In response to "On the Front Lines" from The Escapist forums:
Milius was NOT responsible for the Jaws speech, despite a maddeningly persistent repetition of the urban legend. Milius was visiting as an aid to Spielberg and Gotlieb, polishing the script at turns, but the bulk of the work on the Indianapolis speech was by Robert Shaw. Spielberg does note credit to Milius on the DVD documentary, but stresses that it was very much only a part of the work that Gotlieb, Blencheley and Shaw produced, while Gotlieb, the primary script supervisor, maintains that it was Shaw who devised and wrote the speech in almost it's entirety.
And the reason that Milius original draft of Apocalypse Now was rejected was because it was so utterly bad. The ending especially, which features Colonel Kurtz in a loincloth shooting at attacking planes with a machine gun while shouting "I can feel the power of my loins!"
As the article states, Milius is a qualified self-promoter, almost a bully-like figure that muscles his way into getting what he wants. The same is true for his grand image that has been built up by the same gun nuts and tinfoil hat theorists that he catered to over the years with films like Red Dawn. Despite given a somewhat smoother image in Easy Riders, Raging Bulls, almost every other account of Milius is very negative and all point to the problems of Apocalypse, Now, and the story development behind it to Milius (and Coppola) being too bullheaded to budge with their drafts. But in the end, it was Coppolas film, and all the better for it.
In response to "Satan, Bad Acting, and Dice" from The Escapist forums:
After all the lives I've seen destroyed by the Satanic conspiracy moral panic I just don't know if I could enjoy stuff like this anymore. After all, the same hysteria that fueled Skullduggery led to the McMartin trial.
At any rate, the mistake the PnP RPG community made here was engaging in outright denial, or exagerrated "booga booga" counter attacks with the people playing up this whole aspect of things. The proper response would have been to take a more laid back approach to the entire thing, explain the paganism for what it was, and how it bled in from other assorted geek cultures, and similar things. That isn't what happened however.
Ah memories. I grew up during those times, too. And Theru's right, the D&Ders response was mostly juvenile. Ooooga booga, indeed. The thing is, back then, the vast majority of players were pretty close to the stereotype: geeky male teens. Oh, sure, I lettered in wrestling. But I was still a complete geek, and so were my friends. What's cooler? Dark ritual or dork ritual?
I'll confess to dragging a copy of the Necronomicon to school, just to see if the fundie kids would wig. And yeah, some of them did. Yay dork teen me. Adult me would have said "Sheesh, you can be a fundamentalist Christian and get into games. Why not invite them over?" But hey. Making fun of the ruckus was so much "cooler" (according to our definition of the word. In other words, not at all)
I guess I can just be glad that LARP didn't exist when/where I was growing up. I'd probably be skulking around the woods to this day, bean bag in hand ready to scream "Lightning Bolt!!!"