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Tell us what you thought of the February 2010 issue.

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Post February 21, 2010, 06:16:23 PM

Welcome

The mundane reality of it all. Life is exciting when young and or it's new. Then reality hits and only those who can muster the strength to see the newness in life or death for that matter (buddhist idea or physics energy transformation) can escape the boring, the everyday existence which in itself is pretty exciting. Just watch geese glide in for a landing, never mind the shit all over the place.

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Post March 03, 2010, 01:23:19 PM

Sign At The End Of The Universe

With apologies to Duane Ackerson

The Sign At The End Of The Universe
Image[/img]
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Post March 05, 2010, 11:41:51 AM

Didn't Neil Armstrong leave a sign on the moon to welcome the Russians, Chinese or whoever came next?

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Post March 05, 2010, 01:14:48 PM

Neil's sign

According to a NASA website, they left this very sexist sign:
Here MEN from the planet Earth first set foot upon the Moon July 1969, AD. We came in peace for all MANkind."
Since the house is on fire - at least let us warm ourselves.
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Post March 05, 2010, 04:23:25 PM

lunar sign

Well they were men, not women.
It was 1969, not an excuse just a statement of fact, putting things in historical,political/social perspective.


an aside:
Sometimes the Handicapper General gets loose.

Better be careful.

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Post March 05, 2010, 08:42:28 PM

No female astronaut has yet landed or walked on the moon.

mankind n. The human race. The totality of human beings.
--Merriam-Webster

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Post March 05, 2010, 09:30:51 PM

Gotta go with gino on this one, BD: we are speaking here of the race of man. Few things irritate me more than people who deliberately distort language to pick a fight.

That said, I like this piece (Remember the poem which this thread is supposed to be about?) for it's prosiacness (if that is a word) and humour. It reminded me of the Late Douglas Adams' work: "For heavens sake, Mankind: the plans have been on display in your local planning office at Alpha Centauri for seventy of your Earth years. There's no use acting all surprised about it..."
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Post March 05, 2010, 10:32:53 PM

Wormtongue wrote:. . . . It reminded me of the Late Douglas Adams' work: "For heavens sake, Mankind: the plans have been on display in your local planning office at Alpha Centauri for seventy of your Earth years. There's no use acting all surprised about it..."


Douglas Adams was my first thought, as well. But if I remember correctly, they found the sign at the far end of the galaxy. I'm not sure what that means. . .you can always ask the question: "Relative to what?"

Which was Isaac Asimov's response to Mr. Ackerson's micro flash story called:. . .The Sign At The End Of The Universe. If you’ve never read it. . .well. . .just scroll up, it’s the whole story. All of it. When I read it in an Anthology, it was just printed upside down, but I think the picture is a little better.

Now, who else can write a good, and you have to admit it's pretty good, microflash with an 8-word title for a 3-word story. (Admittedly, the typesetters of the day had to put the letters upside down, but I really don't know how hard that would be.)

If anyone, anyone ever outdoes this story, I'll be more than impressed. Three words, and it both makes sense, and has a dash of humor.

Go ahead, folks. . .beat that.

To me, this is a classic of Science Fiction. It made me smile, and to an extent, it made me wonder. And that the poem Welcome, evoked that cool emotion, is a testament to the Author. I am curious, Mr. Berger, had you ever read this? I can't believe any writer would ever forget it, if you had.

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Post March 05, 2010, 10:46:35 PM

Double posted, somehow. Can't figure out how to delete.
Last edited by Bill_Wolfe on March 06, 2010, 04:50:57 AM, edited 3 times in total.
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Post March 05, 2010, 10:50:05 PM

Wormtongue wrote:

Few things irritate me more than people who deliberately distort language to pick a fight.


A feminist might argue that our language has evolved out of a patriarchal history and by default tends to reinforce male hegemony and gender inequality. Language is a powerful tool. It can be exclusionary without even intending to be.

That being said, Michele, when you get to the moon, you have our permission to leave your own sign. :P

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Post March 05, 2010, 11:01:52 PM

Mike Berger's previous poems (the ones I've read that were published recently in Aphelion) have all had a Douglas Adams quality: strange funny aliens, juxtaposed in seemingly mundane settings. My question to Bill (or anyone else) is, what makes Asimov's piece a work of fiction rather than a poem and what makes Mike Berger's piece a poem rather than a work of fiction?

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Post March 06, 2010, 05:01:20 AM

davidsonhero wrote:what makes Asimov's piece a work of fiction rather than a poem and what makes Mike Berger's piece a poem rather than a work of fiction?



For the record, the 'story' was by Duane Ackerson. I read it in an Anthology (Best SF of 1971, or something like that.) Asimov did a paragraph or two after every story, offering his opinion.

His 'Relative to what?' remark, was his entire response to this microshort. I think he was trying not to be one-upped. I mean, how can your critique be longer than the story?

And my only answer to the question of what makes one a story and one a poem. . .

Welcome was in the poetry section, therefore it must have been submitted there by the author. And if He thinks it's a poem. . .

The other was in an anthology of stories (I don't remember any poetry in it, but it's been a few decades, so I could be wrong.)

Anyone else?

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Post March 06, 2010, 04:14:03 PM

Bill wrote:

For the record, the 'story' was by Duane Ackerson.

oops! I misread that. :oops:

So which is poetry, which is prose?

I think it's an interesting question, and occurred to me after reading your posts Bill.

Poetry can be difficult to define. Form is important in poetry. But which of the two of these pieces is more dependent on form? Seems like a lot of the meaning of Duane Ackerson's story comes from the words being upside down whereas Mike Berger's poem is broken into stanzas, but do those breaks really add to the meaning of the poem? Are the breaks necessary at all? Could you remove the stanza breaks and pretty much have the same poem?

You often find a compression in the language of poetry. There should be a sense that the meaning of the poem is greater than the sum of its words. Which of these two pieces is a better example of that principle?

There is a special attention to the way words work together in poetry, how they sound, and alliteration, assonance, rhyme, and rhythm become important. I think a poem should make the reader conscious of its language. And yet, Mike Berger's poem is written very much like prose. These elements don't seem to be critical in his poem, or add to the meaning.

It's interesting. I'm not trying to put down Mike's poem, just making some observations.

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Post March 07, 2010, 12:55:38 PM

re words and implication

With all due respect to Bottomdweller and not to beat a dead horse, I agree with much of what you said, However one does have to put the time element into perspective, (correct or not) and the fact that the gender of the moon walkers was male.

Today that wouldn't fly.

Then (1969) the awareness of the sex roles was beginning to reemerge, and the breakaway, the breakdown from the reimposed repression of women following the Second World War, (ie get them back into the house and out of the factories), also followed the repression of the indigenous revolutionary movements in Asia with similar results, with the exception that I believe I am witnessing a reaction to that freedom, (*Women's Movement* for lack of a better term), a counter revolution both in the USA and through out the planet.

This is not a plug, but my story GLORIA THE CHIPMUNK is in part a response to that reactionary movement, really.

My poem WORDS was published here some time ago and I think it relates to some of the discussion.


WORDS


By, Richard Tornello © 2009

It’s always been about words.
Words, hemlock words.
Words, out of the barrel of a gun words.
JEDGAR collected words, file space being cheap.
History:
Constitution and Torah words to live by.
Words for music, lyric words.
Fill my head; make me rattle my brain.
Nothing else matters.

Finis.


Thanks and with love,
RT
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Post March 08, 2010, 01:34:52 PM

my sign

Well fly me to the moon, davidsonhero. I have my sign ready:

At this spot, persons from the third planet in this star system set foot upon Luna, moon of Earth, in July, year one A.T. We came in peace for homosapiens throughout the ages.
Since the house is on fire - at least let us warm ourselves.
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Post March 08, 2010, 01:51:48 PM

davidsonhero wrote:Wormtongue wrote:

Few things irritate me more than people who deliberately distort language to pick a fight.


A feminist might argue that our language has evolved out of a patriarchal history and by default tends to reinforce male hegemony and gender inequality. Language is a powerful tool. It can be exclusionary without even intending to be.


Having an ultra-feminist college professor once, I can certainly attest to the fact that some people feel it's our duty to refrain from using terms like "man", "him", "he", et cetera in a generalized context.
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Post March 08, 2010, 03:42:35 PM

new sign

The reason why I chose these words is to extend the phrase ‘Think Global Buy Local’ to ‘Think Stellar Buy Global’.
Before: Here men After: Here persons
Before: From the planet Earth After: From the third planet in this star system (phrase is more specific, recognizes there are other star systems. Also recognizes that our planet may not be called Earth by the time this sign is rediscovered. )
1st set foot upon Luna (recognition to other natural satellites in the Sol System)
July year one A.T. (the first year we stepped on another world – After Tranquility). A.D. (Anno Domini – the year of our lord) is specifically a Christian tradition. How about other religions – or none at all?
For all mankind - too gender specific. I also like Homo-sapiens because we are part of the eco-system from which we sprouted, it’s not mankind, animals, and plants. We come in peace to profit our entire eco-system, not just the top layer of it.
Since the house is on fire - at least let us warm ourselves.

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Post March 08, 2010, 04:48:52 PM

bottomdweller,

"Luna" is from Roman mythology, and likewise derived from a religious tradition, so shouldn't that be thrown out as well? :P

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Post March 08, 2010, 05:19:27 PM

The year of who's Lord?

A.D. - Anno Domini - the year of our lord is very particular to western religion. It dates from the year Jesus was born according to some 'experts' centuries after the historical Jesus died. A.D. is a very closed idea - A.T. (After Tranquility) is a very open idea, with lots of room to grow. That's all I'm trying to say - open up the language, be more inclusive. Boldly go where noone has gone before.
Since the house is on fire - at least let us warm ourselves.

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