Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Lost Series Finale Title Announced!!

Last October I ran a contest where people had to come up with what they thought the series finale title would be, and we tossed around hundreds and hundreds of ideas. I closed the contest on October 31, explaining that way, no one would be influenced by the events of season 6. We had some pretty wicked entries... and Darlton just announced it in a podcast moments ago.

And the winner is... well, pretty much the first person who posted. It wasn't a stretch. Humanebean got in the first post and the title was *part* of one of his titles. Nathan immediately posted next, and he nailed it in his first five. And then I think 200 other people mentioned the exact same one.

So... drum roll please (and for the spoiler-sensitive I will post it in white and you'll have to highlight it to see it)... the series finale title is:

The End

Hm. To be honest, I think it's perfect and fitting. Sometimes the obvious answer isn't necessarily the bad one. :)

70 comments:

JS said...

I like it. It only ends once, so that would be THE end.

Gillian Whitfield said...

That is both very exciting and a bit sad. Now that I think about it, it's a perfect name for the series finale. I really like it (and not just because it's a Beatles song title).

Anonymous said...

On which podcast did Darlton make the announcement?

JW said...

I like the title, too. I can't believe it's almost here!

Marebabe said...

TiaSabita actually guessed "The End" first. On the evening of September 30th, we were all posting comments for "Three Minutes" in the rewatch that we did. Question Mark suggested the finale title contest, and soon after that people started listing guesses. At 11:48 p.m. on 9-30, TiaSabita posted her first guesses, one of which was "The End". The next day, she re-entered them on the official blog post that Nikki set up. So, looking at it that way, Humanebean and Nathan may have shown up first, but TiaSabita actually beat them to it by several hours. *throwing imaginary confetti* YAAAAAY!!

Benny said...

It definitely will be the end... the end of what though? AH!


@Anonymous: this week's as of yet iTunes unreleased podcast. EW has it streaming.

Should be released soon.

Jazzygirl said...

Just listened to it. Man, those guys are masters at spinning their non-answers to questions! Anyway, I do think it's fitting because I have a feeling it will have many meanings...c'mon this is LOST we're talking about!! And as JS said, it only ends once.

BTW, I recommend listening to Jorge Garcia's postcast since Nestor is the guest this week. It's on Geronimo Jacksbeard's page.

humanebean said...

Kudos to TiaSabita for coming up with the idea first! Honestly, I don't feel like I even had a piece, considering I overshot the target by adding additional words. My Beatles fetish got the better of me.

Unsurprisingly, I think the title is a tad ... underwhelming. But, hey - if the finale rocks the hizz-ouse in the ways that we hope it will, the title will be just FINE.

Sagacious Penguin said...

Fits with 4.01 (The Beginning of the End) -- :)

And by-the-by, got my blog up for Ab Aeterno!

Joan Crawford said...

The rest of the title can't actually be read as it just the sound of Rose giving two snaps and a swish of her hips.

Nathan said...

Hey, I won!

Well...sort of. Not really...but still!

Anyway, congratulations to TiaSabita and humanebean. Deus benedicat vos.

To be honest, though, "The End" should be a really obvious choice to anyone who's read Lemony Snicket's Series of Unfortunate Events (which is where I got it from). So even if I hadn't been beaten out, as Marebabe reports, by several hours, I wouldn't expect that much credit for it anyway.

Personally, though, I think it's great that Darlton has managed to avoid giving away ANYTHING in the title. Like, this is definitely the least revealing season finale title of all six seasons. And that's frankly kind of nice.

Now, I wonder if they're going to give us a finale-scene code-word this year...

Susan said...

Congrats to everyone who guessed right, but I think it's lame. If you're going to go that route, why not call it "Finale" to mirror the pilot episode's title.

Benny said...

@Susan: It may be simple yes, but I believe it is also a callback, as JS mentioned, to Jacob's line "It only ends once, everything before is progress." I understand what you mean with 'Finale' but it wouldn't fit with storyline.

Benny said...

---I just wanted to continue (probably for my own benefit) on the analysis of the finale titles.---

While simple and maybe just too obvious, this will be "THE end", to quote JS.

While The Incident was exciting in that it was highly anticipated, I think The End is the same and more. It refers to the end of the conflict we've been seeing forever, AS WELL as the end of the show.

If the conflict ended on the second to last episode, that one would have said title without it being the end of the show! I think it's just simply fitting... in my opinion!

Every finale title has had two meaning (lead-out AND lead-in), this one cannot.

1. Exodus: was to project the escape from the island, but it also dove into exiting the pre-existing notion of the island and its lead-in to life down the hatch.

2. Live Together, Die Alone: While a mantra, the breakdowns among the smaller groups leads to major events and the loss of leaders. Yet it also projected the banding together that was to come in the face of the Others' threat.

3. Through the Looking Glass: This was the opening of communication with the outside world and the promise of leaving this 'fantastic world'. On the other side, it projected the complete turnaround in the characters' attitudes towards the island.

4. There's No Place Like Home: This certainly left the impression of leaving the island and going back home, more or less happily while also juxtaposing the start of the efforts to get everyone back 'home' on the island.

5. The Incident: Catalyst episode, this definitely was the climax of the entire season and detailing the incident resulting in the Swan. It's lead-in though may have been more critical, the death of Jacob being the incident to start the no holds barred conflict now in full flight.

6. The End: "It only ends once." And once it does, there is nowhere else to go, there cannot be a lead-in with this title... I think we are already seeing the 'post-life' through the flash-sideways.


Are you still reading? Wow... I applaud you!

The Question Mark said...

@JOAN CRAWFORD: Lmao! Rose snapping her fingers and swivelling her hips is the icing on the cake!
It's kind of sad knowing what the finale title is: it's really making the fact that LOST is almost over seem a lot more real.
But I'm still emotionally reeling from "Ab Aeterno", so it may just be my hormones acting up :P

Congrats on our winner(s)! I'm super-happy that my contest idea ended up being as fun as it was, and everybody had such creative answers!
Now, all that remains to be asked is, will it be "The End, Part 1" and "The End, Part 2", or just "The End"?
Hmmm.....

Lee said...

As Raphael of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles would say: "I like it. Simple, but effective!"

My other favorite show, "The X-Files," used "The End" as the title of their series finale, as well.

You just can't beat the old classics. :)

Jazzygirl said...

Bravo, Benny! That was a fantastic analysis of each season finale!!

Marebabe said...

Nathan, will you please describe your avatar for us? Just start with the gun barrel and finish up with the goggles, and don't leave out a single thing! Thank you. :)

Honestly, I enlarged that picture as big as I could on my monitor, and I'm still mystified. You were having fun one day, weren't you?

Loretta said...

Wasn't Jacob's line "It only ends once, and everything else before that is progress" (paraphrased, obviously)?

So not only the end of the series, but probably also the end of the Jacob/MiB struggle?

I think this title actually reveals more than people think it does on first glance.

Also, my word verification for this post was "const" which makes me think of "The Constant." That was awesome.

Palindrome said...

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! The End makes me so sad. I don't want it to end.

@Joan- LMAO!

Fred said...

"The End" That's it? Where have all the puns and double meanings gone. It seems so vacuous a finale title. Like all the meaning is sucked out of it, and we are left with this bland moniker for an ending. It's reminiscent of the Beatles' Abbey Road, the finale to their medley. But that still included a finale to the finale, Her Majesty. The End is what was written up in nineteenth century novels, truly the last words on the page. Dead stop. Period. Do not go beyond this point.

And yet Joyce's Finnegan's Wake is neither The End, nor The Beginning. Is this a trick of Darlton? Are we to believe in The End, only to discover we aren't in a nineteenth century novel, but in Joyce's Finnegan's Wake? Then what would The End mean? A loophole would mean an end to something. A passage out, an escape, a cut in a circle. Is this The End, a return to life? Time to speculate before The End.

Zari said...

Way Off-topic:

Naveen "Sayid" Andrews was on Law & Order: SVU last night! He was a cop on the Special Fraud Squad, clean-shaven, handsome, and so-o-o elegant!

Squeeeeeee!

LT McDi said...

I like it because that's what the episode will be..

sad already

Donna S. said...

As soon as I highlighted the answer, I felt a warm wave of sadness wash over me.

:(

The Question Mark said...

By the way, does anybody have a link which I could follow to listen to said revealing Podcast, please?

Marebabe said...

@QM: I heard the podcast yesterday on EW's PopWatch blog. I forget the title of the short article, but there's a picture of Nestor Carbonell standing in front of bright green bushes. Makes it easy to spot.

Jeremy said...

Here is the link to the podcast:

http://popwatch.ew.com/2010/03/24/lost-damon-carlton-series-finale-title/

Darlton allowed EW first crack at it; I imagine Lostpedia will have it linked in a few days.

Benny said...

The podcast is now also on iTunes and ABC.com

Nathan said...

Marebabe:

In answer to your request to explain my avatar:

The picture in question depicts the brave, heroic Captain Peabody--or rather, it depicts a clone of Captain Peabody, grown after his original was killed in a skiing accident.

Basically, Captain Peabody is a clay figure, originally fashioned by a friend of mine out of (I think) Sculpey 3 Modeling Clay; in person, he stands about an inch high, and can be easily held in the palm of one's hand.

In the picture in question, he is situated on the side of a remote-control car, in which there are several other clay figures. To the far left of the picture, part of another car can be seen (this is because my avatar is actually a cropped version of a larger photo, with more cars and more clay people visible); behind him on the ground are several large leaves.

Captain Peabody is bearing, on his right side (the viewer's left) a large (toy) machine gun. On his right side is situated a large round object that originally was supposed to be some kind of gun, but now is generally accepted by all the relevant authorities as part of his body. The goggles are an affectation, and are worn only by the clone, and not by the original Captain Peabody. In reality, they are simply very small toy goggles which have been placed on his face by his creator.

Captain Peabody is the star of the very short claymation (made by myself and family members/friends) called The Adventures of Captain Peabody. If you're curious, you can find it easily by searching for the name on Google Video.

The picture in question, though, and the clone version of Captain Peabody (the one with the goggles), is not from the Adventures of Captain Peabody, but from a longer claymation which has been shot, but not yet edited. If and when it is, it will probably be uploaded to the Internet somewhere.
And yes, we did have a lot of fun shooting it. :)

Does all that answer your question?

In any event, thanks for asking, and God bless...

Marebabe said...

@Nathan: Wow, thanks! I'd certainly never heard of Captain Peabody, but soon I'll look up the video you mentioned. (Is he any relation to Mr. Peabody, of Rocky and Bullwinkle fame? "To the Way-Back machine, Sherman!) Anyway, my question has been fully and completely answered. Thank you!

Marebabe said...

Hey, Nathan, I'm back, after watching the 11-minute piece which really should be called "Deep in Enemy Territory". Dude, that was Awesome! I especially loved the voice talents and the Jeep that kept running over (and over!) the poor squashed clay dude. This film had everything! Even though right now it's past my bedtime, I couldn't stop watching it. And I saw that, in the end credits, there's a Nathan. Is that you? Brilliant, spectacular, a stunning cinematic achievement! Take a bow. :)

Nite-nite!

Jen said...

Hey so I'm new to your blog and am loving it! I'm pretty much as OCD as you are with LOST and am writing a 25 pg paper on it now for my Post-Modernity class at U of T. About how LOST is PoMo (it is a Pastiche, a hodge-podge of all different philosophies, religions, worldviews, cultures,etc that allows people to pick and choose the elements they like and construct their own social reality, it uses hyper-textuality, mainly that to understand LOST fully it is best to understand all the other texts it points to, like The Stand, Watership Down, Alice in Wonderland, etc, plus so many more!) And then I'll be talking about what LOST tells us about the cultural landscape we live in that allows it's popularity to flourish.

ANYWAYS, i got an extension past the end of my semester to allow for the series to end, so basically the next 2 months of my life will be consumed with the study of LOST! so your blog/books will be a great resource for me, so thanks!

SO, as a reward for all my hard work, I and about 4 friends who watch LOST together every week are looking for a great series finale COSTUME PARTY. i saw in past years you were talking about planning one? In Toronto? Has anything come of this! We would LOVE to come to a costume party, and I'm sure you'd be a great person to gather all the most dedicated LOST fans in our area!!

Benny said...

@Jen: Seeeeet!

Jen said...

@Benny - what does that mean??

Benny said...

@Jen: touché!

I call mulligan: Sweeeeet!

Fred said...

@Jen: sorry, but LOST is not PoMo. Simpsons are PoMo, as is Family Guy, and even Buffy. LOST is something else.

If you read Rick Altman's A Theory of Narrative, Chapter 7 "Multiple Focus Narrative," you are closer to what LOST is about. As well, turn to Warren Buckland's Puzzle Films: Complex Storytelling in Contemporary Cinema for how LOST translates what has been happening on the big screen to the home screen.

Where LOST belongs to is Neo-baroque. Run Lola Run is an example of Neo-baroque. To quote Buckland, RLR makes the narrative spatial, like the digesis, "encouraging games with flashback and flashforward, time loops and temporal dislocation." (Sound familiar?)In this type of film, "narrative serves to reveal the "coincidences, the flukes of chance that give us the specific version of the story, making play of the casuistry that allows manipulation of narratemes to pretend to some sort of causality." (see p 145).

Neo-baroque defies linearity of narrative, or direction towards closure (see Umberto Eco's foreword on 'serial thought' in Calabrese's book, Neo-Baroque). A feature of the neo-baroque is its extension beyond the frame of the narrative. LOST does this by the ARG and video clips that extend beyond the narrative proper.

Certainly, the neo-baroque is either captured within the postmodern or assumes many of the claims of the postmodern. But whereas the postmodern is most concerned with play and the leveling to zero of cultural elements, the neo-baroque (equally) rejects any stability for the purpose of opting for turbulence. There is an unsettling characteristic within the neo-baroque. Additionally, the neo-baroque is filled with violence as a means of destabilising expectations. A shared element between post-modernism and the neo-baroque is its distrust of history, its undermining of the Grands Narratives. Consider the Grand Narratives in LOST: the Cold War, slavery, post 9/11, science. LOST complicates these events in ways the Grand Narratives had simplified. Even the distinction between black (evil):white (good) has been complicated. There is also a shift between order/disorder: the world of the Others in New Otherton contrasted with the Losties on the beach; the Tail survivors with the Fuselage survivors etc.

Hope this doesn't complicate things too much. Besides, LOST is something you can write on again and again into the future. Good luck with your essay.

Jen said...

@Fred: thanks for your insights. I will definitely check that book out of the library and read up on Neo-Baroque narrative theory. Sounds fascinating.

But I do believe, perhaps in more elementary ways, that Lost has much in common with the central tenets of Postmodernism:

1) Deconstruction's claim that there is "nothing outside the text" - or rather, there is nothing outside of an interpretation. Objectivity (seeing "beyond" the text to the "Truth"that lies behind it, if only we go through the messy process of "interpretation") has proven to lead to violence towards "the other", and thus all experience, insight, worldviews, are more cautiously seen as being socially constructed.

In LOST, no one group of people on the Island, be it the Losties, the Tailies, the Others, the Dharma folks, Ben, Widmore, etc. have True and Complete Knowledge of the what the heck is going on, yet they all think they are the "good guys" and their adversaries are not. In season one most of us fear the Others, but seeing things from their perspective later on causes us to rethink our original point of view.

Also, LOST is a prime example of a “pastiche,” an artistic genre that is a “hodge-podge” that combines a plethora of different philosophical, literary, cultural, scientific, and religious allusions that allow the viewers to construct their own meanings based on their own frame of reference (and/or their determination to educate themselves as they go along). The fact that there are thousands of different interpretations, opinions, theories about LOST (you say neo-baroque, i say postmodern!) demonstrates this point.

2) Jean-Francois Lyotard's famous assertion that postmodernity is "incredulity towards metanarratives" is also clearly evident in LOST, as it gives expression to a wide variety of voices - using a process literary critic Mikhail Bakhtin deemed "dialogism" - in the culture of the day without "authorizing" a single point of view as the "Truth". LOST has never fully identified who is telling the "Truth," or who is good and evil, and nor do I believe it ever will. The exploration of the psyches of the characters, the ambiguity and nuances leaves it all open for interpretation, and this is the point.

There's more, but the above are the beginnings of what I'll be arguing in my paper. I'm open to critiques as it will help me crystallize my argument!

Nikki Stafford said...

Jen and Fred: I am LOVING your discussion right now... please keep it going! :)

Jen said...

thanks Nikki, I hope it will keep going! In reviewing my comments i made last night, there is more i could have said, and some things i would clarify, but i wrote it at like 3 am and had to get to bed!

About the LOST series finale costume party: is there one you know of in Toronto, or, are you planning on having one?? I would totally LOVE to help with one if you were gonna throw one! I'm jealous of Jay and Jack's big party in LA, if only i lived there! But we should / can do a similar one up here in Canada!!

Fred said...

@Jen: Let's begin with your first claim: "there is nothing outside of an interpretation." This is a misleading interpretation as it suggests that deconstruction rests on a theory of language which denies reference to the outside world. (I am not sure if that's your position in your claim, but it is one that might be taken from your claim). What deconstructionist do is read narratives against the grain of linguistic models. It is a kind of negative knowledge, which falsifies epistemological assumptions of truth.

"Objectivity" what you call reading beyond the text, is reading the text as literal. What Kristeva would call the phenotext, that part of the text bound up with communication. It is the phenotext which presents us with a unified author, a singular voice that presents a stable meaning. The reader would define this as the authorial intention of the text, which it is the interpretive critics job to reveal from the body of the text. Deconstruction disrupts the smooth surface of this authorial voice, revealing how it turns back on itself, relying on the metaphoric quality of language when it claims reference to an outside world. I believe it is too simple to take from this that language constructs reality; rather at each level of understanding language, language references itself. And it does so at higher and higher levels, at the level of speech, and at metalanguage levels. Hence, any description of language relies on language as its own reference. The reality of our linguistic and metalinguistic descriptions of language are themselves language.

--LOST plays with this idea by repeating exact lines in new contexts, by having different characters repeat the lines, and by presenting literal lines with possible metaphorical interpretations. When Charlie said, we're just made of time, that simple cliche takes on meaning in a story focused on time travel (but even time travel is just a metaphor, and should not be "literally" interpreted within the frame of the story).--

How then as a viewer can you read LOST? Too often literary critics acknowledge the contribution of deconstructive efforts, but then turn away from the main claims and embrace the notion of the critic as a surrogate reader. In this sense, the critic stands in a position, between the text and the reader, and presents an interpretation of the text. This is no more than what the New Critics did in the 1950s. Mark Currie has argued that the critic himself/herself is as much a fiction as the authorial voice. Curries calls the critic a surrogate author. Hence, any essay of LOST as postmodernist will have to address your identity as "authorial-critic".

Fred said...

continued...Jen,

For instance, you correctly recognize no one of the survivors or anyone else on the island has complete knowledge of what is going on. From postmodernist perspective you must (1) explore what unreliable epistemological experience means, (2) consider the audience and yourself as also alientated from any true understanding of what is going on, and (3) what is meant by "true understanding of what is going on." Is this a reference to a meta-text/meta-narrative? Is there even a possibility of such a meta-narrative? (The showrunners have assured us they know where everything is going. Does that mean their knowledge is a meta-narrative)?

You should also consider by what means as viewers we have become alienated from the narrative? Referencial aspects of the narrative are turned around from time to time to confound our assurance of any certainty in knowing what is going on? (Puzzle films exploit this epistemological ambiguity). But LOST also distrubs our ontological understanding. (What is the real world)? Brian McHale identifies a critical aspect of postmodernism as the uncertainty of the status of reality: the postmodern reader is confronted with questions of what kind of world is being created, rather than epistemological issues. LOST is certainly thick on the ground with epistemological issues: what do we know, what is true. But the reason they are not answered is because LOST is not detective fiction, it does not belong to the mystery genre (though it does share some iconographic elements). LOST asks what is real? Audiences ask what is Smokie, what is the island, what is LA X.


I'll try to get to some of your other issues a little later. this has been fun, and hope this helps somewhat.

Fred said...

Jen:

The humanist perspective privileges the author as expressing an intention, or a logical expression of meaning. Under Romanticism, the author represents the origin of the text, and the authorial voice becomes a reflection of subjectivity of the author himself/herself. We would call this the presence of the author identified with the authorial presence. Who in LOST is the authorial voice: J.J. Abrams, Calton Cuse, Damon Lindelhof? Who within the narrative is an authorial voice?

LOST compromises and marginalizes the assurance we have in the authorial presence in a number of ways. For instance, in the promiment authorial narrator, the camera. In the opening of the pilot, the camera violates the 180 degree rule when it pans from Jack's perspective round the ocean back to Jack. But Jack is not in a position where he should be if the 180 degree rule went unviolated. In standard television shows, the camera solicits a trust in the audience in the digesis of the screen images. Causation, subjectivity, motivation are represented without gaps; we are assured, and come to believe, that the camera acts as a knowledgable narrator (a reliable narrator). If plot elements are held back, we rely on such a narrator to reveal them at a later point, thus satisfying our desire to know. LOST does nothing of the sort, and the opening few minutes repositions our assumptions of story-telling. As Norman Holland notes, puzzle films foreground narration by posing enigmas: in this genre, LOST resembles more art cinema. (see David Bordwell, The Way Hollywood Tells It; and Bordwell's Poetics of the Cinema). You might ask whether LOST is less about a story on a mysterious island, than an exploration of narratology? Does LOST have less to do with knowing, than with telling?

A key in Bordwell's defining of art cinema (puzzle films) is the authorial presence. The protagonist's psychology is important, moreso than the action. While LOST presents us with multiple authorial presences, Jack Shephard is the main protagonist of the show. Viewers should ask how they came initially to see Jack as the "hero" of LOST? What is it, less about the actions he takes, than his very presence which assured viewers to invest their energies in this character? Perhaps the single most important scene which confirmed Jack's status for the audience was the brief scene between Jack and Kate, and Jack's monologue on fear and five seconds. The viewer is directed to the solitary figure of Jack as he tells his account of the near botched operation, of the personification of fear, and his response to it. (This personification will be anthropomorphised in the figure of the black smoke). This little scene becomes a signature scene distinguishing Jack for the first few seasons. It sets Jack up as "truhtful," as representing the "point-of-view" audiences should assume in later action, as consistent in character over time, as one whose interpretation of events will be informative of what is transpiring.

Fred said...

continued ... Jen,

Jen:

In time we dismiss Jack's representation of being a reliable narrator. (He may yet return to that position, but as yet he has not). We have seen the initial scene with Kate is invested with Jack's own image of himself, with his relationship with his father, and with a conflicting representation of the situtation itself. Nevertheless, despite our later knowledge, Jack remains an authorial presence. Why? In the encounter between Jack and Locke in "What Rabbit," Locke raises the same issue, "And yet they all treat you like one [leader]." So does the audience.

If Jack is regarded as the reliable narrator, then Ben is the unreliable narrator. His is the voice of the narrator invested in the outcome of the action. LOST abounds in unreliable narrators. Sawyer's letter is first presented as a phenotext, a communication from a child to a con man. Only later does Kate resolve the puzzle of the letter by noticing the date of the stamp (Kate's recognition of the stamp date reveals the psycvhology of Sawyer and his motivation). This hypertextual marker dissolves the facade of Sawyer's unreliable narrator. For the writers, this is a tip of the hat to the audience: if you want to unravel LOST's narrative, you must look beyond what is communicated to how it is communicated. (And so blogs are filled with endless screen shots, dialogue from various contexts, and references to literature presented on the show).

Let's briefly consider the "how" rather than the "what." Aside from the main characters, LOST has two other narrators. A disembodied male voice periodically appears presenting a recap of the previous episodes. Similarly, on the DVD, a female voice recaps all previous seasons in 8 minutes. The male voice is straightforward, authorial, no nonsense (reminiscent of Walter Cronkite's style of news telling). The female voice is more playful, revelling in commentary, and eliding main plot points for some minor ones. LOST's writers have turned this difference between the male and female voice inward on the narrative itself. Jack's voice, for the most part, is the voice of authority, while Kate is relegated to a less authorial position. Any consideration of the authorial presence, as represented by Jack, should question how Jack and other survivors undermine Kate's own authorial presence. (Consider the power differential as revealed by Jack's discovering Kate is a fleeing fugitive, and how he uses that to undermine Kate). Another such authorial presence is Rousseau, whom only Sayid has complete trust in. When Sayid returns with Ben (Henry Gale) he takes to heart Rousseau's warning not to trust Ben. The male authorial voice is also represented by Mr. Paik and Charles Widmore. You should consider how they treat their daughters as an example of this. The female authorial presence is often associated with mystical knowledge, as in Rose, and to some degree Ms Hawking (i.e. her appearance as a conscious and knowing figure in Desmond's "flashback" after the Swan explosion). We should ask "how" these voices communicate information--even gender is a part of that "how".

Finally, we should consider two major authorial voices on LOST: Jacob and MiB. While audiences assume these two characters have a great deal of knowledge about what is happening, they remain enigmatic in their answers. In much the same way, Jacob and MiB's parallel extra-textual vocies in Carlton Cuse and Damon Lindelhof remain enigmatic despite their knowing more than anyone else. I am sure you can take this idea and play still further with it.

Fred said...

Jen: more later on "otherness". got to go right now.

JS said...

@Benny - great Finale title analysis! I think this is the ONLY title I could accept considering that ominous line. The whole conflict comes down to its resolution in those two hours. I expect to get the two answers that matter most - why these people and how will it end?

@Fred - you started out not-so-impressed with the title, but by the end you seemed to get to the deeper meaning of it for yourself.

@Jen - so you are basically sanctioned to obsess about lost for the next 2 month. That is just awesome. I think there is a guy over on DarkUFO (Pearson Moore) doing the same thing.

@Jen & @Fred - this is fascinating. This helps me understand why the LOST story, the experience, actually, is so special. We would definitely not find this level of intellectual dialogue and analysis in the comments of, say, Doc Jensen's column.

Jen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jen said...

@Fred - wow, do you ever sleep? :) there is a lot in there to digest, mull over, and clarify, and unfortunately being in the last week of school i have exams, presentations, papers and hundreds of pages of reading to do that is prohibiting me from spending the quality of time needed to respond adequately. i will try get to it by the end of the week though - stay tuned!


@JS - i LOVE Pearson Moore! But I think he's at sl-lost, not Dark UFO. He is absolutely brilliant in his analysis of every LOST ep, especially this last week's theological inversions that he noticed. And i know - how stoked am i that i get to obsess over LOST (after this week's exams are done) for the next two months! :)

Fred said...

Jen: I thought I'd just add a few comments on otherness, as that is part of your topic. Knowing you are quite busy, I am not expecting you'll get to read any of this soon. But sometime.

Let me briefly turns aside from what we discussed last time and examine LOST’s handling of the “other” as a community, an epistemological object, and a subject for media broadcast. Otherness is as that which resists understanding. The construction of space involves the construction of otherness (marginal), and, in the setting of community, otherness becomes a way of interpreting class, social structure, power. Otherness resists fixity of interpretation, and as such is a fluid identity—the construction of identity is relationally intertwined with epistemological understanding. Otherness is embedded in media discourse, yet media’s pursues the attention of its audience rather than the question of otherness. I am of of the opinion that LOST’s questioning of otherness is insightful, and over the seasons that questioning has become eviscerated of any content.

LOST presents a number of visual images of the “other” as community. Jack’s escapade in Thailand embodies clichés of the exoticness/eroticism and violence inherent of the other community. Michael Newbury notes the community Jack encounters are composed of “local inhabitants, who are mostly manipulating fishing nets and carrying baskets in this distinctly pre-modern economy” (see Roberta Pearson (ed.) Reading LOST). That pre-modern economy finds its counterpart on the island with Rousseau’s habitation, an other primitive hut buried into the earth. In a reverse of Jack, the white man, coming to a foreign land, it is Sayid, the Iraqi, coming to Rousseau, a namesake of the Western Enlightenment and writer on the construction of an ideal social community. As Newbury notes, “Jack is the avatar of a prosperous, mobile, technologically advanced global order,” while Sayid is one of a group of survivors recently come from such a global order. Unlike Jack, who cannot assemble a simple kite, Sayid can repair the unrepairable. Sayid embodies both the made-do world of the bricoleur and modern society. The modern world, the global order finds an oriental otherness in the Korea of Sun and Jin. Although the general society is indistinguishable from other global societies, at its margins it retains the clichés of exoticism/eroticism and violence.

These images of other communities contrast most strikingly with New Otherton, a cold-war, white suburban community at first glance. In contrast the transnational community of the fuselage survivors, the inhabitants of New Otherton a white middle class of the 1950s. This white hegemony begins to dominate in later seasons as Jin switches form Korean to English, as Michael, Walt and Rose drop out of most of the scenes, and the only ancestral language of the Others is Latin, a western language of empire. Newbury calls this the globalization of U.S. multiculturalism. In the last few seasons, LOST has diluted even this multicultural community as the appeal in the show has shifted from questions of otherness to action. If we turn to the spatial representation of otherness, than the others are not those in Newotherton, but the Oceanic survivors, whose existence has been marginalized on the island beach.

Fred said...

cont .... Jen,

While LOST has included black actors in principal roles, these characters have often been interpreted in stereotypical ways. Harold Perrineau was highly critical of the portrayal of Michael Dawson, and the “ghetto stereotype” image of Walt raised by his grandmother. Nikke Finke raises the larger issue of “Do ‘LOST’ and ‘Heroes’ Hate Black People?” (http://www.deadline.com/2010/02/do-lost-and-heroes-hate-black-people/). A more sympathetic voice, Celeste-Marie Bernier raises issues of representation of blacks on LOST and the presence of a fabricated Africanist persona on the show (see Roberta Pearson (ed.) Reading LOST). Bernier notes the writers of LOST disrupt the linear story of progress and civilization through fragmented and looped narratives, flashbacks, and ellipses, allowing for a “self-reflexive touchstone for European and European-American explorations of selfhood throughout the series.”

However, at the time of writing her essay, Bernier assumed the Black Rock was a slave ship carrying African slaves. She notes racialized terms such as ‘the Dark Territory’ and the presence of the Black Rock “resonates with European definitions of Africa.” But in the final season, we discover the slaves are not African but European, and the slavers are marginal capitalists, seeking to exploit resources in the New World. The uneasy binary relationship between civilization and savagery is replaced with an alternate relationship which lies at the core of the show: salvation and damnation. The possibilities for re-reading the show have taken over, eliding earlier interpretations in favour of a more racially neutral interpretation. The story in Ab aeterno becomes less one of historical revisioning, than an allegorical tale of loss and redemption in a single man.

For everything we have come through on this show, to transform the Black Rock into a nineteenth century counterpart of Oceanic airlines, speaks to a kind of amnesia of what has gone before. The issues of Africa are represented in the Nigerian drug-runner aircraft, emphasizing earlier images in Eko’s flashback of Africa as a failed state of illegal activity, violence and priests. Bernier argues the Black Rock is a site of repressed memories, and Sawyer’s murder of Anthony Cooper a lesson on the costs of those repressed memories. Yet the Black Rock is also a place of denial by Richard, and a place of affirmation of faith by Jack. As Arnzt says, the Black Rock is a ghost ship, but the ghost may neither be there nor be real. If Isabella’s ghost never visited Richard in the ship, then the ship becomes a place of duplicity. In terms of the linear story underlying the show, the Black Rock represents the epistemological shortcomings of our understanding. We first hear of Jacob as the devil, told by an uncertain figure, whose ability to tell the truth is in doubt. The place of importance for Richard is not the Black Rock, but the stone bench under a great tree where he had buried Isabella’s pendant. The Black Rock has shifted from a symbol of cultural resonance to vehicle to further the plot.

Joan Crawford said...

Hang on. There is a LOST party going on? I had secret hopes for this...is this true?

Nikki Stafford said...

Jen and Joan: I asked a while ago if anyone was up for a Lost finale party, and the general consensus seemed to be that most people just wanted to stay at home that night. There were definitely a few who expressed a desire to watch Lost with a bunch of people.

Oh how I'd love to have the lot of us in one room to watch this show. Could you imagine??? We could all have this amazing LIVE discussion afterwards and then I'd blog all of it and it would be the big Nik At Nite joint blog... oh, it would be epic. EPIC, I tell you.

I could post again to see if there's any interest, but I'm not sure how we'd pull it together.

Benny said...

Nikki, Jen, Joan: since the finale is now on a Sunday, it might certainly be easier to pull off.

It's worth bringing it up again!

Fred said...

Jen:I forgot to add to the little bit I added today, that the next topic will be on pastiche. Oh fun.

Good luck on all your papers and exams. This is always a hellish time, but it does come to an end.

Joan Crawford said...

Maybe we could have an after LOST party? I can understand some wanting to watch the end in private - maybe after we could get together to just hang out and talk about LOST (but mostly to eat Chinese buffet and sing Karaoke)? we could do other LOST related stuff - competitions and prizes, dressing up...I'm a huge nerd and totally on board with it. Who's with me!?

*stares menacingly at general audience while plastering on a terrifying facsimile of a smile*

Joan Crawford said...

We could pull it together by renting a bunch of rooms at a hotel in Toronto! At a discount! And then , as I mentioned, reserving space at karaoke bar. NO VIDEOS OR OTHER RECORDING DEVICES ALLOWED. Pics are OK. We will be in a circle of trust and dork-a-tude. We could cook up all sorts of things to do (plus if people have a few drinks*, the entertainment is sure to follow) and it could be awesome. I will totally work towards this if we decide to move on it.

*I am pretty much already rehearsing my rendition of "The Gambler".

SonshineMusic i.e. Rebecca T. said...

I am so ridiculously late to the party, but I'm going to throw my 2 cents worth in here anyway.

@Nathan: "The End" should be a really obvious choice to anyone who's read Lemony Snicket's Series of Unfortunate Events

Yes! That is exactly what I was thinking! YEah! Another Snicket fan! (at least I'm assuming you're a fan)

@Jen and Fred: wow. My brain can't even comprehend this stuff right now. I will have to come back when I am rested and try again.

@Jen/Joan/et.al. An after party would ROCK. But I am on family vacation the week before and my sister and I are racing back on Sunday to get here in time for the finale and I don't think I could convince my boss to give me even MORE time off for a finale party. Even though he understands my deeply rooted LOST insanity. :(

DavidB226Morris said...

The End was also the title of the Season 5 finale for the X-Files, the shows last episode shot in Vancouver. I can't help but feel if Chris Carter HAD actually made that the show's last episode, we might remember The X-Files a lot more fondly then we do.

DavidB226Morris said...

Also: I have started a blog called House of David (there's actually a bit of an injoke in that, but it's so obscure it's not worth explaining) on Google. I intend to spend the next few weeks posting my choices for the best 50 episodes of television I've seen over the last twenty years. I would be more than delighted if any of you fine people (including you Nikki would spare a minute of your time, take a look, and share your own opinions. I'll be repeating this message at one point, but for now (hopefully) be seeing you.

Teebore said...

Jen and Fred: Great discussion! It takes me back to my college days, and is a good way to shake off some of my mental cobwebs when it comes to Lit Theory.

@Joan: I am pretty much already rehearsing my rendition of "The Gambler"

Sister, I don't NEED to rehearse my rendition. :)

Joan Crawford said...

Ha!

Fred said...

Jen, this is a bit longish, but hopefully full of ideas you can use in the future, if not now. Let's begin:

Before we embark on the question of pastiche in LOST, let’s contextualize why Jen and myself and most of you reading here would argue LOST is a post-modernist television drama, though I would have a number of qualifications where LOST is not post-modernist. I will endeavour to present both views as to why LOST is and is not post-modernist in various cases.

What defines post-modernism? Post-modernism holds a fundamental distrust in reason and earlier philosophical thought as a means of arriving at understanding what it is to be human, the appearance of fundamental social beliefs, and the question of meaning. This distrust extends also to an objectively known reality—post-modernists are anti-realists. And post-modernists see our social world as composed of oppositional views held by groups whose only means of dealing with each other is through force and violence.

Although post-modernism has a number of aesthetic avenues, a popular vehicle for its ideas is through science fiction. All that cyber punk in William Gibbson, or alternate realities in Philip K. Dick, or the ontological explorations in Jorge Borges, or the creative paranoia of Thomas Pynchon, are but a small sampling of what is most popular as post-modernist literature. But science fiction is a major avenue to distribute the aesthetics and ideas of post-modernism.

Science fiction is the literature of the possibilities of tomorrow. But what if there isn’t a tomorrow, or if the tomorrow is pessimistic and bleak. In other words, science fiction posits the question, “What if the social myths which are the underpinnings of our society prove to have no foundation?” Ted Anthony, in a review of “Flashforward,” raises the issue of freewill as an underpinning of American society: “But in reality, it's a meditation on Americanism — a story that tells Americans they cannot control the outcome. And that's not something modern Americans are accustomed to hearing” (see Ted Anthony, “’Flashforward’ taps into need to need to shape future”, MSNBC). Destiny, as an unreasonable force, keeps popping up, like Dracula from his grave, or some Freudian childhood trauma, affecting the present. This certainly does sound familiar to the LOST fan.

As I suggested above, one of the distrusts post-modernism has is with understanding what it means to be human. Post-modernists argue that individuality, or subjectivity, is constructed. They might even go as far as saying, the self, what you and I take to be our consciousnesses, is fragmented (like the broken mirror Sawyer observed himself in). LOST goes even further in its awareness of this by having character traits shift between characters—thus Mikail speaks Korean, while earlier Charlotte was the Korean speaker. LOST hints at the possibility that the construction of individuality entails an absence of stability of psychological traits. Roberta Pearson (see Reading LOST, chapter 8), argues the “character-driven narrative requires characters who maintain a core stability of psycholgical traits.” Thus, in most series character traits rarely change over the course of the series seasons: are Frasier Crane or Jerry Seinfeld really that much different at the series finale as at the pilot of the show?

Fred said...

cont ...

Pearson’s observation is a little troubling regarding just how post-modernist LOST really is. Pearson is arguing, programmes like LOST or Sopranos pursue particular narrative strategies which impose frames of psychological portrayal on their characters. The motivation for the fragmentary and fluid representation of characters’ pyschological traits in LOSTmay have less to do with an adherence to post-modernist ideas, than with narrative premise. The focus on character development found in LOST may have more to do with the writers’ control of the show, and their desire to remian true to the narrative demands. Compare LOST’s characters with the depthlessness of Tim Burton’s Willy Wonka, whose portrayal by Depp is described as “a perfect postmodernist character, all surface and no depth, his entire life consisting of his economic function as a designer and producer of sweets” (see Keith Booker, Postmodern Hollywood).

To be precise, post-modernists embrace the notion of the “fragmented subject,” essentially the creation of the subject through intersubjectivites. The self is as depthless, Jameson writes, as an Andy Warhol painting; it is a mask which is replaced with another mask and so on. Narratives of the past become mere representations without depth. As a consequence who the subject is becomes decentered. Is that the case with LOST. Consider how LOST uses flashbacks as a means of generating character background.

LOST, with its almost obsessional psychotherapeutic (is the island a location on which to work out “daddy issues”) representation of individual flashbacks pursues a more traditional idea of subjectivity. Intersubjectivity is there in the form of family dynamics, but whether the writers of the show have presented these flashbacks as an argument for understanding the characters depends on how we as viewers interpret those flashbacks.

For instance, flashbacks are intrusive in the narrative flow (post-modernist), they convey an intention of advancing the story on the part of the writers placing them where they do (conventional), they are cumulative in conveying explanations (conventional), they may be inaccurate being based on the subject’s point-of-view (post-modern). Is LOST’s use of flashbacks any different than that in Casablanca? Aside from the woosh sound indicating a flashback (and isn’t that woosh just an alternate for the dissolve of the traditional flashback), it seems LOST uses the flashback for much the same reasons we see in Casablanca, to resolve a narrative enigma (for Casablanca see James Morrison, Passport to Hollywood).

If LOST is not postmodernist at its heart in its handling of characters, it truly is so in its representation of them. Just as in The Matrix, main characters are shown on-screen as images, revealing the illusion that is The Matrix or Max Headroom, so, too, we see many of the Losties on screens being observed. These moments raise the question of the projection of an illusion of reality and reality, itself. The most well-known of these Plato’s Cave being the Pearl. As opposed to the various CSI programmes, which adhere to the belief the world can be objectively known through reason and science, LOST distorts this assumption by positing a Dickian world akin to Total Recall in which subjectivity is integral in interpeting reality. To put it in Darko Suvin’s words, LOST is successful at creating “cognitive estrangement” in its audience.

Fred said...

cont ...

Tony Magistrale writing on Stephen King’s The Shining (my references are to Kubrick’s film), likens many features of King’s novel with Total Recall, finding in King’s work a post-modernist impluse. The schizoid qualities of Quaid’s mind reach into Jack’s mind, and the labyrinthine world of Total Recall parallels the labyrinthine corridors and gardens of the Overlook Hotel. The claustrophibic atmosphere in the film is accentuated by mirroring of images, and characters, even reversals, such as “redrum.” What is of interest for LOST, is the association of mirrors being present in a scene whenever Jack (Nicholson) talks with a ghost. The alternate reality of mirrors, is emphasised when Danny tells Jack he saw Tony way down in the mirror, and then he went through, a reference to Alice in Wonderland.

In both Total Recall and The Shining, protagonists fall through the mirror surface of reality into worlds that operate by seemingly nonsense rules. Those rules, like the metaphor of the labyrinth in the Shining, emplots the narrative towards some ending, some hoped for meaning. It is significant that Total Recall ends with the glass barrier of the station shattering, and our world (symbolized by air) rushing into the Martian environment (Mars no longer becomes an other world, but is completely colonized by the production of air via an alien technology). In The Shining, Jack’s frozen face expresses the Kurbrick stare, a modern representation of Kurtz’s last words, “The horror! The horror!” Either option is open to the ending of LOST. Yet, let’s linger again on the question of the mirror, since that is significant in LOST.

Here we come to a central premise of post-modernism, the Saussurean distinction in language between the signifier (sound-image) and the signified (concept), what Andrew Goodwin calls “sliding signifiers.” With the mirror, our ability to distinguish between the real and representation dissolves, just as Alice cannot distinguish between the wonderland world and her own world. In making her way through Wonderland, Alice has no real understanding of the rules governing this world, and indeed there do not seem to be any sensible rules. But the world of Wonderland does have rules of cause-and-effect which can be understood. Rules direct players, such as Alice, towards the meaning of things. But what if there are only rules, without guidance towards meaning?

In post-modern language, the world becomes a simulacrum, a surface of images represented in a fragmented scheme. If LOST truly is post-modern at this point, then examination of surfaces are one of the best entries into LOST post-modern identity. A good example of the simulacrum (the representation of reality) in LOST is the book. We all know the rules of books—books contain meanings that are relatable as facts to the world (they make the world meaningful). But what if this code of books is unsettled or disturbed? What if books are only reflections of the world, in the sense of being fragmented doubles of things in the world? The we might be in a play of surfaces, where the meaning in one book refers to another, and yet still to another without end. Borges describes in a short story an infinte library of books, that include all books and even those where one letter is changed. LOST’s library of books echoes Borge’s Library of Babel by not only acknowledging a host of books, but also implying a host of unseen books. Bioy Casare’s The Invention of Morel serves as a intertextual reference to Borges himself, to H. G. Wells’ The Island of Dr. Moreau, to Kafka, all relevant to understanindg LOST.

Fred said...

cont ...

The problem I have with books appearing on LOST is that despite their implicit service to audience’s understanding plot points, in fact many of these books have confounded resolving the storyline. Tracing out the various novels’ plots, deciphering the importance of themes, and recognizing character parallels, has only led to an endless maze without an exit (if Sartre’s notion of Hell is other people, LOST’s notion of Hell is other books). In the post-modern age of smart phones etc., basically of electronic surfaces, LOST construsts its background world retrogressively. And the show does this self-consciously in its presenting books as ‘doors to understanding.’ The visual rhetoric of LOST challenges post-modernist claims; however, the world outside the show’s frame is post-modern (ARGs, blogs, alternate videos). There is a reliance on those technologies most associated with the post-modern world by the showrunners at Comic Con and online.

Even before Seaosn 6, mirrors framed images of characters. Mirrors allow characters to confront themselves as other, as object seen by other people. The mirror questions the reality of the world, while at the same time recreating an image of the world. Stephen King’s Dolores Clairborne (film) uses mirror imagery, especially when Dolores smashes a window which holds her reflection as it breaks (interestingly, Dolores’ daughter, Selena shows a neck scar, “ a sign of the inescapability of the past,” see Mark Browning, Stephen King on the Big Screen). Carrie also shatters her bedroom mirror, an action of empowerment. LOST also uses mirror images as moments of stasis. Juliet tries to collect herself before the mirror, to repose her appearance in order to achieve a more bouyant mood. While the mirro may allow for internal reflection, mirrors also create copies, images that are recognizably like us. Blade Runner plays on this concept using replicants who are mirror images of other replicants, without a seeming original. Extending this to the reality of the world, we begin to see how viewers of LOST might see the show as only a representation of reality.

Some early theories of lOST were that it was a computer-generated reality. But if that were the case, there would still be an ‘outside’ still awaiting the Losties, a territory (reality) in contrast to the simulated reality (map). In Braudillard’s version of post-modernism, the real has been replaced by electronic versions that they are no longer models of the real, but have replaced reality (a post-modernity in which maps only refer to other maps). LOST is however, more than just a confusion over appearance and reality, as the theory of a computer-generated reality suggests. Unlike The Matrix, which despite its pretensions to post-modernism, is closer to a traditional movie with a quasi-religious Messiah and Romantic undertones, LOST undermines any possibility of understanding reality. But in what way?

Let’s consider those flashbacks, once more. In Season 5, we finally got to see Jack’s flashback of the famous monologue of 5 seconds and fear. In this flashback we see that what we had assumed to be true was a mere illusion, a rewriting on the part of Jack. But the question arises, from whose point of view was that flashback? Initially we thought it was Jack, as previous flashbacks had focused the camera on the character whose flashback was being presented. But suddenly, Christian comes into the frame, and we acknowledge his role, which had been ommitted in the monologue. It is at this point the POV changes to Christian. Similarly, outside the operating room, the POV shifts once more to Jacob. Each of these shifts reposition our beliefs, and we conclude our understanding of Jack depends on other subjectivities interpreting him. With this revelation in hand, viewers have to go back to reexamine earlier scenes in the light of alternate points of view conveying meaning.

Fred said...

cont ...

Those flashbacks represent history, the personal history of each character. Perhaps a theory closer to the impulse behind LOST is that those flashbacks are implanted memories. LOST would then share a cinematic history with Blade Runner, where the replicants are simulated humans except they lacked a history. Our sense of reality is largely based on our maintaining a sense of continuity expressed through our memories. If already LOST posits a breakdown in the symbolic realm of signifiers and signifieds (see previous), there is also a reliance on pastiche in place of history.

The importance of pastiche to post-modernism is championed by the critic, Frederic Jameson, who coined the term “spatial pastiche.” Jameson’s understanding of spatial pastiche originated from post-modernist architects whose buildings borrowed dead styles from the past in a non-satirical manner, and incorporated them into a new overall design where the usual boundaries between styles was erased (look up ‘postmodern architecture’ on Wikipedia for some examples). Pastiche is older than the twentieth century, and has its origins in the High Renaissance, when artists would copy the style of masters within an original design. These were not parodies, which have a ironic interpretation of the original work, but aesthetic quotations. We might see pastiche as a practice of cultural memory, as when composers blended musical styles of other composers. A recent example of musical pastiche is Michael Giacchino’s score for The Incredibles, reminiscent of John Barry’s score for James Bond.

Musical quotation, by itself, is not necessarily pastiche. Frederic Jameson describes musical quotation in video as “blank parody.” Goodwin notes, “the textual ‘quotes’ are blank because we are neither asked to criticize nor endose them” (see Andrew Goodwin, “Popular Music and Postmodern Theory,” Cultural Studies, 1991, 5:2) LOST’s extensive musical references serves as blank parodies, as they act as mise en scene (back ground) or references to a character’s mood, or even to plot development. For instance, Claire’s asking the prospective parents of Aaron to sing “Catch a Falling Star” is not an example of pastiche, but serves as plotting device when it reoccurs in later episodes. The association of Patsy Cline with Kate only helps viewers perceive an added depth to Kate’s character. Similarly, Hurley’s remark about Glenn Miller’s “Moonlight Serenade” serves only as a comment on the background, that LOST belongs to the genre of science fiction. A point Goodwin makes is that quotation historicises culture, and LOST’s quotation of pop music, its use of novels, and 1970s computer technology historicises the show’s narrative. Paraphrasing Goodwin’s words, it invokes authenticity, as much as Eliot incorporated elements of literature into the Waste Land—there is more of modernism than of postmodernism in LOST’s practice of pop musical quotation.

LOST, for all its uniqueness in telling a story, is an example of cultural and personal nostalgia. And in this sense, LOST embraces pastiche by recycling the 1970s and the Cold War era, periods bracketed historically and in terms of pop culture. It is at this point that intertextuality emerges in LOST. By referencing the 1970s, LOST’s writers assume the audience shares a generic understanding of the ‘language’ of the decade, a set of conventions which impart meaning about what the 1970s were: styles, behaviour, thought, images, etc. In a similar way, Quentin Tarantino’s Kill Bill is a movie filled with examples of pastiche. It’s pastiches are of genres, kung fu movies, spagetti westerns, Japanese samuri, and revenge films. Roger Ebert wrote of Kill Bill: “The movie is all storytelling and no story.” The same warning may be said of LOST. It is all about American culture and no story.

Jen said...

@Fred: Easter weekend + 5 pg. paper + one final exam = I'll get to this next...Thursday. ish. It all sounds fascinating though, and I can't wait to get to it!

Fred said...

Jen, this isn't a requirement to read. Just have fun with it. And, really, good luck on your papers. How they all get A's (I guess the proper punctuation is with an apostrophe, otherwise I'd be saying get "as", and we do puncuate our P's and Q's).

Remember a few things about exams: (1) they are designed to be finished in the alloted time; (2) generally half the questions are of moderate difficulty, but light enough to get the class to pass the course; and (3) you have the knowledge to write a complete exam, you might just need to scramble it a bit to fit the question.

And after it's all over, relax. Drop in a DVD and watch LOST Season 1.

Jen said...

thanks Fred! will do. and i do really want to dive into what you were saying, but it'll have to wait till this next week is over! :)

Jen said...

Fred: just wanted you to know i'm not avoiding, but desperately am exited to enter into this convo again. right now i'm writing a Political Economy paper that is eating my life, and my brain can't be divided or the whole thing will explode (it's true). So, MAY is the month of LOST. then i will research, and i will re-read your brilliant critique of my thesis, and we shall continue! see you then. :)

Fred said...

Jen: Good luck on the polisci paper. See you in May.

Gotta get Nikki to move this thread to a more recent one, so we don't have to go hunting for it all the time.