Friday, February 26, 2010

But then again, maybe?

I have to say, I really like the set schedule that my new job provides. Being out of the office at 3pm daily (or earlier depending on my workload) and having weekends off has been absurdly great.

The only bitch of it all has been getting up at 5:30 am every day to make it to work on time (7am). I don't know why, but for some reason my normally 15 min.-long solo showers have turned into 25-30 min. showers at this time of the day. I seemingly zombie-out when the water hits me, I think. Perhaps I should invest in a shower timer?

As long as I have my coffee, nobody gets maimed.

I've made a mix for the drive to work in the wee hours when traffic light and it's still dark out. Unfortunately I'm not at home so I don't have it with me. I'll post it when I have access to the playlist on my iTunes.

So I'm reading Chuck Klosterman's Killing Yourself to Live right now and so far it's enjoyable. I really liked his more recent book IV and generally find his observations very poignant and almost-always absolutely true. He's also a writer who's very aware of his voice and his viewpoint, and doesn't lose sight of either even when writing about or for others. I'm only a few chapters in to KYTL, so my observations at this point are pretty limited and perhaps even unjustifiable until I've read the piece as a whole, but I do have one main criticism thus far: The writer knows he's famous.

It's this weird thing that writers do after they've become a household name--It's not arrogance per se, or some sort of implied superiority to the reader. It's the tone that becomes so matter-of-fact and literal that the writer-as-narrator becomes almost untrustworthy. I find myself thinking "is that really how it is, or just how you perceive it?"

This tone is just fine when a writer claims to be the informed and reliable narrator from the get-go: Political pundits whom write books do this all of the time. We know that Ann Coulter is writing her book to be self-serving and from the viewpoint that she's onehundred percent right and informed before we've hit page 2 (or lately even before we've opened the damned book).

With a writer like C.K., however, his tone throughout the book is often self-reflective and at times even a little self-deprecating. He writes himself as the "every man, regular guy" who his readers can and should identify with. He might not think like us, but his experiences are our experiences and his interactions within his culture are ours as well. He is his reader. And maybe that's the problem?

Thus, when he slips into that tone of "here's how it is, and if you don't know about it or don't agree then you just don't get it" he actually does come off as the aforementioned arrogant fop. His readerhip doesn't like being talked down to any more than I'm sure the writer does. It's that self-awareness of celebrity and (dare I use the term?) "value" as a brand name moreso than an individual that causes this shift; at least that's what my perception is. The writer knows you'll read his book because he's the writer, so of course you trust him. If you don't, then the book is just not for you and why are you reading it, then?

Anyway, this is just an observation made about an entire work in just a few chapters. Maybe it gets better? Maybe the tone shifts will become a central and important part of the narrative? I'll wait and see. The subject matter is too good to pass up, and I don't have anything else to read right now.

"Well all right, so I'm being foolish.
Well all right, so then let people know
About the dreams and wishes you wish
In the nights when the lights are low."

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