Saturday 07-30-2005 5:00 P.M. EST The Matrix Pre-Loaded: The Unpleasant Profession of Jonathan Hoag

Saturday 07-30-2005 5:00 P.M. EST
The Matrix Pre-Loaded: The Unpleasant Profession of Jonathan Hoag

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Here Begins The Discussion Log

You have just entered room “heinleinreadersgroupchat.”

Reilloc has entered the room.

Reilloc: Hey, Dave?

Reilloc: What time is it on the east coast?

RichardFctn has entered the room.

RichardFctn: Hello again!

Reilloc: Hi, Richard.

RichardFctn: Still have not read P. Hoag, but what was his “Purpose”?

Reilloc: He claimed to be an art critic.

RichardFctn: Was he checking out art critics from other Universes?

Reilloc: The art work under his consideration was, depending on how you want to look at it, Earth, human existence or this fictional universe as it was framed.

DavidWrightSr: Hi. was away. Let me check my list and see if I can’t get some more people in.

Reilloc: There’s a cheap paperback “The Unpleasant Profession of Jonathan Hoag” that has this story and others in a similar vein, Richard.

Reilloc: You might see if you can find it if you’re interested.

Reilloc: Thanks, David.

RichardFctn: Thanks Reilloc!

Reilloc: What Heinlein have you read, Richard?

toxdoc1947 has entered the room.

toxdoc1947: hello all

Reilloc: Hi, Tox

BRSTAHL has entered the room.

toxdoc1947: hi reilloc

Reilloc: Hi, Brian.


Reilloc: We’re gearing up to get this thing going, hopeful we’ll attract a couple more participants.

Reilloc: I guess nobody heard about the drawing for the new car if at least 15 people show up…

BRSTAHL: Well, I’m just waiting to see if I get anmore duty calls. Only one death today.

Reilloc: Death?

BRSTAHL: I’m teh consulate’s duty officer. When an American citizen has a crisis, I get called. A retiree died, and I have to assist in getting the death certificate, etc.

Reilloc: Ah.

RichardFctn: Starship Troopers, Stranger in a Strange Land, The Moon is a Harsh Mistriss, The Door into Summer, Methusaleh’s Children and some short storiwes.

BRSTAHL: I also get calls when they get through in jail, hospitalized, or, apparently, just get lonely.

Reilloc: I’m considering some kind of Starship Troopers subject for an upcoming chat.

BRSTAHL: Should thrown in jail.

Reilloc: At what consulate are you stationed, Brian?

BRSTAHL: Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico.

DavidWrightSr: I hope you give better service than Marga and Alex Hergesheimer got in Mazatlan 😎

Dehede011 has entered the room.

Reilloc: Sounds like it could be a pretty place.

Reilloc: Hi, Ron.

BRSTAHL: I’m responsible for Mazatlan, too. If they call, I get them.

Dehede011: would love to join the chat

DavidWrightSr: Well, if they do watch out for the Devil O:-)

Reilloc: Things are picking up, let’s chat.

Reilloc: Welcome to the Heinlein Readers Group’s monthly online discussion.

Reilloc: The discussion is moderately moderated and open to being attended by anybody who finds out about it.

Dehede011: What is the subject this month

Reilloc: The topic under discussion this afternoon is the Robert A. Heinlein short story, “The Unpleasant Profession of Jonathan Hoag.”

Reilloc: Those with access to Usenet’s newsgroups may want to read the postings that have been made pertinent to this topic at the newsgroup

Reilloc: Those with access to Usenet’s newsgroups may want to read the postings that have been made pertinent to this topic at the newsgroup

Reilloc: shit


Reilloc: Also in attendance today is Mr. David Wright, who’ll be glad to receive your instant messages asking for either general information about the chat….

RichardFctn: Somehow I have lost my connection to News.

Reilloc: …and who will provide you information about The Heinlein Society.

DavidWrightSr: Hey. I’ll try, but my AIM is acting up and last time I couldn’t read anything that anyone sent.

Reilloc: So, with those copied and pasted preliminaries out of the way, lets get started.

DavidWrightSr: Try me on IM so that I can check.

Dehede011: I read the story lo these many years ago. If you recall the religion of the bird I once had a boss that was convinced he and his father belonged to that religion

RichardFctn: MyAim shows you offline!

Reilloc: Really, Ron?

Reilloc: How’d that affect their managerial style?

Dehede011: Truly and I am convinced he believed it — even if I didn’t

Reilloc: David, check your font color and background colors.

Dehede011: He managed about like the bird would. Very haughty, arrogant and vastly superior.

DavidWrightSr: they are ok from this end. It looks normal, but IM didn’t work.

Reilloc: Strange….

BRSTAHL: Well, you can belong to a religion, even if others don’t believe in it.

Reilloc: …both things.

Dehede011: I think he was more than a little kooky

Reilloc: You mean he was just an arrogant prick or really knew the story and thought he was an adherent to the religion?

Dehede011: He thought he was an adherent.

Dehede011: Or did a great job of pretending.

Reilloc: Ever get a chance to get from him what the major tenets of this belief system were?

Dehede011: It was 30 years ago. He terrorized his employees.

DavidWrightSr: That sounds like the Sons of the Bird alright

Reilloc: A lot of mirrors situated around the place, were there?

Dehede011: But it was about like Heinlein described it.

Dehede011: I got even tho.

BRSTAHL: So RAH gets blamed for more whacky religions?

DavidWrightSr: How was he on mirrors?

Dehede011: One day he really started chewing on me in his office.

jcgsmtop1 has entered the room.

jcgsmtop1 has left the room.

Reilloc: Hi,k jcgs

Reilloc: Bye, jcgs

Reilloc: He started chewing on you….and…?

Dehede011: Suddenly I realized he had quit talking, was looking at me hoffified and also that I had moved slowly but was halfway over the desk to get him

Reilloc: You stay around long after that?

Dehede011: It was then I discovered he was also a physical coward.

Dehede011: Oh yes,

Reilloc: Lucky he didn’t simply remove your soul and bottle it.

Dehede011: True, but guys, he had no heart to face anyone on a level field

Fire262 has entered the room.

Reilloc: Let me ask, how recently have you guys read the story?

Reilloc: Hi, Fire.

Fire262 has left the room.

Dehede011: two or three years.

Smn Jester has entered the room.

Reilloc: Here’s a familiar name.

LVPPakaAspie has entered the room.

Dehede011: I don’t think there is a story of Heinlein’s that I haven’t read a minimum of three times.

Smn Jester: Where? *looks around*

Reilloc: Hi, Don.

BRSTAHL: It’s been at least a year. My books are still trying to catch up with me from Jordan.

LVPPakaAspie: Hi all

Reilloc: Welcome to the Heinlein Readers Group’s monthly online discussion.

Reilloc: The topic under discussion this afternoon is the Robert A. Heinlein short story, “The Unpleasant Profession of Jonathan Hoag.”


Smn Jester: Deheded.. did you read The Stinkeroos?

Dehede011: No, I never had the chance

Smn Jester: I swear to god, I can never remember how Hoag ends…

DavidWrightSr: For everyone who might be trying to IM me, It ain’t working.. Thanks anyway.

Reilloc: Cute, Jester.

Smn Jester: Scouts Honor.

Reilloc: Let me remind you.

Dehede011: The couple move to Florida (I think) cover all the mirrors and sleep handcuffed to each other.

RichardFctn: OK! Thanks

Reilloc: YOu can’t remember because you were changed as a result of Hoag’s decision not to permit you to remember.

Reilloc: Any H.P. Lovecraft experts in the room?

Smn Jester: Fnord

RichardFctn: is the Robert A. Heinlein short story, “The Unpleasant Profession of Jonathan Hoag.” in any other anthology?

Reilloc: Some of the preliminary posts noted the Jonathan Hoag name may have come from Lovecraft.

Dehede011: Only my son and he is gone

Dehede011: I believe that has been disproven

Dehede011: parallel invention

Reilloc: David, is Hoag in any other anthology, if you know?

Reilloc: I think it’s been noted that Heinlein denied it, Ron.

Reilloc: I posted a link to some of the Lovecraft poetry written as Hoag.

Reilloc: On another issue, it was suggested that Hoag is one of the Heinlein stories that can be argued as the origin of his “World as Myth” notion.

Reilloc: Thoughts about that?

Reilloc: Or is it all a myth anyway…?

Smn Jester: It seems like the seed of those stories anyway…

Smn Jester: But it seems to me that RAH was the sort of guy who run something up the flagpole and see who saluted it.

BRSTAHL: It does show the world as a work of art, created as such, and open to criticism. It can also point to a creator’s influence on his work.

Smn Jester: If enough did, he made more.

Reilloc: Interestingly, when we did “Least Favorite Heinlein,” Hoag made just about everybody’s list.

Reilloc: What other Heinlein stories or novels do you guys see as like Hoag?

Smn Jester: It would mine.

BRSTAHL: Hoag is one of those works I’ve come to appreciate more after waiting some years, then rereading.

Dehede011: Farnham’s Freehold

Smn Jester: As in a tie-in or not liking?

Reilloc: “They” is in the same collection.

DavidWrightSr: There is a definite tie-in to Job with Yahweh and Lucifer, Loki and others all acting as ‘artists’ in creating their worlds

Reilloc: Waldo and Magic, Inc., belong on that list of mythical world works.

BRSTAHL: The first time, I wondered if another author’s story had been put in the book.

DavidWrightSr: It was, His name was “John Riverside”

DavidWrightSr: 😎

Dehede011: And more subtlely to Number of the Beast

DavidWrightSr: and to Elsewhen , IMO

Reilloc: When I sugged Waldo belongs on the list, there was disagreement…

DavidWrightSr: Well, Waldo specifically had the hero speculating as to whether he was discovering or creating his ‘other world’

Dehede011: For us the living would make the list but not if it had been my first Heinlein

BRSTAHL: Waldo could go either way, The magic is there, but it doesn’t have be part of it.

Reilloc: It made me wonder.

BRSTAHL: My quetion with Waldo is if the other world is missing the energy his techiniques are taking.

Reilloc: In Waldo, was the magic always there, that is, is the magic here, in this world, or was it truly another world?

Dehede011: brb

Reilloc: In what world is Waldo set?

Reilloc: In what world is Hoag set?

BRSTAHL: Hoag seems to be an Earth analog somewhere between 1935 and 1950. Waldo, near term future with broadcast power.

Reilloc: Hoag’s an analogue but Waldo’s this world?

Reilloc: So, Brian, you’d not disagree that the magic in Waldo is a high liklihood?

BRSTAHL: Not necessarily, just the SF standard “The Future”.

Dehede011: Hoag is set in Chicago or an analog

Reilloc: It would be my position that the Waldo and Hoag worlds are both this world or both not.

BRSTAHL: The magic in Waldo is using some sort of force. It could be part of Clarke Law on magic and engineering.

Reilloc: I don’t think I can go wrong, there.

Dehede011: If you have ever taken the train from the loop to the University of Chicago Campus the scenes in Hogue are very familar

Reilloc: How about the topic of critic, generally, and Heinlein’s seemingly differing position in Hoag as contrasted to how he’s characterized the elsewhere?

Reilloc: Okay, start here.

Reilloc: Was Hoag a good guy or a bad guy?

BRSTAHL: I think he’s subtley showing the difference between a real critic, and the self-proclaimed ones with a newspaper column. One actually looks at theings, and the other tries to create trends.

Reilloc: Interesting point, Brian.

Reilloc: You would say that a lot of critics have personal agendas?

BRSTAHL: Many do.

Smn Jester: Is the human a bad guy or a good guy compared to ants?

Smn Jester: Especially when he has an ice cream cone.

Reilloc: Reminds me to put ice cream on my grocery list for after this session…

BRSTAHL: Hoag was doing his job, and he was kinder than he had to be.

Reilloc: What was his job?

Reilloc: After all, a critic is a commentator, not a wholesale technical revisionist…

BRSTAHL: Apparently, art critic. Also, possibly a corrector. Someone who cleans up others mistakes, such as the Sons of the Bird.

Reilloc: Just out of curiosity, since it’s impossible to do other than speculate, where’d Hoag get his critiquing credentials? His training? Do you think…?

Reilloc: I used to be married to an art historian…

Reilloc: Her connoiseurship was drawn into question by her having picked me, obviously; however, I did learn that you have to get your training and underpinning someplace…

Smn Jester: Hmm… What is the expression? If you can’t do, teach. If you can’t teach, be a critic.

BRSTAHL: At that level. it’s hard to say. Is he one of Yaweh and Lucifer’s brothers?

RichardFctn: How about the credentials of RAH himself, such as the 60 pages to Larry Niven and Jerry Pournell? in the current Newsletter?

BRSTAHL: That means is he a critic or and editor?

Dehede011: RAH was a coach in that instance

RichardFctn: Ask Jerry and Larry:-)

Reilloc: Maybe he told them “art critic” because they couldn’t comprehend what it was he actually did?

Reilloc: By the way, what did he actually do?

Reilloc: But let’s save that question for a bit.

Reilloc: It’s the top of the hour now and I’m calling a brief break for about 5 minutes.

Reilloc: Naturally, nobody has to stop talking or do anything differently at all.

Smn Jester: How long is going to be on?

BRSTAHL: He went off every day, and came home with stuff under his nails.

Reilloc: We’ll be here for another two hours, Jester.

RichardFctn: David I found this information about:

Reilloc: I’ll be back shortly.

RichardFctn: The short story “The Unpleasant Profession of Jonathan Hoag appearedin “6 X H” and ” The Best of Robert Heinlein” in 1973 and “The Fantasies of RAH in 1999 1 of 8 stories”

Smn Jester: Okay, I’ll be back in a bit; have to go pick up some furniture.

RichardFctn: I’ll get a copy next wednesday!

DavidWrightSr: 6xH was titled _Then Unpleasant Profession of Jonathan Hoag_ also. I have a beautiful Easton Press edition that Ginny sent me.

BRSTAHL: And in case the rest you want to know, the consulate opens at 8:30 Monday morning. Why can’t people hear that part of the message when they call to get the emergency number that reaches me?

Dehede011: Fellows, I am going to have to give it up. Adios and thanks for asking me.

Dehede011 has left the room.

Reilloc: Okay.

Reilloc: Break’s over.

Reilloc: Back to work.

Reilloc: Where were we?

Reilloc: Oh…yeah…

Reilloc: Was Chicago destroyed?

Reilloc: Was this atypical Heinlein in the way it was told?

Reilloc: Was it Mexico or Florida where the Randalls wound up?

Reilloc: Is the story more evocative of the story of Lot and his wife or of Jeremiah?

BRSTAHL: It was somewhere on the Gulf of Mexico, I don’t recall if it gave a set location.

Reilloc: I got the impression it was Mexico but Ron, before he left, said he thought Florida.

BRSTAHL: Chicago may have been erased. Everyone not involved simply forgot about it.

Reilloc: There was strong sentiment on Thursday that Chicago was physically destroyed.

BRSTAHL: That would have been noticed. How would the rest of teh world react?

Reilloc: I was more of the mind articulated by Prof. Wright who suggested readjustment of the universe.

Reilloc: Indeed, how’d you not notice and was Chicago worse than New York?

BRSTAHL: That’s why I tended towards erasure, but I didn’t think of it until after I had read of Sambo’s erasure in Cat.

Reilloc: Cat’s a book I’ve only read once and couldn’t make it through another time.

DavidWrightSr: What did you dislike about Cat? LN

Reilloc: I thought it was contrived, David.

DavidWrightSr: How do you mean that?

DavidWrightSr: All plots are contrived.

Reilloc: The dialogue was dated and stilted and it felt like he tried too hard to pull too many elements in from other works.

BRSTAHL: Another thought, with World as Myth. Could Hoag and/or his superior been out to destroy competition?

BRSTAHL: If the Sons of the Bird really believed strongly enough, could that threaten the other “gods”, “artists”, or whatever they are?

Reilloc: I like that.

Reilloc: YOu mean the bad gods, right?

BRSTAHL: Not necessarily bad. Just out to keep the neighborhood from getting to crowded. We don’t know Hoag was good, just the Brds were bad.

Reilloc: Here’s something….

BRSTAHL: We just know Hoag was kind to a couple of individuals. It could have been like Hitler and his dog. He liked his dog.

Reilloc: Why do you think Hoag liked the Randalls?

BRSTAHL: He went out of his way to help them. He could have left them in Chicago. It may have been liking, or “they helped me, so I help them.”

Reilloc: Some say, and I think he (Hoag) says in the story that it’s the loving relationship between the Randalls that sorta showed him a light…

BRSTAHL: Possible. A redeeming point in the art.

Reilloc: Brian, did you read Dave Silver’s posts about the context of the writing of Hoag?

Reilloc: What was going on in the Heinlein’s lives at the time he wrote this?

DavidWrightSr: They were the ‘good art’. The problem was that the ‘artist’ had been lazy and didn’t clear his ‘canvas’ correctly.

BRSTAHL: About the illness and sense of powerlessnes? That would explain parts of it.

Reilloc: What do they call that? Pentimento?

DavidWrightSr: Speculating: a great deal of tension. He was hoping for orders. I doubt that she would have been too happy about that.

DavidWrightSr: And he was sitting around doing nothing about the war at that point.

Reilloc: She was in bad health and needed an operation.

Reilloc: He wrote the story to raise money for the surgery.

BRSTAHL: And bad things that you can’t control and can’t help can wear you down.

Reilloc: But maybe the story’d never have been written except for this adversity.

BRSTAHL: That’s true. And without the case of TB, would any of them have been written?

Reilloc: Noun 1. pentimento – the reappearance in a painting of an underlying image that had been painted over (usually when the later painting becomes transparent with age)

DavidWrightSr: That figured prominently in a “Dead Zone” story a couple of weeks ago.

Reilloc: Dead Zone?

BRSTAHL: Just got called away to be notified that the consulate in Nuevo Laredo is closed because of violence in the city. Being duty officer gets you all sorts of good calls…

DavidWrightSr: On TV, based on Steven King’s book

Reilloc: I don’t recall seeing the term but I think I’ve seen the Sons of the Bird described as just that.

Reilloc: Painted-over elements that should have been more effectively removed.

DavidWrightSr: No, the term wasn’t used as I recall, but that’s what they were, left-over ‘bad art’ causing the good art above to be corrupted.

Reilloc: David, you think that what Hoag wound up doing was more than just redacting the Sons when the “adjustment” happened?

DavidWrightSr: That’s my impression. Sucking out the ‘bad stuff’, but, of course, I could be wrong. I have been once or twice in my life. πŸ˜‰

Reilloc: Raises questions about who’s got what power and from what source and who determines when it can be exercised.

BRSTAHL: Of course, the Sons leaking out could have damaged teh Chicago area, and that’s why it all had to go.

BRSTAHL: The old vet in Job?

DavidWrightSr: It ties in. Koshchei was above Yahweh, Lucifier, Loki and others and Jerry(Lucifier) speculated that there might be an infinite set above him

Reilloc: And so on, ad infinitum?

Reilloc: By the way, who’s Koschei?

Reilloc: From JOB?

BRSTAHL: Once you admit God can have a god, why stop at one level?

DavidWrightSr: Yes, Jerry called him that at one point.

Reilloc: So, you guys are saying that even gods have beliefs?

AGplusone has entered the room.

Reilloc: Hi, Dave.


AGplusone: Acck! I forgot this was Saturday.

AGplusone: Hi, Bryan, everyone else.

Reilloc: Saturday in D.C….

DavidWrightSr: I don’t think that ‘beliefs’ entered into the God level anywhere

DavidWrightSr: Has been all day David. πŸ˜‰

AGplusone: [Dave, could you send me partial log so I can catch up]

BRSTAHL: Jerry said he didn’t ask for worship. He was just their boss.

DavidWrightSr: I’ll see what I can do.

AGplusone: Well, I’m getting old. Be as old as your are in a few days, again.

Reilloc: Dave, we were just sorta/kinda talking about Hoag’s authority or power, where it came from and such.

AGplusone: Interesting question. I vote for the Glaroom, the big boss of them all.

BRSTAHL: But did they have a superior?

Reilloc: Yes, but, if gods have their own gods and a god’s something in which you “believe” can there ever be any answers?

AGplusone: turtles all the way up too from where we are

DavidWrightSr: On the way to you on the wings of a Snow White Dove

BRSTAHL: With World as Myth, belief is creation.

AGplusone: thanks Dave

DavidWrightSr: No, I think that the Glaroon were on the same level as Yahweh and Lucifer, IMO

BRSTAHL: Wasn’t Jerry offered a chance to work with them?

Reilloc: You only believe that, David.

AGplusone: yep, bubble open up as they pop–all one bubble machine, run by Laurence Welk …

toxdoc1947 has left the room.

DavidWrightSr: Well, the comment was something like turning someone over to the Glaroon for a cycle or something to that effect.

AGplusone: I’m a Huxleyite… don’t know is all I know.

AGplusone: Yes. Foster.

Smn Jester: Anyone familiar with the term ‘simulacra’?

Reilloc: Yes.

Reilloc: Baby formula, right?

Reilloc: Just kidding.

DavidWrightSr: In this case, a copy of someone. No, that Similac!

Smn Jester: Heh…

Reilloc: You mean like clones?

DavidWrightSr: There was talk of offering Alex a simulacrum of Marga, but it was decided that he wouldn”t be happy without the real thing.

Smn Jester: A simulacra is a copy of a copy of a copy. I use the dashboard Jesus as an example.

AGplusone: And you have Odin coming under Kolchei on same level as Jerry and his nasty brother.

Reilloc: I don’t care if it rains or freezes…

AGplusone: We always told on him to his Mother, which is why the RC churches sold plastic Marys.

BRSTAHL: &)(&(*&(&&%$ DUTY PHONE!

DavidWrightSr: Tying in with “They” and _Beyond This Horizon_, Marga was described as a ‘volitional’ probably as opposed to ‘automatics’.

Reilloc: Sorry, I had this huge, borrowed cat jump up here and keep me from typing.

DavidWrightSr: Rule 1. You have to play around the Cat.

Reilloc: So, what’s this about simulacra and gods and pentimento and all the rest of this stuff?

Smn Jester: I keep a plastic bag nearby when my cat forgets her manners…

RichardFctn has left the room.

RichardFctn has entered the room.

DavidWrightSr: You want us to go through it again? or just explain more fully? or what?

Smn Jester: Maybe this is something like that, but in reverse. The ‘top’ god is so lost in all of his lower copies, that we can’t see the top level any more.

Smn Jester: Which makes me think, if Jerry and his brother are smaller copies, then might we be copies of them? In that case, stories like Waldo show human beings as they start on their path to becoming the next level of simulacra.

Reilloc: No, I was just pseudo-summing up and trying to get things rolling again.

AGplusone: [and I’m reading quickly the log]

DavidWrightSr: Well, Jerry (Lucifer) didn’t *say* that there were gods above Koshchei, he just speculated on it. carrying out the logical inference, if God is needed to create the world, who created Dog and so on.

AGplusone: LN: why do you think the story dialogue was stilted and contrived?

Reilloc: That’s “Cat,” Dave.

AGplusone: Okay, why in Cat?

Smn Jester: Dave, dyslexics created Dog.

Reilloc: Because I haven’t heard people talk like that since the screen play for “Double Indemnity.”

Reilloc: Or worse.

AGplusone: Ah-hah!

Reilloc: What, ah-hah?

AGplusone: I’ve been reading Hammett in the original … [Danish, anyone?] and looking at how both Hoag and Cat’s dialogue compares.

Reilloc: They do compare well.

Reilloc: Hammet or Hamlet?

Smn Jester: Hamlet in the original Danish? I think there is omething rotten here…

AGplusone: They’re all three “Comedies of Manners,” with ‘light, witty,’ sorts of dialogue. No, Hammett, Dashiell, in the Nick and Nora Charles story

Reilloc: I don’t disagree that he went for “light and witty.”

Reilloc: To my tastes, he hit “tedious and predictable.”

AGplusone: Heinlein in Hoag isn’t quite as good as Hammett in his final work–

Reilloc: Ever read “The Maltese Falcon” and then watch the movie?

AGplusone: he’s learning, just as he learned with RSG to write juveniles, as he taught himself in FUTL (sorta) to write SF

Reilloc: The book’s diaglogue’s good enough to survive to the screen.

Reilloc: It’s how people really talked.

Reilloc: Even effete Joel Cairo.

AGplusone: Quite a difference, aren’t they? Ever compare the movie of the Charles novel with the novel itself?

Reilloc: I’ve read all of Hammett but it’s been awhile.

Reilloc: Coincidentally, Turner Cable Movies ran all the Thin Man movies just this week.

AGplusone: “The Thin Man” went for comedy in the movie. In the novel, much harder, darker, more developed.

AGplusone: Nicky is not the guy you want to piss off.

Reilloc: Maybe another thing is I can’t see William Powell as Col. Campbell.

Reilloc: Powell could talk that way and pull it off.

Reilloc: Powell was from Kansas City, too.

AGplusone: And Nora isn’t quite as sweet. She’s a thrill seeker, and gets excited when they get hurt.

Smn Jester: Shto eta? Powell?

BRSTAHL: Back, after more duty officer fun. Hint, even if you try to disguise it by putting oregano on top of the bag, the cops will still figure it out.

AGplusone: rofl

Reilloc: The Dain Curse and The Glass Key are about as complicated as any detective novel can get and not be gimmicky.

AGplusone: Gwen/Hazel is a lot harder than Cynthia … Cynthia/Gwen/Nora Charles

AGplusone: And The Thin Man keeps you in the dark forever.

Reilloc: The Continental Op stories are gems.

AGplusone: So you get this very complicated plot where no one knows where it’s going (aka Hoag) until nearly the end …. and witty, sophisticated chit-chat (Cat, and perhaps a little of Hoag), and you see the development?

Reilloc: I knew what he was doing, it was obvious to anybody with the kinds of backgrounds we have in literature and movies.

Reilloc: And I’m not saying I expected perfection in Hoag.

Reilloc: You asked about Cat, though, and I expected more there.

AGplusone: The ‘sophistication’ isn’t necessarily that which your mother would approve … because witty might be a waiter and two bartenders suddenly bashing someone too witty to the floor and throwing him out (The Thin Man) in about eight

AGplusone: seconds.

AGplusone: I’m looking but not done looking there, yet.

Reilloc: Incidentally, any Raymond Chandler influences you’ve spotted, David?

AGplusone: But note how Cat begins, with that well-trained waiter and staff getting rid of Tallifero’s body.
[Editor’s Note: The person killed at the beginning of _Cat_ was going by th Schultz]

AGplusone: Haven’t looked at my Chandler yet. Plowing through Hammett first.

Reilloc: I’ll have to see if I can find “Long Goodbye” and “High Window” and check out the style and characterization.

AGplusone: Yes, I’ve got a copy of Long Goodbye and a few others, too.

AGplusone: Reading fast …

AGplusone: The movies aren’t necessarily all the novels there — Nick and Nora go for laughs, lightly, in the movie.

Reilloc: Notice in these books and movies how much drinking there is?

AGplusone: Charles is at least a bottle a day man in the book

Reilloc: There’s the same kind of cult of alcohol recreational use as there is a marijuana recreational use popularity in books and movies now.

AGplusone: Wakes at noon, if that, and parties after hours in Speakeasies all night until dawn.

AGplusone: Nobody ever sleeps

AGplusone: until the late wee hours

Reilloc: So, you think Heinlein could have been a successful detective fiction writer?

Reilloc: He always liked McDonald and I’ve been wanting to write Travis McGee in space for years.

AGplusone: Underage drinking, everyone smokes, some do dope, the Roaring Twenties, the ones Heinlein grew up in–maybe in detective pulp, but he had some work to catch up on Hammett

AGplusone: Hammett is a hell of a lot darker than Heinlein ever was. I’d have liked Nicky at my back in some dives.

AGplusone: But Thin Man is really good, Nicky is trying to stay out of trouble now. “Retired” like Colin Campbell in Cat.

IrishBet has entered the room.

Reilloc: Hi, Pam


IrishBet: Hi, all — this evening I am grandchild-less … so maybe I can participate more.

Reilloc: Cool.

AGplusone: Hi, Pam. We’re trying to figure how close H got to imitating Hammett, Chandler, in Hoag, in Cat.

Reilloc: Jump right in and tell us everything you want us to know about Hoag.

Smn Jester: Shoe size.

IrishBet: I’ve never thought of either as particularly Hammett- or Chandler-esque. In what way, david?

AGplusone: Without discussing Chandler, and just considering Hammett at his height of powers, The Thin Man, Hammett is writing more than just a detective novel, he’s writing a Comedy of Manners, witty complicated dialogue, etc., complicated

AGplusone: plots, and a certain “where in the hell is this going?” aspect to the entire story. Keeps audience in dark.

Reilloc: It’s good mystery fiction.

AGplusone: And the novel The Thin Man is a lot darker than the William Powell movie in tone.

AGplusone: “hard-boiled” fiction, but not solely on how many times Mike Hammer gets his head bashed in.

AGplusone: Not with Hammett, anyway.

Reilloc: Now, don’t dis Spillane.

AGplusone: “She was a real blonde.”

AGplusone: Need I say more.

IrishBet: I’ve never seen the movie. (I have vague memories of the TV series, though). From the perspective you mention, though, David, I’d call Cat more Hammett-eque than Hoag.

Reilloc: They always begin in the rain and they always end with Mike having the living shit beat out of him but killing the really bad guy.

AGplusone: Yeah, the hardboiled egg is usually burnt black.

Reilloc: Compare, John McDonald where the end has, sometimes, no end.

AGplusone: Whereas Hammett and Chandler and MacDonald (both of them, Ross too) often have no true conclusive end.

AGplusone: Colin bleeding out …

Reilloc: I’m a little surprised Heinlein never did an Earl Stanley Gardner knockoff.

AGplusone: in half the worlds Galahad and the troops arrive and it’s off to receive treatment.

IrishBet: Except that Mike (Mycroft) reappeared in TNoTB, didn’t he? So apparently there was a happy ending later

Reilloc: Of course, ESG wrote detective fiction (the Lamb and Cool) series that was pretty similar to what you might call “quick Hammett.”

AGplusone: Yes … in half the worlds …

AGplusone: Yeah, Bertha Cool and Donald Lamb (Lam?) are like that.

AGplusone: aka “A.A. Fair”

DavidWrightSr: Mike was paired with Athena in _To Sail Beyond The Sunset_.

Reilloc: Bertha’s worthless, pretty much, but Donald could be right out of what Heinlein liked, male character-wise.

AGplusone: ESG = A.A. Fair a psuedonym

Reilloc: ESG had another pseudo, too, he used to write his D.A. series.

Reilloc: I can’t remember it.

AGplusone: Bertha is a manipulator like Gwen/Hazel to an extent

Reilloc: Bertha’s never without dollar signs in her eyes.

AGplusone: fer sure big daddy

IrishBet: I like Gwen/Hazel better than any of his female characters. She has a very practical, bottom-line approach.

AGplusone: otoh David Lamb has a bit of that in TEFL … naw, couldn’t be a reason.

AGplusone: Yes, she’s certainly not Bertha Cool, who was, as Lester notes, someone Lam, a disbarred lawyer had to put up with.

AGplusone: To eat.

IrishBet: Bertha is the shallow end of the pool compared to Gwen

Reilloc: I wouldn’t play poker with Bertha.

AGplusone: I wouldn’t play marbles

IrishBet: That’s the point. You KNOW better to engage Bertha. Gwen sucks you in and spits you out. πŸ™‚

AGplusone: OTOH Gwen starts off Cat by killing Tolliver, aka Talliferro

IrishBet: Just so.

AGplusone: Heinlein tries for Nick-Nora Lite in Hoag; tries for Lam-Cool Improved in Cat?

AGplusone: And where does “They Do It With Mirrors” fit in here.

IrishBet: You think he wanted to write more mystery?

Reilloc: I’ll have to reflect on that.

AGplusone: ooooow

AGplusone: I think he kept it in the back of his mind. Cat is a mystery

IrishBet: They Do It With Mirrors was much less Hammett/Chandler

AGplusone: Agree, Mirrors is just a short, on the surface

IrishBet: Much more . . . not Spillane, exactly, but in that mold.

Reilloc: Too long since I’ve read “Mirrors.”

AGplusone: and a bit more of a “cosy” even if it takes place in a bar mostly

AGplusone: intellectual in a sense

Reilloc: In what compilation, please?

AGplusone: Whereas Hammett gives you a lot of intellect, if you look as that Nick’s thinking between the lines … always thinking very shrewdly

AGplusone: in the solution of the mysteryt

AGplusone: Nick’s got a con-man, or CPA’s mind.

DavidWrightSr: In Expanded Universe, LN

AGplusone: Like the Op

Reilloc: Thanks, David.

DavidWrightSr: By ‘Simon York’

AGplusone: How does GB Shaw stack up on the Comedies of Manners here?

DavidWrightSr: or ‘Morinosky’

AGplusone: I’ve nver read a lot of Shaw

Reilloc: I can’t remember reading any Shaw.

AGplusone: How witty but maybe with a truly sharp edge is he?

AGplusone: Hammett has got real sharp and sometimes bloody edges, like Hoag’s finger nails.

Reilloc: Hammett’s never hesitant to kill.

Reilloc: Look at the carnage in The Bank Job.

AGplusone: And when he does, doesn’t bother to check up whether she was a “real blonde” — doesn’t care, she’s dead and I’m not.

AGplusone: Must have been the time he spent in the actual trenches in WW I

IrishBet: [ pondering the male obsession with the reality of blondes ]

AGplusone: Actually Spillane’s obsession

IrishBet: I’ll stand (or sitA) corrected . . . but it seems to carry across the species. πŸ˜‰

AGplusone: Redheads, that’s the drink, that makes you …

AGplusone: wonder if Blondes think.

IrishBet: There’s a lot of Hammett in Gwen (not that H intended it so, just a parallel I see)

IrishBet: Quick, decisive, sharp, convoluted

Reilloc: Now, Gwen…

Reilloc: Do I have to read “Cat” to see Gwen?

BRSTAHL: And the last call means I have to go away. Bye!

Reilloc: Is she anyplace else?

Reilloc: Brian, thanks for coming.

IrishBet: She’s “Hazel” of TMiaHM and Rolling Stones

AGplusone: Oh, Bryan … wanted to talk about having a Heinlein Centennial festival in Mazatlan!

BRSTAHL has left the room.

AGplusone: And see if we can make the lighthouse fall again …

AGplusone: That tower and the cathedral is impressive

IrishBet: The skinny little girl in TMiaHM

DavidWrightSr: but rejuvenated and with her hair dyed.

AGplusone: grows up to become excentric grannie and they developes into …

AGplusone: eccentric

Reilloc: egocentric

IrishBet: All of H’s women are healthily egocentric.

AGplusone: very true, but she’s gotten through the pre-FemLib age rather scathed

Reilloc: Folks, it’s about the appointed quittin’ time.

Reilloc: But that doesn’t mean we gotta.

IrishBet: Scathed in what way, David?

AGplusone: Can imagine Grandma Hazel putting limburger in your vents, but not starting off a meeting shooting you in the face

IrishBet: But ending it that way

AGplusone: She’s resented big hairy engineers getting promoted over her all her life

AGplusone: when we see her with Castor and Pollux … I don’t see any in Cat

AGplusone: She’s gotten to the stage where men are dust under her chariot wheels

AGplusone: unless she likes you, and lets you stay the night, in which case … maybe she’ll let you figure out she wacked out Taliferro

AGplusone: without killing you.

AGplusone: If the Boss needs you to run a little routine patrol

IrishBet: I’m not sure Hazel resented it, as such. More like just dealing with an idiotic reality.

AGplusone: could be … she doesn’t dwell on it, just mentions it, but I wonder what she really told Meade

IrishBet: But, if it gnawed at her, it would have been part and parcel of the Gewn she became (assuming H even thought it that far through)

AGplusone: when they were alone

AGplusone: Well, Heinlein had Ginny with him for several years. The chemistry Ginny did before the war for that food company really wasn’t out there on the front lines

IrishBet: I think she told Meade to ask no quarter and give none.

AGplusone: I think she tested for bacteria

DavidWrightSr: Have we finally run out of steam?

IrishBet: He said that he thought her a better engineer than he. I’ve always thought Gwen might have been modeled on Ginny, and if so, then he DID think it that far through.

AGplusone: -30 sorry I was late, everyone.

AGplusone: And Ginny picked up engineering on the side to do war work

DavidWrightSr: LN, are you there?

AGplusone: Went back to UCLA for grad work in biochemistry

Reilloc: Sorry, I had a phone call.

IrishBet: Was Ginny a chemical engineer?

DavidWrightSr: She was a chemist, first.

DavidWrightSr: IIRC

AGplusone: The work they did was on plastic blisters for PBYs and such

Reilloc: So, Professor, although the discussion seems to be proceeding productively, I have to leave.

AGplusone: did together during the war actually for Ernie King

GreedyCapitalist has entered the room.

RichardFctn: Interesting afternoon, Thanks all! till next time BYE!

RichardFctn has left the room.

AGplusone: Thanks Richard

Reilloc: If you can stay around and continue the log, if you’d like, that would be good; however, I have to call it an evening.

Reilloc: Otherwise, I will call for the log to be closed and the formal discussion ended in favor of a free for all.

IrishBet: Nite, Les

AGplusone: me too, although I can talk IM to you Pam. Did get those membership certificates last week.

DavidWrightSr: I’m about fagged out myself. BTW David, I’ve just about got that project done for you.

IrishBet: Finally!

AGplusone: Very wonderful!

AGplusone: thanks

Reilloc: Again, I really appreciate everybody coming and pitching in.

IrishBet: Great — so when do I get the stuff I need?

DavidWrightSr: Log Officially Closed at 8:02 P.M. EDT

IrishBet: πŸ™‚

AGplusone: Returned to sender, except the one0day special you sent

Reilloc: Thanks, David.

AGplusone: Thank you Les. Give me a call please.

Reilloc: See you all aroud the ng and such….

Reilloc: ‘night, all…

Reilloc has left the room.

DavidWrightSr: David, I;m going to send it to you in both Word .doc format as well as plain text.

AGplusone: Thank you David

DavidWrightSr: Pozhalsta.

AGplusone: And good night for NBC …

DavidWrightSr: Night All

IrishBet: Nite David

End of Discussion

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