Black Rock Podcast Hiatus Cast

I’m listening to the Black Rock Podcast Hiatus Cast and with regard to what Lost is about, if I had to distill it down to one word it would be “forgiveness.” There is much more to it than that, but I think that is one word that can fall at the top of the list of “what is Lost about.”

More to come on that!

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Lost Wristbands!

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Saying Goodbye to LOST!

If you are on Facebook, please join the group “Saying Goodbye to Lost” and help find a way to show cast, crew, and TPTB what Lost means to you!

I’m also excited to travel to LA for Jay and Jack’s Lost Finale Party I’m going to stay at the Omni and just chill on Saturday, and then brace myself for the end of Lost on Sunday. How can Lost end? I can’t even imagine it.

Finding Lost

In the fall of 2005 and I was living and working in Alaska. But, for a variety of reasons not worth going into, I ended up in Bangkok, Thailand, having several orthopedic surgeries, including major spinal surgery (of all things!) I was not able to do a lot of stuff, obviously, either when I was in the hospital or recovering as an outpatient. So, I usually spent my evenings watching TV.

At that time in Thailand, “Lost” was on a couple times a week and always came on just before “House M.D.”, which was my most favorite show back then.

To this day I’ve never seen anything resembling a “TV Guide” in Thailand, and the only times given for shows seemed to be for Hong Kong time. I was always forgetting the time difference between Hong Kong and Bangkok. In order to make sure I did not miss House M.D., I’d turn the TV on for House at least an hour before I was expecting it to come on.

However, I had no interest in watching Lost. I’d heard of the show, but not more than that. I didn’t watch any ABC shows in 2005 and I’d never so much as seen a trailer for Lost, let alone an episode! I was oblivious to all things Lost and would intentionally not read about Lost if there was an article on it in “TV Guide” or “Entertainment Weekly.” I figured a “Gilligan’s Island” type show that was so popular in the media had to be really crappy by definition.

Over the weeks in Bangkok I’d see little snippets of Lost on TV and all I could think is that it was really weird. I kept seeing a little bit of some bald guy in the jungle, talking, and I simply found it all highly suspicious; even if the bald dude had this sort of magnetic quality about him!

One evening, I was just extra tired and there was nothing else on TV to keep me amused until “House” came on. So I flopped down on the couch and decided that I may as well just watch that crazy Lost show with the weird bald guy. I was a girl resigned to what I assumed was going to be a lame TV watching experience!! I’m not even sure I knew Lost was filmed in Hawaii (I will usually watch anything that is filmed in my beloved ex-home.)

Luckily for me, Lost was still just in season 1 in 2005 (in Thailand). The first episode I saw in full was the one where Locke and Boone find the Hatch (episode title escapes me). Two things happened that night when I watched my first episode: I started falling in love with Lost and I HAD to know what was in the hatch. I couldn’t stand it! I was utterly obsessed with what was in the hatch! And I loved “that bald guy”, John Locke. I found him so compelling!

The very next day I went out to MBK, a giant mall in Bangkok where you can buy DVDs and CDs very cheaply. I bought the entire set of season 1 on DVD and dashed back to my room start watching Lost from the first episode.

That weekend I holed up in my room and watched the pilot episode of Lost, and then entirety of season 1, was pure magic. I was hooked the second Jack woke up in the jungle. And when Jack stumbled onto the beach and then ran to help save the passengers in the plane wreckage, Jack almost instantly became one of my most favorite TV characters ever.

Now it’s 2010 and I still remember that magical weekend of marathon Lost watching like it was yesterday. I only slept about four hours a night. Other than that, I watched Lost straight through from the pilot episode to the season 1 finale. I was simply enchanted and completely engaged. I forgot the world and everything else around me. 2005 was, at that time, just about the worst year of my life. It was a year filled with death of loved ones, the murder of a friend, plus medical misery, pain, and malfunction. For that one weekend I totally forgot everything that had happen/was happening. I was sucked into the world of Lost and I literally didn’t have a thought about anything else. I’m so grateful that Lost can take me away from the pain of whatever is going on “now” and draw me, mind, body and heart, into its crazy and magical world. Lost numbed the pain while keeping my mind endlessly busy. I’m very grateful for that.

Lost continues to help me keep my sanity and takes me light years away from any sadness and frustration I might be feeling. Somehow, Lost is much more than just a TV show. For five years I’ve been drawn into Lost in a way that goes beyond anything I’ve seen on television before. And it’s not just because there is more to think about with Lost than with any other show. There is something else there I can’t entirely define it. Often I feel as if Lost is a person I love dearly, but one who often drives me utterly insane and pushes me toward the edge of reason!

In time, with Lost came the Lost community. While I am not involved in the Lost community or known to it, I feel very familiar with those interesting and amazing folks who do all the podcasts and blogs. I didn’t get an Ipod or even know what a podcast was until the summer of 2006, but once I found the Lost Podcasting Network, I had a new addiction on top of watching just the TV show!

In 2005 I suffered from the innocent delusion that “things can’t get any worse.” Well, believe me, things can always get much, much worse. Each year after 2005 got worse, and I now almost look upon 2005 as rather innocent and quaint.

Still, for me, there is Lost and the Lost community. For a few more weeks, anyway. After that? Who knows.

Comparing the characteristics of Jacob vis-à-vis Smokey/Man in Black (MIB) as of “Ab Aeterno”

Man in Black (MIB)/Smokey/Smoke Monster/Flocke/Man in Locke:

  • First heard in the Pilot episode of the series.
  • Refereed to as a “security system” by Danielle Rousseau in Season 1.
  • Basic form seems to be a cloud of black “smoke.”
  • Does not always kill people it encounters.
  •  Sometimes seems to “scan” the mind/soul/past (?) of people as indicated by a flashing light, almost like a flash picture being taken.
  • Images from a character’s past can sometimes be seen in the black smoke cloud.
  • Does not appear to need human food or water to exist.
  • Does not meet standard requirements for any basic life form as is presently understood.
  • The nature of the “smoke” and what it is made of remain unknown. Many theories postulated.
  • The “smoke” has the ability to coalesce and form into the exact image of a three dimensional human being, complete with a solid physical form that can touch, hold and interact with other objects and people.
  • When appearing in human form, Smokey/MIB seems to only incorporate a purely external human “shell” so to speak. In other words, no working internal organs or flow of blood. Reference “Sundown” when Sayid stabbed MIB in the form of John Locke (Flocke) and Flocke subsequently removes the bloodless knife himself with no appearent damage. Also unaffected by bullets in “LA X.”
  • Seems to have no qualms about killing human beings.
  • Is known to have killed the pilot of flight 815 in the Pilot episode of the series. Also killed Mr. Eko and numerous people from the Black Rock and The Temple.
  • Lies and manipulates people.
  • Wants to leave The Island. Desires to be free.
  • Not known to have been seen off of The Island thus far.
  • Has existed for hundreds, if not thousands of years. Exact age unknown.
  • Unnaamed, as of yet. (Many theories as to why postulated, including the “Jacob and MIB are one and the same. ” Reference “The Lost Podcast with Jay and Jack.” )
  • Smokey does not like, and is deterred by sonic fences. Reason for why this is so is unknown. (Reference episode “Left Behind.”)
  • Water might also some sort of “repellant” for Smokey.
  • Believes human beings destroy, corrupt, and that “it always ends the same.”
  • Claims to once have been human (“The Substitute”) and had a crazy mother (“Recon”).
  • An ash circle can act as protectant against the smoke monester, but it seems the ash must work in conjunction with either Jacob or the temple master being alive. Mechanism of how ash circle works is not fully explained.
  • Uses a seaside cave to write out/scratch-out names of candidates.
  • Is a stickler for manners and ettique a la Hannibal the Cannibal.
  • Refers to himself as a “who” not a “what” in LA X. This could add credence to the fact that MIB does actually have a name.
  • Claims that Jacob took his body and his humanity.
  • Since “Ab Aeterno” it has been confirmed that MIB cannot travel across water in his smoke form.

Jacob

  • Jacob’s name first invoked in Season 2.
  • “The Others” appear to be dedicated followers of Jacob and Jacob’s name can be invoked to justify, calm and manipulate.
  • He has a physical human body that, based on all known evidence, cannot change or mutate into any other form or entity.
  • He is seen eating and drinking, which are basic needs for normal human beings, which is in contrast to MIB.
  • Does not seem to be aging beyond his present age – that of a man somewhere in his 30’s (??)
  • Jacob can be killed. He was stabbed to death by Ben Linus and the knife used had blood on it, just as would be expected from a normal human being.
  • Jacob’s body is totally reduced to ashes after being kicked into a campfire by MIB. A normal human body CANNOT be reduced to pure ash by a campfire!
  • Seems to be skilled at fishing and weaving.
  • The weaving appears to be of Egyptian style or influence.
  • Jacob can leave the Island and does so in order to influence the lives of various Oceanic Flight 815 survivors.
  • Jacob’s touch can confer immortality and Richard Alpert was given immortality this way.
  • Jacob’s touch seemed to revive John Locke after Locke was thrown out a window. This suggests “laying on of hands” type healing ability.
  • Jacob has a more positive view of humanity than MIB. He believes in “progress” and does not appear to subscribe to an “original sin” view of humanity.
  • He intentionally brings people to the island in an attempt to prove the Man in Black’s more cynical viewpoint about humanity wrong.
  • Jacob wants people to do the right thing without his having to interfere or show people what is right
  • He’s determined to keep MIB confined to The Island.
  • On the surface, Jacob seems to have a somewhat unconcerned reaction in regard to all the people who have suffered and died in his attempts to prove MIB wrong.
  • Thus far, there is no indication that Jacob has fathered any children or has female companionship. Some theorize that Desmond is Jacob’s son.
  • Jacob is not one to give out a lot of information. Richard Alpert served him for roughly 140 years, yet Richard Alpert does not seem to know what the overall “plan” is.
  • Jacob DID tell Alpert about the function of the island (essentially to contain the evil of MIB and keep it from the rest of the world)
  • Jacob has a lighthouse where it seems he was able to view the lives of his many people, including candidates for his replacement. The lighthouse is in sharp contrast to MIB’s seaside cave.
  • While not being omniscient, Jacob does appear to have a certain amount of foresight or “psychic” ability, so to speak.
  • Miles was able to “read” Jacob’s ashes to determine Jacob’s last thoughts and feelings before his death.
  • Jack, Sun, Jin, Hugo (Hurley), Sawyer and Sayid are the last remaining candidates that Jacob has designated as his potential replacement (Reference TV Guide, March 15 – 21 2010)

Random Thoughts:

I will be the first to admit that I didn’t do well in my Egyptian archeology studies, but there is something about the inside of the foot of the statue where Jacob lives that makes me think early Egyptian civilization and culture.

And why would Jacob be living in the remains of an Egyptian statue and weaving Egyptian tapestries if he was not from, or greatly influenced by, ancient Egyptian culture? Is this to suggest that Jacob has existed since Egyptian times -–four or five thousand years?

Jacob does not look Egyptian. Fair skinned and blue eyed ancient Egyptians are more of a creation of Hollywood than reality.

I’m sorry I don’t remember which podcast or which episode it was, but a person who is knowledgeable about knives pointed out that the knife given to Richard by MIB, for the purpose of killing Jacob, was of Roman style, and pictures Romulus and Remus were supposedly on the knife. I can buy Jacob and MIB being of Roman origin more than Egyptian, but I can’t help but to wonder if these time marker details are nothing more than Lost writers trying to lead us astray.

Whatever Jacob and MIB truly are, and wherever they are truly from, it’s hard to imagine any event that could have happened in either Roman or Egyptian times that would have lead to their creation or roles on The Island. It’s easier for me to think of time as a concept as not applying to them at all. Or of them as existing “outside” of time.

If Jacob and MIB do exist in some sort of linear part of the history of humanity and the world, my inclination would be to say they had both been there from the start . . . . Whatever being from the start means!

While neither Jacob nor MIB seem completely omniscient or omnipotent, they have powers and qualities no human being has. So while certainly cannot be God/s in the Judeo-Christian tradition, their motives and abilities might fit in well with demi god, or even god-like status in many other cultural traditions. Whomever and whatever Jacob and MIB are, they are beyond that of any regular or normal human being.

Proving MIB wrong about his viewpoint of humanity must be very, very, very important for Jacob to devote time and tolerate the loss of so much human life for the sake of this argument. I cannot help but to wonder – if Jacob can prove MIB wrong, or change his mind about the corrupt nature of humanity, then maybe they both get to be freed from the bonds that keep them tied to The Island.

Writer’s Block: 9/11


I was eating dinner at the restaurant in my apartment building in Muange-Eke,
Pathumthani, Thailand. It was evening (hence the "dinner" part!) and it was after dark, so it must have been after 7pm or so.

Aunty, one of the ladies who ran the restaurant in my building came over and was talking to me in Thai and I gathered that something relating to an "airplane" had happened, but I simply had no idea what. I saw images on the Thai news of an airplane hitting a building, but I cannot understand Thai news well and it simply didn’t mean anything to me so I sort of shrugged it off.

Then I went back upstairs to my apartment and got to thinking about it and decided that since Aunty had never tried to talk to me about anything news related, maybe I should check into things. 

I had a computer in my apartment, but no Internet connection. So, that was no help. 

Unfortunately, I had no English language TV channels either, other than ESPN. 

But I turned on the local Thai news which was giving coverage to the incident.  . .  I just couldn’t quite figure exactly what the "incident" was. However, even though the news was in Thai, there were these English language "ticker tape" news feed things from CNN scrolling across the bottom of the TV screen. I read things like "NATO HQ Shut Down", "All Flights in USA grounded, "America under attack.” 

Then I started to panic and experience a unique kind of fear that you probably only experience when the world as you know it suddenly seems on the brink of chaos. Quite frankly, as an American, I’d never known this feeling. 

At this point, I decided I needed English language news. So, I ran across the sports/track field that separated my apartment building and that of the dorms for my University. I knew that the common room in the University dorms had CNN. I snuck past the security guards like I always did whenever I visited my friends at the dorm. Actually, it is not like the guards would ever have tried to stop me! 

I think by this time it was quite late. I went to the common room where the English language CNN was indeed on TV and where a reasonable crowd had gathered, although no one I was personally familiar with. 

After a while I ended up sitting on a couch next to a couple very terrified looking students from Finland. Slowly, via the news feed and from what the Finish students knew, I began to piece things together. Of course, even at that time, it was still pretty much chaos in the USA

I think the Finish students were as afraid as me. They seemed certain that the USA was going to declare war on someone (fair assessment). 

A growing sense of unreality overcame me. Finally, in the wee hours of the morning I went home and fell asleep. When I woke up a few hours later, there was this brief moment when I was certain everything I had seen on TV the night before had all just been part of a terrible nightmare. Then, I knew it was real, and this horrible and terrified feeling came back again.

I rushed off to school so I could go to the computer lab and get on the Internet and see what was going on.  Slowly some very afraid and confused looking American students filtered into the computer lab. I think they literally didn’t know what to think, or were numb and/or in shock, just like me. I learned a long time later that one of the American students actually had a breakdown shortly after this and had to be sent back to the USA.

Eventually I ended spending the better part of two or three days at the dearold Don Muang airport where the CNN news feed was covering 9/11 continuously. There were a lot of very scared looking people crowded around those screens, including many of Middle Eastern origin.

I remember distinctly an Israeli man coming up to me and asking me what they were saying the death toll was. I told him what I knew at that time based on the news I was receiving: that it was possible that was many as 40,000 had been in the Twin Towers when it collapsed. I still remember the look on his face. He looked at me as if I were insane and rushed away. Tensions were running high all around the airport.

After a couple days the airport authorities decided to switch all the programming from CNN to sports. So, that was the last of the live news coverage I ever saw regarding 9/11.

Oddly, I didn’t hear anything from my family either. So I actually started to wonder if the whole thing was even big news in the USA

I finally heard from my mother, who was living in Germany. I think like everyone, she was just in shock and didn’t know what to say.

I left the USA in the summer of 2000 and didn’t return until winter 2003. I never visited, so I never experienced this event the way Americans did. I guess I have a talent for missing disasters. I was in the USA when the tsunami hit Thailand. I missed hurricane Katrina by a day; and I was far, far away from 9/11 and there was no visible signs at all around me that anything was unusual. It was business as usual in Thailand, of course.

Even though I was far away from the events and never was worried about friends or family being caught up in any of the hijackings or plane crashes, it was such a terrible time for the weeks following the events and I can still get very emotional about 9/11. It is not something I will forget until I am old and my mind has been lost to dementia or old age.

 

But the experience of the event, like most of the events of my life, was one I went through alone. I didn’t really have a shoulder to cry on. I was not close to any Americans in Thailand at that time.