Are You Ten Years Ago

Give or take a fortnight I’ve lived through exactly two decades. With the aughts winding down, I thought I’d take a look at the advancements, publications,  and occurrences of the decade* that were most influential in my life.

Music: iTunes, dub-step, auto-tune

  • Radiohead
  • The Decemberists
  • The Killers
  • Tegan & Sara
  • Kings of Leon

Television: HD, on Demand

  • West Wing
  • Stargate SG-1
  • Veronica Mars
  • LOST
  • The Daily Show

Movies: 3D (for this one I’m doing directors, it’s just easier)

  • Joe Wright
  • Quentin Tarantino
  • David Yates
  • Jason Reitman
  • Lee Unkrich

Books:

  • The Harry Potter Series by JK Rowling
  • Partly Cloudy Patriot by Sarah Vowell
  • Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
  • The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown
  • Summerland by Michael Chabon

Fashion:

  • leggings
  • “vintage” t-shirts
  • skinny jeans, or, conversely, jeans that are too baggy
  • Vera Bradley bags
  • North Face fleece jackets

Technology:

  • GPS
  • iPods
  • Smart Phones
  • Internet (modems => cable => broadband => wifi)
  • social networking (Facebook, Twitter, Myspace, blogs)

Current Events:

  • 9/11 terrorist attacks
  • medical scares: SARS, Avian Flu, Swine Flu
  • America invades Iraq & Afghanistan
  • financial crisis
  • hipsters

*This entire list is made up of my opinions, and the things that were the most influential to myself. Given that, I figured it’d be easiest to limit every category to five items. Keep in mind that, to me, the decade started in 2001 and lasted until the last moment of 2010. The next decade will be 2011-2020.

Lock it up, Shut it down.

To quote Chris Colfer:

Today I passed a man with a “The End is Near” sign. With Oprah, Larry King, and the Harry Potter movies all ending, I think he’s right.

It’s true. Some iconic tv shows were laid to rest this last season, including: 24, Flight of the Conchords, Law & Order, LOST, Monk, and Reno 911. But, two of the most influential series of the last decade are finally shutting down. On the one hand, you have Harry Potter, and on the other, LOST. And, while I recognize that you can’t really compare the two, I’m going to anyway:

While Lost and the Harry Potter series were both  wise in knowing when to call it quits and how to wrap up their intricate plots in a relatively timely manner, overall, Harry Potter has to take the cake. Lost, while managing to change the way people watched tv, got hung up on slow reveals that weren’t always satisfying. Harry Potter, however, managed to re-engage an apathetic generation in reading.

The Final(e) Breakdown:

LOST:

  • I wasn’t disappointed, but I wasn’t overwhelmed, either.
  • There were a lot more questions raised than answered.
  • Ambiguous which can either be satisfying for a large audience or just frustrating as hell. I was kind of cheesed off, and saw the ending as a bit of a cop-out, even though I enjoyed it. (Kind of like The Awakening.)

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (book):

  • Spectacular, but I thought the epilogue was a bit of a stretch (though ultimately satisfying).
  • Credit for keeping the action flowing and for tying up all the loose ends
  • Daring: lots of death and intrigue
  • The more anticipated of the two.

Break it Down Now

I was way ahead of the curve on this one. Oh, sorry, I haven’t filled you in on what I’ve gotten – LOST. The finale = awesome. As much as I’m going to miss that show and it’s exercises in the fantastical, phantasmagorical, surreal, insane, explosive, creepy, mythical, confusing, what-have-you plot lines of whichever universe or sideways they choose to explore week after week, I’m glad it’s been wrapped up. On the whole, I’m pretty happy with how everything went down. And yeah, everyone’s going to have different views on what The End really meant, but I’ve got my own theory.  I was 99% resolved in my beliefs about The End right after it aired, then again five minutes later, as I explainedmy interpretation to my dad. The next day, I was sure of my self again, when I read this excellent article from my friends at the BBC.

Here’s how I figured it [spoiler alert]:

Everything that happened on the Island happened. That was real life (not a fantasy, or purgatory, or heaven, hell, etc.). The flash-sideways, were the characters in their fade-out time between life and death. The church, where they reassembled, was the weigh-station. Some characters weren’t in the church because they weren’t bonded closely enough with the others or because they still had some unresolved business. (For example, Ben Linus wanted to spend more time with his daughter, Alex, and he wasn’t ready to let go and have absolution. Michael was doomed to whisper silent nothings on the Island forever, etc. etc.) Penny got to hang out in the church with the rest of 815 because she was Desmond’s soul-mate.

The tricky thing, I think, is realizing that everyone did not, in fact, die in the plane crash. The plane landed on the Island, and lives were lived from there on out. Therefore, the gathering in the church was not simultaneous. Everyone went there when they finally died. Everyone just happened to be there when Jack was, because we were seeing it from his perspective. When you get there, everyone else you’ve cared about most is already waiting for you. So, yes, Jack died after he saved the Island. Hurley and Ben lived out lives on the Island for (presumably) a long, long time – as evidenced by their reassurances that Ben was a good number two and Hurley a great number one. Sun & Jin died in the sub along with Sayid. Sawyer, Kate, Claire, Lapidus, Miles, etc. left the Island when they could, and Jack really did see them fly away.

It was just awesome. I loved every minute of it. While that may not have been how I would have wrapped up the show, they did a great job and left a lot open to interpretation. Which, I guess, is what needed to be done. Because that’s all we’ve been doing for years, isn’t it? Trying to figure out what the hell has been going on in their little world. And, yeah, I was kind of pissed that Sawyer and Kate didn’t end up together, but it worked out just swell in the end.

One of my favorite little things in the show was the shout-out to Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse-5. Not only is Sawyer reading it at one point, but also, the blatantly had characters “become unstuck in time” throughout season 4, or whichever season aired in my junior year of high school. And while, yes, there are still a lot of questions that never received answers, one or two might be in the near future in a super-extended deleted scene. Oh, I also very much loved that Allison Janney was in an episode. Awesome.

You know what else is awesome? This:

She’s an Odd Duck

This just can’t be true. I can’t be the only person who likes both LOST and Glee (and dad, you don’t count in this). It’s not fair that I have to choose. I mean I did. I just shouldn’t have to. LOST won out because it’s the last season and I need answers! I would start listing my questions, but I’d never stop, and it would just be bad. So I’ll watch LOST and catch Glee when it’s on Hulu. Or just watch the copy that Amanda insisted on taping.

So, which would you have chosen?

Worst Twofold Ever

Happy April Fool’s Day to all of my lovely readers. I hope that none of you fell for the old “your fly’s down.” (And for the one who did, you know who you are. Bask in your shame.) If you, like me, can’t get enough of LOST and would like to have a part of the Dharma Initiative accentuate your April Fool’s Day, check this out.  Here in Crawford 202 we had a grand old time pranking and being pranked. I’m going to call it now: Anne is the reigning champ. Here’s a run-down of what she accomplished today:

Against Amanda: Her bed was filled with pictures of feet, because she hates feet. Worst perhaps was the picture of feet underwater. Two egregious faults in Amanda’s book.

Against Ellen:

The backstory: Not too long ago, Ellen ran for Class Council. Her ad campaign involved positive word association – most of which were ludicrous. Things like “Snow Day” and “Latte”. So, to gently mock her, we put up similar signs all over her wall. Our words included “Laptop” and “Sidewalk” because a few weeks ago Ellen left her laptop unaccompanied on the sidewalk in front of our dorm for the better part of an hour. “Meatloaf” goes back to the Mary Kate & Ashley pizza sing-along. “Pulp” – because Ellen is one of those Florida citrus freaks who likes extra pulp in her orange juice (because regular amounts of pulp aren’t bad enough). “Fire Ladder” will be explained tomorrow and “Mary Lou Retton”, well, you know.

And perpetrated against myself: the old Jim Halpert standby.

I wake up this morning, get ready for work, head into the bathroom to take a shower and lo and behold, what’s on the sink?

Lovely, Anne. Thank you so very much. And what, pray tell, did I find inside? Only these:

I do appreciate that you took the trouble to wrap them in a wax-paper cocoon before submerging them. I think the best part of my prank though, was the unintentional. See, on Thursdays our cleaning lady comes. Oddly enough, the jell-o was still on the counter. Instead of dumping it down the drain and leaving it all in the sink, Anne put the stuff in the cabinet under the sink. Amanda didn’t know that and might have, perhaps, accidently gotten a handful of red goo. Her expression was priceless.

At least in the end Anne got her just desserts. Okay, well, actually she gave those to me with the Jell-o. But she did get the… oh, hell. There’s no good metaphor for it. She hates cheese, as you may remember. So, Amanda and Ellen conspired to cover all the surfaces on her side of the room with Kraft Singles. The result was hilarious. To wit:

Happy Birthday, Fred & George Weasley!

I could hear her screaming from halfway down the hall. Excellent.

The perfect end to our swell April Fool’s Day was Ellen and my outing to see one of our school’s theater group’s production of Joss Whedon’s Doctor Horrible’s Sing Along Blog. It was fantastic, to say the least. I’m even more excited now to see the original.

Don’t Stand So Close to Me

What did you do last night? Me, oh I watched the final season premiere of LOST.  It was fabulous.  All three hours of the event. What made the experience even better was watching it in my dorm’s basement / common room.  I went downstairs with Ryan shortly after 8. He was a great viewing buddy.  During the commercial breaks he would make conversation about favorite characters, plot lines, and theories.  (I like Sawyer the most, but Hurley and Daniel Faraday are fabulous. Sayid is the man. Charlie was cool.)

The plot was full of cool twists and some secrets were revealed while other plot lines drudged up a lot more questions. As Amanda pointed out last night, after every episode of LOST viewers tend to have very few questions answered and a lot more raised.

My theory: alternate universes. That’s why there are two realities going on. If you really want to know how that would work, I could explain it. (Thank you, ten seasons of Stargate.)

Also, props to the people that called the Smoke Monster and evil, faux-Locke being the same entity.  I didn’t even consider that as an option. I also think that real Locke will come back at some point. Though I have to admit, at the moment, I’m really enjoying Terry O’Quinn having such a cool dual role to play.  So people at LOST, keep up the good work. If you missed the show, you can read the recaps here at TWOP.

Also, just for fun, you can buy a trip on September 22, 2010 on Oceanic Flight 815 from Sydney to LAX.

Music: