Wallace wrote two Senior Theses at Amherst because of course he did. His English thesis became his first novel, The Broom of the System.
His other thesis was in Philosophy and is available to the public for the first time.
Subsidized Time is concocted by newly-elected president Johnny Gentle as a way to bring America out of a recession. Inspired by the Chinese Zodiac calendar, Subsidized Time is a way to monetize one of the most ubiquitous things around - the date.
Each year, one of the products is installed in the Statue of Liberty’s torch hand. In the very first year of Subsidized Time, The Year of the Whopper, a giant cast iron hamburger falls from its position and kills one of the men working to install it.
Each chapter heading is labeled with the year, and the book’s first scene takes place in The Year of Glad. Being that the reader doesn’t understand the chronological designations of these years, and that the book jumps around in time, it makes the comprehension of the plot that much more difficult.
Eventually, the reader is handed a handy chart that looks like this:
“Chronology of Organization of North American Nations’ Revenue-Enhancing Subsidized TimeTM”:
- Year of the Whopper
- Year of the Tucks Medicated Pad
- Year of the Trial-Size Dove Bar
- Year of the Perdue Wonderchicken
- Year of the Whisper-Quiet Maytag Dishmaster
- Year of the Yushityu 2007 Mimetic-Resolution-Cartridge-View-Motherboard-Easy-To-Install-Upgrade For Infernatron/InterLace TP Systems For Home, Office Or Mobile [sic]
- Year of Dairy Products from the American Heartland
- Year of the Depend Adult Undergarment
- Year of Glad
It has been debated which years these might actually correspond with. One very obvious clue is that in the “Year of the Yushityu 2007 Mimetic…….” the 2007 may actually refer to the year. Other astute readers have done some calculations based on other references in the novel and have concluded that The Year of the Depend Adult Undergarment is actually 2011, but it is never expressly stated in the novel.
There is no means I have to properly convey just how much I love this tumblr.
Perfection. And I am firmly on TeamYDAU=2009
I couldn’t get the embedded version to work here on Tumblr, but this version worked.
Ye gods. That’s brilliant Mr. Tremendous.
Spin the black beanie, Pemulis.
Because like bourbon, some great books require time to age. Also, I’ve been reading a lot of steampunk and SF.
Mitt would support the Great Concavity as a job creator.
SEVERAL weeks ago, a plastic surgeon in Virginia started a media frenzy when he publicized a new procedure that he said could help people look younger when they appear on Skype and other video chat services. He named the surgery the FaceTime Face-Lift, after the popular iPhone feature.
“People don’t come in asking for a FaceTime Face-Lift per se,” the surgeon, Dr. Robert K. Sigal, of the Austin-Weston Center for Cosmetic Surgery in Reston, Va., said in a YouTube video. “What they’ll say is that ‘I don’t like the way I look when I’m video chatting.’ ”
[…] Roughly a quarter of the 100 face-lift patients he has a year cited the way they look on webcams as a reason for going under the knife, he said, including his own wife. Dr. Malcolm Z. Roth, president of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, said that other plastic surgeons had heard similar concerns.
David Foster Wallace is making his “I told you so” face. (Infinite Jest, p. 144-151)
Jesus DFW is my favorite.
DFW was some kind of prophet I promise you.
Great, so I can expect my HD mask any day now?
David Foster Wallace:
Are some things still worth dying for? Is the American idea* one such thing? Are you up for a thought experiment? What if we chose to regard the 2,973 innocents killed in the atrocities of 9/11 not as victims but as democratic martyrs, “sacrifices on the altar of…
Read this whole thing.
Damn but I miss Dave.
There is no such thing as not worshipping. Everybody worships. The only choice we get is what to worship. And the compelling reason for maybe choosing some sort of god or spiritual-type thing to worship—be it JC or Allah, be it YHWH or the Wiccan Mother Goddess, or the Four Noble Truths, or some inviolable set of ethical principles—is that pretty much anything else you worship will eat you alive. If you worship money and things, if they are where you tap real meaning in life, then you will never have enough, never feel you have enough. It’s the truth. Worship your body and beauty and sexual allure and you will always feel ugly. And when time and age start showing, you will die a million deaths before they finally grieve you. On one level, we all know this stuff already. It’s been codified as myths, proverbs, clichés, epigrams, parables; the skeleton of every great story. The whole trick is keeping the truth up front in daily consciousness.
Worship power, you will end up feeling weak and afraid, and you will need ever more power over others to numb you to your own fear. Worship your intellect, being seen as smart, you will end up feeling stupid, a fraud, always on the verge of being found out. But the insidious thing about these forms of worship is not that they’re evil or sinful, it’s that they’re unconscious. They are default settings.
They’re the kind of worship you just gradually slip into, day after day, getting more and more selective about what you see and how you measure value without ever being fully aware that that’s what you’re doing.