Chuck Klosterman on “The Nineties”

8th April 2022

Chuck Klosterman writes about culture. Pop culture, more specifically. Rock bands, basketball teams, adult entertainment, Saved by the Bell… you get the idea. He was a writer who wrote volumes of hot pop culture takes before being a writer with hot pop culture takes was just, y’know, being a writer. He’s positioned himself as a writer who doesn’t just think about pop culture, but has a knack for unearthing common threads in disparate things – like The Chicks and Van Halen, for example. And in doing that, you, the reader, get a deeper understanding of both. In his newest book, The Nineties, Klosterman chronicles the last decade of the 20th century. He does so not as a cultural critic, but more as a historian, or a philosopher. He takes a decade that many of its readers experienced, and thinks not about the nostalgia of the events back then, but their consequences, what mattered, and what didn’t.

Episode notes

(Photo courtesy of Penguin Press)

Chuck Klosterman writes about culture. Pop culture, more specifically. Rock bands, basketball teams, adult entertainment, Saved by the Bell… you get the idea.

He was a writer who wrote volumes of hot pop culture takes before being a writer with hot pop culture takes was just, y’know, being a writer.

His 2003 essay collection, Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs, made a bunch of top ten lists when it came out. And he’s since positioned himself as a writer who doesn’t just think about pop culture, but has a knack for unearthing common threads in disparate things – like The Chicks and Van Halen, for example. And in doing that, you, the reader, get a deeper understanding of both.

His newest book is called The Nineties. And we know what you’re probably thinking when we talk about a book called The Nineties and an author like Chuck Klosterman – maybe it’s a celebration of some lesser known Sting records, a postmodern reevaluation of Ghost World, or… 10,000 words on the problematic nature of Home Improvement and how it paved the way for nu-metal. Or something.

The Nineties isn’t that.

In the book, Klosterman chronicles the last decade of the 20th century. He does so not as a cultural critic, but more as a historian, or a philosopher. He takes a decade that many of its readers experienced, and thinks not about the nostalgia of the events back then, but their consequences, what mattered, what didn’t.

So, buckle in for a trip down memory lane!

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  • Chuck Klosterman

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Bullseye is a celebration of the best of arts and culture in public radio form. Host Jesse Thorn sifts the wheat from the chaff to bring you in-depth interviews with the most revered and revolutionary minds in our culture.

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