Archive for March, 2007

Death: Do we save the best for last?

Saturday, March 31st, 2007

Two weeks ago, I received more feedback about my column-writing than I have in the year since I began writing it.

Ironically, it was the first time my column didn’t run.

The omission was an oversight, though I must admit I wondered what about that particular column was so scandalous that it got yanked. To my relief, there was no drama involved.

Several of the people who asked about the missing column are regular readers who engage me consistently. However, some comments came from people from whom I had never heard before. I heard some of the nicest compliments about my work during the week when I hadn’t done anything.

This got me thinking about what it is concerning us as human beings that causes us to save our best accolades until something which we value is gone.

Funerals sometimes exemplify this regretful hindsight.

In the best cases, a memorial service is a celebration of a full life, as well as an opportunity for those present to grieve the loss of someone they love. Regret sneaks in when the absence of our loved one makes salient the realization that there were personal matters left unshared or grudges left unresolved.

Why do we hesitate to say the things we wish we could? It’s a risk to lay our feelings bare, even to those closest to us, because there’s a little voice inside of each of us that warns us we’re at risk of getting emotionally trampled.

When I was a teenager, my grandfather was dying of cancer. By the time I got excused from school to visit him, he has wasted to about 80 pounds and he rarely left the living-room couch.

He was an emotionally reserved man, and he and I had never been close. But during that visit, he told me stories about his service in World War II, and shared more about his childhood than I had heard in 13 years. Then he did something he had never done before: He told me he loved me. I gratefully did the same, and we shared a wonderfully unfamiliar embrace.

I have another relative for whom I was assigned responsibility for their estate at death. During one particular visit, I mustered the courage to ask them their views on everything from long-term care to life support and burial plans. It was a conversation I dreaded, but one that I knew was necessary.

Unfortunately, I didn’t get the kind of answers I had hoped for. In a nutshell, the person has no long-term care plans, short of living life in the manner they choose until money, quality of life or other factors dictate otherwise.

Then they plan to “take care of things” themselves. Ever since, I have lived with a lingering cloud, wondering when I will get the call to clean up the figurative or literal mess left behind. My only other choice seems to be to divest myself of the role of executor.

I have been blessed by nearly seven years of fulfilling marriage with my wonderful, loving, beautiful wife, Amy. Though she is very comfortable expressing her feelings, I am the stereotypical awkward male who would rather fix problems instead of talk about how I feel.

I struggle past my masculine ineptitude on occasion, but there are some days when I don’t tell her exactly how much I care about her. For some reason, I still get anxious about emotional vulnerability, even with people like her who pose no reasonable threat. So I balk.

We all do.

Consider this the next time those words catch in your throat: Expressions of love and honesty may make for a lovely eulogy, but they always sound better live, in person.

Denial hides pain that never goes away

Saturday, March 24th, 2007

Denial hides pain that never goes away

By Christian Piatt

Denial is defined as a defense mechanism which is used to shield someone from a situation that is deemed too painful to face, even when evidence stands overwhelmingly in opposition to their personal views. Such behavior is documented throughout the Bible, the most famous instance of which is Peter’s denial of Jesus. It’s still a powerful precept in the modern world.

On the global level, Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is the most recent – and most outspoken – Holocaust denialist. How can someone who seems articulate, well-read and charismatic enough to lead a nation hold such an apparently distorted opinion?

Because it fits with the way he wants to see the world.

There are varying degrees of Holocaust denial, varying from outright rejection of the entire concept as a tool of Jewish conspiracy to historical revisionism. Historian Donald Niewyk of Southern Methodist University says, “With the main features of the Holocaust clearly visible to all but the willfully blind, historians have turned their attention to aspects of the story for which the evidence is incomplete or ambiguous.” Basically, those who would have the story change nitpick at inconsistencies or information vacuums to insert their own agenda.

How much effect does this ultimately have? Not much. Most Holocaust deniers are considered to be loonies, as evidenced by Ahmadinejad’s eroding base of support within his own country.

Perhaps a more powerful example is the pervasive AIDS denial taking place throughout many countries in Africa. It has been deemed by many African leaders, from presidents on down, that antiretroviral drugs created by western drug companies are only tools of extermination meant to poison Africans on a massive scale.

Press secretaries and cabinet members claim in public that HIV has no relationship to AIDS. Meanwhile they advocate for herbal folk remedies, sold out of storefronts for $100 a liter. None of these has been scientifically tested, yet the president of South Africa, as only one example, claims the real solution to AIDS will come from such homemade cures.

Domestically, denial about the environmental impacts of our own consumption-driven lifestyles caused us to abandon the international Kyoto Accord. Though the theory was that its goals were not progressive enough, we continue to be surpassed by a majority of developed nations with respect to CO2 emissions and other pollutants. Only recently has our administration conceded that any problems related to global warming exist, acknowledging at least that polar bears are losing their native habitat.

Who was the President’s foremost consultant on global warming, the one who claims it still does not exist? Fiction author Michael Crichton.

On a more personal note, we choose regularly not to acknowledge the impact of our own behaviors. From the cars we drive to the clothes and groceries we buy and the entertainment we devour, we willfully occlude the obvious oppression to which we contribute. Theologian Fred Craddock, whom I have quoted before, says we can’t put a quarter in a soft drink machine without contributing to oppression.

Do we really want to know the full impact of our existence on the rest of the world, or do we choose to live in denial? If indeed there is a day of judgment, I expect we’ll experience a profound moment of clarity, at which point we’ll become harshly aware of the ripple effect of every choice we’ve made in our lives. Gross misconduct like murders and theft are given, but there will be much more subtlety to the transgressions for which we’ll be held accountable.

It’s easy enough to point fingers at leaders such as Bush or Ahmadinejad, because their laundry is hung up for all to see. But the evidence of our own wrongdoing is evident enough for anyone who chooses to see it. Will we choose to acknowledge it, or is it just too painful?

A recent article about my first two books

Tuesday, March 20th, 2007

Disciples couple’s latest venture: a book on young adult spirituality

By David Matthews, DisciplesWorld contributing writer

PUEBLO, Colo. (3/19/07) —

After the recent success of Lost: A Search for Meaning, a theological look at the hit TV series LOST, author and DisciplesWorld columnist Christian Piatt is excited about the release of a new book which tackles the topic of young adult spirituality.

MySpace to Sacred Space: God for a New Generation, to be released in July by Chalice Press, was a fun experience for Piatt, who co-wrote the book with his wife, Amy, pastor of Milagro Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Pueblo, Colo.

In order to get the “practical” information needed, the Piatts sent out a 57-question survey to contacts across North America and Europe, and used research from a similar study done by Baylor University. They heard back from 765 young adults — defined as being between 18 and 40 years of age. The Piatts also sent video cameras to couples and groups to record their faith stories.

“We wanted to, roughly, cover a generation,” said Christian. “And we found some of the greatest diversity in that age range than any demographic in the history of the United States.” The survey asked a variety of questions about Generation Y’s attitudes towards organized religion, both past and present, and how to address any mentioned criticisms.

The Piatts said that coming up with the questions was a crucial process towards writing the book. “I think that’s where any good book starts,” Amy said. “With good questions.” The book’s subject matter came from the survey results. Those interviewed include a gay minister, and a recovering meth addict going to seminary.

“People were very generous in sharing their faith journeys, life lessons and opinions,” Amy said. “There is a deep honesty in what they told us.”

Another challenge the Piatts faced was relating their personal experiences with organized Christianity to the survey results. Amy, an ordained minister, is a sixth generation Disciple. Christian had left the church for 10 years before meeting his wife.

Christian found similar types of people in their survey pool. Fifty percent of respondents mentioned a negative experience with church. He described this phenomenon as “cultural mitosis.”

“Right now there is the largest contingency of people in the United States who aren’t affiliated with church, yet we also have the most evangelicals at same time,” he said. “There is a cultural mitosis of the two extremes between evangelicals and the unchurched.”

The reason for this split is mostly attributed to an individual’s perception of God, Christian said. “According to the Baylor study, the greatest predictor of a person’s religious values is his or her God-image,” he said. “An angry vs. loving God, etc . . . priests think people show up agreeing on same page and that’s increasingly untrue.”

The Piatts’ main focus with MySpace to Sacred Space is to re-evaluate how people look at the church, and how to educate young people. “This book was written for church leaders, and to give an opportunity for young adults to step up and speak with some authority,” Christian said.

The book’s ultimate goal is to change how church leaders educate their parishes, and young adults in particular, he said. “There’s a misconception that youth only like contemporary worship. Untrue. Music styles and services preferred are very broad,” he said.

The idea that young people don’t think about faith is also incorrect, Christian said, noting “a lot of institutional suspicion, but also a lot of interest in theology.” Understanding this group means addressing certain topics. “The bonding issues are social issues like poverty, HIV/AIDS, global warming, and our social responsibility not only as Christians but as human beings . . . this is not the quick fix church leaders want to hear, but it is the solution,” Christian said.

Despite his recent successes, Christian Piatt’s career as an author started when his original suggestion to Chalice Press was rejected.

“We had already a series of books where we were commenting on media, like The Da Vinci Code, The Secret Life of Bees, The Matrix, with Christian critiques,” said Pablo Jimenez, consultant editor for Chalice Press. “Christian sent a proposal that we didn’t accept, but I called him, liked his writing style, and [asked] him to do something on LOST.”

Christian was intrigued by the new idea. “LOST provided more rich opportunities to engage people,” he said. “Kind of like Star Wars, it presents lots of universal questions and issues people can relate to.”

The book was received well, according to Jimenez. His editor feels that honesty is Piatt’s greatest strength as an author. “He’s a person who can share his doubts as well as he can share his convictions,” Jimenez said.

Case of the Missing Column…and Other Notes

Monday, March 19th, 2007

For those who may follow my column and think I am slacking, my column just did not run this Saturday. Fortunately it was due to editor oversight, and not because I’ve been canned or anything.

My next column will run as regularly planned next Saturday.

Also, I have recently signed with a literary agent who is helping shop my stuff around to various publishing houses.  She has one publisher meeting to discuss a compilation of my spoken word work, which I am hopeful would also include a CD recording of many of them being read. She’s also exploring the possibility of publishing a collection of my columns as a book. We’ll see if there’s any interest.

At this point, it looks like my new book, co-authored with my wife, Amy, titled “MySpace to Sacred Space: God for a New Generation,” will be out at the end of July.  It’s already listed on several online retail sites for sale, which is a little strange since it’s still being edited by the publisher. I have some results from our research posted on my website,, and I expect to have a free chapter posted once it’s officially complete.

Finally, I’m working on a new novel! The working title is “Blood Doctrine,” and I can’t talk a lot about the plot at this time. However, it definitely is in the genre of “biblical historical fiction,” if there’s such a genre. My agent is eager to begin shopping it as soon as I have complete drafts of the first three chapters, of which I have two complete so far.  More about this as things develop.

That’s all for now. Thanks for keeping up with my weekly ramblings.

LOST: Thoughts on “Par Avion” Episode

Friday, March 16th, 2007

I know I’m a couple of days late posting, but my work on a new novel has taken precedent. Anyhow, here are my thoughts on the most recent LOST episode.

“Par Avion”  (I think I’m  remembering  the name right) was kind of like Raisin Bran;  it’s not my favorite, but it’s fairly satisfying and it helps keep things moving.  Let’s start with the positives.

Claire’s back-story was interesting, though not entirely a shocker. My secret hope was that the people subsidizing her mom’s bills were the Widmores, and that she had actually been run off the road by a Widmore Construction truck. Alas, it was more of a Star Wars, soap opera, “Luke, I am your father” moment. So she and Jack are half brother/sister, which is interesting, but not particularly compelling, at least at this point. I do like knowing a little more about her character, as the sense we get of her on the show to this point has been kind of two-dimensional. My hope  was/is that we would learn more that would help us  better understand Aaron and what’s so unique about him, but this was still worthwhile.

By far, the coolest part of the whole episode, which made the whole hour worthwhile, was seeing Jack playing football with Mr. Friendly/Tom. The question now is: did they brainwash him, or is he pretending to buy in? Or maybe something else happened, but keep in mind this is only days after their big blow-up, with him being left behind. Now all of a sudden he’s back on the other island, sipping mai-tais and rubbing elbows with the Hostiles. The other possibility is that there’s some sort of time/space distortion issue here, so that what we’re actually seeing is a Jack who has been there, happily cohabitating with the Others for some time. How this works out depends on the whole past/future dichotomies they keep throwing around lately.

If they don’t resolve that this season, at least a little bit, I may be compelled to throw my TV off a cliff.

The security fence was interesting, though this – not surprising – has been the object of discussion for all of the LOST fanatics online. Why would they spend so much money on a security perimeter that has such an obvious weakness? Is it only to keep animals in/out, and if so, ain’t it a little elaborate for that? Does it keep people in or out, or both? Maybe it’s only meant to slow people down, and not so much keep them out permanently. After all, they have weapons and the like, so if they were monitoring the perimeter, which they don’t seem to be doing currently, they’d know when there was a breach.

My biggest thing with the fence scenes was why they had Kate go over first. Someone had to be last going over, and if there’s no one else left to hold the back of the tree trunk as a counterweight, doesn’t it make sense to have the smallest person go last?  My wife pointed out, however, that the other actors are either likely too fat, big or old to actually do that scene, so Kate was the one filmed doing the stunt by default.

Here’s what kind of sucked about the episode:

A Claire flashback with nothing about Aaron should not be allowed this deep into the season. They dangled the Aaron story out there two years ago and have done nothing with it since. No fair. Too many loose ends gives the impression we’re on a wild goose chase, though it seems, with the last few weeks, that we’re getting somewhere again. I know this is trivial, but the note Claire attached to the bird, though sufficiently poetic and dramatic, was possibly the most impractical rescue note ever. Also, how in the heck are they going to keep it from getting wet? This is, after all, a sea bird. The first time it sits in the water, the note is toast.

Overall, these are minor gripes, and I found it t be a pretty solid episode. It appears Ben returns next week, and we FINALLY learn what happened to Locke to paralyze him.  About damn time, I must say.  It’s hard to believe we’re so far into season three already, but it’s definitely getting good the past month or so. Let’s hope they keep up the momentum.

Further thoughts on “Jesus Tomb” (My Chieftain Column)

Saturday, March 10th, 2007

Having watched James Cameron’s “Lost Tomb of Jesus” special on the Discovery Channel, and having followed some of the subsequent discussion online, I believe it’s worth dedicating a second week to this significant find.

Certainly, there was some compelling evidence presented in the two-hour show, and questions raised have sparked vigorous debate, not only about the historical basis of Scripture, but also the basis and context of what we claim as Christians to believe today.

Some reflexively condemn the show as an attack on Christianity based on the premises that they even suggest Jesus’ physical remains were left behind, and that he may have married and had a son. Others see this as an opportunity to learn more about the family of Jesus and the movement he sparked two millennia ago.

One interesting point that is discussed throughout the show deals with the names on the ossuaries found in the tomb, which is a fancy name for “bone boxes.” Though all of the names on the ossuaries were quite common at the time of Jesus’ life, the particular combination of names, all found in the same family tomb, is much less likely when the numbers are crunched.

The way in which the statistics were presented, however, were misleading. A statistician figured that the likelihood of this particular combination of family names, from which producers of the special claimed this meant the likelihood that this wasn’t the family of Jesus of Nazareth, was one in 30,000. However, the numbers actually tell a different story.

We should consider that the official population of Jerusalem at the time of Jesus’ death was anywhere between 60,000 and 90,000. If there is a one in 30,000 chance of this sequence of family names occurring, there should have been two or three other families in Jerusalem at the time with exactly the same names.

Therefore, rather than suggesting such dramatically low odds against this not being Jesus from Scripture, it’s more appropriate to say that there’s a 50 to 33 percent chance that it actually is. While these are still compelling odds, it’s hardly undeniable proof.

On the other side of the coin, some contend that Jesus would not have been buried in Jerusalem, but rather in Nazareth, based on his name, “Jesus of Nazareth.” However, the legal residence of Jesus’ family arguably is Bethlehem, based on their return there for the census, prior to Jesus’ birth. Talpiot, the location of the discovered tomb, is a little more than 2 miles north of Bethlehem.

Another claim is that Jesus’ family, being of modest means, would not be buried in such a nice family tomb. But one consideration is that Jesus is a descendant of the line of David, both by Mary and Joseph, according to the Gospel texts. Such a bloodline was considered highly venerable at this time, which could justify such a distinction at burial.

In addition, Jesus’ brother, James, is described as having some followers who are of financial means. It’s entirely possible that part of the support the family received from their faithful was a tomb commissioned in their honor. This would align well with prophecy in Isaiah, Chapter 53, which states that the Messiah will be buried among the wealthy.

The debate has only begun around this issue, which is interesting considering that the tomb and ossuaries were discovered more than 25 years ago.

Granted, the producers of the film do seem compelled to buttress the hypotheses they already hold, which is why the scientific method should be applied to such research. To date, this has not happened, and the participants recorded in the show are not formally trained in archaeology, paleontology, genetics or biblical history.

On the other hand, opponents of the claims made are not basing their dismissals upon scientific principles, either. In general, they have beliefs, and they’re sticking to them. Truth be told, there’s likely no evidence compelling enough to dissuade some people, period.

At least we’re talking. It’s better for us to debate than to draw blood over such ideological differences. And who knows? Maybe we’ll all come out on the other end of the discussion having learned something, at least about ourselves, if not the mysterious figure many of us call Jesus, the Christ.

Thoughts on LOST “Enter 77” episode

Thursday, March 8th, 2007

Along with the “Flashes” episode, this was, without a doubt, the best of season three to date.

As a religion writer, I especially enjoyed the back-story for Sayid and the forgiveness he received for past wrongdoings, and to see how it affects his behavior now. Plus Sayid is just a bad-ass, so any time we get to learn more about him is interesting.

At first, I actually got fished in by Mikail’s (sp?) confession that he was the last of the DHARMA scientists. My head started spinning with all the debunked theories. But then it turns out he’s just a big, fat liar, which makes much more sense.

I was glad to see that they developed the story about the Flame site, which harkens all the way back to season one. This gives me some confidence that we’re actually headed somewhere. I was also pleased to see Klugh (sp?) show up again, though she lasted about as long as a donut in Hurley’s pocket. Again, this suggests that more of the remainder of this season will be spent developing some of the dozens of loose ends with which we were left last season.

Regarding Locke, can someone please get that man some Ritalin???  He has less impulse control than my three-year-old son. We know he has a thing for games, but for crying out loud, if he doesn’t stop pushing buttons – or for that matter stop stopping pushing other buttons (see imploded hatch) – he’s going to cause the whole place to melt down.  Clearly the whole island is set up in ways to keep outsiders/hostlies from taking it over, so it’s entirely likely if Locke gets his hands on the wrong button, he could send the whole place up in a plume of flames.

Maybe at some point down the road, will curiosity kill Locke?  I know, he’s a great character, but would it be justice?  He’s a hero sometimes, then such a screw-up at the next turn. Let’s say you read it here first: Locke dies, though not likely this season.

The bit with Hurley, Sawyer and the ping pong table, though entirely unnecessary, was a fun addition. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon?  Avalanche? Sawyer gets all the best lines.

Am I alone in not missing Jack at all? Can they leave him on the other island a while longer, pretty please?

Next week promises to be equally interesting.  It looks like we get to learn more about the island security system. We can only hope this promises the return of the smoke monster, and maybe some answers about what it is. It also appears we’ll learn more about Desmond, who is quickly becoming the most compelling character since Eko (sniff sniff, we miss you Eko. Come back soon).

My take is that, if they keep up this type of show for the rest of the season, they’ll keep fans’ interest, and all will be forgiven for the mediocre start.

Six and a half more days till the next show….

Reading the bones, searching for God

Saturday, March 3rd, 2007

Oscar-winning filmmaker James Cameron claims he has compelling evidence that the remains of Jesus Christ have been found. In a special titled “The Lost Tomb of Jesus,” airing Sunday on the Discovery Channel, he also argues that Jesus had a son with Mary Magdalene, whose name was Judah.

Cameron’s documentary focuses on six ossuaries discovered nearly three decades ago in a tomb in Jerusalem. On the outside of the ancient caskets were inscribed the names of Jesus, son of Joseph, Mary, Mary Magdalene, Matthew, Joseph and Judah, son of Jesus.

What does all of this mean? It depends on whom you ask.

Creators of the documentary claim they have relatively airtight evidence that would prove with 99.99999% certainty that these are the family members and apostle of Christ, as well as Jesus of Nazareth himself. If such assertions were confirmed, it indeed would be the most significant find in the history of Christianity, if not the world.

For those whose beliefs hinge on Jesus’ bodily resurrection, physical remains would rock their entire faith. In addition, the suggestion that Jesus had a family of his own goes directly against some peoples’ image of an eminently chaste savior. It also implies that Christ’s bloodline still may be in existence, which has all sorts of implications.

I grew up in a church where I heard, week after week, the claim that if Jesus was not physically raised from the dead, our faith is meaningless. This was a terrifying prospect to me. The argument goes that if he wasn’t raised from the dead, body and all, then he wasn’t the son of God. He was just a nice guy with some good ideas.

For some, the miracles of Jesus, from turning water to wine all the way to resurrection, are the necessary evidence of his divinity. Without these, he loses his credibility as the messiah. For others, the miraculous is not confined to a few mystical, inexplicable acts recorded in Scripture. Further, the very definition of “miracle” is anything attributed to God, generally inexplicable in human terms.

Given this perspective, Jesus’ resurrection and stories take on a new kind of meaning. Whether or not such events took place exactly as stated in the Gospel texts is less important than the idea that something inexplicable and powerful took place in the birth, life and death of Jesus. God broke into the world, and nothing has since been the same. The miracles then become secondary to the very presence of someone who represented this divine in-breaking, which we still struggle to understand.

The possibility that Jesus married and had children is another affront to some Christians. For those who claim Jesus was without sin his entire life, the concept of him engaging in sexual acts is incomprehensible. This actually says more about how people perceive sex than it does about Jesus.

Scripture doesn’t say if Jesus had sex, a wife or children or not. In the Old Testament, procreation is a gift from God that is necessary to our continuation as a species. Sure, sex is the source of much pain in the world, but to blame the act itself as inherently sinful is like blaming a dollar bill for human greed.

For people whose faith requires rigid “if-then” contingencies, there is no human argument that could sway them. Every scientist in the world could verify the findings of those who discovered the tomb in Jerusalem, to no avail. For others who do not rely on history remaining just as they perceive it, this presents an opportunity for discussion, and perhaps to learn more about our religious ancestry.

Regardless, the very significance of the find, and the debate that surrounds it, indicates the very human fixation of searching for traces of the divine in the world around us. We want to find, once and for all, the thing that will answer all of our open-ended questions.

If such answers existed, there would no longer be a need for faith; we would just know. Personally, it was Jesus’ faith that is most inspiring. If it was good enough for him, it’s good enough for me.

Thoughts on “Trisha Tanaka” episode

Thursday, March 1st, 2007

In most cases, I agree with the consensus on The Fuselage fan site about each episode, but this time, I don’t seem to. Most people strongly felt last night’s Lost episode was good to great. I think this has more to do with returning to the beach and focusing on Hurley, a character most everyone likes, than the overall importance or quality of the show.

I too am glad they returned to the beach. A too enjoyed learning more about Hurley, and listening to him “dude” and “awesome” his way through an hour. However, what did we learn of any importance? Kate’s partnership with Rousseau was so telegraphed in last week’s preview, it might as well have been sponsored by Western Union. We now know Hurley doesn’t believe there’s a curse, and thankfully Charley didn’t die, but seriously, we can’t be washed of the significance of the numbers that simply, can we?

It definitely was better than last week, but nothing close to the Desmond-centric “flashes” episode. Is it too much to expect that level of quality, intensity and significance every week? Maybe so. However, I feel like if HBO can do it week-in and week-out with Sopranos, Deadwood, Six Feet Under, Rome, etc., network TV can do it with one show. For those poised to argue the difference is HBO’s liberty with F-bombs and boobage, please see the entire catalog of crappy horror films in the past couple of decades. Profanity and nudity don’t make a good show. Consistently high-quality writing, combined with a strong overarching storyline make good TV.

Back to Lost: We’re now deep into season three, and we seem no closer to any answers about:
The smoke monster
The numbers (I think Hurley’s “revelation” is a red herring)
What are the Others doing there?
Where’s the “other” group of others, ie, the hut-dwellers?
What about Adam and Eve?
What about the plane? The hot air balloon? Black Rock ship? how did they get there?
What about Penelope Widmore’s search crew, who supposedly saw the magnetic disturbance at the end of season two?
Where did Walt and Michael go? If that isn’t resolved or revisited, I’m going to hurt someone.
Now we have the Clockwork Orange station where Karl was held. What’s going on there?
Who the heck is Jacob?
How baout the four-toed statue?

And so on, and so on. The writers have a responsibility to tie up some of the existing loose ends before introducing new ones. I think they risk the lingering sense of a wild goose chase if they don’t offer some resolution, and I really hope they focus on some of the greater mythology in the near future.

Next week’s looks promising, though I say that every week.

All that having been said, I did enjoy the show last night. I just didn’t feel like it got me any closer to understanding some things I have wanted to know for upwards of a year now. There’s a fine line between being mysterious and being dull and disjointed. I can only hope we’re not heading toward the latter with Lost. If so, my hope is they’ll end it after three years and count their losses. However, if they can bring some of the big-picture storyline stuff back in and make us feel like we’re going somewhere, there’s plenty of opportunity to continue for seasons four, five or more.