eating the dinosaur-chuck klosterman

“This has been a tremendous way to earn a living. Who wouldn’t enjoy getting paid for being curious? Journalism allows almost anyone to direct questions they would never ask of their own friends at random people; since the ensuing dialogue exists for commercial purposes, both parties accept an acceleration of intimacy. People give emotional responses, but those emotions are projections. The result (when things go well) is a dynamic, adversarial, semi-real conversation. I am at ease with this. If given a choice between interviewing someone and talking to them ‘for real,’ I prefer the former; I don’t like having the social limitations of tact imposed upon my day-to-day interactions and I don’t enjoy talking to most people more than once or twice in my lifetime.” (1-2)

even for those of us who don’t make a tremendous amount of money doing it, it’s a thrill nonetheless. i’ll go back to the point i made during my time at the toronto talk for the anthology of rap (yale)-there’s a difference in the thing(s) that we do for a living, and the things that we do for life. this one also made the list for completist purposes, but unlike the hendrix book, the person who wrote (in pen) in the margins to the care to scribble out what s/he noted. somehow, this seems fitting for a klosterman text. he makes me wanna teleport to new york to see him tonight (thanks, tweeter) and curious about his fiction. fargo rock city is next though, so i’ll have to wait a leetle bit longer….

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2 thoughts on “eating the dinosaur-chuck klosterman

  1. alter-egos:

    “When an artist successfully becomes someone else, the result is defining and eternal: It’s David Bowie morphing into Ziggy Stardust and becoming greater than either himself or the character. But when such a transformation fails, the original artist disappears into something else. He disappears into himself, and everybody gets sad and uncomfortable and inexplicably obsessed with all those authenticity issues they never cared about before.
    This is what happened with Chris Gaines.” (104)

    “It’s almost as if Brooks was honestly dreaming of a world where he did not exist, so he felt obligated to create a musician whose career would fill the commercial void left by the disappearance of /No Fences/ and /Ropin’ the Wind/.
    In his imagination, Garth knocked himself out of the Billboard charts with himself.” (108)

    “Someone concluded that making this personality into a product would expand the brand (and maybe it did). But as an artistic creation, Sasha Fierce did not work. It only excites those who desperately want to be fooled. When Sasha covered Alanis Morisette’s ‘You Oughta Know’ in concert, it was far more entertaining than provocative. It did not make her personality more complex; mostly, it reminded people that Beyonce doesn’t really have any personality at all. She loves Christ, she loves her husband, she sings reasonably well, and she’s beautiful. That’s the whole package. Becoming a different person only served to make that all the more obvious, because it seemed like she was trying to /guess/ what a cool person might act like.” (113-4)

    “It’s sad because it illustrates Cobain’s darkest, most depressing artistic weakness: He could not stop himself from caring about people who would only appreciate his work if he were a mainstream failure, just like they were. And that was never going to happen, because true genius is commercially uncontainable.” (37)

    “This is why entertainers (and athletes) make so much revenue but are still wildly underpaid: We use them for things that are worth more than money. It’s a new kind of dehumanizing slavery-not as awful as the literal variety, but dehumanizing nonetheless.” (72)

    “The only people who think the Internet is a calamity are people whose lives have been hurt by it; the only people who insist the Internet is wonderful are those who need it to give their life meaning.” (224)

  2. (she only wants to watch) reality tv:

    “As a reporter, you live for those anecdotal mistakes. Mistakes are where you find hidden truths. But as a person, anecdotal mistakes define the experience of being misunderstood; anecdotal mistakes are used to make metaphors that explain the motives of a person who is sort of like you, but not really.” (7)

    “It doesn’t matter what you do if you don’t know why you’re doing it.” (56)

    “It takes a flexible mind to imagine how time travel might work, but only an inflexible spirit would actually want to do it. It’s the desire of the depressed and lazy.” (65)

    “When you secretly watch the actions of a stranger, you’re living like the wolf. You have no idea what could happen or what will happen. And while it’s possible you enjoy that experience simply because you’re nosy, it might also be because this makes you feel good for reasons unconnected to your curiosity. In reality, you probably don’t want to know what’s happening in someone else’s life. You merely want to continue /not/ knowing. And most of the time, that’s exactly what happens.” (92)

    “The upside to knowledge is that it enriches every experience, but the downside is that it limits every experience. This is why I preferred watching the stranger across the way, even though she never did anything. There was always the possibility she might do /everything/.” (94)

    “What are the things that make adults depressed? The master list is too comprehensive to quantify (plane crashes, unemployment, killer bees, impotence, Stringer Bell’s murder, gambling addictions, crib death, the music of Bon Iver, et al.) But whenever people talk about their personal bouts of depression in the abstract, there are two obstructions I hear more than any other: The possibility that one’s life is not important, and the mundane predictability of day-to-day existence.” (100)

    “I don’t know what I see when I watch football. It must be something insane, because I should not enjoy it as much as I do. I must be seeing something so personal and so universal that understanding this question would tell me everything I need to know about who I am, and maybe I don’t want that to happen. But perhaps it’s simply this: Football allows the intellectual part of my brain to evolve, but it allows the emotional part to remain unchanged. It has a liberal cerebellum and a reactionary heart. And this is all I want from everything, all the time, always.” (145)

    “As a rule, people who classify art as ‘irrelevant’ are trying to position themselves above the entity; it’s a way of pretending they’re more in step with contemporary culture than the artist himself, which is mostly a way of saying they can’t find a tangible reason for disliking what something intends to embody. Moreover, the whole argument is self-defeating: If you classify something as ‘irrelevant,’ you’re (obviously) using it as a unit of comparison against whatever /is/ ‘relevant,’ so it (obviously) /does/ have meaning and merit. Truly irrelevant art wouldn’t even be part of the conversation.” (149-50)

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