Jake DiMare lays bare his insecurities about writing for the Good Men Project, but finds renewed motivation from famous author, Chuck Klosterman.
I write for the Good Men Project because I am genuinely interested in exploring the idea of what it means to be a good man. Sometimes this is accomplished in my writing through examination of moments in my own life…Other times via examination of the lives of others. I’ve often been overtly critical of famous men behaving badly. The way I see it, how can I identify good, without examining bad? Besides, sometimes it’s just more fun to point at other people behaving badly, even though deriving pleasure from the misfortune of others is not high on my list of good characteristics.
It pains me to admit it, but every time I sit down to pull together a submission for The Good Men Project I struggle with feelings of fear, doubt and insecurity. This state of being is partially a baseline, life-long impairment and partially (I believe) a rational response to the objective reality that I have no degree in philosophy. Furthermore, my interest in being a good man is fairly recent. I’m sure there is more than one person who has known me for more than a few years who can’t help but roll their eyes at the idea of me pretending to be an authority on the subject.
This is why I was pleased to discover New York Times Magazine recently turned over the “Ethicist” column to Chuck Klosterman. Now, I want to be careful and point out, I am not comparing myself to Chuck. He is nothing short of legendary in the world of essayists. His intellectual flexibility and accomplishments are monumental. If I were to compare writers to musicians he is Dave Matthews while I am the guy who plays guitar and croons monotone songs about some ex-girlfriend at your local coffeehouse on the first Friday night of the month.
No, I am definitely no Chuck Klosterman. However, when the Time announced the beginning of his tenure I was excited and motivated when I read his quote:
“This seems like the most interesting job possible. It examines actual problems and asks straightforward questions about how people should or should not live. It directly engages with the world of ideas, and it seems simultaneously objective and subjective. I realize some will argue that I am not qualified for this position, but it would be just as easy to argue that no one is qualified for this position. I only know that I want to do it.”
Stalk Jake @jakedimare.
Photo of good and evil balls courtesy of Shutterstock