Chapter 28

Please keep these annotations SPOILER-FREE by not revealing information from later pages in the novel.

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Page 301

It's a warm evening
Sept. 8th (according to the invitation Maxine received last chapter)

Page 302

Matrix-era Ray Bans
Reference breaks the usual, though not ironclad, pattern of giving a film's release date when mentioned. Perhaps because the theme of the party going on is "1999" and since the film came out that year Pynchon doesn't feel the need to spell it out. Anyone have a grasp on the logic behind sometimes giving release dates and sometimes not? Is there always a good reason for when the date isn't given? [It's probably simply because it is used as an adjective here]

Also, "era" is a bit of an odd word choice considering nothing else in that list of nineties "instant nostalgia" items gets qualified with a time of creation and/or when popular indicator word or phrase. Why not simply something like "Matrix glasses"?

According to this page the glasses for the film were made by Blinde Design and they did not produce them for commercial release until a few years after the first Matrix film came out. This site says Ray-Ban makes similar glasses, though not when they started producing them.

pre-crash fantasy years
This line (and this whole paragraph in general) may be about Y2K and the financial crash, but it's really about 9/11. No?

Blink-182, Echo and the Bunnymen, Barenaked Ladies, Bone Thugs-n-Harmony
Strange list, of course, but Echo seems a little out of place since they pre-date the other bands by at least a decade and their "hits" were in the 1980s. Great band name, by the way, Echo and the Bunnymen. Seems like the sort of name Pynchon would find interesting. Joylessly, WIKI informs us that the name means practically nothing and, according a band member, the name was haphazardly chosen out of a list of names, all "just as stupid as the rest."

I'm pretty sure Echo was what they called their drum machine before they had a drummer. Their heyday was definitely the 80s, though they did reform and release some stuff in the late-90s; it was fairly obscure compared to the other bands mentioned however, in regard to the Top 40, etc.

Page 303

Razorfish alumni
They were one of the first companies to have an animated homepage, utilizing the "server-push" capabilities of the latest version of the Netscape browser. Because of this and aggressive marketing tactics, their work became well known, well-respected, and the firm grew quickly over the next few years. Soon thereafter, they received a strategic investment from Omnicom (along with other New Media pioneers,, Red Sky Interactive, Think New Ideas and Organic), making them one of the first firms to be financed by a traditional media holding company. Razorfish used this money to move to new offices, redesign their branding (to include the slogan "Everything that can be digital will be.") and expand operations. It and other New York-based Web design companies formed the core of a cluster of New Media companies known as Silicon Alley. From WIKI.

PBRs ... in a washtub of crushed ice
Pabst Blue Ribbon, a mediocre beer popular with hipsters.

Page 304

temporal aliasing
In signal processing and related disciplines, aliasing refers to an effect that causes different signals to become indistinguishable (or aliases of one another) when sampled. It also refers to the distortion or artifact that results when the signal reconstructed from samples is different from the original continuous signal. Aliasing can occur in signals sampled in time, for instance digital audio, and is referred to as temporal aliasing. Aliasing can also occur in spatially sampled signals, for instance digital images. Aliasing in spatially sampled signals is called spatial aliasing. [1]

Wow, back off Kim Basinger Kim Basinger is an American actress and former model. At the time of Bleeding Edge she would have been most famous for her Academy Award winning performance in L.A. Confidential. Wiki article on Basinger

I think he's in some creepy retro-pissing contest with Josh Harris. Remember that millennium-eve party at pseudo? Went on for months?
I was hoping this would be referenced in Bleeding Edge. This is depicted wonderfully in Ondi Timoner's Sundance Film Festival award-winning documentary "We Live In Public." Here is a trailer. Here is the official website.

Page 305

Giuseppe Zanotti... Stuart Weitzman... Jimmy Choo...
All of course shoe designers, given Eric's fetish.

Security through immaturity
Playing on the pejorative term "security through obscurity" in which security vulnerabilities are merely hidden instead of being closed. WIKI

Page 306

Had a brilliant Arturo Fuente the other day!
Arturo Fuente is a brand of cigar, founded by Arturo Fuente, Sr. in 1912 in West Tampa, Florida. It's one of the most critically acclaimed makers of hand-rolled premium cigars outside of Cuba.. Wikipedia

Page 307

Nazi Vegetable
This is a fictional musical group, obviously.

In the Toilet
This song sorta seems to possibly go to the tune of Elvis's "In the Ghetto," which of course given the attention to the toilets we've just read about, is more irony.

Page 308

epileptigogic lighting
This would be lighting that can trigger an epileptic fit, i.e., strobe lights.

Electric Slide
Likely the dance that was inspired by "Shall We Dance (Electric Slide)" by Grandmaster Slice and Scratchmaster Chuck T., produced by them in 1989. Check it:

Paradise Garage
Another Paradise Garage reference, to go along with those in chapters 14, 15, and 23. This last one goes into much greater detail as to what dancing at the Garage meant to Maxine.

Page 309

A play on the title of a popular 80s TV show The A Team

ça va?<br\> Colloquial Quebecois French for 'How's it going?' It literally translates as "is it going", so the answer is "oui" rather than "bien" or similar.

about as fat as Ally McBeal
Calista Flockhart played the title character on the TV show Ally McBeal (1997-2002). She was very skinny.

This is the quintessential French Canadian fast food item. It is found all over Quebec; though it is sometimes found elsewhere in Canada and in some places in the northern United States, it is basically a regional specialty.

To me, poutine has always seemed to be an item whose reputation has far outstripped its inherent value. Maybe I've never had 'good' poutine, but in my experience, poutine has consisted of soft french fries, covered in mediocre gravy (a reasonable replacement for ketchup, but not as good as mayonnaise), with mostly-tasteless cheese curds adding a lumpy white visual element. In summary, something inoffensive and filling that you can shovel into your mouth without much chewing. But like Felix, for some reason Quebeckers seem proud of it.

Poutine is first referenced on pg 88.

Page 310

his eyes ... less expressive than many Maxine has noted at the fish market<br\> A good way of estimating a fish's freshness is to look at its eyes. So Maxine is not referring to fish market customers' eyes.

server farms
Seems worth noting a passage in the novel where Pynchon talks about things we find on the cover of Bleeding Edge. See a discussion on the cover.

Godwin's law
Godwin's law is an assertion made by Mike Godwin in 1990 that has become an Internet adage. It states: "As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches 1." In other words, Godwin said that, given enough time, in any online discussion—regardless of topic or scope—someone inevitably makes a comparison to Hitler or the Nazis. Although in one of its early forms Godwin's law referred specifically to Usenet newsgroup discussions, the law is now often applied to any threaded online discussion, such as forums, chat rooms and blog comment threads, and has been invoked for the inappropriate use of Nazi analogies in articles or speeches. In 2012, "Godwin's Law" became an entry in the third edition of the Oxford English Dictionary. From WIKI. Also, interestingly, Godwin did his seniors honors thesis on Pynchon.

The Attractive Schoolgirl of Zazhopinsk

Zazhopinsk is a Russian version of "East Bumfuck" or any similar locution in English. The back of beyond, basically. "Zhopa" (жопа) is the Russian word for "buttocks," so Zazhopinsk could be rendered as "Beyond-butt-town."

This fictitious opera's name probably derives from Dmitri Shostakovich's Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk. When Stalin attended a performance of this opera, he walked out part way through, and published an editorial the next day “Chaos Instead of Music” attacking both the artistic value of the work and the political ideology of the composer. Although Shostkovich was never actually purged, his funding dried up almost immediately, and his diaries record that he took up sleeping in the doorway of his apartment in case he was arrested in the night so that his children would not see.

Page 311

when she finds anybody trying too hard to fool her, she reaches for her revolver
Brings to mind the lyrics and theme of Mission of Burma's "That's When I Reach For My Revolver."

mogul on the black-diamond slopes<br\> Expert-level ski slopes are marked by a black diamond, mogul here having the dual meaning of a small hill in the middle of a ski slope and an important business person.

Nora Charles<br\> the Myrna Loy character in the Thin Man movies. In that series, husband Nick (William Powell) was the street-smart detective, while Nora was the moneyed semi-sidekick. Nora was frequently found at upper-class parties, ie with similar financial backing to the current event, but with a very different class of attendees.

CD tilde home
The Linux command to change back to your home directory.

the long September which has been with them in a virtual way since spring before last <br\> March 2000 was the date of the dotcom bubble bursting. The reality of this long September contrasts with the naivete of the Eternal September

Chapter 1
pp. 1-7
Chapter 2
pp. 8-19
Chapter 3
pp. 20-29
Chapter 4
pp. 30-40
Chapter 5
pp. 41-52
Chapter 6
pp. 53-67
Chapter 7
pp. 68-79
Chapter 8
pp. 80-86
Chapter 9
pp. 87-95
Chapter 10
pp. 96-111
Chapter 11
pp. 112-120
Chapter 12
pp. 121-133
Chapter 13
pp. 134-144
Chapter 14
pp. 145-159
Chapter 15
pp. 160-171
Chapter 16
pp. 172-184
Chapter 17
pp. 185-197
Chapter 18
pp. 198-210
Chapter 19
pp. 211-218
Chapter 20
pp. 219-229
Chapter 21
pp. 230-238
Chapter 22
pp. 239-246
Chapter 23
pp. 247-255
Chapter 24
pp. 256-264
Chapter 25
pp. 265-273
Chapter 26
pp. 274-287
Chapter 27
pp. 288-300
Chapter 28
pp. 301-313
Chapter 29
pp. 314-326
Chapter 30
pp. 327-337
Chapter 31
pp. 338-346
Chapter 32
pp. 347-353
Chapter 33
pp. 354-364
Chapter 34
pp. 365-382
Chapter 35
pp. 383-394
Chapter 36
pp. 395-407
Chapter 37
pp. 408-422
Chapter 38
pp. 423-438
Chapter 39
pp. 439-447
Chapter 40
pp. 448-462
Chapter 41
pp. 463-477
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