3.09.2009

No Separation, or, A Look Inside Hurley's Head

If you're still watching ABC's LOST, congratulations -- you're not an idiot. But if you're watching LOST and not taking it seriously, consider this a warning. When we saw Ben reading Philip K. Dick's novel, Valis, last year, for example, you should've read that. If you're in graduate school in English, as you all are if you're reading this, you'll have heard of John Locke and Jeremy Bentham -- but if you didn't know about Richard Alpert, it's time to learn. He started going by Ram Dass after getting fired from his professorship at Harvard in the 1960s. Here he is talking about LSD:



Here's Richard Alpert, from LOST:

5 comments:

Insignificant Wrangler said...

Thanks for sharing! I've been interested in the irony of the Locke connection and the intrigue of the Bentham reference, but didn't know of Richard Alpert. Cool.

Casey said...

Isn't LOST awesome right now? Makes me want to really read John Locke, re-read Slaughterhouse Five, try Ulysses again, and so on...

word verification: thenless

P.S. -- if you have Netflix, there's a documentary about an aging Ram Dass (he's like 75 now) who has suffered a stroke... it's called Fierce Grace. Worth checking out, if you're into the counter-cultural 1960s at all.

Wishydig said...

this is what perplexes me. this season isn't doing it for me. and lost has been heading here all along of course.

but all this historico-structuralist wagon hitching starts to get out of hand when so much attention goes to all the references to arguments that have already been made. i like that sort of thing in moderation, but it can get out of hand. sure it's entertainment but it becomes less and less like a narrative and starts acting a lot more like where's waldo. seems more like a parlor game than art.

both lost and 24 are falling short for me this season. they're offering little -- and in stale packages.

Casey said...

I know what you mean; I really do -- but be wary with LOST. I don't take all of these references to my-kinds-of-books as being anything other than a tip of the cap from the writers to their influences. I wouldn't imagine any of their names has anything to do with the "answer."

I'm going to risk my soaring reputation to make it interesting by making a single prediction: before this series ends, we will find out that Ben has never been a bad guy -- and that even his most apparently heinous acts are all necessary and proper from some end-of-the-series perspective.

Concerning 24: yeah, that show died to me about two years ago, but because I'm rabid for TV and the persona of Jack Bauer will live forever in my imagination, I continue watching.

Wishydig said...

i've been on board with ben from the moment we saw the village.

that and when jack was whining about how the others had killed some of the passengers and he completely overlooked having killed some of the others himself.

i intend no irony when i say that i don't think jack is any more moral or sympathetic than ben. in fact i think he's much much less sympathetic. i'm on the fence about locke. half the time i think he's just riding. he's not guiding or doing anything on his own.

but those questions can only carry me along for so long. and time travel and magic aren't really going to reel me back in. and more love story between sawyer and kate... yawn.

i'm kinda only watching because of the investment already.