Sunday, March 12, 2006

"Lost": Everything But Weight

I don't watch "Lost". I sat through a small handful of the first-season episodes with the Wife -- just enough to make me realize where all the former "Twin Peaks" writers were now employed. (Both "Twin Peaks" and "Lost" were ABC productions. Coincidence? I think not ...)

But certain things became alarmingly apparent to me faster than they did to anyone on the show ... like this silly obsession with the number 108. It was very early on that I realized the six numbers printed on the side of some hatch somewhere (or some toilet seat -- I have since lost track) added up to 108, which is the frequency with which the "doomsday device" needs to be reset. And the digits in "108" add up to 9. And the "Dharma Project" has something to do with Jenna Elfman's career, but darned if I can figure out what.

As any loyal fan of "Lost" knows by now, the six numbers on the fortune cookie that led Locke (the bald guy who looks like Rudy from the first season of "Survivor") to get on that plane, because after all, it was his destiny, were also the six numbers that caused big Hurley to win the lottery and promptly crash on a desert island where money is worthless.

Hurley

Hurley?

What we have learned from "Lost" so far is that neither the writers nor the survivors are as smart as they think they are. "Lost" no longer refers to the people on the island; it now refers to the plotline as well. Have we learned nothing from the mistakes of "Twin Peaks"? Have we not learned that once you start writing things into the script merely because they're weirdly cool, and leave the story progression by the side of the road, your audience will also be "Lost"?

And have we not learned that if a 400-pound man is stranded on a desert island, basic nutrition dictates that he would LOSE WEIGHT? Does common sense also dictate that you do not put this 400-pound man in charge of your food supply?

In fact, this reminds me of another overweight island "survivor" whose tropical diet of coconuts and figs suspiciously never resulted in any visible weight loss:

Hurley

Not Hurley

(Yeah, you saw that one driving up the block, didn't you?)

Note that on "Lost", people keep disappearing. One or two appear out of the jungle long enough to speak backwards and confuse everybody, then vanish again. The rest are gone forever. Mind you, I have no proof ... but I suspect that Hurley is eating them.

The same thing happened on "Gilligan's Island", too: an alarming number of people kept landing on the uncharted desert isle, then disappeared, and none of them were ever able to tell the authorities where this island (within a three-hour boat ride of Honolulu, remember) might have been located. Do we know that these visitors made it back to civilization? Or do we only know that they vanished from the island, never to be seen again?

Meanwhile, the Skipper kept gaining weight. You figure it out.

Shows dealing with supernatural phenomena were big hits in the '60s and '70s: "Twilight Zone" and "Kolchak: The Night Stalker" come to mind. How long did the new version of "The Night Stalker" last? An episode and a half? The only shows dealing with the supernatural that have succeeded recently are comedies ("Sabrina, The Teenage Witch"), anthologies ("Outer Limits", "Psi Factor"), and dramas centering around a teenage cheerleader named Buffy. Ooo, scary stuff.

Meanwhile, we're supposed to believe that life for a bunch of plane-crash victims depends upon six arbitrary numbers, and their ability to outwit a bunch of "The Others" who are rather pissed off for no good reason. Although, the Wife and I have deduced a reason ...

The Wife (who watches the show a lot more closely than I do) pointed out that the seating configuration on the crashed plane was five seats across, three-and-two. That means it was either a 727 or an MD-80. On a trans-Pacific flight. That means they were flying on a very cheap airline. And there were apparently no first-class passengers and no first-class cabin.

This can only mean one thing. The "Lost" passengers were flying Southwest.

And when you plug this information in, the reason why "The Others" are so angry becomes obvious. The first group of survivors found a cache of food. "The Others" have to survive on small packs of honey-roasted peanuts.

No wonder they're pissed.

posted by Gary @ 2:48 PM 23 comments links to this post

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Exxx-cellent ...

The dumbing-down of America is proceeding as scheduled, Mr. Rove. Here are the "Peanuts" and "Boondocks" strips from this morning's paper for you to pass along to the President. Yes, today's "Boondocks" is safe for him to look at; they're back to picking on Brokeback Mountain and leaving Iraq alone. And we're TiVo-ing "The Simpsons" for the President to watch during his workout.

Speaking of "The Simpsons", I must say, Mr. Rove, that you deserve congratulations as well as our nation's thanks. There's an AP story out of Chicago this morning that reports only one out of four Americans can name more members of the fictional Simpson family than they can name freedoms mentioned in the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

Yes, sir, I know the Constitution is "just a goddamned piece of paper". I remember when you said that to the President and he accidentally used that line in one of his meetings. The "liberal" media didn't pay any attention to it, just as you had predicted. It amazes me, sir, how often you're right about these things!

You certainly have taken the right appoach, Mr. Rove. The story goes on to say that more people can name all three American Idol judges than can name three of the First Amendment's rights. Yes sir, even the black guy, Randy Something-or-Other. No, sir, I really don't know what he used to do or how he became an Idol judge. Shall I put the FBI on it right away? Oh, you've already tapped his phones. Good deal.

This is actually funny, sir. It says here that one in five people surveyed thought that the First Amendment included the right to own a pet! Ha ha, what a ridicul-- what? Oh, I'm sorry, sir. I didn't know the President felt that way about pets. It won't happen again, I promise.

It appears that most people have forgotten, if they ever knew at all, the five freedoms enumerated in that First Amendment. And Mr. Rove, you have always said that if people don't know what their rights are supposed to be, how can they possibly argue when we take them away?

Let me see if I can remember this ... the five freedoms are the freedom of speech -- that's the easy one -- and freedom of the press, freedom of religion, freedom to peaceably assemble, and freedom to petition for redress of our grievances. People have forgotten all about the last four of those freedoms, and all five of them are -- hey, wait just a dang minute ...

"Freedom to petition for redress" should apply to American citizens being held in Guantanamo and elsewhere around the world, shouldn't it? And "freedom to peaceably assemble" ought to apply even to those groups who oppose what our Administration is doing, I'd think. "Freedom of religion" should apply even to people who worship outside our conservative Christian base (even, dare I say, Muslims?), and "freedom of the press" means we should allow the big papers and TV networks to run with even those things that don't flatter the President. Say, what the hell are we doing by stifling all of these--

I'm sorry, Mr. Rove. I was VERY much out of line. No sir, I'm a uniter, not a divider, just like the President. No, sir, never again. I lost my head for a moment, talking about First Amendment "freedoms" like they were something important. You have my solemn promise, Mr. Rove, that I will not exercise my "freedom of speech" again. Not while I'm working in the White House!

posted by Gary @ 11:35 AM 5 comments links to this post

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