one thing leads to another: part two

Right around this time last year, there was much internet wailing and nashing of teeth because some author who I’d never heard about killed himself.

Normally, I wouldn’t have cared much, but some of the wailing and nashing was being performed by friends of mine whose opinions of on things literary I’ve come to respect, so I allowed myself to believe that maybe there was something to this David Foster Wallace guy, but since I’m not the type to read books that are considered “literature”, I’d probably never really know what the big deal was.  I mean, his most famous work is a ridiculous 1000+ page (plus endnotes!) opus, that mocks the reader with it’s title and has defeated more attempts to read it than Pynchon and his god-damned rainbow1.

Fast forward to this spring — the letters DFW are showing up on my RSS feeds again.  The plan is to read the opus over the course of astronomical summer. There is a schedule. There are forums. There’s even a Ravelry group. The book, which is an unreasonable 9×6x2 inches in paperback2 is available for a reasonable price (under $10) on Kindle.  I like to read things in the summer, there’s peer pressure. So I dip my toes into the Infinite Summer waters.

And I like it. A lot. I can’t speak to it’s literary worth, but I can say that at 89% through it’s been both challenging and fulfilling. Funny and profane and sad and profound. And lots of other good words too.

So anyways, my favourite character (Michael Pemulis, for anyone who is reading, but doesn’t know me well enough to see why this would obviously be true) in a recent footnote dons a t-shirt that supposedly says (in russian): “Vodka is the Enemy of Production”. With a menacing looking glyph of a bottle.

I feel a deep need to own such a shirt.

Which leads me to Google. Which leads me to this gallery of soviet anti-alcohol propaganda posters. Which leads to me to determine that the decor of my basement bar (when it ever comes to fruition) needs to feature these posters heavily-to-exclusively.  Because they are amazing — even when you don’t know what they mean.


Still no luck on the shirt, though.

1No… I’m not bitter about my inability to finish Gravity’s Rainbow… not at all.

2Seriously, there’s no way I would have read this book if I had to carry it everywhere.