Hasslein Blog: John Kenneth Muir Thinks I Have Hair


Hasslein Blog

Thursday, December 13, 2012

John Kenneth Muir Thinks I Have Hair

by Rich Handley

In 2010, author and literary critic John Kenneth Muir wrote a wonderfully witty foreword to my book From Aldo to Zira: Lexicon of the Planet of the Apes. As I read his essay, I could tell immediately that John gets me. We're kindred geeks, cut from the same nerdy cloth. We're the same age, and thus grew up in the same era, and we have the same likes and dislikes (as is patently obvious every time I read his blog).

Visit John's site. There's always fun afoot.

Recently, I bought my friend Steve one of John's books, Music on Film: This Is Spinal Tap (released the same year as the Apes book, coincidentally), and I was reminded once more, while leafing through it, that John and I are spiritual brothers. He even made the book very small, like Spinal Tap's miniature Stonehenge; well played, John. Well played, indeed. I would have done exactly the same thing.

Small book... big bottom.

And so, today, as I read his review of my third book, A Matter of Time: The Back to the Future Lexicon, I fully expected to yet again feel that sense of kinship (and, apparently, to split my infinitives).

John called me "a very good historian," commenting on my having gone so far in my anal-retentive research as to reference photos hanging on the walls of the Doc Brown's Chicken restaurant at Universal Studios, and I smiled, thinking, "Yep, that's exactly the sort of thing I expected him to appreciate." I came to his commentary about the second film (John: "It's actually my favorite film in the cycle—kind of a Back to the Future Unbound—and in my opinion it's a seriously underrated and technically accomplished film."), and I nodded vigorously, thinking, "Yeah, I totally agree, dude!" And I gratefully read his statement, "Handley's text reminded me of that film's sense of joy… and utter madness," which validated all of the hard work that went into writing the lexicon.

Caesar is home.

But then I came to this outrageous line:

"If Rich Handley keeps writing books of this depth and detail every year, I have no doubt his hair will soon go as stark white as Doc Brown's."

Oh, John.

John, John, John.

I thought you understood me.

I thought we were kindred spirits.

But how little you know me.

My hair left me long before it could turn white.

Thanks for rubbing that in, man.

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At December 13, 2012 at 5:25 AM , Blogger John Kenneth Muir said...

Hi Rich,

You still have hair on the left and right side of your head, according to your avatar, and I presume on the back as well.

What little hair you have remaining could, conceivably, go white. I stand by my closing line. :)

You wrote another fantastic book, my friend!


At December 13, 2012 at 5:42 AM , Blogger Hasslein Books said...

Why, thank you! I look forward, eventually, to hearing your thoughts about my next book. :)


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