supergee: (mourning)
Late in the 1967 season the LA Rams were 4 points behind with less than 30 seconds to go. They blocked a punt and recovered it at the other team’s 5-yard line. Everybody knew they were going to throw it to their big gun, Bernie Casey. They did, and he scored.

He played only one more season, then did a book of his poems & paintings and went to Hollywood, where he had a number of successful films including playing the Black frat leader in Revenge of the Nerds. He was also in my favorite granfalloon, Star Trek, playing the Maquis leader Cal Hudson in Deep Space Nine.
supergee: (mourning)
We are still here because of Stanislav Petrov, but now he isn’t.
supergee: (mourning)
J. P. Donleavy was a one-hit wonder. The Ginger Man, a bawdy picaresque, had to be published by Olympia Press in the 50s, then in America with the naughty bits excised a few years later, and finally unexpurgated in the Sinful Sixties. These days it looks somewhat tame. Later books were less successful.

The Good Ship Venus, John de St. Jorre’s delightful history of Olympia, reveals that The Ginger Man was a chaotic farrago that had to be cut and pasted into shape (when that had to be done literally) by a woman named Muffy (the wife of translator Austryn Wainhouse). And the Times obit revealed a detail that could have come from one of his novels:
Mr. Donleavy found himself in the news in 2011 when his second wife, Mary Wilson Price, an actress, revealed that the two grown children she had given birth to during their 19-year marriage, which ended in divorce in 1989, were not Mr. Donleavy’s. DNA tests performed after the couple had separated established that Rebecca Donleavy was the daughter of Kieran Guinness, of the brewing dynasty, and Rory Donleavy was the son of Finn Guinness, Kieran’s brother, whom Ms. Price later married.

ETA: Giving birth to grown children sounds uncomfortable. Newspaper of record, my shiny metal ass!
supergee: (nebula)
The International Conference on the Fantastic in the Arts has lost a Permanent Special Guest, and the field as a whole has lost one of its widest-ranging geniuses: universe-spanning imagination (Galaxies like Grains of Sand), Joycean psychedelia (Barefoot in the Head), beautiful decay (The Long Afternoon of Earth), alternatives to humanity (The Malacia Tapestry), world building (Helliconia), history of the field (The Billion Trillion Year Spree), and even a mimetic best seller (The Hand-Reared Boy). My idiosyncratic favorite is The Shape of Further Things, a meditation on diverse topics written around the time of the moon landing.
supergee: (mourning)
Fanzine & online fan Dwain Kaiser shot to death. I will miss him.

Thanx to File 770
supergee: (coy2)
Before there was rap, there were toasts, obscene recitations improvised by African-Americans. (Two famous ones are “The Signifyin’ Monkey” and “Shine on the Titanic.”) Folklorist Roger D. Abrahams, who died recently, collected them in a delightful book called Deep Down in the Jungle. I learned from his obit that the dissertation on which he based the book led the University of Pennsylvania to create a Department of Folklore because “We cannot have a dissertation with such foul language in the English department. If you want to approve it, go and have your own department.”

Genre guy

May. 30th, 2017 05:31 am
supergee: (mourning)
RIP, Frank Deford, a great sportswriter who knew that even being the best one would be treated like being The World’s Tallest Midget.


Apr. 4th, 2017 02:03 pm
supergee: (mourning)
Michael Levy was one of the good guys and one of the major contributors to the academic study of sf. He was a regular at the International Conference on the Fantastic in the Arts (when he wasn’t there this year, we knew something was wrong), and he wrote lotsa reviews (for NYRSF, among others). One of his final contributions was Children’s Fantasy Literature, a historical study written with Farah Mendlesohn, which I recommend wholeheartedly to anyone interested in the topic.
supergee: (mourning)
RIP, George Weinberg, who shook things up in the 70s by writing a book whose title seemed to many to be a contradiction in terms: Society and the Healthy Homosexual
supergee: (motto)
Charles Pierce remembers two flawed human beings who fed our heads with words. I liked Breslin’s first book title* so much that I had a friend translate it into Latin to use for posts about the many situations to which it applied.
*and the whole book, come to think of it

ETA: And George R.R. Martin discusses a mess of journalism to which (unlike the rest of this post) my userpic applies.
supergee: (mourning)
Jimmy Breslin (1928-2017). I didn’t like him all the time, but he had the heart and he had the words, and when they worked together, he was great. (I have just learned that he called Rudy Giuliani “a short man in search of a balcony.”)
supergee: (mourning)
I just wrote about Robert Nozick, who made libertarianism serious, and now we lose the guy who made it funny. In 1971 Jerome Tuccille wrote It Usually Begins With Ayn Rand, which he described as a “libertarian odyssey.” For my money, it is still the best, or at least funniest, book on the movement, though I admit he sometimes transcended mere fact.

He stopped calling himself a libertarian, after an effort to run for office (governor of NY) on the Libertarian ticket that ended about as well as such things usually do. He somewhat reratted to conservatism, working as a stockbroker and writing bios of malefactors of great wealth (starting with Donald Trump). He never lost his distrust of the State, though, particularly on lifestyle issues. He wrote many books on many topics, though for me he never recaptured the greatness of It Usually Begins With Ayn Rand.
supergee: (mourning)
A logician approaches two men, knowing that one always tells the truth, and one always lies. She does not know which is which.
She asks the man on the left "Would your fellow tell me that Raymond Smullyan has died?"
The man replies "no."
The logician weeps.
Thanx to Metafilter
He was best known for his books of logic puzzles, such as Alice in PuzzleLand and The Riddle of Scheherazade. He followed up a puzzle book entitled What Is the Name of This Book with a book named This Book Needs No Title, a paradoxical look at life, the universe, and everything that went from great one-liners:
The reason Adam ate of the fruit of the tree of knowledge was that he didn't know any better.

I believe that solipsism is the proper philosophy, but that is just one man's opinion.
to the remarkable concluding parable, "World without Laughter." He has also written The Tao Is Silent and another collection of philosophical tales, 5000 B.C.

Who Knows? is a marvelous look at the Big Questions. Part 1 is based on his friend Martin Gardner's The Whys of a Philosophical Scrivener. For instance, Smullyan asks how we should describe an approach such as "I don't know whether there's a God, but I sure hope there is one."* The second part discusses Hell, and here he and I are in complete agreement: It is conduct unworthy of a deity. Finally, he turns his attention to R.M. Bucke's Cosmic Consciousness and offers some insights on that. He has also written an autobiography called Some Interesting Memories, whose only flaw is that he remembers too many old jokes.
*I have suggested sperotheist (which is WRONG for the same reason as polyamory).
supergee: (mourning)
Nat Hentoff was a great jazz critic and fighter for the First Amendment, but not being capable of getting pregnant, I will not argue with anyone for whom his deranged fetus-fan views outweigh all of that.
supergee: (mourning)
RIP, Huston Smith, author of The World’s Religions and other major religious works.


supergee: (Default)
Arthur D. Hlavaty

September 2017

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