BRIEF INTERVIEWS WITH HIDEOUS MEN

BRIEF INTERVIEWS WITH HIDEOUS MEN: THE BOOK, THE MOVIE, AND THE AUTHOR

“Victory for the Forces of Democratic Freedom!” Only way louder.

This is one of the 1st lines you hear in the movie centering around the 3rd short story in the book which is set in interview form. The interviewee goes on after some reluctance to talk about his embarrassment of what he cries out when he is on the verge of climaxing, struggling from a non-psychiatric diagnosed, so-called Tourette-esque symptom known as coprolalia. “Victory for the Forces of Democratic freedom!” Only shouting it. The interviewee, after ejaculating and shouting this at the top of his lungs without any semblance of control, becomes so embarrassed, that he sends the lady on her way and never calls her again. Then he reveals that the ones (the women) that get to him the most are the ones that (so they say), “understand” and that state that they can still “love him anyway” despite his bizarre outbursts. Those are the ones (the women), that almost piss him off and substantiate and justify his needing to totally avoid them and never talk to them again.

Throughout the book and movie, there is an underlining tone set around men who seemingly unknowingly see women strictly as objects. These men sincerely and from their hearts apologize apathetically over and over again, while at the same time turn the emotional deprivation onto themselves and leave the woman to blame. As in, it’s their fault, the woman involved, that they are leaving. Not his own, despite leaving a historical trail of lies and broken relationships in his past due to these exact same traits and faults of pushing them away because of his so-called “caring for her” and “doing this for her” as in to save her from impending heartache and taking the pain head-on himself, and that this pain he has brought on himself is so much worse than what she is feeling, that she will never be able to understand. And she now should be the one feeling and caring for him and consoling him in this state of emotional stress and need, because it is him that is being so strong by leaving, and he is doing it for her and out of caring about her well-being. But can she? Understand? That it is her insecurities and fear brought on by his historically non-committal character that has pushed him away? Not a direct reflection of his personality flaw, but her?

The book loops and loops around this premise (or a similar premise) again and again, and I do like the irony aspect and the ego-maniacal-self-indulged yet overly-caring-selfless individuals represented. There are a few good “food for thought” pieces to take away throughout, and I think the movie does a good job of high-lighting these pieces all while eliminating the other non-relevant or slower bits. This is a first for me saying, but I enjoyed the movie more so than the book because of that. Not to mention, Jim (John Krasinski) from “The Office” (one of my favorite sitcoms), directed it and brought the paper to life, or at least the pages of paper that I actually liked. I could go on to talk about all of the actors and cameos in the movie, but who gives a fuck? I don’t. The acting was solid, but the movie would’ve had the same impact no matter who read the lines.

David Foster Wallace is (or was) a hell of a writer, as in, he can (or could) write for days and circle around a subtle or monotone statement adding in hundreds of unnecessary pages filled up by even more so unnecessary obscure, sometimes vague and incomprehensible words that only he will (or would) understand. His writing persona is (or was) one of arrogance and pompousness using his overly-extensive vocabulary, and paraphrasing and using self-generated abbreviations and acronyms and “multi-clause” sentences and endless footnotes restating what had already been read once, making the reader read an already seemingly longer than it should be short story yet again but in different phrasing to further this arrogance and pompousness and to prove to everyone and ultimately himself, that he is (or was) smarter than everyone else including his readers. While reading the book, I can’t help but feel that Wallace was challenging me to quit and makes some parts hard to read and slow intentionally to prove his haughty and superior ingenious. Fuck you. I am no quitter. Because of how annoying this fucking book is, I have read it twice and am still undecided on whether to like it or to hate it or both, but by completing it, more than once I shall add again, I have beaten it (or this)which gives me some weird feeling of accomplishment. My suggestion to the reader is… to not read it at all and just watch the movie. Or take a shot at the book. I don’t care.

As many characters from his novel are, self-indulging while claiming to be selfless, ego-maniacal, almost disconnected from true human emotion outside of their own, painfully self conscious and confined by others’ perceptions of them, eliminating the ability to acknowledge a true emotional connection beyond their own insecurities, David Foster Wallace unfortunately fell into those lines, hanging himself on September 12th of 2008 after struggling with depression for over 20 years, a depression that was unsuccessfully treated throughout. A rather large self-ego-saturating statement, suicide is about the most selfish and egocentric thing the human mind can conceive.

As stated by DFW regarding working with others on screenplays, etc:

“I think I would have a very difficult time writing something that’s a product that other people would mess with. [W]riting is very difficult for me and it takes a lot of time and energy. And once I’ve done it, it’s my thing.”

DFW

It’s sad to see such a talented wordsmith go so early as I’m sure there were countless annoying, (but only annoying because of the blatantly obvious genius) brilliant, ironic, stories to be written.

RIP David Foster Wallace (February 21, 1962 – September 12, 2008)

 You are missed.

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