It's a warm evening
Sept. 8th (according to the invitation Maxine received last chapter)
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?
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."
PBRs ... in a washtub of crushed ice
Pabst Blue Ribbon, a mediocre beer popular with hipsters.
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 BE. 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.
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.
THE EH? TEAM
A play on the title of a popular 80s TV show The A Team
about as fat as Ally McBeal
Calista Flockhart played the title character on the TV show Ally McBeal (1997-2002). She was very skinny.
WIKI tells us this is originally a French Canadian food item made of french fries, brown gravy and cheese curd, now found all over Canada and some places in the northern United States.
CD tilde home
The command to change back to your home directory in Unix(es).
Seems worth noting a passage in the novel where Pynchon talks about things we find on the cover of BE. See a discussion on the cover.