Wednesday, September 08, 2004

I thoroughly enjoyed reading Chuck Klosterman’s essay collection, Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs. You gotta love a book that spends thirteen pages detailing the social relevance and power of TV’s Saved by the Bell (who didn’t watch this show in between college classes?). His more entertaining essays deal with focused topics like how John Cusack ruined his love life and the sad reason why soccer is the world’s most popular sport. His weaker essays tend to be those where he extrapolates universal laws from popular cultural tidbits.

They boil down to the phrase, “Society believes (this) because of (that).”

Perhaps my criticism is guided by my adverse Pavlovian response to the phrase, “Society thinks….” Upon hearing it I cringe. I heard it frequently repeated during critical thinking classes in college and the phrase always struck me as being pretentious and trite. It’s a concept too ambitious to be uttered by a guy having done keg stands fourteen hours earlier. It’s simply a pet peeve of mine. I have a visceral reaction to the word society. I hate it, and thus never use it in my creative writing.

Arguments involving it always collapse on themselves, where one caveat can turn the carefully balanced structure into sawdust.

Society thinks that this journal entry rocks.

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