At Long Last, Harlan, Have YouLeft No Sense of Decency?

By Neal Comment

willis-ellison.jpgSo I reported earlier this week about how Harlan Ellison groped Connie Willis while accepting a lifetime achievement award at science fiction’s WorldCon last weekend. Well, the story’s taken a new twist, as Ellison, who’s never been a stranger to dramatic, self-aggrandizing outbursts during his long career, lets loose a doozy on his official message board. (Don’t worry, I’ve got the whole meltdown for you to read later on.)

At first, Ellison tries to pass off the incident (preserved on video) as “a shtick, a gag between friends, absolutely NO sexual content,” but pretty soon, he actually suggests that Willis was asking for it. I shit you not, readers:

“[A]fter 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, 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…

I’ve sat here for four days, quietly, having done as much forelock-tugging and kneeling as I feel—as I—I—not you—not fan pinheads in far places who jumped and bayed and went after me in a second—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.”

That’s right: the real tragedy of this whole affair, according to Ellison, is that Connie Willis is making him feel bad. You know, for the most part, we like to maintain some sense of journalistic objectivity on this blog, but I feel reasonably comfortable going into outright opinionating: Ellison’s gone way over the deep end on this one. For years, people have been encouraging him in his self-righteous, self-indulgent schtick, excusing away his most outrageous behavior as manifestations of some sort of uncensored passion for justice and creative expression, and years of believing his own hype reflected back to him by both his peers and his fans have finally worked their toll. With his boorish behavior and subsequent outbursts, Ellison has become nothing more than a sad, pathetic spectacle…but one that’s had a long, slow fuse. When he takes the stage on the videotape, Willis asks, “Are you going to be good?” to which Ellison gleefully replied, “No.” One of the worst aspects of the evening is just how predictable it all should have been to anybody involved in science-fiction.

And now, brace yourself for the full, unadulterated expression of his fury!


HARLAN ELLISON- Thursday, August 31 2006 21:21:38

…AND MARK:

Would you be slightly less self-righteous and chiding if I told you there was

NO grab…

there was

NO grope…

there was

NO fondle…

there was the slightest touch. A shtick, a gag between friends, absolutely NO sexual content.

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? 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.”

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? 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.

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, 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 … 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?

I’ve sat here for four days, quietly, having done as much forelock-tugging and kneeling as I feel — as I — I — not you — not fan pinheads in far places who jumped and bayed and went after me in a second — 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.

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.

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.

Harlan Ellison

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.

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