With the series finale of LOST looming (God, do I talk about anything else these days?) and my bizarre thesis project finalized to the point where I no longer have any hulking workload to cower behind, I'm finding myself more and more contemplating my need for mystery.
Like, I'm just not a happy camper unless I've something to puzzle over, to form theories about, to think and rethink until I end up twice as confused as when I started. Mystery, for me, is one of those compelling forces (along with sex and spicy food) that keeps me going. After all, who actually likes reaching a novel's final page? Don't we all long to be back at the beginning as soon as we realize the end is in sight? Is any of this normal? Does everyone enjoy not having all the answers? What would any of us do if we got them?
I'm not sure - obviously. What I do know, though, is that this interest is widespread. Thanks to JJ Abrams (above) - whom I believe is Hollywood's single greatest young asset - television and film are beginning to embrace the question mark. LOST, Fringe, Viral Marketing, the Super 8 trailer... all purposefully enigmatic. All utilizing media in innovative, downright revolutionary style. Mystery is cool again, and its 21st-century format is being branded in the guise of whole new concepts - none of that who-shot-who bullshit.
We, my loyal readers, are living and breathing in 2010: a decade in which humankind has reached the point of exhaustion in its successful search for answers, and we're ready to be baffled again. We have Wikipedia. We know why things are melting just as precisely as we know why other things are exploding. We understand the widespread hate that grips the globe, the impending exhaustion of fossil fuels, the convecting of gases in our atmosphere, the nation's reliance on increasingly synthesized food, the fact that Iron Man 2 can rake in over $100 million in 48 hours at the box office while simultaneously several thousands of children died of hunger in Africa - and several dozen more perished in our own country. We've reached the point where we don't want any more blatant answers. What we want are more thoughts that defy both rational explanation and solution. If there's no clear path of action, then we don't really have to do anything about it... right?
Now, that last paragraph was a bit of a bummer, and I'm not implying the mystery provided by corporatized entertainment is any kind of appropriate remedy. What I am saying, though, is that America's sort-of collective consciousness is veritably gasping for air at this point. Those who aren't living in complete denial need something to distract from the painfully obvious truth of our current situation, and that thing is as easy to come by as a single compelling thought that holds no inherent, gloomy conclusion.
I present, then, for your keen perusal, the following fantastic links:
Super Cool Mystery House
Real-life DHARMA Initiative
That last one is courtesy of my good friends in San Francisco, and I plan on checking out The Jejune Institute myself in less than two weeks! I promise a full report following the adventure. Which brings me, of course, to my second favorite topic behind mystery... me!
I've recently decided I'm much too boring a person, and that in order to make my twenties (or, the 7.2 years of them that remain...d-yikes!) truly 'zing' I need a whole new set of mysterious affectations to keep people guessing. After all, who doesn't want to make friends with the weird guy at the party? As it stands, my one idea (a perplexing little slogan) turned out to also be the name of a Northwest hipster/rapper (Mad Rad), so I'm back at square one. Feel free to lob suggestions! I should warn you, though, that I draw the line at facial hair, cryptic tattoos, voluntary amputations, and any organized religion, new or otherwise.
I can only hope tomorrow's horoscope will promise something along the lines of a treasure map soon making its way into my grubby little hands. Until then... Iron Man 2, anyone?