Thursday, November 20, 2008
Recently I've become sort of obsessed with pop critic expert/essayist extraordinaire Chuck Klosterman. In the past few months I've read three of his books and look forward to reading his new novel, Downtown Owl. I've turned many family members and friends on to his writing, but I've noticed some of my closets pals shutter with disgust when I mention Chuck's name. "He's such an annoying, self-obsessed hipster," they moan. Yeah ok, so he is obsessed with himself. But that's part of what makes him such a great writer. He has a unique, self-loathing style that I really enjoy. And he knows a ton about music and reality TV shows, which in my book is the most important qualifying factor of coolness.
Anyways, he recently reviewed the latest Guns N' Roses album Chinese Democracy for The Onion's AV Club. Even though I've never considered myself a G&R fan, I was excited to read Mr. Klosterman's review, especially since he's an expert on 80's Metal. It was hilarious and well-written as most of his stuff tends to be. But as snarky pop-culture enthusiasts often do, the A.V. Club crowd felt the need to rip Chuck to shreds in the comments of the post. Right now as I'm typing this there are HUNDREDS of comments on the article, most of which have absolutely nothing to do with Chinese Democracy itself.
Most of the commenters bitch about how over-worked Klosterman's articles are and how "ironic and hipster-ish" his facial hair is. Yes, I'm not kidding. There are at least 30 comments dedicated to Chuck's beard.
Here are a few:
"And yes, he is a hipster. The evidence is the Sun Records shirt, Elvis Costello glasses and ironic facial hair."
"Dude is fugly--facial hair or no."
"How can facial hair be ironic? Oh, that's easy. It's when the overt meaning or purpose of the facial hair is the opposite of the actual meaning or purpose of the facial hair. You're welcome!"
There's also an extensive comment war between hipsters who hate Chuck Klosterman and the people making fun of those hipsters (who claim to be hipper than the hipsters.) In the end, it's just one big hipster self-hatefest. And I'm pretty sure it's meta but I can't really explain how.