Monday, July 17, 2006

RECONSIDERING THE CHUCK



I will come back to the previous post that I began writing last Thursday but right now, I feel compelled to tell you all that I was wrong.

Well, not completely. Only somewhat. Nevertheless, despite my usual obstinacy, I feel it is my duty to rectify the wrong, to do what's right in this world. I am my own historian, revisionist, and fact checker.

Not too long ago, in a post far, far away, I lamented the egocentric nature of culture journalism and it's sad, impending decline. I blamed this on the popular critics like Chuck Klosterman, among others. My feelings were that when the character, i.e., the writer, becomes a prominent presence in the story, we lose focus and therein encourage others to be self-important. Not even the celebrity being profiled is important enough for us to concentrate on, which is so weird to consider in a celebrity-driven world. Have we become so enamored with reality television that we would rather know more about the real person interviewing the sound-bite spewing famous person? Perhaps. Unclear.

Anyway, now months later, I have been assigned a story on writer Chuck Klosterman for a significantly sized profile and like all ex-boy scouts, I prepared diligently by consuming Klosterman's prolific outpourings. And here's what I've found. He's pretty damn talented.

Previously, my only exposure into the world of Chuck was his humorous collection of essays Sex, Drugs, And Cocoa Puffs, a self-proclaimed "low culture manifesto" and some of his stuff in Spin. And in retrospect, I consider his most popular book to be his least enjoyable but of course that comes as no surprise. Presumably, this is because the book was prominently displayed in Urban Outfitters and as a result, I have no choice but to shun it. But after reading Fargo Rock City and Killing Yourself To Live, I realized that Chuck is pretty self-deprecating, over-analytical, and neurotic dude. More or less, he is the poster boy for the typical New York male (which is very odd considering he is from White Trash America). I appreciate his tone in a totally different context, which is a hard thing for me to admit because once I don't appreciate something, I generally will never appreciate something. This is called "pride," which was also the name of a White Lion record.

Interestingly enough, when I finally reached out to Klosterman regarding the story (through his publicist), he thanked me graciously but refused the interview (albeit, very politely and humbly) mentioning that he was trying to avoid the media right now. This was strange to me. Why would someone deny publicity? But to an extent, I kinda get it. Sometimes, the media is mean and sometimes it is a bit scary.

But whatever comes of my profile, I do want to set the record straight. The dude's talented. And unlike many of the others critics, I will admit that my clouded judgement of the past was a result of a slight tinge of jealousy (um, slight?). I mean, how could you not envy someone who has once been paid to write about Motley Crue for 300-plus pages?

So ya see, I was kinda wrong. Now let's move on.

4 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

you want to be him so badly it hurts.

1:13 PM  
Blogger Arye said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

1:19 PM  
Blogger Arye said...

Would I love to have a monthly column in Esquire? Probably.
Would I would love people to read my books and develop passionate reactions (Would I even love for them to get published)? Yes.
Would I love Gawker to call me an a-hole? Um, not sure. But sure.
And would I love to be able to write about anything and actually get paid for it? It would be quintessential justice.
So yeah, I guess I do want to be him.
Now, where do I sign?

1:38 PM  
Anonymous sara said...

are you writing that for us?

xo,
sara

4:04 AM  

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