Wallace comments at length about the effect that television has on not only American culture but American fiction as well. With the rise of television, he argues, comes an inescapable loop of irony, where no feeling or emotion can be expressed or received seriously. This ironic joke permeates through all of modern culture, and with continuing advances in technology, appears irreparable. Wallace's only response is the hope for a literary movement, rebellious in its pure sincerity. An "anti-rebellion," is his term.
Occurrences in Wallace's work
- "My Appearance"
- "The View from Mrs. Thompson's"
- “E Unibus Pluram: Television and U.S. Fiction"
- Tennis Player Michael Joyce's Professional Artistry as a Paradigm of Certain Stuff about Choice, Freedom, Discipline, Joy, Grotesquerie, and Human Completeness
- Infinite Jest, where Steeply's father becomes addicted to the TV show M*A*S*H. This is covered in detail in Rémy Marathe's character page.
- "Tri-Stan: I Sold Sissee Nar to Ecko"