There was a time when huge, iconic print portraits took as their subject the worthy, those few who defined their times and bestrode the world confident in the knowledge that their actions and utterances had the power to change lives. You know, "Stalin: Man of Action," "Mrs. Thatcher Remembers," "Frank Sinatra Has a Cold," that sort of thing. These days, however, the sheer acreage of space wanting to be filled ensures that almost anyone is worthy of this kind of treatment, which is how you get a piece like " The Cult of Klosterman," Vince Darcelango's staggering cover story in the latest Boulder Weekly. For an idea of how Darcangelo views Klosterman, read this:
Klosterman just might be the most important writer of our generation, mining a deeper-than-expected meaning from the seemingly disposable Gen X culture crush of MTV, '70s reruns and The Real World. Humorous and insightful, significant and temporal, his writings will make you laugh, think, reconsider G'n'R tribute bands and make you hunger for sugary breakfast cereal. Most likely, you'll swear that he's writing about your life, because Chuck Klosterman may very well be writing all our memoirs, whether he realizes it or not.
We'll wait while you finish throwing up.
To save you further sickness, we've read the entire interview for you, selecting the most representative quotes and letting you know what they really mean. After the jump, we perform a service for which we are not paid nearly enough.
WHAT CHUCK SAYS: "I hate to complain about it because I should be happy, I guess, that I get to do it, but the thing is everything really does sort of become exactly the same, which is the clich thing people say whenever they do tours. But it's weird, you go to cities and you talk to the reporter from the daily newspaper there and they ask the questions all the daily reporters ask, then you talk to the alternative newspaper person and they ask all the questions all the alternative people ask. Then you're in the hotel room and you're waiting around and the hotels are all vaguely similar."
WHAT CHUCK MEANS: Gosh, it's hard to be a celebrity.
WHAT CHUCK SAYS: "When people interviewed me about Fargo Rock City, they would often be like, "Well, here are my heavy metal memories," and tell me about going to a Whitesnake show in '86. The thing is, when that happens, I don't even know what I'm supposed to do really. I realize that they're just trying to show that they relate to me or whatever, but it's not really a question. I could say like, "That's awesome." One thing now, whenever I interview people I'm very cognizant to never ever tell them things about my life because I realize they never care."
WHAT CHUCK MEANS: I don't want to hear your stories, Boulder Weekly writer. This is about me.
WHAT CHUCK SAYS: " A lot of people will say, "I feel like if I wrote a book it would be exactly like yours." People don't view me as an inaccessible writer. I'll get into an elevator somewhere and someone will just call me Chuck. It's like they know me. That's cool, I'm happy about that, but if I got into an elevator with Douglas Copeland, whom I've never met before, I'd at least say his full name, you know."
WHAT CHUCK MEANS: Call me Mr. Klosterman.
WHAT CHUCK SAYS: "Some of the people who read my books are really young; they're like high school kids or they're in college. They had no idea who I was before these books came out. When they found out that I worked in newspapers for eight years and I worked at magazines, they wondered if there was a way they could read some of the stories. That's interesting. I think anybody who is a journalist or a writer likes the idea of an anthology. So I gingerly brought this up to Scribner, thinking let's put this out solely in softcover so it's really cheap and it will be like a collection of things I've written. They liked the idea and wanted it to be a real book. Now it's coming out in hardcover."
WHAT CHUCK MEANS: My genius cannot be contained in crumbling copies of old Spin magazines. It must be bound between hard covers, so that the children might hear my wisdom and learn from it.
WHAT CHUCK SAYS: "When I got out of college in 1994, my goal was that if I worked hard and I caught some breaks and I became a better writer, someday, maybe, I might be able to work at the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. That was the totality of my goal, to work at a major metro newspaper, and it seemed like the best chance, coming from North Dakota, would be Minneapolis. Of course I thought maybe it would be nice to write a book someday, but I didn't even own a computer. I didn't even have an idea how a book got published. It's really weird. What do you do when your real life completely usurps your dreams? That's exactly what's happened. I can't believe that I have a fourth book coming out. I never thought I would have one."
WHAT CHUCK MEANS: I can't believe anyone fell for this, "Well, I'm just a hick from the north country, but..." shit either.
WHAT CHUCK SAYS: "Man, I'm 33 and I've written three memoirs. That's one memoir for each 11 years I'm alive. I've got to live more. There's nothing else to write about. There really isn't. Plus, I have this Esquire column, and I do first-person stuff for the New York Times Magazine sometimes. There's not much about my life that's undiscovered. The things that people don't know about me now, they're never gonna know. I've probably played those chips. Those chips are gone. Something else has to happen to me. I need to go blind or something."
WHAT CHUCK MEANS: Just kidding. It'll be more crap about nailing hot chicks in spite of my looks and how the Eagles were the most underrated band of the Seventies. Also sports. Now leave me, I grow weary of your presence.
The Cult of Klosterman [Boulder Weeky]