Reach and Pull

Musings on Infinite Jest

David Foster Wallace: Prophet

with 5 comments

Gonna sound trite. Like, oh, right, of course, he prophesied our current videophoning disconnected double-bound ever-more-prodigious earth-polluting aggrieved-terrorist substance-dependent entertainment-captured post-postmodern existence. But, uh, no. Not just that. (“Just”, lol.) No. Way more specifically, did he soothsay. “Huh?” Just…wait. Good news, though: Not too late! Perhaps now would be a good time to reevaluate how sad Hal really was as he and Gately unburied JOI’s head. Yes, “very sad kid”, “sad kid”, “sad kid”…”makes the face of somebody shouting in panic”…right. Seriously, real question: Do most Infinite Jest readers suffer from a type of comprehension-retardation? Are wraiths of ill-will clouding your mind, lol? All of you? Do you not remember something really, really important about how Hal’s expressions have become all fucked-up and opposite-meaning? No, apparently, because basically all of you, maybe literally all of you, seem to think that “Too Late!” is a tragic note, portends disaster, consummates the epic sadness that Wallace promised, is the final tragic two-word chord that seals the book’s status as The Saddest Book Ever Written. Good news, though: The only thing that makes Infinite Jest the saddest book ever, is how fucking sadly it has been understood — or rather, pathetically misunderstood — not only by the entirety of its readership for 18 years, but also by the professionals who are paid handsomely to understand deep literature for the rest of us and to test us as to whether or not we understand it as well as they do and to review books for us so we can tell whether or not a book is good enough to buy, but even misunderstood by the very professionals who helped edit the goddamned thing. Really. It’s so, so, soooo fucking sad. Almost makes me want to cry. But, alas, eternal optimist that I am, thanking whatever gods may be: I can only laugh! I laugh at you all…hard, so fucking hard. Fools are funny, yes. But what’s funnier than a fool? Why, naturally: An arrogant fool! Especially an arrogant, snide, oh-so-solemn, oh-so-twee fool who views with condescending scorn if not outright pity and indifference…the one fucking schmuck in the world who actually understands enough of the book to get it. Oh, oh, ohhhh…THAT is the funniest fucking thing in the world, in fact. So, thank you, morons, for occasioning such roaring, life-affirming belly laughs. Your idiocy helped saved my soul. I learned how to not give a shit if I was alone, how to enjoy life anyway. Really, I owe you an eternal gratitude. Cannot thank you enough for being so fucking oblivious. But, now, what’s not to get? All the book’s self-help gist has been mined and distributed. All the academic exegesis-factories have sacrificed forests’ worth of paper dissecting the book’s keen insights on all the latest and greatest literary theories and psychological studies and mathematical patterns and cultural trends for which the book serves as an exhaustive compendium. Yeah, uh, big problem there. (Besides my Lyle and dream “theories” — errr, FACTS still awaiting widespread recognition.) Problem is: The book was not meant to serve the purposes of college professors who need thesis material or hipsters who need a more sophisticated excuse-system by which to live like hypocrites. The book was meant to, basically, you know, save the fucking world. “But how? It’s so sad!” Nooooooo, dipshit, it’s not sad. Hal’s face intends, despite its appearance to Gately, to carry in it a look of pure triumphant joy. Not sadness. JOY. J-O-Y. “Too Late!” In other words: “Hahahaaa! Suck it, bitches! You lose! We win! Too late!” You’re thinking I must be wrong. No. I am right. I have been right about nearly everything claimed and speculated about in this blog. It is youuuuuuuuuuu who have been wrong. All of you, or at the very least literally 99.9% of you, fellow readers of Infinite Jest. Idiots, lol. “Why are you so angry at us, at me?” Hmmm, gee, because when I wandered the online earth looking for an open mind and a kind ear and a set of functioning eyeballs, softly murmuring or calmly stating or desperately urging or frantically screaming (wound up that no way would work, no one could hear me, see me, as anything more than marginally mammalian) the words “Help. Help! HELP!”, what I got in return as a response from you fine souls who pride yourselves on having digested the other-loving lessons of your favorite book, was…can you guess? That fucking sign, pinned to my back: “HELP WANTED”, lol. Yes, funny. Really, one of the book’s great, cruel lol-able moments. But, but: NOT SO FUNNY IF YOU’RE THE PERSON ASKING FOR HELP, you fucking assholes, lmao. Anyway, yeah, thanks. Thanks a million! For real. Your vapid, vicious indifference did not kill me. It only made me stronger. And wiser. [CORRECTION: There were some people who attempted to help, and did help, even if only by attempting in the first place. But some did truly help. Way, way, wayyyy more than you helped. Unless by “you”, that now refers to one of the true helpers, reading this right now. Several people who commented here, you can find their screennames beneath the entries below, the same entries you should absolutely read in full, all of them, as soon as possible, like, now. Also, several people on Facebook, especially those who joined the Lyle group, who celebrated “Lyle is a wraith” Awareness Week, which had first been scheduled to begin on 4/8/2013, but was then re-scheduled to begin on 4/15/2013. To be celebrated in the city of…Boston. My city. My hometown. And no, lol, I had no hand whatsoever in that day’s or week’s events; nor, luckily, did I lose a hand…or a leg…or my life, obviously. Although, I might have. If I had not had a powerful premonition of impending disaster related to a job offer on which I bailed out in a sudden paralysis of paranoia and claustrophobia and acrophobia at 8:15am on the morning of 4/8/2013, a job that would have had me placed literally across the street from the second blast. I like to take regular smoke breaks. I also enjoy catching a little bit of the marathon whenever I can, every year I happen to be in the area, but especially around the time of day when the race is well over but the heartfelt amateurs begin to crowd and stream down Boylston Street, jogging for one or another good cause. You do the math.] My three favorite quotes ever:

“Amor fati.”

“Is there no other way the world may live?”

“Sapere aude!”

So, wanna know something? Do you dare, lol? Well, I already told you. It’s funny what you don’t recall, lol. It really is. What YOU don’t recall. Not me so much. Anyway, yeah, prophet. Wallace. That, he is. Way more literally than you might think. It’s actually ridiculous, the extent to which he is literally a prophet. (Or, was. Ugh. You stupid, brilliant, sorry, magnificent bastard. RIP.) Here’s a line that just caught my eye tonight, randomly: “It’s Friend, not Fiend.” Oh, is it? Not maybe…the other way around? You sure? You? Really sure? Be sure, now. Allow me to inform you, for fucking once, finally, and believe me, for once: You are not sure. You’ve been wrong before. You are wrong now. About what? Pfff-hahaha, yeah, no way I’m going there. See for yourself. Good luck, lol! I predict good things, a good year, full of good news. The Year of Fun! Real fun. Not too much fun. But…just enough.


Written by reachandpull

May 16, 2013 at 2:10 am

Posted in Uncategorized

5 Responses

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  1. You act exactly like the people you’really speaking out against. And you aren’the the only person in the world to pick up on the Lyle thing. You are a self-aggrandizing shill, and I suspect there are no comments on this post because you have deleted them…probably because they said something very similar to this.


    June 3, 2016 at 4:02 am

    • By all means, elaborate. In what ways am I acting exactly like the people I’m speaking out against?

      I am not now, in 2016, the only person in the world to pick up on the Lyle thing. In the summer of 2008, however, I was the only reader in the entire fucking world to have pointed it out, and I defy you to offer evidence to the contrary.

      I am a self-aggrandizer, yes. I can be, at least. One of the greatest self-aggrandizers of all time. Not sure who or what you are accusing me of being a shill for, though.

      You are the only person who has posted anything remotely similar. I approve every single pending comment. Hence, this. I will continue to post every comment, regardless of whether you are an insincere troll or a genuine pissant or just a misguided emoter.


      June 3, 2016 at 6:58 am

  2. Hello, friends!

    Depending on how you see it, I was either 8 years too early, or 3 and a half years too early. Either way, I feel like letting this out, been bottled up for so long:


    Aaaahahahahahahaha, yep, too late…too late FOR YOU, that is, if you are a villain on par with, say, Avril, ahem, and if you are:

    WE WIN.

    Michael Schur? SUCK MY DICK.
    John Krasinski? LICK MY BALLS.
    Jason Segal? GO FUCK YOURSELF.

    Infinite Summer? TOOOOO LATE!
    (One year too late, to be exact.)

    You know what is even funnier than what you don’t recall? What you DO recall, lmfao. I seem to have a knack for recollecting JUST the right things at JUST the right times. I would like to think that part of that is a matter of being guided unknowingly (or, semi-knowingly) by the spirit of David Foster Wallace, may whatever gods that be bless his unconquerable soul.

    Ready to get glad, good people? đŸ™‚


    November 20, 2016 at 6:52 pm

  3. You’re such a fucking idiot. As if you’re the only person to understand a book. God, what a fuckwad.


    December 14, 2017 at 12:53 pm

    • You’re probably right.


      December 14, 2017 at 2:55 pm

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