Jun 18, 2013

The Lost Blogger

So, why did you stop blogging?   I get asked that from time to time.

Have you ever spent long hours on a project where you neglect to click "save," then something happens and you lose all of your work and have to start over, but you can't recover emotionally, so you just quit and walk away from it for a while?  That's what happened to this blog in May of 2010.  Something happened.

It was going along better than ever:  regular posts, increasing readership, creative juices flowing.  At the time, I was writing often about the television show Lost and the themes and subject matter it presented.  I had found the show particularly fascinating because it was brilliantly incorporating religion, science, philosophy, literature and all of the tensions between them.  It wasn't the usual tripe on television.  It was smart and it appeared to be going against the usual shallow television world of action without consequence.  The show posed good questions that real people struggle to answer, but need to explore anyway.  Lost could have been a show for the ages, to be debated and discussed for generations.

But behind all of my excitement about the cultural phenomenon I was writing about was a sense of foreboding, a dark feeling of impending doom, a nagging notion that the show would fall short of it's potential.   Still, as the show was coming to an end, I wrote a series of blogs entitled "Why I love Lost."

Before the finale, a friend asked me what I thought would be the most disappointing ending.  I said the worst case scenario is that the show would betray all of it's themes and just have some disconnected ending where mysteries are not resolved, where characters are inconsistent, conflicts are minimized, and have some kind of amateur plot turn where it turns out that everyone had always been dead and they all go to heaven or whatever and live happily ever after.  "Any show on TV can end like that," I said to him, "It would be the ultimate cop-out from cowardly writers who chickened out when they had the opportunity to draw conclusions about right or wrong, truth or falsehood."

Let's make sure we offend everyone in the name of not offending anyone...
Horrified, I sat on the couch and watched the finale with my supportive wife, and my worst fear was realized.  It was exactly like the worst case scenario I described to my friend. 

The finale concluded, Kristy and I just looked at each other, turned off the TV and didn't say a word.  We went upstairs and got ready for bed, still in stunned silence.  I remember brushing my teeth for a seemingly endless time as I tried to recover from what whatever it's called when you get assaulted by a television show.  My friend who I shared my worst case scenario with sent me a text, "I am so, so sorry..."  With toothpaste dripping from my mouth and my toothbrush clamped between my teeth, I grabbed my phone and texted back,  "I don't even want to talk about it."

More to the point, I didn't want to blog about it.   Nor did I want blog about anything else.  Except for a copy of an article I was asked to write for someone else's blog, I didn't write anything.

For six years, I had been a Lost evangelist, helping people see what really was going on in the show.  I was one of those people, who could waste your whole evening explaining to you why you should watch it.  I was excited that there was a show that would actually suggest there is right and wrong, that certain things in life are black and white.  It was a show that would demonstrate that there are consequences for our actions, and a need for redemption and forgiveness outside of our own abilities.  For a time, it was a rare admission from Hollywood that there are actual truths about human society and behavior that we need to stop ignoring in deference to political correctness or whatever the reason.  But the way the show ended betrayed all of that, and in fact, it betrayed any intellectual or artistic value the show may have had.  It became corny, and well, lost.

I sold my Lost DVDs for cheap at a garage sale and have never watched any part of it again.   Today, I cannot recommend the show to anyone.  Don't rent it, don't buy it.  You are better off renting something silly like Cops and Robbersons instead.

One unexpected result of the Lost debacle is that it cured me of television.  At first, I didn't want to watch any show that the Lost actors would later appear in.  But, even now, there are no shows that are on the "must watch" list for me.  Sure, there are a couple of enjoyable shows out there that I watch if it fits my schedule.  But if I miss an episode or two, it doesn't matter.   I don't Hulu them, I just move on.  I don't care.  There are better things to do.

Occasionally, I get a random email from someone I don't know asking me to update this blog. Often, they are asking me to finish my comment on Lost.  So there you have it.  There's the update.  I will blog of it no more...