Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs by Chuck Klosterman


Summary from Goodreads:

Countless writers and artists have spoken for a generation, but no one has done it quite like Chuck Klosterman. With an exhaustive knowledge of popular culture and an almost effortless ability to spin brilliant prose out of unlikely subject matter, Klosterman attacks the entire spectrum of postmodern America: reality TV, Internet porn, Pamela Anderson, literary Jesus freaks, and the real difference between apples and oranges (of which there is none). And don't even get him started on his love life and the whole Harry-Met-Sally situation. 


Whether deconstructing Saved by the Bell episodes or the artistic legacy of Billy Joel, the symbolic importance of The Empire Strikes Back or the Celtics/Lakers rivalry, Chuck will make you think, he'll make you laugh, and he'll drive you insane -- usually all at once. Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs is ostensibly about art, entertainment, infotainment, sports, politics, and kittens, but -- really -- it's about us. All of us. As Klosterman realizes late at night, in the moment before he falls asleep, "In and of itself, nothing really matters. What matters is that nothing is ever 'in and of itself.'" 


I think I was born too late for this book. Chuck Klosterman is an 80's kid while I on the other hand, to take the words of Icona Pop, am a 90's b****.  Although it helps that I grew up with two sisters who are of the 80's, so at least I am familiar with some of the cultural references in the book. All I am saying is that there is less affinity and an even lesser nostalgic feeling for say a movie like Reality Bites, or for a tv show like Saved by the Bell or MTV's The Real World. Although I cannot discount the fact that Klosterman can write about anything. He can probably come up with a clever 5 page essay about the gum stuck under my shoe. It is also evident that he is passionate about pop culture and consumes it with much love and it comes off in his essays. He doesn't just make witty remarks or snarky comments, there is a personal element to his essays.

While I did enjoy his observations and opinions and his deconstructions. And he doesn't fall short on getting the big point across, of  how pop culture affects our lives, our actions, our perceptions. But I must admit there are moments when I don't get an analogy or a connection  between one thing and another. It's like having a fuzzy and intermittent tv reception. Sometimes the picture comes on crystal clear, and sometimes it's all static. 

Still, I do think this book is worthwhile, especially if one is into pop culture. Klosterman is perceptive and extensive in his analysis of pop culture and it's worth reading just to see how creative he is in linking elements of pop culture to human life.  

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