I am always on the lookout for contemporary examples of the dynamics I find in the older literature I teach. This column will be a space where I explain one contemporary example I’ve found and draw a few connections to things I teach in the classroom.
In his 2004 New York Times Magazine article “Band on the Couch,” Chuck Klosterman examined Metallica through the lens of their documentary “Some Kind of Monster.” Klosterman doesn’t seem to be a devotee of the band (he compares being a true Metallica zealot to being a devout Catholic), but he’s pretty complimentary. He essentially calls them their era’s Led Zeppelin.
What Klosterman is more concerned with is the band’s self-representation and the way in which their music and popularity was a product of the very thing that was debilitating them as human beings. In short, the story was a great exploration of the intersection between art and reality.