Friday, February 08, 2008

Thoughts on Degrees of Accuracy

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I still cannot, in all confidence, comment to whether Chuck Klosterman is a genius or a henchman. I’m relatively sure, however, that he has done a great service to the freethinking literary world. He has provided well-crafted, clever, relatively honest, substantial drug-induced accounts and reflections on some pretty groovy things, man.

In Klosterman’s novel/memoir “Killing Yourself to Live: 85% of A True Story,” Chuck extends his novelistic charm for us literary leeches by including a single-page prologue, appropriately numeraled “v.” Among several relatively brilliant and simple introductory statements on that page reads:
“The journalism in this book is, to the best of my abilities, completely accurate.”

Someone who is not a writer of events or a reporter of life would likely read this as some evasion of blame and responsibility, like the names and faces of unsolved mysteries altered to protect those involved. But for me, conversion of life and events into story and composition is an extremely personal process that results in a unique form of ‘accuracy.’ Thus Klosterman’s statement is that of a true journalist. It always is, in fact, your story.

Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind (Rudyard Kipling, 1923) but pictures tell stories that aren’t necessarily accurate or inaccurate to the best of anyone’s abilities. They are what they are—captured moments of honest existence that transcend personal, educational, cultural and linguistic barriers.

In case you were ever wondering to yourself what it would look like to pick up and take a sleepy cruise through the small ranch towns of the Texas Hill Country, wonder no longer. I went ahead and did it for you, thought I’d spare you the trouble.

But unlike our friend, Chuck, I’m not going to tell you the story of Texas’s peaceful rugged secrets, even at 85% accuracy. I’ll let the secrets speak for themselves. It’s their story, after all, and mine would only be accurate to the best of my abilities.

Anyhow, you’re in for a treat, so grab some peach cobbler and take a seat. I’ll put great pictures, and they will provide you with your story, regardless of truth or accuracy. How about that?

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2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

you are amazing

12:08 PM  
Blogger Van said...

I like what you said about pictures being "captured moments of honest existence".

I have had similar thoughts on filmmaking i.e. "moving pictures"...except unlike pictures, the honesty comes out of something completely artificial.

By the way, I did see There Will Be Blood and of course loved it.

I am still planning on coming to SXSW, although I need to find a place to stay. Scott Lilly might come too, we'll be wrapping up a short film the weekend before.

Get Kasia involved and it can be a Symphonic band reunion.

5:43 PM  

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