Infinite Summer

Formed in the summer of 2009 to read David Foster Wallace's masterwork "Infinite Jest".
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 Post subject: pg. 99 sock-and-a-shoe
PostPosted: Sat Jul 04, 2009 7:39 am 
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Joined: Tue Jun 30, 2009 7:45 am
Posts: 47
Can anyone tell me what it means?
"John Wayne is of the sock-and-a-shoe, sock-and-a-shoe school."

Does it mean he has 2 legs??
I don't get this at all? I'm curious.


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 Post subject: Re: pg. 99 sock-and-a-shoe
PostPosted: Sat Jul 04, 2009 7:57 am 
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Joined: Sat Jun 06, 2009 10:01 pm
Posts: 82
Location: Mansfield, MA
I took it to mean he puts the sock and shoe on one foot, then the sock and shoe on the other foot, as opposed to other people (me) who first put both socks on, then the shoes after.

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"The truth will set you free. But not until it is finished with you." DFW


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 Post subject: Re: pg. 99 sock-and-a-shoe
PostPosted: Sat Jul 04, 2009 7:59 am 
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Joined: Tue Jun 30, 2009 7:45 am
Posts: 47
Thanks. Seems like it could explain a lot about person - or - nothing.


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 Post subject: Re: pg. 99 sock-and-a-shoe
PostPosted: Sat Jul 04, 2009 8:03 am 
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Joined: Sat Jun 06, 2009 10:01 pm
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Location: Mansfield, MA
I suppose we could poll everyone here on the order in which they put on socks/shoes, but I always assumed that passage was just another indication of J.R. Wayne's sort of robotic, "by the books", behavior. Being a "tennis machine" and #1 in the rankings and all.

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"The truth will set you free. But not until it is finished with you." DFW


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 Post subject: Re: pg. 99 sock-and-a-shoe
PostPosted: Sat Jul 04, 2009 9:49 am 
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Joined: Mon Jun 22, 2009 9:50 pm
Posts: 71
I don't know that it speaks particularly to "robotic" behavior (one could as well argue that the sock-sock-shoe-shoe people are robotic); it seems just one of those little quirky observations he makes--about Wayne and about people in general--and that in a single description references a kind of mini human-behavior issue. And maybe something that does, or doesn't, give a clue about how one's mind is oriented. It's like those little arguments about whether one places the toilet paper hanging from over the roll versus under the roll.

It shows my age, but it reminds me of an episode of the old show All in the Family, in which Archie Bunker sees Mike ("Meathead"), his son-in-law, put on a sock and a shoe, then a sock and a shoe, and tells him how stupid it is because everybody puts on a sock and a sock and then a shoe and a shoe, and then he goes into a long rant about how if there was a fire or something, and they had to run out of the house into the cold, Mike would have a sock and a shoe on one foot and then nothing on the other foot; and then Mike counterargues that he would have at least one protected foot, which would allow him to stand on one leg, but if he had on just two socks, both of his feet would be cold and get wet in the snow.

I wouldn't be at all surprised if DFW had seen that episode, and that kind of observation is right up his alley.


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 Post subject: Re: pg. 99 sock-and-a-shoe
PostPosted: Sat Jul 04, 2009 10:11 am 
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I agree with you.
Earlier he referred to the Leave it to Beaver tv show when he called the hamsters Ward and June. They were, of course, Beaver's parents.
From what I've read DFW liked certain tv shows a lot.


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 Post subject: Re: pg. 99 sock-and-a-shoe
PostPosted: Sat Jul 04, 2009 11:42 am 
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Joined: Tue Jun 16, 2009 7:59 pm
Posts: 28
Location: Maine, USA
His essay "E Unibus Pluram" seems to suggest he was quite the student of television. The breadth of his knowledge really was quite remarkable. Almost everything he's written reads as though it's being told by the best, most trust-worthy source there is on the topic. It seems he wanted to be sure he understood his topics inside and out before he presented them to the reader, which ties into his career-long struggle with trying to be as inclusive as possible while remaining as fair and magnanimous as possible. Laura Miller's tribute to DFW on Salon.com touches upon that aspect of his personality. Here's the link: http://www.salon.com/books/feature/2008/09/14/david_foster_wallace/index.html


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 Post subject: Re: pg. 99 sock-and-a-shoe
PostPosted: Sat Jul 04, 2009 6:40 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jun 12, 2009 10:32 am
Posts: 17
troybob wrote:
It shows my age, but it reminds me of an episode of the old show All in the Family ...

:lol:

I think of that episode almost every single time I put on socks and shoes. Amazing.

Why that has stuck with me, I do not know.


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 Post subject: Re: pg. 99 sock-and-a-shoe
PostPosted: Sat Jul 04, 2009 9:05 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jun 30, 2009 7:45 am
Posts: 47
OhItsJustDan wrote:
His essay "E Unibus Pluram" seems to suggest he was quite the student of television. The breadth of his knowledge really was quite remarkable. Almost everything he's written reads as though it's being told by the best, most trust-worthy source there is on the topic. It seems he wanted to be sure he understood his topics inside and out before he presented them to the reader, which ties into his career-long struggle with trying to be as inclusive as possible while remaining as fair and magnanimous as possible. Laura Miller's tribute to DFW on Salon.com touches upon that aspect of his personality. Here's the link: http://www.salon.com/books/feature/2008/09/14/david_foster_wallace/index.html


Thank you. I have become very interested in DFW and his life - as you all have been for a long time. It is great to be able to speak to you.
Roxanne


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 Post subject: Re: pg. 99 sock-and-a-shoe
PostPosted: Sat Jul 25, 2009 1:26 am 
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Joined: Wed Jun 24, 2009 3:17 pm
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I was so excited to read the shoe-sock, shoe-sock bit. I've always done it like this and people have always commented on my "backward" or just plain weird way of socking and shoeing. I think it makes sense, since this way your socks are equal in the dirt dept.

Is there really some deeper meaning, or is this how I was taught as a child, ( just as Orin shaving south to north was taught)?


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