Sunday, May 23, 2010

Lost: The End of an Era

Today is a sad, sad day.  This evening we bid adieu to Lost, the pop culture phenomenon that has dominated our thoughts and TV screens for the past 6 years.  It is not often when a television show can touch a generation of TV watchers the way Lost has.  To be invested in this show for the past 6 years has had it's ups and downs.  There have been rough patches along the way when I said to myself "Why am I still watching this show?"  But, I am glad I have stuck it out.  I remember watching the Pilot episode way back in 2004, when it originally aired.  I was instantly and irreversibly hooked.  Since then, I have NEVER missed a single episode!  Ten Emmy Awards and a Golden Glode later, here we are, at the "The End."  Two-and-a-half hours somehow doesn't seem like enough to end such an incredible ride.  I am torn over tonight's episode.  I am dying to find out how the writers and producers are going to conclude this groundbreaking show.  But, at the same time, it will be hard to finally part ways with something that has been a part of my life for so long.  I will miss the characters and their back/forward/sideways stories.  I will miss the island and it's mysterious and supernatural characteristics.  But above all, I think I am just going to miss the thrill of anticipating the next week's episode, speculating and theorizing what will happen next, discovering the mythological and theological themes beneath the surface, and being surprised at every turn by unpredictable twists and shocking revelations.

Tonight's grand finale of Lost will be a huge milestone in pop culture and television history.  Possibly among the biggest finales of all time.  Right up there with the final episodes of M*A*S*H, Cheers, Seinfeld and Friends.  And in honor of this incredible ride coming to an end, I would like to hear your favorite moments from Lost.  What was your favorite gasp-inducing twist?  What was your favorite nickname from Sawyer?  Whose love story did you enjoy the most?  Who did you shed tears for when they unexpectedly died?

One of my favorite moments from Lost was the revelation of the flash-forward at the end of season three.  It was groundbreaking and completely unexpected.  I literally gasped and screamed when I figured out that we were now seeing into the future, not the past.  As for love stories, my hat goes off to Sawyer and Juliet.  I loved them together.  They were so different, but so perfect for each other. Which also brings me to Juliet's death.  Probably the most heart-wrenching scene of the entire series.  I cried when she was at the bottom of the hole, banging that darn nuke with the rock, and then a brilliant flash to white.  What an amazing way to end season 5.  But I don't think anything can top the spectacle that was the pilot episode.  The crash scene on the beach is absolutely stunning.  That single episode was enough to get millions of people, including myself, hooked for 6 years of incredible television.

Tonight will be rough.  It will be interesting.  It will be full of answers and twists.  But most of all, it will mark the end of an era.  The era of "the island."  The era of The Dharma Initiative.  The era of Jack, Kate, Sawyer, Locke, Hurley, Desmond, Juliet, Sayid, Ben, Jin and Sun, Charlie and Richard.  The era of LOST.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

50th Blog Post!

First things first. Happy Mother's Day!

Today is not only a special occasion because we celebrate the great women who raised and nurtured us, but it also marks my 50th blog post! Cue fireworks and roaring anthems:

So, as a thank you to all my followers and everyone who reads my blog, I am going to share with you some videos of the music I am currently enjoying.

Sugarland, "Settlin'"

Erik Hassle, "Hurtful"

Shiny Toy Guns, "Rainy Monday"

Groove Coverage, "Poison"

Ke$ha, "Animal"

Lady Antebellum, "Need You Now"

Basshunter, "Angel In The Night"

P!nk, "Glitter In The Air"

Tiësto, "In The Dark"

Eurythmics, "Sweet Dreams"

Lady Gaga, "No Way"

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Emotions Are Contagious

For the most part my life is going great right now.  I have a good job, I have great friends, and my family is being so accepting of me being gay (my aunt and uncle now know, also).  I have so much to be thankful for, and I am really, really happy in my life right now.  Ever since coming into the gay community five months ago, I have met some amazing people who have really been instrumental in me getting to where I am today.  I have become completely aware of myself, and I am comfortable with who I am, thanks in part to these wonderful people.

There is just one thing in my life that I can't seem to handle.  It's the fact that so many gay people are so depressed and down on themselves.  I am a naturally optimistic person, and I hate being sad, angry, depressed, or whatnot.  I avoid those self-destructive feelings like the plague.  I went through too much of that on my mission and I know first-hand just how destructive they are.  But, whenever someone close to me tells me that they are sad or depressed, I end up feeling sad or depressed for them.  I have a very close friend, who is down more often than not, it seems.  I want to help, but I always end up feeling so down that I can't do anything about it.  I end up shutting out this person because I can't handle being that way any longer.  He takes my silence as a lack of caring or indifference to his situation and he always manages to make me feel even worse for not talking about it.  It's very true when they say that emotions are contagious, especially the bad ones.  I just wish I could infuse some of my happiness into him.  I hate seeing him suffer like this.  I still have very strong feelings for this individual and I am still trying to get over him, but I hope that he can understand why it's so hard for me.  I know too well what he is going through.  But because I know it too well, I don't want to go through that again myself.  That's why I end up shutting him out.  Sometimes I just can't handle being around people like that.  And I am pretty sure I'm not the only one.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Lady Gaga - Time's Most Influential

Time magazine recently announced their annual Top 100 Most Influential People in the World.  And a big congrats goes out to Lady Gaga for topping the list in the Artists category.  Read what fellow singer Cyndi Lauper has to say about her.  It pretty much sums up my feelings about her too:

I first heard the name Lady Gaga through a mutual friend.  He couldn't stop talking about her.  Then I heard her music, and I thought, Wow, I love this kid.  

An artist's job is to take a snapshot - be it through words or sound, lyrics or song - that explains what it's like to be alive at the time.  Lady Gaga's art captures the period we're in right now.  These days, you go to a club and wonder who all these kids are.  They don't seem to have jobs.  How can they afford to be here? Her song "Beautiful, Dirty, Rich" explains that scene.  It's about the New York prep-school party kids she grew up with.  It's where she came from.  Gaga's lyrics are incredibly literary.  When "Bad Romance" starts, the music grabs your ear immediately.  Then she opens with the line "I want your ugly / I want your disease," and all of a sudden you're listening.  Most of the stuff on the radio is not very clever, but Gaga presents her ideas in a sophisticated manner.  She has an incredible pop sensibility.  

People forget how young she is.  She is barely 24 - much younger than I was when I became famous.  It's very tough being where she is right now.  People are pulling her in all different directions.  It's hard to navigate that.  Try to imagine what you were like at her age, if you still can.  I can't wait to see how she grows and what she decides her next act will be.  She only has two albums out, but already she is inspiring other artists to go further in their own work.  

When I see somebody like Gaga, I sit back in admiration.  I'm inspired to pick up the torch again myself.  I did an interview with her once, and she showed up with a sculpture on her head.  I thought, How awesome.  Being around her, I felt like the dust was shaken off of me.  I find it very comforting to sit next to somebody and not have to worry that I look like the freak.  She isn't a pop act, she is a performance artist.  She herself is the art.  She is the sculpture.  

And then she records this video:  

How mature.  Out of all the superficial "heroes" that so many people cast as role models, she picks Deepak Chopra as her hero, a person who actually makes a difference in this world.  And listen to what she says about how she wants to "go beyond the music" and create music that inspires people and touches them spiritually.  I think this shows that Lady Gaga is not just another pop superstar.  She is a human being with something to say, who happens to be a pop superstar.

(If you want to read up on others who made Time's Most Influential List, click here)