Sunday, February 28, 2010

Friday, February 26, 2010


Brain fog has been hovering around me for several weeks now. I have essay deadlines fast approaching, and appear unable to write essays. The stress of being unable to write essays means I also haven't been able to write stories. Or blogs, for that matter.

The fog cleared a little last night. No essays, but I did write a short story. It will need editing and probably rewriting, but at least I actually had an idea.

It's a start.

Oh, and in other news, Casting Shadows has been reviewed again! Check it out on the Lulu site - Click here

Mostly a positive review which is always good!

And now to make a start on the essays...

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

The Return of Lost

So Lost returns this week. In general, I'm really looking forward to it. I mean, mysterious island, time travel, conspiracies - that's right up my street. One problem, though, and his name is Jack.

Jack is supposed to be the hero. However, several things detract from his ability to actually be a hero, in spite of the writers worshipping him. That's the thing about writing. You can say someone is a hero, but they have to actually behave as one for it to ring true, and in the case of Jack Shepherd, it does not.

To start with, proclaiming yourself a hero is a big no-no. To be a hero one needs a certain degree of decorum, and screaming "I am the one that saved you!" at your girlfriend is not heroic behaviour. If you're the hero, you should just be the hero. You shouldn't have to tell anyone. Note to writers: show, don't tell.

Jack's relationship with Kate is another example of his lack of heroism. Even though he's led a pretty cushy life, some issues with his father lacking belief in him notwithstanding; and Kate has spent the best part of a decade as a fugitive; somehow he thinks he knows more about survival in unfamiliar circumstances than she does. Thinking it is one thing, but treating Kate like a child is not a good basis for a friendship, never mind a relationship. The fact that she lets him treat her this way detracts from her character's history as well, and the power balance of the relationship makes him appear more of an emotional abuser than a heroic boyfriend.

Again, Jack has led a relatively simple life. Upper middle class background, med school, nice house, all of that. No, that doesn't take away from the fact that he had an abusive father, but it does call into question his role as leader. A soldier or a fugitive seem like better choices than a doctor. If Jack got on with being a doctor and stopped trying so hard to be a hero, then maybe fewer people would have died and he'd have actually been more of a hero. Trying to be a hero doesn't make you a hero.

While addiction is often a trait that indicates depth, Jack getting addicted to painkillers never seemed to happen organically. It felt forced. Not heroic, forced.

Sawyer was the one who jumped out of the helicopter. Not Jack. No time to scream about what a great hero he was, he just did it.

Jack is regularly dismissive of other character's skills. A hero or a leader will look around at what skills people have, and utilise them. Jack was too busy playing power games to notice the skills people around him had. Consider the time he asked Ana Lucia about creating an army. Sayid was actually in the army, but he never asked him about it. Perhaps he was just looking for a way to make Kate jealous? Not very heroic behaviour there, Jack. And extremely poor leadership as well.

Having a tortured look in your eyes does not mean you're a tortured hero. That's just lazy writing.

Always being right, even when you suddenly change to the exact opposite position from that which you held for so long, is never fun, and again, not heroic and very poor leadership. A leader should consider all options.

Again, a truly heroic leader will put aside personal conflicts for the good of the group they are leading. Jack was constantly rowing with Sawyer and Locke and anyone else who disagreed with him.

Jack clearly wants to be a hero. I want to be a millionaire though. That's not how it works. Wanting it doesn't make it true.

There are more, I'm sure, but this is all I could think of off the top of my head. Reasons why Jack is not a hero and not really leadership material. Comment with your own!