Sunday, October 07, 2012

To Me, DFW Is an Airport

I think I might have to attempt to read some David Foster Wallace, if only to understand the fan-boy interest.  I read all this praise for the man and think I'm missing something.  Can a million people be wrong?

I don't know.  I'll have to read something before I can pass judgement, but this kind of thing makes me roll my eyes:
In lieu of religion, Americans were more and more directing their worshipping impulse inward, toward the gratification of their own desires. Mindless sitcoms provided easy entertainment and also fulfilled the social need of what Wallace described as a mass of sadly, lonely individuals (hence, E Unibus Pluram) who couldn’t bear the psychic cost of actual human interaction (which, hey-o, is a bit offensive, but casual elitism is just a part of Wallace’s style).
I can't say I disagree with that idea, although I certainly don't swallow it whole, but I do think that, considering his suicide and constant depression, it might be the case that Wallace was describing his own experience and not the American zeitgeist.

Not being a fanboy, I find myself unable to gloss over the suicide angle.  He didn't OD or drown in his own vomit or wrap his car around a tree or go down in a fiery plane crash.

He hung himself after decades of severe depression.  And, I don't know, as a still-living human being, I don't want to be told by a dead suicide that when I watch a sitcom, it's because I can't bear the psychic cost of actual human interaction.

I have yet to stick my head in a noose, so I guess you could say I bear it quite well....

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