Pavilion Digest: February 2006

A plethora of perplexing pavilion posts. The Pavilion Annex thread, the Pavilion Discussion thread, and monthly digests of all messages from the Pavilion.

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Postby robochrist » Thu Feb 02, 2006 7:57 am

Name: Rob
Source: unca20060316.htm
HOW exactly is Oprah "full of shit"?

I can't handle her giggly "women's" show; but my understanding, however, marginal it might be, is that she came from a very difficult background, witnessed terrible racism, and today does a LOT of good, including donating at least 10% of her annual income to charity, inspiring many people to improve their lives, and making a huge difference in the world through various programs and causes that she has sponsored.

I hope you can qualify such a throw-away line, or my finger has to hover in YOUR direction as to who's really fulla shit.

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Postby robochrist » Thu Feb 02, 2006 7:58 am

Name: Rob
Source: unca20060316.htm

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Postby BrianSiano » Thu Feb 02, 2006 8:03 am

Name: Brian Siano
Source: unca20060316.htm
Mark O. hit the nail squarely on the head, driving it flush with the 2x4 and anchoring it exactly in place.

I can think of a half-dozen books marketed as "fact" only to be revealed as fictions, fantasies, or hoaxes. The fact that Charles Murray is regarded as a serious social thinker after publishing the farrago of trash science known as _The Bell Curve_ still astounds me. There's Jean Peters' _From Time Immemorial_, regarded as fakery by the rest of the civilized world, yet still cited (and plagiarized from) by the likes of Alan Dershowitz. And shall we dredge up _The DaVinci Code_ and the boom in conspiracy-tourism it's spurred? And what about the bullshit that's had _decades_, or even _centuries_, to build up in our culture-- ranging from JFK conspiracy theories to the Old Testament?

Yet Frey's memoir gets all the attention because Oprah Winfrey boosted it. I can't imagine anyone changing the course of their life over Frey's story, nor has it informed and shaped social or political policy. Nobody read Frey's book and decided that This Is How The World Works, or This Is The True Story Behind Major Events, or that This Is How I Should Live My Life (and if they did, they're crazy). It's a half-memoir, half-fiction that engaged a lot of readers.

I mean, when I read _The Painted Bird_, by Jerzy Kosinski, I admired it a lot. When it was shown that it wasn't truly a memoir, and closer to a surreal fantasy, I was a little disappointed... but it didn't _upset_ me very much. It didn't bug me when Michael Herr said that a lot of _Dispatches_ was closer to a novel than reportage. So I cannot understand why the news media are getting worked up over the Frey thing; I mean, who the hell cares what Oprah Winfrey thinks?

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Mark O and the Frey thing

Postby Moderator » Thu Feb 02, 2006 8:12 am

Name: Steve Barber
Source: unca20060316.htm
Mark -
The reason so many people are upset about this has nothing to do with Oprah Winfrey's reputation or credentials in the book marketing field, it has to do with basic human honesty. Frey's dalliance with the truth -- severely in doubt in any respects since he freely admits originally marketing this as fiction -- implicates not only himself, but his agent, his publisher, any reviewer who commented upon it, and the local bookstore in Frey's charade.

Yes, there is room for "nudge, nudge, wink, wink" in writing, when the writer lets the reader in on the ploy. Harlan does this upon occasion when the reality being spun has the glint of hyperbole or amusement, it's a specific technique that when practiced by an expert makes a point. If the audience is in on the joke, it's an effective form of communication.

When, on the other hand, it's done in all supposed sincerity and seriousness, it becomes deception -- and that's where what Frey did goes not only over the line, but drags a good portion of others across as well.

This is a lesson which we, as a society, need to learn and relearn, and insist upon from our societal leaders. Winfrey impresses me by admitting and correcting the mistake, an example our administration needs to desperately to pay attention. The political deceit is still deceit and we as a culture are not only lessened for it, but should be derided for it. It is, to me, absolutely terrifying that we accept lies as expected and pardonable.

Winfrey owed the apology. The publishers owe a much deeper apology, and Mr Frey himself deserves a one-way ticket to obscurity.

So far we have one out of three.

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just for fun

Postby David Loftus » Thu Feb 02, 2006 10:16 am

Name: David Loftus
Source: unca20060316.htm
STORY TIME FOR GROWNUPS at Grendel's Coffee House presents

The Crazier Side of Weddings and Marriage

Monday, February 6, 2006 at 7:30 p.m.

Grendel's Coffee House, 729 E. Burnside

Admission is free

As a warm-up (or warning?) for Valentine's Day, I will be reading comic tales about weddings (e.g., the hiccuping bride and the groom disastrously assigned to do table decorations) and the married state that follows.

The evening will feature pieces by Dave Barry, James Thurber, and Robert Fulghum, and a script or two from the classic 1940s radio show about the ever-squabbling couple "The Bickersons," with a special guest reader best qualified to nag and yell at me in public: my wife Carole.

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Postby DVG » Thu Feb 02, 2006 2:48 pm

Name: DVG
Source: unca20060316.htm
There are many people who care whether Oprah is or is not a truthful source of information--and the majority of them are women and, above that, black women.

Whether you like her programs or not, she has been a significant source of information for working moms and housewives alike and a touchstone for contemporary (as opposed to "modern") women everywhere.

Surely she has a right to safeguard her reliability and reputation, and her viewers a right to question those things.

Oprah's focus on Frey was indeed as an inspirational figure. Given his negative take on 12-step and other similar programs, he and she may indeed have led people, however unwittingly on her part at least, into paths of action they may now reconsider.

This does not seem like a trivial objection to what was otherwise a rather interesting first book.

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Postby FrankChurch » Thu Feb 02, 2006 3:12 pm

Name: Frank Church
Source: unca20060316.htm
We are way too obsessed by this Oprah flap. This is a way for the media to divert our attention from what is more important. Better to stay in the shallow end, then venture into uncharted waters, especially knowing that the waters are polluted with bat shit.


Brian, you got all that info from Chomsky, admit it.

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Postby Duane » Thu Feb 02, 2006 3:50 pm

Name: Duane
Source: unca20060316.htm
"It's a half-memoir, half-fiction that engaged a lot of readers."

True, but not only did he market the book as a memoir, he expected the reader to believe that it was a memoir. When it was shown that MLP was not a memoir, it created a breach of trust between him and his audience.

I'm sure the book will do fine as a work of fiction, but to be perfectly honest, Bret Easton Ellis did it first and better with Less Than Zero.


Frank, if you're as good a speech writer as you say you are, then the Democratic Party needs your revolutionary words. Put pen to paper and set to!!

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Postby BillGauthier » Thu Feb 02, 2006 4:11 pm

Name: Bill Gauthier
Source: unca20060316.htm
Brian mentioned Kosinski's THE PAINTED BIRD. I just read it this summer and went back and looked up some info on the man right after I finished it, and I was under the impression that the book had been marketed as a novel but people on the outside had said that it was autobiographical. I could be wrong, of course.

The book is one of my staff picks this month at the bookstore I work at. Along with Joyce Carol Oates's THE FALLS.

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Harlan Ellison
Harlan Fucking Ellison
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Postby Harlan Ellison » Thu Feb 02, 2006 5:12 pm

Source: unca20060316.htm


If it's in a foreign language, or even a UK edition in English, if I don't have it in the archive, I can send it off to Barney or Tim or Scott. Their archives may be mising the item.

So, yes, tell your wife I will pay $$$$ for the items.

Thanks for the heads-up.

Yr. pal, Harlan

JIM REICHERT: I suppose the reason the towel didn't fall off was that in 1962-66 I was still very buff from having been in the Army--mustered out in 1959--and photos taken of me in the period, shirt on or shirt off, showed a six-pak. Today, if I tried to encircle my gut, I'd have to use a serape from Tent & Awning.

(And, trust me, these guys were B.A.D.--a 5'5" naked Jew with an absolutely average-sized American dick would not have deterred them for even a moment: I could've taken out one, maybe one-and-a-half of them, but the other one-and-a-half pistoleros would without a doubt have perforated the crap outta me. So let us give silent thanks the towel stayed whereat it were put. Amen.)

Yr. pal, Harlan

Mark S.

The Oscar

Postby Mark S. » Thu Feb 02, 2006 5:39 pm

Name: Mark S.
Source: unca20060316.htm
Harlan, We met some years ago at a signing at Mysterious Galaxy and I showed you one sheet from The Oscar, and you stated that you did not have a copy at that time. Searching for some posters this evening I found a site that carries the original poster and some lobby cards.

If you are interested here is the address: ... 1966_.html

The quality of the poster and lobby cards look pretty good and the prices not bad for posters from the early 1960s. I hope this fills in any spots in your collection.


Postby Yuck. » Thu Feb 02, 2006 8:15 pm

Name: Yuck.
Source: unca20060316.htm
Too much information, Harlan.



Postby STAN » Thu Feb 02, 2006 10:09 pm

Name: STAN
Source: unca20060316.htm
I say...bring back the television anthology of short stories...why not have HARLAN ELLISON PRESENTS...if Bradbury did it some nearly fifteen or so years ago...why not Harlan?
Jeez! It drives me crazy thinking all that storytelling is probably doomed to never be produced. SHATTERDAY, DEMON WITH THE GLASS HAND AND SOLDIER! quite possibly will be the only produced short stories of HE to make it to the tube...or the screen. (ah yes...there are others...HE did write for THE LIETENANT TV Series and yes CITY ON THE EDGE OF FOREVER on the Original STAR TREK SERIES) Forgive my harping on this Harlan et al...but this is a forum to speaking your piece.

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Re: TV Anthologies

Postby Ash » Fri Feb 03, 2006 6:17 am

Name: Ash
Source: unca20060316.htm
STAN: quibbles aside, agree wholeheartedly with the sentiments you expressed.

I'd love to see a "Dream Corridor" TV series - if (and it's a very big IF) it was done well.

But "Unca Harlan's Kitchen Nightmares" (a half-hour show in which HE cooks up culinary delights from LA roadkill), or "I'm In The House, But It Has No Doors" (a reality show in which guest celibrities sit in a darkened room for several months and nothing happens) ... in my opinion either of these proposals is far more likely to catch the eye of the modern TV exec.

That's the world we now find ourselves in. I count myself lucky that I was able to see and appreciate the likes of Outer Limits, Twilight Zone, Out of the Unknown, and Night Gallery. I count myself lucky that (aside from the stuff junked by the BBC) I can still experience the old classics on DVD. And I think of HE as being *extremely* lucky to have been able to work in TV when people cared, were prepared to take risks, and even to enjoy themselves a little. Not that it was an anthology, but where in TV today could you get the "Man from UNCLE" experience?

The quibbles? Wasn't DWAGH an original teleplay rather than short story adaptation? And did HE really write for The Lieutenant? I'm not saying you're wrong, it's just that it's news to me.



Postby S! » Fri Feb 03, 2006 9:21 am

Name: S!
Source: unca20060316.htm
U.S. media avoids reprinting disputed cartoons: ... lammediaus

The prophet cartoons can be found here:

I really don't like this. Censorship of any kind leaves a bad taste in my mouth.


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