January 12th, 2006

is this thing on?


Guess who's back, back again? That's right: it's the Ludic Log! And what better way to celebrate its return, complete with gorgeous design courtesy calamityjon, than a whimsical, light-hearted entry about Nazis?


NOTE: I know there's some formatting errors here and there, which are entirely my fault. I will fix them ASAP. If you happen to notice anything else out of whack, though, do drop me a note.

I hate to keep picking on Lileks, but...

...the guy is just such a clown this week. He, who incessantly complains about how downtown Minneapolis is boring and overdeveloped, who fetishizes the past to an unmanly degree, whose greatest regret in life is that time kept moving forward after 1961, is full of rage today because a historical preservation group nixed the building of a 27-story condo tower along the river in the old mill district of the city. Sure, he's all for historical preservation, see, but these people are just blinkered pig-ignorant hippies who don't realize how desirable this giant ugly building would be. For, you see, it would create jobs! Maybe! And it would encourage low-income housing, as long as your definition of low-income means 'able to afford a condo'! And most importantly of all, it would not cost the city any money, unlike a plan that would provide housing and development but still keep some of the historical buildings in the area intact. So I guess we've reached the limit of Lileks' love of preserving the ways of the golden past: it stops at exactly the point where it would cost him one penny in taxes.

Also, he makes the inadvertantly hilarious confession that in high school, he wasn't a communist or an objectivist or an anarchist (like so many other impressionable teens), but a Rosicrucian.

Over in the Screed, he tut-tuts at hysterical liberals, citing the made-up story of the college student who got a visit from Homeland Security after checking out Mao's Little Red Book as evidence that these ridiculous fears of lost civil liberties, authoritarian government, and a long dark night for the rule of law are just so much pixie dust. Meanwhile, in totally unrelated news, it's the four-year anniversary of Gitmo, marking over 1400 days that hundreds of people have been imprisoned without trial, charge, legal representation, or hope of release. Happy birthday, Camp X-Ray!
good grief

Courtesy of fengi

Not a Lost spoiler, except insofar as the creators seem determined to spoil my hopes for the show having a satisfying future: after spending a great deal of time between the end of season 1 and the beginning of season 2 assuring understandably nervous fans that they weren't going to go the way of The X-Files, that they did have a master plan and an overall design, that they weren't just making it all up as they went along, the people who run the show have gotten a look at the ratings and apparently decided 'fuck it, we can do whatever we want'.

CARLTON CUSE, executive producer: "Basically, Lost is one of those things where you have to appreciate the journey and try not to worry about the endpoint. We're not in control of the endpoint."

DAMON LINDELOF, co-creator: "If you're watching the show because you're waiting for the big answers to come, you have to understand that by the nature of what it is -- it's not a movie, it's not a series of movies, it's not a trilogy, it's not a miniseries -- it's going to be on the air for as long as ABC wants to keep it on the air...how can you ever possibly think that Lost will end in a satisfying way? Carlton and I can almost guarantee you that it will not."

I'm actually still a big fan of the show, and I thought last night's Mr. Eko episode, hokey FX aside, was pretty damn satisfying both from a dramatic standpoint and in terms of threading together loose ends. But comments like this are really disheartening. Even if you blame this all on the network instead of the creative staff, Cuse and Lindelof don't seem particularly interested in fighting for more control over their narrative. It just makes me think of one of the classic questions of literary criticism: if you don't care where your story is headed, why should I?

I'll keep watching as long as it keeps being good. But honestly, I'd just as soon the producers keep their mouths shut from now on. If the show is going to fall apart into a big incoherent mess, I'd prefer to be surprised by that rather than have them confirm it gleefully to the press.