Thursday, April 08, 2010

Last Week I Time Traveled...

With this week's phenomenal Desmond episode, I thought it might be time to talk about my own trip back in time that I took last Wednesday, March 31, when I traveled back to my alma mater to give a talk. I attended Huron University College (which was then Huron College), an affiliate college of the University of Western Ontario in London, Ontario. It was a small place, with small classrooms, and a higher entrance average required to get in (if I do say so myself!) Because I graduated only three years ago, I figured nothing much would have changed.


OK, because I graduated 14 years ago... I still somehow figured nothing much would have changed. This school has been around since the 1860s and was the founding school of the entire university. I mean, it's not like they were going to play around with things much, right?


First, the parking Nazi was gone. This guy would sit in the booth day after day and he knew all of us, but if I accidentally grabbed a different car that morning and forgot to switch my parking pass over, hell if he was going to let me in. I had to pay the exorbitant rates and that was THAT. Now? A totally new, friendly guy who laughed and joked with me on my way in. So that was nice!

The entranceway. I was told to walk in and ask for the prof I was with that day at the information desk. "Information desk?!" I asked incredulously. There was no information desk when I went there. IN MY DAY you walked in and wandered aimlessly until you eventually found the room you needed, and if you were late you were beaten with a stick. (See? Grandpa WAS making this stuff up... it's so easy!!) There were signs vaguely pointing you in general directions, but you pretty much needed a map to find your way around.

I was shown the library... the place where I spent hours and days and weeks of my life throughout those four years. The main reading room was completely untouched, thank goodness -- it had big rich dark wood bookshelves and partitions on the desk and you could not talk or eat and felt like you were being watched by the SS at all times... and I loved it. But then, outside of that room and off to the side, where there used to be the computer databases and (gulp) a couple of old card catalogues still sitting there, the WALL was gone and it had been built way out into this big high-tech reading area that was a little less stifling than the other one (i.e. people were talking quietly in here). It was big and bright with windows all over, and had been built off the side of this beautiful stone building, so the inside wall was actually the former exterior of the college. It was incredible.

Later, when I was on my own, I headed back into the stacks... my favourite place in the entire school. Down in the bowels of the library were the rows and rows of army green metal shelves holding thousands of books with their old paper smells, and fluorescent lights in the aisles, and ugly uncomfortable desks. Oh the days I spent here. On days where I didn't have classes I'd still drive across town and just sit in these stacks from morning til night working on papers and studying. As soon as I stepped into the room, the smell of the books was akin to Desmond getting hit with an electromagnetic wave... it just sent me back in time. And NOT A THING had been changed. Nothing. It was still gloriously old and creaky, and the floors were so rickety you thought you were going to fall through. I was with my best friend Sue (who also went to Huron but was in French lit where I took English lit) and as I wandered over to the periodical section I just saw those rows and rows of same-coloured bound journals, where I used to spend hours just standing in the aisles balancing the journal on one arm and my notes on the other because I didn't want to take the extra minute to just wander over to one of the desks. I walked down one of these aisles with my fingers caressing the binding on the books. I still have dreams where I'm in this place, so to actually be physically back there was very exciting.

What didn't change? The professors. I have no idea how they do it... is there something in the air of colleges or something? My professor who was bringing me back to the school was in his second year of teaching when I was in my first year of university. He was 30 or 31 at the time, and now, 14 years later, he looked EXACTLY THE SAME. How is that possible? He took me down to his office, and while there I ran into my Shakespeare professor... who looked EXACTLY THE SAME. Like, exactly. Same hair colour, same goatee. He knew that I wrote television books now, and looked slightly bemused about what I did after getting an English degree. I didn't really have time to get into a discussion about Lost being the Shakespearean comedy and tragedy all rolled into one of our generation... so I didn't. I just smiled.

But the biggest change? The students. Man, they are YOUNG. How did they get so young? They have laptops (in MY day, you wrote notes by hand until your fingers bled or seized up entirely) and the long rows in front of a blackboard have been replaced by an amphitheatre setting with raised desks.

I was there for two purposes: First, to support my author, Brian Francis, the author of Fruit (which was the runner-up in the Canada Reads competition last year). He was speaking at Huron as part of a series of students-turned-writers who talked about how they made that journey to authordom and then talked about their work. Secondly, Fruit was being taught in my prof's course on the Coming of Age Novel, and so Brian was there as the author talking about his novel, something that would have been mega-cool to me when I'd been a student. Before the class we wandered over to Weldon Library on main campus, sneaked up to the fifth floor and chuckled and giggled our way through the stacks, joking about how young everyone was and how we used to look out of the fifth floor windows down to the fourth floor and watched students picking their noses and sneaking food out of their backpacks. Brian kept doing this schtick where he was holding a fake glass of scotch and cigarette and slurring, "Guess what, kids? This is YOU in 15 years, so keep studying, ya little shits... because it's going to get you NOWHERE." Ah, good times, good times.

Then after the class I was actually part of the series as well, talking about how I went from being a student at Huron to the great epicness that is me. Or something like that. There was a good turnout (among them, Jenn and ashlie from this blog, two of my regulars!! How wonderful to finally put faces and voices to avatars!) and we chatted about the entirety of Lost, season 6 in particular, where we've been, where it's going to go... it was SO much fun I wish I could do these live talks every day leading up to the finale. The group was enthusiastic and had some fantastic questions.

And one of the first ones was from a woman who said she regularly visited my blog, and she said that recently she'd seen something saying that maybe Lost will come down to two four-letter words: Love and Hope. She asked me to speak on that. So, I did my long talk that I typically give to anyone who will listen, the one I've been yammering about in my books for years now, where I say that I think Lost really will come down to love. (I had this discussion during the Globe chat yesterday.) I think we're motivated by love, that all of the characters are motivated by love -- love for their children, for spouses, for lovers... for themselves. It's the driving force that will make us do crazy things. We sacrifice for love. The people on Lost are looking for love or have found love or have lost love, and all of those things drive them to do what they do. And hope works on many levels there -- hope from the fans that the series will work out satisfactorily in the end, but also this idea that Hope is the one thing that can conquer the chaos of Pandora's Box, which is essentially what the island is sitting on top of.

My professor, the one who'd brought me there in the first place, has never watched Lost. (I know SO many academics who don't watch it. When it's over my campaigns to get them to watch will ramp up significantly.) But he listened... and at lunch, he and Brian (also a non-viewer) were asking me to tell them what the hype was about. Why is it important? Why do people care? What is this show about? I've never actually summed up the show to people who hadn't watched it (my pat non-spoilery answer: WATCH IT) so it was a challenge, but I left enough out to encourage them to really give it a shot.

And then, after I'd returned home, the next day my prof emailed me to thank me for coming down there, but also to offer his thoughts on a show he'd never actually seen, and instead figured out simply by listening to every word I was saying at the podium. And maybe this is one of the most succinct summations of what I've been saying all along... written by someone who's never seen a single minute of the show! I'd love to hear your thoughts:

Clearly the four-letter word that is of such significance could be one of two words and it is not a choice that separates them. Rather,they are inter-dependent and are in fact based on us exercising free will in a world that may have meanings and arcs we can't change but still has situations where the individual human factor matters, matters entirely.

The words, of course, are "love" and "lost". Love sometimes seems impossible. Sometimes it seems there are forces like a man in black actively trying to deny our inclination towards love and connection. Sometimes it seems so hard to make those connections that a world where love rules seems "a sideways universe"--one that is somehow imaginable, desirable, but apart from what we call reality. But love can in fact determine reality and make the "sideways" real and make what was "real"
a mere wormhole of misdirection. We can't eliminate all that is threatening but we can mitigate those threats through our own actions.

Indeed, as we begin with an eye opening and a plane crash, we see that "possibility" is what governs existence. However, without focussing on finding the possibilities that bring us joy, that overcome evil, that connect us with others, then we truly will be Lost. Hate is not the opposite of love; "lost" is. And we don't leave a state of being "lost" to a state of being "found"; we leave a state of being Lost to a state of "finding". We just need to let our searches, even our scientific searches, be infused by love or what we find will not be what we want.

And the final is not an eye closing, it is again an eye opening. An eye opening to new possibility even if the possibilities no longer will come from J.J. Abrams et. al.


Jazzygirl said...

I just have one word....WOW.
OKay maybe more than one...LOL...I'm just feeling a bit stunned right now. I found myself getting emotional reading that summary. It just feels so dead on to me. Not to be cliche to the show, but honestly the different seasons and major events and people were flashing before my eyes as I read that summary. And is just seemed to FIT. If that is truly how the show ends...I love it.

Joan Crawford said...

Oh, yeah, Mr.Smarty Pants - try and work polar bears into it.

I kid, I kid! That was a fantastic summary :D

Sounds like you had a great time - wish I could have been there!

VW: Reclose - awwww!

The recluse finds a mate


The recluse in your closet

The Question Mark said...

I don't know if anybody else agrees with this, but I find that one very fun aspect of being a LOST fan is attempting to explain/decribe the show to someone who has never seen it before. I always find it to be an entertaining and often incredibly humorous experience, so naturally I've done it at every possible opportuniy. :)

One funny example:
I have a cousin who is 12 years old. Obviously, at that age, he's not a LOST viewer: he's very intelligent, but he's still into Pokemon & Spongebob and all that. A few weeks ago, I was in a car with him and two other cousins around my age, the two others being devoted fans of LOST. We got into a discussion that involved several uses of the terms "smoke monster", "sideways world", "Nestea pool", "Man in Black", etc.
By the end of the discussion, my 12-year-old cousin, who had a look of utmost puzzlement on his face, looks at each one of us in turn before muttering, "Um...okay, exactly what the HELL did you guys just say?"

Now that I think of it, that would actually make a funny YouTube video: a compilation featuring LOST fans discussing the show in the presence of Non-LOST-fans, with the camera focused squarely on the latter's expressions.

humanebean said...

Sounds like a fantastic experience, Nik. Glad you got to return to your alma mater for such a rewarding day!

The prof definitely has a handle on the overriding themes of LOST - clearly he was listening carefully to your insight and expertise! One of the issues that we don't often talk about explicitly in our discussions of the show is the very modern notion of alienation. As the show began, I was struck by the degree to which the characters were shown to be alienated from one another by their different backstories and approaches to the situation in which they found themselves.

As we learned more about them through their flashbacks, we saw how how truly alienated they were from themselves - again and again, this is what frustrated them as they searched for acceptance and love in their lives. It may sound trite to say that you can't truly love another (or allow yourself to fully loved by someone) unless you first understand and accept yourself, warts and all. Each of our key characters was disconnected from this self-knowledge and self-love - especially those who grew utterly self-absorbed instead of self-aware.

Heck, as the flashbacks progressed, WE came to understand their true motivations better than they understood themselves! For me, one of the best journeys in the show has been watching an inscrutable and inaccessible character like Benjamin Linus be revealed over time to be an utterly desperate and, yes LOST man - so much so that, as we saw in his heartrending confession to Ilana, even when he came to realize that he had betrayed the only thing that truly mattered (his one genuine connection to another human being - Alex) he was prepared to cast his lot with Flocke because he believed that he was so alienated from everyone and everything else that this was the only place he 'belonged'. "He's the only one that'll have me"

For each of these characters, the realization (where it comes) that connection to others is genuinely possible - and that a true self-awareness unlocks the chains that have bound them to the baggage they had believed was thrust upon them by circumstance, or fate - is a revelation. And, I think, it is this revelation that stands at the center of what is most compelling about LOST.

We've been waiting six years to see Jack understand himself and accept who he is and what he has done ... what he is REALLY responsible for - and not the artificial responsibility he constantly serves by trying to "fix" things in others. Those characters who choose their alienation from everyone and everything over the long and difficult road to enlightment are truly "damned". As we approach the end, we want to see the journey that our Lostaways have taken bring them ultimately to understanding, fulfillment of their destiny/potential ... and yes, to love.

Not bad for a TV show, eh?

TM Lawrence said...

Truly now, in the last half of the last season of what will almost certainly stand as the exemplar of all that television could have been, to be a Lost devotee is a defining experience. We seem to collectively keep vigil over the remaining flock and accommodate the heresies of fellow disciples (shippers, monomythologists, literary snobs, that one guy who likes Arzt, the Benjaminites AND the Widmorians): all have a plate at the table, a chair for the fireside chat, a room in our house. Penny means more to us because of our willingness to share our distributed cognition: one viewer's Homeric spouse is strengthened by another's Joycean Ulysses and yet another's Lady of Carlisle knowledge. We are open to the plasticity of her surname change to Milton, and willing to chase the lead back (again) into the labyrinthine English poetry of Paradise Lost for clues, look elsewhere, or simply to accept it at face value and share our thrill that Desmond may yet have the bliss of her presence in the LAX reality. I believe this envelope defines us as a viewership because the writers' (albeit mischievous) Weltanschauung of humanity's inherent worth and redemptive potential reaches out to us, undiluted and often purified through the crucible of the directing/editing/acting process. The Jacobin Omega Point references and oceanic feeling of the show resonate within us and we surrender to them, where others who have been lost from the viewership were never attuned to the ephemeral and only saw the hat, not the elephant inside the boa, never bothered to tame the fox. As a group, we allow that the MIB may well be Esau, Cain, a vengeful God, the Adversary, trapped electromagnetic nanoparticles, Ekidnu, L'Engle's evil cloud, evil incarnate, or something else--and we do the same for every other character. It makes sense to us collectivley that the character of the character matters more than his/her history and that the character's given name is only useful as a jumping off point since the name may change.

Finally, I would offer that those most of us left are also defined by our willingness to submit to the uncertainty of the near future, acceptance of the bittersweet fate of our favorite characters, and meta-trust in the creative team despite near certainty that JJ Abrams black box of mystery will be left sealed. We knew the job was dangerous when we took it.

Nikki, I thank you so much for maintaining this forum for fellowship, analysis, and introspection. Your spirit permeates your faithful posters and reaches your lurkers. I HOPE LOST reaches LOVE: Desmond LOST LOVE but found it again. And remember Desmond is HOPE -- Locke told us so...

humanebean said...

Yeah .... what HE said! ; ]

Fred said...

Many of the remarks here, especially those by T M Lawrence and humanbean are poigniant and heart-felt, sharing in a recognition of community as the core meaning of viewership in LOST. For each viewer, the philosophically local is organically wedded to a measureless spirit, the metaphysical idea of the sublime. Metaphorically, our own journey of viewership began in isolation, each viewer hoping for that little bit of excitement vacation tours promote as part of the package. Like passengers on a transoceanic flight, unknown strangers to one another, we yielded to the idea of being captured in a box which, or so we beleived, would land us safe and sound. Never did we imagine how that box would veer off, nor that the singularities we were would find expression over this fact with other voices. Over the course of six years we have found commonalities in a defining experience. LOST has broken the fourth wall of television, just as when Jin said to Sun in the hotel room, "we're not among strangers anymore."

But there has always been more to LOST than just listening to a narrator's voice as we sit, in Dickensian twilight by the fireplace, and listen. LOST is a post 9/11 drama, which seeks to portray the emotional arc of Americans and the world. Perhaps one of Hurley's most telling lines comes in the finale for Season 3, when he confesses to Bernard he has been afraid everyday since they came to the island. Hurley's visceral fear found purchase with many who wondered every time they got on an airplane what would happen, or watched news broadcasts announce the latest colour alert level.

But LOST moved beyond this one-to-one association to examine the historical moment of surveillance as a fact of twenty-first century life. Afterall, Ben said to Michael, we are the good guys, and those in Homeland Security are the good guys. The eye is the symbolic centre of LOST, it is the focalisation of the camera on the eye that is symbolic of looking out while being watched. Self-reference is a mode of narrative in LOST carrying its story into post-modernist realms--how appropriate Haroun should show up, written by a man whose very existence is now characterised by being watched for his own safety, and whose very name is associated with the term fatwa.

Fred said...


It is in the political domain, and in the grit of everyday life that LOST presents violence as an archetypal action throughout history. It suppresses the canonical enactment of violence in the individual response, a truly Romantic shift worthy of Byron or Shelley. Great armies may recreate the maps of the world, but narrative requires the examplar of the individual. The Belgian Congo was an horrific place, but its impress was vividly addressed in Kurtz and Marlow. Even mother's love is challanged in LOST, and for any viewer of LOST it would pay to read Nancy Scheper-Hughes Death Without Weeping:The Violence of Everyday Life in Brazil (warning, this is a work that will challenge your understanding of motherly love). To understand Ms. Hawking's relationship with Daniel and his later death as only a plot point is to misunderstand the contradictions of everyday life. These contradictions convey to us the ordinariness of our lives, that we are not as we think we are, nor that any quality of specialness resides within us. That rude person who brushes past you in the coffee house is the world's indifference to your existence--we are all just simply objects others see (or conmen use to their own ends). So who really did listen to Abel's cries? How sad viewers felt to see Locke buried, to think it undercut his own beliefs in his specialness.

Yet, from the first Season, LOST has suggested we are in an economy, one of exchange between the island and ourselves. At times that relationship is unbearable and the cost is huge. When Desmond tells Charlie that if he dies, Claire and Aaron will leave the island, Charlie accepts the cost as the sacrifice that must be made. Such an exchange occurs at the beginning of the Trojan War, where Agememnon must sacrifice Iphianassa to appease the gods (early traditions held he did so). At the heart of this metaphorical notion of sacrifice is our present day outlook of life as sacrifice. The scales in the oil painting in Widmore's office is just one installment of the metaphor throughout LOST. And in a post 9/11 world, the notion of sacrifice has extended once more to encompass the Greecian notion--the chaotic nature of life can be reset, placed in balance through the act of sacrifice. So it should not surprise us to read Thomas Cousineau write: "Throughout To The Lighthouse, Virginia Woolf reminds us of the extent to which the unity and stability of a human community depend upon the willingness of its members to resort to sacrificial rituals." That book which lent its name to an episode has as its theme the notion of the necessity of sacrificial acts in order to bind society.

LOST has reconceptualized television drama by repositioning its very rules within the frame of a nameless island. The rootlessness of the island is reflected in the seeming rootlessness of the narrative. In 9/11 literature a central metaphor is rising, but then so too would falling be one. LOST begins with falling and holds out the promise that all things that rise must converge.

Teebore said...

I'm jealous you got to meet some fellow Nik at Niter face-to-face. I can imagine how much fun that was.

And I really love the idea of the show closing on the image of an eye opening, looking, not at its surroundings but at the possibilities ahead.

Good stuff.

Marebabe said...

Well, I’ve just finished reading this amazing post and the first 8 comments, and I’m not sure, but I think my life has been enriched! I’m a little bit stunned here, and definitely grateful for all of your insights. I remember Steve Martin saying in one of his early stand-up routines: “Some people have a way with words, and other people....... not have way.” I’m in the second group right now, but as I said, I’m grateful.

ashlie said...

What a lovely post, Nikki! It was so great to meet you face to face and hash things out a bit! I can't believe that the end is drawing near, but we'll still have lots left to talk about when we finally do see that final image!

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

Nikki, I am glad that you had such a wonderful experience! You are right that students get younger as the years go by; this even occurs when you see them every day ;). Thank you for sharing your experiences, and especially for sharing your professor's e-mail. It is beautiful, and does indeed nicely capture the spirit of Lost.

The comments on this topic are also beautiful, and are, indeed, some of the best material posted on this site.

LoyallyLOST said...

Wowwwwww. Like...deep, man.
I had to laugh at Joan Crawfords' smartarse comment! LMBFAO!
THAT is why this guy is a professor & we are but the lonely little 'nose pickers' of the world!
He hit it on the money!
I love his theory of the opposite of love being lost. Deep. So deep, brothuh!
Question Mark has a very good point~heck! *I* get confused when I am trying to explain the show!
I have to laugh at my daughter, tho~when I am telling her(obviously it sounds as if I'm speaking an alien language)about the previous episode & it involves nonLocke, she says 'you mean, Mr. Clean?' LOL! She has watched enough of the show to kind of get a drift of what I am trying to say. But, I am sure she is thinking 'what the....?'
Oh! There is an article about Ilana
in the TVGuide & it states that she tried out for a part a few seasons ago. Hmmm...could it have been Ana Lucia? Wish it were her instead of Rodriguez. Ick! Zuleika Robinson would have made a muuuuuuch better Ana Lucia. But, I believe everything happens for a reason(destiny, perhaps?)& I believe no one else can play Ilana except Zuleika! I love this chick!
ALSO! They had a small mention about how a 30minute commercial costs $214,000 to air during LOST. The powers that be want $900,000 per for the series finale. Oh, they'll get it! How did the little box catch my attention? Why, it had a picture of Sawyer, of course!!! Sorry, Nikki, but I STILL think Sawyer has Desmond beat! BARELY, tho!
THANKyou, Nikki for pointing out the fact that nobody seemed to notice or care that a car just drove off the pier into the ocean not far from them! They probably even got a little wet, they were so close!
I get texts about the show each Tuesday, reminding me to watch(like I NEED to be reminded!?),etc
& this last one recommendeds a green tip~'Save gas & carpool like Desmond. Just don't drive off a pier.' THAT was so funny!
CanNOT wait til Tuesday!!!

Blam said...

Your old prof was right, Nikki: As is often said, the opposite of love isn't hate but apathy. How numb and broken Sayid looked sitting on that log in MIB's camp... Perhaps once claimed by him, all MIB's disciples have their love purged and become blank to emotion on their way to the dark side so that they can better echo MIB's bitterness; look at how quick to rage Claire was when told that Kate had stolen her baby. We've seen the good guys' hearts inflamed with hatred, too, when they've lost what was dear to them (Sun, Jin; Michael, Walt; Sawyer, Juliet), but what truly sank our spirits was then they lost their will — when Locke thought that everything he'd come to believe was a farce, on the Island, and then again in that hotel room, when he couldn't get the Oceanic 6 to follow him back; when Jack gave up on both science and faith; when Sayid sat on that log; even when Ben saw Keamy shoot Alex and we got perhaps his first unguarded moment in the entire series.

Gracie and I have been discussing love lost over in the comments section of the 6.11 post.

Later, when I was on my own, I headed back into the stacks... my favourite place in the entire school. Down in the bowels of the library were the rows and rows of army green metal shelves holding thousands of books with their old paper smells, and fluorescent lights in the aisles, and ugly uncomfortable desks. Oh the days I spent here.

I know that feeling well — in fact, I brought up a similar scene in my blog recently (in a post I have to republish since the Purge). Your books, by the way, would be in my favorite section of Mudd Library.

The last time I went back to my old school was well over a decade ago now, for my five-year reunion, and it was a weird visit. But it was way cool to see my first book in the Alumni Authors display in the Co-Op Bookstore's window.

Don't forget to keep us up to date on your visit to New York, and possible mini-meetup, in... When is it, May? I won't know if I can make it until the day itself, unfortunately, and it's not exactly likely, but I at least want to try.

VW: wavary — The undulation of the ocean.

Fred said...

Some Uncomfortable Thoughts on LOST:

The thing about LOST is that from time to time it allows that little demon that sits on the right, no left, shoulder to wake up and whispher in your ear certain truths.

Like--no one who loves on the island gets off well. Yeah, they certainly do come to uncomfortable fates. And the harder they try, ummm, love, the worse the outcome.

Shannon, Ana Lucia, Libby ... why do the women all get bumped off on this show? Of course, Claire is still around, but considering her mental state, still around is a pretty vague statement of the facts.

The demon is talking again. It's a pretty masculine world on LOST, isn't it. It seems all our big heroes on the show are guys, tough guys like in the old Westerns. It's Shane and John Wayne, and Clint. I can just see Sawyer with a poncho and smoking a cigar, and saying, "so do you feel lucky, punk?" There's some tough women, too, but it's the guys who get to shoot the guns most of the time. Crap, even Bernard got to stay behind to play hero. And what was that at the Swan, last Season? It reminded me of the gunfight at the OK Corral.

In the end, will LOST will come down to the final scene from The Good, the Bad and the Ugly? I can just see it: Good (Jack), Bad (MiB/Locke), Ugly (Patchy). Cue Ennio Morricone's film score.

Let that little demon go on whispering. It certainly makes for more fun, although you'll have to deal with the uncomfortable thoughts on your own.

Jenn said...

Hi Nikki,

Just wanted to say thank you for your awesome talk at Huron, and that I really enjoyed it! It was like going back in time for me too, as I am also a Huron Alum. It made me really miss being there actually.

I think by the end of fourth year I wanted to be done so badly, that all I think was getting out. But being back made me realize that I have a lot of really fond memories that are a part of that school.

Including, but not limited to, my crush on Dr. McCarthy. A real crush! Not a joke one! LOL

Hutch said...

Enjoyed reading about your trip "back in time." It is remarkable how certain people, places and things can trigger memories and flash backs. On a personal note, yesterday was my 68th. birthday and a friend I hadn't seen in 48 years stopped by my house. As we talked about "old times" my thoughts also kept flashing back in time and what be we and the locations looked like...It was a joyous birthday gift..

TClancy said...

Great email from your prof. Now seeing Penny's name as Milton, I'm remembering the line from the end of the Star Trek Space Seed episode. Khan quotes Milton (quoting Lucifer as he fell into the Pit) to Kirk, about why he welcomes exile with his group on the unsettled planet: "Better to reign in Hell than to serve in Heaven."

WOW, that sure sounds like it could have Lost implications!!