Tuesday, October 23, 2007

A Definite Lack of Resolution.

I find it extraordinarily odd that we humans crave resolution so intensely despite the fact that the closest we can ever really get to it in this existence is death. This yearning appears most obvious in our approach to entertainment. There seems to be an American trait that causes viewers to become distraught when the stories told to them aren't fully resolved by their conclusions. How does the urge to find out what happens next transform into a compulsion to arrive at the final destination? M. and I completed season 2 of Lost tonight. We watched 47 episodes in less than two weeks. Considering each segment was more than 40 minutes long, that marathon is rather remarkable. Of course there is much more to come. Season 3 will be released on December 11th, and I'm certain we'll be continuing our obsession shortly after that.

Tonight I read that there will be six seasons of Lost released. We won't know all the answers until several years from now, and that suits me just fine. Sure... tonight's viewing left us with an entirely new set of questions. Although I experienced a moment or two of deep dissatisfaction, I'm comfortable with living with the mystery. This isn't the first time that we've left off a series on an unfinished note. My favorite show of all time was Daniel Knauf's Carnivale. HBO prematurely canceled that after two seasons. It was initially intended to run to six seasons, and the series finale was a major cliffhanger. The property is still owned by HBO, so even if Knauf wanted to finish the story- he couldn't do it. He claims that he would rather leave it upended than try to wrap up the intricate plot in a miniseries or graphic novel. I've come to peace with that decision in the years since Carnivale's demise.

Meanwhile M. and I watched the first four seasons of OZ earlier this year. We've got two more waiting for us on my Amazon wish list, and although I've been tempted a few times to purchase them, I feel good knowing that they are waiting for us sometime down the road. Years ago we watched the first few episodes of Twin Peaks and then faded out. I still intend to see that in its entirety. In addition I have the second season of Lars Von Trier's The Kingdom shrink-wrapped on my shelf. We'll get around to that too. I want to watch the 60's era British series The Prisoner some day. I'm always looking out for other intriguing titles that promise unseen imaginary worlds. I'd probably need several lifetimes to watch everything that's worthwhile. And there's always new stuff being made. So there's really no hurry. It makes more sense to sit back once in awhile and enjoy the journey.

It's too bad I can't fully embrace that perspective in the events of my life outside entertainment. I'd give a lot right now to see the end of the strike I'm currently embroiled in. But eventually there will be a new contract for us. It may even take several years before it happens, but eventually it's inevitable. Several years after that we will be in another contract negotiations. There will always be a "yet to be decided" situation. Hell, I've got a kid on the way that I hope outlives me. Preferably I'll never see his end. Yet still I'll be looking forward to some imaginary time where everything will be solved and I'll be able to put my feet up and sit back without a care. It's humorous that when I was young I thought there would come a time when I was fully actualized. I guess I pictured some plateau where I would finally find myself and "just be".

Adult onset has removed such naive hopes from my dreams. I'm not looking for any particular ending, happy or otherwise. It's enough just to manage the constant stream of things as they present themselves. I've actually begun to enjoy the simple pleasure of having something to look forward to. It's a weird dislocation in a society that is increasingly millenarian. Yesterday on the line I met a woman that believed that we are in the biblical "end-times". She advised me to read Revelations. While many people I know would have immediately felt the compulsion to move away from her as quickly as possible, I felt inspired to get to the root of what she was saying. Unfortunately her conception turned out to be merely a vague manifestation of the common desire for resolution. It seems like so many of our contemporaries have their eyes on a finish line as an escape from the present. That's too bad. I, for one, would like to prolong the mystery of life.



Anonymous jefg said...

Another excellent perspective on life and living it. I believe I'm now crossed the finish line (well, more like enjoying the victory lap over and over), but just when peoples lives get comfortable, something seems to happen to stir thing up. I don't doubt that something might happen in my life to affect the comfortableness of non-change period I've reached. Sometimes self-created or directed, others totally beyond ones control, I think it's mostly good. I think about an author who suggested that people do one thing differently every single day...it could be as simple as opening a door with the other hand...to keep life interesting, and remind oneself how interesting life is. The key is to enjoy each stage, and (hopefully) have no regrets afterwards.

8:43 AM  

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