Exploiting our Archives: O.J Simpson, Eliot Rodger, John Edwards and The Toxic Men of Literature of the Cursed
As readers of this site are well aware, I love to write about books. When I worked for The A.V Club I created Silly Little Show-Biz Book Club so that I would have a productive outlet for my addiction to trashy entertainment memoirs, tell-alls and exposes.
Then I left The A.V Club and I needed a place to write about terrible books about terrible people so I started a column called Literature of The Cursed for a site called Random Nerds. Truth be told, the column was pretty much Silly Little Show Biz Book Club by another name, just as the Nathan Rabin’s Happy Place Literature Society is just the Silly Little Show Biz Book Club by a different name but I did try to tighten the focus so that it was not just about sketchy people but the worst of the worst.
What kind of human garbage did I write about for Literature of the Cursed? I specialized in toxic masculinity as embodied by the likes of Elliot Rodger, whose manifesto, “My Twisted World: The Story of Eliot Rodger”, I read in its entirety over the course of one very long, spooky, sleepless Greyhound bus ride from my old home of Chicago to my new home in Atlanta.
On a similar note, I used the column to finally read and write about O.J Simpson’s If I Did It, the astonishing “fake confession” he wrote to conjure up some quick cash and that, through a series of strange legal maneuvers, became the property of the Goldman family, whose son the book’s ostensible “author” is accused of brutally murdering.
Finally, I wrote about the amended version of Rielle Hunter’s What Really Happened, the infamous, perversely, surreally self-serving book the author wrote all about howe John Edwards was her knight in shining armor, and his dying wife was the world’s biggest bitch, and despite how it might look, she in fact enjoyed the romance of the millennia with the disgraced former Democratic Vice Presidential candidate.
What Really Happened was written by a deeply delusional, myopic woman but it’s nevertheless a fascinating exploration of toxic masculinity in its depiction of John Edwards, a man I am deeply ashamed to admit I once believed in and thought would make a great president. We all did! He was so charming on The Daily Show! How could we possibly have known he was the worst dude ever?
I didn’t write many entries in Literature of the Cursed, partially because I revived Silly Little Show-Biz Book Club a little later but I’m very proud of all three entries, and how much they have to say about toxic masculinity and our culture’s creepy deference to terrible, terrible men.
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