MT VOID 11/02/18 -- Vol. 37, No. 18, Whole Number 2039

MT VOID 11/02/18 -- Vol. 37, No. 18, Whole Number 2039

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Mt. Holz Science Fiction Society 11/02/18 -- Vol. 37, No. 18, Whole Number 2039

Table of Contents

      Co-Editor: Mark Leeper, Co-Editor: Evelyn Leeper, Back issues at All material is copyrighted by author unless otherwise noted. All comments sent or posted will be assumed authorized for inclusion unless otherwise noted. To subscribe, send mail to To unsubscribe, send mail to

The Square Dance Conspiracy, Introduction and Part 1 (comments by Mark R. Leeper):

It was some thirty-one years ago that I did some of the most important reportage and writing that I did in my entire career. The first chapter of my expose was published March 27, 1987. I mean it was like something from INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS. I think few people realized the deadly danger that had spread far and wide with virtually nobody realizing it. My original report was published in four chapters and out of respect for the original work it will be re-published it in those same four installments. Only in the past few months have people seemed to be doing anything about the danger. I had no idea that my original writing 31 years ago (!) would shed so much light on contemporary 21st century politics. This then is the first part of my expose. Read more by other people at and at .

The Square Dance Conspiracy, Part 1

At various times in history the ruling classes in various countries have been suffused by members of secret organizations. In the 1700s the [original] Hell Fire Club had a surprising amount of political power in England. It was even reputed that Benjamin Franklin as well as many members of the nobility and perhaps even the royal house were members. The Freemasons have been alleged to be such a group. The Illuminati, who may or may not exist, are another. However, I never would have thought that a modern organization like New Jersey AT&T would have been infiltrated and suffused by such a semi-secret organization. I have had hints of it for years. Some of my best friends have from time to time been involved. I think the time has come for an expose'.

I do not know how far the conspiracy has gone but realize that wherever you go in New Jersey AT&T you are never more than a few feet away from a square dancer. Now I realize that there are parts of the country, say Arizona, where there would be nothing unusual about finding a square dancer or two hanging around and causing trouble. But this isn't Arizona. And I am not talking about just one or two conspirators. I tell you AT&T is veritably infested with them. And they don't wear fringed suede jackets, voluminous calico skirts, garish leather boots, little metal stars, or cowboy hats to work, so they pass for being normal. Don't be alarmed, but your officemate may actually be one. (In fact up until about a month ago, my officemate was an admitted square dancer. She is no longer my officemate, I can tell you.) I don't want to make you paranoid, but they suffuse AT&T like gristle through a piece of meat. If this square dance underground is allowed to go unchecked, who knows how far it will go? This could be the vanguard of an International Square Dance Conspiracy!

Be on the lookout for telltale signs in your co-workers: an affected Western accent, cowboy-ish clothing (especially with fringe or leather boots that look like fugitives from the WILD BILL HICKOCK TV show), a decal or tattoo of two sinister interlocked squares or profiles of square dancers. If you see any of these signs, keep track of who the apparent square dancers are for future reference but (and this is important) do not attempt to approach them with your suspicions. That will only tip them off to who you are and that they are being watched. It may also ruin an official investigation and drive the square dancers under cover. [-mrl]

BONEHILL ROAD (film review by Mark R. Leeper):

CAPSULE: The wife and the daughter of a violent abuser flee his wrath and his sadism. They escape is only to be captured by another man who is every bit as bad as the first. When the second man's captives try to escape they find themselves sandwiched between a psychotic and a band of werewolves. At one point the premise had the potential to make a strong social statement, but it is lost and in large part wasted in a pile of sadism and predictable plot twists. Still, the werewolves are visually effective. Writer and Director: Todd Sheets. Rating: low +2 (-4 to +4) or 7/10

One popular category of monster films is the werewolf. Of the classical Universal monsters we have Dracula who is usually pure destructive evil; we have the Frankenstein monster who has psychological problems after his inhumane mistreatment; and perhaps most interestingly we have the werewolf who lives in fear he will lose control and release his own powers. After the film THE WOLF MAN internal forces that rob them of their self-control transform werewolves. I would say that the last, the werewolf, is the most conflicted and hence the most interesting. Todd Sheets has written and that directed a new werewolf film that could have been much better. He did not give it the psychological depths that were possible with his werewolves. A scriptwriter who has not dealt with this issue is just using werewolves as scary monsters.

Eden Stevens (played by Ana Rojas) and her mother Emily (Eli DeGeer) have both lived too long in the shadow of Eden's abusive father and have had enough. They decide to run away hoping to get help from Emily's father. But racing down the road they have one road accident and then a second one. It seems they are going to go from one personal disaster to the next. And the disasters come one after another. They are in the hands of another sadist worse than the one they have just left. It is hard to imagine being in the hands of someone worse than their new tormenter. But werewolves are a different matter...

The script of BONEHILL ROAD was written and directed by Todd Sheets. From the style it could have been a film from the old HOWLING series, but with gallons more gore and violence. But too often Sheets just falls back on making his werewolves just scary monsters.

In the end the film has nothing much original for werewolf films. It pours a little (well more than a little) stage blood on the proceedings, but otherwise the werewolves made up in different make-up could have been George Romero's breed of the Undead. The werewolves are just one more hazard for the main characters of this story. When I saw the original THE HOWLING what really impressed me was the vision of the man transforming into a bear-like werewolf. I was sorry we did not get more scenes with that sort of intimidating beast in the older film. I have not seen too many werewolf films in the interim, but that seems to be the visual design they used for the werewolves in BONEHILL ROAD. The effect is impressive. These werewolves would have easily sent Lawrence Talbot off yelping. Stick around through the closing credits for a coda, just trying to being amusing. I rate the film a: October 27 low +2 on the -4 to +4 scale or 7/10. The film was releases October 27.

Film Credits:

What others are saying:


Metric System:

In response to Gary Labowitz's comments on the metric system in the 10/26/18 issue of the MT VOID, Lee Beaumont writes:

I took slight offense at Gary Labowitz's article on Gender Pronouns. Obviously I was offended by the despair he expressed over difficulty in conversion to the Metric System. Below is a letter wrote to congressman Chris Smith on this issue:

"It is time the United States join the rest of the world in adopting the metric system as our national standard of measurement. The metric system has every advantage over the many archaic systems that preceded it. The metric system is easier to learn, easier to use, coherent, and is the international standard. It is time to move beyond the expense and cumbersome use of double standards. Transition to the metric system can be accomplished quickly and easily. Soon after all government documents are published using only the metric system, the private sector will quickly follow. If anyone needs to convert units from an obsolete system, certainly there are apps for that. Savings will continue forever. Please demonstrate your leadership by joining efforts to adopt the metric system as our national standard."

I also provided the course on "Using the Metric System". See I hope MT VOID correspondents will begin to show the metric system the respect it deserves. Metric measurements matter. [-lrb]

Profanity (letters of comment by Jay E. Morris, Scott Dorsey, and Steve Coltrin):

In response to Mark's comments on profanity in the 10/19/18 issue of the MT VOID, Jay Morris writes:

I feel the same but of late get this when I mention it.

Another factor, I believe, is a greater number of people growing up in households where swearing is just a normal part of conversation. I've been in more than a couple in the last few years. [-jem]

Scott Dorsey responds:

I try to explain to kids that the problem with swearing all the time is that you wear it out, and it doesn't work anymore. And when you need it, you don't have it. If you say 'shit' every time you prick your finger, what are you going to say when you cut your arm off? You won't have anything strong enough to say because you wore it out. [-sd]

Steve Coltrin adds:

That's when you say "Oh, my," and it carries a lot of weight.

One of the characters in James S. A. Corey's books is a grandmotherly type who swears to shame a platoon of Marines. In one scene, the person she's talking with comments that she hasn't sworn at all during their conversation; is something wrong? (Something isn't, so you can guess her reply.) [-sc]

And Jay also writes:

My wife and I have an understanding. If I'm working in the garage/shop and she overhears me swearing loudly she knows that I've screwed something up and but it will only require a little time and/or money to fix.

If she hears me say something like, "Well, that was pretty stupid" she knows it's going to involve more money and/or time.

If it's "oh pashaw" she grabs the car keys and a towel to stanch the bleeding. To be honest that's only happened twice. [-jem]

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

Has anyone ever commented on how inconsistent the workings of the Time Vault in the "Foundation" trilogy are?

In FOUNDATION, fifty years (minus three months) after the establishment of the Foundation, Salvor Hardin says, "The computoclock will open the Vault in three months." And a month before the date, Fara re-affirms this: "And on that anniversary ... Hari Seldon's Vault will open." Then, thirty years later, Hardin says, "Thirty years ago, the Time Vault opened ...on the fiftieth anniversary of the beginning of the Foundation..."

In FOUNDATION AND EMPIRE, Ebling Mis says that Seldon's appearances are matched to crises: the first at the height of one, and the second just after the end of one. Then Seldon was ignored for the next two appearances, although "investigations ... indicate that he appeared anyway." Mis then claims that by "meddling" with the Time Vault, he is able to predict the exact date that Seldon will appear (for the fifth crisis).

After this there is no more mention of the Time Vault, probably because the time stream has veered far enough off that the crises Seldon would be talking about would bear little resemblance to any real crises. (Of course, that puts the whole idea of psychohistory into doubt. There is some hand-waving that Seldon's plan is back on track after the Mule is disposed of, but it not clear why that would be true.)

So does Seldon appear on anniversaries, or during crises? Or do the crises just happen to be on anniversaries? (Really?) Apparently at first there is something that will tell people in advance that Seldon will appear at a particular time (the computoclock), although later Mis seems to need to "meddle" with the Vault to find out when Seldon will appear.

And for that matter, Seldon talks about how he can only show the broad sweep, and only with certain margins of error. So how can he time his appearances so precisely to be just during/after a crisis?

Which also makes me wonder--if Asimov patterned the series after the fall of the Roman Empire, how precisely do the characters track historical figures? Asimov said that General Bel Riose is a parallel to Flavius Belisarius, and Emperor Clean II is Justinian I, but also that there were elements of Sejanus and Tiberius as well. It is also said that the Mule is based on Attila the Hun, Tameralane, and Charlemagne. I find myself wondering if there is also a parallel to Muhammed, although clearly Muhammed has had a more lasting effect on our history than the Mule does in the series. (Then again, Attila the Hun, Tamerlane, and Charlemagne have also had more lasting effect than the Mule as well, though perhaps not as obviously.) [-ecl]

                                          Mark Leeper

Quote of the Week:

          My uncle Sammy was an angry man. He had printed on his 
          tombstone: What are you looking at? 
                                          --Margaret Smith 

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