Noah just invited me to join his blog. In the way of the Internets, I will make my first post a piece of extended throat-clearing while my brain catches up with today’s miracle possibilities for self-expression. I guess, in the Internet way, I will also make this post as incestuous as I can.
The New Guy
by Tom Crippen
If you’re here you’ve probably been reading Noah for a while. What kind of man is he? you ask. Well, I don’t know, at least not firsthand. We both do articles for the Comics Journal but have never met and have hardly corresponded. Two years back I became aware of him with his review of Lost Girls, one that struck me as disturbingly close to mine in quality and possibly superior. I’ve been reading him since. His prose and outlook grab me, his opinions … well, most often I haven’t read the things he’s discussing, so who knows. Certainly I like text books a lot more than he does (for anyone who witnessed the great TCJ message board flap over his review of Scott McCloud). From his work, Noah strikes me as the kind of person who can actually make a career of cultural-critical journalism: forceful, fluent, prolific, and a seeker after trouble. I’m more the ruminative type and don’t mind passing a few weeks watching old Star Treks while telling myself I’m researching a novel.
I just e-mailed Noah about why this blog is called The Hooded Utilitarian and he vouchsafed me a demi-explanation, one involving a 19th-century author named Chauncey Goodrich. I still don’t know how either “hooded” or “utilitarian” come into this, but for a name like Chauncey Goodrich I will accept any amount of confusion.
Apparently this is not the Chauncey Goodrich listed in Wikipedia. There was more than one, which bolsters the case that Preston Sturges’s influence on Angl0-American naming patterns not only extended retroactively into the 19th century but was in fact pervasive.