Unca Harlan's Art Deco Dining Pavilion

Discussion of the man and his work.

Welcome to the Art Deco Dining Pavilion! Here's the deal. This is Harlan's little breakfast nook at Webderland. When he's not here, we chat about him and his work. When he is, we act like we're guests in his home. That's about all there is to it. (link to More specific rules) Oh, and since the nook doesn't exactly hold a crowd (and to prevent the less frequent voices from being drowned out), please limit yourself to one post a day unless Harlan asks you a direct question. The Pavilion Annex is available if you're the logorrheic type. Also, we have archives of old posts. RSS Feed

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Displaying board posts 1 through 25 - showing messages at a time.

Robert Nason <nightwriterblue82@gmail.com>
Whitestone, New York - Saturday, June 6 2020 2:1:3

A shout-out for one of the good guys

I just want to give kudos to Ezra for his long and admirable track record of posting consistently interesting, substantive posts in the Pavilion. I've been reading him for at least 15 years, if not more, and though we've not always agreed, I've appreciated Ezra's fine prose, critical intellect, and, not least, his gracious manners and unfailing sense of civility. There's always meat on the bone in one of Ezra's posts. He's one of the few people who make the Pavilion still worth coming to.

Having said that, I confess I was never much of a fan of TIME TUNNEL
But I'm watching plenty of old episodes of ALFRED HITCHCOCK PRESENTS.

Bruce D.
- Friday, June 5 2020 16:42:15

Adam Sandler

I remember Harlan enjoying the movie THE COBBLER and will be seeing it soon.

I've been reviewing Adam Sandler's nuanced performance in PUNCH-DRUNK LOVE recently, after having finally catching up with and enjoying Paul Thomas Anderson's INHERENT VICE.

Does anyone recall Harlan posting any comments regarding Sandler?

T. C. O.
- Friday, June 5 2020 16:3:6

Dear Speaking for others. (WHAT others???)
Better inane than INSANE!!!!!😝😝😝

- Friday, June 5 2020 11:3:59

inspecting the bunker
In these uncertain times I've been driven to watching old TV shows and movies on YouTube. This week I've been watching episodes of THE TIME TUNNEL. It's been interesting because all I have are hazy kid's memories of seeing the show when it was first broadcast.

It hardly seems worth the effort to critique the show, rather like kicking a blind puppy. No effort whatsoever was wasted on exploring the logic of the scenario they had set up. Apparently no one was ever expected to wonder why they only time traveled to decisive moments in history or how the two guys could speak every language or why their clothes never got dirty.

What was fun was doing a little research on the show. I was surprised to discover it only lasted one season. It seemed longer than that way back when. Many more episodes were produced in a single season of course. (And individual episodes lasted 53 minutes!) The show seems to have been deliberately killed by the network because it was so expensive to produce although it had respectable ratings. Consequently there was no "final" episode produced, so like the castaways on Gilligan's island or the Robinson family on Lost in Space they're still out there.

The main set was kinda cool being a deliberate nod to the underground city of the Krell in FORBIDDEN PLANET. And it also looks like they cannibalized the sets from VOYAGE TO THE BOTTOM OF THE SEA and LOST IN SPACE for use. The show made great use of stock footage. Apparently Irwin Allen (that auteur!) had access to the vaults of Twentieth Century Fox.

And all those instantly recognizable character actors from the 60s. Good ole Whit Bissell, and Michael Rennie as the Captain of the Titanic, and yep there's Robert Duval with silver metallic skull cap as an assassin from the future.

This lockdown must end soon lest I go mad. This morning I almost watched an episode of BONANZA but thank god I came to my senses in time.

Speaking for others ...
- Friday, June 5 2020 8:22:10

*A* Not-So-Cynical-As-All-That One

You finally got one right! The board doesn't need that kind of profanity. Or your kind of inanity. But that has never stopped you before.

Now kindly (or otherwise) absent yourself again.

- Friday, June 5 2020 4:1:58

Eating WHAT? A dozen cows at a time???

Robert Nason <nightwriterblue82@gmail.com>
Whitestone, New York - Thursday, June 4 2020 22:41:16

To all cynics --

I can tell you EXACTLY how Orson Welles got so fat.

By eating.

T. C. O.
- Thursday, June 4 2020 21:19:4

I was going to say "How the FUCK did he get so FAT????" but I don't think this board needs that kind of profanity.

The Cynical One
- Thursday, June 4 2020 21:17:8

Kind of a rebuttal
I once saw Orson Welles on television declaring that "cynics are useless!" I was profoundly moved. I kept asking myself "How the HELL did he get so FAT????"

That Guy
- Thursday, June 4 2020 19:40:9

Oddly, I was thinking the "optimist" quote might be Bierce, but that doesn't seem to bear out. And one search engine just led back to that very post (of Mr. Nason's). That was some quick bot-indexing! Another did find it elsewhere, but just as an unattributed mention.

Shaw also said "The power of accurate observation is called cynicism by those who have not got it." Similar sentiment to Bierce, and probably not far apart in time. The Mencken quote was not really on the same line.

OTOH, someone on NPR over the weekend said cynicism is an excuse for laziness. But I am too lazy to track that down.

Tony Rabig
Parsons, KS - Thursday, June 4 2020 12:6:16

And then of course there's Ambrose Bierce's take (from THE DEVIL'S DICTIONARY):
CYNIC, n. A blackguard whose faulty vision sees things as they are, not as they ought to be. Hence the custom among the Scythians of plucking out a cynic's eyes to improve his vision.

Bests to all.

- Thursday, June 4 2020 10:50:58

All these band(ana)its around, and nary a stagecoach to rob. Not even a "Wells Fargo Wagon", though they remain open.

Kenneth Stevens <stevens.kenneth@gmail.clm>
Knoxville, Tennessee - Thursday, June 4 2020 9:19:44

Robert Nason
Per Spengler, show me an optimist and I'll show you a coward.

Robert Nason <nightwriterblue82@gmail.com>
Whitestone, New York - Wednesday, June 3 2020 18:18:51

More precisely, George Carlin said that a cynic is a disappointed idealist. I think George Bernard Shaw said somewhere that a cynic is a disillusioned romantic. And I'm sure there's a similar quote from H.L. Mencken. But who was it who said that an optimist is someone who hasn't gotten the bad news yet?

That Guy
- Tuesday, June 2 2020 12:46:1

Robert N.

That "saying" sounds very close to George Carlin's line, but I side with Lily Tomlin. And the only post trying to "keep up" here lately was Eric's, two months ago. But as it was political, let's continue to leave it alone.

But while I'm here, I found (well, okay Duckduck... found) a previous article on The Good Doctor, and this one even mentions
Harlan (remember Harlan? This is a site about Harlan! (/channeling Arlo)).


Weren't you the one who mentioned that book some time ago?

Beautiful Northridge, CA - Monday, June 1 2020 19:48:51

“Better Times Will Come” by Janis Ian

As many here know, Janis Ian and Mr. Ellison were friends. She wrote this timely and much-needed song in April of this year after John Prine’s death due to complications from Covid-19. The link (including free sheet music at the end) is from her YouTube channel, the accompanying video as moving and hopeful as the lyrics.


Robert Nason <nightwriterblue82@gmail.com>
Whitestone, New York - Monday, June 1 2020 0:39:19

They say that cynics are disappointed romantics, but I think some of them are just cynics. Oscar Wilde said that a cynic is someone who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing. But Oscar Wilde was a romantic.

I imagine that right now Harlan is trying to get Oscar Wilde to contribute a story to TLDV. But I'm too much of a pessimist to think that Wilde will deliver.

Speaking for others...
- Sunday, May 31 2020 19:15:24

Sure, there's an *element* of that, but it shouldn't be the entire presentation. At the very least, you could lose "the" definite article, and go with "a(n)" indefinite one. The initials "ACO" might be "fraught" in some circles these days, but this group can handle it. Name and presentation still won't match, but few do.

T. C. One.
- Sunday, May 31 2020 5:59:32

Proper nomenclature
Yeah, but don't you think all cnyics are embittered, just a bit. Cones with the territory, goes with the job... you know?

Speaking for others ...
- Saturday, May 30 2020 18:57:39

My usual objection renewed, I'll just say that no, it doesn't sound better (in what way? to whom?), just even more inaccurate. There is more than "one" of those here, and your comments don't paint you as cynical, just embittered. So there you go -- The Bitter One. I think we can all agree to let you have THAT. But well done on using one name for the last while, as whoever it was requested. Keep that up.

The Cynical One (sounds better than Cynic!)
- Friday, May 29 2020 23:48:13

Sounds like him! Think he'll ever get TLDV finished?

Robert Nason <nightwriterblue82@gmail.com>
Whitestone, New York - Friday, May 29 2020 20:39:2

Cynic --

You didn't get the latest report from Harlan? Mine came in the mail just the other day. Harlan still doesn't like to use computers or send emails. He's apparently having a pretty good time on the other side, though a number of people are really pissed off at him. But he's taking it in his stride.

- Friday, May 29 2020 16:4:55

Easier said than done?
Bragging and bloviating as usual, Harlan once said that after he died, he'd send us reports from the other side.

So, Harlan, what's it like over there? Your first report is overdue.

Robert Nason <nightwriterblue82@gmail.com>
Whitestone, New York - Wednesday, May 27 2020 20:1:23

Celebrating Harlan's birthday

I belatedly celebrated Harlan's birthday today by plunking down my shekels to pre-order ASK UNCLE HARLAN and THE LAST PERSON TO MARRY A DUCK LIVED 300 YEARS AGO from the estimable HarlanEllisonBooks.com. I foolishly missed getting the book the first time, so I grabbed the opportunity to buy it now in its new two-volume edition. Happy birthday, Harlan! This time I'm on the receiving end of the birthday gifts!

Janet Gamache
Victoria , BC - Wednesday, May 27 2020 20:0:11

As promised
always here
"to tell us
that even
when dark wings
close down the sky
the human spirit will prevail"

Happy Birthday, sir.


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