Tuesday, March 29, 2016

This mountain of a book is the result?

Why kill your audience?

A question posed by the late comedian Bill Hicks in response to the accusation that Judas Priest had layered its albums with subliminal messages driving its fans to commit suicide. To quote:

“You hear about these two kids, big fans of that band Judas Priest? They listened to the band then killed themselves....wow...two less gas station attendants in the world. What? I don't mean to be cruel but I don't think we lost a cure for cancer here. Trust me, there'll be no delay in the shuttle program because of this. But again, nobody asked the question that I wanted asking at the trial. There are these subliminal messages, backwards messages on the album, OK? Here’s the question that did not get asked in this retarded case: What performer wants their audience dead? What are these guys in the band doing?”

Hicks shifts to working class British accent.

“You know, dude, I'm fucking sick of this. I am fucking sick of it. I'm sick of the touring. I'm sick of making 400,000 dollars a fucking night. I'm sick of the free drugs, the free booze, the groupies blowing me to fucking dawn every night, I'm in a rut and I want out.”

“We got all those concerts coming up, man.”

“I know, it sucks. Unless... Ian, Nigel, come here. I just had a fucking idea, man. What if, Ian ... Let's just say, what if....now open your mind real wide now. What if we kill the fucking audience? Could I go back to my day job? I could sell shoes again!”

Thursday, March 24, 2016

James Orin Incandenza

James Orin Incandenza hovers in the novel's background like the ghost of Hamlet's father. At one point, he seems to become a literal ghost. 

While still corporeal, he put out an oeuvre of avant-garde films (or cartridges). As Wallace describes his obscure legacy ...

"...even the bastards in the avant-garde journels were complaining that even in his commercially entertaining stuff Incandenza’s fatal Achilles’ heel was plot, that Incandenza’s efforts had no sort of engaging plot, no movement that sucked you in and drew you along."

A description that obviously and equally applies to David Foster Wallace's stuff.