Aging Idealism

Linklater: You asked earlier what the Slacker crowd were doing. I think unlike other generations before, no-one feels like they’ve given up their youthful idealism. I think that’s the best thing, this generation isn’t going to be sitting around, wallowing…

Idler: …thinking, “I’ve been through that phase, that was a brief interlude away from normality” …

Linklater: … yeah, that was youthful idealism and it’s been crushed now. It’s more of an ongoing process for everyone now. I don’t think there’ll be any Big Chills coming out of this generation. No-one had any illusions to begin with, so no-one can sit around feeling disillusioned. That’s an accomplishment, because it leads to realistic productive activity.

Idler: I think that’s what I was trying to get at when I was talking about Dazed and Confused. It’s not just a simple process of nostalgia - the attitudes that are voiced are actually sensible ways to think. Why suddenly relinquish them when you turn 21?

Linklater: For me one of the big things in Dazed is when on the football field at the end, one of the characters, Don says: “I want to look back and say that it was the best I could do when I was stuck in this place.” That could be your metaphor for life. That’s probably a more positive attitude than, “we, as a generation, are going to change the world”. And you do change the world, in your own way.

[Richard Linklater]
Interview with The Idler, full text here.