First off, let's hear the latest from Mr. Ellison himself, from his own website, in a reply to someone who had taken him to task. (I should also mention that his own webmaster has imposed a mandatory "time out" on the website, directed at Harlan Ellison as well as other posters on the board, in disgust with Ellison's own responses.)
I would like to stress that Mr. Ellison himself has exorted people to cross-post what he has to say everywhere. In his words, "...gloves come off now, onlookers." All rightie then - mine come off in the form of commentary in another color, interspered with his own words (which have not been folded, spindled, multilated, rearranged, or cut):
Would you be slightly less self-righteous and chiding if I told you there was
there was the slightest touch. A shtick, a gag between friends, absolutely NO sexual content.
[This becomes interesting - both the minimization as well as the claim of friendship - as this rant goes on. As for "no sexual content"...I don't doubt that. Power and control and humiliation don't involve sexual content either, necessarily. That's what makes a rape a power gesture, not an act of someone overly sexed.]
Would you, and the ten thousand maggots who have blown this up into a cause celebre, be even the least bit abashed to know that I apologized WAY BEYOND what the "crime" required, on the off chance that I HAD offended?
[Again, I have not seen the private apology, whatever it might be, although I can say that the Willis family, according to the daughter, was less than impressed. But the public apology left a lot to be desired. I already discussed that in a previous post, pointing out how Ellison made a brave start of it, but then torpedoed the whole deal by saying it was "puckish" and acting as if it was inexplicable that a professional woman and Master of Ceremonies might find it upsetting to have herself grabbed in a sexual manner onstage in public. "Off chance" she's offended? Give me a break. In his first "apology" even he said what he'd done was "reprehensible."]
Let me ask you, Mark:
1) Were you there?
2) Did you see it?
3) Are you standing on your soapbox to chide me via 3rd/4th-hand reportage by OTHERS who weren't there?
4) Do you also buy the infinite number of other internet brouhahas that turned out to be misreported?
Here it is, Mark; and for any others who fit the shoe:
In the words of that great American philosopher, Tony Isabella,"Hell hath no fury like that of the uninvolved."
[So, now we're whomping on the public, not Connie Willis? The public is the enemy? Ah ha. Theory Number One. It's the Public, not Connie. But wait, have no fear, he shall whomp on Connie anon...]
Does not anyone READ WHAT I WROTE within fifteen minutes of learning of this? Does not anyone wonder why, if it was such a piggish thing I did, as one of those jerkwad blogs calls it, Connie Willis hasn't, after twenty-five years of "friendship," not returned my call on Monday ... or responded to the Fedex packet of my posting here on Monday, which Fedex advises me she received at 2:20 pm on Tuesday?
Can the voluble and charismatic Connie not even pick up a phone to tell the man whose work she "admires deeply" that he has gone a bridge too far? Is she so wracked by the Awfulness of it that she is incapable of saying to his face, you went too far?
[Theory Number 2. So now it's going to be Connie Willis's fault because Harlan Ellison inexplicably doesn't know that it's offensive to grab a woman's breast in public...even though Harlan already knows that it is "reprehensible"? Huh. How bizarre. How dare Connie not respond on Harlan's schedule! The nerve of that woman!]
No one EVER asked her to "bell the cat." She decided that was her role toward me, long ago. And I've put up with it for years.
[Ah. So, actually, Connie is also the villain in this piece because apparently she has been a big ole meanie to Harlan for years and he has, in his usual saintly manner (admirably on display here), been quiet and meek as a mouse about it. Because he is obviously someone who suffers injuries without a word, without a peep. Let's all have a moment of silence in respect for all Harlan must have suffered...]
How about it, Mark: after playing straight man to Connie's very frequently demeaning public jackanapery toward me -- including treating me with considerable disrespect at the Grand Master Awards Weekend, where she put a chair down in front of her lectern as Master of Ceremonies, and made me sit there like a naughty child throughout her long "roast" of my life and career -- for more than 25 years, without once complaining,
[I need to interrupt this run-on sentence. Whew. Is it me, or is he proclaiming martyrdom, now? Ok, I wasn't there and so I can't comment, although others have told me that Connie's awarding Harlan the Grand Master Award was very respectful. I wasn't there. Perhaps she roasted his toes over a brazier. But that's not what others are saying.]
whaddays think, Mark, am I even a leetle bit entitled to think that Connie likes to play, and geez ain't it sad that as long as SHE sets the rules for play, and I'm the village idiot, she's cool ... but gawd forbid I change the rules and play MY way for a change ...
[His way, apparently, being criminally actionable assault (yes, criminally actionable) and humiliation on a public stage...]
whaddaya think, Mark, my friend, am I within the parameters of brutish pigginess to suggest if she WAS offended, then I apologize ... even if you and a garbage-scowload of asinine pathetic internet wanks get up on their "affront" and tell me how to behave?
[Uh...we've lost subject/noun agreement here, or something. Did that sentence even make sense? Anyway, he's angry. And it's Connie's fault. Because he had to grab her breast to teach her a lesson. And suddenly, this whole story transmogrifies. In his "apology" of a few days ago, it was tomfoolery gone wrong, a misunderstanding, innocently perpetrated against a friend. Now, by his own admission, it was public humiliation and vengeance for wrongs he believes Connie Willis has perpetrated against him over a quarter of a century. Gee, if she was such a good friend, wouldn't you think he'd...you know...call her up and talk to her about this systemic abuse he's suffered, rather than go straight to the tit grab revenge approach? As we can see here, it's not like Harlan is too shy to verbally express his feelings!]
I've sat here for four days, quietly, having done as much forelock-tugging and kneeling as I feel --
[This becomes another run-on sentence of cataclysmic vitriol. I just find the image of Harlan forelock-tugging amusing in the extreme. I presume he forelock-tugged in a puckish way?]
as I -- I -- not you -- not fan pinheads in far places who jumped and bayed and went after me in a second
[...far places like his own website, where his own fans are calling him to account...]
-- but I --who is responsible for my behavior -- as I feel is proper. And for four days I've waited for Deeply Outraged and Debased Connie Willis -- an avowed friend and admirer of my work for more than a quarter century --to get up off her political correctness and take her pal off the gibbet.
[And now it's Connie's fault for not immediately forgiving him for public horrendous behavior. What a monster she is! After all, all he did was deliberately and insultingly grab her in an intimate place, causing the poor woman's breast to become a public discussion item all over the internet (here as well, sadly), and then say it was her fault he assaulted her because she was, apparently, uppity. Why, she should have accepted his apology at once! And she should presumably have also apologized for bringing it upon herself in the first place and forcing him to grab her...]
I spent more hours traveling this benighted country, for eight years, state after state after state, lecturing in defense of women's rights and passage of the ERA than any of you have spent mouthing your sophomoric remonstrances.
[My God! You're right! Let's nominate you for Sainthood! Seriously, it is great that he lectures in defense of women's rights and the ERA. No, really, it is. This doesn't, however, give him a free pass to behave like a demeaning pig whenever he feels like it, because he's put his time in catering to women's issues in other venues. (And do you get the feeling he's incensed that his own fanbase is telling him he's being a schmuck?)]
As the Great American Philosopher Tony Isabella has said, "Hell hath no fury like that of the uninvolved."
My last word on this clusterfuck. If Willis wants in, she knows where you all are. She knows where I am.All the rest is silence.
[Wow, you tell her, Big Boy. Thanks for the literary allusion at the end. Would'a worked better if you'd punctuated it correctly.]
P.S. Including Mark's post that precedes this one, I URGE YOU all to post this everywhichwhere, and let the poison drip where it will. Gloves come off now, onlookers.
[You bet, Mr. Ellison. Consider it posted.]