funny face: Hello???
funny face: Where did everyone go???
funny face: Cool... This rules!!!
funny face: Are you one of the programmers???
Marisa: Hi everyone, how are you? I am FINE
funny face: I doing great. I have been in one of these!
Keats: Hello, everyone.
Keats: Where were you in one of these before? Just curious.
Keats: Everyone has left me all alone.
Marisa: Hi there, I have absolutely nothing to say.
Marisa: As of now, I still have just about nothing to say.
dfw: I've had some unpleasant nicknaames and monikers in my time, but nobody's ever hung "fosty" on me before.
Marisa: Well, I'm just sitting here, thinking and saying nothing.
Marisa: Keats, do you feel lonely?
Marisa: If I were paranoid, I'd wonder why no one was answering me.
Keats: Not anymore, now that you and, uh, Fosty are here...
Keats: You know, I still think it should be spelled Fostie, or Fostey.
Keats: Fosty looks too much like "Frosty" and "sty" to me.
Keats: And makes me think of eyeballs packed in ice.
funny face: Sorry. I had to do some work. I am back now.
dfw: "Sty" as in an impacted eyelash or a pigpen, you mean?
Keats: Yeah. Is that what a sty as in "sty in your eye" is?
Marisa: I used to think the word "sty" was pronounced "stee".
Keats: I had no idea exactly, just an unpleasant feeling about it.
dfw: Yes. Massively painful and embarrassing, too. Like a carbuncle on the exact tip of your nose -- that sort of thing.
Keats: I used to think the word "trough" was pronounced "troff."
Keats: You know, I happen to have a carbuncle on the tip of my nose right now.
Keats: Except it's not a carbuncle, it's more like a welt. It's still embarassing.
dfw: In my very first seminar in college, I pronounced facade "fakade." The memory's still fresh and raw.
Marisa: Keats, I don't want to know about your problems and feelings.
dfw: I'd like to hear more about keats's carbuncle, though.
Keats: *sniff* I only mentioned it because I thought it was relevant.
Keats: It's actually more like a welt.
funny face: This is wierd. Kind of like walking in on a conversation or something.
Keats: I was struck in the face by a lashing cord yesterday. It was rather windy.
Keats: The trick, funny face, is to seamlessly integrate yourself into the conversation.
funny face: Keats, you don't have to take that from Marisa.
Marisa: I have performance anxiety now. See, I *can* talk about my feelings, because I'm the BOSS.
Keats: Yes I do. She is close enough geographically to inspire fear.
Jay: I've almost finished the book. What do you think about William Gaddis?
ERVIN: where is mr. wallace?
Keats: Not just an anonymous cyber-entity.
talula: A lashing cord, Keats? Windy? What have you been up to?
dfw: A carbuncle's fucking HUGE, esse. Like an eggplant or something. Actually life-threatening -- it can apparently explode like an appendix and spread toxins throughout your bloodstream. A small but riveting history of cases on death-by-carbuncle is avail
Marisa: I could beat Keats up if I wanted to.
dfw: able in back issues of "Mortality and Morbidity" magazine.
Keats: Oh well, in that case, dfw, I should not have made the comparison.
Keats: Since what I have doesn't approach the gravity of a carbuncle.
Keats: I think I'm just going to ignore Marisa. She's one of those live-chat troublemakers.
dfw: ervin, I'm not sure where I am. How does one denote locations in cyberland or whatever this is?
talula: I have some cover-up make-up if you want to use it, Keats
Keats: Nah, I'll be okay.
dfw: don't shrug off a carbuncle, keats. they're not to be played with.
talula: so, dfw, what *do* you think of William Gaddis?
koleko: i could beat up both you guys. oops. not supposed to say stupid stuff
Marisa: I am going to encourage people to save their questions until 4:00.
ERVIN: i guess what i meant, mr. wallace, is why are you talking to the carbuncle people?
Keats: I hope I didn't come off as shrugging off. Everything I type has a tinge of sarcasm to it, even when it's unintentional.
dfw: I like The Recognitions very, very much. I haven't yet got all the way through "Frolic...Own" yet.
Keats: Approx. T minus five minutes.
dfw: What happens in five minutes?
ERVIN: i dare you to finish "frolic"
talula: spontaneous combustion
Keats: Didn't Marx have a lot of carbuncles? Just before he died?
Keats: Or is that what he died from? Some carbuncle-related condition.
dfw: I thought keats was going to weigh in against that nasocartilaginous 'buncle in five, is what I thought he meant.
Joshua S.: (Strep?)
Marisa: Ok let's start this fucking thing. Officially. Now.
Keats: Oh, nah. I have no beefs with buncles. T minus three till 4:00 PM EST.
dfw: There's actually a Sherlock Holmes story called "The Case of the Fluorescent Orange Carbuncle" or something -- a real one, by A.C. Doyle.
ERVIN: the three weeks i devoted to reading "frolic" were a total and complete loss. i can never get those weeks back.
talula: didn't Eliot use the phrase "the young man carbuncular" somewhere?
dfw: we can presume it wasn't your keep of tea, then, quite, ervin?
Joshua S.: (I'm thinking staph skin lesions.)
Marisa: I wanna know why you put all that stuff about avant-garde film in the book.
Keats: Isn't there some sort of gem or precious mineral that sounds vaguely like "carbuncle" ?
Jay: Why wouldn't a person like "Frolic"?
dfw: talula: yes, it's in "The Wasteland"; the wrinkled-dugs man (I think) is watching the Young Man Carbuncular seduce a stenographer who's weeping or something. Very grim.
Keats: Apart from it being in there because it's so funny, the avant-apres-garde filmography I mean.
talula: thank you, david.
dfw: Well, Marisa & Keats, it's in there because that's the kind of films that the Dad makes.
talula: why did you choose to have the Dad make those kind of films
koleko: what are you guys talking about?
Keats: I think it was more the idea of having all those references upon references that was interesting. Maybe. Marisa?
dfw: Hmm. Well, how much time do you have?
Jay: Do you think what Joseph McElroy was doing in "Women and Men" is similar to what you're doing?
Marisa: Wow that is a great answer. You know, it's the *simple* things that seem so easy to understand, that actually take a lifetime to master--without help *from* a master, that is.
Slappy the Sad Clown: I think I hear the sound of lips hitting buttocks.
iczy: so david--a certain friend of mine (she knows who she is) gave me a bit of your essay on getting past irony (from Missis.Rvw.?) you still thinking about that stuff?
dfw: I thought that book sucked canal-water, Jay. There ARE some affinities with "Lookout Cartridge," though.
dfw: Marisa -- the point is to empty your mind of conscious cognitive thought. Become like the surface of a pond. Clap with only one hand.
Marisa: So how are things out there in Iowa, man?
Keats: I do that sometimes but it makes my forearm hurt after a while.
Marisa: Lotta clapping with one hand out there in Iowa? I'll bet there is.
koleko: hey fosty. i read your cool piece on dostoevsky in the village voice. do you think "dosty" informs your work in any way?
dfw: iczy: yes and then some. I think it's the single richest and knottiest problem young avant-esque fiction writers in this country have to contend with.
raining sheep: can you become like the surface of a pond and still suck canal water?
Keats: Sometimes I feel as if irony is enveloping everything, in a rather dangerous way.
dfw: Mareesa -- I live in Illinois. Iowans do use just one hand a great deal, but not for clapping.
Joshua S.: I was curious about your heavy use of pathology in IJ, which I enjoyed. Aside from their being a lot of it around, what made you decide to include so many medical references in the book?
Herb: Yes, irony can suck. So, what, if anything, is "redemptive" about "Infinite Book"?
dfw: koleko: Pleaase don't call me Fosty. It makes me do a full-body wince. Dostoevski informs everybody; or he ought to.
iczy: wow, you guys drive tractors around with just one hand?!
talula: Dostoevsky comes in with the redemption, is that it?
iczy: "irony can suck". how meta a statement.
dfw: Herb: Maybe nothing. I fear it's not for me to decide. The worst thing about irony for me is that it attenuates emotion. "IJ" is at least SUPPOSED to be both funny and very sad.
dfw: Dostovski meant "redemption" in a pretty specific Christian way. I don't think we now can use the word the same way.
raining sheep: it's as if the whole book is set up not only as a look at addiction, but a look a obsessive-compulsive behavior in the thoroughness of the footnotes, ie medicinal properties. No?
Herb: Well, I saw elements of hope, at least in the character of Gately.
koleko: sorry for the tasteless nickname. Dostoevsky used to take New York Post-style newspaper articles about peoples' irrational suffering then put those true stories in his books. do you mine the bleakness of our culture for your work?
dfw: iczy: are you being ironic about irony sucking?
Herb: Though of course at book's end, the reader never finds out what happens to any of the characters (which kinda pissed me off!).
Marisa: I was fascinated by the use of AA philosophy as a way to get through cynicism and irony, because I know some people in real life for whom AA had that effect.
Joshua S.: Humor and sadness are synergistic, in a weird way.
raining sheep: the endless circle of irony
dfw: koleko: I don't think one has to "mine" the culture anymore. It's what we breathe. It's all around us.
iczy: ironically, i'm not. ok, ok, i'm ambivalent about it.
dfw: I don't think irony's meant to synergize with anything as heartfelt as sadness. I think the main function of contemporary irony is to protect the speaker from being interpreted as naive or sentimental.
raining sheep: Culture seems to be mining us
talula: or sincere
Marisa: Why are people afraid to be seen as naive and sentimental?
talula: or sincere
dfw: Dear Raining Sheep: is your cyber-name an oblique intertextual reference to something?
funny face: But "raining sheep", we &rt;are< culture!
Keats: It's not cool, because it's not perceived as a useful survival strategy.
iczy: the idea of irony being a self-protective impulse is interesting...maybe there's a distinction to be drawn between definsive and , uh, offensive uses of it.
chancho: whoa, wasn't i.j. , er, using an irony-cloaking (sic?) to veil the sentimental?
raining sheep: Yes, it's referenced to a chapter from Curious Hair, I used as a song title a couple years ago.
Tristero: Is it naive and sentimental, then, to not be ironic?
dfw: Marisa: I think that's a very deep, very hard question. One answer is that commercial comedy's often set up to feature an ironist making devastating sport of someone who's naive or sentimental or pretentious or pompous.
Marisa: Here's a question for later, when we're done with irony (which I'm still interested in): do you think your work changed a lot between "Girl" and "Broom", and "Jest"?
Joshua S.: There's a lot of sadness in the book, and the humor made it easier to handle. Is what I was saying.
dfw: Dear RS, I recall the song title "It's Raining Men," but nothing about sheep. That story seems like a long time ago.
Joshua S.: But it worked with the sadness, rather than as a breather.
dfw: Tristero: ask your local potsmaster.
Keats: I'm starting to see a lot of irony in Hollywood and in advertising, but it's function seems to be to let them talk out of both sides of their mouths.
raining sheep: It was titled "the day it rained sheep", about chuck nunn jr, I believe.
Marisa: I wonder what it is people are trying to protect, psychologically, by being "on-guard" and supersmart all the time, rather than naive and sentimental.
Keats: Kind of like some of the works from the filmography: either "homage" or "parody" or both.
dfw: Keats: advertising that makes fun of itself is so powerful because it implicitly congratulates both itself and the viewer (for making the joke and getting the joke, respectively).
Keats: And at the same time deliviring the advertising message intact.
dfw: Dear Maryssa -- why do YOU think? I'd be interested in your ideas about it. It seems monstrously confusing to me.
Avrill: dfw, i was wondering what you thought of barry hannah's "the tennis handsome"
raining sheep: That's a stand-up comedian's rule, make fun of yourself, then your free to make fun of others.
duddy: The story about the raining sheep is titled "John Billy"
Keats: Is Subsidized Time (from I.J.) that kind of advertising, maybe? Very ridiculous but immensely effective?
dfw: Dear Avrilla, I'm afraid I've never read it.
Marisa: Another question...I noticed a bunch of times in the book where someone--a tennis player, or whoever--was trying to achieve a state of egolessness, in order to be better at something--like tennis. Is that an intentional sub-theme?
roxifresh: naiive and sentimental means childlike, and I think people are scared of being trampled on Marisa, like they're weak if they're not supersmart and psychologically ept.
talula: marisa: trying to protect themselves from being made fools of
raining sheep: John Billy, that's right!
Tristero: But irony isn't exactly making fun of oneself, is it?
dfw: I don't think it's supposed to be all that ridiculous. I think it's not implausible at all. Talk about Painless Revenue-Enhancement!
bookworm: Mariesa: isn't is just that being smart is the best human quality?
Marisa: Yeah but what's so bad about being a fool? I mean big deal.
Keats: But the thing with the statue of liberty holding a product? That seems ridiculous now, but were you saying that it won't seem ridiculous soon?
dfw: talula: but why is being maade a fool of such a Great Horror right now? We (I, anyway) seem to fear it more than lots of other more objectively scary things.
Marisa: QUIT ASKING ME THE QUESTIONS!!! ASK DFW!!!!
roxifresh: irony is like seredipity or chaos to me, it's the lack of order of some things, and that can be very humorous, it's not straight edged or serious, it's random acts that make me laugh or cry the hardest.
iczy: what's interesting to me is how we all sort of accept that being sentimental or emotional is the same as being naive.
Tristero: Question for dfw: Did you attend Woodstock 95?
Marisa: Who said being smart was the best human quality? That is fucked up, man.
talula: ok dfw, you tell me. Why is being made a fool of a Great Horror now?
duddy: roxifresh: Doesn't irony need to be intentional? How is a random event ironic?
Keats: Yeah, being smart sucks.
dfw: I don't think irony's about disorder. I think it's about order -- a dark confluence to events. And keats: OK, maybe the Statue holding a product might be a little ridiculous. But think of the corporate revenue it would generate!
roxifresh: that's like the point of Forrest Gump, right?
Marisa: Yeah iczy I agree with you. Well I think it all has to do with "inner child", so nyah nyah.
Keats: My intuitions about the word irony go along with dfw. Things coming together in a twitchy sort of way.
roxifresh: no, irony is not necessarily intentional at all, like finding money on the street on your way to the cash machine or something
dfw: talula: I cannot tell you. I don't think there is any one set of answers, probably. Or maybe the answer (i.e. "remedy") lies in our being willing to consideer the question seriously. It's a serious question.
Herb: dfw: In other words, toe our line or be made a fool of?
duddy: iczy: I don't think it's sentimentality that's seen as naive. To me, the argument is often about whether sincerity is naive. That was a theme of the story about the Letterman show, "My Appearance".
Tristero: Re: Woodstock 95, there's an example of a potential irony-fest, yet hardly anyone in the media pointed that out.
Marisa: "Dark confluence" is an interesting idea...but who would be doing the dark confluencing, Satan?
raining sheep: Naive, in this case, is not what you are, but what you appear to be if you're sensitive and sincere, and that is screwed up.
Keats: The hidden forces of existence. Oooh--eeeeeh---oooh-aaah.
dfw: Herb -- irony and hip ennui are extremely authoritarian, I think -- so yes. And that's paradoxical, since hip irony gained much of its cultural momentum through being an engine of rebellion.
Marisa: Yeah I think there is this horrible compulsion to be cool that has, like, ruined everyone of a certain couple of age cohorts. Seriously.
roxifresh: can you explain ennui to me, please, I'm not getting that dfw, thanks
Avrill: dfw, what do you make of that song at the end of "gravity's rainbow"?
dfw: Marisa: you're making Descartes' error, deducing Agent from Event. Confluence could itself be Satan, or God.
Keats: It seems like being really sincere is hip in some contexts too, though.
Slappy the Sad Clown: ennui is French for boredom
talula: being cool and not looking like a fool are actually survival skills in the wild
duddy: Devo said "We're through being cool" a long time ago
iczy: re: ennui: there's nothing more boring than being bored. i want to stop.
Marisa: Same difference--at least that's what we used to like to say back in Minnesota.
dfw: Keats was complaining of a carbuncle earlier. How's that carbuncle, Keats?
Herb: Everyone said everything a long time ago.
roxifresh: yeah Marisa, I went to a Hot Wheels Club meeting (the little metal cars) with this 28 year old guy who's trying to impress me and vice versa and we had as much fun there as in , well, you know.
raining sheep: duddy: and yet that was cool - more irony
iczy: and (ironically) devo is so fucking cool for having said that (even more for having said it 15 years ago)
Herb: (aren't I ironic?)
Marisa: Wow we are all being so heavy here. Everyone who's sincere is now kicked OUT! Time to PAR-TAY!!!
dfw: duddy -- I doubt you need it pointed out that Devo was trying to be cool when they said that. Trying to be anti-cool is just one exponent off trying to be cool -- it's the same beast.
duddy: but I'm just being sincere ...
sterno: well all riiight!
koleko: hey dfw. how do you like to party?
Keats: dfw: I don't really have a carbuncle, already. I was mistaken about the meaning of the word, which is the case with me and most words.
dfw: This horse walks into a bar, and the bartender says: "Why the long face?"
Marisa: "Sincerity" is *sooooo*, like, 5 minutes ago. Let's talk about our physical and mental disorders now.
Joshua S.: dfw: On the topic of carbuncles. What made you decide to use so much pathology in IJ?
talula: dfw what's your worst character flaw?
roxifresh: I got a Hot Wheel Viper in green sparkly color, partaaay! And a red-hot Lexus coupe too!
dfw: koleko -- define "party." I never have understood the word as a verb.
raining sheep: a termite walks into the same bar and asks "is the bar-tender here?"
Keats: And references to various branches of knowledge in general.
Herb: Is there no "ending" to "Infinite Book" because there couldn't be? Or did you just get tired of writing it?
Marisa: Hey sheep, I don't get your joke.
talula: Come on, David , your worst character trait?
Herb: you are irony-impaired, Mareeesa!
Marisa: I wanna know what dfw does for fun out there in the fields of Iowa.
dfw: Herb -- there is an ending as far as I'm concerned. Certain kind of parallel lines are supposed to start converging in such a way that an "end" can be projected by the reader somewhere beyond the right frame. If no such convergence or projection occur
Tristero: A lobster walks into a bar and the bartender says sorry, buddy, we don't serve food.
raining sheep: is the bar tender here, the bar being made of wood and termites loving wood together make a really stupid joke
dfw: ed to you, then the book's failed for you.
Marisa: Herb: I would tell you to fuck off, but, like, I don't wanna hurt you.
Keats: He lives in Illinois, M-risa. The whole midwest is probably one big blob for you now, huh?
Herb: oh, it occurred to me. Guess I just sometimes get annoyed when it's not s-p-e-l-l-e-d o-u-t for me.
dfw: My worst character flaw that I'm conscious of is that I tend to think my way into circles instead of resolving anything. It's paralyzing and boring for people around me.
Keats: I think dfw has goten pretty good at answering that question. But I'm satisfied with that answer.
Marisa: Keats, that was my little joke. Hey, I want to know if dfw likes Denis Johnson's books.
talula: Uh oh.
koleko: i guess that gets amplified by the fields of iowa. maybe if you "partied" more, this phenomenon would halt
duddy: David, what was the impetus for renaming part of Brighton and Allston to be Enfield, MA? I used to live across the street from St. Elizabeth's Hospital.
Keats: The internet is a humor-impairing device.
dfw: Marisa -- I'm a huge Denis Johnson fan. He actually used to live near where I went to grad school. It was his poetry that first grabbed me.
Tristero: what about David Gates?
dfw: Isn't there a real Enfield? No wonder people always looked at me funny in Boston when I asked for directions.
Marisa: On the WELL some guy researched Enfield, MA and discovered it had been flooded to make a reservoir, and all the townspeople were evacuated.
raining sheep: humor is all timing, and 14.4 or 28.8 still make for joke grenades
Tantivy: asking for directions in Boston deserves a funny look
dfw: Gates's habit of using the Royal We irks me a bit, but overall his taste in fiction is hard to impugn.
raining sheep: 14.4 & 28.8 being modem speeds, of course
Tristero: people on the well have a little too much free time...
billygoat1: dfw, what do you make of that lightbulb in the middle of "gravity's rainbow"?
dfw: Marisa -- will wonders never cease.
Herb: dfw: Do you think there's a "hero" in IJ? Or at least one character you were closest to? Who?
raining sheep: billygoat: speaking of long books
Marisa: What rock groups do you like, dfw?
Tristero: Much appealing irony was found in Jernigan, Gates' novel
dfw: bg1 -- harold bloom has a real famous exgesis of Byron -- I forget which of Bloom's books it's in.
valmar: Hi DFW, It's your friend Valmar!
Herb: I mean, do you live with these characters in your head, or just watch them like a movie?
dfw: herb -- it would depend what you meant by "hero." Furilloesque hero, or McGarretesque hero, or cat.her., or what?
dfw: M -- I listen almost exclusively to the Archies. It's an Inner Child thing.
Marisa: I love that classification of hero-types
Keats: So which hero in IJ is the purely inactive one?
Herb: Well, yeah, fine, "hero" is vague. So, which character did you feel closest to?
dfw: herb -- I don't mean to be a pain, but you'd have to be more explicit about "live with...head" and "watch...movie."
iczy: i read on the well the archies are touring this summer. opening act on the schoolhouse rock tour.
valmar: I love the Archies. Sugarhoneyhoney!
Marisa: I bet you haven't listened to the Archies in 20 years, poser.
dfw: Keats -- Hal.
billygoat1: yes, i've read the bloom thing, i actually think it was written by one of his graduate students and it struck me as kind of stupid. among other things, bloom seems to think Byron is funny, hilariously funny, do you?
dfw: Hi Valmar! I'm in cyberspace! Look at me!
jr: DFW --Great book. Not enough tennis though. Do you plan on writing more tennis-fiction?
Keats: Ah, makes sense. Thanks. (about the inactive hero thing I mean)
valmar: Way to go, DFW!
DaleK: Mr. Wallace, I'm curious...who among current novelists do you find the most interesting?
raining sheep: dfw: are you in favor of "legalization?" IJ came up in a discussion recently around the bong at how a lot of obsessive nature comes from having to hide to do it. It seems so unhealthy to hide anything that you deem worthwhile to do.
Herb: I mean, are your characters like real people to you, or like characters in a film you're watching?
Marisa: Yeah by the way thanks for writing so well, we in cyberspace cheer you on, dfw.
dfw: Dalek -- DeLillo, Ozick, R. Powers, AM Homes, Denis Johnson, David Markson, (old) JA Phillips and Louise Erdrich.
valmar: What about William T. Vollman? I think he pretty much rules.
Incster: McGuane? Chabon?
DaleK: Thank you...Ozick and Powers seem to have remarkable intellects.
dfw: OK. I have no opinion on decriminalization. Given the tobacco thing now, it hasn't got a snowball's chance. My cybertime is drawing short. How do I get out of here? Will I retain corporeal form?
Marisa: Bummer, I have a million questions but time is not infinite. DFW has to go in a minute.
DaleK: Nice to see Erdrich on your list...she's a graduate of my institution.
dfw: Or will I be one of thosse smooth shiny metallic crash-dummyish things you see in popular depictions of people in cyberlaand?
Joshua S.: dfw: There are a lot of half- and unsolvable puzzles in the book, like the Mold Thing. Was your intention, among other things, to comment on the futility of puzzle solving?
Marisa: Hey everyone say kiss kiss g'bye...
valmar: DFW, before you go, what book should I read next?
jr: DFW- Tennis. Do you still play? Will you write about it again?
Keats: You may go, dfw, but we have uploaded a pattern of your neural net onto our server for later use.
iczy: no no, dfw, you look almost realistic.
dfw: Dalek -- I hope you weren't in the Locked part. I don't know how, but apparently WORD has some kind of timer on this modem, so at a certaain point it'll cut off and I'll just st
koleko: but marisa.. we were just getting started
raining sheep: Infinitely informative chat, I commend you sir Wallace
koleko: hey dfw: if you were being executed, what would your final wish be?
DaleK: Not locked, dfw...Johns Hopkins U.
Marisa: He's gone, everyone...you have to deal with your abandonment trauma on your own
Herb: feh. Bye, Mareeesa.
DaleK: Damn...only caught the last 5 minutes.
Joshua S.: Pretty dissatisfying, but that fits.
valmar: Yikes, I hope he didn't put his head in the microwave!!
Keats: And remember one of the real lessons of IJ: if you see a room with a bunch of people sitting in their own filth and staring at a screen, for god's sake, don't go in!
DaleK: Cool idea, WORD...who's on next time?
Joshua S.: You didn't miss much.
Keats: Next time, Word hosts the live decapitation of Michael Kinsley.
raining sheep: brought to you by MSN
koleko: is it obnoxious to put up a post just to say you did the last one?
raining sheep: yeah
ttocs: hi this is my furst chat whats up
valmar: What's up? DFW just ran screaming from the room.
rossie: Sorry, it's over now
ttocs: i once scran reaming from a moor - painfully
Tony: It ends already?
Tony: Anyone still here?
funny face: But "raining sheep", we &rt;are< culture!
Tony: *sigh* I missed the whole thing