Lost

For the discussion of Movies, Television, Comics, and other existential distractions.

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DVG
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Postby DVG » Thu Nov 10, 2005 12:51 pm

Having just recently reread "Lord of the Flies" with its magnificently shuddery evocation of crawling, loathesome evil, I assure you the two characterizations are far from mutually exclusive.

"Lost" is a faux-symbolist slight-of-hand riff on both that novel and Mr. Golding's "Pincher Martin," itself evocative of Ambrose Bierce's "Occurance at Owl Creek Bridge," with its haunted allee of whispering voices, deserted gardens and cold, unfamilar stars.

I wouldn't have a problem with that if the images weren't so clearly pulled out of a hat. Nothing thus far has approached the somehow inevitable moment in "Flies" when the pig's decapitated head begins to speak to Simon (himself an ambiguously named figure and perhaps not the martyr he appears).

Furthermore the casting is atrocious.

Eric Martin
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Postby Eric Martin » Thu Nov 10, 2005 1:49 pm

>Furthermore the casting is atrocious<

Look pallie, if you're ever caught wondering why the party invites have been slowing down over the years, here's a tip:

If your idea of engaging conversation is to crash a TV show thread with totally inappropriate and sneering comparisons to hoary old lit classics, while tossing off phrases like "haunted allee of whispering voices" when we're trying to assess whether or not a character should be killed of when she has such great legs, and when your final intent is clearly to inform everyone else how foolish and common their enjoyment of said programming is, be aware that when there's a limit to the guest list, and possibles need to be scratched off for reasons of space, or cash, or just for atmosphere, your nom de plume will be one of the first removed from the call sheet, if it even is initially considered anymore.

The short version: don't be a bore.

DVG
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Postby DVG » Thu Nov 10, 2005 2:05 pm

A plane crashes (or does it?) on a mysterious island, and the survivors of said plane become pawns in a mystical rumination on life, death and savagery that involves (or does it?) supernatural flashbacks, an anamistic presence and the deaths of various characters.

Please tell me whether I'm talking about a hoary old lit classic or the spinach-soup X-files load of tat starring that hobbit chap. I'm confused.

As for party invites, thanks for reminding me that I need to pick up my dry cleaning.

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Postby BrianSiano » Thu Nov 10, 2005 2:24 pm

Eric Martin wrote:>Furthermore the casting is atrocious<

Look pallie, if you're ever caught wondering why the party invites have been slowing down over the years, here's a tip:

If your idea of engaging conversation is to crash a TV show thread with totally inappropriate and sneering comparisons to hoary old lit classics, while tossing off phrases like "haunted allee of whispering voices" when we're trying to assess whether or not a character should be killed of when she has such great legs, and when your final intent is clearly to inform everyone else how foolish and common their enjoyment of said programming is, be aware that when there's a limit to the guest list, and possibles need to be scratched off for reasons of space, or cash, or just for atmosphere, your nom de plume will be one of the first removed from the call sheet, if it even is initially considered anymore.

The short version: don't be a bore.


That's Eric's job.
"Everything... Everything... Everything gonna be all RIGHT this mornin'..."
-- Muddy Waters

rich

Postby rich » Thu Nov 10, 2005 2:42 pm

Lotta static on this thread.

Gosh. I'm glad DVG brought up the comparisons to Golding 'cause no one here would've even thought of that. Wow. All these V8 moments.

Personally, the "casting is atrocious" line was just bone-headed. I'm assuming that DVG has other ideas of what or whom to cast in this poor man's Lord of the Flies. Share? Or is that just one of those mysteries of life things?

Oh, and the throwaway line of "supernatural flashbacks"...? What does that mean? I had no idea the backstory, or as we lit-tra-chur types like to say, "memories" were supernatural. Wow. Another V8 moment.

Keep 'em coming, DVG. I'm as bored as you are today.

Brian,
If you wanna rattle off Youngman one-liners, it's much easier if you just pull the quote you need. Brevity in comedy is the key. You could've just as easily quoted Eric's line "don't be a bore", then followed up with your zinger.

Of course, that's assuming we give a shit what you say.

DVG
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Postby DVG » Thu Nov 10, 2005 3:59 pm

I'm assuming that DVG has other ideas of what or whom to cast in this poor man's Lord of the Flies. Share?"

The hobbit chap was all right as a hobbit. Not a world-beater otherwise. The rest = feh, although that one lad was entertaining in "The Rules of Attraction."

If you're going to rip-off Golding's "Flies," why not cast the thing exclusively with oldsters?

Eric Martin
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Postby Eric Martin » Thu Nov 10, 2005 4:06 pm

Well, it's finally supposed to be about LOST, not understandably out-of-work writers or asocial misanthropes. But they are cute together, aren't they?

Back to the nut...did Shannon get killed by Ana? Was Walt a projection?

DVG
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Postby DVG » Thu Nov 10, 2005 4:41 pm

Understand, for those supposing this to be a pop-culture slag off, that I was prepared to have Lost for breakfast, lunch and dinner, having entertained a fascination for mysterious/magical islands since I was a tad.

I recommend, for those who may not already have encountered it, "The Dictionary of Imaginary Places," which was a favorite of mine during my peanut-butter and jelly years.

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Jon Stover
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Postby Jon Stover » Thu Nov 10, 2005 6:06 pm

Geez, and I thought Lord of the Flies ripped off the Admirable Crichton, and the Admirable Crichton ripped off Robinson Crusoe...

If the Lost gang make it back to civilization and then get chased by wolves, then I'll go with Crusoe. But as there are as many references to Peter Pan in LOST thus far as there are to Lord of the Flies, it may not be a rip-off of anything. Unless the American edition of LOTF actually has people already on the island, a real monster, a hatch, a French woman, a pirate ship, a lot of heroin, two crashed airplanes, a polar bear, lots of dynamite and only two children (so far).

Oh, well. I'm not sure who's been abominably cast, unless it's the polar bear. Boy, the scenes in LOTF where Piggy had to enter the number sequence every 108 minutes or Castle Rock blew up (or something) really were grand, weren't they? Especially after he broke his specks and Ralph started mainlining heroin again, just after Simon got accidentally shot by Jack.

Cheers, Jon

DVG
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Postby DVG » Thu Nov 10, 2005 6:15 pm

Not to be redundant, but the most terrifying moment in LOTF must be where Simon does indeed appear to be in communication with a real monster.

Also, although no guns were involved, Jack and the others do "accidentally" kill Simon. I always thought that it was the "accidental" nature of the murder that provides a moral tipping point for the characters (Ralph is forced to an awareness of an inchoate savagery that has nothing to do with "wickedness").

One thing I never could quite make out is whether there were indeed two seperate plane crashes in LOTF. It wouldn't be out of the question, as they are evidently in a war zone.

Er--this is getting well and away off topic, isn't it? Sorry.

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Jon Stover
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Postby Jon Stover » Thu Nov 10, 2005 6:28 pm

Well, the airman with the parachute came from somewhere. And he did have a box full of heroin-stuffed Virgin Mary's between his legs, which pretty much does cinch it -- they must be on the same island.

If only the boys had found that dynamite. What larks they could have had.

Cheers, Jon

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P.A. Berman
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Postby P.A. Berman » Thu Nov 10, 2005 6:40 pm

DVG wrote:Not to be redundant, but the most terrifying moment in LOTF must be where Simon does indeed appear to be in communication with a real monster.


No, sorry, didn't happen. Simon was hallucinating, which an elementary reading of the text would reveal. He was an epileptic who was dehydrated when the Lord of the Flies spoke to him. Hold on a sec, lemme get the right voice for this...channeling James Earl Jones.

THE MONSTER IS INSIDE ALL OF US.

Whoo. Did you get that?

Hell, maybe that's the theme of LOST too, that all the paranoia and victimization is a projection of everyone's collective internal evil. If so, it's still a fun ride and I think it's sufficiently different from its venerable forebears to render all high-handed comparisons just so much whinging.

Also, although no guns were involved, Jack and the others do "accidentally" kill Simon. I always thought that it was the "accidental" nature of the murder that provides a moral tipping point for the characters (Ralph is forced to an awareness of an inchoate savagery that has nothing to do with "wickedness").


It was absolutely not an accident. Ralph and Piggy discuss it the next day and try very hard to rationalize it, which they really can't. It is a tipping point, but it's when Ralph realizes that the savagery inside everyone IS evil, and he doesn't want to be any part of it.

They meant to kill whatever walked out of the forest. That it happened to be Simon only made it more tragic, because he was the only one who could have freed them from their fear of the Beast. It's all very symbolic and whatnot.

One thing I never could quite make out is whether there were indeed two seperate plane crashes in LOTF. It wouldn't be out of the question, as they are evidently in a war zone.


No. The Beast was a paratrooper who jumped out of his plane but died on the way down. He was caught in a tree and when the wind puffed up his parachute, it would look like he was rearing up. This, in the dark, is what the boys thought was a monster. Simon came upon it in the daylight and realized the truth, which he was bringing back to the group when he was murdered.

Honestly, any deserted island story is going to be reminiscent of LotF. I think the resemblances are superficial at best.

PAB

PS--Brian, the ironic thing is, if I'm looking for boredom, your blog is always handy. What a valuable resource it is for the overstimulated of the world!
I don't know. I don't care. And it doesn't matter anyway. ~Jack Kerouac

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Jon Stover
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Postby Jon Stover » Thu Nov 10, 2005 8:04 pm

LOTF (and this isn't a negative criticism) ends up on a lot of high school curricula because it is great text to teach symbolism and a bunch o' other stuff because it's so -- well, if not transparent, at least not difficult to explain. The monster is inside us, and evil generally trumps good, and not only is there symbolism and metaphor, but the kids make symbols aand metaphors out of actual things in the text (the pig's head, the paratrooper). Golding had a great quote in an interview, probably around the time he won the Nobel Prize -- something like "Man produces evil as naturally as a bee produces honey" -- that's pretty much the key to almost any of his work (or what I've read of it, anyway -- Pincher Martin, The Spire, LOTF and The Inheritors).

It's not the most expansive world view for a textual world, and I think it's a shame that he won a Nobel and Graham Greene didn't, but that's really neither here nor there. What I found a bit weird about DVG's description of Golding's work earlier ("its magnificently shuddery evocation of crawling, loathesome evil") is that the description sounds like something one would write about Lovecraft, not Golding. Golding's texts pretty much say 'Most people are mostly shit.' The texts say it well and with some modulation, and they centre it all on human failing, but they're generally so clinical that I'm not sure if I'd say they're shuddery. Kubrickian, maybe, and evoking intellectual terror sometimes (and what a shame it is that Kubrick never assayed a Golding adaptation -- they'd seem to be made for each other).

Cheers, Jon

rich

Postby rich » Fri Nov 11, 2005 5:18 am

And how much more of a beating can Sawyer take? The man's had bamboo shoved under his fingernails, gotten into at least two fights, been stabbed, shot, and I think he stubbed his toe, also.

Considering that, I have a theory: LOST doesn't have anything to do with Golding or any of that. It's really about the X-Men.

Sawyer is Wolverine. Jack is Cyclops. Kate is Jean. Magneto is behind that wall in the hatch, the one where Jack's pendant was attracted.

I'm telling you. We're watching X-Men 3.

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Jon Stover
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Postby Jon Stover » Fri Nov 11, 2005 6:34 am

Damn! Locke is Professor X! Because in The Savage Land, X doesn't need his wheelchair.

I think Rich just won the 'what story is Lost, really?' sweepstakes thanks to the wheelchair thing.

The contest is now closed.

Cheers, Jon


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