Like many people, I came into the LOST craze slightly late, powering through the full six seasons in a couple of months, just in time to get caught up for the big finale. While I’m immensely thankful I was able to experience it without spirit-crushing commerical breaks and what must have been unbearable waits between new episodes, there is one downside: having all the episodes immediately at my disposal means I didn’t really get a chance to sharpen my “interpretation chops”. While most viewers became seasoned pros at scrutinizing pearls, swans, wooden shacks and H-bombs, I was sailing through episode after episode, blissfully unaware that the finale would require the mother of all interpretations.
So I turned to the Internet.
Here is a compilation of the very best theories I’ve found, mixed with my own thoughts–the combination of which completely put my heart at ease and allow me to celebrate J.J., Lindelof and ilk’s contribution to the spectrum of television, rather than scrutinize it for not spelling everything out at first glance.
1. EVERYTHING THAT HAPPENED ON THE ISLAND ACTUALLY HAPPENED:
815 crashed, the passengers uncovered an island full of mysteries, some died, some survived, some traveled through time, some left and came back–but it all actually happened. The Dharma Initiative WAS there to study electomagnetism. The Others WERE a collection of inhabitants who had arrived on the island through different means and had come to revere and protect it, with Richard’s help. Those like Charlie, Alex, Shannon, Boone, etc who died on the island, actually died when they died. Those like Lapitas, Sawyer, Kate, Miles, etc, went on to escape and live to undetermined ages. Eventually they died too. Jack died right at the end, with the final brilliant shutting eye.
The best support for this is when Hugo says to Linus outside the church: “You were a really good number 2, Dude.” This tells us that they did, in fact, go on and have many adventures as #1 and #2, protecting and running the Island, before they eventually died.
2. THE FLASH-SIDEWAYS UNIVERSE WAS THE IN-BETWEEN (PURGATORY) BEFORE FINAL REST:
The events on the Island showed us a collection of charaters each struggling with their demons, fears and desires. The alternate universe showed us those same characters coming to terms with their lives’ failings. FINDING lost loves (such as with Sayid/Shannon and James/Juliet), REDEEMING themselves to each other (as with Benjamin and Alex, even with Desmond/Charles) and ESCAPING from their personal prisons (Jin/Sun finally getting away from Mr. Paik, Locke getting up from his chair). Everything we saw in the alternate universe was happening in a timeless reality at a point after all the characters have died (whether on the island, or naturally and later in their lives). this is evidenced by Christian’s statements at the end: “There is no NOW in this place”….”We all die eventually” –this reality shows how all our characters are able to come to peace with their lives and reunite. Everyone got their bit of redemption before moving on to the next world…Heaven, if you will.
3. THE ISLAND IS “THE FIRST ISLAND”, AND A DAMN MYSTERIOUS PLACE:
Yes, it is the mythical Eden, and the birthplace of all good/evil and religious myths. The Island’s numerous traits that were presented over the course of the seasons show elements that are taken from many mythologies–Pagan (the statue), Judeo-Christian (good/evil, creation) and even quantum theories (all the electromagnetic pockets, fourth-dimensional “advantages”). The Island SPAWNED all these beliefs, and slowly, they were exported to the rest of the world and altered to what we now know as different interpretations of similar origin myths. We don’t know for sure how many generation of Protectors came before Jacob, Smokey and their mother, but it’s not really relevant.
The fact that Jacob brought all our heroes there is sort of coincidental–after learning of Jacob’s insecurities, and that he was bascially a mama’s boy, it’s easy to believe that he, on a whim, has brought hundreds of people to the island, looking for the right person to replace him.
4. WHERE THE HELL ARE MICHAEL AND WALT?!:
After so much attention was given to Walt’s ‘powers’ and Michael’s relationship with him (“WAAAAAAALT!”….”WAAAA…HAAAAA…HAAALT!”) it feels like a bit of a cop out, but even this was dealth with thanks to Hugo’s brief chat with Michael. Michael is the equivalent of a ghost now, a tortured soul that is unable to find rest, along with the rest of the Whispers. Walt, we presume, went on to live with his grandmother, but there’s really no explaining why he didn’t appear in the church at the end. I’m assuming it’s because the actor probably looks like a 30 year-old NBA player by now, based on his creepily deep voice the last time we saw him. Also, Eko should have been there too.
5. BENJAMIN STAYED BEHIND BECAUSE HE’S GOT TOO MANY DAMN THINGS TO ATONE FOR:
Sure, he may have been forgiven for what he did to Alex, but Ben was easily the most evil character on the show: the abductions, the murderings, the moral flip-flopping, and most of all, his eerie overpronunciation of any word longer than one syllable. It’s take a while for him to clean all that up in the in-between.
There are most definitely some other fabulous roundups and threads delving even further into things. A great summary of all the unanswered/answered questions is here: http://lost-and-gone-forever.blogspot.com/2010/05/unanswered-questions-report-card.html.
I’d love to hear your alternate versions or critiques–for me, the above points adequately tie up most of the loose ends, and leave me free to move onto my next project: never watching TV again.
So, it’s become clear to you that there’s no way to avoid it: you’ve registered on the Movember website. Your future living under the ‘stache is now written in stone–and coming up on ya. Perhaps you’ve been a clean-shaven gentleman all your life; perhaps you thrust yourself proudly into your goatee years. Or maybe you sported a beard so thick in the past few years that not even light could escape it.
Regardless of your recent follicular history, the decision has been made—you’re venturing forward into the single most decisive facial statement a man can make. But what of your delicate sensibilities? You’re full of questions, comments, concerns. Who’ll be there when the first hairs start to sprout? Who’ll come over to pick the pieces of napkin out of your Velcro-like lip stubble? Who’ll applaud when you first realize you’re able to sip boilings liquids without flinching?
Until Nov 30th, however, you need to know what awaits you. It is with the greatest sense of masculine care that I hereby present to you: The Six Stages of Growth.
Stage the First: Cautious Optimism
You’re shaved, you’re excited, and, by gum, you’re ready. Maybe you had a hot towel shave or maybe you let a Bick double blade disposable do the talking. However you reaped your facial crops, you’re now ready to sew the seeds of mandom. Grab your cardigan. Get your fine slacks out. Then put them on. Now step outside. You want to shout to the world: “I’m a man, consarnit! My prostate and I are in this together!” And you’re right to shout. After all, it’s 4 A.M. How else would your neighbours hear you?
Stage the Second: Shame
The honeymoon period is over, and people are beginning to ask questions. Your girlfriend finds your lip too abrasive, and you’re beginning to run into people you haven’t seen since high school. You’ve got sales to close and international conferences to attend, yet people are expecting you with your well-recognized chinstrap. When you look in the mirror, you don’t even recognize what you see. Instead, you turn away in disgust. Why, you ask yourself, have you thrown away a face that, while not exceedingly handsome, you’d grown accustomed to, like a dog grows accustomed to the taste of its own feces? You realize that, yes, these are indeed dark times.
Please, continue soldiering on! Believe me, before long, your shame will subside, your spine will straighten, and you’ll be proceeding to:
Stage the Third: Defensiveness
Stand tall! No one’s going to come between you and your facial hair! Even if that were physically possible, you still wouldn’t have it! Don’t let anyone tell you that your moustache is outdated, outlandish, or out-of-style. Defend your prostate. Defend other men’s prostates–violently if necessary. But do it with the absolute certainty that what you’re doing is right. Dare others to turn their nose down at you. Write manifestos letting society know what you’re prepared to do to those who disparage the moustache, then leave those manifestos between the shelves at the library, on bus-stop benches, and under your tip at the restaurants you frequent. In this author’s opinion, a pseudonym may prove useful.
If people are cowering before your burgeoning mo, then it’s time to proceed to:
This can be a terrifying stage for many. You may think that looking like you forgot to wipe your mouth after eating a beef taco is unattractive.
You’re right. It is.
It’s also well worth your time to buck up and deal with it.
Why? Four words:
Stage Five: The Sanchez
Over the mountain there lay a shining light. And its name was Sanchez.
By now, your mo will be developing its own shape, luster and character. Do not be surprised when both women and men respond to you differently, as, if you’ve made it this far, you’ll have developed the facial qualities, vocal cadence, and odour of a Latin lothario.
At this point, you’re no longer growing a moustache…you have a moustache. Enjoy being here. And enjoy the choices that come along with it. Do you grow it further? Do you keep it neatly trimmed? Hell, you could even bleach it blonde, if you really wanted to. That’s the point. No one can say anything anymore. You’re officially a better man. And there’s only one place left to go:
Stage Six: Moustacheland
In Moustacheland, you can lean against a post at the supermarket all day, and people will not call the police. The police will call you for advice.
Anyone who knows me will know that I cut my classic rock teeth on Zeppelin. It was Zeppelin and Zeppelin alone that ushered me out of the awkward leather-jacketed, techno-fueled Italianism that was my birthright. Granted, while I may have never truly felt a deep connection to DJ Club Mix 96, I suppose I needed something as hard and unapologetically gritty as Zeppelin to fully strip me away.
That said, it should be no surprise that my interest was piqued when news of a reunion broke. No, I didn’t have $170,000 to spend on a pair of tickets, but I was determined to get footage from the show at London’s 02 arena as soon as it became available.
So here it is. And, surprisingly, Robert Plant’s vocals sound a lot less like someone dragging a leather sack over broken glass and gravel than I imagined they would. Good on ya, boys!
Whole Lotta Love
Since I’ve Been Loving You
Good Times Bad Times
That’s a lot of bald heads in the crowd.
It’s been a long month—one fraught with self-doubt, during which I was forced to push through personal comfort barriers and deeply re-examine that which it meant to be a man. Now, after having gone 30 days with an often less-than-luxurious strip of hair on my upper lip, I stand here triumphant, confident that every ingrown hair, each questionable glance from a stranger, and every square centimeter of razor-rash was worth it.
At the Movember gala, which took place at the Phoenix Concert Hall in Toronto on the 25th, my struggle came full circle. To the well-read observer, I was D’Artagnan; to the casual one, I was Captain Morgan—although I can’t say I had even one rum beverage all night.
The event was expertly organized by the Prostate Cancer Research Foundation of Canada and the Movember team hailing straight from down under (who, and I am jealous as I type this, were then flying off to attend the New York, San Francisco, San Diego and L.A. parties).
Check out the official Movember photo gallery from photographer Todd Hobley here.
To those who never got a chance to read up on the Movember proceedings, you can visit the official blog, which I was one of the writers for, here. My hopes are that, come next Movember, you’ll be inspired to trade in your lip skin for something with a little more character in support of prostate cancer research.
I suppose there’s one more thing for all the Arrested Development fans out there: under my costume, I was also dressed as Tobias Fünke, but you’ll have to search through the official pictures to catch a glimpse.
Big cheers out to all those who supported me and all the other Mo Bros with pledges.
And there it was in my junk mail box. An email with no discernible subject line. Sure, my computer had labeled it spam, but at that instant, I could not care less. I wanted to open it; I needed to open it. The ‘from’ line held one simple word only: ‘luna’. Who was this ‘luna’? Why had she chosen me as a vehicle through which to spread her messages of intrigue?
I could hesitate no longer. Grasping my optical mouse with my right hand, I steadied my wrist and clicked the message bar. The single line of text that lay within could not have been clearer.
throw away your parasol, your massive member will cast shadow
The statement was bold, but beautiful in its scope: Do away with my parasol, because I will have an engorged penis which would be capable of shielding me and, ideally, those around me, from the sun. I instinctively pushed my cursor toward the link included in the message. After all, anyone this succinct must necessarily be so wise as to not require the encumbrance of additional words.
Then my hand stopped. A curious prickling sensation in my mind was causing me to question my own impending action. Was this really the right thing to do? Did I really wish to have a phallus so large, so chokingly oppressive, that not even light could escape it? A literal black hole of anatomy hanging from my forequarters?
As I began to think about it further, it became clearer and clearer that the right thing to do was to retain my birth genital, however incapable it was of functioning as a beach accessory. It also began to stand out that, even in such few words, ‘luna”s logic was not impenetrable. It began to seem clear to me, once the initial seduction of the proposition had waned, that several reasons stood against my making use of the enigmatic message’s advice:
1. Parasols don’t grow on trees.
Yes, a penis of such glorious girth that it would preclude my use of a parasol would save space in my beach bag, but was it really necessary to impertinently toss my parasol away? After all, my father gave me that parasol. When you buy a new car, you don’t just throw your old car away. There is nothing wrong with my current parasol. In fact, I always sort of liked it; would I really be willing to give up on it after all it’s done for me? I mean, I lost my virginity under that parasol. Yes, it was a little awkward doing my already awkward business with one hand occupied holding it above us, but I thought it made the situation a lot more romantic. And while parasols don’t grow on trees, I’m pretty sure shade literally does.
2. I sort of like my genitals.
And, goddammit, we’ve been through a lot together. In fact, if we’re talking about penises, I mean, really talking about them, mine is sort of the only one I really want to discuss. It would appear I’m biased in its favour. Sure, maybe my penis is only able to cast a shadow onto my thigh, but maybe that’s all the shade I need.
So, sorry Luna. Really. You dreamed of a world where men could relax, have their hands unencumbered, and still shield themselves (minus their penises) from the dangers of prolonged sun exposure. If my lack of interest in living in a world of men with healthy, milky white skin (but burnt and blistered male members that could smother a polecat) is spoiling your dream, then I apologize.
But I’m still not gonna get the surgery.
Dear squirrels who run out into the street just ahead of me,
I’d like to have a chat with you about statistical probability. Hey, don’t worry. I won’t get too technical. You’ve got a lot of nuts to gather, and a lot of suburban neighbourhoods to overrun. If anything, this letter is intended to empower you to keep on doing your thing. But in order for you to keep on doing your thing, you need to stop darting out in front of me, man. For real.
Look, I understand that the occasional slip of the mind might happen. Maybe you saw an incredibly moist-looking acorn, or a stinkin’ chipmunk sniffing around your territory, and you felt compelled to protect your interests by bolting across a busy street. It happens. But like, I said: statistical probability. You and your brethren seem to have come to a consensus that when confronted with the threat of being crushed by an automobile careening toward you, the best option is to hesitate, then run in a zig-zag formation toward the curb then back in the direction you originally wished to go—often stopping multiple times directly in front of the path of my tires. I assure you, this is not the most sensible option, statistically and mathematically speaking.
You see, squirrels, when you run across the road in one direction, you create a vector. On this vector, there are theoretically infinite potential points of contact. When I drive down a street, my car tires create two more vectors (for simplicity’s sake, let’s ignore the thickness of my tires—this is squirrel-level mathematics after all). These two new vectors will intersect with your vector and create two new points of contact. Think of them as “death-spots”.
Let me illustrate this in terms you can grasp. You’ll be the walnut, and my tires will be the pounding fist.
See me coming up on ya? That’s right: I have two fists, and you have one line. You may suggest that the scales seem tipped in my favour. Here’s where it gets interesting. I can only hit you one time on that line. Sure, I get two chances, but once you’re past that second fist, you’re home free, rolling in plush-tailed chiquitas and balling all day, if that’s your scene. If it’s not, I’m sure you have a nice nook somewhere.
The problem is, you’re not giving me one clean line, bro. For whatever reason, you’re doing this:
Let me tell you, as quick as you may be, statistically, you’ve upped the ante. Is it out of fear? Look, I already feel guilty enough that, because of our roads and cars, you’re forced to face soft rolling death from above every day. But am I to infer that because of humanity’s horrid influence, you’ve permanently lost the ability to differentiate between away and towards? Because if that’s the case—if we, as a species, broke your brain—then I don’t think I can cope with that guilt.
Just like a real fist pounding a real walnut—sure, it hurts the walnut plenty, but it hurts my fist too. Except in this case, the walnut is you, and the fist is my heart. Don’t make me punch myself in the heart, little hamster, cause it’s a battle we’ll both lose.