“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Friday, November 09, 2012

Breaking Bad - As good as it gets

If you like Shakespeare, you will love breaking bad

My Breaking Bad addiction
> Friday, November 09, 2012 at 8:45

Amy details her obsession with the TV series “Breaking Bad,” the story of Walter White, innocent chemistry teacher turned merciless meth cook.

After having spent my Monday night and my free Tuesday doing next to nothing, I have reached one conclusion: There is no excuse for you to not have a Netflix subscription.
While my job here is to inform you of how to spend your free time in a worthwhile and productive manner, sometimes you deserve a day off. You don’t always have to work hard. You deserve a break from self-improvement every once in a while.
I choose to spend these days with 1999 James Franco. Mmm.
Netflix may be best known for its selection of both classic and recent films, but it also offers subscribers hundreds of TV series, ranging from categories such as “Witty Workplace” to “Suspenseful Supernatural Time Travel” to “Dysfunctional Family” TV Shows. These programs provide an escape from reality, some to more distant locations than others.
Myself? I prefer the more relatable programs that come with an edgy element, like your chemistry teacher cooking meth, Amy Poehler running your city’s Parks Department, or 17 year old Jason Segel coming to your school stoned. I’d be down with any of those.
By no means am I an expert on what qualifies as good television. All I know is what I enjoy. Lucky for me, my standards are easily met. All a show needs to do to make it onto my list of favorites is make me laugh out loud or make me cry. Several shows currently on Netflix have made me do both of those things, sometimes within a single episode.
I’m going to go out on a limb and say that one of the best, actually probably THE best, shows on TV right now is AMC’s “Breaking Bad,” starring Bryan Cranston, whom you may know as Hal from “Malcolm in the Middle.” “Breaking Bad” has won six Emmy Awards, Cranston himself winning three consecutive Emmy Awards for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series. No one was surprised. The show follows high school chemistry teacher, father, and husband Walter White who is diagnosed with lung cancer. I already feel ashamed trying to even provide a short synopsis of the series, simply because there are so many wonderful aspects of the show.
The most engaging element of the series is Walter White’s rapidly diminishing morality. He begins the show as a harmless middle-aged man whose potential to be a world famous chemist faded over the years as he married a.. to put it nicely, ‘difficult’ woman named Skyler (sorry Skyler fans, she sucks), and they had their relatively non-bouncy bundle of joy, Walter Jr., who was born with cerebral palsy. Since then, Walter had to commit himself entirely to his family and could not spend long hours in a lab slaving over cataloguing the molecular composition of the human body (in case you were wondering, you are approximately 63% hydrogen, 26% oxygen, 9% carbon, 1.25% nitrogen, .25% calcium, .00004% iron, .04% sodium and .19% phosphorous. Thanks, Walter.) But upon receiving the diagnosis of his lung cancer, he worries about how his meager teacher’s salary will be able to support his family if worse comes to worst.
Walter hitches a ride with lovable brother-in-law and DEA agent Hank on a call about suspicious activity in what ends up being a meth lab. After inquiring about approximately how much money can be generated by an amateur meth cook, the wheels start turning in Walter’s head. He realizes that he can put his wealth of chemistry knowledge to good use and support his family a thousand times over. Walter begins to cook the most potent meth on the streets at a shocking 99.1% chemical purity, earning millions upon millions of dollars. But at what cost? Walter’s ascent into power runs parallel to his descent into evil. This is the most fascinating part of the show: seeing the once meek old man hold a gun to someone's forehead while looking them directly in the eye and smirking.
He is the one who knocks, folks. My own descriptions can’t do justice to how excellent this show is. The characters, the scripts, the storyline.. All I can really say is that it is the perfect TV series. I recommend this show to anyone who enjoys character driven dramas, such as “The Wire,” “Boardwalk Empire,” and “Mad Men.” The series is in its fifth and final season, but the season is split into two parts, the first of which aired from July of this year and finished in early September. The second half, which includes the final eight episodes of the series, is set to debut this summer. All but the fifth season are on Netflix, and there is more than enough time for you to get caught up in time to catch the series finale. If you aren’t hooked within the first few episodes, I can recommend some other shows for you to watch, like “Tosh.0” or “America’s Funniest Home Videos,” because you may be better mentally equipped to handle programs like these. In all seriousness though, if you are passionate about your television watching, there is no excuse for you to not at least give “Breaking Bad” a shot. It’s the best. That’s all I can really say.
Do you vehemently despise Breaking Bad and know of a program that tops it? Don’t be afraid to contact me, I am always open to suggestions. You can email me at , or tweet at @sweeeeeens. Thanks for reading.


  1. Having not seen TV much in 30 years except for PBS and Mr Rogers 25 years ago, and a little more than a year '93 - 94 of SNL and CNN Coverage of Gulf War I, I can't very well be on topic, so...

    Here is one contribution:

    The Unmitigated Disaster Known As Project ORCA

    What is Project Orca? Well, this is what they told us:

    Project ORCA is a massive undertaking – the Republican Party’s newest, unprecedented and most technologically advanced plan to win the 2012 presidential election.
    Pretty much everything in that sentence is false. The "massive undertaking" is true, however. It would take a lot of planning, training and coordination to be done successfully (oh, we'll get to that in a second). This wasn't really the GOP's effort, it was Team Romney's. And perhaps "unprecedented" would fit if we're discussing failure.

    The entire purpose of this project was to digitize the decades-old practice of strike lists. The old way was to sit with your paper and mark off people that have voted and every hour or so, someone from the campaign would come get your list and take it back to local headquarters. Then, they'd begin contacting people that hadn't voted yet and encourage them to head to the polls. It's worked for years.

    From the very start there were warning signs. After signing up, you were invited to take part in nightly conference calls. The calls were more of the slick marketing speech type than helpful training sessions. There was a lot of "rah-rahs" and lofty talk about how this would change the ballgame.

    Working primarily as a web developer, I had some serious questions. Things like "Has this been stress tested?", "Is there redundancy in place?" and "What steps have been taken to combat a coordinated DDOS attack or the like?", among others. These types of questions were brushed aside (truth be told, they never took one of my questions). They assured us that the system had been relentlessly tested and would be a tremendous success...

  2. I pretty much with you on the TV watching, Doug. but my wife has mentioned this series so I think I may take a look.

    Want to go see 'Lincoln' at the movie theater too.

  3. For entertainment and inspiration:

    Danica Patrick and Steve Jones of The Sex Pistols

    One of the things Adam admires most about 103 pound Danica is the fact that when she is fucked w/on the track, she visits the Fuckers pit afterwards, sometimes ripping off her helmet and throwing it violently, and with malice aforethought.

    Don't know if I've ever heard the Sex Pistols, but remarkably, Steve had even more dysfunctional parents than Adam.
    Fascinating how they both managed to turn that to their advantage.

    Show Summary:

    Adam opens the show discussing one of the worst interviews he’s ever had to sit through. He also talks about his offense at being called Conservative, and explains why you shouldn’t eff with the people who are actually earning money. Adam then takes a call from Danica Patrick, and he talks with her about NASCAR, breast cancer awareness, and why she’s not the car buff people think she is.

    Steve Jones enters the studio next, and Adam talks to him about the Sex Pistols. They also both relate to having disinterested mothers, and Steve discusses how his grandmother raised him. Later, Alison starts up the news with the measure that forces LA porn stars to wear condoms. After a discussion about gay porn and gay bashing, they also talk about facial hair bets and Diane Sawyer’s election day slurs. As the show wraps up, Adam talks about Shaved Dave, Santa Monica Citizen of the Year.


    Their discussions about porn w/condoms and straight dude's wired in reaction to gay men having sex is priceless.

    1. Well as for me I think it rather artistically intrusive and aesthetically insensitive to make a porn star wear a condom.

    2. Progressive control of EVERYTHING is the Goal.

      Did you hear that Bloomberg outlawed food donations to hungry folks because they can't be checked for fat and salt content?

      ...all too True.

      Rufus and Deserter Rat's Brand of Fascist Dreams is rapidly becoming reality

    3. Interior proposal would limit commercial oil shale development on federal lands in West

      The Interior Department on Friday issued a final plan to close 1.6 million acres of federal land in the West originally slated for oil shale development.

      The proposed plan would fence off a majority of the initial blueprint laid out in the final days of the George W. Bush administration. It faces a 30-day protest period and a 60-day process to ensure it is consistent with local and state policies. After that, the department would render a decision for implementation.

      The move is sure to rankle Republicans, who say President Obama’s grip on fossil fuel drilling in federal lands is too tight.


      I wonder why they waited til after the election.

      Only Rufus and Deserter Rat have the Brainpower to explain how it is just good policy.

    4. In one of NYC’s darkest hours, with resources stretched thin in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, Mayor Michael Bloomberg is showing his priorities with a ban on food donations to homeless shelters. No, not because of food contamination, but because the city can’t properly assess salt, fat and fiber in donated food and thereby ensure starving people are getting the optimal levels of nutrition...

      Bloomberg outlaws food donations

      So many things make perfect sense these days, Rufus and Deserter Rat.

    5. VDH tells of how most of the streetlights in his hometown don't function because the copper wiring has been hijacked.
      All Bronze plaques have been stripped, also.

      And a White Guy running for office in Sanger CA got multiple death threats and people's windshields were smashed if they bore his stickers.

      My little hometown used to play football w/Sanger.

      Since Fracking has been outlawed, it will remain a Mexican Ghetto.

      Deserter Rat's Dreamworld of us Americanizing Mexicans.

    6. For Christ fucking sake, can you even read, any more?

      Oil shale development is not to be confused with drilling into shale formations for oil and natural gas. The practice, which involves separating hydrocarbons bound up in rocks, has not been widely executed since Exxon's failed Colorado venture in the 1980s.

      This is the same old "Green River Shale," nonsense. It ain't "Shale," and it ain't "Oil." It's Kerogen locked in Marlstone. No one has ever figured out how to get a drop of "oil" out of it.

      By the way, 2/3 of the Green River Formation is "Private" land.

      You fucking fools will fall for any dumb-assed, right wing headline won't you?

    7. You know your "facts," I know mine:
      Oil is being recovered, oil workers are being hired.
      (As are people serving them in Businesses)

      Is this some madcap ploy by Big Oil to give away money for nothing?

      ...and "only" 118 years of natural gas.

      A drop in Rufus's Giant Bucket of Dogshit.

    8. Not in the Green River Formation, they're not.

    9. You brought up the "Green River Formation" not I:

      You're the Resident Expert in Distracting Trivia.

    10. My home town was next to the Kettleman Hills, about 50 miles north of Algore's Teapot Dome, I think.

      ...a lot of oil could be extracted from those "played out fields" with modern drilling techniques.

      My uncle on my mom's side of the family lived there in a tent, back in the day.

    11. Speaking of Generals starting with the letter "P"

      Notice General Petroleum Avenue, in Kettleman City, CA

    12. ...where some of my "buddies" conned me into drinking liquid out of a plastic lemon while participating in a hand-launched glider contest.

      ...Which turned out to be John Moore's piss.
      The guy that never failed to start launching rocks in a clodfight.

      And with whom I bloodied my knuckles on the zipper of his leather jacket in a fist fight in the 8th grade, when he was 6 feet tall and I was about five foot five.

    13. A lot neater and tidier than my hometown.
      ...the opposite of the way it used to be.

  4. Also think I will read this -

    Inward Ho!

    By Christopher Morley

    Now it appears to me that almost any man may like the spider spin from his own inwards his own airy Citadel--the points of leaves and twigs on which the spider begins her work are few, and she fills the air with a beautiful circuiting.

    - Keats, letter to Reynolds

  5. Adam also mentions having his out of control eybrows plucked, asking the plucker to do it in a way to make him look interested - the better to ward off wifie's repeated complaints that he's not listening.

  6. 47. Bill Jones said...

    Why shouldn’t the Iranians defend their airspace?

    Doug 53 replied:

    Perhaps they should.

    Perhaps they also should stone women to death and hang 18 yr old gay lovers.

    Perhaps young women should be shot to shreds for protesting against the “Government”


    1. Thumbed through the Old Testament, recently?

    2. Thumbed through Cherokee history lately, anyone. Bunch of slavers and homicidal savages. But, they've changed. As have many peoples. They were illiterate, couldn't write their outlook down. Some still are.

    3. Iran is for Iranians

      They should defend it.

      General P says the UAE airforce can take out the Iranians.

      How that affects Hawaii, puzzling.

    4. This comment has been removed by the author.

    5. Germany was for Hitler, back in the day.

      ...but that was back in the day, I'll admit.

      As some here might admit to not being the biggest Joo lovers on the Planet.

  7. addendum to VDH above:

    He also describes the opulent lifestyles and "liberal" politics where he works in Palo Alto, just a few dozen miles to the West.


  8. Elizabeth Warren, the Massachusetts Democrat who defeated Scott Brown for the U.S. Senate, held what the Boston Herald reports as an "awkward" first press conference in Boston with Massachusetts governor Deval Patrick. Warren's first question from the press as a senator-elect was about defense spending, on which she reportedly deferred to Patrick before the Democratic governor said to Warren,

    "Defense spending is you."

    When she did respond, the answers were often brief.

    How does she feel about the high female voter turnout and the election of women in New Hampshire?

    “I’m glad,” she said.

    Is it surprising?

    “I’m glad that the women turned out to vote, it meant a lot,” said Warren.

    Asked what impact more women in the Senate would have, Warren punted.

    “You want to try answering that?” she said, turning to Patrick, who stepped in again.

    Here's more from the Herald:

  9. Golly p, dougo, I advocate for selling Federal land to the highest bidder. Making it private land.

    Boobie disapprovesof the idea, says it will benefit my rich friends.

    What do you say?

    As for 'Bteaking Bad', it is the best tv series going.
    Followed by Sons of Anarchy

    1. Unlike Rufie, you do not claim BHO is faultless.

      I commend you for that.

      ...but fear he may find a way to outlaw oil extraction on private lands.
      He's got 4 years to work on it.

    2. What in hell could possibly lead you to think something like that? That's just nuts. You losing it, kiddo.

    3. Not your rich friends, crapper, just the rich.

    4. How about he tells the EPA to promulgate some new rules. Save the water.

    5. Yeah, the Snail Darter was just a starter.

  10. Some of these comments I'm reading about Petraeus are intriguing. Why did he not, for instance, just say he was resigning for personal reasons.

    Where is the need to be so explicit about it?

    1. .

      Face it. How bright can this guy be? Head of the CIA? Conducting an affair on e-Mail?

      Yea, he's a genius.

      The affair came to light as part of an FBI investigation into a potential security breach involving Petraeus’s e-mails, according to federal law enforcement officials and a former senior intelligence official. The investigation uncovered e-mails describing an affair between Petraeus and Paula Broadwell, a former military officer and co-author of a glowing biography of Petraeus, according to two law enforcement officials who were briefed on the investigation.

      Unless that paragragh was poorly written (it started out talking about "Petraeus e-mails"), the guy was using the wrong head to do his thinking.

      Sorry Holly and Nameless Guy Married to Broadwell


    2. :)

      Whole thing is really strange.

    3. Maybe he thinks he's got a future in Democrat Politics, where affairs are features, not bugs.

      ...unless they involve crabs.

  11. .

    From the WaPo,

    Yet, like the ruling family, the administration has failed to fulfill its promises. The State Department has monotonously issued statements expressing “concern” or declaring itself “troubled” as political prisoners it sought to free are instead resentenced and new measures of repression are taken. But the words are not accompanied by actions. After holding up one military sale under pressure from Congress last year, the administration released the equipment several months ago. It recently supported a Bahraini nominee for an advisory position at the U.N. Human Rights Council.

    Such actions damage U.S. credibility across the Middle East, where many observers note that the United States is backing a Sunni rebellion in Syria while defending a Sunni autocracy in Bahrain — thus appearing to take sides in the region’s growing sectarian rivalry. Worse, the policy is laying the groundwork for the eventual loss of the alliance and the naval base: The Bahraini autocracy, like others in the Middle East, will not last. For the United States, democratic reform in the emirate is not a luxury but a vital interest. Walking without gum-chewing will lead to a bad stumble...

    Bahrain’s broken promise


  12. Estates worth more than $1 million will be taxed at 55 percent.

    Lars Larsen, in a discussion about gay and open marriage, had an answer for this one today. :) If your wife dies, there is no tax. So,then you simply marry your daughter, and when you die, there would be no tax!!

  13. Walter’s ascent into power runs parallel to his descent into evil. This is the most fascinating part of the show: seeing the once meek old man hold a gun to someone's forehead while looking them directly in the eye and smirking.

    Has the smell of an old Everyman morality play. Which is not a criticism.

    1. If you like Shakespeare, you’ll love Breaking Bad.

  14. @ BC, I responding to

    #65. Kinuachdrach...

    With this:

    Judd Apatow, in an interview w/Adam Carolla (Following Carolla's Ad Read for Trojan Condoms) said that back when he pretended to be a stand up Comedian, one of his jokes was that when he was in High School, the Trojan in his back pocket stayed there so long that it was melted and pressed into a Vaginal Diaphragm.

    Almost anything's possible in Hollyweird.


    Judd's upcoming film stars his wife, and includes his two daughters.
    Says it is somewhat autobiographical.
    Adam thinks his wife's performance is Oscar material.
    Judd Apatow's This Is 40 Debuts Endearing New Trailer

    --- Judd Apatow’s This Is 40 Debuts Endearing New Trailer – Also featuring Albert Brooks, my all-time favorite actor!

    …but what goes on in the trailer is almost all beyond my understanding.

    Think I’ll just watch “Lost in America” again for the fourth time.

  15. If you like Shakespeare, you’ll love Breaking Bad.

  16. You can get each series on Amazon. It is streamed, stripped of commercials, and you keep it in your Amazon video library, probably around $20 a season. There are five in all. Less quarters than you can put into a one armed bandit in five minutes and a whole lot more entertaining.