a week and a bit on

0 views
Skip to first unread message

Eric Jarvis

unread,
Feb 5, 2004, 9:27:06 AM2/5/04
to
Hospital isn't a marvellous place to write.

I've managed around 12,000 words on the indie kid werewolves, which is the
most I've done in a week. That's with doing very little else though. It
feels painfully slow. I get settled down to typing and ten minutes later
the nurses want to check that I've taken my treatments. It's all short
bursts. I'm also used to being able to sling ideas around with other
people. This isn't easy in a place where 99% of conversation seems to be
about soap operas.

I've found two fabulous characters, one of which I can use now. I've also
got a setting for what could be a series of stories. Above all I've read
loads.

If all goes well I get let out early next week. The down side being I'll
be on Cyclosporin and monthly blood tests for a year. Still, I can
currently do quite a good impersonation of a human being.

--
eric
www.ericjarvis.co.uk
all these years I've waited for the revolution
and all we end up getting is spin

Nicola Browne

unread,
Feb 5, 2004, 9:42:38 AM2/5/04
to
"Eric Jarvis" <w...@ericjarvis.co.uk> wrote in message
news:MPG.1a8c62ff9...@News.CIS.DFN.DE

> Hospital isn't a marvellous place to write.
>
> I've managed around 12,000 words on the indie kid werewolves, which is the
> most I've done in a week. That's with doing very little else though. It

> feels painfully slow. That seems quite a lot of words - particularly if they are the right
ones, especailly given the circumstances.


>
> I've found two fabulous characters, one of which I can use now. I've also
> got a setting for what could be a series of stories. Above all I've read
> loads.

Sounds good.

> If all goes well I get let out early next week. The down side being I'll
> be on Cyclosporin and monthly blood tests for a year. Still, I can
> currently do quite a good impersonation of a human being.

That sounds like a result to me.
Hope it continues to go well,
Nicky

--
Posted via Mailgate.ORG Server - http://www.Mailgate.ORG

Mary Gentle

unread,
Feb 5, 2004, 3:31:00 PM2/5/04
to
In article <MPG.1a8c62ff9...@News.CIS.DFN.DE>,
w...@ericjarvis.co.uk (Eric Jarvis) wrote:

> Hospital isn't a marvellous place to write.

<contemplates this amazing understatement, and bites back the urge to
type "No sherl, Shitlock!" in neon-pink capitals>



> I've managed around 12,000 words on the indie kid werewolves, which is
> the most I've done in a week. That's with doing very little else
> though. It feels painfully slow.

For being in hospital, it looks bloody amazing.

Then again, most of my hospital visits have been of the
in-hack!-out-'cos-we-need-the-bed variety, so maybe there are more
opportunities for coherent thought during longer stays...

> I get settled down to typing and ten
> minutes later the nurses want to check that I've taken my treatments.
> It's all short bursts. I'm also used to being able to sling ideas
> around with other people. This isn't easy in a place where 99% of
> conversation seems to be about soap operas.

Gah.

Unless, of course, one of the is /The Archers./ <g>


>
> I've found two fabulous characters, one of which I can use now. I've
> also got a setting for what could be a series of stories. Above all
> I've read loads.

I'm glad you were able to do that - I did wonder, when you said, whether
they'd be keeping you too busy or too zapped to concentrate. Sounds as
though it's been bearable, if not wonderful?



> If all goes well I get let out early next week. The down side being
> I'll be on Cyclosporin and monthly blood tests for a year. Still, I can
> currently do quite a good impersonation of a human being.

I wonder if you could pass on the knack to the rest of us? :)

Mary

Brian M. Scott

unread,
Feb 5, 2004, 4:17:30 PM2/5/04
to
On Thu, 5 Feb 2004 14:27:06 -0000 Eric Jarvis
<w...@ericjarvis.co.uk> wrote in
<news:MPG.1a8c62ff9...@News.CIS.DFN.DE> in
rec.arts.sf.composition:

> Hospital isn't a marvellous place to write.

> I've managed around 12,000 words on the indie kid
> werewolves, which is the most I've done in a week.
> That's with doing very little else though.

Still sounds like rather a lot.

[...]

> I'm also used to being able to sling ideas around with
> other people. This isn't easy in a place where 99% of
> conversation seems to be about soap operas.

I think that I just might be reduced to earplugs.
Industrial grade.

[...]

> Still, I can currently do quite a good impersonation of a
> human being.

This is an achievement for many who are *not* in hospital.

Brian

Suzanne A Blom

unread,
Feb 5, 2004, 5:51:07 PM2/5/04
to

Eric Jarvis <w...@ericjarvis.co.uk> wrote in message
news:MPG.1a8c62ff9...@News.CIS.DFN.DE...

> Hospital isn't a marvellous place to write.
>
> I've managed around 12,000 words on the indie kid werewolves, which is the
> most I've done in a week. That's with doing very little else though. It
> feels painfully slow. I get settled down to typing and ten minutes later
> the nurses want to check that I've taken my treatments. It's all short
> bursts. I'm also used to being able to sling ideas around with other
> people.

Like everyone else, I'm amazed you got that much done.

This isn't easy in a place where 99% of conversation seems to be
> about soap operas.

What! You don't want to turn your book into a soap opera?? (Only saying this
cuz I figure they got you strapped down or locked up or something--don't
they?)

> I've found two fabulous characters, one of which I can use now. I've also
> got a setting for what could be a series of stories. Above all I've read
> loads.
>
> If all goes well I get let out early next week. The down side being I'll
> be on Cyclosporin and monthly blood tests for a year. Still, I can
> currently do quite a good impersonation of a human being.
>

What Mary said.


Marilee J. Layman

unread,
Feb 5, 2004, 6:28:36 PM2/5/04
to
On Thu, 5 Feb 2004 14:27:06 -0000, Eric Jarvis <w...@ericjarvis.co.uk>
wrote:

>If all goes well I get let out early next week. The down side being I'll
>be on Cyclosporin and monthly blood tests for a year. Still, I can
>currently do quite a good impersonation of a human being.

I would *love* to be back on Cyclosporin. All my auto-immune diseases
would go away. The side effects are not nearly as bad as the
auto-immune diseases. (Although I still don't eat at buffets.)

--
Marilee J. Layman

Anna Feruglio Dal Dan

unread,
Feb 5, 2004, 6:29:37 PM2/5/04
to
Mary Gentle <mary_...@cix.co.uk> wrote:

> In article <MPG.1a8c62ff9...@News.CIS.DFN.DE>,
> w...@ericjarvis.co.uk (Eric Jarvis) wrote:
>
> > Hospital isn't a marvellous place to write.
>
> <contemplates this amazing understatement, and bites back the urge to
> type "No sherl, Shitlock!" in neon-pink capitals>

No no no please. I'm going in next week for probably about a month. No
internet, no cell phones... I hope they let me bring in my laptop, so
that I might get some writing or, failing that, translating of my stuff
done.

--
Anna Feruglio Dal Dan - ada...@spamcop.net - this is a valid address
homepage: http://www.fantascienza.net/sfpeople/elethiomel
English blog: http://annafdd.blogspot.com/
LJ: http://www.livejournal.com/users/annafdd/

Suzanne A Blom

unread,
Feb 5, 2004, 7:05:10 PM2/5/04
to

Anna Feruglio Dal Dan <ada...@spamcop.net> wrote in message
news:1g8pk4n.mizuku1ba5hd4N%ada...@spamcop.net...

> Mary Gentle <mary_...@cix.co.uk> wrote:
>
> > In article <MPG.1a8c62ff9...@News.CIS.DFN.DE>,
> > w...@ericjarvis.co.uk (Eric Jarvis) wrote:
> >
> > > Hospital isn't a marvellous place to write.
> >
> > <contemplates this amazing understatement, and bites back the urge to
> > type "No sherl, Shitlock!" in neon-pink capitals>
>
> No no no please. I'm going in next week for probably about a month. No
> internet, no cell phones... I hope they let me bring in my laptop, so
> that I might get some writing or, failing that, translating of my stuff
> done.
>
Nevertheless, bring in books to read just in case.


Mary Gentle

unread,
Feb 5, 2004, 7:03:00 PM2/5/04
to
In article <1g8pk4n.mizuku1ba5hd4N%ada...@spamcop.net>,
ada...@spamcop.net (Anna Feruglio Dal Dan) wrote:

> Mary Gentle <mary_...@cix.co.uk> wrote:
>
> > In article <MPG.1a8c62ff9...@News.CIS.DFN.DE>,
> > w...@ericjarvis.co.uk (Eric Jarvis) wrote:
> >
> > > Hospital isn't a marvellous place to write.
> >
> > <contemplates this amazing understatement, and bites back the urge to
> > type "No sherl, Shitlock!" in neon-pink capitals>
>
> No no no please. I'm going in next week for probably about a month. No
> internet, no cell phones... I hope they let me bring in my laptop, so
> that I might get some writing or, failing that, translating of my stuff
> done.

Damn. They might at least let you have a net connection. :-(

There again, many of the world's great works were written in prison[1],
and hospital's vaguely like prison - especially if they won't provide
cell phones and net connections - so there might be peace and quiet enough
for you to write a great work. (How's that for optimism?)

Mary

[1] OK, I can only think of the Morte D'Arthur and Pilgrim's Progress, but
I'd swear one of Genet's was, and there must be more...

Dorothy J Heydt

unread,
Feb 5, 2004, 7:13:53 PM2/5/04
to
In article <memo.2004020...@roxanne.morgan.ntlworld.com>,

Several of St. Paul's epistles. Mein Kampf. The Consolation of
Philosophy.

Dorothy J. Heydt
Albany, California
djh...@kithrup.com

Pat Bowne

unread,
Feb 5, 2004, 7:38:52 PM2/5/04
to
> Eric Jarvis <w...@ericjarvis.co.uk> wrote in message
> news:MPG.1a8c62ff9...@News.CIS.DFN.DE...
> > Hospital isn't a marvellous place to write.
> >
> > I've managed around 12,000 words on the indie kid werewolves, which is
the
> > most I've done in a week. That's with doing very little else though. It
> > feels painfully slow. I get settled down to typing and ten minutes later
> > the nurses want to check that I've taken my treatments. It's all short
> > bursts.


That's still pretty amazing. I didn't even *try* to write in the hospital.

>I'm also used to being able to sling ideas around with other

> > people.> This isn't easy in a place where 99% of conversation seems to
be
> > about soap operas.
>
Are the nurses any use to bounce ideas off? Also, who's having the
conversations about soap operas, and could they deftly be turned into
discussions of your plot? ("Do you think their marriage would have worked
out if he had been a werewolf, or would she still have had that affair with
the pool man?")

Pat


Sasscat

unread,
Feb 5, 2004, 9:44:22 PM2/5/04
to
Anna Feruglio Dal Dan <ada...@spamcop.net> wrote:

> No no no please. I'm going in next week for probably about a month. No
> internet, no cell phones... I hope they let me bring in my laptop, so
> that I might get some writing or, failing that, translating of my stuff
> done.

I'm going in later on in the month (or possibly next month) to have my
tonsils out. I look forward to taking a laptop and seeing what dreck I
write while hopped up on morphine. Could be...strangely intriguing. I
have distinct memories of the difficulties of keeping a train of thought
while on morphine.

Congratulations Eric on your persistance!


Sass

Dorothy J Heydt

unread,
Feb 5, 2004, 9:52:33 PM2/5/04
to
In article <1g8qjk1.1cxnf8j1fzmu7qN%sas...@paradise.net.nz>,
Sasscat <sas...@paradise.net.nz> wrote:

>I'm going in later on in the month (or possibly next month) to have my
>tonsils out. I look forward to taking a laptop and seeing what dreck I
>write while hopped up on morphine. Could be...strangely intriguing. I
>have distinct memories of the difficulties of keeping a train of thought
>while on morphine.

ISTR I came up with some really interesting plots while
spaced-out on Demerol. But I did not get any writing done until
I was off it, and then not on those plots.

(One of them involved traveling through nested worlds that were
like edit mode inside vi inside the C-shell. Another was the one
about the redheaded lute player at the Renaissance Faire that was
Not What It Seemed. Never wrote either of them.)

Marilee J. Layman

unread,
Feb 6, 2004, 12:26:38 AM2/6/04
to

The week I inadvertently spent in the psych unit, they didn't allow
books. We were supposed to talk to each other when we didn't have
scheduled bits of therapy.

--
Marilee J. Layman

Marilee J. Layman

unread,
Feb 6, 2004, 12:27:22 AM2/6/04
to
On Fri, 6 Feb 2004 15:44:22 +1300, sas...@paradise.net.nz (Sasscat)
wrote:

>I'm going in later on in the month (or possibly next month) to have my
>tonsils out.

My tonsils went away by themselves, so I never had to have them out.

--
Marilee J. Layman

Sasscat

unread,
Feb 6, 2004, 3:06:53 AM2/6/04
to

Fortunate for you. I'm on my fourth course of antibiotics, and they
still hurt. Even the dentist commented on their size when she was
fiddling with my teeth the other day. Helps me to feel somewhat
vindicated, but still rather a nuisance.


Sass

Anna Feruglio Dal Dan

unread,
Feb 6, 2004, 3:21:25 AM2/6/04
to
Marilee J. Layman <mjla...@erols.com> wrote:

> The week I inadvertently spent in the psych unit, they didn't allow
> books. We were supposed to talk to each other when we didn't have
> scheduled bits of therapy.

Oh, gosh. I didn't think to ask about that.

Helen

unread,
Feb 6, 2004, 8:22:53 AM2/6/04
to
Eric Jarvis <w...@ericjarvis.co.uk> wrote in message news:<MPG.1a8c62ff9...@News.CIS.DFN.DE>...
> Hospital isn't a marvellous place to write.
>
> I've managed around 12,000 words on the indie kid werewolves, which is the
> most I've done in a week. That's with doing very little else though. It
> feels painfully slow. I get settled down to typing and ten minutes later
> the nurses want to check that I've taken my treatments.

12,000 sounds like pretty good progress to me. :-)

>
> If all goes well I get let out early next week. The down side being I'll
> be on Cyclosporin and monthly blood tests for a year. Still, I can
> currently do quite a good impersonation of a human being.

The treatment sounds like a drag. Hope it all continues to go well.

Helen
--
http://www.baradel.demon.co.uk/

Pat Bowne

unread,
Feb 6, 2004, 2:59:05 PM2/6/04
to

"Anna Feruglio Dal Dan" <ada...@spamcop.net> wrote in message
news:1g8q9v3.103kqnz2zpafrN%ada...@spamcop.net...

> Marilee J. Layman <mjla...@erols.com> wrote:
>
> > The week I inadvertently spent in the psych unit, they didn't allow
> > books. We were supposed to talk to each other when we didn't have
> > scheduled bits of therapy.
>
> Oh, gosh. I didn't think to ask about that.

If you don't ask, they can't say 'no.' Just show up with your bag of books.

Pat


Marilee J. Layman

unread,
Feb 6, 2004, 3:42:02 PM2/6/04
to
On Fri, 06 Feb 2004 08:21:25 GMT, ada...@spamcop.net (Anna Feruglio
Dal Dan) wrote:

>Marilee J. Layman <mjla...@erols.com> wrote:
>
>> The week I inadvertently spent in the psych unit, they didn't allow
>> books. We were supposed to talk to each other when we didn't have
>> scheduled bits of therapy.
>
>Oh, gosh. I didn't think to ask about that.

Reading, or staying in your room, was considered antisocial and they
didn't allow that. It was kind of like kindergarten where everybody
had to participate and share.

--
Marilee J. Layman

Marilee J. Layman

unread,
Feb 6, 2004, 3:43:20 PM2/6/04
to
On Fri, 6 Feb 2004 21:06:53 +1300, sas...@paradise.net.nz (Sasscat)
wrote:

Yeah, the doctors said for a long time that when my tonsils stopped
being enlarged, they'd take them out. But when they stopped being
enlarged, they just resorbed by themselves.

--
Marilee J. Layman

Mary Gentle

unread,
Feb 6, 2004, 4:35:00 PM2/6/04
to
In article <ltu7201l0p2krrns0...@4ax.com>,

That sort of thing always moves me to either total withdrawal, or sharing
the aspects of me that it serves them right for asking to see...

Mary

Zeborah

unread,
Feb 6, 2004, 9:03:42 PM2/6/04
to
Mary Gentle <mary_...@cix.co.uk> wrote:

> In article <ltu7201l0p2krrns0...@4ax.com>,
> mjla...@erols.com (Marilee J. Layman) wrote:
>
> > On Fri, 06 Feb 2004 08:21:25 GMT, ada...@spamcop.net (Anna Feruglio
> > Dal Dan) wrote:
> >
> > >Marilee J. Layman <mjla...@erols.com> wrote:
> > >
> > >> The week I inadvertently spent in the psych unit, they didn't allow
> > >> books. We were supposed to talk to each other when we didn't have
> > >> scheduled bits of therapy.
> > >
> > >Oh, gosh. I didn't think to ask about that.
> >
> > Reading, or staying in your room, was considered antisocial and they
> > didn't allow that. It was kind of like kindergarten where everybody
> > had to participate and share.

Even in kindergarten you're allowed to go and read a book by yourself if
you want to. (And can.) ...Though I do have memories, from primary
school, of a teacher expressing her deep worry to me that I didn't have
many friends. (Or is that a constructed memory and actually happened my
brother? Hmm. Maybe both.)

> That sort of thing always moves me to either total withdrawal, or sharing
> the aspects of me that it serves them right for asking to see...

I'm too shy and polite to do that. I think it'd drive me insane. First
I'd be polite and introduce myself. I can talk to lots of strangers if
it's polite chitchat and doesn't take much longer than, say, half an
hour. Half an hour is the length of time it takes to be absolutely
certain that they're shallow beings and I have no interest in, nor great
respect for, any of them.

After half an hour I sit on the sidelines watching them talk to each
other, thinking up new scenes in my head, and wishing I was somewhere
else.

After two hours, I'm going home, can't stop me.

I last a lot longer if I can have a conversation with *one* person. I
think it's because I can control the conversation a lot better that way.

Seems utterly crazy, in a psych unit, to force people to do that.
Scheduled therapy, which is quite likely to include group therapy, and
then to relax, oh, you get to talk to more people? That's like having
peas and potatoes for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert. I'd leave
the place crazier than when I went in, for certain.

Zeborah

Marilee J. Layman

unread,
Feb 6, 2004, 11:49:53 PM2/6/04
to

In my case, I couldn't actually get out of the bed by myself and they
really resisted hauling me into a wheelchair. They'd never had a
physically ill patient before, and they believed that I was making it
up even though their psychiatrists said I wasn't, so we were all
irritated. There were no TVs there, either, and no handwork, since it
pretty much all includes scissors and needles.

The last two days I was there they also had a violent young man (most
of the others were there for varieties of depression) and it really
scared me to be stuck in the bed while he roamed around.

--
Marilee J. Layman

SAMK

unread,
Feb 7, 2004, 3:41:52 PM2/7/04
to
Zeborah wrote:

> Seems utterly crazy, in a psych unit, to force people to do that.
> Scheduled therapy, which is quite likely to include group therapy, and
> then to relax, oh, you get to talk to more people? That's like having
> peas and potatoes for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert. I'd leave
> the place crazier than when I went in, for certain.
>
> Zeborah

When I was in the psych unit, you were supposed to go be social.
Which meant sitting in the same room as everyone else watching
TV like a vegetable. Where all the nutcases are chain smoking.
And smoke induces asthma attacks in me.

Luckily, I could always plead homework...

SAMK

Marilee J. Layman

unread,
Feb 7, 2004, 9:36:57 PM2/7/04
to
On Sat, 07 Feb 2004 20:41:52 GMT, SAMK <samkhom...@sbcglobal.net>
wrote:

No TV in ours, but yes, lots of smoking.

>Luckily, I could always plead homework...
>
>SAMK

--
Marilee J. Layman

Celyn Armstrong

unread,
Feb 9, 2004, 9:01:49 AM2/9/04
to
djh...@kithrup.com (Dorothy J Heydt) wrote in message news:<HsMzB...@kithrup.com>...

Pretty much everything de Sade wrote, I think. And _de Profundis_,
although I'm not sure that that counts as a great work.

Celyn

Pat Bowne

unread,
Feb 9, 2004, 12:17:01 PM2/9/04
to

"Celyn Armstrong" <celynar...@yahoo.co.uk> wrote in message
news:3996f7de.04020...@posting.google.com...

> djh...@kithrup.com (Dorothy J Heydt) wrote in message
news:<HsMzB...@kithrup.com>...
> >
> > Several of St. Paul's epistles. Mein Kampf. The Consolation of
> > Philosophy.
> >
> Pretty much everything de Sade wrote, I think. And _de Profundis_,
> although I'm not sure that that counts as a great work.

Am I the only person who finds this a rather sinister list, and wonders if
prisoners shouldn't be denied pen and paper on its evidence? (I'm thinking
of St Paul, Mein Kampf and de Sade -- I haven't read the other two)

Pat


Zeborah

unread,
Feb 9, 2004, 8:33:10 PM2/9/04
to
Pat Bowne <pbo...@execpc.com> wrote:

What's sinister about St Paul?

As for de Sade... well, he didn't write *everything* in prison...

Zeborah

Pat Bowne

unread,
Feb 9, 2004, 9:38:49 PM2/9/04
to

"Zeborah" <zeb...@paradise.net.nz> wrote in message
news:1g8xupe.1mldnhz123owj2N%zeb...@paradise.net.nz...

I'm one of those who think he took a religion that was about love and tried
to turn it into a religion about rules. I'd like to see what Christianity
would have been with somebody not so pharisaical defining it for the next
generation.

Pat


Dorothy J Heydt

unread,
Feb 10, 2004, 1:12:17 AM2/10/04
to
In article <1g8xupe.1mldnhz123owj2N%zeb...@paradise.net.nz>,

He's a *Christian.* For some people, that makes clubbing baby
seals look tame.

David Langford

unread,
Feb 10, 2004, 2:36:42 AM2/10/04
to

How about =The Pilgrim's Progress=, or Bertrand Russell's fairly blameless
=Introduction to Mathematical Philosophy=?

Lovelace. Genet. I ought to be able to think of more.

There again, I believe that Jeffrey Archer also committed fiction in the
nick.

Dave
--
David Langford
ans...@cix.co.uk | http://www.ansible.co.uk/

Zeborah

unread,
Feb 10, 2004, 4:34:15 AM2/10/04
to
Pat Bowne <pbo...@execpc.com> wrote:

> "Zeborah" <zeb...@paradise.net.nz> wrote in message
> news:1g8xupe.1mldnhz123owj2N%zeb...@paradise.net.nz...

> > What's sinister about St Paul?
>
> I'm one of those who think he took a religion that was about love and
> tried to turn it into a religion about rules.

The author of "Wives, submit yourselves to your husbands," and
"Servants, obey your masters," and "Children obey your parents"?

Or the author of "Husbands, love your wives," and "ye fathers, provoke
not your children to wrath," and "ye masters [...] forbear threatening
[your servants]"?

>I'd like to see what
> Christianity would have been with somebody not so pharisaical defining it
> for the next generation.

No, I'd just like to see what it would have been if a) it had always
been written in a vulgar language, in b) a society where a majority
could read. So that people in power wouldn't have been able to
misrepresent what Paul wrote.

I know someone who left the Christian Church partly because her very
strict church would preach "Wives, submit" and never mention "Husbands,
love". Which I think is a great shame, for very many reasons.

Zeborah

Eric Jarvis

unread,
Feb 10, 2004, 9:03:26 AM2/10/04
to
Mary Gentle mary_...@cix.co.uk wrote:
> In article <MPG.1a8c62ff9...@News.CIS.DFN.DE>,
> w...@ericjarvis.co.uk (Eric Jarvis) wrote:
>
> > I've found two fabulous characters, one of which I can use now. I've
> > also got a setting for what could be a series of stories. Above all
> > I've read loads.
>
> I'm glad you were able to do that - I did wonder, when you said, whether
> they'd be keeping you too busy or too zapped to concentrate. Sounds as
> though it's been bearable, if not wonderful?
>

it's been good

Didn't get around to Ten Past Four as yet. I was blown away by A Song for
Arbonne, though "book of the holiday" was Jennifer Government by Max
Barry. The only books that got slung across the ward were Mansfield Park
and Things Can Only Get Better (John O'Farrell), though I went back to
finish the latter and I'll probably try the former again. King Rat (China
Mieville) has now taken up residence in the hospital so I'll have to get
another copy.

The best fun was the afternoon teas.

In the morning psoriasis patients get wrapped in two layers of bandages.
The lower layer is soaked in medication. By late afternoon they look like
beer stained mummies. Ideal for going to the posh coffee shop en masse and
effectively announcing to the assembled multitudes "hi, we all have skin
diseases and we've come to have tea with you."

> > If all goes well I get let out early next week. The down side being
> > I'll be on Cyclosporin and monthly blood tests for a year. Still, I can
> > currently do quite a good impersonation of a human being.
>

> I wonder if you could pass on the knack to the rest of us? :)
>

S'easy. Sit on your backside all day talking about what you saw on TV last
night and when asked to do anything claim it's somebody else's job.

--
eric
www.ericjarvis.co.uk
"live fast, die only if strictly necessary"

Brian M. Scott

unread,
Feb 10, 2004, 9:07:25 AM2/10/04
to
On Tue, 10 Feb 2004 22:34:15 +1300 zeb...@paradise.net.nz
(Zeborah) wrote in
<news:1g8yjpo.1oo7ogcnnzqocN%zeb...@paradise.net.nz> in
rec.arts.sf.composition:

> Pat Bowne <pbo...@execpc.com> wrote:

>> "Zeborah" <zeb...@paradise.net.nz> wrote in message
>> news:1g8xupe.1mldnhz123owj2N%zeb...@paradise.net.nz...

>>> What's sinister about St Paul?

>> I'm one of those who think he took a religion that was about love and
>> tried to turn it into a religion about rules.

> The author of "Wives, submit yourselves to your husbands," and
> "Servants, obey your masters," and "Children obey your parents"?

> Or the author of "Husbands, love your wives," and "ye fathers, provoke
> not your children to wrath," and "ye masters [...] forbear threatening
> [your servants]"?

It's still distressingly asymmetrical.

[...]

Brian

Eric Jarvis

unread,
Feb 10, 2004, 9:14:39 AM2/10/04
to

The nurses had a few stories. Not of immediate use since the best of those
stories were very firmly set in Spain, The Phillipines, Sierra Leone and
Nigeria. Hawa's stories of Sierra Leone need to be told, and I might try
and do so at some point, but then there are masses of stories from Sierra
Leone over the last couple of decades that need telling.

The Bengali lad in the next bed gave me masses of useful cultural
background for a short story I managed a fairly successful) rewrite of.
Best of all I've got the missing link that might turn a vaguely
interesting idea for a character into a fully fledged near future milieu.

"The secret London known only to tobacco smokers", anyone? It very nearly
exists. :)

I'm glad I'm out. I'm stymied on three crucial scenes, all of which need
to be completed before I can write any further. All of which need
researching on the web.

--
eric
www.ericjarvis.co.uk
all these years I've waited for the revolution
and all we end up getting is spin

Stuart Houghton

unread,
Feb 10, 2004, 9:44:14 AM2/10/04
to
Eric Jarvis <w...@ericjarvis.co.uk> wrote in
news:MPG.1a92f7921...@News.CIS.DFN.DE:

>
> "The secret London known only to tobacco smokers", anyone? It very
> nearly exists. :)
>


There is a Stephen King story called _The Ten-o-clock People_ (in
_Nightmares & Dreamscapes_, IIRC). The premise is that the people who
huddle in office doorways while trying to give up smoking will sometimes
achieve the exact ratio of nicotine in their bloodstreams that allows them
to perceive what is REALLY GOING ON.

It's not exactly vintage King, but you might find it interesting if only for
avoidance purposes.

--
Stuart Houghton
blog:http://rippingyarns.blogspot.com/
book reviews:http://asciimonkey.blogspot.com/

Stuart Houghton

unread,
Feb 10, 2004, 9:44:40 AM2/10/04
to
Stuart Houghton <stu_ajh-utter...@hotmail.com> wrote in
news:Xns948B95A39405F...@130.133.1.17:

> Eric Jarvis <w...@ericjarvis.co.uk> wrote in
> news:MPG.1a92f7921...@News.CIS.DFN.DE:
>
>>
>> "The secret London known only to tobacco smokers", anyone? It very
>> nearly exists. :)
>>
>
>
> There is a Stephen King story called _The Ten-o-clock People_ (in
> _Nightmares & Dreamscapes_, IIRC). The premise is that the people who
> huddle in office doorways while trying to give up smoking will
> sometimes achieve the exact ratio of nicotine in their bloodstreams
> that allows them to perceive what is REALLY GOING ON.
>
> It's not exactly vintage King, but you might find it interesting if
> only for avoidance purposes.
>

oh, hope you are feeling better, btw. :)

Marilee J. Layman

unread,
Feb 10, 2004, 9:54:16 AM2/10/04
to
On Tue, 10 Feb 2004 14:14:39 -0000, Eric Jarvis <w...@ericjarvis.co.uk>
wrote:

>I'm glad I'm out. I'm stymied on three crucial scenes, all of which need
>to be completed before I can write any further. All of which need
>researching on the web.

Good to have you back! I haven't had psoriasis, but it's hard to
imagine the cyclosporin would be worse!

--
Marilee J. Layman

Dorothy J Heydt

unread,
Feb 10, 2004, 11:38:49 AM2/10/04
to
In article <1g8yjpo.1oo7ogcnnzqocN%zeb...@paradise.net.nz>,

Zeborah <zeb...@paradise.net.nz> wrote:
>
>I know someone who left the Christian Church partly because her very
>strict church would preach "Wives, submit" and never mention "Husbands,
>love". Which I think is a great shame, for very many reasons.

Particularly if it's taken in context, which is, "Husbands, love
your wives as Christ loved the Church, and gave his life for
her."

Ian Montgomerie

unread,
Feb 10, 2004, 12:10:54 PM2/10/04
to

Pfft. St. Paul is one of the earliest and most obvious individuals
who put the Catholic church in on authoritarian, pro-social-hierarchy
path.

David Friedman

unread,
Feb 10, 2004, 12:33:35 PM2/10/04
to
In article <1901q1cvacclq$.11kreote9izs0$.d...@40tude.net>,

"Brian M. Scott" <b.s...@csuohio.edu> wrote:

> > The author of "Wives, submit yourselves to your husbands," and
> > "Servants, obey your masters," and "Children obey your parents"?
>
> > Or the author of "Husbands, love your wives," and "ye fathers, provoke
> > not your children to wrath," and "ye masters [...] forbear threatening
> > [your servants]"?
>
> It's still distressingly asymmetrical.

So was the society it was written in--like all known human societies,
although the assymetries are not all the same.

It seems to me that in order to blame St. Paul (or anyone else) for
making things worse, you have to argue not only that what he preached
was worse than what you think he ought to have preached, but that it was
worse than what people at the time believed.

Consider, for an obvious analogy, the argument that Mohammed was
anti-woman because he permitted men to have four wives.

--
Remove NOSPAM to email
Also remove .invalid
www.daviddfriedman.com

Nicola Browne

unread,
Feb 10, 2004, 12:56:33 PM2/10/04
to
"David Friedman" <dd...@daviddfriedman.nospam.com> wrote in message
news:ddfr-C5F10B.0...@sea-read.news.verio.net

> > Consider, for an obvious analogy, the argument that Mohammed was
> anti-woman because he permitted men to have four wives.

I rather think my husband would argue that was anti men : )

Nicky


--
Posted via Mailgate.ORG Server - http://www.Mailgate.ORG

David Friedman

unread,
Feb 10, 2004, 1:19:02 PM2/10/04
to
In article <57074b305754d738ce...@mygate.mailgate.org>,
"Nicola Browne" <nicky.m...@btinternet.com> wrote:

> "David Friedman" <dd...@daviddfriedman.nospam.com> wrote in message
> news:ddfr-C5F10B.0...@sea-read.news.verio.net
>
> > > Consider, for an obvious analogy, the argument that Mohammed was
> > anti-woman because he permitted men to have four wives.
>
> I rather think my husband would argue that was anti men : )

Well, in his defense, he didn't require them to have four wives. If
anything, he mildly discouraged it.

Brian M. Scott

unread,
Feb 10, 2004, 1:14:58 PM2/10/04
to
On Tue, 10 Feb 2004 17:33:35 GMT David Friedman
<dd...@daviddfriedman.nospam.com> wrote in
<news:ddfr-C5F10B.0...@sea-read.news.verio.net>
in rec.arts.sf.composition:

> In article <1901q1cvacclq$.11kreote9izs0$.d...@40tude.net>,
> "Brian M. Scott" <b.s...@csuohio.edu> wrote:

>>> The author of "Wives, submit yourselves to your
>>> husbands," and "Servants, obey your masters," and
>>> "Children obey your parents"?

>>> Or the author of "Husbands, love your wives," and "ye
>>> fathers, provoke not your children to wrath," and "ye
>>> masters [...] forbear threatening [your servants]"?

>> It's still distressingly asymmetrical.

> So was the society it was written in--like all known human
> societies, although the assymetries are not all the
> same.

Of course. Mine was a statement of taste. I dislike some
asymmetries more than others.

> It seems to me that in order to blame St. Paul (or anyone
> else) for making things worse, you have to argue not
> only that what he preached was worse than what you think
> he ought to have preached, but that it was worse than
> what people at the time believed.

Only if you're arguing that he made things worse than they
were. So far as I know, the usual argument here is merely
that his version of Christianity was worse than (or at least
very much different from) the original.

[...]

Brian

Dorothy J Heydt

unread,
Feb 10, 2004, 1:32:20 PM2/10/04
to
In article <ddfr-5B953E.1...@sea-read.news.verio.net>,

David Friedman <dd...@daviddfriedman.nospam.com> wrote:
>In article <57074b305754d738ce...@mygate.mailgate.org>,
> "Nicola Browne" <nicky.m...@btinternet.com> wrote:
>
>> "David Friedman" <dd...@daviddfriedman.nospam.com> wrote in message
>> news:ddfr-C5F10B.0...@sea-read.news.verio.net
>>
>> > > Consider, for an obvious analogy, the argument that Mohammed was
>> > anti-woman because he permitted men to have four wives.
>>
>> I rather think my husband would argue that was anti men : )
>
>Well, in his defense, he didn't require them to have four wives. If
>anything, he mildly discouraged it.

Am I completely wrong when I seem to remember that he *limited*
men to four wives, rather than as many as they wanted?

David Friedman

unread,
Feb 10, 2004, 1:50:14 PM2/10/04
to
In article <5edb3fp0ror1.1d...@40tude.net>,

And is there good evidence that the original preached that the role of
husband and wife, parent and child, master and servant, was one of
symmetrical equality?

Zeborah

unread,
Feb 10, 2004, 1:57:42 PM2/10/04
to
Brian M. Scott <b.s...@csuohio.edu> wrote:

If you were living in a society based on asymmetrical relationships,
what else would you preach?

Really, if you've got any good ideas, I could use them for my novel. My
protagonist, in trying to explain Christianity, has two minor problems:
the very language is slanted with status-markers on every verb and
pronoun; and they have no word with as broad a range of meanings as
"love". It makes my head hurt to write one of those scenes.

Zeborah

Zeborah

unread,
Feb 10, 2004, 1:57:43 PM2/10/04
to
Ian Montgomerie <ianN...@ianmontgomerie.com> wrote:

It was *on* an authoritarian, pro-social-hierarchy path. Everyone was
busy saying "Only Jews get to be Christians," and when they got around
to accepting Gentiles (thanks largely to Paul) they were saying "Okay,
but you Gentiles have to be circumcised too, and don't eat the wrong
foods or anything" and so on for all the little bits of Judaic Law. And
"I'm better than you are because I can prophesy and you can't."

And Paul up and said, "Okay, this stuff's cool and all, but really none
of it means anything unless you *love* each other and are one in
Christ."

Zeborah

David Friedman

unread,
Feb 10, 2004, 2:01:19 PM2/10/04
to
In article <Hsvst...@kithrup.com>,

djh...@kithrup.com (Dorothy J Heydt) wrote:

You are correct. That was my original point.

The argument that Mohammed was anti-women because he permitted men to
have four wives is wrong for the same reason that the argument about
Paul was wrong. He permitted men to have more wives than many moderns
think he should have--but fewer than men were permitted to have before.

Dorothy J Heydt

unread,
Feb 10, 2004, 2:28:32 PM2/10/04
to
In article <ddfr-ECB118.1...@sea-read.news.verio.net>,

Well, let's see. John, chapter 13, v. 4 ff. (KJV because that's
the first one I grabbed.)

He riseth from supper, and laid aside his garments; and took a
towel, and girded himself. After that he poureth water into a
bason, and began to wash the disciples' feet, and to wipe them
with the towel wherewith he was girded. [Skip several verses
about Peter opening his mouth and putting his foot in it, as
usual.]

So after he had washed their feet, and had taken his garments,
and was set down again, he said unto them, Know he what I have
done to you? Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well: for so
I am. If I them, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye
also ought to wash one another's feet. For I have given you an
example, that ye should do as I have done to you.

Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than
his lord: neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him.
If he know these things, happy are ye if ye do them.

So there's, if not symmetrical equality, at least reciprocity
between master and servant. I don't know any comparable
quotations about husbands/wives or parents/children; I was
brought up by atheists and didn't have the advantage of a Sunday
School education.

And in the Catholic Church at least, religious superiors wash the
feet of a symbolic dozen of their underlings on the Thursday
before Easter.

Brian M. Scott

unread,
Feb 10, 2004, 2:26:18 PM2/10/04
to
On Tue, 10 Feb 2004 18:50:14 GMT David Friedman
<dd...@daviddfriedman.nospam.com> wrote in
<news:ddfr-ECB118.1...@sea-read.news.verio.net> in
rec.arts.sf.composition:

I have no idea. It's not my argument. I was merely
pointing out that your comparandum -- the existing state of
affairs -- is not the one usually meant by the people who
say that Paul made things worse, perverted Christianity, or
whatever.

Brian

David Chapman

unread,
Feb 10, 2004, 2:34:52 PM2/10/04
to

I should hope not. What *was* being preached was that while someone with
authority over you should be obeyed, those who are in authority should treat
those subservient to them with respect.

--
Isn't the universe an amazing place? I wouldn't
live anywhere else.


Tim S

unread,
Feb 10, 2004, 4:18:05 PM2/10/04
to

Chief spokesman for a weird millenarian cult? Denying the established gods
of the empire? While simultaneously trying to undermine the institutions of
the religion on which he bases that denial? What _isn't_ sinister about him?

Tim

David Tomlin

unread,
Feb 10, 2004, 9:10:16 PM2/10/04
to
David Friedman wrote

> It seems to me that in order to blame St. Paul (or anyone else) for
> making things worse, you have to argue not only that what he preached
> was worse than what you think he ought to have preached, but that it was
> worse than what people at the time believed.

People at the time believed widely divergent things, much as today. I
think Paul was toward the conservative end of the scale.

David Tomlin

unread,
Feb 10, 2004, 9:25:03 PM2/10/04
to
David Friedman wrote

> The argument that Mohammed was anti-women because he permitted men to

> have four wives . . .

I've never understood why polygyny is supposed to be anti-woman.
Materially a woman is better off in the harem of a rich man than as
the only wife of a poor man.

It looks to me as if the strongest argument for banning polygyny is to
keep poor men from having to do without wives. But that comes at the
expense of the women.

Brandon

unread,
Feb 11, 2004, 12:58:18 AM2/11/04
to

Actually, "everyone" wasn't saying any one particular thing.
There were a lot of different versions of Christianity in
the early days. The final, definitive canon of the Bible
was not established until early in the 4th Century. Elaine
Pagels has done some good work on early Christian writings
that got excluded (try "The Gnostic Gospels" as a starting
place, if you're interested). I'm particularly fond of the
Gospel of Mary Magdelene, which can be found in "The Nag
Hammadi Library in English".


--
Any sufficiently advanced stupidity is indistinguishable
from malice. -- seen on Usenet, 10/22/03 (with apologies to
Arthur C. Clarke)

David Friedman

unread,
Feb 11, 2004, 12:50:14 AM2/11/04
to
In article <7f38da74.04021...@posting.google.com>,
davt...@hotmail.com (David Tomlin) wrote:

Actually, I discuss the economics of the situation in two of my books,
and reach a similar conclusion with a slightly different argument.
Permitting polygyny allows some men on the marriage market to "bid" for
more than one wife, raising the demand curve for wives and thus their
equilibrium "price"--which, in a society where women belong to
themselves, means making the terms they can expect to get in marriage
more favorable. Women are better of, monogamous men are worse off,
polygynous men may be better or worse off, men who are without a spouse
as a result are worse off. For details, see:

http://www.daviddfriedman.com/Academic/Price_Theory/PThy_Chapter_21/PThy_
Chap_21.html

I suppose you could argue that Mohammed was anti-women because he
restricted men to only four wives. But the argument requires that women
at the time owned themselves, which I suspect was frequently not the
case.

David Chapman

unread,
Feb 11, 2004, 3:28:22 AM2/11/04
to
David Friedman wrote:

> Actually, I discuss the economics of the situation in two of my books,
> and reach a similar conclusion with a slightly different argument.
> Permitting polygyny allows some men on the marriage market to "bid"
> for more than one wife, raising the demand curve for wives and thus
> their equilibrium "price"--which, in a society where women belong to
> themselves, means making the terms they can expect to get in marriage
> more favorable. Women are better of, monogamous men are worse off,
> polygynous men may be better or worse off, men who are without a
> spouse as a result are worse off. For details, see:

OK, there's a lot of technical gibble-gabble (AKA "advanced economic
theory") there that I don't understand. Is it possible to explain in simple
terms why men who do not buy multiple wives are worse off? Because I can't
see a single logical reason why a man who spends less money on acquisition
and maintenance would be in a poorer financial condition overall.

Erol K. Bayburt

unread,
Feb 11, 2004, 6:57:09 AM2/11/04
to
"David Chapman" jedit_...@hotmail.com wrote:

>OK, there's a lot of technical gibble-gabble (AKA "advanced economic
>theory") there that I don't understand. Is it possible to explain in simple
>terms why men who do not buy multiple wives are worse off? Because I can't
>see a single logical reason why a man who spends less money on acquisition
>and maintenance would be in a poorer financial condition overall.

If a man can't afford to get married because getting/being married is
expensive, then he's less well off than he would be if he could afford to get
married.

This holds in both the intuitive case where a man becomes able to afford a wife
because his wealth increases, and also in the not-so-inuitive case where he can
afford a wive because having a wife becomes not-so-expensive.

That, at least, is my over-simplified explaination of it.

(After I read David Friedman's explaination of polygyny making women better off
(some time ago), I conjectured that polygyny is associated with women being
badly off not because it makes women worse off, but because it is only likely
to arise in situtations where women already are very badly off.)


--
Erol K. Bayburt
Ero...@aol.com

Brian M. Scott

unread,
Feb 11, 2004, 7:44:30 AM2/11/04
to
On 11 Feb 2004 11:57:09 GMT ero...@aol.com (Erol K. Bayburt)
wrote in <news:20040211065709...@mb-m22.aol.com>
in rec.arts.sf.composition:

> "David Chapman" jedit_...@hotmail.com wrote:

>>OK, there's a lot of technical gibble-gabble (AKA "advanced economic
>>theory") there that I don't understand. Is it possible to explain in simple
>>terms why men who do not buy multiple wives are worse off? Because I can't
>>see a single logical reason why a man who spends less money on acquisition
>>and maintenance would be in a poorer financial condition overall.

> If a man can't afford to get married because getting/being married is
> expensive, then he's less well off than he would be if he could afford to get
> married.

Only in respect of marriage.

[...]

Brian

David Friedman

unread,
Feb 11, 2004, 2:15:31 PM2/11/04