Chuck Klosterman, whose ample frame is caged in the world's thinnest skin, is angry at the Internets, perhaps because its denizens have begun to call bullshit on his increasingly tiresome shtick in ever-growing numbers. Dispatched to Atlanta to cover the Final Four, the man who makes a living telling you that, no, really, Stryper's To Hell With the Devil is the album that best captured the zeitgeist of the eighties, takes a few shots at the web.
During his assignment,
I will reciprocate by writing sporadic e-mail posts throughout the entire weekend. This is a very popular art form among affluent American young people, especially those who are fans of James Walcott and/or profoundly interested in unauthorized photographs of Nicole Richie's rib cage. I believe there is even a name for this journalistic practice, but I can't remember what it is; normally, I use the Internet only to discuss math principles via CompuServe.
It's called mailing it in, Chuck, we're pretty sure you're familiar with it. Also, James Wolcott spells his surname without the 'a,' but, hey, we all make mistakes when we're tossing off crap and shooting it out the web-chute. But wait, there's more!
I have noticed that many Internet people share a specific writing style: They tend to be bombastic and ironically detached at the same time. They really love certain things and they really hate certain things, but they always manage to remain outside the emotional investment that normally accompanies strong feelings.
Well, you know, totally: We can't all pretend that Ratt was one of history's greatest bands with the same degree of humble Midwestern authenticity as those whose bombasticity is surely deeply felt and not in any way some sort of repetitive device wielded to ensure that the money that purchases those Radiohead posters keeps rolling in.
But also, we see Chuck's complaint here as chronic misreading. Sarcasm seems to baffle a certain set of readers. They see it as a form of detachment or removal, instead of what it really is: An expression of hostility, rage and scorn.
Still, how much emotional investment is required to point out that certain designated cultural arbiters have been working the same routine for nearly a decade now without ever offering anything that smacks of original insight? A close look at the man's oeuvre makes it pretty clear: Chuck Klosterman hates the Internet because Chuck Klosterman is the Internet. He's just the Omega Man of crappy cultural observations on the printed page.
Liveblogging the NCAA finals is a good first step to admitting that you're as full of it as the rest of the folks you so despise. Let's be honest, what's more lowbrow than a blog? Welcome to our world, Chuck! Sit on the good couch! We're putting Warrant's "You're the Only Hell Your Mama Ever Raised" on the hi-fi just for you!