Wednesday, January 24, 2007

More Than Meets the Eye

Skaters and Jaters never seem to agree on anything, but I think we can agree on this: we are all confused as hell about what’s going on with Jack/Kate/Sawyer. Here’s my take on it.

We have had hundreds of thousands of years of collective interpretation of what a couple in love looks like. We “know” it, not intellectually, but on a much deeper, perhaps even cellular level. We know it and respond to it, whether it is real or acted, because our cues come from movement, expression, etc.

That's why we all, without exception, responded to Danielle's look at Alex the same way. We "know" what a mother's love for her child looks like even if we aren't mothers or don't have children. It's part of our collective genetic make-up.

So, what we have been shown, without any conflict, is what we understand on the deepest level of our being to be love between Kate and Sawyer.

We "know" what we've seen is love, which is why Skaters and Jaters alike respond to it on such a primal level.

Enter "intellect": Jaters don't want what they've seen to be real, so they call up every intellectual reason why it can't be in order to negate their visceral reaction to it--"manwhore", "dick", "cage", "rutting", "pity sex". If they can put enough negative words on it, they can erase the inescapable feeling that the scene generated.

Skaters also have a intellectual disconnect. We have seen what we have been genetically programmed for 10,000 generations to know as love, and yet we are being told that it isn't really love at all.

That's where, for me at least, the sense of betrayal, of conflict, of confusion and of anger stems from. With nothing more than a word or two in a script recap, I am supposed to deny everything evolution has programmed in me to understand about pair bonding, relationships and love in order to see what those same hundreds of thousands of years of evolution have programmed to understand as belittlement, betrayal and subjugation as really being love.

The basic reaction to all of this has been anger...on both sides. We are both experiencing the same thing on the completely emotional level, but the Skaters are suffering in the conflict between word and action, while the Jaters are suffering to try to make the word trump the action.

Skaters are angry because we have been told we can't trust the very thing that evolution has designed us to trust--our collective understanding of what male/female love is supposed to look, sound, feel, etc. like.

And Jaters are angry because in season one they got the precursors to that pair bonding with their Jack/Kate interactions.

Wherein lies the their minds, Jaters took what were the early stages of possible romantic flirtations

and mentally transformed them into full blown expressions of love. In their minds, the relationship had already progressed to love--even though it was never shown, or tangibly expressed. So, when the "real thing" was shown, Jaters were upset because they had already imagined and invented the consummation--even though it never happened. Emotionally, for Jaters, Jate love had happened because they had imagined it to have happened. In their minds, their invention took on all the substance of reality.

However, for Skaters, the expressions of love were actually shown and expressed. Then, when we were told that what we saw wasn't real, didn't happen and couldn't be trusted, we reacted with anger as well, because that's not what we "knew" had occurred.

This leaves us with the gaping chasm of confusion on both sides. Both Skaters and Jaters "believe" that we have seen full-out expressions of love. The problem for Jaters is that, because they have merely invented their consummation, they now have to inflate what are essentially non-sexual actions (i.e. hand holding and iris-penetrating looks) into more than they really are, in order to keep their beliefs alive. For example:

Compared with

We are hard-wired to see touching as a sign of intimacy, but not when it's awkward and forced.

Only when it is natural and gentle

The problem for Skaters is that we have actually seen the consummation of love and now we have to try to rectify what we "know" with what we are apparently being told by the writers. We have to deny actual sexual intercourse, post-coital cuddling and expressions of love in order to try to understand how none of that may have had any meaning.

The result is complete confusion on both sides...and the usual reaction to confusion is anger. Hence both Skaters and Jaters are completely pissed off--at each other, at the writers, at the characters, at the SHOW.

...your thoughts?

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