Friday, September 16

Ask A Cheap-Ass Pirate.


(Ask a Cheap-Ass Pirate is a column designed to increase awareness of the Pirate lifestyle, in addition to promoting responsible spending and living within one's means. Ask A Cheap-Ass Pirate began when marauding roves of pillagers began to go hungry and poor after burying, and naturally forgetting where they placed their stolen treasure. Eventually, it was voted upon that an advice column devoted to slim living was the most optimum way to continue their horrid escapades. Those who chose to vote against this option had molten gold poured down their throats.)

(Ask a Cheap-Ass Pirate is syndicated nationwide in over 250 publications, including "Forbes", "Fortune" and "Murderer and Looter Weekly.")

By: Mutton Chop, A Pirate.

Dear Mutton Chop,

Hello there! Long time reader, first time writer. I want to start off by telling you how much I enjoy reading your column. After a long day of clipping coupons and slitting the throats of innocent civilians, I can always look forward to your home-spun wisdom.

Anyways, my question is this. Planks are so darn expensive these days. Do you have any alternative ways to execute evildoers while still remaining true to tradition. Thank you, you rock!

Plankless In the Pacific

Dear PAP,

Yaarrrr! Thank ye' for the kind wards. It makes me day.

Moving on to yar question. Ye' mustn't use the store-bought planks, nor the ones ad-varr-tised in catalogs. A simple flarr-board from the poopdeck should do the trick. If vandalizing yar own vessel isn't yar thing, a quick slice to the belly with a diamond-encrusted swarrd will work as a nice al-tar-native. That way, you can rid the warld of the weak, and save a few rupees to boot.

Dear Mr. Chop,

I'm a stock broker from Wall Street. Every day I deal with constant pressure and stress, and sometimes I can't help but take some of that stress home. This causes me to spend lots of money on extravagant things I really don't need, in an attempt to make myself feel better. Granted, trading stocks is a far cry from looting entire villages before engulfing them in flames, but I believe that the attitude and mindset is basically the same. When you're feeling down, what's the best way to cheer up, and at the same time keep yourself away from the checkbook?

Stressed In the City

Dear SIC,

Yaarrrr! I don't envy yar choice of employment. I had a white coll-arrr job once, and I hated me supervisor. An evil scourge, she was. I was fi-arred one day when I cornered her in the break room and cut her fin-garrs off one at a time. To this day, I can't eat at Long John Sil-varrs.

When I want to cool off after the sun goes dark, me and me mates engage in frugal hobbies. I have an ear collection from those who have wronged me, far example. I paid nothin' for 'em! Sometimes I mix up some Mystery Berry Kool-Aid, but I wa-tarr it down so I can quench the thirst of me entire crew. Remem-barr, hobbies arrr expensive, but interests arrr always free. Think about it.

Yo, Choppy!

I just graduated from college, and I have a ton of student loans to pay off. I haven't found a job yet, and the looting and pillaging have been low since my roommate moved out. I can't move back in with my parents, because they would lynch me in the public square for shaming them. What can I do to get through this rough patch?

Broke like a cheap Joke

Dear BJ,

Yaarrrr! Congrats on seceding from the union. Or, in yarr case, getting out of yarr parent's basement and getting a degree. I raise me blood-stained sword to thee.

My parents are dead, so I don't have much of a place to hang me head should I fail. It's my fault, though, because I killed em' meself. They de-sarr-ved it, though, always telling me that I had to finish my vegetables before I could watch Press Your Luck. My Mother was a whore, she was!

In conclusion, you should kill yarr parents, hollow them out, and live inside of them until the loan sharrrks get off ye' back. That's what I did.

(Got a question for Mutton Chop? Send it to communistdance@yahoo.com)

Wednesday, September 14

Lost: Season Two Preview.

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On Wednesday, September 21 at 8pm central time, the season 2 premiere of Lost will finally air. For fans of the show, this will hopefully put to rest a year of questions, theories and speculation as to what in the hell is going on. With 12 Emmy nominations, an abundance of online secrets and clues, spectacular script writing and a cult-like obsession brewing amongst the fanbase, Lost is without question one of the most engaging and addictive TV dramas in the last ten years.

For those who are not familiar with the show, this will probably not be too interesting. In fact, I’m surprised that you managed to read this far down already. If you’re curious, however, I’ll break the plot down as simple as I can.

SUMMARY.

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48 passengers survive a plane crash en route from Sydney to Los Angeles. They wind up stranded on a mysterious island that seems to have a life (or philosophy) of its own. According to the pilot (before he was sucked out of the plane by a “monster” and left mutilated in a treetop), they were 1,000 miles off course before they crashed, and any search parties are looking in the wrong place.

From the initial 48 survivors, we closely follow the unravelings of about 14 of the main characters. We find out what they were doing before the crash, as well as how they handle the struggles placed upon them, along with those they brought with them. As the story unfolds, we begin to see that all of these people were “lost” before the plane itself actually left them stranded.

Then things get a little weird. The island itself is full of bizarre findings, leading people to realize that perhaps this all happened for a specific reason. As we begin to figure out how the lives of the survivors were intertwined before the crash, we’re led to speculate the reasons why these people were brought to such a place, and if they can ever leave. The discovery of a "hatch", a ship planted smack in the middle of the island, a crashed cargo plane carrying smuggled drugs, the appearance of the "others" and the killing of a polar bear are just a few of the events that seemingly add up to nothing thus far.

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If you’re interested in figuring it out on your own, don’t read the rest of this post. Get the Season One DVD and watch it for yourself. You seriously will not be disappointed.

Still with me? Okay, then.

The CDP has spent the last couple months meticulously analyzing the episodes and clues, and here then submits the following information for your enjoyment. There are plot points, theories and spoilers abound, so tread carefully if you’re still considering watching the episodes yourself.

WHERE WE LEFT OFF.

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The season finale’ (Exodus) left us with a bevy of cliffhangers. Most importantly, perhaps, was the opening of the hatch. Having seen the “numbers” on the side of the hatch, Hurley (as well as Walt) begged Locke not to open it, but he did so anyways, unleashing who knows what evil onto the island. The presence of the numbers on the hatch, along with the presence of the numbers in the lives of all of the main characters, lead us to the realization that they were all led to this place for a specific reason.

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The second big moment of the finale’ was the destruction of the raft, and the subsequent kidnapping of Walt. Where we left off in the water, Walt was taken by a group of strange men (the “others”, possibly), and Sawyer was shot and went overboard (with Jin diving in to save him). Michael was also overboard yelling for his son, and the raft exploded after being fed a Molotov cocktail by the “others”. Rousseau was convinced that she could offer the “others” Claire’s baby in exchange for the baby they took from her long ago, but it turned out that they were looking for Walt instead.

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As far as flashbacks go, we are left to wonder several things about the characters. To best organize the chaos, I’ve broken down the cliffhangers on a person-by-person basis:

Jack – Partly responsible for opening the hatch. Flashback-wise, we’re still left to wonder what happened to his marriage and the significance of his tattoos, among other things. If you notice in this picture, he got the tattoos sometime after his wedding.

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Kate – Also responsible for opening the hatch. We still don’t know what she initially did to end up on the run from the law, or why her Mother was terrified to see her.

Sawyer – Shot by the “others” and thrown overboard. We’re clearly under the impression that he wants to die, disgusted by himself for the life he chose to lead, and what brought him to Sydney.

Claire – After giving birth to Aaron, she gets it temporarity taken away by Rousseau. We haven’t yet learned who the couple was in L.A. that wanted the baby, and what exactly happened to her when she was kidnapped by Ethan Rom. The importance of the baby is yet to be discussed.

Michael – Thrown overboard from the raft after having his son kidnapped, Michael is not having a good day.

Walt – Walt has just been kidnapped by the “others”, and we’re left to wonder why. No doubt, Walt is “special”, and we still have a lot to learn about what his gifts are. He was aware of Locke’s plans to open the hatch, without even knowing that there was a hatch to be opened. Walt’s powers are a big part to the whats and whys of the island.

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Locke – Responsible for opening the hatch. Since being healed of his paralasys, he’s clearly taking orders from the island now. He was the only one who saw the “monster”, and seems to understand that this is all destiny. We have yet to find out how he originally lost the use of his legs, and if anything else happened between him and his parents.

Hurley – Feels responsible for the crash, as he believes that he spreads bad luck to everyone around him. After going to Sydney to find the source of the numbers, he finds them on the hatch just before it’s blown open. We have yet to find out why he was institutionalized when he was younger. He is the best chance in finding the truth behind the numbers.

Sayid – After being tossed aside by Shannon after refusing to kill Locke, Sayid is keeping a close eye on Rousseau. His motives appear genuine, although he has the abilities to outfox almost everyone on the island. He continues to act as the "professor", and was responsible for the radar on the ill-fated raft.

Boone – Dead. It’s obvious that Locke offered Boone up as a sacrifice to the island after he started to lose the feeling in his legs. Locke understands the give and take of the island, and may keep doing this in order to achieve what he was put there for.

Shannon – After almost killing Locke, Shannon is keeping distant from everyone now. She’s taking care of Vincent for Walt.

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Charlie – After kicking his addictions, he (appears) to be back off the wagon after the discovery of the cargo plane. What choices he makes are going to be very important in regards to his survival on the island.

Jin – Went overboard in an attempt to save Sawyer. Reconciled with Sun just before leaving. Found out that there was no way to escape the web spun by Sun’s father.

Sun – Reconciled with Jin just before he left. Has no idea what her father has Jin doing, and assumes that Jin isn’t looking out for her well-being. This, of course, isn’t true.

This should give us about another season worth of tying loose ends. I have a headache.

WHAT TO WATCH FOR.

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There are a lot of theories going around concerning the island, some of the characters and the “master plan” fated to each of the survivors. By taking those theories into play, along with some rumors and downright spoilers, here are the top 10 things to look for early on in the season.

1. At least one of the main characters will die, and at least one will be a woman. Personally, I feel that Shannon offers no importance to the show whatsoever, so I’m rooting for her corpse to be scattered all over the damn place by the end of the first episode. That being said, Charlie may lose his life should he give in to his demons.

2. The tail section of the plane is on another part of the island, along with additonal survivors. When Jack met Ana Lucia in the airport bar, she was seated in the tail section. Bernard, Rose’s husband, was also in the tail section. The significance to Rose telling Jack, “My husband is alive” is quite prevalent. Any significance to Titanic, however, is purely coincidental. When Boone said “We’re survivors of flight 815”, the voice on the other end said, “We’re survivors of flight 815.” It’s a fact, kids. Expect new characters, including Ana Lucia, to start coming out of the woodwork.

3. Locke is either working for good or evil, depending on how you view the island. This guy was paralyzed from the waist down, missing a kidney, and still is the coolest guy on the show. He understands the balance of good and evil, much like Walt, and is giving the island what it asks of him in exchange for the continued search for his destiny. Locke “looked into the eye of the island” and “what he saw was beautiful”. He also sabotaged the triangulation of the radar as well, and clearly knew that Boone was going to die. He is different from the rest of the survivors, and his intentions will become clear very quickly.

4. We will find out that the reason for Kate initially being on the run was her involvement in a sort of “mercy killing” involving spiked orange juice.

What?

Think about it. The Marshall asked her “are you sure you don’t want more juice?” with such contempt and meaning, that can’t be a fluke. Also, the first person she saw after the crash was Locke, who flashed her an “orange” smile. We also had her involved with Sun in poisoning Jin’s water, which was mistakenly ingested by Michael. When the Marshall was dying, he asked Kate “are you going to do it?” in response to putting him out of his misery. Equate that to the horror her mother was in when she returned to the hospital, and the orange shirt she always wears, and you’ve got yourself a decent theory, right there.

5. Speaking of oranges, Hurley owns a lot of things. He owns a box company, presumably the one that Locke happens to work at. He also owns an orange company, presumably the oranges that Locke was eating on the plane. In fact, if you look into Oceanic Airlines, you’ll see that it’s a “Reyes Company”. Is it possible that Hurley also owned Oceanic?

6. Walt’s coming back. Expect to see him show up on the island during the premiere. The four other people on the raft are coming back, too. We’ll follow them for a few episodes as they try to get back to the island after the disaster they just went through. Sawyer was indeed shot, but he will survive for now.

7. Vincent will be a bigger part of season two, perhaps even getting a flashback of his own. He will be party responsible for locating Walt once he returns, and an important tool in getting inside Walt's mind.

8. Kate will go into the hatch in episode 1. In fact, she’s going to fall right into the damn thing. She will live, but it’s not going to be pretty. We won’t find out exactly what’s in the hatch until episode 3 or 4. They are going to find something that will solidify the fact that they will not be leaving the island anytime soon. This will lead to deeper relationships between characters, specifically between Shannon & Sayid, Claire & Charlie, and Jack & Ana.

9. What's up with the "monster"? Well, according to Rousseau, it's a "security system". Does this system have to do with the cable running into the ocean? Did Locke actually see it? Does it exist to keep people on the island forever? These answers will not show up soon, but they will be tackled once the hatch situation gets somewhat settled.

10. So, what’s in the hatch? I think I may have a crazy idea. If you consider how every episode starts (an opening eye), and how the season finale’ ended (descending into the hatch), and you start to consider what Locke said about “seeing the eye of the island”, you start to wonder if that hatch IS the “eye of the island”. Not so much a supernatural explanation, but maybe some sort of command center. Just a thought.

So, there you have it. I obviously left out a ton of information, but there’s a ton of places to go online if you’re still antsy. I hope that this sparks conversation amongst the Lost nerds here at the CDP, and perhaps gets a few new people into the show.

Let the debate begin, and remember, the premiere is Wednesday, September 21 at 8pm central time. Everything happens for a reason.