Robert Nason's Culture Café

General discussions of interest to readers and fans of Harlan Ellison.

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Chuck Messer
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Re: Robert Nason's Culture Café

Postby Chuck Messer » Wed Jul 23, 2014 9:43 am

Ah, yes. The alluring "Zombie Stomp".

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robochrist
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Re: Robert Nason's Culture Café

Postby robochrist » Wed Jul 23, 2014 12:22 pm

I don't know, I'm too busy looking at the girl dancing on the beach.


Need we ask further about the bogarting hot dogs?

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Robert Nason
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Re: Robert Nason's Culture Café

Postby Robert Nason » Wed Jul 23, 2014 1:22 pm

I just hope they were Nathan's hot dogs or Hebrew National, two of the very best available. Does anyone have another candidate? I confess I love the variety of wursts I sampled in Vienna last year -- I'll take those over our rather bland American dogs any day. (See, I can exhibit as much zenophilia as the next person.) But I have yet to try the dogs at Pink's, which look spectacular, and apparently taste great as well.
"Thought is a strenuous art -- few practice it, and then only at rare times." - David Ben-Gurion

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robochrist
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Re: Robert Nason's Culture Café

Postby robochrist » Wed Jul 23, 2014 2:27 pm

They looked pretty damn circumcised to me, so Hebrew's a safe bet.

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Re: Robert Nason's Culture Café

Postby Moderator » Wed Jul 23, 2014 3:12 pm

Robert Nason wrote:I just hope they were Nathan's hot dogs or Hebrew National, two of the very best available. Does anyone have another candidate? I confess I love the variety of wursts I sampled in Vienna last year -- I'll take those over our rather bland American dogs any day. (See, I can exhibit as much zenophilia as the next person.) But I have yet to try the dogs at Pink's, which look spectacular, and apparently taste great as well.


I like the Nathan's Dogs, personally. The one thing I will say about Pink's is that a good portion of the eating of a dog there is the experience. The hot dogs are themselves pretty good, don't get me wrong, but it's the adventure more than anything else.

(Some adventures there are better than others, such as the infamous pre-WGA luncheon in which David Loftus, Keith Cramer and I pushed Harlan's stalled Packard, Harlan manning the wheel, a block down rush-hour La Brea Boulevard -- through the intersection with Melrose in a case of impeccable timing -- to a non-service "service station" to wait for AAA. In the parking lot of the station, Harlan made the acquaintance of a "made man" as said man was picking up his laundry.

(There are witnesses and a photo essay to validate the story.)
- I love to find adventure. All I need is a change of clothes, my Nikon, an open mind and a strong cup of coffee.

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Ezra Lb.
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Re: Robert Nason's Culture Café

Postby Ezra Lb. » Wed Jul 23, 2014 3:51 pm

I was up here a long time before I went to Ben's Chili Bowl and had a half-smoke. I figured with all the hoopla and the big names who felt like they had to be seen there, well...how good could it be? Probably an overpriced tourist trap. When I finally went there with some friends visting me from Atlanta who wanted to go it turned out to be pretty danged tasty.

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robochrist
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Re: Robert Nason's Culture Café

Postby robochrist » Wed Jul 23, 2014 3:56 pm

You turn from a truly terrifying monster to Ben's Chile Bowl! Just doesn't seem right!

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Robert Nason
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Re: Robert Nason's Culture Café

Postby Robert Nason » Wed Jul 23, 2014 4:30 pm

Steve, that's a great story. When I go to sleep tonight, I have a hunch the images will merge so that you, Loftus, and Cramer are pushing a car shaped like a giant Pink's hot dog. (I'm probably thinking of those hot dog stands with huge curved hot dogs on top that I've seen in photos of old L.A. -- maybe even new L.A, for all I know).

I'd have to agree that Nathan's is the best tasting hot dog, though I think it has more sodium that Hebrew Natioonal and some others. My father's is always on my back about making sure I read the labels on food to check the amount of sodium (which I admit can be amazingly high). Last night I had two Sabrett's hot dogs for dinner, which weren't bad -- not outstanding, but entirely acceptable.
"Thought is a strenuous art -- few practice it, and then only at rare times." - David Ben-Gurion

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Robert Nason
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Re: Robert Nason's Culture Café

Postby Robert Nason » Wed Jul 23, 2014 7:31 pm

RAYMOND CHANDLER, cat lover and arguably the greatest writer of hardboiled mystery novels who ever lived, took his first breath from these mean streets on this day in 1988. Take a moment to remember a true master.

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robochrist
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Re: Robert Nason's Culture Café

Postby robochrist » Wed Jul 23, 2014 7:50 pm

I think Chandler and Dashiell Hammett are neck-and-neck. They spawned a genre of American literature, and I've never been able to find a place where one out did the other in his impact on the form. I was reading about Chandler in some detail about 2 weeks ago, when, after researching the rifts he had with Hitchcock, I realized I'd never explored his bio.

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Robert Nason
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Re: Robert Nason's Culture Café

Postby Robert Nason » Wed Jul 23, 2014 9:06 pm

Hammett came first and more-or-less invented the hardboiled detective novel, as Chandler himself admitted; but Chandler came along and perfected it, at least in my opinion. Both of them were part of the BLACK MASK mystery magazine school of writers (which included Erle Stanley Gardner, among many others), which had such a profound impact on the evolution of the American detective story.
"Thought is a strenuous art -- few practice it, and then only at rare times." - David Ben-Gurion

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robochrist
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Re: Robert Nason's Culture Café

Postby robochrist » Wed Jul 23, 2014 9:33 pm

We're always likely to favor one a little over the other (like trading off between Cagney and Bogart), but with credits that include MALTESE FALCON and THE THIN MAN, it's quite a toss-up for ME. Then, again, my opinion is shaped by their film adaptations, their historical impact, and a good number of passages from their novels; but I never actually read the books by either. For all I know, one outreaches the other technically as a writer, so my judgment is thin. I can only say that if his THIN MAN novel is as brilliantly buoyant as the 1934 film, then Hammett was a damn good writer!

I was fascinated to read that Hammett had once worked for Pinkerton as an opertive and had drawn on those experiences for his novels.

His successor, Chandler said of him, "Hammett was the ace performer... He is said to have lacked heart; yet the story he himself thought the most of The Glass Key is the record of a man's devotion to a friend. He was spare, frugal, hard-boiled, but he did over and over again what only the best writers can ever do at all. He wrote scenes that seemed never to have been written before."

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Robert Nason
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Re: Robert Nason's Culture Café

Postby Robert Nason » Thu Jul 24, 2014 1:31 am

Yet another birthday boy: Wish BARRY N. MALZBERG a happy 75th birthday today. A neglected giant of post-60s SF, a contributor to AGAIN, DANGEROUS VISIONS,. a dystopian stylist whose bleak visions of the future will alternately depress and enthrall you, author of the novel that won the very first John W. Campbell Award, BEYOND APOLLO, savage critic of the science fiction world (as expressed in his trenchant essays collected in ENGINES OF THE NIGHT and BREAKFAST IN THE RUINS), wizard of alternate histories and recursive SF, Malzberg was a one-man American New Wave when he was turning out a new book virtually every month. A monumental pain in the ass but a genius to boot. Seek out his works or go to your grave forever deprived.

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robochrist
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Re: Robert Nason's Culture Café

Postby robochrist » Sat Jul 26, 2014 1:36 pm

Robert, it's suddenly sitting still here! Are they doing roadwork?

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Robert Nason
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Re: Robert Nason's Culture Café

Postby Robert Nason » Sat Jul 26, 2014 4:57 pm

Barry Malzberg must have scared people away.
"Thought is a strenuous art -- few practice it, and then only at rare times." - David Ben-Gurion


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