no additives or preservatives

kacked.com



Chuck Klosterman Who?

For whatever reason... I was reading on Wikipedia about the Northeast Blackout of 2003 (I can't remember, but can't you just waste oodles of time reading on Wikipedia?), and I see this reference:

A passage in Chuck Klosterman's 2005 non-fiction book Killing Yourself to Live: 85% of a True Story recounts the author's experience of being in Montana, a state not affected by the blackout, and listening to Fox News anchor Sean Hannity report on the power outage over the radio. Klosterman writes:

"Mr. Hannity is taking calls from listeners in Manhattan. All the callers are describing the scene like it's Mardi Gras; people seem to be wildly enjoying this blackout. Hannity says everyone should buy bottled water and open their apartment windows. He congratulates the people of New York for remaining calm during this period of hardship, and he salutes them for not looting the stores and initiating a race riot. Christ. We have low standards in this country."

One of the things I like about Wikipedia --you can jump from one obscure factoid to the next in hyperspeed.

I start reading different stuff on the web about Klosterman. Next thing you know I've made up my mind that I must have all his books. He's funny and writing about stuff I find interesting (diverting maybe) and I need something for a change. I call Half-Price Books as I'm wheeling over there, thinking "shit, I bet if they have any of his books they're in who knows what section". When the clerk at Half-Price comes back on the line after fielding my request she says she's sorry but they don't have any of this books and then starts to tell me how if they did they would be all over the store and sorry it took so long...

I call Barnes and Nobles. I figure screw it, at least I can buy them new. The clerk there starts rattling off the titles of all four books. I stop him. I know what the titles are, can you please check if you have any of them? He's got them all and I ask him: "You sound like you're familiar with him, are you?", "I've read them all", he says.

Stuff and nonsense! Everybody has heard of this guy except me.

I got "Chuck Klosterman IV" from the library, and an audio cd where he's reading his essay about being on the road with a Guns n' Roses tribute band. Hilarious. Insightful. My kind of stuff. I was laughing all the way back from the library.

His essays and stories are fun but they remind me of Chinese food. A few days later I've forgotten most of what I read. But in this case it just makes for a good reason to own the books. One thing has stuck with me:

He pointed out that an opinion is just an opinion --it can change.

Sometimes I wonder about this. Like when I say to myself: "my favorite movie is L'avventura". What do I know about what my favorite movie is? I mean yea it's pretty good but it's been years since I seen it and I'm really just a collection of ideas/desires/fragments swirling around in a thing called mind. I guess the best I can say is it's somebody's favorite. Somebody I know fairly well.

I'm trying to notice these edicts as they float to the surface. I want to retest them...

For example, the other day my buddy wuehlmaus says what a great song "Stairway to Heaven" is. And I respond knee-jerk: "I hate Stairway to Heaven". Thinking about it I realized it's truly been years since I've actually listened to it. I take myself too seriously when I talk about my opinion. As if it were the word of God or so (though I guess in a buddhist sense it is.)

I was telling another buddy about Klosterman. He sounded pretty interested until I mentioned how Klosterman likes Billy Joel. My friend scoffed. As if liking Billy Joel eliminates someone from having a serious opinion about anything. Heh. I can relate to that viewpoint. It's funny how invested I am with my opinions.

I've got "Stairway to Heaven" and some Billy Joel on my portable. Let's see if I can breakdown and listen to them...

Esquire: Chuck Klosterman Has an Opinion, But Does It Matter?


More To Dick Than Meets The Eye

I'm reading through some more short stories by Philip K. Dick --the one's accompanying a paperback version of "minority report", a novella that I had read long before it crossed Spielberg's desk.

I'm finding that the thing that annoyed me about Dick's writing when I first started reading him is the thing I now find most interesting --he paints himself into a corner. His stories just don't make any sense. The world he creates is not consistent in a way that allows me to suspend my disbelief. At first I put this down to sloppy writing, and it was easy to take this view as his stories are kinda pulpy/trashy/non-literature type stuff. A guilty pleasure akin to reading comic books or pornography...

But now... it's like I finally get it. He does it on purpose.

From Stanislaw Lem's "Philip K. Dick: A Visionary Among Charlatans" (alternate translation...):

"He invented a method to express, with the aid of trash, that which transcends all trash."

Philip K. Dick Psychological Bio


Call Of The Wild

Finally read a Jack London book. I'd been carting it around in my pocket for several months, maybe as long as a year. I remember seeing someone on the plane reading it and thinking: "I've got that book in my pocket computer!" (that and a small library), or more likely I was reading something else.

Good book, kind of an airport novel though. A fast read --about the same speed as one of those Maxwell Grant "The Shadow" novels (come to think of it I'll have to try reading one of those again --just for laughes.) One cool thing about it was that the story is told from the perspective of a dog. A dog that gets "sold into slavery". The slavery of pulling a sled in the great white north during the alaskan gold rush.

I liked this quote enough to bookmark it:

"There is an ecstasy that marks the summit of life, and beyond which life cannot rise. And such is the paradox of living, this ecstasy comes when one is most alive, and it comes as a complete forgetfulness that one is alive. This ecstasy, this forgetfulness of living, comes to the artist, caught up and out of himself in a sheet of flame; it comes to the soldier, war-mad on a stricken field and refusing quarter; and it came to Buck, leading the pack, sounding the old wolf-cry, straining after the food that was alive and that fled swiftly before him through the moonlight. He was sounding the deeps of his nature, and of the parts of his nature that were deeper than he, going back into the womb of Time. He was mastered by the sheer surging of life, the tidal wave of being, the perfect joy of each separate muscle, joint, and sinew in that it was everything that was not death, that it was aglow and rampant, expressing itself in movement, flying exultantly under the stars and over the face of dead matter that did not move."


An End To Fear And Loathing?

One of the interesting things mentioned in the documentary "Breakfast With Hunter" is that the first time Thompson used the expression "fear and loathing" was November 22, 1963. He was describing his reaction to the murder of John Kennedy.

I was curious about the reason for Thompson's suicide and curious to read more by him --having only read "Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas" (and having seen the movie.) So I picked up a copy of a collection of his writings: "The Great Shark Hunt". Interestingly, in the "author's note" near the beginning (written in 1977) he offers an explanation for his suicide:

...I'd like to say, for the permanent record, that it is a very strange feeling to be a 40-year-old American writer in this century and sitting alone in this huge building on Fifth Avenue in New York at one o'clock in the morning on the night before Christmas Eve, 2000 miles from home, and compiling a table of contents for a book of my own Collected Works in an office with a tall glass door that leads out to a big terrace looking down on The Plaza Fountain.

Very strange.

I feel like I might as well be sitting up here carving the words for my own tombstone. . . and when I finish, the only fitting exit will be right straight off this fucking terrace and into The Fountain, 28 stories below and at least 200 yards out in the air and across Fifth Avenue.

Nobody could follow that act.

Not even me. . . and in fact the only way I can deal with this eerie situation at all is to make a conscious decision that I have already lived and finished the life I planned to live -- (13 years longer, in fact) -- and everything from now on will be A New Life, a different thing, a gig that ends tonight and starts tomorrow morning.

So if I decided to leap for The Fountain when I finish this memo, I want to make one thing perfectly clear -- I would genuinely love to make that leap, and if I don't I will always consider it a mistake and a failed opportunity, one of the very few serious mistakes of my First Life that is now ending... So long Hunter S. Thompson.



Nullam elementum neque a ante. Vestibulum sed urna hendrerit nibh egestas adipiscing. Ut gravida. Vivamus ut dolor. Mauris molestie elementum magna. Maecenas scelerisque feugiat erat. Sed nec risus. Phasellus eu nunc. Curabitur purus. Ut nonummy. Etiam sit amet mi quis felis suscipit tempus. Cum sociis natoque penatibus et magnis dis parturient montes, nascetur ridiculus mus. Quisque tincidunt ullamcorper massa. Duis elit.

Phasellus viverra dolor. Sed nulla dui, pharetra ut, faucibus ut, tempor sit amet, elit. Sed ut dui. Nunc quam nisl, sodales ut, molestie sit amet, tristique sit amet, pede. Donec ornare massa nec ligula. Morbi eget nunc in lectus vestibulum porttitor. Integer nec mauris mattis nibh elementum facilisis. Praesent wisi. Nullam eros sem, fringilla nec, venenatis non, ultrices nec, turpis. Curabitur et erat id mi auctor pulvinar. Vestibulum ante ipsum primis in faucibus orci luctus et ultrices posuere cubilia Curae; Phasellus tempus, orci congue tincidunt ornare, felis libero tempor lectus, et lobortis eros lacus vitae lacus. Etiam tempus nunc quis wisi. Duis elementum blandit mauris. Etiam malesuada lorem et sem.

Nullam elementum neque a ante. Vestibulum sed urna hendrerit nibh egestas adipiscing. Ut gravida. Vivamus ut dolor. Mauris molestie elementum magna. Maecenas scelerisque feugiat erat. Sed nec risus. Phasellus eu nunc. Curabitur purus. Ut nonummy. Etiam sit amet mi quis felis suscipit tempus. Cum sociis natoque penatibus et magnis dis parturient montes, nascetur ridiculus mus. Quisque tincidunt ullamcorper massa. Duis elit.

Phasellus viverra dolor. Sed nulla dui, pharetra ut, faucibus ut, tempor sit amet, elit. Sed ut dui. Nunc quam nisl, sodales ut, molestie sit amet, tristique sit amet, pede. Donec ornare massa nec ligula. Morbi eget nunc in lectus vestibulum porttitor. Integer nec mauris mattis nibh elementum facilisis. Praesent wisi. Nullam eros sem, fringilla nec, venenatis non, ultrices nec, turpis. Curabitur et erat id mi auctor pulvinar. Vestibulum ante ipsum primis in faucibus orci luctus et ultrices posuere cubilia Curae; Phasellus tempus, orci congue tincidunt ornare, felis libero tempor lectus, et lobortis eros lacus vitae lacus. Etiam tempus nunc quis wisi. Duis elementum blandit mauris. Etiam malesuada lorem et sem.