Damon Lindelof is a bit of a lightning rod. As the co-creator of Lost (as well as writer of Prometheus, the most recent Star Trek movie, and other projects), he’s been involved in some projects that some folks are…well, let’s say passionate about. Here’s the thing about passionate people: they can hold hold grudges. And Lindelof is still getting daily grudge wrath over the polarizing ending to Lost, which was well over three years ago.
I follow Lindelof on Twitter because he has some good insights on writing, is fairly funny, and I am a fan of Lost (I don’t follow him for this, but his feed also contains a usually profane one-man war against the Fancy Feast Twitter account). Late last night, he posted a series of tweets that came his way after the Breaking Bad finale.
@DamonLindelof LOST and Breaking Bad are very similar shows. Do you feel embarrassed by the way they showed you up all over town?
Hey @DamonLindelof THATS how you do a series finale. Not whatever the h—- that crap was you did with #Lost. #GoodbyeBreakingBad
Those were some of the nicer ones. What was interesting to me is that Lindelof could have very easily lashed back out at those random strangers for heckling him because they didn’t get something that they wanted three years ago. Interestingly, he turned that abuse out for the rest of the world to see.
One of the most misunderstood aspects of the Sermon on the Mount is in Matthew 5:39 when Jesus tells his followers to turn the other cheek. Christians often try to skirt around the issue since it is a fairly cut and dry call to non-violence. Others misinterpret it as a call to be a doormat that everyone walks over.
But the act of turning the other cheek was a non-violent way of calling out an oppressor. It was a protest of an unjust Roman law which sought to exploit Jewish people. Ostensibly, it forced the aggressor to consider what he was doing and how it was demeaning another individual. The one who turns is not a doormat, he or she is asserting their personhood in an unorthodox way.
Lindelof likely wasn’t trying to demonstrate a particular ethic (or maybe he was, who knows). Yet by not escalating things with a counter-insult and retweeting that abuse, it held up a mirror to the angry tweeters. That mirror possibly could have forced those individuals to consider their actions. Do they realize that when their personal abuse goes public that people think (as I did) that: A) They really need to get a life and B) It takes a pretty horrible person to express their joy over a TV show by insulting someone that wrote a TV show three years ago that they found less than satisfactory. Maybe all of that causes them to stop and think about their actions.
And maybe it doesn’t. As a great prophet once said, “Haters gonna hate.” But the ethic of turning the other cheek, or any other ethic for that matter, is not enacted because it garners a desired result. One acts in such a way because it is the right thing to do.
So Lindelof, I salute you. You might not always respond that way to haters and your response may have been for totally selfish reasons. But at least it caused me to think about how I interact with people. Thanks for that.
Also, I thought the series finale of Lost was pretty good. The characters were more important than the mythology to me anyway.