Thursday, July 26, 2012


Breaking Bad's Bad Boys

"Breaking Bad" (AMC-TV) doesn't get any better in its fifth season, just louder and meaner. It's completely lost its local mythos of Mexican cartel and bumbling Albuquerque players to something more cinematic and outrageous. One can almost point to each actor now having his or her promoter lengthening their time on screen (or not), thus changing the earlier rip-snorting scripts of the writers and even the director. Its initial charm was the glorious simple inventions from the neighborhood; now it's hip and welcoming in the Germans. End game. While we are watching the new crop of shows we are re-watching the earlier seasons to balance our wishes. Those wishes are always looking for the genuine. There never was another boogeyman quite like Tuco Salamanca.

Meanwhile, we have the Aurora Colorado shootings, an inch away on the map from the Columbine shootings, both stuck in our same brain-pan of disbelief, denial, excuses, neglect, 9/ll and its similar tragedy (any killing is excessive, including war), on top of denial by murderous business creeps, politician creeps, media creeps, it just gives one the creeps.

Why six year old Veronica Moser-Sullivan, and now dead, was at a midnight showing for The Dark Knight Rises (with its prophetic title) and allowed a ticket inside for such a violent film at such an hour, along with other very young children, remains part of the questions, the problem, the denial, the continued heartache, which will only continue. Don't fool yourself.

6,000 rounds of ammo is bought for the slaughter via the free flow of the Internet and a seasoned gun lover will admit to you that 6,000 rounds is really "starting to run low." When we ship out books from our small bookshop at our local post office we often are in front of or behind a stocky and thorough fellow who is shipping out cinder-block-size packages, and just as heavy, of ammo. Bullets. To god knows where.

When I listen to the commentary for the start of the "Breaking Bad" fourth season, and many of the actors and other players are in the studio all chummy and sharing their thoughts, I wonder what happens to their brains when they watch in fantasy-time the show but speak in real-time, when "Gus", methodically, and of course unemotionally with pristine professional cool, cuts the throat of another, in full glory, with a box cutter. The box cutter — the tool of simple choice — ever since 9/11.

Which denial have you chosen?

The cinematic violence in each Dark Knight film has gradually inducted a real life player and brought this true to life 'actor' (''in tonight's episode James Holmes plays the shooter") into the multiplex theater. Water plants they grow. Pet a cat it purrs. Paint a house it resonates. Throw a stone it lands. Show continuous violence via the media, television shows, films, advertising, war doctrine, politics, hunger, bankruptcy, neglect, drought, fires, floods, liars, ad nauseam, and every excuse in the book how things can't be repaired or fixed and budgets are busted, but an open pipeline of money is there for wars and more wars. It's been this way my entire life, yours too.

It's all gore, eventually.

Little peace.

Expect more shooters.

Aaron Paul as Jesse Pinkman and Bryan Cranston as Walter White in Breaking Bad
(Frank Ockenfels/AMC)