This is the latest entry in Words, Words, Words the ongoing liveblog of David Foster Wallace’s “Infinite Jest.”
November 22, 2011, pgs 469-508/1033-1034. Marathe and Steeply. Both the American/O.N.A.N. government and the Canadians have experimented with debilitating entertainments — which Steeply points out to demonstrate that choosing to overindulge is not a uniquely American weakness. He is being defensive in every sense of the word, trying to soften some of AFR’s murderous intent through a process of a geopolitical Identifying With. “I’m saying that if he could get past the blind desire for harm against the U.S., your M. Fortier might be induced to see just what it is he’s proposing.” But it doesn’t work; Marathe is Quebecois.
Gately’s missle-strapped joyride takes us not only past the Bread and Circus/Whole Foods where I used to work (moved a few blocks in IJ), but also to the interior of “Antitoi Entertainent” [sic], which true to its translation, “Anti-you”, appears to be a nexus in the IJ universe where lots of harmful things come together. That does not, however, include the Antitoi’s themselves: “Once or twice doing work of affiliation with the Separatist/Anti-O.N.A.N. F.L.Q., they are for the most part a not very terrifying insurgent cell…spurned by the F.L.Q. after DuPlessis’s assassination* and also ridiculed by the more malignant anti-O.N.A.N. cells.” They now have a “previously DuPlessis-restrained flair for stupid wastes of time,” for example, tying the Fleur-de-Lis flag to the statue downtown (which Joelle noticed a few chapters earlier), or taping bricks to the (banned in Canada) postage-paid return cards, a trick Wallace has one of his characters repeat in “The Pale King.” They also sell drugs, including some “trop-formidable harmful pharmaceutical no longer available and guaranteed to make one’s most hair-raising psychedelic experience look like a day on the massage-tables of a Basel hot-springs resort.” This seems to be the DMZ sold to Mike Pemulis.