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Big Red Son

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notes

investigative journalism piece for Premiere magazine in 1998 about the AVN Awards (i.e., for pornographic movies). Originally published under a pseudonym.

Foster Wallace, D. (2007). Big Red Son. In Foster Wallace, D. Consider the Lobster and Other Essays. Abacus, pp. 3-50

6

By comparison, last year there were approximately 375 films eligible for the Academy Awards that these voters [sic — meaning different voters from the AVN voters, presumably] were required to see.

presumably

—p.6 by David Foster Wallace 1 year, 4 months ago

By comparison, last year there were approximately 375 films eligible for the Academy Awards that these voters [sic — meaning different voters from the AVN voters, presumably] were required to see.

presumably

—p.6 by David Foster Wallace 1 year, 4 months ago
9

But Las Vegas as most of us see it, Vegas qua Vegas, comprises the dozen or so hotels that flank the Strip’s middle. [...]

idk just a nice expression

—p.9 by David Foster Wallace 1 year, 4 months ago

But Las Vegas as most of us see it, Vegas qua Vegas, comprises the dozen or so hotels that flank the Strip’s middle. [...]

idk just a nice expression

—p.9 by David Foster Wallace 1 year, 4 months ago
24

[...] But there is also a complex erotic tension. Because porn films’ worlds are so sexualized, with everybody seemingly teetering right on the edge of coitus all the time and it taking only the slightest nudge or excuse — a stalled elevator, an unlocked door, a cocked eyebrow, a firm handshake — to send everyone tumbling into a tangled mass of limbs and orifices, there’s a bizarre unconscious expectation/dread/hope that this is what might happen in Max Hardcore’s hotel room. Yr. corresps. here find it impossible to overemphasize the fact that this is a delusion. [...]

—p.24 by David Foster Wallace 1 year, 4 months ago

[...] But there is also a complex erotic tension. Because porn films’ worlds are so sexualized, with everybody seemingly teetering right on the edge of coitus all the time and it taking only the slightest nudge or excuse — a stalled elevator, an unlocked door, a cocked eyebrow, a firm handshake — to send everyone tumbling into a tangled mass of limbs and orifices, there’s a bizarre unconscious expectation/dread/hope that this is what might happen in Max Hardcore’s hotel room. Yr. corresps. here find it impossible to overemphasize the fact that this is a delusion. [...]

—p.24 by David Foster Wallace 1 year, 4 months ago
33

... End of vignette, and now Scotty — like Max, like Jasmin, like Jenna and Randy and Tom and Caressa — looks around the table, examining his auditors’ faces for the admiration that cannot possibly fail to appear. What is the socially appropriate response to an anecdote like this — a contextless anecdote, apropos nothing, with its smugly unsubtle (and yet not unmoving, finally, in its naked insecurity) agenda of getting you to admire the teller? The few seconds after, with the vignette hanging there and Scotty’s eyes on your correspondents’ faces like fingers, were the first of countless such moments over the AAVNA’s weekend. How is one expected to respond? It was very uncomfortable. One of yr. corresps. opted for “Gosh. Wow.” The other pretended to have had a brussels sprout go down the wrong way.

the anecdote is about some famous guy telling Scotty that he's a good guy

inspiration for Silicon Jest lol. MC?

—p.33 by David Foster Wallace 1 year, 4 months ago

... End of vignette, and now Scotty — like Max, like Jasmin, like Jenna and Randy and Tom and Caressa — looks around the table, examining his auditors’ faces for the admiration that cannot possibly fail to appear. What is the socially appropriate response to an anecdote like this — a contextless anecdote, apropos nothing, with its smugly unsubtle (and yet not unmoving, finally, in its naked insecurity) agenda of getting you to admire the teller? The few seconds after, with the vignette hanging there and Scotty’s eyes on your correspondents’ faces like fingers, were the first of countless such moments over the AAVNA’s weekend. How is one expected to respond? It was very uncomfortable. One of yr. corresps. opted for “Gosh. Wow.” The other pretended to have had a brussels sprout go down the wrong way.

the anecdote is about some famous guy telling Scotty that he's a good guy

inspiration for Silicon Jest lol. MC?

—p.33 by David Foster Wallace 1 year, 4 months ago
45

[...] Back at the journalists’ table with us is a 40ish woman in two-piece Armani who’s doing a spot on the Awards for ABC Radio; she spends most of the evening hunched over with her head in her hand and her tape recorder not even on. [...]

how can DFW recognise Armani, please tell me this

—p.45 by David Foster Wallace 1 year, 4 months ago

[...] Back at the journalists’ table with us is a 40ish woman in two-piece Armani who’s doing a spot on the Awards for ABC Radio; she spends most of the evening hunched over with her head in her hand and her tape recorder not even on. [...]

how can DFW recognise Armani, please tell me this

—p.45 by David Foster Wallace 1 year, 4 months ago
47

An actor named Jim Buck wins AVN’s Gay Performer of the Year Award, and you better believe yr. corresps. sit bolt upright when the person who appears onstage to accept the award is a pink and leptosomatic 4'10" and is wearing an Eton collar and appears, even under 125X binoculation, to be a twelve-year-old boy. And it turns out it is a twelve-year-old boy: It’s Jim Buck’s little brother. “Jim can’t be here tonight because he’s performing in a Shakespeare festival in New Orleans,” the little boy says (correspondential expressions of bug-eyed inquiry at Hecuba and Filth — Shakespeare festival? sending a prepubescent relative to collect your excellence-in-filmed-sodomy prize? — are met with bemused shrugs), “but I’m here to thank you on his behalf, and to say that I taught Jim everything he knows.” [Enormous audience laugh and ovation, single spasmodic shudder from hunched ABC Radio lady.]

—p.47 by David Foster Wallace 1 year, 4 months ago

An actor named Jim Buck wins AVN’s Gay Performer of the Year Award, and you better believe yr. corresps. sit bolt upright when the person who appears onstage to accept the award is a pink and leptosomatic 4'10" and is wearing an Eton collar and appears, even under 125X binoculation, to be a twelve-year-old boy. And it turns out it is a twelve-year-old boy: It’s Jim Buck’s little brother. “Jim can’t be here tonight because he’s performing in a Shakespeare festival in New Orleans,” the little boy says (correspondential expressions of bug-eyed inquiry at Hecuba and Filth — Shakespeare festival? sending a prepubescent relative to collect your excellence-in-filmed-sodomy prize? — are met with bemused shrugs), “but I’m here to thank you on his behalf, and to say that I taught Jim everything he knows.” [Enormous audience laugh and ovation, single spasmodic shudder from hunched ABC Radio lady.]

—p.47 by David Foster Wallace 1 year, 4 months ago