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?
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