"It profits me but little that a vigilant authority always protects the tranquillity of my pleasures and constantly averts all dangers from my path, without my care or concern, if this same authority is the absolute master of my liberty and my life."

--Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America

Monday, June 6, 2011

Breaking Bad

We've been watching Breaking Bad, the AMC series with Bryan Cranston, about a high-school chemistry teacher who learns he has lung cancer and proceeds to "break bad" by becoming the biggest meth-amphetamine "cooker" in New Mexico, committing at least two murders (so far), all the while trying to maintain his mild-mannered suburban persona for his young pregnant wife and teenage son.   It's a great show, one of the best we've seen on TV and touches on a theme that I think is more and more a part of average Americans' everyday lives.... how fragile and illusory our comfortable middle-class existences truly are.   Most of us don't "break bad" by breaking the law, but the situation of feeling your life spinning out of control is undoubtedly similar to what millions of Americans who are chronically unemployed or underemployed in this economy are feeling.  

Here's a cool clip from the show where the chemistry teacher uses a crystal explosive, mercury fulminate, to dupe the psychotic meth dealer, Tuco:

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