Heinlein Reader’s Discussion Group
Saturday 10-27-2001 5:00 P.M.
Here Begins The Discussion Log
You have just entered room “Heinlein Readers Group chat.”
DavidWrightSr: Hi David. Had me scared for a minute. Program said Chat wasn’t available and then bombed out.
SAcademy has entered the room.
SAcademy: Good afternoon to you both
DavidWrightSr: Hi Ginny. David AG appears to be away from keyboard.
DavidWrightSr: I just got in myself. Had a little trouble at first.
SAcademy: Looks like it.
SAcademy: Jim should be here soon.
AGplusone has left the room.
DavidWrightSr: David was having trouble. had to reboot.
SAcademy: I am well fixed today–I brought along a sack of tootsie rolls and a box of cashews.
KultsiKN has entered the room.
SAcademy: Hello Kultsi
AGplusone has entered the room.
KultsiKN: Hello, Ginny, David(s)
AGplusone: Hi, Kultsi, Ginny, Dave. That worked.
DavidWrightSr: Ok. You made it. I will be away for a short while. Got to get supper.
AGplusone: Yes, thanks!
SAcademy: Will Jim be leading?
KultsiKN: David, d’you know?
AGplusone: If he makes it. I’ll lead if he doesn’t. Ginny did he let you know what the problem was with his back?
SAcademy: No He had a bad fall and was invalided out of the Navy because of it.
AGplusone: Yes, I know … but I was wondering how bad it was. He had to leave rather precipitiously. Hope it’s not a replapse.
AGplusone: I’ll e mail him.
AGplusone: should have done that already
SAcademy: I don’t know. Just know that it bothers him now and then
AGplusone: why he’s disabled. Good guy.
SAcademy: Yes, indeed.
AGplusone: I haven’t read the log or signed on to AOL yet. Don’t know if we got a reply to my last post, but ….
AGplusone: btw, have you either seen the new website up?
AGplusone: simply www.heinleinsociety.org
SAcademy: Yes, I went there to see it.
AGplusone: Looking for feedback
AGplusone: we’re still working on it, but wanted to get something up before the 31st and it’s mostly done
KultsiKN: Lots faster, at least…
AGplusone: that was a major consideration that we looked for!
AGplusone: glad of that
AGplusone: and we’ve finally got the check payment system and will put up a merchant account shortly
AGplusone: so people can use Mastercharge and Visa
KultsiKN: The text in the opening page needs some polishing
SAcademy: I am sorry, David, because you’ve worked so hard on it, but I really don’t think they compare.
AGplusone: ‘kay …
SAcademy: I wasn’t going to say anything about it.
AGplusone: well, that’s okay
AGplusone: don’t worry
AGplusone: all feedback is useful
SAcademy: It’s only my opinion.
SAcademy: Others may differ, and probably will.
AGplusone: on text, Kultsi, what do you feel it the problem?
KultsiKN: I’d say it needs some proofing and reformatting.
AGplusone: that’s easy … reformat how?
after the welcome text…
AGplusone: ‘splain, what’s
KultsiKN: “We intend in his words to “PAY IT FORWARD” ” as …
KultsiKN: “We intend, in his words, to “PAY IT FORWARD” ”
KultsiKN: (two commas)
BPRAL22169 has entered the room.
SAcademy: Hi, Bill.
AGplusone: don’t see any commas. What browser and platform are you using?
KultsiKN: “Heinlein blood drives, ” a bit more forceful — “Heinlein Blood Drives, ”
AGplusone: Have a paren [(] after the ”
KultsiKN: I mean do _add_ the commas…
AGplusone: oh, you’d rather see commas than parens?
SAcademy: Will Francesco be here today?
AGplusone: I understand
BPRAL22169: We must be talking about the website.
AGplusone: I haven’t heard from him
KultsiKN: Yes, Bill, and Hi!
SAcademy: I wonder what he will think?
AGplusone: we were waiting … dunno, haven’t heard from him in a good while
AGplusone: any other suggestions on grammar? I listen hard, Kultsi
AGplusone: (and I don’t have any particular pride in authorship of this page — didn’t author the parens … just kept them)
KultsiKN: Some on the ‘news’ page — that’s as far as I got 😉 What if I proof the whole thing later and send it all to you, David?
AGplusone: that would be very useful!
AGplusone: so, back to the chat ….
AGplusone: anyone see a note from Jim whether he’ll be here?
AGplusone: and let me start dragging ’em in …
SAcademy: Forgot to ask Denis whether he’d be here.
KultsiKN: David, you grab the gavel.
AGplusone: will in a sec … dragging ’em in
DenvToday has entered the room.
DenvToday: Good afternoon all!
AGplusone: Denv, are you on AIM or just AOL?
DenvToday: Both, actually.
SAcademy: Nice to see you.
DenvToday: Thank you Mrs. Heinlein.
BPRAL22169: Are we going to talk about Rainbow Mars again? I think Jim had a slightly different topic in mind.
Major oz has entered the room.
AGplusone: Hi, Oz
DenvToday: Howdy Oz
Major oz: Hello, all
BPRAL22169: Yo OZ
Major oz: Sorry not to have been seeing you more often, lately
Major oz: I am in LUST
joelrmpls has entered the room.
AGplusone: I dunno what Jim wanted to talk about …
Major oz: …….with music
joelrmpls: Hi, all.
DenvToday: Hello Joel.
AGplusone: Hi, Joel. Topic: compare RAH’s martians with other ‘martians’
DenvToday: Oz, which music?
SAcademy: Hi Joel
Major oz: Bluegrass, country, and gospel
SAcademy: Awful taste!
Major oz: I am playing dobro, and having the time of my life
Major oz: hisssssssssssss
AGplusone: … but I wanna talk about ‘form following function.’ Are the martians in Red Planet, really, really the same as the martians in SiaSL?
Major oz: yes, through different eyes
AGplusone: what eyes, oz?
joelrmpls: I think they’re close, but not the same.
DenvToday: Q: What has 200 feet and 7 teeth? A: The front row at the Grand Ole Opry.
AGplusone: how, Joel?
DenvToday: Sorry Oz 🙂 Couldn’t resist. I’m evil.
Major oz: kids in RP, adults in SiaSL
joelrmpls: I don’t think that the SiaSL martians are capable of leaving the Red Planet humans alone to the extent that the RP martians do.
AGplusone: [I think they are day and night … but I’ll bite my tongue] [for a while}
joelrmpls: The SiaSL martians are meddlers; the RP ones aren’t.
AGplusone: agree with you oz, but what does that distinction mean, and, Joel, what difference does that make?
AGplusone: I see you’re getting to it …
Major oz: What weighs tons and tons? — Paychecks at the Opry
Major oz: In bluegrass, we call it a jam — in the classics, it is a chamber group
BPRAL22169: I don’t think that distinction is valid.
AGplusone: ‘meddlers’ … would you agree ‘ultimately malign’ and inhuman, godlike … rather than neutral and corporate
AGplusone: why not, Bill?
DenvToday: Gifford categorizes the Martians very well, I think.
BPRAL22169: In RP they had decided to let things play themselves oout and so had moderate intervention. what we see of their does not necessariily imply passive or active in general.
Major oz: Do we have ralative times for RP and SiaSL ?
AGplusone: how do he do that, Ron … hate to say it, but I don’t really keep track of Jim
DenvToday: Actually, I happen to like bluegrass a lot.
Major oz: r”e”lative
DenvToday: It’s modern country I’m not all that fond of. Too Hollywood, too far away from its roots.
BPRAL22169: RP has to have taken place after SIASL
Major oz: Acid rock with a big hat
Major oz: that ain’t country
AGplusone: ‘neutral’ is the term I used, Bill … is that ‘fair’?
BPRAL22169: OK. But we may be seeing the same phliosophy or course of action at different times. Tht’s the only point I’m making.
AGplusone: impassive rather than actively trying to ‘grok’ and judge humanity
DenvToday: David, Gifford puts RAH’s Martians into 3 major groups:
Major oz: I interpreted the RP martians as being seen, from kids, as “fun” and protective.
AGplusone: POV differs
AGplusone: I did too
Major oz: Whereas, with Mike, they were teachers.
Major oz: …….more than teachers — more of a master/student ralationship
AGplusone: as seen from kid POV … why make them a terrible danger from the viewpoint of humanity
DenvToday: 1. The “sailboat” Martians of Red Planet and SIASL (along with the bouncers)
DenvToday: 2. The “toadstool” Martians of Double Star
Major oz: by “humanity” do you mean the adults in RP?
DenvToday: 3. The winged and fragile Martians of Between Planets
AGplusone: more of a God/creation:inferior being approach … we’ll Fifth Planet you if we choose, after we get around to’groking’ you
Major oz: wasn’t that from SiaSL ?
SAcademy: Consistency shows lack of imagination.
BPRAL22169: Interesting that the Martians use the same “rotation” as the Galactic Tribunal in HSSWT
AGplusone: agreed ginny
AGplusone: he’s using them differently. Not criticizing that!
DenvToday: Gifford also lists 5 other references to Martians that are relatively incomplete and don’t fit neatly into the top 3 categories.
AGplusone: It’s a satire of about twenty different subjects as he said.
AGplusone: The martians are a satire of something!
Major oz: sorry, many of the details of martians other than in RP and SiaSL are a bit dim for me.
BPRAL22169: What entry is that comment of Gifford’s in?
AGplusone: well, for the time, let’s stick with RP and SiaSL
DenvToday: It’s at the end of Red Planet
AGplusone: what is he satiring in portraying the Martians in SiaSL?
AGplusone: Any ideas?
Major oz: Were not the Martians of RP benign “uncles and aunts”?
AGplusone: besides artists who spend ten years on one novel (work of art) …
AGplusone: I thought so, oz
AGplusone: [i.e., himself]
Major oz: I thought H did well to cloak the SiaSL Martians in the mystery He used.
AGplusone: Niven, for example, is satirizing NASA and gvmt bureaucracies in Rainbow, just as Poul satirized them in Operation Luna
Major oz: Not that they were mysterious, but that their student, Mike, had to be shown to have a hard time explaining them to us.
BPRAL22169: I just had a thought: the threatening/guardian-guide combination of martians in Red Planet and then SIASL may be an homage to Wells’ Martians in War of the Worlds.
AGplusone: yes … and …
DavidWrightSr: BTW. The Martians in ‘Rolling Stones’ would appear to be similar to RP and SIASL. You recall that phrase of ‘Hazels’ about ‘trifurcate’ martians
AGplusone: recall it
BPRAL22169: Wells has ambivalent feelings about his conquering revolutionists.
Major oz: revolutionists ?
AGplusone: and I think RAH had ambivalent feelings about the omnipotent he created in RP and went back … in SiaSL to show they’d likely be malign, given the change and time enuf, to adults
BPRAL22169: They had the perfect socialism. They sweep away the “everydayism” of complacent bourgeois England.
Major oz: I never thought of Cortez as a revolutionist.
BPRAL22169: RAH doesn’t portray his martians as malign — at most they are narrow and parochial.
AGplusone: in a way he was … a simple soldier from Extra Madura who astounded the stultified aristrocrats of Spain with his conquests
Major oz: ………..and I play he dobro………..
Major oz: so ?
AGplusone: definitely considered a “not invented here” type by the aristrocracy
AGplusone: did I spell that close enuf
BPRAL22169: No final “e” I think.
AGplusone: they tried real hard to do with him what they did with Columbus … put him in jail and stripe him of his power
AGplusone: simple soldiers from ExtraMadura were supposed to be ‘enlisted men’ not Imperators
AGplusone: But that’s btw
Major oz: anyhoo………Mike was, simultaneously, in awe of them and considered them the norm
AGplusone: did he?
AGplusone: when did he change his mind?
Major oz: Whatever your universe is, is the norm
BPRAL22169: When he got that “our way is better”?
Major oz: He looked through our eyes
AGplusone: “our” … the monkeys who laugh at each other
Major oz: as James Burke says: “The day the universe changed”
AGplusone: do martians laugh at each other?
BPRAL22169: I belileve Martians don’t laugh — they don’t need to, as they aren’t Fallen.
AGplusone: conceivable that they would even imagine laughing at themselves
Major oz: They don’t have the concept
AGplusone: they’re Gods! god takes herself seriously
DenvToday: I’ve always thought of RP and SIASL Martians the very end of their evolution as “meat” beings, the next step being….who knows? And humans as the young Turks, the new kids on their way to taking over.
Major oz: I can’t imagine not being able to laugh
Major oz: what suffering that must be.
BPRAL22169: But so are you — do you take yourself seriously? Hmm. that doesn’t come out quite as I meant it.
joelrmpls has left the room.
joelrmpls has entered the room.
AGplusone: scary … you can’t say: “Ain’t no use in worrying. It never was worthwhile … ” if you’re a God.
djindalian has entered the room.
AGplusone: how we doin’ Joel?
AGplusone: Hi, Dave!
DenvToday: Good afternoon.
AGplusone: lemme send you a log, Dave. I’m being interlocutary.
AGplusone: at what domain
BPRAL22169: But the point of the book is we are all Gods anyway; the most we can do is try to ignore it and pretend otherwise.
Major oz: You think so?
Major oz: that that is the point, not that that is so.
Major oz: to many “that’s”
BPRAL22169: Yes, to both.
DenvToday: Are we talking that dreaded thing known as “New Age”?
AGplusone: dunno, skipped the New Age
BPRAL22169: Not at all.
AGplusone: what is it?
Major oz: I saw it as perhaps the best of contemporary novels that asked us to look at ourselves.
BPRAL22169: The question, of course, is “what do you mean by ‘God.'”
Major oz: Most are terminally self-absorbed, whereas His was entertaining.
AGplusone: what, SiaSL asked us to look at ourselves? I agree, btw.
Major oz: Somehow or another, I have been able to ascribe the word “pretentious” to almost every author I have read, one way or another.
Major oz: I could NEVER do that with H.
AGplusone: If you use “Martians” there’s got to be a purpose … what was RAH’s in SiaSL … and how did that differ, or perhaps surpass the other uses of Martians by other writers?
Major oz: It wasnt the martians, qua martains; but as another culture.
DenvToday: Oz, absolutely.
BPRAL22169: Sontag’s “Making Strange”? Self seen as Other?
Major oz: Make them Lithuanians and it ain’t SF
BPRAL22169: Accessing the ancient literary tradition of the Young Man from the Provinces. Candide in the Space Age?
Major oz: …….well………it could be SF
Major oz: Perhaps………….
KultsiKN: Definitely, Oz.
BPRAL22169: Will someone invite Ron Harrison in? I’ve mislaid my Buddy list.
Major oz: yo, Kultsi — good to see you again.
Dehede011 has entered the room.
DenvToday: Good afternoon
Dehede011: Howdy folks.
AGplusone: Joel: in the Guardians novels, how come you created the Elven Kingdom of Therranj so different in concept from everyone else?
Major oz: yo, d
Dehede011: Howdy Major
AGplusone: So inhuman?
SAcademy: Hi, Ron.
AGplusone: Hi, Ron Harrison
Dehede011: This is my first time to be beamed aboard by
Dehede011: Howdy Dave, Howdy Ginny
AGplusone: I imagine the Martians in SiaSL as a quantum different than any other Martians in RAH, and perhaps, different in function that the Willises, the Lummoxes …
Major oz: My major confusion with “the Martians” is how the same author had so many dispirate civilizations called Martians?
AGplusone: somewhat like the ‘mother thing’ with teeth we don’t really see until he rugs our noses into them
Major oz: Or…………if not so different, how did they evolve between stories?
AGplusone: Martians are metaphoric of any alien I think
KultsiKN: A purpose to serve
Major oz: Are we jumping realities, here?
AGplusone: TO SERVE MAN>
Major oz: …………different timelines, I mean?
KultsiKN: Different book, different purposes
AGplusone: So the neat, helpful martians of Red Planet, very powerful of course, do turn out to be something different in Stranger?
Major oz: yeahbut……….in most, He is consistent, except when (somewhat) explicitly stating that we are in different timelines / universes
Dehede011: Do they?
AGplusone: I think so ,,, but that’s just my own theory
AGplusone: I come back … who are they a parody of?
Major oz: Strange that they were never encountered in NOTB
Dehede011: Certainly they are diffferent than the ones in Double Star
AGplusone: yes … more like the Jocks I’d say
AGplusone: lazy slow Jocks
Major oz: and both Hugo winners
AGplusone: [meaning the Jocks’ Gods! not the slaves] what were they called?
Dehede011: But I had thought the ones in Red Planet were pretty much the same
Major oz: so irreconsialability isn’t always a “bad thing”
Dehede011: Except that now we had a better understanding of them
Major oz: Me too, Ron. But I can’t reconsile the changes.
Dehede011: Am I wrong in that, gentle people?
Major oz: Also, as David pointed out, RP is much later than SiaSL
AGplusone: Same guys playing different roles … Ron. Villains I submit in Stranger.
AGplusone: Helpful somewhat neutral friends in RP
Major oz: ………so the “maturity” seems to be in the wrong direction.
Dehede011: But in both the latent power and danger
AGplusone: Remember what the Doc said when he came back from the negotations?
Dehede011: In fact in Double Star also
Major oz: what?
AGplusone: We talked them out of forcing us all to leave!!
AGplusone: [ … ‘swinging that big club … ‘]
DavidWrightSr: Why ‘villains’ Dave?
Dehede011: And in Siasl all we have is Mike’s description
Major oz: Were the RP Martians the ttelekinitic powerhouses of SiaSL….I don’t recall
Dehede011: Major, I don’t think they were drawn distinctly enough for us to say, were they?
AGplusone: I think he posits them as the ultimate adversary unless humanity gets it ‘together’ and learns to grok … which Mike teaches them … fifth planet otherwise, much as the Old Ones will regret and cherish it.
Major oz: brb
AGplusone: but he says that by the time the Old Ones have fully groked it, we’ll be beyond their power to “Fifth Planet” us. The home team wins.
AGplusone: only because their spy, Mike, becomes a turncoat
DavidWrightSr: Wasn’t that more a case of self-defense, rather than pure aggression. Like the 3 Galaxies in HSSWT
AGplusone: and also our most dangerous quality
AGplusone: mutate and survive
AGplusone: or maybe ‘think’ and file off the serial numbers and survive
Major oz: hokay…….I have to “clasify” the commentary into the RP or SLS martians
Dehede011: I think RAH did teach think and care for one another first, last and always
AGplusone: but, I ask it again, who are the Martians a parody of? Who takes so long to fully grok? [besides authors who take too long to write a book?]
Major oz: ………takes a while
AGplusone: [and die before it’s complete?] … classify away, Oz, please.
Major oz: Is it a given that they are, in fact, a parody?
Dehede011: Dave you are so right
DavidWrightSr: Bill. Did you and Andy treat the martians as a ‘parody’ in your book. Don’t recall it.
AGplusone: I dunno. but it is a satire of a ‘double dozen’ things …
Major oz: The novel, itself, yes
AGplusone: so, why shouldn’t the Martians be a parody of somethin’?
Major oz: but the Martians, in particular, I don’t postulate so.
AGplusone: why not?
Major oz: cant disprove………….
BPRAL22169: The Martians aren’t parody — but the overall structure of the book is parodic in a loose sense.
Dehede011: Guys it is Saturday and I only have a machine but briefly. Thank you and Good Day.
BPRAL22169: Have fun.
AGplusone: thanx Ron
DavidWrightSr: Yeah. I got that but didn’t remember anything specific about the Martians
Major oz: bye, Ron
DenvToday: Bye for now Ron
AGplusone: I disagree Bill. I have a target.
Dehede011: Thanks for beaming me aboard Bill and SA
Dehede011 has left the room.
Major oz: I, too, have to leave in a few mins
BPRAL22169: I could see, in a very general sense, them being parodies of the “perfect master” types.
Major oz: Going to play at a hog roast / gospel sing
AGplusone: The Martians are the ‘smartest men’ in the world, e.g., Henry Kissinger … they ones who know all the answers and are totally wrong.
DenvToday: Oz, what do you play?
AGplusone: the academics in their puzzle palaces
BPRAL22169: There is an element of that, yes.
Major oz: dobro
DavidWrightSr: BTW Folks. my apologies for not getting Thursday’s log online yet. Been snowed under.
AGplusone: ‘thinkin’ deep thoughts to solve the world’s problems so long that they become irrelevant …” time’s past
Major oz: If we must posit them as parodies, I would tend to place them as the College of Cardinals
DenvToday: Not a problem, David. I always appreciate the log, whenever it comes.
AGplusone: and they are utter fools because of their presumption …
AGplusone: that by ‘fully groking something’ before acting, you’re doing the right thing
Major oz: …………..not to pick on the RC’s. Any religious hierarchy will do……….
AGplusone: a typical academia foolishness
Major oz: Well………..you are at least thinking about it.
Major oz: You may still screw it up.
Major oz: But Grokking showed that “you care”
DavidWrightSr: Well. I don’t know about ‘doing the right’ thing, but I would certainly like ‘grok’ as fully as possible when I am about to do something with possible major impact.
AGplusone: “But do something, Lieutenant, don’t just stand there! You’re men are dying.”
Major oz: indeed
Major oz: throw a fit, it gives the men something to think about while you make up your mind
AGplusone: Martians become extinct because they think too long, too hard, and too excessively
AGplusone: Look at Bradbury’s stories.
Major oz: Let’s not turn them into cartoons.
AGplusone: They ‘feel’
AGplusone: they don’t act
AGplusone: they ‘long’
Major oz: I respect the cloister of most sects that use them
AGplusone: they are unchangeable
AGplusone: and they die
Major oz: LIke liberals?………………
BPRAL22169: I dunno — seems to me you’re reading stuff into the book that isn’t there.
AGplusone: because, of course, they are “perfect” … very possible, oz, although I can name some antediluvian conservatives too
BPRAL22169: The images Heinlein evokes talking about the Martians is all pastoral.
Major oz: of course
BPRAL22169: They have entered into the “timeless eternal present” of myth-time.
AGplusone: Why are they “there” if they aren’t to prove some point, Bill?
DavidWrightSr: To tell a story? 🙂
Major oz: brb
AGplusone: Unless they’re Burroughs-like hand puppets to merely provide a foil for humanity
BPRAL22169: Representing the Platonic sort of timeless eternal present is enough; they don’t have to “prove a point” if they are there to serve as a foil.
BPRAL22169: They set the context against which others — in this case humans — act.
AGplusone: yeah, but why must they merely be a foil.
AGplusone: I don’t think they are merely that.
AGplusone: It’s a satire
BPRAL22169: Well, they are not “merely” that — they are played off in many ways in that book.
AGplusone: such as … ?
BPRAL22169: Setting up the cannibalism = sacrament bit, for instance.
BPRAL22169: Just one instance.
AGplusone: but isn’t that ironic of a mindset that is set in stone itself?
AGplusone: ritual cannibalism
BPRAL22169: I can’t think of any remark in the book that indicates Heinlein thinks the Martians are destined for racial extinction.
AGplusone: No different than the first Friday
AGplusone: Oh, what about the fact that they never lisp The Green Hills of Earth
BPRAL22169: There’s a difference between ossification and achieving a perfectly suitable routine.
AGplusone: ? Not in the book of course
BPRAL22169: Different timeline. Different martians.
BPRAL22169: The Martians of SIASL have things nicely set up just the way they want them.
AGplusone: Jubal winds up in the l’envoi
AGplusone: is it really different
DavidWrightSr: GH just said that the song was of Earth, not translated into any of the non-terran languages.
BPRAL22169: Jubal is human — he groks the analogous truths for humans.
DavidWrightSr: Didn’t say that they were extinct
AGplusone: no Martians in l’envoi
Major oz: gotta go, folks
AGplusone: But Sir Issac gets to be there.
Major oz: see ya next time (y’all)
AGplusone: see ya, oz
Major oz has left the room.
BPRAL22169: I think the Martians are not “individuals” enough for RAH’s taste. That would be my guess.
BPRAL22169: Nothing wrong with that == but not his cup of tea, either.
AGplusone: a lot like the ‘little people” aren’t they?
AGplusone: a communism of the academia
BPRAL22169: That thought crossed my mind — but there are degrees of differences he might have thought important.
KultsiKN: There was one Martian mentioned in l’envoi — the co-designer for the Critics’ Lounge
KultsiKN: An ERB Martian
AGplusone: they all have to come to the same conclusion, necessarily, before they agree to Fifth Planet the third planet
DavidWrightSr: But he was from Burroughs wasn’t he?
AGplusone: ‘fully grok’
DavidWrightSr: Also remember that the ‘martians’ in the earlier part TNOTB were ‘wogs’ like a poor relative of the ‘black hats’
AGplusone: how do humans every become unanimous? Not possible.
BPRAL22169: The Martians do operate by consensus so they are in “community,” of which RAH approves — not a group mind, a hive-consciousness, of which he does not approve for humans.
AGplusone: I agree that’s a point, Dave. Not the iceboats, but a mere pallid immitation of other things, Black Hats.
AGplusone: Is it really a consensus. I didn’t think so … I thought it as an inevitable reaching of the One Truth
AGplusone: in and of itself a foolishness because there ain’t no such thang
DavidWrightSr: And they disapeared along with the Brits and the Russkies
AGplusone: Dunno if I’m anywhere near right. But let’s take a ten minute break, thing on it, and somebody else lead for a while?
AGplusone: Back at 45 past the hour?
AGplusone: think on it
AGplusone: appropo of nuthin’ … Toledo finally yanked Paus who has been stinking up the place all game, and the Bruins may manange to come back …
KultsiKN: equally appropo…. this Calvados is starting to taste something drinkable instead of moonshine…
AGplusone: I always expected that apples would make a good drink, but was disapointed with the first taste of it
SAcademy: Do you really drink that stuff??
KultsiKN: Moonshine or Calvados?
AGplusone: drink anything that doesn’t drink me
KultsiKN: Me 2.
AGplusone: you have to figure out a way to get to San Jose Kultsi
AGplusone: you and me and Dave Wright will speak to each other in anglo-saxon
KultsiKN: jist one liiittul problem — bucks.
AGplusone: volunteer to enlist in the CIA …
AGplusone: and ask for language school
SAcademy: How about the TaFF fund?
SAcademy: Transa-Atlantic Fan Fund.
AGplusone: tell us about it, Ginny. None of us are experts in that
BPRAL22169: Calvados is GOOD!
SAcademy: The fans get together two funds, one is TAFF and the other is DUFF. They send a representative overseas for a world con.
BPRAL22169: TAFF is “Trans-Atlantic Fan Fund” and DUFF is “Down-Under Fan Fund” — for Australia
SAcademy: Thanks, Bill.
SAcademy: How do they select the person to go, Bill? Do you know?
KultsiKN: Bill, I think that’s like saying ‘Whisky is good’
BPRAL22169: It’s voted on by all the subscribers — donations to the funds get you the right to vote on the person.
BPRAL22169: Whiskey is good, too.
BPRAL22169: And Trader Joe’s just started carrying Laphroaig. Life is good.
AGplusone: In my case, ‘whisky’ is good … think of acquivit … not frozen.
KultsiKN: Now. Talisker is good. Laphroaigh is good. Bowmore is good. Johnnie Walker is mouthwash.
AGplusone: scotch is funny tasting
BPRAL22169: It’s the peat smoke. the good stuff.
BPRAL22169: Bourbon is not drinkable.
BPRAL22169: (We have now entered on a religious discussion)
AGplusone: I know.
KultsiKN: I know, too.
AGplusone: I’m going into a retreat. Stanford just scored again. Killed UCLA.
AGplusone: Bad game
AGplusone: ah, well … next year
AGplusone: About martians … why are RAH’s any different than other authors’ Martians?
AGplusone: which was the original question
SAcademy: Three dimensional.
SAcademy: Okay, bad pun.
AGplusone: Sean just asked me to pass on compliments. He’s got a family thing on.
BPRAL22169: I just flashed on Elisha at the Passover table.
AGplusone: ‘splain, please, Bill.
AGplusone: I forget, does John the mystic see Elias at Passover. Been some time since I read it.’
NuclearWasteUSN has entered the room.
SAcademy: The apocraphal books?
KultsiKN: Hi, Jim!
NuclearWasteUSN: Heya Kultsi!
NuclearWasteUSN: Long time no see
SAcademy: Hello Jim. We missed you.
AGplusone: Ah, our leader has arrived. Now we finally have direction!
NuclearWasteUSN: I am sorry
AGplusone: Proceed, sir.
NuclearWasteUSN: OK We were going to discuss WHY Martians are present in the stories
NuclearWasteUSN: (Or,more generically, what role do the aliens play.)
BPRAL22169: “Why is this day different from all other days?”
NuclearWasteUSN: Are they a case of form following function? Or are they something more?
SAcademy: It’s the end of daylight saving!
NuclearWasteUSN: Is is actually different?
BPRAL22169: That’s a reference to my flashing on Elisha at Passover when David asked “Why are Heinlein’s Martians different from all other Martians.”
AGplusone: okay, comprehendo
AGplusone: why are they?
NuclearWasteUSN: I still think they are different because he was the first to attempt to make a truly alien alien, if you will.
AGplusone: PPOR, if you will
NuclearWasteUSN: Socially, psychologically and physically, if I may use my pet method, they are nonterrestrial.
AGplusone: [I believe you, but … ]
NuclearWasteUSN: Other authors to that point always sought to give them some human fault or beneficial trait to extreme,
NuclearWasteUSN: That way they would be fam,iliar to the reader, and they could understand their motivation
DavidWrightSr: Well Physically, and psychologically, I thought that Weinbaum’s was truly alien, socially, can’t say because he was the only representative
DavidWrightSr: And Weinbaum wrote several years before RAH
NuclearWasteUSN: With Heinlein’s they are truly alien. Someone in here the other night said they were a send up on academia, and that is a possibility as well,
AGplusone: I think I’m starting to see your point, Jim. I always thought them foolish … for humans.
NuclearWasteUSN: But, David, I have conveniently not read Weinbaum yet, so I can ignore that fact.
AGplusone: exactitude isn’t a human quality. we’re too impatient.
NuclearWasteUSN: Wasn’t it Jane that said the introduction of facts just sucks all the fun out off life?
AGplusone: facts is boring … but facts
DavidWrightSr: And too much analysis sometimes messes up appreciation of a story 🙂
DavidWrightSr: No offense intended 🙂
NuclearWasteUSN: LOL We should always be able to laugh at ourselves
AGplusone: always fun trying to play with the author’s mind
KultsiKN: What do you say to that, Joel?
NuclearWasteUSN: The idea that the Martians were a send up on modern academia is interesting as well, even if it does tend to slay my ideas on another level.
AGplusone: “ain’t no use in worrying … it never was worthwhile … so pack up your troubles in your old kit bag … and smile, smile, SMILE!”
NuclearWasteUSN: Given your chosen nom de guerre Ginny, what do you think of that particular theory?
joelrmpls: Oops. Sorry; I was working.
BPRAL22169: Weinbaum died in 1936 — 3 years before RAH started writing commercially.
SAcademy: I was in the Navy, not the Army
NuclearWasteUSN: No problem, I was just wondering about the idea that Robert’s Martians were a send up on acedemia
AGplusone: or maybe just ‘thinktanks’
SAcademy: Well, he had years to think about them before he realy got to writing them.
joelrmpls: That’s something that a lot of writers do — you play with ideas in the back of your head or on paper, for a long time, and then, if all goes well, the writing part gets easy.
joelrmpls: When you’re lucky.
joelrmpls: What’s scary is the stuff that you didn’t know you were playing with.
NuclearWasteUSN: The more I study his writing, the more layers I realize everything has.
NuclearWasteUSN: Very Mark Twainian if you will.
AGplusone: LOL … until someone figures them out, and you say, as you say on your site: gee, I niver thot of dat …. when in fact maybe you did very well, hehehe
joelrmpls: Well, he was a complicated guy, and had a lot of agendas going. It’s not surprising that many of them manage to get onto paper.
joelrmpls: He also, pretty clearly, enjoyed having fun with some stuff that few people were likely to notice.
NuclearWasteUSN: Back to the original idea, are aliens in stories just foils?
AGplusone: as did someone named Robert
joelrmpls: Notice the curious matter of the Venusian ambassador in Star Beast.
SAcademy: Doesn’t everyone run more than a single track in his-her mind?
joelrmpls: Judging from some folks’ writing, Ginny, heck no. 🙂
AGplusone: what “curious matter”?
NuclearWasteUSN: gINNY, ALL THE PEOPLE i LIKE TO PLAY WITH DO.
NuclearWasteUSN: Darn caps lock
AGplusone: I usually blame Bob, my Master (aka the cat)
NuclearWasteUSN: Yes, I am curious as well.
NuclearWasteUSN: I have not read Star Beast in years
joelrmpls: Reread the book; I don’t want to spoil it. It’s worth it.
joelrmpls: Somebody was Having Fun.
AGplusone: something about an infection iirc
NuclearWasteUSN: Off to B&N for me.
NuclearWasteUSN: And the closest one is down in Mounds View by Joel. 2 1/2 hours away, thanks Joel
joelrmpls: One of the reasons that I wish that we had e-books working right is that it would make it a lot easier for situations like this.
joelrmpls: I can explain it, but it would spoil it.
NuclearWasteUSN: Don’t worry, I like an excuse to run to the book store.
AGplusone: go ahead … I recall it on your site, or somewhere …
joelrmpls: Okay, it’s like this.
joelrmpls: Greenberg is faced with the problem that there is, supposedly, an infection on the ship that the Venusian ambassador is on, and while everybody knows it’s just bureacratic nonsense, they don’t want to either delay the conference…
joelrmpls: …or violate quarantine. Bad precedent.
BPRAL22169: (You need an excuse?)
BPRAL22169: (I need an excuse NOT to run to a bookstore…)
BPRAL22169: (Got any spare ones? I’ve used up all my stock)
joelrmpls: So they work out a scam where the Venusian ambassador will attend the conference in a quarantine suit, which will be uncomfortable for him, but he’ll get brownie points for…
AGplusone: I have the book .. and we all should
NuclearWasteUSN: (With a three year old to watch, and a 2 1/2 – 3 hours drive one way?)
joelrmpls: … the discomfort, and they’ll stop the conference, every now and then, so that he can be “seen to” by his doctor.
BPRAL22169: (Amateur! you give the kid a book!)
joelrmpls: That’s where they leave it.
AGplusone: yeah, right, but …
DavidWrightSr: Not quite. The ambassador died IIRC
AGplusone: what happens … yes, Dave
joelrmpls: Toward the end, there’s a casual reference to Greenberg and/or Kiko being on their way to the ambassador’s funeral . . .
AGplusone: so the posturing was real
AGplusone: and ironic
DavidWrightSr: Sorry jumped in too fast
joelrmpls: Yup. 🙂
AGplusone: typical politician
joelrmpls: You’ll notice that the heroes of Star Beast are government bureaucrats.
AGplusone: and a loving portrayal
AGplusone: not politicians!
NuclearWasteUSN: Some bureaucrats actually do try to do a good job. Hard to be better than the system.
AGplusone: What’s the name of the BBC series: “Mr. Minister”
joelrmpls: No — worse. Unelected bureaucrats, with authority that stems from them being in the bureaucracy.
joelrmpls: And they’re the good guys.
AGplusone: The one in which the unelected CofS keeps the thing going despite the politicians
joelrmpls: (For some reason, Star Beast is not high on many libertarians’ lists of the Best of RAH.)
AGplusone: wonder why [he said innocently]
BPRAL22169: It’s part of the mythology of the 20th century — centralized planning requires a bureaucracy.
joelrmpls: As I said: Mr. Heinlein was complicated, and he had a lot of stuff going on.
AGplusone: or another myth … all civil servants are pigs at the trough
joelrmpls: … in addition to wanting to entertain and make a buck.
AGplusone: playing against expectation
NuclearWasteUSN: And, except for the Hroshii the aliens are very much offstage, and even they are only in the story a little.
joelrmpls: I’ve always been curious about the origin of that name. Has an interesting resonance.
AGplusone: The Hroshii remind me the most of the Martians in SiaSL … swing a big club that no one really knows about and not particularly benigh toward humanity
NuclearWasteUSN: That seems to be a theme in Heinlein books, the aliens appear only enough to peak your interest.
DavidWrightSr: Almost like the Russian word ‘xoroshij’ or ‘good’ (adj)
AGplusone: “Ha-so, suplised I spik your langwitch, G.I”
joelrmpls: Or, in SiaSL, to create a tabla rasa.
joelrmpls: SiaSL is basically about US society — to the extent that it’s commentary — and you need an outside observer to make that part of it work.
AGplusone: “You see, I was educated at You See Rar A!”
BPRAL22169: I thought that was You See Err A?
joelrmpls: Helps to make all the other wierdness even wierder. Without that…. well, imagine the Mary Tyler Moore show without Mary Richards.
BPRAL22169: Now there’s an image…
NuclearWasteUSN: I have picked up a lot from the book by answering questions posed by our resident Brits.
BPRAL22169: I believe you’d have California there…
DavidWrightSr: ‘hardest English for Japanese is ‘rorypop’
AGplusone: watiz ‘rorypop’?
NuclearWasteUSN: Nanga you Jim no good pray cards with me no mo!
DavidWrightSr: lollypop? Japanese doesn’t distinuish ‘r’ or ‘l’ as different phonemes
NuclearWasteUSN: Matchiko, a friend in Yakasuka
NuclearWasteUSN: Never lead trump too early
AGplusone: Where’s Felicia … aka ______ spice?
DavidWrightSr: BTW, that was a quote from Alec Guinness in some movie I’ve totally forgotten
AGplusone: Naw, get the small children off the street.
joelrmpls: She’s getting supper. KFC.
BPRAL22169: That’s right. Lead trumps when you need to clear your suits with holes in your defense.
joelrmpls: And me, I need to finish today’s quota, if I’m going to have the final version of this book packed with me, on Thursday. So I’d best get back to it.
AGplusone: We have to get together some time. Drink heap big amounts of Calvados, play bridge and solve prblms of the world
joelrmpls: Later, all. Great talking with you, as always.
NuclearWasteUSN: Have fun Joel
AGplusone: see you Joel
joelrmpls: Bridge and booze sounds like fun….
joelrmpls has left the room.
AGplusone: And Felicia makes sushi and yakatori!!!!
NuclearWasteUSN: I make yakasoba
BPRAL22169: He’s talking about finishing a book. I’m envious…
AGplusone: oh, tell me more
NuclearWasteUSN: Why are we on food again?
BPRAL22169: buckwheat flour what?
BPRAL22169: I have buckwheat flour in my freezer.
AGplusone: oh, yeah … any blueberries?
BPRAL22169: As a matter of fact, yes, I do have blueberries in my freezer, too.
NuclearWasteUSN: I have blueberries, and will send them to you if we can talk about Martians. 🙂
AGplusone: you may begin defrosting
NuclearWasteUSN: along with some crabapple juice.
NuclearWasteUSN: Why are gjin and Kultsi so quiet?
AGplusone: That picture that George keeps asking about in Alaska … we were picking blueberries like I’ve never seen before … wild … about a gallon before we got done
BPRAL22169: Possibly they do not have buckwheat flour and blueberries in their freezers.
KultsiKN has left the room.
AGplusone: likely, in fact, although if Finland’s tundra is like Alaska Kultsi does
NuclearWasteUSN: We get some huge berries here in MN
BPRAL22169: Perhaps he went to get some frozen blueberries out of his freezer?
NuclearWasteUSN: Don’t know if it is the climate or the soil
AGplusone: the thing about Alaska is they grow together in bogs with cranberries
NuclearWasteUSN: Do they need to use a freezer in Finland?
BPRAL22169: Are you kidding? Finland IS a freezer…
AGplusone: we had to separate them
BPRAL22169: Blue . . .red . . . shouldn’t be that much a problem.
AGplusone: yum twice
BPRAL22169: Now, where are the lingonberries?
AGplusone: now if I could order the smoked salmon they call Eskimo candy … and sell by the roadsides. Norway
NuclearWasteUSN: What are they?
AGplusone: along with Reindeer sausage
BPRAL22169: The national bloodstream of Sweden, as far as I cna tell. Lingonberries and Herring. Not necesarrily at the same time…
NuclearWasteUSN: Talk to my father AG, he flies up there regularly. Mom hates smoked salmon and he loves it.
BPRAL22169: …although you never can tell with Swedes.
AGplusone: so long as it doesn’t include that awful salted cod … whatitcalled? Lutfiske
AGplusone: Boil it for five days and it still tastes terrible
NuclearWasteUSN: But dey make dem girls grow up tall and purdy yah!
SAcademy: My niece Lynnie loved the stuff.
BPRAL22169: Andy has a theory that much of the world’s exploration throughout history has been primarily motivated by trying to find a dinner that didn’t make you lose your lunch.
AGplusone: Ya! send t’oussands and toussands of im, I marry im all you betcha
NuclearWasteUSN: Can’t avoid it here in MN. Of course Ole and Sven are everywhere
NuclearWasteUSN: Finlanders and Swedes
AGplusone: tell us about Lynnie, Ginny …
SAcademy: Lynnie spent her high school senior year in a little place in Sweden, called Hedemora. We visited her there, and me ther Swedish family.
AGplusone: that is a wonderful opportunity
AGplusone: I always wanted to spend a lot of time in Scandanavia
SAcademy: There was only one problem about it–her Swedish family would spend a lot of time with us–they were great travellers.
NuclearWasteUSN: Was Mike a Martian, or do you think his idea that grokking is man is correct?
AGplusone: they always seemed to me to be the only sane area on earth
AGplusone: Which idea?
SAcademy: And they would come when R. Was in the middle of a book–they just didn’t understand a writer’s problems.
AGplusone: mike was a mutant
AGplusone: like Mowgli … a man but able to grok man because he didn’t have any preconceptions, or lies from the cradle to warp his view of them
NuclearWasteUSN: It just occured to me that his original assertion is that all that groks is man, then all that groks is god. Fits in well with Thou art God.
AGplusone: Mike was also so wise that he was innocently transparent and uniquely vunerable
NuclearWasteUSN: I agree
AGplusone: Dogenes *sp>* Honest Man
NuclearWasteUSN: But with experience he was able to ape us well enough to get by
AGplusone: hard work
SAcademy: Do you honestly think that Robert thought of all these things when he was writing Stranger?
AGplusone: because we’re ultimately crazed
BPRAL22169: One of history’s mistranslations — Diogenes was looking for Plato’s ideal man.
AGplusone: I do
NuclearWasteUSN: I do not grok that I could say that. (Some lie that Jubal tried as an example)\
AGplusone: very subtle mind
NuclearWasteUSN: Ginny, I don’t know
NuclearWasteUSN: He very well may have. He seems to love symmetry, and multilevel puns
AGplusone: maybe intuitive or ‘unconscious’ representation, but coincidences are too many to have been solely unintended
NuclearWasteUSN: You have encouraged me to write, and I am certainly thinking about things like this as I write.
AGplusone: I think he expressed these things instinctively without thinking necessarily about them
SAcademy: Do you regret that I did?
AGplusone: because he had already thought about them and the concepts were automatic because they wer part of his persona
NuclearWasteUSN: Not yet, but some of the nights when the muse hits are getting a little long.
SAcademy: I think some of you could do a lot better than most s f writers these days.
AGplusone: ‘were’ … ‘personna’ fancy way of say his essential beliefs
NuclearWasteUSN: What SF writers? I see a lot of Fantasy, but not much SF
BPRAL22169: You don’t have to think through every detail — the concepts entail certain other concepts.
AGplusone: everything dependant on prior conscious thoughts
AGplusone: a foundation of concrete that was mixed well before the expression
AGplusone: of the top level of the finished cement or dye
NuclearWasteUSN: He also wrote extensive notes, and some of these ideas must have occured then, even if they never made it to the paper.
AGplusone: so much gravel went in there, so much sand, so much CaCOsub3
AGplusone: or is it sub4
NuclearWasteUSN: Don’t you all do things that way? Write a few things down, knowing that you will remember the rest?
SAcademy: Ir’s four.
AGplusone: wish I did … I’m not particularly well organized yet
SAcademy: I think you are, David.
AGplusone: well, gotta get nose to grindstone then and *do* it
SAcademy: Why not? Among you, you could reorganize SF.
AGplusone: some day
NuclearWasteUSN: With a computer available how can you miss a chance to write notes? Open a document and start typing, send yourself an email, anything
SAcademy: Robert rewrote some of his earlier stories at a later date–
AGplusone: I think, honestly, you’re right, Ginny. but funny thing: I read Joe Majors and I want to know why he’s in in this chat
AGplusone: not in this chat
AGplusone: I’ve decided I like hismind
BPRAL22169: Good question.
AGplusone: which is why I linked his juvenile essays to our site
NuclearWasteUSN: Call ourselves The Boys from Boulder?
AGplusone: That’s possible. I did an assignment at Sps. close enuff
SAcademy: Why Boulder??
BPRAL22169: It alliterates with Boys.
NuclearWasteUSN: Colorado reference and like Bill said, it alliterates well.
BPRAL22169: And it’s better than C.S.B.S.
NuclearWasteUSN: Colorado being where I always think of Robert, even though I lived in California)
AGplusone: Ever tell you about my buddy who went to Boulder and got expelled, Jim, during Vietnam
AGplusone: His name was Jim too
SAcademy: No. GA
NuclearWasteUSN: No, but I had a shipmate who had a similar experience. Micheal Wellington Smith
AGplusone: Tried to get into Naval Academy. Got a C minus in French, so they rejected him.
AGplusone: Went to Boulder. Disapppointed. In Colo Sps there is an equestrian statute of a colonel Palmer, who founded a hotel
AGplusone: Kids are Boulder consider the college in Colo Sps their rival.
SAcademy: Oh, yes, I know that story about the horse.
AGplusone: So, like all college kid they have pranks. The Staute is unusual for an equestrian statute. Correct in all respects and very clearly a stallion
AGplusone: so what they do is blow the parts off if they can get away with it
AGplusone: he had the dynamite caps in his dorm room closet
AGplusone: his roommate turned him in
NuclearWasteUSN: What an unfortunate choice of words.
AGplusone: next stop, the USS Epperson, DD-something or the other, offshore Vietnam
AGplusone: he retired a CWO boilertender, or whatever is, with 30 in the reserve, a couple years ago
NuclearWasteUSN: Mike simply had a misunderstanding about the honor code. It seems cheating also includes writing papers for profit to meet your tuition expences
NuclearWasteUSN: Boiler Tech, No longer a rate, they have merged with Machinist Mates since the advent of the nuclear reactor.
AGplusone: I thot so
NuclearWasteUSN: Mike became a Machinist Mate Nuke.
AGplusone: He’s the one whose parents evidentally knew Robert before the war in L.A. and told me about von Kleinsmidt
NuclearWasteUSN: von Kleinsmidt?
AGplusone: aka von Rheinschmidt in “Life Line” ….
AGplusone: or were fans close enuf to have heard about it
NuclearWasteUSN: Well, it is almost 7, I am going to have to run soon.
AGplusone: I always wondered why he wanted the Naval Academy all through high school so much … and whether his parents influenced him to do so because of Robert
NuclearWasteUSN: By the way Ginny, just thought I would let you know a friend of mine showed up with a wood splitter and I am set up through next year 🙂
AGplusone: because they really did support him, which was odd, in my mind, because they both were graduates of Stanford
AGplusone: and had large money
NuclearWasteUSN: USNA is a pretty good engineering school. Stanford grads always wish they had gone to MIT or USNA
AGplusone: could be
BPRAL22169: Gentles, I is out of here. Have a good one, one and all.
BPRAL22169 has left the room.
AGplusone: yep … it’s time to go, Jim ….
NuclearWasteUSN: Well folks I am going as well. I will be online later if any of you want to yell at me.
NuclearWasteUSN has left the room.
SAcademy: Good night, all. See you
SAcademy has left the room.
AGplusone: remember “fall back” nite all
DavidWrightSr: Good night
AGplusone: got it david?
AGplusone: Nite Ron, Dave … and Good Night from New York, David
AGplusone: Saved … let me know.
AGplusone has left the room.
DavidWrightSr: Log officially closed at 8:03 P.M. EDT
Final End Of Discussion Log