writing rengeek magpie mind

October 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

this is kind of tangential

I've seen, several places, people saying that This Is Going To Be Harlan's Last Con and thus there's no point in fandom itself dealing with it via banning him from a con or what have you. (As opposed to any legal actions that might occur, although I hasten to add that I haven't heard of any possible legal action and don't anticipate it happening.)

I'm certainly not sitting there going, "Yeah, let's lynch him!" because I /wasn't/ there and don't know details, but given what Rachel's said and given what he himself said about his actions at the awards, I don't see that fandom (or, rather, parts of fandom) enforcing consequences in a con context is useless. It would be a positive action taken by whatever portion of fandom chose to do so, and even if he never goes to another con (or, anyway, another World Con, whatever), it would still indicate that whatever portion of fandom acted in such a way means what it says, in terms of what it does and does not allow and welcome. And a consequence is still a consequence.

(I put the disclaimer that I'm not active in fandom all that much, except insofar as occasionally going to Boston-area Cons, so I am to some extent just talking out of my hat. But I mean well...?)

Re: this is kind of tangential

He's said he won't go back to cons, but people have "retired" from their jobs or their social activities or their habits three times, and possibly more, before it stuck.

If he ever decides he does want to go again... it might be a revelation to him if he's no longer welcome as a guest or a panelist or anyone other than a paying congoer.