Eating the Dinosaur

Chuck Klosterm in his book Eating the Dinosaur in the essays the passion of the Garth, through a glass, blindly and “ha ha” he said “ha ha”, he discusses the influence and effect of pop culture in media. In the essay Through a Glass, Blindly, the author discuses voyeurism in media and in real life using the rear window and the 1954 film Alfred Hitchcock. The other essay is the Passion of the Garth where he criticizes Chris Gaines in the Garth’s Brooks alter ego project. In Klosterman essay “Ha ha,” he said. “Ha ha”, he criticizes laugh tracks in Sitcoms. In the three essays, the author examines the relationship between reality, expectation and living history.

In the essay Through a Glass Blindly, Klosterman explains the fantasy of watching people who do not know someone is watching them. He explains that observing an individual without their context amplifies the experience because the more a person knows; the less they are able to feel. He states that unknowing feels good to an individual’s body. In the essay, his explanation for the theory is that voyeurism tends to be pleasurable because it is more physical than psychological. He continues to explain that a bad human trait is taken and made to look amoral and natural.

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While explaining the passion of Garth, Klosteram starts his essays with many rhetoric questions about artistic and how authenticity is related to music and its importance. Inauthenticity in individuals affects artists personal and celebrity lives. Celebrities may wrap their character in another package where they want people to believe they are someone else. However, authenticity is just temporal and changes over time as the fake package peels away to reveal the personality of an individual. This essay is about the happenings after people reinvent themselves.

In the essay in “‘Ha ha,’ he said. ‘Ha ha.’”, klosterman makes people to feel unique. This essay is about the laugh track in media and this is true because people tend to laugh when something is funny regardless of whether they feel others laughing. Having stage managed laughs makes people to laugh even where they do not find a joke. Pop culture is well illustrated in the essay where he states Americans will tend to laugh at anything which is contrary to Germans. Sometimes a person may even laugh out because of their mistakes or misfortunes.

Rear window concept suggests that voyeurism is tantalizing because an individual sees the secret of who people really are. In the essays through a glass blindly and “ha ha” he said “ha ha” he explains that it is interesting not to know things. In the second essay, the author explains how people laugh in movies even during dry jokes. Klosterman is describing the three essays by use of pop culture in media.

 Films, songs and TV shows are explained on ways in which they affect and impact the lives of their audiences. He is explaining what is beyond what we see and hear. This is the psychology in individual’s minds and the way they physically react. The three essays are talking of three different issues but they are inter-related in the fact that the psychology reaction of an individual is totally different from physical reaction.

In all the three essays, Klosterman’s project is revealing the unsaid of what and who people really are. There is more than what is seen in an individual. Some work on creating a persona of who they are not instead of living as who they really are. People tend to live fake lives where they laugh because others are laughing instead of the humor. According to Klosterman, people goes to height in such of unknown of strangers or people they know.

In his writings, the author use rhetoric questions in his presentations. In the essay the passion of Garth, he starts it with several rhetoric questions which expound on his statement that half the energy he spends on reading and writing music is preoccupied with the same problem. Some of the questions include; “is this thing am writing about real?”, “is the artist genuine?”, “what is the ultimate motive of the musician?”, and others. Another rhetoric question that can be used in his essay is, ‘what makes voyeurism pleasurable?’

In all his work in the essays, Chuck Klosterman criticizes the culture especially American culture. He tries to reveal the personalities that people have and what they are willing to shoe and what they hide. In his work of the passion of Garth, he explains how Beyonce Knowles used her release ‘I am…Sasha Fierce’ to reveal herself as a ‘sensual aggressive alter ego’ person. However, some of Knowles audiences believes that her secret personality is erotic, confrontation and street and it turned out that her release was only entertaining than provocative.

According it his writing, it is true to conclude that we tend to have an urge of learning the secret personality of others. This was illustrated in the essay Through a Glass, Blindly and passion of Garth. In “ha ha” he said “ha ha”, Klosterman illustrates personality with ways in which we react to humor. In conclusion, the three essays are less cultural apologetic, audits narrative loci is cultural phenomena which Is full of philosophy.


Klosterman, C. (2009). Eating the dinosaur (1st ed.). New York: Scribner.

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