3 Nudges

05/26/2010

Urgency Day 450

500 Things Items 37-51: Assorted entertaining and catering items


In case you were wondering, three nudges make a poke:

  1. Donna’s recent comment: “What are we getting rid of?”
  2. Janet’s recent question: “What are you getting rid of today?”
  3. The recent demise of Lost.

I hear you! I hear you! Or I feel you out there, encouraging, cajoling or just tapping your many foots in impatience.

“Back to your 500 Things project, Suzanne, and be toute suite about it!”

Okay. ‘Nuf said. I’m on it. But first… what the heck does the ending of Lost have to do with blog-neglect?

Thanks for asking.

When it ended on Sunday, were you still watching Lost? Not so remarkably, we were. It neatly covered the necessary thematic elements which ensure my family’s attention:

  • Fantasy/science fiction
  • Mythology
  • Mystery
  • Pretty people running around on beaches

Not to mention, it soothed the gapping wound left by the ending of BSG.

After I get caught up around here, I would love to dissect the ending with any fellow-Losties, especially if you can provide me with a flowchart of all the flash-backs, -forwards and -sideways. In the meantime, I will direct you to two engaging articles in the New York Times:

Of all the celebrations and post-mortems I have read—or Sam has read to me—these two by Times television critic Mike Hale have been, for me, the most lucid and, frankly, helpful. I admit the ending still has my brow furrowed. Let me just say, I wish all time travel plots could be reduced to the conceit in a recent episode of Big Bang Theory.

Can we all put this agreement in our contracts, please?

The relevant piece for our current purposes is found in the first article, a cogent lament about the pressures on storytellers in The Age of the Internet. As Mr. Hale points out, “Now that the public conversation about how a work should play out can be louder [than before there was an internet] and have greater impact, than the work itself, that conversation will inevitably begin to shape the work in ways that earlier television producers—or say, Charles Dickens—never had to reckon with.”

“How a work should (his emphasis) play out:” Now there’s an interesting idea. In yet another way the internet has leveled society by providing a public platform for Anyone to voice an opinion, the internet is also redefining the notion that a writer should control her or his story. If the ultimate success of a work is determined not by artistic merit but by high ratings and ad-dollars, then should the masses be consulted for their opinions on plot and character development to ensure their loyalty?

I suppose it depends on your expectations.

Personally, as an audience member, I’m in it for the surprises. I guess I’m Aristotelian in that sense. Give me some popcorn and a good cathartic jolt, and I’m one happy viewer. I didn’t want a say in determining that Darth was Luke’s father or that Dumbledore would die or that Bruce Willis was a ghost. It was so fun not knowing! Let the writer be in control. It’s one of the few ways left for Anyone to be in control of Anything.

And there it is. I guess I want control of my blog. I guess. Mostly in the sense that if on a given day, I want to write about something other than the 500 Things project, well then that’s what I want.

But I also want, and very very much, for my gentle readers to stay interested.

And if three nudges make a poke, consider me poked.

I’ll work on balance: Your kind interest and my unannounced musings. I have to say, by far the biggest current obstacle to this continuing mission is not my stubborn desire for control, but my negotiations with The Self-Contained Unit over sharing his computer. Which I guess is also a desire for control: His.

In working toward regaining my downsizing momentum, I present today’s 500 Things project items. All 15 of these entertainment/catering items were part of my formerly laminated life. Peeling off the lamination is proving messy. Once it is entirely removed, I fervently hope the resulting streamlined life will prove satisfying.

Significant quantities of Goo Gone may be necessary.


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One Response to “3 Nudges”

  1. Sean Says:

    You’re well aware that I am a LOST fan(atic) – check the pics on my Facebook profile from our mini finale party for evidence – but I will be brief. The longer I ruminate on the finale, the more satisfied I become. I can see the producers’ intent and appreciate the dedication that it must have taken to stay on target. Had they opened the doors to direct viewership influence, many questions would have been answered and the particular mythology of The Island explored in ways that we may have wanted, but not really needed. I am reminded of a Jerry Seinfeld quote that the audience is like a child and sometimes doesn’t know what is good for it. The performer’s job is to give the audience what it needs, not what it wants. Had LOST been driven by the desires of its fans, we might have wound up with a competent, mechanically satisfying conclusion without the wondrous exhalation of emotional closure.
    I think as a blog author, your instincts and considerable writing skills will maintain and encourage your readership, without the need for undue co-authorship on our part. Be the director and let us be surprised.


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