Showing posts from January, 2016

Introducing My New Food Allergy Blog... Intelli-Allergentsia!

I just started a new blog about food allergies called Intelli-Allergentsia. Visit…/the-road-less-sw… to read the first part of my telling how I found myself suddenly plunged into the wheat-free world.

Eventually, I hope to include food reviews, restaurant reviews, and general discussion of other food allergen groups beyond mine (wheat, rye, shellfish, and codfish). I may even solicit articles from my friends with similar problems in the future so that they can tell their stories or give their observations.

Please feel free to leave comments on there as well. I want this conversation to continue, and we will all have an easier time negotiating the food alternative world when we share. If there are wheat or gluten-free food products you would like me to review, or restaurants in the Southern California area that have good gluten-free options, please throw me your suggestions if you'd like.

And if you are someone who just automatically thinks th…

Head On Over to Rupert Pupkin Speaks for More Pylon Goodness!

A short post here where it seems like I am tooting my own horn (which I am to a large degree), but mainly I want to direct anybody that frequents my blog to visit the Rupert Pupkin Speaks blog instead.
My friend Brian, who runs the site, has posted a piece today that I wrote on the topic "Film Discoveries of 2015". These are films, older than the year 2000, that I saw for the very first time in 2015 and that made an impression on me when I watched them. I selected five that I felt were of high and enduring quality that pleased me greatly, but then threw in a really Grade-Z, ultra low-budget monster flick from the '70s at the end of the article that I found to be particularly memorable and entertaining.
Rik Tod Johnson's Film Discoveries of 2015
I hope that you enjoy my article, and while you are on Brian's site, please check out many of the other writers who have contributed their…

A Visiting and Revisiting Special: Boycott the 2016 Academy Awards? Pt. 1

There is a good chance that very few people in the Western Hemisphere, and a good many of them beyond, don't already have an opinion about the lack of artists of color in the Academy Award nominations this year. Whether luck of the draw or the system being broken and needing a good fix, having two years in a row where several prominent performances by non-white actors and actresses have gone unacknowledged by the Academy looks pretty bad to most people that care about these things.

My writing partner, Aaron Lowe (Working Dead Productions) and I have decided to discuss this topic in lieu of our usual back and forth conversations on a particular movie in our Visiting and Revisiting feature that we split between our respective websites. To put it out front, we are both Caucasian and male. My politics are outspokenly liberal (though I believe that a centrist position is the best way to get things done in Washington), and Aaron identifies as "pretty strongly liberal" (his word…

Visiting and Revisiting: After Life (1998) Pt. 2

This is the second part of a two-part discussion about Hirokazu Kore-eda's 1998 drama, After Life [Wandâfuru raifu]. To read the first part of this article, visit my pal Aaron Lowe's Working Dead Productions website at


Rik: I want to go back to that article on The Guardian website about Kore-eda. The interviewer asks him about After Life, and how the interviewer found it hard to think of a memory that would qualify as “heavenly”. Kore-eda’s response was “If you can’t choose, it means that you are still alive. Choose, and you’re dead.”

It rather pissed me off at first when I was watching the film and discovered that there was a character that insisted that he could not choose. I thought the character was just being contrarian or thinking himself a “cool” rebel. I thought, “What a fucking jerk,” from the very first moment I met him in the film. But when it was over, and I seriously considered whether I could choose a single memory, I realized that I w…

How Many Have You Seen? The New Annual Pylon Oscar Nomination Rundown...

I've made attacks on the Academy Awards before. Yes, I have watched the Oscars every single year since I was a kid, and I have always made a big deal about being sure to watch it whenever it rolled around again. Especially back in my home state of Alaska, where we would hold parties each year and my friend Matt and I would write up stupid jokes for every single one of the nominations and have our pals fill out a ballot. 

But I also recognize that the Oscars are, in many ways, a joke. They can build or destroy careers, and in that way, they can be deadly serious, if only to the ones whose careers are at stake. But if you are just an average person on the street, the Oscars really don't mean all that much. It's a thing that many of us watch without thinking, like the Super Bowl or a Thanksgiving Day Parade. We do it because that is what everybody does. I fully stopped watching the Super Bowl three years ago because, really, why should I when I don't actually watch footbal…