Why Chuck Klosterman is a great writer…

Any time I read one of Chuck Klosterman’s books my mind gets blown a little bit.  That alone would justify calling him a great writer, but what really amazes (and also drives me crazy with jealousy), is when his throw-aways are more brilliant than anything I could work weeks on.

Case in point – here’s a footnote (yes, a friggin’ footnote) from a section in Eating The Dinosaur:

“Before (Michael J.) Fox plays Johnny B. Goode at the high school dance (in Back To The Future), he tells his audience, ‘This is an oldie… Well, this an oldie from where i come from.’  Chuck Berry recorded Johnny B. Goode in 1958.  Back To The Future was made in 1985, so the gap is twenty-seven years.  I’m writing this essay in 2009, which means the gap between 1985 and today is twenty-four years.  That’s almost the same amount of time.  Yet nobody would ever refer to Back To The Future as an ‘oldie,’ even if he or she were born in the 1990s.  What seems to be happening is a dramatic increase in cultural memory: As culture accelerates, the distance between historical events feels smaller.  The gap between 2010 and 2000 will seem far smaller than the gap between 1980 and 1970, which already seemed far smaller than the gap between 1950 and 1940.  This, I suppose, is society’s own version of time travel (assuming the trend continues for eternity).”

Damn.  Just, damn.

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