Saturday, November 17, 2007

Reality Check

Even though the strike has put us on short rations and there's a palpable gloom across Losteria Lane, around here we're going to try to keep up business as usual, for at least as long as we can...or at least until we dig all the comedy gold possible out from under those Couch cushions. So, in the spirit of Smoke 'Em While You Still Got 'Em, I present to you...


First of all, speaking of reality, this strike has gotten way too real for comfort. Here we are, having travelled so far across the wasteland of the Lostless summer, shrunken to mere wraiths of our former fanatical selves, haunted, famished for spoilers, parched for gossip...Naturally, we're very easily tempted by mirages. We want to think all this pointless, fruitless waiting...all these hours spent on our asses with a computer in our laps...will eventually pay off with a story that will vindicate our devotion. It's bad enough that we find out our measly 16 course season has been cut in freaking half. But on top of that, there's always the niggling reminder that we can never be certain that all this ass sitting and finger tapping we do is actually a good investment. We want assurances that we're not wasting our young lives away. In fact some people want stone cold guarantees that they'll definitely be able to wring whatever they want from this goddamn frustrating slow moving enigmatic garbled ambiguous show.

People such as Forever Erica, the indefatigable Elmer Gantry of the Couch Circus, who gives us almost a daily peepshow on her fervent prayers to that Great Jate in the Sky:

"Some things are just there in the scene and they are just have to read into the performance….We'll get our day. No worries.…We can all have different perspectives on Jate, but the truth of the gravitating feelings of love in their story and in any particular scene in its nature is always there. Something is ripping Jack and Kate apart out of their own free will and that should be addressed in the coming seasons, that perspective is clearly what is being displayed in that scene….There's certainty in the fact that Jack and Kate are the romantic, emotional core of LOST. Not to say that you disagree with that. That's been written in the stars since minute-one of the show, there's no changing that fact anyone who watches gets the perspective that Jack and Kate are the main romantic coupling on the show."

Of course the kind of certainty Forever Erica craves so desperately is always an illusion. Only children, or religious fanatics, think that kind of certainty can ever be found in life. And when it comes to looking for it in fiction, it's hard to think of a worse show than Lost for any fan who is dead set on getting certainty handed to them on a silver platter.

This was nicely illustrated by a couple of hilarious kerfuffles that have taken place on the lonely little Couch the past few weeks. Seems an impertinent newcomer has appeared - no doubt a Skater mole deviously trying to unearth the sekrits of the Great Jate Hidey Hole. Seems this shady character, No No Nanette, has dared to blaspheme about the sacredness of this particular moment:

"It's tough not to feel pessimistic about that scene(FF). It was definitely a low point for Jack and Kate and Jate fans....The obstacles Jack and Kate face on the island are small speed bumps compared to the mountains they will have to climb over in the future if we ever hope to see them end up together. Jack is going to have to undergo a total transformation if he ever hopes to recapture what he once had with Kate. One must not forget that Jack is an alcoholic who is addicted to Oxycodone."

This shocking statement sent the Couch Commisariat into Code Red, and with the mods standing idly by, Shoegirl and LoveFoxy proceeded to kick the crap out of the interloper. It got ugly. Re-eduction protocol was instituted. The traitor was asked to strip and submit herself to a full body cavity the virtual sense...and be dragged before the Ministry of Truth for her inquisition. Once they'd attached the electrodes to the appropriately sensitive body parts, the Grand High Guava Seed, Shoegirl, clicked her jackboots together and got down to brass tacks (and knuckles) : "It is about indentifying a possible non-Jater who is posing as a Jater on our couch..So perhaps we should ask new posters a few questions that will help us..." It seems that there is a state of perpetual warfare in Cakeland, apparently against some deadly form of Cacti that are lurking outside the Couch night and day, always ready to pounce on the tenderhearted paranoiacs who are hiding inside. So, just to clear their suspicions, testimonials are being submitted, about what the Couchies love most about...well, about some trashy harlequin romance story that has two people named Jack and Kate in it, but that definitely doesn't sound anything like Lost. By the time they got to the fake J.J. Abrams quotes, it had all been reduced to this:

"You didn't disappoint me because it's not fake. Alot of other people on alot of other sites have used the same quote from J.J. Abrams naming where they got it from too, and it wasn't the oracle. They all got it from somewhere and not the oracle, (and I do know who that is- and THAT is fake!!) But thanks for the input."
"Nobody's been able to prove it's fake either, and until they do, I still believe that it's real, but thanks anyway."

Who knew DaffyDoc was an Epistemologist? Proving a falsity - now that's some sophisticated intellectual exercising! We've underestimated this chick, haven't we?

However our mission here is much more elementary. We only want to try and siphon out some FACTS if possible from the morass of OPINIONS and SPECULATIONS that make it so darn difficult to decipher this show.

For instance here's a FACT that seems to have escaped Jaters' attention: There IS a Juliet. (There does not, however, appear to be any character named Muffin on Lost. Odd.)

What's more, FACT : There will continue to be a Juliet in Season 4.

FACT : Juliet and Jack K-I-S-S-E-D.

In my OPINION, Jack liked it.

In fact, I kinda think (SPECULATION) Jack likes Juliet.

At the very least, we can surmise that kissing Juliet does not make Jack feel like vomiting in the way it appears to have done for so many Jaters. But who knows? Maybe this is his Vomit Face.

In which case, what's this?


His Constipation Face?

FACT : This face reading thing is not a science. It's not even an art. Basically it's two parts OPINION to one part SPECULATION with a couple of gallons of UBERRIMA FIDES mixed in.

To show exactly how inexact it is, take a look at Kate's face here:

Now this face could mean: "rich, heavy, palpable sexual/romantic tension" as per the ever perceptive LoveFOXY.

But look again.

Because it could just as easily mean: "Holy shit, Jack!....Did you just pee yourself?" I mean really...

...We just don't know.

Anyway, you see how this works now? We try to state only those things that really are certain, and then we make a clear distinction between those FACTS and our OPINIONS or SPECULATIONS. It's fun! And easy too!

For instance,
FACT : Someone died who was known to both Jack and Kate.

Speculation: The man who died was Michael. Reasoning: the newspaper clipping said the man was from New York and had a teenage son and because Kate seemed indifferent to his death. Makes sense. But it isn't certain, is it?

Another example of a FACT: Jack thinks he and Kate have to go back to the island.

SPECULATION: Jack needs to go rectify a great wrong so he can be a great hero -

just like the voices in his head tell him he is when he manages to get the oxy/whiskey combination juuuuuust right...


SPECULATION: Jack wants to crawl up into that cave and finally do this suicide thing right with Kate by his side, the two of them together as they should be -

Lost's OTP, Skeletons in Paradise 4EVA.

On the other hand, it could all be a symptom of a phenomenon called ADDICTION, especially when one considers:

"Because addiction by definition is an irrational, unbalanced and unhealthy behavior pattern resulting from an abnormal obsession, it simply cannot continue to exist under normal circumstances without the progressive attack upon and distortion of reality resulting from the operation of its propaganda and psychological warfare brigades. The fundamentally insane and unsupportable thinking and behavior of the addict must be justified and rationalized."

So now let’s get down to business.

FACT: In the future, Jack becomes an alcoholic and a narcotics addict.

Incredibly some Jaters dispute this. Namely LoveFOXY, who brilliantly claimed
"Jack is hardly an addict. He's just drinking...popping pills."
Now, LoveFOXY may have been hungover in ninth grade Health Class when this subject was covered, so just for her, we'll do a quick FACTual review.

The best place to start is with the definition of addiction.

"Addiction is a chronic, relapsing disease characterized by compulsive drug-seeking

and use.

An addiction is a recurring compulsion

by an individual to engage in some specific activity,

despite harmful consequences to the individuals health,

mental state

or social life.”

So I think it’s more than Speculative to say that Jack as we find him in the future, is indeed an Addict.

Fact: Jack is driving drunk and high around L.A.

He is also stealing drugs from a hospital.

He is also forging prescriptions.

He is also in possession of narcotics without a prescription.

Jack is guilty of a number of misdemeanors and felonies. Nothing but the grace of God is keeping Jack from killing innocent pedestrians and motorists.

Opinion: Jack is no longer a paragon of pure and noble virtue. Drunk driving, after all, is very serious business. And in the future, drunk driving seems to be Jack's favorite occupation. If you don't think Jack is just one junky's nod away from joining Lost's Murderer's Row, then check out The Death Clock and think about it for a few minutes.

FACT: Addiction is a disease that permanently alters a person both psychologically and physically, and has a very poor recovery rate.

SPECULATION: This is going to permanently alter Jack's character and impact his storyline. Since we know that addiction is not a curable disease, that AA, for instance, has a retention rate of only 5%, and that even patients who complete 3 month hospitalized rehab have less than a 30% chance of being sober one year later, it's a fair guess that this little misstep of Jack's may influence where his character goes from here.

He's a classic alcoholic after all. He's got the genetic component

the stressed out control freak temperament

and that hallmark quality known as "personal exceptionalism":
"The personal exceptionalism of the addict permits him to outflank facts and moral considerations that would normally prove decisive in halting or at least decelerating his addiction. Because the addict believes that he is "not like those other people" and that "his case is special," he has a virtual blank check to rationalize and justify behaviors on his part that contravene his personal values and beliefs."

Translation: Mr. He Who Walks Among Us But Not Of Us has been an accident waiting to happen since day one.

But not everyone agrees with that kind of reality based thinking about a fictional person. That's why we have

OPINIONS like this: "The drugged out LOSTies story has been told. That was Charlie's story. Jack will overcome. And it won't be something the writers will spend a lot of time on, since they've already told that story already. I have zero worries about Jack in that area."


OPINIONS like this: "And I seriously doubt, of the 48 episodes left, that Damon and Carlton are going to write a whole lot of scenes showing Jack "getting better". He will. Because he's Jack."

At first glance, it seems this viewpoint is disrespectful of the storytellers, since it supposes that they've introduced a profound character development for their protagonist for absolutely no valid reason at all. However, sadly, considering that a season long mystery about Jack's possible mole status among the Others was resolved by Jack reclaiming his hero status through the act of murdering a defenseless tree

we can't completely call bullshit on the Jaters with this one. Whenever they rely on bad cheesy writing to guarantee their preferred outcome, the sad reality is they're often on fairly solid ground.

Fact: Kate has a “he”.

Now we have no way of knowing if this "he" is (SPECULATION) a sweet little "he" - kinda like this guy

or a big, hot, magnificent "he" - kinda like this one.

A Blast from the Past "he"

or even a "he" From Beyond the Grave

Could be anybody. Although we can glean one FACT, at least - We know "he" isn't this handsome devil:

Sane people accept the unknowability of "he". But on the Couch, it's been pretty well established that "he" is part of the vast conspiracy of the universe to keep Jack and Kate apart. No reason why this evil "he" lets Kate roll around town in her Volvo free as a bird. No reason why this evil "he" hasn't rounded up Whacko Jacko and put him in the rubber room where he belongs either. It's just easier this way. "He" = the bad guy. And that. Is. That.

FACT: Kate and Jack are not together in the future, and barely have any communication. In fact, Kate hangs up on Jack when he calls and he has to beg her to come and see him.

But what is keeping Jack and Kate apart?

It's not his alcoholism, or the fact that he's eating Oxycodone like they were M&Ms on the day after Halloween. As previously explained, that's a mere trifle. It's not that Kate's in love with her "he", since he's just an evil bruise maker that forces Kate to iron her hair and wear fake eyelashes and shit. What is keeping Jack and Kate apart in the future is....SOMETHING. This SOMETHING can be literally anything, so long as it has NOTHING to do with Jack bearing any personal responsibility for his behavior or Kate having hot monkey sex with any more crotch rot hillbillies...One thing I'd like to know though. When Stoner Jack finally wraps his vintage Bronco around a toddler in a stroller, as he's bound eventually to do, will SOMETHING go to jail in his place?

FACT: Kate does not drive Jack home, despite the FACT that he is clearly intoxicated and disabled.

She knows he's just itching to off himself.

And he doesn't care how many innocent bystanders he takes out with him. Still she just leaves him there with the keys to destruction in his hot little hand. Maybe it was just an oversight, in her haste to escape. And truthfully, it's no different from the way a similarly conflicted woman in his life treats Jack

but (OPINION) this one act really stands as a testament to just how very little Kate cares what happens to this fallen hero of hers. She has to know he's going to get right back into his DeathStar and continue his little game of Russian Roulette with the lives of unsuspecting Angelenos. Not to mention his own life.

No matter how you slice and dice this, it's cold.

And all that really only brings us to the Ultimate FACT in this scene: Kate LEAVES Jack alone and screaming.

You'd think this fact alone might prevent Jate fans from writing lines like this:
"When you love someone, you stand by them."

But blatant contradictions have never been a problem for this group of fans.

Black is white

and white is black.

It all boils down to one thing. If you want to be allowed to stay on the Comfy Couch and be given Cake to eat, you have to be willing to drink the Cognitive Dissonance Kool Aid. But it's not all bad. It can be fun.

See if you can follow this version of the Jater's Creed, credits to Grand High Shoegirl, brought to you here in technicolor. (Note which color is missing.) As before, we have FACTS, OPINIONS and SPECULATIONS. But in order to cover the full palette of insight in the following, a few new shades were needed, so I've added BATSHIT, UBERRIMA FIDES! and PURE RETARDED LAMENESS.

I was moved by Kate's emotion, expression, and tears at leaving Jack at the airport that Kate truly doesn't want to give up on Jack, and that leaving him was causing Kate great personal pain. So after getting to know the Kate that we've seen on the island for the past 90 odd days, andthat she loves Jack, and is ultimately loyal to Jack, and wants to be desperately with Jack, I know and fully believe that Kate didn't leave Jack there at the airport to hurt Jack intentionally. She may be being blackmailed or coerced, but she is not in control of her situation. So I'm not mad at her. And I don't think Jaters should be either. Yes, I'm scared for them both and what or who is controlling their lives at this point, that is so overwhelming to cause Jack to feel desperate enough to kill himself. But he didn't. He chose saving someone else, over finally giving up., Something is going on with Jack and Kate, something greater, than what we the audience have seen. And as Damon and Carlton so clearly said. It isn't the end of the road for Jate. And things are going to get good for them. I believe it. What an amazing romantic epic story the writers have crafted around Jack and Kate. Jate rocks.

Isn't it purty when you put it that way? And actually a whole lot easier to read, once you get the knack of it.

Basically, we're brought back to reality here without having gained much, if any, insight into this sure to be canonic scene. For all Evi's talk about "playing the answers", any sane fan has to have accepted by now that there are no answers visible for us in this deliberately ambiguous and unreadable scene. If one insists on certainty, maybe the SCRIPT itself might be useful.

We're told that Kate feels, at various points:





IRRITATED with having this conversation AGAIN

and EMPHATIC in her belief they were indeed meant to leave the island.

Beyond that, we know virtually nothing. There's mention of emotions welling up, of Kate not being able to "do this", but not a word about love or passion or longing or intimacy. Not one. However, that doesn't mean that none of those emotions were there. In fact, by Couch Logic, the complete absence of those emotions only goes to show that they were the most important ones of all. Come on.. Prove that's not true!

It's hard times right now in the Lost Fandom. We're tired. We're weakening. But we should all try and pull together and show each other some respect. After all, La Shoe is only trying to keep order in the ranks over there. There seem to be far too many fishy-smelling newbies popping up with those nasty FACT based misgivings. It's not as if Shoegirl owns the Couch or anything, or that she wants to tell anyone how to think, or force them all to blindly accept a set of completely made up certainties. She's just looking for PEACE after all. This kind of PEACE

where everyone just does like they're frakkin' TOLD. Is that too much to ask?

Really, there's only one FACT I want clarified. Which one of you fishbitches is No No Nanette? Come on - 'fess up. I promise I'll never tell.

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