For the past week I have indulged into the writing of Chuck Klosterman. I was first introduced to him by his writing in Spin and indulging into his quirky ideas in the book Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs. He is an everyday (wo)man's cultural critique. He has a way to express an idea that sometimes would look at my life and say 'of course you have that idea, you would be stupid not to.' He poses some of the most absurd questions but they let you sit back and reflect about human nature and when a similar problem arises within culture you oddly have solved the worlds problems and able to go on with your day.
Last week I picked up the paperback version of Chuck Klosterman IV. This is a collection of his essays and articles that could be found in array of magazines (Spin, Esquire, ESPN) or in the Newspaper (Akron Beacon, New York Times). I plunged head first into the book and sat back with laughter with many of the articles. Some of my favorite articles were his question of either the brilliance or stupidity of Brittany Spears (she doesn't see herself as a role model or used for her sexual appeal but claims to be an artist), The genius (literally towards their quest of education) of Radiohead, and his introduction to the man behind the hip-hop solo act the Streets.
My favorite article in the collection is his reflection on Johnny Carson. He reflects that there will never be another "Johnny Carson." Not there will ever be a great funny guy who will entertain a populace during late night TV (Conan). "The reason he was important was because he was the last universally shared icon of modern popular culture." This is so right on. The rest of the article reflects upon the movement of our culture and technology. We have an over abundance of culture and Johnny was the last cultural icon that EVERYBODY knew about. One can debate that but will you win? You might argue Hey Ya! from Outkast. "Hey Ya! was the most universally appreciated song of the past ten years, but it was sill a niche phenomenon, in order to know about OutKast, you had to care about music." This is something I need to remember all the time. We are not really one nation with one ideal anymore but we all take different paths to get to some sort of truth or meaning or significance.
I love me some Chuck. The book is broken into three sections. The first being Things that are True (includes footnotes and funny intros before each little ditty), the second Things that Might be True (have the funniest odd questions before the columns), and the Third is a fiction piece; Something That Isn't True at All.
I loved this book. It is something that pushed me to be a better writer. I hope that I can continue to read great pieces about culture and move my writing to being cynical, witty, or ask really great questions about our culture. I hope my sentences getting shorter but pack more punch. I want to not write the phrase: I think, and I want to writing on a consistent basis.