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I’m a big fan of Klosterman, there I’ve confessed it. I like pop culture criticism that is unabashed, cutting, and well – descriptively naked; and Klosterman is anything but fig leaf-covered. He’s one set of eyes that helps me grasp my Post-Christian atmosphere, he tells me how he sees it and he gets to see it with just about everyone who’s famous. Klosterman’s been a journalist with several mags, and papers including Esquire, GQ, SPIN, The New York Times Magazine, The Washington Post, The Believer, and ESPN.

One of the interviews he did was with Britney Spears before her burnout, here’s a part of it;

Compared to the depletion of the ozone layer or the war in Liberia, I concede that the existence of Britney Spears is light-years beyond the trivial. But if you’re remotely interested in the cylinders that drive pop culture, it’s hard to overestimate her significance. She is not so much a person as she is an idea, and the idea is this: you can want everything, so long as you get nothing.Chuck Klosterman, IV

At first when I read this line I said to myself brilliant, pop culture is all about wanting everything while never getting anything; putting up aesthetic fronts for things you simply can’t have because they’re either out of your price range or off your cultural map…but I kept thinking about it and reading his chapter. Rather what Klosterman was getting after was the mentality that you can want everything only if you get (read: understand and perceive as real) nothing. You see the moment it begins to sink it that certain things exclude others, that actions cause reactions, that beliefs exclude other beliefs then you can no longer want everything with the same innocence as you did before. An innocence that made Britney Spears brilliant for a short while, and that is making some in the church appear brilliant.

I can’t help but make a connection between these thoughts and some of things I’ve seen spun as “being all things to all people”. The brilliance behind the deep fried Southern Queen of pop was that she actually believed everything but only because, as Klosterman painfully brought out, she got nothing. There is a huge bit of false-relevancy among the body of Christ today where we talk fast and loose about being all things to all people while never really getting a bit of the long standing differences and exclusions that different communities have.

We can want to be relevant to everything and assume that we actually are only because we get nothing! Just a thought, or maybe its nothing…

(image, A world of culture by Gilbert Cantu)