Sunday, June 7, 2009

Chuck Klosterman and The Unbearable Lightness Of Hipsters

I've avoided reading Chuck Klosterman for the same reason I avoid punching babies in the face. It just seemed too easy. Did I really need to read another weary Gen Xer obsessing over the minutia of Pop Culture and then obsess over why they're obessing. Were Nick Hornby, Sara Vowell, David Sedaris, Nathin Rabin, and countless others truly not up to the task? Was there truly such a void in my soul calling out for another pretentious post modernist to come and suck all the fun out of everything? Had I not learned my lesson from the testicle shriveling anti-prose waking nightmare that was "Nobody Belongs Here More Then You?"

No, I was not particularly looking forward to jumping on the back of another Hipster Sacred Cow. I feared another book of clever oh so affected but oh so uneffected prose might actually kill me. And the fact that I could still hear the publishers orgasm after receiving a title as marketable as Sex Death And Cocoa Puffs did nothing to allay my fears.

It turns out that my fear was unfounded. While Klosterman is too pretentious, post modern and overly analytical he is also fun, in possession of a mean sense of self deprecative wit and keen sense of the absurd. While some of the essays on SDACP do take the fine art of navel gazing to unheard of extremes (Pamela Anderson article I'm looking at you). Others manage to dissect modern culture with a surprisingly sharp and dare I say even level headed style.

Whether it's formulating a surprisingly believable hypothesis that Breakfast cereal commercials are responsible for the existence of hipsters, explaining why soccer will never be popular, or examining the paradox of "authenticity" in country music Klosterman serves as a witty guide through the madness of modern life.

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