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To quote Monty Python “and now for something completely different…”

Long time readers of this blog may be surprised to see me doing a review of the War on Terror – but with the recent developments in the US regarding Iraq and US torture, I’m inclined to give a brief look over things as a warm up to discussion.

Prior to 9/11 I remember having a conversation with my friend James S. In that conversation I mentioned that America’s cultural attitude was going too far and was going to have bad repurcussions. James was adamant that no-one would be stupid enough to attack America. I pointed out that if someone was pissed off enough, they’d find a way.

The thing is, we all believed America to be an unstoppable force. When the planes struck the world trade centre it took a while for people to even accept that it was a deliberate act.

So where has this led us? I also told James that when Bush was put into power that there would be a war in our time. This was a no-brainer. Prior to becoming president, Bush had a reputation as being a warmonger – he was an old-school republican who like to rattle the sabre in favour of US.

The resulting war on terror has been an ill conceived, mishandled, clumsy and foolish errand. It is easy to blame the Bush administration for how it handled things, but the reality (I feel) lies deeper. It lies in the US culture where America refuses to understand that they are not the only people in the world.

It lies in how the terrorists live in equally blind cultures that feel that they are the exceptions to the rule that everyone is equal.

I agree with many analysts who have said that since the War of Terror began, the world has become less safe. There once was a time when thinking about going on a trip overseas was something we readily planned – now even going to the US is considered risky.

We are scared. We know we are dealing with people who have absolutely no respect for life because they have bought into an idea that something is “greater.”

But how can we hope to overcome the horror that fanatics bring to our doorstep when the people supposedly defending us are being equally fanatic. The Coalition may not be using acts of terror, but they are using acts of blind violence. They hold PoWs without making any effort to figure out who is innocent and who is guilty.

This war did not need to happen. There were other options – but instead terrorism has become an excuse for people to pursue political agendas for obscure gains.

I fear that this lifetime may bring worse things to us. What is the solution?

Love and Huggles


Currently Reading: Exalted 2e
Currently Playing: Exalted: The Seventh Legion, The Secret of Zir’An
Mood: Wondering about the future…
(Thoughtful Menchi)

Well I’m about half-way through Lost Season 2 now and I hav to admit – it’s pretty fricking awesome. The creators have created a wonderful distraction regarding the Island in the form of the Others.

A majority of the season is about establishing boundaries, from what I can tell. The Island’s “rules” are being explored – what it can and can’t do, what is kind of going on… in the process, there have been some odd inconsistencies – or hints that the whole DHARMA link is not what it seems.

On one level it seems to be shaping up into a battle between the Good and Evil within all of us – with many of the characters becoming nastier and less likeable as they are forced into doing things that they wouldn’t have done before. The gilligan’s island type tone of the survivors is beginning to buckle against the greed and desperation of some of the group.

This is quite cool.

I still want to find out what the HELL is going on, and while it is fun to speculate – I certainly wouldn’t want season three to be more of the same. Season two is doing a good job of moving the story along and dropping a great number of hints about what is happening. But I’m not buying the whole “it’s not supernatural” theme that some people are thinking. There are too many coincidences and moments in the character’s flashbacks that say to me that something much deeper is at play here.

But it certainly is fun getting there. 🙂

Love and Huggles


Currently Reading: Exalted 2e
Currently Playing: Exalted: The Seventh Legion, The Secret of Zir’An
Mood: Feeling pretty darned good!

So I’ve finally started watching Lost again. I missed parts of the first season and never really got to see the second – so it has been pretty cool catching up with the series.

Initially I had felt that Lost was getting made up as the creators went along with the script. It just had too much happening and came across as a bit too ambitious. But upon watching through again, it really is a series that rewards repeat viewing.

Having said that, I still can’t shake the feeling that the creators don’t really know what is happening on the Island. Of course I’ll need to see the second season to see if anything more is revealed. Henley, my brother, mentions that by the end of the second season you have a pretty solid idea of what is actually happening on the island. We’ll have to wait and see…

Thematically, Lost is very clever. There are often clever little tie-ins between characters and their flashbacks, and you do need to be watching closely all the time to catch every little detail. I love that about the show. Just seeing how people crossover – even through the subtler links. (For example I just finished watching the episode “Numbers” where Hurley is revealed to be the owner of the company John Locke worked for. It is simply a throw away line between him and his accountant.)

The constant challenge of Luck versus Fate makes an interesting theme to explore, with the multiple serendipitous relationships hinting at some greater plan in action between the characters.

My only concern is that if everything happens in the series for a reason, certain events come across as somewhat harsh. It will be very intriguing to find out the truth of the series. I do feel that Lost has about one season left before it becomes simply too frustrating.

Hurley: I’m happy to be along for the ride, but now I want some frigging answers!

The problem with a mystery is that eventually you have to reveal it. The 4400 is a series that understands this and manages to keep some secrets while revealing the Big Question early, and in the process making another Big Question. (Now that we know who took the Abductees and why they were taken, what happens next? What is the big catastrophe? Can those who took them be trusted to be telling the truth?)

In Lost it feels as though the creators are playing things too closely to their chests. Multiple red-herrings, fake-outs and building mystery ends up overwhelming the viewer to the point of asking “who gives a shit?”

I nearly got to that point by the end of the first season which ended on a cliff-hanger that revealed absolutely frigging nothing. Instead I just had more questions.

Reports on the third season suggest that viewers agree with me – viewing ratings have dropped. I’m a season behind, so hopefully 2 will provide some answers to the big questions, and show that the series is moving forwards rather than circling around like a big tease.

Five seasons, the planned arc of the creators, strikes me as a bit too ambitious. Unless they pull finger and start really exposing the truth of the series in Season 3…

Here’s hoping. 🙂

Love and Huggles


Currently Reading: The Secret of Zir’An
Currently Playing: Exalted: The Seventh Legion, The Secret of Zir’An
Mood: Feeling pretty good!

October 2006

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