I am Going to Dig up Joseph Pulitzer and Fight his Maggot Riddled Corpse
What is the biggest problem in America today? You and I may or not agree with one another, but let me tell you what's NOT the biggest problem in America today (or even in the last hundred years): Confederate Statues
Two years ago, that was the winning topic in the Commentary Section of the Pulitzer Prizes. I wrote about Covid and was steamed that I lost to a bunch of agenda-pushing yokels. My angle is that if you're going to win a Pulitzer, you should either have a unique perspective about something that affects everyone, or your writing is head and shoulders above all other entries.
The Confederate Statue Missive was neither.
Let me tell you a story. When I worked at Iron Mountain, we had a manager named Steve who was very detached from the nuts and bolts of actually running a branch. One day, Steve announced that the most pressing problem facing our branch was slippery floors in the garage area and he was going to pay to have one of his friends cut grooves into the concrete so water could drain easier in the winter.
We had never had any garage accidents, the area was cramped and cluttered, there was little room for movement. I had no idea water drainage was even an issue.
So Steve came up to me and asked if I liked his drainage idea. Stupidly, I said no. He left in a huff and I explained to my fellow employees, like a low level stand up comedian, that if I enumerated the Top 1,000 Problems at the Branch, that a groove-less floor wouldn't have made the list. Steve didn't actually fix real problems, he fixed made up problems to funnel money to his contractor buddies.
Which circles us back to the Pulitzer. If I made a list of the Top 1,000 Problems Plaguing America, the existence of Confederate Statues wouldn't have made that list either.
But remember, the Pulitzer is a literary contest. There's one writer, today, whose prose crackles with immediacy, and that's Matt Taibbi.
If you said Matt Taibbi wrote a 7-part commentary on water runoff issues and safety, then I lost to him in the Pulitzer Race, I'd respond, "of course I did. That guy's writing is off-the-charts awesome."
With that being said, I have the intent to enter the Pulitzer Race for a 5th time. I am not delusional, 3 of my 4 previous attempts were not good enough to win. (But in 2020, I was on my game.)
Instead of bitching about losing after the fact, I am calling my shot. Most of the problems in America stem from our inability to pull together. As a free speech website, I would argue that it's the most pressing issue in America.
Here's my upcoming entry: The scourge of American Partisanship: A media landscape overrun with Political Hacks and Literary Mercenaries.
#1 January 2, 2022: 137 Shots -or- Martin Luther King Jr. Was Right
#2 January 29, 2022: Putin's Thought Process
#3 February 5, 2022 Holding Woke Goodell's Feet to the Fire
#4 February 12, 2022 Don't Pretend You Don't Know What Peniel E Joseph is All About
#5 March 28, 2022: The Donald Trump Paradox
#6 July 12, 2022: 'An Ingrained Fear For Your Life.' Police Say They Understand the Plight of Akron Cops
#7 October 1, 2022 How the Ghost of George Floyd Killed 1,000,000 People in America
Just like Tom Cruise tricked Jack Nicholson in a Few Good Men, the Pulitzer Committee WANTS to give the Pulitzer to an independent voice. An independent voice like me.
On the other hand, if I lose to Melinda Henneberger next year for her series: Donald Trump and MAGA I will have an aneurysm.
My favorite article that I wrote this past year was probably: In Defense of Taco Bell Workers
But holy crap, I can't enter that for ANY literary prizes.