One of the most talented writers I have read in a while is John Jeremiah Sullivan. He is an essay writer and reminds me of a mix of Hunter S. Thompson and Chuck Klosterman, yet without the drug-fueled nature of HST or the overly pretentious Gen-X sensibilities of Klosterman. Anderson has a knack for getting his opinion across without belittling his subjects, no matter how daft or moronic they may be (i.e. the Tea Party). He is a writer with empathy, for example he never would have called the Tea Party moronic. He digs into corners of a story that most writers wouldn't dare to venture, you get the idea he cares about his subjects even if he doesn't agree with them. He is empathetic and in today's partisan atmosphere it is both refreshing and overdue.
In his recent book, Pulphead, he delves into such subjects as Axl Rose, cave hunting/Native-American relic theft, forgotten blues artists that influenced Robert Johnson, he tracks down Bunny Wailer in Jamaica and brings him dope, he attends a Christian Rock Festival, Michael Jackson and many other subjects.
I decided to sit down and come up with ideas for essays that I would be interested in writing, should I ever find the time. I am also curious about what other people might be interested in reading about or having investigated, so please pipe up in the comments:
- Apparently the ancient forest of Antarctica were killed off during the creation of the Himalayans. Is the human race simply evolution's solution/tool to get the newly cold Earth (40 million years) back to its hot normalcy? Is our civilization's endgame to restore carbon into the air at the expense of our race but to normalize the planet through regression? Is this the meaning of life? To litter, consume petroleum and help destroy human habitation?
- Insane, sad drunkenness on Facebook. Why do you allow yourself to speak your hypocritical mind on a very public forum and instantly ruin your reputation.
- The usage and creation of words like amazeballs and ridonkulous. How and why do these words hit the mainstream…the lengths people go in order to feel a part of something.
- Self-induced paranoia driving you inexplicably toward the very thing you are paranoid about.
- The first snow, a pile up, everyone is blaming everyone else for driving shitty in the snow because no one believes they drive shitty in the snow.
- Anti-intellectuals, people who think you're stupid because you aren't.
- Right and wrong in politics. Is either side more sane than the other? Do I seem just as insane to a libertarian as he/she seems to me? Which one of us is wrong? If the answer is neither or both then why do we even bother debating?
- Sports as religion.
- A fake story about an Ivy league trained attorney who now sells bait in a trailer park. Getting to the bottom of the white trash cliché and why people intentionally veer that direction through adoption of a hick accent just to be funny but over time it changes their socio-economical makeup.
- Being sad about never being part of a statistic or knowing anyone who has, like flu deaths. Am I or everyone I know incredibly lucky or is there a conspiracy of fear?
- How do you know that everything you think you know is truthful if most of what you know was suggested to you at some point by the government, church or your parents…THE VERY PEOPLE WHO PERPETUATE THE SANTA MYTH!
- Quirky, cutesy 30 something mom brigade who take much humor and self-deprecating solace from their terrible children's naughty behavior and share it on social media. How did society create these people?
- A retrospective on my years inside video games. What did I learn? They are only fun if you think you will live forever.
- Are stoic people, stoic drunks? Are messy people, messy drunks? How much of your sober character translated into your drunken character?
- If you flip a coin a billion times, will it disappear in mid air eventually? Astronomical odds of unlikely and improbable events.
- Pro's and con's of the sun. Can we somehow filter it from outer space one day? Would it be worth it?
- Can truthful people write fiction or can ONLY truthful people write fiction?
- Augmenting reality from birth using totalitarian methodology. At birth you have augmented reality glasses screwed on your face. A toxic dump looks like a green pasture.
- If billions of people think something exists, that there is no proof for, why not just go along with the crowd? Can faith manifest existence through belief? Can faith be used as a mass illusion?
- People who purchase torn and faded blue jeans to perpetuate a myth that their clothes had lived with them through a tough long life. Wearing a simulacrum. How did become that rich people wear torn clothes? Somewhere around the year 2000 I noticed that my worn and depleted clothes were somehow becoming the norm around campus, that rich frat boys were purchasing torn jeans and faded T-shirts. Why is this and why is it completely normal now?
- Social media food braggarts. Do I really need to see what will eventually be expelled from your body as feces? Am i supposed to be jealous or do you love food that much?