Mon-Feb 26 2007
Lost - Ep# 309 - Stranger in a Strange Land
- First (and lasting) Impression: Yawn. No action, not much info (even for
Lost, No high weirdness, no wet Kate-ness. On the plus side, "Sheriff" Isabelle
was delightfully creepy. I want to see her and Ben in a cage-match.
I liked how Jack was fairly quick-witted and manipulative.
- Jack's first flashback scene is him attempting to assemble (or "fix") a
- Dumbest line this season: "You're not from around here, are you?"
Really. a tall caucasian guy in Thailand, do you think he stands out?
- Tom started to ask Jack a question - "let me ask you something,
You risk your neck to cut them loose, and they run away and never look
back... - but Jack cuts him off. What was Tom going to say? Was he
going to make a recruitment pitch?
- I knew they had to get Karl out of the picture, Lest Answers Be Found,
but I'd hoped the writers could have avoided the dreaded "Lost Incuriosity
Syndrome" that seems to effect the Lostaways. I can understand TPTB frustrating
any effort to find out What The Hell Is Going On, but time after time our
heroes don't even try. When presented with a golden opportunity to question
a probably sympathic Other Kate and Sawyer only ask 3 very general questions
and are satisfied with very vague answers. If this is a "character" driven
show I have a problem with the characters being exceedingly dense. All K+S
learned is that the Others live on Craphole, and that they possess backyards.
All we learned is that Karl knows some Latin.
- Isabelle interrogating Jack: All the binders are either black or white,
except for one, which is red. Isabelle says of Alcatraz/Hydra: "Most of us don't even like
coming here". I wonder if it's something more than leaving the comforts of
the Stepford village.
- Cindy: "They're not...It's not that simple". What aren't the Others?
- Is it possible the Tailie kids are aging faster than normal?
- Jack is judged by Achara as being a "Leader", which makes him
"Lonely, Frightened, and Angry". Heck. if that's what that means maybe I
will get my zombie monkey army after all.
- Why is Alex wondering why Jack saved Ben/her father? Is she surprised that
a "bad" person would do a "good" thing? She still refers to the Others as "we".
Or maybe the writers just needed a reason to have her talk to Jack.
- Alex refers to Other justice as "eye for an eye", another Bible reference.
- Ethan was the Other's only surgeon. Why would Ben send such a valuable
person off alone to operate among the Losties? Why would Ethan have those sorts
- Ben's back wound mirrors the mark Juliet will receive. I think this is
my only original observation.
- I wonder what song was playing in Thailand while Jack was following Achara.
- "In Hinduism Achara and Dharma are synonymous and mean "the regulation of daily life." Indeed Achara is often refered to as the Supreme Dharma."
- Achara didn't do all of Jack's current tattoo, so we could have another inky
- Juliet's "mark" resembles the Scientology Cross
or the Rose Cross Lamen of the Golden Dawn,
except upside down, which could mean negation of the normal meaning.
Between the two of these crosses there's enough symbolism to send even the most
dedicated Lost connection researcher down the river and around the bend.
- Isabelle translates the tattoo: "He walks among us, but he is not one of us".
And Jack gets another chance to mess with the Others: "That's what it says, but
that's not it means". Jack was just Mr. Head-Trip this episode. He screwed
with Tom, Ben, and Isabelle. And he got to yell at a too-happy Cindy because she
didn't know Anna-Lucia had gotten gut-shot because of her new buddies' scheme.
- There were no flashback crossovers that I was aware of.
Organized Class War Crime
"On the same day that Britney was shaving her head, a guy I know who works in the office of Senator Bernie Sanders sent me an email. He was trying very hard to get news organizations interested in some research his office had done about George Bush's proposed 2008 budget, which was unveiled two weeks ago and received relatively little press, mainly because of the controversy over the Iraq war resolution. All the same, the Bush budget is an amazing document. It would be hard to imagine a document that more clearly articulates the priorities of our current political elite.
Not only does it make many of Bush's tax cuts permanent, but it envisions a complete repeal of the Estate Tax, which mainly affects only those who are in the top two-tenths of the top one percent of the richest people in this country. The proposed savings from the cuts over the next decade are about $442 billion, or just slightly less than the amount of the annual defense budget (minus Iraq war expenses). But what's interesting about these cuts are how Bush plans to pay for them.
Sanders's office came up with some interesting numbers here. If the Estate Tax were to be repealed completely, the estimated savings to just one family -- the Walton family, the heirs to the Wal-Mart fortune -- would be about $32.7 billion dollars over the next ten years.
The proposed reductions to Medicaid over the same time frame? $28 billion."
And it gets worse.
Maybe We Deserve to Be Ripped Off By Bush's Billionaires
Via The Agonist
Sun-Feb 25 2007
Thu-Feb 22 2007
Lost - Nagging at me
Something that Ben said when he showed Sawyer that Alcatraz was another
Island has been bugging me.
"You ever been to Alcatraz -- take the tour? Right now you're
standing on a small island roughly twice the size of Alcatraz. And that over
there -- that's your island -- the one you've come to know and love. I just
wanted you to know there's nowhere to run."
Maybe Ben was being ironic. Or maybe because of what he knows about the Island
he assumes that Sawyer has come to love it.
Episode #304 - Every Man for Himself - Transcript
Lost - Ep #308 - Flashing Before Your Eyes
All today I was mentally composing my grand essay that would analyze the
mystery of Desmond's flashback. I had it all figured out, with evidence for
my theory and against the alternatives. Yup, clearly Desmond had a vision
of his past generated by the Island. The Island isn't very good at simulating
the past, so it used details from the minds of the Lostaways to fill in details
- like the microwave sounding like the hatch alarm. This would explain
Claire's boyfriend's painting in Widmore's office
, because how else would a English billionaire's painting (1996) find it's way to the apartment
of a poor artist in Australia (2004)? And Ms. Hawking, the store clerk who
knows more than any Lost character yet - another manifestation of Smokey.
Then there was the blinking poster....I tell ya, it was brilliant.
Then I listened to Feb 20, 2007 Official Lost Podcast
and had my carefully constructed edifice of logic blown to bits. That's
nothing new- most of my theories have been debunked. But really disturbing
to me are clear inconsistencies in the producer's statements. I know
what they say isn't totally "canon"
, but if we can't believe what they say, we might as well be back to wondering
if the lostaways are dead and the Island is Limbo.
"Lindelof said that a DVD set of the first season will come
out this summer, before a second season begins in the fall. As the show
progresses, he added, it won't venture too far into science fiction as its
mysteries unfold. "We're still trying to be ... firmly ensconced in the world
of science fact," he said in an interview. "I don't think we've shown
anything on the show yet ... that has no rational explanation in the real world
that we all function within. We certainly hint at psychic phenomena,
happenstance and ... things being in a place where they probably shouldn't be.
But nothing is flat-out impossible. There are no spaceships. There isn't any
Answers Are Out There (Sci Fi-Wire)
"Damon Lindelof: Was it really - did it really happen?
Carlton Cuse: Yeah did it really happen?
Damon Lindelof: Uh, yeah! I think it really happened. I mean -
Carlton Cuse: I think it did too.
Damon Lindelof: You know, one of the things that we've tried very rarely to
do on the show is to, to play something as only having been imagined or dreamed.
And you know, I'd, I would, I would say that in the global sense of things, that
Desmond, back in, you know back in the, the year 1996, actually had that
experience. Now, I would venture to guess that in future flashbacks of
Desmond's, that they would be, treated as traditional flashbacks where he
doesn't really have any awareness of his destiny, but in this particular
instance, uh, we went outside the box a little.
Carlton Cuse: Right, I mean I think it's, uh, it's entirely possible he can
have a traditional flashback story as well.
Damon Lindelof: Absolutely, but I think what's interesting is there are,
there are certain things that happen the way that they used to happen, that he
changed as a result of being in the past, that might sort of resonate over time,
you know. Like getting hit in the face, instead of the bartender, or the fact
that the photograph of he and Penny got take uh - got, got taken the day that he
broke up with her. Maybe, maybe in a, in another incarnation there were two
photographs, you know. Maybe they, maybe they've, maybe there was a
Official Lost Podcast transcript/February 20, 2007 (Lostpedia)
I call bullshit......So there is no time travel, but Desmond in 1996
can have memories of the future, because of something that hasn't happened
yet (the hatch implosion). These memories didn't exist the
"first" time Desmond was in 1996, because in the original 1996 the bartender got hit by the cricket
bat, not Desmond. To me, having knowledge of having lived in the future while
being able to change the past you "currently" live in is time travel! I guess you could
call this parallel worlds, but why isn't that as equally "flat-out impossible"?
And if Desmond's flashback "really happened", what is up with
the creepy Ms. Hawking?
Somehow she not only knows all about the Island, but about the future as well.
Was she like this the "first" time Desmond visited her?
Vaguely related side-rants:
Ms. Hawking tells Desmond that "the universe, unfortunately, has
a way of course correcting" - that some things are fated to happen. But
then why was she so upset that Desmond was going to buy the ring (and then
not eventually end up on the Island pushing the button for three years,
thereby saving the world)? Why wouldn't the universe just course correct
Desmond back onto the Island?
How did Desmond save Charlie from drowning? Claire was already swimming
and in trouble when Desmond had his "flash" and ran to the beach. Charlie
couldn't hear anything, he wasn't going to save Claire, and by the time
he would have walked to the beach Claire would have been dead.
And what was Claire doing swimming fully clothed?
Fri-Feb 16 2007
Lost - Ep #308 - Flashing Before Your Eyes
Observations and Easter Eggs
- Charlie and Hurley are bad detectives. Or rather, Charlie is. Real
subtle, getting Desmond drunk and then questioning him point blank.
Hurley seems to have matured after his jungle adventure - he seems to be
watching and thinking, rare behavior on this island.
- Hurley was reading Nabakov's Laughter in the Dark from Sawyer's stash.
The original title for this book was Camera Obscura. It's got to mean something, right?
- The red paint may have been "Future" brand.
- The Clock read 1:08 (Sum of The Numbers).
- When Desmond is getting dressed for his job interview
the song Building a Mystery
by Sarah McLachlan is playing in the background. I don't see anything
in the lyrics, but the title is perfect. It's also one of my favorite songs.
Clearly the producers are talking directly to me, just like the leprechauns.
- The Microwave sounds like the hatch alarm. I want everything to sound like this,
especially the alarm clock.
- The Delivery man has a package "for 815" (4815, part of The Numbers)
- A Painting on Widmore's wall has a polar bear and the word "namaste" backwards. I got
nothing on the upside-down Buddha.
- Something is very wrong with Widmore's office:
The painting is on Desmond's left and the bar is on the right.
But now, in the very next shot, the painting has moved to Desmond's right.
- Admiral Mccutcheon, the maker of expensive whiskey, isn't real, but he
did make an appearance in the 1997 version of
Jules Verne's 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.
Of course Verne also wrote a sequel: The Mysterious Island.
- Charlie's middle name (at least on his busking sign)
is Hieronymus. An alternative
form is "Geronimo", as in "Geronimo Jackson".
- I think Charlie is the first flashback cameo this season.
- The spooky old lady Desmond buys the ring from is named
Stephen Hawking wrote A Brief History of Time, which was the book the guard Aldo was
reading last episode. The book deals in part with black holes. The first black
hole discovered was Cygnus X-1.
Cygnus is Latin for Swan.
- The pin Ms. Hawkings wears might be an Oroborous.
- The dead guy in the red shoes is a nod to The Wizard of Oz
- Throwing a ring into the water can mean you are
married to the sea.
That's it for tonight. I'm still processing the implications of Desmond's "flashback".
Until then, here's a great analysis of Flashing Before Your Eyes
Thu-Feb 15 2007
Tue-Feb 13 2007
Mon-Feb 12 2007
"Since November of 2002, 789 (Transportation Security Administration) uniforms and id badges are missing from LAX -- the most in the nation. That's nearly double Baltimore Washington Airport. They're at number two.
By comparison Chicago's O'Hare Airport had 307 and JFK just 97."
With one of these uniforms, all you need is a clipboard and the
right attitude and you could go anywhere
in the airport.
All-Access Airport Attire At Large
Via Global Guerrillas
Sun-Feb 11 2007
Lost - Time Travel
"Lindelof said that a DVD set of the first season will come out this summer, before a second season begins in the fall. As the show progresses, he added, it won't venture too far into science fiction as its mysteries unfold. "We're still trying to be ... firmly ensconced in the world of science fact," he said in an interview. "I don't think we've shown anything on the show yet ... that has no rational explanation in the real world that we all function within. We certainly hint at psychic phenomena, happenstance and ... things being in a place where they probably shouldn't be. But nothing is flat-out impossible. There are no spaceships. There isn't any time travel.""
This would seem to put the kibosh on my theory that Adam and Eve bodies in the cave
are Jack and Kate, but it still leaves open how the anagram of "Mittelos" ("Lost Time") sheds
light on the skeletons. There might be another anagram (I doubt it), or TPTB might
not consider the Island and the outside world operating under different rates of time
to be time travel.
Lost Answers Are Out There
Via Easter Eggs galore (The Lost Blog)
Sat-Feb 10 2007
"The world has just 10 years to reverse surging greenhouse gas emissions or risk runaway climate change that could make many parts of the planet uninhabitable."
Ten years to reverse the global meltdown
Lost - Ep# 307 - Not In Portland - Backward Masking
There's backwards speech in Karl's brainwashing video.
"Only fools are enslaved by time and space".
P.S. It finally got through my thick head that Alex's boyfriend is "Karl", not
Lost - Ep# 307 - Not In Portland - Mirror Twins
"Narratively, "Not in Portland" echoes the first episodes of the
first season, marking it as a kind of rebirth. But it does so in the kind of
mirror-twinned way that occurs at the level of characters who have similar
attributes but opposite responses to those attributes. In the early episodes,
Jack had to perform surgery on the injured marshal, who held power over Kate.
Hurley helped Jack, but had a rough time with the blood. Here, Jack is
performing surgery on Ben, who holds power over Juliet, and Tom is the one with
the blood problem who helps Jack. And like Kate, we also learn that Juliet is
indirectly responsible for the death of her ex; she tells Alpert that the only
way Edmund would allow her to go to Portland and work for Mittelos is if he were
hit by a bus, and she indeed gets her wish (a bus emblazoned with the Apollo Bar
logo; Apollo has good aim). But Kate is more pro-active, while Juliet is more
passive in her resistance. And like the marshal, Ben comes to while his body is
torn open (and seems to eerily channel a Willy Wonka-ish Gene Wilder persona
while strapped to the operating table). But whereas the marshal tries to warn
Jack about Kate, Ben wants Juliet brought to him so he can speak with her; we
the audience aren't privy to their conversation, but in both cases, the marshal
and Ben discuss Kate and Juliet's freedom, respectively. Mirror twinning is just
one of the great narrative tools that the writers continue to develop, at the
micro level of the characters and symbols to the macro level of narrative
Lost in Portland
Fri-Feb 09 2007
Lost - Ep# 307 - "Not In Portland"
- First off, an off-the-wall series of connections: Kyle MacLachlan was the
narrator of the Lost Survivor Guide clip show. Kyle was in
Twin Peaks. In the
second shot of Not In Portland there is a prominant flickering
flourescent light. Flickering lights were a recurring motif in Twin Peaks.
- Juliet's sister is named Rachel. Her apartment has a
Dharma-style feng shui lamp
- Juliet was married to Edmund Burke, who shares a name with
an 18th century British political theorist and philosopher.
Edmund Burke quotes:
- "An event has happened, upon which it is difficult to speak, and impossible to be silent."
- "He that wrestles with us strengthens our nerves and sharpens our skill. Our antagonist is our helper."
- "Sin has many tools, but a lie is the handle which fits them all."
- "All that is required for evil to prevail is for good men to do nothing."
- "When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle."
- Juliet and Tom say the small island is 2 miles off-shore from Craphole island.
- Ben waking up from anaesthesiais a bit melodramatic and unlikely, but what the hell.
- Tom/Zeke/Mr. Friendly introducing himself ("I'm Tom, by the way")
was oddly touching.
- Was Ben developing a southern accent?
- Ben lets Kate and Sawyer go. Either he isn't as willing as Juliet to believe
Jack wouldn't let him die, or he figures he doesn't need them any more.
- Mittelos Bioscience
- Mittelos is an
anagram for "lost Time".
My prediction: The Adam and Eve bodies are Jack and Kate. Their going to play the
good old "time is a loop" trick on us.
"What is the meaning or significance of the two skeletons that Jack and Kate found in the cave of season 1?
CUSE: The answer to that question goes to the nature of the timeline of the island. We don't want to say too much about it, but there are a couple Easter eggs embedded in [the Feb. 7 episode], one of which is an anagram that actually sheds some light on the skeletons and hints at a larger mythological mystery that will start to unfold later in the season.
LINDELOF: There were certain things we knew from the very beginning. Independent of ever knowing when the end was going to be, we knew what it was going to be, and we wanted to start setting it up as early as season 1, or else people would think that we were making it up as we were going along. So the skeletons are the living - or, I guess, slowly decomposing - proof of that. When all is said and done, people are going to point to the skeletons and say, ''That is proof that from the very beginning, they always knew that they were going to do this.''"
Does time pass differently on the island than off the island?
LINDELOF: That's a really perceptive question. We know that the Others taped the Red Sox win the World Series in 2004... so that would seem to indicate that time flows the same both on and off. But then again, when the sky turns purple and the ground shakes... wait. Hold on. Carlton is wringing my neck.
CUSE: Yes. Time passes very slowly because they don't have American Idol to watch.
Source: The Isle Files (Lost Spoilers)
- Excellent looking fansite: WWW.MittelosBioscience.Org:
Click on Projects- login=jburke, password=rachel.
Confirmation that MB.org is a fansite
I don't know about you, but this guy's eye makeup had me hypnotized.
- Mittelos has scans of a 70-year-old looking endometrium
(the inner membrane of the uterus) that belongs to a 26-year-old woman.
If the woman is on the Island, why isn't the healing mojo working on her?
- Juliet: "Whatever you think I am, I'm not. I'm not a leader". This is an
echo of something Jack said to Sayid.
- This episode's book : Brief History of Time.
Aldo, one of the Others was reading and making notes in chapter 7 - which is about
- Carl's brainwashing video
- Jack asked Tom why they hadn't taken Ben off the Island for treatment. Tom
begins to say "ever since the sky turned purple..." - What?
- Nobody can leave: Why didn't they leave before the flash? Why did Ben
want Locke to not push the button?
- We can't call home for pickup: Maybe. If people can't get off the Island Ben
has been lying to Jack and Juliet.
- We can't leave because we're unstuck in time
- The bus that killed Edmund Burke.
- 1: There is no way Mittelos/Hanso would want to hit Edmund
with a bus. Killing him that way runs the risk of totally freaking out Juliet.
Who wants to work for a company that kills people?
- 2: Even with the resources of your basic Bond Villian or the CIA, think
about how insanely hard it would be to arrange this. It wasn't
a hit-and-run, so you need a real city bus, with a real city bus driver, and
real passengers. You have to get the driver to commit murder. And how do
get the bus at just the right place at just the right time? And why wouldn't
you just kill him some easier way?
- 3: My Theory - The Island killed Edmund because it wanted Juliet, just like
it arranged to get the boats and the planes. How and Why? I have no friggin clue.
- Juliet's been on the Island 3 years, 2 months, and 28 days - since
about Sept 6, 2001. Right about then Scientists announced that
there is a giant black hole in the center of the galaxy.
- Carl has been living with the Others for some time. He must know something.
Therefore I predict that Carl is not long for this world, unless he has amnesia.
- This episode had no crossover appearance of another character in the backstory.
- Still unexplained: Why Ben didn't leave before the purple flash. Why Ben is sick
on an Island that cures people. Why they didn't kidnap Jack earlier.
P.S. Print Your Own Dharma Brand Labels
Thu-Feb 08 2007
Lost - Ep #307 - "Not In Portland"
It's probably the height of hubris for me to think that somebody out there
in the Interweb is eagerly awaiting my half-baked analysis of the latest
episode of Lost, but a blogger can dream, can't he? Rest assured,
I took notes and my usual ramble will be forthcoming on the morrow.
Sun-Feb 04 2007
Iraq's battlefield slang
"Dynamic truth: Basically means "this is the plan when my supervisor gave it to me, but change is already in the works."
Echelons above reality: Higher headquarters where no one has an idea about what is really happening.
Embrace the suck: Phrase heard in OIF1 (the original Operation Iraqi Freedom force). Translation: The situation is bad, but deal with it."
If I ever have to rename the blog I am definitely using "Embrace the Suck".
Via Exploding Aardvark
Are cats for true Christians?
"First, let us consider what most scholars agree is the etymology (word derivation) for the English term 'cat'. When analyzed with the Latin 'felis cattus domesticus', the original Koine Greek is 'cur.io huma bes-tia', means 'a contemporary housecat with all of its beastly identifying characteristics and behavior.' A faithful servant of Jehovah would quickly notice that the nature of a cat is so marked as being 'beastly'. The Bible makes clear reference to this condition when describing parts of Satan's organizations, both past and present. For instance, consider the fearsome 'beasts' as described in the book of Daniel or the 'scarlet colored wild beast' in Rev. 17:3. The demons entered the swine when rebuked by Jesus showing the potential harm and malevolent spirit control to which a Christian may be potentially exposed. Lest we forget the story of Nebuchadnezzar and the condition of God's enemy when being humbled by Jehovah, the student of God's Holy word would ask - is it by accident that the Bible in the book of Daniel describes his experience as a 'beast' of the field? Hardly so!
Clearly, the Bible - by using this kind of terminology - shows beyond any reasonable doubt that the basic nature of cats, while created perfect by God, has become evil or 'beastlike' since the fall of Adam six thousand years ago, and more probably, since the Great Flood of Noah's time (c2350 B.C.E.). This is a development of the condition borne by the 'Original Serpent', the 'Great Dragon' Lucifer himself. (Gen. 3:1) Indeed, modern studies of classification of cats, while not necessarily being reliable as they may be based on the discredited 'theory' of evolution, strongly associate felines with serpents (despite some external differences in physiology and morphology, which confuse those who do not study these matters deeply)."
Via the sublime Bifurcated Rivets
Fri-Feb 02 2007
Paralyzed by Toys
Bruce Schneier summs up the mess in Boston:
Here in Seattle authorities were a little calmer:
"The story is almost too funny to write about seriously. To advertise the Cartoon Network show "Aqua Teen Hunger Force," the network put up 38 blinking signs (kind of like Lite Brites) around the Boston area. The Boston police decided -- with absolutely no supporting evidence -- that these were bombs and shut down parts of the city.
Now the police look stupid, but they're trying really not hard not to act humiliated:
Governor Deval Patrick told the Associated Press: "It's a hoax -- and it's not funny."
Unfortunately, it is funny. What isn't funny is now the Boston government is trying to prosecute the artist and the network instead of owning up to their own stupidity. The police now claim that they were "hoax" explosive devices. I don't think you can claim they are hoax explosive devices unless they were intended to look like explosive devices, which merely a cursory look at any of them shows that they weren't.
But it's much easier to blame others than to admit that you were wrong:
These blinking signs have been up for weeks in ten cities -- Boston, New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Atlanta, Seattle, Portland, Austin, San Francisco, and Philadelphia -- and no one else has managed to panic so completely. Refuse to be terrorized, people!"
""In this day and age, whenever anything remotely suspicious shows up, people get concerned. And that's good," King County sheriff's Sgt. John Urquhart said.
"However, people don't need to be concerned about this. These are cartoon characters giving the finger.""
And The New York Times weighs in with a little editorializing:
"But the men engendered little public sympathy when, after their release, they held a news conference at which Mr. Berdovsky said they wanted to discuss "haircuts in the '70s and how they affect our lives today and how we live in the future.""
Yes indeed, how dare these criminal masterminds mock the sacred institution of the Press Conference!
Clearly their wickedness knows no bounds. What about the children!?
Thu-Feb 01 2007