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Conduct unbecoming

I've been stewing over what Harlan Ellison pulled at the Worldcon since reading divalea's LJ entry declaring war on the gropers last night. This is 2006. WTF makes Ellison think this is acceptable behavior?* I don't care how many Hugo and Nebula Awards you have sitting on your shelves at home, this shit is still way out of bounds. I gather from what others say that he's done attending conventions, which is just as well for him since there are a fair number of female fans out there with blood in their eyes just waiting for him to screw up so they can beat the holy hell out of him. Or any other guy who thinks groping is okay.

I don't think you have to be a feminist to say Ellison is acting like a jackass. I don't think it's being overly protective of women to call a fatwa on his ass. I don't think it's unreasonable to say that we need to make an example out of Harlan Ellison so that from now on, fans and pros alike will keep their God-damned hands to themselves in public. After seventy years, fandom finally has a sizable number of women interested in the field, but we now have immature "enfants terrible" pissing in the ice cream. It's got to stop. If people like Harlan Ellison can't behave like civilized human beings, then they should just stay home and stay the hell out of fandom. If Harlan has some kind of problem with alcohol, drugs, or some chemical imbalance in his head, I don't care. It's on him to deal with it and quit being an internationally infamous pain in the ass instead of yukking it up and going out of his way to build on his already shitty reputation. He can behave when he wants to (see con reports from this year's Minicon), so I don't think it's a matter of can't behave, it's a matter of won't behave, and it's long past time to call him on it.

So what is to be done? Harassing him at panels would be great if he hadn't preempted that by announcing that LACon was going to be his last convention. Boycott his books? Too little and too late, though every little bit helps. Most of the other suggestions I've seen are cute, but either ineffective or illegal. About the only option left is to hit him where he really lives: in his enormously overinflated ego. There's no question that the man is an outstanding writer. He's won buttloads of awards for it. Odds are good that none of those will be revoked, since the awards are for the work. However, he has been named a Grand Master by the SF Writers of America.

Has it occurred to the SFWA membership that Ellison's conduct - and their silence about it - makes them look like a bunch of misogynistic fucktards? (Yes, I'm well aware that SFWA has female members. Duh.) It seems the least they could do is censure him for this kind of behavior, if not actually revoke the award. The least we can do as fans is lobby them to get it done. Here's hoping SFWA can take a hint.

UPDATE: Maybe this is the reason he's not going to conventions any more. Must really suck to have The Fastest Tongue In Fandom for all those years and then get pwnz3d by a cartoonist who has no idea who you are and could care less because the first impression you made was: "Hi! I'm an Enormous Gaping Asshole and Bully!" (Scroll down to the 8:46 PM post by Gabe or ^F for "The story".)

*I'm not sure I want to know what Ms. Willis meant by "He's done worse." The LAPD might, but I don't work for them.


( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 30th, 2006 02:19 am (UTC)
Apparently Harlan never got the memo stating that in order to be an enfant terrible one must be an enfant or else one is just terrible.
Aug. 30th, 2006 03:13 am (UTC)
Well, that's the thing - the guy unquestionably has always had the writing talent, even in his youth. Unfortunately he's also always had the personality of a schizophrenic wolverine: wonderful to his friends and designated objects of sympathy, a vicious pain in the ass to everyone else.
Aug. 30th, 2006 03:31 am (UTC)
Aug. 30th, 2006 04:37 am (UTC)
Wait... Harlan Ellison is a jerk? *gasp* He did something uncouth and inappropriate? I'm shocked and amazed. This is such a surprising turn of events.

Ok, but no, really. He's a dick. The only thing big about him is his asshole factor and his sense of self-importance. I've only had to deal with him once, and it was over quickly (on the phone at DH). I *love love love love love that Penny-Arcade story about him, and how Jerry Holkins ("Gabe") just happened to pick the perfect insult.
Aug. 30th, 2006 11:53 am (UTC)
The really sad part about this is that he's been doing this sort of thing (or worse, as Willis said) for a hella long time and this is the first time fandom has gotten all filled with rage about it. Of course, he never groped a fellow Big Name Author in front of God and everybody, but still...there must be dozens of women he's done this to in the past, and nobody's said jack shit.
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )



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