Wednesday, May 22, 2002

Hey, Eric Alterman links to me. I guess all that sucking up worked.

He wonders why this place is called Eschaton. Surprisingly, he's the first one to ask. When I decided to start this my brain quickly tried to retrieve from its recesses some obscure-yet-appropriate reference to, well, something, and it offered up this one. It refers to a small passage in David Foster Wallace's monster book Infinite Jest in which students at a private tennis academy play a complicated game called Eschaton. It's a strange half-explained simulation of WWIII, sort of a Risk-like wargame played on tennis courts, with tennis ball bombardment representing nuclear bombardment. The game has arcane rules requiring a computer to compute the value of each "hit" based on position, trajectory, etc... In the passage the game eventually gets completely out of hand and the rules break down.

It seemed an appropriate metaphor for Blogistan, and political discourse generally in the country, though save me your critique of my literary analysis as I claim no ability in this area.

This also, of course, explains the subtitle "Political Bombardment from Behind the Orange Curtain," with the latter part referring to my exile in Orange County, CA.