“The thrill of blurring the lines that shows characters act as they need to, not as they choose to. ‘Breaking Bad’ – the final frontier…
” As the last image of the last episode of ‘Breaking Bad’ burned into my retina, I saw a man relieved. Walt could finally lay down his heavy load and truly come to rest. He had, successfully, provided……”
This game-changing series may not be truly understood as to its real inference and impact. The human being will do anything – literally anything – in order to provide. Thousands of villagers were napalmed in Vietnam in order to provide stability. Drones drop their deadly cargo daily in order to provide increased security. On a global perspective, every act of genocide was done willingly by those responsible for it as it would provide something of value – something worthy of any action to achieve it. 7 million Jews die in the gas chambers in order to provide a far brighter, happier, confident and capable Germany. The Mutterland deserved it – and millions believed it.
Dear Walt, he was just doing what a husband and dad had to – provide. Was their any free will involved or any choices exercised? I think not. As humans (animals) we are simply reacting to stimuli. When the stimuli has sufficient charge, we will justify absolutely anything, and have done for millennia. Hence why this particular show dives through such blurry lines of acceptability and morality and shows how easy and almost effortless that dive can be.
All of which reminds me of a piece written by a bright German fellow in the late 1800’s – I think he and Walt might have seen eye to eye on a point or two.
Man Always Acts for the Good
We don’t accuse nature of immorality when it sends us a thunderstorm and makes us wet: why do we then call the injurious man immoral? Because in the first case, we assume necessity, and in the second a voluntarily governing free will. But this distinction is in error. Furthermore, even intentional injury is not called immoral in all circumstances: without hesitating, we intentionally kill a gnat, for example, simply because we do not like its buzz; we intentionally punish the criminal and do him harm to protect ourselves and society. In the first case it is the individual who does harm intentionally, for self-preservation or simply to avoid discomfort; in the second case the state does the harm.
All morality allows the intentional infliction of harm for self-defense; that is, when it is a matter of self-preservation! But these two points of view are sufficient to explain all evil acts which men practice against other men; man wants to get pleasure or resist unpleasure; in some sense it is always a matter of self-preservation.
Socrates and Plato are right: whatever man does, he always acts for the good; that is, in a way that seems to him good (useful) according to the degree of his intellect, the prevailing measure of his rationality.
Friedrich Nietzsche, Human, All Too Human”