One of my favorite essayists is Chuck Klosterman. If you’re a follower of pop culture trends and music and appreciate funny, elegantly articulated, if slightly sardonic, prose then Chuck is your man. His recent release entitled Chuck Klosterman IV has these observations about our culture:
Why, I wondered, do people so often feel let down by popular culture? Why do serious film fans feel disgusted when another stock Tom Hanks movie earns $200 million? Why do record store employees get angry when a band like Comets on Fire come to town and only twenty-two people pay to see them? Why do highly literate people get depressed when they look at the New York Times Best Sellers list, and why do anti-intellectuals feel contempt for critics who suggest The DaVinci Code is consciously targeted at dumb people? Why do nonreligious people think that the Christian Right shouldn’t have a voice in government? Why do conservatives get angry about the prospect of gay marriage, even if they’ve never met a gay person and never will? There’s always this peculiar disconnect between how people exist in the world and how the think the world is supposed to exist; it’s almost as if Americans can’t accept an important truth about being alive. And this is the truth to which I refer: culture can’t be wrong. That doesn’t mean it’s always “right,” nor does it mean that you always have to agree with it. But culture is never wrong. People can be wrong, and movements can be wrong. But culture-as a whole- cannot be wrong. Culture is just there.