How to create a Pavlovian response in yours truly: 1. Produce extended, compassionate essays on Michael Jackson and Axl Rose. 2. Let it slip that you were raised Episcopalian. 3. Prompt a number of your colleagues to compare you with David Foster Wallace, going so far as to proclaim you his literary heir. 4. Write an extremely funny and not entirely unsympathetic article about a Christian Rock festival. This is what John Jeremiah Sullivan has done in the past few years.

I remember reading his piece on the initial GNR comeback shows in 2006 and thinking it was the best writing…

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