Did you know I have a mission in my role as a caretaker for Toobworld? I want to spread the word of David Bianculli's concept of tele-literacy. I don't want the viewing audience to just sit there like rotten cabbages (Thank you, Patrick McGoohan!) and let TV shows just wash over them. (One reason I hate shows like 'Fear Factor'.)
I want those TV shows to inspire the audience to explore related subjects; I want them to think inside the box.
The example I usually give? I mentioned it just yesterday - 'Mr. Ed'. After watching this sitcom about a talking horse, you should read 'Gulliver's Travels' by Jonathan Swift, especially the chapter about the intelligent horses of Houhynymn Island.
Over the last two years, the clash between Jack and Locke on 'Lost' has been one of Science vs. Faith. And even though it looks like Locke had lost his faith by season's end, Mr. Eko picked up the mantle. That conflict between Faith and Science will always be around.
I'm not going to nudge you in the direction of any book to read about it, though. Instead, it's a TV production on PBS.
Bill Moyers new seven-part series examines the clash between reason and faith, and asks whether or not we can achieve a world in which both viewpoints are tolerated.
In this new series, he'll be talking to writers about the topic, rather than religious leaders and philosophers. His reasoning is that "stories can help us see into the truth of experience that is obscured by the different meanings each faith assigns to the same language."
It has been noted in various web forums that the society (now societies, I guess) of survivors and Others to be found on the mysterious Island of 'Lost' represents a microcosm of the outside world at large. And the differences between Jack and Locke, "Man of Science, Man of Faith" represents that particular debate.
'Bill Moyers On Faith And Reason' begins near the end of June on most PBS stations. Check your local channel for time and listings. (I love getting to say that!)
Who knows? Maybe the discussions and debates will give the writers of 'Lost' something to hash out around the signal fires. From stories may come more stories.....