Unca Harlan's Art Deco Dining Pavilion

Discussion of the man and his work.

Welcome to the Art Deco Dining Pavilion! Here's the deal. This is Harlan's little breakfast nook at Webderland. When he's not here, we chat about him and his work. When he is, we act like we're guests in his home. That's about all there is to it. (link to More specific rules) Oh, and since the nook doesn't exactly hold a crowd (and to prevent the less frequent voices from being drowned out), please limit yourself to one post a day unless Harlan asks you a direct question. The Pavilion Annex is available if you're the logorrheic type. Also, we have archives of old posts. RSS Feed

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Displaying board posts 26 through 50 - showing messages at a time.

Jeff R.
Philly, - Friday, October 13 2017 7:55:44

Dear Brian:
You're lucky
When my mother died, my grandmother gave me every audio tape that she left behind. But first, she erased every one of them. She thought that having my mother's voice would upset me, you see. What an idiot!

Brian Phillips
McDonough, Georgia - Friday, October 13 2017 6:31:36

To Messrs. Kang and Nason
You need not tell me about the power of "The Power" soundtrack. My Mother was a huge soundtrack fan. I grew up listening to many LPs and cassette recordings from TV of music that she liked. One day, I remember Mom and my brother Steve had to go on an errand and "Zulu" was the 4:30 movie. I was given STRICT instructions to hit record on the cassette player when the Zulus started chanting.

We had scads of Memorex and Lebotone tapes in the house, with Mom's beautiful penmanship on them. I played a particular tape in her presence one day. She smiled and said, "The Power!" and sang along with Rozsa's music. Hearing it again, I realized that I could sing part of it, too. I also realize that there are some movies that I know musical excerpts, but have never seen!

Lest ye mockers mock the rampant taping that went on in the house, I would add that I have a recording of the family at Christmas from 1968, which is the ONLY recording I have of my Dad's voice. There is also some pixie-creature on the tape that answered to the name of Brian, however, I insist that it wasn't me. I sounded like James Earl Jones then AND I STILL DO!!


Also, there is a short mention of Harlan in the article about artificial intelligence.


- Brian Phillips

Steve Barr
Kansas City, MO - Friday, October 13 2017 4:2:18

I was watching BatlleBots, (For the creativity and ingenuity that it engenders, of course) watching them slowly destroy each other and suddenly had a flash to I Have no Mouth.... Were these entities sentient as they no doubt some day WILL be. Well let me just say that I understand now why AM hates us.
Just part of my regular revelation of how Harlan Ellison helps me understand the evolving world in and around me.
I said it before to him in person and I will continue to say it. Thank you Harlan!!

E. Kang
- Thursday, October 12 2017 23:35:11

Final word, the potential power in an apology:

No example could be more profound than the reconciliation between Rwandans in the years after the 1994 genocide. Forgiveness, in proper place and context, is not born out of some flighty benevolence, but more, subliminally, out of survival instinct of the species. The bonding element of a civilized world. If most people discarded it as blanket weakness, we'd be hurled back into the Dark Ages.

'Course...given the orange thing stenching up the White House right now, we may yet see that scenario come to pass.

Finally, an example of the opposite, imo, as noted by S. Barber - where an apology is used as a free pass to do whatever vile shit you want without a conscience eating at you: the lame, disingenuous, pussyassed "prayers and condolences" from Congress -- their version of an "apology" -- to the Vegas shooting victims, knowing full well that it will happen again as long as no gun law measures are taken whatsoever, maybe even on a bigger scale next time. It'll be the same bullshit cycle, trivializing human lives because of misconceptions about the 2nd Amendment.

Generalizations are simplistic, no matter what. THAT'S what makes people WEAK.

Now we can move on to the next street.


Robert Nason -

Surprised that you hadn't come across THE POWER until now. I've always liked Pal's movie, in spite of its holes. To me, the true star of that film is Miklos Rozsa's score. That frenetic, pounding theme, using the instrument called the cymbalum - overlapped with heartbeats on the soundtrack (emphasizing Adam Hart's unseen presence) - blows me away. A sucker for awesome soundtracks, I often give a flick's weak points the pass when it's this good.


I've had Frank Robinsons novel, The Power, for many years, nestled comfortably alongside Richard Matheson's I Am Legend. The 2 go mighty well together as page turners.

Robert Nason <nightwriterblue82@gmail.com>
Whitestone, NY - Thursday, October 12 2017 15:16:9

Last night during TCM George Pal Festival I watched the 1968 film of Frank M. Robinson's novel, THE POWER. A very strange film, more neo-noir thriller than science fiction, with a somewhat muddled script but featuring a slew of great character actors and some interesting visual effects. In any event, I looked up the book on the Internet Speculative Fiction Database and was startled by what I saw on the cover of the 1977 Berkley Medallion paperback. The face on the cover, if my eyes are not deceiving me, looks remarkably like Harlan Ellison. Has this been commented on before, or am I imagining things? The cover artist is not credited.

Kenneth Stevens
- Thursday, October 12 2017 13:15:40

E. Kang
You forgot to type that in all caps.

John Q.
- Thursday, October 12 2017 10:56:5

"I support laws that make it easy for anyone -- and I mean ANYONE! -- to kill 58 people in a public setting with an AR-15..."

Been at your Rolling Stone lately?



Steve Barber <thumbnailtraveler@verizon.net>
- Thursday, October 12 2017 9:19:41


Mark and Chuck capture the true purpose of the Pavilion. It's a place to be thoughtful and kind. An escape from the other crap on the internet. Yes, we've had the frequent flaps, but that's not the intent nor the value that both Rick and Harlan want for this place.

E Kang captures it exactly. People who believe apologies are a sign of weakness have little concept of the world around them. They are obstinate and see things in black and white. It's a danger to see things only in to shades, and as I noted before, labels that person in a very specific and unflattering light.

I realize this also cuts the other way: people who believe they can commit any atrocity and simply apologize for it when caught. This also doesn't work.

Like when it comes to sexual harassment. We have Trump on the "don't apologize for it" end and Weinstein on the "Gosh, I'm so sad" side.

Neither is acceptable, and both approaches sew contempt for their utterers.

Okay, several people have rushed to the dictionaries of the world for a definition of Noob (alt spelling n00b, as was noted).

But, as with all words, there are variations. It's also described by the urban dictionary thusly:

"Contrary to the belief of many, a noob/n00b and a newbie/newb are not the same thing. Newbs are those who are new to some task and are very beginner at it, possibly a little overconfident about it, but they are willing to learn and fix their errors to move out of that stage. n00bs, on the other hand, know little and have no will to learn any more."

So, have your source call my source, they can lunch together.

John E. Williams <jbwilliams76@comcast.net>
Arlington, VA - Thursday, October 12 2017 7:25:12

For the Noobs
a person who is inexperienced in a particular sphere or activity, especially computing or the use of the Internet.

Chuck Messer
- Thursday, October 12 2017 6:12:46

Mark: I remember when that happened. Robert posted on this board to say goodbye, that he was losing his battle with cancer. Unca Harlan called him at the hospital -- unsolicited. They spoke for an hour.

That, I think, is the heart and soul of this message board. It's why I still come here.


Mark Goldberg <markabaddon@gmail.com>
Apple Valley, MN - Thursday, October 12 2017 6:4:15

Robert Ross
While I do not frequent this site as often as I once did, the Pavilion remains a special place for me, in part because of the friends I have made here. 8 years ago today, we lost one of them. If you have a moment, spare a thought for Robert Ross, a friend of mine and of Harlan's, who was taken from us far too soon.

Mark Goldberg <markabaddon@gmail.com>
Apple Valley, MN - Thursday, October 12 2017 6:4:15

Robert Ross
While I do not frequent this site as often as I once did, the Pavilion remains a special place for me, in part because of the friends I have made here. 8 years ago today, we lost one of them. If you have a moment, spare a thought for Robert Ross, a friend of mine and of Harlan's, who was taken from us far too soon.

Jeff R.
Philly, - Thursday, October 12 2017 5:19:57

For Ezra
You might want to take a look at Fuller's THE NAKED KISS. Is it good? You'll have to decide that for yourself, but it's certainly unique.

E. Kang
- Wednesday, October 11 2017 21:51:10

I shot you in the face, but I'm not going to apologize because it will show that I am weak.

I shackled you in my basement for 20 years and raped you on a daily basis, but I'm not going to apologize because it's a sign of weakness.

I aided in genocide against your people, killing off nearly a million...but no way I'm going to apologize because it'll make me look weak.

I polluted your drinking water with lead, but I'm not going to apologize, so, hey, live with it.

I support laws that make it easy for anyone -- and I mean ANYONE! -- to kill 58 people in a public setting with an AR-15...but, heyyyyyyyyy, no apologies here; I don't wanna look WEAK!


I don't know how you can find a civilization under all that!

Joe Woods
- Wednesday, October 11 2017 20:20:43

The Unapologetic

Can they not smell the Reptilian shell that separates
Man from a living Hell?

Kenneth Stevens
- Wednesday, October 11 2017 19:17:14

"Asshole" is an empty term that anybody can sling around. As often as not it says as much about the person who uses it as the person it's used against. For that reason I don't bother with it (If you check my posts here you'll see I've never called any poster here an asshole), and am not concerned about the opinions of those who use it.

Alejandro Riera
Chicago, Illinois - Wednesday, October 11 2017 14:51:24

I should have added that it's tonight.

Alejandro Riera
Chicago, Illinois - Wednesday, October 11 2017 14:50:41

Funny that you'd mention George Pal, Ezra...Beginning at 8 pm EST Turner Classic Movies will be devoting its programming to George's work beginning with the documentary "The Fantastic World of George Pal, followed by, well in the wee hours of the morning, "The Puppetoon Movie," "Destination Moon," "The Time Machine," "Atlantis, The Lost Continent" and "The Power."

- Wednesday, October 11 2017 14:35:33

Kenneth, the world is what we make it. So why would we want to make it a shithole? Becoming an asshole simply because the world is full of assholes is much too high a price to pay. But that's just me. Maybe you consider it a bargain.


I saw a terrific film last night, one of SAM FULLER's best, SHOCK CORRIDOR, starring Peter Breck as a reporter who has himself committed to a mental institution to investigate a murder. The film would be impossible to describe without spoilers and it has to be seen to be believed. No big stars, just a stable of wonderful veteran character actors, and it doesn't hurt that it was lensed by Stanley Cortez who worked on THE MAGNIFICIENT AMBERSONS and NIGHT OF THE HUNTER. It is amazing they got away with this in 1963 and sad it's still so relevant. I can't believe I've reached the stage of incipient senectitude without ever seeing this movie. What else have I missed?


Doubtless many of you will enjoy BLADERUNNER 2049 and take the opportunity to revisit the original film in at least one of its multitudinous versions. May I suggest that you expand your BLADERUNNER experience to include spending some time with its ostensible source material, Philip K Dick's novel, DO ANDROIDS DREAM OF ELECTRIC SHEEP? It's one of PKD's best and this from a reader who is not an unalloyed fan of his work. (For what it's worth my favorite PKD and the work that for me displays the essence of his virtues is 'Faith of our Fathers' from DANGEROUS VISIONS.)

In my admittedly at least somewhat jaundiced view the original movie stands in relation to Dick's novel as George Pal's version of WAR OF THE WORLDS stands in relation to Wells' novel. Both movies have their pleasures but they might has well have been created on different planets than the source materials. Dick is an artist REALLY asking what it means to be human. It's useful to occasionally remind ourselves what that really looks like.

Kenneth Stevens
- Tuesday, October 10 2017 18:53:18

Steve Barber
I did look up noob, and its primary meaning is newbie.

Your faith in apologies is touching but misplaced in today's world.

E. Kang
- Tuesday, October 10 2017 14:44:8

"Never apologize. It's a sign of weakness."

Exactly what Trump and Putin swear by.

Steve Barber <thumbnailtraveler@verizon.net>
- Tuesday, October 10 2017 12:34:27

Odds n Ends

IAIN - Huh. I thought I was going out of my way to *avoid* attacking Dorman for his comments. I simply disagreed with some of them. If apologies are due I'm sure he will reach out.

KENNETH - "Noob", not "newbie". Look it up.

Also: "Never apologize. It's a sign of weakness." is the richest form of horseshit ever to grace a garden. Utterly absurd and worthless advice. It gives the impression of an unlearning and unyielding fool who believes they are infallible.

Following that advice tells us far more damaging things about the character of a person than does an apology. The apology suggest thoughtfulness and an ability to learn from mistakes.

On to far more interesting topics:

Sadly, but not unexpectedly, BLADE RUNNER 2049 is being labeled a boxoffice bomb despite the rave reviews. It's going to become a cult hit, but that is often cold comfort to the investors, who will now go looking for the next TRANSFORMERS film to invest their monies in.

Interesting cast (and Producer) interview with the people involved with THE ORVILLE.


The fires currently engulfing thousands of acres of California are horrific. The fire over in Anaheim Hills displaced several people we know. Between the devastating Wine Country fires up north, and the Orange County Anaheim Hills fire, which required dozens of engine companies from surrounding cities (severn from Long Beach alone), fire departments are stretched but handling the pressure.

At least here in SoCal the weather conditions have improved today - cooler temperatures, an onshore breeze versus the down-from-the-desert Santa Ana wind, and much more moisture in the air - and they're hoping to tamp it down soon. The lighting outside our house today has resumed its bluish tint, versus yesterday afternoon's post-apocalpyptic orange glow.

Harlan and Susan live nowhere near the impacted areas. I'll keep y'all updated should something break out closer to their abode.

Barney Dannelke <dannelke@gmail.com>
Allentown, Pennsylvania - Tuesday, October 10 2017 7:4:39

...wanders in.
Looks around for any fire information pertaining to Harlan's area.
Reads back three months. Notes some Tim Richmond news he already knew.
...wanders out.

- Monday, October 9 2017 18:53:50

One last thing about anonymous ness
In certain cases, such as mine, anonymizing is necessary. I have two stalkers. Whenever my name appears on something online, within a few days or a few weeks, one or both of them show up. Going to the "authorities" is pointless because the damage is done by association. I cannot have potential employers googling my name and finding these people's comments directed at me, and I will not spend the rest of my life doing reputation-damage-control.

I stick by what I say, even if it anonymously posted. Frank, your point about HIV rates among black women is correct, but is not the point that was initially introduced. That point was that sexual freedom is a fine thing, but it carries responsibility. In a rational world, people who go out and have sex all the time would only do so if they were certain that they had no STDs and that their partner(s) had no STDs. The world we inhabit, however, has people who want to have sexual freedom and scream bloody murder at the people who say that such freedom requires the aforementioned responsibility. The newest antiviral PrEP regimen will almost certainly increase STDs overall due to a combination of selfishness, irresponsibility and innumeracy, and those new STDs will almost certainly lead to devastating consequences, mostly for the younger and more inexperienced entrants into the world of sexual activity.

Stepping off my soapbox now. ...

Iain Cullen <iaincullen64@yahoo.com>
Glasgow, Scotland - Monday, October 9 2017 15:34:9

Steve Barber
You are clearly a nice man Steve, but your attack on Dorman shows you to be a reactionary.

I hope all is well with everyone.

Cheers, Iain.

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