Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Cursed Knowledge

I have seen the future.  

 At the tail end of the summer of '85, my best friend John and I hopped in my shit-brown Cutlass, left my tiny, crappy apartment in Chicago behinds, and made our way (sans Google Maps or MapQuest or cell phones or any suchlike modern conveniences) to Marc Plaza Hotel in the city of Milwaukee for the annual Triangulum science fiction convention.  

The Guests of Honor that year were David "The Trouble with Tribbles" Gerrold, Harlan "If You've Never Heard of Him, Well, We Don't Have Time For That Now" Ellison, and Isaac Asimov, who literally phoned it in.

Moments I disinctly remember of from convention are, in no particular order...

...David Gerrold, apparently fresh from an EST weekend and still brimming with confrontational bullshit, conducting the worse writing workshop I have ever attended.

...winning first prize (a radio!) in a science fiction-themed murder mystery (the scientist did it, because the scientist always does it.)

...meeting one of a young lady who alleged that a) Harlan Ellison had bedded her and, b) she was the inspiration for the cover art on one of his books.  

...listening to Ellison and Asimov telephonically bust each other's balls at the banquet.

...the anguish that ran through the place when a woman had her purse stolen, because at conventions in 1985 such things were not done!

And Ellison sneak-previewing a few episodes of The New Twilight Zone, which was being debuted later that month.  Fun Fact:  The very first episode of TNTZ was an adaptation of Ellison's Shatterday which starred a young, up-and-comer named Bruce Willis.  

Which brings me the long-way-round to one of only two possible theories about what happened to schmucks like Glenn Greenwald, Andrew Sullivan and Matt Taibbi:

Theory One.  In the TNTZ episode "Need to Know" (starring Frances McDormand and William Petersen, both Illinois natives) a sudden and inexplicable plague of insanity is sweeping a small town, and the victims have nothing in common with each other.  Petersen is sent to investigate.  

It turns out, the cause of the madness is an idea brought back from aboard by a scholar.  An idea that, when whispered in your ear, drives you irreversibly insane.  

So, Theory One:  Greenwald, Sullivan, Taibbi and others have all been whispered cursed knowledge in the secret language of lunacy which has turned them into smarmy contrarian assholes in the service of Team Evil.

Or, Theory Two.  They were always smarmy contrarian assholes and Team Evil just pays sooo much better.

No Half Measures


Jon Sitzman said...

I think there are gradations between the proposed extremes (and I also think you're being humorous), but the simplest explanation is that it's the second one.

You've got me wanting to watch the entire episode. Wondering if there are more overt Lovecraft references.

Thanks as always.

drbopperthp said...

I'm going for number 2 Drifty - having been there at the start of these guys U.S.-based writing/fancifyin'/punditry careers. Back when they were what Harlan Ellison (my favorite writer) would have called "wretched lefty Wildean posers whose only saving grace is that they're on Team Good".

SteveSteve said...

The "Need to Know' episode sounds like the Lethal Joke on Monty Python.

Lawrence said...

I thought you were going with a Thanos reference, where he tells Stark "You aren't the only one cursed with knowledge".

Hal Rager said...

IMO, number 2. For all the reasons you have mentioned for, like, forever, why there are so many in the Team Evil stables. Lifetime guaranteed employment, lifetime spots on their various media platforms, and lifetime appearances on the Sunday 'News' shows. Ya gotta pay for all those hookers and blow!

Unknown said...

Money and lack of any real convictions.

Kevin Holsinger said...

Good afternoon, Mr. Glass.

Oh, yeah, Trump challenged the system all right.

Tax cut that mainly went to the rich? Republicans would never stand for that.

Gutting environmental regulations to it's easier to poison us? Republicans would never stand for that.

Pandering to lunatics? Republicans would never stand for that.

Being anti-science? Republicans would never stand for that.

What a rebel.

Best to you and your loved ones.

Robt said...

Just tankful I got the vaccine and inoculated against this media virus.
I might have been six feet under before I turned into a flesh eating zombie like those infected .

Not even facts or truth straight into their brain will stop them.

Jake formerly of the LP said...

Theory 3 - Russian Kompromat involving underage sexual shenanigans. That’s what I’m betting on.

Jon Sitzman said...

Good afternoon, DG and BG!

No relation to the original post, just sharing something I thought might be relevant to your internets.


I don't agree with all of it, but it's a fascinating read.

Thanks for all you do.

mahakal said...

You literally believe the covid shots were safe and effective.

drbopperthp said...

mahakal - LMAO

pagan in repose said...

Monetary Profit. Your next profit must exceed the previous profit. What ever it takes.


O'Toole's corollary of Finagle's law: The perversity of the Universe tends towards a maximum.

That would be my take on two possible reasons.