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Rolling Stone won the National Magazine Award in Best Feature Writing for David Foster Wallace's "The Weasel, Twelve Monkeys, and the Shrub." Up Simba! is the full text of this piece.
Posted November 11, 2000
And most moving. This guy is not just an enormously funny and entertaining writer - he has tremendous insight into some fundamental questions that we all think about, though perhaps just below the surface. And with his famously self-conscious style, he puts these questions into words in a very satisfying way. Foster Wallace is really onto something here - the paradox of the 'anti-candidate': in our spin- and marketing- and media-saturated culture, is it no longer possible for someone to be a genuine leader and still be a viable politician? And would we recognize a real leader if one came along? The answer, I'm afraid, is no. John McCain may be (or have been) the real thing (despite some rather scarily right-wing views, which Foster Wallace rightly questions), but in order for him to succeed he would have had to resort to a hopelessly cynical campaign strategy that is the only way to win public office anymore. He may even have believed that the ends justify the means, but unfortunately, in 21st century campaign politics the means necessarily subverts the ends. Our only hope for true leaders in the new millennium - and this is a point Foster Wallace fails to make - is to look outside politics, where the goal of winning is not so primary. I wish Foster Wallace had taken his story just a little further. I found myself hungry for more at the end. But I enjoyed the journey, and I enjoyed the Reader format, which made even Foster Wallace's entertaining but normally distracting footnotes fun to read.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 10, 2010
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