There Are Maybe Ten or Twelve - A.C. Newman (mp3)
I Lost It - Lucinda Williams (mp3)
People spend more than half their working lives watching television. That has to shape the neural pathways. It creates an impatience for irresolution. -- David Milch, creator of Hill Street Blues, NYPD Blue and Deadwood
Because faith can't help but trump reason eventually.
Because we sometimes find ourselves doing mindless repetitive things simply because we've been told to.
Because sometimes we trust the wrong people.
Because sometimes the wrong people are right, or correct.
Because love is messy but essential, like caramel.
Because all people have at least a little goodness in them.
Because nobody's perfect.
Because puzzles are fun, but require patience.
Because the best heroes are often aggravatingly flawed.
Because most promises we break, we really intended on keeping.
Because even Sammy Hagar is haunted by the notion of fate and free will.
Because we live together and die alone.
These are just a sampling of the reasons the followers of LOST were so loyal, a reason I loved the show so much and will consider it, for the rest of my life, one of the best TV series of all time.
Dan Meyer, a talk aimed at addressing what he sees as a tragic flaw in our 21st Century culture, one that has trickled down into our educational system and the mentality of students.
We don't like irresolution. It frustrates, aggravates and bloviates. The reason Law & Order and CSI are so damn popular and have so many damn spin-offs is because every episode is a clean package. You can buy a DVD of any season of these shows, randomly pick out an episode, and be able to follow along with 95% of the plotline without asking a single question. Further, the odds are strong that, at the end of the episode, all loose ends are tied up, and all questions are answered: That dude shot the other dude. Any questions?
LOST was, in a sense, the anti-CSI, a show hell-bent on giving you more questions than answers at the end of an episode.
CSI is a whore, a street-walkin' prostitute. You can go visit her once, or fifty times, and all you need to do is be willing to pay for her. With commercials or whatever. She's available at any time, for any position. She's there to joylessly get you off and then return to the street for her next john.
Most sitcoms? Crack whores who can do things twice as fast for half the price. Seinfeld was, by all accounts, the biggest baddest most incredible crack ho the TV world ever knew. Any episode, at any time, can please untold numbers of people and needs almost no back story or context of any kind. Someone who has never seen a single episode could pop in episode 10 of the fourth season of Seinfeld and still expect to enjoy it.
LOST, on the other hand, was looking for relationships. It wanted to date you, to go steady. And, if you liked LOST and it liked you, it expected you to be devoted, and dedicated. If you missed a date, it was hell on wheels trying to catch up. If you missed two dates, then you were on the verge of breaking up. And the only way to get back in LOST's good graces was to do your homework, make up the lost time, and catch the hell up.
Unlike movies, where an entire story must absolutely be told in the timespan of 90 minutes to three hours, a TV series has time on its side. It can build up multiple plots, develop a multitude of characters who change and mature and grow -- or sometimes devolve -- over time.
If you don't watch at least a few shows like 24 or The Wire or LOST or others requiring a patience with irresolution and a love of development, then why are you watching television at all? Why not just stick with movies?
Our culture, our kids, us. We're all impatient. We want answers. We want simplicity. We want disposable diapers and single-serving snacks.
Fight that shit, and fight it with everything you have.
Find ways to exercise your patience. Jog your memory. Wrestle with your morals and ethics. Aerobicize these parts of your head and heart. Build up those muscles. They'll come in much handier when you're 70 than those damn biceps.
LOST made it fun to talk to friends. It left you with stuff to think about. It made you ask questions, some of which were even really good and important ones. Not many shows give you much to talk about any more. I'll miss it dearly.