atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,
atomic_fungus
atomic_fungus

#3917: Why be surprised?

Congress is exempt from Obamacare. C'mon, that was always going to be the case even if it wasn't written into the black-letter law. How can anyone be surprised by this? Congress has always exempted itself from expensive or inconvenient laws.

For example, Congresscritters don't have to pay their people minimum wage. They're exempt from many (if not most, or all) of the labor laws. Congresscritters can do as much insider trading as they want. And there are a myriad of other examples besides where Congress says, We're entitled to be exempt from these laws because we can be trusted. You cannot, serf.

I use the term "serf" advisedly, because we have an entrenched aristocracy running the country. The GOP is part of that entrenched aristocracy. You do the math.

* * *

So, it's the first Friday in August of 2013 and it's a pleasant summer day. For the first time in more than a week the daytime temperature is over 80°. We actually got rain last night, a nice soaking rain, which means the grass will start growing again and I'll have to cut it.

Probably Sunday; if the weather lives up to the weather report it looks as if the temperatures will drop back to the mid-seventies in a day or so and Sunday is forecast to be a nice 75. Perfect for working outdoors.

* * *

Meanwhile, yesterday I actually sat down to work on the anthology. I got two stories edited and reformatted; one was Singularity (which was published here a page or two at a time in 2006-2007), the other being a novella about a NASA engineer who is tapped to become the first astronaut who isn't a multi-postdoc with 2,000 hours in jets and a specimen of perfect physical fitness.

I'm trying to come up with a name for the latter story, and failing. It's a present-day story set in an alternate history where NASA didn't build the Space Shuttle, but instead kept using the Saturn V and revised it in the late 1990s. Also, Saigon didn't fall until January of 1977 and the space program continues to be funded at 1960s levels to present day. (And Nixon was actually impeached.)

Originally he was slated to fly once, a quick up-and-down space station resupply jaunt. He's there to inspect the third stage booster in orbit, because of a problem the third stages are having, but while he's aboard the space station one of the two men manning the station turns out to have appendicitis, and so our hero ends up taking his place. The story ends with his departure from the space station.

There's another novella that takes place in that universe after that one, where our hero ends up going to the Moon for a 6-month tour, and then further--but it's not finished and I can't figure out how to get there from here yet, and the whole schmeer was originally written to be two stand-alone stories anyway. I like the way it reads and I think it's a pretty good story.

...but it needs a name.

So far, here's the lineup of stories I'm including in the anthology:
* The "rocket man" story I just mentioned
* The two extant Hooter Jenkins stories
* Singularity
* Methuselah, a follow-on story to Singularity
* Hero, a story about a guy who thwarted a terror attack
* The Fallers, the story which was rejected for publication elsewhere
* Mind Games, a story about a psychic foiling a serial killer (and I just came up with that title)
* At least one of the "tech cop" stories I mentioned in a prior entry
...assuming I can fix what's wrong with the latter, which I won't really know until I start digging into the thing.

These are all good stories; I mean, I like them, anyway. Then again, they are by my favorite author.

There are probably others I'll include as I find them. A thorough search of my archives is on my "to do" list but just about anything I find in the old filing cabinets will need to be completely rewritten. Not only is most of that stuff in formats I can no longer access digitally (C-64 and Atari ST diskettes) but I'm a much better writer than I was in 1990, and I know anything I use from that long ago will need to be reworked. That's just how it is.

I want to price it at $2.99 and I want the reader to feel as if he got good value for his money. And I want to sell a lot of copies.

* * *

About Lost, now that Mrs. Fungus and I have finished watching the series: the ending wasn't nearly as much of a train wreck as commentary had led me to believe it was.

SPOILERS AHEAD.

The general concensus was that everyone died when the airliner crashed, and everything had been some weird kind of afterlife. I don't think that's so.

The structure of the series relied heavily on flashback; the first several seasons showed us what was happening "now" (on the island) and used flashbacks to show us "before"--how the characters got to where they were, going back to childhood a lot of the time.

Then they got cute and--without explanation--started showing us flashforward, where they showed us what happened after a certain number of them got off the island. (Jack Shepard had the second* worst fake beard I've ever seen. Just sayin'.) Then we had the "Lost time-travel extravaganza", where things got so confusing they resorted to using title cards ("Thirty years earlier", "thirty years later", etc) to tell us when the hell we were. And after that season--in the final season--it looked like then they began showing us flashsideways, where we were seeing "alternate universe" events which were taking place concurrently with the events on the island.

...only that turned out not to be the correct evaluation of what they were doing.

The last episode made it plain to me that the last season had been more flashforward. The events in the alternate reality were actually taking place decades after the events on the island.

The series ends where it began: with Jack Shepard laying on his back in a bamboo grove, and the last thing we see in the series is him closing his eyes. (Nicely parallel to the first thing we see, which is him opening his eyes. We only ever see the crash in flashback.)

All the off-island events we see in the last season take place after that moment. Those events take place, in fact, after every character in the series has died. But since Hugo and Ben stayed on the island we can assume Hugo lived quite a while (Jacob, the last caretaker, lived over two millennia!). The people that got off the island lived, too, for a while afterwards--years, or whatever.

When everyone was dead, that was when the whole re-creation of the uninterrupted flight 815 began, where Jin and Sun weren't married, where Jack and Juliet had a son, where Sawyer was a cop, etcetera. That all happened in a sort of "pre-afterlife".

And when they were all together and all ready, they all moved on together.

But it seemed obvious to me that they were not dead all along. That doesn't make sense, not the way everything was presented. The island was connected with the outside world, and that world was a full, robust world. The outside world of the sixth season had a claustrophobic feeling to it, like it wasn't really an entire world--this was helped by the constant coincidental meetings between characters and constantly seeing people in roles different from the original story--and I think that was intentional. It was meant to feel like a private world, and that's exactly what it was: a re-creation of the world by the now-dead characters of the show, to prepare themselves for letting go of life and moving on to what's next.

End deliberate spoilers, but there may be more ahead.

Myself, I have another theory which would have fit everything perfectly if the writers of the series had been willing to use it: the island was the Garden of Eden.

Yeah! In that version, Jacob was the archangel set to guard it, "the man in black" would have to be the Serpent, and it helps a lot of the Dharma Initiative stuff to make some kind of sense. (Instead of merely being Random Weird Crap inserted to confuse viewers. Instead it's Random Weird Crap With Slight Explanation.) The glowing cave at the center would instead be the Tree of Knowledge, and-and-and.

Finally, I would have liked to have seen the adventures of Hugo and Ben.

END SPOILERS.

*First worst? The guy who stuck one to his face with electrical tape.

* * *

That's pretty much all I've got right now. Oh well.
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