Chuck Klosterman on Media and Culture

Chuck Klosterman on Media and Culture

Chuck Klosterman on Media and Culture is a remix of Klosterman’s previous collections. This deals with Media and Culture- not surprisingly. The pieces are very meta. I found them interesting and thought provoking, but I didn’t agree with many of his theories, which made this the weakest of the Simon and Schuster remixed collections.

Subjects include: Marilyn Monroe vs. Pamela Anderson, porn, breakfast cereal, serial killers, newspaper bias, Goths at Disney, Dee Dee Ramone vs. Robbin Crosby, Eric Griffiths, Johnny Carson, media pirates, Video game critics, interviewing vs. being interviewed, Pepsi and marketing, and Ted Kaczyinski vs. technology,

156 pages

Quotes From The Book (my comments in italics)

That’s why the first person who happens to return a reporter’s phone message dictates whatever becomes the “final truth” of any story. Very often, the twenty-four-second-shot clock simply runs out before anyone else can be reached; consequently, that one returned phone call is all the information the journalist can use. And even when everyone else does calls back before deadline, the template has already been set by whoever got there first; from now on, every question the reporter asks will be colored by whatever was learned from the initial source. – consciously or not that leaves a lot of discretion to the journalist’s bias.

It’s not that the truth is being ignored; it’s just that the truth is inevitably combined with a bunch of crap that’s supposed to make news stories unbiased and credible, but really just makes them longer and less clear. The motivation for doing this is to foster objectivity, but it actually does the complete opposite. It makes finding an objective reality impossible, because you’re always getting facts plus requisite grains of “equalizing” fiction. – this still doesn’t let the journalist off the hook and the fact you know you’re doing it; that your buddies are doing it, just makes it worse.

Most of the time, political columnists and political commentators are trying to persuade you not to think critically about anything. – This could be true, but I’ve noticed this doesn’t break equally between political parties. 

Henry Jenkins, a professor of comparative media at M.I.T. and the author of From Barbie to Mortal Kombat: Gender and Computer Games. – I’m interested in video games specifically because I’m not interested in playing them, and I don’t know why.

There is a very conservative element to gaming because absolutely everything is built around consumerism. Game designers are asking themselves questions about how a game should look and what it should do, but not about what the game is supposed to mean.” – maybe this is the reason.

If nobody ever thinks about these games in a manner that’s human and metaphorical and contextual, they’ll all become strictly commodities, and then they’ll all become boring. They’ll only be games. And since we’ve already agreed that video games are the new rock music, it will create a very depressing scenario: this generation’s single most meaningful artistic idiom will still be–ultimately–meaningless. – I think Chuck is on to something: that Video games have become the new Rock music.

“They can tell by my questions that I’m really, really interested and really, really thinking about what they’re saying, in a way that only happens in nature when you’re falling in love with someone. – A person should practice this skill.

I think the larger sect of liars are people who think they are telling the truth, but who really have no idea what the truth is. So the deeper question is, what’s more important: narrative consistency or truth? I think we’re always trying to create a consistent narrative for ourselves. I think truth always takes a backseat to narrative. Truth has to sit at the back of the bus. – It’s situational.

[Errol Morris]: But what if you have no idea what the truth is? What if you’re convinced that your lies are what really happened? I wouldn’t classify that as lying. I’d classify that as being wrong. EM: I’m a great believer in self-deception. If you asked me what makes the world go round, I would say self-deception. Self-deception allows us to create a consistent narrative for ourselves that we actually believe. I’m not saying that the truth doesn’t matter. It does. But self-deception is how we survive. – … but Bush lied, right?’s hard to resist talking to someone who cares about what you are saying. It’s a seductive experience, even if you’re simply sitting next to someone at a dinner party who happens to be an especially intriguing bozo. – make eye contact and asks follow up questions.

There was a person you interviewed in an episode of First Person–Rick Rosner–whose personal story was that he purposely repeated his senior year in high school several times – why.

I believe all technology has a positive short-term effect and a negative long-term impact, and–on balance–the exponential upsurge of technology’s social import has been detrimental to the human experience. – The negative impact is medium-term. If the time frame is long enough all technology has a positive impact. It’s pretty easy to go back if you want, but few do.


About craigmaas

I do a little web design work and support a couple web sites and blogs. My primary focus is lighting and energy consulting where I use a number of computer tools to help my customer find ways of saving money and improving their work environment. See my web site for more information:
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