A Dimensional Hiatus

The latest bedtime storytime jags come from Moers’s The 13 1/2 Lives of Captain Bluebear, a fantastic slingshot across Zamonia, equal velocity-measures zany, smart, and surprising. Tonight, Bluebear began his transition away from the Nocturnal Academy and out of life, what is it now?, six?, The Gloomberg Mountains. To leave the school, he has to make his way through an especially disorienting labyrinth. Bluebear walks on and on until walking gives out, Fitbit.

For several hours I remained lying on my back, spreadeagled with my gaze fixed on the roof of the tunnel. I had made up my mind to dematerialize, vanish without a trace, rust away like a piece of old iron, and thus become an integral part of the Gloomberg Mountains. It seems that rusty tunnel walls have an unwholesome effect on overtaxed brains. I would never had entertained such an idea under normal circumstances, but anyone who has brooded for hours will feel, in a truly physical sense, what it’s like to rust away. It’s a strange but far from unpleasant sensation. You surrender to the forces of nature, utterly serene, then slowly turn metallic. Your body becomes coated by degrees with fine, rust-red fur and starts to crumble. The rust eats into you, ever deeper. Layer after layer flakes off, and before long you’re just a little mound of red dust to be blown away by a captive puff of wind and scattered along the endless tunnels of the Gloomberg Mountains. That was as far as my dire imaginings had progressed when my shoulder was nudged by something soft and slimy but not unfamiliar. It was Qwerty Uiop.

‘What are you doing here?’ he inquired anxiously.

‘Rusting away,’ I replied. (175-176)

Rusting away, I replied. Rusting away. But his school-friend Qwerty, from the 2364th dimension, comes along, sort of glop-bumps into him, and mentions that he has found a dimensional hiatus–a portal he knows by smell will, when he plunges into it (if he can summon the courage), jump him to another dimension. But Qwerty hesitates to jump, afraid of the unknown.

I won’t spoil it. It’s enough to take a quick snapshot of this rich bedtime reading, of Bluebear’s post-Nocturnal Academy disorienteering, his will to dematerialize, to rust, and his friend, Qwerty’s, rescue-interruption, motivated by his own crisis about risking a known dimension for an unknown dimension.

Reason enough to continue reading.

Smoke Clears

Long silenced by a wish for due compensation, the Long Island Smoke Monster recently spoke out about how Lost producers ran amuck with a misleading caricature. Read more for the LISM’s belching, hickoried truth.

I was at the same Hamptons barbecue as J.J. Abrams and Damon Lindelof back in 2002, and it’s always been clear they based the Lost smoke monster on me. Well, I have news for you–it’s a totally inaccurate depiction! I never said anything before because I thought the producers would eventually offer me something in exchange–like creative control over my own project, or even just a set visit in Hawaii. Wrong! So now that Lost is coming to an end, there are some things I want to get straight.

Oceanic Six

 10.02: Next week, a new episode, “The Variable,” the 100th episode of Lost.
10.02: Vote on ABC.com for your favorite set of love birds: Jack-Kate, Jack-Juliet, Kate-Sawyer, or Juliet-Sawyer.
10.01: What happened to Rose and Bernard?
10.00: James breaks it to the returners that the ones who stayed behind joined the Dharma Initiative.
9:59: Oceanic Six returns to the island, but in different time periods: 1977 and 2007.
9.58: Turbulence. Frank Lapidus (pilot) calls Mayday! Mayday!
9.55: Much to everyone’s surprise, the Oceanic Six end up on the same flight. Jack tells Kate that they’re “all back together.” Kate says, “We’re on the same flight, but that doesn’t make us ‘together.'”
9.53: Ben and Charles Widmore have each other’s cell phone numbers programmed. Ben only calls when he is going to enact vengeance.
9.52: I probably could have posted most of this in my Twitter account.
9.51: I sure am looking forward to Friday’s lovely weather in Syracuse.
9.50: I flipped back to Lost. Only, instead of Lost, ABC was showing a commercial about what you can get for a dollar at McDonald’s.
9.48: Nobody can say for sure whether Jerry Shepard in Eight Below is related to Jack Shephard of the Oceanic Six.
9.46: Alaskan Malamutes are nuzzling each other on ABC Family: Eight Below. Isn’t this where, when Desmond turned the key a couple of seasons ago, Penny’s crew picked up the location of the island?
9.44: Ah, the Burger King commercial is on Comedy Central, too. “Those pants are square.”
9.43: Andrew Zimmern just stuffed his piehole with fermented fish and talked while he chewed about how terrible it all smelled.
9.41: Weather Channel: Due to be sunny and 75 in Syracuse on Friday. Even warmer Saturday.
9.39: Bowling on ESPN2. Fella with a big red and blue star on his shirt just picked up a one-pin spare.
9.38: Commercials.
9.36: Kate is shrewd with faux-cop looking for Aaron. This means that Aaron is in danger.
9.34: Looks like I’m going to have to drum up another entry in the morning to displace this embarrassing liveblogging debut.
9.33: We have to go back!
9.32: I watched five minutes of The Unusuals premier before shutting it off. Found it usual.
9.29: Olay knows how to reverse age my skin (commercial). I think Ben used Olay when he healed so quickly after getting roughed up by Desmond.

9.25: Jack’s beard appears to grow faster than Locke’s beard.
9.24: Please nominate this as a liveblogging FAIL.
9.22: Remember last week when Faraday got out of the submarine at the end?
9.21: Blue Light commercial. Haven’t heard any beer aficionados recommend this one yet.
9.19: Cute. Burger King likes square butts (commercial).
9.17: I wish Jack would quit the dope. I mean, he did, right? Only then he woke up from the second plane *flash* and it was 1977.
9.16: Does Kate love Jack? Or does Jack love Kate? Or does Kate love Sawyer?
9.15: Jack blah blah…putting on his lie upon returning home he eulogizes Christian, his dad.
9.12: I’ll try to look at it this way: live-blogging a “catch up” episode makes great practice for next time. Great practice for never doing this again, too.
9.08: Ford Fusion commercial. I had better quit while I’m ahead.
9.07: Get this. The Oceanic Six lied.
9.04: Wow. Weird. “The island was gone.” Apparently it moved. I had no idea.
9.03: Worst fears are confirmed: “Special” on the Oceanic Six is ABC’s way of pulling a fast one: no new episode tonight. I should have done better research.
9.01: Oh dear. This isn’t one of those Lost for Dummies episodes, is it? ABC was advertising a “special” on the Oceanic Six, the Oceanic Six from another perspective.
8.59: *should*
8.57: By the way, I’ve never live-blogged anything before. Yes, you shoudl lower your expectations.
Liveblogging Lost commences in five minutes!

An Address


Strange Maps shows a map
of ‘the island’ in Lost, and in the
discussion, there is a question about naming, an observation that it is peculiar
that the island is un-named.  In one sense, the LAT-LON coordinates name
the island, locate it, provide it with an address (I would repeat those numbers
here but for the jinx). But the island is not named (Formosa!) in the
conventional sense of toponyms.

The map itself displays layers of plausible locations (colored dots) and
zones (rings) meant to match up with events over the first three seasons of the
program. I find the map interesting because it surfaces at the same time I am
reading and (sketchily) writing about archives, tagging and keywording, what
Derrida in Archive Fever calls the archontic dimension–consignment,
the gathering and piling on of signs.

What does the map archive? And where is the imaginary map between
commencement (sequential) and commandment (jussive)?

I don’t know.  I cannot settle this yet, and I am in no hurry. Lost
is not even airing again for a couple of months, and then, only if the writers’ strike is
resolved. Nevertheless, I am–for these few minutes–taken on a detour through
the map as a museum of Lost, of a topo-nomology embedded almost entirely in television (a
domain, like many others, about which we must continuously ask, What is lost (er,
diminished) in "legitimate hermeneutical authority" (3)?).


I’m down to rationing entries, rationing energies. And because I doubt there
will be cause to mention ABC’s hit series Lost before the third
season picks up again on February 7, I need for last night’s highly anticipated
Fall Finale, "I Do," to tide me over for several more weeks. Granted, this entry
is a day late, but Jeff
"What? No Lost commentary?" Here it is, delayed to fill up the time
between now and early February (Is that right? We’ll see the Colts-Bears Super
Bowl before another new episode?)

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Another! Lost! Entry!

Okay, let me not spoil it. This episode, "The Cost of Living," brought
back the psychedelic darkfog–the same curious fog? smoke? Are those chains
rattling in there?
that confronted Eko mid-way through last season in the
Eko-centric episode, "The 23rd Psalm." Soon after the earlier episode
aired, I recall that the forums were abuzz with screenshots of darkfog’s
electrically-charged flickers of images from Eko’s life, his memories. I
admit, I went to the forums a time or two. But it was February (first, to
be exact) in Syracuse, N.Y. For kicks and digression: Lost forums.
My point is that the psychedelic darkfog, with all its industrial ticks and
mystery, seemed to mirror Eko’s mind. That is, during that first encounter
with the darkfog, it tapped into something that presumably had bearing on the
events of tonight’s episode, even if that earlier encounter wasn’t reintegrated
by any of the catch-’em-up moments in tonight’s episode ("Hey, what are all of
the other monitors for?"). It got to know Eko. Who else does darkfog

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Lost Patience

On the commercial breaks during tonight’s episode of Lost, "Every Man
for Himself," I was thinking that the show is on the brink of its capacity for
meaningful ties between characters, and the small container that is prime time’s
43 minutes per week isn’t quite enough to do justice to the complexity
Abrams and crew have concocted. This, of course, is compounded by Lost‘s
signature single-character
back-stories as well as the new layers of character information, from the
originals, to the Tailies, to the Others. The back-stories alone, although
they do introduce coincidence and depth, whittle each episode’s real-time action
to less than 30 minutes. What does all of this add up to? I’m beginning to feel
less patient with the appearance of fill-ins. I mean, who was the fella whacking
coconuts into the sea with the golf clubs? I find myself impatient with non-load-bearing characters for the spare seconds they sponge from
those who’ve been there–and been developing–all along.

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Bad Twin

I finished Gary Troup’s Bad Twin this afternoon, reading the last few pages on timeouts during the Pistons-Cavs game. Bad Twin blends with Lost; the book’s named author, Gary Troup, is presumed to have perished in the crash of Oceanic Flight 815, the same flight-gone-wrong that opens the first season of ABC’s popular TV show. The manuscript for BT has surfaced in a few of the episodes; as far as I can recall, only Hurley and Sawyer have read it. And now I have too.

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