May 2010


Bookshelf&MP27 May 2010 02:43 pm

Okay, with Lost and Idol done, i’ve got a little room to breathe… (there is plenty more to say about LOST and maybe Idol as well, but not now)… it’s time now for a quick glimpse into the media that’s (figuratively) pushing my guts up against my rib cage… this week’s mashed potatoes… off we go…

BOOKS: END OF THE WORLD?!?!
now playing: This Is How the World Will End – The Elms

i have a double dose of bookage here today, but they both kind of touch on the same topic… Will the World End in 2012? by Raymond Hundley and The Last Christian by David Gregory are both “set” in the future and both deal with end-of-the-world type themes… however, they are quite distinct from each other, despite these similarities, and they’ve both been on my mind lately… (and i got them both for free, if that matters)…

Will the World End in 2012?… my first thoughts in response to seeing this title were probably standoffish… i immediately wondered why anyone would write a book asking such a question… secondly, i was a bit irritated because it’s not the right question to be asking… and finally, i thought, “I’ve got to read this” perhaps harkening back to the collegiate instincts that caused me to try random (and often disgusting) combinations of food based on dares or boredom…

It’s a quick book to read, i’ll give it that much… it does seem to address all the major sources of speculation that the world is somehow scheduled to vanish in the final month of 2012, but it’s written at an incredibly high level so nothing is ever fully developed… and, with the high amounts of repetition, it feels somewhat like a bloated pamphlet, a feeling that is realized by the last two chapters… i was glad that Hundley reframed the question from “Will the world end?” to “What if it does?”… however, the method he chose – a glorified altar call to close out the book – left much to be desired…

i know it takes all kinds of people, and everyone responds to different approaches, but this made the book feel a bit like a bait-and-switch… regardless, it was pretty interesting at times, perhaps it would’ve been interesting at all times had it not been about 50 pages longer than it needed to be…

The Last Christian… next up is a work of fiction from the author who brought you Dinner with a Perfect Stranger and The Next Level, neither of which i’ve read, but if you have, then you also have a frame of reference for Gregory’s latest book…

the book takes place about a few generations from now, in 2088, where the majority of the world’s population has internet access embedded into their brains via microchips and world-renown innovator Bryson Nichols has just unveiled his latest invention, a silicon-based brain to replace the human brain and grant the owner eternal life…

The scene takes place amidst a “Judges 2:10” generation – one who “knew not the Lord, and the works which he had done” – that has all but done away with religion… and spends more time in virtual reality than actual life…

and then there is the protagonist… Abby, the daughter of life-long missionaries to the unreachable Inisi tribes of Papua, New Guinea, who has recently emerged from the jungle hoping to save her village from a strange disease… then, she gets a strange message from her grandfather, commissioning her to bring Christianity back to the US… and when a local doctor begins to investigate the disease, that’s when it all begins…

The Last Christian is a gripping tale of interwoven storylines and “DON’T OPEN THAT DOOR!” moments (you know, when you think you can prevent the character from doing what is certain to spell their doom)… plenty of twists and turns keep this adventure rolling along while readers keep reaching for that next page to turn… I wasn’t sure what to expect from this book, but i’m pretty sure i got more than i could’ve expected… certainly a good read…

SO LONG, FAREWELL…

plenty more topics to write about… and plenty of work being done behind the scenes… thanks for your patience everyone… good things to be expected…

peace… love… bdg…

americanidol&MUSIC&pop culture&television25 May 2010 11:19 pm

i’m so weak… i really didn’t want to blog this show tonight… i’m all but detached from the entire thing… but here i am, sucked in somehow by the fact that it’s the finals… and hey, Lost disappointed me, maybe Idol will blow me away… (yeah, i don’t really think so either)… anyway, pre-pick goes to Lee… i don’t think he’s better, but i think he’s the chosen one… off we go…

TGIF… (Thank God It’s the Finals)…

now playing: The Last Night – Skillet

Lee DaWiseGuy… first song: The Boxer… i didn’t like this the first time he sang it, but at least this time, i’m staying in the room… it’s really not a good choice for him, but better than last time… Randy yo-yo’s up to saying that it was a great way to start the night, but he needs more energy… Ellen says she wants to give birth to him… Kara says he was connected to it… Simon says it was a kiss on the cheek when it should’ve been a kiss on the lips…

Crystal BoSAWX… first song: Me and Bobby McGee… fantastic (sarcastically)… any song that gives her a chance to scream like she doesn’t care… no, really, she did alright… this was a good choice for her… Randy says it started slow, but it was dope, dude… Ellen says pass the salt… that and she’s compelling… Kara says she loved it last time and this time and her belly is on fire… Simon says this reminded him of when they fell in love with her…

now playing: Line Finish – Tunnel Rats

Lee DaWiseGuy… second song: Everybody Hurts… i think this is going to be a self-fulfilling prophecy… why would the Execs pick this song? what have they got against Michael Stipe?… Lee’s kind of croaking his way through this once-melodic song as though he’d been clubbed in the head like a baby seal… he’s definitely disconnected from the song (and any sense of melody)… Randy says it was better… Ellen says he needs to play to the audience more… Kara loved it… Simon says he went off melody a bit and he needs to really bring the heat for the last song…

Crystal BoSAWX… second song: Black Velvet… i can’t stand this song… and i doubt she’ll redeem it… she’s wearing a black dress… but it doesn’t appear to be velvet… well, the song choices seem to indicate that the judges were giving Crystal a leg up… too bad she just sang it like a trainwreck… speaking of off-key… Randy says it was hot… Ellen says it was fantastic… Kara says she gave it all and you can tell she wants it… (you can tell the executives want her to have it anyway)… Simon says that she took the song and nailed it…

now playing: Goodbye – MuteMath

Lee DaWiseGuy… final song: Beautiful Day… what? how can they make this his lead single?… they’ve totally given up on writing songs specifically for the contestants?… so, let me get this straight… the raspy-voiced rock dude on the final night of competition tries to sing Paul Simon, REM, and U2?… how does that make any sense… and yes, somewhere under all that hot mess is a U2 song… Randy says once again he got his groove back and it was goodonya… Ellen says he’s all growed up and she’s loved watching him… Kara said Bono ate him whole, but he deserved it… Simon says that he made the most of it and he’s what the show was designed for…

Crystal BoSAWX… final song: Up to the Mountain… i’ll give the show one thing… they certainly don’t hide it when they’ve chosen who to champion… last week Casey got the shaft and this week Lee totally got hosed… poor guy… well, this song isn’t exactly great or anything, but it’s actually in her wheelhouse, or should i say comfort zone… it’s a’ight… she totally owned the night tonight, though, compared to the alternative, it’s not really saying much, now is it?… Randy says it was amazing, perfect, and incredible… Ellen says Crystal is in a league of her own and can’t compare to anyone selling records today… Kara says she blossomed… Crystal offers Simon a toast to butter him up… and he responds in kind by telling her it was outstanding… and he’s OUT!

now playing: Leave Right Now – William Young

Alrighty folks… now that that’s over… we’re left with the guilt of watching yet again… and the wonder of how America will break on this vote… clearly, as i’ve said before, Crystal was the surprise favorite for the producers and they weren’t shy about it one bit… i suppose that means that she has a better chance of winning, but i think i’ll stick with Lee… the dark horse from the beginning… the dark horse in the end… and, i suppose, the lesser of two painful musical experiences…

who ya got, folks? i know you watched… stop pretending you didn’t…

peace… love… bdg…

LOST&pop culture&television23 May 2010 04:55 pm

So, with the big finale looming around the corner… i, like everyone else, have it all figured out… so below are several things i expect to happen in the final episode, as well as my last-minute crazy theories about what all is going on… enjoy, comment, disect, tell me i’m a genius… the choice is yours… off we go..

1. We will discover that Locke died in the plane crash.

This is my biggest last-minute theory… It’s the only real way to explain the miraculous healing he encountered on the island… he is literally transformed in a split second, from a woe-is-me paralytic always begging for acceptance, to a take-charge, can-do, leader that could care less what anyone else thinks… His reactions to things like Adam and Eve seem to betray him throughout the season and it just seems to make sense that he’s been the Man in Black the entire time including his off island escapades rounding up of the Oceanic Six… not in the sideways timeline though, that would be crazy… moving on…

2. Sawyer is the new Jack.

Jack will do something fantastic as the new Jacob. Sawyer will witness this and fully embrace faith. Jack will die. Sawyer will be the new Jack. That’s the short explanation, but really, i have a feeling that Sawyer will either take the reins from a dead Jack or he’ll sacrifice his own life to save Jack. I know some people think that Sawyer will end up as Jack’s rival a la Jacob v. MiB, but Sawyer’s undergone so much transformation in the last two seasons and, specifically, the last episode, when he clearly forgave Jack for his part in Juliet’s death and ownership of Sun and Jin’s death.

3. Ben is NOT the new Black.

I know, I know. It seems like Ben has reverted back to his former self, but oh, I’m gettin ahead of myself. Okay, different angle. Similar to Sawyer, Ben’s undergone a lot of work and, in that pivotal scene with Ilana, he received redemption. It’s been a hard row to hoe, but he’s getting there. And, despite his recent actions that make it seem like he’s siding with SmokeLocke, he’s only working a different angle to gain his trust and do his part.

4. Dead is NOT dead.

Widmore is not dead. Richard is not dead. Zoe IS dead. Lipidus is not? Okay. First, Widmore is NOT dead. Ben CAN’T kill Widmore and he knows this. Thus, in shooting Widmore, he was actually helping him get away from SmokeLocke. Richard is NOT dead. He CAN’T die. EVER. period. Zoe IS dead. Poor fake Tina Fey. Lipidus is still up in the air. He is a pilot after all. And, he’s probably dead.

5. In the end, we’re left with a lot of dangling participants.

Claire? Miles? Desmond? Penny? Richard? Lipidus? Rose and Bernard? Vincent? Eloise? What’s going to happen with all of these folks? Claire is probably going to give birth in the sideways timeline and on the island, i suspect she’s going to try to help her brother, Jack. Desmond will be integral as expected. Penny? She’s gotta factor in somehow. Methinks Desmond will have to make a choice to ensure that he and she end up together. Richard is probably going to link up with Widmore and be a surprise presence in the final battle between MiB and Jack. Rose and Bernard (and Vincent) will continue to mind their own business, hidden in the jungle. Finally, Eloise. She’s always minding everbybody else’s business and somehow, she’ll make a power move in the sideways timeline at least.

6. Jacob’s intentions weren’t always entirely noble.

It seems to me Jacob has been trying to find someone who can successfully manipulate the island’s power to attain his goals. Including, but not limited to reaching out to all the candidates and drawing them to the island. He knows as well as anyone that people on the island are bound to try and tame this electomagnetic monster and yet he keeps drawing them to the island, like his Other would NEVER want him to.

7. Hurley is the new Black.

Duude. I’m not sure i totally believe this, but it’s not for nothing that he’s the only one who can see and talk to dead people, like MiB was previously the only one who could see and talk to dead people. Plus, his comment about being glad it’s not him who has to take Jacob’s place, implies that he’s going to get something assigned to him.

8. There is another…

I still fell pretty certain that there’s another force on the island similar to the black smoke monster. It seems that there have always been two forces at work and, since they don’t agree with each other, they are working against each other. I think it’s deeper than Jacob and MiB, but it could just be that one wants the island to stay put and one wants the island to go kaboom.

alright… there you have it, that’s the best i’ve got today… i’ll be offline tonight, enjoying the show and i suspect that i’ll have some thoughts later in the week as it all sinks in… (or as the island sinks down to the bottom of the sea)…

peace… love… bdg…

LOST&pop culture&television22 May 2010 04:42 pm

okay, so we’re a day closer… the finale is right around the corner… and now it’s time to tap out the recap of the second to last episode… What They Died For… it’s apparently the end of the mythology and a return to the main characters… so we’ll see what we learn… what happens… who died and for what reason… off we go…

WHO, AND FOR WHAT?…
now playing: What They Died For – LOST season six

Jack wakes up with a strange cut on his neck… David makes breakfast (cereal) and they have a playful exchange about Jack acting weird around David’s mom… Claire comes out from the guest room, enjoys some breakfast and small talk, and the phone rings… It’s Oceanic Airlines… Christian’s coffin should be arriving later today… it’s great news, but Jack’s a little choked up… and, oh yeah, it’s really Desmond making the call…

Jack is stitching Kate’s bullet wound and it hurts… she insists that they must kill Locke because it’s his fault… Jack says he knows…

Sawyer, Jack, Kate, and Hurley are staring out into the ocean, reflecting on Sun and Jin… Jack says they need to mount up and go find the well to get Desmond…

Desmond is sitting in his car outside the school again, apparently getting ready to run Locke over again on his first day back… Dr. Linus interrupts his plans, so Desmond gets out and beats Linus silly on the hood of his car, causeing Ben to flashback to when Desmond beat him silly on the pier before they all returned to the island…

Ben, Richard and Miles are trudging through the jungle to get the C4… it’s hidden in Ben’s secret place, the room behind the bookcase… Miles pauses over Alex’s burial site and they have a moment… then they go into the secret room and Ben opens a safe full of C4… Miles asks about the “secreter” room where Ben used to summon the monster before realizing that the monster was summoning him… they hear some noises and find Zoe in the kitchen… Widmore tells them to leave her alone…

Ben and Widmore have a standoff… Widmore is always three steps ahead of him apparently… He sends Zoe to go sink their boat so they can’t be found by Locke… she goes after Widmore tells Ben indirectly that he’s the only chance of them all surviving… Zoe radios in, telling them that Locke is coming… she’s told to hurry back to the cottage and that they all need to hide…

Dr. Linus is getting attended to by the school nurse… she leaves and Locke wheels by to ask what happens… Ben tells him about the fight, Locke dials 911 to report the attack, and Ben explains that Des wanted to help Locke “let go”… Locke hangs up…

Des appears at the police station… he turns himself in and they put him in a cell with Sayid and Kate… he strikes up a conversation…

Jack and Sawyer are talking about bombs and rules… Sawyer is beating himself up about the bomb on the sub… Jack assures him Locke is to blame… Hurley sees boy Jacob… Kate doesn’t… Boy Jacob asks for his ashes back… he snatches them and runs away… Hurley chases him and finds Jacob, sitting by a fire… his ashes are in the fire… he tells Hurley they need to meet up with Jack, Sawyer, and Kate… “we’re almost at the end”…

Ben offers a choice to Widmore, Richard, Miles, and Zoe – a secret passage or try to talk to Locke… Ben is going to talk, Richard is going to talk… Miles is getting as far away as possible… Richard heads out to the common area between the cabins and smokey grabs him by the throat and tosses him far, far away… Ben sits in a rocking chair… Locke appears and says he was looking for Ben… Ben offers him lemonade… Locke needs Ben to kill some people… he promises Ben the island after he leaves… Ben tells him the boat is Widmore’s and that Widmore’s hiding in the closet…

Ben is struggling with his bag… Alex greets him and insists that they give him a ride home and then invites him for dinner… Danielle, her mom, agrees and he joins them… after dinner, Ben asks about Alex’s father and Danielle says Ben’s the closest thing to a father that she’s had… he gets choked up and Danielle makes a reference to the next time he comes over for dinner…

Ben leads Locke into the house and reveals the closet… he mentions that Zoe is armed, but it probably doesn’t matter… Locke tells Ben he doesn’t need to see this, but Ben insists that he wants to see it… Locke makes small talk… and asks who Zoe is… Widmore tells her not to say anything, so Locke slashes her throat… Widmore explains the Desmond thing in a whisper to Locke, but Ben shoots him three times during the conversation, noting that he shouldn’t get to save his daughter… he asks Locke about the other people he’s supposed to kill…

Jacob is addressing team Jack… Kate is asking Jacob why he was writing their names on the wall… and what it’s all about… Jacob promises to explain it all and how to protect the island, because one of them will need to protect the island by the time the fire dies out…

Jack is in his office when Locke wheels in, wanting to talk… Locke talks about all the strange events that keep bringing them together… it sounds like he’s accusing Jack of sending Des to help convince Locke to let Jack fix him… Locke says, “Maybe it happened for a reason”… Jack, is once again, a man of science, and refuses to mistake coincidence for fate… Locke insists that Jack is supposed to fix him…

Jacob explains that he brought everyone to the island to help fix a mistake he made years ago… a mistake that made the smoke monster the way that he is… they were all broken, looking for something that they couldn’t find off the island… that they all needed the island as much as the island needed them… Kate was crossed off because she became a mother, but if she wants the job, she can have it… Jacob offers them all a choice… something he never had… Jack volunteers… and Jacob says it’s time…

Jacob leads Jack to the river… Sawyer makes a joke about Jack having a God complex… Kate chides him like a mother would, and Hurley says he’s glad it’s not him… the heart of the island is just past the bamboo field that Jack originally woke up in… Jacob asks for a cup and begins his incantation as Jack reaches for it… then Jack drinks and he’s like Jacob… the other three watch from a distance…

Sawyer comes to get the three fugitives to their transport… Kate makes a play at Sawyer to let her go, but he’s a cop, he can’t… she says he doesn’t seem like a cop… Des, Kate, and Sayid are in the paddywagon and Des offers them escape… as long as they both promise to do him a favor once they’re free… they all agree and the car stops… Ana Lucia opens the back door and frees them… Hurley brings some money to pay her off… Sayid goes with Hurley and Kate’s with Desmond… they’re going to a concert… (could be David’s or could be Charlie’s?)…

Locke leads Ben to the well… Ben asks why he walks instead of smoke flying around the island… Locke peers into the well and finds that Desmond is gone… he tells Ben that Sayid was supposed to kill Desmond, but clearly he didn’t… Ben says someone helped Desmond out… Locke says that someone helped him out… that Desmond was a failsafe, capable of destroying the island… that’s Locke’s new plan… destroy the island…

OKAY…

that’s all for that episode… i’ll be back later with some final thoughts and theories before the finale… if you want to read the rest of my recaps and comments (i think i did one for each episode this season)… just click “Lost” in the catergories list…

peace… love… bdg…

LOST&pop culture&television21 May 2010 03:07 pm

okay, so we’re still playing catch-up here… i’m going to do a three-post series to get ready for the grand finale… first (this one) a recap of episode 15, Across the Sea… second (next one) a recap of episode 16, What they Died For… and finally, a collection of final thoughts and last-minute theories about this season and the entire body of work as we all get ready to be wow-ed (or disappointed) by Sunday’s finale… off we go…

SOMEWHERE, OVER THE… SEA?
now playing: Across the Sea – LOST season six

no previously on Lost moments this time… just a random stange lady washing ashore… oh, and she’s pregnant… and dressed in red, in case that matters… she struggles inland to find fresh water where she’s creepily greeted by a Latin-speaking other… maybe that was Spanish… the lady in red is named Claudia… the other is all alone… she got there by accident as well and says… “Every question I answer, will simply lead to more questions”… bet that’s the philosphy of the writing team for these final episodes…

the baby us coming… his name is Jacob… Other, is being selfish and keeping him apart from Claudia… wait, there’s another baby… another boy… only, he’s got no name… Claudia only picked out one… Other has a moment of reflection looking at the two boys… then she smashes Claudia’s head in with a rock… she did say that she’s sorry though…

Boy in Black finds something on the shore… it’s a game… i’d guess that they’re about ten… Boy in Black wants to play, but doesn’t want Other to know about it… Jacob’s down to play, too…

Other is weaving a tapestry of sorts… Jacob tries not to tell her about the game, but she says “if you love me, you’ll tell me”…

Other joins BiB on the beach… he figures Jacob ratted him out… Jacob can’t lie, unlike BiB, who’s special… Other left him the game, though, so he can there is no where else… nothing across the sea… and um, dead is something he’ll never have to worry about…

the boys are chasing a wild boar… it’s getting away… no, it’s getting stabbed by a spear… someone else is there… the boys hide and discover… Vikings?… BiB is very intrigued by the Vikings…

they run back to Other to tell her about the Vikings… “they looked like us”… but they’re not like us… they don’t beling here, we do… we’re here for a reason… they’re dangerous… they come, they fight, they corrupt… and it always ends the same… don’t ever look for them… by the way, she’s leading them through the jungle and they have blindfolds on… she’s made it so they can never hurt each other…

they’re here… at the end of the stream… the reason they’re here… a cave that is filled with the purest and most golden of lights… they want to get a closer look… but they can’t go down there and they must make sure that no one ever finds it… a little bit of this light is within every man and they always want more… if they try to take it, they might put it out… if the light goes out here, it goes out everywhere… Other has been protecting the light, but one of the boys will have to protect it when she can’t any more… rivalry is brewing, but Other seems to favor BiB…

the boys are playing the game… BiB has made the rules… Jacob doesn’t like them, but it’s BiB’s game and it’s his rules… One day Jacob might find his own game and then he can make up his own rules… wait, what’s that? in the distance, it’s Claudia… apparently, only BiB can see her though… Jacob is confused, BiB runs after her, telling Jacob he’s going to the beach…

BiB comes by the river and she’s there again, shrouded in a column of light… Jacob can’t see her because she’s dead… she wants to show BiB where he came from – across the island, a place he’s never seen… he follows her through the fields and jungle until they are overlooking the Viking camp… the boys are 13 years old… Claudia tells BiB he came from across the sea with the Vikings and Other isn’t his mother… BiB gulps…

BiB recruits Jacob in the night to steal away and go live with the Vikings… he tells Jacob the truth about Claudia and Other… Jacob is enraged and starts beating the crap out of BiB… Other breaks them up.. Jacob tattles, BiB confronts Other, and appeals to Jacob to choose a side… Jacob stays with Other, Other tells BiB that it’s not true, and BiB leaves, vowing to prove that it IS true…

Jacob joins Other at the beach… she’s sure that BiB won’t come back… she admits to killing Claudia for the sake of keeping Jacob from becoming bad… Jacob asks why she loves BiB more than him… she says she loves them in different ways and begs him to stay with her… he agrees… “for awhile”…

Jacob is older now and he’s making his own tapestry… still seeking Other’s approval, but she’s making some sort of paste and she’s tired…

Jacob visits MiB… he apparently watches them a lot… they are apparently 43 years old now… MiB says that the Vikings are bad, but they’re a means to an end… that end is leaving the island… there’s no way off the island…

if you throw a knife, it sticks to a well… MiB explains how smart they are and that they’re digging and finding places that make metal behave strangely…

Jacob returns… Other is pasting her leg… Jacob tells her that MiB has found a way to leave the island.. she’s not happy… and heads off to pay a visit to MiB…

down in the well… shrouded in light from the opening, she appears… she’s worried… he tells her she should be… he couldn’t find the light cave, but he dug to find another way to get to the light… he pries off a rock from the wall to reveal the light and explains the system they have devised to channel the water and the light with a giant wheel and leave the island… he knows this because he’s special… having verified that the Vikings know about this as well as MiB, she pleads with him not to follow through with this plan… he tells her that he has to, because he doesn’t belong… she hugs him goodbye, apologizes and rams his head into a rock…

Other comes to wake Jacob up in the middle of the night, saying “It’s time” as if she’s having a baby… Jacob is confused about why she’s letting MiB leave the island… she takes Jacob to the light cave… Life, Death, Rebirth… the source, the heart of the island… she makes Jacob promise never to go into the cave, that would be much worse than dying… she uncorks a bottle, starts an incantation, pours Jacob a drink and tells him to drink it… Then it’s his responsibility to replace her as the protector… he’s beligerant because he was the second choice… it was always you Jacob… until you realize that, you don’t have a choice… he has to drink this cup… he has to save the world… not his will… (sorry, am i taking this too far?)… i’d be remiss to not mention that light and water are both metaphors that Jesus uses in his ministry to describe himself… and his was, by the way, Life, Death, and Rebirth… anyway…

MiB wakes up next to a mound of dirt that used to be the well with a wheel and a way to the light… (“Anyone who enters by any way other than the gate is a thief and a robber… the thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy… I come that they might have life and have it to the fullest.” – just saying.) So, MiB is really upset about the well being destroyed, and then he sees smoke in the distance… the Viking camp is in flames and everything (and one) associated with it is dead… He manages to rescue his game before crying and then that sadness turns to rage…

Jacob and Other are walking back home… a storm is coming… Other sends him to get firewood and tells him to be careful… she seems concerned about returning home… her tapestry is completely unstrung and MiB’s game is by the fire… all that remains are two stones – one white and one black… STAB! MiB stabs her in the back… maybe his name is Brutus… he asks her why she didn’t let him leave… “Because I love you”… then she thanks him and dies…

Jacob returns with wood and sees MiB crouched over the dead body… he beats him up a bit… then drags him out of the house… he carries him through the jungle apparently into the morning and drags him to the light cave… he tosses MiB into the cave and falls down as the smoke monster emerges from the cave… later, he discovers MiB’s body further down the river… dead…

Jacob carries MiB back to the home cave and lays them both to rest for Jack and Kate to discover back in season one… it’s a neat little overlay of footage there… and Locke walks in (in the season one footage) to ask who these men were, calling them Adam and Eve, when he’s informed that they are a guy and a girl… i have some suspicions about Locke there… and Jacob has a rather strange tone in his voice as he’s saying goodbye to his brother… and that’s a wrap… i must be more succinct next time…

peace… love… bdg…

americanidol&MUSIC&pop culture&television18 May 2010 10:33 pm

down to three and i must say we couldn’t have gotten to the end of this season quickly enough… it seems to be the general consensus among even the most diehard of fans… something just hasn’t been working… anyway, this week features Casey, Crystal, and Lee… that’s right, the very three i told you would be left standing at the top of the season… (i also got Big Mike going out at number four right, too)… not that i’m bragging, but they’ll each get to talk about their home towns, pick a song, and have a song picked for them if i remember correctly… alright, enough of this… off we go…

TRES DELINQUENTES…

now playing: The Choice Is Yours – KJ-52

Casey “Sawyer” James… singing Okay, It’s Alright With Me and that was an awkward introduction Ryan… jumping right in with a guitar-wielding blue-eyed soul singer with long hair and longer stares… anyway the title of the song kind of sums up the performance… he’s just there… there’s nothing special about this performance it’s everything he’s done every other week when he’s not expecting to lose… Randy pauses and plays on the song title, wishing Casey brought something better than alright… Ellen echoes that sentiment… Kara emphasizes this as the last chance to impress everyone and he didn’t bring the goods… Simon says it sounded as though he was busking for the goods…

Crystal BoSAWX… singing Come to My Window and if Casey got crushed for picking the obvious song… Crystal should get the same treatment… of COURSE she picks a song where she can play the guitar, the harmonica, and scream here and there… she does the same thing every week too… she sounded like she was busking as well from where i sit… then again, i’ve always felt that way… Randy says it wasn’t his favorite arrangement, but it all worked out in the end… Ellen says Melissa would’ve been proud… Kara wants her to sing for the moment… Simon rounds things out with a final plea for voters to choose Crystal because she’s the most stubborn of all the contestants, or artists, or… whatever…

Lee “Da Wise Guy”… Neal Patrick Harris is on Glee after this… awesome… back to reality, though… Lee is singing Skynard, dude… Simple Man… and it’s a simple arrangement and apparently not that simple to stay on key… he rounds out the trio nicely with another “meh” performance to be honest… had some moments, but overall just lacking some real energy… Randy talks to him like he was a puppy… somebody thinks he can win this… whosa dawg now… who’s my little puppy dawg?… Ellen remarks about how far he’s come… Kara declares him the winner of round one… Simon asks why he picked it… then he says it was the best song choice and he crushed Casey and Crystal…

now playing: Weapon of Choice – Black Rebel Motorcycle Club

Casey “Sawyer” James… so Kara picked John Mayer’s Daughters for him because his audience is women and girls… probably because his voice sometimes borders on John Mayer (crossed with a bleating lamb)… really Kara prefers when Casey sings the ballads… and that’s alright… the big problem with this performance is that there doesn’t seem to be much of a connection here… Sawyer, i mean Casey, is just singing the song… Randy says it was a great song choice, it fit him like a glove… Ellen says lots of mothers and daughters (and maybe some sons) will vote for him… Kara says that it showed off his artistic side… Simon says that it was a lazy arrangement, which spurs on an argument about emotion versus a wow factor… (i don’t think it had either)…

Crystal BoSAWX… Ellen picked Maybe I’m Amazed by Paul McCartney… and she’s starting on the stairs, suited up in a leather-based outfit… so i don’t know that she’s doing a great job, but i’m not all that excited about it… she’s screaming of course… but she’s screaming about being a man, maybe, and maybe there’s just one woman who can help her, or him, or… okay, whatever… i’m over this… Randy says great song and vocals… she’s in it to win it… Ellen says “she did it”… Kara says she really pushed it and gave the audience some risky business… Simon says he was surprised by the song choice, but she’s got soul and he thinks she’s in the final…

Lee “Da Wise Guy”… Simon has chosen Hallelujah… what a surprise… Simon is convinced that he’ll perform it like no one else… it is a good fit for his vocal if he can keep it under control… oh Jordin Sparks is one of the back up singers? (just playin)… yeah, he did that song well… he’s won the night and probably the whole shebang… best performance of the night by light years… can we all go home now?… Randy says he threw down the real gauntlet and won the whole thing… Lee’s about to cry… Ellen says it was stunning… Kara says he’s what the show is all about… Simon is very proud of him and he’s proven that he’s a fantastic singer and a great person…

ARE WE THERE YET?…

now playing: It’s Not Over – Daughtry

So the judges seem pretty clear on wanting Lee and Crystal dueling next week and if tonight’s performances factor in heavily, that’s probably going to be the case… i mean, Casey just didn’t completely show up tonight… he’s gotta hope that millions of swooning gals fill up the phone banks with calls… i’m going to guess that he disappears though… even though i picked him to win it all, i expected him to compete until the end… i’m going with a Lee and Crystal showdown…

Who have YOU got in YOUR final?

peace… love… bdg…

LOST&pop culture&television15 May 2010 10:59 pm

well, thisone’s going to be a bit longer and, as we are nearing the end of LOST, i’m going to be a bit heavy on LOST… being a couple episodes behind, i’m making up for some lost time (har har) and catching up with recaps of The Last Recruit and The Candidate… next time, Across the Sea and more thoughts and theories to clog up our thoughts during the finale… off we go…

THE LAST RECRUIT…
now playing: The Last Recruit – LOST season 6

Jack and Locke sit down and have a chat away from the rest of the group… notably, Locke gives Jack several reasons as to why he chose to look like Locke – different reasons than he’s given other people – and then he fesses up to being Christian… he explains that he only wanted Jack to find water…

Sun and Locke are being hauled off to the hospital, each with serious wounds… reminiscent of when Sarah and Mr. Carlyle were carted in together way back when… Jack fixed Sarah and began a deeper relationship… now, i expect that Jack will try to fix Locke and have similar, though more plutonic results… notably Sun sees Locke and freaks out screaming “It’s Him”…

Claire followed Jack and Locke – who knows how much of the conversation she heard or whether it matters – and wants to catch up with her brother… Locke obliges and leaves… Claire informs Jack that he is now on Team Locke because Locke spoke to him… interesting that Ben was able to have a full conversation with Jacob and still kill him when, in every othe case, letting either Jacob or MiB speak to you prevents such actions… what could that mean about Ben? or the death of Jacob?… hmmm…

Saywer’s plotting… he and Kate are recruiting Hurley and Sun for the great Submarine Heist… Claire interrupts and Locke says it’s nice having everyone together again… Jack and Sawyer look ominous…

Detective Jim offers captive Kate and apple and then mentions their fates have clearly aligned… Kate turns the tables and implicates Jim for hiding his trip to down under… Partner Miles interrupts and pulls Jim aside to discuss a breaking case… Keamy’s shootout… they have footage of Sayid, “our bad guy,” leaving the scene…

Jack and Kate discuss how everyone is different now… Jack mentions his uncertainty about Locke’s intentions… Fake Tina Fey appears to demand that Locke return Desmond… she calls in the fireworks… wait, if Widmore’s got explosives and all he wants to do is stop Locke from flying the plane off the island, why not just blow up the plane?… there are clearly bigger fish to fry… we still can’t trust anyone… Locke has until nightfall to return Desmond or else… he says “here we go”…

Claire shows up at the adoption agency… the one on the 15th floor… Desmond intercepts her, strikes up a conversation and tries to convince her to seek legal counsel… the law offices happen to be on the same floor as the agency… It’s Ilana!… and she’s been looking for Claire, oddly enough… must be handling Christian’s will as well…

Locke sets up a plan… different groups, different destinations… Sawyer chooses Kate… Locke pulls Sayid aside for a private assignment… Jack feels left out because no one picked him… Sawyer pulls Jack aside and explains the plan… Jack is skeptical of the deal with Widmore… Jack isn’t happy about excluding Claire and Sayid… Claire is stuffing apples into a sock… Sawyer gives Jack a map that a first grader could’ve drawn… they break from the mini-huddle…

Locke tells Sayid to go kill Desmond… Sayid hesitates… Locke plays his hand well – “you do still want what you asked me for, right?”… then he orders Sayid to go do some killing…

Sayid heads to the well that changes in depth everytime we see it… Desmond speaks first… ooh… i see… Desmond talks Sayid down by playing on his conscience…

Sayid is packing his bags and fleeing the scene… Nadia is confused, but Sayid tells her she’ll never see him again… Miles and Jim show up… Sayid sneaks out the back door and falls for the old hose as a trip wire technique… Jim arrests “the bad guy”

Sawyer and Kate are executing their part of the mission… or are they?… Sawyer reveals his true intentions… meet up with the gang minus Sayid and Claire, plus the pilot “who stepped out of a Burt Reynolds movie”… classic Sawyer line… Kate begs on Claire’s behalf…

Claire is walking beside Jack for a chat… she trusts Locke because he’s the only one “who didn’t abandon her”… Locke asks Sun if she’s seen Sayid then runs off to find him… Jack seizes the moment to get separation from the exodus… Claire notices the gang leaving without her…

Locke tracks down Sayid and asks what is taking so long… Sayid says he needed a moment after shooting an unarmed man… they have a little standoff and neither seems to believe the other… but Locke decides that the mission at hand is too important to go check on Desmond’s status…

Jack’s gang finds the dock and reunites with Saywer and Kate… they prepare the sailboat to go to Hydra… Claire shows up with a gun… Kate talks her down and convinces Claire to join their escapade… Claire warns that Locke will be very mad if he finds out…

Jack and David show up at the professional building to hear the will read… they make plans for dinner afterwards and try hard to prove that they have a healthy father/son relationship… Ilana introduces them to Claire… Claire explains that she’s Jack’s half-sister… there is a moment and then Jack gets a call from the hospital… he must go address the emergency…

Jack’s enjoying the cruise… Sawyer’s at the helm using a gigantic steering wheel when Lipidus asks about the plan… Sawyer satisfies his curiousity and clears most of the deck to go find some canned food… Kate takes the wheel and Sawyer goes to chat with Jack… Jack says leaving isn’t right… he calls Sawyer “James” and explains that they should stay on the island… Sawyer tells him to get off the boat or shut up with the crazy talk… Jack apologizes for Juliet’s death and then jumps… Kate is not happy about that… “We’re done going back, Kate”…

Sun wakes up in the hospital, Jin sleeping bedside in a chair… she’s fine, the baby’s fine… everyone is fine… Jack and David walk down the hall enjoying some father/son banter about crazy grampa and the secrets he keeps… David heads to a waiting room, Jack heads into surgery… it’s Locke and he recognizes him by looking through a mirror…

Jack makes it to shore and meets up with Locke and the others… they each state the obvious…

Sawyer and crew swim ashore on Hydra and are greeted with guns drawn… everyone draws down once Sawyer is recognized… and then it’s the reunion we’ve all been waiting for… Jin and Sun embrace and promise each other that they will never be apart again… Zoe is still on the comm with Widmore and then locks and loads again… the deal’s off… and they’re set to bomb Locke’s crew on the beach… that includes Jack… who flies through the air, landing in the sand only to be rescued by Locke who props him up against a tree and closes the show with an ominous line… “It’s okay, you’re with me now”…

THE CANDIDATE…
now playing: The Candidate – LOST season 6

Locke wakes up in a hospital bed… Jack says “Welcome Back”… Locke kind of recognizes Jack, but not necessarily from the airport… Jack explains what happened and tells Locke that he’s a candidate… for spinal surgery… Locke declines and Helen rushes to his side…

Jack wakes up in a canoe of sorts… Sayid welcomes him to Hydra Island…

Widmore’s crew is leading their captives to the polar bear cages… there’s a standoff and Widmore explains that Kate is not on his list… they all get locked up in cages and Widmore says it’s for their own good… then he hollers at Team Widmore to hurry up and get their work done before “he” shows up…

Bernard is carving up some fake teeth… Jack asks him about emergency oral surgery he performed on Locke… Bernard was on flight 815 as well and he thinks Jack was hitting on Rose… He tells Jack to check out an Anthony Cooper who was “in the accident” with Locke…”I hope you find what you’re looking for”…

Jack is asking Sayid what’s going on… there are only three of them left (Jack, Sayid, and Locke) and they’re on Hydra to rescue their friends from Widmore and his polar bear cages… Locke has a plan to break them out and get them on the plane and off the island before Widmore knows what hit him… Jack insists that he’s not leaving the island and that they’re “not his people” anymore… Locke says trust me because i haven’t killed you yet…

Sawyer and Kate in the cages… memories… Sawyer tells Kate that her name was crossed out and that neither Locke nor Widmore need her… (Did Locke tell her that he did?)… Sun and Jin are catching up in a different end of the cage… they’re talking about the pictures of their beautiful daughter… Sun returns Jin’s ring to him… the power goes out… scrambling… trying to get power restored to the sonic fences, but heeeeeere’s Smokey… one of the guards gets knocked out by the bars, but the key is just out of reach… Lipidus kicks at the door… Jack appears and unlocks them all… “I’m with him”…

Jack is leading the gang away from the cages and towards the plane… Sayid joins them, “the more the merrier”… Jack still insists that he’s not meant to leave the island…

Jack tries to see Anthony Cooper, but he can’t because he’s not family… Helen shows up and tells Jack to leave it alone, Locke doesn’t want the surgery… “You saved his life, why can’t that be enough?” “Because it’s not”… Anthony Cooper has absolutely no control of his body…

Locke reaches the plane first and quickly disposes of the two guards outside… inside, he discovers that the plane is rigged with explosives… when the gang arrives, he tells them that Widmore planned to get them all together in a confined space, so they’ll all be easy to kill… they should take the submarine… Sawyer gulps, and then takes credit for the idea… As they walk away, Claire apologizes to Locke and Sawyer spins a plan B, asking Jack to make sure Locke doesn’t get on the sub…

back at the hospital in Locke’s room… Jack is waiting to talk to Locke, but he’s asleep mumbling various lines from past episodes of the show… Claire shows up at the hospital… Jack gets an Apollo bar and Claire shows him a music box that Christian especially wanted her to have… they discover that they were both on flight 815… they open the music box and share a mirror moment as “Catch a Falling Star” plays from the music box… she gets up to leave and Jack asks her to crash at his place because they’re family…

the gang is sneaking up on the sub… Sawyer devises a plan and asks Jack and Locke to stay back and “get their backs”… Sawyer and Lipidus lead the charge and gain control of the sub… Locke is anxious, but there hasn’t been any activity around the dock… Locke hands Jack “his” backpack and tries once more to convince Jack to leave the island… Jack shoves Locke into the water and a gunfight breaks out… Kate is shot, and Jack carries her aboard… the sub takes off without Locke and Claire… “Trust me [Claire], you don’t want to be on that sub”…

Jack isn’t happy about being on the sub… Kate isn’t happy that Claire’s not… Jack tries to attend to Kate’s wound, asking Jin for a shirt from his backpack… instead, somebody set them up the bomb… Jin finds an explosive in Jack’s pack… “We did exactly what he wanted”…

they try to get back up to the surface, but there’s not enough time… everyone is really upset about the bomb… Jack starts to figure it out… he’s begging everyone to trust him that Locke can’t kill them… leave the bomb alone… Sawyer can’t trust him and pulls some wires… the bomb goes haywire and is apparently now actually armed… Sayid takes the bomb and runs, but not before telling Jack to go find Desmond at the well because he’ll need him… because “it’s going to be you, Jack”…

the explosion goes off and all hell breaks loose… Lipidus gets crushed by a door… they’re all trying to get out… and Sun is somehow trapped against the wall… Sawyer gets knocked unconscious, Jack takes him ashore… Jin stays with his bride, the Life and Death music kicks in and we’re left watching Sun and Jin breathe their last breaths and kiss their last kisses… heartbreaking…

Locke is being escorted out of the hospital… he does a double-take as Jin walks by with flowers for Sun… and then Jack comes up to say goodbye… we learn that Locke’s accident was a plane crash… he was the pilot and his father was the passenger and he’s overwhelmed by guilt because of the outcome… Jack tells Locke that his father is gone… what happened, happened, and it’s time to let go… he’s trying one last time to convince Locke to have the surgery, but Locke rolls away… Jack calls after him, “I wish you believed me” and the circle is complete… they’ve completely traded places…

Jack comes ashore with Sawyer and finds Hurley and Kate… they are all overwhelmed with sorrow at the loss of Jin and Sun… Jack feels like a failure… and heads back out to face the sea and God with a good cry…

Locke senses that the sub has sunk, but not everyone has been killed… Claire is upset, but he simply dons his/Jack’s backpack and heads off to finish what he started… Jack vs. Locke in a cage match…

AND NOW…

that leaves us with the most recent episode, Across the Sea… i’ll get to that one next time as well as some thoughts on the whole thing… as we lead up to the final few hours of the show that has captivated us all…

peace… love… bdg…

americanidol&MUSIC&pop culture&television11 May 2010 10:41 pm

four more are left and none of them is Aaron Aaron… by the way, i was travelling last week and i didn’t get a chance to watch Idol live – in fact, i was delayed by quite a while – so i didn’t get to comment on the spectacular job that Harry Connick Jr. did on the show… he’s really some kind of awesome… i expect pretty much the complete opposite showing tonight… Jamie Foxx didn’t impress me much last year and i suspect that he won’t impress me this year… it looks like they’ll be doing a solo performance and then a duet performance… i seem to recall that not going very well last time around either… anyway, off we go…

FANTASTIC? FOUR…

now playing: The Batman Theme – Danny Elfman

Lee “Da Wise Guy”… first up is Lee, singing Kiss from a Rose… from Batman Returns?… i think it was on that soundtrack anyway… well, he’s back on my bad side straight out of the gates… having Jamie’s head up in his grill during rehearsal must’ve really rattled him… he’s amazingly off like no one else could possibly be and still get raving from the judges… well, that’s what i expect anyway… it was awful though… Randy starts things off and says it was, okay, he did nothing with it and it was pitchy in spots, and it didn’t work… Ellen says there was more that could’ve been done with the song, but he’s so good… Kara gets interrupted by some random chicks who want to hear themselves on television, but manages to say that he got lost in the song, but he is still great… Simon says it was totally the wrong song and he tried too hard to sound like the original…

BIG MIKE… apparently, Mike will be tackling Michael Jackson… and he did some shadow boxing with Jamie which earned him a Contestant tee shirt… singing Will You Be There? in a tight leather jacket accompanied by five backup gals, he doesn’t sound good… not one bit… not on the stairs, not without hairs, not on the stage, not on the same page… Randy says that it is a weird night and it just didn’t sound that good… Ellen says something about Free Willy and that he should want to win, not just place… it was predictable… Kara says that he could’ve done that in his sleep and that he played it safe… Simon asks what the heck Free Willy is and that it was confusing, but at least he gave it a hundred percent… Ryan calls Ellen, Dori…

BoSAWX and Da Wise Guy… first duet and i didn’t pay attention to the title… i think it’s Falling Slowly… and it starts out alright… they are uncomfortably standing face to face at center stage trading lines and pretending that their guitars are plugged into anything… then they try to harmonize and prove that they don’t like to share the stage… all the judges liked it, but i didn’t really catch their comments clearly… Crystal is playing with Lee’s guitar and calls him her musical crush…

now playing: Mission Impossible Theme – Lalo Schifrin

Casey “Sawyer” James… singing Mrs. Robinson… with a mini-guitar and his lamb-like vibrato… how is it that it took up until last week for Kara to notice that?… anyway… Jamie asked Casey to seduce him… he must just have eyes that draw everyone in, regardless of their interests… anyway… i like the adjustments he’s made to the arrangement… kind of Jason Castro-ish… and, though it’s kind of safe, he’s all but saved himself with an impressive performance in a hideous teal leather members only jacket… Randy points out the elephant in the room – that Kara is Mrs. Robinson – and then says that it was just alright… Ellen says something about the small guitar and says that it was good… Kara Robinson says that it was a perfect way for him to fight for his life… vulnerable and honest… Simon thought it lacked substance and impact… you know, in that jacket, he really looks like Phil Joel…

Crystal BoSAWX… a classic song from Caddyshack and Kenny Loggins… um… okay… well, she’s got herself a little potty mouth… I’m All Right… and she’s back to dressing like Oliver Twist… okay, i’ll just come right out and say it… this song is just plain stupid… i mean, what on earth is going on with these people?… she’s screaming and warbling through it just fine, but man.. that was dumb… Randy says it wasn’t his favorite performance, but she’s an artist and made it somewhat enjoyable… Ellen says that she made that song better… Kara agrees with the two of them… Simon says that she’s back in the game… oh geesh… her boyfriend is a dork, too… MC Hammer called and even he didn’t want those pants back…

Big Mike and Sawyer… the final duet… a Bryan Adams bro-mance tune… Have You Ever Loved a Woman… that is really odd… Casey has changed and pulled his hair back… Big Mike has changed and left his bald alone… it’s clear that this is your bottom two… that’s just not good… Randy compliments the guitar playing… Ellen apparently has loved a woman… Kara says the duets were better than all the solo performances… Simon parrots Kara… but all of them are still recovering from Ellen’s comment…

THE BIG BORE…

now playing: March (from Raiders of the Lost Ark) – John Williams

okay then, all the judges seemed to agree that individually, the contestants all stunk up the stage, but that the duets were something special… i think it was an entirely lackluster evening, cementing the fact that i’m not likely to care about any albums that come from this year’s contestants… for the sake of tidiness, i’ll make my picks… bottom two: Mike and Casey… going home, i have to say Big Mike hangs up his cleats…

who ya got folks? anybody have a different take?… sound off…

peace… love… bdg…

Bookshelf&reviews04 May 2010 01:22 am

a bit on the tired side, but i promised to get this up today… below is a review of the brand new book from Pete Wilson (@pwilson for my tweeps) called No Plan B… i got this early from Thomas Nelson and still ended up reading the bulk of it over the last 2 days… anyway, off we go…

THE PACKAGE…
now playing: No Plan B – Manafest

i guess when i first picked this book up, i expected something different… the term “plan B” has always had a negative context when coupled with spiritual endeavors… it always seems to be couched in the midst of something along the lines of, “Trusting God is your Plan A, there is no Plan B”… BE… that as it may, in regards to this book, which does cover some level of spiritual matters, it’s more aptly explained as an exploration of coming to grips with God’s Plan A being your Plan B… that is to say that sometimes our plans and God’s plans aren’t aligned… and that’s not only okay, but that should be expected…

after all, the Bible does mention this several times, foremost in my mind, when James explains that we have not because, when we do ask, we ask with the wrong motives… Anyway, Pete Wilson uses this as a backdrop to tackle some of life’s most challenging questions – Why do bad things happen to good people, among them – by reframing our perspective in the midst of some truly heart-wrenching examples of situations that are just plain difficult to wrap your head around…

I don’t want to give anything away, but I will say Plan B is a pretty quick read, not necessarily easy, but it goes down quickly and offers some potent and potentially life-changing advice… i certainly recommend it, especially if you’ve ever gone through a difficult situation in life or if you have any questions about why God lets things happen that don’t make sense…

And before i go, i also want to be mindful of a Plan B that has shaped up over the last 2 days for Wilson (and the expanded Nashville area)… there has been a lot of flooding and, in some cases, the damage is life-threatening… Cross Point Church is organizing some aid efforts and you can read some more about that on Pete’s Blog

peace… love… bdg…