What do you guys call this 90's "discontentedness"?
To me it's such an unusual stage in cultural thought. Some obsession with zen, with centering the self. It's like they're all in the opioid after-math of Cobain's death.
I like to look at this through literature. Fight Club is a quintessential piece of 90's angst. It's a staple among young American men who feel some great urge to rebel and be full of themselves but just can't do it. You know what I mean. The characterized disdain for corporate environments, the references to Asian philosophy concepts done in jest, humor, even with ire.
What the fuck was up with 90's literature? Why is it so....angsty?
The dawn of the cell phone, the desktop computer, the modern life, all of these things seem unnatural and evil. Symbols of corporate overlords and slave collars in new plastic cases. Could such an attitude even survive in the 2016 climate?
Why is this era in lit and philosophy completely overlooked?
Should I take my thread to /his/?
You should read Fight Club instead of pretending you did because you saw the film. Angst? What? Can you back that up?
>Why is this era in lit and philosophy completely overlooked?
90's literature is overlooked here on lit you say?
I've read it. Got the whole thing sitting right next to me.
Yes. Tyler is just a lost generation boy. Making special note of everything that people "unlike" him are doing. His boss, the Microsoft reps, all are highlighted in ways that just scream "angst".
>Walter from Microsoft catches my eyes. He's a young guy with perfect teeth and clean skin and the kind of job you bother to write the alumni magazine about getting. You know he was too young to fight in any wars, and if his parent's weren't divorced, his father was never home, and here he's looking at me with half my face clean shaved and half a leering bruise hidden in the dark. Blood shining on my lips. And maybe Walter's thinking about a meatless, pain-free potluck he went to last weekend or the ozone or the Earth's desperate need to stop cruel product testing on animals, but he's probably not.
Page 55. Read that whole chapter and you'll see what I mean.
I should have been more specific: Things that aren't about David Foster Wallace. Even then I think he talks a bit about the 90's ethos in his writings. The budding self-hate and crumbling self awareness that begins to take over. He writes pretty extensively about this in "A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again", and really drives it home with Infinite Jest.
When you think of films that came out the same year as Fight Club(the film) did, films such as American Beauty and Office Space come to mind.
A similar discontent in a life where you'd think that we should be content. I mean we have everything we could want, right? What are we missing? What is this aching void that exists within us? We used to be happy. Sure, things were worse, but there was a certain joy present that seems to have... disappeared.
The 90's had an 'end of civilization' feel to them. An Economic boom coupled with the the fall of the Soviet Union meant that the USA was the undisputed number 1 world power, we were safe, everything was OK. But even then life couldn't give us enough. We were just living, edging closer towards inevitable death with each passing minute.
So the question arose: Is that all there is?
Then 9/11 changed everything.
Even though this was published 1987, it feels very much of the staple 90's end-of-history ironic detachment, the very kind of thing DFW would go on to make the direct opposition to.
That example isn't angsty... And I'm not trying to bust balls. Angst is an internal state and those thoughts don't follow from being angsty. Maybe they are attractive to you because you're angsty? But FC isn't angsty. Catcher in the Rye... that's angsty. So is American Psycho.
It makes me sad that the 90's youth had so much potential for cultural and political revolution and they brought us the era of the nu-male
Political correctness, ironically quirky clothes, normalization of weed, and limp dick race and gender politics (tho I don't mean to disparage some of the very legitimate race politics going on atm)
This is precisely what I mean, you did a fine job of capturing it. In lieu of being called a "Shit poster" I think the 90's were an intellectually "edgy" time. Not like the 2004 Deviantart Edge, but "the world is doomed" edge. THe kind that was gaudy and in your face, really self-assured and immature.
But I think progression of time changed everything. It's not something you can keep up.
Notice how in a lot of 90's media, the common enemy is the corporate man, the smiling yes man, the boss. There's such an incredible disdain for banal structure and order, false smiles, for just...everything. It's strange it doesn't get talked about more.
Fine. Perhaps not angst. Discontent? Trivialization? He's clearly got something wrong with Walter, something to do with his morals and his life choices. He takes personal issue with his nurtured baby face and progressive mindset. So what do you call that?
Those are gen x'ers who were channeling their would-be shitposting into books. Millennials are the one's pushing what you are complaining about.
It's the attitudes and characters. Infinite Jest seeks something positive, speaks of the importance of family and love, and deals with the issues of cultural expectation and addiction and consumerism in constructive ways
Broom of The System is like The Crying of Lot 49 set in that Soundgarden video and basically concludes, shit's all fucked up Lenore
>What do you call that?
Zen... I mean, everything is a joke, everyone is a clown, etc.... Imagine DFW taking a hard look at himself and his life. What does he do?
What attitudes of what characters? Mario? He's the only one there for his family. 'Deals with the issues' is essay bullshitter speak. Clarify. They acknowledge the issue, ok. What fire dies when you feed it... Ok... One line in a long ass book. Constructive? You mean AA?? That thing that is real? That people use? Will I ask another question??
Broom was a bad ripoff of Latke 49.
Well nyc is a cultural hub, right? Everyone in ny knew someone personally who was killed or at least someone close to them did. So it ripped through everyone's network, we all watched it over and over, they never found a fuckload of people—I was in middle school, kids lost parents, uncles. And they were murdered, all of them. So everyone was traumatized and had some warped version of a collective PTSD. And yeah everyone was paranoid as fuck. People in ny still are. Wah, wah, yeah well...
>Garner had been arrested by the NYPD thirty times since 1980
Wow he did du a lot
I can't imagine getting arrested once let alone thirty fucking times.
No. The book came really close to being about a men's sewing club (or something like that). It's about lonely men seeking male-to-male support. Tyler even talks about how they were a generation raised by women. The author talked about there were all these books about women and giving each other support, so he had to make a male equivalent.
I know it sounds simple, and you probably want a more complex, deeper theme, but it's really quite as simple as that. And that shouldn't be disappointing. I consider Fight Club to have literary value because I think it has artistic value. Like Lolita (in which Nabokov states there's no deeper meaning or reason behind the work) it's aesthetically pleasing in could be a high-brow way. Or as Nabokov put the phrase "aesthetic bliss."