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The Moral Unicorn


So I started watching breaking bad . All my shows were on a hiatus and it was to time to ride this bandwagon out.  I am on the second season of the episode after trying to watch it for like 2 weeks. This proves
a)      I am finally growing up , working more and slowing down on the number of episodes I’m watching.
b)      The show is boring.
While it does show the evolution of a boring chemistry teacher who suddenly facing imminent death after contracting cancer ( he should have contracted a midlife crisis if you ask me) to a full blown drug dealer  to earn money for his family.
I find it incredibly stupid that the show glorifies the production and distribution and cooking of meth when the protagonist clearly had a chance to borrow money from his family and friends. But then , there would be no show – no drugs , blood or pee shots (which the director really loves for some reason)
I want to sound cool and say stuff like ‘ I’m the one who knocks’ ( I’m yet to see all that ) and maybe I’m prematurely giving up on the show. But , how are you supposed to root for someone who lies to everyone around him (who he supposedly loves) and kills people to assert that he is a drug lord?! We’re supposed to feel bad for him because he has cancer, but not the 3-4 he has already killed in the short span of the show. There is simply no justification for his crimes. Dexter Morgan , the serial killer at least had a past. Walter White is simply a greedy man who couldn’t deal the hand, life gave him, in a scrupulous way.
I know it is all just fiction and the show does show the downside of the drug life and all. But everytime someone says ‘Heisenberg’ with admiration or ‘ I’m the one who knocks’ it causes mental pain which I am simply registering here.
The show does evoke a point of interest in me though – consisting of moral turmoil. Where do you draw the line of what is wrong or what is right?
What makes you draw the line?
What the law dictates or what helps you sleep at time?
the laxman rekha :P
I think every person has to and does come up with this laxman rekha by himself. Being a law student , I know that there is scant regard paid to laws in this country. The culture , community or interest group of a person build his moral compass more often than not. But nothing shapes a mind like personal experience and attitudes.
For example , I think adultery which is a criminal offence according the Indian penal code is a personal choice which should end a marriage but not put you in jail.
But , for a person whose parent or spouse indulged in one the attitude might be very different.
More often than not , only when you are in a rough predicament , you know what you real feelings towards a subject are. There is a fundamental gap between who we think we are and the decisions we take and a mode of self preservation shoves this cognitive dissonance to the fore.
I was pleasantly surprised to find that I do not like cheating when I attempted a competition recently. I always prided myself of being morally fluid and ‘ cool’ taxonomies like that. However when the beat dropped and my moment came , I didn’t want to take the shortcut to success. How do you enjoy the fruits of your labour when you didn’t work the farm? I asked myself. I am aware that feeling morally superior is also a certain kind of rush.
We’re living in a world where pesticides and fertilizers have become a norm and ‘organic’ vegetables have become an exception.
When we learn professional ethics , our teacher reads the value we have to study for the exam and then goes on to explain how it is useless in everyday life. Being ‘good’ is increasingly being looked down upon . People with morals are being looked at as unicorns and hardwork and genuine knowledge is overlooked for shallow grades and ‘street smartness’ which roughly translates to being a thug.
How to do a task without getting your hands dirty? Is my question of the month to you guys. How to prosper in a world where pulling someone down seems easier than climbing up?
That is why breaking bad scares me. How can killing and cooking meth be cool things? Are we all fundamentally good or bad? Is self preservation or fundamental goodness the characteristic of a mind?

Even in Indian films being selfish or being a criminal is being promoted nowadays over being a good human being who helps others. It is not a question of breaking the law but doing a wrong – hurting another individual. Am I the only unicorn out here? Or are there more of us just scared to voice out , in the fear of being looked down upon?

Please speak up in the comments column

Comments

  1. You aren't the only unicorn out there. There are quite a few left, but it is alarming as to how few remain relative to the ones who wouldn't mind taking a shortcut to attain "success". But yes, the people who belong to the latter group look incredulously at the ones who are trying to hold on to their morality, and get them to question their morality. It's sad, really.
    P.S. Finish watching Breaking Bad. It gets good after Season 2 :P

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    1. Exactly!
      And I might just watch it xP

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  2. Girl! Are you Iranian? :P Btw the thing about making series of these kinds and airing is not to influence people in a bad way or to preach them as cool things rather it's merely about expressing their own art form. The real success of these series makers are exhibited only when people argue or talk about it and especially when one writes a blog about it.

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    1. Did you just call me Iranian for having an opinion? :O
      Nowhere have I asked for the show to be banned. Just because I don't agree with what it conveys doesn't mean I curtail it's freedom. I like how the show is shot. I don't like Walter white's actions. That's all

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  3. Fundamentally good or bad.. that's a question every single human should ask themselves more often. And I agree, a person with morality is one who is too uptight to "live life" in this world. Sad state of affairs is what it is.

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  4. Hai Samyuktha,

    I am not a member of this blog and so I do not have an account here. I happened to stumble across yours because I found the URL to this one on your goodreads profile (which I am a member of... and please have mercy on me because I wasn't stalking you on goodreads).

    It was nice to read your take on Breaking Bad. No, really, it was nice. I am happy to see someone who has got an opinion different from the billions of other people residing in this world. First, let me tell you I am a series buff. I have watched a truck load of series. And I happened to watch Breaking Bad because of the rave reviews flying around. Like you I too lost interest in it and stopped watching somewhere in the middle of season 2. So I guess that makes us two against the whole world.

    I know this blog is for you to post your own views on stuffs you deem fit to comment on. But I see that you have asked your readers to speak up in the column section. And pardon me if I am questioning your take on the series. It's that I am on a different page to one of your opinions as expressed by you.

    You said "I find it incredibly stupid that the show glorifies the production and distribution and cooking of meth when the protagonist clearly had a chance to borrow money from his family and friends. But then , there would be no show – no drugs , blood or pee shots (which the director really loves for some reason)". Yes you are right. This is an unnatural route one would take when faced with monetary difficulties. But lets say there are 100 people in this world having the same issue. Money troubles. Maybe 99 of them would ask their friends or relatives to help them out of this sticky situation. But there would be one who would think out of the box. He would be like "Screw it...why beg for money when I have god given gift to make the purest of purest crystal meth?". And, like you said, the scriptwriter needed a story for his series and he rightly chose the 100th guy coz he perfectly fits his bill as the other 99 wouldn't have exciting chain of events from borrowing a lumpsum. Unless they decide to flee with the money and then deal with the consequences which can be made as another series. Do you agree? Or lets say we agree to disagree?

    BTW your hold over language is pretty appreciable. Keep up the good work.

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  5. Hey. I'm happy that you found my blog :)
    I love myriad opinions. There can be no wrong opinion per SE unless you're Donald Trump I feel xP
    As you can see the very premise of the show pissed me off. But then later I had many Facebook conversations with friends who sold me to the idea of this show. Walter white is not the protagonist , he is almost an antagonist. I'm too used to the idea of a likable lead. And I'm in the 3rd season now and like Skyler I'm beginning to finally understand his reasons although I still don't support them.
    My other problem was what ppl take away from the show - Heisenberg is cool yo. But then that's the people's fault and not the show's!

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