Friday, May 11

Lost Friday - "The Man Behind The Curtain."

Lost Friday - The Man Behind The Curtain.
Season 3 - Episode 20: "The Man Behind The Curtain."

Another Lost Friday is upon us. We have much to--

Wait, what? What happened on Wednesday? Seriously? Are you yanking my crank? Are you?

Ladies and gentlemen, every now and again, the clouds part and call a halt to the proverbial dungstorm of lame television dramas, blessing us with something that rekindles our faith in the creative mind and allows us to believe the unbelievable again.

Lost is that special something; if only for about 5 episodes a year. You know, during Sweeps.

Just when you think they're coasting on auto-pilot, just when you think you've got it all figured out, just when you think you frankly don't care anymore; an episode comes along that forces you to spend countless hours awake, speculating and unearthing clues just like when the series first started. Face it; even after 3 years, this show still has the ability to turn you into an uber-nerd. That's amazing and special stuff, right there.

I'm under a lot of stress!
(Suddenly and without warning, Locke's appendix bursts.)

Or maybe you hated this episode. Maybe you thought it was too over-the-top. Too unbelievable. Too dark. Perhaps you have a point, but consider the following- In the course of an hour, Benjamin Linus went from a typical TV bad-guy, to one of the most complex, tortured and flat-out evil characters in television history. This is no small task, considering the emotional depth of the rest of the standout cast. When you're a character that can be hated and felt sorry for at the same time, you've become immortal, as far as I'm concerned.

Like Brian Dunkleman. That poor, sweet, awful man. May he rest in peace.

Oh, and Locke got shot? And we saw Jacob? And he's all invisible and violent and stuff? And the Hostiles don't age? And Ben was part of Dharma, until he and the Hostiles killed everyone off? And it was his birthday? And there were carvings? Carvings made of wood?

THIS... IS... MADNESS!

Look, I don't know where to start and what to say, but we're diving in anyways. Make with The Thick & Meaty!

The Thick & Meaty!

ON THE BIZZ-NEECH:

Sawyer, fresh from nearly lopping Anthony's head off at the Black Rock, confronts Sayid about the tape he procured from Locke. Upon pressing play, Sawyer and Sayid discover the tape is of the Strawberry Alarm Clock single, Incense & Peppermints. They both agree that it's a 'good tune' and figure out a schedule as to who gets to listen to it on what day of the week.

Eventually, Kate arrives and poops all over the party, demanding that Jack hear the tape. She then says that Jack is Santa Claus and can do no wrong. Sayid reaches for his 'decapitating' knife, but Sawyer restrains him, as she's still offering Sawyer no-strings-attached sex.

Speaking of no-strings-attached sex, that brings us to today's Question Of The Week:

Question Of The Week.

What STD's Do Kate and Sawyer now share?

A) DHARM-AIDS.

B
) That one that sets your privates ablaze.

C
) Everytime you blink, you crap your pants for some reason.

D
) The crippling emotional weight of knowing that you engaged in some of the dirtiest, filthist intercourse this side of Kurt Cobain and Courtney Love.

E
) All of the above.

The correct answer is, of course, "Everything. They have everything now." Thanks for playing; let's get back to the review.

That night, all of the on-camera extras are pretending to be concerned with Naomi's story, when Sawyer explains Juliet's mole-like behavior by playing the tape. Jack and Juliet then show up and come clean; stating that they knew about the raid all along, and are planning a counter-attack. 15 million people exclaim in unison, "Why in the damn hell toot didn't you tell anyone sooner?"

IN FLASHBACKZ, YO:

(Forgive me in advance, this is the only way it's going to work.......)

They Hurt Me So!
("AAAAAUGH! Kidney stones!")

Okay, so Ben wasn't really born on the island at all. He was born about 32 miles outside of Portland in the middle of the freaking woods. Anyway, his mom knocked off right afterwards, but not before insisting he be named Benjamin; like it was such an important thing to give him one of the most common boy's names in the history of boy's names, right? Anyway, about 10 years later, Ben (looking gayer than ever) and his drunk fool of a dad arrive on the island in search of work, as a favor to Ben's dad by his hippie- and no doubt filthy, friend Horace. Horace works for DHARMA as the island's Head Weed Guy or something, and we get to see a brief video of Dr. Markvin Candlewick welcoming everyone to the island. While Ben starts to chat up the young ladies, his dad is already losing his crap over the fact that he'll be working as a janitor.

One day, while Ben is at school learning about volcanoes or Global Warming or some rubbish, the Hostiles start some wack static with the DHARMA folk, causing the kids to duck-and-cover, and the adults to reach for their strapz and gatz. Later that night, Ben's dad does some more drunken complaining, demanding more money for being around gunfire and spooky, ageless island folk all day. Ben sees the face of his dead mom in the window for a second, and effectively wets himself, despite that fact that he could have never had that kind of a direct, personal relationship with a woman who died when he was 8 seconds old.

Last train for Queer Street leaves in 2 minutes.
("Hmmm, I wonder if I can redecorate the island in pastels. Yay!")

The next day, Ben and Annie are playing on the swings, when Annie gives him a crudely-crafted woodcarving to remember her by. Geez... learn some carpentry, you stupid adorable kid! When he gets home, a drunken Roger let's Ben know that he blames him for the death of Emily. Ben's story is sounding more and more like Voldemort's every week, and that guy's a real douchebag. Ben gets mad and runs around in the jungle, where he sees his mother again on the other side of the Sonic Microwave. He later returns with the deactivation code and a bunny; both escape unharmed. Richard shows up, looking as sexy and disheveled as ever, who tells Ben that he needs to be very patient and not at all from this planet if he wants to join the Hostiles.

Many years later, an older Ben is celebrating his birthday (cake, punch; the usual). After setting up his father, they drive to a secluded location where he finally kills him with a nerve gas. When Ben makes it back to the Barracks, we see that the rest of the hostiles have done this to almost all of the DHARMA members, eventually taking the place over. This is the darkest and most troubling flashback episode I've ever seen, and we've seen people get buried alive.

(Whew. Let's trudge on.)

ON DA REAL-TIME TIP:

But they smell so good!
(Mikhail passes out after an all-night Red Pen binge.)

Ben, looking at Annie's wood carving and reminiscing about when she was brutally nerve-gassed, eventually realizes that Juliet's tape recorder never made it back to the right place. He mentions to Richard that today is his birthday, but Richard doesn't know what that means, due to him being an ageless alien from another dimension. Locke shows up with Anthony's rigid corpse, and boy does he look angry.

Locke looks angry; not the corpse. Sorry about that.

After taking care of his end of the deal, Locke demands that Ben start spilling it about the island, and asks for a trip to Crazy Uncle Jacob's Wacky Shack Of Spooky Delights (patent pending). Ben drags his feet, and Mikhail pops in just to let everyone know that he wasn't vaporized for some stupid reason. This annoys Locke, so he beats the crap out of him and retains the Heavyweight Creepy Old Guy Championship belt.

On the way to Jacob's tea party, Ben and Locke come across a line of powder on the ground, which Ben says is not important; making it about a billion times more important than if he had just kept his fruity mouth shut. They make it to Jacob's front door, and Ben suggests that Locke turn off his flashlight, because He hates technology. You know, I'm starting to think that Jacob is actually my Dad.

He looks great for a thousand years old.
("I haven't shaved in 800 years.")

This is where things start to get all wonky. Ben starts talking to an empty chair. Locke thinks that Ben is crazy, and turns to leave. Locke then hears a disembodied voice and turns back on the flashlight. This angers Jacob, and all hell starts to break loose. Ben gets thrown against a wall, and the image of a man in the chair is briefly shown for about a tenth of a second. They both manage to escape the house after Jacob has calmed down, and Locke runs away until he is a speck on the horizon.

At least, that's what I would have done. Island secrets, my ass; I didn't sign up for invisible talking poltergeists. You can keep your secrets, I don't want them anymore.

The next morning, Ben and Locke take a different route to the camp, where Ben starts spilling it to John. He comes clean and shows Locke the mass grave where all of the post-Purge DHARMA folk were tossed in. He explains the war between the Hostiles and the DHARMA folk, and which side he chose. He then gets all jealous and shoots Locke in the chest for being able to hear Jacob's voice. As we smash cut away, we see Locke slowly fading.

But...you know....he's not really going to die. I mean, seriously....don't be a dumbass, here. It's Locke.

Boy, what an awesome episode. It was disturbing, chock-full of mythology and Kate only got about 2 speaking lines. That's just about perfect in my book. In fact, I can only think of 5 things that would have made this episode even more awesome. Let's go to the list, shall we?

5 Awesome Things...

This week's topic is 5 Awesome Things.....That Would Have Made This Episode Better.

1- Everyone has a pencil-thin mustache, even the women.
2- The entire soundtrack is provided by The Velvet Teen or Jeff Lynne.
3- Complete genocide of a race. Oh, wait...that actually happened? Wow.
4- Full salad bar privileges and valet parking.
5- Claire bitching about her 'bay-bee!'

Wait, scratch that last one.

Put on your game faces, it's time to Break It Down!

Break It Down!

4- Hey, both of Ben's parents died on his birthday! Don't feel bad for Ben, though, because they were both kind of his fault. Oh, and he's unwarrantably evil. This not only makes Ben's birthday December 22, but the Season Finale might very well fall on Christmas 2004.

8- I have yet to figure out why Ben became the leader of the hostiles, when in fact, he seems to just be the newest recruit. Why isn't ageless Richard the leader? Not only is he somewhat immortal, he's beautiful!

15- This Jacob fellow might be a human representation of the Smoke Monster, but I sort of hope it isn't. I mean, so far, most of the big mysteries on the show have been unveiled with some sort of logical explanation. At this juncture, I don't think we're going to make it out of here without some heebie-jeeblie stuff. Not after the incident in the cabin, along with all the dead people we keep seeing pop up on here.

Well...the episode was titled "The Man Behind The Curtain," so maybe not. Much like the Wizard of Oz, Ben could be creating this Jacob character with smoke and mirrors just to throw everyone off and further respect his authority.

Or...maybe he's a nutbag. I don't know anymore.

Where do you put the batteries in this thing?
("Someday bunny, we'll run away to Vegas and finally get married. Someday...")

16- Now that the door has been closed (or nerve-gassed) on the DHARMA thing, we now get to focus on the Hostiles and where they came from. Can't wait; I really wanted a whole other group of people to compulsively obsess over for the next three years. I was just getting comfortable with the DHARMA concept, now this? Screw you, Ben! They just wanted harmony!

23- The Hostiles made Ben kill his father the same way that Ben made Locke kill his own. A gesture of faith and free will to the Hostiles and their cause. It seems pretty old-school, but the Hostiles obviously are old-school. Like, really old-school.

42- I bet that the 'island' will heal Locke's bullet wound. Hopefully, the island will then focus on healing Juliet's crooked face and Jack's fluctuating weight problem.

This episode is over; stop living in the past! Spoiler nerds, divert your eyes! It's time for The Preview!

Episode 20 - Greatest Hits.

4- Episode 21 will be titled "Greatest Hits." It will be Charlie-centric. Expect general wankery and a (hopeful) bloody death to ensue.

8- The official press release from ABC reads: "While Jack devises a plan to do away with 'The Others' once and for all, Sayid uncovers a flaw in their system that could lead to everyone’s rescue. But it requires Charlie to take on a dangerous task that may make Desmond’s premonition come true."

Desmond had better not die. I know that might be the swerve this week, but I'll be sincerely pissed off. Locke too, but that goes without saying.

15- An on-set fan sez: "They are filming in a rainy alley way. Charlie is wearing the same black leather jacket and carrying his guitar just like the flashback scene with Desmond. So this is a continuation of the same day Desmond met Charlie singing on the sidewalk. A lady is being mugged in the alley way... It's Naomi! He saves her from the mugger with the knife. I would assume that Naomi knows Desmond because at this scene, it puts them all in the same general area on the same day. They are also setting up now at the same corner where Desmond and Charlie came upon each other in London, only they have a big "green screen", and they haven't decorated anything else, so I'm assuming they'll be bringing down the rainmaking stuff and Desmond may show up with Charlie and/or Naomi to tie it all together and they will just green screen the rest later in the background."

Thanks for almost forming a complete sentence, there. I'd correct your awful grammar, but I'm lazy and you're an idiot.

Damn you, wicker! I HATE YOU!
("That's it, wicker chair. I've had just about enough of your crap.")

16- There should be at least 4 more deaths this season. Keep that in mind as we get down to the last 2 episodes. Charlie? Desmond? Locke? Sun? Jin? Mr. Weatherby? John Boy? Chief? McCloud!

23- After this episode, we're just down to the 2-hour Season Finale. It will be Jack-centric and titled "Through The Looking Glass." I probably won't watch it; I've got a lot of laundry to do that week.

42- For several weeks now, I was contemplating whether or not I wanted to come back and do Lost Friday for another Season. Now that I hear about the new plan for the remaining 3 seasons, it gives me hope that I'll be able to continue this for 4 months out of the next three years without burning out or murdering someone. Time will tell, I guess.

I'd hate to be the corpse on the bottom of this thing.
(10 years, and you never thought to cover your corpse pile with dirt? Anyone?)

Well, there you have it. Another jam-packed Lost Friday in the books, and another end to a long week. Start the conversation in the comments section, and send all fan mail and erotic photography to communistdance@yahoo.com. If you feel like buying some CDP Merch or making a donation, the links are at the top of the sidebar. As always, when you're finished fantasizing about my literary prowess and muscular arms, head on over to The Coconut Internet and say hello.

Here are links to every Lost Friday this season. Don't forget to tell your Mother you love her this weekend. Otherwise, she might hunt you down and feed chunks of you into the DisPozAll.

-theCDP.

Season 3 Preview
Season 3 - Episode 1 Review
Season 3 - Episode 2 Review
Season 3 - Episode 3 Review
Season 3 - Episode 4 Review
Season 3 - Episode 5 Review
Season 3 - Episode 6 Review
Season 3 - Episode 7 Review
Season 3 - Episode 8 Review
Season 3 - Episode 9 Review
Season 3 - Episode 10 Review
Season 3 - Episode 11 Review
Season 3 - Episode 12 Review
Season 3 - Episode 13 Review
Season 3 - Episode 14 Review
Season 3 - Episode 15 Review
Season 3 - Episode 16 Review
Season 3 - Episode 17 Review
Season 3 - Episode 18 Review
Season 3 - Episode 19 Review

Thursday, May 10

A Little Bit Of Pee Just Came Out.

This is Jacob.

Here's the screen shot of 'Jacob' from last night's episode of Lost. I didn't want this to wait until Friday, so here you go. Is it Richard Malkin? Is it Issac? I couldn't really tell you right now, but millions of nerds are working on it around-the-clock, I can assure you.

Also, the Hostiles apparently don't age the same as normal folk. When Ben remarked to Richard that it was his birthday, he added, "if you even remember what a birthday is." So no, you weren't going crazy, that really was Richard, and he looked exactly the same 30 years ago.

Oh, don't think for a second that Locke's going to die, either. He's way too important; I'm assuming that the island will make that bullet wound heal up pretty damn quick. Seriously, don't be an idiot.

Lost Friday is tomorrow; join us in breaking down one of the heaviest and darkest episodes of Lost yet. May God have mercy on your fragile soul.

Monday, May 7

The CDP Interview: Pork Tornado's Dusty Scott.

The CDP Interview - Pork Tornado's Dusty Scott.

Hailing from Atlanta, he's the current reigning World Heavyweight Champion of the Blogosphere. Since 2003, his brilliant personal essays, unflinching opinions and other-worldly sense of humor have gathered thousands of adoring fans and millions of hits to his site, SalamiTsunami.com. We here at the CDP consider him to be the best Blogger on the net today, and we were fortunate enough to sit him down for 13 hard-hitting questions. Read and enjoy.

1. First off, how's Queasy doing?

Well, since we had all of her fur shaved off, The Skirt and I have been being nicer to her. We have almost completely stopped calling her “whorecat” and we pet her more often. If she were capable of thought, I’d imagine she would think she was dying.

2. I consider you to be the master of the simile. How much thought and time goes into a well-crafted simile? Do you come up with one or two during the day and try to work them into a post, or do they just come to you as you're writing?

Oddly, I consider you a metaphor. Isn’t that neat? The comparisons (and anything else that is worth typing) usually pop into the old noggin at a random time, but I make a very conscious effort not to forget them and I usually try to write some surrounding content in my brain to make sure it stays there. I’ve always been a huge fan of sayings like “f***ing up a one-car funeral”, “a pinch of sh*t in a gallon of ice cream”, and so on. Any time I see or hear something that strikes me as specifically and universally accepted as a certain way (such as building a house of cards requiring motor skills and dexterity), I have to think of the antithesis of that, which to most people would be something huge and lumbering, like a gorilla or Rosie O’donnell.

The problem is that “building a house of cards with a gorilla” is sort of the low-hanging joke that anyone could think of. I am a sick man who is going to hell, so Muhammad Ali would take the gorilla’s place because he’s shaky.

3. On Inside the Actors Studio, Jamie Foxx defined a 'playa' as someone that's "Moving culture. Anyone that does and says things that other people are interested in listening to." By that definition, you are definitely a 'playa.' Do you consider this accurate and/or frightening in any way?

I define “playa” as the word my housekeeper uses for “beach”. Jaime Foxx and I have never seen eye to eye on this matter. The only reason people are interested in listening to what I say is because I was cursed with the ability to spin a tale. Nothing I write is profound or even intelligent most of the time. I installed a garbage disposal and slammed my ear in the oven. Most people have the good sense to just call that a bad day. I have to write a damn novel.

4. About how many hits/e-mails does Salami Tsunami/Pork Tornado get every month? How many did you get before the Worst Album Covers post? Any interesting e-mail stories you'd like to share?

The most it ever got in one month was (obviously) right after the album covers, when it topped a million. I think it gets somewhere between a dozen and a billion a day now. I get a decent number of emails (enough to maintain my false sense of relevance), and I probably respond to 95% of them. As with anything else, there are lots of people with varying degrees of psychosis out there who write some long, strange emails. I never really got off on making fun of people unless they really ask for it, so I just let it go and try not to encourage them because I don’t want them coming to my house to eat my reproductive organs in hope of gaining my powers.

5. In 10 words or less, tell us about the last time you accidentally hurt yourself.

Reached in the dishwasher and stabbed myself in the arm.

6. Tell me about how the Atlanta Illustrated gig came up. Why did you quit, and do you see yourself writing freelance again?

I do a lot of work with Atlanta Illustrated and the other companies that have spawned from it – I’m sort of their creative director in my spare time, and it’s a decent paying gig, but forcing myself to find something to write about every week just so my column wasn’t blank was taking the joy out of it. Writing is one of only a precious few things that I really enjoy and can do entirely on my terms, so I want to keep it that way. The end product is much better when I let it flow like so much pus.

7. What do you do for fun when you're not Blogging?

I’ll never say that blogging is a hobby because my girlfriend would have to leave me on principle. I love to draw portraits, flyfish, build stuff, mess with graphics software and animation, and I’m getting really good at masturbating.

8. Have you ever thought about becoming a published author? How would you feel about your essays being put into book form? Have you received any offers?

I’d love to write a book. I have some ideas floating around…I’m just not sure I have the attention span to do anything meaningful with it. No real offers, though. I get pitched by people now and then, but I haven’t run into anyone who had much more than a dream. I need a business plan before I’ll feel comfortable putting much time into it.

9. What's your favorite band/song/movie/TV show/beer?

Current favorite band is probably Porcupine Tree. I’m also spending a lot of time listening to an album called 66 steps and one of Trey Anastasio’s newer albums called Bar 17. Favorite song is “My Humps” of course. The best movie I have seen is called “The Journey”. Favorite TV show is probably Arrested Development. You know it’s good when they cancel it. I love all beer equally. Even the cheap crappy kind has its positives.

10. In my Blogging experience, I find that some of my funniest pieces get overlooked and underappreciated for some reason. What is, in your opinion, the funniest essay you've ever written? Did it get the attention you felt it deserved?

To this day, I don’t fully understand why the Album Covers were so huge. Therein lies proof that I will never be the inventor of the next big thing. I don’t know that I have a favorite entry. The one about the lion that adopted the baby antelope was kind of funny, and I liked writing the one about the non-PC PC. I also find a lot of humor in the responses of readers, particularly when they disagree with my political views. It’s cute when they are wrong and get all flustery.

11. You possess all of the essential elements of a great Blogger. Not only a heightened sense of awareness to all of the problems and foolishness around you, but enough humor, logic and honesty to see through it all; crafting it into something hilarious and interesting. Does this coincide with an overall 'message' you're trying to get across with Pork Tornado? Or is it simply a place to tell funny stories?

I don’t know how true all of the compliments are, but thanks for saying it. I don’t see any of it as anything that will change lives or cure disease or anything, but I know that there is an increasing percentage of people who are looking for something to read that doesn’t just sound like the same censored, feel good crap you hear everywhere else. I don’t think there is a message other than “Hey, you’re not the only one thinking it. Now let us bind ourselves together with twine made of logic and rule the universe.”

12. Name a couple of Bloggers that you look up to in terms of humor and writing style.

I’ve always liked Phil Hendrie, but I don’t think he keeps a blog anymore. I also think Eric Von Haessler is a thoughtful, intelligent guy with a logical outlook on most things (madpundit.com).

Phil Collins (the blogger, not the drummer) had a blog that I found to be frigging beautiful, but he took it down because he wants me to be sad. He writes very honestly with a style that makes me jealous.

13. Do you have any advice to give to aspiring Bloggers out there?

Holy God, do I ever. I’m about to get on the soapbox:

First (and most important, as it applies to everything in life) – if it isn’t making you money or making you happy, there is no reason to do it. If it does both, then you have won.

Second, if you aren’t funny, don’t try to be funny. I didn’t have to try out for the high school basketball team to know that I was not a basketball player. The world needs Rocket surgeons AND mechanics- capitalize on whatever you are good at.

Third, don’t take it too hard if people pick on you. Some people don’t know how to write an e-mail, and some are just assholes.

Fourth – No poetry.

Ever.

Even good poets are bad poets.

Fifth - don’t start writing just to drive traffic to your site. If you do, you will fail because you will spend your time trying to figure out what people want instead of writing what you want.

Sixth – don’t act like your advice to aspiring bloggers is important, you blowhard.

I want to once again thank Dusty for taking the time to do this interview with the CDP. If you're a Salami Tsunami fan checking out the CDP for the first time, take a look around and stay awhile. Sound off in the comments section, and enjoy your Monday.