Tonight, ChicagoNow bloggers have one hour to write the following for January's #CNBlogapalooza: "Write about a character or scene in a movie or book that affected you in some way."
Have you guys heard of this show, "Breaking Bad?" It's all the rage
in 2008. Walter White is my favorite character. And by that, I mean watching him. It's a little bit like watching a car accident happen, or passing by right after the collision. You don't like it, but you can't look away.
To recap: Walt is diagnosed with cancer and starts cooking methamphetamine (meth) to financially support his family. My first thought was, "What would your kid say?" I think back to witnessing Lance Armstrong interviewed by Oprah. The only time he seemed truly remorseful and lost composure was when she asked him, "What did you tell your kids?"
I get hungover after three beers on a Friday, and I feel guilty that I'm off my mom game by 12%. Cooking meth??? How does one justify this?
Oh, but he does. And not only cooking meth: murdering, money laundering, using chemical (gang)warfare. The list goes on and on.
One friend confessed that watching "Breaking Bad" made his stomach hurt. I get it. You take a seemingly normal, pushover high school chemistry teacher, and morph him into a bad ass. It's disturbing to think that the guy next door, singing lullabies to his baby girl, could be the same guy who strangled a thug with a bike lock.
...is there something heroic about going all in for your family? For being uninhibited and staring fear in the face and then spitting all over it? He takes the Papa Bear Syndrome to the extreme, that's for sure.
The title of the show is so appropriate, for no character is truly black or white; truly good or bad. Walter White is the epitome of this. But I have to say: I'm liking him less and less. His double standards make me feel violated and his demeanor has become increasingly cocky; his thirst to be "bad" unquenchable. It's not all about his family anymore.
Then it makes me wonder: do normal people snap like this? People who sit silent their whole lives and let others walk all over them? Perhaps not to this extreme, but certainly, it does happen. I suppose that if Walt advocated for himself, he wouldn't feel the need to go overboard.
Still, I can't look away from this colossal collision that is Walter White. It doesn't make me wonder if I'd sell meth for my family. That's a resounding "NO"
because I nearly failed chemistry and am a goody two shoes.
But I keep coming back to these questions: What would I say to my kid? How would I explain this? Who would be more hurt by my actions: he or I? Because I made the decision to do XYZ, I have to live with it. But it's not fair that he, too, has to live with the consequences when he had no choice in the matter.
I'd wager to guess that the climax to the "Breaking Bad" series is different for every viewer. For me, that pinnacle will be when he son learns the truth. I'll be tensely sitting, with popcorn in hand and a stomach in knots.
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