Douglas Coupland Book Neo-logisms
The tendency to pick
apart, often in minute detail, all aspects of life using half-understood
pop psychology as a tool.
+ 2 = 5-ism: (page 139)
Caving in to a target
marketing strategy aimed at oneself after holding out for a long
period of time. "Oh, all right, I'll buy your stupid cola.
Now just leave me alone."
Family: (page 111)
Describes the false
sense of community experienced among coworkers in an office environment.
A job take with the
sole intention of staying only for a limited period of time (often
one year). The intention is usually to raise enough funds to partake
in another, more personally meaningful activity such as watercolor
sketching in Crete o r designing computer knit sweaters in Hong
Kong. Employers are rarely informed of intention.
Device (AVD): (page 114)
A small fashion accessory
worn on an otherwise conservative outfit which announces to the
world that one still has a spark of individuality burning inside:
1940s retro ties and earrings (on men), feminist buttons, noserings
(women), and th e now almost completely extinct teeny weeny "rattail"
haircut (both sexes).
Indigestion: (page 75)
The almost obsessive
need to live in a 'cool' architectural environment. Frequent related
objects of fetish include framed black-and-white art photography
(Diane Arbus is a favorite); simplistic pine furniture; matte
black high-tech items such as TVs, stereos, and telephones; low-wattage
ambient lighting; a lamp, chair, or table that alludes to the
1950s; cut flowers with complex name.
After Giorgio Armani:
an obsession with mimicking the seamless and (more importantly)
controlled ethos of Italian culture. Like Japanese Minimalism,
Armanism reflects a profound inner need for control.
The mental conversion
of flesh and blood living creatures into cartoon creatures possessing
bourgeois Judeo-Christian attitudes and morals.
Dens: (page 135)
Where Black Holes
live; often unheated warehouses with Day-Glo spray paint, mutilated
mannequins, Elvis references, dozens of overflowing ashtrays,
broken mirror sculptures, and Velvet Underground music playing
Holes: (page 135)
An X generation subgroup
best known for their possession of almost entirely black wardrobes.
Ponytail: (page 21)
An elderly sold-out
baby boomer who for hippie or pre-sellout days.
Envy: (page 21)
Envy of material wealth
and long-range material security accrued by older members of the
baby boom generation by virtue of fortunate births.
A multisibling sensibility
derived from having grown up in large families. A rarity n those
born after approximately 1965, symptoms of Bradyism include a
facility for mind games, emotional withdrawal in situations of
overcrowding, and a deeply felt need for well-defined personal
The widening gulf
between the rich and the poor and the accompanying disappearance
of the middle classes.
and Circuits: (page 80)
The electronic era
tendency to view party politics as corny -- no longer relevant
or meaningful or useful to modern societal issues, and in may
Minimalism: (page 107)
To espouse a philosophy
of minimalism without actually putting into practice any of its
Schadenfreude: (page 70)
Lurid thrills derived
from talking about celebrity deaths.
The secret belief
that technology is more of a menace than a boon.
Management: (page 21)
The need of one generation
to see the generation following it as deficient so as to bolster
its own collective ego: "Kids today do nothing. They're so
apathetic. We used to go out and protest. All they do is shop
Terrorism: (page 21)
The process that decides
in-office attitudes and behavior.
Minimalism: (page 107)
A life-style tactic
similar to Status Substitution. The nonownership of goods flaunted
as a token of moral and intellectual superiority.
slumming: (page 113)
The self conscious
enjoyment of a given conversation precisely for its lack of intellectual
rigor. A major spin-off activity of Recreational Slumming.
of Aloneness: (page 69)
The need for autonomy
at all costs, usually at the expense of long-term relationships.
Often brought about by overly high expectations of others.
Blending: (page 15)
In clothing: the indiscriminate
combination of two or more items from various decades to create
a personal mood: Sheila = Mary Quant earrings (1960s) + cork wedgie
platform shoes (1970s) + black leather jacket (1950s and 1980s).
Preemption: (page 150)
A life-style tactic;
the refusal to go out on any sort of emotional limb so as to avoid
mockery from peers. Derision Preemption is the main goal of Knee-Jerk
for Kisses (Hyperkarma): (page 48)
A deeply rooted belief
that punishment will somehow always be far greater than the crime:
ozone holes for littering.
Assumption: (page 34)
A form of Safety Net-ism,
the belief that if marriage doesn't work out, then there is no
problem because partners can simply seek a divorce.
Graying: (page 164)
to gracefully allow one's body to show the signs of aging.
The tendency of parent
to move to smaller, guest-room-free houses after their children
have moved away so as to avoid children aged 20 to 30 who have
Clocking: (page 162)
The tendency when
looking at objects to guesstimate the amount of time they will
take to eventually decompose: "Ski boots are the worst. Solid
plastic. They'll be around till the sun goes supernova."
Tones: (page 26)
A youthful subgroup
interested in vegetarianism, tie-dyed outfits, mild recreational
drugs, and good stereo equipment. Earnest, frequently lacking
Migration toward lower-tech,
lower-information environments containing lessened emphasis on
Ketchup Burst: (page 21)
The Bottling up opinions
and emotions inside oneself so that they explosively burst forth
all at once, shocking and confusing employers and friends -- most
of whom thought things were fine.
Emperor's New Mall: (page 71)
The popular notion
that shopping malls exist on the insides only and have no exterior.
The suspension of visual belief engendered by this notion allows
shoppers to pretend that the large, cement blocks thrust into
their environment do not, in fact, exist.
The tendency of young
people to live in emotionally demonstrative, more unrestrained
ethnic neighborhoods: "You wouldn't understand it there,
mother -- they hug where I live now."
Solipsism: (page 172)
When arriving in a
foreign travel destination one had hoped was undiscovered, only
to find many people just like oneself; the peeved refusal to talk
to said people because they had ruined one's elitist travel fantasy.
Apathy: (page 150)
The attitude that
no activity is worth pursuing unless one can become very famous
pursuing it. Fame-Induced Apathy mimics laziness, but its roots
are much deeper.
Division: (page 150)
To know the difference
between envy and jealousy.
Overdosing: (page 8)
To live in a period
of time when too much seems to happen. Major symptoms include
addiction to newspapers, magazines and TV news broadcasts.
Slumming: (page 11)
The act of
visiting locations such as diners, smokestack industrial sites,
rural villages -- locations where time has been frozen many years
back -- so as to experience relief when one returns back to "the
More X Generation