Mt. Holz Science Fiction Society
11/02/18 -- Vol. 37, No. 18, Whole Number 2039

Co-Editor: Mark Leeper,
Co-Editor: Evelyn Leeper,
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        The Square Dance Conspiracy, Introduction and Part 1 (comments
                by Mark R. Leeper)
        BONEHILL ROAD (film review by Mark R. Leeper)
        Metric System (letter of comment by Lee Beaumont)
        Profanity (letters of comment by Jay E. Morris, Scott Dorsey,
                and Steve Coltrin)
        This Week's Reading (the "Foundation" trilogy) (book comments
                by Evelyn C. Leeper)


TOPIC: The Square Dance Conspiracy, Introduction and Part 1
(comments by Mark R. Leeper)

It was some thirty-one years ago that I did some of the most
important reportage and writing that I did in my entire career.
The first chapter of my expose was published March 27, 1987.  I
mean it was like something from INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS.  I
think few people realized the deadly danger that had spread far and
wide with virtually nobody realizing it.  My original report was
published in four chapters and out of respect for the original work
it will be re-published it in those same four installments.  Only
in the past few months have people seemed to be doing anything
about the danger.  I had no idea that my original writing 31 years
ago (!) would shed so much light on contemporary 21st century
politics.  This then is the first part of my expose.  Read more by
other people at  and at .

The Square Dance Conspiracy, Part 1

At various times in history the ruling classes in various countries
have been suffused by members of secret organizations.  In the
1700s the [original] Hell Fire Club had a surprising amount of
political power in England.  It was even reputed that Benjamin
Franklin as well as many members of the nobility and perhaps even
the royal house were members.  The Freemasons have been alleged to
be such a group.  The Illuminati, who may or may not exist, are
another.  However, I never would have thought that a modern
organization like New Jersey AT&T would have been infiltrated and
suffused by such a semi-secret organization.  I have had hints of
it for years.  Some of my best friends have from time to time been
involved. I think the time has come for an expose'.

I do not know how far the conspiracy has gone but realize that
wherever you go in New Jersey AT&T you are never more than a few
feet away from a square dancer.  Now I realize that there are parts
of the country, say Arizona, where there would be nothing unusual
about finding a square dancer or two hanging around and causing
trouble.  But this isn't Arizona.  And I am not talking about just
one or two conspirators.  I tell you AT&T is veritably infested
with them.  And they don't wear fringed suede jackets, voluminous
calico skirts, garish leather boots, little metal stars, or cowboy
hats to work, so they pass for being normal.  Don't be alarmed, but
your officemate may actually be one.  (In fact up until about a
month ago, my officemate was an admitted square dancer.  She is no
longer my officemate, I can tell you.)  I don't want to make you
paranoid, but they suffuse AT&T like gristle through a piece of
meat.  If this square dance underground is allowed to go unchecked,
who knows how far it will go?  This could be the vanguard of an
International Square Dance Conspiracy!

Be on the lookout for telltale signs in your co-workers: an
affected Western accent, cowboy-ish clothing (especially with
fringe or leather boots that look like fugitives from the WILD BILL
HICKOCK TV show), a decal or tattoo of two sinister interlocked
squares or profiles of square dancers.  If you see any of these
signs, keep track of who the apparent square dancers are for future
reference but (and this is important) do not attempt to approach
them with your suspicions.  That will only tip them off to who you
are and that they are being watched.  It may also ruin an official
investigation and drive the square dancers under cover.  [-mrl]


TOPIC: BONEHILL ROAD (film review by Mark R. Leeper)

CAPSULE: The wife and the daughter of a violent abuser flee his
wrath and his sadism.  They escape is only to be captured by
another man who is every bit as bad as the first.  When the second
man's captives try to escape they find themselves sandwiched
between a psychotic and a band of werewolves.  At one point the
premise had the potential to make a strong social statement, but it
is lost and in large part wasted in a pile of sadism and
predictable plot twists.  Still, the werewolves are visually
effective.  Writer and Director: Todd Sheets.  Rating: low +2
(-4 to +4) or 7/10

One popular category of monster films is the werewolf.  Of the
classical Universal monsters we have Dracula who is usually pure
destructive evil; we have the Frankenstein monster who has
psychological problems after his inhumane mistreatment; and perhaps
most interestingly we have the werewolf who lives in fear he will
lose control and release his own powers.  After the film THE WOLF
MAN internal forces that rob them of their self-control transform
werewolves.  I would say that the last, the werewolf, is the most
conflicted and hence the most interesting.  Todd Sheets has written
and that directed a new werewolf film that could have been much
better.  He did not give it the psychological depths that were
possible with his werewolves.  A scriptwriter who has not dealt
with this issue is just using werewolves as scary monsters.

Eden Stevens (played by Ana Rojas) and her mother Emily (Eli
DeGeer) have both lived too long in the shadow of Eden's abusive
father and have had enough.  They decide to run away hoping to get
help from Emily's father.  But racing down the road they have one
road accident and then a second one.  It seems they are going to go
from one personal disaster to the next.  And the disasters come one
after another.  They are in the hands of another sadist worse than
the one they have just left.  It is hard to imagine being in the
hands of someone worse than their new tormenter.  But werewolves
are a different matter...

The script of BONEHILL ROAD was written and directed by Todd
Sheets.  From the style it could have been a film from the old
HOWLING series, but with gallons more gore and violence.  But too
often Sheets just falls back on making his werewolves just scary

In the end the film has nothing much original for werewolf films.
It pours a little (well more than a little) stage blood on the
proceedings, but otherwise the werewolves made up in different
make-up could have been George Romero's breed of the Undead.  The
werewolves are just one more hazard for the main characters of this
story.  When I saw the original THE HOWLING what really impressed
me was the vision of the man transforming into a bear-like
werewolf.  I was sorry we did not get more scenes with that sort of
intimidating beast in the older film.  I have not seen too many
werewolf films in the interim, but that seems to be the visual
design they used for the werewolves in BONEHILL ROAD.  The effect
is impressive.  These werewolves would have easily sent Lawrence
Talbot off yelping.  Stick around through the closing credits for a
coda, just trying to being amusing.  I rate the film a: October 27
low +2 on the -4 to +4 scale or 7/10.  The film was released
October 27.

Did I mention there were werewolves?

Film Credits:

What others are saying:



TOPIC: Metric System (letter of comment by Lee Beaumont)

In response to Gary Labowitz's comments on the metric system in the
10/26/18 issue of the MT VOID, Lee Beaumont writes:

I took slight offense at Gary Labowitz's article on Gender
Pronouns.  Obviously I was offended by the despair he expressed
over difficulty in conversion to the Metric System.  Below is a
letter wrote to congressman Chris Smith on this issue:

"It is time the United States join the rest of the world in
adopting the metric system as our national standard of measurement.
The metric system has every advantage over the many archaic systems
that preceded it.  The metric system is easier to learn, easier to
use, coherent, and is the international standard.  It is time to
move beyond the expense and cumbersome use of double standards.
Transition to the metric system can be accomplished quickly and
easily.  Soon after all government documents are published using
only the metric system, the private sector will quickly follow.  If
anyone needs to convert units from an obsolete system, certainly
there are apps for that.  Savings will continue forever.  Please
demonstrate your leadership by joining efforts to adopt the metric
system as our national standard."

I also provided the course on "Using the Metric System".  See  I hope
MT VOID correspondents will begin to show the metric system the
respect it deserves.  Metric measurements matter.  [-lrb]


TOPIC: Profanity (letters of comment by Jay E. Morris, Scott
Dorsey, and Steve Coltrin)

In response to Mark's comments on profanity in the 10/19/18 issue
of the MT VOID, Jay Morris writes:

I feel the same but of late get this when I mention it.
Another factor, I believe, is a greater number of people growing up
in households where swearing is just a normal part of conversation.
I've been in more than a couple in the last few years.  [-jem]

Scott Dorsey responds:

I try to explain to kids that the problem with swearing all the
time is that you wear it out, and it doesn't work anymore.  And
when you need it, you don't have it.  If you say 'shit' every time
you prick your finger, what are you going to say when you cut your
arm off?  You won't have anything strong enough to say because you
wore it out.  [-sd]

Steve Coltrin adds:

That's when you say "Oh, my," and it carries a lot of weight.

One of the characters in James S. A. Corey's books is a
grandmotherly type who swears to shame a platoon of Marines.  In
one scene, the person she's talking with comments that she hasn't
sworn at all during their conversation; is something wrong?
(Something isn't, so you can guess her reply.)  [-sc]

And Jay also writes:

My wife and I have an understanding.  If I'm working in the
garage/shop and she overhears me swearing loudly she knows that
I've screwed something up and but it will only require a little
time and/or money to fix.

If she hears me say something like, "Well, that was pretty stupid"
she knows it's going to involve more money and/or time.

If it's "oh pashaw" she grabs the car keys and a towel to stanch
the bleeding.  To be honest that's only happened twice.  [-jem]


TOPIC: This Week's Reading (book comments by Evelyn C. Leeper)

Has anyone ever commented on how inconsistent the workings of the
Time Vault in the "Foundation" trilogy are?

In FOUNDATION, fifty years (minus three months) after the
establishment of the Foundation, Salvor Hardin says, "The
computoclock will open the Vault in three months."  And a month
before the date, Fara re-affirms this: "And on that anniversary ...
Hari Seldon's Vault will open."  Then, thirty years later, Hardin
says, "Thirty years ago, the Time Vault opened ...on the fiftieth
anniversary of the beginning of the Foundation..."

In FOUNDATION AND EMPIRE, Ebling Mis says that Seldon's appearances
are matched to crises: the first at the height of one, and the
second just after the end of one.  Then Seldon was ignored for the
next two appearances, although "investigations ... indicate that he
appeared anyway."  Mis then claims that by "meddling" with the Time
Vault, he is able to predict the exact date that Seldon will appear
(for the fifth crisis).

After this there is no more mention of the Time Vault, probably
because the time stream has veered far enough off that the crises
Seldon would be talking about would bear little resemblance to any
real crises.  (Of course, that puts the whole idea of psychohistory
into doubt.  There is some hand-waving that Seldon's plan is back
on track after the Mule is disposed of, but it not clear why that
would be true.)

So does Seldon appear on anniversaries, or during crises?  Or do
the crises just happen to be on anniversaries?  (Really?)
Apparently at first there is something that will tell people in
advance that Seldon will appear at a particular time (the
computoclock), although later Mis seems to need to "meddle" with
the Vault to find out when Seldon will appear.

And for that matter, Seldon talks about how he can only show the
broad sweep, and only with certain margins of error.  So how can he
time his appearances so precisely to be just during/after a crisis?

Which also makes me wonder--if Asimov patterned the series after
the fall of the Roman Empire, how precisely do the characters track
historical figures?  Asimov said that General Bel Riose is a
parallel to Flavius Belisarius, and Emperor Clean II is Justinian
I, but also that there were elements of Sejanus and Tiberius as
well.  It is also said that the Mule is based on Attila the Hun,
Tameralane, and Charlemagne.  I find myself wondering if there is
also a parallel to Muhammed, although clearly Muhammed has had a
more lasting effect on our history than the Mule does in the
series.   (Then again, Attila the Hun, Tamerlane, and Charlemagne
have also had more lasting effect than the Mule as well, though
perhaps not as obviously.)  [-ecl]


                                           Mark Leeper

           My uncle Sammy was an angry man. He had printed on his
           tombstone: What are you looking at?
                                           --Margaret Smith