The Education of a White Boy
The story of racism in America is told by two opposing camps. One group is composed of the victims of racial prejudice and those sympathetic to their four-century-long plight, while the other group, usually made up of whites and Fox News pundits, pooh-poohs such talk as mere whining from losers who, at their own peril, refuse to worship at the altar of Free Market Ideology. Liberals will never say a critical thing about African-Americans, while Conservatives will deny that white people have anything to do with maintaining a racist status quo. Now, in one man, James Francis Johnson, we have someone willing to admit that he possesses all the best and worst traits of both camps.
He devotes full chapters to his new heroes, Martin Luther King, W.E.B. DuBois, Ralph Ellison, to say nothing of those who inspired him with their own stories of self-education, Malcolm X, Frederick Douglass, Richard Wright and James Baldwin. He also conveys the importance of George Orwell teaching one to develop the ability to distinguish sloppy writing, which is the product of sloppy thought, from sound composition and thus clear, honest thought. In the end, this is a love-story between the author and the books and essays – the best of the Western Canon, which, in his opinion, should include African-American writers -- that helped transform him from an ignorant, superstitious boy into an articulate, enlightened man.
Fake Personal Ads
"Fake Personal Ads" is the ideal fun book to pass around at a party, to laugh at over lunch with a friend, or to just sit alone with as an amusing companion after a bad date
There are three types of people: First, those who read personal ads/dating profiles on the internet to find eternal love, or, if not that, then someone to accompany them to karaoke night at the local bar; second, those who read the personals to laugh at the exaggerated opinion people have about themselves and, worse, the unrealistic expectations about what they are looking for in a mate; and, third, those who read dating profiles to laugh at the self-promotion and then, when no one is looking, respond to the ad by claiming that they are new to internet dating, though they have been meeting hundreds of people online for the past eight years.
This book is for the second type of person, who reads personal ads for laughs.
In the tradition of famed lexicographers, Samuel Johnson and Ambrose Bierce, comes James Francis Johnson, ready to give his spiritual ancestors a run for their cynical money. In this volume of Alphabetized Pessimism, the reader will discover words that take on a whole new meaning, literally, for example when Jim defines “Recognition” as “Given to a man who grows a handlebar mustache.”
Jim’s Dictionary is the ultimate leave-it-on-a-shelf-beside-the-toilet book, with its short, digestible entries. It may even encourage one to loiter a few extra minutes on the commode, which, in a one-bathroom house, may cause problems in the family. Then again, according to Jim, what is a family but a “collection of forced friendships, some of which fail?” ‘Nuff said.
Leave the Brother Alone
LEAVE THE BROTHER ALONE is a movie script with the logline: “A young man appears on a TV talk/advice show against his better judgment, which leads to a break-up with his girlfriend, followed by a relationship with a mail-order android and then a confrontation with the blowhard talk show host.” Now throw in cameos of The Artist Formerly Known as Prince playing an android skilled at heart surgery, Vanna White as Ninja-star throwing, Glock- wielding defender of New Age dogma, and Marilyn Manson as a Home Depot-shopping house-husband – and you got an un-producible screenplay AND a fun book to take to the beach or to a movie theatre featuring a boring film.
The author, James Francis Johnson, also wants to tell the tale behind the zany plot and dialogue of LEAVE THE BROTHER ALONE. In a testy, albeit witty, preface, he describes his loathing of Dr. Phil and how the famous sweaty TV talk show host has spawned a generation of chronic advice givers, and how this modern-day plague ended up inspiring the author to teach himself screenwriting before writing his own script.