Thursday, September 12, 2013

What I learned while on a Breaking Bad bender during the Syria/Cyrus debacle

1) Breaking  Bad is a spot on caricature of so many average Americans. It seems that even the "poor" chemistry teacher has a pretty comfortable home with a pool and a nice family that gathers for meals. Jesse and pals have ways of accessing endless  cash to addle their brains and bodies while degrading everything they come in contact with during their endless hours of idle banality. 6 million Syrians are displaced, many in refugee camps with no homes, dinner tables or cash for escapist drugs. Miley Cyrus, who presumably has the resources to  wear the finest threads, has decided to shun clothing altogether.
2) The kingpin drug dealer hiding behind a chicken stand is  driven to make enormous piles of legal tender, but to what end when he also seems to already possess a nice family, home and stature and influence in the community? The civil war in Syria is rooted in the same, multi-century religious competition that has kept the Middle East in perpetual misery, the people oppressed and poor. What good is that?Cyrus is the ultimate product of the life of privilege-naked vacuity with no chance of any real importance to anything.
3) American is the land of mental illness and disorders: egotism, addiction, codependence, kleptomania, personality disorder. Syria is the land of death and destruction. Cyrus lives in the land of debauched excess and as noted, has nowhere  to go.
4) All people lie. The only person in  the show who has failed to lie is Walter, Jr. who is just too  sweet and innocent to even think of it-yet (I have not made it through all the episodes). Bashar Assad is a confirmed liar and this week one of the top White House Syria advisors was caught having padded her resume. Miley lies to herself and lays naked all over a wrecking ball and piles of construction debris in her newly released video.
5) Ethics seem to be situational in our modern age. Jesse Pinkman is pretty much a hedonistic narcissist except he gets all self righteous and mighty when it comes  to kids, adhering to his own conception of morality. Really, Walter is not much different in that regard. President Obama backed away from his unilateral declaration of the redline when the going got tough, changing his  tune as to the tenor of that declaration, not unlike his administration's chronic disregard for the rule of law as evidenced in so many examples, including the recent marijuana enforcement declaration. I don't think  the word ethics is useful in a sentence that includes Miley Cyrus.
6) Jesse is the epitome of Generation Y which is struggling to find a foot hold in life while experiencing mental illness requiring regular escape, even as he obviously craves respect and recognition of his worth from others. This is one symptom of  growing up in an environment where one is deemed to be special despite there being no clear reason for that conclusion. This is  an attitude that permeates boomers relationships with their own exceptional children, a condition we glimpsed early on when Jesse made a visit home where he has a younger sibling. As I write this Putin is mocking the US " [it is] extremely dangerous to encourage people to see themselves as exceptional" he said. Miley Cyrus was a child TV star.