Ashley's Reviews > Chuck Klosterman IV: A Decade of Curious People and Dangerous Ideas

Chuck Klosterman IV by Chuck Klosterman
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Apr 02, 11

bookshelves: non-fiction, read-in-2011
Read from March 31 to April 02, 2011

Thoroughly enjoyed this.

It was actually my first Klosterman experience...I've probably picked up Sex, Drugs, and Coco Puffs a million times and read tiny tidbits, but I never took the plunge.

Finally, I stumbled upon this at Half Price Books for $4.98 and decided that the time had finally come for me to test the waters.

I just thought this was great. I just finished a rather tedious (good, but rather...er...tedious lol) memoir, so it was nice to have something so light and able to be read in short little snippets. There was never a reason NOT to read it. If I was waiting for a TV show to download from iTunes, I could read an essay or two and then put it away.

This book was, quite simply, FUN. It raises a few interesting points, but it seems as though you either love Klosterman or hate him...I happen to love him. Take it for what it is...the guy wrote articles for SPIN magazine...he's not trying to come up with some overly insightful sociological points that are going to change the world, but that being said, he's writing about stuff we've all thought about, and often drawing the exact same conclusions...the only difference is that he actually cared enough to write them down.

Reminds me of those bumper stickers that say "'my kid could paint that'....'yea...but they didn't'" about Pollock-esque paintings. It's not so much about the ability, but that he recognized the value of writing about it, and therefor getting it out of everyones private musings and into every day conversation.


Highlights:
- Britney Spears: loved loved loved the idea that everyone makes Britney into whoever they need her to be. I've found this to be disturbingly true about many aspects of my life, which I've since kind of widdled down. This was one of the few things in the book that I found truly insightful. I've always had these looming vague ideas about my personal experience with transference or projection (...or...whatever...not exactly sure what I would call it)- but I feel like Klosterman did a really good job of explaining it in such a simple, tangible way. Any American can read his breakdown of who Britney is to the teenage boy, that boys girlfriend, his little sister, and some pervert down the street...everyone can understand that, and understand EXACTLY how they all come to totally different conclusions based on the same evidence. Needless to say, this was a total 5-star essay for me! He put words to vague thoughts I've had about my own situation, but could never really hammer down. And I've got to say- having it so tangibly explained has really made a positive impact on my life already- finally realizing that there are a few things (people) in my life that I've developed some strange perception of over the years...and at the end of the day, they're never going to measure up to my perception. Pretty strong and important revelation. Maybe it's silly, but it has a big impact on where/who I devote my time/energy/thoughts/etc.

-U2 Seriously...who wouldn't love reading about Bono picking up 4 kids off the street and driving them around while listening to unreleased tracks.

metallica I remember watching Some Kind Of Monster not long after it came out. I think it aired on MTV one night...I know I didn't rent it, and I'm pretty sure I didn't see it online. Regardless, I actually really enjoyed it. I was a moderate Metallica fan at best, but I really love seeing all of the behind the scenes stuff.

radiohead Really great piece. Thome York seems like a pretty good guy

wilco I loved this piece! Jeff just seemed so real and down to earth. I remember seeing a small piece on Wilco not long after their last album came out, and I specifically remember seeing footage of him playing music with his kid(s?)- one of which was playing drums...it just struck me as so REAL. This is a guy who doesn't care about making some contrived image...he accepts the fact that he's a "greying 36 year old guy driving a mini-van"...that's awesome!

johnny carson There might be another Johnny Carson, but there will never be another JOHNNY CARSON. I found the entire piece really solid, and slightly depressing. I'm 21 so I've only seen Carson clips, and I've never particularly enjoyed him, but I can definitely appreciate the IDEA of Johnny Carson (the "idea", not the person)

olympics I've always HATED the olympics...this makes me feel slightly less evil for said hatred. I've never understood why I should care about all of these bizarre sports that I've never had the slightest interest for, and I've always resented that they spent like 2 weeks replacing mediocre (at best) television with absolutely mind-numbing sports events. I particularly LOVED the line about "if we dropped a bunch of child molesters in the pool, would we cheer for them to win gold in water polo just because they're from America?" (or something like that...completely cracked me up!)

guilty pleasures ...I totally watched the Ashlee Simpson show as well. And in truth, while I might not have felt GUILTY about it, it certainly wasn't information I felt like advertising. But really, who cares? I too watched it because I enjoyed the process. I think the "behind the scenes" aspects of recording are fascinating, but I also really enjoy trying to figure out the entire idea of celebrity. It's just interesting to me to watch these "celebrities" in their "natural habitat"...granted, it was a "reality show", which certainly doesn't guarantee a genuinely REAL experience, but who cares...it provides a bit of a backstory. I can't really sum up WHY I like to see the "unseen" aspects of celebrities who I genuinely don't care about outside of said "unseen" footage, but I do.

I'm honestly not sure I've EVER heard an Ashlee Simpson song.
but I never missed an episode of her reality show.
I'm not sure what that says about me, but it probably means something.

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