Thursday, October 11, 2012

Slogans for the 21st century: cultural exegesis by Douglas Coupland

Douglas Coupland, who came to fame for his book, Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated Culture has an uncanny knack of providing acute descriptions of our contemporary world.

Three young adults who in the midst of this changing world, seek to find their voice,by telling stories.

“We know this is why the three of us left our lives behind us and came to the desert – to tell stories and to make our own lives worthwhile tales in the process.” (Coupland, Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated Culture)

Coupland has gone on to produce 12 books of fiction that seem to capture our changing culture – Microserfs: A Novel, about Microsoft Culture; Jpod, about life after the iPod; Hey Nostradamus!: A Novel, describes a fictitious high school shooting similar to the Columbine High School.

He’s currently working on an art project “Slogans for the Twenty-First Century,” in which he is seeking to “Try and isolate what is already different in the twenty-first century mind as opposed to the twentieth.” In other words, to do contemporary cultural analysis.

The exhibition is currently showing at the Daniel Faria Gallery.

Over recent years I have invited my classes to engage culture, to do “cultural exegesis” by using Third Way magazine’s Icon series, a monthly reflection on a contemporary cultural symbol. This series by Coupland would be another way of undertaking “cultural exegesis.”

For more see
– Coupland’s theologies of salvation here
– Coupland from X to A here

Posted by steve at 09:23 PM


  1. The one that strikes me most is ‘Lives are no longer feeling like stories’

    Comment by Andrew Dowsett — October 11, 2012 @ 10:14 pm

  2. They are certainly thought provoking, and quite bleak in places. I’m struck by “The thought of being less connected than you are now is impossible.”


    Comment by steve — October 11, 2012 @ 10:31 pm

  3. Yes, I found that one striking too…it is certainly the new consumerism, and one we need to learn to say ‘no’ too in order to learn equal contentment with more and with less…

    Comment by Andrew Dowsett — October 12, 2012 @ 8:50 am

  4. to, not too…

    Comment by Andrew Dowsett — October 12, 2012 @ 8:51 am

  5. Thanks for pointing us to this Steve… I’m a big fan of his work. “Bleak” is an apt descriptor, but as in his novels there’s always a faint ray of sunshine if you look for it.

    Comment by Mike Todd — October 13, 2012 @ 7:55 pm

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