@DavidHarp David, wow, don't know how much of what you wrote was directly from David Wallace but I'm guessing the AA stuff was in Infinite Jest? Crocodilian rejection of causality..great phrase. Now I am committed to reading the book
..some sort of nuanced outlook in which we can factor in "what happened" as an partially causal element without using blame to deflect our sense of personal responsibility to act in the present...
YES!! The specious blame shield doesn't work long term.
And YES, Barnhouse where does all the conjecture leave a person?
So I ask why do we deflect, blame and ignore the complexities of investigation and multifactor analysis and abnegate personal responsibility?
• Because we are overwhelmed in the face of it, mentally naked apes as individuals, personally biased, with conflicted interests on a one to one basis with others (by design with those we are closest too) and anxious in our own mortality and so we lack a bigger vision, lose energy and patience.
• We need interpersonal responsibility not only personal responsibility....a community of support in order to do a better job of understanding and treating the complexities of emotional pain.
• An object in motion tends to stay in motion unless met with equal force in an opposing direction. More than one individual created any other so it takes many more individuals to be that force encouraging another direction for an individual.
• Our brains use up more energy going in a new direction and how can we in a society that fears and experiences constant threats and acts of extradition from the community we depend upon have any energy left to do the complex work you suggest and I agree is vital for understanding and healthy evolution?
• Without a community committed to basic human rights more like what Denmark, the Netherlands and Sweden and others approach it leaves people like Dave Foster Wallace alienated and the individuals and small groups who care about him helpless. Fresh air, clean water, shelter, gardens and or greenhouses in every possible neighborhood, medical care, health care, human treatment of all animals (as they are raised and as they are slaughtered even)... these things first then see if we still want or need 'happy meals' with plastic surprises inside.
I could say more here about Six Flags vs. Abuse and AA Crocs but my post is long enough as is.
My spelling and grammar are no doubt poor but I hope to share and get some love here anyway....
Wow, excellent insights...while Wallace wrote about taboo subjects you let his real self, the sloppy search side, have posthumous liberation something he did only in a perfected literary form. Few of us would have ever seen that part of him if not for your posting this. I think he would have been impressed, relieved and perhaps felt a bit more loved could he have seen the responses to this exposure. THANK YOU!!!!!! And really that is one of the ironies of life ... we need others to know us better than our selves...how frighteningly vulnerable is that particularly when our initial Gods, our parents could often not stand the sight of us?
As for mother blame...easy target cause she is home and has the initially most intimate 'bond' with the child and bares a recent history of exclusion from participation at the world at large and so is likely to cling to the small world of home inordinantly. Nonetheless, fathers are complicit, passively or other wise and just as responsible. As is community.
As for the divergent agendas of self and others the cross is a symbol of the two's brief intersection and Freud wrote in Civilization and Its Discontents about that perpendicular relationship which only cris crosses briefly.
What I learned from Self Help books is that they are mostly helping the self that writes them. The titles are an oxymoron given the reader is reaching out for someone else's ideas for help. Moreover a reader can die of thirst reading about water. We need, I believe, the someone else, many someone elses not just the ideas laid to rest on the page. Where is the community that balances the tiny dynasty of family? We don't have a healthy community in the US compared to some other nations such as Netherlands and Denmark and Sweden.
One gripe I have with AA is that while it says drinking is a symptom the whys are treated as irrelevant, the 12 steps, meetings and the abstaining from drinking are all that matters - there was very little conversation about the why of drinking. In fact the Big Book states it doesn't matter. What AA does offer and Wallace was lacking was community but a very rigid one in many ways that mimiced the strictly confined love of his parents as does the secrecy of the struggle, the anonymity.
Saw a great tee shirt that had on it "They comment on my drink but do not ask about my thirst" or something like that. Perhaps what DFW needed was to spend a summer playing really crappy tennis and doing improve comedy? Perhaps he needed brain washing of a hundred people telling him he is fine no matter if he writes again or not and badly or not. Or perhaps a public policy and community whose fundamental tenant are such. Oh, I forgot that if a person is lost they end up homeless without medical care or proper food...its enough to make anyone want to watch instead of live....his terror of extradition was well founded in some ways.
Perhaps David F. Wallace can now be counted as someone who was worshiped to the point of an impossible existence.
Perhaps had he been procedural in his description of being killed by what we worship he might have added that if you worship a real thing or person you are amputating its true character and that is not a sustainable relationship and if we depend on excessively (ie worship) that relationship we are not then sustainable.
In the Charlie Rose video with Mark Leyner, David F. Wallace, and Jon Franzen, Frazen looks at David F. Wallace more often than he looks anywhere else and he does so furtively while speaking, his eyes darting back to Wallace time and time again within each sentence Franzen speaks as if he is searching constantly for approval or disapproval from Wallace.
Worshop something other than an idol and it will kill you...so will an idol but it will not as likely disappoint because it is not real and in order to become a popular/useful idol has already the long artfully developed persona infused elegantly with contractions not directly tolerable in reality, for the purpose of sideways addressing those very contradictions. Perhaps Franzen will find some peace now that he can worship Wallace as an idol not as a real man and writer.
Leyner seems the most comfortable with himself, Wallace appears to cut him self off from the others, needing to ensure he is distinguished, making eye contact only with the air in which he is obsessing on his abstractions. Meanwhile, Franzen is focused on Wallace.