The Revolution Issue

David Foster Wallace

On literary rebels and those who back away from ironic watching.
David Foster Wallace

Don Usner

The next real literary “rebels” in this country might well emerge as some weird bunch of anti-rebels, born oglers who dare somehow to back away from ironic watching, who have the childish gall actually to endorse and instantiate single-entendre principles. Who treat of plain old untrendy human troubles and emotions in US life with reverence and conviction. Who eschew self-consciousness and hip fatigue. These anti-rebels would be outdated, of course, before they even started. Dead on the page. Too sincere. Clearly repressed. Backward, quaint, naïve, anachronistic. Maybe that’ll be the point. Maybe that’s why they’ll be the next real rebels. Real rebels, as far as I can see, risk disapproval. The old postmodern insurgents risked the gasp and squeal: shock, disgust, outrage, censorship, accusations of socialism, anarchism, nihilism. Today’s risks are different. The new rebels might be artists willing to risk the yawn, the rolled eyes, the cool smile, the nudged ribs, the parody of gifted ironists, the “Oh, how banal.”

David Foster Wallace

29 comments on the article “David Foster Wallace”

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noosearoundm'neck

In the 1990s I remember seeing Adbusters for the very first time and thinking, "Wow, this is cool, this is important." The thing that struck me most was an altered Frosted Flakes ad. Now, amidst technology and gloss, it seems adbusters changed: they're Frosted Flakes themselves.

Whoever handed down the torch was clearly a) impaired or b) shortsighted. Poor, poor youth. Without resistance to pop-culture trends what's left? Mass stimulation effected your brains: you're nothing but whinier, dirtier versions of Hugo Boss.

All I see is a massive single black dot (overstimulation in brains) where traditionally we had collections of small dots, connected with lines (logic), that formed reasonable, discernible images of culture. How in hell did you inherit this? Do you think, for a second, David Foster Wallace might've cringed at seeing his face and message used as propaganda? Especially on kiddie websites like yours? Luckily the fucker killed himself early, otherwise he might've killed you first.

Of course this is speculative though; he's not around to defend himself.

noosearoundm'neck

In the 1990s I remember seeing Adbusters for the very first time and thinking, "Wow, this is cool, this is important." The thing that struck me most was an altered Frosted Flakes ad. Now, amidst technology and gloss, it seems adbusters changed: they're Frosted Flakes themselves.

Whoever handed down the torch was clearly a) impaired or b) shortsighted. Poor, poor youth. Without resistance to pop-culture trends what's left? Mass stimulation effected your brains: you're nothing but whinier, dirtier versions of Hugo Boss.

All I see is a massive single black dot (overstimulation in brains) where traditionally we had collections of small dots, connected with lines (logic), that formed reasonable, discernible images of culture. How in hell did you inherit this? Do you think, for a second, David Foster Wallace might've cringed at seeing his face and message used as propaganda? Especially on kiddie websites like yours? Luckily the fucker killed himself early, otherwise he might've killed you first.

Of course this is speculative though; he's not around to defend himself.

steve/n

i have rarely been inclined to use the word 'twat' before, but, you, sir, are acting like an eye-rolling twat. stop trying to hate on everything and get the first quip in. you have rendered yourself as simulacrum, dude; your irony isnt even ironic (and even that failure does not leave you with anticipated solace of irony). i feel as tho you think adbusters here has fallen victim to the common predator, capitalism,and has been subsumed, kept alive, tho rendered impotent through vasectomy (i get the sense you do recognize there's still something between the legs, i.e. these continued posts..) if so, please enlighten us. (or maybe you just dont see the cogency, the overall coherence of argument through adbusters offerings - a fair pt, to be sure, when substantiated)

the degree to which you mistake wallace's spirit is agonizing. your little conclusive, faux mea culpa (which is unfortunately doomed forever to be always possibly but never a posteriori), stopping short of any real qualification, further entrenches you in the inane.

your thought process here reads a bit like that of someone in the throes of early-onset dementia; it is meandering, borderline incomprehensible, and having conversations with old friends long since perceived dead. you use the word 'propaganda' pejoratively as if the sign is universally perceived and agreed-upon as value-definitive. do you care to make a distinction between 'good' and 'bad' propaganda at all? do you care to make any sort of coherent statements regarding your knowledge of wallace, or whether this quote is being used for ends towards which dfw would find abhorrent? or have i missed the pt entirely and it is dfw that is the unsatirized frosted flakes?

normally, i wouldnt release so much electronic fire, but ignorance and arrogance are a dangerous combination.

if this is a referendum on adbusters, then so be it, but make your reasoning clear (e.g. outside of the massive, singular black dot vs collection of individual black dots - while colorful and abstract, i for one do not see its relevance. am open to further explanation, tho)

in the absence of a clear statement as to how or why adbusters is manipulative propaganda, dont just go around saying dfw would hate to be used as propaganda here unless everyone in the convo has accepted the premise that adbusters has become, always was, or is manipulative propaganda.

the pieces may be short, vignetteish-at-times, but please englighten me, and im sure others, as to where your sandbox is, so that we may take a gander at your toys and how you play with them, perhaps realizing we have been stuck in the womb, looking at mostly shadows on uterine walls.

having read most of his work, i find this eulogy quite meaningful and on point with the section adbusters has excerpted.

"He talked about how difficult it was to be a novelist in a world seething with advertisements and entertainment and knee-jerk knowingness and facile irony. He wrote about the maddening impossibility of scrutinizing yourself without also scrutinizing yourself scrutinizing yourself and so on, ad infinitum, a vertiginous spiral of narcissism -- because not even the most merciless self- examination can ignore the probability that you are simultaneously congratulating yourself for your soul-searching, that you are posing. He tried so hard to be sincere and to attend to the world around him because he was excruciatingly aware of how often we are merely "sincere" and "attentive" and all too willing to leave it at that. He spoke of the discipline and of the abrading, daily labor such efforts require because the one imperative that runs throughout all of his work is the intimate connection between humility and wisdom."

steve/n

i have rarely been inclined to use the word 'twat' before, but, you, sir, are acting like an eye-rolling twat. stop trying to hate on everything and get the first quip in. you have rendered yourself as simulacrum, dude; your irony isnt even ironic (and even that failure does not leave you with anticipated solace of irony). i feel as tho you think adbusters here has fallen victim to the common predator, capitalism,and has been subsumed, kept alive, tho rendered impotent through vasectomy (i get the sense you do recognize there's still something between the legs, i.e. these continued posts..) if so, please enlighten us. (or maybe you just dont see the cogency, the overall coherence of argument through adbusters offerings - a fair pt, to be sure, when substantiated)

the degree to which you mistake wallace's spirit is agonizing. your little conclusive, faux mea culpa (which is unfortunately doomed forever to be always possibly but never a posteriori), stopping short of any real qualification, further entrenches you in the inane.

your thought process here reads a bit like that of someone in the throes of early-onset dementia; it is meandering, borderline incomprehensible, and having conversations with old friends long since perceived dead. you use the word 'propaganda' pejoratively as if the sign is universally perceived and agreed-upon as value-definitive. do you care to make a distinction between 'good' and 'bad' propaganda at all? do you care to make any sort of coherent statements regarding your knowledge of wallace, or whether this quote is being used for ends towards which dfw would find abhorrent? or have i missed the pt entirely and it is dfw that is the unsatirized frosted flakes?

normally, i wouldnt release so much electronic fire, but ignorance and arrogance are a dangerous combination.

if this is a referendum on adbusters, then so be it, but make your reasoning clear (e.g. outside of the massive, singular black dot vs collection of individual black dots - while colorful and abstract, i for one do not see its relevance. am open to further explanation, tho)

in the absence of a clear statement as to how or why adbusters is manipulative propaganda, dont just go around saying dfw would hate to be used as propaganda here unless everyone in the convo has accepted the premise that adbusters has become, always was, or is manipulative propaganda.

the pieces may be short, vignetteish-at-times, but please englighten me, and im sure others, as to where your sandbox is, so that we may take a gander at your toys and how you play with them, perhaps realizing we have been stuck in the womb, looking at mostly shadows on uterine walls.

having read most of his work, i find this eulogy quite meaningful and on point with the section adbusters has excerpted.

"He talked about how difficult it was to be a novelist in a world seething with advertisements and entertainment and knee-jerk knowingness and facile irony. He wrote about the maddening impossibility of scrutinizing yourself without also scrutinizing yourself scrutinizing yourself and so on, ad infinitum, a vertiginous spiral of narcissism -- because not even the most merciless self- examination can ignore the probability that you are simultaneously congratulating yourself for your soul-searching, that you are posing. He tried so hard to be sincere and to attend to the world around him because he was excruciatingly aware of how often we are merely "sincere" and "attentive" and all too willing to leave it at that. He spoke of the discipline and of the abrading, daily labor such efforts require because the one imperative that runs throughout all of his work is the intimate connection between humility and wisdom."

wendybabiak

"The new rebels might be artists willing to risk the yawn, the rolled eyes, the cool smile, the nudged ribs, the parody of gifted ironists, the 'Oh, how banal.'"

Precisely. When you are part of a country that is taking the entire biosphere down with it in its misguided religious attachment to a failed economic theory, it's necessary, in order to be true to the literary source, the creative power that ignites our word-fire, to take that risk. It's our responsibility. Our duty. (Gassy word, huh?)

It's not a slight to the rest of the literary world that DFW spoke exclusively to his American peers. It's a service to the planet. It's up to our literati to take this message to heart. And certainly, some have.

wendybabiak

"The new rebels might be artists willing to risk the yawn, the rolled eyes, the cool smile, the nudged ribs, the parody of gifted ironists, the 'Oh, how banal.'"

Precisely. When you are part of a country that is taking the entire biosphere down with it in its misguided religious attachment to a failed economic theory, it's necessary, in order to be true to the literary source, the creative power that ignites our word-fire, to take that risk. It's our responsibility. Our duty. (Gassy word, huh?)

It's not a slight to the rest of the literary world that DFW spoke exclusively to his American peers. It's a service to the planet. It's up to our literati to take this message to heart. And certainly, some have.

LOL

"When you are part of a country that is taking the entire biosphere down with it in its misguided religious attachment to a failed economic theory, it's necessary, in order to be true to the literary source, the creative power that ignites our word-fire, to take that risk"

RUN ON ALERT RUN ON ALERT

WHOOp
WHOOP
WHOOP

RUN ON ALERT RUN ON ALERT

LOL

"When you are part of a country that is taking the entire biosphere down with it in its misguided religious attachment to a failed economic theory, it's necessary, in order to be true to the literary source, the creative power that ignites our word-fire, to take that risk"

RUN ON ALERT RUN ON ALERT

WHOOp
WHOOP
WHOOP

RUN ON ALERT RUN ON ALERT

52™

If you wanna stop the system Boycott all sports events. You can't stop world family.
I C how divide & conquer has taken its toll on humanity. Wallace B4 killing himself should have told the world what he knew at that time. Maybe he was trying 2 and the system got rid of him. F*ck anti depressants.They create the problem and then the solution. The truth is every institution in the world has been infiltrated. Anytime you speak the truth you die. Not anymore, We are changing time. Trust me when I say they are scared.
Everyone on this page should create some type of unity. I never bought into Canadian hate or any type of hate because negativity channels their invention. Mind control of the masses tru mass murder and the fear factor is what keeps them in power. TV also keeps them in power boycott them 2.
You got 2 let the system know, that we R not playing this bullsh*t rain deer games no more. If we gotta boycott everything and put the whole world in a stand still, lets do that. I just got a letter from Barack Obama saying the political conversation in washington has changed. That the Democribz need 2 win 2012 or the Republican Bloodz will shut the system down. I say shut this f*cking system down. Nobody cares anymore, anything is better than this home made matrix bullsh*t reality. I voted 4 Obama but if Black people don't get reparations world wide by the summer, its clear we never will. focus on the reconstruction of Africa 1st. We need 2 empower black people or I will never vote again for the rest of my biological life. Even if the whole world stop voting, the propaganda TV war machine will show stats of everyone voting. The truth is fam we need 2 get offline sometimes and have a real conversation with our peoples. The Revolution will not be Televised or Digitized because they will have the upper hand. We hit them Mad hard from a grassroots level. They are gona need more spies and more paperwork. Show no signs of weakness. I used 2 hate Elvis because he stole African culture & made it popular. I forgave his white privileged and realized that he was the man because he shot every TV he owned. Imagine when everyone shots their TV. Were living command & conquer red alert 2, which side are you on?
Vampires or Wolves?

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