Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Writing on interacting with the world - by Brand, Jones, Finkel & Breznican

There's a few different pieces of great writing I've seen recently that grouped together for me under the subject of how people interact with the world.

The first two pieces to note were profound and well-written essays, one by Russell Brand for The Guardian and one by Chris Jones for Esquire. The Brand piece was "Robin Williams’ divine madness will no longer disrupt the sadness of the world" after Williams' suicide and was great writing remiscent of the piece "For Amy" that Brand wrote after the passing of Amy Winehouse in 2007. The piece from Jones was "Some Days You Just Want to Kill Yourself" from a 2011 issue of Esquire and posted online earlier this month after the death of Williams. It's a highly personal piece about depression and one I wrote a pretty lengthy post on after first reading.

The other two pieces of great writing to mention here weren't about depression, but covered well people leading theirs lives in a fascinating manner. For GQ Magazine was the Michael Finkel piece "The Strange & Curious Tale of the Last True Hermit" on Christopher Knight, who spent close to 30 years by himself in the woods of Maine off supplies he pilfered. Knight's story is a tremendously interesting one and Finkel wrote the piece with himself in it as someone who visited Knight in prison. This first-person approach definitely worked in the story and was made even more interesting with Finkel's own back-story as a journalist fired for creating a composite character, and Finkel then having his identity assumed by a murderer. It's a remarkable tale that Finkel wrote of in the 2006 book True Story: Murder, Memoir, Mea Culpa that's the basis of an already filmed movie starring Jonah Hill and James Franco.

The last piece to note on someone with a unique approach to life, or at a minimum to his career, was "Zen and the art of casting Bill Murray in your movie" by Anthony Breznican for Entertainment Weekly. Really an entertaining look at the famously difficult to get reach and get attention from comedic genius.