Author Archives: haljohnsonbooks

2019

Shelley gave us a memorable portrait of 1819 (“An old, mad, blind, despised, and dying King”) and Yeats of 1919 (“We…planned to bring the world under a rule, Who are but weasels fighting in a hole”), and like, 2019 is just around the corner, and yet I don’t think anyone’s stepped up to bat to […]

Better Off Dead

Even after watching it fifty or sixty times, I’m not sure if Better Off Dead is a bad movie, or a good movie making fun of bad movies. Regardless, it’s a funny movie, and when a comedy is funny you can forgive the visual cliches, the montages, and the ski race. What I can’t forgive, […]

Words of Comfort and Consolation II

The search for truth is the only valid form of revenge. •pseudo-Nietzsche, My Sister and I (1951). There’s so much freedom in the world that you can pick anything you want and put it in your butt. •Björk, interview in Details 7/94. As long as a word remaineth unspoken it is in the prison of […]

Crawling Back

Sometimes a plausible-sounding phrase grips the nation, and manages to persuade people, even though a moment’s rumination reveals it to be pure nonsense. When I was young, for example, people who didn’t want to wear seatbelts would always say, “I’d rather be thrown clear of the accident.” Of course this made no sense. That’s not […]

Riddle

Q. What makes you say “Polly wanna cracker” when you’re speaking in tongues? (The answer is below, after all this filler text I put in for obscurity.) . FILLER FILLER FILLER FILLER FILLER FILLER FILLER FILLER FILLER FILLER FILLER FILLER FILLER FILLER FILLER FILLER FILLER FILLER FILLER FILLER FILLER FILLER FILLER FILLER FILLER FILLER FILLER […]

Life with/against the Circus

Life with/against the Circus I joined the circus sort of, Ran away and joined the day we Tamed, beneath the overpass, menageries of sarin gas, The bearded lady, the leopards, and the kiwi. That morning, some drunk ape took my ticket. I said I should be comped because I Helped at the concession stand. He […]

From Adventure Comics #397

Yes, that’s a depowered Wonder Woman helping Supergirl out by invoking what may not be the oldest name of God…but is certainly the most retro.