Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Kornheiser -or- Klosterman

I realize this will mean I've already sort of written about Chuck Klosterman twice over the course of the paltry two weeks I've been doing this writing, and, it's outdated, but, what the hey. Last year sometime Chuck Klosterman had some (apparantly - since I don't pay out my soul to ESPN every month I couldn't read the whole article) not so kind-ish words for Tony Kornheiser in a column he wrote on ESPN.com. Kornheiser responded by demanding that Klosterman call into Kornheiser's radio show and defend himself, which he never did.

Why do I think this is interesting? Well, rather than dredging through the processes which lead me, at this late date, to this story, an excercise that might shed some light on the question, I'd rather take this opportunity to try and disect the Karmic bond Kornheiser and Klosterman that, whether they want to acknowledge it or not, share.

On the surface Klosterman seems to write about heavy metal music, while Kornheiser is best known, by most people, for arguing about sports with Micheal Wilbon on TV. What could these people have to do with each other? Klosterman, as you might have gathered from the above, went all Hunter S. Thompson and agreed to write a column for ESPN, thus invading Kornheiser's world. Or so it would seem.

It's easy to say, "Oh, well, Klosterman doesn't just know about heavy metal. Dude has the chops to write about soccer, too!" because, based on what he has successfully written about, it's kind of true. More difficult to argue is that Kornheiser is worthy of being proclaimed such a broadly effective commentator. But c'mon. Maybe it's just that, ok, I dunno why it would be, but it seems like it's easier for me to look at Kornheiser and see "sportswriter" and not simply, "writer", or even "cultural commentator" than it is for me to see Klosterman as such (though maybe not a "writer").

I mean, with this random article about Sean Penn as just one example, let alone the actual books he's published, or his columns and all that, it's pretty clear that Kornheiser is capable of touching on cultural issues in general (of which issues Sean Penn is a great example, being, at this point, so, in my mind, general) just as much as Klosterman. I'd personally love to hear Kornheiser pontificate about 1980's hard rock - I might even rather hear his take than Klosterman's. On the flipside, why not give Klosterman a shot at Kornheiser's Monday Night Football gig? Ok, right. Sorry for even suggesting that.

But still, slap a pair of dark plastic frame glasses on Kornheiser and give him some hair (I think he'd have a Jew fro! oh please say there's a picture of Kornheiser at his senior prom out there somewhere) and he'd be Klosterman. The point of all this? I'd personally like to nominate Tony Kornheiser for the title of indie rock journalist of Chuck Klosterman's generation.

To The People - Oops... What Have I Done?

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