Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Extra, Extra!

My last post was about re-watching LOST with a friend, and this one will expand on those sentiments. Fuck, I love LOST. I'm not sure what I would have given to sit in the writers' room with Damon and Carlton and just listen to them jam on plot elements and story lines. I can only imagine how charged the creative energy would have been when they decided to introduce the first flash-forward. I mean: holy shit.

My friend and I are one full season away from the first unveiling of Jack's exploits off the island, and the best part is that my buddy's brain literally can't conceive of what's about to happen. The change is so integral to the mechanics of LOST's storytelling - in addition to its narrative - that such a shift is unprecedented based on what's come before. If you're only given flashbacks for three seasons straight, the idea that half of each episode will now deal with future instead of past events just isn't an option. He's trying hard to theorize and is doing an admirable job of putting pieces together, but this surprise is so far outside the realm of the puzzle of the plot that I absolutely fucking delight in watching as he has no idea what's sneaking up. Man, he's in for such a treat.

The first time through, I was frustrated with the show's mysteries that didn't receive definitive conclusions. Why is Walt special? What really happened to he and Michael after they boated to freedom? Why was Libby in the mental institution with Hurley? What's that ridiculous bird that squawks Hurley's name in the finales of Seasons 1 and 2? Now that we're at a place where these mysteries have been raised and I know there aren't really very good solutions to them, my friend's discontent is relatable if not mutual. I felt the same way he did originally; now, though, I like that these mystery elements can float away into LOST mythology and be picked to pieces offscreen. It wasn't until my initial viewing of Season 6 that I started realizing my wish for absolute knowledge of all remaining mysteries wasn't actually what I really wanted from the show. There's so much pleasure in not knowing, and you don't realize it until you know too much.

I'm thinking of going the DHARMA Initiative route for Halloween, though this decision may fall in that weird stretch of time before something that was once as cool/out-there as LOST turns into a big cult favorite. Am I jumping the gun by five years? Or did I miss the gun entirely by, like, 3?

Thursday, September 6, 2012

The LOST Dilemma (aka, what I'd pay for adventure)

I've been re-watching LOST with a newbie friend who has no idea what's coming, and the experience to date has been delightful. We're eight episodes into Season 2, and Shannon recently died. This prompted my friend to again address the fact that, were he ever unfortunate enough to survive a plane crash, the first thing he'd do would be to find a sizable cliff and jump off it. "Especially if I was on that island," he always adds. "Kill me on impact, please. I don't want to deal with any of that shit."

My reaction to his sentiment is one of aghast befuddlement. As it turns out, I'm willing to do almost anything to experience a situation more fantastic than what everyday reality typically allots for. I love Disneyland for its ability to make me feel - however fleetingly - that I'm immersed in a fantasy so compelling it's akin to living inside a film or a novel. No matter how realistic Disney's environs, though, I know that what I'm seeing isn't real, and that no matter how fast the wind blows in my face on Space Mountain, I'm in no real danger. 

And I think actual peril is key to a truly immersive narrative experience. When I try and imagine the Blue-Sky future of interactive narratives, my thoughts hit a ceiling when considering just how realistic any simulated scenario can get when true human danger is out of the question. Because don't all exciting stories hinge on shootouts, explosions, booby traps, poisonings, car chases, horse chases, plane crashes, smoke monsters, and hit men? No matter how convincing any of it might eventually seem, it's still not going to cross the danger threshold into full-fledged reality. And a full-fledged realistic adventure is what I'm after. Which is why I'm so jealous of the characters on LOST.

I'll conclude with this: if any future simulated adventure requires I sign an agreement relinquishing anyone of responsibility for my possible death, you're damn right I'm signing that dotted line. I think.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

The Perfect Breakfast

- Eggs (3)
- Tomatoes (just ripe, sliced)
- Garlic (shit ton, minced)
- Spinach (for the Popeye appeal)
- Avocado (this is California, after all)

- Hash browns (almost too cooked)

- The best hot sauce ever (would willingly drink it)

Where you can get it:
Lucky Cafe, Sacramento, CA

For serious. I'd write a Yelp review to further deify, but fuck Yelp.