Harlan Ellison's Watching by Harlan Ellison

By Harlan Ellison

Such a lot overviews of movie are written from a few excessive, sunlit mountaintop. during this first choice of Harlan Ellison's cinema feedback (with increased, never-before-collected articles in addition to an essay written specially for this quantity) come from the darkened interiors of one thousand motion picture homes the place this such a lot odd of all Observers of the Passing Scene has spent a lot of his existence. The view is absolute to make you grind your tooth in anger, nod your head in blessed contract, and open your eyes in a fashion of judging movies that's certainly no longer plebeian. Harlan Ellison's love affair with videos is clear. As an essayist, he has no equivalent; as a movie critic he has no buddies. Take care.

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I was aghast. So that was it—last summer an alcoholic crackpot; now, I suspected, a little cracked about religion. He had that starry-eyed look. Yes, the old boy was on fire all right. But bless his heart, let him rant! Besides, my gin would last longer than his preaching. But he did no ranting. In a matter of fact way he told how two men had appeared in court, persuading the judge to suspend his commitment. They had told of a simple religious idea and a practical program of action. That was two months ago and the result was self-evident.

It’s strong language—but isn’t it true? Some of you are thinking: “Yes, what you tell us is true, but it doesn’t fully apply. We admit we have some of these symptoms, but we have not gone to the extremes you fellows did, nor are we likely to, for we understand ourselves so well after what you have told us that such things cannot happen again. We have not lost everything in life through drinking and we 39 certainly do not intend to. ’’ That may be true of certain nonalcoholic people who, though drinking foolishly and heavily at the present time, are able to stop or moderate, because their brains and bodies have not been damaged as ours were.

They had said that though I did raise a defense, it would one day give way before some trivial reason for having a drink. Well, just that did happen and more, for what I had learned of alcoholism did not occur to me at all. I knew from that moment that I had an alcoholic mind. I saw that will power and self-knowledge would not help in those strange mental blank spots. I had never been able to understand people who said that a problem had them hopelessly defeated. I knew then. It was a crushing blow.

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