Much like power respects power, crankiness respects crankiness. In this case, while I still haven't come to full terms with the suicide of Anthony Bourdain, don't you worry, the heartfelt post about him is to come. I did want to just quickly talk about another loss in this world of greatness.. Harlan Ellison.
I have to tell you the truth here, I thought he was already dead. It hadn't even occurred to me that he was still alive and being the cranky old self he is. I just had assumed that he was, like, in his 80's when I first discovered his work in my early youth.
There was a shit ton of amazing stories I have heard about him and his pettiness. For example this gem that when a publisher broke a contract by allowing a cigarette ad in one of Ellison's books, Harlan mailed him dozens of bricks and a ripe dead gopher. The point of the bricks was that they were mailed postage due and he used the most expensive shipping. In fact, he was so petty that he recalled exactly how many bricks he sent. 213 to be exact.
So now the world is a little worse, and a lot less angry. May you be giving L. Ron Hubbard shit in the great beyond. Because I know that's the first thing he would be doing. What a fucking cranky asshole. But you know what, I Have No Mouth And I Must Scream fucked me up as a youth and I will constantly reflect on it through out my life if at all possible when I'm an old and dementia ridden cranky asshole like him. Though I fully well know I can't even hold a candle compared to Harlan.
My favorite is how hee basically pissed of James Cameron to no end.
I love that all the subseuqent releases had to legally be required to contain the single additional credit "Acknowledgement to the works of Harlan Ellison". What an amazingly tiny victory. It's really the goal of any one who has any pettiness in them. I guess I just like the fact that he stuck it to James Cameron. And I speak as someone who is both an Aliens and Terminator fan.
He also was pissed at Disney, because of course he was going to be.
I mean, if you ever enjoyed A Boy and His Dog, or all the stuff that was inspired by that such as Mad Max, Fallout, or anime like Fist of the Northstar, then you need to pay the man some respect. Even if he probably chewed you out for somehow wronging him.I had been fired after working for the Disney empire for a total of four hours, including lunch.
The lessons here cannot be avoided.
Big business is humorless.
And . . .
At Disney, nobody fucks with The Mouse.
He was such a cranky son of a bitch. I mean, he probably was a real pain in the ass in real life, but all of the stories I read of him are just amazing. I got to honor the guy in some small way. He just took everything so fucking seriously that it's comical. Like the time he first got online and found his stories on some websites, so he decided to sue AOL because they were obviously responsible for everything on the internet.
In the end, the guy wrote amazing literature that inspired and fascinated people for generations. It's really sad that he's just remembered as a Star Trek writer, because he was so much more. He lived till the ripe age of 84 and then kicked it in his sleep. God damn, that sounds like one hell of an amazing life.
If only we all could be so lucky.