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Posts Tagged ‘Walter White’

GC Myers- "Greener Pastures: 42"It’s kind of a sad Sunday.  For one thing, our favorite ice cream place, Mindy Moo’s,  is closing for the season.  Actually, that’s probably a good thing as we have been indulging way too often but I still hate to see it close.

Secondly, tonight is the finale to what may be the finest show to ever come across a television screen, Breaking Bad.  I have been addicted since it first  exposed us to the moral gymnastics of high school chemistry teacher Walter White as he found his way into the world of meth, hoping to make enough cash to support his family after his imminent death from the cancer that had recently emerged.   His moral dilemma and the subsequent downward spiral has been a wild ride, supported by incredible writing, storylines and performances, often leaving me gasping at the end of an episode.  I will sorely miss it and have a feeling that almost everything else on TV will pale in comparison for some time to come.

Mariano Rivera Entering the FieldAnd finally, today is the end of era in baseball as Mariano Rivera rides off into the sunset, retiring from the New York Yankees as unquestionably the greatest closer ever and perhaps the most respected and beloved player to come around in a long, long time. Even Red Sox fans give Mariano, he of the hated Yanks, a standing ovation.  He has been nothing but class since day one, never pounding his chest or belittling his opponents and always showing the utmost respect for the game that has given a poor, skinny boy from Panama so much over the years .  His stoic demeanor on the mound is almost Zen in its nature and has long comforted Yankee fans when games are in a tight spot, even on those rare occasions when he has failed.

The painting at the top of the post,  a 12″ by 12″ canvas,  is titled Greener Pastures: 42.  The number 42 on the outfield wall is meant to honor both Mariano and the man who wore it most famously before him,  the barrier breaking Jackie Robinson.  Mariano is the last player to wear this hallowed number after it was retired by Major League Baseball to honor Robinson and has done so with  a fitting grace and character.  On the day honoring Mariano at Yankee Stadium last Sunday, one of my favorite moments was when  Rachel Robinson, Jackie’s widow now aged 91, was on the field and she cupped Mariano’s face in both hands, staring hard into his face with such a wonderful look on her face.  I don’t know what she was thinking or conveying but it looked like she was letting Mo know that Jackie would have approved of the way Mariano has honored his number and his memory.

Hard to believe that after today, there is no more ice cream (well, for a while) or Breaking Bad or Mariano.  Like I said, it’s a sad Sunday with a few glorious endings…

 

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breaking-bad-posterI am the danger. A guy opens his door and gets shot, and you think that of me? No! I am the one who knocks!

–Walter White

*********************

This was the response from Walter White, the geeky high school chemistry teacher turned drug lord, to his wife Skyler’s fears that he would someday answer the door and be shot down by the thugs with which he was now associated.  It was a hallmark moment in the AMC series Breaking Bad,  which returns tonight to begin an eight episode wrap-up to Walter’s  saga.

And what a staggering saga it has been.

Creator Vince Gilligan and actor Bryan Cranston have treated us over the last several years with one of the most fascinating heroes in television or film.  I use the term hero very loosely here.  Cranston’s Walter White at once gives you every reason to root for yet despise him.  He is highly intelligent which gives him  the ability to find rationale for the most deplorable moral decisions, each of which seems to send him into a deeper descent into the bowels of some evil hell.

He has went from the cowering weakling to the one who knocks, gun in hand.

Yet, we still somehow root for him to pull out of it, to find that moral root of rightness that appeared to be with him at the beginning of this journey.  I think that’s the brilliance of this show, taking a person who we easily relate to and putting him into situations that are so far from what we would normally face that it leaves us wondering if we are any different, any better  than Walter.    In Walter, we see the same fears and weaknesses that most of us possess, things that could easily lead us into bad situations given the right (or wrong) circumstances.  Do we have that same capacity for rationalizing our own poor moral decisions rather than seeing the obvious wrongness in them and doing what we know is right?  This show brings it into doubt.

It’s been a ride that leaves me cringing and gasping with every twist that Vince Gilligan throws into it.  I have come to expect the completely unexpected with this show.  I am sad  see it wrapping up for the pure wonder of its storytelling but relieved to see it end for the questions it raises about us all.

On a lighter note, for those who haven’t partaken of this particular treat, here’s a video that gives a very abridged rundown on what has happened thus far in the form of a Middle School Musical.

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