Have I ever talked about my love of Harlan Ellison, the writer, and Harlan Ellison the human being? I should, shouldn’t I? What a guy. What a blistering intellect which is consistently miles above quite a lot of us, not only in his fiction work, but his non-fiction, and his ability to speak.
The thing about Harlan is, everyone declares him an asshole — and, in our glorious anonymous internet age — talks about the time that THEY outdid Harlan Ellison, most instances of which are probably entirely untrue, not least because if someone mouthed off to him the way they claim to have done, they would be vaporized.
Personally, I don’t find him to be all that rude and awful a person as some claim. Why is he? He has admitted to having a very low bullshit tolerance level, which is a good thing and something that we should all have, frankly. But honestly, if I had to point at someone else’s career which is the dream career that I want to have, his would be it. I work on novels out of necessity, admittedly, but if I could follow his path and base an entire career (and, you know, pay the bills) by writing short stories, editing anthologies, and consulting on Babylon 5, I’d do it like a shot.
Anyway, here’s a Harlan Ellison video, with him speaking about paying the writers. And he’s right, of course.
I haven’t really been posting about the Writer’s strike, because Lori’s doing a fine job covering it. But I think Harlan sums it up. Which is another one of those things he does best.
Go watch. Come back when you’re done applauding.
Addendum: And if you’d like to applaud some more, here’s him speaking on a similar topic. and he’s right. And his analogy at the end is exactly, exactly right.