PRINT November 1991


IN SLACKERS, 1991, RICHARD LINKLATER'S vision of adolescence gone rancid, he trains his camera on a mundane milieu—the postgrad, between-semesters doldrums of a middle-American university town (Austin, Texas, to be precise)—and introduces us to a new casualty for the ’90s. A subject without a mission, a fate, or even a subjectivity (at least in the superadequate Modern sense), the slacker inhabits an atomized universe: everyone speaks a debased or hybrid argot, worships at their own jerry-built altar, proselytizes for a private religion. Master narratives, in short, do not inhere. The slacker is the flip side of the hyperfunctional persona Madonna presents in Truth or Dare. Both are prone to New Age mystification, yet, as the ineffectual counter to Madonna’s working version, the slacker is doomed to wander an affectless void unredeemed. Anarchy percolates in this dysfunctional landscape

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