Steve "Korak" Allsup
Copyright © 2003
I would give an Ar-keen-saw Ozark perspective--In the true spirit of Arnold's CO-nan, I would like to propose the pronunciation KO-rak. Nyuk, nyuk!
Just my two cents on this, but as a boy we all pronounced Conan as Connen-- it just seemed to sound cooler than CO-nan. I finally had the chance to ask Lyman DeCamp how his Dad Sprague had pronounced it, but alas! DeCamp called him CO-nan. However, I spoke with a fan from England, and amazingly, he called him Connen like we Arkies! So go figure.
I think that one of Manning's greatest attributes as a Tarzan artist was a kind of intuitive understanding of the stylistic influences of ERB's works. The shaggy look of Kubert has an interesting savagery to it, but can never really approach the lucidity of a Gold Key comic. When I read Kubert I had the strong impression I was reading a Kubert comic-- when I read Manning I had a weird sensation I was reading an ERB novel. But that is largely a matter of taste as well.
There is a bit of mystery here. Of course, it should be kept in mind that this is fiction. But the Greeks had some other theories of government besides democracy-- to many democracy seemed to reduce all issues and candidates to the lowest common denominator. Another theory of choosing a leader was to have a contest, both physical, mental and religious, and chose the victor as the leader. The all round most superior mortal specimen became the king. This was a theory that to my knowledge never had a real world expression. But I think that ERB would have liked the idea of picking the most superior specimen as the leader. Didn't he once say that he never got bored with perfection? A man like John Carter could then get to be king-- such a man seldom is able to survive the irrelevant complexities of trying to run for office. We may see if Arnold is successful at it.
However, the exterminating of inferior humans crosses obvious ethical boundaries. It is murder. This was the great error of the nazis-- murder. But the genetic engineering of perfect humans does not cross that line in and of itself. I see nothing wrong with ensuring that people who are born are born with perfect genes. That to me is a legitimate sci-fi projection. And as was mentioned, the condemnation of Duare pretty much comdemns the Havatoo system, if you ask me.
Each night when I go for my jog the Red Planet is staring me in the face like some kind of cosmic exterior decoration. My running route runs along a northwest/ southeast direction, first to one end and then back over a one mile circuit. I run the whole thing twice, two miles, so for two half mile stretches I am running directly toward the blazing planet that has become so bright in the sky. The first few nights a few weeks ago I thought it was some kind of man-made satellite, perhaps a high aircraft, but to gaze at it for several moments proclaims the truth that it is in fact a heavenly body.
I suppose if I am to be translated it is now or never--- if you all don't hear from me again, you will know that I was drawn through space to start on a new life of adventure. I will send periodic journals back if that occurs. But I am worried it might not happen, since the surface of Mars is currently so hazardous to human life. I have a hard enough time getting enough jogging oxygen on this planet.
Anyway, they say the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence. I guess overall my own home world has plenty of beautiful women, lots of adventure, and plenty of challenges to keep me busy. But it is kind of hard to ignore the magnetic pull of the Red Planet these golden summer evenings!