Undernews is the online report of the Progressive Review, edited by Sam Smith, who has covered Washington during all or part of one quarter of America's presidencies and edited alternative journals since 1964. The Review has been on the web since 1995. See main page for full contents

May 13, 2009


Some cause happiness wherever they go; others, whenever they go. - Oscar Wilde


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Burroughs read other authors creatively. He was not very systematic in the way in which he borrowed ideas from other writers. He tended to take whatever fit his own needs. One of the clearest influences on his view of the world was Jack Black, the author of You Can't Win. In his autobiographical narrative, Black made the distinction between two kinds of people, Johnsons and Shits. Johnsons mind their own business and lend a helping hand to those in need, and the Shits put their nose into your business and want to extend the powers of the State over personal life. They have created this cop-ridden planet. Burroughs read and reread Black's book several times during his life and used the idea of the Johnson Family in The Place of Dead Roads. It fit his own dualistic view of humanity.

May 14, 2009 1:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Shits & The Johnsons
May 20, 2006 | 3 views | Share/Save
In the metaphysics of science fiction author W.S. Burroughs, there are only two types of people in the world - Shits and Johnsons.

Johnsons mind their own business, and are generous, helpful and kind, with no thought of reward; Shits are infected by an alien virus called the "right virus" which makes them literally incapable of minding their own business, and so spend their time and energy on a ceaseless crusade against victimless crimes.

Johnsons derive pleasure and meaning from having fun; Shits derive pleasure and meaning from punishing other people for having fun.

May 14, 2009 1:18 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home