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"The thing is, if you just do stuff, and nothing happens, what's it all mean?"

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Unraveling 5x11 "Confessions" (i.e. "...It got a little Messy"

Yes, Johnny-Cum-Lately again for this episode, but I have realized that in order to have full immersal in my Breaking Bad experience, I must only watch when the time is right, and when my karmic check book is properly balanced; so yeah...ZEN

Initial Splatter...more to come

Primary Tao (i.e. Improved Operation Cold-Open Deconstruction [i.e. "A Million Shades of Tarantino"):

  • So yeah, even the "previous on Breaking Bad" clips are artfully juxtaposed. At the end of it, the name "Jesse Pinkman" is said (by Gomie in episode 5x10). The Cold Open begins with a cigarrette being lit, I immediately thought of the Ricin cigarrette, and of Jesse (the show had previously used a close-up shot of him lighting up in 4x10 "Fly," and I think it is actually a recurring visual motif [denoting desperation and avoidance].
    • But it's Todd instead, Jesse's doppleganger (though, that probably isn't the appropriate term, since Walt Jr. is in the mix, as well; but something like metaphoric-triplet seems pretentious). Further solidi-factions of the bizarro form: 
      • He calls Walter, referring to him as "Mr. White" (like Jesse). 
      • He's standing in front of a bizarro version of the "Dog House" cafe that Jesse used to frequent. There's a conveniently demarcated sign that says "ROUTE 66," to really see the whole satanic undertones of the Neo-Nazi versions of the "Will to Walter White Power." 
      • The scene cuts inside of the cafe, where Todd is regaling his uncle about that lovely yarn in which Todd gained one jarred tarantula and the world lost one precociously innocent child. Jesse used to have brazen and bravado-infused profusions of his daring-doings in a cafe (that "Darth Vader" scene he shares with Skinny Pete and Badger in the third season)
      • However, the Cafe-composition and mise-en-scene parallels the Denny's diner scene with Walt and Jesse at the end of 4x01 "Box-Cutter."
      • Todd's Uncle (Michael Bowen) has already been codified as one of Walt's many alter-egos, probably the most heinous actualization of Walter White's propensity for evil, and its made even more clear with this sequence.
Still really don't think that every artistic choice on the show is, at this point in the series, there for a specific and meticulously magical reason? The song that plays (presumably from the truck of the Neo-Nazi dukes-of-Hazardous-material brigade) says "Romp, stomp, romp and stomp tonight." Guess what I think of, a "Romper Stomper." 


...and they're entering New Mexico... 


Fiery Finale (so real this time...)

Some say the world will end in fire,
Some say in ice.
From what I've tasted of desire
I hold with those who favor fire.
But if it had to perish twice,
I think I know enough of hate
To say that for destruction ice
Is also great
And would suffice. 
-Robert Frost, "Fire and Ice"

So yeah, Walt predictably gets the frozen thirty eight snub from the Coca-Cola machine ("Do you really want to live in a world without Coca-Cola"), hereby further connecting the thematic ties between corporate capitalism, drug manufacturing, satanic impulses, bad faith, and violence.

The Wild West showdown continue to commenceth, with Pinkman barnstorming the shit out of Casa de Blanco. The camera work echoes the end of 4x13, when Jesse and Walt burnt down the superlab. Uh-oh, echoes-ios-ios!

Surely Pinkman wouldn't actually burn down Mr. Chip's...I mean Mr. Scar...I mean Mr. White's house? They're buddies...right?...

Hey, about that flash-forward....


So yeah, the main reason this episode is so textually and intertextually rich is being the show's god-father, THE GRAND KING OF CINEMATOGRAPHY: MICHAEL SLOVIS (i.e. Stanley Kubrick Reincarnate), directed it. 


Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Revelations: Why Does Walter White Love Wine So Much?

"There is power in the blood..."

Seriously...that's what this post is going to be about. I think the answer to the question is pretty important. Don't believe me...? Here are splattering of sources that are slightly more sacrosanct that my usual schizophrenic syntax.
You thought meth was bad, and corresponded with sin and corruption? Child's play; in the universe of Breaking Bad, boozums break the deepest.


Even when sober, Walt often acts like a belligerent asshole. 
The previous supercut, edited masterfully by NY Mag's Vulture, makes me wonder why we haven't seen Walt wearing a "wife beater" before...


He even comes across like someone being pulled over for a DUI, though someone with a buzz wouldn't be as big as bastard as someone bugged by bad faith...

What seems to be the officer, problem?


You do pick up on some good libations; it's a family affair...  
...until it's not; merry libations lead to nasty vibrations.

Even something as light as beer has him make "sterling decisions..."

 One of the many rock-bottoms in White's life of pushing limits to the excess

There are many examples of Walt's favorite and most self-destructive liquid refreshement, wine, but I think this single icon encapsulates the score quite nicely...
Heisen-Walt at the end of 4x05 "Shotgun" looks like he is ready to make sweet tongue love to the rim of Hank and Marie's fancy wine glass. You devil, you!
 Skylar loves wine too. Jesse likes juice and water.

So....why is wine an even more viscous signifier of White's vicious streak? More than the tequila, scotch, or beers. More than his own product, meth, which he never touches.

Gilligan would never tell, so let's use some secondary gospel.
  •  And another angel followed, saying, “Babylon[f] is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she has made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.” Then a third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, “If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives his mark on his forehead or on his hand, he himself shall also drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out full strength into the cup of His indignation. He shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment ascends forever and ever; and they have no rest day or night, who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name (Revelation 14: 8-11)
....Ooooooh, this likely unravels the meaning of the show's maniacal dipsomania...kind of sobers ya up from all the free wheelin' fun we were having...

What does this mean for those in Walt's world of inebriated inertia? Well, as the someone that has direct experience with the effects of literal alcoholism on family and community, I think--everybody knows by now--they're fucked...
  • And another angel came out from the altar, who had power over fire, and he cried with a loud cry to him who had the sharp sickle, saying, “Thrust in your sharp sickle and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth, for her grapes are fully ripe.” So the angel thrust his sickle into the earth and gathered the vine of the earth, and threw it into the great winepress of the wrath of God.And the winepress was trampled outside the city, and blood came out of the winepress, up to the horses’ bridles, for one thousand six hundred furlongs" (Revelation 14:18-19)
  • "Hell hath enlarged herself, and opened her mouth without measure: and their glory, and their multitude, and their pomp, and he that rejoiceth, shall descend into it (Isiah 5:14)
There's only one clip I can think of that responds to these wine and brimstone revelations....

Let's turn attentions to the "lighter side;" there's a craft beer coming out inspired by Walter White, Drink up!


Friday, August 23, 2013

Final Shot of the Series (i.e. tick, tick, tick...boom; or...tick...tick...tick...whimper...whimper...end?)

Travel like a king
Listen to the inner voice
A higher wisdom is at work for you
Conqering the stumbling blocks come easier
When the conqueror is in tune with the infinite
Every ending is a new beginning
Life is an endless unfoldment
Change your mind, and you change your relation to time
You can find the answer
The solution lies within the problem
The answer is in every question
...
Dig it?
-Funkadelic, "Good Thoughts / Bad Thoughts," Standing on the Verge of Getting it On


Why say goodbye?
We are born again when we died, but
We will never leave our lives
Everything that ever will be always has
Been and everything that ever has been always will be
-Apollo Sunshine, "We Are Born When We Die," from 4x12 "End Times"



What's it gonna be, then, Gilligan?

The last episode of Breaking Bad will be one of the most unique and cathartic experiences of my life so far; I'm as confident in that as I am in saying that the sun will rise tomorrow (yeah...I could die before either happens and the infrastructure of civilization could collapse, but I'm trying my best to avoid failing airplane debris and  hell-fire).

What will the final shot be? I still think Saul may get the last "word," but we may get to see Walt mumbling out different reiterations of number before he collapses.

I think the final image will be an obscure symbol, in the vein of the pink teddy bear, it's eyeball, Tortuga's head on un tortuga, the fly, the roach, the tarantula. It will be a microcosm of the show's entire structure, a rubix cube that may seem impenetrable at first; but that reveals profound pathos once it is unlocked.

A "finale" clue likely lies in the "Ozymandias" promo. See a previous post for more information, or rewatch the clip, and look and listen carefully....

Based on "Buried," and its scenes with Walt burying the cash in the desert (and it's heavily stylistic and emotional undertow and aftermath), I think I know where Gilligan and crew are going (or at least, where they-want-you-to-think, they're going)...

We won't see Walt die, but he'll be dying (either from Ricin, bullet wounds, cancer; from a heart that has finally broke for good, after his soul broke bad).

Since the show took extra care to show that Walt memorized the numbers of the latitude and longitude of where he stored the cash, (the entire sequence is full of shots that echo Walt's most pivotal sequences in the show, so it's clearly one of the most important scenes of the final season...so far. I'll return with details and some shot by shot comparisons later this weekend...promises!), clearly its setting up for a "douche chill" moment where he can't even remember something as easy as a few numbers. 

For a man so reliant on words to construct reality and avoid responsibility  his intellectual vanity and basic recall of truth must be what fails him last. Language goeth after the pride goeth, after the fall, and before the complete collapse.

If he loses everything, and is in even more of an exile than the one we see him in the "No-Where-Man" flash-forwards, than that giant symbol of an-idealistic-america-dream-turned-existential-nightmare (I'm talking about cold, hard, cash here) will be the illusory windmill he seeks.

The final image may be one that has occurred and reoccurred  an extreme long shot of the desert. Walter White, a former human capable of doing right and being a father, made to appear as a speck amidst and bare and boundless desert. The show's universe in a grain of sand....

The sorrow.

The fury.

The sound.

The thunder.

The joy.

The pity.

Signifying nothing...?
“My name is Ozymandias, king of kings: 
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!” 
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay 
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare 

The lone and level sands stretch far away."
...No; perhaps everything.

Or maybe it'll be Huell and Bogdon riding a flying shark over the city of Albuquerque...

Until then, how do you think the show will end; and also, how do you think it should end? Or maybe, like the energies of life...will it ever really end...?


Thursday, August 22, 2013

Twisted Roads: The Shield's Influence on Breaking Bad

Inspired by the fact that Hank finally became a serious embodiment of the character he was initially a parody of. For christ's sake, he was even wearing an almost exact replica of the suit Mackey wore in his final scenes on the series...

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Unraveling 5x10, "Buried" (i.e."My Head is Spinning")

Funny story, I didn't get to this BB until 8-21-13. What kind of junkie of I, afterall?  EXISTENTIAL CRISIS OF REPRIORITIZING!!!!

Deja Vu all over again, all over again, all over again


Primary Tao: Where the full circle starts to close in on itself

  • Taos: 
  • Breaking Bad is like J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings. The "Blood Money" represents the all-powerful and all-consuming precious. Jesse may be Frodo/Golum.
  • Profound photography reifies the concept of Ying-Yang 
  • Light is Wrong, Dark is Right; inversed equation also rings true
  • Aside from the myriad shades of gray, every vibrant color of the rainbow speaks powerfully to a truth; as they always have
  • The tenth episode of every season (expect for the 1 that didn't have more than 7) is a pivotal turning point, of narrative and style.
  • The men were frail and conflicted Macbeth's and Hamlet's; the women were the controlling Ladies
  • Michelle MacLaren is one of the finest directors that ever directed anything; as important to the show's product as Gilligan and writing crew, Slovis, and Cranston.
    • ..maybe more important
  • Vince Gilligan had a cameo! Hitchcock it up, buddy; you've earned it!



...more to come...

Sorry!

Monday, August 19, 2013

The Shanking of the Rats; Mind-Messing Montage #1

Shot for shot, sound for sound, motion for motion, lighting for lighting, atmosphere for atmosphere, context for subtext....this is the finest montage ever assembled on the show (...as of 5x09, that is)....I'll explain later. Check it out yourselves, first.



Saturday, August 17, 2013

Mirror the; the mirror!: Reflections of Being and Nothingness

Since I am crept in favour with myself,
Will maintain it with some little cost.
But first I'll turn yon fellow in his grave;
And then return lamenting to my love.
Shine out, fair sun, till I have bought a glass,
That I may see my shadow as I pass.
-Richard III, William Shakespeare's Richard III

Letting the images speak for themselves

























video
My Lap-top...I also meant to have this pic break from the blog column. Holy Obnoxious Fourth-Wall-Breaking Serendipity Batman!!! 

The Show Reveals that Hank Schrader Might Kill Himself in the End

Red Herrings...or Threads in A Loom-ing Doom and Gloom...?


Think of the old cliché about quote the 

mind being an 
excellent servant but a terrible master.
This, like many clichés, so lame and unexciting on the surface, actually 
expresses a great and terrible truth.It is not the least bit coincidental that 

adults who commit suicide with firearms almost always shoot themselves 
in: the head. They shoot the terrible master.And the truth is that most of 
these suicides are actually dead long before they pull the trigger.
-David Foster Wallace

Ocular proof to follow; followed by brief unraveling...

In the spirit of my current aesthetic engagement with the show, I'm going to cast back, from 5x11, all the snippets that tell me that Hank's journey will end with a self-directed bullet

Beginning with the Most Blatant Clue

Watch this clip from episode 5x07, "Say My Name" (you know, the one where Walt kills Mike and any last chance Mr. White had at regaining a sense of logical purpose)...

video

This scene is full of so many literal and symbolic fore-shadowing, that a part of me suspects foul play on the set-up. 

Just watch it, and see how obvious it is. Keep in mind that there's also a "meta-text" that gives away Mike's death. And that the foreboding fourth-wall breaking scene immediately cuts to a person seen prepping for more evil machinations (or the meth-aphorical variety); this person being Walt, the downfall of his bald-brothers (they were better men and fathers to both his surrogate and his real son, so of course his ego would drive him to eradicate their presence, whether directly or indirectly).

An alternative theory to Hank actually committing suicide, is that someone[...who knocks...] will do the dirty deed, and then set it up so that it looks like suicide; this would be a terribly act, disgracing Hank's legacy and being a dramatic apotheosis 


Friday, August 16, 2013

The Eye(s) is(are) Always Watching You: Cosmic Judgement and Panopticon Paranoia

Letting images speak for themselves






















































Look at me...please.






Love and Compassion: Wait...in this show?

Living is a dream
When you make it seem enchanted
Lovers take for granted
All the world's aglow, they ought to know

When you touch a star

Then you really are enchanted
Find a seed and plant it
Love will make it grow

It's really grand when you stand

Hand in hand with your lover
And thrill to the wonders of night

And days, too will amaze you

And soon you'll discover
Your dreams run to dreams
In continuous flight

Love is ecstasy

It's divine to be enchanted
When your dreams are slanted
Through a lover's eyes
-The Platters, "Enchanted," 2x11 "Mandala"

"I haven't been myself lately, but I love you. 
Nothing about that has changed, nothing ever will. 
So right now, what I need, is for you to climb down out of my ass. 
Can you do that? Will you do that for me, honey? 
Will you please, just once, get off my ass, you know? 
I'd appreciate it, I really would."
-Walter White, 1x02, "The Cat's in the Bag"

This fan-made YouTube montage is fittingly titled, "I killed her; I loved her" 

Question: aside from the above epigraphhow many times is the phrase "I love you" said throughout the series? How often is it genuine,

-example

So, barely at all.

Now, how often do the characters show signs of affection and compassion? How often do you see the compassionate side of Walter squashed by the utilitarian Heisenberg, the devil on his shoulders and inside his head?
The moment of resolve: when we and Walt realize that love, even for "family," wouldn't squash his dark impulses. Walt becomes the Dark Phoenix

Family. Walt could have rationalized that he let Jane die because of his fatherly affections for Jesse, but as the aftermath exposes, this was a fools' logic; deep down he did it because Jane was a threat. How was she a threat? She could expose the truth, plain and simple. Is wasn't his family that would have been destroyed by her bluff, but his reputation. His pride. His ego. His control.

Maybe Walt temporarily saw her as another Tuco, someone who genuinely had it coming ("We tried to poison you because you are an insane, degenerate piece of filth and you deserve to die"

Admittingly, Jane-on-Heroin was pretty unlikable, but junk-makes-cowards-and-demons-of-us-all.


 (...the parallels between Holly and Jane, .

What kind of father--what type of man--let's somebody's daughter die so pitifully?

...No man, no man at all.

In the initial writing process of "Phoenix," Gilligan and Crew toyed around with the idea of having Walt directly inject Jane with a needle that would force her to overdose. That wasn't authentic to his character development at the time, and would have probably alienated fans and could have lead to a cancellation of the series, so thankfully they "put a pin in that." Fifth season Walt would have just had the Nazi-goons brutally kill (and likely rape) her. Then again, the No-Where-Man Walt wouldn't have even showed up there to help Jesse; the likelihood of their mutually-assured-drug-destruction would have been seen as a "problem taking care of itself.

The thing about the final scene in "Phoenix" that made it so indelible and sublime (until "Fly" and the Fourth and Fifth season, I didn't think the show would ever top the emotional and artistic resonance of "Phoenix;" but I guess it was able to rise from the ashes, more compelling and pathos-inducing than ever) was that letting Jane die wasn't a "Pro/Con" scheme of necessary evil, or even a thought-out choice. It was instinct. No scientific reason. (...this comes up later in 5x07, when Walt kills Mike purely out of pride, even though it's clearly the most reckless and self-endangering thing he could do...post-shooting Walt is the most pathetic and vulnerable we ever see him as).

This moment of renouncing love is Walt's true point-of-no-return-sin; his Jane-moment would later resurface in Jesse's ultimate sin, the murder of Gale.
-
Here are the "criminal" characters that seemed most capable of genuine love and compassion...Mike, Gus, and mostly Jesse and Gale.

Gale loved the hell out of life. Jesse could see this in the soul glimpsed through their eye contact in the last scene of 3x13, which is why is was the most crushing thing he ever did. Jesse was (see the fan art in the Dramatis Personae page, for a great representation of this psychic fracturing).

Want some ocular proof of Gale's zeal and over abundant Love for Life...
For all the martyr symbolism attached to Jesse, Gale may have been the most authentic savior-figure 

Is Walter White, self-presumed savior of the dirty and impure meth game, capable of true love? For a man that presents himself as an all-knowing god, he seems more in line with blind Old testament wrath than agape. No, his idea of compassion is more like a-gaping hole in the fabric of decency.


The Will to White Power: Racial Politics and Geopolitical Poetics

Murky waters (I'm white, so some may say I have no idea what I'm talking about...but am far from "whitey."



Sources: 
http://ideas.time.com/2012/07/20/breaking-bad-and-the-downfall-of-the-white-anyman/
http://www.salon.com/2012/09/12/breaking_bad_white_supremacist_fable/
Many blogs and articles that responded to Malcom Harris' article, making even more narrow interpretations of the show.

Fear of globalization.



Is the scene near the end of 5X09, where Jesse treats the black homeless man like as a dog, racist? Clearly, the purpose of this scene is to bring back the "Problem Dog" symbolism (it also cleverly calls back the Dog House eatery than Jesse used to frequent, having the background wagging tail appear as if it's coming out of the vagrant); but there was something burlesque about the transient, and in a show with few unintended icons, perhaps "Blood Money" is drawing attention the the inherent racialized contradictions in the Pinkman character (...shit, his last name isn't as white as "White"'s, but it does denote honkiness...then again, aren't we all pink(-hu)man(s), on the inside?). 

Recall that Jesse started out in season one as a complex yet caricatured "wigger" archetype (5x09's juxtaposition of Jesse's background stoicism and his former running-crew's [Badger and Skinny Pete...off the meth but still on the pipe] foreground shenanigans--echoing the start of the meth-fueled bro-out blast-that-went-on-seemingly-in-perpetuity which started in "Thirty Eight-Snub" (4x02)--show how far Jesse has unraveled from his previous "personaes." Like Walter, the characters and the audience no longer see someone rooted in "being" (confined identity which embodies cultural archetypes and performative expectations) We don't no who, or where, they are. So...is it better to sustain an identity that, while . ; or to go in flux with the abyssal tides of nothingness?

Then again, maybe I'm giving the show too much progressive credit. If it's meaning is inextricable with the "meaning of life," than I guess it is racist. Keep in mind that Gilligan is known by some (at least one) as the "Red State Auteur".

German Conglomerate.

Gus being the ultimate Other (a Chilean emigrant to Mexico, who then emigrated to the U.S.), dark skinned and likely homosexual. However, he is the most efficient and humane . Lydia, who is a quintessential

Racialist tropes from Western film (guy with clear Native American descent being the foil for the "White guys" caper.

Ricky Hitler.

Purity.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

The Name and Name Calling of the Father: Verbal Gymnastics and Linguistic Charlatanry

Your world is in flames there ain't even a name
For the feelings you feel as you watch it all burn.
There's a girl in the distance, she's calling your name,
But the name that she's calling is not your name, she calls:

The word-mule! the word-mule! the word-mule!
But he's plowing the field 
The word-mule! the word-mule! the word-mule!
But he's plowing the field 

And you can't walk on that water, I know 'cause I tried.
It's our spider web-thinking, it's just too heavy with holes.
And our thoughts they are made up of red georgia clay,
We think we know everything, but man we don't know:

My friends,
Look out for hustlers for preachers for shysters,
Them silver-tongued saints who pretend to do good,
'Cause they're geeks biting chicken-heads off with their witty rejoinders they ain't nothing but greasy fast food for:
-Jim White, "Word Mule," 5x09 "Blood Money (see analysis of Hank in Unraveled 5x09)


My mother would tell me so many stories about my father.
She would talk about him all the time.
I knew about his personality, how he treated people...
I knew things about my father.
I had a lot of information.
It's because people would tell me these things.
They would paint this picture of my father for me, and I always pretended that was who I saw, too, who I remembered, but it was a lie.
In truth, I only have one real, actual memory of my father.
It must've been right before he died...
Anyway, there, lying on the bed, is my father.
He's all-- He's all twisted up...
Anyway that is the only real memory that I have of my father.
I don't want you to think of me the way I was last night.
I don't want that to be the memory you have of me when I'm gone
-Walter, 4x10, "Salud"

What other epi-graphic did you expect, a TLC music video?


Language games.
Truth content.
Some weird pretensia...

Usually, academic-y writings take the literary "epigraph" and use an excessively long external quote, as I am often guilty of; to bring out the echoes of past works, to elucidate common themes and establish an overall "feel" from the get-go. It can often be a too-clever-and-elusive for its own good mechanic (...again, "you got me").

(Funny story about being a dick about things: despite using them often, I would use the term "epigram" whenever I would talk about epigraphs. Unfortunately, both terms were, so no one ever called me out for it (not like it was the most important  . I felt like I needed to share, especially in a post about proper naming (literally


Explanation of first Epigraph

I've seen a million numbered doors on the horizon

Now which is the future you choosen before you gone dying

I'll tell you about a secret I've been undermining

Every little lie in this world comes from dividing

Say you're my lover

say you're my homie
Tilt my chin back, slit my troath
Take a bath in my blood, get to know me
All out of my secrets
All my enemies are turning into my teachers
Because 
Light's blinding
No way dividing
What's yours or mine when everything's shining
Your darkness is shining
My darkness is shining
Have faith in ourselves
Truth.
-Alexander Ebert, Truth, 5x01 "Box-Cutter"

I'm saying I've lived too long.
I mean you want them to actually miss you, you know? You want their memories of you to be But she just won't She just won't understand.
I mean, no matter how well I explain it these days, she just has this This I mean, I truly believe there exists some combination of words.
There must exist certain words in a certain specific order that would explain all of this, but with her, I just I just can't ever seem to find them.
-Walter White, 3x10, "Fly"

"What is 'One-Who-Knocks' Raving-Rant?" would be the Jeopardy Style response to the Walt's saught-out Answer "The Specific Combination of Words that Explains 'All of This'" (Double Jeopardy Category: Performative Speech Acts


But hey, despite the unreliability of empiricism, idealism, logic, common sense. the things that gave Hank the smoking gun was the word (i.e. the initials and handwriting in Walt's copy of Leaves of Grass juxtaposed against old DEA files of the Fring case...or something) and a clear vision (i.e. looking into Walt's eyes as he laid down the accusation, everything afterward was just Hank telling Walt the truths that he knows).
  • For score-keeping, here's a running list of the names of father White
    • Father White
    • Walter White
    • Mr. White
    • Walter
    • Walt

    • Word Mule


     

And for some surreal fan(tasy)-made pictorial enlightenment, her

Explanation of second Epigraph (warning, you are about to witness something real nuts...epigraphs to epigraph-explanation subheadings...oh boy).

It's telling that Walt's most authentic moment he ever has with his son in during this (

Epi-graphic Explanation

Seems obvious, but there are some intriguing layers to the cold open that snippet is from.

The future unraveling of episode 5x07 will dig even deeper (Spotlight!)

Driftin' back.......

Walt wanted to be Heisenberg. Full actualization took scientific trial and area, with a dash of complete madness and unplanned stumbles down the avenues of absurdity. 

First Heisenberg was an afterthought embedded in an unconscious impulse of regress; a phantom. A linguistic fancy thought up on the "Fly." His coming out party was a blast...

A good time was had by all. Hell, Walt was just putting on a persona to avenge his surrogate son. Awesome(see, the audience approves...#HEISENBERG-RULES)! Identification with the main protagonist rocks!

Even Tuco enjoyed himself, and was able to lighten up a bit. 

Shit; sure beats some of the other party's Walt-enberg has "thrown":
Funny how things "blew over" better for Ol' Heisen-Walt in the drug-den, than in his own backyard


To toughen up, and complete the "secret identity," Walt needed a costume...


The Heisen-Hat even gets it's own leit-motif, courtesy of Dave Porter's expressionist score...


If Gus can't recognize my internal awe-inspiring-ness; I guess I'll have to really sell it with this hat



Yeah, I'm being silly. The . Where's the hat? Tossed out with the other symbolic representation of THAT SWEET AZTEC


Nowhere Man sees the writing on the walls. Before, the name was a spectre, a disembodied categorization. He thought having a rival (an alter ego aside from his own...which Declan provides) say his name would make him a God. He flew too close to the god-is-the-sun. 

Killing Mike (the real Father of the meth-game) for no real reason, made Walter White face the gaping holes in his assumed omniscience. He was nothing after that. Who is Heisenberg now? The truth. It is written...


Soon the word-mule's, world may be in flames...immolating all

Very Crucial Thread to Understanding the Circular Metamorphosis (i.e. metaphor-apotheosis)


Narcotized Interventions: Chasing the Mind-Erasers

All I wanna do is have my mind erased 
I'm begging you, pleading you, stop comateasing us all 
Drug company, where's a pill for me? 
I call it mind eraser, no chaser at all 
On permanent leave of everything 
Law biding dick riding, fun police, leave us alone 
Dulling the edge of a razor blade 
What does it mean when the knife & the hand are your own? 
-Them Crooked Vultures, "Mind Eraser, no Chaser," Them Crooked Vultures

…Maybe I should’ve done something different. The thing is,
 if you just do stuff, and nothing happens, what’s it all mean? 
What’s the point? Oh, right, this whole thing is about 
self-acceptance… So I should stop judging, and accept? 
...So no matter what I do, hooray for me because I’m a great guy? 
It’s all good? No matter how many 
dogs I kill, I just what, 
do an inventory, and accept?”
        -Jesse, 4x07, “Problem Dog” 
Something tells me the dramatis persone of BB won't get off as easily as these characters

Shame Spiraling Out:


Spotlight Episodes: 


Death Drive(er): A weave of "psycho(tic)-analysis"

Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar, but sometimes a cigarette is everything.




Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Vertical Integration: A "Free" Market Meth-aphor

All Your (Free) Base are Belong to Capitalism

Less Pithy Subtitle: A(live) Free(or/and Die) Fallin' Marked-Up-it Meth-Apor(isms)


"Get them coming and going, twice as much revenue and no worries about new customers—as long as American life was something to be escaped from, the cartel would always be sure of a bottomless pool of customers” (192" Inherent Vice

"We're gonna make a lot of money together" Tuco and Lydia



Breaking Bad does not attempt to be a work of art like The Wire: a show which focuses on the literal manifestations of the drug culture (though, even The Wire didn't focus on the overall experience of drug use, instead using the drug trade and its victims as auxillary to a broader exposure of systematic abuses and bureaucratic cycles).

One friend of mine from New Mexico doesn't watch the show; one reason being that meth abuse isn't too big an issue, with heroin being the real epidemic (though, she also presumptiously dislikes the show because "Albuquerque is a horrible, ugly place," so I really couldn't take her "realist" stance seriously).

If we were to read the shows representation of drug culture at face value, then it opens up the racialized interpretation of the show being a representation of white superiority midst mostly Latino "adversaries."

Drug addiction serves as a thematic parallel to Walt's impulsive desires and self-deception (interestingly, it is always been Walt is actually intoxicated that truth slips through and ruptures his psychic deception
(See this previous post for a differant take on the meaning of alcohol use in the show[LINK])

-Season 2 "Over," Walter's drunken intoxication and guilty conscience lead to his Heisenberg persona's first entry into his domestic life.
-Season 2, "ABQ," Before his cancer surgey, Walt is hopped up on medications. It is during this real fugue state that he reveals his second cell phone to Skylar.
-Season 4, "Salud," In the aftermath of his fight (i.e. "smack-down") with Jesse, Walt is drunk and on pain pills, breaking down and exposing his vulnerability to Walt Jr.


Other series that featured drug abuse/addiction as an important thematic element:
-House
-The Sopranos
-Shame
-24 (Season 3, Jack's Heroin addiction, and numerous sub characters that were junkies or involved in the drug trade)
-Workaholics
-

Spotlight Episodes:

Unraveling 5x06: :" Buy Out" (i.e. "Sell Out")


I tell you the truth, it is hard for 
a rich man to enter the kingdom 
of heaven. Again I tell you, it is 
easier for a camel to go through 
the eye of a needle than for a 
rich man to enter the kingdom of God. 
When the disciples heard this, they 
were greatly astonished and asked, 
“Who then can be saved?” 
Jesus looked at them and said,
 “With man this is impossible, 
but with God all things are possible.
    -Book of Matthew, 19:23-26, Wikipedia



Buy-out "i Sold my son's birthright..."
-Walter, 5x06, Buy Out

Now this is soul accountability!

What's that egregiously misused Sartre buzz-quote..."Hell is (what you project on) other people"



TAO: Walter, God even knows when a single ounce of methlamine sloushes in the stash-tank