From the Editor

John Turner

I saw Superman Returns this week, and thought to write a review of it. But I find I have little to say other than it was not as bad as many reviewers have said it was but that it's certainly not great either. It doesn't bother me that Superman is no longer a champion of the American way, which was the feature of the film that seemed to draw the greatest attention from newscasters. To have super powers is a dream of little boys, and of men who retain the brains of little boys. We have enough of the latter in the halls of government and, consequently, may have lost any reason to want to see comic book versions. Super heroes, though virtuous themselves, begin to remind us of nauseous behavior. Comic books are, at best, diversions and if they become more than that then we have cause to worry.

I continue to spend part of my life submerged in the 18th Century and have just finished reading Leopold Damrosch's The Uses of Johnson's Criticism, which is a good book but probably not for everybody. Perhaps the best thing in it for general readers is Damrosch's judgment that "in teaching the reader to think critically, Johnson is teaching him to distrust theory, not to make it." It's not that Johnson thought we could get along without theory, in any area of endeavor, whether it be politics or literature. Theory helps us to think. But it should never be allowed to override thought, which is what we find happening, always, in systems.

The best suggestion I heard this week was from David Letterman's Top Ten Signs the Supreme Court Doesn't Give a Damn. Along about midway we had the Chief Justice's desire to be known as J. Ro. That struck me as an excellent idea. I suggest we all start calling him that, as a means of expounding the essential flavor of his court.

It continues to rain, hard, here in Vermont whereas I hear that in the Southwest things are very dry. So much for the notion of nature as the great adjudicator. It may well be the judge of everything, but, if it is, its decisions aren't overly affected by the happiness of us humans.

I hope you like the Harvard Square Commentary this week and I hope some parts of it will anger you. Send us your praise and your denunciations.

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