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Infinite Summer • View topic - What happened to Hal? (Spoilers)

Infinite Summer

Formed in the summer of 2009 to read David Foster Wallace's masterwork "Infinite Jest".
It is currently Tue Nov 30, 2021 2:27 am

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 Post subject: Re: What happened to Hal? (Spoilers)
PostPosted: Fri Jul 03, 2009 2:25 am 
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Two Really Weird Late Night Theories:

There's another possibility for the "something I ate" believers. During the chapter when Hal goes to the professional conversationalist, we "hear" part of a running sort of dialogue in which the conversationalist speaks at Hal without interruption while Hal does virtually the same thing simultaneously. A chunk of what we "hear" is:

"'...that her [Hal's mother's] introduction of mnemonic steroids, stereochemically not dissimilar to your father's own daily hypodermic 'megavitamin' supplement derived from a certain organic testosterone-regeneration compound distilled by the Jivaro shamen of the South-Central L.A. basin, into your innocent-looking bowl of morning Ralston...'"

If we assume that 1) the conversationalist is Hal's father (almost certain), 2) he is telling the truth (why not? he seems to be in the middle of a tirade against Hal's mother, and other information he divulges during this "session" is at least partially true), and 3) that Hal and his father really are able to speak to each other and understand each other speaking (and this condition is not even necessary for the information to be true), then it is possible that Hal's mother was dosing Hal with God knows what kind of chemical cocktail from an early age for who knows how long. This could either entirely or in combination with something else be the cause of what "happened" to Hal.

There's something else that I sort of have a question about, and I don't think anyone else has brought it up. In this same chapter, just the next accusation down, actually, Himself says:

"your quote-unquote 'complimentary' Dunlop widebody tennis racquets' super-secret-formulaic composition materials of high-modulus-graphite-reinforced polycarbonate polybutylene resin are organochemically identical...to the gyroscope balance sensor and mise-en-scene appropriation card and priapistic-entertainment cartridge implanted in your...father's anaplastic cerebrum..."

At this point it seems Himself has reached fever pitch and is winding down, and this sounds totally outlandish, and who knows what parts of anything he said are true, but using the same set of assumptions as above, what I get out of that is that Himself prepped Hal's tennis racquets so they are either encoded, in a sense, or ready to be encoded, with some sort of information that is similar in format to that which is inside Himself's own head. Now, a tennis racquet handle seems an odd place to hide encoded information (I'm thinking the Entertainment or the Entertainment antidote), so it makes me wonder why Himself chose that object (and all of the racquets, not just one). Could be because the medium in which the code is set is "organochemically identical" to a whole bunch of crazy batshit stuff Himself had implanted in Himself's own head, which I take to mean that the "organochemical" part of the medium in both Hal's racquets and Himself is identical or similar and compatible. Maybe the whatever that is "coded" into it can only be activated, seen, used, etc when the medium the code is set in "recognizes" its own genetic material, in this case, through touch.

I know this is getting real x-files here, but we're already dealing with a dude who invented a movie that can kill people and then implanted it inside his own head. So it's not too far a leap to propose that selfsame dude wanted certain information transmitted to his son transdermically for a certain number of hours per day, and hence made sure to put it on a set of objects he would be using one of every day. Why? Maybe Himself is trying to store the Entertainment in Hal, thinking that Hal won't get the full brunt of it if he gets it in small doses. Maybe Himself is immunizing Hal to the Entertainment. Maybe he's simultaneously doing both. We know that the father felt there was a wall between himself and this son in particular, maybe this was his way of sneaking in.

I know these theories can be shot down, but I don't know how the book ends, so I'm defenseless. I hereby invite you all to go to it.


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 Post subject: Re: What happened to Hal? (Spoilers)
PostPosted: Fri Jul 03, 2009 8:09 am 
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 Post subject: Re: What happened to Hal? (Spoilers)
PostPosted: Fri Jul 03, 2009 1:10 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: What happened to Hal? (Spoilers)
PostPosted: Fri Jul 03, 2009 2:29 pm 
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I'm not going to stop posting outlandish theories!


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 Post subject: Re: What happened to Hal? (Spoilers)
PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2009 6:48 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: What happened to Hal? (Spoilers)
PostPosted: Thu Jul 23, 2009 8:32 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: What happened to Hal? (Spoilers)
PostPosted: Fri Jul 24, 2009 5:49 am 
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 Post subject: Re: What happened to Hal? (Spoilers)
PostPosted: Fri Jul 24, 2009 6:47 am 
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The college question is interesting. On the one hand, Orin playing in college (and any college playing) is presented as a failure in a couple of places. On the other hand, at the start of the ETA v. P.W. section, it's noted that John Wayne is new to ETA this year and that, "two gratis years at an American academy would maybe let Wayne bypass the usual couple season of top college tennis and go pro immediately at 19."

So at least in that tennis section, top college play (though not staying to graduation) is one path to the show (though not the only one).

I'm assuming U of A is s top tennis program for the purposes of the story since they were watching Hal with an eye toward recruitment in YDAU.

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 Post subject: Re: What happened to Hal? (Spoilers)
PostPosted: Fri Jul 24, 2009 8:12 am 
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 Post subject: Re: What happened to Hal? (Spoilers)
PostPosted: Fri Jul 24, 2009 8:15 am 
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