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Attempt to Forge New Heinlein-Inspired Political Term 
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Heinlein Biographer

Joined: Thu Apr 10, 2008 1:33 pm
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Post Re: Attempt to Forge New Heinlein-Inspired Political Term
hbobrien wrote:
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.

No need to withdraw. No need to defend, either. "What we have here is a failure to communicate." "Never apologize, never explain." If Jim is wrong about combativeness, continuing as you were show him the Error of His Ways soon enough.

I think, though, I have said why I think otherwise -- that is, LRH may be in the mix, but basically, I think you're taking all these interesting confluences of stuff as if they were the whole of what goes into the character, whereas I see other things that are in the mix of the portrait of LL as well. The large and very conspicuous intertextuality in TEFL with Caleb Catlum, for example, makes me think there are other models at least equally as strong.

I wonder if you have read a highly interesting essay "Whence Came the Stranger?" by the late Adam Rostok. I think he makes a stronger case for Jubal Harshaw being the abufihamet of the Sufis than you do for LRH being the principal model for Lazarus Long -- there are parts of his argment that cannot be incorporated into a unified view or disposed of. Which is to say, I think it's a stronger example of the kind of argument you are making. (And it's an interesting thing to read in its own right).


Sat Jun 06, 2009 5:59 pm
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PITA Bred
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Post Re: Attempt to Forge New Heinlein-Inspired Political Term
HB... I get the feeling that anything I add is just going to throw gasoline on the fire. However, I will address your comments in the interest of mutual and all-round harmony.

I don't think it's hard to see your replies as being defensive. And there's been no need for you to be defensive or combative at any time. I think you perhaps misunderstand both the nature of this forum and the intent of my comments.

This forum is for the discussion of topics related to Robert Heinlein. Emphasis is on discussion. You cannot post things as if they were articles to be read but not replied to. You also cannot post ideas and theories and expect only agreement or applause - this is one corner of the net that holds to old-fashioned ideas about debate, and the notion that respondents can only agree or keep silent (the "be nice or shut up" model) does not hold. In short, if you expect to post here with nothing but nodding acceptance of your claims and ideas, you're in the wrong place. This is also not a blog; if you posted with the notion that you can control or limit the responses, that's also incorrect.

Not that anyone has said anything particularly unkind here; some of us just don't think you've made a self-standing case for your claim. I have (in short) said I think your supporting data is thin and selectively chosen. Bill Patterson has said much the same thing. Bill, Peter Scott and I have all said that it's interesting; do continue the topic.

This is also a forum for very focused discussion that has drawn some of the best minds in Heinlein studies. If you're going to present an unusual (but possibly workable) idea such as that you've outlined, it's not going to be read only by amateurs, fans and casual readers. Instead of being upset that some respondents don't think you've proven your case, you might be a little flattered that some very experienced and knowledgeable folks are intrigued by your claim and would like to help you refine it until it's conclusive one way or the other.


Sat Jun 06, 2009 7:32 pm
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Joined: Thu Aug 21, 2008 12:40 pm
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Post Re: Attempt to Forge New Heinlein-Inspired Political Term
Try not to take anything said here personally. It's pretty easy to get into a heated discussion on one thread of the board, and have a most cordial one on another thread on the board at the same time. Any criticism I've ever received here has been to what I've said, not to me. And just about all the critics here can take it as well as give it. Please do stick around, and continue to contribute.


One another (off-topic) note, how did you happen to get into a conversation with Kathry Bigelow? "Near Dark" is one of my all-time favorite movies ("I fought for the south -- we lost." And "I taught him everything he knows, but not everything I know.") and certainly the best vampire movie made since the Tod Browning "Dracula".


Sat Jun 06, 2009 7:59 pm
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Post Re: Attempt to Forge New Heinlein-Inspired Political Term
Um, how odd.

Not only has Hal O'Brien ceased to participate in this thread, but his long-standing blog (I thought I saw article dates back to 2001 or so) referenced at the beginning of this topic has been... emptied out. I don't know if this is a temporary bug of some kind or what.

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In the end, I found Heinlein is finite. Thus, finite analysis is needed.


Tue Jun 16, 2009 11:18 am
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Heinlein Biographer

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Post Re: Attempt to Forge New Heinlein-Inspired Political Term
Jack Kelly wrote:
James Gifford wrote:
Bill will no doubt ring in here, but IIRC Hubbard kept up a steady stream of letters to Heinlein, which were answered with decreasing frequency until the last few decades' were filed unopened.

I am less certain but believe that the estrangement was all but complete by the early 1950s. The hysteria and then collapse of Dianetics probably had the most to do with it, as well as RAH becoming aware that LRH's war record was, ahem, overstated.


I believe the last known letter from Heinlein to Hubbard was in December 1980, after a hiatus of about three decades during which the correspondence was strictly one-way.

The model is wrong, here, Jim. Hubbard wrote infrequently, but his letters were always answered promptly and cordially. They had a brief exchange of letters in 1982 on the publication of Battlefield Earth.

To the end of his life Heinlein thought Hubbard a wonderful grotesque. The first really carefully researched debunking biography of Hbbard, Bare-Faced Messiah, was not published until 1987, and Heinlein never read the book. Ginny did and changed her opinion of Hubbard -- mostly based on tall tales about his military career.

They did have a serious break in 1947-48, but it stabilized at a level of cordial non-intimacy by about 1950 (he and Ginny loaned Hubbard $50 to get to DC for a hearing on his medical retirement in that year). Not having any close contact thereafter probably helped keep the rrelationship, such as it was, going (for whatever value of going it occupied).


Wed Jun 17, 2009 6:26 am
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Post Re: Attempt to Forge New Heinlein-Inspired Political Term
Bill Patterson wrote:
The model is wrong, here, Jim.

Sorry, I was working from faded memory of comments you had made. I thought you said the files had a number of unopened letters from LRH, indicating the correspondence had become entirely one way.

In any case, the principal of this topic seems to have pulled up stakes and left town. Very odd.


Wed Jun 17, 2009 7:22 am
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