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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john zeock
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News and a question

Postby john zeock » Fri Jul 03, 2009 11:30 am

Name: john zeock
Source: unca20090706.htm
Sarah Palin resigning as of the end of the month. A copyright question-my friend, Gerry, a Cinemax fan, was watching an SF porn film and one of the characters was named Professor Quatermass. I know you can't copyright titles but is this something the Kneale estate should address or should they leave the film to its one handed viewers on the premise that calling attention to it would just make that much more people aware of it ? Happy 4th to all.

Alan Coil
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Dave Bruce

Postby Alan Coil » Fri Jul 03, 2009 12:11 pm

Name: Alan Coil
Source: unca20090706.htm
Dave Bruce --

Let me give you a more civil response than my friend Frank Church did.

Yes, Harlan is still alive, but you should have known this from the internet.

Yes, Harlan is still writing. He recently told the Pavilion he had sold another story.

And there was a documentary about Harlan on the Sundance Channel. You can buy it, if you'd like. Fine establishments will carry it, even Amazon. It's called Dreams With Sharp Teeth.

Bob Ingersoll
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Copyrighting a Character Name

Postby Bob Ingersoll » Fri Jul 03, 2009 12:40 pm

Name: Bob Ingersoll
Source: unca20090706.htm
"A copyright question-my friend, Gerry, a Cinemax fan, was watching an SF porn film and one of the characters was named Professor Quatermass. I know you can't copyright titles but is this something the Kneale estate should address or should they leave the film to its one handed viewers on the premise that calling attention to it would just make that much more people aware of it ? Happy 4th to all."


You can't copyright a character name, as such. You can copyright works of art -- stories, paintings, movies, and the like -- once they've reached their finished form; but not a character name.

When Harlan wrote "Jeffty is Five," he got a copyright on the unique body of words that created that story. He got a copyright on the basic plot of the story, such that no one else could write a story that incorporated that plot (or significant portions thereof) without Harlan's permission. But he didn't get a copyright on the name Jeffty.

Anybody could write a story with a character named Jeffty without violating Harlan's copyright.

There is a way to protect character names, however. It's a trademark. The Edgar Rice Burroughs estate has a trademark on the name Tarzan. Walt Disney has a trademark on Mickey Mouse. And Harlan's own corporation has taken out a trademark on the name Harlan Ellison.

I'm sure that Kneale's estate has a trademark on Quartermass. I don't know this for a fact, but I'll assume Kneale took out a trademark on Quartermass and his estate maintained it. If he didn't take one out or the estate didn't maintain it, then there's little they can do now.

A trademark only applies to names and characters who appear on the packaging, not necessarily in the interior. In a comic book, for example, the characters have to appear on the cover to be trademarkable. That's why Marvel and DC used to have all those team-up books, so that characters who didn't have their own comics could be cover featured from time to time and not subject to trademark abandonment. That's also why, if the character was referred to by name in a word balloon on the cover, you'd get that awkward (tm) in the word balloon after the character's name.

In the case of a video, that would mean in the title or on the box. So, if the name Quartermass is used on the box of the video, there might be a trademark violation which the Kneales could act upon.

The producers of the video might also be claiming the use of Quartermass is a parody, thus protected as fair use. But that's a copyright concern. I'm not sure whether fair use applies to a trademark violation.

Hope this clarifies some of your questions.


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We don't go

Postby KOS » Fri Jul 03, 2009 1:07 pm

Name: KOS
Source: unca20090706.htm
My Yugo Story:

It was years ago, and I drove one of those huge mid 80s Volvo station wagons. You know them: Good point was they were built like a tank. Bad point was, they looked like a tank!

I was near downtown LA, on the 110 freeway. It was a Saturday afternoon, with that weird sort of traffic LA sometimes gets on weekends. You roll along for twenty miles or so at speed, and then everyone comes to a complete stop for no apparent reason. In this case something distracted me as the stop happened, just long enough that I had to slam on the brakes. Hard.

Not hard enough. My car skidded and slewed into the rear of the last "car" in the jam-up.

I wrote "car", because it was (of course) a Yugo.

Aside from everything loose in my car having moved forward three feet, and one turn signal assembly having a broken plastic cover, the Volvo was undamaged.

The Yugo? Ah, the Yugo was like this:

The Entire Rear Bumper was gone.

When my Volvo hit the rear of the Yugo, the bumper of the Yugo more or less impaled itself upon my forward bumper, and the rest of the Yugo itself, sans rear bumper, sort of went "sproinnggg! and bounced forward a foot or so, leaving its entire bumper behind. Much like a desert lizard that could drop its tail for the predator to feast on while the reptile gets away to grow a new one.

The body of the car was at a weird obtuse angle to the wheels, and the center of the car seemed bent UP a mite higher than the front and rear ends. It looked summat like an Inch Worm frozen halfway through an "inch".

The accurate one word description is "Totalled".

After a quick moment to gather my wits, I tried to open my door, but the latch didn't work. I looked up, and a man, a VERY LARGE black man built like an NFL offensive lineman, emerged slowly from the Yugo, walked to the rear of his car, looked at where his rear bumper had recently been, then turned, looked at where his former rear bumper haf become my new "hoor ornament", and then simply stood, expressionless, for a moment. Taking the sight in.

By now drivers were honking horns, people jeered at us as they rolled slowly by (and why are people such jackasses when there is a crash? I remember two twenty something mooks in wifebeaters who leaned out from their convertible as they rolled by and tried to beat on the two cars with their fists. Humans!)

After a second or two, the huge Yugo guy walked to the front of my car, reached down with ONE HAND and PULLED the Yugo bumper fre, flipped it off into the ice plant along the shoulder of the freeway, turned and walked to my window.

I rolled the window down, since the door still wouldn't open, seeing in my minds eye a vision of that same huge hand PULLING me slowly out through my open window. I wondered if it might feel at all as if I were being born a second time?

The Huge Yugo Driver leaned down to me abd asked, very calmly, "You okay?"

"Yeah. Yeah, Uh, I'm fIne, I'm okay. Uh, are you..."

He laughed and flashed me one huge smile. He wasn't pissed. Relief. He seemed, miraculously, frabjous day, well, happy!

"I'm just fine, man, Just fine. Couldn't be better"

He looked over my car as I got my license and insurance card for him.

"Your car's not really wr3cked at all. They really build these things"

I handed him my license and State Farm card.

"Yeah, you know Volvos. I guess your's got pretty banged up..."

He laughed. Didn't have to say anything. Then he smiled at me again and started writing down my info.

"I can't thank you enough, man!", he said as he handed back my documents. turned and went back to his Yugo to wait for the CHP and a tow.

It hit me about half way home.

He wasn't thanking me for the license and insurance info. He was thanking me because:

He didn't have to drive around LA any more in a Yugo. He was going to get SOME sort of replacement from my insurance company, and ANYTHING would be better than a Yugo!

I guess that was my Good Deed for that day?


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John Zecock 's Heinlein question and Alan's response to Fran

Postby DTS » Fri Jul 03, 2009 1:10 pm

Name: DTS
Source: unca20090706.htm
John: The reason I'm rereading the later Heinlein novels is because I'd never read TIME ENOUGH FOR LOVE or THE NUMBER OF THE BEAST, so I wanted to read the others that are connected to the book (and to Lazarus Long); since I'm rereading THE CAT WHO WALKED THROUGH WALLS and TO SAIL BEYOND THE SUNSET, I decided to reread FRIDAY AND JOB: A COMEDY OF JUSTICE, which, I think are the two novels that a lot of people actually thought highly of (given the award nominations). Although many say Heinlein wasn't in top form during when writing the later novels, I actually found the books (starting with FRIDAY) quite enjoyable. And his somewhat sexist outlook (the reference to wanting to "rape" someone -- which meant a character was feeling so lusty he wanted to rip her clothes off -- still makes me wince), and his politics are on display even in the earlier novels, so naysayers of the latter years who complain about that aspect are reaching. As for enjoyable story lines (and playfulness and witty banter) it's abundant in all of his novels. Some are better than others, yeah; but I still enjoy the books that aren't the best he ever did (I think Harlan championed FRIDAY -- at least in a blurb -- don't have the book here in front of me).

ALAN: FRANK (and the politician from Germany, who made a similar comparison when Bush & Co. first invaded Iraq) may be using hyperbole, but they are right in their comparisons. Just because Bush & Cheney weren't as successful as Hitler doesn't make them any less facist or criminal-minded. That Cheney willingly sent thousands of young American soldiers to thier deaths (and seriously wounded thousands of others, and is responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians) strictly for profit and political gain, doesn't make him any less a criminal. And the fact that Bush is a mental midget (but not so stupid he didn't realize that some of the things he was doing were morally questionable) or that he is a bit crazy (deciding an invisiable god gave hime the okay is crazy in my book -- and in the books of MOST sane people who say listening to voices isn't wise), doesn't make him innocent either. And what first prompted the Hitler comparison by the German politician was not only the invasion, but the repeal of rights in the homeland (wiretaps, calling people unpatriotic when they disagreed -- a VERY Hitler-like move -- etc., etc.) As Harlan once said, you can't compare horrors saying one isn't as bad as another.

It's horrific or it isn't. Starting a war illegally is criminal, or it isn't. The only thing stopping Americans from doing the right thing (and demanding George W. Bush and Dick Cheney be dragged before a court for trial) is, as it always is in America, fear (FDR was spot on). In this case, fear of looking bad in the eyes of the world, or fear of not getting reelected (most of the politicians), fear of having to admit the truth to all those soldiers (that they fought the Iraq war for naught)...

Fear: it's whats for breakfast (and lunch, and dinner) in America. I've had a bellyful.

Cheers from Down Under,


Sarah Palin resigned, So what is she up to, eh?

Postby Shane » Fri Jul 03, 2009 1:15 pm

Name: Shane
Source: unca20090706.htm

Josh Olson
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Joined: Fri Sep 01, 2006 6:59 pm

Postby Josh Olson » Fri Jul 03, 2009 2:23 pm

Name: Josh Olson
Source: unca20090706.htm
I reel.

Sarah Palin said in her new conference today, in which she seemed confused and out of breath, "We need more Trigs in the world, not fewer."

For anyone who doesn't get why this is remarkable - Trig is Palin's retarded kid.

The only conclusion I can come to is she believes if there were more retarded people in the world, she'd have a better shot at a viable political career.

Truly, this is a grand day. America got her birthday present one day early this year.

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Postby Duane » Fri Jul 03, 2009 3:18 pm

Name: Duane
Source: unca20090706.htm
She also mentioned the term "change" several times in her speech, as well. And we know what that's all about, don't we?

She's setting herself up to be the new conservative heroine, and with the usual media suspects leading the way, a significant percentage of voters will buy it.

Of her stance on important issues, there is much to criticize. But as the Letterman incident showed, criticism perceived as a personal attack will only fuel that movement's mouthpieces and footsoldiers, and elevate her to a place where she doesn't deserve to be.

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Harlan Ellison
Harlan Fucking Ellison
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Postby Harlan Ellison » Fri Jul 03, 2009 3:51 pm

Source: unca20090706.htm
Per his Thursday post, in re doorways.

Thank you, Judi. Susan and I adore you.

Him? Not so much.


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Harlan Ellison
Harlan Fucking Ellison
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Postby Harlan Ellison » Fri Jul 03, 2009 3:57 pm

Source: unca20090706.htm
Per your Chaplin query:

Had you asked about almost ANYONE ELSE, including the greatest of the Greats--Marx Bros., Laurel & Hardy, Keystone Kops, Buster Keaton, Harold Lloyd, Charlie Whatsizname, et al--I'd have opined, mmm well maybe, but likely maybe not. But Chaplin, even for the most doltish of the iPodPak, seems (SEEMS, I say) to retain an ineluctable universality that cannot be denied. I have actually been in the same venue with a couple of hundred of these arrogant/ignorant twits, and I cannot recall even ONE of them not falling apart when Charlie, for instance, goes roller-skating through the restaurant, or tries to eat the shoe.

So, Frank, my considered opinion is, yeah, Chaplin is called "immortal" for a reason, even if Charlie Chase--oh yeah, that was his name--gets reupholstered and subdivided in a world of Jack Black and Adam Sandler.

Yr. Pal, Harlan


To: Michael+Richard, re: Dillon exhibit / Happy Fourth!

Postby Le » Fri Jul 03, 2009 4:56 pm

Name: Le
Source: unca20090706.htm
Thanks, guys, for the heads-up regarding the Dillon exhibit. I adore their work. Sadly, I can't fly all the way to New York for the exhibit. I checked that gallery website and was very pleased to see the woman seated with the armadillo on her lap -- definitely the Dillons's work. I saw that the gallery's cards are distributed in San Francisco, where I will be visiting at the end of this month for one week. I will look for any cards illustrated by the Dillons at the venues listed at the website.


Hope everyone has a Happy 4th of July. To help the Americans among us celebrate, there is a terrific video online of Marilyn Horne singing three songs from Copland's _American Songs_.They were part of a concert celebrating the centennial of Carnegie Hall back in 1991.(This was the same concert that had the NY Phil giving a heartcrushing, transcendent performance of the Adagio finale from Mahler's Third Symphony, as a memorial to Leonard Bernstein.) Copland took traditional American hymns and orchestrated them. (There is also beautiful but very rare recording of William Warfield singing the selections with Copland accompanying on the piano.) Although the video only lists the opening "Simple Gifts," it also contains "Long Time Ago"(at the 2:15 mark) and closes with "At the River"(at the 6:06 mark) Her rendition of "At the River" is incredibly moving (even if you are not religious)...I always find myself reaching for a hanky whenever I hear this stirring, last hymn....

Have a Happy Fourth, everyone!

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Well, Gee

Postby Adam-Troy » Fri Jul 03, 2009 5:00 pm

Name: Adam-Troy Castro
Source: unca20090706.htm
And here I am, the proud possessor of a life-size Guardian arch and nowhere to deliver it. Dang.

Judi is happy to be luvved, at least. She says backatcha, bick guy.


There are some stirrings coming out of Alaska that Sarah Palin's sudden resignation is NOT flakiness, NOT tin-eared preparation for a run against Obama, but the first gesture of self-protection prior to what's going to turn out to be a major legal shitstorm. Remember, she's already had a scandal-plagued administration, with allegations of misconduct. I think we're about to see the size of the bullet the nation just dodged. Keep watching those front pages.


It has been my personal experience that Harold Lloyd and Buster Keaton ALSO have that effect on folks of minimal cultural memory; and you're talking to the guy who pretty much strong-armed one young friend into seeing DUCK SOUP and CASABLANCA, and made him a member of the cause. (I also turned another relatively young guy onto Hitchcock.) The problem is, when getting them to advance the experiment requires strong-arming, colleges are pretty much the only place where it is even possible at a greater than one-to-one basis. I had to restrain myself when a work acquaintance of Judi's recently opined, snottily, "I've never seen a silent movie, AND NEVER WOULD."

Josh N

DTS, yes indeed...

Postby Josh N » Fri Jul 03, 2009 9:07 pm

Name: Josh N
Source: unca20090706.htm
Harlan has a blurb for Friday. It's on the first or second page inside, at least on the paper back that sits before me.

Incidently, I just received it the other day. Really looking forward to reading it after finishing THE STARS, MY DESTINATION by Alfie and some texts on diplomacy.

And indeed, as one of those 21st century Ipod jacked twits, I can confirm that Charlie has a charm that will last for centuries, and his antics cut through even the thickest neuro-fucked skulls.

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Postby robochrist » Fri Jul 03, 2009 10:36 pm

Name: Rob
Source: unca20090706.htm
A problematic but positive signal in Laurel & Hardy's favor:

It's enough to get people beyond the stupid-ass "'Don't be likin' no black n'white flicks" impasse, but with the right coaching and the right choice of features (in this case, Sons of the Desert and Chickens Come Home, both with Mae Busch), I had two friends who were, at the time, students at Cal State Northridge ripping with laughter, at least as the movie went on ("slow start" but then a bunch of unexpected zingers took 'em off guard during trade-offs with Busch...which REALLY are damn funny!).

It was an encouraging sign for me, as I'd grown up watching those two when they were prevalent on tv. I very much want Turner to try a revival, and continually show all the L&H shorts and features (perhaps alternating with Marx Bros. & W.C. Fields).

Dennis C
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Vintage Films

Postby Dennis C » Sat Jul 04, 2009 2:29 am

Name: Dennis c
Source: unca20090706.htm
I've said this one here before, but:
a friend of mine teaches film in Nebraska (he's head of the department)and his class had never heard of Jimmy Cagney. Ever.
Now he showed them some Cagney (PUBLIC ENEMY, I think) and they LOVED it and wanted more.
He tells me Buster Keaton also plays well.

But there are several generations out there now with no knowledge of movie history.
We keep the flame alive... but I wonder what TCM's viewership is??? and if they'll ever be tempted to pull an AMC (which used to mean American Movie Classics -- HA)and go commercial.


Happy 4th everyone. Headed to Philly to see the folks and then to NYC for fun.

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