which is nothing less, although possibly nothing more, than a comparison of Julian Paul Assange, founder of Wikileaks, recipient of the Sydney Peace Foundation medal, the UK Media Award from Amnesty International, the Sam Adams award, the Martha Gellhorn Prize for Journalism, (etc etc TK already) and the minor sci-fi character James Bolivar (“Slippery Jim”) diGriz, aka de rat van roestvrij, aka die Edelstahlratte, aka El Escurridizo, aka un criminale al nichel-cromo, aka (my favorite) Ratinox, aka the (you thought we’d never get here, didn’t you?) Stainless Steel Rat, protagonist of Harry Harrison’s The Stainless Steel Rat books, a moderately popular but enduring series of science fiction comedy-adventure serials.
Harry Harrison on OK Cupid oh and Cupid is SO NOT OKAY with using a fake name
Did I say “Harry Harrison?” Gee, it’s awfully early in the post to be that confused: of course I did! That name should ring a few bells for Assangeologists, particularly those of a fangirlish turn, for it is the usernomdeplume that Assange employed on sites as High Nerdy as delicious and as decidedly non-nerdy as OKCupid (come for the casual sex, stay for the quizzes!).
That’s so funny: every guy I know calls himself “Steve” on dating sites.
Well, it occurred to one (and that one this one, this one right here) that, worthy as Mr. Harrison’s screenplay for Soylent Green undoubtedly was, that sort of thing won’t get you far on a dating site (although it is a people business, come to think of it but now that I have, I wish I hadn’t. Not to say it doesn’t explain a whole lot about my dating life, but ENOUGH of that line of thinking, moving ON! What? What? STOP LOOKING AT ME) dystopian dramas really don’t pull the chicks like being a dashing James Bond villain-type.
Viva Julian the TinTinja, but that's a whole OTHER post.
Of the type typified by the above-mentioned and highly morally ambivalent Stainless Steel Rat. So I’m thinking, Golly, if I were a dashing James Bond villain-type of man who was strongly identifying with the works of Harry Harrison (not Harrison himself, because that would be creepy and somewhat self-defeating on a dating site as he is well out of Top Pulling age range although I’m sure a charming enough man in person and with some advantageous lighting) I would be identifying with ol’ Slippery Jim, you bet your sweet bippy I would, whatever that is, because whatever Harrison’s other books, Return to Eden, West of Eden, and Winter in Eden are about, I’m relatively sure they are NOT related to the rather tedious Anne Rice erotic novel, and believe me, there’s nobody in there you’d actually want to identify with, particularly if they could be played convincingly in a movie by Rosie O’Donnell, as none of them were, according to the reviews. And Clan of the Cave Bear, which I imagine to be much the same, didn’t get anybody laid. So, that.
And here, an interlude, because my English teachers taught me you can never have too many references in a scholarly work of this nature.
DiGriz himself, although an accomplished liar and a notorious intergalctic thief, did have values, he saw his exploits as not only a means to get rich but also as an entertainment for the masses which caused his plans to get bigger, brasher and bolder…he had a reputation to uphold after all. He was also quite proud of the fact that he never took a penny from anyone without insurance cover and his intended targets were usually powerful institutions with little scruples themselves.
But where was I? Oh yes, introducing Ratinox. Did you ever see the old Batman tv series? Stick with me here, this is good stuff. There’s a payoff, I promise. So, “Batman” was my sister’s first word, but no, that’s not the payoff (unless you’re the proud parent who can swan around the play group for weeks like a queen because YOUR little girl’s first word had two syllables and was a superhero besides; OR you are The Sister, in which case you’re used to this bullshit but are glad it’s you-centric for once). In those old Batman series, as rich a guide to the world of comic comicbook criminality as existed, just before the villain tried to kill off Bats and the Boy Blunder, he’d tell them the whole plan from start to finish, slowly, presumably for those in the audience too stupid to riddle out the riddles (which meant everyone who couldn’t afford the kinds of drugs the writers were on at the time). And so it is with the comic comicbook criminality of Slippery Jim diGriz, who will tell you just everything about himself if you read far enough through the books, and you will, if only to see if his wife finally does kill him or not.
So, let us read. All excerpts below are just from The Stainless Steel Rat for President, the most political of the books (yes, this is going to be a whole series; there are a LOT of books):