May 30, 2002
Life Imitates Imitation of Life, Parts I and II

I. In Infinite Jest, David Foster Wallace outlines the future for us, a future that includes "video-physiognomic dysphoria," a cultural and psychological disorder caused by the stress of the mass-adopted video phone.

In this future (written in 1996) people start to cope with the demands of the video phone by fabricating masks for themselves. This strange practice went even further, if I remember right, still images eventually replaced the mask, so no one had to stand there holding the mask to their face.

Stranger things have happened. Much stranger. Much.

II. In 1989, Mr. Butts came to life from the addled and sleeping head of a cartoon advertising creative. Butts set out to get teens on board with big tobacco, which -- from how it looks here -- requires a little persuasion.

Eventually the Man steps in and orders Butts to not only cease, but also desist. And Butts has nothing to offer the President to change his mind. It's a bad day for big tobacco.

That could never happen here.

Posted by at May 30, 2002 08:11 PM
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