Monthly Archives: December 2007

lost in the woods of error

Lost is, before anything, an amazing spectacle, on the order of the greatest tall tale ever told, a nonstop act of invention that just keeps topping itself, layering whopper onto astounding whopper, keeping us laughing with delight at its endless novelty, the sheer bravado of its impossibly complex plotting.

But all that manic plate-juggling serves a purpose beyond the sheer wonder of it. The constant switchbacks in Lost, the reversals of polarity in relationships between characters, the undermining of previous givens, the seemingly limitless reassignment of meaning to events, phrases, symbols, and objects, the expansion into every corner of experience — past, present, and future — of an ever more finely meshed web of interconnection — these are not mere rococo elaborations of a straightforward plot. They serve to create in the viewer all the hallmarks of paranoia — a sense that the common reality can’t be trusted, that people can never be fully known, that whatever “reality” you think you’ve discovered is at best a contingent one, to be undermined by the next set of connections and unmaskings.

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a day off

0500-0700

Got off work. Went to check internet at MWR. Picked over romances, detective fiction, and religious tracts in the free books room. Finally settled on The Human Stain, by Philip Roth; slightly marred by the fact that I can’t stop imagining Anthony Hopkins as the main character, although I haven’t seen the movie.

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