I stumbled across this David Foster Wallace interview from almost 15 years ago.
A few of my thoughts are at the bottom after the snippet.
DFW: No one is asking questions about the connections between how we live, what we drive, and the things that are happening [in the world].
INTERVIEWER: Are there means of rebellion [from the status quo]?
DFW: There are people doing it all over the place…The people I know who are rebelling meaningfully don’t buy a lot of stuff and don’t get their view of the world from television and are willing to spend 4-5 hours researching an election rather than going by commercials.
The thing about it is in America, we think of rebellion as this very sexy thing that involves action and force, and my guess is the forms of rebellion that will change anything meaningfully will be very quiet and very individual and probably not all that interesting to look at from the outside.
I’m now hoping for less interesting than more interesting.
Violence is interesting. Horrible corruption and scandals and rattling sabers and talking about war and demonizing a billion people of a different faith in the world – those are all interesting.
Sitting in a chair and really thinking about what this means and why the fact of what I drive might have something to do with how people in other parts of the world feel about me isn’t interesting to anybody else.
Here’s the full interview.
Whether you agree with DFW or not, it seems strikingly applicable to our world, perhaps particularly this week.
Parts of it also strike me as complexly-privileged, specifically the ability to “wait it out” with quiet, uninteresting, rebellion.
But I am especially struck by the gravity of the “interesting” and how it plays out in the stories of our world.