10 November, 2005

If Only "Lost" Were Set In....


...San Francisco. tonight's tragic death could have been avoided. Yes. That's right. On an island surrounded by genetically engineered sharks and chockabloc with wild boar, polar bears and piles of heroin the big Sweeps Event Death was caused by Senseless Handgun Violence. While I would like to be moved by the accidental shooting that robbed us of Shannon's sunny presence, I can't help but feel the show took a sharp left turn into Afterschool Special territory with this one.

But really, that's not a problem. It's to be expected. Television writers seem to be part of a cycle, much like deciduous trees. They start out freshly budding, wanting to entertain and get attention. Once the audience reaches critical mass the writers feel the itch of the bully pulpit. So you get the inevitable shows that preach against the trendy villains of the time. In the 80s it was cocaine abuse, alcoholism, and sexual harrassment. Since about the mid- to late 90's it's been homophobia and guns. You know what I mean. The episodes of ER where someone is wheeled in with a GSW--STAT! The various docs all coo mournfully over this latest Victim Of Senseless Tragedy. Oh look! He's only a teenager! Oh, my! She's pregnant with twins and her husband shot her when she came home early and he mistook her for a rabid racoon! The tears flow and the speechifying starts.

It's irritating. Especially since they don't show the woman who would've been raped if she didn't have the Colt in her handbag.
Or the woman who still has her 18-month old son since she was able to scare off her carjackers with a Glock. Or any of the other 2.5 million times each year that guns protect the lives and property of their owners.

There was no speecifying on tonight's Lost, so that was a minor relief. Yet the point was still the same. Guns=BAD!!!! Unless, of course, you weren't a big fan of Shannon's.


At 3:36 AM, November 10, 2005, Anonymous little a said...

2.5 million times a year...no way...8% use it to wound/kill their attacker...that is 200,000...thats 77 in each state per week. It would be in the news more if this were the case.

Not that I am against guns, but the glock in your glovebox will not help you against a car jacker. The only protection a gun has is in the home.

At 8:43 AM, November 10, 2005, Blogger Kat Coble said...

Little a...did you perchance follow any of the sources linked in my entry? You know, the ones that validate the 2.5 mil statistic?

At 10:07 AM, November 10, 2005, Anonymous little a said...

Validate...so everything on the web is accurate? people baffle me...

YES...just because it is on a stupid website does not mean it is true. Think...people...think. Out of my 200 friends I do not know one that has had to use a gun to ward off attackers in the last 10 years.

At 10:12 AM, November 10, 2005, Blogger Kat Coble said...

I was only trying to make it easy on you and save you a long trip to the library.

That link provided footnotes to studies I've read both on the web and in print.

It wasn't exactly a LiveJournal entry.

At 11:59 AM, November 10, 2005, Blogger Blake Wylie said...

What doesn't show in your statistic, little a, is the number of criminals that are thwarted because of the mere brandishing of a firearm by the criminal's potential victim.

That is a high number, and it happens all of the time. A criminal would rather run or back down than face a victim that possesses the means to lethally defend themselves.

At 4:24 PM, November 11, 2005, Blogger Patrick said...

Look, let's focus on the real problem:

The writers of Lost have just backed us viewers into an extended boring few episodes of "oh look, that's just like what happened to the first group" and "did you count 15 pairs of feet or 16?" I'm just ticked that there's been ZERO story development on the numbers or the hatch or Hanso for over a month now. I'm this close to just giving up on the show.

At 6:28 PM, November 12, 2005, Anonymous Beth said...

I agree with Patrick. At least someone got the gist of what you were saying instead of running down the rabbit trail of, "Guns-good or bad?" Lost stinks! Lack of plot advancement and preching add up to a crap show.

The same thing is happening with Gilmore Girls. It's like now that Luke and Lorelai are together, they have nothing to write about except for the Lorelai/Rory fight. You know they're going to make up and be best friends again, but the writers are dragging it out because they can't think of anything better to write about. In addition, the liberal slant they've been throwing in from time to time has become more and more glaring. I hate it when t.v. shows stop being entertaining in order to push propoganda.

At 2:13 PM, November 13, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I really didn't get this vibe at all. I mean, sure, there's plenty of preachifying about guns on TV, but I haven't sensed a great deal of it on _Lost_. You might certainly fault the original storyline of dealing with the federal marshall's guns, but given the level of distrust on the island (say, involving Sawyer and Kate at the time), an argument for prudence could be made. Moreover, the guns have turned out to be of value against the Others -- both against Ethan and the weirdos on the boat, if Sawyer could have gotten a shot off against them. And I would think that the stash of weapons in the hatch is going to be put to good use when a confrontation with the Others comes.

Guns _are_ generally a cheap foil on hospital shows. All that very special episode stuff. On cop shows their role is more complex, at least these days. There's plenty of "victim refusing to be victimized" themes on most of these shows -- fill in your own episode of Law & CSI here, as they all blend together for me.

If there was any obvious meme to the episode, it wasn't about guns, it was about sex. Have sex and you die, as any fan or horror movies (or viewer of _Scream_) knows. Unlike the use of guns on the island, the results of having sex (1 incident) have been unambiguous (1 death).


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