Thursday, January 29, 2009

The Spirit of The Law vs The Letter of the Law #1

This is the start of a new series that I will come back to periodically. Most of the stories will be true...but told hypothetically...not to protect the guilty, but rather the innocent...and those that seek to protect them.

Today's story is going to be told by Jay...the lead character from TWO DOGS. Here we go.

I was part way through the Academy when this story took place. All I knew at that time was that my dirty Captain wanted me dead...he had a DI on the Academy staff out to screw me...and I had no friends on the job.

They'd been sending us out to different stations for ride-alongs for a couple of weeks. Some guys were lucky and got actual TOs(Training Officers). Not me. Somehow, I magically always got some dick that even the other Deputies wouldn't work with...almost always on graveyards...right before a new day at the Academy. Until this one...

I get called to work at East LA station. Days. They partner me with this old salt Deputy who takes a shine to me. He likes to drive, so I'm riding book...taking the calls and writing the reports. He actually talks to me about how to handle each call before we go...then breaks everything down when the call is over. Introduces me to the other deps on days. A real good learning experience. Then we get a 273 A1 call...

Section 273 a (A) of the California Penal code deals with child abuse...severe physical abuse. I reach for the mike to let them know we're on our way. He jerks the mike out of my hand...short and sweet. Slams the mike down. We're going code three in a heartbeat. Something's up...but I don't know what. My helpful TO has been replaced by a bear of a man who looks like he wants to rip somebody's head off and piss down their neck...and I don't want it to be me.

We pull up in front of a ramshackle, neon pink bungalow. There's a crowd forming already. The car is barely in park when my partner bails out the door. I'm right behind him. There's a couple standing in the open front door. Big, fat borracho and his sucked dry wife. Both look and sound Guatemalan to me. Yelling at each other at the top of their lungs. In between them is a little boy. He's wearing nothing but a pair of over-sized skivvies that he has to hold up with one small hand. From his size, I figure him to be about Ruby, my daughter's age...four or five. Looks like he's been using different colored markers all over his body. He doesn't seem to be aware of anything going on, partner. Can't take his eyes off of him. Biggest brown eyes I've ever seen. I wonder what the fuck this kid is doing here with these two...he doesn't fit. Much lighter complexion...and he's a strawberry blond. The woman's hair is dark brown...but it could be dyed. The borracho's hair is black. Jet black. Something's fucked up about the whole scene...I just can't put my finger on it.

My partner gets there first. Hunkers down to get on the kid's eye level. That's the first time I really get a good look at him. I was wrong about the markers...dead wrong. They're scars. Burn scars. Some cigar, some cigarette...some look like...fuck, I don't even want to think about what some of them look like. The scars are different colors because of age...and depth...and pattern. What the fuck...

My partner's name is Mark. He picks the kid up and looks him over...then gently...carefully, sets the boy down. This whole time, that kid hasn't taken those big brown eyes off of Mark...once. The over-large underwear slip over to one side...and I see the newest scar. The boy's testicles have been boiling water, or something close to it. I can't imagine the pain...but there ain't one tear in that boy's eyes...and they never leave Mark. Mark hooks the big fat borracho up and heads toward the car. I'm trying to take the woman's statement. Her broken English is worse than my poor understanding of her Guatemalan dialect. That's why I was distracted for so took me a while to realize that something was wrong. I couldn't figure it out at first...then...

The crowd had been buzzing from the moment we got there. Now, it was quiet. Like the hush in a bull ring before the coup de gras...that's when I heard it. The steady. repeating someone taking a hammer to an over-ripe melon. The sound was accompanied by one word...over and over a low, soft monotone...


Mark had the borracho's hands cranked high behind his back with one meaty hand of his own. The other hand was entangled in the man's bloody hair. The word preceded the sickening sound by a split second...every time that Mark slammed his head into the frame around the open back door. I left the woman and the boy and ran down to the car.

Mark was a big man. Arms like tree trunks. I put my hand gently on one of those trunks. He turned and looked at me...well, not really at me. Through me. Paused for what seemed an eternity. Then he tossed the broken man into the back of the car. I looked up at the house as we roared down the street. I would still swear, to this day, that the boy was smiling...a Mona Lisa smile, but smiling.

The drunk prick seemed to recover quickly in the back seat. Cursing and swearing with every breath...the blood from his scalp wounds spraying with his spittle. You're not always as aware as you should be in the heat of the moment. Mark obviously could have, at his size, shattered the man's skull. He had been holding back...just enough. This asshole was letting Mark know he'd be out in hours...just like every time before...every time before. There's a history here...and I don't know it. Fuck me number one.

We're headed back to the station when Mark takes a sudden wrong turn through the back end of an industrial complex. Slowly edges the car up to top speed. Still hasn't spoken to me, but when he buckles his seat belt, I can guess what's coming. I buckle mine. There are no seat belts in the back of those cruisers, and shit head child beater couldn't have buckled one anyway...not with his hands cuffed behind his back. I look over at the's hovering around end. I brace myself for what I know is coming. Borracho is oblivious...but not for long.

Mark stomps on the brakes so hard I expect his foot to slam into the ground beneath the car "Flinstone" style. Our passenger fails his "screen test"...his face smashed into the wire mesh separating the front and back seats. God does look out for drunks and idiots, and this guy's both. He starts swearing again. Mark takes off, and repeats the process. The fool sees it coming, but still can't brace himself. This time it's the side of his head...his ear looks like he tried to listen to a waffle maker. Doesn't shut him up, though. Now he's talking about the boy...and what he's going to do to him this time when he gets out. That's when I get spooked...

Mark picks up the mike...asks to be "put on the patch". That way the call only goes out to cars in our reporting district.

"This is one-eleven Charlie...I have a ten-five-fifty-five..."

There is no ten-fifty-five code on the Sheriff's Department. Fuck me number two.

We pull around to the back of the station. There are at least six black and whites waiting for us there. Mark gets out. Makes me stay in the car. The Deps from the other cars join him...they take Mister Happy around the back of the building...down a flight of stairs...where no one can see. Fuck me number three.

They all come back up about fifteen minutes later. Borracho is crying...looks like he pissed his pants too...maybe more, but I'm not close enough to smell. Mark takes him in for booking. Another fifteen minutes. Then Mark is out. In the car. Away we go. Back to the warehouses. It's been a long day now. Almost night. The colors of twilight give everything a surreal glow. Mark takes out a smoke. Lights it. Watches me. Finally speaks.

"I don't know who the fuck you are...but you ain't no Academy fish, that's for fuckin' sure. Handled yourself all day like you've been through the shits on this job for years. What's the story?"

"I read a lot."

"Close to the vest...don't blame you. OK...this could be your career, as well as mine. I'm going to give you the straight skinny. All of it. Then you're going to write the report. Fair enough?"


"First of all, you need to know that there's a captain with a hard-on for me. I stepped on his dick on live TV. He wants me. Bad...and he knows he's running out of time. This would be his wet dream. You got me?"

"I got my own yeah...I got you."

"I bet you do...makes sense, somehow. Well, welcome to the fucked club. Now, here's the story.

The borracho's a Guatemalan. Got legal about twelve years ago. The wife's Guatemalan too...but she's illegal. They've got seven kids. They already had six when she got swept up in an INS raid ten years ago. Shipped her ass back to Guatemala. Took her a while to get back up here. Not long after she's back, he finds out she's pregnant. She's able to convince him it's his, until..."

"That boy was nine years old?"

"Yeah...hard to fuckin' believe, ain't it. Anyway, you can tell old drunk ass ain't the sharpest tool in a ball pit. She would have kept him fooled if the guy she fucked back home wasn't some rich, white, blond tourist. Even that stupid prick figured it out after a couple of months after the birth. He's pissed...his machismo's at stake. He wants to punish her. What better way than..."

"Fucking with the boy. Son of a bitch."

"Pretty much. First and fifteenth of the month is payday. He gets drunk...I got this beat about four years ago. That's when I got invited into this fucked up dance. First and fifteenth, he fucks with the kid. She calls the cops...he threatens to have her deported...the boy was born here, so..."

"He stays...and she's got no family here?"

"None. Boy would go to the brother. Then back to him when he got out. Then he'd be dead. Slow."


The boy still cried when I first started coming here. He don't cry anymore. Not one sound. Ever. Just looks at me with those big brown eyes. I see them in the mirror now. I see them in my sleep. I see them every time I...doesn't matter.

It keeps getting worse. Two months ago, it was a curling iron to the boy's nipples. Still does the cigars, but just out of habit, I think. Last month he held the boys ear on a grill. he put the boy's balls in boiling water. That was it.

I saw some nasty shit in Nam. Seen worse here. This is the worst...but I don't know why. Maybe it's just the fact that the boy don't cry any more. I don't know.

The guys that met me are old buddies. We were all in Nam together. We believe that there's a big difference between the letter of the law...and the spirit of the law...and the two rarely have even a nodding acquaintance. Sometimes...sometimes you have to help out...

They made him get on his knees. I took all of the bullets out of my revolver...and then put one back in. Spun the cylinder. Put it in his mouth. Pulled the trigger. One time after the other. At some point he pissed himself...then shit himself. I stopped on the last round. It's an old trick I learned in Nam. There's a way to make sure you get to the last one. It's a useful trick.

Then I laid it out for him.

I'm retiring soon.My boys aren't. They'll let me know if there's so much as one more call to that house. If there's the bullet I'll kill you with. It might go down as a drive by...or a robbery...or maybe you'll just disappear. But you'll be dead if you ever touch that boy again.

That's it, Jay...your call now. You write it up."

He got out of the car and walked off. I took out my own smokes. Lit one. Thought. Hard. The whole thing could be a set up...still...I couldn't forget that boy's eyes.

What would you do?

I wrote the report. He came back about forty-five minutes later. I was done. He never asked to see it. Just took me back to the station. I turned in the report and went to change. A three striper came and got me. The captain wanted me in his office. Mark was already in there.

"There's two careers riding on this report. You both stand by it?"

Mark is the Sphinx. Impossible to read. Am I being set up? Time to roll the dice.

Mark says it at the same time I do.


"Let me read some of this out loud before you commit...On the above mentioned date and time, at the above location, blah, blah, blah...let's get to the meat of this shit...

The suspect, apparently extremely intoxicated and combative, did not respond to my partner's repeated commands to duck before entering the patrol vehicle...

Really? about this?

A small child darted out between two parked cars on our way back to the station, requiring my partner to go into a four-wheel, power lock stop, causing the suspect to...

Small child? I don't think so...then this...

The suspect, still combative, unresponsive, and apparently intoxicated, pulled away from me going down the stairs into the basement lock-up and booking area. His actions caused him to fall down the stairs, striking...

That's the biggest load of bullshit I've ever read. This is the last chance for either of you to change your story before I talk to the suspect...well?

"It went down exactly the way officer Norris wrote it."

"Jay? Last chance to salvage your don't want to hitch your star to this loser. Tell me the truth...I can protect you."

"Everything happened exactly the way I wrote it...sir."

"Get the fuck out of my office...both of you. You've made a serious mistake, Norris."

"I've made them before, sir."

Mark and I walked out. In the parking lot. Neither of us spoke. Just nodded at each other. Got in our cars and left.

Mark retired on schedule. You know my story. I did try and keep tabs on the boy. Six months later, he went to the hospital for some new injuries. The dad disappeared. Everyone assumed he bailed for Guatemala. That's what the wife said. Of course, if anyone had looked closely enough, they would have found...well, never mind. Let's just say that no one was looking at the case too hard...and if you believe he made it to Guatemala, I've got some wonderful ocean front property for you on the Rez in New Mexico.

That was almost thirty years ago. Mark passed away eleven years ago. Cancer. The boy graduated from high school with honors. Got some anonymous help paying his way through an Ivy League school. Big degree. Funny thing...he came back to East LA...started mentoring inner city kids...abused kids. Does a pretty good job of it, from what I hear...

That, like I said, is just a story...a hypothetical situation. Never really happened. But...just for the sake of argument, let's say it was true. Let's say you found yourself in "Jay's" position.

What would you do?

Oh, and if any of you are wondering...except for the pain...I sleep just fine...thank you.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

"Any group of men that can steal me into becoming a multi-millionaire are OK by me..." SAG vs The AMPTA

My grandfather was part of the Railroad workers strikes in California in 1916-1917 and 1922. My father, 7 during the first strike and 12 during the second, remembered vividly the boxcars full of scab workers...the beatings and deaths of his father's co-workers and friends...the joy of victory in 1916-1917 with the winning of the 8 hour day...and the tragic defeat in 1922...that defeat was laid at the feet of the operator's unions; representing the engineers, trainmen, firemen, and conductors, who did not join in the strike, by the striking shop workers. The operator's union represented the superstars of their day, and the impending wage cut didn't effect them. That lack of solidarity, by supposed union brothers, was not lost on my father later in his life and career as both a head stillman in an oil refinery, and as a union organizer.

My father's wages, as a head stillman, were never really a point of contention during strike negotiations. The head stillman of a refinery is the top blue collar job...responsible for overseeing every aspect of the refining process. It takes many years of hard work and dedication to reach the position: it requires you to have worked at every job at the be able to not only direct the temperature of the "cracking" unit to tenths of a degree while monitoring the output of the various distilled also requires you to be able to step in, at a moments notice, into any job within the refinery...from common laborer on up. Men like my father were few and far between, and commanded the top wage. Most, unlike my father, didn't remain in the position for very long. It was to each company's benefit to have, in their non-union management staff, a former head stillman. The reasoning behind this was obvious at each and every could immediately send someone over to insure the proper running of the refinery with scab workers, thereby ensuring product output during the other words, they wouldn't lose money from lost production while a strike was on-going. This was a huge advantage for the owners...and an enormous detriment to the strikers.

My father was offered a top white collar management job in 1946...almost immediately after his return from the War. The pay was three times his wage as head stillman. The caveat, of course, was leaving the union. He refused. My father had brought the union into that refinery. He had organized the men. Stood on the picket lines with them. He was their shop steward. He had protected them from harassment and physical attacks. He would not turn his back on them now. He remained head stillman at that refinery for the next 29 years...refusing the offer of management from the owner, a man he admired and respected, every year.

My father told me hundreds of stories about his days in the union. Two stand out in my mind, at the moment, as being pertinent to the ongoing problems between SAG and AMPTP.

My father was walking out into the refinery, late one night, at the beginning of his shift. His board man, "Mouse", walked by him in a huff. My Dad was the only person "Mouse" really got along with, so my Dad was used to seeing him in a foul mood.

The board man at a refinery is responsible for monitoring the temperatures in the "cracking" unit, the brain of the refinery. The raw crude is brought in and heated, separating it into layers which are siphoned off and heated to produce the various fuels. The temperatures have to be watched very to the slightest degree in either direction and the fuels don't separate properly. This results in inferior fuel products which can't be sold according to government regulations.

The board operator was not allowed to leave the "cracking" unit without a proper replacement. The only two people on site at the time who could were my Dad, and my Uncle "Dub". You can imagine my father's surprise when he saw "Dub" standing outside of the "cracker."

"I just saw Mouse storming off, so what the hell are you doing out here, Dub?"

"Management sent over some efficiency experts from Stanford...they're getting ready to raise the reactor temperature four and a half degrees."

"They can't do will shut down the whole plant...didn't Mouse tell them that?"

"Yeah...he told'm...they told him he didn't even have a high school diploma, and they had PHDs in engineering form Stanford...that's when he told them to go...well, you know Mouse...and stomped out."

My Dad stormed into the unit just as one of the efficiency experts was about to turn turn up the temperature on the reactor.

"Get your hands off of that board right now...what the hell do you think you're doing?"

"Raising the reactor temperature four and one half degrees."

"Did my board man tell you what would happen if you did that?"

"Yes...he said it would shut down the whole refinery...but..."

"But what, you idiot?"

"Our studies have shown that, in theory, the optimal temperature for..."

"Theory? Theory? Do you understand that I'm holding this place together with baling wire and spit...that I'm already running her three degrees higher than she should go? That it's only the skill and knowledge of these men that allow me to do that?"

"As I stated...our theories show..."

"Get Wiley over here...right now."

Wiley was the top white collar manager for the refinery. A former head stillman, he had taken the promotion to management when my Dad brought the union in because he thought it would put him in good with the owner. Then he married the owner's sister. He hated my father...with a passion. The feeling was mutual.

It didn't take Wiley long to take the walk across the street from corporate into the refinery.

"What's the problem, Charlie?"

"You know what the problem is, Wiley...your experts here are about to shut down the plant. Tell them to back off. Now."

"I'm going to tell you the same thing I told Mouse when he..."

"Mouse already called you?"

"Yes...and what I told him applies to you as well...if I am going to take the word of someone on heating temperatures between a bunch of Stanford PHDs and a bunch of illiterate high school dropouts, I know who I'm going to pick."

"That's your final word?"

"That's my final word."

My Dad turned to the experts.

"Knock yourselves out boys. Come on Dub, let's go home."

They were barely fifteen feet out of the door when the rattling of the equipment shook the ground. Within five minutes, the entire refinery was shut down. My Dad was in the changing room about an hour later, getting ready to go home, when Wiley ran in. The owner, Harry Rothschild, was across the street. He wanted them both...right now.

They arrived at the corporate offices to find The Old Man stomping and swearing.

"Jesus H Christ, Charlie...what the hell did your men do?"

"My men?"

"Wiley said something about Mouse and the board..."

"Why don't you ask Wiley about his efficiency experts."

"Wiley, what in God's name have you done now?"

My father recounted the nights events. In perfect detail.

"Wiley, if you weren't married to my sister, I swear...OK, Charlie...what's it going to take to get her up and running again?"

"Double shifts for everyone...for about two weeks."

"Do whatever you have to, Charlie...Wiley...just go home."

Two weeks later, the plant was up and running. All it had cost Old man Rothschild, was a couple of million dollars in lost product...a couple of million dollars in 1950s money. Adjust that for inflation. All because of petty personal animosity...and the belief that people who've never gotten their hands dirty know a machine better than the people who work with it everyday.

The second story took place just a few months later. Union negotiation time with management. It was my Father's job to take the demands to management...which in this case was Old man Rothschild, Wiley, and the corporate attorneys. Wiley, never one to let a grudge go, thought he had a way to sting my Dad, and the union, again.

Construction work on a refinery was done by the lowest level journeymen. The tools for their specific job were purchased for each man. It was, and had been for over fifty years, standard practice for these journeymen to be allowed to take the tools home at the completion of the specific job. One of the few perks for manual labor. New tools were then purchased for the start of the next assignment...and so on.

There was an ongoing construction project at the plant. Phase one was completed...but phase two was not only behind schedule, it hadn't been started. Why? No new tools. Wiley was sure he had the union, and my Dad, this time. The old man had to walk by the project on his way into the meeting.

"Charlie...why are we behind on the new project?"

"I'll tell you why Charlie's men are behind, Harry...they're thieves. They stole all of the tools, and now they stand around waiting everyday, doing nothing."

My Dad, of course, had been asking for new tools for the men for no avail. He was about to start in on Wiley, when Old Man Rothschild did it for him.

"Wiley, in the world does my sister stay married to you? I want you personally to go down to the hardware store right TWO sets of every tool that will be needed for every man in the plant, not just the journeymen, so we can get the project done."

"But, Harry...they stole..."

"'re too stupid to be let out alone...any group of men that can steal me into becoming a multi-millionaire are OK by get your ass over to the hardware store...what's next on the agenda, Charlie?"

And that was it. Wiley was forced to retire a few years later by the old man. Mr Rothschild thought so much of my father, he personally hosted his retirement party...and told me his version of both of those stories...which were far more colorful.

What points am I trying to make here?

1. Solidarity has been sadly lacking in our union's dealings with our brother unions. Collective bargaining between SAG, AFTRA, WGA, the directors, and the teamsters would be far more powerful and effective than the splintered approach that we have now. The main problem has been crossover...actors, writers, directors and others who fall into multiple categories, and are also producers. This presents a clear conflict which the AMPTA is only too happy to exploit. Divide and conquer is a mantra that has served management very well in its fight against unions in every field. We should never allow ourselves to be divided from a common, and mutually beneficial purpose.

2. I do not doubt the intelligence of those who have been negotiating on the union's behalf. I do doubt their hands on, practical app knowledge, of the "machinery" that they have been trying to improve. Those who work with it everyday are usually far better qualified to know when it might be reaching a breaking point.

3. Residuals are the "perk" tools that benefit the journeymen actor. They used to be the same for every job. But new tools are required now, as the jobs; IE different media streams, have changed. Even though everyone benefits from getting these tools, they're not a necessity for the head stillmen...let alone the former head stillmen now working for management. They are, however, a hard earned right, for those who are least able to protect themselves. All of the superstars in our field should remember from whence they came...and look out for those less fortunate.

I do not know if we should strike or not. I am no where close enough to the action to even venture an opinion. By I can observe, even from a distance, the process...and I believe it needs to change. If not, we may soon have a union in name only...or not at all. What a shame that would be...not only for us...but for those who fought and sacrificed for us to have this union, so many years ago.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Lost Season 5: The Rules of Time Travel

"Raffiniert ist der Herrgott, aber boshaft ist er nicht."
"Subtle is the Lord, but malicious He is not."

Albert Einstein

"There are rules – rules that can't be broken."
Daniel to Sawyer

"You're special...the rules don't apply to you..."
Daniel to Desmond

First of all, let me say, I really enjoy "LOST". We started watching it at the end of the first season...bought the DVD boxed set, and watched it straight through over a couple of days. We got hooked. It's uneven...not always up to its own standards...but a very good ride.

From the very start, I've been intrigued with the way the story delves into time travel...a theoretical branch of physics/quantum mechanics. Time travel is a Pandora's box...the paradoxes that spring from it lead to far more questions than answers...and takes you through names like: Einstein...Werner Heisenberg...Niels Henrik David Bohr... Erwin Rudolf Josef Alexander Schrödinger...and Stephen Hawking, among a multitude of others.(pun intended)

It presents you with theories and thought problems like: The uncertainty principle... Schrödinger's cat... The Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics...wave–particle duality...Quantum superposition... the anthropic principle... The Novikov self-consistency principle...and the many-worlds name just a few.

Confused yet? I'll put some links at the end for anyone who wants to read up on some of these people and theories...but first...

Let me tell you a story.

I was a weird kid. Even more weird than I am now(hard to believe, but true). My mom went back to college when I was four or five. She had no place to put me, so she took me with her. I still remember her Algebra class. The professor wrote an equation on the board. Asked if anyone could solve it. I waited. No one raised their hand, so I did. He laughed as he motioned me to come forward, then handed me the chalk. He wasn't laughing when I wrote the correct answer. Asked me how I knew...told him I just saw it. He figured it was a trick my mom was pulling on him. So...he wrote a few more problems for me...harder problems. I wrote down the answers. That's when he decided it was no parlor trick.

My mom told my dad about it when we got home. dad was pretty damn good at math. He was the head stillman at an oil refinery. He could work out calc-trig problems and extract cube root on a slide rule faster than I have ever seen anyone do it on a calculator...the man was good. He gave me a few problems...then a few more. Finally, he asked me the same I told him the truth...I just saw the answer. That was good enough for my dad. From that point on, I loved math.

Math is a language. When used properly, it is the only pure, universal language. I liked that. No mistranslations. It simply is.

They put me in college when I was twelve.(we're talking really, really weird kid...the only things I lacked were coke bottle thick glasses, a plastic pocket protector full of pens and pencils, a bow tie and suspenders...and a flashing neon sign on my forehead reading "GEEK"). I planned on staying with math from that point on...until...

Second year. Quantum mechanics. Heisenberg's uncertainty principle. Basically, you can't know a particle's position and velocity simultaneously. You can know one or the other, but...the act of measuring impacts the you either impact its speed, or its position. The bulk of modern quantum mechanics is based on a rule that says we can't know...not that we aren't capable of knowing, because of our ignorance or inadequacies at this rule was it could NEVER be known.

My response at 14...BULLSHIT! One of my Professors tried to patiently explain it to me using the Schrödinger's cat thought experiment. This is it, in a nutshell...

You put a cat in a box. With it, you put a flask of poison, a Geiger counter, and a flask breaker. The box is sealed to keep out external phenomena. If the Geiger counter detects any radioactivity, the flask breaks and...the cat dies. There's just enough isotope in the box for the probability of it happening. According to quantum mechanics, the cat becomes both alive and dead...simultaneously. It is neither alive, nor dead, until...someone opens the box to observe its state. It is the act of observation that causes the cat to die.

I'm not making this shit up.

My dad had taught me from a young age that there was a world of difference between theory and practical app. When my professor was done, I proposed a counter experiment. I suggested he put his daughter, who was then my age, in the box with all of that equipment...not in theory, mind a real box...with real poison. Then all he had to do was stand guard over the long as he could keep anyone from opening the box, his daughter would never die.

He didn't think that was very funny. I wasn't laughing either. I told him he didn't really believe what he told me. I told him he was only involved with that theory...not committed. He didn't understand the difference.

My grandad had passed away recently. I used to ride my bike out to my Granny's trailer and mow her small patch of grass. Then she would make me something to eat, and we'd smoke and talk when I was done. One day I came over complaining about something. My Granny told me the problem was that I was involved in the circumstance, not committed. I told her I didn't understand.

She went over to her stove and started frying up some bacon. She laid it aside when it was done, and scrambled some eggs in the pan. She served them to me when she was done, then sat smoking while I ate...not saying a word...until I was finished.

"You like that boy? here's the answer to your question...the chicken that laid those eggs was involved in your meal...the pig was God damn committed..."

I've never forgotten that...I doubt that professor has either. He still had no desire to try out his experiment...and to the best of my one else ever has either...

That was the end of math for me...the higher up you went, the more it became like philosophy...or religion...instead of pure math...again, the hubris of human ego raises its ugly head...

Now, I'm much more like the following quote:

The human mind is not capable of grasping the Universe. We are like a little child entering a huge library. The walls are covered to the ceilings with books in many different tongues. The child knows that someone must have written these books. It does not know who or how. It does not understand the languages in which they are written. But the child notes a definite plan in the arrangement of the books---a mysterious order which it does not comprehend, but only dimly suspects.

Albert Einstein

That Einstein guy was pretty sharp...spent the last thirty-plus years of his life trying to disprove what everyone believed his own theories had proven. Thirty-plus years...that's the kind of stubbornness I can relate too...and I'd be lucky now to be able to add two plus two(it's five, right? please tell me it's five...or three)

Now, I know what your asking yourself..."OK Chris...what the fuck does any of this have to do with LOST?"

Good question. Here are Daniel's comments again...

"There are rules...rules that can't be broken."

"You're special...the rules don't apply to you."

He's talking about Time Travel. The Novikov self-consistency principle is a perfect example. It states: That if an event exists that would give rise to a paradox, or to any "change" to the past whatsoever, then the probability of that event is zero. Such as auto couldn't go back and kill yourself, your parents(before you were born), etc...because then you wouldn't have been alive to go back and...see the paradox? According to most physicists, if there is Time Travel, there has to be rules. You could affect the past...but not change it.

Then you have the MWI or many-worlds interpretation...simply: it means that there is a very large, perhaps infinite, number of universes and that everything that could possibly happen in our universe (but doesn't) does happen in some other universe(s).

Clear as mud?

Two schools of thought...both depending on observation...on an observer. Both presuppose that we are the observer. There is, in my opinion, a third option...What if...

Think of life...of time and our physical a film. Written before it was shot...already shot, and in the can...the beginning, middle, and end established...done. Now it's time for the test screening...your the writer/director/producer(God) like the works...but you decide you want to make some changes without impacting the key points, especially the ending...what do you do? You re-write and shoot pick-ups to the scenes you want changed...carefully edit and splice them again...

How many times could you do that before you showed the "finished film"? An infinite number of times...

What is it that makes film visible to us? Light...when light passes through the moving frames of film, it comes alive...

Now, for the sake of argument, let's call that light "consciousness"...and let's say, that besides our individual consciousnesses, there is an ultimate consciousness. There would always be light on all frames of the film at all times...but we would only "see" the parts that we light up...

Have you ever had deja vu? Premonitions? Dreams of a past event that you know are different than the way you remeber it happening? Not remember an incident that others around you remember vividly? Are you skipping backward and forward through time?

Why is Desmond special? What, or who, does he represent?(Messiah-like sacrifices...first for Penny, then for the world...twice) Who is Ms. Hawking? Who, or what, does she represent?

Are the storylines in LOST set in stone...or just the beginning, middle, and ending?

Are our entire lives set in stone? Or, just the beginning...middle...and the end...or can even the ending be changed? Do the characters in LOST, skip backwards and forwards in the film of time? Is it true, what Shakespear said, that "All the world's a stage, And all the men and women merely players:They have their exits and their entrances;And one man in his time plays many parts..." Is there a playwrite for us?

Are we on our own version of LOST?

Boshaft ist der Christofer Blake...aber raffiniert ist er nicht...

Malicious is Christopher Blake...but subtle he is not...

Let the comments begin...



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Christopher Blake is a loving husband...devoted father...minister...crippled more than a little rough around the edges...