by Miles Raymer
Over the weekend I tore through Thomas Pynchon's new Inherent Vice, which is excellent and, like all good Pynchon books, frequently hilarious. Given its late-60s LA-hippie setting and Pynchon's affection for rock music, it's not surprising to encounter talk throughout about acts like the Trashmen, Thunderclap Newman, and Wild Man Fischer. Less expected—and thus more Pynchonesque—was a frequently repeated joke revolving around a P. Diddy reference. (I'm not gonna spoil it here.)
For me reading Pynchon has always had the side effect of heightening my paranoia levels and increasing my sensitivity to coincidence (or maybe that should be "coincidence"). Which is why I had to stop and consider what the universe might be trying to tell me when, just hours after finishing the book, I learned that P. Diddy had dropped a mix tape with Chicago electro legend Felix da Housecat under the name "Lectro Black."
After downloading the mix I decided that the universe was probably trying to tell me that a) P. Diddy can actually get down pretty hard with Felix's electro styles, b) it's still mostly Diddy's fault if we're all underestimating him, and c) "Lectro Black" sounds like a good name for a Pynchon character. It's not exactly satori, but I guess you take what you can get.