Author Topic: The Truth  (Read 11221 times)

Offline thebeann

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Re: The Truth
« Reply #15 on: February 17, 2008, 10:13:43 AM »
Well...I THINK one could argue that Ben is a kind of bad guy because of the Purge. Even if Dharma was doing something 'bad' or something that would be dangerous to the real world, why kill everyone? I can't believe that EVERYONE in Dharma was part of the master scheme. It will be interesting how they justify that...but I"m sure they will!

Offline PrincessLeia

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Re: The Truth
« Reply #16 on: February 17, 2008, 04:35:11 PM »
Lost-Girl, maybe we both are crazy! I just don't think Ben is inherently a bad person. And...uh-oh....am I going to say this out loud? He's kind of sexy.

There. I said it.
His power & intellect are sexy, but it stops there. for me. :D

If it's not just a question of who is right and who is wrong, my money is still with the characters you CARE about.  I want the best for Kate, Jack, Claire, Sun and Jin, Hurley.  Everyone has their own list. I think it's a question of what kind of choices they are making - not whether they turn out well or not, but are they "living together" or "dying alone."

The island is the most important element.  I used to think someONE was the main character - now, I firmly believe that the island is not just a catalyst - it is the hero.

And yes, I HAVE taken my meds today!  :D
TPTB stated in the S1 dvd bonus features that they were writing the story as if the Island itself were a character, so I don't think you're too far off base, Lakie!

Offline nomteticus

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Re: The Truth
« Reply #17 on: February 17, 2008, 09:26:31 PM »
Last season's finale first got me wondering whether "the others" are really that bad, but most of all, whether the losties are really that good.

Fact: The Others didn't kill ONE lostie.
Fact: The Losties  massacred the Others (beginning with Ethan and ending with the unnecessary EXECUTION of mr. Friendly who was in fact rather friendly), not to mention the way they TORTURED Ben (and still do - random beatings, leash etc.). I mean he may not be a saint, but he like all people has the right to dignity

I mean, sure, they kidnapped the kids and held the losties prisoners, but they neither tortured or seriously injured them. They had lots of chances to kill them, but they didn't.

I'm guessing the writers needed to eliminate them from the show, but the way I see it, there is a hell of a lot of bad karma floating above the losties camp.

Not to mention them killing each other (Michael, Anna Lucia) or Jack's "I'm going to kill him" said twice (refering to Ben and then Locke). And now Said gets his hands dirty.

Look at it this way: all the losties care about is their own interest (getting home mostly), and they will kill whoever it takes to do it. At least the others might of had an unselfish reason for doing what they did (yes, even the purge). We don't know that for sure, but it's possible.

"Knowing" them from day one, I too sympathize withe the losties, but it's obvious that the blood is on their hands.

In fact, it's all about POWER. The others had the upper hand in the beginning, but now the losties do, and they're beggining to act like the others did, taking prisoners (the boat crew, anyone?) and giving orders. Power truly corrupts, and I foresee that more blood will be shed this season, and the losties will be the killers.

P.S. Mikhail did kill Charlie, but he wasn't really an other

Offline KateReallyLovesJack

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Re: The Truth
« Reply #18 on: February 18, 2008, 12:32:46 AM »
I have believed from the moment he first said it, that they are indeed the good guys.

Relatively of course!

Offline LostAndSeek

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Re: The Truth
« Reply #19 on: February 18, 2008, 05:04:44 PM »
Well.... let's not forget Dharmacaust... And they tortured Steve (Scott?) to death when the Losties wouldn't give up Claire... And Goodwin snapped Nathan's neck to deflect suspicion from himself... And it sure looked like they were going to kill Claire after she gave birth.... All this before the Losties started fighting back.

Offline laklost

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Re: The Truth
« Reply #20 on: February 18, 2008, 05:09:12 PM »
If Ben isn't the real villian, the clues the writers are sending us are WAAAY off.  He is a classic villian, a mind-twisting, emotion-manipulating evil genius. 

Offline thebeann

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Re: The Truth
« Reply #21 on: February 18, 2008, 05:53:06 PM »
If Ben isn't the real villian, the clues the writers are sending us are WAAAY off.  He is a classic villian, a mind-twisting, emotion-manipulating evil genius. 

I think he's a true villan...but part of what makes the show so intriguing is that maybe we can understand why the villans do what they do (in some way, their actions are justified). And, similarly, the 'good guys' aren't always noble - they do bad things for the right reasons, or sometimes for not-so-right reasons.

So who really ARE the good guys? Sawyer is on the 'good' team but he has killed several people in cold blood. So has Kate. Jack would have if his gun had bullets. And here we have Ben...who orchestrated The Purge...and yet on some level we believe that his actions might be justified.

LOVE IT!

Offline Lost-N-Detroit

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Re: The Truth
« Reply #22 on: February 18, 2008, 06:18:15 PM »
If Ben isn't the real villian, the clues the writers are sending us are WAAAY off.  He is a classic villian, a mind-twisting, emotion-manipulating evil genius. 

I think he's a true villan...but part of what makes the show so intriguing is that maybe we can understand why the villans do what they do (in some way, their actions are justified). And, similarly, the 'good guys' aren't always noble - they do bad things for the right reasons, or sometimes for not-so-right reasons.

So who really ARE the good guys? Sawyer is on the 'good' team but he has killed several people in cold blood. So has Kate. Jack would have if his gun had bullets. And here we have Ben...who orchestrated The Purge...and yet on some level we believe that his actions might be justified.

LOVE IT!

Very well put
If we look at Eko he seemed rightious, villian, and rightious again. When killed by smokie he said, " I had to do what I had to do to survive." Seemingly similar to "Sawyer" who stated to Kate," I'm doing what I always do, survive."

I do think the considered evil ones are actually good guys.

Sometimes you have to kill thousands to save a few.

Offline Lion of Atreides

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Re: The Truth
« Reply #23 on: February 18, 2008, 06:43:02 PM »
It is so very Existential to hold two conflicting ideas at the same time. Or be both good & evil at the same time.  Isn't that what you would expect, from the predictions of the theory that the main characters are here to find resolution?  They would dance back & forth around the point of perfect moderation in all things, until they came into alignment, possibly with their true selves.  However, as Darwin would say, the environment is never static, and so one's ideal stance today will surely have to evolve tomorrow if one is to survive.

I'd also be careful about labelling someone 'evil' to begin with.  Look how Saddam was conflated right up there with Hitler, when in truth he was no worse than any other tinpot dictator trying to maintain order of his country, and considered an ally by prior US presidents/administrations. The label 'good' is also to be used carefully. Most would say Mother Theresa was good, but not the following:

http://www.fitz-claridge.com/Articles/MotherTeresa.html

Would we label Thoreau good, and Machiavelli bad?  Not if you had to live in a world domminated by Luddites. Remember what Fox Mulder got when he wished for world peace.

It does become difficult, tho, if morals are not deterministically set.  It forces us to dig deep to evaluate motives, means, effectiveness and outcomes.  But if you're TPTB, then at least it's great fodder for the best written show on TV today.


Offline PrincessLeia

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Re: The Truth
« Reply #24 on: February 18, 2008, 07:40:38 PM »
& this theme has been present from the very start.

"Two sides. One is light, one is dark."

Offline laklost

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Re: The Truth
« Reply #25 on: February 18, 2008, 09:45:07 PM »
It is so very Existential to hold two conflicting ideas at the same time. Or be both good & evil at the same time.  Isn't that what you would expect, from the predictions of the theory that the main characters are here to find resolution?  They would dance back & forth around the point of perfect moderation in all things, until they came into alignment, possibly with their true selves.  However, as Darwin would say, the environment is never static, and so one's ideal stance today will surely have to evolve tomorrow if one is to survive.

I'd also be careful about labelling someone 'evil' to begin with.  Look how Saddam was conflated right up there with Hitler, when in truth he was no worse than any other tinpot dictator trying to maintain order of his country, and considered an ally by prior US presidents/administrations. The label 'good' is also to be used carefully. Most would say Mother Theresa was good, but not the following:

http://www.fitz-claridge.com/Articles/MotherTeresa.html

Would we label Thoreau good, and Machiavelli bad?  Not if you had to live in a world domminated by Luddites. Remember what Fox Mulder got when he wished for world peace.

It does become difficult, tho, if morals are not deterministically set.  It forces us to dig deep to evaluate motives, means, effectiveness and outcomes.  But if you're TPTB, then at least it's great fodder for the best written show on TV today.



Yeah, but wouldn't you agree that even if you're doing that at some point you are going to make a judgment call about goodness and badness?  I mean we can call it effectiveness, but isn't that only through a pragmatic lens (which we have to admit most of life can't be forced through).  Outcomes are still going to be judged according to some measure of right-ness, whether we call it inherent or not.  Ben is a bad, evil person because he has used people for his own means despite their needs or desires.  What he has done are different than mistakes.  He has had to make moral calls.  He might be sympathetic to us, we might feel empathy for his dilemmas, but good people don't kill their fathers and cohorts in cold blood.


Offline E.S.B.

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Re: The Truth
« Reply #26 on: February 18, 2008, 09:48:22 PM »
He might be sympathetic to us, we might feel empathy for his dilemmas, but good people don't kill their fathers and cohorts in cold blood.



Nor do they instruct someone to kidnap a man's son off a raft and throw a grenade onto it.

Offline Lion of Atreides

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Re: The Truth
« Reply #27 on: February 18, 2008, 10:57:39 PM »
I forsee that we will learn that both The Purge and the controlled moves against the Losties were done in extremis, yet for a purpose.  Perhaps Dharma was close to changing the Valenzetti equation such that they were days from destroying the Earth, which may just justify the actions Ben has taken.   Against the forces arrayed against him both on and off the island, he had better use the Sun Tzu playbook, and not the one from Mr. Roger's neighborhood. 

Need I point out that our beloved Kate murdered her stepfather.  Justified, if he had sexually abused her for years?  And that young Ben was emotionally brutalized, blamed by his father for killing his mother from the womb.  Which makes his patricide more understandable.  As for tossing a grenade on the raft, even if the intention was to take out Sawyer & Michael, not just destroy the raft, Walt seems like a high value target, i.e. a threat.  Better to not have his father moving hell & high water to get him back.

As both Ben & Sayid have said, a war is coming.  Ben likely knew this the moment the plane crashed 100days ago.  He probably knew it at the time of the purge.  Just as the US Military & top Administration officials must daily do a cold, cost-benefit estimate of 'collateral damage', Ben is in the same position.  Might I also point out that there have been no million-protester rallies in this country against the use of torture in the pursuit of 'national security'.  The Geneva Convention has been legally dismissed, even.  I don't know whether TPTB are making a statement about our own ends justifying the means, but they seem to be demonstrating it for us rather well.

So no, to evaluate Ben in terms of goodness & badness misses the point.  He has suspended those bourgeois notions for the duration of the war, created his own TAZ (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Lamborn_Wilson).  Obviously, future Sayid (who when in Ben's house had fingered a copy of Kings of Love) has come to believe so, too (tho not without some regress). 
« Last Edit: February 18, 2008, 11:03:04 PM by Lion of Atreides »

Offline E.S.B.

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Re: The Truth
« Reply #28 on: February 18, 2008, 11:21:35 PM »
I think one of the major themes of this show is that the lines between good and bad are very fuzzy.

Offline laklost

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Re: The Truth
« Reply #29 on: February 19, 2008, 12:46:43 AM »
I think one of the major themes of the show is that every single person is justified in their own actions -- but every action has consequences.  Mr. Rogers doesn't call what's right and wrong.  Even an army, if it marches without some sense of nobility of purpose, is no better than a gang of mercenaries or slaves.  Which we all agree are not the same as honorable soldiers.

The theme of redemption on Lost is not to be taken lightly.  That's where it constantly keeps flexing its moral muscle.  People aren't ever getting off the hook on the show because they say, "I did it my way."  They are off the hook when they are forgiven by an outside mediatary.  One of the greatest moments in the history of Sayid Jarrah was when he admitted to the Iraqi woman that he had tortured her - and that what he had done, be it pragmatic, went against his own conscience and was therefore wrong - and she told him that she forgave him.  Sayid's redemption now will not be in him coming to a point of saying, "Well, we were all just fighting a bigger battle than we realized and what I did needed to be done."  It will be in him recognizing his wrong doing and being forgiven.  There's a reason the first episode of this show was called "Tabula Rasa."  "Everyone gets a chance to start new" - not "Everyone is making moral judgments in a larger context that will be explained away later."