theparisreview:

“Fluffiness or daffiness or intellectual flaccidity or a somehow smug-seeming naïveté. Choose whichever offends you least. And yes and don’t worry I’m aware of how all this sounds and can well imagine the judgments you’re forming from the way I’m characterizing what drew me to her but if I’m to really explain this to you as requested then I have no choice but to be brutally candid rather than observing the pseudosensitive niceties of euphemism about the way a reasonably experienced, educated man is going to view an extraordinarily good-looking girl whose life philosophy is fluffy and unconsidered and when one comes right down to it kind of contemptible. I’m going to pay you the compliment of not pretending to worry whether you understand what I’m referring to about the difficulty of not feeling impatience and even contempt—the blithe hypocrisy, the blatant self-contradiction—the way you know from the outset that there will be the requisite enthusiasms for the rain forest and spotted owl, creative meditation, feel-good psychology, macrobiosis, rabid distrust of what they consider authority without evidently once stopping to consider the rigid authoritarianism implicit in the rigid uniformity of their own quote unquote nonconformist uniform, vocabulary, attitudes. As someone who worked himself through both college and two years now of postgraduate school I have to confess to an almost blanket—these rich kids in torn jeans whose way of protesting apartheid is to boycott South African pot. Silverglade called them the Inward Bound. The smug naïveté, the condescension in the quote compassion they feel for those quote unquote trapped or imprisoned in orthodox American lifestyle choices. So on and so forth. The fact that the Inward Bound never consider that it’s the probity and thrift of the re— to occur to them that they themselves have themselves become the distillate of everything about the culture they deride and define themselves as opposing, the narcissism, the materialism and complacency and unexamined conformity—or the irony that the blithe teleology of this quote impending New Age is exactly the same cultural permission slip that Manifest Destiny was, or the Reich or the dialectic of the proletariat or the Cultural Revolution—all the same. And it never even occurs to them their certainty that they are different is what makes them the same.”
—David Foster Wallace, “Brief Interviews with Hideous Men”
Illustration by Kathryn Rathke

theparisreview:

“Fluffiness or daffiness or intellectual flaccidity or a somehow smug-seeming naïveté. Choose whichever offends you least. And yes and don’t worry I’m aware of how all this sounds and can well imagine the judgments you’re forming from the way I’m characterizing what drew me to her but if I’m to really explain this to you as requested then I have no choice but to be brutally candid rather than observing the pseudosensitive niceties of euphemism about the way a reasonably experienced, educated man is going to view an extraordinarily good-looking girl whose life philosophy is fluffy and unconsidered and when one comes right down to it kind of contemptible. I’m going to pay you the compliment of not pretending to worry whether you understand what I’m referring to about the difficulty of not feeling impatience and even contempt—the blithe hypocrisy, the blatant self-contradiction—the way you know from the outset that there will be the requisite enthusiasms for the rain forest and spotted owl, creative meditation, feel-good psychology, macrobiosis, rabid distrust of what they consider authority without evidently once stopping to consider the rigid authoritarianism implicit in the rigid uniformity of their own quote unquote nonconformist uniform, vocabulary, attitudes. As someone who worked himself through both college and two years now of postgraduate school I have to confess to an almost blanket—these rich kids in torn jeans whose way of protesting apartheid is to boycott South African pot. Silverglade called them the Inward Bound. The smug naïveté, the condescension in the quote compassion they feel for those quote unquote trapped or imprisoned in orthodox American lifestyle choices. So on and so forth. The fact that the Inward Bound never consider that it’s the probity and thrift of the re— to occur to them that they themselves have themselves become the distillate of everything about the culture they deride and define themselves as opposing, the narcissism, the materialism and complacency and unexamined conformity—or the irony that the blithe teleology of this quote impending New Age is exactly the same cultural permission slip that Manifest Destiny was, or the Reich or the dialectic of the proletariat or the Cultural Revolution—all the same. And it never even occurs to them their certainty that they are different is what makes them the same.”

David Foster Wallace, “Brief Interviews with Hideous Men”

Illustration by Kathryn Rathke

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