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.


pgtbeauregard said...

I for one love the eloquence of your blog today!! Good stuff Capcom.
Yes yes yes yes - tptb need to answer the questions, after taking us on this journey, making us theorize until our heads explode, it would be the decent thing to do.

The need to know is what's driving these blogs and websites.

memphish said...

I like the speculating, obviously, but after everything is over I would love to sit down with the Long Lost List and Darlton and get answers for each and every thing, even if the answer is, "well, we decided to ignore that."

The main reason I want this is so that we don't put wrong words/ideas/spins on things. It's like having the opportunity to go back and ask Shakespeare did you mean for me to read this much into it? Why rely on secondary resources when you've got a primary resource, the actual creators out there if they'll only make themselves available?

So I hope TPTB will avail themselves of J. Wood or any of the other people out there right now writing LOST books and use them to write one or write one of their own. So long as they do it in a timely fashion, it would be a huge seller and could be packaged with an entire series DVD set as well.

Amused2bHere said...

I agree. I want a Lost Encyclopedia! I think this is kind of what JK Rowling is doing with her Potterverse, since she really couldn't address EVERYthing in the final book. There's lots more to be discovered about HP in her next book, to the delight of fans everywhere.

Oh Darlton! we have another project for you!

capcom said...

Thanks friends! Right, Shakespeare is an excellent example! I have reserved buying any of the Lost books like J.Wood's so far, because after the show is over they will probably be revised with all the new topics and answers, and then re-released. :-) I'm so cheap.

The Lost magazine doesn't help us much right now either, since they don't really answer too many Qs, although the Q-and-As have helped us understand a few things that can be told like Dez's time travel. And the set design articles are yummy. If they keep making the magazine after the show is over (like Buffy and Angel mags), they would probably then get into telling the heavy info. But that would take a LOT of monthly magazines and a very long time!

Is that how Rowling is doing it? That a good idea.

maven said...

Great thoughts, Capcom! I, too, would love a full explanation for all of Lost's mysteries that most likely won't be addressed on the show. I'm sure that any Lost encyclopedia would be a big seller for anyone that writes it. I sure hope that some things are not "fluffed" off as just something they put in or "just because" we wanted to. This show has been dissected beyond anything I've ever seen before. When it's all said and done in 3 years, I hope that the producers give us all the little answers and well as the big ones.

capcom said...

True Maven, even the X-Files did not have the extent of mysterious minutia that Lost has. They had their share of exotic secrets, but not this much. Lost mysteries should go down as some kind of TV record, for a while anyway.

Cool_Freeze said...

I vote that any QUALITY material we can get...make it. ;]

If that means having to write down the answers to mysteries they never answered in the show, so be it.


Ange said...

Here here Capcom! I love this "rant" and I love how well written it is! I agree, I want answers...but how I get them I really don't care. Maybe an "after the series" special, an encyclopedia, maybe in interviews a la Harry Potter.

Your question screams for Damon and Carlton to do a blog like Javi did with LiveJournal after TLE. How awesome was that to have your questions answered personally and for weeks. Javi stayed on LJ until everyone had their say and each question was answered. That would be fantastic!

capcom said...

Right CF and Ange, I'll take any form that they'll give us. And I also agree with Memphish, that even if they say that they just threw something in for the sake of weirdness or that it meant nothing, that's a good enough explanation because then we can at least cross that item off the Q-list!

A Javi-Journal would be great too. Heheh, if they put everything online, then they wouldn't have to pay for the publishing, and we would use our own paper to print it up. :-)