Sci-FiTunes: Benjamin Linus

It’s not my style to be this bold. After all, I’ve spent the majority of my life hidden from view, content to remain out of sight, moving into the spotlight only when absolutely necessary. Lost, if you will. But times such as these call not for idleness, but rather bold, immediate action. I shan’t bore you with the intricacies of my machinations. After all, my right arm in these matters, one Sayid Jarrah, can’t fully understand the import of his missions. As for the rest of the Oceanic 6…well, let’s just say they know what they need to know, nothing more.
But my current endeavor is simply too important to reveal to you know. You never know where Charles Widmore’s spies are lurking. Iceland, Tunisia, the Zap2It message boards…all are fair game for that man’s ambitions. (Oh yes, I’ve read your so-called Zap2It’s Guide to Lost. Color me unimpressed with Mr. McGee’s sad attempts at plumbing my motivations.) But just because I’m engaged in a life-or-death struggle with my arch-nemesis in which the very fate of the world may hang in the balance doesn’t mean I do it tuneless. Far from it.
We don’t have these so-called “MP3 players” on the Island, but Dharma did invent the prototype for one (a happy byproduct of that whole sonic fence project). It comes in various models (4GB, 8GB, 15BG, 16BG, 23BG, and 42GB), and has the added benefit of scanning your mind for the songs most apt to your current frame of mental reference. So, without further ado, here are the songs my iDharma is currently playing for me.
I Wanna Go Back, Eddie Money. Pretty much been playing non-stop since landing in Tunisia. This is why you should never download songs off the Dharmatel Intranet while drunk onto a portable music device that can read your mind. After I take care of Penny Widmore, I’m going after Eddie Money.
You Know I’m No Good, Amy Winehouse. Sure, I keep telling you I’m one of the good guys, but let’s look at my track record, and then at, let’s say, Captain America’s track record. Sort of speaks for itself. But give me time, I might have some genuine heroism in me yet. I think of the immortal words of Pete Townshend: “No one knows what it’s like/To be the bad man/To be the sad man/Behind huge creepy bug eyes.” He’s so right.
White Rabbit, Jefferson Airplane. I find that rabbits bring me back to my childhood. Even more fun is literally sending rabbits back to my childhood, via the Orchid. That never gets old.
Pictures of You, The Cure. Mom. Alex. That woman in the bungalow painting. It’s important to remember these women, as they are my emotional touchstones. I better move on, lest my iDharma start playing Celine Dion’s “Because You Loved Me.” Speaking of which…
Smooth Criminal, Michael Jackson. Annie, are you OK? Are you OK, Annie?
Every Breath You Take, The Police. Ahhh, Juliet Burke. I took such an interest in your work. Mikhail took great pains to provide me with the latest breakthroughs you made in Miami. Too bad you had to take up with that skank Goodwin. Don’t you know? YOU’RE MINE!
Leader of the Pack, The Shangri-Las. Watching your so-called world leaders from the comforts of The Flame, I noticed many politicians coming out to theme songs during their campaign trail. So I thought I might incorporate that technique in my own quest to gain control over the Hostiles. Turns out, this didn’t win them over so much as “send them to the ground in fits of laughter.” Luckily, by the time of the purge, Guns ‘n’ Roses had put out “Welcome to the Jungle,” so I had time to recover.
Careless Whisper, Wham! I find a lot of the people I recruited to the Island found the whispers most unnerving. Myself? I find them rather soothing. After all, they brought me to Richard Alpert all those years ago. Also? If you treat them nicely, they’ll totally spy on others playing poker with you in the New Otherton rec room.
Whipping Post, Allman Brothers Band. Thanks, Lostaways, for beating the bejeezus out of me during those weeks in the Swan. Really helped form a nice, antagonistic relationship with you. I was just coming over to see if you had a cup of sugar, and now look where we are? OK, I was coming to steal your babies and get a tumor removed. Fair enough. But we totally needed sugar as well. Are you saying I’m a liar? OH NO YOU DIDN’T.
World Leader Pretend, R.E.M. For the false emperor himself, Charles Widmore. He thinks the Island is his. I know it to be otherwise. After the Purge, I suggested a timeshare sort of deal, but we couldn’t work out who would get the summer months, and now, well, Alex is dead. If you saw the sunsets in July, you would know this was a necessary sacrifice.
My List, The Killers. As an astute observer of my actions over the years, you’ve no doubt surmised that I make a fair share of lists. Well, I learned from the best: Jacob. I’m pretty sure making one behind his back didn’t endear me to His grace. Not sure why I get that impression. Maybe the fact that I’m posting this list from a cyber cafe and not from my bungalow has something to do with that inkling.
Frozen, Madonna. Freakin’ donkey wheel.
99 Red Balloons, Nena. Careful observers may have noticed the series of lithograms in my New Otherton hallway depicting a series of hot air balloons. You might wonder if this has anything to do with the real Henry Gale’s arrival on the Island. I won’t say you’re right, but I won’t say you’re wrong, either. (Oooh, I just pulled a Darlton! And it felt soooo naughty!)
Price of Gas, Bloc Party. To all my loyal Tempest employees: this one’s for you!
Monster Mash, Bobby “Boris” Pickett. There’s a lot of cons about living on the Island, but being able to summon a smoke monster via secret ritual behind a hieroglyphic door is sure as heck not one of them.
Well, my time is up. (The clock in the top right corner of the computer in this cyber cafe is almost out.) But hopefully some of these songs resonate within your core as much as they apparently resonate within mine. Perhaps these songs might themselves be a clue, a set of coordinates, a compass point directing the lot of us back to the Island. Or, I just really have a thing for Eddie Money. For the sake of all humanity, let us pray that it’s the former.
Benjamin Linus always has a plan, and it often involves reading the Boob Tube Dude.

About Ryan McGee