Ed Wagemann's Reviews > Eating the Dinosaur

Eating the Dinosaur by Chuck Klosterman
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Dec 02, 11


I disagree with about 90% of everything Chuck Klosterman utters, yet I enjoy reading him (although I only end up reading about 50% of any book he publishes and skip or skim the other 50%). I've always liked reading/hearing thoughts and opinions that differ from my own, especially if those thoughts/opinions are presented in an interesting and entertaining way--which is the same reason that I listen to Rush Limbaugh at times.

Sometimes I will agree with Klosterman in spirit, but disagree with him on the detail. A good example of this is the 20 page riff Klosterman goes off on about NFL football that starts on page 125 of his 2009 book Eating The Dinosaur. Like Rush Limbaugh often does, Klosterman seems to be passionately saying a whole lot about absolutley nothing, using small nuggets of wisdom or verifiable facts and stretching them beyond any sort of comprehension or meaning what so ever. With a voice as bold and confident as Olympus he spews completely contradictory ideas and arguments within sentences--or even words--of each other. And after doing such he goes on, as though what he is saying makes absolute sense, which makes it all very comical to me.

During his 20 page tirade on NFL footballl for instance he states that what makes the NFL so great is that it is not trying to be anything that it is not. But then sentences later he says: "He [Brett Favre] was the human incarnation of how the NFL hopes to portray itself..." Contradictory. Then he goes on to argue that the NFL is liberalism cloaked in conservatism, going as far as conjuring up a story about how Teddy Roosevelt legalized the forward pass and how former comissioner Roselle was a Marxist.

Klosterman has not been the first to suggest that the NFL has socialistic tendencies. Afterall the league does have a salary cap and a salary minimum. It has a weighted college draft and ofcourse the teams all share the massive tv reveune that the league brings in. The idea being that you are only as strong as your weakest link, so if you empower those on the bottom, you make the entire league stronger. So the case that the NFL is liberalism cloaked in conservatism has real merit and is one of the few things that Klosterman points ot that actually makes some sense. Some of Klosterman's jibber-jabber is very entertaining, but most of it seems to be babbling on for the sake of babbling on, possibly just to entertain himself. Which is fine. Because even though alot (probablly even most) of this babbling bores the socks off of me and I end up skipping over it (like his riff about laugh tracks or his riff about Garth Brooks), there are sections of his book that I find moderately entertaining and which are no worse than watching reruns of The Office, for example.

For this reason and more I give Eating the Dinosaur 1.5 out of 5 WagemannHeads
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