As I tend to be an irregular sort of individual, I find it astounding that Jesse Carey has asked me to write regularly for this spanking new Relevant blog (no actual spanking involved). For those of us who have not been introduced, I am Mark Steele, regular (or irregular) contributor to Relevant Magazine as well as author of Flashbang: How I Got Over Myself.
I work in multimedia (www.steelehouse.com) and therefore have an affinity for all things artistic and entertaining. I especially love to discover life truths/God messages therein. So, Iâ€™d bet dollars to donuts that my blog entries tend to center around pop culture. I would write this in the magazine, but by the time they print it, the references will be so last decade.
So, before we begin, several unique things about me:
- I have an entry in IMDB, but not Wikipedia.
- I am talented at no sports whatsoever. Not even badminton.
- I cannot say badminton.
- Things I am great at: Wheel of Fortune, identifying 1980â€™s pop tunes on the first note, knowing obscure actorsâ€™ names while forgetting your name.
- My wife makes the best pumpkin bread in the known world.
- I eat too much of it.
- I am far too infatuated with ABCâ€™s Lost
As the season finale just aired, Iâ€™ll begin with Lost. There are many haters out there towards this past season and especially towards the mammoth plot twist that closed out the finale (SPOILER WARNING). This perplexes me as I cannot think of a more layered and powerful story arc on television. Let me say as someone who has followed the show from its initial two-hour juggernaut three seasons back: Lost has never lost its way. Those who have trouble with where it has gone or is going are focusing on the minors instead of the MAJOR.
Yes, the mysteries that continually unfold and the promise for them to be answered is an enticing and frustrating viewing experience â€“ but those pursuits are minor in comparison to the true beauty of the story. The MAJOR is the theme that was reinforced by the finale. A theme that deserves â€“ no, NEEDS to be discussed ad infinitum by people of faith. That theme: Can people change? Is the future set in stone? Are we doomed to repeat our mistakes or is there something out there that can form us and transform us so that our past mistakes lose their power and our future is suddenly filled with hope and up for grabs? No matter where we happen to be on the outside, is there a way that we can no longer be lost inside?
The finale revealed that the castaways are indeed rescued a few months in the future but that rescue (ironically) does nothing to change their â€œlostness.â€ This is our existential crisis: that we think we know what will make us found, but it usually lands us feeling as lost as before. Suddenly, the show is not about an island that is lost. Itâ€™s about people who have always been lost, even before they landed on the island that may just lead them to the truth. The answers to all the conundrums are intriguing, but they pale in comparison to a story arc that dares delve into deep life questions. We each see ourselves in one of the castaways and we root for them to not only survive, but to change. Finale case in point: Charlie and Jack. Charlie did not survive, but he was changed. He remained â€œlostâ€ but found himself. Jack did survive, but was not changed. He was rescued, but remained lost. Who was better off?
Do we dare look at our own past mistakes (revisit our â€œflashbacksâ€) and assess where we stand in this debate? Do we lose ourselves to find God? Do we remain unchanged in hope of rescue that may not come? Where are we looking to find our rescue?
Debate and discuss below.
And, oh yeah â€“ which Lost character are you? Though I wish I were Jack, I think Iâ€™m Kate without the mad tree-climbing skillz. Iâ€™ll explain why next blog. Until then,