“We were brought here for a purpose, for a reason, all of us. Each one of us was brought here for a reason.” -John Locke, LOST (Exodus Part II)
I pulled the quote above from the popular serial sci-fi show because of the various inferences it makes to recent events, much like everything that took place within the mythological series from which it originated. Also in the same vein as LOST, I’m going to leave this topic here as a tease and come back to it further down the page.
As many of you in the Geek Outlaw community may already know, my friend and fellow Podthingy co-host, Blayne Alexander, passed away on May 21st from colon cancer. The discovery of Blayne’s diagnosis along with the rate at which the cancer swept through his body was faster than anyone could have imagined. With the undying support of his loving friends and family, Blayne took on the arch-nemesis within his body using everything in his Bat utility belt, and he did so with a bravery not seen in any incarnation of the Dark Knight to this day.
I met Blayne a few years ago at a Midnight Movie showing of Thor 2 thanks to a then-new friend and soon-to-be Podthingy host, John Mulhall. The group was a solid mix of geeky individuals from John’s circle of friends, and before the film started, everyone had gathered at an outdoor patio for drinks and pre-Thor conversation.
You’ll have to excuse my memory as old age and adult beverages have done quite a number on the Outlaw’s grey matter, but I remember arriving late and I remember the only open seat was next to Blayne, or very close to him. I mention this because if you’ve seen Blayne from our Podthingy photo shoots, you’ll now realize why my initial thought was, “No thanks, I’ll just stand for the next hour.” This is because Blayne was a rock star. Metaphorically speaking yes, but I didn’t know that part yet. Physically, he looked and lived the part. Wearing an array of silver jewelry and adorned with a multitude of colored dreadlocks that almost exceeded the number of colors among the vast display of bracelets running up the length of his forearm, Blayne looked like he was about to take the stage. Being a bit of a country bumpkin when it comes to musical tastes and apparel, to say I was slightly intimidated may have been the understatement of the year.
A funny thing happened however: he opened his mouth and started talking. Under the heavy-metal hard-rock shell, an incredibly sweet and charming soul resided. So sweet in fact, I often had to do a double-take to make sure the words being spoken were coming out of the same body I thought they were. I don’t have to be reminded of it often, but it was the first time in a long while I was prompted to not judge a book by its cover. Little did I know Blayne would be one of the best human books I ever had the pleasure of reading.
That brings us to the topic that shall not be mentioned – at least not on Podthingy anyway. I couldn’t pinpoint the exact segue that turned the topic to the somewhat controversial show, nevertheless the subject turned to LOST, and even more specifically, the series finale. Solid debate was had over drinks – and while the exchanges did get a tad heated, all was civil and boiling points were avoided. On a personal level, this was a special moment for me because it was within this discussion that Blayne and I connected. We were outnumbered about 3 to 1, but we both were on the same side of the fence in our defense of the show and its final episode. It was a bond we formed and carried through our entire season of Podthingy, which itself was born out of that tête-à-tête as the brainchild of Blayne and his best friend, John Mulhall.
It’s funny how going to that one movie and meeting Blayne ended up having such an impact on my own life. Quite often, it’s not so much the movie itself that leaves an indelible mark on your memory, but the people you share it with that shapes your impression of the overall experience. From almost the first moment I met Blayne, we were insta-friends. Judging from all of the stories I’ve heard through his friends and family, it’s the same positive impression everyone was lucky enough to experience just by crossing his path. When you can get a celebrity like Jon Cryer to emcee your celebration service after having literally spent no more than an hour with you, it speaks volumes.
(Note: For those who couldn’t attend, CLICK HERE to watch the full celebratory service held for Blayne at the House of Blues in Los Angeles on June 22nd, 2015. A huge thanks as well to Victor Lightworship for putting the video together.)
Despite not having the good fortune of knowing Blayne for as long as many of his friends and family, I still consider myself absolutely blessed to have known him for as long as I did.
Bringing the aforementioned John Locke quote full circle: I feel like one of the meanings we can extrapolate from all this is that Blayne was brought into this world, for a reason, for a purpose. He was here to spread love, a passion for life, and remind us all not to lose sight of the things that are truly important, which in turn leads to our reason for being here: take all of those attributes and share them with everyone we love. Life is too short to do otherwise.
In continuing to share our love and passion for life with those around us, Blayne will continue to live on within us all. Alas, while our running gag on Podthingy was to never mention the series LOST, going forward let us not engage in the same strategy when it comes to Blayne. Always mention Blayne.
NEVER BEFORE SEEN: A short collection of “LOST” Podthingy video and photos I put together in Blayne’s honor.
Blayne Alexander also lives on in the Podthingy podcast, which can be binge-listened to at Podthingy.com.