He was shaking his head. "I believe... I believe I am out of touch
with the youth of America
. I believe that they cannot be touched by me, or by what's right, or by intellectual concepts
on what's right for a nation."
He touched, with big brown-freckled fingers, at the window, leaving more smears. "You'll say this is easy for me to say, but I say they've had it too goddamned easy, son. These youths that are yippies and that are protesters and that use violence and public display. We gave it to them too easy, boy. I mean their Daddies. Men that I was youths with. And these youths today are pissed off. They ain't never once had to worry or hurt or suffer in any real way whatsoever. They do not know Great Depression and they do not know desolation." He looked at me. "You think that's good?"
I looked back at him.
"I think I'm gettin' to be a believer in folks' maybe needing to suffer some. You see some implications in that belief? It implies our whole agenda of domestic programs is maybe possibly bad, boy. I'm headed for thinking it's smelling bad right at the heart of the whole thing." He inhaled nasally, watching protesters dance around. "We're taking away folks' suffering here at home through these careful domestic programs, boy," he said, "without giving them nothing to replace it. Take a look at them dancing across over there, boy, shouting fuck you like they invented both fucking and me, their President, take a look over across, and you'll see what I see. I see some animals that need to suffer, some folks that need some suffering to even be Americans inside, boy; and if we don't give them some suffering, why, they'll just go and hunt up some for themselves. They'll take some suffering from some oriental youths who are caught in a great struggle between sides, they'll go and take those other folks' suffering and take it inside themselves. They're getting stimulation from it, son. I'm believing in the youths of America's need for some genuine stimulation. Those youths are out there making their own stimulation; they're making it from scratch off oriental youths wouldn't squat to help your Mama take a leak. We as leaders haven't given them shit. They think prosperity and leadership is dull. God bless the general patheticness of their souls." He pressed his nose against the glass. I had a quick vision, as he stood there, of children and candy stores.
-- David Foster Wallace, from "Lyndon", in Girl With Curious Hair, 1989