Brett Stevens doesn’t really critique “Breaking Bad” as a TV series, rather, he argues that it has provided a novel glimpse at white culture by showing what we could be like, instead of looking to the “other” for inspiration. “Looking to the Other” in this sense, means, looking to that small, outcast group, from gypsies, to negros or jews, while leaving the majority group (whites) blind to their own proclivities. (He cites Coleridge’s “Xanadou” and opera, as examples of artistic expression utilizing the same theme).
“Breaking Bad” says Stevens, pulls a white man out of the realm of the ordinary and turns him into an “other” …in this case, a meth kingpin, unafraid to murder and steal in pursuit of his goals. This move is healthy for whites, because it forces us to look outside the constraints of “majoritarian thinking” which blinds most to our uniqueness.
I’m not sure if I agree with Stevens about the nature of majoritarian thinking, but I admit, I find his article appealing and agree that seeing Walter White (the main character in the series) break out of his stereotypical role as a boring, safe, middle-aged pushover, and morph into a strong-willed drug lord, was entertaining.
There’s a sense in which all of us white boys are going to have to “break bad” which, in Stevens’ article means, “breaking outside the mold of the wimpy white guy”. But, as I’ve said before on my blog, we whites are in a terrible position which makes “breaking out” difficult at best.
To use the same analogy: we’re like the handsome prince, stuck in the dungeon of an evil sorcerer, who forces us, everyday, to look into a magic mirror which, instead of showing our reflection, shows the reflection of a hideous, weak, and evil monster. It may take months, or even years, but eventually, the handsome prince forgets his original majesty and can only think of himself as this beast.
So, unlike Stevens, I don’t think the “majority” is blind to its own proclivities. It’s the job of artists and poets to look at the whole and re-present it to the common man, to give the society (as a whole) an overall image of itself. But our artists and poets have been kidnapped. To keep with my analogy: they’re the true mirrors, disposed to give our people an accurate look at who we really are.
They’ve been replaced by the “Merchants of Cool” who act as the sorcerer’s enchanted mirror, giving us a steady vision of ourselves in warped, hideous trappings. We know who the sorcerer is.
It’s the job of the poets, then, not the preachers, the philosophers, or the street activists, to present to the white majority a clear and accurate view of themselves. This is the only way for a white boy to “break bad” from his modernist shackles.
The best way to begin our own path towards the “breaking”, is to turn off the television and pick up a novel about old Europe. Preferably something by Sir. Walter Scott.