John Boardman, P.O. Box 22, New York 33, New York.
"Berry can perhaps be forgiven; he is not responsible for what he says ... Jennings, for publishing libel without even bothering to check on the facts, is considerably harder to forgive. That's not plain stupid; that's ugly stupid."
- Buck Coulson; Yandro, #115, p. 28
"John Boardman seems to be a labor rabble-rouser ... Enforced membership is so much against the fundamental principles that I really think that suggesting laws requiring it should be considered an act of treason."
- James Sieger; Yandro, #121, pp. 23-4
Think it over.
[Quote: "John Boardman seems to be a labor rabble-rouser." (Emphasis mine.) Quote: "That was Kemp the night of the holdup!" (Emphasis either Berry's or Jenning's.) I've thought it over; now it's your turn. Notice any little difference in these two statements? Like, maybe, an expression of opinion as opposed to an expression of alleged fact?
However, I'm sure that Sieger would agree with me that appearances are deceiving, and we would certainly never have the effrontery to state that you were a rabble-rouser, no matter what your letters sound like ... RSC]
Don Franson, 6543 Babcock Avenue, North Hollywood, California
The original magazine appearance of John Brunner's "The Dreaming Earth" was in NEW WORLDS as a serial is "Put Down This Earth" (Put it down, Junior!) #107, 108-109, Jul - Aug 1961. It is one of the stories I've read, strangely enough, and I've always wanted to make a comment on it. I thought the explanation for the disappearance of the dreamers was unscientific and implausible. I can see how someone can think away the world, but he is still there, a catatonic. His actual disappearance doesn't follow, any more than the fabled ostrich is invisible when he sticks his head in the sand -- catch? I think that real stf fans ought to have protested. But these modern, watered-down, pseudo-fantasy fans ...
[Yes, yes; we should all hide our heads in shame. Of course, I rather resent being called a "pseudo" fantasy fan; I'm a genuine fantasy fan, by August W. Derleth! Pseudo-fantasy is what Ray Palmer peddles. Norm Metcalf also mentioned the serialization, as well as the fact that subs to Nova publications are available, at discounts, through J. Ben Starke, 113 Ardmore Road, Berkeley 7, California ...... RSC
Two of my favorites along this theme have been "Tonight The Sky Will Fall!" by Daniel F. Galouye in the May 52 MADGE, and "Ye of Little Faith" by Rog Phillips in the January 53 IF. I was very impressed by Galouye's ability to tell a story well, and I felt vindicated later when he started getting into F & SF and when DARK UNIVERSE came out .... somewhat like feeling a bit actor in a small drama has a special something and later watching that actor receive general recognition and praise ..... the old, human, "I told you so" urge .. JWC]
Robert E, Gilbert, 509 West Main Street, Jonesboro, Tennessee
Alan Dodd has bikinis on the brain. Now, according to YANDRO, he is even seeing them in the fields helping with the harvest. He is planning a trip this year to what he calls the Bikini Belt. I don't believe I ever actually saw a girl wearing a bikini, but then I'm isolated in the mountains.
[From what I've seen of them there Tennessee hills, a girl in a bikini would freeze to death. 80o temperatures in the middle of a sunshiny August day! Brrr! RSC]
Lewis Grant, 5333 S. Dorchester Avenue, Chicago 15, Illinois
Got Y121 yesterday, and have been having a lot of fun reading about the Great Religious War, and the Great Pig Latin War.
I know sus is a second declension noun. I checked my beat-out old 20¢ Latin grammar; it lists servus as the second declension -us type verb, and servi as the vocative plural. It would seem that the vocative plural of sus would therefore be sui, but with the Latin language, You Can Never Tell. That is what makes Latin such a difficult language to really master. I found out the Truth about Latin in my second year of high school, and immediately lost all interest in becoming a Latin scholar.
Hey, Don Juan, I hear you're looking for some real hot stuff!
The debate on deism, atheism, agnosticism, and Christianity is very interesting, especially since I belong a humanist church, the Chicago Ethical Society. For some time now, I have felt that the Christian religion is dying. I suspect that Copernicus, Darwin, William Jennings Bryan, and Marconi killed it off. Why Marconi? I once read an interesting book on the Christian religion outside of the "white" areas, and the fellow who wrote the book said that short wave was responsible for the fall in the number of Christians in the unwashed portions of the world. As long as a Christian missionary could go preach his message without competition, almost any Christian sect had a sufficiently powerful message, (especially when backed with guns and medicine) to win converts to Christianity. However, when the various sects started broadcasting in the thirties, they started cancelling each other out. With World War II coming along, and then the transistor radio, things are getting pretty bad.
Actually, I think that large percentage of Americans, perhaps a majority, are no longer "Christian". They may think they are, but they don't believe the essential points of the Christian dogma: that Christ was the divine son of God, that this life is a vale of tears, and God is a personal god, with his eye on each of us every minute.
I saw a cartoon recently, which was rather sacrilegious, but illustrated this point perfectly. It showed a young lady about to step into a tub, and noting, with dismay, a framed sampler over the tub which said: "God is watching you!"
So He died on the cross; what's He done for us lately?
Spent the last evening with two friends of mine; one is a computer programmer, and the other a high-school teacher. We discussed the coming of automation. It is going to be a real problem. The guff about machines always making more work is true up to a certain point, but they also cut out a lot of work, and they are cutting out more and more. The problem is that a large percentage of people are unemployable in our present society. There may be something they can do, but we aren't set up to provide it. One thing that is happening in our present society is the ephermalization of everything. i.e. - instead of keeping our bank accounts on paper, we keep them as tiny magnetic spots. Instead of over-designing bridges 25% because we can't handle the computations to make them just as strong as necessary, we design them with computers, and cut the steel 25%. Or we use aluminum or pre-stressed concrete. Instead of using wires and radio tubes, we use tiny spots you can hardly see. We are using brains instead of beams.
In this sort of society people who aren't good at abstract thought just aren't equipped to do useful work. We may be able to keep them busy with busy work, but at a certain point, a relatively smart man with a large stupid machine is worth any amount of stupid men.
[Or in other words, "1984" may have been propaganda, but PLAYERPIANO was prophecy ..... RSC
Better watch it on that Latin speculation - you'll get bev DeWeese interested in straightening out your misconceptions and you'll end up knowing more about Latin than you dreamed existed, Horatio ..? ..ius? ..... JWC]
Roy Tackett, 915 Green Valley Road NW, Albuquerque, New Mexico
YANDRO #121. (Number 121!) The cover is quite interesting, and I'm sure that all sorts of interpretations could be put to it. You need to take a leaf from the prozines and commission stories to be written around your covers. And don't come back at me with that "you suggested it, you do it" bit.
I note the absence of the name of Tosio Ogawa from the contents page. Oversight or have you given up your Japanese agent?
Juanita, I'm with you on hoping the new ANALOG is a rousing success. I like the large size -- always have -- and it does appear that the change has helped to pick up a bit of advertising. I'm not a purist who decries advertising in the prozines. Time was when they could make a go of it strictly on sales, but those days are gone and most likely will never return. I would favor almost any move that would keep ANALOG from folding. If it goes, the rest will not, I fear, be overly long in following it. First indications are that the new size has also brought a new -- or rather a return to an old -- editorial policy with more emphasis on straight hard stf and less psionic phantasy.
"A Doddering Column" was disappointingly short. Taking only two pages to cover a 4700 mile trip through Europe is a crime for which Dodd should be chastized. Did he find any stf in all those foreign lands?
The Nott illo duly (or is it duely? not right. must be duly) noted. Tsk, noted too is that heshe is now adorning these little critters with drapery. Tsk.
"Eyeshades & Television". I was once bitten by the art movie bug but seem to have recovered. (Doesn't it seem that a motion picture's artistic worth is directly proportional to the amount of uncovered female skin it puts on display? Are they art movies or just skin shows?) I'm still partial to foreign movies since there is, at least in those shown in the U. S., generally more depth to them than our domestic products. I qualified that because I have seen some awful dogs from the foreign filmmakers, too. I'm pretty well burned out on movies at this point since I see about 20 or more each week. We run four or more a day -- depending on the day -- at the telly station and that is a lot of movies.
Currently we're running the Tarzan films in the children's time slot and it is interesting to compare the films. Today, for instance, we ran "Tarzan's Revenge", a 1938 film with Glen Morris (Norris?) as the Big Bwana. Glen was even more inarticulate than big Jawn Weismuller; he uttered, I believe, three words during the entire picture.
We've also run "Tarzan's New Adventure" with Bruce Bennett (?) as Tarz. One of the early ones in which the characterization was much closer to the books. Tarzan was Lord Greystoke and well-educated for all his tree-swinging. This particular film had to do with his adventures in Central America in search of D'Arnot and the Green Goddess (we have coming up in the next few days "Tarzan and the Green Goddess") and I know this theme was used a couple of times back in the 30s. There was a serial based on this one.
Of course, we've had a whole flock of the Weismuller films including "Tarzan and His Mate", after which the Hayes office made Jane put some clothes on, plus the Lex Barker clunkers. I find it amusing that there are no Africans in the later films.
But I seem to have strayed. Chrystal and I took time out a couple of days ago to see "The Seventh Seal" at the local art theater -- it is featuring a Bergman festival or somesuch -- and I wasn't overly impressed. I think some of the fans who've reviewed it in the past had better go see it again. Like, they're confused.
The lettercol has the meat thish. (What's the fog index on that?) Willis puzzles me with his remark concerning British calendars being opposite to ours. Is it that they start with December and end up with January? Couldn't be. Could it? I'm trying to recall any differences in the calendars I saw while I was in Australia but I find that it was much too long ago for me to have any clear recollection and besides that during the time I was in Australia I was usually too drunk to see even the wall let alone any calendar that might have been hanging on it.
Walter Breen's enumeration of four reasons why God did not help us defeat the Nazis is obviously not exhaustive as he indicates. A fifth reason presents itself for consideration: maybe God was on their side.
[The Dodd column was originally part of a letter, which explains its brevity (since Dodd won't waste one of his 25-page letters on someone who he knows won't write more than 4 in reply). British calendars are set up with the dates at right angles to ours; that is, instead of having the "Sun Mon Tues" etc. jazz running in a line above the numbers, they are set up in a column down the left side of the numbers .... RSC
Yes, it was "Bruce Bennett", but then he was "Herman Brix", and not only was "Tarzan and the Green Goddess" made into a serial, but from the scattered chapters I saw it was the same film, unneatly and confusingly chopped up into segments, with parts of the earlier film thrown in for good measure .... the young audience didn't seem to mind, though. They were less sophisticated in those days, apparently ....... JWC]
Robert E. Briney, 459 Littleton Street, West Lafayette, Indiana
The Pyramid LEST DARKNESS FALL is not that novel's first appearance at a "popular price". A considerably abridged version appeared as a GALAXY novel (#24) some years back.
It will undoubtedly thrill you unutterably to find that you are not alone in your reaction to Leland Sapiro's fanzine writings. His articles in Rhodo Digest have been truly incredible, managing to be simultaneously laughable, incoherent, and dull.
Your quote from THE WORM OUROBOROS has caused me some mental anguish, for no very relevant reason. I saw the quote and I said, "Aha, that's an example of a figure of speech called ..." And I couldn't think of the technical term (which I once knew, because we studied such things in high school). So I dug out my Latin Poetry text and my copy of Fowler's MODERN ENGLISH USAGE and spent a couple of hours searching. No luck. I found all the other technical terms, which I once learned because I liked the way the words sounded (metonymy, mieosis, oxymoron, hysteron proteron, etc.), but not the one I wanted. Maybe it doesn't exist. Maybe I dreamed the whole thing ...
There's nothing more frustrating than knowing a certain word exists, and being almost able to remember it.
[Okay, Scithers, what's the term Bob wants? I can't think of it either. Apologies for the error; I think I even owned that GALAXY novel version once, too, though I don't have it now .... RSC]
Seth Johnson, 339 Stiles St., Vaux Hall, N. J.
I'd give Earl Kemp a very high fog rating indeed. Sounds like it might be interesting although I have little or no interest in movies. They just aren't worth bothering with and besides in Newark movies you are not permitted to smoke.
I wonder though if some faned couldn't print up a fascinating fanzine by getting confidential info like that about different author's novels from the authors themselves [re Avram's letter on JOYLEG]
Re Walt Willis' letter. I'm most curious to know what the heck an English calendar looks like.
Looks like Sieger is America First or something of the sort. Actually the only assurance any worker has of not being fired or deprived of a living wage is the union. Can you imagine an employee of General Electric negotiating a raise all by his lonesome? Or getting any kind of grievance settled in his favor without the shop steward and the union to back him up? And why should one segment get all the benefits while the rest of the employees have to pay dues, strike, and make all sorts of sacrifices to achieve a living wage?
[Well, I'm for America first, if it comes to that. (Actually, I'm for me first, but I'm for America ahead of any other country.) Up to a point anyway. I have this fault that I actually believe in personal and national honor -- well, it's a fault in this day and age -- so I can't quite go along with "my country, right or wrong". Anyway, while unions are undoubtedly necessary, they are a necessary evil, not a benefit. The only assurance an employee should have for not being fired is his personal competence. But with a big union and a big company it doesn't mater whether you can do the job or not, as long as you know whose boots to lick (the shop steward's or the office manager's). It's possible to get by on merit while telling your boss what you think of him -- I'm doing it -- but the emotional satisfaction has to substitute for the promotions ..... RSC]
James Sieger, S74-W20660 Field Dr., Route 2, Muskego, Wisconsin
John Rackham will no doubt be interested to hear that there will be "authentic" costumes in CLEOPATRA. An article in the GREEN SHEET here quoted the designer (a woman) for the film; she's given some 100 female extras completely transparent clothes. From the waist up, anyhow. But not E. Taylor. Says that this is the first time that completely transparent costumes will be used on the screen. Only three American girls were willing to wear them, though; the rest were European. Average measurements: 48-24-36, which shows that these bums are rewriting history again: Egyptian women were never that developed!
Which reminds me that she was wrong: they had nuder films than that in the old days. I collect old mags, and have a LIFE, the July 18, 1938 issue, which discusses the censorship of movies. They had stills from some oldies which make THE IMMORAL MR. TEAS look innocent. (After all, as a nudist mag pointed out, TEAS wasn't immoral, only an animated girly calendar.) For instance, a back view of the kind Bardot got famous over, in a 1918 film, MAN'S WORLD. The star (Mignon Craig), not an extra. And a bare-breasted orgy scene in MAN, WOMAN, AND MARRIAGE (1920). Incidentally, I wonder if LIFE would dast dare to reprint those stills now.
Wot's wrong with throwing all six at once? I often do that. (With darts, I mean). Never missed the target but once, and that was when I somehow managed to hit my other hand with the dart. Never did figure out how. We have a dart board about four feet square, so the ladies are capable of hitting it.
Generally, I agree with Walter Breen's discussion of the benevolence, etc., of God. The idea of God being such is contradicted by history ... unless you assume that God is being benevolent on a long-term basis, since any goodness is most likely to last if done by people themselves, than if it's effected by outside intervention.
Me, I'd say that God created the Earth and all, and then forgot all about it, being busy with other things.
If teenagers are atheists it's mainly because they can't abide the idea of anybody being wiser or more important than they are. Naturally, after they outgrow this conceit (if they ever do) many revise their attitude.
Speaking of theology, you ought to see David H. Keller's A FIGMENT OF A DREAM. The hero, half-dying during an operation, visits his dream-castle in Hades; later visits Heaven where he ends up abolishing Jehovah. Not bad for a retired doctor. Other sf heroes merely abolish planets or solar systems ... Anyhow, Keller's thesis seems to be that "Heaven" is subjective. That is, each has his own kind. Me, though, what I'd call Heaven is where no problem could not be solved or work be too much for any man to do, though at the same time he can't sit around doing nothing, if you follow me. Methinks the worst thing about life is how there are so many things which no man can fight -- wars, persecution, etc.
[I'm tempted to misunderstand you and ask what can a man do about wars if not fight them, but I resist. Manfully. Doesn't sound to me like your article-writer was wrong; she said this was the first time that transparent costumes had been used. In the old films, they were just plain nekkid. (And I wonder what neurotic genius originally thought up the "completely transparent costume"? Talk about idiocy ... I somehow doubt that a set for CLEOPATRA would be so cold that the "costume" would be needed as protection.) RSC]
Alan Dodd, 77 Stanstead Rd., Hoddesdon, Herts., England
I finally achieved the ultimate in fannish treatment from the post office last week. The postman who pushes the mail around on his pushbike finally admitted there was too much mail of mine one day for him to deliver. So I didn't get any delivery at all. Instead a couple of hours later a motorised postman brought a sack full of mail and dropped it in. Like they do film stars' fan mail, y'know? And I've still got it all here facing me. You've never seen so much; I stacked it all into an arm chair and will sort it out later. There were two large parcels of books, one of magazines, 9 packages of pocketbooks, ten travel folders, bills, postcards, tapes, 5 letters, two ice-picks (After reading Bloch's THE COUCH I wanted to find out exactly how effective a weapon an American ice-pick would be. Now I have two in my collection and I can confirm they are a pretty lethal-looking weapon), couple of assorted packages -- even a belated Xmas card. Not bad eh. And they do say at the post office that I receive more mail than most of the commercial firms and factories in Hoddesdon. I don't know whether to believe them or not, but ...
[The ultimate in fannish status. We've never achieved that, though of course out here in the country they deliver by car anyway, and a rural mail box can hold a lot of stuff. Incidentally, I bought a deactivated hand grenade for Alan, and he's curious as to why it was painted bright blue. Can any army or ex-army people tell if that's an identifying color for a particular type? It does seem an odd color for a grenade; sort of cheerfully sinister. RSC]
Rev. C. M. Moorhead, R. D. i, Box 87, Middle Point, Ohio
I was also interested in Joe Sanders' remark, "Of course, Christianity is not a practical way of life." I would like to make a few observations along that line of thinking.
Christianity is impractical to only those who refuse to practise it. There are two types of these: 1) the pseudo-Christian, and 2) the person who rejects Christianity as a practical philosophy of life.
The pseudo-Christian is one who declares himself to be a Christian, may be a prominent church member, yet does not practice Christian principles. An outstanding example of this individual is the governor of Mississippi.
These pseudo-Christians do the cause of Christianity more damage than all the agnostics and/or atheists put together. The Atheist and the agnostic do not bother me a bit; neither group does Christianity any real harm. But the one who does the harm, the one who makes Christianity unpopular, is the pseudo-Christian, commonly called a hypocrite.
The reason Christianity appears to be impractical is that too few people are willing to practice its tenets. In order to really practice Christianity, one must have his attitudes changed. This is the BIG HURDLE. Once that is accomplished, the rest is comparatively easy.
If the people in the deep south were to change their attitudes toward the Negro and regard him as a human being, with the same inalienable rights as the white man, much of the racial problems there would be solved.
This change will never come about unless human nature is somehow transformed by an Outside Influence which we call God. This, in my opinion, is what Jesus meant when He said, "Ye must be born again." (Gospel of John, Chapter e, verses 1 to 8). Nor will this transformation ever occur unless the individual wants it to happen. Very few ever want this to happen because we are so basically selfish that we are satisfied with ourselves as we are and don't care for a change. That is why so very few really try to practice Christianity -- it is too hard to follow! This fact was recognized by Jesus when He said, "Many are called, but few are chosen." (Matthew 22:14)
I say, the fault lies not at the door of the religion, but rather at the door of those who profess to be its adherents and still live no differently than those who reject God altogether. The regrettable fact remains, that the avowed atheist may practice more humanitarian principles than the vociferous pseudo-Christian. Still, I say, the religion -- Christianity -- is OK, but many of its avowed followers are not!
[I think the arguments on the non-practicality of Christianity are based on the proven results of trying to practice it in today's world. A philosophy which requires complete or even majority acceptance by the world's population before its benefits can be felt may be theoretically excellent, but it is useless to all practical purposes. Of course, Christianity has the built-in advantage that its true followers believe in justice in the hereafter, which allows them to accept injustice in the present. (But by that basis, there aren't enough true Christians in the world to make up one decent-sized congregation ....) RSC]
Tom Dilley, Box 3042 Univ. Station, Gainesville, Florida
Indeed, as you diagnose, I am addicted to reading. And the "hard blows on the skull" which you prescribe do work; I have been so severely battered on the head by the fall of Rise & Fall of the Third Reich, under which I fell asleep many times whilst reading it in bed, that I now find it impossible to remember anything for longer than five minutes at a time. This reading in bed can be dangerous, you know. Many times have I had to put out smouldering sheets set aflame by some of my beddy-bye reading material. Then there was the time I was reading an edition of The Comedy of Errors which was, most unhappily, inseparable from the carton in which it came. Flat on my back, I fell aslumber with it over my head, and was severely boxed about the ears.
[We're out of room, so this letter (it's 6 feet long) will be continued in the next issue. RSC]
Data entry by Judy Bemis
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