And it goes a little something like this…
Confession number 1: I don’t know what I’m doing.
Confession number 2: Nope… still don’t know.
Confession number 3: I get by on pretending I know what I’m doing and this blog is me blowing my own cover. Yikes.
Confession number 4: Nobody believes that I know what I’m doing anyway so we’re still at square one. WHOOPDE…oh crap.
Confession number 5: I read a book by Chuck Klosterman once called Sex, Drugs And Cocoa Puffs. I had no idea who he was but the reason I ordered it on Amazon was because I had a recommendation from a friend that it was excellent. OK that’s a lie. I was watching an episode of The OC for the third time to pick up all the details I may have missed the first two times and THANK GOD I DID (this moment changed my life and I’m not sure if for better or worse) because I paused on a scene where Seth Cohen is lying on his bed reading. I paused to see exactly what it was he was reading so that I could buy the book, read it and continue on my quest to make myself as identical to Seth, Marissa, Summer and… no on second thoughts not Ryan in his wifebeater becoming a cagefighter, not aspirational, no… as possible. I was 16. It worked. (Totally didn’t work. Though having lots of Bright Eyes and Modest Mouse on my iPod and owning a Death Cab For Cutie t-shirt definitely scored me some time with the “emo” corner in the school canteen once I got to sixth year.)
[Becoming Seth Cohen; The moment that changed my life]
Anyway. I’m telling you this because I bought the book. And then I read the book (rare). There was a chapter about how Chuck hated John Cusack because John Cusack (and Coldplay and When Harry Met Sally) had – via schmaltz and calculated manipulation – given women unrealistic expectations about “love” and, as a result, he has had terrible luck with the opposite sex. Another chapter was about how MTV’s The Real World was responsible for the anti-evolution of human beings into one-dimensional personalities. I’d never read anything like it. This music/film/sport fanboy genius making observations about life and mundanity using pop culture reference after pop culture reference - most of which I didn’t yet get but wanted to in order to understand Chuck. Chuck showed how the stuff we actually like immersing ourselves in could be more academic and insightful than any of the formulae I was having to memorise in school.
On the page, Chuck and I were friends. It didn’t matter that we weren’t friends in real life because in real life I’d find him funny but also intensely irritating. In real life, Chuck would be inescapable. But this way I could close the book when I’d had my fill. In real life I’d be petrified of him. Chuck’d think I was a chattering imbocile every time I’d open my mouth and nothing would come out of it except “D’you get what I mean about it being weird that Backstreet Boys are basically the same age as New Kids On The Block but they were the boyband for a different generation?”, “I’m not explaining this theory on why Whigfield matters well” and/or “Erm… I think, that… well… you… speak now?”. I was satisfied with the idea that Chuck lived in the reams of text; my entertaining mate who was always on form. I was more than satisfied, I was INSPIRED.
I decided when I was 21 that I was going to be the “FEMALE Chuck Klosterman”. Chick Klosterwoman, if you like (or not). I’d read music magazines since before discovering Chuck, mainly Q Magazine. The first time I bought Q, Dido was on the cover (SEE? I DON’T KNOW WTF I’M DOING). It was the combination of buying Q and reading Chuck that gave me bad ideas. Terrible ideas that came to fruition one very dark day when *FOR LAUGHS* my fellow law undergraduate friend turned to me and said: “Eve, forget this law shit… what’s your dream job?” And to the irreversible detriment of my parents’ aortas it all clicked, ”I’d like to be a music journalist at Q Magazine but like the female Chuck Klosterman of Q Magazine. Chick Klosterwoman if you like. Or not.”See, it’s all very funny until someone loses their mind and decides to go and do a very silly job because they’re infatuated with the idea.
And that is the story of my life.