“The only thing worth writing about is people. People. Human beings. Men and women whose individuality must be created, line by line, insight by insight. If you do not do it, the story is a failure. […] There is no nobler chore in the universe than holding up the mirror of reality and turning it slightly, so we have a new and different perception of the commonplace, the everyday, the ‘normal’, the obvious. People are reflected in the glass. The fantasy situation into which you thrust them is the mirror itself. And what we are shown should illuminate and alter our perception of the world around us. Failing that, you have failed totally.”
― Harlan Ellison
Harlan Ellison died last week. The ripe old age of 84. James Cameron couldn’t get him down. AOL couldn’t bring him down. The stroke in 2014 couldn’t bring him down. In Selma, Ellison marched with Martin Luther King, 1964. There were fire-hoses and German Shepherds. Repent, Harlan, said the Tick-Tock Man. Get stuffed, Ellison was heard to shout in response. While angry and bitter over the tampering with his “City on the Edge of Forever” script, the episode still stands as the greatest Trek script of all. His work was bizarre and more often than not, tragic.
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