Home > chuck klosterman > A Thousand-Odd Words on Chuck Klosterman

A Thousand-Odd Words on Chuck Klosterman

When you tell people you’re from Fargo, you usually get one of two questions. “Oh, like the movie? Do you really talk like that?” is pretty popular, thanks to the P.R. work done for us by Joel and Ethan Coen. The other is “What do you think of Chuck Klosterman?! I think he’s great!”

Now, I admit to purchasing some Chuck Klosterman. I bought Killing Yourself to Live. And maybe two more. I can’t remember; I’m on the bus right now. Anyway, I admire the fact that Chuck, despite his work to the contrary, has earned himself a great career. His following in the Impressionable Young Hipster demographic can’t be understated. Make fun of him in a crowded room with one person wearing rectangular horn-rimmed glasses and said person will probably tell you how uncool you are. Then they’ll go cry in the corner because you essentially said that Jesus is a cunt.

But something most people don’t understand is that he makes it impossible for people like me to talk to anyone without getting the “metalhead from Fargo” bias. Chuck is not indicative of Fargo, Fargo writers, or anything, y’know, relavant. Am I bitter? Chip on my shoulder? Maybe a little.

But I swear to God I’m going to break the face of the next person that asks if I know Chuck Klosterman. Or if I like him or his writing.

What makes it worse is there’s a strong case of “local boy does good” in that Fargo area. His books constantly have a display at the Barnes and Noble. The colleges invite him to come to speak to their writing classes. I guess his best advice is “Put your actual phone number in the back of your first book and maybe SPIN will call you one day.”

No one ever asks “How was it writing obits, Chuck?” My friend was going to go to one of his Q & As to ask “You’re on my list of people to punch if I ever meet them. How does that make you feel?”

The thing about all of this is that I’m probably irritated the most that he’s successful in the field that I’m halfway attempting to get into. And is not because he broke on the strength of his writing, which I’ll admit is at least good. It’s because he paints himself as some sort of John the Baptist, shouting from the desert that is North Dakota. He’s like Hunter S. Thompson, only with that gosh-darn folksy attitude. His newest book (the one with the ballsiest title I’ve ever seen, IV) actually has something akin to that on the back cover.

It’s like someone at his publisher was like “Holy shit, someone knows how to write in Fargo! Give him a deal cuz Lord knows that’s impossible.” And he constantly plays off that.

Screw Chuck Klosterman. I hate him, and so should you.

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