Sunday, September 22, 2013
From The Onion, "I'm just a free spirit who is entirely financial dependent on other people." HT Mockingbird
Another Mockingbird HT:
Truth is, the current catalogue of pro-failure literature does not celebrate failure in all forms. We like failure when, and only when, it ends in victory. “Lots of people never achieve their goals; they do not achieve their dreams, even though they have worked really hard and prepared themselves,” points out Scott Sandage, a historian and the author of Born Losers: A History of Failure in America. “To believe that failure is only a valuable lesson if it leads eventually to triumph really isn’t embracing failure at all. It’s crossing your fingers behind your back that eventually you’re going to succeed.” Victory and loss are often beyond our control, whatever we might like to think about our ability to triumph over circumstance.
... Walter is not only a good guy or only a bad guy, nor solely a provider or a destroyer, nor solely or even primarily Walter or Heisenberg. He might have been a good person at one time; he has been a very bad person for a while now. That doesn't mean there's no good left in him, but it's been so subsumed by Heisenberg and the fallout of Heisenberg that we can barely see it anymore, and even if it were possible to dig those good aspects out again (as he attempted to do, in his twisted and desperate way, in the phone call), it might be too late: hence the notion of Breaking Bad as tragedy.
No, what makes sense is the notion that Walter, like me, like you, like everybody, is complicated, and does things on purpose and on instinct, and on purpose while acting on instinct, and by accident, and in response to demons even he doesn't understand; and Walter, like you, like me, like everyone, can be more than one thing at the same time, just as a great work of popular art can be more than one thing at the same time, many of them in seeming contradiction. Multitudes, multitudes.
To transition into something that may seem unrelated, Jephthah could simultaneously be a saint and a monster and be depicted as both in a single narrative, but we'll save blogging about Judges and Webb's commentary on it for some other time.
Then there's Anthony le Donne on Jesus, Perception, and the Apocalyptic Imagination (HT Jim West).