Now tell me that ain’t a grabby title. No pun intended. (Shouts from the cheap seats: “NONE TAKEN!”)
Last year Harlan Ellison was an ass to the Penny Arcade Guys, one of whom gave him a smackdown.
Now he’s on video groping Connie Willis, one of the finest science fiction writers alive,
Appropriate comments here:
Harlan Ellison groping Connie Willis on stage at the Hugos wasn’t funny and it wasn’t okay. I understand (from third parties; I haven’t spoken to her about it) that Connie Willis’s position is that Ellison has done worse and she can handle him, but I really didn’t want to watch it and neither, I think, did a lot of other people in the audience. Up to then the comedic schtick aspects of the Hugo presentation had been genuinely funny. After that, I think, many of us just wanted it all to stop.
Just as with George W. Bush’s now-famous uninvited shoulder-rub of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, the basic message of Ellison’s tit-grab is this: “Remember, you may think you have standing, status, and normal, everyday adult dignity, but we can take it back at any time. If you are female, you’ll never be safe. You can be the political leader of the most powerful country in Europe. You can be the most honored female writer in modern science fiction. We can still demean you, if we feel like it, and at random intervals, just to keep you in line, we will.”
It’s not okay. It’s not funny. It wasn’t a blow against bourgeois pieties or political correctness. It was just pathetic and nasty and sad and most of us didn’t want to watch it. It’s another thing that’s going to stop.
My wife’s been involved in a lot of science fiction convention work back in the day and Ellison’s always come off as a bit of a sleazy jerk.
The video’s out there on google video but it seems like it’d be hypocritically voyeuristic to link to it.
I found out about this a week or so ago, but what made me think to post it was Topher’s suggestion of going back a year and seeing what you were blogging about back then. I saw that I’d blogged on the Penny Arcade thing, and suddenly remembered that Ellison acting like a jerk at a con was also in the news just lately, so I thought I’d post to link them together.