Friday, May 26, 2006

Dig: Lost

Have you been watching this show? Holy cow, it's good! It's like cold-beer-with-pizza-while-watching-the-red-wings good. Of course, that comparison falls aparat a little considering that the Wings lost in the first round of the playoffs, but you get my point. Last night was the finale and the two hour Lost extravaganza lived up to the quality of the rest of the season, which doesn't always happen.

Believe me, I'm not going to try to get into all the ins and outs of this show (on ABC - check your local listings for time and channel) because there are more twists and turns in this thing than your large intestine! Even better, it's not filled with shit like the aforementioned part of your digestive tract. Instead, I will present to you concepts that make it so good. Later, I will be going over other basics of English composition that I learned in that stupid English class that is required for all freshmen.

Creativity. Could I be more vague, you're asking. No, I could not be. However, Lost comes up with more weird stuff than you would find in all of the X-Files shows combined. Don't get me wrong, I dug Fox Mulder and Dana Sculley too but it got to be a little predictable after awhile. Maybe Jack and all the other castaways will eventually be as predictable but I don't think so. One of the things that Lost has going for it is that these poor bastards are on some mysterious island that doesn't necessarily have to conform to what goes on in the rest of the world. For instance, most other tropical islands don't have polar bears on them. The writers aren't constrained by convention so they go frickin' nuts with characters and situations. No rules, man!

Multi-Media. So Charlie was in a band called Driveshaft and the cool thing is that there is a website ( with tour dates, pics, etc. There is a site for the airline that owned the plan that crashed ( and the foundation ( that is running the whole dharma initiative thing ( All of these sites are fully developed and have lots of hidden easter eggs and stuff. You could spend all day jumping from one of these sites to the next which are ALL FICTITIOUS! Those nice people at ABC went to a ton of trouble to make your Lost experience a lot more than just setting up shop on a Wednesday night for an hour. Very cool. I dig lots of TV shows but none of them do too much more than present their 30 or 60 minutes of drivel.

References. No, I don't mean like asking your brother-in-law to put in a good word for you when you apply for a job. I mean like referring to a book that is somehow related to the situation on the island. Even names are scrambled (anagrams for you English majors) from names out of history or literature or popular culture or something. One of the bad guys is named Henry Gale who supposedly crashed in a hot-air balloon. Henry Gale was also the name of Dorothy's uncle in The Wizard of Oz. Obscure enough reference that not everyone gets it but obvious enough to be cool. One of the things that the numbers (4, 8, 15, 16, 23, 42) COULD be is retired Yankees uniforms. Why in the world that would be true doesn't really matter - it's just cool that it is.

The What's-Around-The-Next-Corner Factor. I just made that up! That's the feeling of anticipation/anxiety/excitement of wanting to know what's next. This show is all about that. You'd better get your Chocolate Yoo-Hoo during the commercials because you don't want to have your head in the fridge during the show or you might miss Michael turning on Libby and shooting her in the stomach! Pee in a coffee can if you have to because you never know when Kate might find another stash of fake beards and stuff! Heck sakes, some of the commercials are for the Hanso foundation, for crying out loud!

So that's about it. It's a way cool show. There aren't may shows that I make sure I catch every week but I don't miss this one. I was a little disappointed when they killed off Shannon, the token hottie, but it's still a great show. I guess the big deal is that it makes my little walnut of a brain have to do some work while it's on. Catching obscure Seinfeld references wasn't quite as challenging as following/dissecting/analyzing the goings-on on Lost. Generally, I like to sink into the couch and pretty much just let a given show wash over me but Lost actually makes me think. Even if it is about Shannon, the hottie.

You'll have to wait until next fall for new shows to come back on again but I suggest you clear your calendar now.

I'm here to help!

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Don't Get: Littering

So I'm walking the dog through the woods last night (or, rather, she is racing around through the woods like an absolute fool while I shuffle along on the trail) and I'm digging the whole scene. It's about 65 degrees and sunny, the leaves are starting to come out, I'm not at work (which is good, just by definition) and then I see an empty water bottle alongside the trail. You know - one of those clear plastic bottles that the manufacturer (do you manufacture water?) has tried to make look different than the other 150 brands of bottled water that are out there. It looked woefully out of place compared to last fall's old leaves, this spring's new leaves and the occasional flower popping up. About the only thing that the bottle was good for at this point was to provide blog fodder, so here we are!

So now I'm thinking about the dolt who was enjoying the same walk as I am but doing so while drinking some overpriced H2O. Heck, he may even have been walking his dog:

Dolt: Sure is pretty out here with the leaves and flowers and stuff.
Dog: Yep, I agree. I can smell all kinds of bunnies and squirrels and other woodland creatures.
Dolt: And this overpriced agua is really tasty and refreshing too!
Dog: Yeah, it might be nice if you shared some with Man's Best Friend...
Dolt: Sorry, Fido, I just polished it off so I'm going to chuck the bottle to the side of the trail.
Dog: What are you, some kind of idiot?! You're going to ruin this beautiful park with your garbage? Why don't you just bring your old couch and car battery out here while you're at it?!
Dolt: Just relax, Spot. And quit licking yourself.

Don't even try to make the argument that a dog "litters" every time he lifts his leg or drops a steaming lump someplace. That stuff is carbon-based and disappears with the first good rain. Skippy's water bottle will be with us for a long time. I feel OK throwing banana peels out the window as I'm eating my "breakfast" on the way to work for the same reason.

And what about smokers? Who ever said it was OK to just throw your cigarette butt wherever the hell you want to? I have to smile a little on the inside when I see smokers relegated to the freezing cold to do their thing. They huddle together for warmth and stand on the little cement pad around whatever door is designated as the "smoking area". Just how enjoyable can that cigarette be? The bad thing is that they think their butts magically disappear when they throw them into the snowbank. That's fine until it gets a little warm out and the snow melts. Is there anything uglier than the pile of nasty-ass cigarette butts left when the snowbank/ashtray melts? I think not. Eventually, those butts just kind of go away, but I'm not sure where they actually end up. Hopefully, they stick to the bottom of the smoker's shoe and he leaves a little trail of fire as he walks across the purple shag in his trailer, burning it to the ground in a conflagration that smells as bad as a tire fire burning out of control but I kind of doubt that happens. I also am convinced that when one of those idiots throws a butt out the car window that it will somehow become lodged in my gas tank and blow me up but that hasn't happened yet either so I've dodged that bullet for now.

Quite a few years ago, I was participating in one of those Adopt-A-Highway things and cleaning up crap alongside US-31 near where I work. One of the guys who was working alongside me was puffing away on a cigarette and where do you think he put the butt when he was done? Yep, that jackass threw it on the ground! I'm out there on a Saturday alongside the highway not unlike a low-flight-risk prisoner in hunter orange picking up garbage and this guy thinks it's OK to flick his butt on the ground in front of me! The voices in my head told me to push him in front of the next SUV coming down the road but my meds kicked in and I was able to restrain myself. Just like short people, stupid people got no reason to live, man.

Is this a nature or nurture thing? If you are comfortable throwing your Snickers wrapper on the ground, is it because your mom and dad threw their Chunky wrappers on the ground too? (Chunkies kind of represent the '70's to me) Or is it just because you could really give a rat's ass about the environment and garbage cans are for the weak? And what's the cutoff? Are Mr. Pibb cans OK to throw into the ditch but a pair of old Nike Waffle Trainers are off-limits? What about a mattress? Refrigerator? I'm guessing that if you litter with one thing, you do so indiscriminately. To you, one man's garbage is, well, every man's garbage. On an unrelated note, I think homosexuality is a nature thing.

Look, if you think littering is acceptable then I'm going to come to your neighborhood every Sunday night to dump my trash instead of putting it on the curb for Mr. Garbageman. I can save $13.00 per month and apparently you won't mind. But if you get all pissy with me about dumping my empty boxes of Cocoa Puffs and the yogurt that expired six weeks ago in your front yard, why don't you help a brother out and put your own crap in the garbage too? Yes, I know it all goes to a landfill anyway and the associated groundwater tastes a little "tangy" but we're not talking about that today.

Pick up your garbage and put it in the proper place so that American Indian doesn't have to have that tear coming down his cheek anymore! And quit smoking too!