Klostermeme XIII: 2 Degrees of Klostermeme

Sooooo…

My friend was in a wedding this past weekend and guess who was her groomsman. I’ll give you a hint. I don’t call these posts LoggiaMemes! She left me a voicemail asking me if there was anything I wanted to ask him. Of course, at the time I was rocking too hard at the Baxttle of the Bands (more on that later) to hear my phone and for some reason said phone neglected to alert me of a new message so I didn’t hear it until today when it preceded another message. Anywhosel, I may not have gotten to crack the Kase of the Klosterman Theory by having her annoyingly ask him his real answers to all 23 of his questions he asks people to find out if he can really love them, but I can carry on with the Klostermemes and theories in this blog. And so I shall!

Chuck Klosterman IV is rife with meme fodder. The Klostermeme series features these questions, my answers, my speculations on how Klosterman would answer and an invitation to the reader to answer these questions in the comments!

alfred packerYou are in a plane crash in the Andes Mountains, not unlike those people from the movie Alive. As such, you will be forced to consume the human flesh of the people who died on impact; this will be a terrible experience, but it is the only way for you to survive. Fortunately, you did not know any of the victims personally.

Would you rather eat a dead baby, or would you rather eat a dead elderly person? Would gender play a role in the selection process? And how much would it bother you if this meat turned out to be delicious?

My answer: I may be a vegetarian, but I am fully prepared to eat meat in the event that I must do so in order to stay alive. Since I already have qualms about meat-eating, I reckon people eating wouldn’t be much more difficult for my conscience. Especially if I don’t know any of the victims and they are already dead. It doesn’t matter if it turns out to be delicious. Meat is delicious but I am bothered by it enough to refrain from eating it. So in essence, being a vegetarian for moral reasons has already mentally prepared me for this sort of situation. Hooray!

As for which meat I would prefer, I’d probably want to eat a young person or a baby. Their meat would be the healthiest and therefore tastiest (and best for you), right? Gender wouldn’t play a role but I would rather eat a nice, plump person than an anorexic.

Klosterman Theory: He would agree with me on the meat selection but he would probably have a harder time dealing if he ended up liking it, since he’s a staunch meat-eater currently.

Comment me with your answers! More information on this (non) story as it (doesn’t) develop(s)!

Klostermeme XII

Chuck Klosterman IV is rife with meme fodder. The Klostermeme series features these questions, my answers, my speculations on how Klosterman would answer and an invitation to the reader to answer these questions in the comments!

How would your views about war, politics, and the role of the military change if all future conflicts were fought by armies of robots (that is to say, if all nations agreed to conduct wars exclusively with machines so that human casualties would be virtually nonexistent)?

My Answer: Putting aside the fact that armies of robots is a bad idea (all it takes is one self-aware robot and we are SCREWED!), I would certainly feel BETTER about war if there were no human casualties. But I still think that violence is pretty futile and doesn’t really solve the issues at the core of any conflict. There are always going to be times when physical conflict is necessary (WWII), but for the most part, negotiation is the best way to end a conflict. If you’re already agreeing with every nation that you will use robots, why not agree on other terms as well so the robots never have to be turned on?

Of course, all it takes is one country to break their promise and program their robots to kill people. So I guess my views don’t really change much. I’m a pacifist who doesn’t believe that everybody will be willing to play by the rules.

Klosterman Theory: He would be fine with this. He doesn’t fear robots.

Your answers in the comments!

Klostermeme XI

Chuck Klosterman IV is rife with meme fodder. The Klostermeme series features these questions, my answers, my speculations on how Klosterman would answer and an invitation to the reader to answer these questions in the comments!

hitler walletIt is 1933. You are in Berlin, Germany. Somehow, you find yourself in a position where you can effortlessly steal Adolf Hitler’s wallet. This theft will not effect Hitler’s rise to power, the nature of WWII, or the Holocaust. There is no important identification in the wallet, but the act will cost Hitler forty Reichsmarks and completely ruin his evening. You do not need the money. The odds that you will be caught committing this crime are less than 2%.

Are you ethically obligated to steal Hitler’s wallet?

My Answer: Ethically, no. Not if it doesn’t effect history in any significant way. But it sure would be cool if you did.

Klosterman Theory: Yes.

What do you think? Answer in the comments!

Klostermeme X

Chuck Klosterman IV is rife with meme fodder. The Klostermeme series features these questions, my answers, my speculations on how Klosterman would answer and an invitation to the reader to answer these questions in the comments!

You are placed in the unenviable position of having to compete for the right to stay alive.

You will be matched against a person of your own gender in a series of 5 events – an 800-meter run, a game of Scrabble, a three-round boxing match, a debate over the legalization of late-term abortion (scored and officiated by reputable collegiate judges), and the math portion of the SAT.

In order to survive, you must win at least 3 of these events (your opponent will be playing for his or her life as well). However, you (kind of) get to pick your opponent: you can either a) compete against a person selected at random, or b) you can compete against someone who is exactly like you. If selected at random, this individual could be of any age or skill level – he/she might be an infant with Down Syndrome but he/she might also be an Academic All-American linebacker from Notre Dame. If you pick “the average human” he/she will be precisely your age and will have an identical level of education, and the person will be a perfect cross-section of your particular demographic – he/she will also be of average height and of average weight with a standard IQ and the most normative life experience imaginable.

So whom do you select? Or – perhaps more accurately – do you feel that you are better than an average version of yourself?

My Answer: OK. I hate competitions. I am notoriously unlucky in things that involve any sort of luck and I am completely un-athletic due to my gimpy knees. So in general, this is a very unfortunate situation for me. The events I will almost certainly lose are the 800 meter race (unless I am pitted against someone without legs and they can’t use a wheelchair) and the boxing round. I will most likely also lose the math round. I got an 1180 on my SATs. My verbal score was perfect. If you aren’t as bad at math as I am you can deduce how embarrassingly low that makes my math score. That means I absolutely MUST win the Scrabble game and the debate. I do have a slightly higher than average IQ, and am competent at word games so I definitely have a shot here.

Unfortunately, I must also somehow not suck at the SATs or the boxing round. It is possible to box successfully without using your knees too much. Running is all knees so it is a lost cause. I think my best hope is going primal in the boxing match. Having considered all these factors, and the fact that I tend to be pretty unlucky, I will choose the average human to compete against because otherwise I will probably end up competing against a teenage Olympic caliber athlete and intellectual genius.

Man, I’m glad this is a hypothetical scenario.

Klosterman Theory: He would choose the average human.

Because It’s Lunch Time

And because I think Elyse and Wade should steal it for their very entertaining cooking blog, I pilfered this food meme.

1) Copy this list into your blog or journal, including these instructions.
2) Bold all the items you’ve eaten.
3) Cross out any items that you would never consider eating.
4) As is my way, I will expound on the meme by giving a + or – (to indicate my enjoyment or disapproval of said foods I have eaten. Continue reading

Klostermeme IX

Chuck Klosterman IV is rife with meme fodder. The Klostermeme series features these questions, my answers, my speculations on how Klosterman would answer and an invitation to the reader to answer these questions in the comments!

If given the choice, would you rather a) only abide by the rules and morals of a society that you personally agree with, or b) have the power to slightly adjust the rules and morals that currently exist (but these adjustments would then apply to you and everyone else, all the time?

moralsMy Answer: Since I wholeheartedly believe in my own morals I would choose option B. A general live and let live policy adopted by everyone would really mellow this old world out. Only a hypocrite (and an asshole) would want to live in a world in which rules only apply to them. Unfortunately, I think option A is closer to the way the world is already.

Klosterman Theory: He seems like a generally good person. Therefore he would choose option B.

Klostermeme VIII

Chuck Klosterman IV is rife with meme fodder. The Klostermeme series features these questions, my answers, my speculations on how Klosterman would answer and an invitation to the reader to answer these questions in the comments!

You begin watching a new television series, and you immediately find yourself strongly relating to one of the supporting characters. You’ve never before experienced a TV character that seems so similar to yourself; this fictional person dresses, behaves, and talks exactly like you. And – slowly, over the course of several episodes – the similarity grows spooky on two separate occasions, the character recounts personal anecdotes that happened in your real life. The actor portraying this character begins mimicking your mannerisms. In at least 3 different episodes, the character’s dialog quotes things that you have said (verbatim) during casual conversation.

tim canterburyYou become convinced this is neither coincidence nor mental illness: somehow, this character is being actively based on your life. The show’s writers generally depict the “you” character in a positive manner, but as far as you can tell – you don’t know anyone involved in the show’s production or creation. It’s totally inexplicable.

You have two friends who also watch this show. One of them is certain that your theory is correct and that (somehow) the character is, in fact, based on your life. She tells you to get a lawyer. The second friend concedes that many of the similarities are amazing, but that the whole notion is ridiculous, impossible, and egocentric. He tells you to see a therapist.

How do you respond to this situation? Do you do anything?

My Answer: I wouldn’t do anything. Isn’t identifying with characters one of the reasons people love a show? Sex and the City fans wear t-shirts that declare which character they are most like. The internet is full of “Which [Popular TV Show] Character Are You?” quizzes. I usually don’t identify with (and am often appalled by) characters on shows like Sex and the City and the shows I do love mostly involve fantasy or historical situations (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Battlestar Galactica, Deadwood) which are metaphors for modern life. I think it would be quite refreshing to finally have a character that speaks to me in every possible way. Or maybe I would hate the character. Either way, it would be a pretty entertaining TV show for me. It would also make for great blog fodder.

Klosterman Theory: He would write about it but otherwise do nothing.

Your answers in the comments, puh-leeze!

Klostermeme VII

Chuck Klosterman IV is rife with meme fodder. The Klostermeme series features these questions, my answers, my speculations on how Klosterman would answer and an invitation to the reader to answer these questions in the comments!

pillYou are offered a Brain Pill. If you swallow this pill, you will become 10% more intelligent than you currently are; you will be more adept at reading comprehension, logic, and critical thinking. However, to all other people you know (and to all future people you meet) you will seem 20% less intelligent. In other words, you will immediately become smarter, but the rest of the world will perceive you as dumber (and there is no way you can ever alter the universality of that perception).

Do you take this pill?

My Answer: No. Part of the usefulness of intelligence is being able to convince other people that you have good ideas which should be taken into consideration. You would have a much harder time in work and social situations. Unless your current level of intelligence is so low that it hinders day-to-day functions, there is no reason to take this pill.

Klosterman Theory: He would not take the pill, as he is concerned with public perception.

Put your answers in the comments!

Klostermeme IV

Chuck Klosterman IV is rife with meme fodder. The Klostermeme series will feature these questions, my answers, my speculations on how Klosterman would answer and an invitation to the reader to answer these questions in the comments! It will also challenge my recollection Roman numerals.

And so…

At the age of 30, you suffer a blow to the skull. The head trauma leaves you with a rare form of partial amnesia – though you are otherwise fine, you’re completely missing 5 years from your life. You have no memory of anything that happened between the ages of 23 and 28. That period of your life is completely gone; you have no recollection of anything that occurred during that 5 year gap.

You are told by friends and family that – when you were 25 – you (supposedly) became friends with someone you met on the street. You possess numerous photos of you and this person, and everyone in your life insists that this individual was your best friend for over 2 years. You were (allegedly) inseparable. In fact, you find several old letters and emails from this person that vaguely indicate you may have even shared a brief romantic relationship. But something happened between you and this individual when you were 27, and the friendship abruptly ended (and apparently you never told anyone what caused this schism, so it remains a mystery to all). The friend moved away soon after the incident, wholly disappearing from your day-to-day life. But you have no memory of any of this. Within the context of your own mind, this person never even existed. There is tangible proof that you deeply loved this friend, but – whenever you look at their photograph – all you see is a stranger.

Six weeks after your accident, you are informed that this person has suddenly died.

How sad do you feel?

My Answer: Probably pretty sad but I’m mourning the loss of my memory more than I am my dead friend whom I don’t remember. I imagine losing those years would take quite an emotional toll on me. I do so love to remember the past. Of course, then my unshakable Catholic Guilt would kick in and I would mourn not mourning my friend enough. It’s a vicious spiral.

Klosterman Theory: Not sad at all.

Klostermeme III

Chuck Klosterman IV is rife with meme fodder. The Klostermeme series will feature these questions, my answers, my speculations on how Klosterman would answer and an invitation to the reader to answer these questions in the comments! It will also challenge my recollection Roman numerals. So far I have failed because I forgot to put III between II and VI.

And so…

Assume everything about your musical tastes was reversed overnight. Everything you once loved, you now hate; everything you once hated, you now love. For example, if your favorite band has always been R.E.M., they will suddenly sound awful to you; they will become the band you dislike the most. By the same token, if you’ve never been remotely interested in the work of Yes and Jethro Tull, those two groups will instantly seem fascinating. If you generally dislike jazz today, you will generally like jazz tomorrow. If you currently consider the first album by Veruca Salt to be slightly above average, you will abruptly find it slightly below average. Everything will become its opposite, but everything will remain in balance (and the rest of your personality will remain unchanged). You won’t love music any less (or any more) than you do right now. There will still be artists you love and who make you happy; they will merely be all the artists you currently find unlistenable.

Now, I concede that this transformation would make you unhappy. But explain why.

dave matthews bandMy answer: Because the music you like is part of your identity. Like with books and movies, people seek out others who agree with your taste. That’s not to say that I couldn’t be friends with a U2 fan. Plenty of people in my circle love them. But it’s easier to share the common bond of taste. You can go to shows together. You can talk about the lyrics you like. You can identify on a deeper level using music as a template. Not only that, but having been into metal and then punk and indie in high school, that was part of my rebellion. It was how I differentiated myself from the right wing assholes I went to school with. There were lyrics about alienation and punk culture that I related to. I never felt the same way about the crap they liked. It was shallow. Would I have turned out the same way if I’d found emotional significance in the Dave Mathews Band rather than The Smiths? I think not. Klosterman says that I wouldn’t experience a change in my personality, but this is impossible. I might still be a liberal who attempts to do the right thing. I might still love nature and animals. I might be a happy goth. But I would be listening to Matchbox 20. This is incongruous. I would find Sugar Ray lyrics satisfying. There is no way that I wouldn’t undergo a fundamental change in my personality. I like my personality. I like my friends and my husband. That is why I would be sad.

Klosterman Theory: Because of his “your personality doesn’t change” clause, I’m really not sure. Perhaps it’s because his previous books would no longer reflect his opinions.

Put your answers in the comments!