Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Follow up on Klosterman's "Eating The Dinosaur"

A few days ago I reviewed Chuck Klosterman's new book, "Eating The Dinosaur." The quality of his writing from my perspective has increased over the years because his writing continues to make me think, and I've looked for ways to continue reflection on the book's theme of reality construction.

I've been curious about his media presence. I don't think Klosterman keeps a Facebook page, and he doesn't use Twitter or blog. Some have criticized him for not being public enough with his thoughts and work. However, Klosterman does do speaking engagements and appears regularly enough on ESPN's Bill Simmons' podcast "The B.S. Report (see December 21)" for me to say that he's not a recluse, but choosy or even strategic about how he presents himself to the public. I think it would be impossible for Klosterman to be a recluse, considering his analysis of public interaction and reality construction. He is choosing to construct reality in a different way. I'm reading Douglas Coupland's new book (to be reviewed soon) "Generation A" and I have pondered why Coupland uses Twitter, but not Facebook. I think for us introverts, we are a little more thoughtful about how we construct reality, as opposed to those who prefer extroversion who get out there and make the contact, using whatever means possible. I don't want to diagnose Klosterman or Coupland, but when I think about social media and communication, I find it interesting the combination of communication employed.

I lift up the aforementioned podcast to further affirm Klosterman's implicit theological and philosophical thinking. He briefly discusses nihilism and more deeply the idiom of rock and roll. I think nihilism is an important topic for Christians to consider as we engage in conversations with agnostics and atheists in our world. My favorite contemporary nihilist is Dr. Gregory House on Fox Monday night television lineup. I still think he needs a better theological challenge from a storyline or character in the show, but I find House's atheism far more interesting than what is offered by the neo-atheist authors of the day like Harris or Hitchens. Klosterman briefly touches on the idea of a public perception of nihilism. He didn't expand upon the thought with depth, but the offering was sufficiently provocative.

The other interesting topic on the podcast interview is the discussion of what Klosterman calls "The Rock and Roll idiom." I think this is an important argument between Klosterman and Simmons with an application toward the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (RRHF), because Simmons argues for much more distinct genres of music, whereas Klosterman is much more comfortable with "the Rock and Roll idiom" reflected in the RRHF. I think this kind of discussion is pertinent to worship and music, especially in my experience with Mainline Protestant congregations--because we continue to have an oversimplified public discourse depicting a false dichotomy of "traditional" and "contemporary" music. If there is more creative discussion about worship and music somewhere, I would enjoy reading your comments, input, suggestions and leads.

If you don't have the time to read Klosterman and want an introduction to his thought processes, take a listen to the podcast and see if reading his book will be worth an investment in your time.

No comments:

Post a Comment