The Infinite Jest Deathmarch, Stage 20

'...the closest Gately'd ever come to Xing a celebrity was the ragingly addicted nursing-student with the head-banging loft, who'd borne an incredible resemblance to the young Dean Martin.'

Begin: Page 896 (“I was going to go back up to see about Stice’s defenestration…”)
End: Page 941 (“Oh shit yes very much.”)

Start Date: 2/19/11
Finish Date: 2/25/11

Note Profile: We’re almost done with the notes at this point, so discontinuing this feature.

The finish line looms. The remaining pages are dwindling, as are the remaining Marchers. I just got a guilty phone call from another dropout, but I’m not holding it against anybody. People have lives. I’m just grateful for the hardy few who have stuck it out. Meanwhile, it’s a rainy day, perfect for reading – to the café!

Cee Lo Green: “The Lady Killer”

For reasons of sheer boredom, I found myself watching the Grammy Awards broadcast this year for the first time in ages, and at times almost enjoying myself. One of those times was when Cee Lo Green performed his big hit accompanied by, and I don’t think I imagined this although it sounds unlikely, Gwyneth Paltrow and a bunch of Muppets. You know the song – the one they coyly referred to on the show as “The Song Otherwise Known as ‘Forget You.’ ”

It was indeed “forget you” that came out of Cee Lo’s mouth, and this didn’t ruin the song entirely, though it did dilute somewhat the frisson of a bouncy, irresistible pop tune called “Fuck You.” Never mind – this is Cee Lo’s moment, he is invincible, and you have to respect him for writing a surefire hit single and giving it lyrics that render it unsuitable for broadcast. The muse was truly with Mr. Green that day; were Willie the Shakes himself still with us, he would be envious of this couplet:

I see you drivin’ ’round town with the girl I love
And I’m like, “Fuck you!”


Carmelo Loves Carmelo

It wouldn't be a bad idea for Melo to take his hat off, because it makes him look silly.

I have a new addition to my sports quote hall of fame: this gem from Carmelo Anthony, congratulating himself for continuing to put up big numbers despite the distraction of trade rumors:

I take my hat off to myself for dealing with all this stuff that’s going on and still be able to go out there and play at the high level that I can play at. I really don’t think an average person can walk in my shoes. I don’t think that.

The phrase “I take my hat off to myself” is definitely going to make its way into my regular rotation, right alongside J.R. Rider’s immortal “I said I was going to win it and I won it. I have to love myself for that.”

Just for the heck of it, here’s the rest of the top 5:

  • “Vonteego has a lot of confidence, and the Warriors are starting to have a lot of confidence in Vonteego.” (Golden State Warriors rookie Vonteego Cummings, circa 1999, speaking highly of himself. I mean of Vonteego.)
  • “Rickey don’t like it when Rickey can’t find Rickey’s limo.” (Hall of Famer Rickey Henderson, still the record-holder for most third-person-self-references in one sentence.)
  • “I ain’t getting on no time machine.” (ABA player Marvin Barnes, refusing to board a short flight that would cross time zones and thus land before it took off.)

Gorillaz: “Plastic Beach”

I was a huge, huge fan of the first two Gorillaz albums. Like the Clash before him, Damon Albarn (Gorillaz’ musical mastermind, with artist Jamie Hewlett being the visual architect) found a way forward from a stagnant era of rock’n’roll by grafting in bits of all kinds of disparate styles, from hip-hop to Latin and African music to techno. Gorillaz and Demon Days were two of the best products of the first decade of this century, for my money, and with that in mind it’s hard not to call Plastic Beach something of a disappointment. It just doesn’t work the way its predecessors did, for reasons that are hard to pin down.

The Infinite Jest Deathmarch, Stage 19

'He's remembering that he used to pretend to himself that the unviolent and sarcastic accountant Nom (sic) on 'Cheers!' (sic) was Gately's own organic father, straining to hold young Bimmy on his lap...'

Begin: Page 845 (“After Rémy Marathe and Ossowiecke, and Balbalis also, they all reported back negatively for all signs of this veiled performer…”)
End: Page 896 (…without jostling the catheter or I.V.s, or the thick taped tube that went down his mouth to God know where.”)

Start Date: 2/12/11
Finish Date: 2/18/11

Note Profile: 18 notes (344–361), all short

Let me quickly address Matt’s comment on the previous thread: I would be very careful about expecting too much in the way of closure in this book. Based on my experience of two long novels by Thomas Pynchon – DFW’s role model, I think – I already feel way ahead of the game in terms of narrative coherence and leery of anticipating anything in particular from the last 140 pages.

Also, his Hamlet reference is apropos, because I feel like we are witnessing a slow-motion tragedy where Hal is concerned. I think we are meant to believe that Hal could have been “saved” had he been sent to a real AA/NA meeting rather than the festival of patheticness he ended up at; instead he is headed directly for where we found him at the beginning of the book. One can only hope things go well for Gately and Joelle; but isn’t that what I just cautioned against? Damn and blast!