I read this book while staying at my parents’ for the day – it seems I re-read this book every time I stay at my parents for a while, and I’m sure if I were to ever read it while not sitting on one of the stylish, squarish, oddly comfortable chairs and drinking their deliciously expensive coffee, my brain might melt – and even though it was written in 2003 and I’ve reread it multiple times since then, it’s still so bizarrely relevant. Of course, it could be that Klosterman references all the pop culture of my generation, and I refuse to remain hip to the jive, so maybe we’re both trapped in the 90s, he and I.
Klosterman is like David Sedaris and Anne Lamott in a lot of ways, except that where Lamott and Sedaris are funnier and better writers than I am, Klosterman is both those things and he’s effing brilliant. Sedaris I get, Lamott I get, and when they come to their sentimental, heartwarming conclusions about the nature of love or family or children or whatever, I’m both touched and convinced that I could have thought of that if they hadn’t gotten to it first. Klosterman, however, digs deep into these brilliant expositions of cultural whatever, and no WAY would I ever, could I ever. He is Mozart to my Solieri.
Also, I mostly get stuff, and only occasionally find myself hitting the Urban Dictionary to translate some slang that has passed me by. Klosterman, however, sends me to the intarnets time and again to look up words like ‘xenophobia’ and to Wikipedia Tom Landry. Which is fun, totally fun, and I learn all sorts of new things (which I promptly forget when it comes time to visit my folks and re-read and gorge on expensive coffee), but it just totally underscores (and bolds and italics) how many many things there are to know in the world and how few of them I will ever know.
And because I forget that you might not know, Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs is a ‘low-culture manifesto,’ by which Klosterman means it is a lump of snarkily hilarious, surprisingly insightful essays on popular culture and the mind and why The Real Life has become the template off of which we all base our personalities. Hear me now, listen to me later, and believe me sometime next week – you will love it.