Reader’s Corner: ‘The Nineties’

Is it everything you ever wanted to remember about Pavement, O.J., or Saved by the Bell? Not quite, but that is okay. Chuck Klosterman is after larger game.

My review of The Nineties ran in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune:

Klosterman tries to look past the “grunge cartoon” take on the decade. This is welcome, given how often cultural chroniclers reduce periods to worn cliches. He knows that just muddling together Kurt Cobain, the O.J. Simpson trial, Biosphere 2, Boris Yeltsin, Bush v. Gore, Timothy McVeigh, “Friends,” and the “Clear Craze” (Crystal Pepsi, Zima) produces no greater understanding. This is partially due to Klosterman’s somewhat self-satirizing Gen-X suspicion of certainties. He is most discerning when parsing the tortured relationship his generation had in the Nineties to authenticity and popularity: Alanis Morissette “was successful because of her honesty, but anyone that successful had to be lying”…

You can read an excerpt here.

And for some appropriate musical accompaniment, Ben Folds: