4.26.2010

Preguntar para vivir


For the first twelve years of my adult life, I sustained a professional existence by asking questions to strangers and writing about what they said.

“Why did you do it?” I would ask these strangers. It did not matter what it was. “What were you thinking while you did that? Did it satisfy you? What does it mean to be satisfied? Do you consider yourself to be famous? What does it feel to be famous? How did this experience change you? What elements didn’t change? What will never change? What drives you? Are you lying to me right now? Why should I care about what you are saying? Is this all a construction? Are you constructed? Who constructed you? What was their purpose? Does God exist? Why or why not? Thank you very much, it was great meeting you in the lobby of this unnecessarily expensive hotel.”

This has been a tremendous way to earn a living. Who wouldn’t enjoy being paid for being curious? Journalism allows almost anyone to direct questions they would never ask of their own friends at random people; since the ensuing dialogue exist for commercial purposes, both parties accept an acceleration of intimacy. People give emotional responses, but those emotions are projections. The result (when things go well) is a dynamic, adversarial, semi-real conversation. I am at ease with these. If given a choice between interviewing someone or talking to them “for real,” I prefer the former; I don’t like having the social limitations of tact imposed upon my day-to-day interactions and I don’t enjoy talking to most people more than once or twice in my lifetime.

Chuck Klosterman, del libro Eating The Dinosaur.