To Lost With Love
by DICK CHENEY
My career has been one of soothsayer and mystic as much as gun-toting maniac and sexual icon. On two separate occasions I have "smashed up a homie" of my wife Lynne, both times the resulting indiscretion helped elect a burgeoning political candidate I nurtured like one of GWB's hangovers. While I kiss the toe of another, my own toe is extended for the lips of others. There is no such thing as a woman behind a man, it is usually another, balder man.
I even taught high school history, although I wasn't anywhere near the pedantic psycho that Ben Linus was. Like me, Linus cultivated talent. We all need a life coach. Linus' mentor was Jacob, who carried a redemptive hope for the guy in his heart. I recruited political proteges; I was also a cagey hand at spotting an up-and-coming blogger. I was the one who told Andrew Sullivan to go with the whole flaming bear thing. That was me.
Ben used information from a student to blackmail the principal, and somehow was the heroic protagonist of last night's Lost. I worry this teaches the wrong lesson to kids, particularly hot kids. The school principal didn't really do anything technically wrong - yes, he did bang the school nurse in front of a student, but (1) it was a hot student and (2) Bill Clinton is still revered in this country and he did roughly the same thing, except in front of the whole world. How we expect to feel sympathetic for a blackmailer with a heart of gold is beyond me, but it is an encouraging precedent for the inevitable prosecution I'll face in the coming years.
Simon Cowell and the new Ben Linus overall have a lot in common. Their favorite movie is To Sir With Love and they both ask to be addressed by their honorifics. "It's Dr. Linus," Ben snivels to Principal Reynolds, who committed that cardinal sin of making him supervise detention instead of allowing Ben to fondle his own daughter in "history club." In this episode, the show's writers simply get Linus wrong. It is no fun to see the weak Linus. The strong Linus was a bad man, a tasty villain on a show that needed the right antagonist.
Above all, Linus is resourceful. We respect a well-thought out plan, and parallel Linus was putty in the weird sexual relationship he had with his alternate universe daughter. I don't know what was creepier, the fact that Alex Rousseau was flirting with her dad, or the disturbing acknowledgement that the 21-year old Tania Raymonde dates old-enough-to-be-her-father Jeff Goldblum in real life. He is the only person to ever get laid from a role on a Law & Order spinoff.
Simon Cowell also has a somewhat unorthodox relationship with the younger women on his show. He's incredibly sparing with praise with the mass of female contestants, but then he picks out his pet favorite and showers her with compliments and gifts that reek of insincerity, like telling her he liked her Tracy Chapman cover and that "dreads look super-great on a white girl."
Simon's pet this season is the innovatively named Crystal Hornblower. Her day job is as a character in a Patrick O'Brian book. Her boyfriend's penis is shaped like a question mark. Her tattoo is of a rooster pleading for his life. She smells of rosemary, menthol cigarettes, and chiante. Her astrological sign is Virgo.
if she doesn't sing Feist next week, I will be the most surprised man in the world
None of the men on American Idol are showing anywhere near this kind of potential (although every single male contestant at least makes my dick harder than Kris Allen ever did). Simon usually latches onto an artist like Crystal Hornblower when he wants the audience to support another candidate with more star potential. If you don't see the metaphorical connection to Lost, you obviously don't read This Recording very often.
the odds that she ends up dating Robert Pattinson are almost insurmountable
Simon's secret crush is on Cape Cod's own Siobhan Magnus. Weirdly, that's what I named my dick in third grade. Siobhan looks like the kind of girl who thinks owning Blood on the Tracks on vinyl isn't a tremendous fucking cliche. Like Alex Rousseau, she was intended for an Ivy League university before a love of singing (history) took over her life (Lost parallel universe). Unlike Alex Rousseau, her grasp of the particulars of the Dutch East India Company is slim at best - she's been singing her whole life. To be fair, her high note at the end of Aretha Franklin's "Think" made me burst out in hives, but like, good hives.
What short memories we have. We forget that Steve Martin's been making the exact same jokes for the past thirty years, and we forget Benjamin Linus actually saved Lost at one point. I mean, the guy showed up to the Losties' camp one day, pretended he got to the island by a weather balloon, and called himself Henry Gale. Sure he could have gone with a lie that could never be verified as such, but lying without regard for consequences is generally Linus' modus operandi. Sidney Poitier would not approve, but then he named his daughter Sydney, so do we give a flying fuck what he thinks?
The old Linus' enterprising tactics and mysterious background turned Lost from The View hosted by Matthew Fox into a badass struggle for survival against a maniacal sociopath whose team of Others could move silently through the jungle and form a book club at a moment's notice.
The new Linus teaches at the only all-white school in America, the only educational institution where it is appropriate for your hot daughter-protege to show up at your house at dinner and request extra study time. It's hard to be a high school teacher, and most in the profession aren't blessed with the considerable stress relief that dude got from punching Snooki in the face.
Then again, it was Ben Linus himself who taught us that violence against women was another, different kind of violence. Linus was an equal opportunity sociopath, the kind of guy who didn't evac the women and children before gassing the Dharma Initiative. It's fun to see him batting around what could have been with dear old dad: "Son, I wonder what you could have become if we stayed on that island." "Dad, I would have gassed them all, and you. Now you know. I also wouldn't be having a weird flirtation with my own daughter. Now eat your cheerios, and let's watch Hoarders so we can feel better about being alive."
Linus represented the triumph of individual industriousness over physical dominance. His second-in-command represented the victory of suave good looks over television sense-making. The immortal Richard's bright plan to kill himself required an hour long walk, two implicated associates, and a dependence on ancient, unstable dynamite. You had 300 years to orchestrate your own death, and this is what you're going with?
That's about as effective an approach as the time Ari Fleischer tried to end it by maiming his arms with a thousand paper cuts from a particularly sharp issue of Commentary. Lost has been promising to reveal why Richard never ages for many seasons, and when they finally do, their answer is "because Jacob touched me." This does explain why Ilana is so devoted to the idea of Jacob - no one makes her come the way he makes her come.
The return of Chaz Widmore comes not a moment too soon. Can we perhaps also intuit that he comes from the Lost parallel universe? We had no indication that the old Widmore could pilot a Prius, let alone a sub. More to the point, he wasn't able to - he spent most of the previous seasons unable to find the island, and now he just strolls up in a sub and doesn't want to kill Ben Linus? This is a different Widmore than we're used to.
Lost has gotten softer than Ellen DeGeneres' gorgeous blue eyes. Sayid going bad last week was a good start, but he commits murders all the time. Killing off some regulars would be a good start; maybe they can bring back Dominic Monaghan and kill him again. His presence on the set would at least inspire Evangeline Lilly to emote a little. Kill off Jin, I can't understand half of what the guy says anyway. Murder Lapidus - the guy spends half his screen time dropping "did you knows" from Lostpedia. Just kill someone before I start watching Parenthood every Tuesday and spending hours on end weeping for what they've done to Lorelai Gilmour.
Dick Cheney is the senior contributor to This Recording. You can find his previous recaps of Lost here.
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