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bear by san

March 2017



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bear by san

noted without comment

Harlan Ellison issues a public apology.

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 posted this over on pnh's journal, but here's my feelings...again.

What a nasty way to turn it back on to the people who are expressing outrage. As if it was up to us to police his behaviour all the time. As if it was hypocritical to call him on it if our outrage-o-meter hadn't pinged until now.

The other weird thing about this apology: It follows a similar pattern to the other "explanation for his behaviour" that I've read on the internet. During the Penny Arcade kerfuffle he said he had no idea at the time that anything untoward had occured until he got home and logged onto zee interweb. (I'm willing to believe that both sides got out of hand in the PA skirmish. I heart Jerry and Mike, but they are pretty brash sometimes.) It's just the weirdness of not being able to tell that something had occured. It seems inconsistent that somebody who delighted in pushing buttons could be so unaware of when he'd pushed them.

It's not much of an apology, I'd say. But maybe I'm reading it wrong?