20060515

Too Much! Keep it coming.

The latest new episodes have been a buffet of action, adventure, and new information to turn over in an already overheated brain. An adequate amount of time to meet, process, and write about the latest has yet to materialize; until then, read this LOST blog. Thoughtful and interesting, this'll take the edge off, and allow me to maximize my efficiency by stating `What he said'.

20060510

Some Thoughts On Lost

By Mr Pants

Here are a few random thoughts...

1. The main character of Gary Troup (Purgatory) is Paul Artisan... P.Artisan...

par·ti·san
A fervent, sometimes militant supporter or proponent of a party, cause, faction, person, or idea.
A member of an organized body of fighters who attack or harass an enemy, especially within occupied territory; a guerrilla.
Devoted to or biased in support of a party, group, or cause: partisan politics.

Just a thought.

2. As if I could prove anything, but I suspected that Bad Twin was written by James Patterson and not Stephen King. King's more horror than detective. So, when I downloaded the audio clip of Bad Twin, I noted that it was copywrighted to Mr Patterson. Next day, boom! It's all over the blogosphere.

3. So, Cindy and Gary, kissing in a tree and then crashing in a plane. Is Cindy a Dharma/Hanso mole? Remember when she said she never forgot a face? Well, why didn't she recognize the guys from the front section and why did she tell the Tailies ("Now, with more marshmallows!") that Nathan was not on the plane? (Old news, Mr Pants.) True, but it's interesting that this minor character who... vanished... is suddenly back in the spotlight with the whole Bad Twin / Interactive Game release...

Just a few thoughts.

And very random ones, at that.

20060506

Bad Twin

I want to read this book.

I've read rumours that it's written by Stephen King, whose new book Cell I'm currently enjoying. It's zombie fiction at it's best.

However, I downloaded a clip of Scott Brick reading Bad Twin, and my media player says "Copywright: James Patterson" - so, could it be that James Patterson, a known detective writer, could actually be the ghost-writer?

Makes more sense than Stephen King.

- Crapshoot

20060426

Lost: Reckoning - "Honey, I reckon it's a clip show!"

Clip show, clip show. Why bother watching regular episodes when you can get everything you need to know in a clip show? I heard that the producers are going to try and "steer" the viewers towards the central themes of good and evil in this episode. Hey, maybe instead of having repeats and "recapisodes", why not just show us the damn show so we can make our own decisions?

Recapisodes. My word, I said it first.

- Crapshoot

20060413

S.O.S. commentary

I'm with Bernard. Why are these people fixated on staying on the island? Sure, they've been there for nearly two months, but is that reason to give up and start building churches? And why does it have to be a church? And what sort of person is Eko going to prove himself to be considering he doesn't even have the good Christian grace to share his logs with Bernard? And, man, Eko seems angry in his church-building fixation. Furious almost.

I've been on such an "anti-religion" kick lately, that I'm finding it quite unappealing to have religion infiltrate my favourite tv show. I can see how they're using it as a metahor, as a motivation for characters in this weird microcosm of humanity, but do they have to? Do they?

And, is it just me, or did last night's show undercut everything they've been building up about Gale? I mean, that evil smile when he didn't answer Locke spoke volumes. But it was all for nothing, it seemed, because ultimately, Locke dropped his concerns about anything hatch related with those few simple words from Rose. Okay, okay, maybe the island is magical...

I loved the stuff with Rose and Bernard, but it smacked of "here's something for the fans" because it didn't really reveal anything. Except, wasn't the guy who saw Rose someone we've seen before? And, he seemed to have the same reaction to Rose that the guy who saw Clare pre-flight had to her. That sudden flash of impending doom and then the decision to not go into detail, you know?

Where was Michael? Was he with the Others or just spying on them? Previews lead one to believe he was just spying on the others, but why would he emerge from the jungle half-dead? The next show looks like another awesome revelation show (but I guess next week is a clip show... grr... I'll watch it, but not willingly.)

Questions: The island heals people? Or does the island do something else? I mean, if they leave they go back to being crippled/dying?

Why has Henry Gale become so sullen? I know they tortured him, et cetera, but there's something else going on. And again, why is no one else interested? And if people are taking showers and using the hatch as Bernard claims, how come we never see anyone but the main cast in the hatch? And what's up with the Neil Frogurt crap? Stupid "easter eggs".

Loved it.


-Crapshoot

I agree that it was finally nice to see someone on the island think of rescue again, and ask the questions that plague us all. In the end, though, while I'm behind him for asking it, I think what the islanders are doing makes perfect sense. Think about it: both the pilot and a flight attendant confirmed that the place was thousands of miles off course with no radio operating, so no one knows where they are, exactly. And, we're all familiar with spectacular disasters through the media - if the authorities don't find anyone or anything in a week, the rescue operation is cancelled, and folks assume that the place was destroyed. They'd know subconsciously, or at least more and more everyday since the crash, that the longer they wait, the less likely it is that someone will come to their rescue. What other choice do they have, a la Gilligan's Island, but to construct some version of a sustaining society, if the island is now their only home?

And, if we consider a theory that the island is some sort of a laboratory for a microcosm of society, of course religion is going to be a part of it. Regardless of that, the main philosophical split on the island is between faith and knowledge, and sides have slowly been coalescing between the both. Also, given Eko's `conversion', in which he decided that religion saved his life, of course he's going to build a monument to that faith that saved his life. The interesting thing, of course, is how Eko is going to relate to the rest of the islanders once the church is built. Will he become messianic? A missionary-zealot? Or, turn quietly contemplative, like a monk? Can a `religion' be true to faith and goodness when it is built by a former warlord of murderous and drug-running fame? Granted, religion does not equate to faith in any means - religion is a tool with which faith is maintained or nurtured, ideally - but it begs imagining a point at which Eko/Locke/Rose/etc distance their dogma from Jack/Bernard/Kate/Etc, and how this `church' plays a part.

On a related note, given a potential rift between good and evil, or, to put it another way, Black and White: did you notice that we have other versions of the black and white theme manifested in character pairings? Eko and Charlie - black and white on a superficial level, but arguably Eko's faith and optimism vs. Charlie's cynicism and pessimism; Rose and Bernard, again B&W, but right there you have the philosophical split of the island simply and elegantly put as `be' vs. `do'. Reminders of the black and white rocks found in the caves, and the backgammon games.

I think the thing between Gale and Locke was more than just an easy out, or a reversal of a conflict. Gale is Locke's foil; Gale is the rock in Locke's sandal. This wasn't meant to be a major Protagonist/Antogonist pairing, but a method for Locke's character to grow, and become more defined. Remember that before the hatch was found, Locke was all fairy-dust and morning-yoga about the island. When the hatch was located, he became so obsessed on it, and what was inside, that he ignored the rest of the island and its mysteries. Rose reminded him that it wasn't the hatch that `cured' him, it was the island, and the amount of frustrating, and imploding, faith he put in the hatch was misplaced, and needed to be expanded again, and refocused on the island in its entirety. Again, this was a struggle between faith and knowledge - faith being the island and its metaphysical/supernatural/whatever manifestations, and knowledge represented by the man-made, the science and engineering of the Dharma Initiative. Locke was focused too hard and too long on the man-made mystery of the Dharma Initiative, probably thinking it a doorway that leads to the mystery of the island, when in fact is was a metaphysical cul-de-sac that trapped him. Rose refocused Locke back to the island.


-The Atomic Ant

20060410

Lostpedia

Lost is a brilliant show. It inspires people to use their noggins, but in a fun way. I'm finding that depending on the content of the episode being discussed, that Lost-blogs are like a microcosm of the split between Secular Humanism and Religion that seems to be the de facto debate in these dangerous times.

Whoever crafted the Lostpedia clearly belongs to the camp of people with too much time on their hands. And I am so thankful for their attention to detail. Finally, a website in which Scott isn't just a casual reference, but an actual encyclopedic entry! You see, I watch Lost, but moments after the final disonant chord, I usually forget about 75% of what just happened. If I owned a TiVo system, I might be tempted to spend the rest of Wednesday night pouring over each episode. It's sad enough that I usually watch the earlier Canadian broadcast and then tune in for ABC's broadcast, most often airing directly after. Especially last week, when I happened to be in the washroom and heard the missus shout out "Libby's in the nutter too!!"

Nutter... am I allowed to say that?

So, for those of you who like to know but don't have the time to find out, I suggest two things:

1. Read Filmfodder.org's most excellent recap of each episode. Usually posted by noon on Thursday, I especially love reading the comments section and joining in the virtual-debates about what means what and who's who.
2. Make Lostpedia your Thursday home-page and catch up on the details. It's so annoying when they suddently reintroduce a character or an idea after months of silence, but Lostpedia is there to help you out. "Polar bears? What the heck is all this interest in polar bears?" Answer: Check out Lostpedia.

- Crapshoot

20060406

Reaction to `Dave', a selection of email correspondence.

I love Hurley even more now, and kinda think its a bit awesome that they played with TV Stereotype #438: `This is an Elaborate Fantasy, Crazy Person in a Coma!'. Sweet. And, Libby in the mental hospital?!? What!???!!!?! ???! (pop).

-The Atomic Ant

I tried to kick in the TV when they revealed Libby at the hospital. I was furious because they've cheapened the show by almost firmly suggesting it's a complete fantasy. Jen talked me down from the bell tower though and I've come to realize that it's probably not all in someone's head. All clues point to Libby being one of those people who spend time in an institute and then turn around and become therapists to help others. Remember, she's into yoga and stuff, so she's probably very real. Now, why she was in the ward and why with Hurley of all people. And does she remember Hurley from the hospital?

Pop. Pop. (That's both eyes falling out of their sockets.)


-Crapshoot


Well, I was a little embarassed that the writers were hinting at that `all in head fantasy world' suggestion, but realized that they were just toying with us - I think a lot of the little things on the show, like the literature selections, are all ironic jokes, meant to tease an audience of fans that take TV too seriously. The writing is really more sophisticated than that. What they're really writing is subtext - there's more to the myths and the connexions that isn't revealed by the veneer that's presented every day.

What is really freaky about Libby is figuring out why she was on the same plane as Hurley. Coincidence is way too far out as an option. And, given Libby's skirting the `I know you' issue, she's obviously got some underlying motivation in her relationship with Hurley. Has she been stalking Hurley since he was let out of the hospital? Is it as simple as some crazy obsession with him? Or, did she recognize him in the media reports of his lottery win, and decide to try and get wit' him for the dough, something a little more sinister? Or, is it even deeper than that - does she know something about the numbers? Is she an `Other' that was sent to the mainland because of the numbers, and the knowledge that other patient had of them?


-The Atomic Ant

I agree that the writers aren't aiming for cheap gimmicks, such as "It's all a dream, Bobby, JR's still alive." Although I think the shows are taking on a distinctive pattern. Each show builds and builds upon mysteries and backstories and interpersonal relations, and then at the end of any mini-arc (such as the Jin & Sun baby arc and the recent Libby in the nuthatch arc) they always throw in a discordant sweep of music and one of the characters makes a sour face, indicating something may not be right... and all that they've just set-up is knocked down. I mean, they spent an entire season last year leading us to believe that the island was some sort of entity and in all likelihood, it's not. They spent a whole show last night telling us Hurley may or may not be crazy, but ultimately, the revelation makes us scream "Who cares? What I want to know is why is Libby at the same hospital?" Each new mystery supercedes and nearly obliterates any earlier mystery.

My interactions with this show are beginning to reflect my interactions with Survivor, my other favorite island based fantasy show. With Survivor, I rarely care who wins or loses or what goes on between people. I'm much more fascinated with how the producers manipulate so many hours and hours of footage into one hour long show and the story that editing creates. And how the music is played in such a way to trigger feelings of dread or relief and depending on when the final challenge occurs in the hour slot, you can gauge how intense or dull the elimination vote will be. Each hour of Survivor for me is more about what's not being shown. How a story is created out of images, editing and music.

The same thing is happening to a degree with Lost. The story is becoming irrelevant and what's becoming more predominant is the manipulation of the viewer into thinking "Is this a clue?" or "What's going on with Libby?" or "Cool, Sayid's girlfriend knew Locke in the backstory." Which really has nothing to do with any story and has more to do with the hip factor that the show thrives on.

And because the writers are smart enough to realize this, they can appeal to everyone. From people who like just the characters and wish there wasn't a hatch, to those who want to know what the hatch is about and wish for more details and revelations, to those who accept what is given and extrapolate great amounts of data from the little nuggets given.

Lost isn't about the story of survivors on an island who may or may not be connected by some force that may or may not be human. It's a puzzle and is more about what isn't shown or told. I mean, we all saw last night's episode, but think of the volumes of words that are being generated as we speak, detailing the voids and filling in the blanks. In your e-mail below, you ask a number of questions prompted by about 30 seconds of tv time. And each question could inspire a million more questions.

Philosophy for the pop culture set.


-Crapshoot

Well, I don't believe that the new mysteries supercede or obliterate earlier mysteries. These mysteries are not linear, where one is either more important than another, or linked in a progressive way. There are so many mysteries, almost too many to keep track of; having this many mysteries points us not toward individual resolutions for each, but towards their relation. The mystery of the show is the connexion between these coincidences and relationships and events that seem random. It is looking more and more like there is an underlying force that is controlling or influencing it all - it is that underlying force, the foundational reason or motivation behind all the weirdness that sits behind layers of strange, that all these mysteries inform and progress - think of the show like a bike-wheel, where the castaways are the rim, and the mysteries the spokes - they are all leading towards a mysterious axle that holds it all together and keeps it moving forward.

Definitely the show is as much about what isn't told as what is, but I think there is more of a balance in the telling - Survivor really is about the manipulation, because the only way the writers/producers of the show can directly control the product is by editing, which is all about what not to include. The LOST producers, in control of all aspects of the show, can use more tools to tell their story, including but not limited to what is left out. The story isn't becoming irrelevant; what is relevant is the tension between what is included and what is not, the balance between the known and the mysterious. While the show may end up in that cynical place where zingers are thrown for the sheer thrill of the zinger (the dramatic version of a comedy one-liner), currently, the zingers are still relational, and serve to progress the story, or deepen the mystery.


Speaking of which: did you know that the same line Dave said on his way off the cliff into the ocean is the same line Desmond said before he ran off into the jungle? (thanks, Filmfodder!) That's the kind of detail I'm talking about - why would an imaginary person, the product of someone's disturbed unconscious, speak the same words as the flesh-and-blood caretaker of the hatch? How does that change the way you think about the hatch; Desmond; Dave; Hurley; Libby; the Island; etc?

And, what was the deal with `Henry'? As an `Other', he seemed to have some sketchy or weird information. Like, why was he involved in a search party for the real Henry Gale. Search Party? How did they know he crashed? Why would the `Others' need to find him? Was he part of their group? And, the bit about God not knowing where they were, that He had the same problem finding the island as the rest of the world - like, wha? He also gave off the impression that the `Others' we've seen, including the `leader' in the fake beard, really don't hold the power on the island. Maybe they actually are actors putting on a show, and we haven't actually seen the men behind the curtain. None of these questions trump each other. They simply call into question what we think we know, attempt to redefine the context of the `facts', and prevents complacency by keeping it all fluid.

I love your idea that this is philosophy for the pop culture set - I'd have to agree wholeheartedly
!

-The Atomic Ant

Why? Because he's fat?

I'm offended by a few things that happened in last night's episode.

First: Why is Hurley's problem food-related? Can't there be fat people on t.v. who aren't suffering from food issues?
Second: If I were stranded on an island, no matter what food issues I was suffering from, I would not throw away the food. And, if I came across someone throwing the food around, I'd punch them in the eye. Simple as that. Even if my fake Oreo broke whilst trying to twist off the top, I'd still eat it. Not toss it into the sand.
Third: Let's say you were stranded on an island and suddenly there was a food drop in the middle of the night, what would be your first reaction? To hoard food? To fight with your fellow survivors over who got what? Bartering goldfish crackers for ranch dressing? No, goddammit. I'd be asking myself where this FLICKing food came from. And, please, someone, anyone, tell me how they managed to drop off this food without ANYONE hearing the plane. Or helicopter.

Stupid show.

(I love it!)

- Crapshoot