Thursday, September 25, 2008

There’s been a fair amount of talk about the historical nature of the nominations this election year, and with good reason. Barring the unexpected, it looks like an African American or a woman will occupy the executive branch for the next four years. We’ve recognized and celebrated this, and it is altogether fitting and proper that we should do so.

However, we haven’t said much about another fact represented by both Barack Obama and Sarah Palin.

They’re young!

Depending on where we set the mark, both Obama and Palin can be categorized as GENERATION X. (AKA the 13th Generation)

Remember us?

“Slackers,” the “unsung generation,” a bunch of self-centered and fickle kids with “a hazy sense of [our] own identity.”

Douglas Coupland, the novelist who popularized the term, was born in 1961. Palin was born in ’64, the same year as Rob Lowe and Obama. Demi Moore was born in ’62, the same year as David Foster Wallace, whom we lost recently.

We’re getting old guys, and I personally lament that fact on an almost-daily basis. But the other side is that we’re stepping forward—albeit hesitantly—onto the social, literary, and political stage. People are starting to listen to us.

Holy crap! Is it our turn already? Are we real, full-fledged grown-ups?

What will we do with our brief blip in history?

Stay tuned.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

A Passing:

David Foster Wallace

February 21 1962 -- September 12, 2008

This one is hard to believe folks. Whatever you thought of him, it would be difficult to deny David Foster Wallace's importance among contemporary novelists.

Like me and a number of the readers here, he was a graduate of the University of Arizona's MFA program, a man who had achieved literary success beyond what many of us dare to hope.

And yet.

Life is complicated, isn't it?

David Foster Wallace, dead at 46. He shall be missed.