Wednesday, November 28, 2007

"A Message In The Island Conflict?"

Lost is a highly thematic piece of work, and often very allegorical, in addition to the basic surface story line. One of the reasons that we find it so compelling is all the sub-context and how we can discuss the many possibilities to these story themes. An aspect that I haven't seen blogged much about yet is the environmental angle, even though we actually discuss it inadvertently within the subjects of the island's properties, the DI's Valenzetti mission during TLE, and now Jacob's aversion to technology. But the environment is not even a topic on the Lostpedia "themes" page.

If anyone is familiar with the more upscale Japanese anime, the name Hayao Miyazaki stands out in the feature film area of the genre. His animated stories often revolve around an almost "Jacob-like" anti-technology theme of protecting the earth and its natural elements from overuse and destruction. In these stories his main characters are either zealous protectors, or abusers, of the earth who engage in conflict for either side. Each faction seems to have its logical arguments for what it does, in addition to having some ambiguously good and bad ethical qualities.

This sounds a lot like Lost. Are TPTB also offering this kind of message within their theme of protecting the island's properties? That is, do the island's characteristics represent the earth's natural wonders in general in the story? Now that I've looked at it in this way, it seems possible. Not in a overt sort of way like in a Miyazaki environmental film, but just as another underlying theme that TPTB have woven into the whole fabric of themes that make up the show. We have been shown in the finale of S3, that a fight to protect the island is what upcoming episodes are going to revolve around. And in Miyazaki fashion, we will have various groups of ambiguously inspired people that are going to battle it out. Some will be for the sides that want to maintain the island's natural environment, some who don't care and just want to leave it, and those who might wish to abuse its powers for gain.

Maybe in addition to all the other ways that TPTB suggest we look at both sides of a character's life and intentions, they are also throwing the environmental subject into the mix? And by the end of the story they might also attempt to inspire us to consider that there should be a way to find a happy medium somewhere in between rampant abuse of "this island earth", and forcing ourselves to live in harsh primitiveness like Jacob. Not to club us over the head with this ideology of course, but just as another one of the many underlying positive and redemptive themes in their story.

In case anyone is interested in learning more about Miyazaki's environmental anime:

Friday, November 23, 2007

"Random Quirky Mystery - Part 2"

Apollo bars...we've chased them, cursed them, photographed them, mailed them, and talked about them ad-nauseum. Is there any candy in history with the media mythology of Apollo bars? Who cares. All I hope is to be able to look back and understand why the kids in Dharmatown were encouraged to eat as much of them as they wanted to!

It could be that the candy was just laced with vitamins that "helped build strong bodies twelve ways", like Wonder Bread's retro slogan. There seems to have been a few variations of the Apollo bars, so maybe Annie's version was like a giant chocolate Flintstones vitamin for kids or maybe an early Dharma version of a chocolate energy bar. Perhaps super-candy for super-soldiers? Or, the kids were given bars with questionable additives like from TLE last summer. Not a nice thought, but a very compelling one with many possible implications that we've talked circles around already to no avail till we get more story or game. If they were laced with something to make people more docile and subservient, they should have given Roger Linus a steady diet of them. It might have saved his life if he was nicer to Ben. Or who knows, maybe whatever additive was in the bars reacted with the island's magnetism and made the girls grow up to have a 75 year old uterus and to spawn killer babies?

At any rate, it was kind of strange how TPTB wrote into the script the random comment by Annie to Li'l Ben, that they could eat as many as they like. It kind of jumped out in the conversation and made me think, "Huh? What did she say?" Again, it's either something pertinent from TPTB, or another "gotcha" type red herring. But it's another instance where I would like to be able to look back at that scene some time in the future, and realise why Annie said that to Ben in his flashback.

BTW, thanks again to Dennis who shared two of his Apollo bars with me and my nephews. :-)

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

"Happy Thanksgiving Bloggers"

Happy Turkey (or Tofurkey) Day to our fellow Lost bloggers, where ever you may be.
Don't forget to have Snoopy's favorite, A&W rootbeer and popcorn! :-)

Thursday, November 15, 2007

"Random Quirky Mystery - Part 1"

This is the first post of perhaps a few, on some minor mystery details from the show that I find intriguing, and ones that I hope will mean something when all is said and done. If I post more than this one, this is "Part One" of a series. If not, this post will be "Part One Only". :-)

Since I love astronomy, one of my favorite Lost mysteries is something that was apparently picked up by a viewer in the episode "The Long Con". According to Lostpedia, a reversed view of Ursa Major, the Big Dipper, was spotted in the night sky shot during one of my favorite scenes with Hurley and Sayid on the beach. Maybe it was just the stars, and the beach at night, and the fact that one of the best Glen Miller songs was playing, so I really liked that scene. But for me the clincher was finding the notation and capture of the reversed constellation later online. The article in Lostpedia also mentions that the Connect Four pattern of the numbers matches Ursa Major, but that's too much for me to get into and I don't own the game to be able to check it out. Although, if true, it could solidify the fact that the Big Dip is actually shown here, and mirrored, for our viewing torture -- I mean, pleasure.

If this sky scene is not just another pointless (and I mean that in a nice way) "gotcha" moment and message from TPTB to the viewers, what could it mean? Does the island create or sit under some kind of magnetic lensing effect that makes it look like the sky's star patterns are backwards? Gravity can create some pretty weird astronomical effects, as in the "Einstein Lens" that creates a false visual of multiple objects/stars (or a ring), as the light of an object behind another is split around the front object's gravitational area in the field of view. A reversed sky view would contradict with the rising and setting sun directions though, and surely our highly intuitive Lostaways would notice that. Or maybe not, since the island's magnetic forces rendered the compasses unusable, so maybe they don't know which end of the earth is up, so to speak. If I were there I'd just assume that where ever the sun came up was East, etc., and go by that and not the twirling compass needles. But if the night sky is reversed, it's odd that at least one of the Losties (perhaps Locke the Hunter) did not notice it at all, and tell us. Ha ha.

So I do hope that this little quirky moment in the show (if accurate) will become one of the "Eureka!" moments we will have when we look back after Season 6 is finished. Not that TPTB will address it specifically, but that if remembered, it will cause one of those many little jolts that I suspect will zing us when we start re-watching the show from S1 to S6 for old time's sake. I get a sneaking feeling that once the show is over, it won't really be over in our heads.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

"Post-Orchid Dharma Thoughts"

Watching the "Orchid Film" makes you wonder many things, in usual LOST fashion. The foremost question to me is, is it showing a smaller event before the Incident, or are we seeing the actual start of the Incident tragedy in the film? TPTB said that this piece of film surfaced in Norway, so does the rest of the film actually show something terrible that the DI/Hanso hid from the world, i.e., the entire Incident as it happened? I hope so!!!

Next came the question of where another station fit into the DI plans as we know them. In the Swan orientation film Dr. Candle says that, "Station 3 was originally constructed as a laboratory where scientists could work to understand the unique electromagnetic fluctuations emanating from this sector of the island...", which seems to say that the Swan was originally the Orchid station as many people (not me) guessed right away. Is that why so far only the Swan film mentions the Incident and damage control protocol? Because it used to be the Orchid and still needs to be kept a secret, the way that the Orchid station's purpose was cloaked? In the Pearl film, the Pearlies are merely instructed to watch the Swanies (to ensure that the Swanies kept up their post-Incident duties?) and nothing is mentioned of the event. I can imagine the DI failing to mention their little mishap to future recruits coming on board to work.

It's also interesting to think about what may have been the mindset of the Dharma Initiative after the Orchid event. Is that when the general stability and control of their organization began to breakdown, following failure after failure? It seems that the DIs didn't give up on all of their experiments and projects after the Incident happened, although hints of activities in the Pearl and other defunct stations seem to be vaguely bogus pseudo-science at best, and useless psycho-babble-ology at worst. If they had to reconfigure the Orchid station and construct the new Swan set-up and protocol, they still seemed to continue operating in a business-as-usual manner, albeit maybe just to keep up appearances in their reports to Hanso HQ. As anyone who has worked in research knows, scientists do not like to admit failure, and do not like to give up their "capital" funding, because that next wacky break-through might be just around the corner! And, they still had that pesky Sword of Damocles, the Valenzetti Equation, swinging overhead.

What also about Ben's place in all this chaos? He obviously had his own problems to deal with on a familial basis, which probably poisoned his attitude towards the DI. And I doubt if his inherited "Workman" status left him privy to much of the underground DI work. But I wonder what he saw of the social and scientific downfall of the overall DI infrastructure? Surely he must have seen the facade crumbling as the DI's structure collapsed, and must have some knowledge of the Incident and other freaky happenings that went on when he was mature enough to sense it. He has expressed his slant on how the DIs got along with the natives, but what else does he know about the DI's breakdown?

I really hope that TPTB dive right into many of the alluded-to depths of these delicious Incident secrets in season four. I don't want to complain (again), but so far we've held on for three seasons of layered mysteries like giant onions that have a million levels with only a few of them visible so far. According to Lostpedia, "...Cuse further described the [Orchid] film as 'something that will fire your imaginations about what you're gonna see in Season 4'..." My imagination doesn't need any firing at this point thank you, they've done a great job of that so far. But after seeing the mind-blowing Orchid film this summer, my eyes are dying to see some big fat freaky crazy Dharma station action!