Sunday, July 8, 2012

Infinite Summer #3: The McDonald's of the Soul and a thing about water

Think of these Sunday posts as jumping off places...discuss what I've posted, post something yourself, answer questions, ask questions, add whatever it takes to make this experience enjoyable and understandable for you!

These post will be CHOCK FULL OF SPOILERS for the reading for that week (Just in case you didn't already know that!). I think knowing this will stop those of us that aren't at a certain place from reading on and will enable those of us who are writing to do so without worrying if someone knows that fact or not. If you are reading ahead and want to post about the pages ahead please wait and if you want to talk about other books, not Infinite Jest and are giving spoilers please indicate that in some fashion...even a *spoiler* before the comment would be nice.

And, finally, if there is anything I can do to make this run more smoothly please don't hesitate to message me on here, on twitter or on Goodreads and I'll see what I can do.

Let's begin the discussion...

OK, so I've been reading Infinite Jest and some YA fiction for a Goodreads group I'm in and...well, I've been watching Jim Gaffigan and I am finding so many brain is full of Hal and the gang. Thank-you very much DFW.
“I’m tired of people acting like they’re better than McDonald’s. It’s like, you may have never set foot in McDonald’s but you have your own McDonald’s. Maybe instead of buying a Big Mac you read Us Weekly. Hey, that’s still McDonald’s, it’s just served up a little different. Maybe your McDonald’s is telling yourself that a Starbucks frappuccino is not a milkshake. Or maybe you watch Glee. It’s all McDonald’s. McDonald’s of the soul.”— Jim Gaffigan, Mr. Universe
What connections to DFW and everyday life have you noticed?

I deviated off-course (yeah, it's that darned book for $3.99)
I think we're far enough along in the book that we can start seeing how it's changing us...or, should I say, I can start seeing how it's changing me...If you haven't, read "A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again" (the link is to the Harper's article; I printed it just in case it will be taken down later)

And, then there's this beautiful thing...the LiveJournal (every time I get finished with a section I read its LiveJournal counterpart, I am loving the LiveJournal!) talks about DFW's Kenyon Commencement Speech and finally I broke down and read and listened to it and teared up (thinking about my own life, the lives of those around me and, of course, DFW, a man who I will never meet, but who feels like someone I know).

Transcript here, and you can listen to it (I would suggest you do both; maybe simultaneously):

Then, I wanted to watch these movies again (both of which I only have on VHS, bummer):

And, I wanted to be in college again...except for I'm not really sure that's exactly what I'm feeling it's just the best way of summing it all up.

If we must talk about the book...
I love how the movies keep coming back and it's fun to have something to imagine while rereading some of their descriptions. I also love looking at the pictures again.

I am finding that I like Michael Pemulis. I hope that he isn't a shady character.

"Tennis and the Feral Prodigy"
"...talent is its own expectation: it is there from the start and either lived up to or lost." 
"By repeating this term over and over, perhaps in the same rhythm at which you squeeze a ball, you can reduce it to an empty series of phonemes, just formants and fricatives, trochaically stressed, signifying zip." 
"If you are an adolescent, here is the trick to being neither quite a nerd nor quite a jock: be no one." 
"It is easier than you think." 
"This is also how not to fear sleep or dreams. Never tell anyone where you are. Please learn the pragmatics of expressing fear: sometimes words that seem to express really invoke."
 "But in the interval, if it is an interval: here is Motrin for your joints, Noxgema for your burn, Lemon Pledge if you prefer nausea to burn, Contracol for your back, benzoin for your hands, Epsom salts and anti-inflammatories for your ankle, and extracurriculars for your folks, who just wanted to make sure you didn't miss anything they got."

Finally, a little house-keeping:

The ereader and physical copy
of this edition are not the same...
1] Thank-you Deana for would seem that the ereader and physical versions published from the same year do not have the same page numbers. I used my ebook, the physical book one time (yes, in the bookstore, no I do not own two copies of the book), and the information from infinitesummer to calculate the page numbers.
Amanda, who owns the physical copy, and I, poured over it to figure out the flaw. The physical book does it at 981 which means in essence we don't need the last two weeks, my book ends at 1203 (which I thought was a bit odd, but calculated it up to the transfer to ereader). When I did the math (to convert % to page number) it all worked out, based on my limited knowledge of the book and I didn't notice the error until Deana mailed me and then AGD was talking about something in the section I hadn't gotten to although I read all the pages. If you go by infinitesummer index (I used it to figure out where I should be and realized that I was about 100 pages in the red), you should be fine and heck! being ahead in the reading, must be better than I am...behind (less than I was on Thursday and hopefully caught up on the plane) on the reading. I can fix the page number thing (so it aligns in perpetuity), but can't now because I am reading the book and don't want to look ahead. I've been very good at not spoiling things for myself. Sorry, if this has caused anyone confusion!
2] If you haven't signed up officially, please do so here.
3] Catch up on all of our IJ stuff and things here.
4] All of the books on this list are $3.99 on the Nook, including A Supposedly Funny Thing I'll Never Do Again: Essays and Arguments ...go snag it while it's there to be snagged!
5] And, keep the convo coming, I am loving it and it helps me to understand the book and my viewpoints so much more.
6] I will not be coming back here until after the 12th (I will still post daily, but will not be on Twitter or Facebook, or able to reply to comments or such), as I'll be at a conference in Las Vegas learning about high school journalism and hanging out with my husband sans the tiny person. And, when I'm away I like to be away...and, I'm sure I'll have work to do and places to go anyway...

I wish you way more than luck.

1 comment:

  1. I'm catching up slowly... here we go!

    The section about the things you learn through rehab was cracking me up. I kept flashing to people I know, situations I've been in (NO, I really haven't been in rehab or needed to!!!)as the words were so exceptionally descriptive.

    Things you learn from teaching:

    That grading work is better than doing schoolwork. You can always decided to go to bed and grade it later as the deadlines exist in much fewer instances.

    That teachers act like the students they teach. Yes, hs teachers really do gossip more than others just like the girls we have in class.

    That some students have a smell.

    That some class years have an identifiable smell.

    That no matter how awesome your lesson is and how long you prepared for it there are days when it just doesn't work out right.

    That there are other days when you feel like a genius as all the students have learned.

    That sometimes the above happen in the same day.

    And yeah... we'll stop there before I say something I shouldn't. :)



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