Sunday, September 29, 2013

Breaking Bad Stuff (and apology for recent opaqueness)

Sorry, I realize that last item was about as clear as salad dressing. I'm convinced there's an interesting observation in there, but it's tough to articulate. I'll take another crack at it someday. Thanks for tolerating the occasional half-baked idea here on the Slog!

If you're a fan of Breaking Bad, you thrilled to the uber-exciting episode titled "Ozymandias" a couple of weeks ago. If, like me, it left you thinking about the Shelley poem, don't miss this fascinating explanation about how the poem - which is way deeper than I'd ever imagined - is a tale of not one but six egomaniacs.

Also, I know this is a bit late, as the Emmy's are over and neither Aaron Paul nor Peter Dinklage won, but, still, don't miss "Aaron Paul vs. Peter Dinklage: An Awesome-Off Far Bigger Than The Emmys". Love both those guys.


Seth Godin said...

I've actually been liking your recent stuff, Jim!

Jim Leff said...

Well, there's no accounting for taste! ;)

I meant specifically the previous entry, "Misattribution". Re-reading it, even I don't find it convincing.

But there's truth there. I think everyone does approach the world with a deep-seated conviction that one feature/facet (whichever most bugs us about ourselves) is responsible for most of the skewed, mysterious, frustrating, unsatisfying response we get from the world. I think we say to ourselves - mostly unconsciously - "They're acting that way cuz I'm fat/latino/female/poor/dumb/short/single/bald" a thousand times a day. Do something to change that trait, and we quickly find another to account for it all.

This accounts for women who seem strangely obsessed with the injustices of gender divide. And black people who are quick to cry "racist!" And lots of other strange behavior.

It also accounts for the bizarre hostility in our society to "middle-aged white men". Now that I actually am one, I see that phrase, spat with venom, almost everywhere. I think that's the one group assumed to not have one of these "things". And, of course, it's anything but the truth. WASPy CEO's with power haircuts have their things, too, you can bet it, including the most pompous/arrogant ones (the pomposity/arrogance has been cultivated specifically to insulate that thing!).

The phenomenon is slightly reminiscent of this: that an arbitrarily internal issue is clinged to until it colors our world and existence.

And of this: that there is a larger problem with the world which everyone views through a prism fracturing it into a number of smaller, narrower, more specific problems. In other words, yes, everyone's right, but it's a much wider - and more impersonal - problem than they imagine.

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