Infinite Summer

Formed in the summer of 2009 to read David Foster Wallace's masterwork "Infinite Jest".
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The Inficratic Oath: first, post no spoilers. Limit your I.J. discussion to only those events that take place on or before the page 981 (100%).



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 Post subject: Re: the 'entertainment' cartridge
PostPosted: Wed Jul 01, 2009 5:57 pm 
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It seems that a person's ability to get "sucked in" by the Entertainment has to do with their level of gluttony and American-style blind faith. Note the people who were victims: The Saudi attaché, who is described as extremely hedonistic; his wife, who is, between the lines, described as extremely passive; Prince Q's physician (physicians have been described throughout the book, and esp. in JOI's films, as negative and sadistic); security guards and police (there to do what they are told, not to think for themselves); and two members of DFW's union of wandering pseudo-Christian extras, the "neatly groomed Seventh Day Adventist pamphleteers"; about whom you can make your own judgments, for they have surely made theirs about you.

Steeply, when describing the incident (which Marathe refers to as "this blue dazzle you speak of") says, "The local constabulary were shall we say unprepared for an Entertainment like this," implying that if one were "prepared" one could view the Entertainment without, well, being a victim of the Blue Dazzle.


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 Post subject: Re: the 'entertainment' cartridge
PostPosted: Wed Jul 01, 2009 8:13 pm 
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Location: UTAH. Yes I'm from Utah. No I'm not a Mormon.
ontoursecretly wrote:
Steeply, when describing the incident (which Marathe refers to as "this blue dazzle you speak of") says, "The local constabulary were shall we say unprepared for an Entertainment like this," implying that if one were "prepared" one could view the Entertainment without, well, being a victim of the Blue Dazzle.


I think the unprepared line is more like FEMA being unprepared for Katrina, not necessarily New Orleans being unprepared. It's kind of a semantic debate, but given DFW's very specific use of words and phrases, I think it is an important one. FEMA and N.O. would have required two types of preparedness. One is to prevent the disaster and the other is to minimize damage. I think it speaks more to the fact that there were 23 zombies in the room before somebody finally cut the power. I didn't read it as prepared like being ready for the wildcat offense when you're playing the Dolphins or ready for a trick question from the liberal media elite if you're Sarah Palin, but more like prepared in a sense of evacuation after a meltdown at Chernobyl or Three Mile Island. The attaché et al., were unprepared in one sense, and the constabulary was unprepared in the other.


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 Post subject: Re: the 'entertainment' cartridge
PostPosted: Wed Jul 01, 2009 8:24 pm 
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I'm wondering of the attaché and company were doomed because the cartridge was on continuous replay. Not that one or all wouldn't insist on restarting it manually, but I wonder if the damage is permanent even upon a single or partial viewing.


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 Post subject: Re: the 'entertainment' cartridge
PostPosted: Thu Jul 02, 2009 1:23 pm 
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Webslog wrote:
And to wheat's point, the Entertainment works when it's watched by people who are ready to unhook/become uninvilved in their own internal life ... a willing audience is maybe the key to why it works.


I don't think this is the case, simply because of the sheer number of people who were "trapped" by the Entertainment. Not all of them were looking to unwind. Just the opposite, in fact.

CodyVanDer wrote:
ontoursecretly wrote:
Steeply, when describing the incident (which Marathe refers to as "this blue dazzle you speak of") says, "The local constabulary were shall we say unprepared for an Entertainment like this," implying that if one were "prepared" one could view the Entertainment without, well, being a victim of the Blue Dazzle.


I think the unprepared line is more like FEMA being unprepared for Katrina, not necessarily New Orleans being unprepared. It's kind of a semantic debate, but given DFW's very specific use of words and phrases, I think it is an important one. FEMA and N.O. would have required two types of preparedness. One is to prevent the disaster and the other is to minimize damage. I think it speaks more to the fact that there were 23 zombies in the room before somebody finally cut the power. I didn't read it as prepared like being ready for the wildcat offense when you're playing the Dolphins or ready for a trick question from the liberal media elite if you're Sarah Palin, but more like prepared in a sense of evacuation after a meltdown at Chernobyl or Three Mile Island. The attaché et al., were unprepared in one sense, and the constabulary was unprepared in the other.


That's how I read it as well. I saw it as meaning that they had no idea what the Entertainment was, and thus didn't realize that entering the medical attaché's residence was a dangerous move.

An interesting note on Infinite Jest V: It features Madame Psychosis. I realize that she was in other films as well, and that the state induced by the Entertainment isn't exactly psychosis, but I found it interesting that she was not only in the film, but the only actor/actress listed.
Also, the filmography notes that "Canadian archivist Tete-Beche lists the film as completed and privately distributed by P.Y.E.U. through posthumous provisions in the filmmaker's will." (emphasis added)
We already know that the medical attaché was intimate with JOI's wife, so is this his revenge? Can we expect to see more of JOI's enemies receive copies of the Entertainment, parting gifts from the grave? And why does a Canadian archivist know this? Was JOI somehow involved with the Quebecois separatists?
I'm probably reading too much into this, but I'm having a fun time doing so. :)

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 Post subject: Re: the 'entertainment' cartridge
PostPosted: Thu Jul 02, 2009 1:52 pm 
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Quote:
Was JOI somehow involved with the Quebecois separatists?


At the top of p 30 there is mention of the family's "liaison" with M. DuPlessis and Luria Pevec.

On p 64 there is mention of Avril Incandenza's "involvement" with the "Québecois-Separatist Left."


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 Post subject: Re: the 'entertainment' cartridge
PostPosted: Thu Jul 02, 2009 2:03 pm 
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troybob wrote:
Quote:
Was JOI somehow involved with the Quebecois separatists?


At the top of p 30 there is mention of the family's "liaison" with M. DuPlessis and Luria Pevec.

On p 64 there is mention of Avril Incandenza's "involvement" with the "Québecois-Separatist Left."


Forgot about that. How do you people keep all this info straight?! lol

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"It is easy to put on a show & be cocky. . . Or I can show you some really fancy movement. But to express oneself honestly, not lying to oneself. . . now that, my friend, is very hard to do." --Bruce Lee


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 Post subject: Re: the 'entertainment' cartridge
PostPosted: Thu Jul 02, 2009 3:14 pm 
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So, given that JOI is responsible for The Entertainment and that someone sent it to the medical attaché on purpose, my question is, what happened on April 1st? The package did say "Happy Anniversary". Is it the attaché's anniversary with JOI's wife? Apart from the professional conversation episode, I can't think of anything else we've seen that has happened on April 1st (though I'm a few pages behind right now).


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 Post subject: Re: the 'entertainment' cartridge
PostPosted: Thu Jul 02, 2009 5:09 pm 
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Well, also April 1 is April Fool's Day.

But also, something that might or might not mean anything: April 1 is the anniversary of Hal's discussion with his father (p 27-31, in the Year of the Tucks Medicated Pad), in which JOI discusses Avril's affairs with medical attachés; but then also in the novel, the discussion of the medical attaché receiving the entertainment starts just a couple pages later, on p 33; and what falls in between is a brief episode in which Orin calls Hal.

it might not be significant, but it draws a strange kind of logical line for the reader over the course of just ten pages within this huge novel: from Hal's conversation about the attaches on Apr 1 YTMP, to a call from Orin (who is in Phoenix) to Hal, to the attaché's receipt of the entertainment (from Phoenix) on Apr 1 YDAU.


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 Post subject: Re: the 'entertainment' cartridge
PostPosted: Fri Jul 03, 2009 7:55 pm 
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I keep thinking there's a connection between this apparently fatal "entertainment" and Hal's early reference to some holography scientist as the Antichrist. Wondering if the TP is holographic.


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 Post subject: Re: the 'entertainment' cartridge
PostPosted: Sun Jul 05, 2009 5:03 am 
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troybob I think your insights are really good.

At this point we're being told that Avril is in league with the AFR. I have never understood the character of a woman depicted as being so neat and tidy, so geographically running precisely in a square in such a state because her son has eaten some fearful-looking mold (that scene comes right after 'call it something I ate' btw, don't lose track of that,) vis-a-vis this grossly unfaithful woman who had made such a mess of Incandenza Sr. with her bizarrely plentiful infidelities--?? These two descriptions of Avril (whose name also means April in French of course) are really close together; it's April Fool's Day so any of what happens might be a 'jest'--?? One that recurs, every year?

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