Lost Finale: All Dogs go to Heaven

The following post contains spoilers. If you haven’t seen the Lost tv series finale, please come back later.

I’m not someone who spends a lot of time watching TV, let alone blogging about it, but the Lost finale has drawn me out. And the reason has to do with the Ultimate Question from my Catholic upbringing:

Who gets to go to Heaven?

Sages and clerics have struggled with this query ever since the concept of Heaven was created. For the most part, they have kept their answers nice and simple by focusing on who doesn’t get to go to Heaven.

So after watching the Flash-Sideways church scene near the end of the show and concluding that this depicted the main characters coming together in the afterlife, I have come away with the Ultimate Answers:

1. Murderers get to go to Heaven, quite to the contrary of Catholic dogma. Just look at the all the characters in the church who killed people over the course of the show: Jack, Kate, Sawyer, and the list goes on and on. Hugo even invites Benjamin Linus inside, despite the fact he is a mass murderer and probably the most evil guy on the show. Go figure.

2. There are no lawyers in Heaven. Sure this is an old joke, but the character Ilana Verdanski, the Flash-sideways attorney who helps Claire with her adoption, doesn’t wind up in Heaven even though she spent her whole life protecting Jacob’s candidates. She gets beat up, hospitalized, and blown to bits for her trouble, but no eternal reward. That’s harsh.

3. Interrogators who torture and murder get to go to Heaven. Thanks to Sayid, untold numbers of CIA operatives can now sleep peacefully.

4. Physicists don’t get to go to Heaven. Daniel Faraday is stuck in Purgatory playing classical piano in a bad rock band. Maybe his working knowledge of the space-time continuum condemns him to atheism or something. Or maybe he has eternity to get over the fact that Sawyer got some noogie from the redhead while he was playing cop.

5. Alcoholics and drug addicts get to go to Heaven, even if they were lousy fathers. What a relief! Just kidding.

6. Mothers who bear children out-of-wedlock get to go to Heaven. I’m not sure where the Church stands on this. Maybe it’s ok to enter as long as you feel really guilty about it your whole life.

7. Adulterers get to go to Heaven. Sun had an affair with her English teacher, who may also have been the baby-daddy. Her hubby was being a prick at the time, so I guess she gets a pass.

8. Arm-breakers get to go to Heaven. Jin busted people up for a living while working for his spouse’s father. What? There were no open positions in the mail room?

9. Con men get to go to Heaven. Sawyer does a lot of noble stuff on the show, despite himself. Sure, a con man was responsible for his parent’s death, but why would someone want to turn into the very person they obsess about murdering for revenge?

10. All dogs get to go to Heaven. Jack doesn’t have to die alone thanks to the pooch. Nice touch; got me all choked up.

So there you have it. This could go on forever, I suppose, since there were so many characters. But in the final analysis, I take great comfort in the notion that the neighbors in the afterlife won’t all be chanting “Drill, baby, drill!”

YouTube: FlexRex – A Day in the Life


This was the first episode of FlexRex, never release outside the walls until now.
In this mashup of OddTodd.com, our work-from-home hero makes it through a typical work day.
Since I did this spoof some seven years ago, I learned how to draw (kind of) and changed him into my own character for a bunch of sequels and even his own fictional blog.
Then I started working from home and he turned into me. Or something.

Fox News: Palin didn’t know Africa was a continent


Only AFTER the election does Fox News decide to spill the beans about Palin.
How did her brain ever even master human speech?

Barack Baby Boom!

It was amazing to see all the election celebrations on the tube last night. And as I was watching, I saw something in people’s eyes–maybe it was just renewed hope for the future, but I think there was something more.
Blame it on HDTV, but you couldn’t miss the glint in those eyes. Mark your calendars, folks: there is going to be one hell of baby boom nine months from now. August 5, 2009 is the going to be the birthday of a whole new Yes, I can generation!

FlexRex Twitter Feed

Now through my Twitter feed, you can follow FlexRex through the eternal samsara that is life. Or something.

FlexRex on Twitter


So, I think I’m starting to get this, umm, social networking stuff.
I figure that doing is the only way to learn, so I set up a twitter feed for my momentary lapses of reason. So, some of it might be a little colorful for this space. So what? I’m a cartoon character–why not let the info flow like a river?
And if this whole twitter thing has you scratching your head as to what it all means, try reading this thought-provoking NY Times article.

YouTube: You Suck at Marketing


In this parody of the You Suck at Photoshop videos, our favorite work-from-home hero shows us how to do those fancy html emails.

FlexRex: New Cartoon on HPC Portal


Our work-from-home hero stars in a new cartoon in support of the Sun HPC Community Portal. Watch as his four friends use the Portal to bolster Homeland Security. Full Story

Pug Skydiving Video

My son was asking me why anyone would want to jump out of an airplane. Then I found this wonderful video of a man skydiving with his pug. While the pug is cute and all, the look of wonder on this guy’s face is something to behold.
This film is probably better than anything coming out of Hollywood this summer. And the boy? Now he wants to know when we’re going skydiving.
“When you see it, then you’ll understand.”

My 15 Minutes: Flex Rex in PDX Magazine

It seems that my 15 minutes of fame have fallen upon me. PDX Magazine interviewed me a while back about one of my other blog projects, Overheard in PDX. The articles just came out in their April issue.
There’s actually two articles here and here but the magazine site might require registration. Full text below:
An Internet Revolution
Local blogs to bookmark and how to start your own.
An Internet Revolution
Hop on the Blog Bandwagon
by Kristen Thiel
photos by Amaren Colosi
Do you recall when human-to-human conversations outnumbered human-computer interfaces? People are still debating, but with the continuing growth and accessibility of the Internet, weblogs have become living rooms and cafés—stretched a little—so that a Portlander lounging over a local brew could just as easily be swapping ideas with their next door neighbor as with someone in Pretoria, Pamplona, or well, that other Portland.
“When I feel mean, I think, ‘If you have something to say, why aren’t you blogging? And if you don’t have anything to say, why are you talking to me?’” says Mike Merrill of urbanhonking.com, a collection of 50 active bloggers posting everything from writing to visual art and music to movies. “You don’t need a reason to blog, you need a reason not to blog,” he adds. Urban Honking began as a web magazine, but according to the site, getting people to write articles was difficult. “The blog phenomenon started and breathed new life into UrHo,” explains Merrill.
A blog may still call to mind its original mainstream use: an online diary, the place an individual could rant and rave, sometimes about political issues, often about daily injustices and delights considered trivial. That kind is still popular. J.D. Roth, the creator of the personal finance site getrichslowly.org/blog, says that his favorite blogs belong to his family and friends. “I love the added glimpses into their lives. It’s a way to keep in touch when we go weeks or months at a time without seeing each other,” he says. But the medium is growing and changing, and Portland is home to some polished blogs—and bloggers—of which Merrill and Roth are just two.
When asked to name the blogs she reads the most, Lisa Radon of ultrapdx.com—which examines the intersections of fashion, design, culture and fine art through features, photo editorials and a blog—noted that none are personal journals. Her favorites “employ the technology to make interesting online publications…We used to call these online publications ‘webzines.’ The technology changed and they’re called ‘blogs.’ But I still call what I do ‘writing.’”
Indeed, the bloggers we interviewed dissected the meduim as they might any written communication. People interested in moving businesses to the Rose City “have seen ultra as a barometer of what’s happening in Portland in fashion, design, culture, as well as the creative entrepreneurial climate,” Radon says.
Nick Zukin of foodie favorite extramsg.com explains that because there are no space limitations on a website, he can share a lot more information than print publications can: “I can post ultra-detailed reports about each and every dish I eat, if I want. I can show a photo of each. I can post a copy of the menu…And little dives, taquerias, pho shops, etc, that are only occasionally reviewed in the mainstream media are as likely to be reviewed… And that makes a real difference to those often struggling businesses.”
Chris Smith started portlandtransit.com, a nonprofit blog that “cross-pollinates” the “modal silos” from bikers and pedestrians to drivers and bus riders along the Portland transportation landscape. He knows his site is playing a role in local government: “Several members of the Metro Council are regular readers [and a couple have contributed posts]…I’ve also seen material from our site printed out and carried into government meetings by elected officials.”
Does it offer new useful perspectives or information? Brian Libby, a journalist who created portlandarchitecture.com, “wanted to be able to respond within minutes to a breaking news story if applicable, but also to say, ‘I rode my bike past this old building and took a picture. Doesn’t it look cool?’” The American Institute of Architects offered to sponsor his blog if it would “stimulate dialogue about local design,” a mission AIA members believed could be accomplished through blogging.
Radon observes that there is little to no conversation about design online or in print—a problem ultra seeks to address. “When it comes to fashion, primarily you’ll find talk about shopping, which is not the same thing. Apparel design deserves the same kind of serious consideration in Portland that it receives elsewhere,” she contends.
Rich Brueckner started overheardinpdx.blogspot.com, to which people can post unusual snippets of conversations overheard around Portland. Bruecker refers to the bumper sticker motto “Keep Portland Weird” when saying that his site “really brings it home.” Sun Microsystems, for which he also blogs as a fulltime employee, calls blogging a “competitive weapon” in marketing. “People don’t buy big expensive things from companies—they buy from people with whom they have relationships,” Brueckner reasons. This is probably why big corporate Web sites and shopping pages are now incorporating blogs more and more.
Still, blogging will always be fueled by the grassroots spirit. “However small your readership may be, the technology allows your writing to be commented upon and potentially continued conversationally,” Libby observes.
Though bloggers like Zukin note with distaste that online conversations can too often include “anonymous sniping,” “rumor-mongering,” and “ad hominem” speech, in the end, as Brueckner offers, “Bloggers are fostering dialogue and questioning ideas, which leads to compassion. That’s the next level our civilization needs to reach if we are to survive as a people.”

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