writing rengeek magpie mind

December 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

Re: Oh, I'm not denying that people who do that kind of thing can't be sweet

I have someone at work, I call him our resident dirty old man, who's helpful and friendly and rather inane, and someone who can get past his talking about the weather and nothing else might call him sweet. He's the person to call in certain kinds of crisis, and he's got me out of at least one potential disaster.

He's also backed a couple of the girls into corners and kissed them, or tried, on the mouth. He offers people candy, gives backrubs but only when asked or given a reason to think it's wanted -- the worst he's done to me is a pat or a grab to the shoulder, but I've been told by several sources that I ahve body language that tells people I won't put up with things.

Re: Oh, I'm not denying that people who do that kind of thing can't be sweet

Oops, hit the wrong key at the wrong moment and posted half a message.

My point is, nobody is all one thing. Harlan Ellison is sweet. He's also a pretty darn good writer. He's also a person who's made other people who didn't deserve it weep, or humiliated strangers for his own pleasure.

And now, he's also assaulted someone.

Which makes this no longer a question of whether he's a nice guy, or capable of beign one. It's got nothing to do with who he is, or what he's like. It's about a criminal act.