Chuck Klosterman IV Consists of Three Parts:
THINGS THAT ARE TRUE
Profiles And Trend Stories: Britney Spears, Radiohead, Billy Joel, Metallica, Val Kilmer, Bono, Wilco, The White Stripes, Steve Nash, Morrissey, Robert Plant -- All With New Introductions And Footnotes.
THINGS THAT MIGHT BE TRUE
Opinions And Theories On Everything From Monogamy To Pirates To Robots To Super People To Guilt And (Of Course) Advancement -- All With New Hypothetical Questions And Footnotes.
SOMETHING THAT ISN'T TRUE AT ALL
This Is New Fiction. There's An Introduction, But No Footnotes. Well, There's A Footnote In The Introduction, But None In The Story.
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August 23, 2006
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Excerpt from Chuck Klosterman IV by Chuck Klosterman
Britney Spears is the most famous person I've ever interviewed. She was also the weirdest. I assume this is not a coincidence.
The main thing I remember about this interview is that I spent (what seemed like) twelve thousand years waiting for her photo shoot to end. There was minor chaos during the shoot, because at the last minute Britney decided she did not want to be photographed pantless, and that specific pantless image was (in truth) the main reason Esquire wanted to do a story on her. They needed a pantless Britney on the cover of their magazine. Her refusal created an intense dichotomy among her handlers: Britney's family members didn't want her to do anything overtly sexy, but her publicity team (whom she later fired) only wanted her to do things that were overtly sexy. She eventually agreed with her publicist. The singular upside to the photo shoot was the cookies; someone was responsible for providing Britney with warm chocolate chip cookies at all times, and they were fucking awesome.
After I spent my time with Spears, people kept asking me, "What is she really like?" My answer was usually, "I don't know, and I don't think she does, either." And that's not sarcasm; I honestly believe Britney Spears was so insulated from the public (and so exhaustively governed by the people trying to control her image) that she became unable to differentiate between (a) the person who was famous and (b) the person she actually was. I suspect this is why she kept making so many strange decisions in the wake of this interview (i.e., getting married in Las Vegas to someone she barely liked, wearing T-shirts that said things like "MILF in Training," constantly being photographed barefoot in public, etc.). Her management team directed so much emphasis toward turning her into an unsophisticated semi-redneck that she now has no idea what is normal and what is marketing. I suppose her life is exciting, but I suspect it's a pretty terrible way to live; I don't think she has any idea what's really happening to her.
That said, I did notice that her Southern accent always seemed to mysteriously disappear whenever she became annoyed with my questions. Maybe she's the blond Machiavelli.
Because the photos that ran with this story were pretty hot, Esquire cut about seven hundred words out of my profile to create more space for the pictures. This is the original draft.