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Attempt to Forge New Heinlein-Inspired Political Term 
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Joined: Thu Jun 04, 2009 2:24 pm
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Post Re: Attempt to Forge New Heinlein-Inspired Political Term
Bill Mullins wrote:
I, for one, appreciate Mr. O'Brien stepping into the discussion.


Thank you.

Quote:
I think that whether or not LL is based on LRH is unproveable, short of some hitherto undiscovered written evidence from Heinlein's or Hubbard's files.


Empiricist that I am, I would agree. (Have you ever seen or read Tom Stoppard's play Arcadia? Many similar issues are involved.)

Re the various cites of LL and his use of religion as a pragmatic profession -- this is what I meant in my earlier reply when I asked for, "the jobs of LL that fit (the subject)." You wouldn't want to make a comparison to a genuinely pious person -- it would be to someone who used religion as the means to a comfortable life.

I still regard "Lafe Hubert" as the trout in the milk, though.

(H.D. Thoreau: "Some circumstantial evidence is very strong, as when you find a trout in the milk." The expression comes from the era when milk fresh from the cow was placed in wide mouth cans and cooled in a creek. There was temptation to dilute the product. Even if one had never directly observed the milk being diluted, finding a trout in it would be... revealing.)

One of the curious things to me, looking at the earlier conversation, is how it reads as if one objection to LL->LRH is because LL is too admirable, and RAH had ceased his friendship with LRH. This may or may not be what the writers meant, but it looks that way. Also that one wouldn't write about someone who one had stopped contact with. Neither premise strikes me as all that solid. In other words, there may be objections, but they're not among the ones I would use. I can easily see writing of a former friend in a way that I wished they were, even if experience had taught me better.


Fri Jun 05, 2009 12:22 pm
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Post Re: Attempt to Forge New Heinlein-Inspired Political Term
hbobrien wrote:
One of the curious things to me, looking at the earlier conversation, is how it reads as if one objection to LL->LRH is because LL is too admirable, and RAH had ceased his friendship with LRH. This may or may not be what the writers meant, but it looks that way. Also that one wouldn't write about someone who one had stopped contact with. Neither premise strikes me as all that solid. In other words, there may be objections, but they're not among the ones I would use. I can easily see writing of a former friend in a way that I wished they were, even if experience had taught me better.

You might want to analyze the RAH-LRH-LL timeline to help clarify the lines of thought involved.


Fri Jun 05, 2009 12:30 pm
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Post Re: Attempt to Forge New Heinlein-Inspired Political Term
James Gifford wrote:
Influence-hunting so easily goes astray; I speak from abashed experience.

I'd like to hear more about that, if you feel comfortable telling us what happened.

I would also like to see this topic continue, preferably in a separate one. TEFL is my favorite Heinlein, and LL my favorite character. I'm loving this.

[namedropping]

The discussion reminds me of something I heard in my Freshman English class at Rice University in 1967. Our instructor happened to be Larry McMurtry. He told us many wonderful stories of his career up to that point, one of which was about his book, The Last Picture Show. The lead female character is named Jacy Farrow (played by Cybill Shepherd in the movie, but the movie didn't come out until 1971). McMurtry told us that one review of the book commented on the rape scene in which Jacy is taken on a pool table, and the reviewer confidently stated that of course Jacy's posture during the rape (arms out) and her name (pronounced J.C.) made it obvious that this was an allegory of the crucifixion. McMurtry told our class that he had no such intention when writing the scene, that Jacy's name was inspired by something completely different (he didn't say what), and that it was nice to be judged to be profound even if it was in error. By the way, apropos of nothing, he walked around the campus in a sweatshirt that said Minor Regional Novelist.

[/namedropping]

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Fri Jun 05, 2009 3:33 pm
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Post Re: Attempt to Forge New Heinlein-Inspired Political Term
James Gifford wrote:
You might want to analyze the RAH-LRH-LL timeline to help clarify the lines of thought involved.


Hm. Cryptic, as you tend to write. You might want to consider saying your criticisms out loud.

Anyway.

Methuselah's Children, which I'm fairly sure is LL's first appearance, was serialized in Astounding in mid-1941. In 1941, the Mañana Literary Society was being held at RAH's house in Laurel Canyon, and Tony Boucher would fictionalize it in Rocket to the Morgue, and that comes out in '42. Elron (to use local lexicography) is fictionalized there as "D. Vance Wimpole," and would appear to be a regular. (That Heinlein Society article describes Hubbard/Wimpole as, "...a garrulous charmer of dubious integrity." Hm.) I remember Jack Williamson in Wonder's Child also saying Elron was a regular (which is packed in a box, so I can't be more specific than that).

So, um... Just what is the timeline problem you whisperingly imply here?


Sat Jun 06, 2009 1:00 am
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Post Re: Attempt to Forge New Heinlein-Inspired Political Term
dh490311 wrote:
McMurtry told us that one review of the book commented on the rape scene in which Jacy is taken on a pool table, and the reviewer confidently stated that of course Jacy's posture during the rape (arms out) and her name (pronounced J.C.) made it obvious that this was an allegory of the crucifixion. McMurtry told our class that he had no such intention when writing the scene, that Jacy's name was inspired by something completely different (he didn't say what), and that it was nice to be judged to be profound even if it was in error.


Oh, no doubt. That way lies esteem for Battlestar Galactica. Or James Joyce.

One time I went to a special screening of the movie Strange Days. The theme of the movie, really, is memory. One character, Mace, has a speech where she tells the lead, Lenny, that memories have to fade. They're designed that way. At that screening, though, I noticed something: While she's giving that speech, she's pinning Lenny to a wall, and on that wall is a poster of some elephants. (You can see a screen capture here.)

I asked the director, Kathryn Bigelow, if that had been intentional on her part. First the audience laughed, then Ms. Bigelow paused for a long time and said, "No. I'm going to have to ask the art director about that." (IMDb tells me it was John Warnke.)


Sat Jun 06, 2009 1:13 am
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Post Re: Attempt to Forge New Heinlein-Inspired Political Term
hbobrien wrote:
James Gifford wrote:
You might want to analyze the RAH-LRH-LL timeline to help clarify the lines of thought involved.


Hm. Cryptic, as you tend to write. You might want to consider saying your criticisms out loud.

Anyway.

Methuselah's Children, which I'm fairly sure is LL's first appearance, was serialized in Astounding in mid-1941. In 1941, the Mañana Literary Society was being held at RAH's house in Laurel Canyon, and Tony Boucher would fictionalize it in Rocket to the Morgue, and that comes out in '42. Elron (to use local lexicography) is fictionalized there as "D. Vance Wimpole," and would appear to be a regular. (That Heinlein Society article describes Hubbard/Wimpole as, "...a garrulous charmer of dubious integrity." Hm.) I remember Jack Williamson in Wonder's Child also saying Elron was a regular (which is packed in a box, so I can't be more specific than that).

So, um... Just what is the timeline problem you whisperingly imply here?

I'm not sure about a timeline problem, but I think Jim was suggesting that this particular line of facts need to be incorporated. Heinlein apparently met Hubbard in Jne 1940 while on their trip to New York and then to Chicago, as he refers later to a dinner party given in John Arwine's apartment, but they could not have hung out together for any length of time. In the preparatory correspondence for the trip, Campbell said Hubbard would not be in NY at the time, because he was off in Alaska. Methuselah's Children was written starting in February of 1941.

Hubbard was a "regular" at the MLS only in the sense that he would drop in whenever he was in LA -- which was somewhat less frequent than either Jack Williamson or Ed Hamilton visiting. Gotta remember in personal reminiscences, people who were passing through themselves might tend to think anybody they saw there, with evidence they had been there before, might be a regular. Happenstance plays a role in this kind of memoir.

So there could have been some element of LRH in the mix, but I think it's much less than you apparently do. I think the red haired bit comes more directly from Caleb Catlum's America, which is one of Heinlein's most admired models (heck, he virtually rewrote the opening of CCA for Time Enough for Love). And more indirectly from Mark Twain, who was a redhead himself. I think if Heinlein had intended LRH as a significant model, he might well have included something about Hubbard's particular combination of red hair and fair complexion; instead, Lazarus is described as what I would characterize as of medium complexion -- and quite dark at the time of The Cat Who Walked Through Walls


Sat Jun 06, 2009 7:13 am
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Post Re: Attempt to Forge New Heinlein-Inspired Political Term
hbobrien wrote:
Hm. Cryptic, as you tend to write. You might want to consider saying your criticisms out loud.
So, um... Just what is the timeline problem you whisperingly imply here?

I'm only going to add two things to this thread:

1) I wasn't being cryptic, I was pointing out a potentially useful tool to sort out the comments you are finding so confusing.

2) The combative tone of your replies is not appropriate here. Chill out and accept that if you're going to post speculative, unproven material, other board users are going to poke at it. No one has been impolite to you yet your responses are those of someone being unjustly ganged up upon.

Continue. This is interesting. But do keep it civilized.


Sat Jun 06, 2009 8:59 am
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Post Re: Attempt to Forge New Heinlein-Inspired Political Term
dh490311 wrote:
James Gifford wrote:
Influence-hunting so easily goes astray; I speak from abashed experience.

I'd like to hear more about that, if you feel comfortable telling us what happened.

Oh, there's no one smoking gun. It's just that in years of chasing elusive connections and underpinnings, I've lustily pursued the wrong fish more than once. Sometimes quite a distance.

The Watchmen panel of recent months could be an example. There is much to see in that panel, and I will maintain that it is significant, but Dave Gibbons himself dismissed the notions, in all good humor. (His actual comment was, approximately, "It's such an intriguing theory I am loath to say it's wrong.")

There have been other incidents but suffice it to say that I've learned that every faint coincidence is not evidence of a willful plot - any definition of 'plot.'


Sat Jun 06, 2009 9:16 am
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Post Re: Attempt to Forge New Heinlein-Inspired Political Term
Whether there's any basis in fact for the theory or not, I was entertained by reading it, so thanks to HB for posting it; made me think.


Sat Jun 06, 2009 3:41 pm
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Post Re: Attempt to Forge New Heinlein-Inspired Political Term
James Gifford wrote:
2) The combative tone of your replies is not appropriate here. Chill out and accept that if you're going to post speculative, unproven material, other board users are going to poke at it. No one has been impolite to you yet your responses are those of someone being unjustly ganged up upon.


I have no idea if my writing comes across as someone who feels ganged up upon. How could I? I can only say that's not how I've felt. I have felt frustrated from time to time, but in an, "Unlock Special File Zebra!" way. That is, I keep expecting to be told, "This is wrong, and here's why," and what I read only appears to tell me, "This is wrong." I've been trying to find out what the code phrase is to elicit more complete answers. No doubt my failure to be successful lies in my own poor writing skills.

OTOH, this particular point strikes me as unfair, because I have no way to defend myself against the assertion without, undoubtedly, being seen as "combative."

As may be -- since I have no idea how to reduce what I perceive as zero combativeness, I will regretfully agree to disagree on what the term "argument" means ("A connected series of statements, intended to prove a proposition. It isn't the gainsaying of another by going, 'No, it isn't.'"), and withdraw.


Sat Jun 06, 2009 5:20 pm
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