Heinlein Reader’s Discussion Group
Saturday 08-04-2001 5:00 P.M. EDT
Spies, Sneaks and Finks
Here Begins The Discussion Log
You have just entered room “Heinlein Readers Group chat.”
DJedPar: Hi David.
DavidWrightSr: Hi Ginny, Hi Denis
SAcademy: Hello David.
DJedPar: Plus tard, ma chere.
SAcademy: Oui, mon enfant
DJedPar: Merci, maman!
SAcademy: Maybe David speaks French. He does know German and Russian.
DavidWrightSr: Je parle un petit peu. il y a une langtemp depuis j’ etudie francais
DavidWrightSr: or something lik that. French ain’t my strong suit
DJedPar: You are a very good Mensch, David.
DavidWrightSr: Spasibo, Danke
SAcademy: Me, to David, but I had quite a lot of it.
DJedPar: This will be an international session? Like the UN.
SAcademy: Lucky us, we can spell the Rssian anyway we want to.
DavidWrightSr: I haven’t studied it since 10th grade, that was 1956
KultsiKN has entered the room.
DavidWrightSr: Another International visitor
SAcademy: Hi, Kultsi. Do you know Denis Paradis?
KultsiKN: Good evening, everybody!
DJedPar: Hi Kultsi.
DavidWrightSr: Kultsi is Finnish, Denis
SAcademy: I guess it is evening in Helsinki.
KultsiKN: Hello. Denis
SAcademy: Very late for you!
SAcademy: I wonder whether Sean will come today?
DavidWrightSr: It’s early sunday for him isn’t it?
KultsiKN: Saturday and summer vacation. What’s one more white night?
DavidWrightSr: That’s right. you don’t get much nighttime this time of year do you?
SAcademy: Yes, the Norwegians stay up all night in the summer, They say they can sleep in the winter.
DavidWrightSr: I was stationed in Northern Germany. I recall some very short nights.
KultsiKN: I’m not that far to the North, the nights are dark already.
SAcademy: Kultsi is quite a bit north of there.
KultsiKN: Indeed I am, Ginny.
DavidWrightSr: AOL just announced a new version of AIM. I’ll probably try it out next week.
SAcademy: I remember having dinner at around 11PM one night in Finland. The sky was still light.
SAcademy: I hope it gives us longer spaces for typing.
DJedPar: I installed it yesterday I think. Mostly kiddie stuff.
DavidWrightSr: It’s supposed to have a lot of bells and whistles, but I doubt that it will be an improvement
SAcademy: How long is the download?
DavidWrightSr: I think the limit on messages is determined by the server, not which program we use
DJedPar: About 1o minutes.
KultsiKN: What speed?
SAcademy: Not bad at all. On five, I am stil getting notices of a download as I sign off.
DavidWrightSr: I’m going to be AFK for most of the evening still. Still can’t sit in one position too long
DJedPar: I forget. They were doing it while I was logging on to this chat room.
SAcademy: How are you feeling today, David?
DavidWrightSr: A good deal better, but not yet up to par.
SAcademy: Is it very painful?
DavidWrightSr: I’m hoping that it will improve enough to be able to get back to work monday
KultsiKN: What’s biting, David?
SAcademy: I never had chicken pox as a child, so I can’t get that!
DavidWrightSr: Not terribly. Just have to keep off of it. Shingles, Kultsi. where I sit down.
DavidWrightSr: Thats an inflamation of nerves caused by the same virus as chicken pox
SAcademy: Would a rubber doughnut help? One that blows up?
DavidWrightSr: I would have to sit side-saddle 🙂
SAcademy: I mean inflatable.
DJedPar: Shades of Waldo!
SAcademy: I didn’t know he had chicken pox.
DJedPar: No but he didn’t have to sit either.
SAcademy: Okay. Snowy is awake
SAcademy: He’s scratching my shoes.
DJedPar: Hi you handsome Devil
SAcademy: He can’t read.
DJedPar: How do you know?
SAcademy: Shall I tell him, or would his head swell up?
DJedPar: He’s very cool.
SAcademy: Actually, I don’t know.
DJedPar: He might surprise you. He reads you very well, I think.
SAcademy: Just went back to AOL and didn’t see anyone there.
DJedPar: I think they all knew it was on for today.
SAcademy: Who will be running this thing? Jane, or
KultsiKN: I see lots of people, just not on this chat.
DJedPar: How do you see them, Kultsi?
DavidWrightSr: Jane won’t be here. She had visitors
KultsiKN: On my buddy list
DavidWrightSr: Denis. You add their screen names to your ‘buddy list’ then you see them when they are on
DJedPar: Got it.
SAcademy: Then it has to be David or Bill. Bill reminded me of this when I saw him earlier.
DJedPar: I think David S is hosting.
KultsiKN: Like I just added you, Denis, to AFH group on my buddy list.
DavidWrightSr: I expect that they will show up in a little while. Always in the past when I thought…
DavidWrightSr: that things were going to be slow, they always picked up.
DJedPar: Thanks Kultsi.
Berllan5UD has entered the room.
DavidWrightSr: Hi David. It is David isn’t it from England?
Berllan5UD: well, Wales, but we won’t quibble. lol
DJedPar: I told you this would be a UN summit.
SAcademy: Perish that thought!
DavidWrightSr: Sorry about that. Wales it is.
KultsiKN: It’s hard to see the difference from US 😉
SAcademy: But it is David?
Berllan5UD: hard to see it from here sometimes
Berllan5UD: yes, it is David
SAcademy: Thanks. would yo mind using boldface?
DavidWrightSr: I wonder where our fearless leader is?
DJedPar: Maybe you should prod him. Maybe he forgot the time.
SAcademy: Who knows? I saw him earlier.
DavidWrightSr: Well, just chat amongst ourselves. Someone will be along to get us started I’m sure.
SAcademy: He’s not around. I expect he will apologize.
DavidWrightSr: I’ve got to get up from keyboard for a while.
SAcademy: Okay. Anyone know anything? It’s spies and such for the topic.
KultsiKN: At the beginning…
DavidWrightSr: Spies, Sneaks and Finks.
DJedPar: I’ve just gone blank for a minute there.
DJedPar: Finnish humour?
SAcademy: The topic worked well on Thursday night.
KultsiKN: No, RAH. Mike in Moon.
SAcademy: He wasn’t a spy. Or was he?
DenvToday has entered the room.
DJedPar: Yes it did. I thought they were going on like a poker game.
KultsiKN: He was, the best kind.
DenvToday: Good afternoon everybody.
SAcademy: Good after noon
DJedPar: Hi Denv.
DenvToday: Good to see you all.
SAcademy: Do you really live in Denver? We lved in Colo Spgs for years.
Berllan5UD: how do you increase text size?
DenvToday: Yes, I do live in Denver. I know you lived there, and I have many friends who live in the Springs.
DenvToday: Most of them are retired Air Force.
DJedPar: Kultsi might answer that.
SAcademy: We ad to leave because of the altitude.
KultsiKN: View, Edit Chat Preferences, IM Buddy Chat
DJedPar: Thanks Kultsi.
DenvToday: I can understand that. Many wonderful things about the Colorado climate…the sunshine, lack of…
Berllan5UD: try again
DenvToday: …humidty. But the alitude is one of the drawbacks.
DJedPar: Can you send some rain this way. Please?
SAcademy: We’ve had storm clouds all week, and a lot of rain, but the position is wrong to send it to you, Denis
KultsiKN: My fony is Comic Sans MS, 8 points
SAcademy: Now if you could get the earth to revolve in the other direction, I might do something about it.
DJedPar: I would love to try. But I have no knack for it.
DenvToday: We had a tax rate cut this year. That’s as close as we’re going to get to the earth revolving…
DenvToday: …in the other direction.
Berllan5UD: david, i’m going to reboot AIM. please send another invite in 30 secs
Berllan5UD has left the room.
DJedPar: Maybe you’d better invite him Ginny.
Berllan5UD has entered the room.
DenvToday: Can I help?
SAcademy: I’ve sent several invites. No luck yet.
Berllan5UD: it worked
SAcademy: Guess so.
DJedPar: You’re blue! Nice colour.
SAcademy: You’ve got a different color.
DavidWrightSr: Color and font size changes don’t appear to take affect unless you restart.
SAcademy: That’s the color for links.
DenvToday has left the room.
DenvToday has entered the room.
DenvToday: Let’s see…
DenvToday: No, didn’t work.
Berllan5UD: born a Tory. die a Tory, DJ
SAcademy: I should warn everyone. Don’t touch escape key!
DJedPar: In Canada, I’m a liberal.
DavidWrightSr: Right. It drops you right out of the program, No warning
fgherman has entered the room.
SAcademy: It will kick you offline again
DenvToday: lol Now you’re tempting me. “Whatever you do, do NOT push the red button!”
fgherman: Hello all
SAcademy: Hello, Felicia.
DenvToday: Hello fg
KultsiKN: Hi, Felicia!
SAcademy: Joel sent me pictures of your daughters. They’re beautiful
fgherman: Thank you, Ginny
SAcademy: I told him to get out his white shotgun.
SAcademy: He didn’t find it funny, somehow.
SAcademy: How old are the girls?
fgherman: Rachel is 7 and Judy is 11
DJedPar: OK. Ginny, would you consider Headmaster Howe in Red Planet a fink?
Berllan5UD: a what?
fgherman has left the room.
DJedPar: a Fink. as in the topic tonite, as opposed to a villain
DavidWrightSr: I didn’t participate Thursday, But part of what I saw as a problems was a lack of definitions.
fgherman has entered the room.
KultsiKN: No need to blush
DavidWrightSr: The old ESC key?
Berllan5UD: a fink is a good guy?
DenvToday: A fink is a traitor.
DenvToday: A Quizling.
DavidWrightSr: Anyone want to define fink?
DenvToday: A double agent, usually.
fgherman: the “-” NOT the “x”
Berllan5UD: right. got it
DJedPar: Not in my book. A fink is a dirty lousy…..
DJedPar: What’s a quizling?
DavidWrightSr: As I see it, a fink is one who is willing to sell out his side for money or other personal gain
DenvToday: Yes, that works.
DJedPar: Like my old boss.
SAcademy: It’s Quisling, and he was a Norwegian traitor during WWII
DavidWrightSr: Quisling was an official of Norway who sold out to the Nazi’s
KultsiKN: Quisling is a proper name of a Norwegian traitor
DJedPar: Encyclopedic Ginny!
SAcademy: What’s the difference between fink and scab?
DavidWrightSr: The term is not synonomous with spy, since their value as a spy is destroyed once they sell out.
DenvToday: A scab is a worker who will cross a picket line.
SAcademy: Thank you. Can’t keep things straight with slang terms.
DJedPar: Did Hoffa coin the term Scab?
DenvToday: I think it’s been around since the 19th century.
DavidWrightSr: Scab goes way back in the labor movement. Wish AG were here, he could tell us more clearly
SAcademy: Don’t know. but I think it existed befor he held sway
KultsiKN: Scab has several meanings, one of which is strike breaker.
DavidWrightSr: scab is pretty restricted to labor movement, but fink is general usage.
SAcademy: You tell us natives,Kultsi.
DavidWrightSr: Remember Wyoh asked Manny if he ‘finked for authority’?
KultsiKN: Crust on a wound
SAcademy: It doesn’t mean the same thing, I believe.
DJedPar: Not those little crabs again.
fgherman: According to the OED: A pejorative term of wide application, esp.
DJedPar: Sarcoptes scabiei
fgherman: a. An unpleasant or contemptible person.
KultsiKN: No, but it has those meanings
fgherman: b. An informer; a detective. c. A strike-breaker.
SAcademy: Thank you Felicia
DavidWrightSr: ‘fink’ has a bad connotation. ‘informant’ has a good one. Depends on which side you are O:-)
fgherman: intr. To inform on.
DJedPar: Felicia, are you a librarian?
DenvToday: Fink became a popular word kid in the early 60’s when I was a kid.
KultsiKN: Merriam-Webster Online defines it a bit differently
DenvToday: when I was a kid, that is
fgherman: Of course
DenvToday: We used it the same way we’d use “jerk.”
DJedPar: I agree with Denv on the use of Fink in the 60s
DavidWrightSr: words often lose a lot of their meaning when they become overused. People pick them up …
DavidWrightSr: without knowing the original meaning.
DJedPar: Like decimate?
fgherman: Rather like the Red Queen in Alice
fgherman: a Fink is like a Narc
SAcademy: Anything that begns deci- means tenths.
DavidWrightSr: I never was clear if it meant reduce *by* a tenth or *to* a tenth.
DJedPar: Today they use it in the sense = annhilate
SAcademy: But nihil means none.
DavidWrightSr: That has become the standard meaning.
DenvToday: “Fantastic” properly means unbelievable rather than “wonderful.”
SAcademy: As you can see, I studied Latin for years.
DJedPar: Right. Deci means one in 10 and matar means kill.
Berllan5UD: ugh. was it Caesar who used decimation on his troops?
SAcademy: I never heard of that!
DJedPar: He did it properly. Killed one in 10.
DavidWrightSr: Decimate. Is that what the Brits did when they gave up pounds, shillings, pence?
Berllan5UD: i ought to know which Roman it was. damn, i’m going gaga
DJedPar: Caligula and also Tiberius.
DenvToday: I can remember the first line from The Gallic Wars. lol My big achievement in 7th grade Latin.
DavidWrightSr: Ok. we have a rought definition of ‘fink’. What finks come to mind in RAH’s works?
KultsiKN: Snotty Fasset, although that might be arguable.
DenvToday: A fink of sorts was the assistant astrogator in Starman Jones. I can’t remember the character’s name.
DavidWrightSr: but were either finks according to our definition. or just jerks
KultsiKN: Simes was not a fink, he was just plain nasty.
KultsiKN: A faulty person.
DenvToday: Simes was a traitor to his profession and the crew. He betrayed them by covering up his mistakes…
DJedPar: Maybe we should add Jerks to the discussion.
DenvToday: …attempting to take over. But maybe I”m stretching it.
DavidWrightSr: The only finks that I can think of off hand were collaborators in Puppet Masters and Sixth Column.
DavidWrightSr: Denv. Good point. what about Fasset. who did he betray?
KultsiKN: His comrades.
DavidWrightSr: The whole concept of ‘side’ gets kind of murky with respect to the Prophet and his cronies.
Bdelloguy has entered the room.
SAcademy: Hello, Mark
KultsiKN: Doesn’t it always with traitors: a traitor on one side, a hero on the other?
Bdelloguy: Hi Ginny, Hi All. Just thought I would try to get my IM system working again!
DenvToday: Good point. Benedict Arnold was a hero to the British.
SAcademy: And to the colonies in the French and Indian wars.
fgherman: Hello Mark
DavidWrightSr: Message is too long or too complex
DenvToday: Generally in the works of RAH, we have less emphasis on villains and more empahsis on the protagonists
DenvToday: Their positive force rather than their reaction to the villain’s negative force.
DavidWrightSr: Right. All of these spies, sneaks, and finks are really very minor to the story if they appear at all
SAcademy: Unfortunately, stories need conflict, or you don’t have a story.
DJedPar: Isn’t that something Robert said?
SAcademy: Sometimes it’s man aggainst man, other times it’s man against nature.
Bdelloguy: A friend of mine said that every word in fiction should do one of two things…
DavidWrightSr: Just thought of more ‘finks’. Skinny and Fatso in HSSWT
Bdelloguy: 1. Reveal character, 2. Advance plot.
DenvToday: In THIAHM, the villain is oppression and unfair exploitation rather than a person. Mort the Wart…
DenvToday: …is a minor annoyance, not rising to the level of villain.
Bdelloguy: But evil can be banal in origin…
KultsiKN: He was an icon of tyranny
Bdelloguy: Look at the Rudbek clan in COTG
DavidWrightSr: How Mark?
Bdelloguy: My reading of COTG never suggested that the Rudbeks *actively* wanted to get
Bdelloguy: into slavery….
Bdelloguy: But they ended up sacrificing Thorby’s parents for cash from slavers
Bdelloguy: So: is evil inherent, or must it grow…even from a pure heart?!
DenvToday: Long time since I read COTG. But the acting head of the corporation was a fink. Again, I can’t…
DenvToday: remember his name.
Bdelloguy: Sure. A fink AND a lawyer!
DenvToday: He played being Thorby’s friend and mentor, then stabbed him in the back.
DJedPar: I gather Robert was very much against slavery. The theme comes up often.
SAcademy: Well can you think of anything better to be against?
DenvToday: Only the IRS. lol
DavidWrightSr: Same thing 🙂
DJedPar: Not unless I try very hard.
DenvToday: Very true!
SAcademy: We saw it with communism
DJedPar: Freedom is paramount in most societies.
DenvToday: I can think of one very admirable fink.
DenvToday: In one of the early short stories. A Jewish doctor must operate on a Hitler-like character.
DavidWrightSr: Is it? most people want it for themselves, but are very willing to restrict it for others
DenvToday: He turns the tables on Hitler.
DJedPar: Oh, David. You know what I mean.
DJedPar: That’s very good Denv!
Berllan5UD: out of my depth here. nite all
DavidWrightSr: That wasn’t being a fink. He was not betraying ‘his’ side, but supporting it
Berllan5UD has left the room.
DavidWrightSr: So Long David
DenvToday: That’s true. And he was operating under duress. But to the Nazis he was a fink.
BPRAL22169 has entered the room.
BPRAL22169: Hello, all
KultsiKN: Hi, Bill
DenvToday: Good afternoon Bill.
DavidWrightSr: Welcome. Bill
SAcademy: Hi, Bill
BPRAL22169: Sorry for not being here sooner — I lost track of time.
DJedPar: Hi Bill. All Nazis were finks.
BPRAL22169: I thought “fink” was rather narrowly defined.
DavidWrightSr: We had a fairly loose definition for our use so far. You want to define it further
DenvToday: I think “informer” is the most accurate definition of fink.
BPRAL22169: I would agree with Denv — except for the connotations of ratting out one’s fellows.
BPRAL22169: Hence the “rat fink” of Mad Magazine fame.
BPRAL22169: But totalitarian regimes always require their proles to inform on each other.
BPRAL22169: Each polices the thoughtcrimes of the others.
BPRAL22169: So the statement, while true within the definition, is trivial.
DavidWrightSr: We have used the term to mean anyone who sells out his side for money or personal gain
DavidWrightSr: Including, Quisling, Arnold etc. Although I am sure one can debate those.
DJedPar: Mussolini? Pius XII?
BPRAL22169: In terms of that definition, then, all Nazis are not finks.
DavidWrightSr: I agree
DenvToday: Did anyone here grow up in Cleveland?
DavidWrightSr: Of course, the question of ‘what is his side’ is really difficult to define.
BPRAL22169: It’s truly a matter of what definitions you choose to apply.
DenvToday: Nathan Hale was a fink to the British, wasn’t he?
BPRAL22169: No, he was a spy.
DenvToday: Well…I guess not really an informer.
DavidWrightSr: But many Nazi’s were finks in the sense that they went along rather than defending …
DavidWrightSr: what they believed was right or wrong.
BPRAL22169: “Fink” doesn’t really seem to fit the entire Nazi party. How about “Sneak”?
DavidWrightSr: How about just plain ‘evil’?
BPRAL22169: (I could get myself into so much trouble here!)
DenvToday: How about “rotting in Hell.” More satisfying.
DJedPar: Evil is a better term for Nazis
BPRAL22169: Children! Children!
DavidWrightSr: We haven’t got a defnitiion for spy yet, Bill. Haven’t made it that far
DenvToday: Sorry Dad.
BPRAL22169: May I suggest a compromise: evil AND rotting in hell.
fgherman: And the plot against Hitler didn’t happen until the Nazis started losing.
DenvToday: Of course. von Staufenberg and Rommel were very happy with Hitler when they were winning.
BPRAL22169: Never too late to refurbish one’s moral armaments.
DJedPar: That’s good Bill. And maybe more…
DavidWrightSr: IMHO, that was a case of finks realizing that they were on the losing side .
BPRAL22169: Put on the whole armor of righteousness, that sort of thing.
DavidWrightSr: and wanting to get on the winning side.
BPRAL22169: I don’t think you can justify that historically:
DJedPar: Maybe the slugs from Puppet Masters got to them.
BPRAL22169: Von Stauffenberg seems to have thought they were losing BECAUSE of Hitler and if sensible
BPRAL22169: management got in they might be able to turn the war around or make some compromise
BPRAL22169: I think we can let the July plotters be honorable men
BPRAL22169: If there is any inclination to that position.
BPRAL22169: Since we seem to be at WWII, why not turn to “The Unpleasant Profession of Jonathan Hoag”?
DenvToday: Von Stauffenberg did not make a moral judgement at the beginning. His opinion of Hitler and…
DenvToday: …the Nazi gang was pragmatic. He could have refused service early on if he had moral qualms.
DenvToday: That goes triple for Rommel.
BPRAL22169: While I certainly agree it was too little too late, but the situation is not quite so black-and-white
BPRAL22169: as you wish to make it appear.
BPRAL22169: Why not leave the gentlemen to their private hell and move on — we have so MANY levels of
DenvToday: I suppose. But there was a German underground who actively opposed the Nazis. Little-known.
BPRAL22169: hell available for exploration.
DenvToday: The Bird is the Word. lol
DenvToday: Loved that song as a kid.
BPRAL22169: 1942 to 1962!
DenvToday: I always hum it when reading Hoag.
BPRAL22169: In one fell leap.
BPRAL22169: The Sons of the Bird seem to have institutionalized all sorts of sleaziness.
KultsiKN: How about we take ten?
DJedPar: Good idea!
KultsiKN: Just out of the blue: how common are mobile phones in your necks of woods?
BPRAL22169: Do you mean cellular?
BPRAL22169: We have both mobile and cellular in the U.S.
fgherman: Can’t spin a cat
BPRAL22169: Very. It’s down to about $40 a month.
KultsiKN: Define, please, Bill
KultsiKN: mobile – cellular
BPRAL22169: I think the mobile phones are simply those that can be removed from their base unit – wireless.
BPRAL22169: The new ones can go up to a mile now.
KultsiKN: U.M. cordless?
BPRAL22169: Cellular phones don’t have a base unit — they are portable and send and receive within their
BPRAL22169: own casing.
BPRAL22169: The digital people talk as if theirs were something different from cellular, but I don’t
BPRAL22169: think that’s the case.
KultsiKN: OK. I mean those. We have more than two million of those in Finland.
KultsiKN: Our population is five million.
DenvToday: As a percentage of the population, that probably higher than here in the U.S.
BPRAL22169: No, that sounds about right for the Bay Area.
DenvToday: Not for Denver.
BPRAL22169: They’ve had to introduce 8 new area codes — each area code giving 100 million possible new numbers.
fgherman: Finland has the highest percentage of the population using cellular according to the stats I’ve seen
DenvToday: The sheer size of the U.S. works against cellular technology.
DenvToday: Vast reaches inbetween cities.
BPRAL22169: yes. The U.S. phone system is a hashed file.
BPRAL22169: Laugh, somebody. That was a joke.
SAcademy: LOL. ROFL
DenvToday: Sorry, I was busy craving hashed potattoes.
DenvToday: aaack I Quayled. potatoes.
BPRAL22169: Thank you.
DJedPar: Cellular phones are great in a blizzard and you hit a deer.
SAcademy: You mean hashed brown?
DenvToday: Yes. I love them. My arteries don’t. lol
BPRAL22169: I think they call hashed browns what the Swiss call Roesti.
BPRAL22169: But hash comes from the French hachette — chopped.
SAcademy: don’t know any swedish
DenvToday: My grandmother used to make them. She called them “hashed potatoes.” She’d also make home-made…
BPRAL22169: Neither do the Swiss, in the main. And for that we are profoundly grateful.
DenvToday: …corned beef hash. Ah..the memories
SAcademy: I like ’em with onions in them
BPRAL22169: I have had something called “Red Flannel Hash” with grated beets.
DJedPar: Corned beef hash. Julian Child with an ax.
BPRAL22169: I suspect a Kiwi had some hand in the invention of that dish.
BPRAL22169: They are known to put beets on hamburgers and pizza — a vile practice.
SAcademy: New Zealanders can’t cook at all.
BPRAL22169: I guess since Jane isn’t here we can whisper that they inherited it from the English.
DenvToday: Putting beets on pizza is evil and wrong.
BPRAL22169: Contrary to natural law.
SAcademy: Natch. From who else?
DJedPar: Like lettuce on crepes?
BPRAL22169: I suppose we should consider ourselves put in our places, in Jane’s absence.
SAcademy: Jane may read the log. We’d better take out this part!
DenvToday: The British eat tomatoes for breakfast. Jane has a lot to answer for.
KultsiKN: She’s gonna read this, you know…
BPRAL22169: I don’t know if lettuce on crepes is contrary to natural law — but it seems rather pointless
BPRAL22169: to me.
BPRAL22169: As I said, we consider ourselves properly put in our places.
BPRAL22169: In absentia.
DJedPar: Beef and Kidney Pie!
DenvToday: We haven’t mentioned the passing of Poul Anderson. I was so saddened by it.
SAcademy: Ugh. Ever have that?
BPRAL22169: I’m glad we had a chance to chat with him last year.
DenvToday: Arthur C. Clarke is now the only great one left from the Heinlein generation.
SAcademy: We did a moment of silence Thursday.
BPRAL22169: You know, that might be a very good idea right now — observe a moment of silence ini memory
DJedPar: Yes. Ugh! Tastes like urine. Really. BK Pie I mean.
BPRAL22169: of Poul Anderson — thenr econvene
DenvToday: Yes, of course.
BPRAL22169: We’re on, starting now.
BPRAL22169: Anybody want to talk about Poul briefly before returning to Heinlein?
KultsiKN: Here’s to Absent Friends
BPRAL22169: Favorite books, experiences, anecdotes?
DenvToday: If I have two favorite characters from all of speculative fiction, the first would be Lazarus Long.
BPRAL22169: van Rijn?
DenvToday: The second would be Nicholas van Rijn.
BPRAL22169: I like Steve and Virginia Matuchek
DenvToday: Yes Bill.
SAcademy: Ginny Graylock. The witch.
BPRAL22169: I’m so glad he got a second book done in that series. Truly makes it his own.
DenvToday: I think her name is an homage to you, SA.
DJedPar: Who is Ginny Graylock?
BPRAL22169: Steve matuchek’s wife.
SAcademy: In one of oul’s books.
BPRAL22169: Operation Chaos
SAcademy: He sent me a copy of it, said that I inspired it. Or something.
BPRAL22169: and — I forget the second one, was it Operation Luna?
BPRAL22169: The novelets that make up OC were directly inspired by “Magic, Inc.”
DenvToday: Yes Bill.
BPRAL22169: Are we rready to go back to our muttons?
SAcademy: At cons, Poul would retire early, and Karen would sit up all night talking to Robert, keeping him up.
BPRAL22169: She kept everyone up all night.
SAcademy: “God in a yellow bathrobe.
BPRAL22169: I have never known her to sleep.
BPRAL22169: Was that of Seacon?
SAcademy: Not at cons.
DenvToday: The RAH generation truly was the golden age. The sense that anything was possible will never be…
SAcademy: Yes, Seacon
DenvToday: …with us again. Perhaps it’s the innocence of the reading public that will never be seen again.
BPRAL22169: People still talk about the party you threw at SeaCon.
BPRAL22169: Of course, fandom was much smaller then.
KultsiKN: Denv, you are showing signs of age…
SAcademy: Do they really? It went on and on and on, And I didn’t get any sleep.
DenvToday: True Kultski. I’m approaching 50…makes you contemplative I guess. lol
BPRAL22169: You could have kept Karen Anderson company
DJedPar: Ginny, were you a party girl?
KultsiKN: sigh. I’m on the other side of it.
SAcademy: I didn’t have any choce.
BPRAL22169: Past tense? no way.
SAcademy: Not by choice, Denis.
DJedPar: Right! 😀
BPRAL22169: “Are you now or have you ever been…?”
DenvToday: “Old” is fifteen years older than you are. 🙂
BPRAL22169: OK, it’s going on 4 p.m. Shall we return to our muttons?
BPRAL22169: I see there are 9 of us here — how about each of us naming 1 each of a ‘spy,” a “fink,” and
BPRAL22169: a “sneak” in Heinlein — let’s let someone who was at Thursday’s lead off — How about you,
BPRAL22169: If Felicia is afk, how about David Wright?
BPRAL22169: Denis? Were you at Thursday’s?
DJedPar: Howe – Mort – Bill yes?
BPRAL22169: Howe from Red Planet. Where was Mort from?
BPRAL22169: (I just couldn’t remember)
Bdelloguy: Spy: Mike the Computer. Fink: Headmaster Howe. Sneak: Mike the Computer, again.
BPRAL22169: Oh, Mort the Wart?
BPRAL22169: Wasn’t he the Warden? What category are you placing him in?
Bdelloguy: I always wondered what Mort the Wart was really like….
Bdelloguy: Stuffed shirt in the wrong place, or did he ever have convictions (pun)
DenvToday: I’m sure he was a nice guy who thought he was doing good work.
BPRAL22169: Seemed like a timeserver to me.
KultsiKN: No way!
DenvToday: Like so many bureaucrats.
DenvToday: They think they’re in the right.
Bdelloguy: Bureaucrats do think THEY know best, after all.
BPRAL22169: But you see why I’m having a hard time placing Mort in one of the three categories — Denis, help!
Bdelloguy: Now, Mort was not outraged by the rape of the Loonie girl…I say “fink”
DJedPar: What about those two characters in Podkayne? I forget their names. Mort was a Jerk
BPRAL22169: Not to pick nits, but “jerk” is not one of the three categories.
DenvToday: We discussed Weemsby before. Classic two-faced betrayer.
BPRAL22169: Though Heinlein does abound in them.
DJedPar: Ok he was a fink but a jerk according to Ginny’s use of the term.
Bdelloguy: PODKAYNE is a interesting choice. Was Uncle Tom *really* a nice guy?
Bdelloguy: He used his own grandchildren as political shields.
BPRAL22169: We’ve had this discussion; I think there was a gulf profound in our understandings of the character
BPRAL22169: Let’s take a story that contains a microcosm and look for the character types — how about
BPRAL22169: “If This Goes On–”
BPRAL22169: or Orphans of the Sky.
Bdelloguy has left the room.
DJedPar: Orphans sounds good. Give me a hint.
BPRAL22169: ITGO: Snotty Fassett was a spy and a sneak. I think RAH at one point says something lie he was
BPRAL22169: a spy because he had a sneak’s character.
BPRAL22169: Sorry, let me get collected on Orphans.
BPRAL22169: Who’s a fink in ITGO?
DJedPar: I’m no help. Brain flatulence.
BPRAL22169: I’m trying to remember charactersfrom Orphans — the priest who betrays Hugh when he returns?
DenvToday: Same here. I don’t remember a fink in ITGO. But it’s been a long while since I’ve read it.
TAWN3 has entered the room.
BPRAL22169: Tawn Johnson will be here shortly.
DJedPar: Bill is that bookshelf close by? Mine’s upstairs.
BPRAL22169: Very shortly, apparently.
DenvToday: Hello Tawn.
TAWN3: Hello everybody
KultsiKN: Hello, Tawn
DJedPar: Hi Tawn!
BPRAL22169: It’s close by me — I’ve got Orphans. Did you want Revolt in 2100?
SAcademy: Nice to see you Tawn
TAWN3: Thank you SA. It is good to be here!
DJedPar: Revolt sound good too.
BPRAL22169: Orphans seems remarkably free of spies, finks, and sneaks.
BPRAL22169: OK — how about virtuous spies — Joe Green?
BPRAL22169: Any others? I’m not quite sure Friday qualifies.
TAWN3: Kettle Belly, Friday, The Old Man, …..or have they been covered already?
TAWN3: She’s a spy.
DJedPar: Yes. Thursday.
TAWN3: In the broad sense.
BPRAL22169: I’m not sure Kettle belly qualifies. The Old man might.
DenvToday: There are the two humans who work for the Aliens in Have Spacesuit, Will Travel. But they’re openly..
TAWN3: Why not Bill?
DenvToday: …taitorous. Not informers.
BPRAL22169: Broad sense — she’s actually a courier for an organization that includes spies.
BPRAL22169: We did talk about collabos on Thursday.
TAWN3: She’s a field agent none the less though.
BPRAL22169: I believe we left it at “morally weak”
BPRAL22169: But field agent does not mean spy.
TAWN3: Hmmm, OK.
BPRAL22169: Not in the sense that, say, Snotty Fassett was a spy or Joe Green was a spy.
BPRAL22169: Or Nathan Hale.
DenvToday: The character in Double Star…the operative who informs on Bonforte when he isn’t made a member…
BPRAL22169: it just occurred to me — RAH did make one of his heroes a spy, but none finks or sneaks —
DenvToday: …of the Congress.
TAWN3: Citizen of the Galaxy
BPRAL22169: Yes, that would be a fink.
TAWN3: Baslim the Beggar was a spy. By any definition.
BPRAL22169: The pickpocket who wanted to teach Thorby the trade?
BPRAL22169: Oh, very good point.
BPRAL22169: So an honorable gentleman may be a spy, but not a fink or a sneak?
TAWN3: But of course!
BPRAL22169: There speaks a revolutionary!
DJedPar: Or lady… sounds good to me.
DenvToday: Would the Double Star character be a fink? I can’t remember his name. My memory lately…
TAWN3: Like the British Foreign Service before Reilly.
BPRAL22169: Is there any other primary definition of “fink” except the union usage? I don’t know.
TAWN3: And there is a spy in Stranger.
DenvToday: If only Reilly had been successful in Russia. How many millions of deaths would have been prevented?
TAWN3: I agree Denv!
TAWN3: But Felix Dherjhinsky (spelling) played him, and it, too well.
DenvToday: Yes. What might have been.
BPRAL22169: And of course Mike is the Spy in Stranger!
TAWN3: 🙂 🙂 🙂
DenvToday: Invasion of the Smiley Faces
BPRAL22169: I think the turncoat in Double Star was named “Bill” but I can’t find his last name.
BPRAL22169: But do they speak Martian?
TAWN3: Double Star starts out with spies. That was covered no doubt.
DenvToday: No, it wasn’t.
TAWN3: Lots of spies in Heinlein!
DenvToday: But you’re right. But I don’t think they fit the description of fink.
BPRAL22169: We have been wandering in the wilderness until you came.
TAWN3: Oh, so it must fit all three descriptions?
DenvToday: I’m not sure. lol
TAWN3: Puppet Master. I know that was covered (wasn’t it?).
TAWN3: Or, spy like activity when there is no direct spy.
BPRAL22169: it’s just Bill, Bill, Bill, Bill in Double Star.
BPRAL22169: We talked about the collaborators in Puppet Masters
TAWN3: For instance, Farnham’s Freehold. They resort to using spycraft to communicate.
BPRAL22169: Hard to fit Farnham’s freehold into any of the thre e– they are slaves.
TAWN3: So, one may not think it is a novel with “intelligence stuff” in it, but it is.
DenvToday: There’s a character in Farnham’s Freehold. He’s black and originally a friend of Hugh’s. But he…
TAWN3: Exactly. They are not spies at all. But they use spycraft.
DJedPar: What we would call Joseph in Farnham’s Freehold?
DenvToday: …decides he likes “black power.”
DenvToday: He becomes one of the oppressors.
BPRAL22169: I think Joseph is simply corrupted by bigotry in the same way that the others were.
BPRAL22169: There is no special virtue in being oppressed.
DenvToday: Yes. He spent his life as one of the oppressed. He decided to try the other side for once.
DenvToday: Understandable, if not admirabloe.
BPRAL22169: Everyone in that book was a racist, in one way or another. Quite remarkable.
BPRAL22169: Something for everyone. Possbly not — was it Linda?
BPRAL22169: At least I don’t recall her demonstrating any strain of racism.
DJedPar: Who be Linda?
BPRAL22169: The daughter’s friend, who eventually winds up with Hugh.
DenvToday: People don’t often examine their basic assumptions. 50 years ago it would not have occured to most..
DenvToday: …people that assuming white supremacy was racist. It was simply the order of the universe.
BPRAL22169: Yes. Barbara. “Linda” didn’t sound right, but I couldnt’ think of the correct name.
BPRAL22169: Agree, Denv. That’s one of the reasons FF was an important book in 1964-65
TAWN3: I agree. FF is a very important book.
BPRAL22169: Even though not one of his best-liked.
TAWN3: I agree. FF is a very important book. I don’t understand why most people don’t like it.
DJedPar: It’s one of my favouritest books.
TAWN3: Same with I Will fear No Evil.
DenvToday: People often resent that which makes them re-examine their basic beliefs.
TAWN3: I was surprised when I found RAH fans on line and most didn’t like FF and IWFNE. I think those are
BPRAL22169: And I think that is the key to why Heinlein is so disliked by the Academy and so liked by us proles
TAWN3: two extremely important works!!!!!!
DJedPar: What Academy Bill?
BPRAL22169: Just academics in general. There are so many hoops to jump through to get a degree that an
BPRAL22169: academic becomes vested in the status quo. We, on the other hand, are very conscious that
BPRAL22169: something is wrong. They feel attacked by Heinlein; we feel validated.
TAWN3: Farnham is Politically Incorrect!
BPRAL22169: PC makes me tired.
DenvToday: Absolutely Bill.
DJedPar: Is it a Southern thing?
BPRAL22169: I don’t think so.
TAWN3: IWFNE on the other hand was politically correct way before it’s time.
BPRAL22169: About 100 years ago the intellectual life of the country went into the Academy — so they say.
BPRAL22169: We are gathered together today, among other things, to dispute that proposition.
DenvToday: How many people realize that Rod Walker is black in Tunnel in the Sky?
TAWN3: I do.
DenvToday: Yes, but how many casual readers, I meant. Not us.
TAWN3: But only because it has been brought up before in afh.
DenvToday: Same with Uncle Tom.
TAWN3: It escaped m4e in the novel.
BPRAL22169: I noticed it on first reading, but didn’t think anything about it (both Rod Walker and Uncle
BPRAL22169: [Doesn’t it take some nerve to call a black Uncle] Tom)
TAWN3: And even then, it is not explicitely stated in Tunnel. We gather it from things such as the color of
TAWN3: scar tissue and what not.
BPRAL22169: Yes. Glancing remarks.
TAWN3: So, it is an iffy conclusion I dare say.
DenvToday: RAH was really sly–and brilliant. We respect and admire Uncle Tom–THEN we find out he’s black.
DenvToday: Quite a jolt for the sixties reader.
BPRAL22169: Yeah. It’s all part of the Plan.
TAWN3: But that is how I like my “race”. Not an issue. Taken for granted, as in Space Cadet, and the
BPRAL22169: Oh, and if we’re doing race how about Johnny Rico in ST?
TAWN3: international nature of the cadets (and interplanet).
DenvToday: Good point!
BPRAL22169: I think Caspar van Diem was cast against type.
DJedPar: Poor Caspar is always miscast!
BPRAL22169: He didn’t make a very good Tarzan, i’ll admit.
BPRAL22169: There was a Pilipino actor — or perhaps Latino on Earth: The Final Conflict
DJedPar: Any finks in IWFNE?
TAWN3: Or the obvious use of race in Star Beast, which is explicitelty stated. That is my favorite example!
BPRAL22169: who could have done Juan Rico.
BPRAL22169: Mr. Kiku is a good character.
BPRAL22169: I can’t think of any of any of the three kinds in IWFNE
BPRAL22169: The action didn’t really lend itself to that kind of character.
TAWN3: Dr. Kiku from Africa, his Jewish “grooming for success” representative,
KultsiKN: Johann’s daughters?
DenvToday: Actually, being Argentinian doesn’t often make you “swarthy.” Most are of Italian descent, and…
TAWN3: the Hispanic cop
DenvToday: …they’re not all swarthy either.
BPRAL22169: I’ve never actually met a dark-skinned Argentinan.
TAWN3: the Japanese suburban home owner, and all written in the early post WWII years!
BPRAL22169: I would have a hard time putting Johann’s daughters in to any of the three categories —
BPRAL22169: just tiresome.
DJedPar: Yes Johann’s daughters were finky.
BPRAL22169: Perhaps my memory is too vague: how or on what did they inform?
DJedPar: Ok… tiresome.
BPRAL22169: I hate winning by default.
TAWN3: Well, if nothing else, you have high speed bodyguards in IWFNE. Kind of the Counter spy side of the
DenvToday: TMIAHM is the ultimate in racial mixing. Quite daring for 1966. Most people are a stew of mixed race
BPRAL22169: I don’t doubt you could make a case for it — but I’d like to find something you don’t have
BPRAL22169: to argue quite so hard about.
BPRAL22169: Maybe “Bill” in CAT as a sneak.
TAWN3: Yes Denv.
BPRAL22169: or Bill The Cat. Gak!
TAWN3: TNIAHM is definitely a mixed background society.
DJedPar: That’s correct Tawn.
DenvToday: Cats simply are. They simply assume that their nature is the natural order of things.
BPRAL22169: I believe that is supposed to be the sound of a cat coughing up a hairball.
BPRAL22169: Breath Berked has a lot to account for!
DenvToday: Yes. lol
BPRAL22169: Now there’s a classic case of dialectical materialism at work: B. Kliban brings about
BPRAL22169: Breath Berked as its antithesis.
BPRAL22169: I see we are coming up to 5:00 p.m. PDT. Any last comments or remarks as we wind things up?
DenvToday: I’ve been thinking of a classic Gaham Wilson cartoon since we brought up smiley faces.
DJedPar: Hope nothing happened to AG
TAWN3: Hmmmmm, spies in the very first Juvie come to think of it.
DenvToday: A wonderfully sick one. It was Hitler and Goering zieg heiling…but instead of swastikas on their…
DenvToday: …uniforms, it was all smiley faces.
TAWN3: So, spies and finks in the beginning, and all the way to the end?
TAWN3: of the Heinlein body of work?
BPRAL22169: I can’t think of a “sneak” in Starship Troopers offhand.
BPRAL22169: or To Sail, either.
TAWN3: He was a realist who understood this was part of life, from the international level on down to the
TAWN3: small town level with the nosy neighbors!
DenvToday: Brian betrays Maureen in the end.
DenvToday: Very disappointed in Brian.
BPRAL22169: She didn’t see it that way — disappointed, yes,but not necessarily “betrayal” — at least,
BPRAL22169: nto the way it actually worked out.
DJedPar: Me too. Bad Brian.
DenvToday: We still care about Brian–but we no longer trust him.
BPRAL22169: We didn’t take up Miles and Belle in the Door Into Summer.
DavidWrightSr: Belle was definitely a ‘sneak’
TAWN3: Oh, spies in the Sun Stone short story, which name escapes me at the moment.
BPRAL22169: I think I would agree.
BPRAL22169: Sun Stone? Sounds more like Little Fuzzy.
BPRAL22169: I would dearly like to know what RAH thought of H. Beam Piper.
DavidWrightSr: Miles was a ‘fink’, but a lot of it was due to Belle drugging him.
DavidWrightSr: Bill. Me. Too. Piper is a favorite of mine.
BPRAL22169: Mine, too. Piper and Pangborn — we know what RAH thought of Pangborn.
TAWN3: No. Male and Female DR. He has hots for her. He invents Sun Stones (if I remember the name of them
DavidWrightSr: Ship Stones?
DenvToday: And what about Eric Frank Russell?
TAWN3: Power companies try to wipe him out.
BPRAL22169: I think you mean the radiant sun power screen
TAWN3: He publishes the formula and losses profit but helps humanity.
DavidWrightSr: “Let there be light”?
BPRAL22169: Martin and Douglas. “Let There Be Light.”
TAWN3: Part of the Future History.
BPRAL22169: I think RAH introduced Shipstones in Friday.
TAWN3: That may be it I thionk. LTBL. Sounds right.
BPRAL22169: The sunscreen didn’t work out so he had to come up with a super-advanced storage battery
TAWN3: Nio. It is a short story.
KultsiKN: Definitely ‘Let There Be Light’
BPRAL22169: “Let There be Light” is in “Menace from Earth,” I believe.
TAWN3: That’s it.
BPRAL22169: It got dropped from the canon for reasons nobody is quite sure of.
DavidWrightSr: I’m trying to find a copy of ‘Menace’. I want to read ‘Bootstraps’ and my wife wants
DavidWrightSr: to read ‘The Year of the Jackpot’
DenvToday: I have Menace from Earth right here…
DenvToday: It’s not in it.
DavidWrightSr: I want to do a timeline on ‘Bootstraps’ like I did for ‘Zombies’
BPRAL22169: There are two editions of Menace. one with 6 stories and one with 4
DenvToday: Mine is a Baen paperback from 1999.
TAWN3: And wouldn’t the resistance fighters in Sixth Column fall under the category of “spy” in siome cases.
DenvToday: First Baen printing was 1987
DavidWrightSr: Jeff was definitely a spy
BPRAL22169: That’s the one I’ve got.
TAWN3: Lot’s of spies in RAH/
TAWN3: Never realized how dominant an undertheme it was before!
fgherman: Have to go play cabdriver for the family
fgherman: Good night all.
DenvToday: TMFE I have has 8 stories in it.
fgherman has left the room.
DenvToday: Night fg
TAWN3: Makes you wonder how many spies are running around out there for real!
BPRAL22169: I got the book wrong — it was Man Who Sold the moon with two editions.
BPRAL22169: Also with LTBL in it.
DavidWrightSr: Fader was a spy. Did anyone mention him?
BPRAL22169: The early 60
BPRAL22169: s Signet edition of TMWSTM had only 4 stories — and no table of contents.
DavidWrightSr: From Coventry
DJedPar: Yes Fader was a good spy
BPRAL22169: The omit “Life-Line” and “Blowups Happen.”
DenvToday: Not good. It’s like omitting Adam.
BPRAL22169: And MacKinnon became a spy, too. That’s another story I consider “important.”
TAWN3: Spy in the beginning of Methuselah’s Children. The bureacrat(?) or Reporter guy that Lazarus
TAWN3: dislikes from the moment he first ses him.
KultsiKN: Politician who has the hots for Mary?
BPRAL22169: We are past the 5:00 hour. Are we done?
DavidWrightSr: He wasn’t a spy.
DavidWrightSr: Just a jerk
TAWN3: That’s the one.
DavidWrightSr: I’ve got the entire log.
TAWN3: Wasn’t he turning over info on the Howards?
DenvToday: Yes, it’s 8:04 EDT
TAWN3: Perhaps I remember it wrong.
BPRAL22169: You may close it when appropriate. ‘night, all.
DavidWrightSr: He didn’t know Mary was a Howard until she told him
KultsiKN: He spills the beans to Mary.
TAWN3: Ah. But he was a fink, no?
DavidWrightSr: Night Bill. Thanks for taking over the leadership
DJedPar: Good night Bill.
BPRAL22169 has left the room.
TAWN3: Bye Bill.
SAcademy: Goodnight Bill
DenvToday: Good night one and all. Great discussion as usual.
DenvToday: Good night SA. As always, a great pleasure.
KultsiKN: Night, Denv
SAcademy has left the room.
TAWN3: Goodnight Denv
DJedPar: Good Night Ginny.
DenvToday: Take care all!
DavidWrightSr: Good Night Ginny
TAWN3: Good Night Ginny.
DenvToday has left the room.
DavidWrightSr: Kultsi. you must be getting pretty sleepy by now
TAWN3: Anyone want to chat still?
TAWN3: What time is it there Kultsi?
DavidWrightSr: Sorry, I would like to but I’ve got to close up shop.
DJedPar: Good night all. Time to feed the cats.
DavidWrightSr: Night Denis
TAWN3: Me too. Good night everyone!
KultsiKN: Not too much, but I’m about to go as well. Nite all!
KultsiKN has left the room.
DJedPar has left the room.
TAWN3 has left the room.
DavidWrightSr: Log officially closed at 8:09 P.M. EDT
Final End Of Discussion Log