Chuck Klosterman

American author and columnist

Chuck Klosterman (born June 5, 1972) is an American pop-culture journalist, critic, and essayist. Klosterman is currently a columnist for Esquire and has written for GQ, SPIN, The Washington Post, The Believer, ESPN and The New York Times Magazine. He is also the author of six books (Fargo Rock City - Killing Yourself to Live - Chuck Klosterman IV - Sex, Drugs and Cocoa Puffs - Downtown Owl - Eating The Dinosaur).

Chuck Klosterman in 2008


  • [Coldplay is] a British pop group whose success derives from their ability to write melodramatic alt-rock songs about fake love. It does not matter that Coldplay is the shittiest fucking band I've ever heard in my entire fucking life, or that they sound like a mediocre photocopy of Travis (who sounds like a mediocre photocopy of Radiohead), or that their greatest fucking artistic achievement is a video where the blandly attractive frontman walks on a beach on a cloudy afternoon. None of that matters. What matters is that Coldplay manufactures fake love as frenetically as the Ford fucking Motor Company manufactures Mustangs. . . "For you I bleed myself dry," sang the blockhead vocalist, brilliantly informing us that stars in the sky are, in fact, yellow.
  • Important things are inevitably cliché.
  • Psychologically, the internet is very marxist. Everyone with a modem has access to the same information, so we all get jammed into a technological middle class.
  • Even eternally free people are enslaved by the process of living.
  • This is the kind of shit that would prompt Tyler Durden to hit somebody in the face.
  • Whenever I meet dynamic, nonretarded Americans, I notice that they all seem to share a single unifying characteristic: the inability to experience the kind of mind-blowing, transcendent romantic relationship they perceive to be a normal part of living. And someone needs to take the fall for this. So instead of blaming no one (which is kind of cowardly) or blaming everyone (which is kind of meaningless), I'm going to blame John Cusack.
    • (This is Emo 0:01 (Carnivore Interlude) First Scribner Trade Paperback Edition 2004, pg. 2)
  • Were there really this many women in 1985 saying to their husbands, "Gee, honey, I'd love to have random strangers masturbate to a jpeg image of me deepthroating a titanium dildo, but there's no medium for that. Guess we'll have to watch 'Falcon Crest.'
  • This SimChuck is one suave bastard.
    • (Billy Sim 0:12 (Reality Interlude)First Scribner Trade Paperback Edition 2004, pg. 21)
  • We smooch hardcore.
    • (Billy Sim 0:12 (Reality Interlude)First Scribner Trade Paperback Edition 2004, pg. 21)
  • But the bottom line is that I am still willing to die a painful public death, assuming my execution destroys the game of soccer (or - at the very least - convinces people to shut up about it).
    • (George Will vs. Nick Hornby 0:86).
  • In fact, there may be a day in the near future when you find yourself in a conversation about this book, and someone will ask you what the story is really about, beyond the rudimentary narrative of a cross-country death trip based on a magazine article. And it's very likely you will say, "well, the larger thesis is somewhat underdeveloped, but there is this point early in the story where he takes a woman to Ithaca for no real reason, and it initially seems innocuous, but - as you keep reading - you sort of see how this behaviour is a self-perpetuating problem that keeps reappearing over and over again." In all probability, you will also complain about the author's reliance on self-indulgent, postmodern self-awareness, which will prompt the person you're conversing with to criticize the influence of Dave Eggers on the memoir-writing genre. Then your cell phone will ring, and you will agree to meet someone for brunch.
  • Seeing no resolution to my existential recognition of loss, I decide to eat lunch.
  • We all have the potential to fall in love a thousand times in our lifetime. It's easy. The first girl I ever loved was someone I knew in sixth grade. Her name was Missy; we talked about horses. The last girl I love will be someone I haven't even met yet, probably. They all count. But there are certain people you love who do something else; they define how you classify what love is supposed to feel like. These are the most important people in your life, and you'll meet maybe four or five of these people over the span of 80 years. But there's still one more tier to all this; there is always one person who you love who becomes that definition. It usually happens retrospectively, but it always happens eventually. This is the person who unknowingly sets the template for what you will always love about other people, even if some of those lovable qualities are self-destructive and unreasonable. You will remember having conversations with this person that never actually happened. You will recall sexual trysts with this person that never technically occurred. This is because the individual who embodies your personal definition of love does not really exist. The person is real, and the feelings are real--but you create the context. And context is everything. The person who defines your understanding of love is not inherently different than anyone else, and they're often just the person you happen to meet the first time you really, really want to love someone. But that person still wins. They win, and you lose. Because for the rest of your life, they will control how you feel about everyone else.
  • If rain was God crying, I think God was drunk and his girlfriend just slept with Zeus.

Things That Might Be True

  • We all concede that 'they' rule 'us'. But here is the secret shame of that amorphous entity that makes us all cower in shame: 'they' are losers. 'They' are failures. 'They' don't realize that life is-almost without exception-an absolute meritocracy, and everyone who succeeds completely deserves it. (The exceptions being Dale Peck, MTV on-air personalities who aren't Kurt Loder, Al Franken, and myself)
  • The Joker was Batman's nemesis, but-ironically-his archenemy was Superman, since Superman made Batman entirely mortal and generally nonessential. Nobody likes to admit this, but Batman fucking hated Superman; Superman is the reason Batman became an alcoholic.

Recognizing Your Nemesis

  • At some point in the past, this person was (arguably) your best friend.
  • You and this person once competed for the same woman, and you both failed.
  • You have punched this person in the face.
  • If invited, you would go to this person's wedding and give them a spice rack, but you would secretly hope that their marriage ends in a bitter, public divorce.
  • People who barely know the two of you assume you are close friends; people who know both of you intimately suspect you profoundly hate each other.
  • If your archenemy tried to kill you, this person would attempt to stop him.

Recognizing Your Archenemy

  • Every time you talk to this person, you lie.
  • If you meet someone who has the same first name as this person, you immediately like them less.
  • This person has done at least two (2) things that would be classified as "unforgivable."
  • The satisfaction you feel from your own success pales in comparison to the despair you feel from this person's personal triumphs, even if those triumphs are completely unrelated to your life.
  • If this person slept with your girlfriend, she would never be attractive to you again.
  • Even if this person's girlfriend was a hateful bitch, you would sleep with her out of spite.
  • If you've spent any time trolling the blogosphere, you've probably noticed a peculiar literary trend: the pervasive habit of writers inexplicably placing exclamation points at the end of otherwise unremarkable sentences. Sort of like this! This is done to suggest an ironic detachment from the writing of an expository sentence! It's supposed to signify that the writer is self-aware! And this is idiotic. It's the saddest kind of failure. F. Scott Fitzgerald believed inserting exclamation points was the literary equivalent of an author laughing at his own jokes, but that's not the case in the modern age; now, the exclamation point signifies creative confusion. All it illustrates is that even the writer can't tell if what they're creating is supposed to be meaningful, frivolous, or cruel. It's an attempt to insert humor where none exists, on the off chance that a potential reader will only be pleased if they suspect they're being entertained. Of course, the reader really isn't sure, either. They just want to know when they're supposed to pretend that they're amused. All those extraneous exclamation points are like little splatters of canned laughter: They represent the “form of funny,” which is more easily understood (and more easily constructed) than authentic funniness. Page 2

  • Within the context of life, I am the centrist pragmatist who doesn't even vote; within the context of sports, I am a potential war criminal.
    • (November 7, 2005)
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