Wednesday, March 28

Music Madness

This has just been The Best Week Ever for music. First Joss Stone, now I've discovered two other artists I am totally in love with. You must check out Mika and Paolo Nutini. Head over to iTunes to listen to them.

Mika is like Scissor Sisters crossed with Freddy Mercury. I totally am not kidding. I am beside myself with joy!

Paolo's most recognizable song is "New Shoes". How can you go wrong there?

Death Watch

Rumors are swirling there will be 3 deaths on Lost this season. If Charlie is one and Paolo is two, then who is the third?

Anyone care to venture a guess?

Tuesday, March 27

Lost Spoilers

Read on, Lost fans! Read on!

It looks like you'll get more action on Hurley's... van. Producers are currently casting for a "Roger," a working-class janitor in his early forties who is bitter about his place in life but has higher aspirations. The notice says of the character, "He has troubled and complex relationship with his son; he finds himself caught up in a mysterious situation beyond his imaginings; and the actor must not be claustrophobic." Pretty sure this is the skeleton — "Roger Work Man"—from Hurley's episode.

Lost Spoilers offers us a summary of the spoilers Cuse and Lindelof revealed in the latest podcast: The box--Ben was putting it into terms Locke could understand. It's a metaphor. It would be silly for there to actually be a box, says Damon. This will become clearer the next time they pick up the storyline. You'll see Locke again in the next couple weeks, but not revisit this story for a while. Locke's attitude about the island will come back into play. The Others will not be encamped in their comfortable place for the entire season. Rousseau has to overcome her issues before she can approach her daughter. "The Others are a lot badder than you think they are." By the end of the season you may not think that their act of hanging Charlie was out of character for them. This seems to imply/confirm that Ethan/The Others are in fact responsible for Charlie's hanging. We'll see the Dharma van again, it will have a flashback of sorts and see how it came to be in the jungle. We will also see another Volkswagen product on the island. Alcatraz island was actually shown on Rousseau's map as early as season one when Sayid discovered it in Solitary. They knew about at least one other smaller island even then.

While walking out on the red carpet for the premiere of 'Meet the Robinsons', [Harold] Perrineau put himself on the record as being currently in negotiations for a return to LOST in season four. Perrineau told a Reuters' reporter that "We're trying to figure out if I can get back next season and do both." That would be an interesting feat considering LOST shoots in Hawaii and DEMONS will no doubt shoot in Hollywood.

Lost 3.14 Preview

This week also promises to be good. I think Lost is back my friends!!! Yee-haw!!

Episode 3.14: Exposé (Nikki and Paulo-centric, episode aka "Expos")
Airdate: March 28, 2007

This week on Lost, Maggie Grace (Shannon) returns, Sun goes all nutty fisticuffs and... someone is going to die. Someone I personally love. Someone I personally am sad to see go! But I worry I might be in the minority. Regardless, how this person dies is perhaps the most disturbing death I have ever heard of. Let's just say I have one big monster of a phobia, and this death plays into that. Source: Kristin on E!Online [Note: Seems like Kristin is talking about the spiders we see in the previews biting said character, which is rumored to be paralyzed as if dead...]

According to Lost Spoilers, Paulo will be shot in the head.

This episode is set to answer a big mythological question. The gay character will appear in "Exposé."

Hurley begins to suspect that Sawyer may be involved in an island mystery surrounding two fellow survivors, and Sun learns the truth about her past kidnapping attempt by The Others. Guest starring are Kiele Sanchez as Nikki, Rodrigo Santoro as Paulo, William Mapother as Ethan Rom, Ian Somerhalder as Boone, Maggie Grace as Shannon, Daniel Roebuck as Dr. Artz, Billy Dee Williams as Mr. LaShade and Jacob Witkin as Howard L. Zukerman.

Hell's Kitchen

If you, like me, have been wondering when the hell Hell's Kitchen is going to debut, wonder no more!!! FOX has announced that Hell's Kitchen will premiere Monday, June 25 at 8pm. Whee!

Monday, March 26

Joss Stone

Love. Love. Love her new album, "Introducing Joss Stone". Get it today.


Social networking for music. Check it out.

HBO in June

HBO's summer Sunday schedule has been firmed up and it all begins on June 10 with the finale of The Sopranos on that Sunday evening at 9p.  Immediately following will be the premiere of John in Cincinnati at 10p (the following week this show slides back into the 9p time period).  On June 17 following Entourage at 10p, is the launch of Flight of the Conchords at 1030p.

Planet Earth


This series is mesmorizing. If you haven't watched it yet, it's on Discovery Channel (and repeats on Science Channel). The first episode seems mostly like an overview, and the long shots of Earth are unbelievable. The second series seems more like an overview of the ocean. And I fell asleep, but only because I was dancing until 4am the night before.

Check it out. There are 11 episodes in total.

Henry Rollins

I have liked him lots since seeing his speaking tours during college. His show on IFC is back in a few weeks on April 13.

Thursday, March 22

Hey George! Remember the Constitution?

If the notion of the "public's right to know" is important to you at all, I would highly suggest reading this editorial by Dan Froomkin.

Folks, if it isn't already BLATANTLY OBVIOUS that we have a guy in the White House with absolutely NO REGARD for the Constitution, then it's high time you wake up and smell the reality.

LOST 3.13 Recap

Courtesy of EW:

Poor John Locke. Damaged by Daddy, desperate for meaning, doomed to forever play the sucker. Last night, in an essential, mythology-shaking outing of Lost titled ''The Man From Tallahassee,'' the focus was on beaten, bitter Locke, and at long last, we saw the event that put him in a wheelchair prior to being marooned on Mystery Island. Not surprising, that event involved his father, con man Anthony Cooper, the man who scammed Locke out of a kidney in season 1 and manipulated him into ripping off the mob in season 2. It seems that four years ago, Cooper was pulling an old-school swindle — marrying a rich old lady for her fortune. (It's the kind of con that Sawyer could appreciate — which is why many fans are wondering if Cooper is the ''Proto Sawyer'' from whom James ''Sawyer'' Ford swiped his professional handle.)

Anyway, Locke got pulled into the affair via Ms. Moneybags' concerned son, who was investigating his future pop's background and discovered that Locke had given Cooper a kidney. At this time in his life, Locke was suffering from profound depression — possibly in the wake of that ill-fated commune adventure; the episode didn't explain the context — and had been denied disability because of his unwillingness to stay in therapy. Which is good, because if Locke was, like, a watt or two more introspective, Lost would be considerably short on Big Picture plot. Clearly, the character's painful process of enlightenment is the heart and soul of this show.

Like a moth to the flame, Locke succumbed to the temptation of seeking out his father, all in the name of wanting to save someone else from being victimized by him. Soon after their heated conversation, the son was found dead, and when Locke accused his dad of killing him, Cooper pushed Locke out a window! Miraculously, Locke survived the eight-story fall with just a broken back — and paralyzed legs. Hence, wheelchair.

The most interesting thing about the revelation for me was how visceral it was. There was no super-twisty caper gone wrong, no act-of-God calamity — just a long-simmering pot, finally boiling over to tragedy. No doubt there will be those among you who feel that the whole business about surviving an eight-story fall is a little hard to swallow. But this is where sensational acting comes on. Terry O'Quinn has been asked to sell the audience on many far-fetched things on this show, from his kooky communion with the Island to his baffling button-pushing digression in the Hatch. Once again, O'Quinn made me believe in the mundane-meets-heightened reality of Locke's life.

One thing about the moment when Cooper attacked Locke: With his pale skin and silver hair, and the way he just lunged at Locke, didn't Cooper strike you as vaguely...polar bearish in that moment? For all of you who think Lost is about Locke, and would even go so far as to theorize that the wildly eclectic, wildly dangerous environment on the Island is actually a materialization of Locke's sick, clouded psyche, then that scene could be further proof. (Or I could be projecting my own father issues upon the scene at the moment. As I type these words at 12:30 a.m. on Thursday morning, my own father, visiting from Seattle, is loudly snoring in the next room...exactly like a polar bear! Because, of course, I know all about how polar bears snore.)

The flashbacks about Locke's lower lumbar region played out against the efforts by the ''Live Together, Die Alone'' Hostage Extraction Team — Sayid, Kate, and Locke — to bust Jack out of Othersville, a.k.a. the old Dharma barracks, which looked exactly like a YMCA summer camp I once attended during a miserable week separated from my comic books and Commodore 64 Zork games. Kate made contact with the good doctor and learned, much to her dismay, that he had cut a deal to join Juliet on the next submarine ride off the Island. Because their interactions were conducted under the Others' watchful eye, it was hard to know if Jack was drugged, brainwashed, or just pretending in order to get what he wanted. But he did make some interesting statements. He told Kate that the kids abducted by the Others were ''safe.'' He also told her that he no longer thought of the Others as a demonized ''them,'' or even as Others. And then he swore, ''I will come back for you,'' which seemed to do little to assuage her sense of betrayal. Time will tell what exactly Jack's plan was (go home and get help? hijack the sub and take the castaways with him?), and how genuine his conversion was.

Doc Jensen Prediction: At some point in the near future, Jack will return to the beach, and just when we least expect it, something will click in his brain, and he'll start repeating the creepy mantra from the room 23 brainwashing video: ''God loves you as he loved Jacob.'' Then he'll pull out his gun and start blowing people away. (Man, my imagination can take some dark turns late at night. It's 1:10 a.m. now. Dad is still making the polar bear sounds.)

Meanwhile, as Kate's heart was breaking over her potential Manchurian candidate, Locke was holding Ben at gunpoint, demanding to be taken to the submarine so he could blow it up. During their prolonged exchange, Ben, himself now restricted to a wheelchair in the wake of Jack's tumor-removal surgery, imparted a bunch of useful info. The lowdown: Ben knows all about John's past; Ben was one of the few Others born on the Island (most of the rest, it seems, were recruited, although they are laboring under the false impression that they could leave at any time); and Ben knows all about Locke's special ''communion'' with the Island, but he wants to help him learn how to strengthen that link and better understand it. Ben's self-serving motive: to learn how to acquire a ''special relationship'' with the Island and reap the rewards of feel-good privileges. In short, both of these overgrown boys really need to get some girlfriends.

Of course, all of what Ben told Locke could be completely bogus. But the two men do agree on one thing: neither of them wants anyone to leave the Island. Ben's reasons remain inscrutable at this point, while Locke's motives are a matter of record. Or are they? Locke has stated that he firmly believes that the Oceanic 815ers have been brought to the Island for a reason, and until that reason is satisfied, he isn't about to let anyone sneak off. But is there truly a holy (or demonic?) force projecting its powers over space and time to suck these souls to this land, or is the unruly spirit in question here the one that belongs to Locke, trapped inside a personal hell of father issues, and bent on sucking everyone else into it as well?

It's possible Ben revealed quite a bit more to Locke, but I was distracted by all the Easter eggs in Ben's bedroom. And by Easter eggs, I mean conspicuous curiosities to be cracked open for new theories by fanatics such as myself in the days and weeks to come. Was that a map of the Island on the wall? And what was up with all the tribal masks in Ben's house? Could it be that the Others are some kind of ancient tribe of actors who are using the castaways in a neo-pagan ritual designed to purge self-destruction from the soul of humanity? Is John Locke destined to become, like, The Wicker Man or something?

The masks also reminded me of something else: Joseph Campbell's classic book on timeless mythic archetypes, The Hero With a Thousand Faces. And remember — Ben did say that the Others were ''the good guys.'' Maybe Ben is the Hercules of his people; his recent adventures (infiltrating the Hatch; manipulating Jack to operate on him to save his life at the Hydra Station) were certainly death-defying labors worthy of Herc's most famous exploits. Or maybe this is just the elaborate con of a malevolent trickster. Could Ben, with his Big Brain, be moving the castaways around like pieces on a chessboard, all in an attempt to score the biggest con of all: separating Hurley from his mammoth Lotto fortune?

Perhaps the best evidence of a slow-moving conspiracy in ''The Man From Tallahassee'' was Ben's revelation to Locke that the Others were holding a most mysterious prisoner in the bowels of their facility: none other than Locke's deadly, deadbeat dad himself, Anthony Cooper. Of course, when Locke saw his father tied to a chair and gagged and he muttered, ''Dad?'' I couldn't help thinking of the famous ''Mom?'' moment in another J.J. Abrams show, Alias. So...what did it all mean? Do the Others really possess some kind of magic black box, out of which your brightest hope (or darkest fear) can materialize — or was Ben merely waxing poetic with an analogy there? Either way: How the hell did Locke's dad get on the Island?

These are the questions and mysteries I'll be pondering in the week to come — that is, if I'm not too busy turning Beatles songs into Lost songs. If you think about it, ''Yellow Submarine'' totally works as a Lost theory — or at least the animated movie does. The Island = Pepperville; the castaways = the Beatles; the Others = the native Pepperlanders; and the scientists of the Dharma Initiative = the Blue Meanies. In the end, Dharma's art-killing, soul-stagnating tyranny will be overthrown, and Jack and Locke will lead the world in a rousing sing-along of ''All You Need Is Love.''

Hey — it worked for The Prisoner.

Weigh in with your comments, questions, and theories below. Until next week, namaste!


Larry "Bud" Melman

Wednesday, March 21

What People Really Need

Great op-ed in NY Times:

In nasty and bumbling comments made at the White House yesterday, President Bush declared that “people just need to hear the truth” about the firing of eight United States attorneys. That’s right. Unfortunately, the deal Mr. Bush offered Congress to make White House officials available for “interviews” did not come close to meeting that standard.

Mr. Bush’s proposal was a formula for hiding the truth, and for protecting the president and his staff from a legitimate inquiry by Congress. Mr. Bush’s idea of openness involved sending White House officials to Congress to answer questions in private, without taking any oath, making a transcript or allowing any follow-up appearances. The people, in other words, would be kept in the dark.

The Democratic leaders were right to reject the offer, despite Mr. Bush’s threat to turn this dispute into a full-blown constitutional confrontation.

Congress has the right and the duty to fully investigate the firings, which may have been illegal, and Justice Department officials’ statements to Congress, which may have been untrue. It needs to question Karl Rove, Mr. Bush’s chief political adviser, Harriet Miers, the former White House counsel, and other top officials.

It is hard to imagine what, besides evading responsibility, the White House had in mind. Why would anyone refuse to take an oath on a matter like this, unless he were not fully committed to telling the truth? And why would Congress accept that idea, especially in an investigation that has already been marked by repeated false and misleading statements from administration officials?

The White House notes that making misrepresentations to Congress is illegal, even if no oath is taken. But that seems to be where the lack of a transcript comes in. It would be hard to prove what Mr. Rove and others said if no official record existed.

The White House also put an unacceptable condition on the documents it would make available, by excluding e-mail messages within the White House. Mr. Bush’s overall strategy seems clear: to stop Congress from learning what went on within the White House, which may well be where the key decisions to fire the attorneys were made.

The White House argued that presidential advisers rarely testify before Congress, but that is simply not true. Many of President Clinton’s high-ranking advisers, including his White House counsels and deputy chief of staff, testified about Whitewater, allegations of campaign finance abuses and other matters.

The Bush administration is trying to hide behind the doctrine of “executive privilege.” That term does not appear in the Constitution; the best Mr. Bush could do yesterday was a stammering reference to the separate branches of government. When presidents have tried to invoke this privilege, the courts have been skeptical. President Richard Nixon tried to withhold the Watergate tapes, but a unanimous Supreme Court ruled against him.

It is no great surprise that top officials of this administration believe they do not need to testify before Congress. This is an administration that has shown over and over that it does not believe that the laws apply to it, and that it does not respect its co-equal branches of government. Congress should subpoena Mr. Rove and the others, and question them under oath, in public. If Congress has more questions, they should be recalled.

That would not be “partisanship,” as Mr. Bush wants Americans to believe. It would be Congress doing its job by holding the president and his team accountable — a rare thing in the last six years.

Tuesday, March 20

Why I've Been MIA

I've been caught stealing
Once when I was five
I enjoy stealing
It's just as simple as that
Well, it's just a simple fact
When I want something
I don't want to pay for it
I walk right through the door
Walk right through the door
Hey all right
If I get by
It's mine
Mine all mine

My girl, she's one too
She'll go and get her a shirt
Stick it under her skirt
She grabbed a razor for me
And she did it just like that
When she wants something
She don't want to pay for it
She walk right through the door
Walk right through the door
Hey all right
If I get by
It's mine
Mine all mine

We sat around the pile
We sat and laughed
We sat and laughed and
Waved it into the air
And we did it just like that
When we want something
We don't want to pay for it
We walk right through the door
Walk right through the door
Hey, all right
If I get by
It's mine,
Mine, mine, mine, mine, mine, mine

LOST 3.13

Here's some goodies to get you all a-twitter about Wednesdays episode. I CAN NOT WAIT!!!!!

Episode 3.13: The Man From Tallahassee (Locke-centric)
Airdate: March 21, 2007

Michael Emerson reveals: "There’s some role reversal that takes place there. Someone that’s used to being in power is dis-empowered and someone sort of takes charge in an interesting way in that episode." Ben tries to talk Locke out of his destructive plan by offering him some island secrets. Meanwhile, Kate's reunion with Jack does not go off as planned when she discovers he has made a deal with the Others.

And in general spoiler news..... [Lost] is for sure coming back, and get this: my ABC sources tell me it will probably come back 24-style, beginning in January and going straight through with 22 episodes. At least, that's the most likely scenario ABC is considering. [I'm hearing that Charlie will die.]

Thursday, March 15

Lost 3.12 Recap

Courtesy of EW:

This was a perfectly balanced episode: The central story line involved characters (Claire and Charlie) who we've come to care about, but the plot was interspersed with some truly nail-biting moments. The past few episodes had referenced Claire and Charlie without actually giving them much to do — and I don't know about you, but I'd been missing them. It's nice to have a couple on the show who exhibit unadulterated (so to speak) affection for each other. But we could see, even from afar, that Desmond's premonitions were getting under Claire's skin, even if she didn't know exactly why. This episode brought all of that to the surface. Charlie had interpreted Desmond's concern as a sign that he was only worried about Claire (as opposed to Charlie, Claire, and the baby, all of whom Desmond saved during the electrical storm) because he had designs on the blonde Aussie beauty.

But, hey: First of all, she wasn't always a blonde. Claire's flashbacks made me understand the connection between her and Hurley (which was much more prevalent in the first season). Of course, it's easy to write off Hurley's doting as simple physical attraction. And while I don't doubt that played a part, I think this episode showed that the two are kindred spirits. Claire feels responsible for the death of her mother, and Hurley feels responsible for the chaos and death that ensued after his lottery win. This is one of Lost's great strengths: It even offers insights into characters who don't appear during an episode. And in this way, it rewards devoted viewers (and doesn't exactly indulge the casual channel surfer).

In any case, it seems fitting that Claire, one of the more free-spirited characters, would seek salvation in a flock of birds (and, so help me: if anyone devises a halfway plausible theory that links the Lost master plan to A Flock of Seagulls, I will stop watching). Charlie was initially resistant to her plan, but only because he was worried Claire had a crush on Soothsayer Desmond. I confess that even after Desmond explained to Claire how Charlie would have died (he would have been crushed by waves against the rocks while trying to get the carrier seagull for Claire), I still don't quite know what to make of his visions. If they are not prophecies, are they simply versions of the future that would come to pass except for the interference of our castaways? If so, isn't the whole world, like, going to explode or implode or something?

Hold on, though. How badass were those electrified pylons? I expected Locke to push Mr. Eye Patch through the perimeter, but I surely wasn't expecting Patchy to foam at the mouth and then (as far as we know) die. Then Kate, without hesitation, volunteered to go first over the pylon. The woman has no fear! It's almost a compulsion. Plus, it provided a great excuse to film Ms. Lily from the rear. Such serendipity.

Another coincidence: Jack and Claire are half siblings. This was a long-expected development, but I still got goose bumps when Claire came upon the senior Dr. Shephard in the hospital. Do we buy his story, or is there a reason Jack's father might be lying about his paternal relationship to Claire? Finally, let's analyze Claire's promise to her mother: ''I'll see you soon, okay?'' How telling is that phrase? Could it have anything to do with the fact that Claire has always been depicted as a quasi-religious figure on the show? Or was she simply in despair and saying goodbye?

And speaking of which, Lost viewers, you'll have Doc Jensen to take you through the rest of the season of this TV Watch. I'd love to keep doing it, but they are a season behind in Europe (where I'm moving), and we already know how season 2 played out. To those of you who gave a kid a chance with this Lost Watch: It's been a distinct pleasure writing for ya. To those vitriol-spewing message-board writers: Well, let me just offer you a few points of discussion below.

Does this episode change what you think will happen to Charlie? What was the significance of Sawyer reading The Fountainhead (a tough question with roughly two million answers, sorry) in this episode? Do you think sending a message with the seagull was just a symbolic gesture, or will it have real consequences? Does anyone else really want another Sun-and-Jin-centric episode (I love them!)? And share your wildest (or perfectly sound) theories on how Locke got in that wheelchair before next Wednesday.

Wednesday, March 14

Lost 3.12 Preview

Episode 3.12: Par Avion (Claire-centric)
Airdate: March 14, 2007

Claire and Jack are siblings and we'll know it before they do.

"It goes back to when Claire is 17," [Emilie] de Ravin says. "There's a big jump from where her life is now to where it was then. I play a completely different character because her life is so dramatically different - a lot of very deep emotional issues there that she's still dealing with on the island." De Ravin sports a black wig for this flashback to Claire's dark teenage phase. "You meet her parents and see what she's been dealing with," de Ravin says. A flashback last season led viewers to believe that Claire's father and Jack's father might be one and the same. True? "You'll see," she says with a grin.

Charlie exhibits peculiar behavior when Claire has an idea that could get everyone rescued; tensions mount between Sayid and Locke as they continue their journey to rescue Jack.

Friday, March 9

Doc Jensen Theory

Good stuff here, folks:

You've seen ''Enter 77,'' the biggest download of Lost mythology in quite some time. Or was it?

You have theories — because the answers provided by ''Enter 77'' (The Dharma Initiative and the Others are completely separate entities! There was a war on The Island! There's a power source buried in the ocean! And there are submarines — somewhere...) suggested a plethora of possibilities. Or did they?

And you have questions — because of course, Lost can't solve a mystery without posing a couple more. You know, just like a mythic hydra — cut off a head, two take its place. (Wait — does that explain The Hydra Station?!) (Nah — that's actually just a Marvel Comics reference.) (Oh. Hey, why are we speaking in parentheticals, you big dork?) (I don't know. Because it's fun?) (No it's not. Can you just get on with it?) (Oh, okay....)

Listen: I want to hear your theories, all your questions, and yes, all your complaints about ''Enter 77.'' So email me directly at And next week, I'll post your Big Ideas — and maybe I'll have an answer or two. Until then, here are my Instant Reactions to ''Enter 77.''

1. Now, more than ever, I am convinced that my ''Tricia Tanaka Explains It All!'' theory from earlier this week really does explain it all — at least in broad, general strokes. In fact, I'm going to stake it in the ground like a flag, freaky and proud. Until further notice, ''Tricia Tanaka Explains It All!'' is Doc Jensen's official default explanation of Lost!

2. The Dharma Initiative is a new variation of an old idea: The Tower of Babel. Specifically, Dharma was an elaborate psychodrama in which unwitting participants were used as elements in a techno-magical neo-pagan ritual designed to save the world from death and destruction. In the coming weeks, I'll explain exactly what the hell I mean by that.

3. Dr. Marvin Candle is/was a character in that ritual/psychodrama.

4. ''The Hostiles'' to which the Candle referred to in the Flame Station secret orientation? NOT ''THE OTHERS.'' Rather, ''The Hostiles'' were fictional characters played by actors in the Dharma techno-magical neo-pagan ritual. Those hillbilly costumes that were found in the medical hatch? Props in the Dharma psychodrama blah blah blah that have been appropriated by the Others for their own use.

5. Who are the Others? They manage the legacy of this ''Garden of Eden''; you could call them The Order of the Flaming Sword. (My guess is that Smokey The Monster functions like one of the angels God appointed to watchdog this mystical place; see: Genesis 3:24.) Specifically, their job is to make sure that mankind once again doesn't overstep its bounds. Their work is multifaceted, from removing from the world scientific miracle-makers like Juliet, to making sure that time-travelers like Desmond fulfill their obligations to destiny. However, there is discord among the Others — a schism between those who believe that man should be kept ignorant of forbidden knowledge and those who believe that some or all of these secrets need to be shared. The issue at stake is free will. Is ambiguity part of the price man has to pay for breaking the law of God? Would proof of the supernatural violate the posture of faith demanded by God in the wake of The Fall? I believe the Others are at odds over the answers to those questions, and that conflict is about to explode anew into war — and the castaways are caught in the middle.

Then again, I could be completely wrong.


Several weeks ago, I told you that I had become convinced that the unfurled Dharma acronym — Department of Heuristics And Research on Material Applications — was actually an anagram that contained a clue to the mysteries of Lost. My theory was based on the fact that from those words, you could get both DESMOND HUME and PENELOPE — way too suspicious, in my book. Well, I was finally able to run this idea by executive producer Damon Lindelof recently, and as it turns out I'm wrong. At least, I'm wrong about the DESMOND HUME and PENELOPE part. ''Total coincidence,'' he reports. However, he didn't say that it WASN'T an anagram, either. Of course, I didn't ask him flat out ''Is it an anagram,'' because... well, Doc Jensen does like his delusions and seeing things in Lost that might not actually be there. And who's to say I'm not wrong for doing so? After can also get ''RORSCHACH TEST'' from Dharma's full name, too.

In which Doc Jensen opens up his MAILBAG and discovers that his readers are far smarter — and maybe a little stranger — than he could ever hope (or want) to be.


Last week, I sent all of you on a Web hunt for a ''revolutionary'' new piece of Lost mythology that was going to be contained in ''Enter 77,'' but which ABC had intentionally/inadvertently leaked to the masses. Some of you played detective, while some of you just couldn't be bothered — so much so, that reader ''dhyasyn1'' sent me this breathless demand: ''what easter eggs what revolutionary stuff are you talking about i would like some insight.''

The answer, as we all now know, is the real name of Patchy — Mikhail Bakunin, who joins a growing list of characters conspicuously named after famous philosophers. (Also see: John Locke, Desmond David Hume, and Rousseau.) Kudos to Chris Julian, who took my ''Enter 77'' challenge, and prior to the airing of the episode sent me a theory that remains very plausible:

''In the real world, Mikhail Bakunin is one of the fathers of modern anarchism. Patchy is on the island because he was one of the Others, but he began thinking like his namesake (Mikhail Bakunin). He tried to instill anarchy in the Others, causing a schism in their ranks. He was ostracized from the Others for his muckraking and exiled from the Others' home base. Rousseau was involved with Ben at the time, but having an affair with Patchy. Patchy is the actual father of Alex, not Ben. When Patchy is exiled, Rousseau leaves also. Rousseau grew tired of Patchy's anarchistic rantings and goes off to live by herself since the Others will not take her back.''

DOC JENSEN SAYS: In light of Rousseau's suspicious wariness to explore The Flame, I find Chris' contention that she shares a past connection — and child — with Bakunin very interesting. (More on that in a second.) Additionally, it seems the prevailing assumption is that Patchy was some kind of radical who broke ranks with the Others over... something. Chris seems to think it was a political disagreement. But I have another theory, one prompted by research that first came to my attention through a posting by ''My Two Cents'' at one of my fave Lost fansites, It seems that the real-life Bakunin was fixated with Prometheus, the Greek god who gave mankind the secret of fire. When I read this bit of info, the following theory clicked into place for me:

1. The Others are an ancient brotherhood who guard the secrets of The Island.

2. The Dharma Initiative came to The Island to exploit its energies in order to save the world. At another time, we'll explore how they intended to do this. But for now, let's say Dharma wanted to ''save the world'' by altering reality and forcing a form of ''enlightenment'' upon mankind. In other words, like Prometheus, they wanted to bring ''fire'' to the masses.

3. The Others were deeply divided over Dharma's plan. Most opposed it, as it undermined human free will. But some like Bakunin, believed Dharma was right in wanting to share the secrets of The Island to save the world.

4. The Others fought among themselves — civil war. In the end, Dharma was ''purged'' and Bakunin was defeated and imprisoned at The Flame.

5. However, there is currently a contingent of Others who are sympathetic to Bakunin and have been plotting a revolution.

6. By bringing Bakunin to Othersville — which is what Bakunin secretly wants — Sayid and company are playing right into the revolution's hands.

Reaction? Email me at!


An unlikely debate has broken out among Lost fans: Who's Alex's Daddy? We all seem pretty certain that Alex is the baby that was taken away from The French Lady by the Others; the season two episode ''Maternity Leave'' seemed to suggest as much, and the conclusion of ''Tricia Tanaka Is Dead'' seemed to confirm that. But throughout season three, we've been told that Alex is Ben's daughter. It never occurred to me that this could be a source of theory fodder; I just assumed that after Alex was abducted by the Others, she was raised by Ben, her adoptive father (although clearly, Alex has never been told this). However, it seems that many of you have become convinced that Ben and Rousseau at one point actually knocked boots — that Alex is Ben's biological daughter, too. If this is true, then it raises serious questions about the moment in season two when Rousseau notified the castaways that ''one of them'' got tangled in her nets. Could it be that Ben cut some kind of deal with Rousseau — turn me over to the castaways, but don't tell them who I am, and in exchange, I'll let you have Alex back and get you off The Island? Interesting possibilities...

Into this debate steps Josh Thompson, with a completely different perspective on the situation:

''I know you've done your David Hume research and are familiar with his attempts to free people from making assumptions based on casual relationships and coincidence. In that light: Are you sure that Alex is Rousseau's daughter? This has been a basic assumption...but this is based on three flimsy coincidences: 1. Name (a pretty common one); 2. Age (as reconciled with the estimations of a deranged recluse); 3. Proximity (the mother/daughter conclusion was drawn before we knew of multiple islands, and the Others' interaction with, and relocation of people from, the ''real world''). Moreover, the idea that Ben would abscond with the daughter of a woman who lived on the same island as his people, and STILL call her by the name her mother gave her, runs counterintuitive to their clandestine ways. They seem to know what they are doing, and given their surveillance and knowledge of the island they surely knew Rousseau was still alive — so why in the world wouldn't he rename a baby? It would bring an interesting twist to the Losties/Rousseau interaction if they were helping her get her daughter back only to learn it wasn't really her daughter...''

DOC JENSEN SAYS: Consider me engaged by the possibilities. Here's one: What if Rousseau is an ex-Dharma actor who never stopped playing her part in the world-saving psychodrama?


Finally, I bring you Phil Williams. A couple weeks ago, Phil sent me a series of emails outlining a very detailed, very provocative, very long theory. When I failed to mention his industrious scholarship, Phil got angry with me. ''well i look fourward 2 seeing what emails you privilege in this week's sham column,'' wrote Phil, who, as you can see, is one of those guys who likes using numerals 4 for prepositions and lower cases for Proper Nouns.

I shouldn't reward Phil's rudeness by giving him the attention he craves, but I'm doing so, anyway, because his harassment of yours truly suggested a new possibility for why viewers may be souring on Lost: the show makes people feel stupid for not ''getting it.'' And when people are made to feel stupid, they get huffy, just like my friend Phil here. Charging the producers with being smartypants uppity — or in his words, an attitude of ''we are so smart that nobody can stop us, and if they try, we will ignore'' them — Phil then threatens to drop a theory bomb on me that will ''deconstruct the whole pseudo-structure of this show.'' Referring to the mythological codename of The Numbers, Phil concluded his love letter by saying: ''Hope you enjoy these last fleeting moments of intellectual superiority, cause it, like the valenzetti equation, are about 2 be solved, busta...''

After much deliberation, I have decided that perhaps the best way to respond to Phil is to share with you his theory bomb — you know, the one that can ''deconstruct'' the blah blah blah of the show. So I asked Phil to find a way to distill his scholarship down to an easily digestible 200 words. He nearly met the challenge, turning in 219 words and suggesting that I could ''cut the swear words'' if I needed to. But in order to get the full effect of Phil's bombshell, I think you need to hear his voice in its entirety, complete with its unexplained references to the fan culture truncation of Ben/Fake Henry Gale (''Fenry''), electromagnetic pulses, comic-book characters (Dr. Manhattan), and ancient Greek myths. So here's Phil's theory, word for word, as he sent it to me. People: prepare to be mindblown.

''Then a strange plane crashes in a seemingly random, strange island; then fenry needs a spinal surgeon and one miraculously survived; but fenry and his band of merry men can't go 2 the part of the island where the spinal surgeon is located because of a certain incident and a rogue security system; soon however, the security system seems 2 get distracted by the strange, new survivors and seems 2 hibernate 4 a bit, thus allowing fenry 2 infiltrate the camp and try 2 manipulate a very wary doctor that he needs his help; meanwhile mr. hume has gone off in search of penny once and 4 all but he keeps going in circles; finally he comes home 2 the hatch and realizes he would blow it all up 4 penny; this unfortunately fused his mind with some serious emp s--- and he became the new television approved dr. manhattan; now, lil desie seems unstuck in time and keeps going back 2 the past where the architect/oracle is clearly trying 2 get him 2 stop worrying about his damn pride so much and just go f---ing be with pen; but Odysseus is not home yet, there are still Circes 2 entertain so the show must go on; until desmond hume and Penelope widmore reunite and save the world, dharma style.''

To quote a greater man than me: 'Nuff said.

Doc Jensen

Hello? Anyone Home?

Am I the only person who posts here anymore? Hello????

Idol Recap

Bye bye Jared, Sundance, Sabrina (what????) and FINALLY Antonella.

Rehab Roundup

No surprise here.... Eddie VanHalen is off to rehab. Somewhat explains why the on-again/off-again tour is now off-again.

Thursday, March 8

Why Oh Why, Do You Use A PC?

Here's 42 Reasons Normal People Can Switch To Macs

Lost 3.10 Recap

Courtesy of EW:

Last week, we saw Hurley come to terms with his curse; this week, Sayid faced his past as a specialist in ''interrogation'' for the Iraqi army. Lost didn't completely abandon the fun and games this time, but that wasn't a bad thing. This episode answered some lingering questions without the melodrama that plagued the show earlier this season. Plus, Kate totally punched Ms. Klugh in the face!

But first, let's talk contrast. Hurley and Sawyer were playing ping-pong on the beach, and Kate, Locke, Sayid and Rousseau were getting shot at in the jungle. And that's not all. In no time, the guy returning fire — Mikhail, the eye-patch-wearing gentleman who had made a brief appearance on a Dharma video monitor — was serving iced tea and claiming to be the last surviving member of the Dharma Initiative. He certainly had all the props — a Dharma jumpsuit, Dharma crackers, a chic Tribeca-lookin' pad (love those exposed ceiling beams, Mikhail!) — but Sayid wasn't buying it for a second. The rational antidote to Locke's faith-based speculation, Sayid is always adept at smoking out a liar.

Backing up to the beach for a minute: Word has it that Nikki and Paulo are going to become essential characters on Lost, but that clearly hasn't happened so far. In the last episode, they had one line apiece. Paulo: ''Are we out of Dharma oat bars already?'' Nikki: ''Did you check behind the powdered milk?'' (Part of me likes to imagine the actors getting their scripts that day.) Sawyer (as usual) said it best when he snapped at Nikki, ''Who the hell are you?''

The beach subplot was wrapped up pretty neatly: Sawyer got his Playboys back, and Hurley finally won something other than the cursed lottery. But I ask you, Lost watchers, how will we survive the next episode if Sawyer isn't allowed to use any nicknames? That means no calling anybody JumboTron, Zorro, or Captain Bunny Killer. But perhaps Sun won't be too strict in enforcing her rule — after all, she already gave up on speaking only English with Jin in this episode. Not that a ping-pong tournament doesn't merit an exception.

I was glad to get a little Sayid backstory that didn't include any scenes of torture, since I'm getting enough of that on 24 these days. Sayid, who was working as a chef in Paris, confessed to torturing a woman, although the scene left the possibility that he was lying to (a) escape being murdered by the woman's husband or (b) assuage his guilt for the other atrocious acts he had committed. (He was reminded of all this because Mikhail's cat was named Nadia, and Nadia was an Iraqi woman whom Sayid had helped escape execution.) So many other shows would end with Sayid pondering these very things while an alt-rock ballad builds in the background, but on Lost, stuff blows up. And that's why we love it.

Locke — who should perhaps be kept away from computers for the foreseeable future — typed in 77, and the entire Flame Station burst into...flames. Of course, my first thought was that 77 had to be the sum of some of Hurley's numbers. I'm bad at math, so I Googled it: 4 + 8 + 23 + 42 = 77. What does it all mean, Lost Watchers? Although I have no complaints about this episode — it was funny and frightening and had several unexpected twists — the ping-pong scenes on the beach made me pine just a bit for (I know, I'm not supposed to say it) season-1 Lost. The series' mythology is fun (in an endlessly complex kind of way), but does anyone else sort of miss the beginning, when the show was less like The X-Files and more like a contemporary riff on Lord of the Flies? Anyone?

A few more questions till next time: Why did Ms. Klugh tell Mikhail to shoot her — and is she really dead? Even though Mikhail is one of the Others, do you agree there might be some truth to what he told Sayid about the Others? Could they be former Dharma test subjects who revolted? And, finally, are you at all interested in seeing Nikki and Paulo fleshed out as characters?

Tuesday, March 6

Libby Found Guilty

Nancy Pelosi released the following statement:

“Today's guilty verdicts are not solely about the acts of one individual.

“This trial provided a troubling picture of the inner workings of the Bush Administration. The testimony unmistakably revealed – at the highest levels of the Bush Administration – a callous disregard in handling sensitive national security information and a disposition to smear critics of the war in Iraq.”

Monday, March 5

Amazing Race Recap

Courtesy of EW: Read it Here

I am loving this season so far. Is anyone else watching?

Lost Nuggets

Courtesy of PopCandy:

1. I love the Three Dog Night song that was playing during the VW ride, but I couldn't remember the name. So, I researched it on the Internet, and it's called Shambala. I then read the lyrics, and it was a perfect song for Hurley and his struggles.

Then, I realized I had no idea what or where Shambala is. So I did a little more research, and according to (and pay special attention to the capitalized word)...

Internally, Shambhala is the DHARMA chakra, located in the heart of all beings. It is the symbol for mind, completing the trinity of body, speech, and mind. Holy crap!!! This website mentioned Dharma!!!! Plus, with the lyrics and how this relates to Hurley, is this a coincidence? I don't think so. These writers are GENIUS!!!!!!!

2. The rabbit’s foot was one of two apparent references to the titles of earlier episodes. Episode 1.5 was “White Rabbit.” Episode 1.3, “Tabula Rasa,” was alluded to when Kate told Sawyer that they could start over with a “blank slate.”

The dart that Sawyer stepped on was most likely from the dartboard from down in the hatch. Of course, Sawyer and Kate don’t know yet that the hatch is no more, so they have no idea what a random singed dart is doing in the middle of the jungle.

Note that Niki is wearing a red shirt in this episode, suggesting she’s not long for this world. Another random unknown brunette was also wearing a redshirt during the reunion sequence.

Randy Nations, Hurley’s former manager and the manager-to-be of the ill-fated Mr. Cluck’s Chicken Shack, is the same Randy that was Locke’s manager in Locke’s first episode (1.4 “Walkabout”). Hurley purchased the packaging company where Locke worked, and most likely had Randy put in a management position because he felt responsible for him. Also, Hurley mentioned Mr. Clucks getting hit by a meteorite in an earlier episode, so that wasn’t knew. It was still funny, though.

Inside the bus, there was a lot of trash and the blueprints for a dirt switchback road. That will likely become important in a future episode.

I've posted more here:

3. It wasn't an Apollo Bar young Hurley was eating, it was a Polar Bar. An obvious reference to the bears...

Flashback 1984

I only post this because it caught my eye. And you ask.... why exactly did it catch my eye? Cuz I was a senior in high school. God I am old.

Billboard's Top 10 for the week ending March 3, 1984

10. ''I Want A New Drug,'' Huey Lewis and the News

9. ''Let the Music Play,'' Shannon

8. ''Wrapped Around Your Finger,'' The Police

7. ''Somebody's Watching Me,'' Rockwell

6. ''Karma Chameleon,'' Culture Club

5. ''Nobody Told Me,'' John Lennon

4. ''Thriller,'' Michael Jackson

3. ''Girls Just Want To Have Fun,'' Cyndi Lauper

2. ''99 Luftballons,'' Nena

1. ''Jump,'' Van Halen

Friday, March 2

What's New In The Apple World?

Click here to create your own rumors. How cool is that?

Prepare For The Onslaught

Anna Nicole will be buried today. Prepare for non-stop coverage. This shit has got to stop!

Nevermind a high school in Alabama just got wiped out by a tornado. Nevermind there's a war raging in Iraq. Nevermind a bus carrying a baseball team just fell off an overpass and killed and injured many players.


Alaina Alexander, Leslie Hunt, Nicholas Pedro, and A.J. Tabaldo... nice (not) knowin' ya.....