Tuesday, July 26, 2005


Coupland's W5

What to say about Girlfriend in a Coma? After reading this book I found I had no real answers or advice on how to improve the chances of having a better future. In previous readings and films there was always a clear message. Coupland's answer seems to be questions; no real answers, just keep questioning. Maybe there isn't a one-size-fits-all answer and as Coupland points out, to get the answer we want we "need to question and question and question and never stop questioning until the world stops spinning."

The characters in Girlfriend seem to be indifferent to the future and at the same time they know that something is missing. They each take their own journey to find a purpose in life and each fail to find it. Does this mean there is no reason for these characters to be existing? Does Coupland just use these characters to point out some of the unpleasant truths of today's world? As Karen notes when she awakens, people seem to be less happy even though there have been many scientific and technological changes that should make life easier. Why is this? Has everyone become so career driven and materialistic that they have forgotten how to enjoy themselves? Maybe Coupland wants everyone to slow down and enjoy the simple things in life. At the same time I think he wants us to be aware of what is going on globally and not accept everything at face value. Maybe it is time that we start thinking as a reporter and insist on finding out the who, what, where, when. and especially the why.

This book has me feeling a bit uneasy. I find it difficult to articulate how it makes me feel. I know that I enjoyed reading it and there are several passages that I found very beautifully done but I still feel there is something missing. Why do I feel this way? I'm not sure. Is it because I found myself remembering my own teenage years, the sights, the sounds and even the smells (yes, I wore Charlie perfume) that the characters experieinced? Am I afraid I will be unable to fulfill my future dreams?

Damn you Douglas Coupland, you have gotten under my skin and you can bet I will always be questioning.

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