Tuesday, August 12, 2008

July 29 - August 10, 2008

Chuck Klosterman IV
A Decade of Curious People and Dangerous Ideas
Chuck Klosterman
2006, hardcover
17 cards

I think this may be my favorite Chuck Klosterman book. If you're following this you might say, but you've only read one other one and you haven't even read the one everyone in the world seems to have read (Sex, Drugs and Cocoa Puffs). I am reading said book now, and while I am enjoying it, I think Klosterman excels at the essay. Killing Yourself to Live was a well threaded story of stories, but the essay lets Klosterman engage an idea and then beat it around for a while before declaring victory over the topic. This collection of essays also touches on so many great topics, where in a book there are only a few main ideas he weaves together. Klosterman is also saving the footnote by making hilarious asides and revisions when gathering essays like this together with hindsight.

Three comments/thoughts: Klosterman mentions Black Sabbath a lot. I guess maybe it was just twice in this book but it seemed like more. His Chicken McNuggets diet also makes me think of a button Joel told me about seeing in a bar. It read, "Or will it be Chicken McNuggets?" I always look for this button in treasure shops. If I found it I might not give it to Joel (he found a sweet Chin Tiki ashtray that he kept) but I might give it to Chuck Klosterman. Maybe. His comments about the Olympics are also perfect to read right now.

Some selections:
1- "Can I tell you something weird?" he asked..."Always."
14- Britney Spears- "She is not so much a person as she is an idea, and that idea is this: you can want everything, so long as you get nothing."
24- "...is Bono's entire life a performance?"
28- Bono: "I write feelings not thoughts..."
37- Val Kilmer is nice.
43- OED and Webster's Second
45- Bob Dylan
50- (Morrissey) 30-year old ex-wallflowers "reminiscing about how The Queen is Dead convinced them not to hang themselves while everyone else was at the prom."
58- (McNuggets diet) "We are a nation obsessed."
59- orange drink
-"Does life make more sense if you're homeless? Perhaps."
60- (McDonald's) "It's the last universal place in America."
61- pirates, scurvy!
63- "Staying alive is complicated."
76- "...we were more like relationship spectators." (mentions Raymond Carver here and many times)
84- "If you're a true fan of a band, it doesn't matter where that band plays- you just go."
94- (Robert Plant) "...you cannot classify anything anywhere. Classification is a killer."
108- arrested development
109- Post traumatic stress disorder
110- Lars Ulrich from Metallica owned a Basquiat, but he sold it.
115- White Stripes- "Everything will be raw and unrehearsed and imperfect. And that's why it's so f***ing good."
116- formed on Bastille Day in 1997
117- "Detroit people"
119- "People in Detroit know their records."
120- "Record collectors are collecting. They're not really listening to music."
126- (Goths, Disneyland) "What makes someone a normal?"
-"The are not us...They wear polo shirts."
131- Radiohead- "All the wanted to talk about were books."
132- Radiohead's music- "smart on purpose"
138- exhibits Colin told him to check out
-"Everyone in this band probably reads more than you do..."
140- picking words for how they sound
149- footnote- hobo
155- Akron- at the time- "home to the Professional Bowlers Association Hall of Fame"
156- "Is life akin to bowling, or is bowling akin to life."
-"In bowling, your score is not only dependent on what you've done, but also on what you will do."
169- Billy Joel- "...he expresses absolute conviction in moments of wholly misguided affection"
181 and 194- Black Sabbath
200- (Ramones vs. Ratt) "what matters is who likes what you do artistically and what liking that art is supposed to say about who you are."
201- "The things that matter to normal people are not supposed to matter to smart people"
208- "Choice makes us depressed."
209- loss of shared experience
211- "...these shared experiences are how we connect with other people, and it's how we understand our own identity."
211-212-"...they are only pockets of a shared existence. They are things individual people choose to understand and finding others who understand them equally are products of coincidence."
226- "what you need is a) one quality nemesis and b) one archenemy."
235- (Advancement) "For example, Michael Stipe's lyrics don't really mean anything so any 16-year-old can convince himself that those words can mean whatever they want."
237- "'How can you hate the Olympics?' they ask me."
238- "I do not hate the Olympics. I just don't like they at all..."
-"...the Olympics are designed for people who want to care about something without considering why."
-"In order to enjoy the Olympics, you can't think critically about anything..."
240- "Life is f***ing confusing. I don't know anything and neither do you. But this is not what the Olympics want you to believe."
244- "I feel like a mannequin."
253- The Wonder Year- "the only tv program that allowed me to be nostalgic at the age of 17"
254- Kevin- "Did these girls 'like him' or did they 'like him like him'"
-Do we need to be liked, or do we merely want to be liked."
255- human rights, China
256- Bush- "Over 57 million people voted against him."
257- "At some point people confused being liked with being good."
259- "suspect that the most widespread problem we have is the ever-growing sentiment of anti-intellectualism that seems to infiltrate everything..."
-"guilty pleasures"
262- "It never matters what you like; what matters is why you like it."
263- "These things that give us pleasure- they are guilty of nothing. And neither are we.:
268- "If you feel betrayed by culture, it's not because you're right and the universe is f***ed; it's only because you're not like most other people. But this should make you happy, because- in all likelihood- you hate those other people, anyway. You are being betrayed by a culture that has no relationship to who you are or how you live."
277- talking about music too much- 2 words- "overrated and underrated"
283- pirate renaissance
287- "pro-pirate" vs. "pro-chump"
292- if it was 1904 "you wouldn't be reading this essay. Your life would be horrible, but your life would have purpose."
-"Machines allow humans the privilege of existential anxiety."
313- CNN Classic
322- "Pants are on my horizon..."
-"I might feel like putting my hands in my pockets later this afternoon..."
324- "Driving.
325- "Like all geniuses, I don't work before noon."
326- "Tonya is the kind of person who goes shopping the day after Thanksgiving."
332- "'Here's what's been on my mind,' I began, since intelligent people have no need for salutations."
333- "Part of the reason I have managed to thrive as the smartest man alive is because I'm still willing to keep learning. I totally enjoy evolving."
341- girlie girl [i always though it was spelled girly girl but how would I know]

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