Friday, May 30, 2008

You Lost Me

I'm really, really glad I stopped watching Lost. See, I'm not a fan of science fiction, as I find reality interesting enough. I like what I read or watch to reflect the world, to teach me something new about people or relationships, or remind me that even a cold, hard world can still be both entertaining and fulfilling.

This doesn't often happen in science fiction. There, robots run amok until some plucky human manages to turn the tables on them. A scienist clones Hitler and he rises to power again, aided by a mind-controlling chemical infused into tortilla chips. A faraway planet named Zardox is ruled by a blonde, three-breasted supermodel in a gold lamé bikini who enslaves men for their sexual services.

No offense, but I don't think any of these are going to illuminate the mysteries of life.

For the first season, at least, it looked like Lost was reality-based. Sure, much was unexplainable. Locke, paralyzed from the waist down, regained the ability to walk. Jin was sterile but got Jun pregnant. Rose's cancer was cured. We grasped at straws. Weird electromagnetic radiation did it, we thought. Or maybe they were all just medical flukes.

The castaways started seeing and hearing things. Still possible, we maintained. Mass hallucination. Drugs. A conspiracy, and holograms.

Then a giant polar bear charged through the jungle. Oh, please! we screamed. This is preposterous!

Don't worry, the producers assured us. There's a logical explanation for everything.

And then a black pillar of smoke appeared and killed Mr. Ecko. Logical explanation my ass, I thought as I shut off the TV.

Fast forward three years later. So much more has been revealed! Logical Explanation, Part 1: some people can travel through time, and they can also make things appear and disappear at will.

I'm surprised more people aren't feeling cheated by the program. Remember how pissed off we were when, in a Dallas season finale, Pam woke up and everybody realized the entire season was a dream? Hell, that's nothing compared to Lost, where they just picked up the whole island and moved it somewhere else.

Maybe we're just getting used to being deceived, I think. Maybe Bush is responsible for all this. We were perfectly justified in attacking Iraq, he said. Just wait and see. There's a logical explanation!

Three years later: See, there was this meth lab that we thought was used to build WMDs. . . .

Me, I wish we could learn something from these deceptions, but what can the lesson be? To be more suspicious? Not to trust anybody? That's hardly progress. We have to trust. We have to hope. Which means we'll all be sitting quietly, fingers crossed, until the three-breasted chick in the gold lamé bikini appears.

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