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I've got a problem with a certain conceptual consultant



I\'ve got a problem with a certain conceptual consultant

I'm referring to, of course, Harlan Ellison. I don't like his "holier than thou" attuitude.

For example, I saw a televised interview with him. He was talking about his girl in his class who didn't recognize a name of a Nazi concentration camp. I believe it was Buchenwald. Anyway. Because she didn't recognize the name, he basically reamed her out a new...navel stating "Those wo don't remember the past are condemned to repeat it."

Someone can't be expected to remember all of the names and dates of everything that happend in history! And just because she wasn't cognicent of the name of the camp, he assumes that she doesn't acknowledge the holocaust?

In fact, that wasn't what urked me the most. It was when he said he wanted to cause physcal harm to this girl for being stupid...or something like that.

Don't sweat the petty things.
Don't pet the sweaty things.
Re: I\'ve got a problem with a certain conceptual consultant

Since I didn't see the interview I can't comment on it. However, I have seen Harlan Ellison interviewed and he is a bit of an ornery cuss. He gets riled at people pretty easily. You might say he doesn't suffer fools gladly. It would be difficult to know much about the holocaust without knowing the names of Buchenwald and Dachau.

Whatever his faults he is a good writer and he has an original mind. But you don't have to like him.

Re: I\'ve got a problem with a certain conceptual consultant

I haven't seen the interview in question either, but I have to agree with Jomar that Ellison does not suffer fools gladly. Another way I've often heard it described, maybe even by HE himself, is that he has a BS threshold of just about zero.

He is also fond of intense language. I very much doubt he would have physically hurt anyone simply for not knowing some particular details of the Holocaust. OTOH, I wouldn't want to be the one to start an argument with him that said event never happened...

I would also agree with you that no one can or should be expected to know every date and place in all of human history. However, the Holocaust is something I think it could be argued that everyone should know as much as possible about.

But again, as Jomar said, no one says you have to like him. You have plenty of company in finding him quite unlikeable. Nevertheless, I'd encourage you not to avoid his work because of it. He is a writer of rare talent.

"Obviously no one reads Santayana anymore. If you'll excuse me, I'll be over there, getting drunk with the rest of the aliens."
--Susan Ivanova

[This message has been edited by Sailbourne (edited September 18, 2001).]
Re: I\'ve got a problem with a certain conceptual consultant

I really want to meet this person, if he is like you say he is, he would be the only worthy adversary for the Sol. Bewary of the Sol, he has debating skills like no other, he can make you pull your hair out and scream, he is that good.
He must learn to stop reffering to himself in the third person

-There is that short moment, before going to sleep, where you just think about your life, and you're finally proud of yourself, all the doubts are gone, and you feel like there is nothing in the world that you can't do - Me
Re: I\'ve got a problem with a certain conceptual consultant

Solaris5, this is the same guy saying he might flunk a class because he posts here so much? Sounds like talent going to waste, to me.

And debating skills aside: a teacher who is abusive to his students, verbally or otherwise, is just a bad teacher.

We ALL get mad sometimes. That is when we must choose our words most carefully. If you can't cut that, get out of teaching.

Harlan Ellison writes fanciful sci-fi. He is also a bit of an exhibitionist (writing stories in store windows, etc). But it sounds to me like he should stick with graduate school teaching. That's where they stick all of the tempermental math professors, at least! The grad. students can take it, and expect it even.

"I do not believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense,
reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use."-- Galileo
Re: I\'ve got a problem with a certain conceptual consultant

In a similar vein, in the sixties, there was a famous skin-and-bones British model named Twiggy. Probably most on the BB are too young to remember her. Apparently, she didn't even know that WWII happened! When someone told her about WWII, Hitler, and the Holocaust, she simply said "Men are mad". Which is true. Wonder what Harlan would have done to her!

You're speaking treason! Olivia De Havilland as Maid Marian
Fluently! Errol Flynn as Robin Hood
You're talking treason! Olivia De Havilland as Arabella Bishop
I trust I'm not obscure. Errol Flynn as Dr. Peter Blood

Palindrome of the month: Satan, oscillate my metallic sonatas.
Re: I\'ve got a problem with a certain conceptual consultant

I came across someone once who hadn't heard of Stalin! So I am not really surprised. However, Ellison shouldn't have blamed the girl - but the obviously lousy education she had had!

Re: I\'ve got a problem with a certain conceptual consultant

I would have blamed the girl, although not to the extreme Ellison did. You only get out of it what you put in.


"Yeah, we could start our own game where people throw ducks at balloons and nothing's the way it seems."-Homer
Re: I\'ve got a problem with a certain conceptual consultant

I knew someone here in the south eastern US that did not know the South lost the civil war. Got, that is pitiful.

Re: I\'ve got a problem with a certain conceptual consultant

I agree with Hypatia one hundred percent.

I also agree with others in that Harlen Ellison has a distinguised talent.

However, perhaps Mr Ellison should consider the reality that he may be making a fool of himself by acting with such intollerance.

For someone who writes science fiction, and in that looks to the future tollerance should be something he is familiar with.

Just a thought - has anyone ever noticed how intollerant tollerant people are of intollerance? I've always found that interesting! I like to think of myself as a very tolerant person, but am constantly shocked at how intollerant I am of intollerant people!

“What a piece of work is man!
“How noble in reason. How infinite in faculty! In form, in moving, how express and admirable! In action how like an angel! In apprehension how like a god!”
William Shakespeare's 'Hamlet'
Re: I\'ve got a problem with a certain conceptual consultant

Ellerson is my favorite Sci-fi writer, his skills are varied, his stories and personality are both eccentric, and to me, he is a living legend in his field. This having been said, this gives him no right to be pompous. I hate people who think that if someone does not know something they are automatically arrogant. The fact that he acted in such away just shows that he is both a fanatic, and a bit of an ass. I love his writing, that doesn't mean I have to love him.


"There is no memory with less satisfaction in it than the memory of some temptation we resisted."
-Harlan Ellison quoting James Branch Cabell

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