17776 Follow UP (Q&A)
You may have enjoyed or been confused by the Gold from my last email, What Football Looks like in the Year 17776 – if you want to learn more about the project by Jon Bois, he's released a Q&A answering some common questions about his longform piece.
Great work begs for more questions and understanding. Great work makes you think about it days or weeks after you read it. You also realize this type of work takes years to produce.
Great work, we're reminded, takes years to produce.
From the article:
"I thought about some of the most popular long-winding stories our culture had produced in recent years — 24, Breaking Bad, The Walking Dead, Game of Thrones, etc. — and how miserable their worlds tended to be. Everything was going disastrously wrong, everyone was dying in horrible fashion. It was death worship. I really like some of those shows! But they are dread-porn.
I wanted a world to escape to once in a while, and it couldn’t be one of those. I didn’t want a utopia, by any means, but I wanted a world where I could dwell on things that were bizarre, fascinating, and maybe even funny. If I wanted that world, I thought, maybe some other folks out there want that too, and maybe it would make them happier by a fraction of a percent."
"I see a really clear parallel between America and football: both are beautiful, and both destroy people. This is a recent development in neither case: they are designed to create misery. They are both institutions that I want to love unconditionally, but can’t possibly.
I can only appreciate either if I retreat into fantasy, filter out what I hate about them, and present a distillation of what i love about them. If you distill American into the land itself, and if you distill football into the game itself, and you populate them with the people who make them both beautiful, you end up with a world I find pretty amazing."