In fact, the numb blank bored demeanor — what one friend calls the “girl-who’s-dancing-with-you-but-would-obviously-rather-be-dancing-with-somebody-else” expression — that has become my generation’s version of cool is all about TV. “Television,” after all, literally means “seeing far”; and our six hours daily not only helps us feel up-close and personal at like the Pan-Am Games or Operation Desert Shield but also, inversely, trains us to relate to real live personal up-close stuff the same way we relate to the distant and exotic, as if separated from us by physics and glass, extant only as performance, awaiting our cool review. Indifference is actually just the ’90s’ version of frugality for U.S. young people: wooed several gorgeous hours a day for nothing but our attention, we regard that attention as our chief commodity, our social capital, and we are loath to fritter it. In the same regard, see that in 1990, flatness, numbness, and cynicism in one’s demeanor are clear ways to transmit the televisual attitude of stand-out-trancendence — flatness and numbness transcend sentimentality, and cynicism announces that one knows the score, was last naïve about something at maybe like age four.

– from E Unibus Pluram: television and U.S. fiction by David Foster Wallace

It’s crazy to think that this was already the norm when we were five year olds. Television is a scary way of life friends.

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~ by justinhong on April 5, 2010.

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