Michael Piafsky


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Sep 01 2008

A Conversation With Chuck Klosterman

It is very difficult and kind of stupid to be confident about something that is inherently unknowable. Let’s say I think a band is better than another band: I might really believe that, and maybe it’s true. Maybe it’s true. Maybe I’m wrong. I probably think it’s probably true, in my opinion. So I don’t know why it would be better writing if I removed the “probablys” and made it a “stronger” statement. Criticism is an unclear world, and the major critics, or rather the ones who’ve seemed to establish the tone of how criticism is written, have concluded that having an authoritative voice is better, even if that fabricated authority doesn’t match the way they think. I use qualifiers because I think things need qualification.

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Mar 01 2005

An Interview with the Writers of America the Book

We didn’t really concern ourselves about how informed our audience was going to be. What we wanted was for you to open the book and see the naked Supreme Court justices, and you laugh at that, on a certain level independent of your knowledge of who these people are. We wanted to make sure that the book had a lot of pretty accessible, fun stuff that wasn’t dependent on your level of education or knowledge. On the flip side, some of us are kind of nerdy in our love of history and literature, so we put in jokes for us. One of the things I laughed hardest at was a sidebar in the Supreme Court chapter, the landmark case of V v. V settled on fifth appeal (V v. V V), which was a reference to a miniseries and a Thomas Pynchon book, so not a lot of people are going to get that joke, but we didn’t worry about it because we know that you turn three pages and you’ve got Scalia’s dong.