Melissa Miles McCarter

taking lemons and squeezing the life out of them

Melissa Miles McCarter

Melissa Miles McCarter
Location
Ironton, Missouri, USA
Birthday
February 27
Title
Publisher, Author, Academic
Company
Fat Daddy's Farm
Bio
After meeting her husband in grad school, Melissa was seduced by the small town charm of Arcadia Valley, where she resides today. Her (better?) half is a Professor of English who commutes two hours both ways so they can live in the peaceful side of the Ozarks. Through her husband, Melissa became a stepmother to Britin, who gave her an unexpected--but welcome--chance to mother. She also a furmommy to two (soon to be three) English Bulldogs. Melissa has learned to adapt to life's circumstances, making the best out of lemons, and uses her challenges as inspiration for her writing. Not only has living in a small town been an adaption, after growing up in Houston, Texas and Southern California, she has had her fair share of challenges. In 2003, Melissa and her husband lost their 5 week old daughter to SIDS. This experience inspired her to publish and edit the anthology on motherhood and loss, "Joy, Interrupted." Prior to this tragedy, Melissa was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, a condition she successfully manages today. Melissa was inspired to pen, "Insanity: A Love Story, A Memoir of Madness and Mania" to share her struggle to navigate the fine line between sanity and insanity. Currently, Melissa is working on a collection of essays addressing infertility in popular culture and social media, as well as its role in her own life. In addition to being a writer, Melissa is an academic whose specialty is rhetoric, composition and feminism. One of her research interests is how to address student resistance to feminist pedagogy. She has a PhD in English, Rhetoric and Composition from the University of Texas, Arlington and received her B.A. in Philosophy from Scripps College, a woman's school in Claremont, CA. Melissa is the publisher of a small press, Fat Daddy's Farm. As an editor and publisher, Melissa's goal is to help uncommon voices grow and flourish.

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Editor’s Pick
MAY 24, 2010 1:14AM

Controversial Lost Finale

Rate: 16 Flag

The "Lost" finale episode took a turn at the very end that is sure to move fans emotionally while disappointing others.  Many answers were given in the show, but the most remarkable resolutions involved reconnections among all the different characters, especially among "Lost" loves.  *If you haven't seen the finale and don't want to be spoiled, you might want to stop reading now, because there were a lot of unexpected conclusions (and questions) that occurred.*

The most startling event ended up the being the final scene, which apparently had been planned from the very beginning.  We see an image of Jack, clearly in the throes of death, and a close-up of the shutting of his eye.  This image mirrored the initial one at the beginning of the first episode of Jack laying in the bamboo clearing and opening his eye. 

Right before this death scene, Jack is informed by his father, Christian Shepard, that they are both dead.  In fact, every character we have grown to love during the course of the show who have been gathered, with the help of Desmond, is dead.  They have created a holding place mentally or spiritually to meet up before they move on to another life or perhaps heaven.

Before this end result, we saw an epic struggle against the smoke monster, who was finally eradicated.  Jack passed on the "Jacob" torch to Hurley, whose sidekick became Ben, just like Richard used to have as a role on the island.  And Frank was able to pilot the plane off the island with Richard, Kate, Sawyer, and Miles. 

During certain moments, we got to hear familiar strains of "Star Wars" with even some lines directly culled from the original epic.  The struggle between good and evil is satisfactorily resolved in many ways during this first hour and a half of the finale.

In the alternative sideways world, we get to see everyone reconnecting who we had grown to love during the series.  This proves to be touching, in which we see people remember their lives on the island while also recalling the important roles certain individuals played in this "original" island experience.

What viewers might struggle with isn't the epic adventure or love stories that involved rekindling, but the twist of storytelling that tells us that the alt-sideways life was just a creation of the islanders' minds.  We don't know the fate of anyone except Jack at the very end, but realize that the characters we grew to love were no longer with us, even if it was just a fictional experience. 

For many years during the show fans debated whether the island was purgatory, hell or if the survivors of the crash were actually dead.  And the answer was simple--yes everything did go on, there was an epic struggle of good and evil--where evil was finally defeated--but at the end, we all die eventually.

The recognition of "the end" of Lost is sure to strike a chord differently, moving some and angering others, while leaving many confused, but viewers are left with the final version the writers of this show wanted us to see.  And in this final understanding, we see that the survivors on the island, and in fact Jack's soul, had been "Lost," but in the end they all were found in a mystical context we all struggle to understand.

Read my review of the Jimmy Kimmel "Aloha to Lost" special.

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I knew it! This goes down with the autistic boy who dreamed up "St. Elsewhere".
I was waiting for the end of the series before I decided whether or not to try it--I didn't want to get sucked into yet ANOTHER series that bitterly disappointed me in the end (I'm looking at you, Battlestar Galactica). So thank you VERY kindly for the post. Now I know I never have to watch it. (I predicted that ending and I've never seen an episode!)
Personally, I had mixed feelings about the finale and a strong emotional reaction--but I am still a fan of the show and still enjoyed the last six years of episodes (including the finale). I don't think it is the kind of show you can watch backwards, i.e. start with the finale or knowing how it ends. I think the suspense has been part of the appeal.
I know quite a few people who feel that way about various forms of entertainment, but I'm definitely not one of 'em.

My opinion on the matter is that, if the "how" of the story isn't suspenseful enough for me, even if I know the ending in advance, I usually don't think enough of the story to like it.

But I know I'm on the far end of the spectrum--I've been known to read the last chapter of a book first (and if I don't do it first thing, I usually do it when I'm about 1/2 way through). I like seeing HOW the author gets there.
it seemed gimicky to me; they did not explain enought; it seemed like the confusing events were made up just to confuse people, again gimicky
I liked it, and the ending lived up to my expectations. I just would have liked to have seen cameos by some other favorite characters, like Walt and Mr. Ecko.

Lost was a great example of non-linear storytelling done well.
It was a bit of a clusterf*ck at the conclusion. Still when compared to dreck like Greg the Bunny or even the horrendous M*A*S*H finale. It did a fair job of dealing. Truthfully? Despite the shortcomings and clichés at the end, I will miss what had become the only live action program on network T.V. that we made a definite point of watching.
As a writer, I am all about the "twist". The thing about a twist is that it works best when thrown in at the end of the story, completely surprising the reader and throwing all his preconcieved notions of the story out the window.

In Lost....not so much. Half-way through the first season I said they were all dead, so where the hell is the twist? The writers seemed intent on throwing in all sorts of fake twists that did nothing but try to muddy the waters. It was as if they knew the story would be figured out easily so they wanted to try to keep the viewer guessing. To me that is a sign of weak writing.

So in my opinion, the whole series was a disappointment but I have to admit it was nice to see the cameos of past characters and like another commenter, I would have loved to see Walt and his son in the finale.
My ending was better. :)

And everybody wasn't dead at the same time, it was just Jack who had died on the island and everything from the plane to the church was just what happened in that brief moment between when he lied down and when he closed his eyes. Everyone else had died at other times, that is why Hurely told Ben he had been a great #2.
I am not a Lost fan. Thanks for the heads up on the ending. I am sure my husband will want to watch it tonight. R
Montheistic at the end? Stellaa?
Did you LOOK at the eight spoked wheel in the church window, or the yin/yang? It was polytheistic!

It wasn't contrived, it was conceived, and it will be hailed as the greatest show ever.

If you don't believe that we will send our armies of geeks after you and have them send YOU to an island!
Going up a level, whenever creators "experiment" there will be execution problems, carping from outside, etc. Remember the world "before Lost" and after the first season, the number of shows that immediately copied aspects of it...? I want to give credit for that changing-the-playing-field quality it had.

The net has made some "old TV" more readily available and isn't it WILD to watch the older shows and see how loooong everything takes as every single teensy thing is s-p-e-l-l-e-d out? As pendulums swing perhaps we will get back there some day (or perhaps only ironically) but then again...

Rather than continue ranting about all the thoughts you have sparked in my head (sign of a good post) I will just say thank you for watching and putting this up in such a timely manner.
I wish they'd done more to tie up the loose ends of the puzzle instead of just finishing the character arcs. I still want the four toed statue explained!!!
It was an incredible disappointment and a pat ending. I felt like I was watching the series finale of The Ghost Whisperer.
I've been reading online commentary, and one thing is beginning to annoy me: people who originally thought all the 815ers were dead and the island was some sort of purgatory or hell, now saying that they "knew" the ending. But if the finale established anything clearly, it was the reality of the island and the events there; alt-world, so much more "realistic," was the afterlife. This is a very simple task of viewer comprehension.

Whether the twist worked well or not is another question. I curious whether Melissa found it moving and effective or not, and in either case, why. The post doesn't really express her own view.
Nice wrap up and review of Lost's finale. It was very bittersweet on many levels for me. I was a devout watcher and fan of Lost from the beginning. As the finale was coming to it's inevitable end, I found myself conflicted. In the human sense, a part of me was still hoping that our favorite characters would in fact, finally get off the island and to the lives we were given glimpses of throughout the later seasons. The hope that we can be saved in "this" lifetime" was part of the weight of disappointment when we learn they are really all dead afterall and merely, just "stuck."

The lessons of the island for all its hopeful "survivors," brought them all to the ultimate realization that it was their time to "move on." It was portrayed to feel like the right thing; the only thing that was left for them to do in this "inbetween" existence they shared and clung to for so long. It was "time."

The looks of total understanding and peace on their faces, the shared experience of making the "island" their final resting place for their bodies only, culminated in the spiritual possibilites of their ultimate destination, once embraced completely.

Giving its audience a chance to also let go of the island and all its challenges, struggles and human frailties, we all whitness our beloved Lost characters accepting and bathing in the light of "letting go" of all that was.

The dual emotions of disappointment and relief over this undramatic ending, left all of us to sort out some of our own connection to life's mysteries, our own struggles with living and a chance to define more clearly, our spiritual purpose. If we are so inclined.

The feeling of complete emptyness and finality filled me, both physically and emotionally, at the episode's end. I couldn't move for a while, noticing the numbness that filled me. I needed to let it simmer a while, knowing that my 6 year connection and love for this series was finally over.

As I layed down in bed to let my head and mind rest, it felt as if the room was spinning and distorted a bit, likely the manifestation of my utter fatigue and emotional weight of closure I was reluctant to accept. I simply hated to see this end, return to reality and accept that these characters were gone.

When we make connections in life, especially those that are good and affect us deeply through shared highs and lows, the battle to define ourselves, our roles here, we are challenged by our own choices and the effects they have on ourselves and others around us.

The message of Lost for me illuminated the importance of "letting go" of the things that hold us back from becoming whatever it is we are supposed to be. Only we can determine what that is for each of us, learning the right balance of the tangible and intangibles that guide us in various directions. Where it is we choose to go and become in this lifetime, brings us to the destination of our making.

Like Lost, we are faced with our own battles with our mortality and the possibility of what lies ahead. In death, we must let go of all that was earthly and physical. In a spiritual sense, for those who have beliefs in some kind of after life, we are left to nurture the faith that will bring us to our moment of realization, come face to face with our maker perhaps and finally know whether we will choose the light or simply darkness.

These are just some of the thoughts left inside my head after watching the Lost (and "found) finale of something that left an imprint on my mind and heart. I will really miss this and will struggle a bit to "move on."
Melissa, this was a gift to us NON -Lost viewers because we might each have someone we know who was hooked. In my case it was my daughter and ex husband and since she is having finals week, I know she will have watched this anyway. So at least I can talk to her about her reactions, now that I understand basically how it ended. Thanks!
Ambrose Bierce is turning in his grave.
You're way too kind. The show that began as "Lost" ended as another lame, formulaic episode of "The Ghost Whisperer." This finale was beyond ridiculous, and the stupid-assed interviews that ABC gave the fans afterword was the emptiest hype I've seen since "Mission Accomplished."

This joke might have been funny if I hadn't guessed the punchline last year.
Nyahh, nyahh, nyahhh...(u get the idea).
I've never watched Lost, or Survivor, or any reality show.
Serials like soap operas always end when they run out of ideas.
Frankly, I loved it. I found it to be much like life itself: complicated, confusing, sometimes frustrating, and plenty of unanswered questions. But in the end, completley worth the journey.
Diorama asked what my personal reaction was--I enjoyed everything leading up to the ending and then I was deeply moved by the end--but it wasn't the ending that I wanted. I wanted the characters to live on, not realize they were all dead. As someone who had a child die of SIDS, the baby in the context was of death, i.e. newly born Aaron, was difficult for me.
Btw, I meant "Diotima" not Diorama...Lost has fried my brain
Here's the REAL ending of "Lost" !

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YoBTsMJ4jNk
I never followed Lost, but watched the final episode to see if what I thought proved out. Yep. Government funded ABC delivers the fundie message I thought they would. The gov is big on an evil science pro Jesus routine right now. And it was supposed to be such an international show! Except for no Jews or Muslims or Buddhists on the island. All roads lead to Christ per ABC. ox
I really thought it left a lot of unanswered questions.
A buddy of mine put it best about the finale: "I was emotionally satisfied and intellectually gypped.” Although it completely entertained me, and rather enjoyed the beat of Charlie and Claire realzing everything...I felt like I was watching a chick movie during the final moments...and then felt like I was not given the answers to things I waited 6 fracken years for. I get the show all long was one big allegory... but c'mon...

And Torman...the writing made it very clear they were never dead on the island or in the time travel backwards, it was only the flash sideways where they were dead, be it some kind of limbo or purgatory. I thought having Kate say to Jack that she missed him was a brilliant way to tell us in just a few words that she escaped the island, lived a full life and was glad to be back with him.

But I agree with Peppermint wishing more things were explained than just tying up the character arcs in a nice bow.
Just Cathy - I felt the same way, and I don't think I could be at peace with the ending of Lost without any other conclusion. Of course we can dissect it and consider all of the things that don't "fit" but without the ending they gave us we would still be screaming for more. The characters all Let Go -- Just as we, as viewers, must also let go of this epic saga.
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