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I've posted the final two chapters for this story.
Phil and Hailey will return in 2021 or 2022 (I hope) to continue their tales.
The working title is "Lessons Left to Learn."
I plan to take a short break (six to eight weeks) before I begin posting my next story.
I'll give more details as the posting date grows closer.
A few readers have commented about how a plot progression in "Learning Curves" appears to be "ripped from the headlines." [Cue Law & Order 'Dun-Dun' here in your head.]
Although this section of the story was written two to three years ago, the rumors that spawned this particular storyline have been around for a decade or more.
Of course scandals like this aren't new to the industry in question but I can confirm that the plot is based entirely on what is being revealed presently.
If you plan to read "Learning Curves" and don't like spoilers, stop reading now.
OK, for the rest of you …
I am nowhere near a Hollywood insider. I have been to Los Angeles a handful of times and to Hollywood exactly never. I left the newspaper business a decade ago and I no longer have sources - not that I ever had sources for Hollywood gossip. In fact, I think it's been close to 10 years since I stepped foot in a movie theater.
I first heard of Harvey W.'s transgressions while doing research for "Daze in the Valley" way back in 2007-08. During that time I routinely "chatted" with a few Porn Valley starlets so I could create a more realistic feel to the characters. I specifically asked about a "Casting Couch" in the porn industry.
Several confirmed that they had to "audition" with men who would never appear on video in order to get into the business or to move into a "contract" situation. They also told me that the situation wasn't confined to porn but existed in mainstream studios, as well.
At least two and perhaps three specifically mentioned Harvey W. by name and mentioned the names of two specific actresses he accosted. Both of these actresses have come forward in recent days.
In doing research into Randi Raver's character for "A Flawed Diamond" I encountered the rumors again. This time it included not only Harvey W. but others in positions of power in the industry (either major actors or executives).
In "A Flawed Diamond" I wrote a scene where Randi was accosted by a recording industry executive. I named him Weinberg for a specific reason. Brock Miller actually calls him Weinstein only to be corrected by Randi. This was my (not so subtle) acknowledgement of the rumors.
The plot arc in "Learning Curves" was based specifically on the stories I had been told while I was researching.
The charges against Harvey W. are not a revelation.
The fact that it has taken 25 years (and perhaps hundreds of victims) to get attention can be traced directly to the "feudal" system that still pervades the entertainment industry and the bastardization of the news media.
The studios are affiliated with the networks and own TV stations and radio stations and newspapers. The same organizations we trust to give us information have a financial interest in keeping news like this under wraps. It's bullshit and it's part of why I no longer work as a journalist. But I digress.
Harvey W. is a powerful man from a powerful family with powerful friends. A huge portion of the movie industry ran through his hands. His family was royalty in Hollywood.
The victims were scared to come forward. They accepted monetary settlements that included non-disclosure clauses. Their livelihood was reliant upon keeping the King happy.
The excuses run in the hundreds. And they're all bullshit.
People knew - and those people sat silently while new victims were assaulted.
Of course, this is the same industry that glorifies Roman Polanski - who drugged and raped a child.
Think of that the next time you drop $50 at a movie theater.
Me? I think I'll just read a book.
I have a few little truisms I try to follow.
"The best way to ensure success is to do things you already know you're good at."
Let's talk about things I'm bad at.
* We've discussed about the math thing. There is no use belaboring a point but it plays a role in this posting so I'll mention it again.
* Several readers have taken it upon themselves to mention that it appears I have only a vague understanding of the rules of grammar, spelling and punctuation. Yeah, OK. I can see where I might leave that impression.
* Now it seems that I don't understand calendars either.
Since the start of Learning Curves, I've labored under the impression that it was 145 chapters or so and that it would conclude somewhere between Halloween and Thanksgiving.
Yeah, about that, not so much on either account.
Somewhere, somehow I began randomly skipping chapter numbers around 120. In Part IV I managed to skip five chapter numbers. I'd go straight from Chapter 123 to Chapter 125 with no 124 in between. We'll chalk this up to my arithmetic deficiencies. Three-digit numbers give me problems.
The upshot is that the story is 140 chapters (assuming I didn't decide to play around with long-established numerical sequences again).
The last two chapters will be posted Oct. 16.
For those who might not understand calendars any better than I do, that's well before Halloween and nowhere near Thanksgiving. Those five extra chapters wouldn't have made a difference. It still would have ended before Halloween.
Now, there is the slightest of possibilities that I knew all of this and simply confused this story with one in the past.
I have a lot of stuff bouncing around in my little pea brain and things I once knew (counting, how days and months work) no longer seem readily accessible.
So, the story is almost over - at least this section of it.
And I dropped this month's bonus chapter into the queue.
I still don't have the files formatted, renumbered and ready to start Part V of Learning Curves.
The weather was nice this weekend and I decided to enjoy outside activities.
I'll shoot for Friday.
This section of Learning Curves will be wrapping up Friday.
The final portion of this part of Phil and Hailey's journey will open next week.
I have to go through and look at chapter numbering and how it affects scheduling.
I am shooting for Monday to start but it might be Friday depending upon how badly I've screwed up.
To make up for the possible delay (and to close out Part IV with my normal two chapters), I've put up a bonus chapter today.
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