Klosterman talks pop culture with crowd

Joanna Williams

A packed audience at Van Meter Hall on Tuesday heard author Chuck Klosterman explain how pop culture shapes people’s identities.

Klosterman said pop culture is “all the things that compose the soundtrack to your existence.” He opened by telling jokes, including one about WKU’s hilly campus.

“You guys must have calf muscles of steel,” he said.

Klosterman presented an unpublished work that dealt with people’s attraction to live sports games.

He explained why so many people feel it necessary to watch games in real time and how commercials lead to a build-up of tension.

After his lecture, he answered questions on topics such as how social networking impacts the news people receive and how music has changed since the time of CDs.

Klosterman said he enjoyed giving the presentation.

“It was great,” he said. “It was a really nice facility, and I was shocked at the turnout. I kinda feel bad because I’m sick right now, and I didn’t think I’m on top of my game. I just hope they were entertained.”

Bowling Green resident Josh Waters said he enjoyed hearing someone of Klosterman’s caliber speak.

“Obviously, with technology and everything, it’s easy to get access to everyone’s opinion, but to have someone with his background and his knowledge is really important to hear,” he said. “I think we still need that voice, that guidance.”

Jason Martin, a junior from Martinsville, Va., said he’s been a Klosterman fan for years and he feels Klosterman’s work is necessary in today’s society.

“At this point in history, pop culture infuses with everything we do. … As a result of that, being able to dissect into the realm of pop culture is very necessary,” he said.

David Lee, dean of Potter College, said having speakers such as Klosterman come to campus is necessary for student development.

“These folks have challenging ideas that really shape our world, and it’s really important for our students to meet them face to face and hear their ideas and challenge their ideas,” he said.

Klosterman is the author of “Sex, Drugs and Cocoa Puffs” and “Eating the Dinosaur.” His lecture was the final event in the Cultural Enhancement Series for this year.