Thursday, September 27, 2007

"Cheers To All Lost Blog Friends"

Here we are about midway through our Lost Hiatus and we have so far managed to survive the opposite of being stranded on an island...being stranded away from one! And now that I have rightly thanked Memphish for her inspiration, I would be totally remiss to not thank everyone else in our Lost blog circle of friends for all of their efforts and inspiration as well. It is so great to have all these sites to go to for assistance in interpreting the Lost mysteries, as well as the most important thing to have: favorite peeps of like mind whose brains we can pick if we miss something, or if we just have to talk to someone about a Lost idea or theory that we got in the middle of the night!

Thankfully, we have the big blogs who have some contact with TPTB on occasion like Doc Arzt, DarkUFO, et. al. who get a lot of the inside scoops for us, but it's also nice to have our friendly "homegrown" group of blogs as well. Some forums and blogs as we know are not too worried about being friendly or courteous to posters, and that's their choice, that's alright. But when you tire of slogging through the bad manners and want to get to the point of talking about all things Lost, you like to have the friendly kinds of blogs to go to as well. So thanks to everyone who has taken the time to create blogs where they lay out their theories for us, pose the questions that we might need to pay more attention to, and also to posters who help volley around ideas with everyone. Thanks also for reading my blog which I did not intend on ever doing but, again inspired by Memphish, I hoped that maybe I could vent some of my Lost thoughts in this type of platform as well. I think that I just like making the illustrations though, but at least I'm putting to use the "experience" that I got from writing hundreds of papers and presentations in management school. Whoodathunk?! Professor Ismay might be proud.

Anyway, Thanks Blog Friends! :-)

Monday, September 24, 2007

"Soul Sisters"

To thank Memphish (macdaddymom, below-right) for all the bizarre questions and images that she puts into our minds with her QOTD blog, today I will post a picture of what popped into my head from her post this morning, and that is, thoughts of the Log Lady from Twin Peaks and our own dear island crazy lady, Danielle Rousseau. Even though they are only sideline players to the main plot, these two hermit ladies are mystery stories all on their own and their antics make us wish that we could know more about them.

Although there is more to Danielle than her "Whatsamatta U." sorority sister, they both conjure up similar images; Log Lady walking in and out of scenes gently cradling her beloved stump, and Danielle tramping through the jungle cradling her rifle to keep it always ready for use. They both have an aura of hidden wisdom about them, that might be found somewhere beneath their dazed expressions. Neither lady makes much sense when they speak though, but hopefully Danielle's ramblings will become clear some day if we ever get her FB story. Thanks for creating such interesting mental images for us on your blog, Memphish! :-)

Thursday, September 20, 2007

"The Power Of Peanuts and Stones"

Sometimes I wonder if the ABC programmers could do anything in the future to really mess up Lost before it is allowed to reach it's final season and episode. You know, the way someone seems to have done to TLE last summer. Everything with the ARG was going like gangbusters with the awesome websites, the commercial commitments, and worldwide participation, for the online treasure hunt. Then something happened and before the promised crescendo it just kind of went *phfffft*.

We know that TPTB have just signed a contract with ABC that lays out the plans for the remainder of the show. But what if ABC does something crazy like moving the show around too much? It could even be as simple as cutting TPTB's budget in half. Think about what Fox did to "The Lone Gunmen" for example. Fox placed it in the slot where some national league games were constantly running overtime and pre-empting it, and we never got to see it so of course the show died. Now I'm not saying that Frohike and company were as hot as Lost is, but their popular uber-geek storyline was riding the crest of the X-Files wave at the time, so it was considered the X-Files-2. Not that ABC would be dumb enough to do that, but who knows what craziness they might decide in the boardroom. They're bean-counters after all, not artists.

So the question is...if ABC did do something like this to Lost, what could we send to ABC via snail mail to get their attention? Like what Jericho fans did to restart that show sending in peanuts after its premature cancellation (the genius of fans, I tell ya!). The easy picks could be:

** black and white stones
** one white tennis shoe
** handcuffs
** water bottles
** toy planes
** plastic grenades

We could get plenty of ideas just from the Lostpedia "themes" section, and Lost fans are very creative to say the least. Maybe one of our major blogs, like DarkUFO, could coordinate the battle plan, and the USPS would get deluged with little packages headed for "ABC, LA, California" from all over the world. Sure, I know I'm being worrisome and paranoid and the TPTB of Lost won't let anything happen to their creation now. I'm going to be prepared just in case though, the networks are getting reputations for making too many bad decisions about good shows.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

"Encyclopedia Lostica"

We love LOST because it's a fascinating tale of survival within a complicated web of mysteries -- a modern Bayeux Tapestry battle story interwoven with arcane illustrations. Like the saying goes, it's an enigma, wrapped in a mystery, just begging to be deciphered. It appeals to each of us depending on our personal interests, from philosophy to physics, and themes about unrequited love to the ancient struggle of good versus evil. And we know that it's just a TV show. But from the beginning of time humans have loved their stories, especially heroic legends of intrigue, conflict, and valor. Such is the stuff of LOST.

We viewers are very lucky that some wonderful fans created the Lostpedia website to help us keep all of our questions and research in one neat and tidy package (of 3,000 pages so far!). Thank the Lord for Lostpedia, that's all I have to say! I really enjoy delving into the origins and meanings of someone's artistic creation, which is what I consider LOST to be -- a true work of art. But most of the answers on Lostpedia are what we have had to speculate about. And from Season 1 the show has racked up so many unanswered (and unanswerable?) questions that TPTB have even said that every mystery will not be explained by the end of the final episode. Well somebody better call the "waaaambulance" for me then!

I think that this means TPTB are just going to have to publish an Official LOST Encyclopedia when the series is over! Don't you think? We don't want to get left hanging like after the X-Files finished with the comment that, "Not every question in life is answered, so not every question on the show answered," or something like that. Bah humbug. Again, it's a TV show, but I would really like to know what TPTB had in mind when they gave us little zingers like the Swan mural images, the text on the blast door map, Juliet's brand, Desmond's stuffed bunny, and the gory jars of juice on Jacob's window sill, to name a few out of a zillion. Obviously this is a giant task and would be a huge book. But TPTB already have everything written down in their scripts and production notes, so they only have to edit and print them up and annotate everything! Just mark footnotes and explain them in a sidebar on each page. Or putting it in the form of a regular encyclopedia of facts would be fine also. That would probably be better, because as Lostpedia has shown us there are multiple levels of mysteries to be categorized for each topic. Either way, an extensive index is a must!

Would it be good to explain LOST in this way? Or should the mysteries of LOST be left hidden? I vote for learning the secrets over leaving them unsolved, if we can. The number of blogs dedicated to pointing out the show's mysteries leans towards this preference as well (see Memphish's QOTD blog for a good start). And if TPTB have not just been "making it up as they go" (as some non-fans accuse), it would be great to finally be let in on all the nuances, inside jokes, and Easter eggs that won't be answered by the final episode. Do the show's creators (as artists), owe their viewers (as patrons), any explanations for their specific brushstrokes and techniques if the patrons are interested in learning them? We study art history for those reasons, I think that it would be nice if TPTB would do that for us. Will they give us the LOST Rosetta Stone that we need to decipher the show when all is said and done? I guess we'll have to wait to find out after the fat lady sings in the Mother of All Finales in Season 6.

Monday, September 10, 2007

"Ben's 8:15 To Yuma"

Since I sometimes relate current movies to LOST here, a new movie that I would like to recommend to LOST fans is "3:10 To Yuma". If you enjoy old "spaghetti westerns", you will probably like this film. Christian Bale and Russel Crowe are excellent in it, ditto Peter Fonda, And the scenery is really fantastic, if you like the wide open West and ghost towns. A lot of the movie looked like those snowy desert paintings of Bev Doolittle's too. It's fun to sit way up front for movies like this, so you're almost close enough to the scenery to get dirt in your eyes. Being "thisclose" to Christian Bale onscreen isn't so bad either, because his acting keeps gets better exponentially ever since his incredible starring role in "Empire of the Sun".

The plot is "Good vs Bad" and all the shades of gray in between, and as in life (and LOST), it's trying to deal with the gray areas that'll kill you. It's a basic morality play that has been told many times before, also on LOST almost every ep, but it's a good Western saga done very well. One of the obvious points in this film -- and I won't spoil any thing here -- is the problem of who to trust when the good guys act bad, and the bad guys act good. A familiar problem to LOST viewers right? As well as, how do you do the right thing when you have so much to lose or gain either way? There are definitely clear cut bad-to-the-bone guys in the story, but the central characters are the ones who sit inside the dilemma of choice. As we know, this is so much like the themes that we find in some of the LOST story and character arcs.

In the last LOST episode Jack and his posse are dragging Ben to his own train to Yuma judgement, and the showdown on the beach also ended on the side of the good guys, with Hurley and Sawyer taking down the "black-hats". Seeing Ben heartlessly gas his dad and sit there watching him gurgle to death only inches away, really turned off any sympathy that I felt for Ben after seeing his unfortunate childhood. I don't care if the Island is made of magical manna that could feed the entire world, that was cold hearted. But discussions of who the bad guys are on the island have been turned over and over, so I don't need to go into them here. Although, TPTB have hinted that we may feel differently about Ben's actions at some point. We'll see about that. The last episode of S3 warned us to be prepared for another shoot-out coming on between the islanders and the new intruders, that may twist the castaways' (and our) allegiances to an unexpected side. I really don't like Ben very much right now, so if TPTB of LOST can write a story that gets me into understanding Ben's problems and empathizing with him, my fandom will bow down to their storytelling expertise. Do other viewers feel that they can forgive Ben under the right circumstances? At any rate, I can't wait until High Noon comes to Othertown!

Friday, September 7, 2007

"Welcome To Panopticon Island"

In the Season 3 finale TPTB dropped a bomb on us in the form of the Flash-Forward. Within this FF were some hints for us to research further, which is one of the reasons why we love this show so much! In Jack's tear-sogged newspaper clipping was a possible lead on some information in the sketchy obit, a name in particular, which people have fleshed out to possibly be Jeremy Bentham.

Bentham we learned was the designer of an interesting theory on prison architecture called the Panopticon: "A building with a tower at the center from which it is possible to see each cell in which a prisoner is incarcerated. Each individual is seen but cannot communicate with the warders or other prisoners. The Panopticon induces a sense of permanent visibility [of the prisoners] that ensures the functioning of power. The prisoner can always see the tower but never knows from where [or when] he is being observed. It is also a laboratory in which experiments are carried out on prisoners and staff. It gives power over people's minds through architecture." Within this structure inmates are inspired to be on their best behavior under an all-seeing eye. Knowing what we do at this point about Smokey as a mobile force, the Dharma Initiative's obsession with observation and psychological manipulation, and the prison-like qualities of the inescapable Island, this Panopticon idea fits very well into the architecture of LOST.

First; the island has it's own prison guards in the entity of Smokey. TPTB have confirmed that smokey is Cerberus mentioned on the blast door map, and so we have a roaming security system to keep the island inmates' actions in check. Smokey also seems to be able to read an islander's conscience as well. Second; the Panopticon all-seeing-eye aspect to ensure that inmates function on a level of personal honor and culpability via the "threat" of constant observation, is also close to the heart of LOST. The DI has many observation stations: the Pearl's closed circuit video bank, Patchy's communication video console, and the monitors that were in the Hydra which could apparently also pan-and-scan the jungle. Jack also told Kate that there were cameras in the Othertown house that he was staying in. Third; we know that the DI was interested in the idea of experimentation on its members, but we're not sure yet to what extent they carried out this idea. They manned the Pearl station to, "...observe a psychological experiment in progress", and, "...for the ongoing refinement of the initiative as a whole", according to Dr.Wickmund. But the information seems to have gone unanalyzed at some point as far as we can tell, by the enormous pile of info tubes in the field.

The big question is, were the Dharma people privy to the fact that they were being constantly monitored in their everyday lives so that they would function on their best behavior? If they did know, then the island set-up was a communal version of the Panopticon. If they did not know they were being observed, then they were living under unethically intrusive conditions. But even if they were aware of existing under the watchful eye of "Big Brother", it's still not an ideal situation to be in. As far as we know, the DI recruits were not convicts, and did not sign away some of their rights as human beings when they came to the island. Or did they? And has Ben and the Hostiles' coup-society degraded not only because of the arrival of outsiders, but because of a general breakdown of the Panopticon system in keeping control over the ever-increasing number of inhabitants and intruders?

Monday, September 3, 2007

"A Cosmic Rubik's Cube"

Lately we've been wondering how TPTB are going to bring together all the elements that we are gathering concerning the Wishbox, the Casimir effect, time travel, the Island properties, etc. Consider the puzzle pieces that we have to work with so far (mostly in order of appearance):

- castaways with possible ESP abilities
- large amounts of contained magnetism

- catastrophic forces of some sort
- exotic experimentation
- the Island's special properties (including, or not, the magnetism)
- time or parallel reality travel (possible wormhole activity)
- a "wish box" that can somehow "materialize" one's thoughts
- the Casimir effect and quantum activities
- the possibility of duplicating material objects

I am not even going to touch the quantum physics of this bunch of bananas. Many blogs are talking about that more knowledgeably than I ever could. What I'm thinking about is how these elements are related and might work together toward the end result. Do the magnetism, the Casimir-like properties, and the ESP abilities, etc., have to all be at specific "settings" like a prescribed set of variables where all these peculiar components have to be in place for it to work properly? And can anyone "man" the controls of the apparatus in the Orchid video, or does someone with special powers like Walt have to be plugged into it as a part of the variable equipment settings?

Another question is, if you want something to "appear" via the Box, does the operator just need to think of what he wants to materialize, or does the apparatus allow him to travel through space to retrieve it? That is, does the thought-command activate the retrieval, or does the object wished for have to be physically gone after? From what we've seen since landing on the island, it looks like mere thought might activate some kind of spontaneous mechanism. Jack saw his dad, Kate saw her black horse, etc., and even Charlie's guitar might have been a part of that kind of materialization factor (thanks Memphish for that theory!). Ben also said that they had nothing to do with Locke's father appearing on the island and that Locke's mental obsessiveness brought Cooper there.

In the Orchid video, they talked about setting controls on the equipment for a desired result, but they didn't get what they expected. We've guessed that was the problem with the Dharma-built apparatus -- the function that it was supposed to perform hadn't quite been perfected into producing an exact result, causing the Incident. In this case, experimentation with a scientific prototype would be very dangerous. They built this great machine to harness and increase the random effects of the Island, but they weren't able to control it after all, so is it now a wormhole run amok (like a Water-Wiggle at the end of a garden hose)? Similar to the movie "The Cube" where the tesseract rooms shuffle every so often, the Island machine could be like an inter-dimensional Rubik's cube. Did Dr.Candlewickwax lose his arm during one of the Island's spontaneous cosmic shuffles?

Saturday, September 1, 2007

"Please, Sir, I Want Some More"

I wouldn't want TPTB to think that we don't appreciate the juicy bone that they threw us with the Orchid vid at ComicCon. What they gave us was totally unexpected and we are collectively very grateful and excited about the new station and weird science possibilities. Everyone's blogs were buzzing about the new film, like a bunch of starving Dharma-ites opening their long awaited supply package after it hit the island drop zone. The high from that little piece of Dharma film satiated me very well for a while.

Until today, I'm so sorry. I seem to be having a mid-hiatus crisis all of a sudden. I'm tired of guessing and I'm tired of theories. Reruns are holding me over a little bit, and I am totally enjoying reading everyone's blogs and ideas. The Lost Community Bookclub has also been an excellent diversion, giving us some alternate-but-related LOST info to keep our minds occupied and razor sharp for catching clues next season. But I'm hungry again, and I need another bone to chew on man. The mobisode thing is supposed to happen I guess, but I don't have a mobile phone right now so I don't know if I will be able to access them. Hopefully they will eventually go up on ABC or Youtube, or our buddy Dennis at TLC will hook us up somehow as usual.

This is not good. It is only September, and we have until February. I realize that it's only a TV show, but it feels like we've been reading this huge fantastically interesting mystery book and just when we get to another good part, someone takes the book away and won't let us read it. So far I've only allowed myself to look at spoilers about the new actors in Season 4, and not even about the characters they will be playing. But I am starting to feel like Cadet Stimpy after Cap'n Ren gave him the mission to guard (and not to touch!!) the History Erasure Button!

"Can Cadet Stimpy withstand the pressure?! Will he hold out?! Can he hold out?!"

"NO I CAN'T!!!!!!!!!!!"

Oh well, at least I can watch "Mad Men" on Thursdays, it's getting pretty weird with Draper's bizarre past and present, and the character profiles are beginning to seem as complicated as the ones on LOST. Maybe I'll even work my way through the fan fiction on DarkUFO to keep busy, that will help. Thanks to everyone who has blogged like crazy and encouraged us all to keep the faith till February! I can keep reading everyone's awesome posts, maybe go talk to Dave, or play some Connect Four with Lenny. 4,8,15,16......anyone else besides me hurting yet? :-}