Chuck Klosterman is a Coward

Williamette Week Online: “The thing that I want to find out is who’s doing the entry for butter. There’s an entry for butter! What would motivate someone to do that? There’s an entry for waffles; I cannot fathom what that person’s motive is. And it’s good—it’s got the history of waffles!”

The motive, Mr. Klosterman, is that inquisitive people are actually interested in the minutiae of our world. The purpose, Mr. Klosterman, is because understanding how such things like waffles and butter came into being provides larger insights into human innovation and invention. (Watch James Burke’s Connections, if you don’t get this. I’m recommending a television program for you instead of a book, because literacy seems to elude you.)

Incidentally, I have requested an interview with Chuck Klosterman. This is the second time I have tried to talk with him as he’s come through my town on a book tour. And while the Scribner people have been very kind and they are busting their humps off, all interview requests, apparently, have to be cleared through Klosterman. Klosterman refuses to respond to my emails, which leads me to believe, all of his assertions of manhood and “working out” to the contrary, that he is too cowardly to talk with an interviewer who won’t kiss his ass.

So I hereby call out Chuck Klosterman publicly on my blog. I know you’re coming through San Francisco next week, Chuck. If you’re truly a man, you’ll sit down and talk with me and answer my questions. Or do you really think you’re better than John Updike, Erica Jong, Sarah Waters, T.C. Boyle, William T. Vollmann, Octavia Butler, Norman Solomon, and Dave Barry?


  1. I’m not touching your larger issues with Klosterman. I think his writing’s a little like really stout beer: it either suits your tastes or it doesn’t.

    I don’t think he’s really criticizing the waffle wiki writer. Klosterman’s just as interested in minutiae, like say the Celtics-Lakers rivalry in the mid-’80’s, as that writer. It’s just different minutiae and that’s what he seems baffled by. Baffled and maybe bemused, but not contemptuous, as you seem to indicate. Mountains, molehills, and the like.

    In fact, the interviewer even says a couple moments previous that Klosterman’s interested in minutiae and he doesn’t deny it. Instead, he says he’s been lucky to be interested in things that a lot of his readers are interested in.

    Good luck getting that interview.

  2. Yes, it’s true I am Chuck Klosterman. No, Not Chuck Klosterman the author, but I had to find out who this guy is? I have had Rhino Records call me and offer to fly me out to do an interview – imagine their surprise when I tell them they have the wrong guy! I have had people who obviously have done a Yahoo People Search and came up with Chuck Klosterman in Cincinnati Ohio (Fairfield Ohio) they hav called me at different times of the night and again were disappointed when they found out that I was not the one to whom they wanted to speak. I was even in a bank and the teller saw my name and asked me for my autograph – amazing!
    I can only hope that the other Chuck Klosterman who is being discussed in this forum really is NOT a coward? I have served my country for six years in the Marine Corps ’82-’88 and would hate the thought of someone sharing my name being a coward!
    Chuck, if you ever read this or hear of it, my e-mail is attached – so e-mail me and I’ll teach you how to improvise, adapt and overcome a controversial interview if you teach me how to be an Author!!


    ‘THE’ Chuck Klosterman
    (9 years older than Chuck, but the original Chuck)

  3. As the main author of the Butter Wikipedia entry at the time Mr Klosterman said this (and a Portlander who read it at the time) I have had the pleasure of years of amusement recalling the quote.

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