My belief in fate was confirmed today when in the book store I just happened upon a new Chuck Klosterman book that I had no idea was coming out. It is fate because a healthy dose of new Chuck Klosterman essays was exactly what my life needed.
See how clever he is? It’s a book called Eating the Dinosaur and the picture on the cover is a dinosaur made to look like a cow being cut up for the market.
Unfortunately, upon reading, I started to understand more fully how Chuck could be perceived as pretentious. This was because he spends a lot of time deliberating about what it means to be perceived by the public in the context of an interview, and in doing so he disagrees readily with everyone he encounters, thus appearing pretentious. He also mentions that there are very few people in the world who he wouldn’t mind talking to more than once or twice in his entire lifetime. I had a strong feeling that I am not one of the people he would enjoy talking to on more than one occasion.
Regardless, I still love him more than most other human beings, and maybe knowing he wouldn’t like me contributes to this. But, he has such a distinct thought process and poses interesting questions that he makes it impossible for me to not have things I feel like I need to say. (Perhaps ironically, this entire first chapter is spent asking why people feel compelled to answer questions posed to them. One theory is that people feel like they have a narrative they need to contribute… this post is too self-reflective and abstract. So basically it’s pretentious to even reflect upon how Chuck Klosterman might be pretentious.)
ANYHOO, Chuck Klosterman wrote a casual comment about something at one point, and then I was like, “Oh, that isn’t really true, I don’t think.” And then I realized that of all the people who might know a thing or two about the casual comment he wrote, I might be one of the few. And then I thought back to how Chuck Klosterman was writing about the importance of truth in narratives and interviews, and so I wondered if it was at all significant that I happen to know more than Chuck Klosterman about a blanket assumption he made about something relatively unimportant. There isn’t an answer to that query. Instead, Chuck Klosterman points out that there is something psychologically unsatisfying about unanswered questions. Why is that? See?
The thing I thought about the most is that writing is hard. The hardest thing about writing seems to be writing. Just sitting down and doing it. That’s difficult. I read a lot of shitty scripts but the thing that makes each of those aspiring screenwriters better than me is that they actually did something. They actually sat down and wrote a piece of shit. That’s better than not writing anything. Subjectively, it feels better to have written nothing bad at all than to have written embarrassing, terrible romantic comedies. But objectively, they are further ahead. Practice makes perfect. Writing crappy screenplays gets it out of your system, and you learn from your mistakes. The only thing I possibly have going for me is that maybe I am learning from other people’s mistakes.
I then also thought about Chuck Klosterman, and how much I love him. He over thinks things just as much as I do, maybe. Maybe even more than I do. Probably more than I do. I mean, he has a career at it. I don’t.
Overall the biggest feeling I got from reading the first few pages of this book is that I will be better in the future. This new Chuck Klosterman book, despite its adorable cover, is his most philosophical and intellectual one to date. Is this better? Well, I think Chuck certainly seems to know what he wants to say more, now, than in previous books. His other ones made me laugh a lot more, but this one is making me think. Or perhaps I’m the one who changed?
Well, human nature is weird, and Chuck Klosterman asks and doesn’t answer some pretty smart questions, and I want to be him or like him in some capacity one day. Also, I might be part of an exclusive type of person that knows things. Does this make me more qualified for future things? It feels like it. But we’ll see.