PLANT THE FLAG AND SAY CHEESE!

Back in 2002, I jaunted my way over to the Writers of the Future workshop in LA, where I spent a week under the watchful eye of Tim Powers, learning clever writer tricks and buying souvenirs.

David D Levine was also in attendance, a fellow winner and student, having placed second in the same quarter in which I came third.

From the beginning, he stood out from the other winners for me. Not that I wish to bask in his reflected glory, but he seemed to me, as the week wore on, the only other attendant for whom writing was more than an enjoyment, for whom it was an obsession, a divine chore. David wore his writerly passion like a suit of armour: part dedication, part ambition, part overwhelming devotion to his craft. This isn’t to say the others didn’t show it, but David, he showed it every waking moment. It came off him in waves.

In that alpha male lizard-brain way that creatures of similar habit have when placed together I looked around and said to myself: Him. He’s the one. He’ll be the biggest competition to my world dominance and eventual climb to the unreachable pinnacles of glory and timeless fame.

Well, maybe not in those exact words 🙂 But something in me knew: this guy was going places.

Anyway, David won the Hugo for best short story this past weekend. There’s a tiny part of me that wants to pull my hair out and chuck a paddy, particularly given my current inability to climb out of the not-even-a-local-hero rut I’ve landed in. But the far vaster part of me, the part of me that sits underneath everything and keeps its hand on the rudder, knows: he’s my pal, and I’m proud as all hell for him. And I always knew: he’d be the one, out of all 17 of us, who’d climb the mountain first.

Well done, mate.

A POST ABOUT TITS

Boy, I like breasts. Big ones, little ones, round ones, flat ones, covered up ones, naked ones, cleavage-boasting ones and ones zipped up tighter than a zipped up tight zippy thing. Breasts, boobs, boosies, tits, funbags, love pillows, jugs, shirt potatoes, front buttocks, jubblies, I love ’em all. Of all the big pretend Charlton Heston Impersonator In the Sky’s alleged creations, breasts come very close to the top of my personal favourites list. Love looking at them, love touching them, love putting my face between them and saying “Mmmmmmmmmm.”

I’m a fan.

But I’ve always been aware of one simple fact when it comes to breasts: they don’t belong to me.

Seems like Harlan Ellison forgot that last weekend at the Hugo ceremony, and boy, hasn’t the SF world had the C21 fall in upon it in a big old way since then! The back and forthing has gone to and fro, hither and yon, and here and there like crazy. Forget all the the links: google ‘Harlan Ellison Connie Willis grab’ like I did, and you’ll find a place to start. It’s not exactly hidden, know what I’m-a sayin’ ?

I wasn’t there when it happened. I don’t know anything about Ellison and Willis’ relationship, pre-during-post or anywhere else the ceremony. His website has a half-arsed, trying to make a joke out of it, kindasorta without actually saying sorry apology of sorts. Sorta. Kinda. Self-justifyingly. I’m not going to comment on the rights and wrongs of that, either. But, you know, I’m a guy, I like breasts, I have a brain. So I will say this:

1. Connie Willis has, so I am informed, breasts.
2. Harlan Ellison grabbed one in a sexual or proto-sexual manner during the Hugo Awards ceremony. On stage. In front of the entire audience.
3. It appears he didn’t ask permission.

Them’s as appears to be the facks, offsuh, far as I can make out, once I strip away all the back and forthing, to-ing and fro-ing, hithering and yonning….

That, my friends, is sexual assault. End of story. I don’t give a shit how great a writer he is or isn’t; how much of a crusader for women’s rights, racial rights or chipmunk’s rights he has been in the past; whether it was just “Harlan being Harlan”; or whether the intent was comedic, satiric, or downright just plain drunk-drugged-senile-silly-whatever.

Sexual assault.

Where’s the argument?

SIGH

I’d hate to be the guy that gets up at ten past six, it’s dark, he has his cup of coffee and reads his paper, goes to work, sits behind the desk, says nothing, never contributes. I’d hate to be that guy. –Jason Akermanis, Alpha #14, September 2006 issue.

Oh God. I’ve turned into that guy.

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