Monday, July 14, 2008

The LOST Book was Weird and Creepy *spoiler warning*

So, a few weeks ago I gave you the top 10 things I had learned from LOST and told you I had a particular book on hold which would tell me the meaning of God and of life based on the TV show. I know, I know, you were all a little skeptical when the book sounded like it wanted to find definitive religious truths in a television show where Matthew Fox is a whiney little pain in my ass and where islands can move – if you know how to turn the right magical, icy wheel. Truth be told, I was a little skeptical too. But I persevered and put the book on hold, hoping to find the secrets of truth and honor inside its sad little pages. The book finally came out of hold and into my hand. And guess what – it was creepy and weird.

First of all, let’s look at the title. The authors called the book:
What Can Be Found In LOST: Insights on God and the Meaning of Life from the Popular TV Series

Unfortunately, they made a mistake in doing so. What they should have called the book is this:
Two Old Religious Guys Desperately Try To Make a Hit TV Series Relevant To Christianity, Even Though the Most Flattering Mention of Jesus in the Series Had to Do with Beating Someone With a Jesus Stick

Or perhaps this:
How to Use the Guise of a Popular Television Series to Trick People into Joining Your Religion

Either one would have been better, in my opinion. Now maybe it’s just me, but when I see a book that is supposed to give me ‘insights on God and the meaning of life’, I expect insights on God and the meaning of life. Insights, people. Insights. Not an instruction booklet detailing everything LOST got wrong from the Christian perspective and how to fix it so that we don’t all end up in hell. The longer I am away from the church the more I forget how asinine and infuriating Christian books can be, and how much it makes me want to puke when I’m directly told I won’t receive salvation if I don’t do X, Y, Z. Sorry guys, I didn’t interpret LOST correctly so I guess I’ll see you in the seventh circle of hell. That is the circle for people who don’t interpret TV shows correctly, right? I’ll have to check Dante on that one.

Secondly, don’t pretend you wrote a book about LOST if you really wrote a book about how you think everyone should follow your religious agenda. That’s trickery and it’s not nice. Also, it’s annoying. If you want to make friends with me and spend time with me and get to know my story and you end up sharing your story with me – which includes your religion – that’s one thing. I’m cool with that. If you want to write a book under false pretenses and tell me I’m going to hell unless I follow your instructions, that’s not so cool. I’d say that’s grounds for a beating with the Jesus Stick.

Thirdly, if something isn’t related to your religion, don’t try desperately to force it to be related. For example, I found an interesting insert in the book. It was titled Is Jack “Jesus”? Anyone who has seen this show knows that we’re all in a great deal of trouble if Jack is, indeed, Jesus. Last I checked he’s a whiney little thing hopped up on prescription painkillers hoping he’ll get into another plane crash. Oh, and his beard is making me cringe. But wait, maybe he’s “Jesus” (I’m still not sure what the quotations are all about). Want to know why he might be “Jesus”? Here’s why:

  • 'He performs CPR on Charlie, bringing him back from near death.’ Um, CPR is the same as raising the dead? By my estimation that makes everyone on Grey’s Anatomy “Jesus”. And maybe everyone on ER. I don’t know as I’ve never watched that show, but I’m just guessing. Oh, and one of the guys at work here is also apparently “Jesus” because he used the AED on some guy having a heart attack. “Jesus” is everywhere.
  • 'Jack leads the survivors to water, just as Jesus claimed to be the water of life.’ Seriously? All I have to do is get people water to be “Jesus”? I got D a whole water bottle last night, and I filled the pitcher in the fridge. I must be the second coming.
  • ‘Jack’s last name is Shepherd; Jesus is the good shepherd’. My last name is Puff; therefore all cream puffs were made in my likeness. And cotton puffs. And Coco Puffs, while we’re at it.

The lesson to be learned here is this: If you have to stretch into the realm of complete and utter ridiculousness, you probably haven’t really made a point at all.

Lastly, your ability to create an acronym is not sufficient motivation for me to join your religion. The last chapter in this sad little book is titled: “LOST: What To Do About It”, which kind of makes me giggle. Um, what am I going to do about LOST? Duh, I’m going to watch it. What else would I do about it except maybe shut it off when it gets too annoying? But our two authors have another idea. Clearly, the only thing to do about LOST is……. join their religion! Obviously. Why didn’t I think of that? The entire chapter consists of Ways To Abuse Acronyms, by turning the word LOST into something that can get you saved. In just 4 easy steps LOST can save your soul! Yes, yours! Simply follow these instructions:

Look to Jesus
Open your past to him
Start with a prayer of commitment
Take steps to grow in Christ

It’s that easy! Now aren’t you glad you watched LOST?

So that was kind of a random, TV show/book induced rant, wasn’t it? Here’s the thing: I’ll happily find some spiritual truths in LOST. I’ll happily find some good social themes in LOST. I’ll hunt down some beautiful story telling, lessons to learn, and strategies for building relationships. I would even feel okay with looking specifically at the Christian Bible and making some comparisons: themes of faith and redemption, for example. I love it when things in our popular culture go deep enough to give us something to think about. I love it when pop culture shows us things that are beautiful and helps us deal with things that are ugly. I think it’s wonderful. But when people from the church try to pick up anything they can possibly find and slap the label “Christian” onto it so that they can feel all special because they’re participating in pop culture, it just irritates me. LOST is not about Jesus Christ. Sorry.

Now, The Chronicles of Narnia – that might be about Jesus Christ. Have a go. Write a book about how Aslan is “Jesus”. You may actually come up with something that makes sense.

But in all seriousness, ye people of the mega-churches, stop trying so hard. It’s quite annoying.

Actually, it kind of makes me want to beat you with the Jesus Stick.

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