Breaking Real Bad

Note: This is an unedited first draft. I’ve only seen the first five seasons of BB. And now that I’ve come across Steppling’s blah blah — See my Spoiler Alert! piece posted at http://oxtogrind.org/archive/1411 — I’m going to have to go over all my own blah blah in a new light; that’ll be a good fight for me.

Breaking Real Bad
Dedicated to http://www.emmytvlegends.org/interviews/people/vince-gilligan, or — rather — Eureka! moments of any kind which are honored
by Oxman

“I don’t know what kind of movies you’ve been watching, but here in the real world we don’t kill eleven people as some kind of prophylactic measure.” – a hit man in Breaking Bad

Got to put the brakes on, real bad, as per Stephen Emmott’s Ten Billion.

Because of our consumption and proliferation of all kinds of ongoing abominations, our horrid momentum. [See video links on Emmott's work in previous post.]

I feel real sorry for all activists who harbor hopes of being success stories of some kind, to some degree. See, I don’t consider a concerned, proactive citizen successful if they’re feeding the hungry, but doing absolutely nothing about the drinking water they’re dishing out being palatable or available. Success isn’t the word I’d use in a situation whereby a child is given a “better” education, and no inroads are made vis-à-vis possible employment upon graduation. If funds are kept from those who would build nuclear reactors, but nuclear missiles worldwide are increased by a factor of four, I’d call us all activist whores, after a fashion, fastening onto what’s fashionable, politically correct, personally satisfying BUT — actually — selling ourselves, our souls, not addressing the Big Picture… in fact, doing something repulsive in the face of Mother Earth.

How many different ways can I say this? We are breaking apart really badly these days. And quickly. With NO activists acknowledging what’s coming down. Not on an ongoing basis with a daily sense of authentic urgency. I mean, Ten Billion faces up to our momentum, but author Emmott is not an activist. He’s documenting and entertaining, wanting to make a difference, but engaging in all that in lieu of moving in effective solidarity to change the status quo.

It’s like ALL the fighting the good fight can be spotlighted as, say, telling one and all that they shouldn’t or can’t smoke in a particular corner of a given elevator that we’re all on. Observing the right thing to do, honoring legal parameters which have been set up, but somehow failing to notice, failing to do something about the fact that our elevator has come apart from its cables, and is quickly descending out of control, slated to smash everyone to bits shortly.

Preventing secondary smoke from snuffing out the lives of innocents notwithstanding, doesn’t preclude taking a stand on how best to address the loose cable issue, yes? Enforcing the “No Smoking” sign’s injunction doesn’t deserve applause — in fact, there’s no time for applause! — IF we’re speeding toward the basement. One could say that the No Smoking Citizen Police were actually being irresponsible by focusing on a single issue taking place in one corner of the unit whilst doing nothing about the out-of-control descent. Every little bit helps, yes… IF we survive the crash in that instance.

But all this blah blah does no good if the reader thinks that the his or her primary activist priorities can constitute their exclusive engagement. And this must be said about ANY issue. No one’s breaking real from the activist pack, no one is acknowledging The Bad, the deadlines we face collectively. [Pause.] Go ahead, I dare you to do what I’ve done the last eight years. Go ahead and take a poll. Ask everyone — any activist — you come across what “collective deadlines” we face. Guaranteed, if you’ve got a decent/definitive sense of deadlines yourself, you’ll come up with ZIP that’s satisfying. You’ll recoil in horror at the lack of visceral acknowledgement of deadlines.

We HAVE deadlines. Which ones comprise YOUR list? I’d like to know. I’d like to know right away.

Take that opening quote from Breaking Bad. The character who delivers the line has a sense of boundaries. To him, there’s something unhealthy about thinking one can do anything to keep from being the slightest bit vulnerable. To me too. There IS something definitely, absolutely wrong about, say, droning the immisserated of the earth in the name of scoring personal protection points. Even if the measures taken are effective by some short-term, questionable standard. That hit man — hit man — would be able to tell you what’s “off” about, say, Obama bombing and deporting and denying whilst acting as if he’s some kind of role model to be emulated. The whole biz about doing away with the Magna Carta on the premise that we must — above all — not leave ourselves open to being hit is sick.

And speaking of sick, the main point here extends* to the health field, wherein people subject themselves to all kinds of medical experimentation and out-and-out rip-offs so as to not be vulnerable. What’s happening in that realm on that count clearly has counterparts in many crisis areas. Don’t let that information get out ’cause it might jeopardize national security, arrest that reporter, or kill ‘em. Don’t permit those activists to stir up trouble with their demonstrations in Zuccotti Park. Kill ‘em before you let ‘em put our system at risk, encourage citizens to act in their own enlightened self-interest.

*I invite you to elaborate on everything that’s in the paragraph directly above. There are TONS of examples to cite. All of which threaten or deal out death in the name of someone not wanting to be the least bit vulnerable.

Do you see where I’m going with this? I’m asking you to question what the value of higher education is in most instances, if — for the most part — we allow the corporate takeover of our universities to continue unimpeded, contributing to our doom. What’s the value of fighting for organic food labeling, if the standards by which something is designated organic are questionable or unenforceable? What’s the value of saving children from slave labor or capitalist-centered adoption dynamics, if the kids are going to live in a world which is like what Peter Watkins shows in The War Game?

Our momentum re nuclear holocaust is but one of many reasons why we must keep our eye on the Big Picture Prize. Let’s address racism vis-à-vis police brutality, sure. But not that alone if Blacks can only become cops if they become White. Hey, I’m all for LGBT people being given the rights that others fancy they have, but not if that means we’re going to, then, join the U.S. military, and commit atrocities abroad. I advocate for species survival, arguably more than anyone else on earth. Ditto for ALL environmental crises. But I’m not applauding the saving of one species or one forest being preserved suddenly IF our horrid momentum in those realms continues. Which it’s doing.

Give me a break. Real relief. I need it badly. Every single day — ’round the clock — I run into concerned citizens who are engaged in activities like dealing with overfishing, but totally ignoring the radiation radiating from Fukushima. Go figure. Go fish? Isn’t it all like playing Chinese checkers without checking out how China affects us at the check out counter and elsewhere, patting ourselves on the back for being spot on with meaningless progressive victories?

I haven’t finished watching the Breaking Bad series, which I found off-putting at first ’cause I prematurely judged it as offering up gratuitous violence. I was very wrong. Even though I’m only in the middle of the 5th season (not being privy to whatever was done in the final 6th season), I don’t have any reservations about recommending it highly.

It provides great dramatic beauty rare as flawless chrysolite. And I’m obliged to tell you that advocating for aesthetic values, for me, is as important as any of the other concerns touched upon above. None of the arts are likely to remain on the periphery of our educational efforts, if I ever secure significant reins of power for some group as per anything like the TOSCA proposal. And a perk of pulling off PEACE will be a praising and a raising up of the arts.

And on that note, I should point out that I’m aching really badly to connect with Breaking Bad’s main dude. For Mover and Shaker Vince Gilligan — I’m absolutely certain — could make a TOSCA-type operation fly, and love doing so in the process.

Any bad readers out there who want to make a real difference, breaking up our status quo?

Yo’, contact the author at aptosnews@gmail.com if so.

Afterthoughts: I was lucky enough to receive a call from Mirah Riben (http://dissidentvoice.org/2013/10/adopted-then-discarded/). What a gal. Lots of potential there. One of the things she asked me in passing was whether or not I had a list for the gubernatorial coalition that would comprise TOSCA. Well, I do have a tentative list, a working list. Its something that I change from week to week, for all kinds of reasons, but my partial Dream List as of yesterday included

1. Dr. Paul Song http://couragecampaign.org/aboutus/
2. Gillian K. Hadfield http://works.bepress.com/ghadfield/
3. Ellen Brown http://ellenbrown.com/author/
4. Kendrick Lamar http://www.kendricklamar.com/
5. Danny Glover http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Danny_Glover
6. Graham Nash http://www.grahamnash.com/ or Vince Gilligan
7. Sergio Romo http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sergio_Romo
8. Susana De Anda http://www.communitywatercenter.org/about.php?content=Our+Team OR Dan Bacher http://www.counterpunch.org/2013/10/21/is-jerry-brown-running-scared/
9. Benjamin Bratt http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benjamin_Bratt

Room for there more or so; I’m not attached to the #12, though that number, we must admit, resonates on at least a couple of decent grounds, yes? Anyway, as I mentioned to Mirah (who was such a good listener, and quite a soul to be able to stick with my ranting and raving for as long as she did, unsolicited, without the slightest prep for my off-the-wall, telegraphic talk)… she could be on the list, possibly, even though she resides in the Garden State. For as I emphasized, even Arundhati Roy, a citizen of India, could participate. [Pause.] In fact, I’d go as far as to say that if both Vince Gilligan and Arundhati were to join hands in solidarity over anything remotely resembling TOSCA, the public high and healthy outcry would far surpass anything that any drug could possibly provide, including what’s given in our school system and courtesy of our mainstream media outlets… to keep citizens addicted to abominations.

Special notes to be discussed when we talk:

Let me give you three types of writers on one particular alternative media outlet, three types in terms of their interaction or lack thereof with me. You can multiply my experiences with them many times over, bouncing off of various different alternative media sources of information. And I’d like you to keep in mind, that these instructive experiences have gone on (and gotten worse!) over a period of the last eight plus years.

Gilad Atzmon (http://dissidentvoice.org/2013/10/hannah-arendt-and-intolerance/) — after my pulling lots of teeth — exchanged a number of emails with me. It seemed to be worth the heartbeats at first ’cause there loomed the possibility of connecting with socially-conscious Roger Waters of Pink Floyd, someone who recently joined hands in solidarity with Alice Walker, Angela Davis and Cynthia McKinney in the UK at some kind of Russell tribunal concerning Iraq, a war crimes-related effort. Bottom line? Dropped like a hot potato suddenly, inexplicably… no follow through from Gilad, even though there were all sorts of promises from my quarter respecting publicizing his work, and increasing sales for him personally in the process of moving in solidarity.

Andrew Gavin Marshall (http://dissidentvoice.org/2013/10/barack-obamas-global-terror-campaig n/). After taking the initiative to track him down, I wrote to him and colleagues of his in New York. The email to him bounced back as undeliverable, and none of his many colleagues responded whatsoever to my outreach, even though their non-profit advertises itself as being highly engaged, and seeking volunteers and new partners.

Gary Olson/Wendell Berry (http://dissidentvoice.org/2013/10/irreconcilable-differences-capitali sm-and-a-sustainable-planet/) Berry is impossible to reach. He doesn’t give contact info, and I’ve never received a reply from anyone connected with his publisher, or anyone in Kentucky who I’ve tried to get to contact him for me, regardless of how much they sell themselves as activists aligned with his work. Professor Olson, I thought, would be an ideal person to bond with on some basis, our having lots of years invested in academia in common. And by virtue of the fact that I offered to consider donating a singular library (put together over 40 years during teaching and worldwide travels) to his institution, AND delineated how I thought his political science students might be able to acquire great leadership training and involvement in civic action simultaneously with some version of TOSCA. Zero response.

What gives here? Discussion of this, I believe firmly, is obligatory. And it should be highly instructive.