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Letters to the Editor
1996


This page contains letters of comment published in 1996. As in the main letter column page the letters are in reverse order of arrival, i.e., the latest comes first. As you read through the page you are going back in time. For your convenience here is an index to persons having written:

Index of contributors

Letters of Comment from 1997

Romi Lloyd writes:

Just wanted you to know the all your christian stuff is crap, from what I just read and what I've read of the bible the only thing I see is a damn fairy-tale. wake up

Apparently there is a breed of angry atheists who are allergic to preacher-talk, so allergic that when they encounter any they sneeze violently and their brains fly out their nose. Our Romi seems to be one of them. I'm not sure what rattled his cage but you might look at the religion page and take a guess.

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LANNY MYERS writes:

Subject: your bullshit analysis of the 90's

this web site is obviously done by some hypocritical old fart , acid was the 60's and marijuana is the biggest drug of the 90's . Your choice for a 90's accomplishment sucks too.

For the bewildered, Lanny is evidently referring to a page in the humor section entitled Recent Generations Compared. Go read it and then come back and read his letter. It boggles the mind to imagine what he thought of the rest of the site. Congratulations, Lanny, you just won my "best letter of the year" award.

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Anthony Lewis writes:

Reading about Roland reminded me of the real reason why the ancient Egyptians built such large pyramids--the poor state of their shaving metallurgy. To keep a bronze razor sharp enough to shave pharoah's beard and hair comfortably and safely really did require a multi-megaton pyramid. Now, with vanadium stainless steel, we can get the same effect with a pyramid a few inches on a side.

Why is it that explanation never occurred to me?

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Damien Broderick writes:

You don't know me. I stumbled upon yr homepage. Perhaps God sent me there, although I doubt it. I fell off my chair when I saw the Bottom 95% sigil and knew that I was in a Good Place.

I look forward to reading through the links...

A man of character and discernment I see. I will have you know sir that I am not. If I were it would be a point of pride to resist the blandishments of those who hand out these little puffs of egocentric glory. The truth is more sordid. I tried to sell out and nobody would buy. No advertiser has appeared whispering soft words and brandishing large checks. For all that Magellan knows I am an uncharted island. I can't even join the underground; they told me "subterranean is one thing, dead and buried is something else, and your site is certainly something else".
Damien, by the bye, is an Australian SF author of note; his home page is worth a visit.

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Anthony Lewis writes:

Shame Shame Shame

That ruse was used for the invasion of Sicily to make the Germans think the invasion was aimed at Sardinia. Re-read the book.

Shame

The Evial ARL

The evial Dr. Lewis is, as is his wont, correct. The British ran a number of scams during WW II. If memory serves me correctly it was the connection through Cicero in which the false invasion plans were planted. [But I do remember that Cicero was paid off with counterfeit money by the Germans.] The British also ran a scam which misplaced where the invasion of North Africa occurred. Sir, you have this atrocious habit of ruining perfectly good stories with sordid facts. I suppose I will have to correct the page.

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Chris Colby writes:

Righteous page, Richard. I especially liked the links to all the t.o. denizens.

Righteous indeed. When I posted the Post Modern Creationism article I also put up a page for it and mentioned the URL in the posting. It's getting hit regularly; I suspect some hapless fundamentalist took it seriously and put it in a link. Satire is so unsafe. The t.o. denizens links pages is one of those little things that is easy to do and gives every one their place in the sun. By the bye, where's your page, Sir?

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paschal wrote in a series of missives:

Jeez Louise!
It'll take me WEEKS to get through your site.
HA! You RIDE! - and I can't link to the riding stuff, damn!
And, you write poetry that RHYMES!!!!
(and what the heck is "gafiation" (sp???)
This is definitely not your usual URL!


wow, richard; you're too OLD to be so STRANGE! But at least, you seem to like critters....


wow, again. i guess what i meant was (even though i suspect we disagree on a few things) you're too old to be so cool.

Strange, cool, whatever. I take it as a high compliment. I dunno about strange though. I've known some pretty strange people. I used to throw fabulous New Year's parties. Everybody would tell me "Harter, you have really strange friends." Of course they were talking about the *other* people. Strange is as strange does. The road less traveled has a lot of traffic these days.
By the way, people aren't old these days, they are youth challenged. Me, I just am. I don't really think of myself as old -- I suppose nobody really does until physical infirmities set in and they are faced with the realities of bodies that just don't work right anymore. Mine has held up very well, thank you, and has been kind enough to look much less decrepit and antique than convention would have it. In any case "old" is mostly a state of mind; people live by a calendar of events, a program that tells them what to do when at each point in their life. When they get to a certain point in the program they are old and do old folk things because that's what you do when you are old. That's the safe thing to do because young people have a firm rule that everybody old enough to be their parents are "old". Me, I'm sort of timeless -- "strange" helps. Still and all, I'm old; or at least I'm at an age which everybody knows is old. Damn good thing, too. If I weren't old I'd be dead.
Gafiation: To be in the state of gafia.
Gafia: Fanspeak acronym slang from GetAwayFromItAll. Originally referring to getting away from Mundania; now referring to dropping out of fandom. Fandom: SF fandom, a subculture loosely organized around SF forming an international community populated by disturbed intelligent minds. Activities include putting on SF conventions, publishing fanzines (amateur magazines), socializing with other fans, SF clubs, internecine politics, and attempting to become pro's (SF writers and artists). Most pro's started out as fans and retain close connections to the fan community. See strange. Fanspeak: Fans have invented many words and terms, e.g., gafia and egoboo (short for egoboost) that form a communal argot -- for a comparison see thieve's cant, carny talk, and the drug sub-culture. Mundania: The real world, drear and mundane, where people work and suburbanize their minds. Most fans go back to Mundania after two or three years in fandom. It pays better.
Horses and riding:
Just for you I will put up a page about horse back riding. It's on my agenda to do someday; sooner is better than later. I mean to steal from material I have written in the past; however I also have this nifty photo of me at age 1 1/2 sitting on top a large plow horse to get scanned. I was raised to ride western; however I learned to ride eastern and did some dressage. I haven't been riding for a while -- maybe it's about time to get out again. The wheel keeps turning.
Unusual URL:
Hmmm, yes, it does run on it a bit but it's, well you see, a personal statement and I run on a bit. The theory is that it's a high grade junk shop of the mind. I have to admit that it is a little different.
Poetry that rhymes:
Not all of my poetry rhymes; I do free verse now and then. As you see I've taken to writing poetry again; maybe I will do a few sonnets and other classical forms. I don't really like the rigidities of the classical forms but writing a sonnet is one of those things that one ought to have done at least once in one's lifetime.

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asterisk@global2000.net writes:

Nice fence; what do you intend to corral here? *Science* fiction? Sci fantasy? Social fantasy?

Thank ye kindly. I expect I'll roll in some fan history -- how I became a little-name fan and found gafiation. As the mood strikes me I'll reprint some essays I have written in the past, do some think pieces, write some reviews, do some futurology, deplore the lamentable habits of the young, that sort of thing, don't you know. The emphasis will definitely be on *science* fiction. I may also do a Georgette Heyer home page.

My guess is, sci fi with the accent on the science. Enjoyed your posted articles on the Piltdown man. Was fascinated by the 70's articles trying to reconcile the forgery when new discoveries in Africa seemed just as fantastic. The more recent article last year in Discover captured my attention again. And a pointer to your page from a listserv got me here. Will be visiting again to see what else you post.

Do drop in from time to time. As the Motel 6 man says, We'll leave the light on. The Piltdown man page was a lot of fun to write. It has a certain modest popularity; between my copy and the mirrored copy in the talk.origins archive pilty gets about 15 hits a day.
There is no way of knowing what will show up next. If you had told me when I started the site that I would have a semi-definitive page on the Piltdown man hoax I would have looked at you blankly and said "Huh?". I started out with a picture of what the site would look like and how it would be laid out but it hasn't quite worked out that way.

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Michael Clark writes:

Just finished browsing your page. I recently managed to get one going myself so now I'm busy doing what I should have done earlier --namely, looking at other peoples'. Anyway, this is just a note to say that I think you have done a good job. If your are wondering who I am and if what I think should matter, well, I guess it doesn't. I am not affiliated with anyone or anything, at the moment. I *am* a regular innocent bystander over on T.O. and a great admirer of yours.

Michael is too modest; I browsed his web pages and was fascinated. Any one who lives in a converted school bus with stained glass windows is not just your everday teddy bear.

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Chris Nedin writes:

A complete waste of time, effort and resources. I liked it!

Golly gee, Mr. Chris, a letter for my correspondence page.

That's *Dr* Chris if you don't mind. I didn't spend all that money bribing the examiners (before finding out about the creationist short cut) for nothing, and I intend to exercise my title as often as possible!

Keep those letters and postcards rolling in, kids. Why one rolled in just the other day. Seriously, glad you liked it.

What's not to like? I particularly empathise with the volley ball saga. As an ex social volley ball player (with some bent fingers to prove it) I too joined a social team which started bottom. We too got better, mainly by playing together, only to lose in the final. The next year we won our C grade league. My largest sporting tropies are for volley ball.

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This page was last updated July 23, 1997.
It was reformatted and moved November 4, 2004