Classic or Dud: Chuck Klosterman

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The kind of person who loves Chuck Klosterman is probably no more in touch with "mainstream America" than the kind that reads the New Yorker (even ignoring any overlap).

I don't really believe in "mainstream America" anyway. I don't think there's such a thing.

A-ron Hubbard (Hurting), Sunday, 27 February 2000 02:41 (14 years ago) Permalink

3 years pass...
What do you say, folks? I have my own opinions, but I wonder what other people think. My feeling is that he spends a tad too much ink on being clever and a tad too little on what he's reviewing.

Raymond Cummings (Raymond Cummings), Monday, 7 April 2003 14:51 (11 years ago) Permalink

Has Klosterman gone too far?

Yanc3y (ystrickler), Monday, 7 April 2003 14:53 (11 years ago) Permalink

a guy completely unfamiliar with the notion 'history is written by the victors'

James Blount (James Blount), Monday, 7 April 2003 14:54 (11 years ago) Permalink

Nice timing, cause I just finished reading "Fargo Rock City" not two days ago. (Where was "Fargo" in the book?--65 miles north. I hope that a marketing hack came up with the title, and not Klosterman himself...) I'd say the book had loads of problems as far as the consistency and supportability of its main arguements, but it worked well as personal memoir. Klosterman's got an engaging writing voice, but the populism vs. the critics thing is his hammer that makes every critical opportunity into a nail, if you get my drift.

I do think the earlier thread on the Ratt/Ramones deaths brought out some suprising defensiveness in the responses. I'm not sure why people saw his fixation on Ratt's "popularity" as such a weak point. I think his arguement is that, on the surface, it might seem strange that Dee Dee's death got "more attention", since Ratt had more mainstream exposure; and that it's the weight given to an artist by the critical apparatus that ultimately trumps the importance of mere sales / airplay numbers. I don't think he's proposing that the situation is unjust because Ratt were truly somehow "better", just that the critics' history-making tends to obscure significant (by some measure) bands or artists that aren't judged significant (by a select set of other measures). This is not a particulary insightful observation, nor is the situation it describes limited to music-crit, but I do think it holds some water.

That said, one not particularly insightful observation such as this is not enough to hold up an entire book, much less an entire approach to music criticism (although to be fair, I haven't read much else of Klosterman's writing).

And so: neither classic nor dud, but his writing works a lot better when he's just talking about himself, and acknowleging all his biases and emotional attachments, rather than letting these create a righteous-contrarain critical voice that approaches dud.

arch Ibog (arch Ibog), Monday, 7 April 2003 16:05 (11 years ago) Permalink

In Texas a few weeks ago, he left a half eaten chocolate egg in the back of my car with little Flintstones-vitamins-sized candies inside. Still edible!

Hadn't met him or read him before that, but I loved his rock lists in the recent Spin. That shit is so much harder than it looks. Classic so far...

Pete Scholtes, Monday, 7 April 2003 18:52 (11 years ago) Permalink

I like Klosterman generally, and I love lists, but that lists issue was the worst issue of Spin ever

M Matos (M Matos), Monday, 7 April 2003 19:05 (11 years ago) Permalink

significant (by some measure)

But what is the measure if not supreme personal concern or interest? In which case the popularity card is a red herring on his part. Personally I think James Blount's take says it all, and explains why he's so frustrating in the end.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Monday, 7 April 2003 19:31 (11 years ago) Permalink

He kinda reminds me of Lester Bangs, minus you know, all the drugs and moustaches and long hair and all the Anthony DeCurtis hate and being dead and all. As for C/D, too early to tell.

Charles McCain (Charles McCain), Monday, 7 April 2003 19:33 (11 years ago) Permalink

when you compare that recent Spin list issue with their 35th Anniversary of Rock issue circa thirteen years ago (Jim Morrison on the cover), the decline in quality from then to now is stunning.


He's like Bangs without the talent, or the heart, or the ideas, or the balls, or the curiosity, or the drugs. He might have the gut though, not sure (willing to bet though). Probably a similar wardrobe.

James Blount (James Blount), Monday, 7 April 2003 19:37 (11 years ago) Permalink

Mr. Diamond (diamond), Monday, 7 April 2003 19:39 (11 years ago) Permalink

I'm pissed off at him for pre-empting my shtick. Fargo is like NYC compared to where I'm from!

dave q, Monday, 7 April 2003 19:42 (11 years ago) Permalink

Haha you said that about Donna Gaines too. You'd better write that book before you get preempted by someone else!

Jody Beth Rosen (Jody Beth Rosen), Monday, 7 April 2003 19:45 (11 years ago) Permalink

I'll buy whatever book dave writes

James Blount (James Blount), Monday, 7 April 2003 19:46 (11 years ago) Permalink

"chuck klosterman is an idiot with a gimmick - he's a revisionist know-nothing who pretends to be a journalist and a critic but is, in fact, a small-minded hypocrite who opposes the very notion of journalism and criticism. He's Lester Bangs without a clue - a solipsistic shithead whose book never gets beyond the i-like-it-other-people-like-it-therefore-it's-good populism that refutes the very idea of quality as something apart from commercial success. I'm surprised Chuck Eddy, whose metal-bound contrarian views at least are based on an artistic sensibility and some intelligent thought, hasn't sued him for stealing his first name and his shtick."

http://velvetrope.starpolish.com/ubbthreads/showflat.php?Cat=&Board=UBB1&Number=249342&page=&view=&sb=&o=&fpart=1&vc=1

Yanc3y (ystrickler), Monday, 7 April 2003 19:46 (11 years ago) Permalink

'a small-minded hypocrite who opposes the very notion of journalism and criticism'

...like i was saying upthread!!!

dave q, Monday, 7 April 2003 20:12 (11 years ago) Permalink

I like a lot of his stuff, but when he's off its pretty worthless (not to mention the guy needs to name names as far as the critical establishment he claims to go against). I haven't really enjoyed his new Spin column yet but I thought Fargo Rock City was a lot of fun.

I've actually been buying SPINs a lot lately, even though its been six months or so since my subscription ran out. The last one was REALLY disappointing. The Dischord article was haphazard, the Linkin Park piece blatantly unenthusiastic (understandably but still disappointing), and the Good Charlotte piece, despite being on the cover, was only half a page (for relationship advice, reaffirming Joel is the nice one). Plus the review are pretty bland.

I thought the lists issue was pretty funny though. Cute song quotes.

Anthony Miccio (Anthony Miccio), Monday, 7 April 2003 20:14 (11 years ago) Permalink

that Ira rant is awful!

M Matos (M Matos), Monday, 7 April 2003 22:58 (11 years ago) Permalink

Ira rant?

Anthony Miccio (Anthony Miccio), Monday, 7 April 2003 23:31 (11 years ago) Permalink

the one Yanc3y quoted/linked to

M Matos (M Matos), Monday, 7 April 2003 23:32 (11 years ago) Permalink

yeah, that rant sucks. exactly what I meant where I wish he'd name names rather than go on about rock snobs or whatever. Maybe interview a "rock snob" and see if maybe they can explain to him why Dee Dee got more attention in his death aside from the good music/bad music deal.

Anthony Miccio (Anthony Miccio), Tuesday, 8 April 2003 00:32 (11 years ago) Permalink

I like Klosterman. Maybe it's because I don't think of him as a journalist, exactly, and certainly not someone I would look to for suggestions re something to listen to. But he is generally entertaining about the stuff in his sphere, and I thought Fargo Rock City was a fun book.

Agreed that the Spin list issue was terrible. It looked like something you'd find in some one-off 'zine stacked in some forgotten bar alcove.

Ira Robbins and Chuck Klosterman see the world differently, no news there.

Mark (MarkR), Tuesday, 8 April 2003 00:50 (11 years ago) Permalink

the (jaw-droppingly awful) spin lists issue made me realize one thing, being dave marsh is harder than it looks.

nf

notfazed (notfazed), Tuesday, 8 April 2003 01:47 (11 years ago) Permalink

oh wait. my response to Matos's "Ira rant" was a response to the original Klosterman article. Ira's thing was cheap too.

Anthony Miccio (Anthony Miccio), Tuesday, 8 April 2003 01:54 (11 years ago) Permalink

this is probably fodder for another thread, but here goes, since there are evidently some other SPIN readers here:

1. anybody else wish SPIN reviewed more records? their section (and RS's, admittedly) gets punier and punier. and don't try to sell me on that "more records, more opinions, let's do this" thing.

2. anybody wish more than 15 people - with some writing 2-3 reviews per issue - were writing the reviews?

Raymond Cummings (Raymond Cummings), Tuesday, 8 April 2003 11:02 (11 years ago) Permalink

Re: Ned's But what is the measure if not supreme personal concern or interest? In which case the popularity card is a red herring on his part. Personally I think James Blount's take says it all, and explains why he's so frustrating in the end.

Of course he's motivated by his personal concern AND interest--is that so awful? I'd say yes, when he tries to pretend that's not what's motivating his writing--but when he occasionaly owns up to it I think it's hardly a problem. I'd argue that many people want their critics to be motivated by their particular emotional attachments; part of the fun of reading them is getting a glimpse of someone's possibly irrational passion for something that you don't feel so strongly about yourself. This is not to bolster up Klosterman's writing, cause I think it's got plenty of problems, as described throughout this thread. And so yeah, his playing of the popularity card is a problem cause it's disingenuous, but the personal motivation that he's trying to cover up doesn't seem as bad as the effort to obscure it.

arch Ibog (arch Ibog), Tuesday, 8 April 2003 12:13 (11 years ago) Permalink

Of course he's motivated by his personal concern AND interest--is that so awful?

Certainly not! I think we're agreeing here. I have no problem with him talking about what he loves, but as you say, trying to justify something on the basis of its former popularity evades the issue.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Tuesday, 8 April 2003 12:21 (11 years ago) Permalink

1 month passes...
I just read an advance of Klosterman's forthcoming book. It's like reading ILX if ILX was just Anthony Miccio and James Blount talking to one another and they were almost always wrong: essays on Billy Joel, the Lakers, the Real World, the Sims, a particularly ILMish one on why popular country music is real and important and it's tiresome snobbery to think otherwise, pop culture / sports / music / etc. In fact, at least two semi-regular ILX posters -- D0uglas W0lk and (huck 3ddy -- make appearances. Douglas drinks some orange juice.

I think people here will likely have a bit of the Narcissism of Small Differences thing going on with this book -- the subject matter is so exactly the sort of thing covered here, and the approach to working through it is very similar, that the immediate response is to recoil when he gets this or that bit of it horribly wrong. (There's an unfortunate comment about Dexy's that would make some people's heads explode. And he has absolutely no clue what he's even saying about soccer.)

nabisco (nabisco), Monday, 19 May 2003 16:06 (11 years ago) Permalink

That said, it was entertaining, and he has plenty of good things to say. (The "getting it wrong" thing is exactly that board-bred narcissism, always wanting to leap on the "missteps." Though he is just patently stupidly wrong about soccer, at least.)

nabisco (nabisco), Monday, 19 May 2003 16:09 (11 years ago) Permalink

Final note: his Ugly Midwesterner version of the Ugly American schtick goes in and out as it suits him, I think.

nabisco (nabisco), Monday, 19 May 2003 16:09 (11 years ago) Permalink

nabisco goes out of his way to hurt me

James Blount (James Blount), Monday, 19 May 2003 16:20 (11 years ago) Permalink

I didn't mean that in a bad way at all!

nabisco (nabisco), Monday, 19 May 2003 16:21 (11 years ago) Permalink

ie. whutchutalkinabout n1tsuh?

James Blount (James Blount), Monday, 19 May 2003 16:21 (11 years ago) Permalink

does he do alot of whining in the book? cuz that's my main gripe

James Blount (James Blount), Monday, 19 May 2003 16:22 (11 years ago) Permalink

it's not the whining so much as the belief that he has a right to whine and no one else does. it's an underdog-bully complex.

Yanc3y (ystrickler), Monday, 19 May 2003 16:25 (11 years ago) Permalink

Just finished Fargo Rock City recently. I enjoyed it lots, but what disappointed me was a lack of conviction. Which, in a way, he admits to in the Epilogue, where he says something to the effect of "no way am I going to convince anyone that Theatre of Pain is Carole King's Tapestry" but (again paraphrasing) "how could something that was the soundtrack to so many people's lives not be culturally important?".

So, even though he is defensive about 80s hair metal, and twists himself into a pretzel trying to defend its sexism and so on, there's almost a hollowness in the middle of his argument. I mean, I wish he'd simply take the idea that Theatre of Pain IS better than Tapestry, run with it, and see where that leads him.

Wired Flounder (Wired Flounder), Monday, 19 May 2003 16:50 (11 years ago) Permalink

sociology is killing music crit, it's like retroactive market research, and is (as beleaguered advertisers in this shrinking economy will probably admit while drunk) probably equally useful

dave q, Tuesday, 20 May 2003 12:13 (11 years ago) Permalink

mebbe so, but I think we love pop music for some pretty blatantly sociological reasons.

however I agree it's not always fun to hear people try to tease out and pontificate on those reasons.

and agreed that the retroactivity of it all often feels like a dud.

arch Ibog (arch Ibog), Tuesday, 20 May 2003 12:32 (11 years ago) Permalink

3 months pass...
So did anybody but me see that psychotic New York Press cover story yet? I mean, what the fuck????? Don't have to get into it at the moment; I'm just amazed there's no thread about it yet....

chuck, Wednesday, 27 August 2003 19:23 (11 years ago) Permalink

Yeah, I just read it too, it was linked to from the Mostly Weird blog. Here's the link. More thoughts anon.

o. nate (onate), Wednesday, 27 August 2003 19:31 (11 years ago) Permalink

All I can say at the moment, is that Mark Ames appears to be a very disturbed individual.

o. nate (onate), Wednesday, 27 August 2003 19:38 (11 years ago) Permalink

he namedrops Lou Reed, Kim Deal, Guided By Voices, David Lynch, Sid and Nancy and other hallowed figures of the avant-garde

?!?!??!?!? can we have a definition of avant-garde plz?

this is horrible. what an embarrassment for a paper that i thought had been all embarrassed out for years now. insult to injury -> this'll fuel chuck k's underdog complex even more!

Yanc3y (ystrickler), Wednesday, 27 August 2003 19:57 (11 years ago) Permalink

and i mean, the way the dude rips on the cusack line of thought is ridiculous! he reads it as if chuck is biting baudrillard?!?!? jesus. this d00d sounds like fun-hating motherfucker.

(my guess is k's schtick reminds him of his own, but he's languishing in the ussr writing for an awful paper while chuck gets big. i'm embarassed for him)

Yanc3y (ystrickler), Wednesday, 27 August 2003 20:01 (11 years ago) Permalink

I just picked up a copy. Why, I don't know. Just when I think NY Press couldn't possibly get any worse, it does.

hstencil, Wednesday, 27 August 2003 20:03 (11 years ago) Permalink

I mean this book seems pretty bad, but jeez lighten up on the hyperbole, guy. And is it really worth a cover story?

hstencil, Wednesday, 27 August 2003 20:06 (11 years ago) Permalink

This guy Ames is hilarious. He's like: "Oh no, Klosterman criticized porn! He's a closet fundamentalist!" Or: "Oh no, Klosterman drinks chocolate milk! He's a closet bourgeouis!" Or: "Oh no, Klosterman wears a t-shirt in his author photo! He's a child molester!" His bizarre extrapolations would be laughable if they weren't so spiteful. Meanwhile, the quotes from Klosterman's book actually sound pretty droll. If anything, it made me want to read it.

o. nate (onate), Wednesday, 27 August 2003 20:11 (11 years ago) Permalink

Wow. Having read little by either Klosterman or Ames (other than a couple of the former's Spin columns), I have to say Klosterman comes off looking okay in comparison to this bitter, angry rant of a "review". From making personal appearance (saggy ass-faces and t-shirts stretched in struggles?) cracks to offering him out for a fight, I mean... WTF!!!???

It's like barely disguised aching homoeroticism or something.

David A. (Davant), Wednesday, 27 August 2003 20:28 (11 years ago) Permalink

except for the fact that it's really, really badly written, that's pretty much a quintessential ny press piece. (the one thing i do give them credit for is decent writing, most of the time anyway.) from the start, the nyp has read like a really bad, and really desperate, journalism review, whose only recognizable point of view is that it's jealous of, and hates, all other writers and all other publications.

the press rarely writes about music (or any other subject); instead, it writes about what other writers are saying about music. and it always claims, of course, that they are wrong. it's as if the paper is staffed by a roomful of people who don't go to movies, don't listen to records, don't go outdoors, and probably don't socialize with other humans. they just read about all that stuff in other newspapers and magazines.

the thing that's amazing to me is that in spite of all that, they've managed to publish a number of really good writers over the years, including another guy named ames (jonathan) who i hope is no relation to this one.

fact checking cuz, Wednesday, 27 August 2003 20:42 (11 years ago) Permalink

IIRC, Mark Ames writes for some ex-pat Moscow publication. The only I piece of his I remember seeing used the word "raghead" a lot.

Michael Daddino (epicharmus), Wednesday, 27 August 2003 20:47 (11 years ago) Permalink

As for the essay itself...I'm speechless. I can't even hate it, it's just so inexplicable in so many ways, even for the NYP. To think that they'd devote their cover to such a shapeless mess of an essay -- especially when Klosterman's Q ratings aren't exactly through the roof! -- I just don't understand what the fuck they're thinking.

Michael Daddino (epicharmus), Wednesday, 27 August 2003 20:52 (11 years ago) Permalink

pretty hysterical piece...was trying to think of an UK equivalent but can't think of one right now.

Julio Desouza (jdesouza), Wednesday, 27 August 2003 20:53 (11 years ago) Permalink

Mark Ames, "America's New Whore"

I feel another sarcastic tee-hee attack coming on.

Michael Daddino (epicharmus), Wednesday, 27 August 2003 20:59 (11 years ago) Permalink

Oh yeah, this Mark Ames character seems like a real winner:

http://exile.ru/167/167122301.html

Marcel Post (Marcel Post), Wednesday, 27 August 2003 21:20 (11 years ago) Permalink

Chuck Klosterman is 6'2"???

Carey (Carey), Wednesday, 27 August 2003 21:50 (11 years ago) Permalink

I realized pretty quickly it was the writer for Exile, which is uh.. good at making it sound like all of Russia is as sleazy, depressing and violent as.. uh.. that scene near end of Boogie Nights after the 80s arrive.

Chuck Klosterman doesn't sound like a lot of fun either. I'm really turning into a terrible reactionary I suppose but this kinda pop-culture riff essay style just.. doesn't make me feel like I've gained anything at all from having read it.

Oh, speaking of reviews - the Metafilter entry that linked to the Klosterman piece also linked to an extremely harsh yet hilarious review of a Chuck Palahniuk book in Salon - now THAT is worth reading. (the review I mean, obv.)

daria g (daria g), Thursday, 28 August 2003 00:41 (11 years ago) Permalink

I suppose my problem is that not only can't I understand why anyone would waste their time watching Saved by the Bell, I feel a degree of contempt for the way it seems Klosterman is determined to make this into a badge of honor.

Probably also I do this sort of thing myself, and it seem there's a pretty strong element of defensiveness in his stance; criticism is instantaneously diverted because he already KNOWS it's "low culture."

daria g (daria g), Thursday, 28 August 2003 00:44 (11 years ago) Permalink

You know, until I started reading ilx, the "Germans vs. Scientologists" meme had lain dormant in my brain for several years. This makes twice in two weeks. I suppose the nice thing about crit culture is that the assholes tend to spend most of their time trying to tear each other down.

Jesse Fuchs (Jesse Fuchs), Thursday, 28 August 2003 00:45 (11 years ago) Permalink

The guy did a pretty good job of picking excerpts that sound wack (though I liked Fargo Rock City enough that I'll read it anyway), but yeah, this piece is blatant shit.

Anthony Miccio (Anthony Miccio), Thursday, 28 August 2003 02:11 (11 years ago) Permalink

Ames may be a fucking retard but who the fuck gets editing credit on this piece of trash?

That said, Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs isn't very good. Nor has been Klosterman's columns in SPIN.

But he's still a good writer. I was re-reading those comments by Ira Robbins...damn, that was scathing. And rather pious, I might add. Kind of depressing, really.

don weiner, Thursday, 28 August 2003 02:38 (11 years ago) Permalink

C'mon ppl, either it's a joke or "Mark Ames" IS Klosterman! The Billy Joel thing gives it away.

dave q, Thursday, 28 August 2003 08:37 (11 years ago) Permalink

Ira Robbins is the worst critic in the universe. Then again if he could explain what's so bad about being 'anti-criticism and anti-jouirnalism' maybe some of the Trouser Press reviews could be forgiven.

(Julio - Steven Wells must've written something like this?)

dave q, Thursday, 28 August 2003 08:47 (11 years ago) Permalink

um, not against another critic (which is what i was trying to think of).

Julio Desouza (jdesouza), Thursday, 28 August 2003 10:53 (11 years ago) Permalink

What about 'ILM vs Steven Wells'?

dave q, Thursday, 28 August 2003 11:01 (11 years ago) Permalink

heh, not 'one on one' but there's something there.

Julio Desouza (jdesouza), Thursday, 28 August 2003 11:28 (11 years ago) Permalink

ah, i thought the essay had its merits. klosterman is not unlike ann coulter -- passionately, incessantly, LOUDLY embracing the 'populist, real american' point of view, but doing so in such a strenuous way that it's really difficult to feel like that embrace isn't conviction as much as it's a marketing point, or at least a way for him to line up that lucrative fox news channel gig once spin goes under. i hated fargo rock city (i think i've mentioned this on other threads) -- i thought the writing was piss-poor, like sub-bad weblog poor. (plus, hello, a book about '80s hard rock that doesn't mention cheap trick once? give me a break.)

maura (maura), Thursday, 28 August 2003 16:35 (11 years ago) Permalink

Late to the table on this one. Just picked up the Ames article and am barely a third into it, but can't really get beyond how mean-spirited it is. It's more character assasination than critique (I mean, what does calling Klosterman an ass-faced sex offender really accomplish?)

Alex in NYC (vassifer), Thursday, 28 August 2003 16:54 (11 years ago) Permalink

Which is why one absolute truth is that the editor of the Press is a dumbfuck, Alex.

I liked Fargo Rock City, though really wasn't that impressed by the writing all that much.

But you have a point maura: the explosion of the WWW (and more pointedly, blog culture/bulletin boards like this one) has made the writing voice of guys like Klosterman seem very tedious and commonplace. Or at the very least, hardly clever or unique. I'd even argue it makes Lester Bang's talent much less apparent. In fact, the new Bangs book, like the Marcus comp before it, seems completely unenlightening.

don weiner, Thursday, 28 August 2003 17:04 (11 years ago) Permalink

I doubt I would have found Klosterman's schtick entertaining pre-Web -- or pre-Limbaugh-era talk radio, which I find is a better analogue to many of his most notoriously-angled pieces. It's not not clever because it's not unique: it's not clever because, well, it's so lacking in any substance that isn't the "Hey look at me, I speak the truth of the GREAT UNWASHED that YOU ELITES WILL NOT LISTEN TO!" self-promoting impulse.

(I would also argue that ILX irritates me in the exact same way that Klosterman does when it's mired in its semi-perpetual argument for the sake of argument nadirs.)

maura (maura), Thursday, 28 August 2003 17:18 (11 years ago) Permalink

the only time i vaguely 'sympathized' w. ames and shook my head in a "jesus, that *is* unforgiveably stupid"-manner, was when i read the "no, being cool is about getting laid" responses and mistakenly thought that these were still book excerpts, and belonged to klosterman himself. (ps. i've never read klosterman first-hand)

mitch lastnamewithheld (mitchlnw), Thursday, 28 August 2003 17:18 (11 years ago) Permalink

plus, hello, a book about '80s hard rock that doesn't mention cheap trick once? give me a break.

You elitist, Maura! ;-) The Coulter comparison is harsh but you know, the more Klosterman continues the more it starts to make a certain sense...

(My view on Klosterman, ie rather overrated (Robert Plant inadvertantly but perfectly cutting him down directly is still a thing of joy), remains the same; my view on Ames is that he's useless.)

Ned Raggett (Ned), Thursday, 28 August 2003 17:28 (11 years ago) Permalink

I quite liked "Fargo Rock City" for the piece of amusing, beach-reading fluff it ultimately was. I don't think Klosterman's worth the sheer amount of hateful ire Ames has conjured here. Granted, I haven't read Klosterman's new one, and I'm no stranger to being reduced to bug-eyed apoplexy because of something vacuous someone's written about an entirely trivial subject, so maybe I should shut up until I've read it.

Alex in NYC (vassifer), Thursday, 28 August 2003 17:29 (11 years ago) Permalink

Maura I never find Klosterman that braggadocious, actually. Certainly not in the vainglorous way that Coulter or Limbaugh (or Al Franken or Michael Moore, for that matter.) I think there is a self-depreciation in a lot of what Klosterman writes about, actually. Or maybe it's just that I grew up in a hickass town nearly the same size of Klosterman and am thus slightly more inclined to defend my own. (The difference being that I look back on my hair-band fandom with a degree of amused disdain as opposed to pride. I don't recall Fargo Rock City ever being too embarassed that most of those hair bands exploited women for what amounts to sport.)

don weiner, Thursday, 28 August 2003 18:26 (11 years ago) Permalink

This is a joke. If this anything other than a blatant attempt by one of Klosterman's cronies to pump sales of his book than I would be shocked.

Alex in SF (Alex in SF), Thursday, 28 August 2003 22:16 (11 years ago) Permalink

I'm pretty sure it's legit, Alex.

Alex in NYC (vassifer), Thursday, 28 August 2003 22:20 (11 years ago) Permalink

I'm SHOCKED!

Alex in SF (Alex in SF), Thursday, 28 August 2003 22:27 (11 years ago) Permalink

I'm hesitant to stand firm on this since the new book DOES seem like it may be way more indulgent than Fargo Rock City, but I think comparing him to Coulter is REALLY harsh. One thing I like about Klosterman is that his tastes, abilities seem to be genuinely evolving and growing. While he can get rather pious about being part of the great unwashed, I am glad he doesn't let being part of the great unwashed keep him from announcing his observations, the best of which are NOWHERE as antagonistic and ignorant as someone like Ann Coulter.

He does say some less-than-informed things to Liz Phair and Robert Plant in his interviews with them, but by being blunt and risking offense with them he gets some of the better quotes I've heard from those artists. His willingness to hear out opposite arguments in those cases is one major reason the comparison to Ann Coulter bothers me.

His reviews in SPIN seem lacking to me, he can be hit-or-miss and it's possible that just like with his hero Axl Rose fame will not benefit Klosterman's work, but his openness, humor and insights make him one of the more interesting and exciting writers out there. But as Nabisco noted earlier, I share similarities in taste and style.

Anthony Miccio (Anthony Miccio), Thursday, 28 August 2003 22:42 (11 years ago) Permalink

Also, Fargo Rock City gives a whole chapter to the role of women in Heavy Metal, and whether or not you agree with his level of tolerance, the chapter shows him to be thoughtful about the subject.

Anthony Miccio (Anthony Miccio), Thursday, 28 August 2003 22:44 (11 years ago) Permalink

I hate that Klosterman fellow, and I hate that Ames fellow. I'm sort of confused about what to feel now.

He does make a ton of good points about CK being useless, though he himself is as well. Screw 'em both.

ham on rye (ham on rye), Sunday, 31 August 2003 02:24 (11 years ago) Permalink

that essay is totally, completely, 100% worthless. he doesn't make one single point worth making and he doesn't back any of his assertions up.

M Matos (M Matos), Sunday, 31 August 2003 03:17 (11 years ago) Permalink

Welcome to the wonderful world of entertainment
where life imitate art and people get famous
Welcome to the world of showbiz arrangement
where lights, camera, action is the language

Dock Miles (Dock Miles), Sunday, 31 August 2003 03:25 (11 years ago) Permalink

Yeah, that's a pretty sad article... several of his conclusions he presumed to be self-evident were actually more "um, how the hell does that follow?" Also, it's disappointing, because Klosterman is certainly ripe for an actual honest, level-headed, reasoned take-down rather than this sort of rant. I mean, I find certain things about Klosterman very frustrating: he seems to pose pretty hard as a kind of likeable and interesting hick, when he actually comes across as a disturbing and spiteful hick (esp. w/r/t misogyny, distrust of all things "highbrow", weird, assholish speaking-for-womankind reactions to facial cumshots, etc.).

Clarke B., Sunday, 31 August 2003 20:17 (11 years ago) Permalink

>>weird, assholish speaking-for-womankind reactions to facial cumshots,<

What exactly was "weird" or "assholish" or "speaking for womankind" about his reaction?? (Or "stupid," as that Ames retard said?) It was actually one of the smartest excerpts Ames quoted, seems to me.

chuck, Sunday, 31 August 2003 20:35 (11 years ago) Permalink

matos is otm, I couldn't even figure out what the book was supposed to be about from that essay, and all of his quotes were so out-of-context they practically negated the idea of context at all.

s1utsky (slutsky), Monday, 1 September 2003 00:59 (11 years ago) Permalink

Chuck, he seems blind to the fact that some women might enjoy stuff like that. It's like he's trying to stick up for women, but it comes off to me as kind of condescending. It's one thing to discuss how those sorts of things come across w/r/t gender and power in *porn*, but his comment discounts altogether the possibility that it's not degrading in every situation regardless of context. Definitely in other places, though, it seems like Ames quotes really non-implicating stuff, as I mentioned above.

Clarke B., Monday, 1 September 2003 04:04 (11 years ago) Permalink

That Steely Dan comment sounds quite reasonable.

sundar subramanian (sundar), Monday, 1 September 2003 04:42 (11 years ago) Permalink

Like, even if it's arguable, and whether or not I agree with it, it's not something to be dismissed outright like Ames does.

sundar subramanian (sundar), Monday, 1 September 2003 04:43 (11 years ago) Permalink

Klosterman's a skilletophobe, fuck him

dave q, Monday, 1 September 2003 07:18 (11 years ago) Permalink

6 months pass...
To be honest, I really like Chuck Klosterman's work. I think that he's insightful, intelligent and although his essays don't always go the direction he's heading, at least they end up somewhere. His writing is real. He says a point, then writes criticisms of the points he's making. And while some may say that it's self-conscious, contrived - directly exploiting the group he is referring to, I say that Chuck Klosterman (as "hip" as he is, without trying to be hip...or is he?) is a talented, and honest writer. Pop culture is important, it's vital. Rock music matters to me, and I'm sure it matters to others. And for the kind of people that read SPIN and Rolling Stone, it's life. I'm sure we'd all like to say that we could do a better job, and I know I wish I had the position Klosterman has as a senior writer for SPIN, essayist, rock star symphant. But still, he's a wonderful writer, he's funny, he's true, and I love him.

Lester Bangs? Maybe not. But I'll take him.

Chandler, Wednesday, 10 March 2004 21:36 (10 years ago) Permalink

it somehow wasn't a surprise to find out that Klosterman's a huge Ayn Rand fanatic.

hstencil, Thursday, 11 March 2004 02:58 (10 years ago) Permalink

Oooh. That's a dick-shrivelling statement if there ever was one.

Michael Daddino (epicharmus), Thursday, 11 March 2004 03:01 (10 years ago) Permalink

(Is it too late to make that last statement a little more metaphorical?)

Michael Daddino (epicharmus), Thursday, 11 March 2004 03:02 (10 years ago) Permalink

He is often full of shit, but Klosterman can be a very entertaining writer. I really enjoyed his last book.

latebloomer (latebloomer), Thursday, 11 March 2004 03:23 (10 years ago) Permalink

it somehow wasn't a surprise to find out that Klosterman's a huge Ayn Rand fanatic.

!

Uh, I'm with Mike on this one. But Stence, can you let me know how ya know?

Perhaps tellingly, today I was listening to Rush.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Thursday, 11 March 2004 03:30 (10 years ago) Permalink

one of my roommates for some reason gets copies of this really bad magazine called The Week in the mail (he didn't subscribe and doesn't know why he gets it). Every issue has a "what are you reading?" column wherein some "celebrity" plugs some books. A couple months back they featured Klosterman, and the first book he plugs is Atlas Shrugged, along with some comments to the effect that "if you haven't read this, you don't know what great is" or some other nonsense, I forget which.

hstencil, Thursday, 11 March 2004 03:37 (10 years ago) Permalink

Oh fucking fuck. You know, I didn't actually HATE the guy until now...

Ned Raggett (Ned), Thursday, 11 March 2004 04:01 (10 years ago) Permalink

people usually grow out of that phase long before they hit klosterman's age

andrew s (andrew s), Thursday, 11 March 2004 04:06 (10 years ago) Permalink

chandler from friends posts to ilm?

s1ocki (slutsky), Thursday, 11 March 2004 04:09 (10 years ago) Permalink

YAY

s1ocki (slutsky), Thursday, 11 March 2004 04:09 (10 years ago) Permalink

when his last book came out, Klostermann told an interviewer that he didn't think there's such a thing as a knowledgeable/qualified critic. You know, it's all just opinions, man, and mine aren't any better than anybody else's, I just get to write 'em in Spin etal. See all those other rock writers are ELITISTS cause they think know something that you don't. Honesty or patronizing faux populism -- you decide. Figures he'd plump for something sophmoric like Ayn Rand.

lovebug starski, Thursday, 11 March 2004 11:55 (10 years ago) Permalink

Forget it, kid.

Michael Daddino (epicharmus), Thursday, 11 March 2004 12:59 (10 years ago) Permalink

Actually, now maybe I'm more annoyed with the rhetoric about the Franzen novel. What a smugtard.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Thursday, 11 March 2004 13:58 (10 years ago) Permalink

It's like the deepest way he knows how to praise something is by casting ad hominem aspersions on those who don't like it. That's about as convincing agrument for anything as "well, it's better than killing yourself."

Michael Daddino (epicharmus), Thursday, 11 March 2004 14:49 (10 years ago) Permalink

He's big on hyperbole, huh? And he's big on writing like a high school kid. Although, I'm probably just trying to sound smarter than i am. Or maybe i just believe in the idea of "greatness". That "low culture" subtitle to his last book bugs me. I thought he was supposed to be against all those divisons like high/low or whatever.

scott seward (scott seward), Thursday, 11 March 2004 14:59 (10 years ago) Permalink

It occurs to me that the more time goes on the more he will come across as an equivalent to Ben Elton's career path.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Thursday, 11 March 2004 15:29 (10 years ago) Permalink

I read Fargo Rock City recently and massively enjoyed it, but I suspect that has less to do with its being a great book and more to do with the fact that my youth as a small town midwestern Minnesota heavy metal fan is frightningly similar to Klosterman's.

M@tt He1geson (Matt Helgeson), Thursday, 11 March 2004 16:34 (10 years ago) Permalink

Yeah, I have no doubt that Fargo Rock City is an entertaining read. I've heard nothing but good things about it.

scott seward (scott seward), Thursday, 11 March 2004 17:05 (10 years ago) Permalink

It's entertaining, yes -- but try and avoid the editions after the first one, when he offers up further thoughts and reflections in a new concluding piece and starts coming across as the guy Blount described spot-on way upthread: "a guy completely unfamiliar with the notion 'history is written by the victors'". I still think his piece on the mourners at the Station fire in Rhode Island trumps all his reflections on a social setting/way of life defined by being working class and loving hard rock.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Thursday, 11 March 2004 17:09 (10 years ago) Permalink

(Which given that said piece is recent makes it all the more noticeable, because jesus god that booklist and the attitude on it crystallizes the secret elitism-disguised-as-populism crap underpinning a lot of his writing, I realize more now. That's something you'll NEVER get from the other Chuck who writes that we all know here, and thank god for that.)

Ned Raggett (Ned), Thursday, 11 March 2004 17:12 (10 years ago) Permalink

I also liked his piece in Spin on Morrissey's Latino fanbase that was interesting...

M@tt He1geson (Matt Helgeson), Thursday, 11 March 2004 17:21 (10 years ago) Permalink

ah yeah, that was the line:

If you disagree with Atlas Shrugged, it basically means you disagree with the concept of “being great.”

what a douchebag.

hstencil, Thursday, 11 March 2004 17:33 (10 years ago) Permalink

Yeah, that just leaves a ridiculously bad taste in the mouth -- I don't and never have seen the logical leap from an enjoyable embrace of yourself as a person with happy idiosyncracies -- those elements that make you human in all facets and areas, without apology -- to kowtowing to Rand's humorless and self-righteous vision, all the more amusing precisely because it IS kowtowing, despite all the whining about 'individuality.'

The Franzen reference is worse, though, because I think about how someone coming up to be saying something similarly negative about Loveless would just get a 'hey, that's fine' statement from me. Is my love for that album not justified in his eyes because I don't see fit to go into that ridiculous kind of defense he demands for his love objects? Fuck it.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Thursday, 11 March 2004 17:43 (10 years ago) Permalink

I think his true calling is writing sitcom plot summaries for TV Guide:

Animal Farm by George Orwell (Signet, $8). No one has ever written something so brilliant, so concise, so insightful, and so charming all at the same time.

hstencil, Thursday, 11 March 2004 17:52 (10 years ago) Permalink

I loved Rand in high school cuz i was a kinda brainy loner who lacked self-confidence. And then i grew up. And when you grow up you-hopefully-realize that you really don't know that much, that everyone isn't stupid and that the world isn't black/white/good/evil and that humility and humbleness are qualities worth cultivating. Maybe C.K. hasn't grown up yet. He kinda sounds like a big kid who is still a little scared of the world.

scott seward (scott seward), Thursday, 11 March 2004 18:02 (10 years ago) Permalink

5 months pass...
I hate to revive this thread just because I finally got around to reading something by Klosterman, but hey..

"Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs" really feels like the thoughts of a guy who's spent a lot of time at the end of a couch watching too much tv, listening to the "cool rock" (and everything else) on the radio, and arguing with his roommate about ridiculous subjects that have no bearing on reality.

With that mindset, you end up ascribing a lot of personal importance to whatever's going on at the time, but you quickly end up realizing that it's going to be replaced by something else in short order. There's not really a strong sense of foundation or history, more about the here and now. Klosterman's sitting downstream from the guys who are idolizing the influential "greats" that stand the test of time, so he only ends up with the end product.

I'd imagine his writing has changed over the last few years, but that's my impression. Even the Rand thing fits in -- huge, romantic notions of greatness, without the thought that someone's probably already done all this and thought it through. It's all about the spectacle and the emotion.

mike h. (mike h.), Friday, 13 August 2004 15:34 (10 years ago) Permalink

his VANITY FAIR interview with britney spears - C
everything else - DDDDDDDDD

joseph cotten (joseph cotten), Friday, 13 August 2004 16:15 (10 years ago) Permalink

That "low culture" subtitle to his last book bugs me. I thought he was supposed to be against all those divisons like high/low or whatever.

Its ironic, yes?

I enjoyed SD&CCP overall, the Ayn Rand thing makes sense but that's part of his sort of juvenile appeal I suppose. I think ppl in this thread are really making a bigger deal out of him than need be, as if he's TRYING to change the world or something. His self-deprecation is appreciated, he's wrong a lot but whatever. Its an enjoyable read, trashy and entertaining.

djdee2005, Saturday, 14 August 2004 05:02 (10 years ago) Permalink

Comparing him to Ann Coulter is really out of control.

djdee2005, Saturday, 14 August 2004 05:06 (10 years ago) Permalink

His Ayn Rand appreciation just makes as much sense as his David Foster Wallace appreciation. They're both gifted yet flawed writers.
I enjoyed "Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs" quite a lot.

He managed to articulate my own fascination with "Saved By the Bell" very precisely. However I would say the worst essay in the collection is the piece toward the end about how Vanilla Sky is actually a "good" movie because well... actually it's not and in discussing cinematic discourse on the nature of reality Klosterman gets way off point. He doesn't seem to have a point in the essay other than not exactly sure why everyone hated the movie but him. If anyone else has read it, then they might possibly concur with me that Klosterman's enjoyment of the film is completely predicated on his own stated attraction to actress Penelope Cruz.

herbert hebert (herbert hebert), Saturday, 14 August 2004 05:32 (10 years ago) Permalink

He has a point; she's really hot.

Still, it's a shitty movie.

djdee2005, Saturday, 14 August 2004 05:34 (10 years ago) Permalink

yeah but he thinks cruz is so hot that he can see why cruise chooses her over cameron diaz in the film's love triangle storyline.

Myself, I'd go for Diaz since she's livelier and exhibits far more 3 dimensional sexiness in personality than Cruz does in her wooden performance. Though, in her defense, Cruz doesn't really speak english and her getting cast in Hollywood films has more to do with the spread in maxim than because of her good performances in spanish-language films. Regardless of the geeky debate I'd like to have with Klosterman on the subject of diaz vs. cruz and their respective on screen hotness...it's a shitty movie.

herbert hebert (herbert hebert), Saturday, 14 August 2004 05:50 (10 years ago) Permalink

I picked up that Cocoa Puffs book in a bookstore the other month and flipped it open randomly to see how long it would take to annoy me. Three sentences. Flipped randomly to another page. Three sentences. I put the book down.

I haven't read "Fargo Rock City," which is what made his name, but I can appreciate that he gave voice to some kind of Midwestern its-only-rocknroll-buddilikeit populism. Fine. But the things of his I have read, magazine pieces here and there, just aren't interesting. That's his biggest problem. He introduces no new ideas, he traffics in watery received wisdom, and there's a prickly defensiveness underneath the golly-gee regular guyisms that makes him less likable than he thinks he is. I guess he shouldn't annoy me so much -- who really cares, right? More power to him for making a living at it.

Except that I can't help seeing some connection between his bogus, resentful anti-"elitism" and the bogus, resentful anti-"elitism" peddled by the Bush administration. Both seem calculated to appeal to people who want to be assured that it's OK not to know very much about anything, and to cast aspersions on knowledge itself. Which is maybe a heavy seabird to hang around the neck of Chuck fucking Klosterman, who's probably a Kerry Democrat for all I know and is certainly whole solar systems of magnitudes of malignance removed from Dick Cheney. But still, he annoys me.

spittle (spittle), Saturday, 14 August 2004 05:53 (10 years ago) Permalink

I don't think Klosterman proposes that it's alright to "not know much about anything." His essay on Pamela Anderson's appeal, I think, would make someone who's attracted to her consider why that is and what she represents. It's definitely watered down cultural media theory but also made more accessible. At its best the essays ask you to consider why pop culture affects you in the way it does, as opposed to blindly accepting that things are entertaining. The content makers of low culture would likely be unhappy with observations he makes about their programs.
Klosterman is self depricating whereas Bush-Cheney et al defensively oppose the questioning of their authority in any form, which is what makes them dangerous. The NY Press review mentioned up thread made somewhat hysterical connections between Klosterman and American conservatism.
Although because of the uncomofrtable self revelations and strong sense of personality that come across in some of Klosterman's writings, I can understand why people could be turned off by him. That's a chance he takes, I think, in order to achieve notariety and become a celebrity journalist.

herbert hebert (herbert hebert), Saturday, 14 August 2004 06:14 (10 years ago) Permalink

Right, Klosterman's self-deprecation is his most endearing quality. It would be more endearing if it weren't so clearly deserved.

spittle (spittle), Saturday, 14 August 2004 06:20 (10 years ago) Permalink

Except that I can't help seeing some connection between his bogus, resentful anti-"elitism" and the bogus, resentful anti-"elitism" peddled by the Bush administration. Both seem calculated to appeal to people who want to be assured that it's OK not to know very much about anything, and to cast aspersions on knowledge itself. - otmfm

cinniblount (James Blount), Saturday, 14 August 2004 16:19 (10 years ago) Permalink

Classic for writing "Fargo Rock City," which had me laughing.
Dud for not getting back to me when I recently sent him clips.

Alex in NYC (vassifer), Saturday, 14 August 2004 16:55 (10 years ago) Permalink

Chuck Klosterman is the Kevin Smith of music.

(This is the same sort of quick claim that either would debate endlessly, too.)

mike h. (mike h.), Saturday, 14 August 2004 17:26 (10 years ago) Permalink

Sounds good to me, though.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Saturday, 14 August 2004 17:28 (10 years ago) Permalink

this is the only funny thing he's ever done (and truthfully, bill simmons carries him):

http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2/story?page=simmons/faceoff/040817/part1

Yanc3y (ystrickler), Tuesday, 17 August 2004 15:45 (10 years ago) Permalink

I saw Klosterman on the EMP panel down at the New School a few months back, and he was surprisingly unstupid. I mean, he was less articulate than any of the other panelists, but he wasn't, like, a statistical outlier or anything. As for his writing, which I've only read in periodical form, I find it sporadically competent.

Jesse Fuchs (Jesse Fuchs), Tuesday, 17 August 2004 16:20 (10 years ago) Permalink

dear chuck klosterman: i knew ralph wiley. i loved ralph wiley. you my friend are no ralph wiley. should we ever meet i will destroy you. best regards, james blount

cinniblount (James Blount), Tuesday, 17 August 2004 17:06 (10 years ago) Permalink

Kloserman's primary calling card is that he has a fairly distinct writing voice, and that his choice of topics is often clever. That his content is fairly vacuous doesn't seem to bother quite a few esteemed editors.

don carville weiner, Tuesday, 17 August 2004 17:07 (10 years ago) Permalink

Another reason to hate:

Ned Raggett (Ned), Tuesday, 17 August 2004 17:08 (10 years ago) Permalink

What does that mean?

Naive Teen Idol (Naive Teen Idol), Tuesday, 17 August 2004 18:34 (10 years ago) Permalink

Click on Yanc3y's link.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Tuesday, 17 August 2004 18:45 (10 years ago) Permalink

No, I know. You have something against Bill Simmons?

Naive Teen Idol (Naive Teen Idol), Tuesday, 17 August 2004 18:51 (10 years ago) Permalink

I have something against that graphic in general!

Ned Raggett (Ned), Tuesday, 17 August 2004 18:52 (10 years ago) Permalink

10 months pass...
I bought Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs the other day but I lost it in my car, and am deciding if I should read it.

I bought it after reading an excerpt on The Real World that I loved, but in this thread a lot of people who's opinions I trust are really going to town with the Klosterman hate and I'm wondering if I shouldn't even waste my time with it.

Though this line of thinking:

I suppose my problem is that not only can't I understand why anyone would waste their time watching Saved by the Bell, I feel a degree of contempt for the way it seems Klosterman is determined to make this into a badge of honor.
Probably also I do this sort of thing myself, and it seem there's a pretty strong element of defensiveness in his stance; criticism is instantaneously diverted because he already KNOWS it's "low culture."

-- daria g (daria_gra...), August 28th, 2003.

does not appeal to me at all.

David Allen (David Allen), Sunday, 10 July 2005 15:17 (9 years ago) Permalink

I bought Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs the other day but I lost it in my car

How large is your car?

joseph cotten (joseph cotten), Sunday, 10 July 2005 15:27 (9 years ago) Permalink

my 15 year old nephew, a recent convert to ROCK, was reading CK's latest tome at the beach last week. didn't have the heart to rip the book from his hands and set him on a higher path to knowledge. kids have to make their own mistakes, etc. but oh boy I was bummed out.

m coleman (lovebug starski), Sunday, 10 July 2005 15:31 (9 years ago) Permalink

I like him, in that I think he's funny and clever, and that's good enough for me. The smugness doesn't bother me, nor the fact that he doesn't address legitimate aesthetic issues in his reviews, nor that his ego may be out of control, nor that he gets paid too much for what he does. Not even that he kind of likes alot of bad music. He's a skillful humorist, and a semi-insightful thinker. He's no Derogatis, that's for sure. But if hes still going on the frequent solo drinking binges he mentions so casually in Fargo Rock City, he may end up as over-rated as Lester Bangs.
Though would it be rockist of me to say he was better before he got popular?

Mike Dixn (Mike Dixon), Sunday, 10 July 2005 15:45 (9 years ago) Permalink

for some reason i read sex, drugs, and cocoa puffs. at the time, i thought, eh, it's ok i guess. but now, looking back on it, i think it was awful! i don't even remember what it was about.

caitlin oh no (caitxa1), Sunday, 10 July 2005 16:06 (9 years ago) Permalink

He is often full of shit, but Klosterman can be a very entertaining writer. I really enjoyed his last book.

-- latebloomer (posercore24...), March 11th, 2004.

I STAND BY THAT STATEMENT.

latebloomer: the Clonus Horror (latebloomer), Sunday, 10 July 2005 16:15 (9 years ago) Permalink

GODDDAMN I NEED TO LEAVE THE CAPS LOCK BUTTON AL0NE

latebloomer: the Clonus Horror (latebloomer), Sunday, 10 July 2005 16:30 (9 years ago) Permalink

No one has ever written something so brilliant, so concise, so insightful, and so charming all at the same time.

hstencil (hstencil), Sunday, 10 July 2005 20:29 (9 years ago) Permalink

Not even Jack Handey?

miccio (miccio), Sunday, 10 July 2005 20:31 (9 years ago) Permalink

If you replace "Saved by the Bell" with comic books and references to hair metal with "Star Wars," Klosterman morphs into Kevin Smith.

I read a chapter or so of his new book at the bookstore, I think it's a lot better than his previous efforts. Other than that, I stand by about everything I've said.

mike h. (mike h.), Sunday, 10 July 2005 21:08 (9 years ago) Permalink

awww,c'mon!
he's alright...i mean, he's not turning anyone's world on ear, but he's entertaining enough, well, to me.

i'll readily (and i'm sure he will too) admit he's no master writer, and i think that's 1/2 his appeal is to say up front- i'm not very good at this, but i'll try. and it works, for the most part.

i don't get all 'teh h@t3' on him...

now, if someone can tell me where Mark Leyner is, i'd be much appreciative.

eedd, Sunday, 10 July 2005 21:13 (9 years ago) Permalink

"and i think that's 1/2 his appeal is to say up front- i'm not very good at this"

yikes! you really think so? or that he thinks this? i never got that from him. i only read his esquire column (or is it gq?), but i never got that vibe. he knows how to write for one thing. he has journalistic skills up the wazoo. i actually liked his val kilmer piece in the last gq (or was it esquire?) i could never write that kinda thing in a million years.

scott seward (scott seward), Sunday, 10 July 2005 21:19 (9 years ago) Permalink

i guess i just don't like his half-baked sociological "insights". and some of his stunted notions about music. which i probably noted on this thread. and i'll stand by it!

scott seward (scott seward), Sunday, 10 July 2005 21:22 (9 years ago) Permalink

i dunno, all that i've read from the man seems to go with that notion of 'i'm not that good'. but, maybe i'm reading it wrong in me noggin.
not impossible, i assure you.

i think he CAN write but, like scott said, gets bogged down in the 'insights' category. but, said 'insights' can be pretty funny, too!

i guess my thing is i don't get why so many dislike him SO much.
hell, i'm shocked that this many people even cared he writes!

boy, that eggers boy can write!!

eedd, Sunday, 10 July 2005 21:36 (9 years ago) Permalink

1 year passes...
did we ever learn how big that guy's car was?

hank (hank s), Wednesday, 6 September 2006 19:52 (8 years ago) Permalink

That slate piece they link to is really stupid.

deej.. (deej..), Wednesday, 6 September 2006 19:55 (8 years ago) Permalink

i was just going to post this - lol "voice of his generation"

timmy tannin (pompous), Wednesday, 6 September 2006 19:57 (8 years ago) Permalink

I also learned from that CNN splash page that Gwen Stefani is a doll (duh) and that Emilio Estevez is engaged (huzzah!...now there's a voice of a generation)...

hank (hank s), Wednesday, 6 September 2006 20:17 (8 years ago) Permalink

The spare Manhattan space, highlighted by a big screen TV tuned to ESPN Classic and a large, framed poster of Radiohead's "Kid A,"

i rest my case against both klosterman and kid a. (i'll let espn classic slide.)

gypsy mothra (gypsy mothra), Wednesday, 6 September 2006 20:24 (8 years ago) Permalink

Huh, I totally thought he was older than that.

Sundar (sundar), Wednesday, 6 September 2006 21:14 (8 years ago) Permalink

The trick is that Klosterman's not a critic, and never really was one. He's a popular columnist and a decent features guy. He is basically the Richard Roeper of ten years from now. And the endpoint of his project really does seem to be an arts-page column for a major newspaper through his late 40s and early 50s. This is okay.

It's just that he's gotten there by -- at first -- playing a sort of critic, the culture critic for people who aren't super-engaged with culture or criticism. (That is populist, I guess; it's how Roepers are born.) And he has a lock on a core audience, and a lucrative one -- guys who read Maxim at their friends' houses but Details at home, these sort of regular-guy young professionals who watch sports and enjoy New Pornographers and are shopping for good plasma-screen TVs because they're buying condos with their girlfriends, and they play video games and genuinely like to think about stuff (just not all the time) and spend lots of time on Metacritic and ESPN.com and buy lots and lots of DVDs and liked The Matrix because of its "interesting philosophical underpinnings." The more highbrow among them will see Klosterman as a regular dude, like them; the less highbrow among them will see him as a kind of intellectual type, but palatable and down to earth about it.

And he serves that audience decently -- his big forte isn't being "clever" so much as being conversational and engaging and digestible. (He's also really good at magazine features, just in terms of craft -- entertaining, readable, vivid, etc.) But of course this means that those of us who pay attention to culture in what we think of as "serious" ways will have to be slightly offended by him, this guy who's taking fairly uninteresting culture-views and packaging them for people who aren't necessarily in our circle. It's hard to complain, though, especially as he travels away from being seen as any sort of "critic" and becomes basically just a columnist, which is the honest vision of what he's up to.

Seriously, though: the Roeper of ten years from now, basically.

nabisco (nabisco), Wednesday, 6 September 2006 21:22 (8 years ago) Permalink

Ha, the "Kevin Smith of music" thing upthread is pretty spot-on, too, concerning cultural sensibilities and all -- this is why I'm glad he's kind of dropped the "of music" and just become a chin-scratchy pop-culture funny-column guy.

nabisco (nabisco), Wednesday, 6 September 2006 21:26 (8 years ago) Permalink

Oh great. So the next Andy Rooney in twenty years.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Wednesday, 6 September 2006 21:31 (8 years ago) Permalink

he serves that audience decently -- his big forte isn't being "clever" so much as being conversational and engaging and digestible.

that's the most sympathetic take on him that i can basically agree with. sometimes i feel bad for how much he irritates me because i sort of think he's probably not a bad guy. and you're right about his audience -- which is still a niche audience, but it's a lot bigger niche than someone like, say, kogan or your-favorite-critic-here appeals to. i have met klosterman fans, the kind of people who would stand in line for 40 minutes at a booksigning for him, and they're totally fine. i tell them i can't stand klosterman and they just kind of laugh, they don't get mad about it or anything. which just makes me feel worse for badmouthing him.

as a member of his generation, though, i would like to file a complaint with cnn.

xpost: his 'snakes on a plane' column made him sound like the andy rooney of this year.

gypsy mothra (gypsy mothra), Wednesday, 6 September 2006 21:32 (8 years ago) Permalink

every country needs its own lex

gear (gear), Wednesday, 6 September 2006 21:34 (8 years ago) Permalink

!

Ned Raggett (Ned), Wednesday, 6 September 2006 21:37 (8 years ago) Permalink

"My view has always been there are lots of people in America that want to think critically about the art that engages their life," he says. "Now, there are places that definitely do that, like the New Yorker, NPR, Atlantic Monthly, Harper's.

"The problem is that a lot of the subjects those publications cover, a lot of society has no relationship to. They've never listened to Yo La Tengo records. They haven't seen the films that are supposed to be important."

Or perhaps the problem is that Klosterman, a man who claims to be a writer about culture, has obviously never actually read the New Yorker or listened to NPR?

A-ron Hubbard (Hurting), Wednesday, 6 September 2006 21:46 (8 years ago) Permalink

Or perhaps the problem is this:

The problem is that a lot of the subjects those publications cover, a lot of society has no relationship to. They've never listened to Yo La Tengo records.
The problem is that a lot of the subjects those publications cover, a lot of society has no relationship to. They've never listened to Yo La Tengo records.
The problem is that a lot of the subjects those publications cover, a lot of society has no relationship to. They've never listened to Yo La Tengo records.
The problem is that a lot of the subjects those publications cover, a lot of society has no relationship to. They've never listened to Yo La Tengo records.
The problem is that a lot of the subjects those publications cover, a lot of society has no relationship to. They've never listened to Yo La Tengo records.
The problem is that a lot of the subjects those publications cover, a lot of society has no relationship to. They've never listened to Yo La Tengo records.
The problem is that a lot of the subjects those publications cover, a lot of society has no relationship to. They've never listened to Yo La Tengo records.

A-ron Hubbard (Hurting), Wednesday, 6 September 2006 21:47 (8 years ago) Permalink

Uh, oh wait, I think I might be getting confused by Klosterman's ambiguous syntax there. Who's "they" - NPR and The New Yorker, or "society"?

A-ron Hubbard (Hurting), Wednesday, 6 September 2006 21:48 (8 years ago) Permalink

No Ira, no credibility.

Marmot (marmotwolof), Wednesday, 6 September 2006 21:51 (8 years ago) Permalink

I'm guessing that he means most people ("society") haven't listened to Yo La Tengo and would rather read criticism of music they actually listen to instead of indie bands that NPR etc deem important. The grammar's shaky.

Sundar (sundar), Wednesday, 6 September 2006 21:53 (8 years ago) Permalink

Is the Saved By the Bell essay online somewhere? I'm curious because I found that show totally worthless as a kid and was baffled by its popularity.

Sundar (sundar), Wednesday, 6 September 2006 21:59 (8 years ago) Permalink

On Steve Nash, the Phoenix Suns point guard, he writes: "Nash plays basketball in a deftly metaphoric manner."

"He's a small white man in a world of tall black men. He has no choice but to run around in circles trying to not get pounded. That's the only way he can possibly survive out there. He represents white, middle-class America being introduced to the dangers of the ghetto kids; you have no other choice but to run away from them. Now don't even get me started on why Ichiro represents the overachieving Asian kid in math class!"

Cunga (Cunga), Wednesday, 6 September 2006 22:01 (8 years ago) Permalink

The Saved by the Bell thing is part of Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs, if I remember correctly.

darin (darin), Wednesday, 6 September 2006 22:02 (8 years ago) Permalink

Ha, I would like to read the Saved by the Bell thing.

Jordan (Jordan), Wednesday, 6 September 2006 22:03 (8 years ago) Permalink

"He's a small white man in a world of tall black men. He has no choice but to run around in circles trying to not get pounded. That's the only way he can possibly survive out there. He represents white, middle-class America being introduced to the dangers of the ghetto kids; you have no other choice but to run away from them. Now don't even get me started on why Ichiro represents the overachieving Asian kid in math class!"

this paragraph is fucking gross.

Shakey Mo Collier (Shakey Mo Collier), Wednesday, 6 September 2006 22:06 (8 years ago) Permalink

"My view has always been there are lots of people in America that want to think critically about the art that engages their life," he says. "Now, there are places that definitely do that, like the New Yorker, NPR, Atlantic Monthly, Harper's.

"The problem is that a lot of the subjects those publications cover, a lot of society has no relationship to. They've never listened to Yo La Tengo records. They haven't seen the films that are supposed to be important."

isn't this basically Chuck Eddy's schtick? To engage middle-American culture head-on and take it seriously (no matter how fucking trite or offensive or downright bad it is?)

Shakey Mo Collier (Shakey Mo Collier), Wednesday, 6 September 2006 22:08 (8 years ago) Permalink

Wait, that was parody not a real quote, right?

Re SBTB: I didn't even think the cast was attractive! And I was 14!

xpost

Sundar (sundar), Wednesday, 6 September 2006 22:10 (8 years ago) Permalink

poor yo la tengo ; (

gear (gear), Wednesday, 6 September 2006 22:12 (8 years ago) Permalink

Re SBTB: I didn't even think the cast was attractive! And I was 14!

Dude, Kelly was hot and I copped my first drum beat from A.C. Slater.

Jordan (Jordan), Wednesday, 6 September 2006 22:14 (8 years ago) Permalink

that nash thing is not a real ck graf though, right? i think it's cunga parodying him. don't indict him for crimes uncommitted.

and yeah, chuck k's shtick is related to chuck e's (and chuck e has expressed some appreciation of chuck k), but chuck k's is sort of a cheap knock-off. chuck e has actually gone to the trouble of thinking about stuff, while chuck k mostly goes to the trouble of appearing to think about stuff -- which is enough to impress cnn.

(xposts)

gypsy mothra (gypsy mothra), Wednesday, 6 September 2006 22:16 (8 years ago) Permalink

likewise I was just the right age for Saved by the Bell but it never appealed to me - too cheap looking, not actually funny, nobody attractive on it, snorezville.

Shakey Mo Collier (Shakey Mo Collier), Wednesday, 6 September 2006 22:17 (8 years ago) Permalink

battle of the chucks

Shakey Mo Collier (Shakey Mo Collier), Wednesday, 6 September 2006 22:17 (8 years ago) Permalink

You don't know me, you're too old, let go
It's over, nobody listens to Tengo

Marmot (marmotwolof), Wednesday, 6 September 2006 22:20 (8 years ago) Permalink

what saved by the bell needed was a dylan klebold

gear (gear), Wednesday, 6 September 2006 22:21 (8 years ago) Permalink

what it needed was a dylan mckay!

Zwan (miccio), Wednesday, 6 September 2006 22:29 (8 years ago) Permalink

Don't want to speak for xhuxk too much but I think he just writes about whatever interests him, some of which does happen to be mainstream. I think his rock music taste is only really populist when it comes to the 70s and 80s. (He has more time for Loverboy and Sleater-Kinney than he does for Pearl Jam or Smashing Pumpkins or Fall Out Boy.)

Sundar (sundar), Wednesday, 6 September 2006 22:35 (8 years ago) Permalink

The thing that works for Klosterman so well is his distinct writing voice. It sticks out in a crowd, just like any great columnist. People who think he's a critic have long missed the point. He's not even a great features writer in asmuch as his analysis is always paralyzed by his overly self-aware prose; his insight and reportage are always his weak, telling link. He works at Esquire for the same reason Junod does, and it's plenty fair to point out that a lot of well-regarded critics and writers have long coasted on the merits of their writing voice (and yeah, I'm talking to you Lester Bangs.) What remains amusing to me are the people who refuse to accept this, and why Klosterman continues to succeed at it.

To me, Chuck is sort of the original blogger with all the weight and depth that title deserves. In other words, I probably wouldn't ever print out a blog posting by Chuck, but I might save the link somewhere on my hard drive.

don weiner (don weiner), Wednesday, 6 September 2006 22:57 (8 years ago) Permalink

a lot of well-regarded critics and writers have long coasted on the merits of their writing voice (and yeah, I'm talking to you Lester Bangs.)

"I SEE DEAD CRITICS! AND THEY WON'T SHUT UP!"

Ned Raggett (Ned), Wednesday, 6 September 2006 22:59 (8 years ago) Permalink

OG Bloggah!

grady (grady), Wednesday, 6 September 2006 22:59 (8 years ago) Permalink

Fargo Blog City

Ned Raggett (Ned), Wednesday, 6 September 2006 23:01 (8 years ago) Permalink

I just read Killing Yourself to Live and noticed he says "supper" instead of dinner and also uses the word "ectomorph" more than once. Just saying.

pinder (pinder), Wednesday, 6 September 2006 23:05 (8 years ago) Permalink

Maybe he's actually HP Lovecraft.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Wednesday, 6 September 2006 23:06 (8 years ago) Permalink

the mention of ylt reminded me of this classic

http://www.theonion.com/content/node/27870

timmy tannin (pompous), Wednesday, 6 September 2006 23:39 (8 years ago) Permalink

I think Don's analysis is basically OTM. As much as I'm loath to admit it, Klosterman does have a distinctive, immediate and instantly-inviting authorial voice. He sidles up to you and puts his arm around you and starts whispering his kooky ideas in your ear before you have time to register what's happened. It may take a while before you realize that he's wasting your time.

o. nate (onate), Thursday, 7 September 2006 00:17 (8 years ago) Permalink

It is so ILM to focus on Yo La Tengo being used as an example and exhausting that point.

billstevejim (billstevejim), Thursday, 7 September 2006 00:36 (8 years ago) Permalink

most of the people i know who've read any klosterman let alone know who he is are on ILX!

latebloomer (latebloomer), Thursday, 7 September 2006 01:07 (8 years ago) Permalink

He sidles up to you and puts his arm around you and starts whispering his kooky ideas in your ear before you have time to register what's happened.

now i'm kind of afraid.

It may take a while before you realize that he's wasting your time.

if by "a while" you mean "on average, three sentences," i guess you have a point.

gypsy mothra (gypsy mothra), Thursday, 7 September 2006 01:15 (8 years ago) Permalink

and btw i wasn't kidding about kid a up there. klosterman fits perfectly into my theory about radiohead, wilco and the impotence of modern bourgeois liberalism.

gypsy mothra (gypsy mothra), Thursday, 7 September 2006 01:16 (8 years ago) Permalink

One last Yo La Tengo comment, it sure seemed like ol' SPIN magazine was a lot more responsible for their big mid 90's rock-crit push than New Yorker, NPR, Atlantic Monthly, Harper's etc., but then I never read/listed to any of that shit when I was a kid.

Marmot (marmotwolof), Thursday, 7 September 2006 01:21 (8 years ago) Permalink

read/listened*

Marmot (marmotwolof), Thursday, 7 September 2006 01:22 (8 years ago) Permalink

"He sidles up to you and puts his arm around you and starts whispering his kooky ideas in your ear before you have time to register what's happened."

timmy tannin (pompous), Thursday, 7 September 2006 01:23 (8 years ago) Permalink

x-post -- Read/fondled/self-abused/vomited

Fitter, happier, more populist

Ned Raggett (Ned), Thursday, 7 September 2006 01:23 (8 years ago) Permalink

The kind of person who loves Chuck Klosterman is probably no more in touch with "mainstream America" than the kind that reads the New Yorker (even ignoring any overlap).

I don't really believe in "mainstream America" anyway. I don't think there's such a thing.

-- A-ron Hubbard (Hurtingchie...), February 26th, 2000.

That was before 9/11 changed everything, apparently.

A-ron Hubbard (Hurting), Thursday, 7 September 2006 01:29 (8 years ago) Permalink

he has a new big book out! i had no idea. there is even fiction in it, i think. i saw it at the bookstore. i never go to the bookstore.

scott seward (scott seward), Thursday, 7 September 2006 02:11 (8 years ago) Permalink

it's called chuck klosterman iv, which i admit is pretty funny.

gypsy mothra (gypsy mothra), Thursday, 7 September 2006 02:18 (8 years ago) Permalink

I am trying to think of a female writer who reminds me of CK.

don weiner (don weiner), Thursday, 7 September 2006 12:49 (8 years ago) Permalink

The article above particularly annoys me. It seems like Klosterman's typical exaggerated sense of his own significance - I can almost picture him saying "Hey, you guys should do a story on how I just don't get all these people calling me 'the voice of a generation'!"

A-ron Hubbard (Hurting), Thursday, 7 September 2006 12:53 (8 years ago) Permalink

then he does a column on the story on how he doesn't get all these people calling him "the voice of a generation" it can be the centerpiece of a new collection of criticism of CK by CK...

you get my drift. he's the post-Cheerios version of those laughable hack newspaper columnists like Bob Greene (who wrote a book about Alice Cooper in the 70s). self-consciousness sells like sex.

m coleman (lovebug starski), Thursday, 7 September 2006 13:03 (8 years ago) Permalink

middlebrow postmodernism.

gypsy mothra (gypsy mothra), Thursday, 7 September 2006 13:08 (8 years ago) Permalink

Napoleon Klosterman

Ned Raggett (Ned), Thursday, 7 September 2006 13:11 (8 years ago) Permalink

"CHUCK! COME WRITE SOME SPAM!"

Ned Raggett (Ned), Thursday, 7 September 2006 13:12 (8 years ago) Permalink

I don't get the impression that he takes himself nearly as seriously as a lot of people here do. I think he's just as surprised of his successful middlebrowsing as his detractors. He's certainly not a phony, hypocritical asshole on the level of, say, Michael Moore. Nor does he seem particularly cynical or exploitative of his middlebrowing, which is something that most hi-falutin' writers embrace once they start getting checks from the likes of Esquire.

don weiner (don weiner), Thursday, 7 September 2006 13:19 (8 years ago) Permalink

Oh come on, he's one of the worst cases of self-aggrandizing modesty I've ever seen.

A-ron Hubbard (Hurting), Thursday, 7 September 2006 13:40 (8 years ago) Permalink

I don't get the impression that he takes himself nearly as seriously as a lot of people here do

I think the problem is that he doesn't take himself seriously enough, and indirectly, that he doesn't take his audience seriously either. If he did, then he would probably try to think through his ideas a little better. Instead I get the feeling that he looks for the "Klosterman angle" on a story - ie., the unconventional perspective that will hold up a sociological phenomenon at an unexpected angle - which will give him the element of surprise. And as long as audience disbelief can be suspended for the three or four pages that a Klosterman essay typically runs, he is satisfied with that. He's not really that serious about the issues he discusses, though he tries to come off as a cross between Malcolm Gladwell and Dave Barry.

o. nate (onate), Thursday, 7 September 2006 13:56 (8 years ago) Permalink

that beard is really working for him.

M@tt He1geson: Real Name, No Gimmicks (Matt Helgeson), Thursday, 7 September 2006 16:15 (8 years ago) Permalink

indeed, the last two books were ghost-written by it

latebloomer (latebloomer), Thursday, 7 September 2006 16:17 (8 years ago) Permalink

Ha, I would like to read the Saved by the Bell thing.

I'll put the book in the mail tomorrow. :D

jaymc (jaymc), Thursday, 7 September 2006 16:19 (8 years ago) Permalink

I am trying to think of a female writer who reminds me of CK.

Oddly enough, all the examples I can think of are men's-magazine sex columnists.

nabisco (nabisco), Thursday, 7 September 2006 16:21 (8 years ago) Permalink

OK, fine, Tiffani-Amber Thiessen didn't really blossom until she bought tits post-SBTB, but I can't believe no one was willing to stick up for Lark Voorhees' hotness. What is wrong with you people?

pdf (Phil Freeman), Thursday, 7 September 2006 16:33 (8 years ago) Permalink

lark voorhees was the secret weapon that kept the male crowd coming back.

gear (gear), Thursday, 7 September 2006 16:37 (8 years ago) Permalink

screech was the audience surrogate, then?

latebloomer (latebloomer), Thursday, 7 September 2006 16:40 (8 years ago) Permalink

Nate, maybe Klosterman doesn't take himself seriously enough, but that isn't the fault of his audience. Nor is it his fault that his audience doesn't. His audience shows up despite his lack of seriousness (and by seriousness, I think it's more about his barstool wisdom. Barstool wisdom being just that--sounds good in the bar, but never vets well the next morning.) I think he's a lot like Dave Barry in that regard, only not quite as dork-funny.

The more I think about it, there are a lot of music writers who possess a strong writing voice that yet don't really have that much to say. Jessica Hopper comes to mind.

don weiner (don weiner), Thursday, 7 September 2006 16:43 (8 years ago) Permalink

what do people think of joe queenan these days? he fits somewhere in the barry/klosterman space-time continuum. except he hates low-brow stuff. he wrote a whole book about hating red lobster and riverdance. are they all the bastard sons of pj o'rourke? or george carlin? who will write the next sniglets? why IS rich hall so popular in the u.k.?

scott seward (scott seward), Thursday, 7 September 2006 17:02 (8 years ago) Permalink

i think the dean martin celebrity roast DVD infomercial that rich hall hosts is the greatest television program of all time!

M@tt He1geson: Real Name, No Gimmicks (Matt Helgeson), Thursday, 7 September 2006 18:20 (8 years ago) Permalink

wait I meant rich little!

M@tt He1geson: Real Name, No Gimmicks (Matt Helgeson), Thursday, 7 September 2006 18:26 (8 years ago) Permalink

i used to watch rich hall every morning on the david letterman show do the pitkinville farm report. when david letterman was on in the morning.

scott seward (scott seward), Thursday, 7 September 2006 18:26 (8 years ago) Permalink

I loved Letterman's show in the morning. I still remember when he played the Peter Marshall Sings album.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Thursday, 7 September 2006 18:27 (8 years ago) Permalink

I love Joe Queenan's two books of movie columns but haven't read his pop culture stuff. Should I bother?

Zwan (miccio), Thursday, 7 September 2006 18:30 (8 years ago) Permalink

I remember seeing some article he did about the Stones in the NYT that was awful.

Zwan (miccio), Thursday, 7 September 2006 18:31 (8 years ago) Permalink

yeah, the movieline magazine movie articles were the best. i don't know if he ever did stuff as good as that again.

scott seward (scott seward), Thursday, 7 September 2006 19:13 (8 years ago) Permalink

(He has more time for Loverboy and Sleater-Kinney than he does for Pearl Jam or Smashing Pumpkins or Fall Out Boy.)

I bet Chuck likes Fall Out Boy more than Sleater-Kinney. I know I do.

Whiney G. Weingarten (whineyg), Thursday, 7 September 2006 19:54 (8 years ago) Permalink

Actually I don't know what he thinks of FOB. MCR or Creed or someone then.

Sundar (sundar), Thursday, 7 September 2006 21:01 (8 years ago) Permalink

they remind him of black oak arkansas, donna summer, and die kruezen

M@tt He1geson: Real Name, No Gimmicks (Matt Helgeson), Thursday, 7 September 2006 21:10 (8 years ago) Permalink

2 weeks pass...
I ran across a new Chuck Klosterman book the other day. (Isn't this one of those writers they talk about on ILM?) At a skim (and I have no interest in pursuing any further), horrible.

Rockist_Scientist (RSLaRue), Tuesday, 26 September 2006 10:53 (8 years ago) Permalink

To say one thing in his defense, I was flipping through Esquire and came across this little ditty he wrote called "Five Things No Bar Should Have," - I chuckled at it. I think his writing style is good for this sort of thing.


Five Things No Bar Should Have

By Chuck Klosterman

1. Natural light. Bars are supposed to be womblike sanctuaries, separate from the blinding bleakness of mainstream society. They should always be poorly lit, and they should not have windows. If I'm drinking at 3:00 P.M., the sun should not remind me what time it is.

2. Patrons who are reading. Darkness also discourages all the bozos who think people will be impressed if they're seen reading in a bar, which is as cool as being drunk at Barnes & Noble.

3. Loud music. There is a belief among many bar owners that loud music creates intimacy (which theoretically increases the possibility of romantic interplay, thereby prompting people to return) by forcing patrons to sit closer together and scream directly into one another's ears. Everybody hates this. I have never been in a bar where people complained about the music being too soft.

4. Dogs. Never bring your dog into a bar. Ever. They're not clean, and they make the place feel like a veterinarian's office. How is it that you can't have a lit cigarette in any bar in New York or L.A., but you can have a pit bull? I understand that cigarettes cause cancer; they do not, however, rip the faces off small children.

5. Twenty-two-year-old female bartenders who "just wanna party." I already have enough problems. That's why I came to the bar.

A-ron Hubbard (Hurting), Tuesday, 26 September 2006 12:44 (8 years ago) Permalink

1. He's ugly

2. He's can't be out pretensed

3. He's old

4. He's got no dawgs yo

5. all of the above

PappaWheelie demands you to ''only pick any'' (PappaWheelie 2), Tuesday, 26 September 2006 15:03 (8 years ago) Permalink

Maybe Klosterman should hit some leatherbars.

Zwan (miccio), Tuesday, 26 September 2006 15:07 (8 years ago) Permalink

Dear bar owner,

I've arrived early today, well before sunset, to make some demands that you help me get laid tonight. As you can see, I'm not naturally attractive, and I'm getting quite old. Can you tailor this entire evening to my needs in this quest? They are great indeed. I've written articles, books, and even been interviewed on TV. I understand the power of networking. This is why I've come to you.

Love,
I don't need to tell you my name, I was on TV once

PappaWheelie demands you to ''only pick any'' (PappaWheelie 2), Tuesday, 26 September 2006 15:12 (8 years ago) Permalink

ive definitely been in bars where the music was too soft

klosterman otm on all other counts

and what (ooo), Tuesday, 26 September 2006 21:57 (8 years ago) Permalink

As you can see, I'm not naturally attractive, and I'm getting quite old. (...) I've written articles, books, and even been interviewed on TV.

^^ lol @ pappawheelie in "character"

and what (ooo), Tuesday, 26 September 2006 21:58 (8 years ago) Permalink

I would heavily dispute the book one. People in bars are not trying to look cool. Some of us were just reading and wanted to get out of the house and drink. Alternately, we are waiting for someone.

nabisco (nabisco), Tuesday, 26 September 2006 22:11 (8 years ago) Permalink

yeah, waiting ; (

gear (gear), Tuesday, 26 September 2006 22:15 (8 years ago) Permalink

I strongly dispute the dogs one. My favorite bar has dogs in it all the time. They beg for peanuts, that's about it.

Rick Massimo (Rick Massimo), Tuesday, 26 September 2006 22:23 (8 years ago) Permalink

by dogs, do we mean bitches?

PappaWheelie has no answers to any question that requires actual thought (PappaW, Tuesday, 26 September 2006 22:24 (8 years ago) Permalink

what about babies riding dogs?

scott seward (scott seward), Tuesday, 26 September 2006 22:29 (8 years ago) Permalink

surely there is room for them.

scott seward (scott seward), Tuesday, 26 September 2006 22:29 (8 years ago) Permalink

kids drink free from 8-10!

M@tt He1geson: Real Name, No Gimmicks (Matt Helgeson), Tuesday, 26 September 2006 22:31 (8 years ago) Permalink

Klusterf#@k is a typical hipster wannabe...30 something year old men who still cling desperately to their high school standards are annoying...

Paul Edward Wagemann (PaulEdwardWagemann), Tuesday, 26 September 2006 23:44 (8 years ago) Permalink

hmmm.
i wouldn't have thought there be such 'harsh' critque on the guy here, but i guess if there's anywhere there would be, it'd be here.
i actually think he's pretty damned entertaining, i relate to a lot of his stuff. not all (as i'm totally against his worship of all things radiheady), but most. i'd say, that above and beyond everything else, it's entertainment. nothing really earth-shattering, nothing revealing on human condition, but some semi-valid point, well put together, with a ton of pop culture pointers thrown in to illustrate. 'voice of a generation' is really not a deserved (or sought after, i'd think) mantle to throw on the guy. he seems more with it than some, but far too tuned into media to be removed from it.
all that tripe aside, i'll still read his next book, and more than liekly, enjoy it.

edde (edde), Tuesday, 26 September 2006 23:56 (8 years ago) Permalink

um...radioheady...

edde (edde), Tuesday, 26 September 2006 23:56 (8 years ago) Permalink

Yeah, but Klosterman has never been banned from here, so he's got one on you there...

PappaWheelie has no answers to any question that requires actual thought (PappaW, Wednesday, 27 September 2006 00:55 (8 years ago) Permalink

Dogs and reading in bars are good things. Klosterman in a bar is a very bad thing.

adam (adam), Wednesday, 27 September 2006 01:02 (8 years ago) Permalink

Does his reading thing extend to homework? Is homework pretentious? Bars have wifi for a reason.

adam (adam), Wednesday, 27 September 2006 01:03 (8 years ago) Permalink

i read this at my mom's book store.

in a small footnote in his new book he calls Killdozer a "shitty Communist grindcore band". i don't even like Killdozer much and that pissed me off.

i don't hate everything he's written, but any charm his writing schtick might've originally had is non-existent now.

how much, latebloomer? (latebloomer), Wednesday, 27 September 2006 01:03 (8 years ago) Permalink

Klosterman in German actually MEANS men who cluster nervously. in the dark. with no dogs around.

scott seward (scott seward), Wednesday, 27 September 2006 01:17 (8 years ago) Permalink

I knew I could depend on ILM to find 18 ways to shred even a frivolous little FOB piece like that : )

A-ron Hubbard (Hurting), Wednesday, 27 September 2006 01:22 (8 years ago) Permalink

YOU KNEW WE WOULD LEAVE A TREAT FOR YOU!

scott seward (scott seward), Wednesday, 27 September 2006 01:25 (8 years ago) Permalink

"Yeah, but Klosterman has never been banned from here, so he's got one on you there..."

touche, mister wheelie, touche...

edde (edde), Wednesday, 27 September 2006 02:08 (8 years ago) Permalink

which is as cool as being drunk at Barnes & Noble.

Totally underrated.

milo z (mlp), Wednesday, 27 September 2006 02:11 (8 years ago) Permalink

Klusterf#$k things RadioHead is great? Then I really do think he's a wank...

Paul Edward Wagemann (PaulEdwardWagemann), Wednesday, 27 September 2006 14:05 (8 years ago) Permalink

I'll defer to your expertise in the field.

M@tt He1geson: Real Name, No Gimmicks (Matt Helgeson), Wednesday, 27 September 2006 14:09 (8 years ago) Permalink

xpost

SPEAKING OF WANK IT"S YOU AGAIN PEW PEW

Also--WTF with reading in bars? who cares?

Mr. Que (Mr.Que), Wednesday, 27 September 2006 14:13 (8 years ago) Permalink

Paul Edward Wagemann: where do you live (and why do they let you)?

nabisco (nabisco), Wednesday, 27 September 2006 15:48 (8 years ago) Permalink

Someone should start a thread w/that title but then maybe it'd encourage him.

Mr. Que (Mr.Que), Wednesday, 27 September 2006 16:05 (8 years ago) Permalink

he'd just give a link to his "blog" (i.e. myspace page)

PappaWheelie has no answers to any question that requires actual thought (PappaW, Wednesday, 27 September 2006 16:08 (8 years ago) Permalink

I still haven't seen that.

Mr. Que (Mr.Que), Wednesday, 27 September 2006 16:10 (8 years ago) Permalink

I guess he's not been working hard enough with promo then

PappaWheelie has no answers to any question that requires actual thought (PappaW, Wednesday, 27 September 2006 16:16 (8 years ago) Permalink

Wherever I lay my hat is my home...and no one 'lets Wagemann live' Wagemann lets them live...

Mr. Que, you are welcome to read my blog and post any comments there. I'm always interested in feedback.

Paul Edward Wagemann (PaulEdwardWagemann), Wednesday, 27 September 2006 19:17 (8 years ago) Permalink

I think my favorite bars each violate at least a couple of those rules.

And, from someone who has walked across a parking lot from a brew pub to a Barnes and Noble many times, I would have to say that drunken magazine browsing and bookbuying is seriously underrated.

mike h. (mike h.), Wednesday, 27 September 2006 19:22 (8 years ago) Permalink

Mr. Que, you are welcome to read my blog

Oh fuck it, PappaWheelie OTM

PappaWheelie has no answers to any question that requires actual thought (PappaW, Wednesday, 27 September 2006 19:24 (8 years ago) Permalink

And, from someone who has walked across a parking lot from a brew pub to a Barnes and Noble many times, I would have to say that drunken magazine browsing and bookbuying is seriously underrated.

you got that right, Amigo...eating tacos when you are drunk is pretty underrated too...IMO.

Paul Edward Wagemann (PaulEdwardWagemann), Wednesday, 27 September 2006 19:31 (8 years ago) Permalink















Mr. Que (Mr.Que), Wednesday, 27 September 2006 19:33 (8 years ago) Permalink

Here's Bill Maher interviewing Klosterman on his show. Maher is a typical douchebag.

http://www.amazon.com/Fargo-Rock-City-Odyssey-Dakota/dp/0743406567/sr=8-1/qid=1159547518/ref=pd_bbs_1/002-1444821-4239222?ie=UTF8&s=books

darin (darin), Friday, 29 September 2006 16:03 (8 years ago) Permalink

RoxyMuzak© (roxymuzak), Friday, 29 September 2006 21:30 (8 years ago) Permalink

uh, and he and ultragrrl got 3 of the same results. Terrifying.

RoxyMuzak© (roxymuzak), Friday, 29 September 2006 21:31 (8 years ago) Permalink

he looks like elton john after a horrifying car wreck

gear (gear), Friday, 29 September 2006 21:35 (8 years ago) Permalink

can't see why corey feldman didn't come up as a result, that's like 97% right there

gear (gear), Friday, 29 September 2006 21:35 (8 years ago) Permalink

Quick, someone run Wagemann's pic through that thing.

Marmot (marmotwolof), Friday, 29 September 2006 21:37 (8 years ago) Permalink

i'm on it

gear (gear), Friday, 29 September 2006 21:45 (8 years ago) Permalink

Is it just me, or does Chuck Klosterman look kinda like a toasted teacake?


Toasted teacake


Chuck Klosterman

Sadly, he will be the next Alexis Petridish. (Dom Passantino), Friday, 29 September 2006 21:45 (8 years ago) Permalink

gear (gear), Friday, 29 September 2006 21:47 (8 years ago) Permalink

WTF?!

Whole E Shit

PappaWheelie burried Paul. The clues are there man! (PappaWheelie 2), Friday, 29 September 2006 21:51 (8 years ago) Permalink

BONO HOLY SHIT

Marmot (marmotwolof), Friday, 29 September 2006 21:54 (8 years ago) Permalink

who the hell is Arnold Bax?

Shakey Mo Collier (Shakey Mo Collier), Friday, 29 September 2006 21:56 (8 years ago) Permalink

I'm in awe of the George Clooney/matt LeBlanc/Gregory Peck connection on someone that is obv slimey/nerdy/buzz aldriny

PappaWheelie burried Paul. The clues are there man! (PappaWheelie 2), Friday, 29 September 2006 22:00 (8 years ago) Permalink

I'm disappointed that Klosterman got so much charles bronson

deej.. (deej..), Friday, 29 September 2006 22:35 (8 years ago) Permalink

winter testing (winter testing), Friday, 29 September 2006 22:57 (8 years ago) Permalink

winter testing (winter testing), Friday, 29 September 2006 23:00 (8 years ago) Permalink

I wonder why Janet Reno didn't pop up...

EZ Snappin (EZSnappin), Saturday, 30 September 2006 00:30 (8 years ago) Permalink

he looks more like a gen-x Truman Capote. Which he may well be...

Zwan (miccio), Saturday, 30 September 2006 13:27 (8 years ago) Permalink

no way. capote 10000x cooler looking than klosterman

RoxyMuzak© (roxymuzak), Saturday, 30 September 2006 13:38 (8 years ago) Permalink

I've seen Klosterman up close and personal, and he sure don't look like this:


And so far as I know, he never wandered around the Spin offices wearing a velvet cape. But I could be wrong.

nabisco (nabisco), Saturday, 30 September 2006 18:42 (8 years ago) Permalink

rogermexico (rogermexico), Saturday, 30 September 2006 18:55 (8 years ago) Permalink

klosterman fits perfectly into my theory about radiohead, wilco and the impotence of modern bourgeois liberalism.

gypsy mothra did you ever lay out this theory of yours? I remember you mentioning it before in a thread about Dave Eggers ages ago.

Ogmor Roundtrouser (Ogmor Roundtrouser), Saturday, 30 September 2006 19:26 (8 years ago) Permalink

not here i don't think. i went into it on another messageboard once, but i realized i'd have to write 5,000 words to really figure out what i meant. and probably nobody would read it.

gypsy mothra (gypsy mothra), Saturday, 30 September 2006 20:19 (8 years ago) Permalink

3 months pass...
Nabisco: mildly defending Chuck Klosterman from ILM's pitchforks and torches since 2003.

hearditonthexico (rogermexico), Sunday, 7 January 2007 21:49 (7 years ago) Permalink

1 year passes...

I'm a little surprised that the dude doesn't post here.

Pleasant Plains, Saturday, 14 June 2008 19:15 (6 years ago) Permalink

is this guy like still a thing? i had him written off like neal pollack or something

adam, Saturday, 14 June 2008 19:24 (6 years ago) Permalink

dud

cryfok, Saturday, 14 June 2008 19:45 (6 years ago) Permalink

5 months pass...

Chucky gives Chinese Democracy an A-

http://www.avclub.com/content/feature/chuck_klosterman_reviews

oscar, Thursday, 20 November 2008 01:32 (6 years ago) Permalink

Oh, weird. He's all beardo now but still wearing the conspicuous thick-rimmed indie specs of his "toasted teacake" period. What's the cultural significance of this?! Also, A-minus would have been the grade I'd have guessed Klosterman would have given Chinese Democracy, without having a) read a word he's written, or b) heard a note of the album in question. Does that mean a) I'm spooky clued-in, b) I'm a troll, or c) dud?

staggerlee, Thursday, 20 November 2008 02:34 (6 years ago) Permalink

Now I have read a word Klosterman has written. I read the piece linked to above. The Chinese Democracy one. And I liked it very much. (Despite my having hated nearly every note Guns & Roses has produced since Appetite For Destruction, or, briefly, embarrassingly, Gn'R Lies, it almost makes me want to hear the album. And I know how Klosterman feels about wanting to divine Axl's inscrutable motives; I have felt this about treasured artists' work on failed projects produced under intense scrutiny, and sadly I'm too drunk to remember what they were.) I'm sorry I was so foolish in my previous post and I repent. Classic?

staggerlee, Thursday, 20 November 2008 02:46 (6 years ago) Permalink

i think g n' r lies is pretty awesome mostly.

any major some dude will tell you (M@tt He1ges0n), Thursday, 20 November 2008 02:48 (6 years ago) Permalink

I haven't heard it (G'n'R Lies)since 6 months after it came out and I became a Politically-Correct Young Person Who Reviled Hair Metal And Racist And Sexist Opinions Except Those Held By Eldridge Cleaver and sold my cassette of it. Maybe it's still pretty awesome. Anyhow, I went back to that AV Club page and found it really really spooky how much Klosterman looks like late-period (sensitive, beardo, I AM AN ACK-TOR) Robin Williams in that photo, down to the slightly blossoming nose. Must close internet now and get more wine and erase memory of anonymous, penetrating stare.

staggerlee, Thursday, 20 November 2008 02:54 (6 years ago) Permalink

And I know how Klosterman feels about wanting to divine Axl's inscrutable motives; I have felt this about treasured artists' work on failed projects produced under intense scrutiny, and sadly I'm too drunk to remember what they were.)

I remember now. My subconscious was trying to give me a prod by providing the phrase about divining motives: REM. Their period of transition into superstardom post-Green I recall listening to them with more fascination for their self-awareness than their music, which was sometimes astonishingly good but increasingly often fell über-flat as they very transparently wrote for a larger and larger audience. W/E.

staggerlee, Thursday, 20 November 2008 12:14 (6 years ago) Permalink

Chinese Democracy is (pretty much) the last Old Media album we'll ever contemplate in this context—it's the last album that will be marketed as a collection of autonomous-but-connected songs, the last album that will be absorbed as a static manifestation of who the band supposedly is, and the last album that will matter more as a physical object than as an Internet sound file. This is the end of that.

"(pretty much)"

m coleman, Thursday, 20 November 2008 13:58 (6 years ago) Permalink

Yeah, that part that m. coleman quoted was definitely the part of the review (at least of the parts I actually skimmed so far) that bugged me the most -- "last Old Media album... last album that will be marketed as a collection of autonomous-but-connected songs..." Haven't people been saying that about albums for at least the last five years now? And then another one (or another hundred) come along that disprove the theory.

xhuxk, Thursday, 20 November 2008 14:06 (6 years ago) Permalink

(I like the review in general, though. Even though I really have no particular interest in hearing the new GnR album unless it falls into my lap.)

xhuxk, Thursday, 20 November 2008 14:08 (6 years ago) Permalink

Dear Chuck (Klosterman): don't worry, there will be another U2 album

Passenger 57 (rogermexico.), Thursday, 20 November 2008 15:21 (6 years ago) Permalink

Klosterman kind of looks like Paul Krugman with that beard.

o. nate, Thursday, 20 November 2008 17:10 (6 years ago) Permalink

10 months pass...

Did his Beatles piss take get discussed on another thread? I kinda hate this piece.
http://www.avclub.com/articles/chuck-klosterman-repeats-the-beatles,32560/

sorry to put this kind of shit on your thread (forksclovetofu), Friday, 25 September 2009 05:23 (5 years ago) Permalink

I thought it was intermittently funny and not too objectionable by Klosterman standards.

o. nate, Friday, 25 September 2009 19:49 (5 years ago) Permalink

6 months pass...

NO.

Ned Raggett, Tuesday, 13 April 2010 16:25 (4 years ago) Permalink

I don’t know if I’m helping or hurting anymore.

Take a guess.

Mr. Que, Tuesday, 13 April 2010 16:26 (4 years ago) Permalink

Rating Rock: Klosterman versus Kant

Why stop there?

Gorge, Tuesday, 13 April 2010 16:28 (4 years ago) Permalink

deep dark secret confession: i discovered ilx by googling "chuck klosterman"

fuckin' lame, bros (latebloomer), Wednesday, 14 April 2010 21:30 (4 years ago) Permalink

2 years pass...

The immediate assumption is that this is some type of sonic endurance test, and that no person could possibly enjoy the experience of seeing the most hated (yet popular) rock band of 2001 followed by the most popular (yet hated) rock band of 2012. But this is what I wanted to do: I wanted to see Creed at New York's intimate Beacon Theatre (performing their 1997 album My Own Prison in its entirety), followed by Nickelback in front of 18,000 people at Madison Square Garden.

Srs question: Nickelback is the most popular rock band of 2012?

Mordy, Tuesday, 24 April 2012 20:17 (2 years ago) Permalink

They're still up there, but they peaked in 2006-2007.

da croupier, Tuesday, 24 April 2012 20:25 (2 years ago) Permalink

they're up there but Coldplay outsells them handily

suidavyvan eht nioj (Whiney G. Weingarten), Tuesday, 24 April 2012 20:25 (2 years ago) Permalink

but do coldplay really ROCK. [future klosterman thinkpiece]

tylerw, Tuesday, 24 April 2012 20:27 (2 years ago) Permalink

is there a reason Klosterman picked 2001 for Creed instead of 1999 or 2000, when they were even more popular? and forgive my memory, was any rock group MORE popular than Creed then? Linkin Park's the only competitor that comes to mind.

da croupier, Tuesday, 24 April 2012 20:31 (2 years ago) Permalink

sigh, My Own Prison Creed seemed so innocent, just a bunch of monotheistic Pearl Jam fans with a dream

da croupier, Tuesday, 24 April 2012 20:36 (2 years ago) Permalink

christ Chuck would it kill you to have an opinion on something once in a while? "Why do people hate Creed and Nickelback so much?" Is the answer really that complex that you need to write a zillion fucking words on it?

you can expect punches, kicks and even worse (frogbs), Tuesday, 24 April 2012 20:47 (2 years ago) Permalink

this guy sucks

J0rdan S., Tuesday, 24 April 2012 20:49 (2 years ago) Permalink

it's kinda weird that he wrote this piece in 2012 and not only didn't acknowledge that nickelback + creed are probably no longer on the radar of most grantland readers (i assume?) but pretend like they're still these wildly popular, zeitgesty bands. i haven't even heard someone say that they've hated either of them in years. maybe i'm just out of touch.

Mordy, Tuesday, 24 April 2012 20:51 (2 years ago) Permalink

well he still writes mega pieces on van halen, so

J0rdan S., Tuesday, 24 April 2012 20:54 (2 years ago) Permalink

Hey Mordy, tell us what Grantland readers listen to

suidavyvan eht nioj (Whiney G. Weingarten), Tuesday, 24 April 2012 20:55 (2 years ago) Permalink

idk, i assume whatever bill simmons is digging?

Mordy, Tuesday, 24 April 2012 20:56 (2 years ago) Permalink

http://www.grantland.com/blog/hollywood-prospectus/post/_/id/48235/what’d-we-miss-at-coachella’s-second-weekend ?

Mordy, Tuesday, 24 April 2012 20:57 (2 years ago) Permalink

Can't believe this fucking idiot thinks that a band that plays Madison Square Garden is still wildly popular

suidavyvan eht nioj (Whiney G. Weingarten), Tuesday, 24 April 2012 20:58 (2 years ago) Permalink

whiney i don't have the strength to argue w u about this. u are right about whatever it is u are saying.

Mordy, Tuesday, 24 April 2012 20:59 (2 years ago) Permalink

Hey Mordy, tell us what Grantland readers listen to

hahahaha

Lamp, Tuesday, 24 April 2012 20:59 (2 years ago) Permalink

Klosterman really could have written "the experience of seeing the most popular (yet hated) rock band of 2001 followed by the most hated (yet popular) rock band of 2012" and been just as arguably correct. you know nathan rabin would have explained the distinction if HE made it.

da croupier, Tuesday, 24 April 2012 20:59 (2 years ago) Permalink

I don't understand it either. It's like writing about how people hate Hootie & the Blowfish in 2000. As far as I know, the last viable year of feverish Nickelback hating was 2008. Even the haters are more like "well, they suck, but they know how to write a hit"

you can expect punches, kicks and even worse (frogbs), Tuesday, 24 April 2012 21:14 (2 years ago) Permalink

I think I 'hate' nickelback but I also have no idea what they sound like or what their hits were

iatee, Tuesday, 24 April 2012 21:15 (2 years ago) Permalink

I'm sure you've heard them before. Their hits are ubiquitious if not very distinctive. If it helps I've always found them more tolerable than Creed

you can expect punches, kicks and even worse (frogbs), Tuesday, 24 April 2012 21:30 (2 years ago) Permalink

As far as I know, the last viable year of feverish Nickelback hating was 2008

that's a long time to save receipts

Exile in lolville (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Tuesday, 24 April 2012 21:36 (2 years ago) Permalink

so proud

Mordy, Tuesday, 24 April 2012 21:42 (2 years ago) Permalink

Always he reminds us of who he really is.

Exile in lolville (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Tuesday, 24 April 2012 21:47 (2 years ago) Permalink

shocked idolator still has all that shit archived

J0rdan S., Tuesday, 24 April 2012 21:48 (2 years ago) Permalink

it really goes well with the new WE LOVE EVERYTHING CUZ WE'RE A CONTENT FARM logo

suidavyvan eht nioj (Whiney G. Weingarten), Tuesday, 24 April 2012 21:52 (2 years ago) Permalink

As far as I know, the last viable year of feverish Nickelback hating was 2008.

nah, after that petition over some halftime show last year you can still make the argument they're the most hated band of the moment. surprised chuck never acknowledges that or that creed was sued for sucking in concert.

da croupier, Tuesday, 24 April 2012 22:18 (2 years ago) Permalink

i haven't read the klosterman thing yet, but i enjoyed the GQ creed/nickleback thing. GQ dude is young too! and funny.

http://www.gq.com/entertainment/music/201204/nickelback-creed-nyc-concert-beacon-theatre-msg-review

scott seward, Wednesday, 25 April 2012 00:56 (2 years ago) Permalink

kinda crazy that both articles came out the same day.

scott seward, Wednesday, 25 April 2012 00:59 (2 years ago) Permalink

As far as I know, the last viable year of feverish Nickelback hating was 2008.

nah, after that petition over some halftime show last year you can still make the argument they're the most hated band of the moment. surprised chuck never acknowledges that or that creed was sued for sucking in concert.

― da croupier, Tuesday, April 24, 2012 6:18 PM (2 hours ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

it's a shame because they're so good on record

dharunravir (k3vin k.), Wednesday, 25 April 2012 00:59 (2 years ago) Permalink

okay, read the klosterman thing. i liked that too. i like how he found some of the most eloquent Creed fans on earth to quote. or maybe most Creed fans are really eloquent!

and this is funny on Nickleback:

"The group's weakness is their obsession with transposable power ballads, most of which sound like what would happen if Bob Rock helped Coldplay write a really loud song for Garth Brooks (which would undoubtedly be the most popular song in the history of mankind, were it to literally exist)."

scott seward, Wednesday, 25 April 2012 01:18 (2 years ago) Permalink

I never liked "it's as if Band X produced Band Y doing a song in the style of Band Z" style prose, mostly because of people like Klostermann

For the record I still think Nickelback are the most hated band around right now, but the hate has been dying down steadily for quite a few years. The era of whatever that album was with the car on the cover (All the Right Reasons?) is over. We'll always have "It's up to you, do you want to hear some rock n roll or do you want to go home?............alright, see ya"

you can expect punches, kicks and even worse (frogbs), Wednesday, 25 April 2012 15:32 (2 years ago) Permalink

Yeah well you have proven time and time again that you have no idea about anything

suidavyvan eht nioj (Whiney G. Weingarten), Wednesday, 25 April 2012 15:33 (2 years ago) Permalink

--The recent facebook page "Can a pickle get more fans than Nickelback
--The recent petition to keep them from playing the Detroit Lions Thanksgiving Day Game
--The recent Rolling Stone interview with dude from the Black Keys going in on Nickleback

suidavyvan eht nioj (Whiney G. Weingarten), Wednesday, 25 April 2012 15:37 (2 years ago) Permalink

fuck off Whiney, how many ubiquitous Nickelback hits can you name that were released in the last 7 years

you can expect punches, kicks and even worse (frogbs), Wednesday, 25 April 2012 15:40 (2 years ago) Permalink

^^^ rejected lyrics from Pink Floyd's "Not Now John"

i love the large auns pictures! (Phil D.), Wednesday, 25 April 2012 15:42 (2 years ago) Permalink

The Gauntlet of Suck is a funny article name

these pretzels are makeing me horney (Hungry4Ass), Wednesday, 25 April 2012 15:45 (2 years ago) Permalink

whiney has clearly demonstrated that he's followed the nickelback beat more diligently than anyone else on this thread so i think we should just defer to his nickelbacxpertise.

Mordy, Wednesday, 25 April 2012 15:45 (2 years ago) Permalink

all he needs to do now is demonstrate the ability to read an entire sentence without trying to interject his own thoughts

you can expect punches, kicks and even worse (frogbs), Wednesday, 25 April 2012 15:49 (2 years ago) Permalink

there was a nickelback single about three years ago that was 'raunchy' and in it the nickelbro sang about wanting to get his dick sucked or something. just thinking about it makes me angry. its not at all comparable to hootie in 2000, since the hootster didnt have nearly the longevity of these fuck-n-sucks

these pretzels are makeing me horney (Hungry4Ass), Wednesday, 25 April 2012 15:50 (2 years ago) Permalink

i think you're trying to draw too many parallels here. if we had Facebook in the era of Hootie I'd think it would be quite similar.

you can expect punches, kicks and even worse (frogbs), Wednesday, 25 April 2012 16:35 (2 years ago) Permalink

it was your parallel fuckhole!!

these pretzels are makeing me horney (Hungry4Ass), Wednesday, 25 April 2012 16:40 (2 years ago) Permalink

I hear that takes a special kind of operation.

Ned Raggett, Wednesday, 25 April 2012 16:42 (2 years ago) Permalink

COUGH
http://blogs.villagevoice.com/music/2011/11/nickelback_detroit_lions_halftime_show_petition.php

hi everybody

i thought that piece was terrible, although in keeping with c-klo's recent Unfrozen Caveman Music Writer schtick

maura, Wednesday, 25 April 2012 16:44 (2 years ago) Permalink

i do wonder what scott stapp's 'weird 40-year-old existence' will be like though

maura, Wednesday, 25 April 2012 16:44 (2 years ago) Permalink

it was your parallel fuckhole!!

yes, I did compare Hootie in 2000 to Nickelback in 2012, fully aware that Nickelback's record sales haven't tapered off as badly. what's your point? that not every part of the analogy works?

you can expect punches, kicks and even worse (frogbs), Wednesday, 25 April 2012 16:46 (2 years ago) Permalink

i think he's just yelling at u

Mordy, Wednesday, 25 April 2012 16:55 (2 years ago) Permalink

no part of it works

these pretzels are makeing me horney (Hungry4Ass), Wednesday, 25 April 2012 17:00 (2 years ago) Permalink

what's the part of it that works

these pretzels are makeing me horney (Hungry4Ass), Wednesday, 25 April 2012 17:00 (2 years ago) Permalink

i always think that klosterman should just do journo/interviewing stuff. i think that's what he's good at. he got good quotes from creed fans! they are notoriously shy!

scott seward, Wednesday, 25 April 2012 17:00 (2 years ago) Permalink

this guy sucks

― J0rdan S., Tuesday, April 24, 2012 3:49 PM (Yesterday) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

flesh, the devil, and a wolf (wolf) (amateurist), Wednesday, 25 April 2012 17:02 (2 years ago) Permalink

Nice GQ piece. This is true: "I am a firm believer that you can sincerely enjoy yourself at the concert of somebody you couldn't give a flying fuck about, as long as the people onstage give enough of a flying fuck to put their hearts into it."

And I have been called "The Appetite" (DL), Wednesday, 25 April 2012 17:05 (2 years ago) Permalink

what's the part of it that works

how about the part where you go fuck yourself

you can expect punches, kicks and even worse (frogbs), Wednesday, 25 April 2012 17:05 (2 years ago) Permalink

:0

these pretzels are makeing me horney (Hungry4Ass), Wednesday, 25 April 2012 17:06 (2 years ago) Permalink

zing!

Mordy, Wednesday, 25 April 2012 17:08 (2 years ago) Permalink

klosterman is fine at reporting a story but somewhere along the way he decided that his taste was worth reporting on.

call all destroyer, Wednesday, 25 April 2012 17:11 (2 years ago) Permalink

thats the problem - he seems so afraid to actually draw a hard line anywhere, so you can read 20 pages of the dude writing about music without any real indication of what he actually likes. instead he's just content to use half-baked "think about it, bro" statements like "Steely Dan were more subversive than every punk band combined"

you can expect punches, kicks and even worse (frogbs), Wednesday, 25 April 2012 17:15 (2 years ago) Permalink

it's basically in line with his general thing of trying to seem smart by equivocating and making unclear statements.

call all destroyer, Wednesday, 25 April 2012 17:19 (2 years ago) Permalink

for the ilxor who has everything

http://www.amazon.com/HYPERtheticals-50-Questions-Insane-Conversations/dp/0307587924

da croupier, Wednesday, 25 April 2012 17:20 (2 years ago) Permalink

i'm actually kind of impressed that he commodified his love of inane hypotheticals

call all destroyer, Wednesday, 25 April 2012 17:23 (2 years ago) Permalink

"The group's weakness is their obsession with transposable power ballads, most of which sound like what would happen if Bob Rock helped Coldplay write a really loud song for Garth Brooks (which would undoubtedly be the most popular song in the history of mankind, were it to literally exist)."

^^i fucking swear he manages to work a Bob Rock reference into every music piece he ever does

l0u1s j0rdan (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Wednesday, 25 April 2012 17:25 (2 years ago) Permalink

1 month passes...

haha!

tylerw, Thursday, 7 June 2012 18:15 (2 years ago) Permalink

i don't know what nyt ethicist column is, and maybe ethicist doesn't have anything to do with ethics, but in case it does, klosterman would be my last choice for such a column

Mordy, Thursday, 7 June 2012 18:37 (2 years ago) Permalink

(not that i'm saying that i think he's unethical, but that until now his shtick seems to be explicitly non-ethical)

Mordy, Thursday, 7 June 2012 18:38 (2 years ago) Permalink

it's like an advice column where people write in and are like "i was at a coffee shop and I got up for a second and someone took my seat." and then the ethicist advises them on the appropriate course of action.

tylerw, Thursday, 7 June 2012 18:39 (2 years ago) Permalink

oh, in that case i'm sure he'll do great

Mordy, Thursday, 7 June 2012 18:39 (2 years ago) Permalink

I usually avoid the Ethicist column like the plague - too much portentous solemnizing and faux-certitude - but I'll probably check it out now, just out of curiosity. Maybe Klosterman will be able to deliver his sermons with enough of a wink to lighten the mood.

o. nate, Thursday, 7 June 2012 20:14 (2 years ago) Permalink

"Best known for his Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs collection" Really? That's his biggest book?

Get wolves (DL), Friday, 8 June 2012 09:32 (2 years ago) Permalink

which other one is more popular?

Mordy, Friday, 8 June 2012 09:36 (2 years ago) Permalink

Fargo?

licorice oratorio (baaderonixx), Friday, 8 June 2012 10:03 (2 years ago) Permalink

nah. i'm sure this isn't scientific but fargo is #42,378 on amazon, sd&c is #9,032

Mordy, Friday, 8 June 2012 10:11 (2 years ago) Permalink

sd&c was the one seth cohen read.

a hauntingly unemployed american (difficult listening hour), Friday, 8 June 2012 10:12 (2 years ago) Permalink

^^^^ important influence

heated debate over derpy hooves (jon /via/ chi 2.0), Friday, 8 June 2012 13:51 (2 years ago) Permalink

Huh, well there you go, can't argue with sales. I always thought Fargo was the one that made his name and then Killing Yourself to Live cemented his rep. Those seem to me like original, substantial books even now, whereas S,D&CP is a hideously titled collection of glib, dated essays. Much prefer the less schticky Klosterman IV - he's underrated as an interviewer. I prefer seeing him do interesting things with a format as unpromising as, say, a Wilco profile for Spin, rather than going the full Klosterman with the kind of flip bullshit that used to fill his Esquire columns (the one about why people hate America being a low). So, um, basically I like him best when he’s not doing the thing that has made him one of the most successful journalists in America.

Get wolves (DL), Friday, 8 June 2012 14:13 (2 years ago) Permalink

S,D&CP is my least favorite of his books (haven't read the fiction) because it indulges in a lot more faux-generational/"we all do this, and if you don't you're a self-hating liberal" bullshit that unfortunately tends to do better than the more openly idiosyncratic essays in his later books and Fargo.

da croupier, Friday, 8 June 2012 14:40 (2 years ago) Permalink

"i'm a weirdo obsessed with a facet of pop culture" just doesn't sell as well as "we are the generation obsessed with a facet of pop culture"

da croupier, Friday, 8 June 2012 14:41 (2 years ago) Permalink

The podcast that Grantland posted yesterday - a conversation between he and Joe Walsh - has so many moments where he disappears up his own ass trying to find a point. But it's Joe Walsh, so it has a certain nutty charm despite Klosterman.

EZ Snappin, Friday, 8 June 2012 14:44 (2 years ago) Permalink

From way upthread

A couple months back they featured Klosterman, and the first book he plugs is Atlas Shrugged

I am shocked that this ambitious, successful, reactionary writer loves Ayn Rand.

Get wolves (DL), Friday, 8 June 2012 14:58 (2 years ago) Permalink

pretty much everything this guy does in public (and in private for all i know) is an unmitigated disaster, so i guess... good luck NYT?

flesh, the devil, and a wolf (wolf) (amateurist), Friday, 8 June 2012 15:07 (2 years ago) Permalink

The podcast that Grantland posted yesterday - a conversation between he and Joe Walsh - has so many moments where he disappears up his own ass trying to find a point. But it's Joe Walsh, so it has a certain nutty charm despite Klosterman.

they certainly share "life is good" as a philosophy.

a regina spektor is haunting europe (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Friday, 8 June 2012 15:09 (2 years ago) Permalink

xp Should retitle it The Challopsian or What Would Axl Do?

Get wolves (DL), Friday, 8 June 2012 15:09 (2 years ago) Permalink

Alfred - they go through that song LINE BY LINE.

"Did you own a Maserati?

Not then, but I do now.

You lost your license --

I lost my whole wallet!"

It's strangely funny.

EZ Snappin, Friday, 8 June 2012 15:14 (2 years ago) Permalink

You lost your license --

I lost my whole wallet!

^^lol i would love to kick it with joe walsh

wack nerd zinging in the dead of night (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Friday, 8 June 2012 16:21 (2 years ago) Permalink

a regina spektor is haunting europe (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Friday, 8 June 2012 16:25 (2 years ago) Permalink

pretty terrible: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/10/magazine/halfhearted-half-brother.html

Mordy, Sunday, 10 June 2012 00:19 (2 years ago) Permalink

Joe Walsh is so rad. He's got my vote!

freebroheem (loves laboured breathing), Sunday, 10 June 2012 06:41 (2 years ago) Permalink

Well in a way Klosterman's probably going to make that column more honest, by dispensing with the pretense and making it indistinguishable from Dear Abby.

something of an astrological coup (tipsy mothra), Sunday, 10 June 2012 15:08 (2 years ago) Permalink

It will still, of course, be terrible.

something of an astrological coup (tipsy mothra), Sunday, 10 June 2012 15:09 (2 years ago) Permalink

i don't see anything terrible in that column Mordy posted

la musica de harry frogbs (Whiney G. Weingarten), Sunday, 10 June 2012 15:10 (2 years ago) Permalink

"oh noes the dude known for saved by the bell riffs didnt use the catergorical imperative in an advice column about sick cats, emmanual kant is spinning in his FUCKING GRAVE!!!!"

la musica de harry frogbs (Whiney G. Weingarten), Sunday, 10 June 2012 15:13 (2 years ago) Permalink

the route is ban (k3vin k.), Sunday, 10 June 2012 15:16 (2 years ago) Permalink

the route is ban (k3vin k.), Sunday, 10 June 2012 15:16 (2 years ago) Permalink

mordy otm

balls, Sunday, 10 June 2012 15:19 (2 years ago) Permalink

i guess i dont read enough newspaper columns where randos tell me how to live my life to know if this is terrible or not

la musica de harry frogbs (Whiney G. Weingarten), Sunday, 10 June 2012 15:20 (2 years ago) Permalink

everyone's very aware of yr aversion to reading

balls, Sunday, 10 June 2012 15:21 (2 years ago) Permalink

frightening to think that klosterman got this gig off of that ridiculous at the time even more hilarious in retrospect 'breaking bad is better than the wire cuz the wire is liberal and breaking bad is serious moral show cuz good guy turns out to be bad guy' grantland piece.

balls, Sunday, 10 June 2012 15:25 (2 years ago) Permalink

You can’t love someone out of guilt.

sizable portion of the NYT readership will beg to differ

(REAL NAME) (m coleman), Sunday, 10 June 2012 15:28 (2 years ago) Permalink

frightening to think that klosterman got this gig off of that ridiculous at the time even more hilarious in retrospect 'breaking bad is better than the wire cuz the wire is liberal and breaking bad is serious moral show cuz good guy turns out to be bad guy' grantland piece.

― balls, Sunday, June 10, 2012 11:25 AM (23 minutes ago)

oh my god, had never read this

the route is ban (k3vin k.), Sunday, 10 June 2012 15:49 (2 years ago) Permalink

It makes sense that they would hire Klosterman, because they need young readers, and young people love Klosterman. He is very in tune with young people, so will speak to them. And they will listen, because it is Klosterman, voice of a generation, who will be familiar to everyone of that generation, which is young and likes young things and especially young people telling them the best ways to go about doing young things and solving young problems in a voice they understand, because they are young and generally don't listen unless someone is speaking to them in a language they understand. Plus there was the time he reviewed "Chinese Democracy."

Josh in Chicago, Sunday, 10 June 2012 16:32 (2 years ago) Permalink

Was Joel Stein too busy?

Josh in Chicago, Sunday, 10 June 2012 16:41 (2 years ago) Permalink

in that ethicist column a guy asks if he should be welcoming to his disliked half-sister because of her loneliness and need for companionship -- he explicitly says "does someone else’s desire for connection .. outweigh my personal preference?" -- and chuck spends three paragraphs explaining why the guy does not need to be welcoming to his half-sister merely because she is related to him.

a hauntingly unemployed american (difficult listening hour), Sunday, 10 June 2012 17:26 (2 years ago) Permalink

i actually thought that was the least bad of the 3

the route is ban (k3vin k.), Sunday, 10 June 2012 17:34 (2 years ago) Permalink

well yeah it did not include the part where he explains that the way you know it's ok to own a pet but not ok to own a human is that it is currently socially acceptable to give away a pet. ethics!

a hauntingly unemployed american (difficult listening hour), Sunday, 10 June 2012 17:45 (2 years ago) Permalink

5 months pass...

okay, this is pretty weird

http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/8624514/chuck-klosterman-david-petraeus-scandal-living-cia-conspiracy-theory

looks like it's just a coincidence but still, what if....what if....

frogbs, Wednesday, 14 November 2012 14:13 (2 years ago) Permalink

9 months pass...

It's a sign of something.

http://www.theonion.com/articles/chuck-klosterman-corners-guy-at-party-wearing-dio,33615/

Ned Raggett, Friday, 23 August 2013 19:45 (1 year ago) Permalink

I had a funny exchange with my dad a few weeks ago. He said, "Who's this terrible guy they have writing the Ethicist column now? It was always kind of bad, not now it's awful!" He'd never heard of Chuck Klosterman, so I gave him an abbreviated spiel on Klosterman and his crimes. He said, "OK, but that doesn't explain why they gave him this column." I had to agree.

something of an astrological coup (tipsy mothra), Friday, 23 August 2013 20:04 (1 year ago) Permalink

The Onion article about Klosterman/Dio is utter genius.

One Way Ticket on the 1277 Express (Bill Magill), Friday, 23 August 2013 21:15 (1 year ago) Permalink


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