The Infinite Jest Deathmarch: Stage 5

It's Marlon Brando's fault, Jim.

Begin: Page 200 (“If, by virtue of charity or the circumstances of desperation…”)
End: Page 258 (“…holding the phone down right next to the foot, his expression terrifically intense.”)

Start Date: 10/29/10
Finish Date: 11/4/10

We’ll pass a couple of important milestones this week: the one-quarter mark of the book and the first month of the Deathmarch. And if these two facts taken together give you pause, perhaps it’s better not to think about it but to plow on heedlessly, mindlessly, like a rock rolling downhill.

Consecrate it a look consistently

Spam comments keep getting sneakier all the time. These days they generally take one of two approaches:

  • Make a reference to something or someone I’ve actually written about or mentioned, in hopes that they’ll come off as a real person.
  • Say something nice about my writing, in hopes that even if I know they’re spam I’ll be vain enough to post the comment anyway.

And in the latter case I am indeed often tempted, but I hate to give them the satisfaction, the swine. Instead, in continuation of my long-standing tradition of repurposing spam as content, here is a smattering of recent communications from the bots of cyberspace:

there are many greatest movies that i can think of by James Bond and Star Wars should be on the top of my list`*-


The Infinite Jest Deathmarch: Stage 4

Deathmarcher discovers Toblerone

End: Page 200 (Pemulis whispers: ‘Pussy.’)

Start Date: 10/22/10
Finish Date: 10/28/10

Ramping up a bit this week because I think we’ve weeded out the less hardy and it’s time to start cranking. This may be unkind to some of you who are playing catchup, but remember it’s not called a “Tiptoe-Through-the-Tulipsmarch.”

Brian Wilson’s Beard

A not-very-close-up and heavily moiréd photo of the beard in question and its host.

After (moustache) waxing poetic about Dave Zabriskie’s facial hair, I feel I would be remiss in not granting equal time to the Bay Area’s most popular beard of late 2010, that of Brian Wilson.

For the record, I am talking here about Giants closer Brian Wilson, not Beach Boy Brian Wilson or any of the many other Brian Wilsons out there. This is a point I was hard-pressed to communicate to The Google, which as the top three results for images of Brian+Wilson+beard returned the following:

and the following:

The Infinite Jest Deathmarch: Stage 3

By all means, check out

Begin: Page 95 (“Tuesday, 3 November, Enfield Tennis Academy: A.M. drills, shower, eat, class, lab, class….”)
End: Page 142 (…divorced from all stimulus, carried here and there across sets by burly extras whose blood sings with retrograde amines.”)

Start Date: 10/15/10
Finish Date: 10/21/10

It’s been a rough week in more ways than one. Like many of us, I found this stretch of the book much more difficult; in fact I have to admit I haven’t quite finished it yet. I got lost in the maze that is “James O. Incandenza: A Filmography” and almost didn’t find my way out. Like the man says – at every moment, an infinite regress lies in wait for the unwary.

The comments dropped off rather precipitously, from 25 to 7 as of this writing. I hope that’s not all the marchers we have left; if you’re still out there, by all means send up a flare and let us know. I sense that better days are ahead. If they can pull 33 guys out of a coal mine in what appears to be a pneumatic tube from Brazil, we can weather David Foster Wallace’s ADD until it all starts to make some kind of sense.