I was reading this collection of David Foster Wallace essays, and there was this one about fiction writers. Well, it was actually more about TV and pop-culture has become more because of it.
Actually, no, it was about a lot of things, but what caught my attention was how it was a bit about how new technologies change subsequent generations and how those generations make things like art and culture. The thought occurred to me when I came across a passage about TV and realized how easily it can be ad libbed:
The […] generation born afterÂ the era/decadeÂ is the first for whomÂ technology/mediumÂ was something to be lived with instead of justÂ pass tense verb. [Their] elders tend to regardÂ technology synonymÂ rather as the flapper did the automobile: a curiosity turned treat seduction.
Go ahead, try it — with “social media” or “smart phones” or whatever else you want. It kinda hits it on the button and is kinda funny at the same time:
The […] generation born after the 1970sÂ is the first for whomÂ the Hitachi Magic WandÂ was something to be lived with instead of justÂ fiddled with. [Their] elders tend to regardÂ the Magic WandÂ rather as the flapper did the automobile: a curiosity turned treat seduction.
I dunno. Maybe Wallace is just stating the obvious, here, and I’m missing the point entirely. But maybe it’s being able to state the obvious that makes him so brilliant in the first place…