I’d say I’ve transformed into a huge Chuck Klosterman fan. Ever since I readSex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs: A Low Culture Manifesto, I’ve been hooked. He’s fun to read because it’s obvious he’s smarter than you but it doesn’t come off that way in his writing. His ideas and thoughts are always steps ahead of how the average person views the world. In the newest book, how he describes why things and people are good versus evil, and how they fit into reality is such a refreshing take on the normal drivel that’s on the market. Then you throw in his knowledge of our “pop” culture and you identify with him because he’s just like you, except much smarter. Here is an excerpt from he latest book (which I’m only halfway through, expect a full review after I finish).
When I walk into a convenience store and give the kid behind the counter two dollars for my 1.50 bottle of Gatorade, I say thanks when he gives me my change. But what am I thankful for? He’s just doing his job and the money he returns is mine. The kid behind the counter likewise says thanks to me, but I have done nothing to warrant his gratitude; I wanted something in the store and paid him exactly what it cost. It’s not like he brewed the Gatorade or invented the brand. I didn’t select his particular store for any reason beyond proximity, an he doesn’t own the building or the franchise. From either perspective the relationship is no different from that of a human and a vending machine. We only say “thank you ” to be seen as nice. We secretly know that being seen as nice is the same as being nice in actuality. If you present yourself as a nice person, that becomes the prism for how your other actions are judged. The deeper motives that drive you can only be questioned by those who know you exceptionally well, and (most of the time) not even by them. If you act nice, you’re nice. That’s the whole equation. Nobody cares why you say thank you. Nobody is supposed to care; weirdly, this is something we’re never supposed to question. It’s impractical to incessantly interrogate the veracity of every stranger who seems like a blandly nice citizen. It’s rude. Until proven otherwise, we just accept goodness at face value.
I was brought up to say please and thank you. I didn’t question why. I just did it. I’ve never even thought about questioning why until I read this. That last sentence is why I like reading Klosterman. It’s a thought that never would have entered my mind originally. In that excerpt, I particularly like the “deeper motives that drive you can only be questioned by those who know you exceptionally well, and (most of the time) not even by them.” Everyone who reads this blog might think they know me but maybe I put on this front for the blog. Maybe I’m a completely different person in real life. All these thoughts that are in the blog aren’t my real thoughts, they are just to get readers. You know that’s not true but how do you really know? Have you ever even questioned that everything I write is a lie?