Pop Culture
Mar 12, 2016, 03:34PM

Even If It’s Not Happening

A 2003 Believer interview with the late author David Foster Wallace vs. a 2014 Journey of a Frontman interview with Sugar Ray singer Mark McGrath.

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David Foster Wallace: Everybody’s pissed off and exasperated and impervious to argument from any other side. 

Mark McGrath: If you exude that kind of confidence and exude that kind of fun, it’ll translate to the audience, hopefully.

Wallace: As of now, of course, they’re rare. 

McGrath: Ones that can fill certain spots.

Wallace: Why?


McGrath: I was throwing my voice high, I was singing in falsetto, I was screaming and yelling.

Wallace: Writing-wise, I think this kind of interior state is dangerous.

McGrath: It was my escape. It was my whole life.

Wallace: Maybe even to wear a button.

McGrath: Even if it’s not happening.


Wallace: As in walking into rooms and forgetting why I’m there, drifting off in the middle of sentences, feeling coolness on my chin and discovering I’ve been drooling.  

McGrath: It’s really mellow, it sounds like a song that would play in a loop while you’re watching The Price Is Right

Wallace: Nor do I much care, really. But I’d prefer to live past fifty.  

McGrath: You know when a comedian cracks the code on an impression?

Wallace: Probably the quickest, most efficient way to respond is to say that this question leads nicely into the whole reason why pop-tech books might have some kind of special utility in today’s culture.


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