Upon returning to California after almost seven years living in Israel, navigating the waters of change and the tides of time.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Breaking Badfinger, Baby Blue

So I finally finished binge-watching all of "Breaking Bad" and I'm so conflicted. Brilliant acting, awesome action, great writing - but all around a substance I can't wrap my head around. "Weeds" was one thing, crystal blue persuasion is another. I didn't judge Nancy Botwin for selling pot because I don't think pot is bad, I did judge Walter "Heisenberg" White for cooking Meth because of Meth's intrinsically destructive nature. Destructive to body, mind and soul - why couldn't the brilliant chemist have made the world's greatest LSD instead? Because there's no LSD "industry," per se (it's basically a specialty boutique item kept in stock for the relatively small customer base), there's no margin in it, while the Meth industry is a booming cash business. Different drugs for different times, the epoch we're living in isn't just churning out long-haired hippies who cook brown rice, listen to the Grateful Dead, eat all the food in your fridge and fall asleep on your couch drooling on your favorite pillow anymore. The epoch we're living in is fast, hard, bright, bloody and stacatto-edited informational overload where death is trivialized or idolized and turns our scabby walking ghosts whose souls have been sucked out and live only to scratch that scab bloody, day after day. 

So other than that - "Baby Blue" was the perfect ending.
 I'm also impressed with how Brian Cranston transformed Walt's meekness, his powerlessness, his life-long fearful and cautious nature each into their extreme counterparts - powerful, dominating, cunning, reckless. How even his good attributes - love and loyalty to family - became so distorted by what was happening on the other side of his personality that he found himself creating a falsely incriminating video naming DEA brother in law Hank as the Meth Mastermind, and insisting that Jesse be treated "like family" during the execution Walt was ordering for him. Was it power that corrupted him, or the intoxication of tasting all the power he'd ever repressed in his 50 years all at once? What if Walt had possessed a reasonable amount of power along the way - what if he had not sold his share of Gray Matter for only $5K, what if he had been more ambitious in his academic career and taught at a University level, or gone into research, R&D, etc,. in other words, if Walt had been on the other side of successful, with some history of relatively small but important positions of power under his belt, would he have been so susceptible to the taste of power when it finally came?

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In which I return to California after almost 7 years in Israel, because when the heart is in one place and the soul is in another, both the emotions and the body suffer.
Welcome to the chronicle of this phase of the long, strange, trippy story of my life ...