Written by Fred Patten, and published on the LASFS Rex Rotary, March 3, 1966. Intended for Apa L, Seventy-Second Distribution, LASFS Meeting no. 1490, March 3, 1966. Address: 1825 Greenfield Avenue, Los Angeles, California, 90025. Phone: GRanite 3-6321.
|San Diego in 1966!||Thomas Schlück for TAFF!||Salamander Press #158.|
"Grimbimbles!" he screamed, waving his arms frantically. "Moomshops!" And with these horror-stricken words, he fled from sight down the road.
What the scientific name was for his specific fear, I don't know. (Though perhaps Dave Van Arnam can tell us? June Konigsberg?) But if there isn't one, I shall be muchly surprised. For if there is one thing in this world that has been scientifically cataloged, it is fear. Big fears, little fears, terrors, repellance, nausea, distastes, and hatreds -- they are all specifically subdivided and wrapped up in neat little packages. Pick your own neuroses.
One of the larger varieties of Fear is the Phobia -- generally determined by a consistent excessive or irrational fear, loathing, terror, etc., centering around one specific focus, which can be just about anything, tangible or intangible. A phobia is usually either an antipathy to something that general society likes -- such as pie, money or Mother -- or an intensified antipathy to something that general society only mildly dislikes -- such as refusing to walk across a lawn at night for fear of getting squashed snail all over your shoes. There can be as many specific phobias as there are specific concepts identifiable by language; as a general rule, all you have to do is take the Greek name for the concept and attach the suffix "phobia" to it.
Some phobias would seem easy to qualify for. Most people have some degree of anemophobia, or fear of cyclones or hurricanes; and since the majority of us would probably find living a hermit's life to be unpleasant, I suppose we're all eremophobes to a minor extent. Wouldn't it be nice to be able to phone the boss on Friday morning after a long night at Kal's or the Lab and tell him you've got a sudden attack of ergastophobia -- and hope he doesn't know that this just means that any form of work looks particularly distasteful to you right now?
The range of fears open to you may be limited by your age, sex, or even occupational status; not many of us could qualify for hierphobia, which is the morbid fear by clergymen of not performing their services correctly. If you're still going to school, though, you may have it bad over a particular subject, such as philosophobia, the fear of philosophy or philosophers. And if you're of voting age, you probably breathed a sigh of relief after the last elections, when the country was safely kept out of the hands of neophobes (who hate anything new) and the prosopophobes (who hate any progress).
If you like to be erudite, you may be able to find more than one name for your fear, such as the fear of being rained upon (ombrophobia or pluviophobia), or the fear of walking (basiphobia or ambulophobia). And it's perfectly permissible to add to your list by getting phobias against other phobias, such as lyssophobia, which is the dread of getting hydrophobia. (Though that last one is cheating a bit, since it refers to the disease of rabies rather than the literal fear of water.) There are phobias within phobias; the fears of specific nationalities (Anglophobia, Francophobia, Russophobia, etc.) can all be considered as specialized forms of xenophobia, which is a general fear of all foreigners. And of course there are the location fears -- acrophobia, the fear of being in high places; bathophobia the fear of depths; gephyrophobia, the fear of walking across dams or bridges, and so forth.
Wouldn't life be difficult for us if we had:
|dromophobia - fear of crossing the street||domatophobia - dread of being in houses|
|metrophobia - aversion to poetry or verse||clinophobia - fear of going to bed|
|chromophobia - dislike of colors||vestiophobia - aversion to wearing clothes|
|eidophobia - fear of statues||pterophobia - fear of feathers|
and how could any of us ever have become science-fiction fans if we'd had astrophobia - the fear of the stars and other heavenly bodies?
And if you should ever tire of the ordinary run of picayune phobias, you can always go for the really big one: pantophobia, or the fear of everything! Providing, that is, that you're not suffering from phobophobia - the fear of having fears.
|- o0o -||- o0o -||- o0o -|
1. Identify the following (5 points each):
2. Fill in the blanks (7 points each):
a) Jack Harness, who fears all inhabitants of the Republic of Upper Volta, has ___________phobia. (NOTE: Negrophobia is not acceptable.)
b) Tom Gilbert suffered a twinge of ________phobia last June when he discovered that Don Fitch had misspelled triskaidekaphobia. (2-point bonus for identifrying triskaidekaphobia correctly: _______________)
c) The reason that John Boardman and Phil Castora do not agree is that John has ____________phobia, while Phil suffers from ___________phobia.
3. In the interests of improving the vocabulary of Fandom, devise terms for the following fears (5 points each):
a) fear of missing an apa deadline __________________
b) fear by completist collectors of missing an issue of a magazine and thus breaking a complete run ___________________
c) fear of not getting to the WorldCon (WesterCon, DeepSoutnCon, et al.) ________________
d) fear that you may not have renewed your FAPA waiting list fee ______________
e) fear by neos of introducing themselves to BNFs or pros at Cons ______________
f) fear by Buck Coulson of getting more subscribers to YANDRO ______________
Total: 100 points. (Though I haven't the slightest idea how I'm going to score the last section. I think I'd better throw it open to your judgment -- in other words, we got a contest. Let's see your entries, and won't Buck be happy when he hears that Fandom now has a specific word to apply to him?)
Dave Fox -- No, I don't think I have any surplus copies of your issue of FENCHRONE with the review of the Burroughs critique. I do have a large, unassorted stack of Apa L surplus, which I'm going to have to bring in to the club one of these nights to dispose of to those who want it. ## Well, yes, I do think that real realism makes a good story. Not necessarily, of course -- you've got Warhol's 8-hour movie on "Sleep" as an example of that -- but a touch of it would seem to be a bit more than most authors can come up with nowadays. I don't know quite what you mean by the difference between "real" reality and "the convincing imitation of" reality, but if you're equating "reality" with boredom or repellance, I'm afraid I can't entirely go along with you. The childbirth scene in Farnham's Freehold was extremely unpleasant, but enthralling for all of that because it was a real -- and believable -- scene. It did not need to be in the story, true, but if it had not been, how much closer would the book have been to usual formula science-fiction? As it is, I have heard a few complaints that the scene may have been a little too strong for some tastes, but nobody has said that it was out of place in the book, or that it made the story a worse story because of it. Whatever Heinlein's trouble may be, I do not feel that it is excessive "realism". As to his juveniles being better than his recent adult books, that's because (generally speaking) he hasn't written anything other than adult books recently, and almost all of his older material is better than his current production. Podkayne is his latest juvenile, and you know how everybody feels about that. ## I'm glad to see that I've read all but two of your favorite s-f books (the two being The Maracot Deep and The First to Awaken). I've got a list, too, though it's so long & informal that I won't try quoting it here. Items include, however, most de Camp & Pratt, Farmer's The Green Odyssey, Brown's What Mad Universe, and so forth.
Ted White -- Okay, I'll agree with your objection to Tunnel in the Sky. Not entirely, because I did find the situation very interesting, even if the characterization is almost completely nil. (The Deacon was the typical Heinlein crochetty-but-likable-wise-old-man; the protagonist, Rod, did stand out, though only because he was so incredibly wishy-washy -- you kept wanting to hit him to pound reality into his head.) Not Heinlein's best, of course not -- but by no means unreadable, either. ## Kaiser brought around the issue of BOYS' LIFE with the last installment of Tenderfoot in Space in it; it was the one I'd seen years ago, back in '58 from the date of the magazine. It was only a two-part serial, after all; small wonder it hasn't been put in hard covers.
Creath Thorne -- Television may have uplifted Batman in some ways, but it's certainly downgraded it in others. The characters were never made out to be such idiots in the comic book. The bit about the batpoles is nice (they use an ordinary staircase in the comic, so the question of being in street clothes above & in costume below never comes up), but if they're still using the same stock shot to show it, I imagine a lot of viewers must be getting tired of it by now. (I haven't seen the program in several weeks, unfortunately; I'm taking a night class in German at USC on Wednesday evenings, and Thursday is of course LASFS night.) On the whole, I'd say that television has downgraded Batman, in spite of the good camera effects, props, etc. Batman may have been only juvenilia before; now he's still juvenilia, and he's also making a laughing stock out of comic books. I agree with critic Charles Champlin, in his column in the Feb. 28 Los Angeles Times: "This concept of goodness arising out of deliberate badness or indeed out of any kind of badness is very moderne ... what is still involved, basically, is a bent and supercilious view of the world. ... to be true camp or true pop art, it would have had to take itself seriously, as The Lone Ranger or Superman television series did, and be unintentionally funny. Instead, it giggles "Aren't we devils" with the infectious gaiety of a man wearing a lampshade at a cocktail party ..." If this is our culture's new "ideal", we're really sick!