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Lose/Lose? Win/Lose? Win/Win?

Abraham, Isaac, Moriah, (Genesis 22), Jacob, Benjamin, Ruth, Naomi, David (Desmond's Middle Name), sacrifice, provision, tests of faith, providence, free will, etc. My head is swimming with ideas for this blog!

However, based on the episode's title and they way the plot played out, I think the most poignant question to ask in this forum is: Is there such a thing as a "Catch-22" situation where an individual is faced with the impossible task of accomplishing two actions which depend on each other? Many of us just assume that "Catch-22" is a law of nature (i.e. I need experience to get a job, but I need a job to get experience) but is that too simple of a solution?

After reviewing the plots and themes of Joseph Heller's book, I found that, in Catch-22, the main character comes to realize that "Catch-22", a supposed military rule, does not actually exist. He discovers that the powers that be claim it does, and the world believes it does, and the result is that it has potent effects on all who submit to its rule.

Have you been faced with "Catch-22" situations in real life? What was the result? After facing a supposed "Catch-22" did you come to the conclusion that there actually is another way out of the no-win situation?


Blogger Twinkle said...

Capcom! Good to hear from you! (I'm posting my reply to comments from the last post here.) I haven't watched Catch 22 yet so I hope we're still talking about it when I do!

Interesting that you were annoyed by Locke's criticism of Ben's life. I hadn't looked at it like you did. I was thinking, "Yeah! Give it to him!" but you make an interesting point about Locke's hypocrisy by eating the chicken. Deciet, self-importance, and corruption do indeed seem to be thematic to Lost.

It's hard to tell from just the little bit we got about Paulo and Nikki but I would guess that Paulo was affected by the crash deeply and that might be why he hid the diamonds. At least that's as equally plausible as that he hid them out of selfishness. Nikki, however, changed even less than Sawyer. If her eye opening at the end of the episode means somehow TPTB plan on bringing her back, it will be interesting what such a caustic person would do. Or would she be changed because of her self-provoked near death experience?

I agree about Wayne coming on to Kate. I think her hate was two-fold, that her step-father would break trust and come on to her and that her step-father would cheat on her mother with her mother's daughter.

I can't wait to catch up with you all! Hopefully this weekend. The comments about One of Us and Catch 22 are so thought provoking.

How much of the catch 22 feeling would be resolved if we solved problems more communally instead of individually? For instance Admin's job scenario is resolved when career training programs include mentoring and interning to help a student gain experience. Likewise when companies see their employees as something they invest in which will enrich their company, then they put more effort into training. Instead when I feel like my problems are my own to solve without help or depending on anyone else, I often get caught by the things I need others for. What do you think?

4/21/2007 10:47 AM  
Blogger Twinkle said...

I got caught up!

What was Desmond's Catch-22? That he had to let Charlie die? Sorry it wasn't clear to me.

Also it seems like Juliet's hair is speaking to us. (LOL!) Did we see her from the beginning of this season with anything but straight hair on the island? She arrives on the island with her hair naturally wavy (I assume) and then with the Others she made her hair straight. Anyone see anything to contradict that?

Now that she's with the Losties she's missing her hair dryer (LOL again!) and her hair is going curly again. More than that, I wonder if her hair reveals her current allegiance.

4/23/2007 1:02 PM  
Blogger capcom said...

Hi Twinkle and everyone!

I myself am a little dense on what exactly was supposed to be Desmond's Catch-22 as well. But I also got the feeling that Kate is in one too, of a sort. If she goes for Sawyer (which she did, in a big way in the cage) then she loses Jack. But if she tries for Jack (which is a moot point now for her after he saw the romp in the cage) she hurts Sawyer and loses his respect. And I'd say (unless TPTB chose to not do this) that she has lost all the way around with her selfish fickleness between Jack and Sawyer. She seems to want it all, with no concequences. But she is not the only pretty chickie in the chicken coop anymore, so her choices of the roosters have been removed from her options it seems, now that Jack is getting to know Juliet. So Kate's Catch-22 has blown up in her face and left her with nothing accept a shallow physical "relationship" with Sawyer, for now.

I suppose that I see a peripheral type of Catch-22 for Dez, not directly pertaining to this last ep. It seems like in his life, he wants to be or do something useful. He gets ideas on what to try in life to attain some self-respect, but then when he tries that way, it doesn't work out. Then he gets discouraged, and again wants to try something in hopes of attaining a higher level of man for himself. But then that next attempt doesn't work either. So when he tries to do positive things (which we are finding out are not his destiny after all) he loses and hates himself, and if he tries nothing he loses because again he doesn't respect himself.

The only Catch-22 in my own life that I can think of right now, was when I worked at IBM. If someone decided that they didn't like you and began doing unethical things to you or your work, your choices were to just live with it going on forever, or to talk to your boss about it. Either way, you were scr**ed. If you didn't report it, the person who was making you miserable would continue to make you miserable as long as they drew breath. If you reported it, the boss would tell the other person what you said about them, and then they would come down even harder on you than ever. Lose/lose, either way. So, I mostly just chose to try to ingore the mean people, and hope that they would somehow fall off the edge of the earth eventually. Once in a while that would happen when they retired or something, but not very often, and working at IBM is the pits for anyone who is ethical. :-(

4/23/2007 6:20 PM  
Blogger Twinkle said...

Good applications of Catch-22, Capcom! My husband works for IBM and thankfully not all of it is like that.

My biggest Catch-22 is about sleep. I need to sleep to get stuff done, but I have to get stuff done before I can sleep. I don't do well on little sleep - not pretty. So I've had to make some adjustments. Sure enough, if I go to bed way too early (like 9:30) I end up being more productive the next day than if I had spent 9:30-11:30 being productive. It really feels counter-intuitive.

4/24/2007 7:24 AM  
Blogger capcom said...

I'm glad that your hubby doesn't experience what I did at IBM Twinkle! I've heard that the plant that I was at has always been one of the worst.

I'll have to try that early-to-bed tactic. I also try to squeeze in more things at night, and then don't get much done the next day.

4/24/2007 8:44 PM  
Blogger Amused2bHere said...

I guess you're both in bed already, but I'll post anyway:)

Here's a real-life Catch 22: this is from when I worked for the Veterans' Administration (now it's called Veterans Affairs, like that's better)--I can talk about this one because it was in the papers:

A woman was denied a widow's pension, and then denied her future burial in the national cemetary with her husband because the VA ruled she was never his wife. (Stay with me..) She married the veteran in 1949, had 5 kids with him, and he died in 1987. When she applied for widow's pension, it was discovered that both she and the veteran were married to other people before each other, and although he had a death certificate for his first wife, there was no proof of death or divorce for the second's wife's first marriage.
Apparently her first husband just disappeared, and she never had him declared dead. She just figured that it was automatic after a few years, so she thought she was free to marry the veteran.

But according to the law, she was not free, so she could not be considered his wife for VA purposes. Social Security considered her his widow, his other pensions considered her eligible, but she was denied by the VA. And it wasn't really the pension she was after, it was the burial. But that is only for eligible spouses, widows and dependent children.

She got her congressman involved, the press, the news, etc. But the law is clear. There was no wiggle room to grant her eligibility.

Personally, I hope her family was able to bribe the cemetary to let her be buried with her husband.

Ah, the wonders of the government.

4/24/2007 10:00 PM  
Blogger scoutpost said...

uh speaking of no sleep....

wow amused, that is horrible. I hate when letter of the law gets in the way of common sense. I hope she was able to find a solution to that so that she and her husband could be buried next to each other.

twinkle- interesting your catch-22. I'm in the SAME exact boat. Maybe I should try going to bed really early. I'm up now because I fell asleep early, before I got ready for bed and my husband woke me up, now I can't go back to sleep! I hate that. Oh well, I had a snack and thought I'd check things on here. Going to try to go back to bed now.

4/25/2007 2:10 AM  
Blogger Twinkle said...

Amazing story, Amused. How sad that we often have to follow the letter in stead of the meaning of the laws.

I hate it when that happens, Scout. Hope you got back to sleep. I've been having reverse insomnia where I wake up way too early, often with anxiety usually relating to the stuff I'm counseling about. I especially wake up early when I go to bed too late.

Everyone's body is different, and I recognize that mine requires more sleep than the average person. My goal has been to wean myself off having a nap every day when my two year olds sleeps. I am just not a good mommy in the afternoons if I do that. But it's so hard to start getting ready for bed barely an hour sometimes after the kids go to bed, especially because my husband stays up really late! Thankfully I've begun seeing the benefits from going to bed early: the extra energy I have during the day, the usefulness of the early morning hours, and the general healthier feeling I have.

I didn't realize so many of you could relate to my catch-22! LOL

4/25/2007 11:25 AM  
Blogger capcom said...

Wow Amused, that story made me very sad. After all that military spouses go through and give up during their military life, and then she gets that. Too sad.

4/25/2007 1:19 PM  
Blogger chucklez3 said...


4/25/2007 5:44 PM  
Blogger Twinkle said...

Hey, Chucklez!

4/26/2007 7:56 AM  
Blogger Amused2bHere said...

One thing the widow could have done was have him exhumed and reburied in a private cemetary, then she could be buried with him. Of course, that option costs money and the point of the burial in the national cemetary is that it's free. But she certainly could exercise that option.

Moot point, whatever she did it's probably already done. This was 18 years ago.

I have more stories that are positive than negative from my days at the VA, but that one will always was a doozy.

4/28/2007 9:20 PM  

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