Tuesday, October 9, 2007

In Rainbows, DFW's Oblivion and Comically Oversized Underpants

Donald R. Hipsterdoofus reporting for duty... and by duty I mean that I am currently listening to Radiohead's 24 minute old In Rainbows
which is, when you think about it, the only truly liberal--(I'm using this in the traditional Lockean sense not in the PoMo Flip-Floppy We-Say-Progressive-But-We-Mean-Locke But-We-Really-Don't Because-We're-Not-Quoting-Or-Referencing-Him-Outright)--and just and righteous thing anyone could be doing at the moment.

How, today, could the revolution begin without a theme song? And by theme song I mean a long and involved concept album. How could the revolution begin without that? It couldn't. It couldn't and it won't. And that is why the most politically efficacious thing to do this minute is to go out and pay your 45p, download the new Radiohead, and read Theodor Adorno's essays on music over and over and over until you look out the window and the Revolution is walking by and a cute girl with a copy of that sleek cool $56 Verso edition of The Communist Manifesto sewn into her jeans jacket lowers her half-ironic white aviators and winks unironically at you and sees you're reading Adorno and you know that you've done your part for the Cause and the Event and that life is really like the Dreamers which I thought was very cool and revolutionary indeed.

The album so far, after 26 minutes, is, well, great. And that's a hard thing for me to say, and I'm sure that you'll take it ironically, and while yes [eyes rolling] of course I'm being ironic when I write quote unquote great, I DO actually mean it. Meaning the irony.

My only complaint is that Radiohead took the greatest song title ever ("Big Ideas (don't get any)") which has Irony and Parentheses All the Fuck Over the Place and they changed it to the title "Nude." Which, don't get me wrong, is sort of ironic because it is sort of "denuded" of its original title, and I love nudity (cf. the Dreamers again)... but only sort of. Nudity is what you dress up. Nudity is what you Adorn. O, I don't know. Maybe that's why they changed the title. So that the new one is like a naked paper doll that we can dress up with our own skinny jeans and ironic t-shirts.

Anyways, I'm supposed to write about David Foster Wallace's short story collection Oblivion, which is ironic because it's like half-ironic/half-sincere and can only arrive at that sincerity through like halving the irony like Achilles and the Tortoise chopping onions or whatever they do that's paradoxical, and the irony is there (the most recent irony, the one where I just said "which is ironic"--that irony) because in the previous paragraphs I was talking about irony and whatever, but I was talking about it sincerely (mostly).

And anyways Tamilda assigned me to write this thing like 4 years ago so I'm just getting to it now which is a) a miracle given the dissertation revisions I'm doing right now (which were due seven years ago); and b) it's actually better because I think our culture is only now ready for my kritik of it.

So here it is:

Or wait, our culture's not ready. Plus I'm listening to this Radiohead and reading Adorno and waiting for the Revolution and the Girl with the cool Sunglasses to walk by and head down to Café Intelligentsia which is really very trendy and down the street from me. I once saw, for example, Wes Anderson drinking macchiatos there with the lead singer of Blonde Redhead and this really cool lit. theory guy Pheng Cheah from Hong Kong and someone who I think was probably Dennis Kucinich. I think it was them. I was running late to a hair appointment and didn't get a good look but anyways you get the idea of what sort of crowd hangs out there and I'm usually there too.

Eyes-Rolling-Anyways in the Name of the Revolution I have to recycle my assignment and submit this parody of DFW I found in my inbox from waybackwhen... I sort of assume Shelley and Tamilda wrote it, since they seem to know so much about underpants--(e.g. the lyric drama they're reputedly drafting called Prometheus Underpants). Supposedly they won something--I think a book, how ironic--using some stupid pseudonym with it over at the Howling Fantods but whatever big deal:


By (apparently) David Foster Wallace

The problem didn't so much concern the origin of the underpants that the Senior White House Aide was found sniffing—the origin was verified by the DNA tests that the Senior White House Aide had ordered be performed on the traces of vaginal mucus found within the underpants on account of his [i.e. the SWHA's] own doubts concerning the origins of the underpants he was so keen on sniffing—so much as it concerned the incredible size of the underpants that were found draped across the SWHA's head. In other words, after the results of the DNA tests were leaked to the quote unquote Liberal Media, and after the subsequent public and scientific verifications of said leaked results, no one doubted that the underwear had been, if not provably owned and purchased by the Young Female Celebrity Who Shall Remain Nameless, at the very least worn for an extended period by the Aforementioned YFCWSRN. But again, that was not really what concerned people. What people were really scratching their heads over also wasn't why a SWHA would want to sniff the AYFCWSRN's aforementioned underpants (nearly eighty percent of males aged 14-65 would have sniffed said underpants if given the chance, CNN polls reported), but why, when the AYFWSRN generally appeared so fit and lithe, the AYCFWSRN's underpants were so friggin' huge. As in comically huge. As in probably too big for any
or most NFL players or sumo wrestlers to wear. As in if you were stranded at sea on a small raft with only one piece of clothing you would want those underpants because those underpants would make a big ass sail and then some. But the AYFCW—For the Purposes of Keeping Fiction an Autonomous Realm Not Wholly Dependent on the Quote Unquote Real World—SRN said the SWHA had politely and through secret but reputable channels asked for her underpants, and that those (i.e. the comically large ones found on the SWHA's head) were indeed her underpants, which, after the leaking of the DNA results, no one could rationally deny. And yet the size of the underpants was so inordinate that people did begin denying that the underpants were really those of the AYFCW—FtPoKFaARNWDo i.e. Subordinated to tQURW—SRN, and began suggesting that perhaps they had been given to the SWHA only in jest so as to openly mock his underpants sniffing fetish and perhaps demonstrate to him that the manner in which he perceived the world was all out of proportion, that a celebrity's underpants were simply underpants and not some quote unquote Big Deal or something to risk one's career and dignity over. This, said some, was maybe what the AYFCW—FtPoKFaARNWDoi.e.SttQURW—SRN was trying to signal to the SWHA by sending him such comically oversized underpants. But, given the AYFCW—FtPoKFaARNWDoi.e.SttQURW—SRN's quote unquote shallow Hollywood personality and her quote unquote Utter Imperviousness to All Forms of Subversive Irony or Deconstructive Play or What Have You, the case for irony was a hard one to make. Which is why some have suggested that previous to the incident involving the enormous underpants the AYFCW—FtPoKFaARNWDoi.e.SttQURW—SRN may have in fact hired some sort of quote unquote Irony Consultant to spark interest in her public image with quote unquote Literate Hipsters and Bourgeois Intellectuals, the prime candidate for said position of delving out irony being one David Foster Wallace . The present author, WFtPoKFaARNWDoi.e.SttQURWSRN, would like to assure the well-meaning but unbelievably nosey public that David Foster Wallace has never and not even in an advisory capacity FedEx-ed comically large underpants to any public official, and would in fact much rather be on the receiving than on the advising and FedEx-ing end of such an operation:

David Foster Wallace

423 North Haberbrook Avenue

Pomona, CA 93421

This public baring of one's deepest and most intimate flaws and obsessions should relate how much the APAWFtPoKFaARNWDoi.e.SttQURWSRN (i.e. the fiction author David Foster Wallace) denies his or her involvement in the aforementioned matter of the comically oversized underpants, just as it should conclusively demonstrate how he or she is a thinking and breathing and above all feeling human being not wholly consumed and overwhelmed by the aforementioned subversive irony, which does tend to consume and overwhelm if not properly pruned.


Here is my dog, Count Virilio Hipsterdoofus of Montreal:

nB: This costume is being worn at least 65% ironically.


uncomplicatedly said...

Congrats to Tamilda & Shelley! Way to follow in the footsteps of Katherine Bradley and Edith Cooper.

Andrew Warren said...

Wow, Congrats to Katherine and Edith! That's the most awesome thing ever. Well, I guess living in a more tolerant and open-minded society might be a bit more awesome, but still: pretty dang awesome.

And what about that blabbermouth Robert Browning! Shelley once told him about my crush on the substitute teacher and within days it was schoolwide news... stupid Browning.

-Tamilda the Genius 10yr Old