21 thoughts on “Lost

  1. Dennis Lang says:

    Wow! We could spend a semester on that one. I didn’t see the series but your summation is surely thought-provoking and touches us in the world in which we’re living.This is unofficial but if I remember it right I think it was Karl Barth on the “Authentic Relationship”: It acknowledges the other; We speak to and hear one another; We render mutual assistance to one another; and we do it gladly.

    Sappy? Sure in an age when the pursuit of self-interest more often diminishes–and is at the expense of– rather than enhances the other. Thanks.

  2. Joe Loveland says:

    Jack’s dead dad: “…this is a place that you all made together so that you could find one another. The most important part of your life was the time that you spent with these people. That’s why all of them are here. Nobody does it alone, Jack. You needed all of them and they all needed you.”

    Jack: “For what?”

    Dad: “To remember, and to let go.”

    Jack: “Kate, she said we were leaving.”

    Dad: “Not leaving, no. Moving on.”

  3. Mike Kennedy says:

    OK, Debbie Downer. Point one. Economic downturns are a fact of life. They happen. They hurt. They pass. Unwinnable war on terrorism? Come on. We live in virtually a terror free society and there is no possible way in 10 lifetimes these lunatics could defeat us. It’s why they fight it like they do.

    Intractable racism and intolerance? Really? Well, looking back through history, I think race relations are pretty damn good, actually.

    We have an environmental tragedy. Yes. It will be solved. No? I heard the same thing during the Exxon fiasco.

    It’s life. Shit happens. Things have always improved. What do you want? To go back to the good old days of segregation, Japanese internment camps, school kids practicing nuclear attacks and hiding under desks? Trade borders and barriers and tariffs? Expensive energy, less production and efficiency?

    Yeah, bring on the old days. They were so flippin good.

    1. Joe Loveland says:

      Granted, if someone is employed, white, on the richest, free-est spot on the planet, a global warming denier, and their concerns stop at their doorstep or border, things on Earth are swell.

      It aint easy being a wacko liberal.

      1. PM says:

        Actually, the greatest improvements in living standards in the past 50 years have been among the poorest–India and China in particular have made dramatic leaps in our lifetimes (remember what your parents told you about cleaning your plate–the starving children in India, etc.?)

        I’m sorry, joe, but i think that comment of yours was unfair and untrue. As a wacko liberal, you should not stoop to inaccurate ad hominem attacks–that is more typical of the right, but clearly a tactic for those who can not argue a point on the facts.

      2. Joe Loveland says:

        I think you misunderstood the point I was trying to make. All I’m saying is that as an upper income white guy with a job in America, my life is great. No complaints there. People who know me will tell you that I don’t complain about my lot in life, and am happy about my situation. How could I not be?

        It’s only when I start looking more broadly that I get bummed and feel a sense of urgency and responsibility to change things. Mike is telling me to stop worrying, and I’m telling him why I worry. If I believed that global warming were a farce, racism was mostly gone, and everyone had a fair shot at getting what I have, I wouldn’t worry either. The differences in our respective viewpoints on those issues explains the difference in our state of contentment. I don’t think making that point constitutes a cheap shot. It certainly wasn’t intended to be.

    2. Dennis Lang says:

      Sure, but for some reason instances of depression are approaching endemic proportions worldwide–and that can’t merely be attributable to a more liberal diagnosis or the effectiveness of the drug companies in marketing SSRI meds. Something may be spiritually amiss and a function of the times, stressors and our abilty to cope. Sadly, not everyone is equipped with the DNA to blow it off: “Hey, shit happens” deal with it.

  4. I can’t read this post or any of the comments following it. My wife and I are about two-thirds of the way through season 5, and I detest anything that even resembles a potential spoiler. I don’t even like the end of the show when they say “Next week, on Lost…” Hate it.

  5. Newt says:

    Musings by Ben Steyn …

    The green jobs, the gay parades, the jihadist welfare queens, the Greek public sector unions, all have to be paid for by a shrinking base of contributing workers whose children and grandchildren will lead poorer and meaner lives because of the fecklessness of government. The social compact of the postwar era cannot hold. Across the developed world, a beleaguered middle class is beginning to understand that it’s no longer that rich. At some point, it will look at the sheer waste of government spending, the other shoe will drop, and it will decide that it no longer wishes to be that stupid.

  6. We could dismiss this liberal angst as hand-wringing, but I believe it’s really confronting the moral issue of our time. Not “what did you do in the war, daddy?”, but “What did you do while people were killing the earth and what did you do about all those people living on next to nothing, dying in their sleep?”

    Confronting this moral issue doesn’t make us good or bad, it just means at least we’re not so oblivious to our good fortune that we think everyone shares it.

    Dunno what to do, Joe, but I know pictures of pelicans holding out oil-soaked ruined wings make me cry in despair. And reading that others share that question about courage, and reading people like Dennis saying we should lean on one another, makes me feel less lost. thx

  7. PM says:

    Listen, joe, i think that you are missing Mike K’s point–which (please feel free to correct me, Mike) is that things are getting better, and have been getting better. now, you certainly can believe that they are not good enough, not fair enough, etc. (generally i would agree), but I think that it is foolish to deny the real progress that has been made and is being made all of the time. It is 2 steps forward, one step backwards–but that is a lot better than 1 step forward and 2 steps backward.

    All over the world people are wealthier, healthier, living longer, etc. There are very few exceptions to this (Zimbabwe, North Korea, parts of Africa most affected by the HIV/AIDs epidemic). Their lives are generally better than they were a generation ago.

    That is certainly no reason to stop trying to make things better, nor is it tantamount to saying that it isn’t enough. There are plenty of inequities in the world, and lots of them in our back yard. But the fact that there is yet more to do is not a cause for despair. And taking pride in the very real progress we have made is not the same as saying that we can rest on our laurels.

    But give yourselves a break from time to time, and reflect in the glory that is the world, and that is also a part of the march of human progress. We have made great strides in many areas, and to attempt to deny this, to dwell always on the negative, is to take the road to despair.

    Enough preaching–i am going to enjoy what promises to be a fabulous weekend–and i hope that you do, too!

    1. Dennis Lang says:

      “Wealthier, healthier, stronger….” The issue underlying this abstraction and I presume the gist of the eloquent dialogue segment recited from “Lost” is that more and more of us are becoming estranged from this evident progress, finding it increasingly difficult to find our place, strangers on the outside looking in. Throughout 2009 in the monthly Gallop-Healthways surveys people reported less sense of self-efficacy and well-being, at the mercy of forces beyond their control (predominantly the economy of course touching everyone), less hopeful about the future–unmoored, lost. Enjoy the moment everyone!

    2. Mike Kennedy says:

      PM:

      You made my point in a far more eloquent, informed way than I could have. I couldn’t agree more. We have problems facing us. We have to address them. But we all need to more fully appreciate what we have, no matter how much or how little it is, even as we try to improve our own lives and those of others.

      We live in the most amazing time — a time full of more progress and potential than at any time in history.

      As Gilbert Chesterton said “The world will never starve for want of wonders but for want of wonder.”

    3. Joe Loveland says:

      Where you stand on an issue depends on where you sit. Sitting in my backyard this weekend, everything was grand. But unfortunately, a melting polar icecap, oily marshland, foreclosed property, failing ghetto school, or authoritarian hellscape supplies a different view.

      Just because you worry about things next door or on the horizon doesn’t mean a) you are in denial or ignorant of the existence of good news and goodness or b) are a Debbie Downer sucking your thumb in the fetal position. It’s possible for someone to express concern about the state of the world without being psychotic or an ignoramus. Just because I happen to be both doesn’t mean it’s impossible. 🙂

      1. Mike Kennedy says:

        Life will never be perfect for anyone, anywhere. That’s my point. Life is imperfect. But it has continued to get better all the time, by almost any measure.

        Accidents will happen. People will commit crimes. Countries will start wars. I’m not saying don’t worry about anything.

        But read the “Rational Optimist.” Collectively, we have been, are and will be up to any of the daunting task in front of us — no doubt.

        Check out a short YouTube video of the author of the book.

  8. Mike Kennedy says:

    Since it is a long weekend, I have been relaxing by reading a wonderful book by Matt Ridley, whose book “Genome” I read a few years back. The new one is “The Rational Optimist — How Prosperity Evolves.”

    Ridley chronicles how a “rare predatory ape” burst out of Africa 45,000 years ago to dominate the planet with rapidly expanding technologies even though man had been around for hundreds of thousands of years, boasting things like tool-making skills, large brains, mastery of fire and capacity for language.

    The key was not how man was built but how individuals interact — the collective enterprise that requires exchange. His point is that with global trade and the internet as important cornerstones, man’s phenomenal increase in standard of living may just be getting started.

    He quotes Thomas Babington Macaulay: “On what principle is it, that when we see nothing but improvement behind us, we are to expect nothing but deterioration ahead of us?”

    It intermixes history, philosophy, economics and biology. It’s a wonderful book so full of great information I may have to go back and read it again.

    1. PM says:

      There was an excerpt in the WSJ, as well as an interesting review in the Economist–it sounded fascinating.

    2. Ellen Mrja says:

      Mike: I’m curious as to why Ridley says American women are just about the only group on the planet who are not happy?

      Does it have to do with the fact that since joining the professions, women have had to take on another extra life on top of the life they already had going?

      Years ago one of my sisters said, and I’ve come to understand her point, that after working for 15 or 20 years both outside of the home as well as inside the home as a wife, mom and daughter, being June Cleaver would be kind of nice. You’d put on that dress and those pearls in the morning, make breakfast for Ward, Wally and the Beav and then scoot them out the door. You’d have the place to yourself until 3 when you’d get up off the couch, change your dress, touch up your hair and makeup and make sure you’re puttering at the kitchen sink when the boys show up. Answer any conflict with the phrase: “We’ll talk about it when your father gets home. Now go upstairs and do your homework.” Fry 4 porkchops, boil 4 potatoes, open one can of corn before 6 p.m. After dinner, you do have to do dishes because, well, you know why. But sometimes Ward or the boys help you. After that, you’re off-duty.

      Those were the good ol’ days, right?

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