writing rengeek magpie mind

October 2014

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writing rengeek magpie mind

Hey, Harlan?

This is so not okay.

***

Comments

People have been expressing outrage about Harlan Ellison for more than four decades, and he still ended up in a position to assault writers at award ceremonies, and it's not yet clear whether anything will be done to make this less possible in the future. Harlan Ellison makes a good bit of his living and reputation by outraging people. Using other words, that sentence reads, "Harlan Ellison is paid and rewarded for doing those things which cause people to express outrage. The more outrage they express, the more money and fame he gets." That equation could be broken, but it hasn't been yet.

I don't think it calls for torches and pitchforks. I think it calls for taking the goddamned microphone away from someone who's proven again and again that he can't be trusted with it.

The difference, in what we in the cheap seats can do, is between saying, "Harlan Ellison is nasty! We hate Harlan Ellison!" and saying, "Please do not invite Harlan Ellison to be any part of presentations at this function in the future. The knowledge that Harlan Ellison was going to be on stage would make me less likely to attend or publicize any event."

If you think that's unethical rabble-rousing which is likely to harm innocents, I have to say I disagree, but that's fine. I disagree with people about all kinds of things, and it hasn't hurt me or the people I disagree with yet.
I think you are correct.
The difference, in what we in the cheap seats can do, is between saying, "Harlan Ellison is nasty! We hate Harlan Ellison!" and saying, "Please do not invite Harlan Ellison to be any part of presentations at this function in the future. The knowledge that Harlan Ellison was going to be on stage would make me less likely to attend or publicize any event."

yup, that would be one way to handle it. i feel a bit torn about that sort of action even though i participate in it at times -- boycott is a double-edged, heavy-handed sword. i tend to reserve it for a point much further down in the "teach people to behave in a civilized manner" course. (also, FWIW, ellison has said this will have been his last con, so the action's effectiveness is in question.)

i would prefer to start with writing a letter of censure to harlan ellison, and have it signed by many of those who agree that this type of behaviour is unacceptable. or start a letter writing campaign, so people can express it more personally. i like my justice to be direct.

but either way would be better than merely exchanging anecdotes of other nasty ellison incidents, or bringing up how asimov did bad things in his career too as somebody in my LJ did. *rolls eyes*.
The difference, in what we in the cheap seats can do, is between saying, "Harlan Ellison is nasty! We hate Harlan Ellison!" and saying, "Please do not invite Harlan Ellison to be any part of presentations at this function in the future. The knowledge that Harlan Ellison was going to be on stage would make me less likely to attend or publicize any event."

That was the thought I was trying to express... and it's become obvious I did it very poorly. My statement was more of a reaction to some, er, more direct expressions of discontent. that these were in other blogs only adds to the disconnect. (I'm frankly at a loss now trying to remember why I posted that here .

-- Steve's fine with presentations to committees; less so to shipping deceased gophers to Ellison.