Slacker: An Actively Disengaged Generation

Essay by gsneeldCollege, UndergraduateA-, November 2014

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Graham Neeld

Professor Offutt

Engl 353

21 October 2014

Slacker: An Actively Disengaged Generation

In the film Slacker, Richard Linklater had the flexibility to make a film that wasn't a mechanism traveling from one plot point to the next, but rather a loose storeroom of ideas-some profound, others maniacal-that flow without linking together in a linear formation. This movie is important because it's a definitive "Generation X" film. These films were when a wave of college-educated twenty-something's was characterized more by what they didn't believe in than what they did. The character's defining Generation X in Slacker are not solely jaded and acerbic. The actor's in the film aren't really acting, they are almost just being themselves. But there is a sense of profound disconnection, unwillingness by young people to participate in a system that will bring them no pleasure and that creates an existential irritability with life.

As one character puts it, "Every single commodity you produce is a piece of your own death (Slacker)". He's in favor of workers not working at all, not making things at all. Living badly is inevitable regardless if you are slacking or not. Linklater is adept at revealing the way the understanding of time can motivate us. The main theme of Richard Linklater's debut 1991 film Slacker was a disenchanted generation that refused to buy into the prevalent society of America, and in doing so gave its name to a new way of life, so-called 'slacking'. (Bartie, Colin) The film documents a time before Bill Clinton, cell phones, Facebook, and the internet. Linklater hits on other themes as well, such as : political alienation, work and how to avoid it, the way we pas sin and out each other's lives, and the randomness of violence in America. Linklater...