Adolescents from a New England tennis academy are seen ritualistically serving balls on a court onto which a map of the world has been superimposed. The balls, which represent five-megaton nuclear warheads, are aimed at objects labeled as military targets â€” power plants, missile installations â€” while a lone child oversees the game from a nearby computer terminal.
All in all, it ainâ€™t exactly Battleship. Wallace himself wrote that the athletic skills required by Eschaton separated it â€œfrom rotisserie-league holocaust games played with protractors and PCs around kitchen tables.â€
Yep, that covers it pretty well.
Also of note was this anecdote from the director of the music video, a David Foster Wallace fan, about DFW’s influence (or anxiety of influence) from Don DeLillo:
“During the visit, Mr. Schur said Wallace talked about his fear that he had unintentionally cribbed the Eschaton section from the Don DeLillo novelÂ â€œEnd Zone,â€Â which also uses sports and games as metaphors for war. Though Mr. DeLillo was ultimately unconcerned, Mr. Schur said Wallace â€œtold me that for a week or so he had this really sinking feeling that his whole career was over.â€
And don’t miss the end of that article — there’s an enticing bit of semi-news dropped. Infinite Jest … the movie? On the one hand, it would be all too fitting. Â But, perhaps I’m betraying my bookish worries — would translating a book like Infinite Jest into movie form ruin it?
“He said he did not worry about seeking permission from Wallaceâ€™s business representatives because he had recently acquired the film rights to â€œInfinite Jest.â€
(Mr. Schur added that he had no immediate plans to film an â€œInfinite Jestâ€ feature. â€œI like my current job a lot,â€ he said.)
NPR (“First Watch: The Decemberists, ‘Calamity Song‘”)Â has a few more insights from Michael Schur, of Parks & Recreation fame, as well as Decemberists frontman Colin Meloy.
And check out the video, below: