You Had Me Several Years Ago When I Was Still Quite Naive
by DICK CHENEY
In political life, it's always more fun to characterize yourself as the opposition, unless you're Rahm Emanuel and you do most of your work in showers. Of course this is only one of the trillion political maxims that exist, most of which Tom Delay whiplashes on the backs of his slaves. Why is politics full of clichés? Mainly because the people involved in it are also clichés.
Liberal imaginings of government's highest office are always patently off base. I keep waiting for Robert Reich's lame memoir to be adapted into a feature starring Peter Dinklage. Ivan Reitman's Dave turned the presidency into a joke, The American President was basically about the commander-in-chief having an online dating presence, which was totally inappropropriate. (It is also unknown why he listed 'ginger hair, cropped short' on his list of preferences.)
Despite the fact that the First Lady had perished in office, it is proper to wait at least until you're reelected or propositioned by Joslyn James. I can't even imagine how Laura Bush dying and George W. Bush roadraging Rachel Uchitel and Helen Mirren would have gone over with the general public, although considering our popularity at the end, it might have been an option worth trying.
The West Wing was supposed to be a snappy and exciting drama; instead it turned into a depressing soap that paralled its creator's decline into paranoia and psychosis. Its target audience was composed of sideburned chaps who think short novels reimagining FDR's arrival at Malta are fun for weekend reading. By the time The West Wing was over, most of the liberal enthusiasm and idealism was confined to California, where it raised the marginal tax rate and bankrupted the state.
Only the most naïve and silly people in our culture think politics are important, but if Glenn Greenwald and Alex Pareene didn't exist to parrot liberal dogma, actual parrots would have to work for a living. I can think of no better way to hammer this point home than by explaining that I was freely elected the vice president of the United States. Me.
Have you already perceived where I am going with this line of air-tight reasoning? Because I had to explain to both my wife and my concubine that last night's Evangeline Lilly flashback was from eight years ago, and the only people who look as good as they did ten years ago are Vladimir Putin and Jenna Fischer above the waist. To take Lost seriously is making a great error. This once-great show prefers to be a parody of itself.
If I ever came face to face with Carlton Cuse, I'd cut him. If I ever saw Damon Lindelof, I'd french kiss his wife for the eight years that her husband stole from me. Last week's shocking main character death quadrilogy rivaled the end of Mr. Eko for sheer stupidity. If you weren't going to do anything with these characters after six seasons, at least give us a decapitation or two. I want to see Lapidus' head on a platter.
This week's lazy storytelling exercise reimagined the parable of Jacob and Esau, or something. I was never really too hot on the Bible, or the Cider House Rules, or any proscribed behavior other than horseback riding. Several conclusions can be drawn from this exercise, and since I am so filled with rage, I can barely compose paragraphs:
The Mother, in the same fashion as Esau did afterwards, was able to reconstitute herself in smoke. How else could she have filled the hole above the Orchid station and murdered all of Esau's friends?
Perhaps she even assumed the form of Jacob and Esau's real mother, Claudia, to Esau. She also might have been one (or all) of men Jacob and Esau observed in the woods.
When confronted with the truth, she did not deny this to her sons, and they both made their own decisions.
It is reasonable to assume, as the Mother says at one point, that there really were no other people on the island than the three of them.
Jacob and Esau can't kill one another. If you kill a god by stabbing it in the heart before it speaks to you, it dies. Going for the post-mortem reacharound is largely frowned upon.
If you take the life of a producer of Lost in this fashion, the rewards may be some kind of production deal or a chance to ghostwrite the next Mission: Impossible.
Young boys on the island bear a striking resemblance to a certain teenage pop star, while men unconsciously imitate a drunk Fred Armisen.
People who pretend to be too holier-than-thou to watch all of Lost are probably incredibly self-involved to begin with.
If you're eating a bunch of chicken surrounded by lettuce, don't call it a salad.
Sometimes at night I think about Fred Armisen having sex with Peggy from Mad Men and I sob.
Wasn't the answer to Lost just Dust from The Golden Compass? Not coincidentally I hate The Golden Compass and Philip Pullman seems like a real asshole, like the kind of person who always come up to you at the senior center and wants to pick your brain about some grey spot on his balls.
The smoke monster's master plan to kill the castaways involved going to the Ajira plane Widmore had rigged with explosives, stealing those explosives, goading everyone into taking the submarine, and hoping it all worked out. Genius! Why didn't Allison Janney think of doing this to her kids?
Now with only three and half hours remaining on Lost's ticking clock, what can we really expect? This episode's flashback to the show's magical first season was an attempt to prove that Lost's writers knew what they were doing all along. We know this isn't true because most of the show's writers work for V and Flashforward now.
Hitchcock, as we all know, explained that the MacGuffin described what was in the briefcase, which we could never see. As he famously put it to Truffaut:
It might be a Scottish name, taken from a story about two men in a train. One man says "What's that package up there in the baggage rack?", and the other answers "Oh that's a MacGuffin."
The first one asks "What's a MacGuffin?" "Well," the other man says, "It's an apparatus for trapping lions in the Scottish Highlands." The first man says "But there are no lions in the Scottish Highlands," and the other one answers "Well, then that's no MacGuffin!" So you see, a MacGuffin is nothing at all.
When we were introduced to the idea of Jacob, he seemed salty and mysterious, like dating Russell Brand. Now it turns out he's just a guy who liked to beat the shit out of his younger brother while Josiah Bartlett's press secretary looks on approvingly. There are no fucking lions in the Scottish highlands.
What was so great about Lost was the feeling of discovery, that another 'what if' lay around the corner. We don't want answers to our questions; we never really want to know what's in the briefcase. Who cares what's in there? If you know that it's a bunch of diamonds, does it make Pulp Fiction any better? Is The Golden Compass less tedious if you believe the reason magic exists in the world is because of something definable and concrete?
Cursed by the notion that they needed to 'resolve' all of the questions the show has posed, Cuse and Lindelof wandered away from the central point. The answer to your question might make you feel better, but it also might lead you to a much less entertaining question.
We care about the characters of Lost in the present, not in the past. Despite the fact that the lives of Jack, Kate, Hurley, Jin, Sun, Michael, and Henry Gale are meaningless constructs, we want to believe that their purpose, and the purpose of the entire show, was greater than the sum of meaningless parts. We don't care about where we come from so much as where we're going.
Dick Cheney is the senior contributor to This Recording. You can find his past reviews of Lost here.
"Legend In Your Own Time" - Carly Simon (mp3)
"Mockingbird" - Carly Simon (mp3)
"Why" - Carly Simon (mp3)
"The Right Thing To Do" - Carly Simon (mp3)