Thursday, May 24, 2007

Lost? No. Misdirected.

Every contemporary conversation between three or more people degenerates into a discussion of Lost. It has been that way for a year or more. In the break room, over dinner, in the elevator, backstage at political rallies, during bank robberies, it always ends up “Do you watch Lost? what do you think is going on? Where are they? Are they alive? Aliens? Here’s my theory… But what I don’t get…” and so on. Eventually the most scholarly person in the bunch will make the inevitable comparison between “Lost” and “Gilligan’s Island”, due not just to obvious plot and character development, but also to encompassing thematic subtexts (both philosophical and comedic).

By now, we all get it. We’ve all had that a-ha moment when we realize that Lost is little more than an episode-by-episode duplication of Gilligan’s Island, with one half-hour’s worth of extra head-scratching weirdness to keep us talking around the water cooler. That kind of insight used to be a revelation but is now just old news, as documented by hard-hitting investigative entertainment journalists here, here, and especially here.

But it goes so much deeper than that, deep into a sinister land of… um… sinisterness.

When was that last time a TV show was so riveting, so unpredictable, and so well-crafted in its episodic development that all polite conversation turned to unraveling its mysteries? You’d have to go back forty years (give or take four days) to find that preceding show and it would, of course, be Gilligan’s Island.

A typical cocktail party conversation forty years ago (give or take four days) would have gone something like this: “Did you see G.I. last night? That is some crazy island. And that Gilligan! What will he do next? Will they ever get off that island? How come they never have babies? It’s been two years, with the gorgeous movie star Ginger and the heartwarming girl-next-door Marianne, and no babies. Is that island like one of those newfangled contraceptive pills, or what?” Then they’d be talking over martinis all night long trying to figure out when Gilligan and friends would get off the island, why the movie star brought so many clothes, where all the other visitors come from and go to, and so on.

What those mid-60’s cocktail partiers WOULDN’T be talking about would be THE WAR.

The US war in Vietnam had been going on for years when, earlier in 1964, a half-fabricated attack in the Gulf of Tonkin led to a resolution abused by the Johnson administration as an excuse for rapid escalation of the war against Vietnam. Anti-war protests were just beginning, and closer public scrutiny of these events would only lead to an increase in protests. Johnson needed to end more protests before they began. He needed the people to have something else to talk about, something so compellingly interesting that they WOULDN’T be talking about THE WAR. So he signed a secret executive order to create Gilligan’s Island, assigning his top speech writers to the task, and even penning a few of the initial episodes himself (all of which is well-documented here). Johnson needed 108 episodes (108!), just enough to last through his presidency.

Flash forward to forty years later when president Bush needed people to talk about something other than THE WAR. So he turned to the last time a Texan was president and was in a similar keep-people’s-minds-off-the-war predicament. Bush, by secret executive copycat order, ordered a remake of every episode of Gilligan’s Island, called it “Lost”, and filled in enough mumbo-jumbo from his Yale Skull & Bones college ceremonies to make each episode last for one hour.

So that’s what’s going on people! We’re being tricked by our president, again. Those who forget history are doomed to repeat it. I.E. It’s a rerun!

Need more proof that Lost is just a Bush trick so we WON’T be talking about THE WAR? How about this: Misdirecting the public via a TV show about castaways is a stupid idea—proven to be stupid because it already failed one president. Stupid ideas are a hallmark of the Bush presidency. This idea is so very completely and utterly stupid that it all but bears the fingerprint of our current president. There’s your smoking gun. Ipso Facto. Proof Complete.

So, let’s all stop talking about Lost now, OK. Let’s talk about what’s really important. LET’S TALK ABOUT THE WAR!

    (But before we talk about THE WAR—I promise, we can get back to THE WAR in a minute—could someone please explain last night’s episode to me. It was a flash-forward, right? What a shocker! But didn’t Jack say his father was in the hospital? Which would mean that his father was alive, right? But Jack’s father was dead on the flight. And whose funeral was it that no one attended? Was Jack trying to kill himself, or was jumping off the bridge going to bring him back to the island? Is everyone turning on Ben? Where’d Walt come from? Locke? WTF?)


  1. OK, Mr. paranoid liberal smarmy-pants. You think you got it all figured out, dontcha. If you think Bush is so stupid, then how did he manage to revive Mr. Roper from Three's Company and get him to then star in Lost as BOTH Henry Gale AND Benjamin Linus. Huh?!! That's ONE MAN playing TWO ROLES after being DEAD for ALMOST TEN YEARS. Let's see one of your namby-pants democrat presidents pull THAT off! You make me sick!!!!

  2. Norman Fell never died, you anonymous idiot. After starring in Three's Company, Norman was blacklisted by Bush's father for immoral on-screen behavior, and couldn't get a job for years, until he changed his name to Michael Emerson and found work on Lost.

    People don't rise from the dead after 10 years. From these Norman Fell pictures compared with these Micheal Emerson pictures, it's clear that they are the same person and very much alive. Don't be so stupid!