Inherent Vice, Chapter 13
December 17, 2009 § Leave a comment
PLOT- Bigfoot alerts Doc to a possible connection between Puck Beaverton (one of Wolfmann’s bodyguards) and Coy Harlingen. Blatnoyd’s death is revealed as being due to bites, as from a pair of fangs… Trillium Fortnight asks Doc for help finding Puck Beaverton… These names are really incredible… um… Doc and Trillium fly to Vegas, where they run into Tito, and after Trillium has sex with someone called Osgood, and two one-armed bandits spew out jackpots, Doc arranges to meet with Puck at the Kismet Lounge.
Time was when Doc used to actually worry about turning into Bigfoot Bjornsen, ending up just one more diligent cop, going only where the leads pointed him, opaque to the light which seemed to be finding everybody else walking around in this regional dream of enlightenment… never to be up early enough for what might one day turn out to be a false dawn.
Here we see again the fears of transformation, selling out, of missing out on the dream of enlightenment- although you know it is most likely a delusion, it is still one you crave, and perhaps, need.
p.209 Even Bigfoot falls prey to the paranoia (or the very real sense of worse times to come) in his talk of
“the evil subgod who rules over Southern California… who off and on will wake from his slumber and allow the dark forces that are always lying there just out of the sunlight to come forth?”
and how much closer they are ‘to the end of the world’.
“Everybody’s time is precious,” philosophized Bigfoot, reaching for his wallet, “in its own way.”
This feels like a comment on how people are inevitably present-centred- how easy it is to feel that the time in which one lives is distinctive and special. But if each time is precious, then perhaps none of them is.
A nice description of a slot machine that seems to recapitulate political history:
A long line of half-dollars went disappearing down a chute of yellowing plastic, the milling around the edges of the coins acting like gear teeth, causing each of the dozens of shining John F. Kennedy heads to rotate slowly as they jittered away down the shallow incline, to be gobbled one after another into the indifferent maw of Las Vegas.
Thus politics is only something that drives and feeds the profit motive. Las Vegas, as a Marxist economist comments on p.232, is arguably the purest form of capitalism for it
produces no tangible goods, money flows in, money flows out, nothing is produced. This place should not, according to theory, even exist, let alone prosper as it does. I feel my whole life has been based on illusory premises. I have lost reality. Can you tell me, please, where is reality?
Perhaps this corresponds to the bewilderment that greets the end of history (in a Marxist sense).