Ramblings from the Desert

The man who trades freedom for security does not deserve nor will he ever receive either. ~Benjamin Franklin

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Location: New Mexico

Author of the urban fantasy novel, The Music of Chaos, and the paranormal romance, The Canvas Thief.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Lost, Collision

The "Lost" episode that gave Pat Kirby a split personality.

Ugh. Cue Bon Jovi: "You give cops a bad name." So Anna-Lucia is a cop; the worst kind. The swaggering bully with a gun.

Really, now. You just don't get it. She has "i-shoes."

Right. It was a dark and stormy night. She screwed up, got herself shot by a perp, and now everyone else is supposed to pay.

But she was pregnant.

Oh, yeah. The Baaaby that the writers yanked out of their butts to justify her killing somebody in cold blood. Not that I have any problem with revenge, mind you. I have big problems with pitiful contrivances that are supposed to tug at my heartstrings.

Well, her pregnancy was alluded to in her conversation with Sayid.

You mean when he asked her if she had children and she pulled the face? I thought she had gas--ate too many guavas.

Michael can be tiresome. But at least I know what he's lost. I've "met" Walt; seen Michael try to forge a relationship with his freaky boy child. Likewise, I watched Clair struggle with an unplanned pregnancy on Dr. Moreau's Island of No Maternity Prenatal Care. I don't know anything about Anna and her demon fetus.

Perhaps we will learn more about the circumstances of her pregnancy in later episodes.

Lawd, I hope not. At this point, even more Shut-Up Jack's backstory would be preferable. This time around, I found myself missing Vile Shannon.

The writers of "Lost" can't seem to recognize that the best "tortured" characters always have a sense of humor.

Sense of humor? After all Anna's been through, you expect her to have a sense of humor?

"All she's been through"? Ugh. You're so easily manipulated by contrived sentimentality. Bad stuff happens to people every day. The writing of the best writers (people with staying power), people who traffic in the dark and morose--Stephen King, Frank McCourt, Faulkner, George R. R. Martin, etc.--fill their prose and characters with a sense of the absurd. They recognize that the world is a ridiculous place. Shit happens.

Characters who take themselves too seriously are Mary Sues.

Mary Sues?

A Mary Sue is a wish fulfillment character; a placeholder for the writer.

Huh. All (interesting) characters are wish fulfillment.

Yes, but a Mary Sue devours story like a fat lady on pie. She reeks of the writer's desperation: "You have to love her; you just have to."

There are two variants of Mary Sue. First is the all-wonderful Mary Sue: she's the prettiest, smartest, kindest (but never funniest) girl in town and everyone loves her. The second, a favorite of teenage girls and people with abuse "i-shoes" is Suffering Mary Sue. Suffering Mary Sue is supposed to be interesting because of her dire circumstances. Sometimes, we see her in the midst of her suffering; sometimes, she is embittered by her suffering--i.e., Anna-Lucia.

So? Nobody wants to read/see stories about happy people. What's the problem?

The absence of humor. As long as Mary Sue (and her writer) takes herself so fucking seriously, she can never grow, never been more than one-dimensional, and never be more than a weak placeholder for the viewer/reader.

So what would you do if you were writing Anna?

Dude. I don't write fan fiction. (Anymore.) Leave it at this: The tough girl/guy only resonates if he/she possess compassion and humor. (Strip away compassion, leave humor, and you have a great villain.) No humor and no compassion, and all that remains is a character driven by her atavistic, reptilian brain.

In other words, not human, not compelling.

Maybe Anna-Lucia is supposed to be a dark hero, er, heroine.

Wolverine is a funny son of a bitch. Spawn's sense of humor is as dark as his crispy skin. Think of any dark hero (heroine), and I gay-ron-tee he or she doesn't take anything too seriously. Even mopey-schmopy Angel was a funny guy. Only tiresome, goody-goody characters take everything seriously.

Well, I think Anna is in transition and will move beyond bitter bitch to a fully-developed character.

Meh. And I think, given how most writers confuse "strong woman" with "raging bitch," that won't happen.

You're such a cynic.

But funny.

You wish.


Graphics and Content Copyright © Patricia Kirby 2005