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What passes for an apology from Ellison
c&p from A Journal of Impropriety, who got it from here.

Would you believe that, having left the Hugo ceremonies immediately after my part in it, while it was still in progress ... and having left the hall entirely ... yet having been around later that night for Kieth Kato's traditional chili party ... and having taken off next morning for return home ... and not having the internet facility to open "journalfen" (or whatever it is), I was unaware of any problem proceeding from my intendedly-childlike grabbing of Connie Willis's left breast, as she was exhorting me to behave.

Nonetheless, despite my only becoming aware of this brouhaha right this moment (12 noon LA time, Tuesday the 29th), three days after the digital spasm that seems to be in uproar ...YOU ARE ABSOLUTELY RIGHT!!!

iT IS UNCONSCIONABLE FOR A MAN TO GRAB A WOMAN'S BREAST WITHOUT HER EXPLICIT PERMISSION. To do otherwise is to go 'way over the line in terms of invasion of someone's personal space. It is crude behavior at best, and actionable behavior at worst. When George W> Bush massaged the back of the neck of that female foreign dignitary, we were all justly appalled. For me to grab Connie's breast is in excusable, indefensible, gauche, and properly offensive to any observers or those who heard of it later.

I agree wholeheartedly.

I've called Connie. Haven't heard back from her yet. Maybe I never will.

So. What now, folks? It's not as if I haven't been a politically incorrect creature in the past. But apparently, Lynne, my 72 years of indefensible, gauche (yet for the most part classy), horrifying, jaw-dropping, sophomoric, sometimes imbecile behavior hasn't--till now--reached your level of outrage.

I'm glad, at last, to have transcended your expectations. I stand naked and defenseless before your absolutely correct chiding.

With genuine thanks for the post, and celestial affection, I remain, puckishly,

Yr. pal, Harlan

P.S. You have my permission to repost this reply anywhere you choose, on journalfen, at SFWA, on every blog in the universe, and even as graffiti on the Great Wall of China.

Why do I get overtones of Gabbo's
"I'm a bad widdle boy" from this?

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Yah - class act.



I suppose if you use the original meaning of the term it is correct.

The Mad Merry Pranks of Robin Goodfellow

From Oberon in fairyland,
the king of ghosts and shadows there,
Mad Robbin I, at his command,
am sent to view the night sports here:
What revell rout
Is kept about,
In every corner where I goe,
I will o'er see,
And merry be,
And make good sport with ho, ho, ho!

More swift than lightening can I flye,
and round about this airy welkin soone,
And, in a minute's space, descry
each thing that's done beneath the moone;
There's not a hag
Nor ghost shall wag,
Nor cry "goblin!" where I doe goe,
But Robin I
Their feats will spye,
And feare them home with ho, ho, ho!

If any wanderers I meet
that from their night-sports doe trudge home,
With counterfeiting voyce I greet
and cause them on with me to roame,
Through woods, through lakes,
Through bogs, through brakes, --
Ore bush and brier with them I goe;
I call upon
Them to come on,
And wend me, laughing ho, ho, ho!

Sometimes I meet them like a man;
sometimes an oxe, sometimes a hound;
And to a horse I turne me can,
to trip and trot about them round.
But if to ride
My back they stride,
More swift than winde away I goe;
Ore hedge and lands,
Through pooles and ponds,
I whirry, laughing, ho, ho, ho!

When ladds and lasses merry be
With possets and with junkets fine,
Unseene of all the company,
I eate their cakes and sip their wine;
And to make sport,
I fart and snort,
And out the candles I doe blow;
The maides I kisse,
They shrieke, "Who's this?"
I answer nought, but ho, ho, ho!

Yet now and then, the maids to please,
I card at midnight up their wooll:
And while they sleep, snort, fart and fease,
with wheel to threds their flax I pull:
I grind at mill
Their malt [up] still,
I dresse their hemp, I spin their towe;
If any wake,
And would me take,
I wend me, laughing, ho, ho, ho!


When house or harth doth sluttish lie,
I pinch the maids there blacke and blew;
And, from the bed, the bed-clothes I
pull off, and lay them naked to view:
twixt sleepe and wake
I doe them take,
And on the key-colde floore them throw;
If out they cry,
Then forth flye I,
And loudly laugh I, ho, ho, ho!

When any need to borrow ought,
we lend them what they do require;
And for the use demaund we nought,
our owne is all we doe desire:
If to repay
They doe delay,
Abroad amongst them then I goe,
And night by night
I them affright,
With pinching, dreames, and ho, ho, ho!

When lazie queanes have nought to doe
but study how to cogge and lie,
To make debate, and mischiefe too,
twixt one another secretly:
I marke their glosse,
And doe disclose
To them that they had wronged so;
When I have done,
I get me gone,
And leave them scolding, ho, ho, ho!

When men doe traps and engins set
in loope-holes, where the vermine creepe,
That from their foulds and houses fet
their ducks and geese, their lambs and sheepe:
I spy the gin,
And enter in,
And seemes a vermine taken so,
But when they there
Approach me neare,
I leape out, laughing, ho, ho, ho!

By wels and gils in medowes greene,
we nightly dance our hey-day guise,
And to our fairy King and Queene
wee chant our moone-light harmonies.
When larkes 'gin sing,
Away we fling;
And babes new borne steale as we goe;
An elfe in bed
We leave in stead,
And wend us, laughing, ho, ho, ho!

From hag-bred Merlin's time have I
thus nightly reveld to and fro:
And, for my pranks, men call me by
the name of Robin Good-fellow:
Fiends, ghosts, and sprites
That haunt the nights,
The hags and goblins doe me know,
And beldames old,
My feats have told,
So Vale, Vale, ho, ho, ho!


That is a Reply, not an Apology.

For it to be an Apology he would have had to deploy a personal pronoun ("I" or "Me") in the same clause as a verb implying logical intersection with the concept of "sorry" or "ashamed" or maybe "apologize".

I'll cut him a bit more slack and add that I'd consider it okay if he'd actually said "this is just a public Reply, the apology has been/is/will be delivered in private".

But he doesn't say anything like that. "I've called Connie" is the nearest he gets to it.

Damn it, how hard can it be to say I'm Sorry?

Almost as hard as it is to *mean* it.

If we measure how hard it is for H.E. to say "I'm sorry" by measuring the ratio of opportunities to utter it versus times it's uttered... the ratio is perilously close to a division by zero error.

-- Steve knows that eating crow isn't exactly tasty, but it doesn't get any taster if it's left to age...

I joke that I may be the only person on the planet to whom Harlan has apologized, but reading some of the posts about this incident are making me think that I'm not far from the truth.

This whole "Unca" thread (including the *other* notes he includes after that) makes it clear that he feels that no matter how bad his behavior, it is acceptable because it is his behavior.

It's not as if I haven't been a politically incorrect creature in the past.

Oh, barf. This isn't about political correctness. This is about behaving in a humiliating fashion toward a woman who is too conscious of the propriety of the occasion to respond as she probably wished.

"you're trying to {be/make me be} politically correct" has long since become nothing more than a ritual reflex way of saying "shut up, outcast".

There's this, too. *sigh*
On a more serious note: if, in fact, Connie (or Courtney, or Cordelia) were/are/might in any way be offended by this latest demonstration of give'n'take jackanapery between Connie and Harlan (now in its longest-run on Broadway), you may all rest assured I will apologize vehemently, will crawl to Colorado through broken glass and steaming embers, and beg her (their) forgiveness. I need no one to prompt me.

Harlan Ellison, a friend of Connie Willis

On the other hand, there's this:
If the SFWA has any balls, they will demand a censure. If Connie Willis has any dignity, she will demand a public apology. If Harlan Ellison has any honor, he will atone for his despicable conduct rather than revel in it.
*sigh* again.


How's chances of me playing either the "I'm an old man and my brain is leaking out of my ass" card ... or ... even better ...

"I'm an old Jew and this is just another example of anti-Semitism because all you goyim are pissed that Jews really DO control the whole world."

I can go either way.

Yr. pal, Harlan

"My Pal, Harlan" needs to understand that THIS IS NOT A GAME. Don't play cards. Make apologies.

-- Steve's speaking not from the "younger to Depends-generation" or "gentile to Jew" perspective, but the "human being to human being" perspective.

Any plans to apologize to all the female creators (and, heck, fans) who've just been given the message that you're expected to tolerate being felt up by old "puckish" writers as part of the biz, I wonder?

The next female author who shares a stage with him might consider slapping his ass. With a morningstar.

Actually, I'm thinking the next *gay* author who shares a stage with him should slap his ass. Or go for his crotch. On second thought, that just escalates it.

Yes. OTOH, I'm afraid that I would laugh.

(Deleted comment)
Don't look at me. (I know I'm not an author, but seriously, don't look at me. I've met Harlan, and ewwwwww.)

From this thread, plus others I've tripped over the years, I think I get where I get my "I pick up an Ellison book and get the heebee jeebees" from.

The best short way I've hit on to express the concept of "inappropriate behavior" to straight men, is "Anything you don't want a gay man to do to you, don't do to a woman."

"You haven't complained about my behaviour before, so you have no right to complain about it now."

What an eejit.

Would this be a good time to quote Warren Ellis?

"I want a button on my computer that, when depressed, has the target on the screen held down and fucked in the gall bladder by nymphomaniac suicide lepers who are quite prepared to leave their green suppurating cocks broken off in the wound.



Or would that be in bad taste?

... god, I want to punch HE. Hard. Anywhere. Or maybe just hit him with a stick for a while. I own a baseball bat...

"... that female foreign dignitary." What, you mean the Chancellor of freaking Germany? The video was one of the creepiest things I've ever seen, but in fairness I missed Ellison's grope.

I just watched the video. I suspect that not everyone who has climbed on the barricades shrieking, has seen what actually happened. Or else they've got the most bizarrely anal definition of "groping" imaginable.

Of course Harlan Ellison is contemptuous of the shrieking harpies. Their hue and cry is contemptible. Yes, he touched her, briefly. So what? She touched him. He also put the entire microphone into his mouth, but I don't hear anybody complaining that he's dissing Linda Lovelace.

I personally don't like Harlan Ellison - but some people seriously need to get a life.

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