Fan Art

Fan art's tricky business, brutha. The Internets are filled to the brim with fan art that'll make your ears curl and toes twinkle, let me tell you, there are horrors beyond words out there. I leave it to you to decide to brave those waters. I would recommend you don't, since to quote the Elders, "Once you've seen, you cannot unsee."

But there is good fan art out there, sometimes great. Lost seems to inspire a lot of great fan art, like this picture, and in the post below.

But not this:
Terrible, sure. But also spooky: Drawn sometime during season 1. Not by me, but by the Internet.

Conning the Conmen

Much mental energy has been expended on the intertubes over the question: Who are the good guys and bad guys on Lost? It's the sign of a well crafted story that it is quite impossible to tell. There are points in favor and against for all the main characters - a plausible case can be made, for example, for Smokey to be the "good" guy. That's unlikely though, of course.

But rather than good and evil, I think a far more likely scenario is: There are a series of cons going on: Jacob runs a con, Smokey runs a con, Ben, Widmore, Eloise Hawking, they're all running long cons - the long con has been a consistent theme on this show, from the start. None of these people are necessarily Good or Evil, but are rather acting on behalf of what they think to be correct. However, with all the conning going on, who knows what's what? As I said, Smokey might be the victim in all this - he did say Jacob took his body, his humanity. If true, that puts him in a very sympathetic light. Hard to justify all the killing, however.

The next level of players in this game - Jack, Hurley, Sun, etc - clearly have no larger ambitions other than getting off the island/reuniting with loved ones. Selfish, of course, but aren't we all? 

I would be satisfied with a resolution along these lines: The Island is Eden, and is the source of much of mythology. Due to its magic abilities, the Island has been fought over forever. At some point, guardians were appointed to protect the Island, and they did, but eventually one of these guardians got bored of the whole thing, and wants out. Hence the events we are seeing.

In such a scenario, it's really a case of no one has the full story, everyone is trying to get ahead for themselves, and thinks the stakes are high enough to fully justify an "ends justify the means" philosophy. In this scenario, it would be safe to assume everyone is "bad", in that none of them understand the true significance of the Island, and instead are just seeking to fulfill their own personal desires regarding it.

Thus, the true "hero" of the story would likely be someone who doesn't give a damn about the Island or anything related to it, and has enough reasons to give up the Island. Desmond, in other words.


My own personal Lost Jesus

The interwebs have long surmised that there's something very special about Desmond, given the various time wonkery things that have happened to him. Fer instance, turning the Failsafe key when the hatch was imploding. Then he shows up naked in the jungle - how does that happen, exactly? Then he starts seeing glimpses of the future, with Charlie dying, and he tries to save him for awhile but then gives up, and instead points Charlie towards a productive end.

In a later episode, The Constant, we see Desmond's mind travel back and forth in time, finally "merging" when he talks to Penny on Christmas (awwww). 

So, Island Jesus. Somehow. That's why he's The Package,  somehow the foil to Smokey's well laid plans. Or, to save everyone. Save the world.

That's the other cool theory I've been reading lately: The conflation of the hatch and the button pushing, with the island and Jacob-Smokey. Each is in a situation, stuck performing a rote task which they are told is of the utmost importance, but they truly don't know. Over time this task becomes hellish, and someone tries to escape - and given that a pair of people are needed,  the gig is up.

So, Island = Hatch, And thus Jacob = Desmond, and Smokey = Radzinksy


American Taliban

Hey look! It's the Hutaree Militia group, just one of many rightwing Christian Terrorist groups getting ready to kill and injure Americans. It's not really terrorism though, of course, since they're all white. But still!

Looking forward to 4/19 this year - Waco/OKC anniversary, which seems like the perfect time to have an open carry gun rights march in DC. Good luck with that, Christian Warriors. I'm sure no one could ever misinterpret your motives.

Most of these clowns are in jail now - where they belong. But they and their fellow travelers will simply take this as evidence of Liberal Government Tyranny -  I mean, by God, what kinda country are we living in when a Good Old American Boy can't plot to kill police officers without getting harassed by The Man - who's black, dontchya know?

Also, it seems now is as good a time as any for a.... Hutaree Wedding. Arkons and Boramanders, please rise:
Good times.

We play the roles assigned

I've come to the conclusion that the so called "American Dream" is in fact one of the more useful tools of control The Man has invented, in the US at least. Basically, it allows the Elite to say "work hard and you can be as rich as us - anyone can!", when in fact that is not true. It allows the Average Person to blame themselves for any failures - since anyone can make it in America, if you don't, you're a failure.

A nice system, you see, since upwards social mobility is an out of date phenomenon in America, yet everyone pretends it's still the truth. 

Alas, the story is basically the same as it's ever been in human history: A small group of elites wielding disproportionate power over the vast majority.

But, all that said, and in truth, there are exceptions, of course. A darn clear one being Barack Obama, who is as good an example of the "American Dream" as I can recall.

And in this long slog that is the evolution of life on Earth, all it might take to make dramatic changes is a rare event, every now and then, like an asteroid. Or like Barack Obama - something, anything, which upends the status quo and shows everyone, clearly, that there are other ways. Ways that provide a clear break with the past and the chance for a new future.

These same moments are met, in turn, by their opposite forces, the reactionary forces, as such:
Here's a man who's been lied to his entire life, and not only believes the lies but has adopted them as his own thoughts. He's being used, but doesn't realize it, and instead takes all the anger and frustration that results from being used and directs it at those who had little to nothing to do with it - the Other.

This is the role of the Other, always: To redirect; in this case, redirect hostility from its actual target (the Elite), towards someone else, anyone else, it hardly matters who.

But then, we all play our roles, one way or another.


Gored Sox

Hey, it's almost baseball time. I don't really care, haven't really since 2004, which was baseball perfection and can never be topped, so why bother? Also, as a downeast traditionalist, I far prefer "Cursed but plucky loser" to "Yankees North". It's just more fun.

Thusly, never win, Cubs!

We make it real

The discussion in the last post got me to thinking: What is real? I have a hard time answering the question, actually, since I see all these different levels, and what might be considered real on one level is not on another.

But, to wit: What is most "real" is what our body tells us is real, even if it's actually fake. For example, anxiety can be based on nothing, but the effects of anxiety are real on the body, via chemicals and hormones. Here's a neat trick I have learned using this phenomena: Say you are feeling sluggish, down, lazy etc. But you need to be more alert. Here's the trick: Imagine yourself in a fight. Imagine it in as much detail as you can - you're being chased, attacked, beaten by a mob, etc....

Your mind will make these imaginings real, and will release chemicals, which in turn will affect your body, producing a desired effect. In essence, you are tricking your body to react as it's designed to, but artificially. You will feel the rush of adrenaline when there was no real cause for this, other than you making it so.

This is the power I am getting at - to shape the fiction of our existence towards your desired goals. It requires, essentially, awareness and then control over your mind. To the degree of that control comes a degree of "making reality as you see fit".


Life's a show

I once watched Professional wrestling, and for a period of time, I thought it was real. I remember being routinely frustrated/puzzled as to why they did not have WWF results or standings in the sports page alongside the box scores.

Then, not sure what did it, I learned that in fact, the entire sport is a sham, it's all staged, and is more like theatre than sport, in that there are intentional plot lines, heroes, villains, etc. It's stage drama. 

Drama, like all art, in my opinion, is simply an awesome way our human brain engages in scenarios. Art allows us to explore other realities, other choices, other decisions and consequences, and thus, possibly learn something from these simulations without having to go through the event ourselves.

Science seems to be coming around to the idea that Dreaming - something all mammals do - is the brains way of not only processing new information, but running simulations with this info (and other info), again, to prepare the brain, and thus the body, for a variety of future situations.

This is a powerful functionality and clearly is a feature of "higher" life forms.

But, keep following this train of thought and it the point is quickly surmised: Perhaps our entire reality is but a simulation. 

Nothing - and I mean absolutely nothing - is as we think it is, due to our sensory interfaces; we're using the remnants of billions of years of evolution to interact with reality, but these interfaces are but tools, means for a lifeform to survive. They do not speak in any way to the "truth" or actual reality of... reality.

For example, define the color "Blue". You could try using a spectrum, and that would be scientifically valid. I could define blue as "anything that is more likely to reflect the blue spectrum of light and absorb other spectrums".

And even that definition is dependent on understanding our sense organs. Which are failable.

And thus, perhaps you can see how our lives themselves might be considered a simulation in some higher reality, since the truth is, we have little idea at all about our true existence.

Long story short: For the kid freakin' out above, the question of whether wrestling is real or fake, or if life is a simulation, or if our very atoms are but points of a string that floats among infinite dimensions... all these things are pointless, in the moment. Cuz he's feeling it, and feelings are as real as we get.


The Great Bea Yond

Bea Arthur is a great hero to many, apparently. For deeds such as depicted here, I assume. Dino rasslin'.

Space Pope Commands You

More Guinea Pigs in the collection plates, flock.


Yo, where the nuns at?

One wonders - I wonder - where the nuns are during this terrible child rape scandal within the Catholic Church that I would assume has gone on for generations if not for centuries (shudder to think of all the lives twisted within this foul network of perversion and denial). I would hope they are horrified, but have they tried to stop it? Report offending priests? Protect the children in any way? Probably, but given the towering patriarchy of the Church, it is likely any isolated resistance was easily dismissed or crushed. For a glimmer into the patriarchal, Catholic mind, consider this quote from Democratic Congressman Bart Stupak, member of the DC based "The Family":

"When I’m drafting right-to-life language, I don’t call up the nuns," Stupak told Fox News. Instead he said he consulted "leading bishops, Focus on the Family, and the National Right to Life Committee." 
 Got it? Rightwing political Catholic groups set the policy, nuns can go take a leap.

Anyways, I could never support any major religion, but! If one were to emerge from a nun rebellion, I might be able to lend it tacit support. At the most.



Real Men Become Priests

An actual recruitment poster from the NY Archdiocese, apparently without a trace of irony. I wonder if they're hitting their quotas - I mean, who wouldn't jump at the idea of being a priest these days!

Organized Religion = Organized crime. Think of it! These men assume positions of power based on a fairly tale, on membership in a brotherhood that unfortunately has too much historical legacy; in the not too far past, these men achieved towering heights of power and wealth, all in the name of representing the poor shepherd God, Jesus, wielding this power via mental and physical intimidation. Thankfully, the Catholic Church's power has been greatly weakened over the last, oh, 400 years, and especially so in the last 200. Bu they still have power, and plenty of it.

Consider! It seems pretty obvious that the Church as an Institution has systematically covered up widespread sexual abuse amongst their priests. Now, if a regular man rapes a child, hopefully he goes to jail for a long time. When a priest does it, however, over and over, well, because he works for "God", well, the Law has no say, right? Transfer him to another church and tell him to seek forgiveness. Ha.

I don't see how anyone could choose to be a Catholic anymore. But then, I don't see how anyone could so resolutely lie to themselves as to actually believe these fairy tales. But still, from a marketing perspective, it seems to be by now that these concepts are now irrevocably linked: Priests = Child Rapists, and Roman Catholic Church = Criminal organization. 

Let us see how they recover from this. Maybe with hip new priests like this guy:
3D priest on the Catholic Channel, comin' at ya! Wicked cool!

Kind of a big deal


Not only do I love-love-love Obama - and I really do (it's very odd to me. I've never really felt anything towards any public figure. But Obama impresses me, motivates me, inspires me more than any person I've ever come across. He's amazing) - but I love the VP, Joe Biden. He's as close to a regular guy as you can get for a politician, and he's direct. After the HCR signing ceremony, Biden was heard to say to Obama "This is a big fucking deal". It was not towards the mic, but was picked up anyways.

Of course, the Fox Propagandists will try and try to make hay from it. Good luck hypocrites. But it really does sum up what Obama and the Democrats have done. A big deal. And it's not just healthcare! Snuck into the same bill was a massive reform for college loans backed by the government - long story short, much more money will be available for students, and the banks will no longer get a fat cut. Win-win for everyone. Of course the Repugs were against that too, but is that a surprise?

And this is, what I suspect, will be the pattern for the rest of Obama's Presidency: He will accomplish amazing things, but the Repugs will bad mouth everything he does, the Media will echo the smear, and there will be a sizeable minority (oh, around 27%) who will dominate the discussion, such that to the "average man", he'll wonder if Obama has done anything at all.

Fun games.



Rant continued: Another thing these God Botherers hate is intelligence. It's "elitism". Essentially, you could apply the cliche bully logic to almost all Repuglicans, Fundies, Wingnuts, and their fellow travelers: They are incredibly insecure about almost everything with their lives, and thus they lash out at what they perceive, or more likely, are told, are the causes of their problems. There is no end to their depths of their resentment and victimhood, as they are essentially fraudulent people - they're entire world view is based on Fairy Tales!

So, not only is Obama black(!), but he's incredibly smart. This fact encourages me, makes me feel confident; for these Wingnuts, it causes the exact opposite reaction. Hence their support of Palin, of W., of all the other truly stupid Repuglicans: They could have a beer with them, and that's all that matters. Right? They're real Muricans, not these Elitist east coast types....

Look above, at the scribblings of intelligence.

First come smiles, then come lies. Last is gunfire.

Perhaps you've heard of the recent uptick in politically motivated violence? All of it directed at Democratic representatives - but gosh! The Repuglicans have nothing to do with it! Who could blame them when they talk about "the greatest assault on American Freedom"? Of course, that would be the Health Care Reform bill just signed.

Remember that. All this recent anger, the spitting on congressman, calling John Lewis a nigger, Barney Frank a faggot - in the halls of congress - the vandalism against Dem offices, against family members... and that's just the start... all this anger is supposedly about this health care reform bill. Health care. I keep asking myself: How could anyone get so upset about health care reform? Disagree, sure, but label is as the greatest threat to America?

But then, the answer is quite simple: It's not about Health Care Reform. It's about a Democrat as President, and the Democratic party having majorities in both houses. And oh yeah, Obama's black. None of these losers care about the issues, or frankly know anything about them. And yet they get angrier and angrier, of course egged on by the Rush-Becks-Foxes of the world - cause their anger is good for ratings. And that explains that.

But as I've been saying for a while, the evil genie is out of the bottle, and violence is coming. And I know this will sound harsh, but I welcome it. Let's get this out in the open, and reveal that for one side, this war has been going on for a long time. And they're in a shooting war, they have the guns, and they're stupid. Easily lied to, easily fooled. They are pure fodder, ready to be martyrs.

Really, there is a religious war underway right now in this country. They've taken over many school boards in order to fight the evils of education; they are attempting to take over all aspects of government, and they will use violence to get their way. These so called Christians are anything but, and should be thought of precisely as one would think of a member of Al Qaeda: A religious terrorist.

They've been shooting up abortion clinics and doctors for decades, and we as a society tolerate it, because at the same time they've taken over the media, and so we hear what they want us to hear.

Well, there's only so much they can hide - I mean sure, a white guy flies an airplane into an IRS office, but that's not yet terrorism. But if this current wave of violence continues, or escalates, perhaps the Media will have no choice to call it for what it is: Rightwing, religious terrorism. And let us hold the sponsors and participants in such violence responsible for these acts.

There's only a few ways we're going to get through this era into another. Violence is one of these ways - and we will see if the principles of non-violent resistance work, because it is only one side engaging in the violence. 

Also, Fundies? 

I find it ironic that even if your stupid fairy tale was actually true - which of course it is not - most of you would be burning in the Hell you love so. Ha.

The Most Toys

He who has the most toys, wins, right? If life is a game.....

Or is life a show? And we all play our part? So many metaphors....

Another example of some awesome Lost fan art. There's tons of it out there, and I have a lot. Unfortunately I have misplaced the author of this piece, but rest assured like most things on this blog, it was not me.


Pieces on the board

So, from episode one of the show, they have set up this conflict between dark and light, as first symbolized with the backgammon pieces, and used numerous other times since. Not a new metaphorical vehicle by any stretch, of course, but rather, one of the oldest and most fundamental conflict in human mythology: Good v. Evil.

I am firmly in the camp however that this is not the story of Good (Jacob) v. Evil (Smokey), as that's too simple, and everything we've seen hints at far more complexity and subtly. However, Lost is riffing on a plethora of mythological sources, the Bible now being prime among them, so the tendency of the viewers to see this conflict as "Good" v. "Evil" is understandable, and in fact I suspect the writers are using that in order to provide a nice twist at the end.

But regardless, it seems clear the end game of the show has developed, and all that's left is to find out more of the reasons why this game is happening, and how it turns out for our characters.

Smokey has been trying to get off the island for a long time, probably far longer than the 160 years we saw last night. Glad to see he's improved his sales technique in the interim! Although, his attempt to trick Richard into killing Jacob was pretty good. Too hasty though.

And what of Action Hero Jacob?! He was once an ass-kicker. This makes it seem pretty obvious to me that Jacob was prepared for Flocke and Ben to come and kill him, and he let it happen. I also think this attempt by Richard truly shocked him, and thus represents the beginning of the end game we are currently seeing - Jacob suddenly realized that Smokey is making moves to knock him off, and he's going to have to counter them. Thus, Richard as his first "hire".

Overall though, I suspect we're going to end with the Bible mythology. There's too many strong correlations. Consider the story of Jacob and Esau and their crazy mother; Cain and Abel; the Garden of Eden and Adam and Eve; and my favorite, the story of Job, which plays very much like Lost: God and Satan make a bet. Satan thinks anyone would renounce God if they suffer enough; God thinks some people will have faith through anything. They use Job to settle the bet. Hard not to see the parallels to Jacob's "people are good" and Smokey's "All people are corruptible" game they are playing.

But I don't think Smokey is playing by choice. Over and over and over, we get the sense he's trapped, a prisoner, forced to play a role. In my reading of the Bible, I often felt the same way about Satan. Rather than seeing him as some evil monster, rather he's a tragic figure who's service to God is to oppose God - because God made him thus. 

Oh yeah, also, the Numbers for the remaining Candidates also match their corresponding Psalm pretty closely, for example, number 23 (Jack), which begins with "The Lord is my shepherd...  " And of course, Jack (and Christian, hmm...)'s last name is Shepherd. Also, there was an episode of Lost entitled "The 23rd Psalm", which featured Eko and Smokey.

Food, or wine, for thought.


Wow, what an episode! I need more time to digest, and to let the internet digest. But this episode reminded me of one of my favorite dramatic techniques: To build a world of storytelling in which you give yourself the space to tell all kinds of different stories. Lost is a great example of this, in that their uses of flashbacks/forwards/sideways allows them to set their stories in all sorts of different environments. Again, for example, a few episodes ago we got an episode of Lost which heavily featured high school teacher politics; last night's episode, on the other hand, played out like a romance novel or set period peace. Except for all the freaky "Hell - Smoke Monster - Uncaring God" angle, it was a pretty straightfoward romantic fantasy, featuring traditional tropes like horses, bodices, and jaunty sailing ships.

More later!


Come back

As good as last week's episode was, I got the sense it was more of a set up episode for tonight's episode. Thus, tonight's episode should be, in a word, awesome. Tune in to find out!

In other seismic news

Despite a recent bout of pessimism, it's hard to deny that in fact, the ground is shifting beneath our feet, and these seismic shifts might be part of the underlying Teabagger pathology - their closed worlds are getting all shook up, and it scares them, thus they lash out. It's understandable. Not good, but still.

Anyways, right under our noses, so to speak, it seems like the Drug War is being ramped down, piece by piece. This is an actual advertisement from a CA newspaper, for a completely legitimate service. There are many more ads like this. It's no big deal, of course, except it's a huge deal if it undermines the drug war.

Because make no mistake, like most everything else in our world, the Drug War is not about drugs, or about people getting messed up on them. Rather, it's about control, and control is always about power, and as far as I can tell, everything is about power.

The Drug War has allowed the US government unprecedented abilities to roll back many personal freedoms we as citizens once had. It also gives the US government another wedge to control other governments - for instance, do you have any idea how deeply intertwined the US and Columbian governments are? Did you know the US military has been in Columbia for a long time, on a near war-footing? Essentially, after the end of the Cold War, the Powers that Be needed another "hook" in order to control people and money. Thankfully! They found the Drug War and later, the so called "War on Terror"  nicely fit the bill.

Well, like with so much else, Obama is here, and things are changing. For the best, I think, though there's gonna be a lot of growing pains in the meanwhile.


Why we fight

The first reason for fighting should always, always be because it's right. However, that should be obvious! More subtly, we should fight when it becomes clear that someone has to, yet no one seems able to, or willing. When there is a need that must be addressed.

The particulars will change based on the issue, but here I show you one face of the enemy, regardless of the issue. Because, men like Rush and his ilk will almost always be on the wrong side of any given issue, but that's not even the worst part. The worst part is they are trolls, UberTrolls at the highest level, who really only care about themselves and their wallets. Any cause or issue they say they believe in is irrelevant, since they will change their convictions overnight if it helps the profit margin. No, Rush et al are the enemy because they have an audience under thrall, fairly big audiences, and they will fill these people's heads full of lies and poison, every day of the week. They are agents of destruction bent only on their own personal enrichment, and all the poor saps who believe their lies are nothing but cannon fodder, to be used and abused. Think of any picture you've seen of a Teabagger - did they look rich and/or well educated to you? No, because they are not. In fact, they need health care reform as much anyone.

And yet, because of people like Rush, they'll instead be willing to spit on Civil Rights heroes. They'll condemn America, because Rush told them to. They'll commit treason because there's a Democrat in the White House. And psst... He's "black".

It's the media that's the problem. Rush is a nice big fat symbol of this problem, but it's not just him. Ask yourself this, for example: In an age of ever declining revenues, but where drug advertisements supply more and more of the ad revenue TV stations need, do you really think a company like GE is somehow out to get a company like Pfizer? Or, is it more likely these two behind-the-scenes players will be in cahoots, for each other's benefit? Global corporations with vested interests in the other succeeding.

That's our world. Now, the question is - will you do anything about it?

Some people are, and have. And it might be making a difference. It did this weekend, that's for sure. Ultimately, of course, nothing has any meaning other than the one and only meaning - the transformation of energy. But that's Existentialist ground and the easy answer to that is here we are, living our lives, together. Should we not strive to make these lives better? That's why we fight: Because we ought to.


Not really sure how much blogs are influencing the various debates of the day, but I do know this: Everything that happened these past few weeks to get HCR passed was outlined in detail on Daily Kos months and months ago - they were specifically touting the need for the Reconciliation process, which is what the House used last night. Which is perfectly legal and was used all the time by the Repugs when they wanted to - so don't believe any of their lies about illegality.

I hope this historic legislation re-energizes the Progressives out there, who have apparently taken a beating this past year. Next on the agenda, deliciously timed, will be Immigration Reform - did you know there was a march of over 200K people yesterday in Washington? Oh, no, you don't because instead the Cable News liars relentlessly covered the thousand or so Tea Bagging Trolls hurling eipthets at Congressman. Our media!

But, if you think these ignorant tea bagging fools were angry about Health Care reform (hint: It had nothing to do with health care), wait till you see their responses to Immigration Reform. Fun times await. But! Has the Tide turned?

Tune in to find out!



I'm as atheist as they come, but even I've been conditioned to feel shock when I saw the Guaranteed Overnight Delivery truck zooming by. Isn't that blasphemy? Then of course joy, in the blasphemy.

It's a Corporate House Party Y'All!

This picture is an accurate summation of the state of both Rock and/or Roll, and US Politics today. Sold out.

A Reminder

I've posted this before, but I felt like posting it again! Savor it. And remember: Barack is the Man!


Birth of Fat Elvis

I propose that Elvis was in fact so shaken by this encounter with a clearly incredulous Ali that as a consolation, Elvis began to gorge himself. Soon, all the jumpsuits had to be let out and sweat scarves weren't just a fashion accessory, but alas, this was just the beginning of the full transformation to the sad figure of Fat Elvis. There was much more gorging in the chicken fried years to come...

[SPOILER] Muhammad Wins

They're fighting under a Red Sun, you see, which robs Superman of his powers, allowing Muhammad Ali to win by TKO.

Our Spidey Saviour

I'm not sure if this is ironic or sincere.

Off the List

So, from the "May only interest me" file, we have Leif Garret. Lief happens to be one of only a handful of people I've ever been jealous of - it was 1979, California, and I just could not match his hair. I tried, and tried, but failed. And I have held this grudge against Leif for a long, long time. Until just last week, when I came upon Leif's mugshot, thusly:
Jealous no more! So, for what it's worth Leif, rest a bit easier, since you're off my dreaded List.

In other news, however, that episode of ChiPs featured above has been permanently set into my brain, one, for the jealousy reason, but two, and more interesting to me, is what happens in the scene featured above: in it, Leif plays a busy rock star just picked up in his limo. He's very tired though, so falls asleep, and then there is a car crash! However, fortunately, being asleep saved Leif's life (on the show), since he was so relaxed, and it was right then I took a vow as a child to learn how to relax my body in preparation for an accident. And I actually worked at this, ever since - this is a big clue as to my personality, I now realize. Anyways, many, many moons later I was taking a class in Tae Kwon Do that was specifically about learning how to fall, and this relaxation technique was one of the keys to the trick. Which I can now do effortlessly, along with many other tricks that I learned in similarly obscure ways. Stay tuned for a post on "Walking like an Indian".

But, in sum, Leif: I hope you can get over your jealousy of your younger self. Also, Duran Duran? Until I learn a reason otherwise, you're all still on the List.

This World is My Canvas

Not just mine, but all of ours, of course. Sad part is most of us are terrible artists.

This is an interesting new art form though - putting up large scale pictures and letting the satellites do the rest. Another new art form I've seen is setting up art for Google Street View, such that a series of still images becomes  a short movie when the Google Van drives by.


Good Neighbors

San Diego - Fence - Tijuana

Invisible Fence

I realize I am not the most objective fan of Lost, since I think pretty much everything they do is awesome. That said, last night's episode, Recon, had a few weaker moments, I thought, but was still incredible, as all of Season 6 has been (and next week looks to be even more so!). I giggled like a schoolgirl at the Alt-Sawyer as Undercover Cop reveal, as we on the Interwebs had been calling that since the first episode of the season (specifically, when Sawyer appears to be giving Hurley advice on the plane, about cons). That said, Sawyer was a cop, saw Kate in handscuffs, and subtly aided her escape. But now he's caught her. Wonder how that will work out (Hmm..... Kate runs, messes everything up, maybe?). 

I've been somewhat obsessed of late between the connections, if any, between all the various industrialists and fabulously wealthy people on the show. We have Widmore, Ben and the Others (who have extensive resources off island), Hanso and Dharma, Paik Automotive group (which Sun now controls), Hurley (who's poor in comparison), and that's all I got, for now. The Boones had a wedding "empire", but they're long gone, fortunately.

What has got me thinking is basically this: How in the heck did the Others/Jacob/Smokey/Whomever allow Dharma to build such massive infrastructure on the island? They were everywhere. In addition, they paid lip service to many Egyptian and Eastern beliefs, and they were specifically working on ways to "change the world". To wit: I have to believe Dharma was on the island with the blessing of Jacob.

And how about the Others? It's clear they have big resources off island - where did they get them? Why did they allow Dharma to move on the island, maintaining a truce for over 14 years. By whose order? And finally, who ordered the Purge? Jacob? Richard? Widmore? Ben?

It's germane to the end, I believe, as we'll have to resolve - somehow - the motives and actions of all these powerful groups. I am leaning towards the following idea: Jacob has established many different groups, all with the aim of working towards his goal (whatever that is). For reasons we don't yet know, the Others fell out of favor with Jacob, so he started a new group - Dharma. But through the perfidy of Ben, the Others wiped out Dharma, but Widmore took the blame, and coupled with his off island dalliances, he was banished, by Ben. Ben is the corrupter here, and once gone, Widmore has been trying to set things right - by Jacob.

It works so far, since it appears as of last night, Widmore is there to stop Smokey. I don't fully buy it, yet, since all we heard about Smokey in that exchange between Sawyer and Widmore was from Sawyer - he brought it up, not Widmore. And who killed all the Ajira survivors?

Finally, it seems more and more likely Smokey is evil, even though he's also the nicest guy on the Island, except for all the killing. For example, his story to Kate about bad mothers? Seemed a set up to me, to make Kate think she cannot allow Claire to get Aaron back. For, if you recall, one of the longest running "prophecies" on the show has been about Aaron, and who raises him. It seems clear Smokey does not want Claire raising Aaron herself - why? No idea. But there have been lots and lots of attempts to get Aaron away from Claire, and Smokey's story about crazy mothers seemed part of the same "con". Smokey is lying, in other words - how are they going to fly that jet out of there, for example?

To end, for now, got to say I loved the scene where Smokey had to make peace between Claire and Kate, and calm everyone down. "Smokey Knows Best" - it ain't easy being Big Pimp Smoke on the Island. Everyone's got a problem!


Dog, God, Anubis, and the Meaning Of Vincent

No, no real meaning here. Just idle speculation. Like! The second character we see on Lost is Vincent (Jack is the first). Vincent comes upon Jack in the jungle, walks on his face, and takes off. To mysterious music, of course. Vincent plays somewhat of a major role in the first few episodes, due mainly to the Walt - Michael - Locke dynamic.

But, hey! Anubis had a dog's head, right? Vincent seems to be untouchable - he did survive a plane crash, after all, and shows up for all the exciting moments on the Island. Is it time for a Vincent flashback? What's Vincent doing in the Alt-Reality? I want more Vincent!!!

The top image shows Vincent with the mummified (mummies!) hand of Roger Workman, nee Linus, Ben's dad. A real jerk, if you recall. In fact, Ben's deserved hatred of his Father is one of the main engines that makes this drama go. Imagine what Ben turns into with a loving Dad.... oh, we already saw that. A high school teacher.

The bottom image is not from the broadcast, but rather from one of a series of "mobisodes" that aired online during the first season. Here's the synopsis of the above "mobisode", "So It Begins":

Vincent is trotting through the jungle, as we follow his point of view. After moving past a bag of luggage with clothes strewn about, he hears a whistle. It is Christian Shephard, who calls the Labrador closer. Christian wears white tennis shoes. He tells Vincent to go wake up his son, who is unconscious and not far away. As the dog trots off, Christian adds, "He has work to do." We then see the opening moments of "Pilot, Part 1": Jack's eye opens as he awakens disoriented in a bamboo grove and Vincent approaches. They look at each other for a moment before Vincent trots off. 
I don't know if these "mobisodes" count towards official mythology, but this seems somewhat important to my Vincent perspective.

And finally, the internets are very excited for any current appearance of Christian this season. No one knows who/what he is, though Smoke Monster is the most obvious choice. However, a single ghostly appearance of Christian this season would seem to rule that out, making Christian something else. If this comes to pass, my bet is that Christian actually represents the Island. Just like the ghost boy who freaked out Flocke represents the Island. Not Jacob, but the Island itself.

Maybe we'll find out tonight. Probably not. Regardless, it's gonna be fun! 

EDIT to add: Should have done more research. According to the incredible Lostpedia, the "mobisodes" are part of the mythology, were filmed/broadcast in 2007/2008, and can now be found on the Season 4 DVD's. Which I must now watch ASAP.


On Leaving

"What I was taught to believe, what I do believe, is that when they walk out that door of doom they are gone! And if they come back, when they come back, it is a miracle I say, can I hear Amen?!"
"Come now! You know it's the same person, even if they've been gone an incredibly long time - you can smell them, can't you? They smell basically the same, and they'll feed you, won't they? The same basic food? It's no miracle - just a prolonged absence."

The Daily Wingnut

Well, it says here "Nobama" is gonna get the Feds to take over Medicare! Gummint better get their damn hands off'n my Medicare! That ain't in the Constitution!

Monkey Business

Instead of cowboys and astronauts, it's spreadsheets and staff meetings. As if it was going to turn out any other way, but still: I think we're always surprised to find ourselves fulfilling our destiny.


Not to be

I realized today I can no longer objectively support manned exploration of space. Shuttle missions, sure. Low orbit tourism, why not. But Mars? The Moon? Why? Either it is purely a ra-ra vanity mission, or there would have to be a pretty important reason to spend that kind of money to send people.

For a fraction of the cost, of course, we can send fleets of robots and landers, probes and satellites. And let's face it: America is broke. It''s hard to justify a vanity project when a debtor.

Now, China on the other hand - they've got the cash to consider a glory grab to the Moon. I hope they go for it, but does it make any sense for them to? I don't see it, other than pure national vanity.

Sadly, my childhood dreams of Moon bases and personal rocket ships will not come to pass in my lifetime, and maybe not for a long time, if ever. Alas, also.


Our Egg

Say hello again to our old friend the Heliosphere. In many ways, you can think of the Heliosphere as the shell of an egg, as it is the wall between us and the cold, uncaring larger universe. The sun is clearly the yolk.

Or, another analogy would be a cell, with the Heliosphere representing the cellular membrane, and the sun as the nucleus.

And then, of course, our entire universe can be thought of as an egg, with an outer wall and a central point of maximum energy (somewhere at some time - the Big Bang). So, in sum, the egg is a slick symbol for everything. And they're tasty, which makes them by far the best metaphor ever.


Spectrums of Ostrich Eggs

These are pieces of fossilized ostrich egg, found in an archaeological dig in South Africa. They are dated to between 60 and 70 thousand years old, and they represent some of the oldest human art ever discovered. Nothing too complicated - just lines and dots and stains. But that's all it takes, really, to show us that our long gone brothers and sisters were thinking abstractly, in symbols, for a long, long time. Another feature which separates mankind from our animal cousins.

Spectrum of Orion

I find this to be very cool - click the pic for big. This picture represents spectral analysis of light from the Orion Nebula.  This pic was obtained by the European Space Agency's Herschel Space Laboratory. What it shows is groundshaking: All the ingredients needed for life are floating in the vast dust clouds of Orion, including water. Now, we already knew this, but this is the first time we've been able to see so clearly that this is true, and is most likely true in all directions of space.

Meaning, to me, it's just a matter of time before we discover life off earth, and its also possible - maybe probable - that life on Earth came from space. I don't know if we can ever know for sure though, as no one was around back then to confirm. 

We might find there's been multiple origins of life on Earth - under the sea, from space, from the atmosphere, etc. Life is always grander than anticipated.