MT VOID 11/16/07 -- Vol. 26, No. 20, Whole Number 1467

MT VOID 11/16/07 -- Vol. 26, No. 20, Whole Number 1467

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Mt. Holz Science Fiction Society
11/16/07 -- Vol. 26, No. 20, Whole Number 1467

Table of Contents

      El Honcho Grande: Mark Leeper, La Honcha Bonita: Evelyn Leeper, Back issues at All material copyright by author unless otherwise noted. All comments sent will be assumed authorized for inclusion unless otherwise noted. To subscribe, send mail to To unsubscribe, send mail to

Canadian Rockies Travelogues:

Our travelogues of our five-week road trip to the Canadian Rockies and back are available at: (Mark's) (Evelyn's)

[These are on our web pages, but some mailer filters will not pass through mail contain that site's name. Hence the tinyurl. -ecl]

Trivia Questions:

1) Name a movie with at least ten speaking parts that has no female roles, only male. (There are several answers to this one.)

2) Name a movie with at least ten speaking parts that has no male roles, only female.

In each case, I am asking for a well-known studio film, not an independent movie.

Extra credit:
Name an opera by a well-known composer with at least ten singing roles that has no male singing roles, only female. Name another that has only male singing roles.

Answers will appear next week. [-ecl]

HBO Series Life Cycle (comments by Mark R. Leeper):

We recently watched the final seasons of two HBO series. We saw the last season of THE SOPRANOS and the second season of ROME. These are widely praised TV series, some of the best that have ever been made for television. But I think I have discovered a principle. I think that every good HBO series evolves to the point where it has a lot of gratuitous nudity and copulation just before it dies. [-mrl]

For the Benefit of Those Who Came In Late... (comments by Mark R. Leeper):

Another fanzine reviewed the MT VOID very recently and said some very nice things, but said that it was not really a "clubzine." That is, it is not a fanzine published by a club. I am not sure that is correct, though maybe I am just in denial.

It occurred to me that it made sense that we rarely explain some of the vestiges of our ontogeny in our colophon. (Gee, I wonder if I should tell my doctor that we have vestiges of ontogeny in our colophon.) In fact, very few readers have been around long enough to completely understand our colophon (that's the thing at the top of each issue). The history of the MT VOID goes back to 1978. Evelyn and I had come to work at Bell Laboratories in Holmdel, New Jersey, refugees from the cold winters of Detroit, Michigan, where we had worked for the Burroughs computer company.

At one time New Jersey was not the center of exciting social life that everybody knows it is today. But it was a good place to work, funded by The Phone Company before the government broke it up. They actually funded clubs and gave them a budget for activities. In Detroit we had been active in the Wayne Third Foundation, a science fiction club at Wayne State University. We certainly expected that with all the visionaries at Bell Laboratories they would have some sort of science fiction activities. We looked anxiously for a science fiction club and sadly found none. The closest they came was a group of fans who chipped in as a group and bought books from the Science Fiction Book Club and then routed them around through company mail so each got a chance to read them.

We came to work in January 1978 and in December we attended a science fiction convention in New York, Empiricon. On the way home, full of affection for the genre, I suggested to Evelyn that Bell Laboratories needed a science fiction club and we should found one ourselves. Little did I realize how much worlds turn on such suggestions. It certainly has impacted the rest of our lives.

Bell Laboratories would let us found an official club, but we had to find ten people who wanted to join first. I don't remember how we found them, but we got the word around. Some people who had minimal interest, but liked the idea that there was a science fiction club, added their names to our list. So we got approved and even a small budget. Once we were listed as an official club, finding new members became much less of a problem. Getting people to read the books and participate in meetings was less automatic. We would meet every two weeks and discuss a science fiction book. For the early days we would run the club between us temporarily.

We had meetings every two weeks and for each meeting we had to send out two notices. One was before meetings to tell people what book was coming up for discussion. One was after meetings to tell people what had been chosen to read for next discussion. So we had to write a lot of notices. Almost immediately I started putting in little whimsical comments, news of science fiction events, and film reviews. But we started publishing the Friday mornings before and after meetings so that people had the weekend to read. When people wanted to go to a three-week cycle to have more time to read the books for upcoming meetings, the notice would go out two Fridays in three, but from 1985 on we had enough material to go weekly and it has been weekly ever since. I don't believe we have missed a Friday. When we went on vacations we made sure that someone sent out the notice every Friday.

Meetings actually became varied in type. We might play Jeff Wayne's THE WAR OF THE WORLDS. On Friday evenings we might have a group of members go to the new science fiction film that was opening and then would have dinner afterward to discuss it. A few Saturdays we set up field trips to the (now-defunct) F&SF Book Company in Staten Island. They had a warehouse of science fiction books at discount prices.

The notices started out hand-written, photocopied, and mailed by inter-office mail. Our meetings were in Holmdel, whose company mail abbreviation was HO. But we also brought in people from nearby Bell Laboratories buildings Lincroft (LZ) and Middletown (MT). Member Paul Chisholm suggested we combine the three postal codes and call ourselves the MT HOLZ Science Fiction Society. It was to be pronounced "empty holes". And the name of the notice became the MT VOID or "empty void". We started getting a lot of members who we knew could not possibly attend the meetings, but who wanted the notice nonetheless for the articles.

Some people whom we could not reach by interoffice mail wanted to get the VOID and we would exchange with other clubs. We would send out about six copies calling it "company business." We thought of it as company support for the club, possibly just a bit longer than the company felt obliged to support its clubs. We also used company photocopiers to copy the notice. I think our management knew about it and considered a holdover from when the company funded and supported clubs. But we tried to maintain a low profile. And the truth is that many of the local supervisors were members and really wanted to receive the notice. One local supervisor was a member and donated some books to the club library and in return got playfully insulted in the notice, which was the usual reward. A few years later I went to work for him and he remained my supervisor for something like fourteen years.

Much of this was before Bell Laboratories had people doing email. Once we could sent the VOID out electronically it was a lot easier. One quick email would distribute to the entire club. There was no copying cost. And we could have members anywhere the Internet reached. That was good because AT&T was broken up with divestiture, but we lost no members because we were working for different companies.

It was about this time I started noticing that nearly every one of our friends in New Jersey we had met through the club we founded. In fact, we had few friends who were really outside of the club whom we had not met through science fiction socializing. It still is true to a large extent.

Over time fewer people in the club had time to read books for discussion or to go to other science fiction activities. The one constant has been the weekly notice that has taken on a life of its own. There really are no active members of the MT HOLZ Science Fiction Society besides Evelyn and me. But we still have a lot of members who read the notice. If you get the notice by email you are technically a non-active member.

So this is to let you know that if you are ever called before a Congressional Committee and asked if you ever belonged to any subversive organizations, you probably should stand up proudly and in a patriotic voice announce that you have been and are a member of the MT HOLZ Science Fiction Society. They will then decide that you are not subversive but a harmless idiot. [-mrl]


I probably should start with the disclaimer that I have very little technical knowledge of music. I am, however, very much a film buff and I very much like the great orchestral scores of older films and in particular epic films. When one thinks of the great scores of classic films one naturally thinks of names like Wolfgang Korngold, Miklos Rozsa, Jerry Goldsmith, and Maurice Jarre. Jarre's scoring career goes back to the early 1950s, but some of his finest work was in the 1960s and 1970s. The best of his best (in my non-technical opinion) include THE LONGEST DAY (1962), LAWRENCE OF ARABIA (1962), DOCTOR ZHIVAGO (1965), and THE MAN WHO WOULD BE KING (1970). David Lean directed two of these four. Jarre wrote the score for only four of Lean's films in all: LAWRENCE OF ARABIA (1962), DOCTOR ZHIVAGO (1965), RYAN'S DAUGHTER (1970), and A PASSAGE TO INDIA (1984). But the director and composer formed a close bond and a personal friendship. From 1962 on Lean had no other composers. A Maurice Jarre score just became part of what made a David Lean film a David Lean film. At the time of his death David Lean was planning a production of NOSTROMO, of course with a Jarre score. Lean died in London April 16, 1991. As a tribute to his friend Maurice Jarre put together a 1992 concert featuring his music written for David Lean. The London Philharmonic performed the music at London's Barbican Center. The concert was recorded but to the best of my knowledge was never released. As we approach March 25, 2008, which would have been Lean's 100th birthday, Milan is releasing a DVD and CD package of the concert.

Milan's package is really very inviting:

The concert itself is edited to 55 minutes in length. The DVD features the following contents:

  1. Remembrance
  2. Ryan's Daughter Suite
  3. A Passage to India
  4. Doctor Zhivago
  5. Offering
  6. A Passage to India (Garden of Statues)
  7. Lawrence of Arabia Suite

"Remembrance" is a piece of music written only for this concert and allows Jarre to express his deep affection for David Lean in the way Jarre does it best--in music. "Offering" was previously written as a gift to be played at Lean's wedding.

The concert includes footage from the films as well as showing the orchestra creating the music. Jarre wryly notes that he synchronized the music to the visuals in a way that is backward from what he is used to. For once, he has started with the music and can move around the visuals to fit the music instead of vice versa.

The CD, which comes included in the package, makes the concert music a good deal more portable. It contains all the music of the concert with the exception of the "Garden of Statues" sequence. This sequence in the concert is actually a demonstration of the task and process of precisely matching the music Jarre has composed to an edited but un-scored film. This took a certain amount of courage on Jarre's part to include since in actual practice he does not have to get it right the first time, but in front of an audience he does. This task is an aspect of film scoring most people have never had an opportunity to see. The entire concert was apparently unexpectedly difficult for Jarre. He could not stop and re-do anything the way he does normally when he works since everything was done before a live audience and was all done in a single (if later edited) take.

Also included in the DVD is a complete and informative commentary by Jarre on the concert in French with subtitles in English. The commentary includes humorous anecdotes and diverse information about the production. More information in the same vein is included in a 35-minute interview in French with English subtitles. (Sadly, they did not ask the question I have been dying to ask Maurice Jarre for years. That is if one looks individually at films that Jarre has scored, a high proportion seem to have a train appearing somewhere in the film. For many it is obvious where the train would be, but even a film like SCHOOL TIES has Brendan Frasier stopped by a train on his way to school. Peculiarly, even MAD MAX BEYOND THUNDERDOME and GHOST manage to each get a train in. It is not all of his films. You would not expect to see a train in SHOGUN. But most films in which it would be possible do fit in a train or a subway or a mine train. Is this all just a coincidence?) Maurice Jarre's son, Jean-Michel Jarre, is also a popular composer.

Samplings of the concert are available on YouTube and can be found at

Samples are also available at the Milan Records site:

Amazon page:


YIDDISH THEATER: A LOVE STORY (film review by Mark R. Leeper):

CAPSULE: Dan Katzir's documentary covers what might well be the last eight days of the Folksbeine Yiddish Theater Company. Struggling to keep Yiddish theater alive in the United States, the company desperately needs financial backing. We see the company onstage and off. Along the way we meet some of the surviving greats of the medium. It will be interesting to see if this film can cross over and interest people not already aficionados of Yiddish theater. Rating: low +2 (-4 to +4) or 7/10

This is a very small documentary about what is today a very small institution, Yiddish theater in New York City. At one time there were no less than twelve Yiddish theaters in the city. Yiddish theater was part of the foundation of Broadway. For that matter many familiar film actors of Hollywood like Walter Matthau, Paul Muni, and Sam Jaffe got their starts in Yiddish theater. There were over two hundred Yiddish theaters or touring Yiddish theater troupes in the United States between 1890 and 1940. But the heart of Yiddish theater was in Eastern Europe and that heart was killed in Europe in the 1930s and 40s. Nearly all the Yiddish- speakers in Eastern Europe were murdered and the language was nearly wiped out. Even after the war other countries suppressed the use of the language. With so few speakers, Yiddish theater almost died and is closer than ever the very edge of death. Of the twelve New York Yiddish theater companies the only one surviving is the Folksbeine. That is the oldest and longest running Yiddish theater company in the United States and that theater company is struggling to stay alive, or it was in the eight days covered by the documentary YIDDISH THEATER: A LOVE STORY.

The film covers the last eight days of the year 2000. The Folksbeine had been getting audiences of about forty people to its performances and that simply is not enough to keep the theater afloat. At the end of the year they had to move out of their already very remote theater on East Broadway near Chinatown. They needed another theater and to rent it they needed money. To get the money they needed investors. But it is not easy to get investors interested in plays performed in a language that it itself dying out and in plays that are lucky to draw audiences measured in dozens. The plays are presented with super-titles in English and Russian, and that attracts some people a little younger than 70. But most people who understand spoken Yiddish are in their eighties and that does not promise a long future for Yiddish Theater. Yiddish, someone says, is the language of the dead. The people who know Yiddish are dying or will be in the next few years. Most non-Jews do not speak it. Young Jews learn Hebrew. Even most of the younger actors on the stage are speaking lines phonetically that they would not have even understood a few months before.

How can I have written two paragraphs on this review without mentioning Zypora Spaisman? Spaisman was the core of the Folksbeine. She was the chief actor, the manager, and who knows what else of the theater company. She was the glue that kept the company together. She is also the center of this documentary. Documentary director, co-writer, and narrator Dan Katzir says he did not expect to make a film when he came to the United States in late 2000 but was caught up in story of the Folksbeine and its efforts to survive. His film covers the last eight days of the year, the last eight days of the Folksbeine's lease, and which also happen to be that year the eight days of the festival of Chanukah. In his very simply styled documentary we listen to him talk to some of the greatest living actors of the Yiddish stage. Sometimes he just puts a camera on them in their daily lives and just translates with subtitles. Among the stars are Shifra Lerer, Felix Fibich, and Seymour Rechzeit, once great names and now hardly remembered to all but a few. We also get to know Roni Neuman, who resembles a young Louise Lasser and who is a young Yiddish actress of the current play. As with most of the young actors, she does not speak Yiddish and learns her lines phonetically. Dan Katzir just shows us the majors of Yiddish theater and sits back and lets them talk and observes them.

We travel around New York City and see the efforts of David Romeo, the company's theater producer, as he desperately looks for backer money. To make the tone more melancholy, after two or three days the city has a record-breaking blizzard with deep snow choking the city and making travel even harder for the octogenarians of the company. We meet people, we see Jewish food, and we hear Jewish music against a background of falling hopes and falling snow. This film is awash in Jewish music, much of it Klezmer.

YIDDISH THEATER: A LOVE STORY is an engrossing documentary, but one wonders if people who do not already have an interest in Yiddish theater will be drawn to it. Yes, the Folksbeine did survive and still plays in New York City. We can only hope that the film draws audiences larger today than those we see drawn by the Folksbeine. Certainly the film will be of some interest to the enthusiasts of Yiddish theater. I rate YIDDISH THEATER: A LOVE STORY a low +2 on the -4 to +4 scale or 7/10. [-mrl]

Backward Time Travel (letter of comment by David Goldfarb):

In response to Mark's article on backward time travel in the 11/09/07 issue of the MT VOID, David Goldfarb writes, "All the discussions of conceivably-physically-possible time machines that I've seen have one thing in common: they can't be used to travel back in time before the machine was first built. So the lack of time travelers in the current day doesn't really prove anything. (Someone on Usenet recently observed that we know time travel into our past isn't possible, because records prove that when Shakespeare was active as an actor and playwright, his performances didn't all play to sellout crowds.)" [-dg]

Mark responds, "Not that modern physics has to make sense, but this time travel limitation makes less sense than much of physics. The physical universe does not care when a machine was built. Does that interval start when construction starts or when the last screw is twisted into place? It might matter when the machine was turned on. A machine may somehow be creating a path back to itself through time. But up until the startup point a time machine is just one more hunk of metal, or whatever. As for the Shakespeare point: Word might travel fast (whatever that means for time travelers) that the plays were over-hyped." [-mrl]

David replies, "The schemes that I've seen involve creating wormholes in space and suchlike--they aren't metal things that you turn on and off with the flip of a switch. The distinction between 'building' and 'turning on' thus becomes fuzzy, perhaps nonexistent. If you *were* applying such a limitation to a Wells-like time machine, I agree that its first activation makes much more sense as the boundary." [-dg]

Halloween Costumes (letter of comment by Richie Bielak):

In response to Evelyn's comments on costumes in the 11/09/07 issue of the MT VOID, Richie Bielak writes:

Some comments on Halloween costumes...

Seems like serious "cosplay" has moved to conventions such as these:

Both of Caroline's costumes were home made--as are many of the costumes at Otakon. She has used the Zelda getup for Halloween too. [-rb]

The MT VOID and THE MERCHANTS' WAR (letter of comment by John Purcell):

In response to the 11/09/07 issue of the MT VOID, John Purcell writes:

In the latest ASKANCE, now posted at, I reviewed your newsletter-zine, and quite favorably, too. Go to that site and read it to your heart's content; I think you'll be pleased.

Way back in the first issue of AND FURTHERMORE (Feb 2006; not *that* long ago, technically, but it sure feels like it) I reviewed VENUS, INC. by Pohl and Kornbluth. The two novels make a good continuous narrative, and I am quite glad, actually, that Pohl wrote THE MERCHANTS' WAR in 1984 because it clarified a few things in The Space Merchants and tied up some loose ends. The nice thing about the second novel is that it can stand very well on its own; but if you read them sequentially, it makes a lot more sense, of course. Pohl is one of my favorite SF writers, and I still can't believe that Kornbluth died so young. Very sad. He was a fine writer; imagine what he might have done If Only.

Not much else to say here, but once again I enjoyed your efforts. Good stuff. If I had more time--gotta do some grading and my son's soccer tournament is this weekend--I'd probably make more comments. Oh, well. I am sure you will survive without them.


Mark replies:

We are very pleased. You said some very nice things. You probably are right that we are no longer a clubzine, but we have not admitted that to ourselves. We founded the Bell Labs science fiction club in 1977 and the notice of the upcoming book to read for discussion which became a weekly notice.

Each Bell location had a two-letter code for mail purposes. There were three Bell Labs locations right near each other and most of our members came from Holmdel (HO), Middletown (MT), or Lincroft (LZ). We were not allowed to call our club the Bell Labs Science Fiction Club for legal reasons so we took the three location codes and called ourselves the MT HOLZ Science Fiction Society. We gave the notice the name MT VOID ("the empty void"). There is little activity left in the club. It withered away with time. All that is left is the weekly notice. And that seems unkillable. It is time we admitted to ourselves the club is no more, but it isn't really dead. In fact you and every other subscriber is a member. (For more details, see my main article above.)

Actually I am curious. How did you find out about the VOID in the first place?

Oh, and the other thing is that Evelyn does nearly all of the invisible work on the VOID. That can add up. I probably spend more time overall, but then I am a slow writer.

Thanks again for writing and for the MERCHANTS' WAR information.


John answers, "I think I ran across the VOID while browsing the site, reading an issue or few, then finally subscribing to it last year during your Holiday special rate of 'free.' Works for me." [-jp]

And Mark notes, "It is always free. I think it might have been at half price then. (I have to be honest, though. It wasn't really half price. We charged you twice.)" [-mrl]

Things Versus Experiences (letter of comment by John Sloan):

In response to Mark's article on things versus experiences in the 11/02/07 issue of the MT VOID (and the responses to it in the 11/09/07 issue), John Sloan writes:

I have to go with Mark on this one.

In 1995 I spent a month working and travelling in the People's Republic of China. Kathleen and I recently spent three weeks in Japan using the Nippon 2007 WorldCon as our excuse. My time in China fundamentally changed my perspective. For example, since then I've never taken potable tap water and electrical power for granted, even in a major city. Spending time in Japan's Tokyo- Yokohama corridor, the most densely populated area on the planet according to the United Nations, made me think of the Motie home world in THE MOTE IN GOD'S EYE. Both experiences were as close as I will come to being on another planet. The differences between Eastern and Western culture are much wider than that of other places we've been, including Europe, Australia, and French Polynesia, although those places had their exotic moments too.

The size of America, and its geographic isolation from Europe and Asia, is both a blessing and a curse. We can travel for days and never leave the confines of the United States. The United States is so big that there's a fair amount of cultural and dialect differences just within our borders. Travel to Europe and Asia is, relatively speaking, difficult, time-consuming, and expensive. Yet Americans in my opinion would be much better served by buying fewer SUVs and spending our money and carbon emissions on foreign travel. We spend way too much of our time in the sleep-work-television cycle which does little but reinforce our existing perceptions and misconceptions. We should get out more. Way out.

Photos from China, Japan, and elsewhere:

A journal I kept during my month in China in 1995:

Blog article on our trip to Japan:


This Week's Reading (book comments by Evelyn C. Leeper):

If science fiction is the literature of ideas, then the quintessential science fictional author is Jorge Luis Borges. This occurred to me when someone cited a short story by Borges, "The Library of Babel", and I realized once more that many of Borges's stories are not really stories, but "merely" ideas or concepts, unfettered by characters or plot. "The Library of Babel", "The Babylon Lottery", "Tlon, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius", "Funes the Memorious", ... so many of the "stories" are ideas presented so beautifully as to convince the reader that they are complete in themselves.

And speaking of "The Babylon Lottery", I was also reminded of it when I read someone's comment that as far as government health insurance goes, all they want is the same medical plan their Congresspersons get. This would be far more likely in a "Babylon-Lottery" situation, because the Congresspersons would know that with the next roll of the dice, *they* could end up with whatever health plan a random person in the society gets.

THE YEAR OF LIVING BIBLICALLY: ONE MAN'S HUMBLE QUEST TO FOLLOW THE BIBLE AS LITERALLY AS POSSIBLE by A. J. Jacobs (ISBN-13 978-0-7432-9147-7, ISBN-10 0-7432-9147-6) is both fascinating and irritating. Fascinating, because some of the things Jacobs learns over the year are unexpected. Irritating, because Jacobs seems fairly clueless about a lot of facts, starting with the fact that lots of people have been following the Bible (or at least the Hebrew Bible) as literally as possible, starting with Orthodox Jews. Yes, there is some disagreement about interpretation, but why is Jacobs so surprised that (for example) Orthodox Jews care about the rules against mixing fibers? Jacob also seems to interpret his mission as not just following the rules that intersect with his life, but going out of his way to follow rules that don't. For example, he eats locusts, not because he is commanded to, but because they are allowed. (However, he does not seem equally driven to eat, for example, duck just because it is allowed.) He seems more interested in seeing just how bizarrely he can interpret the laws, and how he can make his book more interesting, and less in trying to create a coherent, meaningful Biblical lifestyle. (And why is it so difficult for him to avoid reading his email for even an hour on the Sabbath? Surely he goes that long if he goes to a party or something.)

Jacobs did not have his wife's whole-hearted support, particularly when it came to the laws of marital purity. Jacobs could not touch his wife during her period (and for seven days after), or share the same bed, or even sit in the same chair. So one day when he got home, he started to sit in his favorite chair:

"I wouldn't do that," says Julie.


"It's unclean. I sat on it." She doesn't even look up from her TiVo'd episode of LOST.

OK. Fine. Point taken. She still doesn't appreciate these impurity laws. I move to another chair, a black plastic one.

"Sat in that one, too," says Julie. "And the ones in the kitchen. And the couch in the office."

In preparation for my homecoming, she sat in every chair in the apartment, which I find annoying but also impressive. It seems in the biblical tradition of enterprising women--like Judith, who seduced the evil general Holofernes, only to behead him when he was drunk.

Not every experience is this amusing, of course. And while Jacobs seems to work hard on some laws, he also seems to skimp on others. Although Jacobs eschews pork and shellfish, there is no mention of his requiring special slaughtering techniques to drain all the blood from animals destined for his table. He interprets Leviticus 19:32 ("Thou shalt rise up before the hoary head, and honour the face of the old man, ...") as meaning he has to stand up whenever an older person enters the room. So when he is eating pasta in a Boca Raton strip mall restaurant, he decides he has to stand up whenever "a gray-haired person enters the restaurant. Which is pretty much every forty-five seconds. It looks like [he is] playing a solitaire version of musical chairs." And what is he doing eating pasta in a (presumably non-kosher) Boca Raton strip mall restaurant? Well, he seems to be following a lot of the laws consecutively rather than concurrently for the entire year!

(Jacobs spends most of his time working on the rules in the Hebrew Bible, but spends a couple of months at the end working on the New Testament.)

The most interesting parts are not Jacobs's reactions to the laws and living them, but the conversations, interviews, and experiences he has with other people who have their own perspectives on what it means to follow the Bible. And I discovered the existence of "Red-letter Christians", a movement which tries to emphasize Jesus's words (often printed in red in Christian Bibles [*]) and teachings, rather than those of St. Paul or the other apostles. The Red-letter Christians are a bit of a contrast to the conservative evangelicals who get the bulk of the publicity, since the Red-letter Christians emphasize anti-war, anti-consumer, anti-poverty goals. "They point out that there are more passages in the Bible about the poor than any other topic save idolatry--several *thousand*, in fact," says Jacobs. Pastor Tony Campolo complains, "Many of us in the evangelical movement believe that the evangelical Christianity has become captured and enslaved by the religious. Its loyalty seems to be more to the platform of the Republican Party than to the radical teachings of Jesus."

[*] Leo Tolstoy produced a version of the Bible called "The Gospel in Brief" consisting only of Jesus's words and enough narrative to connect them together. It can be found at

I recently watched the film TIME AFTER TIME and have a couple of comments. First, the "vaporizing equalizer" on the time machine is similar to the planetary ignition switch in FORBIDDEN PLANET-- both of them seem like amazingly bad designs. (In Karl Alexander's book TIME AFTER TIME, the plot purpose served by the "vaporizing equalizer" is handled in a more realistic manner.) Also, it is often said that some people are too dumb to live, and I would say that anyone who knows they are in danger and has to leave in an hour and still takes Valium and brandy together may fall into this category. [-ecl]

                                          Mark Leeper

Quote of the Week:

           A stupid man's report of what a clever man says 
           is never accurate because he unconsciously 
           translates what he hears into something he can 
                                          -- Bertrand Russell

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