Sunday, June 21, 2009

Sex Drugs and Cocopuffs

I have to vent my deep passionate love for a brilliant man after my own MIT soaked heart.

Chuck Klosterman.

Any man who can begin a book by relating (and justifying) the story of how he burned the exact same CD for two different women, then segue into a serious discussion of the lamentable sitcom Saved By Bell deserves my respect. It is this gift that makes his book Sex, Drugs and Cocoa Puffs my perfect summer read.

Klosterman, a senior writer for Spin, (among other reputable things) has a gift for taking seemingly disposable culture (Billy Joel albums, The Real World, The Sims, and Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee sex tape) and giving them a cultural heft and importance.

In fact, reading, Klosterman’s meditations on such topics as how the creation of cereal was a Victorian attempt to cool sexual urges, or how the failed relationships of today’s twenty-and-thirty-somethings can be blamed either on John Cusack ( thanks) or Nora Ephron are so insightful and enlightening, it seems baffling that no one has written on these topics before (has anyone?). 

Of course, he also manages to be absolutely hilarious. Klosterman is one of the select few writers (and men) who can make me laugh out loud in public (generally GO train, or subway) without thought of embarrassment. Take this nugget, from an essay deconstructing the Star Wars trilogy: “I once knew a girl who claimed to have a recurring dream about a polar bear that mauled Ewoks; it made me love her.”

As previously discussed at the office last week, my production manager, and I, came to the conclusion that all women desire nerds. Not exactly a full fledged dork. Just someone who is passionate about something, anything, in a terribly geeky way.

Klosterman has his hilarious analysis of life as compared to pop culture.

Underneath all the glib remarks and seemingly bizarre claims, Klosterman has a genuine appreciation of popular culture. Though he makes clear that he doesn’t always love it, he never seems to doubt its power, or its ability to reflect a society or our ability to reflect it (The Real World). His clearest message seems to be that just because a movie or a television show or a piece of music isn’t art, that doesn’t mean it isn't influential or meaningful. It may, in fact, matter more than something artful. It’s a compelling idea, executed by Klosterman with a fabulous mind for witty humor. 

I pinkie swear you will love it. 

Side note: If you happened to have found said book on the Lakshore Train...Please return it. I miss it dearly.

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