Viral Irony

Lake Superior State University released its 2011 list of words that should be “Be Banished from the Queen's English for Mis-use, Over-use and General Uselessness.”

The word that received the most nominations? Viral.

Ironically, the university’s banished word web page has a link to share it on Facebook and Twitter.

Scooby-Doo: Bridging the Generation Gap

Back when I was five or so my favorite cartoon was Scooby-Doo. I remember watching the episodes over and over again on the black-and-white television in my dad’s art studio while he worked on his art projects. My brother liked the cartoon too. One Halloween my mom made me a Scooby-Doo outfit and my brother a Scrappy-Doo outfit. (The photo she took of us in those costumes is still one of my favorite childhood photos.)

Fast forward 30 years. I have four kids. The oldest three (ages 6, 5, and 4) are the same age I was back in the late 1970s/early 1980s when I liked Scooby-Doo. What’s their favorite thing to watch on TV or stream from Netflix? Episodes of Scooby-Doo.

The other night, too tired to write, I sat down and watch an episode with them. I was a little surprised that the writers are still using the same formulaic. Yes, the show’s been updated. The characters use cell phones and computers, but they still dress the same and drive The Mystery Machine. The bad guy always dress up in monster costumes, Scooby and Shaggy are still cowards, eat like pigs, and manage to stay thin, and the villain always says that he/she “would have gotten away with it if it wasn’t for you meddling kids” at the end of every episode.

But why mess with something that’s not broken? I liked it 30 years ago and my kids like it now. (My oldest has a Mystery Machine lunch box he takes to school every day.) In fact the new episodes are just as fun as the ones I remember watching as a kid. If anything, it’s nice to have something like Scooby-Doo that stretches across generations. I know who Fred, Daphne, Velma, Shaggy, and Scooby are, I’m happy to get my kids “Scooby snacks” from the treat cupboard, or laugh with them at the silly slapstick humor in every episode.

Kudos to those who have been able to keep the show alive in various incarnations over the years. May it still be around when I have grandkids that are old enough to enjoy it too.

Annoying Christmas Songs

According to the Associated Press, Bulgarians find Wham's Last Christmas to be the most annoying Christmas song--ever.

An advertising agency says nearly 19 percent of the 28,110 votes cast in an online poll named the song. It was recorded in 1984 by the British duo Wham, made up of George Michael and Andrew Ridgeley.

Mariah Carey's All I Want For Christmas placed second among the ten featured songs, with more than 15 percent of the vote.

Considering how much annoying US/UK music they played when I was over there, I must admit I'm impressed with the poll. Admittedly I'm a grinch when it comes to Christmas songs; there are very few that I acutally enjoy. However, the two mentioned above would probably make my top 10 list along with Merry Christmas With Love  by Clay Aiken, Christmas Conga by Cyndi Lauper, Wonderful Christmas Time by Paul McCartney, and Please, Daddy (Don’t Get Drunk This Christmas) by John Denver.

Watch the holiday horror show below--if you dare. :-)

(Hat Tip: C. R.)

 

Songs That Make Me Feel Old

I just found out Adam Sandler's origional Chanukah song was originally performed back in 1994. I knew the first performance was from the 1990's but for some reason I thought it was from the latter half of the decade. Knowing that the song was performed 16 years ago makes me feel old but not as old as I'll feel when I'll hear the song 10 years from now and my kids will ask me who David Lee Roth, Arthur Fonzarelli, O.J. Simpson, and Rod Carew are.

Life Imitates My Unwritten Novel

I’ve always got a dozen or so different stories bouncing around in my head. While only one or two are mature enough to work on, the rest are percolating until the story finally forms. One of the stories I’ve been thinking about involves a group of thieves who break into homes after targeting people who post too much information on social networking sites. This weekend I came across a news story out of New Hampshire:

Police in Nashua, New Hampshire say they've busted a burglary ring in which the suspects targeted

Facebook users.

Police say they recovered more than $100,000 worth of property, allegedly stolen by three men.

In all there were more than 50 break-ins. Police say the thieves targeted people who posted their locations on their Facebook profiles. They started striking when the users weren't home.

Was I discouraged after reading this? Not at all. It’s telling me I’m on the right track. Now if I could only come up with a beginning and an end to the story, then I could start writing it.

The World’s Worst Book Covers

Shatner Quake: A Horrible Book Cover

While looking for a book cover for my post on self publishing, I stumbled across a blog run by a former librarian dedicated to “truly hideous” book covers. Then again, the subject matter of some of these books derserve awful covers. (William Shatner? Shattner Quake? What the...?)

Unless you’re self publishing, the cover is one of the few things out of the writer’s control of the final product. Bad covers can make a good book unappealing. That’s why any publisher will contract with or employ talented graphic designers to make their books pop off the shelves. Whoever did the covers on these blogs should be fired.

Just a few bad book covers you can find at that blog are the following.

Awful book cover

Bad book cover

Crappy book cover

You can see more bad covers here. Happy looking (or not).

The Third Chapter 1

The Third
One

The tram's doors hissed open, flooding the platform with the heat and stench of a hundred human bodies packed tightly together.

Standing on the platform, Ransom Lawe put a hand over his nose and mouth as the air washed over him. He took a step back, waiting for the passengers to exit. Only a gray-haired man wearing a patched, navy blue suit pushed his way toward the exit and off the tram. He held a worn leather briefcase above his head. Once the man's feet touched the platform, the waiting crowd shoved its way up the stairs and onto the tram.

Ransom took a deep breath and surged forward with the others. Once on board, he used his mass to push toward the missing window opposite the door. Most of the tram's windows were rusted shut from years of neglect, and though closed windows were nice in the winter, at this time of year they turned the trams into cauldrons of heat. The second car on the tram Ransom caught to the Recycling Center each morning had a back window that had been broken for years, allowing the hot, dusty air to flow through the cabin and provide some relief.

Ransom reached the window just as the bell above the door gave out a sharp ring and the door snapped shut. Setting his metal lunch bucket on the floor, he grabbed a handrail, and the tram surged forward.

A hot breeze began drying the sweat from his face, and he took a deep breath of the dusty air, happy to have a momentary reprieve from the stench-filled car. Glancing around at the other passengers, he was bored to discover that most looked familiar. There was the man with the pock-marked face who wore the same bowtie every day and always got off on the 23rd Street stop. The woman with short hair and coffee-colored skin who always had her nose in a worn paperback. And the three employees wearing blue power company uniforms who stood in a tight circle at the back of the car, talking. They were people he saw every day on his commute to work, but he knew none of their names—strangers brought together by the thirty-minute ride into the heart of the city where it seemed almost everyone worked. No one made eye contact. Instead, they stared out the dirty windows or looked down at the floor in silence.

The lucky ones sat on blue plastic benches that ringed the inside of the tram. Ransom looked down at the two women who sat in front of him. They wore identical work uniforms—black slacks and white blouses with the word Census Bureau embroidered across their left pockets in black lettering. Ransom recognized the narrow-faced older woman, her blouse yellowed around the collar from sweat and age, but he hadn't seen the other woman before. She seemed like a duplicate of her companion, only without the crow's feet and the permanently etched worry lines across her forehead. The younger woman's blouse was clean and pressed. Ransom figured she must be the older woman's daughter, and also a recent Census Bureau hire. There was no other way to account for the snow-white blouse.

The tram arrived at the next stop, where the platform was packed. As the doors opened, a dozen people headed toward the exit and off the tram. Then the new passengers pushed forward. It was obvious there wasn't going to be enough room for everyone.

For the better part of a minute, people tried to force their way onto the tram. Ransom could feel the crowd press against him. He held tight to the handrail, determined not to lose his spot by the window.

The bell rang. The doors tried unsuccessfully to close. Over the crowd, Ransom could see three people holding the car's rear doors open as they fought for room. The bell rang a second time, and the tram began moving forward. Two of those trying to board let go as the tram picked up speed. The third man held on to the railing, probably hoping to make it to the next stop. But a hand from the woman directly in front of him shot out and caught him on the shoulder. The push caught him off guard, and he tumbled onto the platform as the doors banged shut.

Ransom peered out the back window as the tram sped down the tracks. The man who had been pushed off leaned up on his elbows and thrust his middle finger at the departing car. Two dozen disappointed passengers still remained on the platform behind him. Half of them watched the tram speed away while the rest looked in the opposite direction, most likely hoping to catch sight of the next one.

A baby's loud, piercing cry surprised Ransom. Looking toward the front of the car, he tried to catch a glimpse. At six foot five inches, he was taller than most of the passengers, but still couldn't manage to see the baby or mother. He did, however, notice that several riders near the front seemed to be looking toward the left corner of the tram. The woman and her child must have boarded early enough to land a seat.

The tram pulled up to the next platform and stopped. Between each wail, Ransom could just make out the frantic hushes of the mother trying to quiet the child. It didn't help. The baby's cry became louder and more acute. Ransom felt bad for the mother. With the heat and smell of the car, he couldn't blame the baby, though he did wonder what the woman was thinking, bringing a child onto a packed morning tram.

"I wish it was illegal to bring kids on these things," a female voice said.

Ransom looked down at the bench in front of him, thinking that one of the two women was talking to him.

"Why'd she even bring it?" the younger woman asked, looking at the older one. "Doesn't her building have a care center?"

"From the way it's crying, it sounds like it wants attention. Maybe it's a third and she doesn't have enough time to care for it properly," the older woman guessed, her voice full of contempt.

Ransom felt a flash of anger at the woman's comment, but didn't say anything. Instead, he bit his lower lip and stared out the window. He preferred not to hear more of their conversation, but they were sitting too close, and he couldn't just move to another part of the tram.

The doors swung shut again, and the train lurched forward. The baby continued to howl. Ransom did his best to put the women and the baby out of his mind. He leaned forward into the dry air.

The tram came to a sudden stop. The tightly packed passengers stumbled in one mass toward the front of the car. Ransom gripped the handrail tightly to avoid being thrown. As he looked around, he noticed that everyone seemed to be okay. He leaned his head out the window to see what was going on, his knees bumping those of the older woman as he did so.

"Hey, watch it!" she barked.

Ransom ignored her. Fifty yards ahead was the 16th Street station. A crowd of people stood on the platform, staring at the stopped tram. He turned and looked down the tracks. A tram heading the opposite direction was stopped about twenty yards down the line. That could mean only one thing: a power failure.

He pulled his head back inside and checked the time. It was quarter to eight. He still had fifteen minutes to get to work. If he started walking now, he might make it on time.

The infant's cry, which had come to an abrupt end when the tram stopped, started up again.

"Open the doors!" a man shouted somewhere near the front of the car. His voice was loud and momentarily drowned out the baby's wails.

"Be patient. The power will be back on in a minute," suggested a female voice from somewhere in the middle of the tram.

"Shut up!" the man retorted. "Some of us have places to go."

Two men who were pressed up against the middle doors turned and tried to pry them open.

Things were quiet for a beat. Then the baby let out another scream. Ransom looked at the men struggling with the doors, hoping they'd open them soon. A bit of fresh air and more space was what everyone needed.

"I don't care if it's sick," the man blustered. "I have a right to ride to work without your little parasite screaming in my ear."

There was another pause, then something that sounded like the mother trying to hush her child. The baby continued to cry.

"If you won't shut it up, then I will!"

There was the sound of scuffling, followed by the cry of, "Give me back my baby!"

Ransom looked to the front. A large, muscular arm held the infant high in the air by one of her legs. The baby looked about two months old. She had dark eyes, olive skin, and a large mat of brown hair that hung in loose strands toward the ground. She wore pink shorts. The bottom of her white T-shirt hung down to her neck, exposing her soft belly. He couldn't see the face of the person holding her, but the man's cruelty was obvious.

The baby quieted for a moment, seemingly surprised to find herself upside down. Then her face turned crimson and another cry burst forth.

A more delicate arm reached up and tried to grab the child, but it was quickly swatted away.

The man with the deep voice chuckled. "A breeder like you needs to be taught some parenting skills, like how to rock it to sleep."

The man swung the little girl back and forth by her leg. Ransom cringed as the baby's head just missed the car's front wall.

"Give her back now!" the mother screamed.

"I'm just rocking it to sleep," the man said. "As soon as it shuts up, you can have it."

"If you don't give her back now, I'll kill you!" the woman screamed.

Ransom felt a bead of sweat run down his back. He glanced over at the men who had been trying to open the door. They'd stopped working and were staring toward the front of the car. Just about everyone was trying to get a glimpse of the commotion, but no one made a move to step in.

Helping out was simply asking for trouble, of course. Better to mind your own business and go on with your life. Ransom looked down at the lunch bucket between his feet.

"Don't threaten me, breeder," the man snarled, "or I'll bash its head!"

The man swung the baby far enough that her head lightly struck the wall. It was so quiet on the tram that the small thud echoed through the car. The baby's face puckered up, and she let out a piercing cry.

The woman screamed. Once again, her arms reached for the child.

The man raised his free hand and brought it down on the woman. There was the sickening sound of flesh meeting flesh. "Try that again, and I'll spill its brains all over the floor!" The man's voice rumbled through the car like thunder.

Ransom found himself pushing through the crowd. He ignored the cries and cursing from the other passengers as he shoved them to the side. In seconds he stood across from the man, the baby, and the woman.

For the first time, he got a good look at the mother. She was probably five-and-a-half feet tall, with an olive complexion like her daughter. Her black hair was pulled back into a ponytail, and she wore a tiny gold cross just above her small breasts. Her right eye was swollen and puffy, and blood ran from her nose onto a navy blue T-shirt. Her fists were clenched, and her eyes filled with anger.

The man holding the baby had small, deep-set green eyes. His shaved head glistened with sweat, and the muscles in his arms and neck pulled at the sleeves and collar of his black shirt. He looked to be Ransom's size, even though Ransom had a good five inches of height on him. He wore black boots and black pants. Around his waist was a belt containing handcuffs, mace, and a nightstick. A silver shield with the Census Bureau logo imprinted on it was pinned to his front pocket.

Ransom paused. Census Bureau Sentinels only had jurisdiction when it came to population crimes. Their main job was to round up women who were concealing an illegal pregnancy, or children for whom their parents didn't have a replacement credit. As a result, they had earned the nickname snatchers. They had the reputation of having little respect for the law when it suited their purposes, so their jurisdiction usually didn't stop them. They were commonly known for their strength, fierceness, and cruelty. They inspired enough fear that even the police rarely bothered to investigate complaints against them. When it came to sentinels, the unspoken rule was to leave them alone and hope they'd do you the same courtesy.

The baby's continued screams drew Ransom's attention back to the child. Her face was bright red. Two steady streams of tears ran from her eyes and down her forehead to the floor.

She was just out of reach.

Another two feet forward and to his right, Ransom could at least make a grab for the child. He took a half step toward her when the deep voice of the snatcher reverberated through the car.

"Move any closer and I'll drop the baby on its head."

Ransom stopped and faced the sentinel. He stared at Ransom through his tiny green eyes. "Back up," the man barked. "This matter doesn't concern you."

"Give the baby back." Ransom did his best to keep his voice flat and steady.

The sentinel's eyes betrayed a faint element of surprise. He likely wasn't used to someone talking back to him. "If you know what's good for you, you'll mind your own business," he said, looking back at the baby as though the conversation was over.

"Give the baby back to her mother," Ransom demanded, his voice rising.

Now Ransom had the sentinel's full attention. His eyes went from Ransom's face to the Recycling Center logo on Ransom's breast pocket.

"Are you kidding me? You're a just a recycler. Why don't you go pick up some trash?"

Ransom ignored the taunt. "I'm not going to ask you again."

He took a step toward the sentinel so there was less than three feet between them. Out of the corner of his eye, Ransom saw the mother move closer. The sentinel saw it, too. His eyes darted from the mother to Ransom, then back to the mother. He seemed to realize that he couldn't stop both Ransom and the baby's mother from grabbing the child.

Without warning, the sentinel pushed the mother, dropped the baby, and lunged at Ransom. The woman's head made a dull thud as it smacked against the window. Ransom ducked under the sentinel's arm and managed to catch the infant just before her head hit the floor.

The mother sat up and rubbed the back of her head. She looked at Ransom, then rose to her feet and grabbed the baby from his arms. She retreated to the corner of the tram, where she held the child close to her breast.

The baby stopped crying.

Ransom stood and turned to face the sentinel, who had fallen into the crowd and lay atop three passengers. Everyone else was backing up, trying to get out of the way.

The sentinel rose to his hands and knees and shook his head. He grabbed a handrail and pulled himself to his feet, turning to face Ransom. Then he caught Ransom unprepared, his swing connecting with the side of Ransom's jaw, despite his failed attempt at ducking.

Ransom felt his mouth fill with the coppery taste of blood. His legs gave out from under him, and he found himself facedown on the tram's floor. Then there was a sharp kick to his side. The air rushed out of his lungs, and he curled up, fighting for breath.

Two strong hands grabbed him by the shoulders and flipped him on his back. The sentinel looked down at him with a smirk on his face. A bead of sweat fell from his forehead and landed squarely on Ransom's chest.

"I told you to mind your own business," the sentinel growled. "Maybe next time you'll listen."

He raised his leg, positioning his boot over Ransom's face.

Ransom instinctively raised his arms and waited for the blow.

It never came.

Through the spaces between his fingers, Ransom caught a flash of silver, then the sentinel swatting his neck as if bitten by a mosquito. Ransom lowered his hands and saw the sentinel staring at a small object between his fingers. It was about an inch long, half of its length in the form of a thin needle. The sentinel glanced in the direction of the woman and opened his mouth to say something, then suddenly grabbed the pole next to him for support. His body swayed from side to side before he fell to his knees. Eyes rolling to the back of his head, he fell to the floor, face-first, next to Ransom.

It was absolutely quiet on the tram.

Ransom pulled himself to his knees. He could feel his breath coming back to him. He spat blood out on the floor. His jaw hurt, and a few of his back teeth felt loose.

He looked over at the woman, confused by what had just happened.

Suddenly, the sounds of the men trying to open the doors started up again. Moments later, there was a hiss as the middle doors were forced open. A blast of fresh air rushed through the car.

The passengers made for the exit as fast as they could.

The woman picked a yellow sling from the floor and put it over her shoulder. A drop of blood fell from her nose to the fabric. She placed the baby in the sling and stepped over the body of the sentinel, heading for the exit.

"Wait," Ransom called.

The woman turned and looked at him. "Thank you for saving my baby," she said. "One day I'll repay you."

"What did you do to him?" Ransom asked, looking at the motionless body.

"Thanks for reminding me."

She knelt next to the sentinel and pried open his hand, retrieving the silver object. She slid it into her pocket, then pulled herself to her feet and checked the baby, brushed the dust from her pants, and headed toward the door.

"Who are you?" Ransom tried again.

"He'll wake up soon. You should get going."

"Wait," he called, but the woman had hurried down the steps of the tram.

Ransom pulled himself to a standing position. His jaw and side throbbed with pain. He staggered to the tram's open doors and spotted the woman thirty yards down the street. She was walking fast, weaving her way in and out of the throngs of people. Ransom hurried down the stairs and started after her. He was still winded and stiff from the fight. Within twenty yards, he had to put his hands on his knees while he caught his breath.

When he looked up again, she was gone.

Then he heard a high-pitched police whistle. Three cops were running down the street toward the tram. The middle one had a silver whistle between his lips that he blew as he ran.

Quickly, Ransom got in the back of a nearby line for a grocery store. Once the police ran past, he hurried down the street as fast as he could walk, anxious to put as much space between him and the tram as possible. It wasn't easy. He was still dazed and hurting, and the sidewalks were crowded with people going to work, groups of kids in their yellow-and-green uniforms hurrying to school, and people standing in line waiting for stores to open. To make faster progress, he stepped off the sidewalk and walked in the gutter. But even that path had obstacles. Donkey carts were parked in front of stores, their drivers unloading burlap bags filled with produce and supplies. There were piles of manure—some fresh, others days old—that had been swept to the gutter but not yet collected. Ransom ended up back on the sidewalk.

As his distance from the tram increased, Ransom's adrenaline ebbed and was replaced by fear. He wondered if the sentinel would be able to give the police a good description of him. The man had seen his uniform and knew where he worked. If police showed up at the Recycling Center, it wouldn't be too hard to figure out who he was. It was a rarity for people to be much taller than six feet. As far as Ransom knew, he was the tallest employee at the center.

He chastised himself for intervening in something that wasn't his business. The last thing he and his family needed was for him to miss work and spend a few weeks in jail. Money was tight enough as it was. What had he been thinking?

A pack of stray dogs ran out into the street. The lead dog, a German shepherd with spots of fur missing from his body, looked at Ransom with sad brown eyes. Ransom reached down to the gutter and pretended to pick up a rock. Immediately, the pack of dogs turned and ran across the street.

Ransom checked his watch. It was eight o'clock. He was late for work.

Ignoring the pain in his side, Ransom picked up the pace and hurried the remaining eight blocks to the Recycling Center.

***

© Copyright 2010 Abel Keogh. All rights reserved. Republication of this work is prohibited without writing consent of the publisher and the author.

To TV or not to TV – That is the Question

Digital TV

Back in October I was deciding whether or not to get a digital TV converter boxes. The main reason for wanting one was so I could watch season five of LOST without having to wait until the next day to watch it online. Then Congress, in their infinite wisdom, decided to push the digital TV date back from February 17 to June 12. My problem was solved – at least for four months. I ended up watching LOST and forgot about the entire digital television switch until Friday when Marathon Girl called and mentioned that the kids couldn’t find the one afternoon TV show they watch because of the switch.

"How are they handling it?" I asked.

"Fine," Marathon Girl said. "They’re playing with trains instead."

Over the weekend we talked about buying a digital converter box so we could at least get local channels (which is somewhat risky considering that the TV signal we did get was good but not great) or getting a satellite dish. In the end we decided not to do anything – at least for now. It’s not a question of expense but whether or not a converter box or a satellite TV would even be worth it considering that our viewing habits don’t involve sitting in front of the boob tube flitting through channels deciding what to watch.

With the exception of LOST all the other shows we watch take place on Friday or Saturday night via Hulu or DVD. If there’s a new series we’ve heard a lot about, we’ll go online and watch an episode or two to see if it’s worth continuing to watch online or put in our Netflix queue. In the last year we’ve watched Battlestar Galactica, The Sarah Conner Chronicles, The Office, Moonlight, the HBO miniseries John Adams, and a handful of other programs this way.

And we’ve really come to prefer it – especially for exciting, well-written shows like Battlestar Galactica where we can get two or three episodes done in one sitting instead of spacing them out a week at a time. Even things like local news, which a decade ago I watched with religiously, are better online. Instead of sitting through a 30 minute newscast, I can pick the stories – If any – I want to watch when I want to watch them. A decade from now I wouldn’t be surprised if most people watch TV online as opposed to tuning in and watching it live and TV networks do away with things like fall lineups and instead start shows at odd times.

The solution isn’t perfect. Sometimes I have to close my office door when the guys at work are talking about a show I haven’t caught up on – or even seen – yet. But even if I overhear a spoiler or two, I’ll take the freedom that comes with watching shows online or on DVD over having 100+ channels to surf through. I get more writing done and spend more time with the family. And I can learn to live without the live sporting that may catch my eye.

I have no idea what I’ll do when the final season of LOST comes around. At some point I’ll probably be overwhelmed with the desire to watch it live and Marathon Girl and I will have this debate in about six months or so. But odds are we’ll end up watching it on Hulu the next day.

I'll learn to live with it.

It’s a small price to pay for freedom that comes with it.

ABC's "V" Trailer

If you grew up in the 80s like me, you probably watched the show "V." I can't remember much of the show other than it gave me the creeps every time I watched it but was really fascinated with the idea of aliens coming to Earth and pretending to be good guys but secretly eating everyone. Now ABC is brining "V" back and from the trailer below, it actually looks like it might be worth watching. And since Elizabeth Mitchell stars, maybe that will get me over my LOST withdrawal until January.

Supernanny Seeks Widower Dads

Supernanny Logo

Received this from the casting producer of the TV show SUPERNANNY. Thought I'd pass it on in case anyone was interested.

The casting teams of ABC’s popular parenting series SUPERNANNY and the new SUPER-MANNY are launching springtime casting and looking for widower dads for the new season of the show.

This is a chance to address some of the unique issues widowers face as parents. Whether it’s figuring out how to handle the tasks that mom used to take care of, to dealing with the loads of advice from friends and neighbors, the single dad has a lot on his plate. Interested dads should e-mail us at supernanny@shedmediaus.com to apply. Please include a recent photo of your family and daytime phone number. You can also call 1-877-626-6984 for more information.

The Importance of a Good Editor

Behind every good writer is a good editor. Good writers who have a good editor (and a good relationship with that editor) know he or she can help with the storytelling process and give needed insight to turn an okay book into a great book. The same is true with TV shows and movies. After the show or movie is shot, a good film editor takes images, dialogue, pacing, music, and actor’s performances to make the film or TV show into and turns it into a something the audience will become whole absorbed it.

Like good book editors, if film editors are good at what they do, the audience won’t be aware of the editor’s influence over the film or TV show.

So my hat’s off to whoever edited the first episode of LOST. By cutting out the original first minute of footage from the show, they not only set the tone for the entire series, but made the first episode an instant classic.

See the original beginning of LOST below.

LOST: Namaste

Lost: Namaste

I really enjoy how much Sawyer’s character has evolved since the beginning of the show. Instead of being the self-centered jackass who gathers up the supplies and hides them for himself, he’s turned into someone who does everything he can to look out for and save his friends. Last week we saw him do what it takes to save Jin, Juliet, and the others who were left behind in the island. This week he saves those who came back. I liked the conversation Sawyer had with Jack on the porch where he stated that he thinks while Jack reacts. What that conversation highlighted was just how much Sawyer as changed while Jack is really the same guy he was when he first crashed on the island.

After the episode, Marathon Girl and I talked about what characters have changed the most since the beginning of the show. Aside from Sawyer we both thought Sun was the character that had evolved the most. She’s turned from a quiet, reserved person so someone who knows how to look out for herself. (We both cheered when she knocked out Ben.)

I also found it interesting that the women of the Dharma Initiative can have children on the island. Either that means they did something that made it impossible to have children later or it’s the Others that can’t have children. (That would make sense considering we’ve never seen any kids with them – even when we see them back in time.)

And what’s up with the monster? Has it lost its bite? Sadly, it seems to be a shell of its former self. Sneaking through bushes, opening up doors and misting in rooms but not attacking anyone. Come on! I liked the monster better when it was mean, fighting security device and killed people.

Admittedly, the only think I’m not looking forward to is the love square between Jack, Juliet, Sawyer, and Kate. Sawyer’s with Juliet now. Kate and Jack just need to accept it and move on. (Hint, hint, oh ye writers of LOST!)

Finally, I’m curious to see how they’re going to weave young Ben into this story. As far as I know, Ben’s never claimed or hinted that he knew the rest of them when he was part of the Dharma Initiative. I hope the writers do a good job weaving that part of the story together with what we already know.