Disliked Found

A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again

They’re going to throw a lever and detach the tower-cable’s clip, and the man in sockless Banfis will free-fall for what’ll seem forever, until the crane’s cable’s slack is taken up and the line takes his weight and goes tight behind him and swings him way out over the grounds to the south, his arc’s upward half almost as high as the tower was, and then he’ll fall all over again, back, and get caught and swung the other way, back and forth, the man prone at the arc’s trough and seeming to stand at either apex, swinging back and forth and erect and prone against a rare-meat sunset.

And just as the crane’s cab’s blond reaches for his lever and the crowd mightily inhales, just then, I lose my nerve, in my very last moment at the Fair – I recall my childhood’s serial nightmare of being swung or whipped in an arc that threatens to come full circle – and I decline to be part of this, even as witness – and I find, again, in extremis, access to childhood’s other worst nightmare, the only sure way to obliterate all; and the sun and sky and plummeting Yuppie go out like a light.

David Foster Wallace was found dead in his home Friday evening. He had apparently hung himself; I suppose given the above, one could consider it ironic. One familiar with his work could also be glad he didn’t stick his head in a microwave.

DFW has always remained high on my list of favorite authors, largely thanks to the book for which I’ve named this post. Now seems like an appropriate time to read it, and his sprawling opus, one more time.


In Lieu Of A Real Holiday Gift

There was an audiobook I was planning on buying at least one of my friends for the holiday season; in a perfect world, I’d buy it for all of you.

Apple had to go and make it free this week. Great for giving it to everyone – not so great for making it look like a heartfelt gift.

So friends, download John Hodgman’s Areas Of My Expertise today. Before [the hobos take over](


Chapter 6

“Let’s start with the end,” Mr. Whittier would say.

He’d say, “Let’s start with a plot spoiler.”

The meaning of life. A unified field theory. The big reason why.

He’d say, “Lets get this big, big surprise over and done with.”

The earth, he’d say, is just a big machine. A big processing plant. A factory. That’s your answer. The big truth.

Think of a rock polisher, one of those drums, goes round and round, rolls twenty-four/seven, full of water and rocks and gravel. Grinding it all up. Round and round. Polishing those ugly rocks into gemstones. That’s the earth. Why it goes around. We’re the rocks. And what happens to us — the drama and pain and joy and war and sickness and victory and abuse — why, that’s just the water and sand to erode us. Grind us down. To polish us up, nice and bright.

That’s what Mr. Whittier would tell you.

Smooth as glass, that’s our Mr. Whittier. Buffed by pain. Polished and shining.

That’s why we love conflict, he says. We love to hate. To stop a war, we declare war on it. We must wipe out poverty. We must fight hunger. We campaign and challenge and defeat and destroy.

As human beings, our first commandment is:

Something needs to happen.

Mr. Whittier had no idea he was so right.

[Taken from pages 99-100 of Chuck Palahniuk’s *Haunted.]*