p 135-151

this section in 7 parts

p 135-137
YDAU [2009] Nov 3
place ETA
narrated in third person


Hal receives a phone call from Orin, who asks why he always feels like he's interrupting Hal in the middle of masturbating. Hal dislikes talking on the phone when he's high. Hal estimates that 60% of the things he tells Orin on the phone are lies. Orin says it's 90+ degrees [in Nov] and that he just witnessed a pedestrian in a pith helmet, collapse on the street from the heat, and just lie there while everyone else avoided him. Hal wonders if his lying to Orin is reciprocated, and this leads him to question his intelligence. He tells Orin that SATs are in 6 weeks, and Pemulis isn't really helping him with the math. Orin jokes that he's considering starting a kleenex and lubricant concession at ETA. Orin says he's missing New Orleans, especially during advent. Hal says that Orin seems 'a little off.' Orin says it's the heat, but also that he's met somebody, 'a possibly very special somebody,' and then asks Hal what he knows about Separatism.

p 137-138
no year-backstory
place Ennet House, Boston
narrated in third person


Ennet House Drug and Alcohol Recovery House [redundancy noted as sic] was founded in Year of the Whopper [2002] by an anonymous [last name not Ennet] chronic drug addict who spent most of his life in prison, and had a spiritual awakening in the shower after his fourth sober month in AA. Ennet House is located in the former physicians dormitory of the VA hospital, and can hold 22 clients. The anonymous founder would at times lead the newly sober addicts in burglary expeditions, and it's said that in the early days incoming residents were required to eat rocks. The founder died in Year of the Yushiyu...[2007]

p 138-140
Year of Dairy Products From the American Heartland [2008]
place boston/Bloomington IL
no narration--this part in the form of email correspondence


An email from one insurance worker to several others describes an incident in Boston that spring where the claimant was impaired [blood alcohol of .3+] so even though the insurers are probably off the hook, the first page of the claimants letter is included. In the letter, the claimant, a bricklayer explains how he was attempting to lower 900 kg of bricks, using a pulley, and due to the fact that he weighs 75 kg, he was jerked off the ground and hit in the head with the barrel of bricks on its way down. He then fell back to ground when the bottom of the barrel gave way and left the bricks on the ground, after which the now empty barrel crashed on top of him.

p 140-142
Year of the Perdue Wonderchicken [2005]
place ETA
no narration--this part in the form of an essay that Hal wrote


Hal's essay is introduced by a paragraph-long title in all caps, which explains that it's his first 'remotely filmic' writing for his 7th grade class 'Introduction to Entertainment Studies.' He received only a B/B+ because the concluding paragraph was deemed as unsupported. The essay itself compares 70s era police chief Steve McGarrett [Hawaii Five-O] with the 80s era Captain Frank Furillo [Hill Street Blues]. McGarrett is a classic modern hero-- the camera is always on him, he always has a single case at a time and the audience always knows who's guilty, so there's no drama aside from watching him home in on the truth. In contrast Furillo is a post-modern hero-- he commands a precinct,and is beset by a complex tangle of multiple cases, and conflicts within the precinct. His heroism is one of 'triage and compromise and administration' and is infinitely more complex than the simple heroism of McGarrett. In the notorious final paragraph Hal ponders what kind of hero comes next, and predicts that he will be the 'hero of non-action, the catatonic hero' who is 'divorced from all stimulus' and carried around by drugged up extras.

p 142-144
YDAU[2009] Aug 10
no place or narration
this part in the form of a magazine article by 'Helen' Steeply


Steeply's article is introduced by a paragraph-long title in all caps, which explains that it's the 'electrolysis-rashed' journalists only published article before beginning her 'soft profile' on Orin Incadenza, that had anything to do with Boston. It notes that the article was published 4 years after James Incadenza committed suicide by putting his head in a microwave oven. The Moment Magazine article describes the tragic death of the second person to have received a 'Jarvik IX Exterior Artificial Heart.' The heart was stored in the woman's purse, and pumped blood through tubes into the woman's arms. While window shopping in Cambridge MA, the woman's purse was stolen, by a transvestite purse snatcher, after whom she chased shouting 'stop her, she stole my heart.' After four blocks she expired and the heart was found later behind the library in a Copley Square, having been smashed with stone or hammer.

p 144
no year
no place or narration
this part in the form of a list of anti ONAN terrorist groups


The list is preceded by an explanation that the groups 'opposition to interdependence/reconfiguration is designated by RCMP and USOUS are terrorist/exortionist.' Each group is rated Quebecois, Environmental Separatist, violent or very violent
-Les Assassins des Fauteuils Rollents [q, s, vv]
-Le Bloc Quebecois [q,s,e]
-Calgarian Pro-Canadian Phalanx [e,v]
-Les fils de Montcalm [q, e]
-Les fils de Pampineau [q,s,v]
-Le Front de la Liberation de la quebec [q, s, vv]
-Le Parti Quebecois [q,s,e]

p 144-151
YDAU [2009]
no place or narration
this part in the form of a catechism explaining the failure of video-telephony


A page-long single sentence poses the question of how and why video telephones came and went so that by YDAU [2009] only 10% of calls used any video component, and the majority of people prefer the old voice-only phones. The answer is given in 3 parts
1. emotional stress -- with traditional voice phones it was possible conceal the fact that neither the caller nor receiver were giving the other his/her undivided attention. the video phones made this fantasy apparent, and it was especially difficult to realize that you were commanding as little attention as you were paying.
2. vanity-- people became so obsessed with how they looked that eventually led to the development of formfitting masks [which produced fears of going outside without the masks], and then to 'Transmittable Tableaux' in which a carefully doctored photograph was transmitted instead of the converser's face.
3. 'a certain queer kind of self-obliterating logic in the micro-economics of high tech'-- the curve followed by videophony is: first an amazing hi-tech advance occurs, then the advance is revealed to have unforeseen disadvantages for the consumer which are in turn addressed by entrepreneurial verve producing compensation for the disadvantages, which in turn reveals the limitations in the original high tech advance, and the consumers are back where they started, thus leading to 'massive shirt loss for precipitant investors.' Eventually the tableaux were shelved and people simply the black lens cover on their cameras.

There is a concordance between the videophony section and the first section where Hal wonders if his lies to Orin are reciprocated. Orin's special someone is presumably connected to Separatism. Could it be 'Helen' Steeply, interviewing him in the fifth section? Presumably Steeply is interviewing Orin as a cover for tracking and/or protecting him from the AFR. The purse snatcher in Steeply's earlier article is clearly Poor Tony, but why would Steeply have been interested in this story?
Has Hal become his own projected 'catatonic hero' in the opening scene of the novel?
The bricklayer's accident is a parody [or is it the other way around] of the young weightlifters in the 'oiled guru' section [p 127-128]

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