Up, Simba!: 7 Days on the Trail of an Anticandidate
David Foster Wallace
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
In February 2000, "Rolling Stone" magazine sent David Foster Wallace, "NOT A POLITICAL JOURNALIST, " on the road for a week with Senator John McCain's campaign to win the Republican nomination for the Presidency. They wanted to know why McCain appealed so much to so many Americans, and particularly why he appealed to the "Young Voters" of America who generally show nothing but apathy.
The "Director's Cut" (three times longer than the RS article) is an incisive, funny, thoughtful piece about life on "Bullshit One" -- the nickname for the press bus that followed McCain's Straight Talk Express.
This piece becomes ever more relevant, as we discuss what we know, don't know, and don't want to know about the way our political campaigns work.
whole story takes a while, but nobody’s bored, and even on the four-faced monitor you can sense a change in the THM’s theater’s voltage, and the national pencils come away from the front’s glass and start moving in and elbowing people aside (which they’re really good at) to get close to the monitor’s screens. Mrs. Duren says that Chris—clearly a sensitive kid—was “made very very upset” by the M. Lewinsky scandal and the R-rated revelations and the appalling behavior of Clinton and Starr and Tripp
for herself and her family that she can say things like “family values” and “hero” without anybody rolling their eyes. But then last night, Mrs. D. says, as they were all watching some wholesome nonviolent TV in the family room, the phone suddenly rang upstairs, and Chris went up and got it, and Mrs. D. says a little while later he came back down into the family room crying and just terribly upset and told them the phone call had been a man who started talking to him about the 2000 campaign and
Is there a difference? Can it help him get elected? Should it? A better question: Do you even give a shit whether McCain can or ought to win. Since you’re digitally cutting-edge enough to buy something you can read only on your PC or Rocket-e or PDA or whatever, the chances are good that you are an American between say 18 and 40, which demographically would make you a Young Voter. And no generation of Young Voters has ever cared less about politics and politicians than yours. There’s hard
and profit and that words and phrases like “service” and “justice” and “community” and “patriotism” and “duty” and “Give government back to the people” and “I feel your pain” and “Compassionate Conservatism” are just the politics industry’s proven salespitches, exactly the same way “Anti-Tartar” and “Fresher Breath” and “Four Out of Five Dentists Surveyed Recommend” are the toothpaste industry’s pitches. We may vote for them, the same way we may go buy toothpaste. But we’re not inspired. They’re
Refusing release. He spent four more years in Hoa Lo like this, much of the time in solitary, in the dark, in a special closet-sized box called a “punishment cell.” Maybe you’ve heard all this before; it’s been in umpteen different profiles of McCain this year. It’s overexposed, true. Still though, take a second or two to do some creative visualization and imagine the moment between McCain getting offered early release and his turning it down. Try to imagine it was you. Imagine how loudly your