April 15, 2011

"It would be very nice if you would cut that out"


Tax day, everyone! And for everyone recognizing the “official” pub date for The Pale King, it’s Pale King day. So happy tax-Pale-King day.

David Foster Wallace had a knack for unpacking the logical, ethical, cultural, mathematical, and every other kind of complexity of a given situation. The weirdness of TV and interviews was no exception. In a lot of ways TV is inherently manipulative and artificial, yet he was usually a good sport and would submit to interviews anyway (no doubt he had a good, insistent publicist insuring that he did). But that didn’t mean he wouldn’t subvert the convention and portray a genuine human response while in the middle of doing an interview, even if it was a subconscious or reflexive impulse.

This is why the following video (via Biblioklept) is so damn interesting. Even though it’s full of material Wallace suggested be cut, the end result of the outtakes portrays the real, complex human stuff he was so good at laying bare. And, appropriately, it’s a nice way to remember him on this posthumous publication date.