Friday, June 04, 2004

The "Why not me" generation

Philip Roth and Saul Bellow. The men profiled in "Arguing the World" (Irvings Howe and Kristol, Nathan Glazer, and Stuyvesant alum Daniel Bell). I picture them all on the Upper West Side, eating tuna salad sandwiches at some diner on Broadway and 78th while talking about things more important than blogs, whether to take the GRE or LSAT, who likes whom, and which type of diet coke (lemon, lime, vanilla, or original) is best. I imagine that it was all fascinating conversation, all the time, with these people, if indeed they all ever ate lunch together. Should I be harkening back to the days before the University of Chicago dining halls served 5 different kinds of pizza, edamame, and salads made to order (why do I suddenly feel queasy?) and when tweedy, ragged, drab-colored outfits were worn by even the unaffected? Should I simply embrace modern life, a fast-paced world of instant messager, online friend networks? Should I just finish this bottle of diet coke (original) and stop fantasizing about a world that may not have been all that different from my own?

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