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Posts tagged "Chuck Klosterman"

A Potentially Massive Misjudgment (about Dreaming)

A Potentially Massive Misjudgment (about Dreaming)

“But What If We’re Wrong?” is the fascinating question that Chuck Klosterman asks in his new book (of the same name). He spends roughly 250 pages attempting to “think about the present as if it were the past”, meaning, he’s looking to uncover what we’ll look back on in 30, 50, 100 years and be shocked/embarrassed by the casual certitude with which we accepted it as truth. That is, what will our future generations thumb their noses at about our present day, the way we thumb our noses about, say, pesticides? What that we think is second-rate will be remembered…

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Another Week Ends: Work and Play, Oprah and Colbert, Barack and Marilynne, Kanye Western, and Yes, Death

Another Week Ends: Work and Play, Oprah and Colbert, Barack and Marilynne, Kanye Western, and Yes, Death

The work and play issue continues. This week we saw two articles surface that had more bad news to give us about the growing presence of our work lives in our leisure time. Ugh. I’ll spare you both of them. One of them talks about the implicit message of workaholism in tv shows these days. Besides The Office, many popular series paint the picture that work is life, that meaningful work sometimes means the dissolution of everything around you, but is still lionized by the show’s plotline (Mad Men, Scandal, Rescue Me).

The one I want to quote here is the…

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But Wait, Doesn't the Law Work?

But Wait, Doesn’t the Law Work?

On the January 13th episode of his “The B.S. Report” podcast, Bill Simmons interviewed essayist Chuck Klosterman on a number of subjects, from popular films to college football to the love life of Leonardo DiCaprio. One of the things they talked about was, in a roundabout way, something that ministers of the gospel talk about (and are asked about) all the time: “Can the law work?” Actually, the way we ministers usually hear it is, “Wait, but the law actually seems to work!” Now, Simmons and Klosterman didn’t talk about “the law” as such, or in those terms, but make…

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Another Week Ends: Silent Treatment, 1st-World Problems, Rectify & Rev, Robinson's Lila, Phillips' Freud, Heresy Help, Tragic Soccer, and Soviet Propaganda

Another Week Ends: Silent Treatment, 1st-World Problems, Rectify & Rev, Robinson’s Lila, Phillips’ Freud, Heresy Help, Tragic Soccer, and Soviet Propaganda

1. Under the auspices of “How and Why to Ban the Silent Treatment from Your Relationship”, The Wall Street Journal issued a perceptive and even quite touching treatise on how the dynamic of demand and withdrawal comes to poison so many loving relationships. The article starts out with the same old line about judgment and expectation snuffing out affection (not that there’s anything wrong with that!), and ‘law’ making bad things worse, with some token men-are-from-Mars-women-are-from-Venus thrown in–but it doesn’t end there. That is, while some of the diagnosis (and rather patronizing advice) falls under the heading of the perilously…

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Royce White on the Human Condition

Royce White on the Human Condition

Royce White is a great basketball player. He led his Iowa State team in every major statistical category as a sophomore and was a lottery pick in last year’s NBA Draft, all while suffering from a serious anxiety disorder. He’s currently in the throes of trying to work out a mental health protocol with the Houston Rockets (the team that drafted him) so that he can feel comfortable playing. White was recently interviewed by Chuck Klosterman for Grantland.com, and had some very revealing things to say.

CK: Well, then what’s the lowest level of mental illness? What is the least problematic…

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What Makes the World Go Round (According to Errol Morris)

What Makes the World Go Round (According to Errol Morris)

In the first essay of his Eating the Dinosaur collection, Chuck Klosterman interviews documentary filmmaker Errol Morris about the art of, well, the interview. Having enjoyed his work for years (1997’s Fast Cheap & Out of Control being my favorite, though 2003’s The Fog of War and 2010’s Tabloid are close behind), I should have known that Morris would have a lot to say and that a lot of it would be fascinating. They very quickly go beyond the nature of journalism, into some of the relevant issues of underlying human expression. Here are a couple highlights.

Why do people talk?…

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Another Week Ends: Indie Law, The New Marriage Killer, Futurizing Fear, Apatheism, Damsels in Distress, George Lucas and Downton Abbey

Another Week Ends: Indie Law, The New Marriage Killer, Futurizing Fear, Apatheism, Damsels in Distress, George Lucas and Downton Abbey

1. In his short article “The Pitfalls of Indie Fame” on Grantland, Chuck Klosterman captures something we have been trying to say on here forever. Don’t be put off by all the music jargon; he is using the critical success of the tUnE-yArDs debut record as an opportunity to reflect on the cruelty of the Law. Which may be particularly pronounced in the indie world (or any rarified/snobby setting for that matter), but the phenomenon is universal. The human relationship to righteousness is a troubled one, love/hate at best, and it finds expression in every possible arena. And while non-religious…

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Another Week Ends: Generous Marriages, Creative Cheaters, Converted Grinches, Tebow Haters, Twilight Zone Xmases, Gracious Police and Walter

Another Week Ends: Generous Marriages, Creative Cheaters, Converted Grinches, Tebow Haters, Twilight Zone Xmases, Gracious Police and Walter

1. Some new research on the importance of generosity in marriage and relationships has been making the rounds this week, and the soundbites are amusing in their captain-obvious-ness. Generosity here being very close to what we would call grace, and the relational dynamic it characterizes being one that by and large does away with scorekeeping, exposing egalitarian notions of the 50-50 split as the recipe for resentment that they often are (100-100 being the happier and, ironically, less legalistic ideal). The research also implicitly condemns models of relating based on self-fulfillment rather than self-sacrifice. Go figure! Of course, knowing what’s…

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Another Week Ends: NeuroLewis and NeuroClark, Common Enemies, Absent Fathers, Zombie Fiction, Jarvis Cocker, Noel Gallagher, Sacred Facial Hair and Pixar

Another Week Ends: NeuroLewis and NeuroClark, Common Enemies, Absent Fathers, Zombie Fiction, Jarvis Cocker, Noel Gallagher, Sacred Facial Hair and Pixar

1. Another superb volley in David Brooks’ crusade for a more compassionate view of human fallibility appeared in The NY Times this week, “Who You Are,” in which he salutes Nobel Prize winner Daniel Kahneman’s invaluable contribution to social psychology. Brooks goes so far as to call Kahneman and his research partner Amos Tversky, “the Lewis and Clark of the mind.” Kahneman’s new book, which sounds like it has Mockingbird written all over it (wouldn’t that be the day!), Thinking, Fast and Slow comes out on Tuesday. In the meantime, I defy you not to issue an ‘are you kidding…

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The Advancement of Sting

The Advancement of Sting

In his seminal (and admittedly half-serious) article “On Advancement”, Chuck Klosterman defines “Advancement” as: 

“A cultural condition where an Advanced Individual – i.e. a true genius – creates a piece of art that 99 percent of the population perceives as bad. However, this perception is not because the work itself is flawed; this perception is because most consumers are not Advanced.”

“Now, do not make the mistake of inferring that this means that everything terrible is actually awesome, or vice versa; that kind of contrarianism has no place in Advancement Theory. The key to Advancement is that Advanced artists (a) do not…

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Billy Joel Loves You Just the Way You Were

Billy Joel Loves You Just the Way You Were

Apart from his first couple records, I’ve never been much of a Billy Joel fan (with the notable exception of “The Downeaster ‘Alexa’”, naturally). Which is tough, since a number of his hits are downright unavoidable, none more so than “Just the Way You Are”. We’ve all heard it at umpteen weddings, and if you’re a Christian, you’ve probably heard it used in a sermon or three, a pop-blueprint of how God loves his people. If so, and you’re at all like me, you may have rolled your (inner-)eyes. Not because the lyrics were off somehow, but because they were…

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The Nazarene Allure of the Underrated (or Reviled)

The Nazarene Allure of the Underrated (or Reviled)

In 1994, Chuck Klosterman wrote an insightful and very funny piece for Spin entitled “Give Me Centrism of Give Me Death!” where he argued:

If you are the kind of person who talks about music too much, there are two words that undoubtedly play an integral role in your workaday lexicon: “overrated” and “underrated.” This is because those two sentiments pop up in 90 percent of all musical discussions…

I am not interested in overrated and underrated bands.

It’s too easy, and all it means is that somebody else was wrong. I’m obsessed with bands that are rated as accurately as possible-in other…

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