Pavilion Digest: July 2009

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 Cindy » Wed Jul 01, 2009 11:05 am

Name: Cindy
Source: unca20090706.htm
Oh shit.

Karl Malden died. I loved that guy's work.

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Sole Mates and soul mates

Postby KOS » Wed Jul 01, 2009 12:04 pm

Name: KOS
Source: unca20090706.htm
A governor once visited a South American nation
Seeking some pleasurably illicit relations

When exposed, he cried, expressing chagrin
"I reoent! I failed!" he moaned with quivering chin

(And besides, it;s all the fault of that godless administration!)


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Postby KOS » Wed Jul 01, 2009 12:08 pm

Name: KOS
Source: unca20090706.htm
Ouch, typos galore.


Go For It, Frankers!


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An admission that lessons my personal tortured soul.

Postby Alan » Wed Jul 01, 2009 12:08 pm

Name: alan
Source: unca20090706.htm
Being a listener of what has been called avantgarde modern music,(i.e. Kate Bush,King Crimson,Roxy Music,Heather Nova,BeeBop Deluxe,Gentle Giant,early Genesis and Floyd)it has been really difficult to admit I loved Mr.Jackson's THRILLER to any that would ask.With Harlan stepping forward without the cultural guilt of mass commercialism of it's success,which I don't feel commercial success in itself is inherently condemning,but let's face it,if there is any truth to the rumor that the late Mr.Jackson used bones from the skeleton of Elephant Man Merrick to restructure his face,History will forget the positives of His life.I remember seeing THRILLER for sale at Museum of Fine Arts and numerous other Art Houses.I was in awe.R.I.P.Michael,the suffering is at long last over.


Ellison @ UCLA / New classical piece/ Schindler's List music

Postby Le » Wed Jul 01, 2009 1:22 pm

Name: Le
Source: unca20090706.htm
Another great article on Ellison. What ever happened to those sideburns? But I am glad his signature has stayed the same. I've always loved his angular signature. I am going to seek out that September 11 anthology referenced containing a contribution by my favorite living writer....


On an unrelated matter, earlier this year I heard on the radio a live performance this gorgeous violin sonata. I listen to a lot of classical music and am especially drawn to bowed-string instruments, but I had never heard this piece before. This piece was very romantic, not in a "gushy" 19th century kind of way but was closer to the piercing anguish of Shostakovich. When the piece was over, I was surprised when the announcer said it was a new work by Philip Glass (love the music used in WATCHMEN to accompany Dr Manhattan's sublime segment on Mars and the beautiful sight of his giant crystal ship emerging from the Martian sand, like Superman's Fortress of Solitude, and then sailing over the Martian surface), and that I had just listened to the world premiere!

The violinist was Maria Bachmann; I hope she comes out with a studio recording ot it soon. Here is just the second movement:

Oh, for the John Williams fans out there, while we're talking about violin music, this is the finest interpretation of the SCHINDLER'S LIST theme I know of. It is by Bing Wang(, Associate Concertmaster of the LA Phil. The moment when she restates the theme in the upper register at the 2:45 mark and the violin wails...devastating.

john zeock
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God Bless TCM

Postby john zeock » Wed Jul 01, 2009 5:12 pm

Name: john zeock
Source: unca20090706.htm
While getting dinner ready today I had TCM on during the cutting and the chopping and the mixing. Watched 4 Perry Mason movies from 1936 and 1937. B movie programmers. But I was entertained more in the 5 hours than I've been in the last 10 movies I've seen.

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My Wife Thinks I'm A Sick Man

Postby Adam-Troy » Thu Jul 02, 2009 3:27 am

Name: Adam-Troy Castro
Source: unca20090706.htm
Judi called in sick to work the other day, and watched various cable movies while I was in the other room trying to tame the wild novel.

One of her selections was TREKKIES 2, the followup to the documentary about the sometimes appalling monomania of those who follow the various incarnations of a certain well-known franchise. As with the original, much of the fanaticism on-screen is wince-worthy, and Judi's reactions were loud, vacillating between "Oh Goddddddd!!" and "Well, at least we're better than THAT!" to, "Well, THAT guy was relatively sane..."

At one point I wandered in for a few minutes, and the scene cut to a convention dealer's room, where the entrance was framed by a pretty artful recreation of The Guardian arch from THE CITY AT THE EDGE OF FOREVER. It was a nice piece of work, capturing both the texture and the flashing lights of the original.

I turned to Judi and said, "Y'know what? If we ever have a lot of extra money, let's surprise Harlan with that. Let's wait til he and Susan are on a trip far from home, call a work crew, and erect one of those things at the entrance to his driveway. Let's make sure that it's made of some durable, earthquake-proof material, like marble, and let's make sure it's set in a nice, deep foundation, and install batteries so the flashing lights go on 24/7. We'll carve a legend on top, HOME OF HARLAN ELLISON, SCI-FI GUY: OPEN TO THE PUBLIC. Let's make it a permanent fixture, so people come from all over LA to see it. We'll hang a WELCOME HOME banner from the top for him to find when he and Susan drive in from the airport. Wouldn't you want to hide in the bushes and see his facial expression? I'm sure he'd appreciate the living fuck out of it."

As somehow happens with most of my off-the-cuff flights of fancy for kind gestures to perform for our friends should we ever get an unlimited amount of money, Judi just regarded me with nausea and dismay at this whim of the man she married. "Why," she inquired, "do you always fantasize about torturing our friends?"

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Your minimum daily requirement of completely useless informa

Postby MichaelRapoport » Thu Jul 02, 2009 3:47 am

Name: Michael Rapoport
Source: unca20090706.htm
DREAMS WITH SHARP TEETH can be anagrammed (with a little re-punctuation) as: HEAR WIT, DEPTH, HAMSTERS.

Which - as long as you have a flexible definition of "hear" - is a pretty good capsule description of this Pavilion.

Robert Ross

Just a quick observation ...

Postby Robert Ross » Thu Jul 02, 2009 4:18 am

Name: Robert Ross
Source: unca20090706.htm
That mini-series EDGE OF DARKNESS has been re-made into a theatrical film coming out I think late this year, or early next year.

It stars Mel Gibson.

Yeah ...

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Postby lynn » Thu Jul 02, 2009 5:00 am

Name: lynn
Source: unca20090706.htm
That would be something - but I can't even imagine what horrific form HE's revenge would take . . . he would find a way to return the favor, plus a little interest, I suspect. I don't think even moving to Argentina and securing the protection of a US Senator in return for sexual favors would save you.

Clipping Service
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Morning "Pick Me Up"....

Postby Clipping Service » Thu Jul 02, 2009 5:14 am

Name: Clipping Service
Source: unca20090706.htm
James "Mr. Happy" Kunstler:

"When Michael Jackson dropped dead last week, the nation's morbidly maudlin response suggested a cover story for the relief of being rid of him and all the embarrassment he provoked. One CNN reporter called him a genius the equal of Mozart. That's a little like calling Rachel Maddow the reincarnation of Eleanor Roosevelt. A nation addicted to lying to itself tells itself fairy tales instead of facing a pathology report. Yet, like Michael Jackson, the undertone of horror story still pulses darkly in the background. The little boy who grew up to be the simulation of a girl was really a werewolf. The nation that defeated manifest evil in World War Two woke up one day years later to find itself stripped of its manhood, mentally enslaved to cheap entertainments, and hostage to its own grandiosity. Maybe in grieving so exorbitantly over this freak America is grieving for itself. All the loose talk about "love" from the media and the fans gives off the odor of self-love. America is "the man in the mirror," the gigantic, floundering Narcissus, sailing into the stormy seas of history. "

The rest:

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An Opportunity to Discourse on the Elusive Nature of Humor

Postby BrianSiano » Thu Jul 02, 2009 6:17 am

Name: Brian Siano
Source: unca20090706.htm
Got a joke for ya. It's short, not tasteless, good for all ages, but it presents a real conundrum. And since we've got a really smart crew here, including some who actually _write_ jokes, I'd like to ask for a moment of joke-dissection.

Okay. Here's the joke.

"A skeleton walks into a bar and says, 'Give me a beer and a mop.'"

When I heard that joke, I liked it a lot. It was fast, goofy, and thinking about it made it even funnier.

I've told that joke every so often, and an odd thing happens. About four-fifths of the time, people just _don't get it_. They get this blank look, and shake their heads a little. Then they say, "I don't get it."

Now, there's no way to make the joke funny at that point. But it's a litle insulting to _not_ try to explain it. So I try it again. I say, "Okay. A _skeleton_. Walks into a bar, and says, 'Give me a beer and a _mop_.'"

Again, the blank, the head-shake.

"Okay, What happens when the _skeleton_ pours his beer through his jaw-bone and into the area where his non-existent organs should be?"

So tThe light fades on. Obviously, there's no laugh at this point, and all I can hope for is that they'll think of it later and get a giggle.

But this is what vexes me. The joke is _not that tricky_. It doesn't require special knowledge or an advanced graduate degree in Humorology. I've told it to some very intelligent people, with good senses of humor, and still there is the blank stare. I _could_ chalk it up to "the way I tell it," but it's too short to be affected _that_ much by delivery-- well, unless you tell it by screaming it in Slovenian, maybe.

Is there something _about_ this joke that makes it so... odd?

Richard Cohen

RE: An Opportunity to Discourse on the Elusive Nature of Hum

Postby Richard Cohen » Thu Jul 02, 2009 7:17 am

Name: Richard Cohen
Source: unca20090706.htm
I like it too, but it lacks traditionally expected 3-part rhythm.
How about : Skeleton walks into a bar, tells the bartender "I want two things. First a beer."
Bartender plonks down a beer, says "There you go. What's the second thing?" Skeleton says, "A mop."

Even in its single-movement form, though, it's surprising you got such a poor reaction.
We're a nation of cartoon-watchers and have seen the gag a million times, though usually with a somehow punctured body.
Would it work for those who didn't get it if, instead of a skeleton, it used the much-stabbed Julius Caesar, the bullet-riddled
Barrow or Harper or Dillinger?


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Postby steveperry » Thu Jul 02, 2009 7:30 am

Name: Steve Perry
Source: unca20090706.htm
Brian --

What funny is fills lots of books, documentaries, and discussions around the water cooler. Years ago, I took Danny Simon's class on how to write funny -- Neil Simon's older brother and a veteran writer of the early days of TV, and the bottom line seemed to be, if they laugh, it's funny ...

Eddie Murphy tells a story about how Bill Cosby called him up after a routine and busted his balls for doing so much blue humor. Murphy, upset, called Richard Pryor.
Pryor said, "Was it funny? Did they laugh?" Murphy said yes. Pryor said, "Then tell Bill to have a Coke and a smile and go fuck himself."

Might be apocryphal, that story, but you never let that stand in the way of telling it.

Humor comes from character, or situations, and it's always at somebody's expense. Find a knee-slapper that isn't making fun of somebody or some thing. I've yet to come across one. I always ask when these discussions arise, and nobody has sent me one yet.

A lot of what catches people comes from the unexpected, sometimes called the reverse -- the listener or viewer doesn't see it coming, and surprise tickles them.

Drunk walking down the street sees a woman walking a dog. Drunk says, "Where'd you get that pig?" The woman, irate, says, "It's not a pig you fool! It's a dog!" And the drunk says ... ?

Right. "I wasn't talking to you, I was talking to the dog."

Offhand, from your description, I'd say the skeleton joke is too smart for the room.
In order to work, a listener has to be able to visualize what happens when a skeleton pours beer into itself. Some people are what scientists call aural -- they are more focused on hearing than seeing. And some folks simply have little or no imagination. They don't get it because they can't see it. Or they don't have the references to understand it.

Supposedly the Sherlock Holmes and Watson camping joke is considered to be the overall funniest joke by current standards, though it doesn't strike me that way, it is a great example of the Reverse.

(See it here:

Humor covers a wide swath -- from pratfalls to puns to complicated word games. And some of it seems funny no matter who tells it, while some of it works because of who delivers it, and how. The old saw is that a comic says funny things; a comedian says things funny.

Ask me what the most important thing about humor is.

Okay, what is the most import --


As me again.

Okay. What is the most important thing about humor?




T-i-m-i-n-g ...

If you have to explain a joke to somebody, they might get it, but it won't be funny to them. If you want to get laughs, work up different material and keep the ones that usually get the most laughs most of the time. In any crowd, there will always be people who won't get it.

In a room full of writers, chances are more of them will get the joke. (I find that room full of science fiction fans *always* has somebody in it who will get the most esoteric joke.)

Robin Williams, during one of his early stand-up routines, is doing his manic thing, about an atman inside his brain spinning dials and pushing levers to pump out funny stuff and he throws out a line, "Help me!" which is from the original movie version of The Fly. The audience laughed, and Williams allowed out loud something to the effect of Oh, good, they saw that movie. If you saw the movie and remembered the line -- and if you did, you can't forget it -- then the bit is funny. If not, it isn't.

Funny is in the eye -- or ear -- of the beholder.


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Postby FrankChurch » Thu Jul 02, 2009 9:24 am

Name: Frank Church
Source: unca20090706.htm
KOS, I will be nice, since you look silly enough. Kiss.


Humour is in the eye of the beholder. This is just like music taste--mysterious. Esthetics still exist, but even there we define what that means as well.

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