Infinite Summer

Formed in the summer of 2009 to read David Foster Wallace's masterwork "Infinite Jest".
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 Post subject: pages 876-883
PostPosted: Thu Sep 17, 2009 10:59 am 
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I may have missed it, but I don't think I've seen these pages discussed at all. This is the partial transcript of a discussion that takes place among Tine Sr., Tine Jr., Veals, Hooley and Yee. I'm not sure if I'm stating the obvious, but I thought very little of this section at first, I guess just kind of assuming that it had no purpose, which doesn't seem terribly likely. They're all sitting around getting ready to watch a video which is ostensibly a warning to kids about viewing the Entertainment. The scene ends right before the video starts. Is it just me, or is this scene ominous? (Or obvious?)


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 Post subject: Re: pages 876-883
PostPosted: Thu Sep 17, 2009 11:23 am 
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As I read it this meeting took place in anticpation of the Entertainment falling into the wrong hands since the purpose of the video was to warn kids to stay away from it similar to the way the D.A.R.E. program seeks to warn kids to stay away from drugs. That said, the video would probably fail to achieve it's desired result as I can remember my own children going through the D.A.R.E. program and one of their friends deciding that the initials stood for the proposition that Drugs Are Really Exciting.


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 Post subject: Re: pages 876-883
PostPosted: Thu Sep 17, 2009 11:35 am 
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yeah, that's what the video's ostensibly about. i'm just wondering why DFW chose to show this scene especially, and to cut out right before the film starts. of course, as the book gets closer to the end main plot points begin to subside and we get certain information that doesn't seem especially pertinent, so these pages could simply be more of that. but i can't shake the suspicion that the people in this scene are actually going to (mistakenly) watch the Entertainment. also keeping in mind that the year of Glad is the last year of subsidized time. a beginning to the deterioration of government perhaps?


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 Post subject: Re: pages 876-883
PostPosted: Thu Sep 17, 2009 11:37 am 
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Spot on, my friend Motely. Also, the implications were that the AFR actually gets their hands on the Ent., which would be one of the few reasons I could think of prompting Gately and Hal to dig up Himself's head.

This scene is a hilarious send up of bureaucracy and meetings in general, and specifically, stupid marketing campaigns for kids. Which, since many of us remember 1980's-90's television, are both seeming incredibly stupid and yet insidious.


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 Post subject: Re: pages 876-883
PostPosted: Thu Sep 17, 2009 12:05 pm 
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Noted this read through that just after this scene we learn that Gately likes Mr. Bouncety Bounce and wishes he could communicate to someone to put the TP on the right channel. I took from this that this is how Gately comes to know the Entertainment is dangerous, which could affect everything from what goes on with the possible cartridges at Ennet House to what he might have to talk about with Hal when/if he meets him (?as a hospital roommate?).

Also, in relation to today's post on the main IS page, wondered if this final scene of a person having a seizure, not from withdrawl like Poor Tony, but for emotional/abstract reasons, might be part of a continued attempt to make it plausable to us that certain ways of affecting our senses and sensibilities could result in physical effects -- that the cartridge could work as an instant addiction just as some people get seizures from stress, or even certain patterns of strobe light.

Oh, and while I share the opinion of the uselessness of DARE, the instant damage that seems to attend seeing the cartridge (as opposed to the cycle of increased use/dependance/loss of control of an otherwise fun thing that usually characterizes addiction) might suggest that the video warning to kids might actually be taken seriously, along the lines of Don't drink that lovely bottle of poison you found under the sink," which warnings do tend to work if the child is old enough to understand the warning.


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 Post subject: Re: pages 876-883
PostPosted: Thu Sep 17, 2009 12:58 pm 
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Quote:
Oh, and while I share the opinion of the uselessness of DARE, the instant damage that seems to attend seeing the cartridge (as opposed to the cycle of increased use/dependance/loss of control of an otherwise fun thing that usually characterizes addiction) might suggest that the video warning to kids might actually be taken seriously, along the lines of Don't drink that lovely bottle of poison you found under the sink," which warnings do tend to work if the child is old enough to understand the warning.



An interesting observation though it makes one wonder why they might be focusing on a spot aimed at children as the Entertainment's appeal is probably directed more toward their parent's sensibilities. Probably the most effect segment of the prevention video is the segment showing a vegatized adult in front of the TP.

The theory that the Entertainment derives at least some of its potency from the use of light makes sense in view of JOI's background which focuses on the use of light and lens, each of which can be employed to alter our visual perceptions.


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