Things aren’t always what they are cracked up to be

Relating to my previous post, there was an excellent illustration of things aren’t always what they seem, on a recent episode of the sitcom Parks & Recreation.

In it, Leslie Knope traded her city council office — the only one with a private bathroom — with another city councilman in order to gain his vote to extend the swimming pool hours for the swim team.

Knope wanted the swim team to learn a lesson in ‘government working for you’. You guys wanted something. You came to me – a city councilwoman. I championed it. You got what you wanted. 

Knope didn’t want them to know about the horse trading she had to do get their extended hours.

Somewhere in our early years we seem to develop a high regard for the political process. Maybe that’s inspired by the idealistic interactions like what the Pawnee swim team had with Councilwoman Knope.

Had the swim team been exposed to the true dealings that got their extended pool hours, they may come away with a different regard for the political process.


Lost is over.  Here’s an interesting post from Tyler Cowen about the final episode.

Here’s the comment I posted on his blog:

It’s a TV show. I enjoyed, I liked it. I’m glad it’s over so non-Losties in my vicinity won’t think ill of me for talking about smoke monsters, frozen donkey wheels, pockets of energy anymore.

I don’t believe Lucas knew Darth Vader would pop when the first Star Wars came out. DV did pop and I believe that helped Lucas focus the story around that moral equivalent flunkie. But it worked. People love that story and how it was told. I enjoy watching the Clone Wars (with my son, of course!) thinking it’s pretty cool that I first heard about the Clone Wars decades ago as something that happened “long ago”, and now here I am watching those stories unfold decades later with my kid.

The thing that bugs me about the ending of Lost is that they didn’t attempt to explain any of the stuff that was popping. Perhaps like the Clone Wars, we’ll be watching a cartoon series in a couple of decades about what the Island is.

I struggled with figuring out what David’s character was. Ultimately, I think he was a decoy to make the obvious a little less obvious.

I also interpreted the ending shot as – they died in the crash – but thought that was in direct conflict with Christian’s, Hugo’s and Kate’s lines, as others pointed out. I believe it was just a final set shot of “where it all started”, outside the fiction of the show and showing that it’s not active now as they all get ready to go onto what’s next for them.

I am thankful that Lost got me to explore some books. I recommend “The Third Policeman” by Flann O’Brien. It contains variations of many elements that made it into the show, even perhaps into the final show. It’s a quick read and it’s funny.