Thursday, March 22, 2007

Is LOST Found?

Okay for those of you who don't know, I think LOST is pretty much the best show ever created. To me, season one was one of the most brilliant and creative offerings of sound, color, camera work and writing that TV has ever seen. Oh yeah, and the acting was pretty good too. I think Carlton Cuse, JJ Abrams and Damon Lindeloff were like Paul McCartney and John Lenon. Their writing and creativity the first season was only trumped by each other.

Season two, however, was a let down. I felt like the character development weakened and the plot dragged much of the time. At no point did I feel like they adorned themselves with leather jackets and fastened on skis, but I never felt it had the same punch as the first season.

This season has been different-for the most part that is. I think they have brought us some of the best stuff since Pilot Part 1 and Pilot Part 2. Without a doubt, since LOST has returned from it's winter break, it has catapulted the plot, cleverly connected characters, and given the viewer more of what we came to love in season one.

As the layers of the LOST onion continue to peel back, it is becoming more apparent that I can no longer like John Locke. I want to like him. After all, he was the man of season one. He brought a sense of intrigue, bravery and wisdom that only MacGuyver can appreciate. However, after last nights episode, "The Man From Tallahassee", it is clear to me that Locke is a stubborn, foolish, idiotic ape. He is incapable of any type of independent, original thought. Since his character is named after one of the most well-known philosophers of all time, one can't help but see the irony.

Think about it. John blindly believes everything that his mother, father, Ben or anyone else tells him. He believes he has to keep pushing that button. That is until he is 'told' by another video in another hatch that he does not have to push the button. He not only believed his father's lies the first time, he also believed him the second time. He believed the hitch hiker he picked up and joined his cult. That's right, John can't think for himself.

It is this lack of being able to think that causes him to react without thinking. He didn't think when he caused the hatch to blow up. He didn't think when he caused Boone to die. He didn't think when he blew up the communication station. And he sure didn't think when he blew up the submarine.

Even still, for me LOST is found again. No, Locke isn't perfect or rational, but that's what makes him who he is. That's what creates the plot tension between he and Jack. That's what makes him so....easy to con.

Hey, speaking of cons, anyone else think that Locke's dad is the same guy that Sawyer took his namesake from?

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Does Truth Matter?

I just finished watching the latest episode of American Idol. For the life of me, I can not figure out why people keep voting for Sanjaya. For the third straight week he rode his seemingly fragile bubble on to another week while another more talented contestant had his bubble burst.

Don't get me wrong, I don't think any of the contestants voted off in his stead were championship material. That, therefore, is not my point. What burns me is that people seem to vote based on other factors besides a contestant's singing ability. The last time I checked, AI was a singing competition. I understand that 'pop' stars typically have a certain look about them but let's be honest here; one look across former AI winners and runners up will tell you that those rules don't apply here. That's what make the show so appealing. America votes on a person that they identify with, one whose talent is so clear that they rise above all else.

This season may very well (and probably will, honestly) end with the top vocalist winning. However, to continue to vote for contestants like Sanjaya (or that chicken little looking kid from last year) is a tremendous injustice. Many of these contestants are very talented and continue to grow from week to week. To vote for a contestant based merely on looks alone is wrong. What's even more wrong is voting on a contestant because of their LACK of talent. I believe that is what is happening here.

This type of 'rewarding' is flawed in its core. Those who vote with any other intent than to reward the best singer are penalizing those who are more deserving. I realize that our world is not perfect and that those who are most deserving don't always get what they, um, deserve, but if I as an individual have an opportunity to do what is right and I choose to do something less than that, then I have performed an injustice. Put yourself in the shoes of those contestants who have worked so hard and know that they should still be in the competition. What if that was you? How would you feel?

You know, there used to be this thing that parents taught to their kids called the Golden Rule. You know, "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." Whatever happened to that? Is it not true anymore?

Sunday, March 4, 2007

Bragging Rights

What was your favorite video game as a kid? For me, it's hard to say. I remember when dad brought home the Atari 2600. I think I was about 5 at the time. The most challenging thing was getting the controller away from him! He really liked asteroids. I cut my teeth on Combat, Space Invaders, and Airlock, but I think my favorite must have been Pitfall. I tried playing Pitfall a couple of years, that game sucked!

I think the next system we got was the Sega Master System. I don't know why, but my brothers and I decided to buy it instead of the Nintendo. It was cool though because we had some friends down the street that we would swap systems with so that we could play new games from time to time. They had The Legend of Zelda. That has to be one of the absolute greatest games of all time. In fact, I still regularly play that game. Another one of my faves from that era would have to be Shadowgate.

However, one of my most memorable video game moments will forever live in infamy by the simple utterance of three majestic words (at least in my opinion). Those words......Joe Montana's Football. You see, I am undoubtedly gifted by God in many areas. Unfortunately, athleticism is not one of those gifts. In fact, I am so ungifted in athleticism that I was only able to pull off one lone victory in any sports event while growing up....real world or virtual world.

That fateful day arrived while spending the weekend with my grandparents. I had chosen to rent my typical adventure or driving game and my brother chose a football game as his poison. That football game was Joe Montana's Football. I honestly had no idea what specific defenses were good for or what play to call on third and long. However, I did discover that my brother seemed incapable of defending the bootleg pass.

Yes, I found a hole in his defense as large as Simon Cowell's ego and I exploited it as if it were Anna Nicole and I was Howard K Stern. (I'm sorry; I realize that was somewhat tacky) What is even more amazing is that somehow, only by the grace of God who had chosen to smile upon me that day, I managed to call the proper defensive formation again and again.

That day was one of those rare days when the stars align just right. So rightly were they aligned that to this very day, some 15+ years later, all I need to do is look at my brother, and utter the words Joe Montana's Football and my brother is put in his proper place. You see those words instantly cause his seemingly healed wounds to open once again. Those wounds are the kind caused by the type of butt kicking that only a little brother can give.

So what was the final score? 100-7 and that is only because my defensive back fell asleep on the final play of the game and showed him a bit of undeserved mercy.