The Null Device

New terms for new sensations

Douglas Coupland, who epitomised the late-80s/early-90s slacker zeitgeist in Generation X, offers a list of terms for aspects of the human condition circa the 2010s:
Blank-Collar Workers: Formerly middle-class workers who will never be middle-class again and who will never come to terms with that.
Grim Truth: You're smarter than TV. So what?
Instant Reincarnation: The fact that most adults, no matter how great their life is, wish for radical change in their life. The urge to reincarnate while still alive is near universal.
Intraffinital Melancholy vs Extraffinital Melancholy: Which is lonelier: To be single and lonely, or to be lonely within a dead relationship?
Zoosumnial Blurring: The notion that animals probably don't see much difference between dreaming and being awake.

There are 5 comments on "New terms for new sensations":

Posted by: kstop Tue Sep 28 14:43:54 2010

The Meaning of Liff is funnier and less smug.

Having lived in Canada for 6 years now, I have grown to hate anything Coupland with a passion. His hamfisted pop art is pretty much de rigueur for the Toronto condo developer looking to satisfy their regulatory public artwork requirement, and somehow it manages to be both bland and offensive (see ).

Posted by: acb Tue Sep 28 15:44:55 2010

Douglas Coupland's a visual artist as well? I thought he was just a pop-cultural memetic sniper of sorts.

Posted by: Greg Wed Sep 29 10:06:18 2010

I'm a bit down on this list too. It looks like he just did a lot of: 1. have a semi-interesting idea; 2. instead of telling it to Twitter or his buddies at the pub, make up a smartarse term for it.

I liked 'Microserfs' though.

Posted by: acb Wed Sep 29 12:55:46 2010

Well, if you're Douglas Coupland, that's what people expect (and pay) you to do. Much like if you're Tim Burton, you draw candystripe twee-gothic fantasias.

Posted by: kstop Wed Sep 29 22:18:16 2010

He's whatever you want him to be! Had a clothing line there recently as well:,default,sc.html

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