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bear by san

March 2017



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bear by san

Hey, Harlan?

This is so not okay.



Just to play devil's advocate, someone whose opinion I trust, who has known both people involved personally for many years, and who was sitting inthe front rows watching the actual moment in the flesh, says that reports of what happened have very little to do with what actually occured.

Me, I didn't see it, only heard second-hand reports after the fact, and so am in no position to add to the commentary further.
Presumably somebody was filming the ceremony and therefore we don't need to rely on conflicting eyewitness reports?
I am not just talking about the Hugos.
I understand, but I just feel that if there is any doubt about what really happened it should be easily cleared up.

If, playing devil's advocate here, nothing really happened, somebody misunderstood a gesture and rumours have grown out of proportion then this exaggeration does not help tackle the issue of other incidents such as Rachel's story.

On the other hand, if it was as described, then the Harlan apologists have to face the facts.

The one good thing is that the discussion of what is acceptable behaviour has just been made more public and widespread.
I didn't see the alleged offense either; I was sitting in the second row, but I was distracted. Whatever happened, Connie never lost control of the stage for an instant.
I didn't attend the Hugos, but I attended Connie's interview by Charlie Brown the next day, and she started it by referring to "f*cking Harlan Ellison" and "why do I always have to bell the cat"? She evidently kept her cool on stage, but she was upset by it.
She came out of it looking like a real professional.
I'm never sure whether it is more dignified to ignore a pest but be perceived by some as a victim, or to strike back and assert your dignity.
I would be startled if you found anybody who was there who would describe Connie as a "victim."
I think they wrote "victim" as in "person who was behaved badly towards" there.

Connie was a strong professional throughout - never stopped smiling as she stopped the behavior and sailed right on to the next thing, keeping the focus where it belonged: on the honorees.

Must have been awfully tempting to rescind the plaque just at that moment, though. Wish there's been someone able to get beyond utter shock and disbelief in the moment to just scratch that item. Oh well.

Dayum, Connie's fine.
False dichotomy. One can retain one's dignity in public, and deck the son of a bitch in private. (Or maybe even the privates.)

-- Steve loves Ellison's work, but man he's got to reign in that sort of idiocy if he can't rid himself of it.
False dichotomy.

Indeed. And I don't know what was said backstage.

I am sad that this misbehavior distracts attention from things like Betty Ballantine's special award.
he does reign in this sort of idiocy - he's been the king of sexist jerklike behaviour for a while, and this beyond-jerk-ness just confirmed the crown. What he needs to do is rein it in.
"Besides, women who "strike back," as you put it, at men who are physically assaulting them often risk upping the ante of male aggression even more,"


"not to mention the "She just couldn't take a joke"/"Women always take things too seriously"/"It didn't really mean anything" knee-jerk reactions."

If she's defending herself against a criminal act (which is what Ellison did was), I'd hope she wouldn't fucking care about those statements, and especially the kind of people who would make them.

Your response is textbook Be Nice Or People Won't Like You and You Might Get Hurt Worse.
I was there and I saw it. I was in the front row of the raised section so I had a perfect unobstructed view of both the stage and the screens showing everything on the stage.

I was already grossed out (and pretty clearly Connie was too) when he started by putting the microphone in his mouth. Then later as they went into a hug he clamped one hand on her left breast. It was blatant and unequivolcal, not a slip or a microsecond moment. She moved his hand and continued smoothly on, more or less ignoring what he'd done. Granted a slapped face would have been appropriate, but I think she was trying to be gracious not to him but to the large audience she was facing at the time and so elected to quickly end the maneuver by moving his hand and then carry on.
Connie Willis is a class act. And yeah, the hammer would not have been out of line.
"Just to play devil's advocate,"

Excellent. Then we know whose side you're on.
Excellent. Then we know whose side you're on

Excuse me?

I wasn't aware that we were 'chosing sides.' I thought that this was a discussion in which a balanced reporting of the alleged event would be valued.

I don't like Harlan. I never have. But when rumors and second-hand stories are racing around the Internet, I try to find out if there's another side to the story as well.

Otherwise, it's a lynching party, and I don't approve of those in any scenario.

I happen to hate the phrase "Devil's advocate." I apologize for giving offense.

It's clear to me, given where the first-hand accounts are coming from (a respected member of the SF community, a woman who was touched inappropriately by Ellison the same weekend, an account of wrangling Ellison at the Hugos, and a since-removed photograph of the grope), that the grope happened, it happened on-stage, people saw it, at least one person got a picture, and Ellison was behaving badly even by his own generous self-set standards.

Maybe you've not seen any of those accounts, which makes your wanting the other side understandable. If you have, then all I can do is boggle.
was there really an actual photo of the grope?
where was this?

I've seen people linking to a photo of Ellison playing inappropriately with a microphone and one of him kissing Willis (the host of said photos keeps playing with the filenames to mess up people who link there) but I hadn't seen anyone before say they had a photo of the act itself.
Harlan has admitted the grope.

There is no permanent link, but here it is:

- Tuesday, August 29 2006 12:19:50


Would you believe that, having left the Hugo ceremonies immediately after my part in it, while it was still in progress ... and having left the hall entirely ... yet having been around later that night for Kieth Kato's traditional chili party ... and having taken off next morning for return home ... and not having the internet facility to open "journalfen" (or whatever it is), I was unaware of any problem proceeding from my intendedly-childlike grabbing of Connie Willis's left breast, as she was exhorting me to behave.

Nonetheless, despite my only becoming aware of this brouhaha right this moment (12 noon LA time, Tuesday the 29th), three days after the digital spasm that seems to be in uproar ...YOU ARE ABSOLUTELY RIGHT!!!

iT IS UNCONSCIONABLE FOR A MAN TO GRAB A WOMAN'S BREAST WITHOUT HER EXPLICIT PERMISSION. To do otherwise is to go 'way over the line in terms of invasion of someone's personal space. It is crude behavior at best, and actionable behavior at worst. When George W> Bush massaged the back of the neck of that female foreign dignitary, we were all justly appalled. For me to grab Connie's breast is in excusable, indefensible, gauche, and properly offensive to any observers or those who heard of it later.

I agree wholeheartedly.

I've called Connie. Haven't heard back from her yet. Maybe I never will.

So. What now, folks? It's not as if I haven't been a politically incorrect creature in the past. But apparently, Lynne, my 72 years of indefensible, gauche (yet for the most part classy), horrifying, jaw-dropping, sophomoric, sometimes imbecile behavior hasn't--till now--reached your level of outrage.

I'm glad, at last, to have transcended your expectations. I stand naked and defenseless before your absolutely correct chiding.

With genuine thanks for the post, and celestial affection, I remain, puckishly,

Yr. pal, Harlan

P.S. You have my permission to repost this reply anywhere you choose, on journalfen, at SFWA, on every blog in the universe, and even as graffiti on the Great Wall of China.

I don't limit discussion in my blog, but I do demand politeness. FYI.
My bad.
thank you. ;-)