly trying to get out of paying his legal costs) is reprehensible. His infantile manner reeks of jealousy. His envy of a man whose accomplishments will live on far after he shuffles off of this mortal coil is painfully obvious. THE MAN NEEDS TO GROW THE HELL UP!! Not all are born with the gift that H.E. has. Those who cannot accept it usually pull s**T such as Groth did, or worse, they end up with someone carting them off somewhere with a copy of "Catcher In The Rye" in their pocket. I am at liberty to say, so I did.

- Saturday, June 30 2007 13:20:20

I see Graham already has. Cool. Apologies for double posting Rick.


Faisal A. Qureshi
Manchester, UK, - Saturday, June 30 2007 13:19:18

Peter Wild
Hi Harlan,

I can post your message to him. Also thinking of attending the event tomorrow if it isn't sold out.


Lori Koonce <purplelynn35@excite.com>
San Francisco, California - Saturday, June 30 2007 12:5:22

A request
Ok Boys and Girls

My therapist says this will be good for me, so here it goes.

I refuse to believe that I'm the only HE fan in the San Francisco Metro Area.

I'd like to find a few more and have a once a week coffee meeting.If you'd care to help me, just use the email address above, and put COFFEE in the subject line. I'll get back to you ASAP!



Frank Church
- Saturday, June 30 2007 10:6:41

Look at this, some asshole is trying to get people to download Michael Moore's whole film online in a pirate version:


Blue Monkeys attack!

matthew davis
- Saturday, June 30 2007 2:49:6

Ecidently Paul Morley read the same piece in the Guardian, because he namedropped Harlan Ellison and "Dangerous Visions" when the book was discussed on BBC2's "Late Night Review" last night

graham rae
- Saturday, June 30 2007 1:21:22

Harlan, I just passed on your message to Peter Wild. Ah'll see whit he sez, likesay. (Ie 'I'll see what he says, like') I understand the book of short stories about The Smiths I submitted my story to was full, but he told me he opened it up again for my story, which I (obviously) regard as cool.'
Good guy. G


Alex Jay Berman <alexjay@gmail.com>
Philadelphia, - Friday, June 29 2007 23:1:17

I realize that the terms of the Ellison-Groth et al. case cannot be discussed. But surely part and parcel of the settlement would entail that the "Harlan Ellison, Enemy of free Speech, is trying to shut us down" (my paraphrase, mind) banners and appeals for help should have been taken down from the Fantagraphics site?

David Ray <shaneeray@comcast.net>
Bellevue, WA - Friday, June 29 2007 22:25:16

Harlan, in re to the THE LONE RANGER, I'll be at the comic book store I frequent tomorrow and I will check to see if they have any left. If not, it is no problem sending you my copy.


- Friday, June 29 2007 21:52:20

While I wait (should find out mid-week next week) as to whether or not I'm returning to school in the fall, I'll note what ABC has announced at their website:

"Masters of Sci-Fi" is slated to die its sad, lonely death over four weeks starting Saturday, August 4th, at 10pm.

The four episode slated are:
8/4: "A Clean Escape" (based on a John Kessel story);
8/11" "The Awakening" (previously announced as "The General Zapped an Angel"; based on a Howard Fast story);
8/18: "Jerry Was A Man" (based on a Robert Heinlein story); and
8/25: "The Discarded" (based on you-know-who's tale)

Full write up is at http://abc.go.com/specials/mastersofscifi.html

One hopes, given the schedule, that they'll remain committed to all four weeks...

The two segments that aren't on the schedule are "Little Brother" (story by Walter Mosley) and the adaptation of Robert Sheckley's "Watchbird". Of the latter, I'll note it's tough voyaging when James Cromwell doesn't make the cut. I expect if the ratings (however improbable, given that slot) are through the roof, the other two might find broadcast life; more probable that they'll wind up as iTunes downloads and/or part of a six episode, no-frills DVD package.

- Friday, June 29 2007 19:45:32



I gotta tell ya, gang, I think you're being a tad snappish at Iain. It's neither a muddleheaded NOR trollsum observation, on its face. I agree with one of you--but not several others of you, including my beloved Adam-Troy--that Iain's "fey insight" seems to suggest that we permit more tolerance leeway for Sean Murray than we usually accord to some others of us--myself included--on grounds of wisdom, as opposed to ethical purity.

The interpolated consideration by one of you that this one particular act of pilferage was AT WORST an immature and socially irresponsible consequence of "The Internet Cries To Be Freeee" (as pernicious an icon as Paris Hilton's cultural impact on impressionable young girls)...well, that seems spot-on to me. Despite all the MySpace trappings of goony photos and sophomoric smartassedness, I think Sean Murray is a bright kid with a good heart; and I simply couldn't make him go jump through all the punitive hoops I've been compelled to set on fire in front of--what is it now?--oh, more than--200 net pirates. Just didn't think it was right to do it to him.

If that smacks of cutting slack in one way, where it ain't cut in others ... well, um, I'll tell you, folks, it doesn't seem to me to be a slaphanded question to raise.

So. I have to stand behind Iain, if not with cudgel, at least with a cocked head and an expression on my phizz that asks, Why NOT ask this question?

Yr. Pal, Harlan
P.S. In going to Sean Murray's MySpace site, I found it had been shut down. Shit! After all the efforts to protect him, I don't know if he's decided he's too old and too smart to be futzing around in that hog-swill ... or if Charlie Petit's pro forma DMCA missile, fired off on the day Steve Perry noted that the phone number Sean had provided translated to "fuck off" or somesuch, if that missile hit its target faster than we expect these internet operations to move their asses.

If the former, I do hope Sean will let us know. If the latter, and Sean reads this: do you want me to try and correct the matter, if I can?

I am troubled by this. Perhaps, as some of you suggested, I shouldn't be; but as Iain suggested, well, maybe I ought to be.


- Friday, June 29 2007 19:13:48


I'm not signed-in at the Guardian site, so I cannot get to Peter Wild, but if YOU CAN, and it isn't too great an internet imposition, would you kindly pass on to him as follows:

Dear Mr. Wild: yes, it's sadly true, as one of your bloggers noted, none of my 76 books is in print in the U.K. these days; but then, for some reason, Brit publishers have ALWAYS found me rather a tough doughnet to swallow, so I stopped whinging over it when the very nice U.K. edition of SHATTERDAY came out at least twenty years ago, and the straitlaced (but extremely courteous) publisher suggested (most courteously) that "an English readership might find the story-introductions 'a bit troublesome,'" and would I mind teddibly if they dropped them?
Nonetheless, I do indeed know The Fall, and I am still considerably alive and writing; and would have been delighted to've been solicited for a contribution. Too late now, kiddo, but I thank you for including me among such stellar talents as Phil Dick and Jim Ballard, the latter of whom is, like me, very much alive and still writing knockout stuff.

With an impish grin, Yr. Pal, Harlan

Thanks, Graham. You know who.

- Friday, June 29 2007 16:15:9


During Free Comic Book Day, one of the freebies was a Dynamite handout of THE LONE RANGER. I missed it. If anyone has an extra they could bear to part with...

Yr. Pal, Harlan

Alan Coil <lcoil@peoplepc.com>
Southeast Michigan - Friday, June 29 2007 15:58:8


Sean Murray---

My apologies for calling you Murphy. I trusted my memory.

Alex Krislov <Alexkrislov@cs.com>
- Friday, June 29 2007 15:29:26

Harlan--congrats on the settlement.

Susan--belated birthday greetings.

Everybody else--hey, howyadoon?

Steambird Springs, Alta California - Friday, June 29 2007 14:51:49

Congratulations to Harlan on resolving the legal imbroglio, cutting the Gordian knot and purging the Augean Stables.

"Now that the winds have died down and there is peace on the savanna I do think all the howler monkeys who gleefully ate and threw shit over the last couple of days need to sit and watch "The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street" repeatedly until their eyes bleed. There are more than a few pompous, self-righteous asses among this flock and Iain ain't sayin' half of it."

Oh, Cernunnos (?), and THAT little "bomb" you dropped before you scuttled out the virtual door of the pavilion to return to your spider-hole was NOT pompous and self-righteous?

Go away, Troll. Go Away!

Ditto for Iain, who doesn't even have the bollocks to go beyond a certain fey innuendo.

Bollocks, Iain. Bollocks.


Alan Coil <lcoil@peoplepc.com>
Southeast Michigan - Friday, June 29 2007 14:47:26

And now the trolls appear. SCAT! SHOO!

Pleased that the Groth mess has been flushed. Displeased that it wasn't a loud and public affair, because I sorely wanted to be able to point-and-laugh when Groth lost.

Sean Murphy---I was dense until I was in my 30s. Then I met a woman who rocked my world and continues to do so today. I've seen her once in the last 22 years, but there is not a week that goes by...

Not really saying you are dense, just "Live and learn."

Of more importance this week are 2 recent Supreme Court decisions.

1 appears to legalize price fixing. Back to the 19th century we go.

The other PROHIBITS school districts from integrating through any means other than "natural" population distribution. (natural is my word) Back to the 50s we go.

Activist judges: How many times have we heard that phrase over the last 2 decades? Well, it has truly happened, and it turns out that it is the Republican appointed judges that are the true activists.

How has this happened? The right has been screaming to the masses, and the masses have listened to the point where the people of the country have given this power to the Republicans.

Via the Boob Tube.

Coincidentally to all this Boob Tube talk, I recently called my cable company and cancelled my cable teevee. After June 30th, the only televison available to me will be what I can receive via Rabbit Ears.

My entertainment alternatives will be internet, music, and reading, the latter 2 done to excess.

- Friday, June 29 2007 11:17:30

"you don't want to force me to have to eat dog food outta the can, do you?"

Harlan...it's not as bad as you THINK!

Tally <onherealready@gofindit.com>
Great Falls, SC - Friday, June 29 2007 11:13:14

Seems word of the arbitration result (just speculating) may have leaked...and some folks aren't pleased. Just sent back copyedit (Wednesday) and reviewed page proofs for the SC midlands ghost book...if anyone was curious, 30,000 words comes out to right at 100 pages...Now to wait the 8 to 10 weeks for the printer to finish with it then on to book 3...

Sean- You're welcome here and I hope the lesson has been learned and respect still flourishes for our humble host...who was within his rights to be ... crabby is an understatement. Glad it's settled (along with the Groth mess, I hope) and now back to the work...

Back to lurking with Lamont...

- Friday, June 29 2007 10:22:59

"I've been forgiven repeatedly for a lack of intellect."

You're the forum moderator, Steve. We may have to forgive, but we don't forget. ;-)

- Friday, June 29 2007 9:50:7

Now that the winds have died down and there is peace on the savanna I do think all the howler monkeys who gleefully ate and threw shit over the last couple of days need to sit and watch "The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street" repeatedly until their eyes bleed. There are more than a few pompous, self-righteous asses among this flock and Iain ain't sayin' half of it.

David Loftus <dloft59 (at) earthlink.net>
Portland, OR - Friday, June 29 2007 9:33:12

back to neutral corners . . . and STAY there

Congrats on the settlement, Harlan. Hope you're moderately satisfied with the results.

Too bad it can't include a gag order for all the yapping hordes on the sidelines (I'm counting us in that group).

diane bartels <chicago karen at yahoo. com.>
chicago, il - Friday, June 29 2007 9:21:37

jeez louise, i dont log on for two days and all chaos rains. that what makes weberland so interesting though. Mr. E., glad the suit is resolved. As someone who has been litigated more than once, I know how good it feels when it stops. The only commment I have on the recent copyright imbroglio is I think some people view the Internet as their personal space, like a prvate written journal or some such. I often write poems or lines of stories I love in my journal, not for dissenination purposes but just my own enjoyment and memory. And as an aspiring writer, someone (don't remember who) once told me to write out famous writer's short stories in whole to get a feel. I don't have the kind of patience it takes to do whole stories, but paragraphs gives one a feel for the difference between a Hemingway and a Fitzgerald for example. But as someone who aspires to write good stories, I would never disseminate anyone's work. It's hard enough to be a working author, I know. Also, in college, I had awesome instructors who were kindness personifies, but who took great umbrage at any sigh of copyright infringement, and/or plagerism. (God, I wish I could type well and spell well.) But I was an idiot at 21 and though I'm still in many respects and idiot, I did learn this or that in the last 25 years. A great short story just reat in an old one, but I never encountered it - Sherwood Anderson's "Unlighted Lamps." I loved the skill of the author in delineating his theme, at the same time I was moved by the theme. Having lost my dad just last year, I identified. It's not that there's not enough love or compassion in the world. It's that so much goes unexpressed, dying silent on the tongue.And as a one of my doctors once said, "There is so much good in the worst of us, and so much bad in the best of us, that one of don't got no business talkning about the rest of us." The exception to this is Pres. Bush. We can and should all talk bad about him. He makes it easy. Seriously, I would like to know if anyone here knows if there's any serious movement for impeachment and if so how and where do I join and donate to same, Be well and happy, Mr. and Mrs, E., and all here.

Steve Barber <barbergallery>
- Friday, June 29 2007 9:10:59

I am relieved the legal issues are resolved. Such resolution indicates at least some level of satisfaction for both sides.

I am not at liberty to say anything more at this time.

SEAN: You still out there??? Would love to see you participate on the Forums.

Iain wrote:

"I find it interesting that a lack of intellect is never forgiven on this site but something missing in the ethics department is allowed to slide."

I dunno. I've been forgiven repeatedly for a lack of intellect. (Chided behind my back, ridiculed in public, and patted indulgently on my head, but forgiven.)

And I'm not sure the brouhaha (such an anti-intellectual word, I know) over posting copyrighted works qualifies as letting things slide. I'm reasonably sure Sean would not see it as nearly so permissive as you seem to do.

Larry Forrest <idoubtabout@aol.com>
Tulsa, Oklahoma - Friday, June 29 2007 8:42:43

A Vast Wasteland
Brian Siano: Thanks for the excerpt from a speech by Dana Gioia, Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts. It brought to mind a speech given in 1961 by Newton Minow, then Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, on a related subject.

"When television is good, nothing--not the theater, not the magazines or newspapers--nothing is better.

"But when televsion is bad, nothing is worse. I invite you to sit down in front of your television set when your station goes on the air and stay there without a book, magazine, newspaper, profit-and-loss sheet or rating book to distract you--and keep your eyes glued to that set until the station signs off. I can assure you that you will observe a vast wasteland.

"You will see a procession of game shows, violence, audience-participation shows, formula comedies about totally unbelievable families, blood and thunder, mayhem, violence, sadism, murder, western badmen, western good men, private eyes, gangsters, more violence and cartoons. And, endlessly, commercials--many screaming, cajoling and offending. And most of all, boredom. True, you will see a few things you will enjoy. But they will be very, very few. And if you think I exaggerate, try it."

Nearly half a century later, I think we can all agree that the "vast wasteland" has gotten considerably vaster, and the waste is piling ever higher. The amount of broadcast time devoted to such utter trivia as the trials and tribulations of some inane celebrity such as Paris Hilton, or to some gruesome murders, or to the slanderous ravings of Ann Coulter, is truly astonishing.

As our host wrote in THE GLASS TEAT, "Hello. You ought to be frightened. You ought to be scared witless. You think you're safe, all snuggled down in front of your picture tube, don't you? They've got you believing all you're seeing is shadow play, phosphordot lunacies sprinkled out of a clever scenarist's imagination. Clever of them. They've lulled you. McLuhan was right: give me your young every Saturday morning from eight till noon, and they're mine till I send them off to die in a new war (don't ask me which one, Mommy and Daddy, I haven't checked my schedule for this week; but I'll consult TV GUIDE and see what prime-time they have open next year and THAT'S where I'll send your bouncing baby boy.)"

Though I'm no fan of Rush Limbaugh, to the above I must say: Ditto. Never was Harlan's prophecy more accurately and dreadfully fulfilled than during the "ramp-up" period prior to Operation Iraqi Freedom, when virtually all the media--broadcast and print--led the cheers for that old cheerleader, George W. Bush, and his war. At one time 70 percent of the American public believed that Saddam Hussein was directly involved in the 9/11 attacks. This did not happen by accident.

All we can do, I suppose, is to be aware of the lies we're being fed, to write messages to our blogs and the op/ed page, in the hope of informing our fellow Americans that, as they rush across the "vast wasteland" to the precipice of yet another war, they have been misinformed. By the Glass Teat.

W. Owen Powell <ix92391@yahoo.com>
Bloomington, IN - Friday, June 29 2007 8:37:32

Iain - as opposed to what, the rest of the internets? (Insert backslash sarcasm html tag here.)

Anyway, I didn't get on today to snark, but to gush over having just made yet another solid Ellison score at the used bookstore: two of those cool old Ace editions with the Barclay Shaw covers, "No Doors, No Windows" and "Paingod and Other Delusions".

The latter, ironically enough, containing a reprint of a certain short story that's caused such a hullabaloo on here the past couple days. (It would've cost you $4.95 and a lot less grief, Sean, and you'd have gotten 7 more stories for your trouble.)

W. Owen Powell, who (also ironically) has one of those MyMoronicSpace pages too...

Adam-Troy Castro <adamcastro999@yahoo.com>
- Friday, June 29 2007 6:29:58

Ian, that's neither true nor helpful.

Graham Rae
- Friday, June 29 2007 6:19:0

Random Harlan mention in today's Guardian:


Was sent the link by the writer. He is bringing out a series of books based on song titles by popular bands and I have one in his collection about The Smiths, which is coming out next year. Just funny to see Harlan mentined, is all, and I thought you may be vaguely interested. Prepare for an influx of Fall fans, Harlan!


Iain Cullen <iaincullen64@yahoo.com>
Glasgow, Scotland - Friday, June 29 2007 6:1:1

I find it interesting that a lack of intellect is never forgiven on this site but something missing in the ethics department is allowed to slide. INTERESTING, VERY INTERESTING.

Cheers. Iain.

Jeff R.
Phila., - Friday, June 29 2007 5:59:2

Harlan, you seemed a little reluctant to have to go after a college kid. I'm glad that you no longer have to do so. As for the Fantagraphics situation, I hope that it was worked out to your satisfaction. I'm hopeful that the passages in their upcoming book that you found offensive will either be changed or deleted altogether.
Two more problems off your mind. Congratulations.

Chuck Messer <chuck_messer@hotmail.com>
Lakewood, Colorado - Friday, June 29 2007 0:41:25


Congrats and kudos on the resolution of the legal imbroglio, etc. May the current period of peace last the rest of your life. Which should last as long as you're enjoying the ride.


Yeah, give this little group a try. I think you'll find this a stimulating group, diverse, impassioned, etc. You'd be surprised how many here started at the shit end and ended up being regulars around here.


Douglas Harrison
Northeastern BC - Thursday, June 28 2007 23:59:8


I'm very glad to hear of the resolution of the lawsuit, and I hope you received at least of modicum of satisfaction.

To smoother days!


Michael M
Los Angeles, - Thursday, June 28 2007 22:12:3



Also, hooray!

This said without knowing any of the details, how much you had to give to get a deal. I hope not too terribly much.

That said, the thought that your time and energies can once again be focused on writing stories, screenplays, essays and other delights that we will get to read makes a fellow feel like saying...


Also, hooray!

- Thursday, June 28 2007 21:16:34


Never got around to unleashing all the rabid killer turnips in my sack, because I had a wearying 12-hour day today, as noted at the head of this forum. So I was out, and put everything lined-up on humming hold. The static electrical charge built up here was stultifying when I got home from Pasadena with Susan.

So as far as I know, Hofstra has not been contacted, nor your parents, nor two very large seniors I know at Hofstra. One of my attorneys, Charlie Petit, may have sent one of those formal DMCA complaints in which your sanity is questioned, to MyMoronicSpace. That went on Monday or whenever...very little grass grows 'neath our cleats after these last few years of playing Whack-A-Mole with snotty pirates on the web.

If they give you trouble, refer them here, and tell them Unca Harlan saved you from the gibbet just before the trap was sprung. The data we were fed back, when we tracked you, advised us one of the computers you accessed was in the PolySci Lab, though when I posted I misspoke and called it the Psych Lab.

(And here's a forensic debating tip. Never get sucked into a debating stance where you sound as if you're whining about one lousy wrong fact in an otherwise waterproof shockproof case. The dip who posits the reductio ad absurdum of a typo, or a wrong word, loses the high ground. Attack your opponent's STRENGTHS, not his weaknesses. The latter will manifest themselves without your assistance, so stay on point.)

Anyhow, this P.S. is just to say if some repercussion repercusses, it was set in motion before the fog between your ears blew away. Everyone is now, as I said, cool; but if a body snatcher problem lurches out of the cistern at you, I'm here to help you out.


St. Pete, FL - Thursday, June 28 2007 21:5:5

Harlan, Congratulations on the settlement. If both sides are hurting just a bit, then it's probably a good compromise.

- Thursday, June 28 2007 20:50:59



Just don't do it again. You want to post something of mine, just ask me. I'll charge you a token few bucks and give you the preferred text, and ask that my copyright notice accompany it, and bidda-bang-bidda-boom ... you can do what you wanna do, and be An Upright Citizen. You got to remember, I'm just an old Jew from Ohio, this is my living, and you don't want to force me to have to eat dog food outta the can, do you?

The life-lesson here, Sean, is one I learned the hard way:

No matter how fast a gun you are, there are SOME crazy muthuh fugguz out there with whom you NEVER NEVER NEVER dick around.

YR. NEW PAL, Harlan

- Thursday, June 28 2007 20:31:57



Yr. Pal, Harlan

Stephen <same as it ever was>
Glenolden, PA - Thursday, June 28 2007 20:3:36

let it be

I have an archived copy of my browser's cache anent the myspace material. Rick Wyatt can also get a copy of the myspace blogs from doing a search on Yahoo for '"Sean Murray" myspace' and getting the cached versions. My copy is in a safe place, should you choose to pursue things.

Hopefully you won't; it sounds like you have let Sean know in no uncertain terms that you are a much more immediate threat than God for bringing down a swift and near-cartoon-like amount of misery on his poor widdle head and he has recanted his miscreant behavior. Hopefully the call to the office of Hofstra's president, Stuart Rabinowitz (516-463-6800), or the provost, Herman A. Berliner (516-463-5402), weren't too much. (Were they already aware of Sean Murray? I aint sayin' either way.) Hopefully he is truly repentant. Hopefully no one will need to call all 11 Murray families in the Farmindale, NY area asking for Sean (with or without pretending to be detective lieutenant Bill Skarbowski of the LAPD). Hopefully my 14-month old will quickly get over his fever so we can all get a good night's sleep ...

before ugly things start to happen, let's be the bigger party all around (yes, I mean the rest of you flying blue monkeys as well) and let this just die off. no one has had a boot smash the back of their head while their upper palate was getting to know a coffee table yet. no one has been expelled from school yet. no one has had to waste valuable time that is better spent writing or playing with children. Sean can go back to being ... well, whatever he was/is I am sure no one will notice.

so, did anyone else see the Cubs sweep the White Sox? :-)

Helz <helzapoppn@aol.com>
Farmington Hills, Michigan - Thursday, June 28 2007 19:25:26

The Sean Murray Incident: A little drama, a little conflict, all played out in close to real-time, and topped off with a life lesson.

It made for some great reading -- enough that it got me to de-lurk for the first time in something like five years.

Kudos to all.

ouch, texas - Thursday, June 28 2007 18:35:2

Life is not a comparison of horrors??
Today, I had a (2nd!) root canal in a tooth that's been in pain for nigh on 8 months.

Today, Harlan had mediation in the Fantagraphics case, which has been a thorn for some 20+ (?) years.

Hard to say who suffered more. At least I was numb and on nitrous. ;-)

Waiting on pins and needles... (or is that just the feeling coming back to my face??)


Los Angeles, - Thursday, June 28 2007 15:29:30

Hey Sean,

Click on the 'ol "Webderland Forums" link above and come over and chat with us. We've even named a thread in your honor!!

Steambird Springs, Alta California - Thursday, June 28 2007 13:42:32

Welcome Sean Murray
Hey Sean,

Ok, so you fucked up. You've issued what seems to me as a pretty decent apology, in your most recent message (but only Harlan himself can rate it as "acceptabl;e"/unacceptable", so I defer to his opinion).

I read most of your MySpace stuff, and despite a lot of disparaging comments here, I think you're probably: intelligent, funny, have some glimmerings of talent and maybe are as mixed up as I was at 21. I'd like to write "as mixed up as we all were at 21", but I don't know. The others here all strike me as such UeberMenschen/Damen that at 21 they may likely have all been completely squared away, with straight gig lines and clean seams.

All of which is my way of saying that you might enjoy getting to know some of us in here, and vice versa. If Harlan, whose "house" this is, allows.

Just my two cents, and I am just one among many: a sojourner and suppliant in one of the farther corners of the conversation.


Lori Koonce <purplelynn35@exite.com>
San Francisco, California - Thursday, June 28 2007 13:41:12

Mr. Murray

I say with humble sincerity, I didn't realize that the problem had been solved when that was posted. The last thing anyone here needs is oil thrown on a potentially flamable pile of stuff.

As far as the lengths I was willing to go to get things solved, well I have no shame in that. There was a time not too long ago where a Hacker was just a person who knew how to get information from a computer remotely without getting caught. It was that version of hacker I refered to, and Harlan got the information by other means before I could call up my friend.

Sean Murray
Farmingdale, NY - Thursday, June 28 2007 10:55:41

I feel no resentment towards Mr. Ellison or what he has said about me, and I apologize if he views anything I said as such. The rant blog I wrote came HOURS after I took down the story to please Mr. Ellison and was only posted to show those who continued to harass me that sticks and stones may break my bones but their words would not hurt me (hell, I even went as far as to acknowledge that my life does indeed "suck").

However, I now deeply regret posting that, too, because my attempt to show that U acknowledge how wrong I was and how right Mr. Ellison is about me and my principle actions (except for the accusations of uploading the story from a university computer) in a light tone came off as being insensitive and arrogant. It was not in my intentions to convey that.

I recognized the severity of Mr. Ellison's complaints the second I was made aware of them and immediately did exactly what he requested me to do . . . and I should have left it at that. I just wish I could have kept a cool head and ignored the pestering, but I didn't, and I'm deeply sorry for anything I may have said which Mr. Ellison has taken offense to.

Adam-Troy Castro <adamcastro999@yahoo.com>
- Thursday, June 28 2007 10:11:3

Words to Those Who May Someday Be Wise

It is sincerely my hope that things do not proceed past this point, on either Harlan's part, or your own. I speak without malice and without particular anger, in the hope that calm might succeed where derision has failed, in making you FEEL why what you've done has garnered the reaction it has.

I speak here as someone who did not do any of the things you cite in your counter-complaint, but rather observed the last few days of activity in silence. So I am not guilty of any of the things that made you angry in return, even if they are things worth feeling guilty about. I speak only as a rational observer who can bring some of his own personal experiences to the table.

You need to understand this.

What has happened here is not a case of a famous author using his celebrity to bash a well-meaning fan.

I am a not-even-remotely-as-famous author, struggling toward his own small measure of recognition, and I have twice jumped all over an internet denizen who, out of admiration for one or another of my stories, posted it entire on one blog or another. By the time I got to one of those stories, about a hundred people had oohed and aahed over its alleged brilliance. Fine, so I got egoboo there. But when I called them on the disrespect to my rights, in terms more polite than Harlan managed here (which has less to do with our respective characters than the fact that it's happened to me twice and to him dozens of times and that all people tend to get crankier as certain offenses get old), at least half a dozen of the people who had praised me to the heavens pounced with accusations that I was a hack for not being satisfied with the mere appreciation of readers. "You're only interested in it for the money!" one demanded.

(Interestingly, in both cases where my work was stolen, the posters felt moved to rewrite it in asinine ways. In one case they changed the name of the lead character to something unbearably fey; in the other they used several pages of my description as background on an online fan-fic. This irritated me mightily in both cases, but did not add to the essential criminality of the act. It was just an added outrage, on the level of the burglar in your home taking a break to use your shower while he's there. The breaking and entering the crime. The shower is just creepy.)

Here's a little bit about my personal life, and why "(I'm) only interested in this for the money." My wife and I live in less than 1000 square feet. We struggle to pay the bills. Sometimes we fall behind and have to deal with collection calls. The three books I've sold in the last year still leave us counting the dimes. We are not poor, but we do not live on a mountaintop. Another fellow, one of the best active writers in this field, has never earned more than $4000.00 a year from his work. Ever. I have done considerably better and hope to continue to do better, but my words are my assets. Steal them from me and you harm my ability to make a living. The same is no less true for Harlan, even if he has achieved greater heights and has operated with more in the bank.

In my case, I never applied threats to those people until after they addressed my concerns with derision and anger. Harlan, while showing greater annoyance, would have been satisfied at the beginning with a correction, an apology, and sincere understanding why what you did was wrong. Instead, you flung attitude back at him. What you did is HARMFUL to the person you profess to admire, and it's genuinely immature to feel resentment about being made to feel bad about it. You should feel bad about it. Feeling bad about it is what makes this, in a perfect world, a learning experience.

A little humility, a little less entitled resentment, wouldn't hurt. After that you can go forth and, as is fully expected for folks who have only been on this Earth a little more than two decades, find entirely new ways to fuck up, until you use up all the obvious possibilities, learn how to avoid them, and start being a grownup. In my case I don't think I saw that country on the horizon until I was past forty. But until you get there, you shouldn't feel oppressed just because prior explorers to that region sometimes feel moved to send you a map by carrier pigeon.

Adam-Troy Castro

shagin <smodell1995@yahoo.com>
Bremerton, Washington - Thursday, June 28 2007 9:27:40

Mr. Ellison,

Here's hoping that today's efforts turn out for the best and that the results take 50 lbs. of useless crap off of your shoulders so you can continue doing the work you love and appreciating the woman you love even more.



Heed what's been said, man. Trying to play the "well, you did this..." game doesn't do anyone any good.


- Thursday, June 28 2007 8:56:42

Mr. Murray
Seek not sympathy around these parts, boychik. As Harlan said, "you set your course already". The lesson here is that you don't get to dictate terms. It's not for you to say how a writer's work gets disseminated, and it's not for you to say how said writer (or his friends) should treat you in the aftermath of your wholly arrogant and immoral actions.

You done dug your own hole. What remains to be seen is just how deep it is.

Jan Schroeder <janmschroeder@aol.com>
Clermont, FK - Thursday, June 28 2007 8:45:27

A word to the 'wise'
Sean, if you were smart you'd give a sincere apology for having done wrong and then drop it. No qualifiers, no excuses, no finger-pointing, nothing more than a real apology with perhaps assurances that you've learned from your mistake.

Jan S.

Sean Murray <whiteflagwaver@yahoo.com>
Farmingdale, NY - Thursday, June 28 2007 8:28:6

And, meanwhile, it is totally professional to issue a personal internet army to send harassing messages to me via MySpace and, if we are to believe Ms. Lori Koonce, conspire with computer hackers to attain personal information AFTER I acknowledged what Mr. Ellison later referred to as an effort to "save my ass . . . politely and kindly" and removed his work from my blog quickly and promptly?

I'm only offering an apology so we can bring an end to the ad hominem attacks on MySpace after I already respected Mr. Ellison's demand that I remove the blog, alleged hackings, and attempts to attain my personal information under false pretenses and via fraud (you know who you are).

You aren't five -- and the consequences are far more severe than a spanking. So, c'mon, EVERYONE try to be a little more mature here?

Steve Barber <barbergallery@verizon.net>
- Thursday, June 28 2007 7:41:9

I am often fascinated -- though no longer surprised (sadly) -- when copyrighted work is stolen online (and the thief is identified then confronted) that the thief's reaction is one of "You made me feel bad" or "I just did it because I love your work". No remorse beyond being caught and saddened. Have we all become little "Paris Hilton"s in our own minds, such that any wrongs in this world are done TO us, not BY us?

Yes, it is wonderful that the thief loves the work of an artist so much that they freely and willingly steal that work to show off to others. Or, worse, use it against the artist. As if this is an excellent way to demonstrate your respect.

Unfortunately, this attitude is so pervasive that companies (and individuals) who seek to aggressively protect their own property are somehow perceived by the general public as "the bad guys".

BMI, ASCAP, the MPAA, even Unca Harlan have been taken to task by deliberately irresponsible "fans" who want nothing more than to steal and use their works without proper renumeration. But if you catch them at it -- "Jeez, you win. I feel bad. Don't you feel bad for making ME feel bad?" and "Stop picking on the little guy!". (Kids, we're ALL little guys in the end).

This isn't the second grade. You can't deliberately flaunt copyright law and then dig a toe into the sand when caught saying "aww, shucks. Dint mean nothin'..." (Especially when you first take steps to HIDE the evidence).

You aren't five -- and the consequences are far more severe than a spanking.

- Thursday, June 28 2007 6:5:16

Harlan -

That's MISTER silly ol' bear to you, bub.

Best of luck to you for success today stalking the heffalump. If you need me, I'll be attached to a balloon trying to bilk bees out of their honey by becoming a little black rain cloud - not politically correct, no, and certainly neither legal nor smart to steal from insects that will commit insect seppuku en masse to stop me, but I gots a jones for the honey, baby...

sterlinghollowayrules, VA

Jeff R.
Phila., - Thursday, June 28 2007 5:24:34

What a great guy!
Yes, Harlan, you're still one of his favorite writers despite the fact that you had the unmitigated gall to protect your copyrighted work! Dosen't that make you feel better?

Sean Murray <sadsack2813@aol.com>
Farmingdale, New York - Wednesday, June 27 2007 21:13:54

Alright, I surrender. I give up. I'm sorry. You made me feel like shit. You win.

It was not my intention to disrespect you or give you the finger, although my actions may be viewed as such. It's unfortunate that this has happened, but you still remain one of my favorite writers.

- Wednesday, June 27 2007 20:49:21


You did download his "confession" before he got around to locking down his profile, didn't you? Give me a call to let me know. My attorneys, Fictionwise.Com, TKC, the MySpace admins, Hofstra ... all of them will need copies. Thanks in advance.

I'm sure your parents will be very proud of what is about to happen to you, Mr. Murray. Just when you think there's no one left in the knowable universe who hasn't absorbed the survival trait of not poking the sleeping snake on the warm rock with a sharp stick, another turnip comes rollin' off the truck.

- he

- Wednesday, June 27 2007 20:43:31

You don't think that's going to change anything, do you, Mr. Murray? You set your course already.

- Wednesday, June 27 2007 20:21:21


Some people are too determinedly lackwit that you cannot try to save their ass, no matter how politely and kindly you go at it.

Mr. Murray was given the opportunity to cease being a pitiable whining baby, 21 years old, living off his parents, acting like a failed goth wannabe, and extricating himself from a potential imbroglio with someone who Protects What Belongs To Him. He has chosen to smart-off and try to give me the finger.

I do not play well with wonks who think they need not respect their elders. Mr. Murray has called down the thunder.

And there is nothing further I can do to help him.

Let what will be ... be.

Harlan Ellison

Stephen <same as it ever was>
- Wednesday, June 27 2007 19:22:42

in case you didn't catch my meaning...
that phone number he provided is a fake. (631) "fuck off" -- he's a dumb kid and scared, he thinks his life is difficult despite being a junior/senior in college with no responsibility, and even takes time to copy entire posts from here onto his myspace web log. almost like he's asking for it...

Stephen <same as it ever was>
Glenolden, PA - Wednesday, June 27 2007 18:30:24

Sean Murray
Sorry for my tardiness on this. It was a busy day...

Sean Murray started at Hofstra in 2004 as a Political Science major with a minor in Philosophy. He thinks of himself as an artist ("I AM A FUCKING ARTIST!!!" since he knows adobe photoshop) and has 8 pictures of himself on his myspace page under the name of 'thewickedman' (http://www.myspace.com/thewickedman). I emailed them separately to Rick in case Harlan wanted to know the face of the miscreant.

5'9" tall, from Farmingdale, NY, typical whitebread who smokes and cosumes adult beverages. Birthday is late January or early February, he's an Aquarius! And probably cares too...

Phone number he provided is (631) 382-5633

Susan: happy belated birthday. hope it was wonderful.

Lori Koonce <purplelynn35@excite.com>
San Francisco, California - Wednesday, June 27 2007 17:24:48

Info on Hofstra
Mr. Ellison

I don't know if anyone has given you any of the information about Hofstra University, or the student you were trying to track down, but (516) 463-6600 is the main switchboard number and I assume they can hook you up to whomever you would like to speak to.

Don't know what my hacker friends can do with the little bit of personal information you have given us on the gentleman, but if they come up with something that seems useful I'll post it here.


- Wednesday, June 27 2007 14:59:19


Cliff Meth called. Okay to send the stuff. ASAP.


debbie <yerkesd@gwm.sc.edu>
columbia, sc - Wednesday, June 27 2007 14:30:18

Hey, Steve B! I live in the Carolinas (Columbia,SC) and would be happy to give any advice, info, etc. on this state. If you happen to drive through Columbia I would love to meet you and Chris over coffee, meal, whatever.

I've always regreted we weren't able to meet up at Worldcon last year.


Cologne, Germany - Wednesday, June 27 2007 13:21:20

Harlan: re the Sturgeon essay: When will you stop listing incidents you're not going to relate? :-) It's a sometimes irritating, too short, funny, profound piece (I have to think about it some more, let it sink in), and it helps me understand Sturgeon a little better. You also, obviously, made me curious about his final batch of stories, especially the ones you highlighted in the book review. (I take it that "The Girl Who Knew What They Meant" did not get picked up by Best American Short Stories that year.) But that's beside the point. What's important is that Ted was good for all of us who read him, and it's comforting to know that you were good for him because, having discovered him after his death, most of us can't even thank him by buying his books. I doubt he would have been as "alive and well" without you.

Everyone: I'm opening a Sturgeon memorial thread in the S.P.I.D.E.R. forum, so if anyone wants to drop a comment, that would be cool.

Frank Church
- Wednesday, June 27 2007 13:16:36

Belated mash and bangers for Susan. No spankin machine, just a bunch of earned applause. Living another year is the gift, living with Harlan is the test. You pass sugarsnap.

Wax lips coming up on the conveyor belt.


Steve B
- Wednesday, June 27 2007 11:16:29

(response to indirect query)


To paraphrase Hitchhiker's Guide: "A talent the size of a planet" and he's reduced to "oh poo".


Regardless. Urgent email and voicemail sent to Sir Rod (and hopefully the voicemail was indeed OUR Rod).

Once I hear back he will be calling you anon if not before.

- Wednesday, June 27 2007 10:57:12

Oh, poo!

Every time I come over here, I keep wanting to post a request for Rod Searcey to give me a call, either from his lurking here, or via Steve Barber. And every time I forget, embroiled in doofus salvation or answering a question or extending congrats to the undeserving, such as FinderDoug, a bear with a very little brain. Or apologizing for winsomely yet unnecessarily insulting someone, such as FinderDoug, as fine a friend as ever I'd want, a bear with a brain as big as his heart, and a heart as big as all outdoors, and an all outdoors as big as the Greater Magellanic Cloud, and a Greater...

Oh, poo.


Keith Cramer <remarck@hotmail.com>
Arlington, VA - Wednesday, June 27 2007 10:56:16

Scientist and CSICOP Fellow Barry L. Beyerstein (1947-2007)
Announced by his daughter on her blog:



Tally Johnson <tally.johnson@gmail.com>
Great Falls, SC - Wednesday, June 27 2007 9:15:47

Hey Steve...
I'm the guy what writes SC ghost lore on here. Current book is on the Upstate of SC. Most recent should be out by early fall (Labor Day I hope) as I just sent the corrected copy-edit back this AM and is on the area around the Savannah River. The book is available via amazon and for order from the big book boxes... or send me your snail mail address via email and I'll send ya an autographed copy at a reduced rate. The book does have historical data on the counties too...

Hope the kid from Hofstra comes to his senses...and if Harlan hates myspace et al...imagine dealing with the myspaceketeers all day....shiver.

Steve Barber <barbergallery@verizon.net>
- Wednesday, June 27 2007 8:16:44

Thoughts on a sleepy morning
I'm sitting here at my desk, powering through my first cup of coffee, thinking those morning thoughts we all wish we could put into words that make sense. (Well, most of us who come here. Summa you guys do this sort of thing really good like.) I, however, am left with the following odds and ends...

The first-round event of tomorrow: I am certain "our side" has done its homework and is looking forward to getting past stage one and into stage two. Good wishes and all that.

I don't like Ann Coulter. She represents everything that is wrong with our country and yet takes pride in that fact.

Welcome back Mr Goldberg. Nice tan.

The coffee from our downstairs cafe sucks.

Watched HEX on BBC America over the weekend. How'd I miss this show? Wow. 'Buffy' with a libido.

I met a new poet once. He scrambled out from under the bushes and bit me on the ankle, taking out a nice little chunk of flesh. I took him home with me and he went quite well with a dry martini and a dash of worcestershire sauce. We've been friends ever since.

Speaking -- as they were below -- of blogs, I'll be posting a new entry after noontime today at Barbergallery.net. I will not be quoting, directly or indirectly, any of Harlan's stories, columns, entreaties or backhanded comments.

Lastly, and forgive me for the mental short-circuit, but someone who posts here has written a book or two about Carolina Ghost stories. My wife and I are heading to the Carolinas and the west coast of Florida in October and ghostly places might be a very cool sidetrip...

I need to go find a Starbuck's.

Andy Thompson
- Wednesday, June 27 2007 6:29:42

"I've about had it with all this MySpace, YouTube, OurAsshole web idiocy fit only for theft and the showing of overaged lackwits throwing themselves into walls a la Global Jackass."

Amen, brother! Glad someone else could say this better than I can.

Steambird Springs, Alta California - Wednesday, June 27 2007 1:0:1

MySpace Doofus and so on and so forth
He's been put on notice.

Also, from MySpace (for your attorney's, should they get involved):


How do I report a copyright violation?


If you believe that your copyright-protected work has been copied and posted on MySpace.com in a way that constitutes copyright infringement, please provide our Copyright Agent with the following information:

(i) An electronic or physical signature of the person authorized to act on behalf of the owner of the copyright interest.

(ii) A description of the copyrighted work that you claim has been infringed.

(iii) A description of where the material that you claim is infringing is located on the Website.

(iv) Your address, telephone number, and email address.

(v) A written statement by you that you have a good faith belief that the disputed use is not authorized by the copyright owner, its agent, or the law.

(vi) A statement by you that the above information in your notice is accurate and, under penalty of perjury, that you are the copyright owner or authorized to act on the copyright owner's behalf.


paul <vaughnrichards@yahoo.com>
Austin, TX - Wednesday, June 27 2007 0:14:29

I'm an idiot.
I write can, can i !!

paul <vaughnrichards@yahoo.com>
Austin, TX - Wednesday, June 27 2007 0:12:50

Notes for all the folk

About Sean~ I sent small word sent to his MySpace. Politely, natch.

Brian, Tony~ I just discovered a new poet, and i am so happy. Thanks for the link.

Doug~ couldn't you just fiiiind a degree? They're all around, apparently. Winks.
Seriously, good deal. All the hope, mate.

Rick Wyatt <webmaster@harlanellison.com>
- Tuesday, June 26 2007 20:48:9

pieces of silver
Not much time for explanation right now, so will be brief. Based on the previous comments from David and Harlan, I am removing the original request post. I'm glad to see things are taken care of, but I don't think we want to be doing this sort of thing on the pavilion just because of the precedent it sets.

David Silver <silver@well.com>
San Francisco, CA - Tuesday, June 26 2007 20:3:57

No problem, it's all good!

Hi Harlan,

No worries, it really is me, not somebody "phishing" or working a scam. I have local friends who have helped me in prior times when this sort of thing popped up, but they were all away (summer, why not?), nobody in my immediate family had the cash, and I am loathe to ever use a credit card again. It was very spur of the moment, the opportuntiy was going to slip away, and I suddenly thought of just asking for help here since I've come to trust and respect so many of the webderlanders. Somebody *has* stepped forward to help, so we're all good now. Please don't worry, it wasn't somebody playing around or pretending to be me, and certainly ask Rick to check in with me if you want to make sure. Thanks for your concern.

Best wishes,

David Silver

- Tuesday, June 26 2007 19:55:21


Can any of you internet whizzes find me a phone number for a


age 21



The doofus is apparently a fan of mine, and he's posted the entirety of "'Repent, Harlequin,' etcetera on MySpace, with a lead-in note admitting that he hasn't gotten permission to use this copyrighted work, so everyone should be quiet about it.

I would like to attempt to call this guy and ask him if he's fuckin' taken leave of his senses, and if he is somehow ignorant of COPYRIGHT, my name's TRADEMARK, and the whole goddam AOL LAWSUIT!!!!!!before my attorneys crawl up his ass and ruin his goddam future at Hofstra...because...HE USED THE UNIVERSITY'S PSYCH LAB COMPUTER FOR HIS IDIOT BLOG!!!!!!!

I'd like to rescue this muttonhead from his own idiocy, if only one of you could find him for me. (Or get to him via e.mail and advise him he'd best post a contact number here ASAP.)

I'm feeling charitable today. Feed the infirm. Give a crip a lift.

His (whatchamacallit...URL?) is

I've about had it with all this MySpace, YouTube, OurAsshole web idiocy fit only for theft and the showing of overaged lackwits throwing themselves into walls a la Global Jackass.

Thank you in advance for any Sherlockian assistance.

Yr. Pal, Harlan

- Tuesday, June 26 2007 19:36:20


Earlier today. Posting from a David Silver. It may be on the up-and-up, I don't know; but it troubles me; the asking for money part.

I hope everyone here is prepared because, as I've said many times before, to quote Louis Pasteur: "Chance favors the PREPARED mind."

I mean no insult to David Silver; it just seems a little odd for this site; and I've called Rick to give it a look-see.

Cautiously, Harlan

Chuck Messer
- Tuesday, June 26 2007 19:6:10

Finder Doug:

I'm sendin' out good vibrations, it's givin' me exitations...


May your acceptance be swift and enthusiastic.


Mark Goldberg <markabaddon@gmail.com>
Minneapolis, - Tuesday, June 26 2007 13:23:0

Harlan, just got back from my extremely relaxing vacation in Cancun and I am glad that you were able to make use of the little gift. Please pass along my belated birthday wishes to Susan.

A-T C, thank you for that very intriguing book recommendation, it sounds like a fun read.

Keeney, give me a call or shoot me an email at work, 'cause I am dragging your butt to ConVergence whether you like it or not. We both deserve a very good party after all the crap this past year

Tony Rabig
Parsons, KS - Tuesday, June 26 2007 12:49:35

Dana Gioia


Thanks for the link. Will read the speech tonight.

Gioia's no drone, by the way. Check out the following:



Maybe these don't do it for you, but they sure do it for me. I think DG's a class act.

Bests to all,


Brian Siano
- Tuesday, June 26 2007 11:21:47

Here's a nice call for the humanities
Dana Gioia, chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts, could be a Bush drone for all I know. But he delivered an exceptional commencement address at Stanford, and I urge you all to read it.


An excerpt follows. But go read the whole thing. It's quite good.
There is an experiment I'd love to conduct. I'd like to survey a cross-section of Americans and ask them how many active NBA players, Major League Baseball players, and American Idol finalists they can name.

Then I'd ask them how many living American poets, playwrights, painters, sculptors, architects, classical musicians, conductors, and composers they can name.

I'd even like to ask how many living American scientists or social thinkers they can name.

Fifty years ago, I suspect that along with Mickey Mantle, Willie Mays, and Sandy Koufax, most Americans could have named, at the very least, Robert Frost, Carl Sandburg, Arthur Miller, Thornton Wilder, Georgia O'Keeffe, Leonard Bernstein, Leontyne Price, and Frank Lloyd Wright. Not to mention scientists and thinkers like Linus Pauling, Jonas Salk, Rachel Carson, Margaret Mead, and especially Dr. Alfred Kinsey.

I don't think that Americans were smarter then, but American culture was. Even the mass media placed a greater emphasis on presenting a broad range of human achievement.

I grew up mostly among immigrants, many of whom never learned to speak English. But at night watching TV variety programs like the Ed Sullivan Show or the Perry Como Music Hall, I saw—along with comedians, popular singers, and movie stars—classical musicians like Jascha Heifetz and Arthur Rubinstein, opera singers like Robert Merrill and Anna Moffo, and jazz greats like Duke Ellington and Louis Armstrong captivate an audience of millions with their art.

The same was even true of literature. I first encountered Robert Frost, John Steinbeck, Lillian Hellman, and James Baldwin on general interest TV shows. All of these people were famous to the average American—because the culture considered them important.

Today no working-class or immigrant kid would encounter that range of arts and ideas in the popular culture. Almost everything in our national culture, even the news, has been reduced to entertainment, or altogether eliminated.

The loss of recognition for artists, thinkers, and scientists has impoverished our culture in innumerable ways, but let me mention one. When virtually all of a culture's celebrated figures are in sports or entertainment, how few possible role models we offer the young.

There are so many other ways to lead a successful and meaningful life that are not denominated by money or fame. Adult life begins in a child's imagination, and we've relinquished that imagination to the marketplace.

shagin <smodell1995@yahoo.com>
Bremerton, Washington - Tuesday, June 26 2007 9:9:49

Finder Doug,

How about child sacrifice? How do you feel about that? Considering my morning, I have two kids I'd be willing to donate to your pursuit of higher education. I'll even clean up after you when you're done.


Finder Doug
- Tuesday, June 26 2007 8:58:33


Check arrived yesterday; always a pleasure doing business with you. And once I dig out from under the mountain this week, I'll touch base on other items of import outstanding and shake some trees. After Thursday. When one hopes you'll be chipper post-mediation conference, and I'll have more than three hours of sleep under my belt and can form complete sentences without the intravenous coffee drip...

All: a graduate school application packet for my return to higher education (after a 16 year detour) to obtain my Masters goes out today. Good vibrations, little prayers or small ritual sacrifices towards a favorable admissions response are always welcome.

DTS <none>
- Tuesday, June 26 2007 7:4:28

Ideas, stories and co-writing
HARLAN: I didn't think the particular paper/magazine (can't remember which) had that quite right, so thanks for clearing it up. And I'm not surprised about the subsequent Hugo and Nebula awards for said writers when you added something to their stories (I _am_ a bit surprised that credit wasn't shared -- hell I'd share credit it someone provided a couple of lines), but, hey...

Been busy with getting things ready for the big move, but I'll be heading out to pick up some o' that crackle soon. When I do, when it's on the way, I'll give ya a ring. (Feel free to send the title and first sentence of a story back to me as payment). (Insert wink and a nod as needed).

Talk to you soon, buddy,


Brian Siano
- Monday, June 25 2007 20:52:19

1. Invite Harlan over.

2. Leave a manual typewriter somewhere, loaded with paper, with fresh ribbons and maybe some carbon sheets.

Man, this is better than the Shoemaker and the Elves.

Steve P.-O. <widmerpool@hotmail.com>
Farmington, New Mexico - Monday, June 25 2007 19:22:6

Just checking in ...
Hey, did you folks know that the desert is hot? I mean, I knew intellectually that it's hot out here, but danm! Working outside when it's 110 is a revelation of just what heat is really like. And I've got it easy; can't even begin to imagine what it's like doing construction work out here.

Having a swell time digging in the dirt (well, clay, mostly), excavating what is destined to become the next Chaco Canyon outlier. We've got a potential greathouse, and an unexcavated depression that looks to all trained eyes (not mine, just yet) like a great kiva. You heard it here first!

Had a swell luncheon with Webderlander Michael Blum a few weeks back at the Frontier in Albuquerque. Looking forward to taking in his plays when we make the big move sometime next year.

Saw the solstice sunrise from Casa Rinconada at Chaco. Breathtaking.

New Mexico will always be a key HE-related site for me, as it was out here back in 2000, in probably my 15th reading of "Jeffty Is Five," that I *finally* understood the ending. I is a sloveny reader no more!


Brian Phillips
McDonough (or A Farewell to Elms), GA - Monday, June 25 2007 19:17:2

Belated Birthday wishes
Dear Ms. Ellison,

I hope your birthday was wonderful! I would have posted sooner, but my good lady wife's birthday was on the 23rd.

Brian Phillips

- Monday, June 25 2007 19:5:16

P. S .:


Just went back and re-read your post.

I NEVER not EVER not even once DID NOT EVER


an idea or a rewrite to an author. If I got a free lunch out of it, that was about all I ever expected. Sometimes, sadly, just a thankyou would've been nice.

But I don't charge other writers. If I collaborate--as with, say, Skillingstead--we split ALL monies, in perpetuity, straight down the middle. Unless the author with whom I collaborated is dead, in which case I usually lie to the widow, send it all, and tell her the union was paid twice the amount I sent.

Were Elly Bloch still with us, she would verify what I just wrote.

- Harlan

- Monday, June 25 2007 18:59:29



The answer is yes-to-aproximately-the-tenth-power.

I plotted entire novels for writers.

Both before and after (what used to be called Epstein-Barr) the now-more-than-25-years during which I've lived with (what is now generally called) Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.

I plotted a novel for a very fine writer two weeks ago. Also wrote the first paragraph because it "just came to me."

One story I wrote entirely, years ago, rewritten to some apt degree, won a Nebula Award for another writer.

The first chapter (Chapter O) of Robert Bloch's FIREBUG (my title ... Bob's was PYRO ... a la PSYCHO) was written entirely by me, which Bob was ALWAYS upfront enough to acknowledge.

I plotted an entire novel for Geo. Alec Effinger, and then sold the novel-to-come to either Tor or Forge (same house, different colophons). I think Piglet thanked me in the dedication or the acknowledgments or somewhichwhere.

Once, quite a while ago, at a party at the home of a now-famous writer, I wandered into a back room where the author had a story-in-work in the typewriter. I finished it. He won a Hugo, if I remember correctly.

Have I ghostwritten or "helped" or mentored other writers in their efforts ... occasionally ... ?

The answer is yes, Dorman. Yes, to the tenth power.

Yrs.: Anonymous

Steambird Springs, Alta California - Monday, June 25 2007 16:22:41

Hamlet in the graveyard
Came across this Way Cool thing: A local LA group is performing Hamlet in a Hollywood cemetery!

As Howard Waldrop would say, "Cheggidout!":


They encourage folk to bring a picnic basket and be sociable while watching the play. Tickets are $20.00, Kids under 12 free, and available at the gate beginning at 7 PM every Friday and Saturday through July 29 (Tickets I mean. Kids you provide.) That is, the gates open at 7 PM, curtain time is 8:30 PM.

"In keeping with Hollywood Forever's mission to serve as a cultural center for the city of Los Angeles and in recognition of the lack of quality outdoor community events, Shakespeare In The Cemetery was born. Our guests are invited to bring a picnic dinner to enjoy, a blanket to sit on and friends with which to share an inspiring evening. Picnic as the sun goes down and prepare to be entranced by a magical performance of a play by the western worlds greatest writer."

We're planning to go. Anyone want to talk about making it a group trip? My girl Susan, who has an MA in Theater Srts and is pretty knwledgeable on the play, can give a little talk on it. We could get Pinks to cater!

Best of luck on the mediation, dude.


Faisal A. Qureshi
Manchester, UK, - Monday, June 25 2007 16:2:3

It was your birthday!?!
Hi Susan,

I missed your birthday so happy belated birthday to you.



St. Pete, FL - Monday, June 25 2007 14:47:50

Harlan, The beautiful thing about ADR (alternate dispute resolution) is that you, the litigant, are in control. You're not dependent upon a judge to make a ruling, which could go any which way. You can fashion any type of settlement you both agree to, have it reduced to writing, and enforceable by the Court. Just settled a contentious case today at mediation. Handled hundreds of cases both in court and through ADR, both as the litigator and as a quasi judicial officer. In my experience, I prefer ADR. Mediation is also a great discovery tool. Good luck and if you want to talk, you have my number.

Barney <dannelke@gmail.com>
Allentown, PA - Monday, June 25 2007 13:13:6

Connections of the Purple Prose Posse
*** Adam T-C *** I forget if Paul mentions it in the course of the book because it's been about a year since I read it, but on top of the "reveal" of who Otis is, this is also a reference to the Marx Brothers and the play (and film) A NIGHT AT THE OPERA - on top of the skiffy author tie-in. Much fun indeed.

It's funny, but CTDCP is one of those books that lots of people read and enjoy but still have pet peeves with. I remember someone carping for about 800 words over the misattribution of a Campbell editing credit - and when I came to it I thought it was vague, but not dead wrong. Another friend had some problems with the Chester Himes chronology and they may have been on surer ground but again, it's just a story, and over-heated pulp at that.

My pet peeve was the description of the graveyard that H.P. Lovecraft is buried in. He has it as rather small and creepy and a bit of an uphill slog. In truth, that graveyard is one of the most beautiful and well groomed cemeteries I have ever seen - and is HUGE beyond the telling. Not quite Arlington, but still, huge.

In any case, I'm with you Adam. Enjoyed the heck out of it and wish Paul all the best.

- Barney

ps. - On the Six Degrees thread... I just came across a copy of the co-autobiography of Will & Ariel Durant. I have a reference here...somewhere... to Harlan having known them in some capacity. I can nail down the where/when he said it if need be. My point however is, I was looking through the index of the Durant autobiography of people THEY knew. Suffice it to say that if Harlan knew them at all - even a little - and you have ever met Harlan - there is pretty much nobody born after about 1880 you can't get to in three steps. Harlan knows people but sheesh, the Durant's knew PEOPLE. It's the most amazing name-dropping jaw dropping index I think I've ever seen. Makes F.D.R. and Churchill look like wallflowers.

- B

Graham Rae
- Monday, June 25 2007 12:54:25


Upon reflection, my flippant, offhand birthday comment to Susan could have been taken as offensive. I hope it wasn't; I was only joking, but sometimes what comes out and what is meant can be two completely different things in cyberspace; my toes curl in embarrassment to think of it. I wrote that post after having having had a few beers when out to celebrate a good day, which have been in horribly short supply round here for months for various extremely depressing reasons. I hope no offense was taken, cos genuinely none was intended, and Susan, I hope you had a great birthday.


ATC <adamcastro999@yahoo.com>
- Monday, June 25 2007 12:31:13

Just completed reading: THE CHINATOWN DEATH CLOUD PERIL, in which Walter Gibson,
the creator of The Shadow, and Lester Dent, the creator of the Shadow, each
find themselves (separately) investigating a monstrous conspiracy involving
weapons of mass destruction hidden beneath Chinatown. Both authors prove action
heroes, of a kind, and some of their derring-do is downright thrilling.

The young L. Ron Hubbard plays gee-whiz sidekick.

There are zombies.

Gibson has a battle in a burning building. Dent fights zombies. H.P. Lovecraft
arrives under ghoulish circumstances to provide important information. E.E.
Doc Smith arrives with an important chemical assist. Cornell Woolrich, John
W. Campbell, Orson Welles, young "Stanley Lieber," and two young boys from Cleveland with an idea for
a superhero from Krypton all make appearances, but the one element that absolutely
made my day was a character on the run from hit men, who has adopted the alias
Otis P. Driftwood. Only after great heroism does he reveal his true name. I
howled. Absolutely howled. It is another personage known to all of us here,
and the revelation is to die.

Tony Rabig
Parsons, KS - Monday, June 25 2007 11:30:8

John Zeock:

"ask for it, it's yours" -- Dangerous thing to say to me as I begin contemplating retirement & the $$$ I could use for same. Tell you what though -- if you have any leverage on the people who'd be able to put that series (and Karloff's Thriller, and Harry O) out on DVD, use it & we're more than square.

Glad to be of help.

And a belated Happy etc to Susan & an even belateder Happy to Harlan.



Jeff R.
Philly, - Monday, June 25 2007 11:14:0

Late again....
Dear Susan,

I hope you had a very Happy Birthday, and I'll try to send my best wishes ON or BEFORE the Big Day from now on.

Patricia Rogers <qtera31@yahoo.com>
Bernalillo, NM - Monday, June 25 2007 10:58:27

Susan – Happy Birthday a little belatedly!
And, Many postive thoughts for a good outcome on Thursday with the court stuff.

Laurie <lauriejane@mindspring.com>
Los Angeles, California - Monday, June 25 2007 9:47:42

Belated birthday wishes for Susan...
Sorry, could not get onto the Internet yesterday. Happy Birthday, Susan, best wishes for many more happy ones. All the best for you, Susan, you do so much for Harlan and for all of us.

john j zeock <k33kong@aol.com>
conshy, pa - Monday, June 25 2007 8:37:6

to Tony Rabig- thank you, thank you, thank you. ask for it, it's yours. jz

Chester...but working in Great Falls, SC - Monday, June 25 2007 7:48:33

Happy Belated Birthday and Good Luck Harlan
Just to add my small voice to the cries of joy...Happy Birthday Susan. Harlan, good luck on Thursday. The package of my book and Future Crimes will get there when I have the cash for Mr. Postman...Hopefully by the time DWST is at a theater near you...Best to you both...

diane bartels <chicago karen at yahoo. com>
chicago, il - Monday, June 25 2007 1:39:44

mrs. ellison, though i have never had the pleasure of meeting you except thru this web page, i add my best wishes to the crowds for a very happy day. i have been perusing the last month of postings as i am at my sister's house and she has the web while i dont. she and her husband and the kids are leaving tomorrow for florida and i stay behing to care for the pooches. i just wanted to say how amazing the qualities of