Friday, May 28, 2010

Auckland - it's not so big. And LOST? Disappointing.

So, I kinda-sorta already saw the city. Who needs to see it again, yeah?

When I first woke up I resumed my quest to watch Lost, grabbing ten more minutes of it over the course of an hour, before finding a fast stable site. Then – it was just a matter of watching the hour and a half of episode to finish off the series. I was – disappointed – by the end, to say the least.

I summed up my thoughts elsewhere, and don't feel the need to get into the angst again. But needless to say, they Battlestar Gallacticaed me, and failed to realize that if your show has a metaphor for god, you need not put God in it.

When I finally emerged from my den I walked outside and saw the most beautiful rainbow I'd seen in ages. It was simply glowing in the sky. Above it was a second rainbow. The bows cut a swath through the sky separating light from dark. I'd never seen anything like it. And by the time I had my camera out, the second rainbow was gone, with the first fading fast. Snapping off a few shots, the image was nothing like it could have been. Still – I'd seen it and that was what mattered.

Making my way up the street on this beautiful day I decided to stop in, one more, at Burgerfuel. Actually grab a burger this time – ground beef and all.

This time a limo malt drew me in, rather than the banana from the day before. And the burger? The best money could buy. $15.00NZD all on it's own. It was... alright. It was pretty good. But it was no MattyP special. They never are.

Leaving the shop I had all intentions to walk down to the bargain bookstore on Queen, but that was – of course – when the sky decided to open. Did I want to walk in the rain to see books that I knew I wouldn't buy? I did not.

Back to the hostel. Back to my room. Don't judge me.

I opened up a word file, I opened up a browser with the map of America, and I opened up Katherine's USA file. I then removed them items from alpha order, and put them in circular order I traced a circle clockwise around America, starting from Buffalo, ending with Chicago. States in the middle? They were discarded, sadly.

With that done, I was ready to begin. Another word file open, and Katherine's file traded for a browser with google maps in it. The tool of every great travel plan.

For three hours I copied, I pasted, I web browsed. But by the end of it I had a rough draft of the two month trip, where we'd spend nights, and the distance / time required to transition from point to point.

All in all, a productive use of time. And when it was done my newly met Californian was back from her day on a boat in the harbour, and more chatting, and learning of American hotspots was to be done.

But the night ended early for me, as I had a twelve hour bus from Auckland to Wellington to catch early in the morning.

You know what? As I have little else to get into here – I will recap my feelings on the end of Lost. Spoilers ahead folks.

The ending of lost - when everyone went through the door, in theory, and we were supposed to think that they all came together. Well here is why that is complete and utter horse hockey.

First you need to buy into what I'm saying about the flash stuff - it was not them all in the afterlife, but rather it was all in jacks head. Geekbox (a lovely podcast I've been following while away) also discussed this, and I was like, "that's what I said!" but no one went with it - yet it's so obvious and the only option. Why?

Because we are told that everyone was awakened like in the matrix, or more realistically the beginning of sailor moon season 2. Now the ones who are awakened are the ones who, in theory, spent the best years of their life on the island and that's why they're all together. And they built this communal place.

OK as if that makes sense. If that was true, than the dude who did science, and also cousin Iggy from super mario, and - everyone - would be there because they wanted to be there, and they wanted to move on. But "Desmond" does not wake them up to have them move on.

Is he just a jerk? No. Because Desmond is not real. He is a construct of Jack's mind, just like everyone else.

It's important to realize that anyone in that death world could be a false person. Jack has created fake beings in this world. His son. Why would the only person to have a fake person be jack? Because he is creating the world - a sort of wish fulfillment. The world is the city he knows best, LA. Jack gets to save Locke, and Jack gets this son, and Jack's father is moving on with the lost crew.

I'm sorry, what? We're supposed to believe that Jack's father spent his best days on the island with all those people? Dude was dead before any of that happened.

Now why was Desmond the person waking everyone? Again - he was the "helper construct" which is how Jack would have always seen him - helping to push the button, and helping 'til the end to try and make things right.

All the people in flash sideways were the way Jack thought of them as being - and at the age jack knew them as. Sun's baby and Aaron were young. Rose and Bernard were young, though we saw them as older, jack did not. Sayid was a bad ass, but with a good heart, kate was innocent. Sawyer was justice.

All these sideways people were not the people we knew from their flashbacks, but rather could have been how Jack imagined them from the few years he knew them. That's why the personalities were different.

The idea that Aaron would move on with them - that he spent the best years of his life with those people is ridiculous. Surely he grew up and made friends.

And Hugo? I could see him accepting those as the best years of his life - but he lived for thousands, we assume.

No, instead, I believe Jack is picking and choosing the people he cares about and bringing them along. Which is why Kate loves him. Something she never really did during the course of the show. But now in his world he can make her be with him.

Note, the flash to death land start the second after Jack dies. The plane flies over head, he closes his eyes, he's on the plane.

This is his death. He has created this fictional world, this "life flashing before his eyes" to help him let go and transition. But nothing in this flash world has anything to do with the rest of the characters - most of whom died on this island for nothing, because Jacob is an asshole with mommy issues.

Further more, I think the smoke monster guy was a good thing. He wanted to sink the island. Great. What good ever came out of the island, aside from people dying?

Now never mind that they travelled through time, or the island moved, or all that other crazy stuff. I just want to focus on how I think the end played out, and that's that. To accommodate all the other crap I have this theory (which doesn't really work in the spirit of the show, but allows me to tie everything together and would solve all problems.)

Jack is not a doctor in real life, instead he is a dreamer, an author, a writer. When he opens his eye at the beginning of the first episode he is really going to sleep. (reverse in this world) these are his creations. His characters. And as he lives through the story, he sees the flash backs, fleshing out his creations.

It is not until his real life death - which may be many years, or at the same time, as his dream death. These fictional characters have taken on such a large part of his life that when he dies these are the things that matter to him. He is picking and choosing those who meant most, while finding roles for everyone. At the end, keeping up with the theme of bad fatherhood, he chooses the fictional characters over his own son.

In this reading, his son is the only real face, but when his creations tell him the son isn't real, he casts him off and moves peacefully to his death.

As for all the things unexplained, or plots that changed, or were dropped - in dreams things come and go and we accept them. This is how dreams work, and they are not questioned. Just appreciated as part of a tapestry that allows us to view the larger issues.

Now - I'm not saying this is what the creators had in mind, but it's the only way to make sense of the show, for me, and if I look at it any other way, the finale was terrible, made little sense, and was just a painful way to wrap up what could have been a fantastic experience. Looking at it otherwise, as a "real death world" where they are all together? It doesn't make sense. Everyone from the history of time would be there. Everyone who was ever on the island (why would the japanese guy choose to bring himself and his maybe-real son there?) would be there throughout the history of time.

And also - why would the island even be there? Underwater?

Jack could have put it there as, when he died, it seemed the island might be sinking.

One could imagine Tolkien being this attached to his characters.

Not to say I hated the show, because I didn't. I watched it for six years, putting in a lot of effort to watch season 6 as I've been traveling the world this year watching each episode in a different country - but I just think the ending? It was far too simple and obvious (most people predicted it from the very begging) and a missed opportunity for something so much more. Were the flash sideways world anything but purgatory, even if poorly explained, the show would have had a much stronger impact.

In a show that deals with the metaphor of religion and god, putting in God? It's not necessary.

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