> who are the brain police ? <
"When I was a little kid, and I was going to East High in Cleveland - my dad had died in '49, and my mom and I were living there - I cut school one morning and I went to, I think it was Halle Brothers, down in the public terminal, the Cleveland Terminal Tower. And John Steinbeck was on tour, and he was speaking... and I couldn't get through the crowd...
it was deep...
Because there stood John Steinbeck, who was an ex-prizefighter - I mean, he looked like a fire plug! He was a tough guy. He worked like I had worked! I had ridden on boxcars, worked on demolition teams, and driving truck, and crops, and all that shit. But I was a little skinny squirt of a thing."
A failing Harlan Ellison muses on the nature of epiphany - sometime during the 1950s, underneath the observation deck of the watchtower - in a 90 minute interview from his California home, September 2010.
As I remarked, in a reply to a comment in an earlier post:
The smoke has always been as much out as in the bottle. Too much volatility. The cork won't settle.
"The mass of men serve the state thus, not as men mainly, but as machines, with their bodies. They are the standing army, and the militia, jailors, constables, posse comitatus, etc. In most cases there is no free exercise whatever of the judgment or of the moral sense; but they put themselves on a level with wood and earth and stones..."
- Henry David Thoreau, "Civil Disobedience" (1849) as reprinted in the preface to "Repent, Harlequin! Said the Ticktockman", 'Galaxy' magazine, winner of the Nebula Award, Best Short Story, 1965.
"...the end will take care of itself."
- Harlan Ellison, "Repent, Harlequin! Said the Ticktockman", 1965.
This reading, reissued on The Harlan Ellison Recording Collection, in 1981, is long out of print. Paired with a reading of "Shatterday", written in 1975, both sides to the original Alternative World Recordings imprint - AWR 6922 - can be sourced on Digital Meltd0wn.
▼ HARLAN ELLISON: REPENT, HARLEQUIN! SAID THE TICKTOCKMAN from "Harlan! Harlan Ellison Reads Harlan Ellison" LP (Alternative World Recordings) 1976 (US)
MORE HARLAN ELLISON ON ISLETS OF LANGERHANS