Jordan's Page of Useless Babble

The television show Lost has been going on now for five seasons, with the final season starting in 2010. It's a rich show filled with strong characters and a deep underlying mythology. Unfortunately things on the Island don't always work out the same way they would in the real world. I've taken observations and compiled them into a series of ten laws; not laws in the physical sense, but more like laws of the universe, or Laws of the Island if you will. These are a great way to help new viewers follow along with the storyline and understand what most of us already know.

  1. The Speed Limit is 5 MPH and it is Enforced

    Slow the fuck down or you'll get your ass beat.
    Slow the fuck down or you'll get your ass beat.
    The Island doesn't like fast people. One cannot run more than 10 feet without falling down. I'm being completely serious here. Go watch any scene from Lost where a character runs. If they run more than 10 feet, they automatically fall down.

    More sinister than any other phenomena attached to the Island is its strange and bewildering ability to have vines, roots, dead falls, branches, sticks, fallen trees, moss, mud, rocks, gorges, rivers, streams and rotting carcasses whose sole purpose to to handout a faceplant to anybody moving at a faster pace than a brisk walk.

    In the event that the Island is not able to trip the offender itself, an antagonist is immediately dispatched to coldcock, trip or deliver a flying tackle to provide the same function.

    Consider the entire Island to be a school zone. If you don't want to be on the receiving end of a beatdown, do not exceed the speed limit at any time.

  2. Healing Powers Only Work on Major Injuries

    That's the stuff of nightmares.
    That's the stuff of nightmares.
    For some people, the Island has the ability to heal them. Jin loses his infertility, Rose is cured of cancer and John Locke's broken spine is miraculously healed. The Island's powers have allowed several characters to heal themselves relatively quickly after major injuries.

    The exception to this is John Locke.

    Sure Locke's spine was healed, but what about his face? In the first episode Locke has a nasty cut extending from his right cheek to his forehead, right across the eye and yet despite this increased ability to heal, the cut not only doesn't close completely for several days, but it consequentially scars, leaving the gash right on his face indefinitely. I can only guess that the Island seems to be a fan of Apocalypse Now and believes that it can make its bald dictator-like guy even more bad-ass by scarring him in the face.

    If the same idea is further expanded on, a papercut would likely never close on the Island and the victim would need to chop off his hand in order to stop the bleeding. This would also explain why Jack Shephard appears to suffer from asthma so bad that it borders on emphysema.

  3. Every Show Can be Improved with a Murray Head Reference - No Exceptions

    Now that's why you don't play with M-80s.
    Now that's why you don't play with M-80s.
    The Black Rock, a beached slave ship is a reference to the Murray Head song One Night in Bankok.

    Bear with me here. In the first season finale "Exodus", Arzt accidentally kills himself by detonating a stick of dynamite outside of the Black Rock.

    Siam's gonna be the witness
    To the ultimate test of cerebral fitness
    This grips me more than would a
    Muddy old river or reclining Buddha

    In this scene Siam refers to the Black Rock itself, which was a slave ship destined for Siam when it was lost. It towers over the other characters. Arzt's explanation of the proper way to handle dynamite and after his death, the other characters' struggle to transport it could be considered 'the ultimate test of cerebral fitness'. The scene of course is quite thrilling, and 'grips me more than would a muddy old river', which of course the Island also has in abundance.

    Even the character of Jacob is a reference to the song, as it describes how he continually duels for control of the Island, using the Others as his pawns: And thank God I'm only watching the game -- controlling it --

    Simply put, every show is improved by the addition of One Night in Bankok references.

  4. People with Knowledge of the Future are Dicks

    Daniel Faraday: Dick.
    Daniel Faraday: Dick.
    Daniel Faraday, Eloise Hawking, Desmond Hume, Charles Widmore, Richard Alpert and Jacob all have knowledge of the disappearance of Oceanic Flight 815 prior to it happening, whether through time travel, immortality or precognition. That's six people, all of whom are not on the island in time before the plane crashed on the Island. Do they try to avert the disaster and save the lives of the passengers?

    Hell no! They don't even try to stop the plane crash! Between all of them, they had decades to make sure that the plane never took off and enough money to buy up the airline and close it down altogether. But no, they decide to twiddle their collective thumbs and let several dozen people die. Nice.

    The sad fact is that Lost has taught us that people who know what's going to happen are utter dicks.

  5. It is Not Possible for Dominoes to Make Their 30-Minute Guarantee on the Island

    The Pearl Station has a McDonalds.
    The Pearl Station has a McDonalds.
    Let's say we have a hypothetical situation where Dominoes Pizza has set up on an off-shore oil rig five miles off the coast of the Island, and somehow is able to remain in a position that is stationary with the island.

    The 30-minute time dilation that effects the Island would mean disaster for Dominoes. Lets say that the pizza takes 15 minutes to make, and the pizza guy has a high-powered motor boat that can easily do 60 mph if not more. Well given the temporal distortion, the pizza would be 20 minutes late and thus free.

    Needless to say, this would have disastrous repercussions for the franchise, and they'd either get shut down by the branch office for continually giving away free pizza, or they would have to discontinue the 30-minute guarantee at that location. Business would likely suffer after that.

  6. Everybody on the Island is Connected to Everybody Else

    This man is connected to everybody on the Island.  Twice.
    This man is connected to everybody on the Island. Twice.
    If you landed on the Island tomorrow with 20 other people, you can be guaranteed to have tenuous links to everybody else. You might know them, they might have spent time with one of your parents, you might have dated their sister or cousin.

    No matter how bizarre, you will have a link to everybody on the Island at any given time. Your brother's best friend once bought cocaine from the second cousin twice removed of the guy you're talking to. Your mother visited a hairdresser that later became a dog groomer that prepared the pooch that won out in the dog show against their third grade teacher's niece's prized poodle's now-grown puppies.

    It might be strange, but it seems to be a continuation of Murphy's Law. If you could possibly be related to another person, you will be. It's the six degrees of Kevin Bacon, except, unless he's on the Island, Mr. Bacon isn't involved and there's about a hundred times more degrees.

    Also, as an addendum, the less people who are involved at the time, the more convoluted the links can become.

  7. Just About Everything on the Island is Hallucinogenic

    Charlie's having a freakout and Sayed is tripping balls.
    Charlie's having a freakout and Sayed is tripping balls.
    There's not really any other explanation for the sheer number of visions that people on the Island seem to receive. The Island apparently produces it's one hallucinogenic substances that cover just about everything edible. Anybody on the Island can be subjected to visions at just about any time, and they are, for the most part, really fucking disturbing.

    It's the brown acid that the singer called out for you not to eat at that crazy concert, all the time. Whatever it is, it seems to also be addictive, in that people who leave the Island seem to go through a form of withdrawal and begin to crave the Island. Like crack addicts, they have to return for their next fix.

    It also appears that this substance is fat soluble, as Hurley, arguably the fattest tub to ever not get eaten by panthers while in a survival situation on a tropical island, not only continues to hallucinate, but doesn't feel the same compulsion to return to the Island that his skinnier compatriots do. Likely his fat tissue is storing the hallucinogen and gradually releasing it into his system as he slowly loses weight in an insane asylum.

  8. You Can't Lose Weight on the Island

    Put down the ranch dressing you fat tub.
    Put down the ranch dressing you fat tub.
    Anybody who's experienced a shipwreck quickly learns something: tropical heat, plus a lack of carbohydrates and fat will quickly lead to weight loss. The survivors of Oceanic 815 subsist mainly on fish and fruit, with later supplements provided by a DHARMA Initiative food-drop. This kind of diet, especially in the early weeks, should have lead to rapid weight loss.

    These are people who are eating very little, losing water weight by the gallon due to a humid tropical climate and doing work such as manual labor and running (with the inevitable falling down). By all accounts, they should be stick people, and Hurley should be at his ideal BMI.

    Somehow, they all manage to retain more or less the exact same weight that they had when they arrived. The only explanation has to be weight gain powder slipped into the ranch dressing.

  9. Most People on the Island Can't Grasp the Plot of Back to the Future

    Great Scott!
    Great Scott!
    With the exception of Miles Straum, few characters seem to be able to grasp basic quantum physics, or even watched any of the Back to the Future movies. This unfortunate circumstance means that they are, for the most part, unable to think 'fourth-dimensionally', and comprehend that their present occupies a space in time that takes place in the past.

    It can be theorized that the Island seems to reject or kill anybody who's enjoyed the adventures of Marty McFly and Doc Emmett L. Brown as they travel between the years 1955 and 2015. Since Miles was born on the Island he seems to be exempt from this law.

    Anybody on the Island would be well advised to not utter the phrases "Great Scott!", "Make like a tree and get out of here!" or "This is heavy." for fear of accidentally getting themselves killed.

  10. Gasoline Does Not Go Bad

    This is highly improbable.  And fun!
    This is highly improbable. And fun!
    In addition to the healing ability that the Island bestows on people, volatile chemicals also appear to remain relatively stable over long periods of time.

    When Hurley finds a van that has been abandoned for 30-odd years, he, Jin and Sawyer are able to get the vehicle into working order. Even if stabilized, gasoline would only last for about one or two years. If this property extends further, the Fatman nuclear bomb that the Others buried would have a half-life of at least 66.9 billion years, meaning that in the future, the intelligent apes that eventually take over the world could be potentially destroyed by Charlton Heston. The damn dirty apes.

    This would however explain why the ruins that dot the Island are still in such good shape despite being largely open to the elements. If the survivors living in 1977 were smart, they'd start stockpiling guns and ammunition in hidden caches across the Island for use later, since the gunpowder wouldn't go bad for decades under those conditions. But, people with knowledge of the future are dicks.

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