Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

World Gone Wrong Certitude a Four-Letter Word in Chuck Klosterman's Latest

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

World Gone Wrong Certitude a Four-Letter Word in Chuck Klosterman's Latest

Article excerpt

Everything we know is wrong. Well, maybe not. I guess it's hard to say for sure. Who knows, right? Such roundabout thinking is the basis behind "But What If We're Wrong: Thinking About the Present As If It Were the Past," the latest book from Chuck Klosterman, the brainy pop culture essayist behind "Sex, Drugs and Coco Puffs" and "Fargo Rock City."

But don't be mistaken: This is not another collection of essays. It might look like one; it might even feel like one. But, once again, you're wrong. That's not Mr. Klosterman's intention, at least, as the author is quick to note. That shouldn't stop people from reading into it however they might choose. It's ultimately whatever you want it to be, really. Except when it's not. But maybe that might just be what it's going to be in the next few hundred years. We're only left to assume what the future will believe.

Again, such loopy thinking is at the core of this new collection of ... well, whatever it might be. In some ways, Mr. Klosterman's newest book demonstrates his best and worst traits, all at once. It's certainly his most wide-reaching accomplishment to date, as he finds himself running a variety of pundits, including astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, filmmaker Richard Linklater, TV critic Emily Nussbaum and musician David Byrne, among others, through "Klosterman's Razor," which he defines as "the philosophical belief that the best hypothesis is the one that reflexively accepts its potential wrongness to begin with." The relevance of our popular modern/past entertainment, including music, books, TV and sports, are individually called into question including our political system and even our scientific laws including gravity! Not even our existence gets a pass.

Nothing is off limits for Chuck Klosterman. Well, except global warming - despite his editor's insistence otherwise. …

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