writing rengeek magpie mind

April 2014

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writing rengeek magpie mind

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.

Comments

Another thing that bothers me about the "apology" is the sequence of events: Sure, I grabbed her breast, sure it was wrong, but I didn't realise it was wrong until three days later.
If him realizing it was wrong were the issue, he wouldn't have done it in the first place. Ergo, he either did not realize it was wrong or he did not care.

(Anonymous)

here's his follow-up

Would you be slightly less self-righteous and chiding if I told you there was

NO grab...

there was

NO grope...

there was

NO fondle...

there was the slightest touch. A shtick, a gag between friends, absolutely NO sexual content.

Would you, and the ten thousand maggots who have blown this up into a cause celebre, be even the least bit abashed to know that I apologized WAY BEYOND what the "crime" required, on the off chance that I HAD offended? Let me ask you, Mark:

1) Were you there?
2) Did you see it?
3) Are you standing on your soapbox to chide me via 3rd/4th-hand reportage by OTHERS who weren't there?
4) Do you also buy the infinite number of other internet brouhahas that turned out to be misreported?

Here it is, Mark; and for any others who fit the shoe:

In the words of that great American philosopher, Tony Isabella,
"Hell hath no fury like that of the uninvolved."

Does not anyone READ WHAT I WROTE within fifteen minutes of learning of this? Does not anyone wonder why, if it was such a piggish thing I did, as one of those jerkwad blogs calls it, Connie Willis hasn't, after twenty-five years of "friendship," not returned my call on Monday ... or responded to the Fedex packet of my posting here on Monday, which Fedex advises me she received at 2:20 pm on Tuesday?

Can the voluble and charismatic Connie not even pick up a phone to tell the man whose work she "admires deeply" that he has gone a bridge too far? Is she so wracked by the Awfulness of it that she is incapable of saying to his face, you went too far? No one EVER asked her to "bell the cat." She decided that was her role toward me, long ago. And I've put up with it for years.

How about it, Mark: after playing straight man to Connie's very frequently demeaning public jackanapery toward me -- including treating me with considerable disrespect at the Grand Master Awards Weekend, where she put a chair down in front of her lectern as Master of Ceremonies, and made me sit there like a naughty child throughout her long "roast" of my life and career -- for more than 25 years, without once complaining, whaddays think, Mark, am I even a leetle bit entitled to think that Connie likes to play, and geez ain't it sad that as long as SHE sets the rules for play, and I'm the village idiot, she's cool ... but gawd forbid I change the rules and play MY way for a change ... whaddaya think, Mark, my friend, am I within the parameters of brutish pigginess to suggest if she WAS offended, then I apologize ... even if you and a garbage-scowload of asinine pathetic internet wanks get up on their "affront" and tell me how to behave?

I've sat here for four days, quietly, having done as much forelock-tugging and kneeling as I feel -- as I -- I -- not you -- not fan pinheads in far places who jumped and bayed and went after me in a second -- but I --who is responsible for my behavior -- as I feel is proper. And for four days I've waited for Deeply Outraged and Debased Connie Willis -- an avowed friend and admirer of my work for more than a quarter century --to get up off her political correctness and take her pal off the gibbet.

I spent more hours traveling this benighted country, for eight years, state after state after state, lecturing in defense of women's rights and passage of the ERA than any of you have spent mouthing your sophomoric remonstrances.

As the Great American Philosopher Tony Isabella has said, "Hell hath no fury like that of the uninvolved."

My last word on this clusterfuck. If Willis wants in, she knows where you all are. She knows where I am.All the rest is silence.

Harlan Ellison

P.S. Including Mark's post that precedes this one, I URGE YOU all to post this everywhichwhere, and let the poison drip where it will. Gloves come off now, onlookers.