Is anybody else using their grace days for this final essay? I am so swamped with work and I have a project due on Wednesday also. Oh man. For some reason, I feel kind of guilty about using them, but I really want to turn my paper in on Friday. I'm just wondering if anybody else is experiencing this maniac week, also.
I cracked up when I read all of the Lord of the Rings allusions in this section of the novel. Randy refers to Andrew Loeb as "gollum", himself (and many of the secret admirers) as a "dwarf", his grandfather as an ethereal "elf"... it was hilarious! I know for a fact that an infatuation with Lord of the Rings is one of the signs of nerdiness. Many members of my family have been afflicted with such an infatuation-- my dad actually gave each of his friends Lord of the Rings nicknames when they were in their twenties (I think my dad was Frodo). This makes me wonder, does Neal Stephenson feel that he must add this section in to only assure us of his character's nerdiness, or is a major nerd himself? My vote is on the latter.
I just finished reading our section for Wednesday, and I am a little confused about what happened in the last thirty pages (or so) with the mines Goto Dengo has been working on. Why is there a "trick vault?" And why does there seem to be so much secrecy, i.e. the comment "I will give you instructions. We will make a special shaft" (678) that Goto says to Wing? Is Goto trying to pull a fast one, since he is in charge of the whole mining operation? And this mine is just supposed to be a shelter for Japanese gold? I'm sorry if these are stupid questions... i just don't quite understand it yet!
Has anybody read Candide? If you haven't you should. It's a really short, hilarious book that is full of horrible things happening over and over again while one character keeps saying "it is the best of all possible worlds". I was really reminded of Candide with the scene of Goto Dengo in the water after they all had to abandon ship. Here he is, people are bleeding all around him and he has to avoid getting shot even though the oil on his body is making him float, and then he survives the shooting somehow. Then, he starts to swim, with a a bunch of other guys, combating dehydration, sickness, waves, and a crazy shark feeding frenzy which he lives through only by floating motionless.
can somebody please tell me where in Infinite Jest does it explicitly state that John Wayne doesn't use drugs?
I have a stupid question to ask. The book often refers to the "Nipponese", "Nips" etc. and I realized I had never heard that term before. I'm guessing this is another word for Japanese? If so, why does the book use this term? Does anybody know the derivation right off the top of their head? I'll look it up if nobody has any ideas...
I loved the hyperbole in the scene on page 76 (and more) where Randy describes Charlene's paper on beards. She goes to such great lengths to research this paper! She watches porn designed for shaving fetishists ("watching a video of a straight razor being drawn along wet, soapy flesh"), she scours Gilette statistics, and even comes up with statistics about different races and their beard growth. (I found that statement somwhat false. Is she counting all ethnicities? I feel she made a generalized statement... Anyway, I digress.) I thought the survey she took was very hilarious--that essentially all women preferred clean shaven men-- and I definitely agreed.
Okay, so I finished Infinite Jest this morning, and I don't really feel closure. We had some guesses reaffirmed by Hal near the end, and some light was certainly shed on Gately's past, but I didn't really feel an end. I guess I was hoping to see a little more of Joelle and to figure out more about Marathe. To tell you the truth, I am still confused about Marathe. What became of him and the wheelchair gang? Does anybody know? Were we supposed to know? I wish we knew what became of my favorite character, Pemulis. He was expelled (right?) and now he is just waiting out the semester before he leaves? I'm also guessing he wants to talk to Hal about doping him up.
I thought one of the best scenes in the book thus far was the enormously funny one where all the Ennett House patients are cheering on Gately as he is kicking the butts of the Nucks. He is throwing punches, kicking, kneeing these men (even through the pain of having been shot in the shoulder), in a total adrenaline rush, and everybody is crowded around watching. I loved the detail. Joelle was screaming something unintelligible from the window (that was not her room!), Ken Eredy was holding his keys in the air, Lentz was either hiding behind the car or Gately, and all the cars were idling in an awkward U turn in the street.
I thought this "horrible" movie was incredibly clever and hilarious. It is so sarcastic and interesting! I was laughing out loud to think of the ads saying "You are strongly advised not to shell out money for this film (397)" and that all the snooty art goers are intrigued by this concept and actually buy tickets to watch themselves on the screen as Himself and Mario film their stupidity! The sheer audacity! I'm still laughing.