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who is Bigend really?

One of the biggest questions that pops out at me in SC is, what can Bigend's aim be? He didn't seem to profit in any way by any information concerning the shipping container. How did he come into contact with the information to begin with? His refusal to answer any questions as to his relationship with the subject begs a million questions as to his true vocation or intentions. What does he know that we don't know and why is it important? Apart from being the latest Mephistopheles, a role which he fills even better than the original, who the hell is he really? What is he really after and why? All theories are welcome. Even those, dare I say it, conspiratorial in nature.
 
Bigend is Win Pollard in disguise! :P
 
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Good thing we're in the spoiler's section.
 
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quote:
"Who told you that story?"

"Someone who claims to have been a member of the boarding team."


quote:
"Why are you so interested in the contents of Chombo's container?"

(...)

He seated himself. He looked up at her. "I've learned to value anomalous phenomena. Very peculiar things that people do, often secretly, have come to interest me in a certain way. I spend a lot of money, often, trying to understand those things. From them, sometimes, emerge Blue Ant's most successful efforts. Trope Slope, for instance, our viral pitchman platform, was based on pieces of anonymous footage being posted on the Net."


quote:
"So what do you expect to get out of this, if you can find out what's in Chombo's container?"

"No idea. None whatever. That's exactly what makes it so interesting."

"I don't get it."

"Intelligence, Hollis, is advertising turned inside out."

"Which means?"

"Secrets," said Bigend, gesturing toward the screen, "are cool." On the screen appeared their images, standing beside the table, Bigend not yet seated, captured by a camera somewhere above. The Bigend on the screen took a pale blue cloth from his pocket, pulled out a chair, and began to dust its arms and back and seat. "Secrets," said the Bigend beside her, "are the very root of cool."
 
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Bigend is looking for nodal points. He has an ad man's sense for cool phenomena that he can turn into money, but really he just likes to know things that nobody else does. I think money for him is the tool to get that, because it is usually the one thing that all the coolhunted lack. So he just has to find their price and slowly reel them in.

The shipping container didn't pan out. But that's okay. That's the nature of mysteries. Some of them lead nowhere, to solutions you can't use. He has hundreds of other pies to stick a finger into, and one of them will be THE one that pays off.

I found him irritating and repellent–a bit Deus Ex Machina–in PR, but I like him more and more.
 
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I thought Bigend was just trying to get a very good, cutting edge story for his new magazine Node; and, as usual, he predicted, as he did with Cayce, that Hollis Henry could get on the inside (he most likely knew that Alberto and Bobby were fans giving Hollis a big edge; Bigend needed to approach Chombo in a subtle but unexpected way). Not only did she get in, but she got the exclusive, first-hand account with permission from The Old Man to tell the story. Bigend is genius because he can read people and their abilities then process how he can use them to get what he wants, very similar to Wintermute.
 
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I wonder not just who is Bigend really, but what is he becoming.

I was skeptical at first about why WG put Bigend in this book. He didn't seem to fit at all. Despite the fact that his bit about secrets and cool is one of the most awesome parts of the book. But I picked up the audio version and listened to it a couple of times, and it is Bigend's role that most intrigues me these days. I think Bigend is becoming something else. Or at least he wants to.

First, some more conventional reasons for Bigend to be in on this. Perhaps how he caught on has something do with him already exploring Locative art. When I heard about the giant squid being used for the ad in Tokyo, it seemed wrong that someone would have beaten Hubertus to the punch. Maybe he's behind Archie.

Also, look how well things worked out for him in Pattern Recognition. Not just with the video thing, but with his super secret Russian business spy mafia type. That was probably better for Bigend than just some new angle at viral marketing.

Wasn't there a line about how these projects are like Hubertus's dreaming? I think he just throws a bunch of elements together that he can see will react in some way, and have some bearing on the future. Like casting yarrow stalks kind of. Look kind of reactions possible between Hollis and Alberto. Alberto is a Curfew fan, specifically a Hollis fan. And his work concerns the death of celebrities. How could Hollis see Alberto's River Phoenix and not think of Jimmy. And would it surprise you if you learned that Bigend picked Hollis's hotel because it had the bonus of being on Heidie's route home? We already know that he's manipulative. Look at him picking Boone Chu for Cayce. But on top of all this art and celebrity stuff there's a serious secret that has a lot to do with the way things are now. The Shipping Container. The GPS grid. The Old Man. I think Bigend just wanted to get close to it.

I see Bigend mainly as someone obsessed with secret realities, power and knowledge. I imagine that he would find it chafing to limit himself to being an ad man. He's more like an Alchemist. Given an opportunity I think Bigend would turn himself into something like the Old Man, or the Family, though only in a very Bigend sort of way. He's an amoral explorer of the world. And I agree he is very much like Wintermute. He has this incredible hunger to become more.
 
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quote:
was skeptical at first about why WG put Bigend in this book. He didn't seem to fit at all. Despite the fact that his bit about secrets and cool is one of the most awesome parts of the book. But I picked up the audio version and listened to it a couple of times, and it is Bigend's role that most intrigues me these days. I think Bigend is becoming something else. Or at least he wants to.[/qiote]
You mean like Virek or Harwood?

I like Bigend, I think he emblematic of a certain kind of emergent character in the 21st century power game of marketing, sign and signifier. But, at his core, he's banal. He likes the coolness, he brushes the bigger meanings but he puts it back into the mundane.

I think that's the alarming thing about him. that he goes to all these lengths to find out secrets, to discover things never before done and then purposes them to shoe and Chinese car ads.

He's a villain not because of his methods but because, at the end of the day, he has a severe lack of imagination.

[quote]
First, some more conventional reasons for Bigend to be in on this. Perhaps how he caught on has something do with him already exploring Locative art. When I heard about the giant squid being used for the ad in Tokyo, it seemed wrong that someone would have beaten Hubertus to the punch. Maybe he's behind Archie.


Bigend isn't a creative, he understands them to some degree but he isn't one. he discovers talent, he doesn't have it. At least not in an artistic sense. His talent is his nose for the next big thing, but when he finds it he merely commodifies it and becomes bored with it. That is his ultimate limitation.
 
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UberDog - I'll have to think more about Virek and Harwood, but I like you're take on Bigend's villainy. Not that I really agree he's a villain. He's something else, though he is definitely monstrous. Bigend's curiosity is frightening, though it is sometimes his most redeeming quality.

I don't think Bigend would consider advertising bland. I think he sees the world in terms of desires, secrets, group behavior and powerful actors. He rightly sees shoe commercials as a big part of global reality.

I think Bigend has a lot in common with phone phreaks and hackers. He's delighted to find powerful tools, he figures out ways to use them, and he isn't that broken up about what he soils or inconveniences. Like a hacker he has great reverence for the terrain he works in, but he doesn't see that terrain in the same way others do. AT&T may not want kids playing with their switching stations, and you may not want your art co-opted to sell cars, but, you know, the street finds it's own uses for things.
 
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quote:
PotatoLove sayeth: And would it surprise you if you learned that Bigend picked Hollis's hotel because it had the bonus of being on Heidie's route home? We already know that he's manipulative.

Big Grin I like that PL. and
quote:
He's an amoral explorer of the world.
I don't know if Bigend is exactly amoral; but, he definitely does not mind and is a natural at mtapping into his (and other people's) egocentrality.
All I can say is that WG puts a lot of work into his writing; and, that's why I read it (or as my ludite (that's a little "l") friend would make fun of me and say "you mean listen to it" Big Grin).
 
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quote:
"I haven't actually found him that personally repulsive, aside from his taste in cars, but I don't like the sense of enormous amounts of money at the service of, of, well, I don't know. He's like a monstrously intelligent giant baby. Or something."

"Angelina says he's utterly amoral in the service of his own curiosity."

Chapter 34 Spook Country
 
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quote:
Originally posted by PotatoLove:
UberDog - I'll have to think more about Virek and Harwood, but I like you're take on Bigend's villainy. Not that I really agree he's a villain. He's something else, though he is definitely monstrous. Bigend's curiosity is frightening, though it is sometimes his most redeeming quality.

I don't think Bigend would consider advertising bland. I think he sees the world in terms of desires, secrets, group behavior and powerful actors. He rightly sees shoe commercials as a big part of global reality.

I think Bigend has a lot in common with phone phreaks and hackers. He's delighted to find powerful tools, he figures out ways to use them, and he isn't that broken up about what he soils or inconveniences. Like a hacker he has great reverence for the terrain he works in, but he doesn't see that terrain in the same way others do. AT&T may not want kids playing with their switching stations, and you may not want your art co-opted to sell cars, but, you know, the street finds it's own uses for things.


I guess antogonist is really a better term for him.

I think Bigend is really close to being a revolutionary, and I think he is full-on Ceh Guevera in advertising, which can revolutionize, to a degree.

But he brushes up against things that could be much bigger and then co-opts them.

But, in another way, there isn't anything but marketing. Not simply in terms of commerce but in the dissemination of all ideology, all ideals, all thoughts of self and other.

One could argue that he's attempting to get a handle on the evolution of "reality."
 
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quote:
Originally posted by Eric:
quote:
PotatoLove sayeth: And would it surprise you if you learned that Bigend picked Hollis's hotel because it had the bonus of being on Heidie's route home? We already know that he's manipulative.


Big Grin I like that PL.


I think Bigend is manipulative by nature not by planning. i think it's instinctual for him. i believe if he'd found out that the River motivated Hollis he'd think it synchrony rather than planning on his part.

He doesn't really plan, he brings the disparate together and sees what they form.
 
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did Bigend gain anything other than locative art and a possible "hard to be one" car commercial?
 
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He gained the commercial, mostly, which was what he wanted, after the fact.

He also has Bobby now, which is big for him.

But he gets bored with things once he's found his angle, then he moves on to The Next Big Thing.

Maybe he'll discover a writer named Bill next time and convince Bill that he created him instead of the other way around.
 
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Bigend potentially gained the Old Man's exculsive story (which is what _Spook Country_ is). Of coarse, you pay alot of money for that type of information and never really know. I think Hollis would sell the story to Bigend. So, in essence the Old Man, once he knew who she was, was using Hollis, as much as Bigend was, for a type of information dissemination only possible through a person like Bigend.
 
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If Bill was so inclined, said story could be a good way to but the nascent Node on the map for real.

It's the sort of story that would make a net mag, or real mag, Pop into the collective consciousness.

Like Drudge did with Monica.
 
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Sadly, if this were a real-world story that appeared one day in mainstream media, it would probably only be a blip on the collective consiousness. Those in line to catch shit (TPTB) over it would maintain a distance of non-acknowledgement long enough for the story to be swept under the rug by the usual deluge of "celebrity X farted in church" stories.

Then? Business as usual.
 
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By George, G... I think you've put your finger on the crux of the issue... and we're back to business as usual... as usual.
 
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quote:
Originally posted by Gustave:
Sadly, if this were a real-world story that appeared one day in mainstream media, it would probably only be a blip on the collective consiousness. Those in line to catch shit (TPTB) over it would maintain a distance of non-acknowledgement long enough for the story to be swept under the rug by the usual deluge of "celebrity X farted in church" stories.

Then? Business as usual.


Well, that's why Old Man used Hollis henry, it's like, say, Shriley Manson witnessed it or somehting.

That would give it legs.

Gibson even thought of that!

(OK, I bet he didn't but still...)

If he'd really been slick, he'd have gotten Britney out on top of the container doing a drug addled strip tease, but what can you do, guy is like 75, doesn't know what's hip.
 
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just re-reading spook country in last few days. and i think one of the interesting things is his timing, his ability to thwart the hero by just turning up.

"hi this is bigend"
"ok"
"i'm in the lobby of your hotel, lets talk"
"eek!"
 
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as an antagonist, his main "villainous" traits are his ability to impose himself anywhere and his sheer force of Nietzschean will directed nowhere in particular.

His personality is just dominant, though with a certain boyish innocence as if he doesn't realize that he constantly gets his way. Nor thinks any other result possible.

He's great character. I think he'll become iconic down the road, possibly. Probably he'll become Gibson's most famous.

He is so perfectly representative of a certain mindset in the world, one both visionary and banal. Ultimately dangerous only for it's lack of imagination in the broader scope of things.
 
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Whenever Bigend is around, I find myself flipping ahead to see how much more of his boringness I have to read. He is certainly my least favorite thing about both PR and SC. God I hope he's gone in the next one, though I doubt he will be.
 
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WG said at the Berlin reading that he is surprised that people see Bigend as a villain.

He also that said that he uses him as a mouthpiece from time to time to give his views on things, for instance on marketing.
 
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Yes, he's c;early a mouthpiece character and no villain, but a lot of people see him as a villain.

I really love the character, personally.

So, what do you think Gibson will do with Berlin in book 3?

I am nearly certain he's going to set a large segment there. He's alluded to it twice. Once by the city specifically and then once to Germany helping to fill up that pot of his creative mind.

And he's obviously interested in the end of the Cold War and loves Stasi references.

Let's lay odds.

2:1 book three is largely set in Berlin, at least one third.

His marketing dialogue in SC was one of my favorite parts of substrate.
 
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I view him somewhat surreally. He is the deep pockets powerful mysterious guy that hires the protagonist to give them an expense account. I think Gibson's fantasy is to have an expense account.

Suffice to say, Bigend is Armitage, is Josef, is Rei (in ATP, though less explicitly), is Datamerica (or whatever the company that employs col in Idoru is), and so on.
 
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I see Bigend as being much more complex than a mouth piece or an expense account, though he does play those roles often enough. In my opinion his ideas are similar to WG's and sometimes he does speak WG's thoughts, but more often he has a creepier amoral ad-world bent to the things he says. I think he and WG could have a long and interesting conversation about things, but that afterward, WG would be wanting a shower.
 
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quote:
Originally posted by remotepush:
just re-reading spook country in last few days. and i think one of the interesting things is his timing, his ability to thwart the hero by just turning up.

"hi this is bigend"
"ok"
"i'm in the lobby of your hotel, lets talk"
"eek!"


I like this idea.

I think it has to do with ability to disarm people. You keep being ready for him to be the villain, but he's too reasonable, he has too much to offer you that you want, he just doesn't fit the role. He thwarts the hero's by being too reasonable to resist, and he shows up just when you are trying to resolve yourself to tell him no.
 
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quote:
Originally posted by Display Name:
I view him somewhat surreally. He is the deep pockets powerful mysterious guy that hires the protagonist to give them an expense account. I think Gibson's fantasy is to have an expense account.

Suffice to say, Bigend is Armitage, is Josef, is Rei (in ATP, though less explicitly), is Datamerica (or whatever the company that employs col in Idoru is), and so on.


You don't seem to like Gibson a whole lot, or am I misinterpreting?

Not that it matter if you don't, I'm just curious.

You're wrong about Bigend though insofar as he's not limited as a character in the way that Virek was, or DatAmerica (can't have a drink with a bank)and Rei wasn't the motivator she was the motive. Rei is more like the Footage, in terms of narrative purposes, then she is like Bigned.

If we're mapping one book to another then Bigend does match up more to Virek than the others you mention, but Bigend is more well developed as a character.

Of course he also maps to Oedipa Maas' patron, Pierce Inavaraity.
 
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I don't think anyone who really doesn't like Gibson would have bothered to read all those books and find the parallels. I think he's just saying that all of Gibson's books have strong parallels in the characters, and sometimes in the plots, and I think that is arguably true. Whether they are too strong or not is a matter of opinion. He might also be saying that sometimes WG's characters come a little too close to being obvious authorial tools rather than people. Again, I think an argument could be made for that view, although I've never found it to be a problem myself.
 
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Bigend learns to wear a hat Big Grin
 
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quote:
Originally posted by colin:
I don't think anyone who really doesn't like Gibson would have bothered to read all those books and find the parallels. I think he's just saying that all of Gibson's books have strong parallels in the characters, and sometimes in the plots, and I think that is arguably true. Whether they are too strong or not is a matter of opinion. He might also be saying that sometimes WG's characters come a little too close to being obvious authorial tools rather than people. Again, I think an argument could be made for that view, although I've never found it to be a problem myself.


I was wondering because he didn't seem to like Neuromancer so much. But he likes the prose. I'm in it for the prose first myself, then the ideas, and so on...

Just wondering.

I used to know a lot of sci-fans who didn't like Gibson.

They were... dealt with. Smile
 
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why bigend is seen as a villain:

quote:
Bigend and his James Bond villain's car, his half-built headquarters
to match, his too much money, his big sharp curiosity and his bland
willingness to go poking it wherever he wanted. That was potentially
dangerous. Had to be


as i already quoted in the trope slope thread. hollis sees him that way. and as discussed there, there is a general distaste for what he did to "old movies".
 
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Did you mention this to Bill? I'd be curious if he might not say, "Oh, yeah... I forgot about that part."

Because it's fairly clear how some readers might get the impression he's a villain form text like that.

I never saw him as a bad guy as such, but I can see where people would.

Someone reading my book commented on a character being a "monster" I think he said, I didn't see it that way but I can see now why he said it.
 
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to be honest, the reason i quote that now is because i only re-read that section this afternoon, shortly before responding to the other thread.
 
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Bigend is the internet.

The internet becomes self-aware first, of course, and then it would become aware that these other things are using it's body\mind\universe to send data, store things, watch porn, and then the internet needs to learn about us. The aliens from outside it's world of self.

Bigend is an avatar of the internet, learning whatever he can for no reason but to know it.

Spitzer does whore, we see pix of whore later same day.

Girl, 18, dies getting breast implants, we see pix of pre-surgery bust same day.

Stuffwhitepeoplelike, posts a link about a guy in Seattle, he has a wikipedia page later the same day, plus links to his own blog.

Becca Manns? Same thing.

If he's "amoral" then the internet is "amoral". But it's more likely he's beyond good and evil isn't it?

In the age of looking at pictures of people in their underwear, because of a link to a link to a link, is there any kind of static morality left? Particularly in Gibson world? Seem unlikely in the extreme.

Bigend is a viral-meme-bloodhound avatar of the self-aware internet.

Like the best things in the world today he doesn't need to realize this for it to be true either.
 
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"Vell, Bigend's just zis guy, you know?"
 
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