Breaking Apart and Away, and ultimately, Bad. Walter White as Peyton Farquhar and why five seasons were just one minute.


Breaking Bad spoilers


For the research-minded, I bring you:


An Occurrence At Owl Creek Bridge and
A Country Doctor


Ultimately, there is a sense of discombobulation in the air. Most people seem accepting of Breaking Bad’s final episode, titled “Felina.”


The question is, apparently, what happened? Not in the sense “what” happened, but in why did the what happen?


Was the ending enwrapped in the thorough, all-questions-answered manner that seems to address the shallow needs of most entertainment audiences?


Or was there something else going on? And how should we handle this “something else?”


Breaking Bad was never the show to wrap anything up, much less solder shut its thematic ambiguities. The show’s elusive and fluid angelic dances between past and present, and everything in between, its callous rehearsal of latent props lurking from the past, always hinted at a sureness and fatalistic cohesion that begged skepticism.


In fact, watching the final scene in which Walter White revisited that which took him away and “gave him life” as the figurative thorn in his side (albeit, the convenient symbolic gunshot wound), as his blood-streaked paintbrush remnants of fondness covered the shimmering stainless steel castle that was his meth siren, and his invisible transformation to a silent supine position materialized minus the dramatic tumble to the ground Hollywood is so fond of, I wondered.


That wound. How did it happen? Walter threw Jesse to the floor before shots were fired, no? Who fired that bullet? Surely it wasn’t the Cadillac’s Smart Trunk Gun. Was it even a bullet?


Later, as he pleaded with Jesse to shoot him, we became aware of the bloody wound penetrating the right side of his abdomen. Jesse, seeing the wound, refrained. Jesse was never to intrude upon a man’s fate. “Do it yourself,” he yelled. Frail, riddled with late-stage lung cancer, hacking up premature death rattles, Walter made his way back to the lab. His work done. All loose ends wrapped up.


That wound. It was a thorn. His fever death dream was the brief materialization of fantasy coated with the obsessive and perfectionist drives of a denatured high school Chemistry teacher.


Earlier, he told his wife, against her presumptions, that he had not done this for his family. He did it for himself. Such honesty was never spoken on this show, and surely not from Walter White.


Walter White died, but not from a bullet. He died from the thorn in his side, the wanderlust of modern man’s unrequited abandon. Imprisoned behind the walls of baby nurseries and incontrovertibly unremarkable clothes and repressed manhood, he lived in death that which he could never suffuse in life.


Walter White only lived as Heisenberg in his death rattles.


None of any of it ever happened.


I always thought the choice of Heisenberg as a kingpin pseudonym was telling. The Heisenberg principle, that law of quantum physics that tells us velocity and location are essentially interdependent but exclusive of each other, ironically guffawed at the two characters Walter White rode toward in death. The mild-mannered high school chemistry teacher, and the ruthless, murderously greedy meth kingpin. They were conjoined particles, these two men, but such manifestation was never testable without scaring off the character who would quickly dissemble into his polar ego when the situation called. Walter White was never there.


He was the Peyton Farquhar of modern masculinity, confined to inconsequential perpetuity while the manacles of oppressive modern society robbed him of relevance which apathetically acquiesced to this strong, man-jawed female wife, the symbol of restrained and sensible society which did not humor daring escapades.


Water White, dressed and appearing as he did the day he discovered he had lung cancer, roared freely but only in the ethereal moments before his eyes closed. the metaphysical lingering and blending of past and present were figments of a tremendous period of time condensed to a few seconds which contained bare life. Five seasons of Break Bad took place in the moments he imagined the magical laboratory that could relinquish him from 21st Century imprisonment.



Part 8. Happiness mirage.

One day, you’ll be lying on your deathbed, if you’re lucky, and you’ll realize in a fit of lucidity just before your heart stops beating: I lived to bring happiness to those who don’t matter to me.

Part 4, job intermediaries

The last time I actively searched for a job was in 1992! Thanks to the joys of word of mouth, I blitzed from one job to another.

Twenty-one years later, I’m astounded at the changes in the “job search” field.

What’s up with all these recruiters and talent acquisition people? In my day, young man, we used to find jobs in the newspaper!

And now resumes are scanned electronically in the search for the almighty key words.

The Industrial Revolution saw us discard manual labor, and now the digital revolution has extinguished the need for mental labor. Technology seeks do that which makes us human.

All for $4.50 and this bullshit that passes as a life

In helping others one will discover death, and if fortune shines, even despair

So you see, today I rushed out about 9:30 in order to be early for an 11am job interview.

Now this sentence is laden with pretext but I will desist from further comment. I think some things might be fodder for some great bloggery down the line. Let’s just say I raced out of my apartment at 9:30 dressed “up” in a manner I haven’t in ages. My daily professional uniform consists of jeans and a t-shirt or polo shirt, but never anything resembling fashionable. I’m the anti-fashion hero, bitch. I dress up for no one…except the occasional job interview

I darted and slugged my way through downtown traffic and found myself in wonderful Hollywood. The interview went well. Or as well as my inflated ego would suppose.

Limited parking, as is all things Hollywood.

The Mejicano parking attendants act like The Shit in their little miserable festering car-exhausted condensed worlds of self-importance. No markings, no signs, you don’t know what to do, so when you ask, they revel in making you seem like an idiot because the truth is, they are idiots or they wouldn’t be working this stupid ass shit job.

So I drive toward the ambiguous exit and the ese starts feeding my validated cards in the slot because I didn’t know this was my job, and then he shrugs sadly and tells me, in bad English, that I wasn’t given enough validation and that I owe $2.50. My interview happened many stories up and I don’t have the gumption to climb up and ask for another validation sticker. This is a prospective job, so I act cool and tell the guy, “It’s not worth it, I’ll pay.” I give him a $5 bill and he tells me he can’t take it, this is the credit card line. I give him a credit card which he swipes for me. Such a benevolent fellow. Two dollars and fifty fucking cents later, I’m off. I stop at a restaurant and change clothes in the bathroom because I never dress nicely to work. I slip into a t-shirt and crappy jeans and run off with a splashing latte in my hands. Half the day gone.

And as I drive to work, the last few blocks, my Smart car gas piece of shit Gauge tells me that I have 25…24….23….22 miles left to empty. Motherfucker! I have enough to pull into work and stroll nonchalantly into my building as if I don’t give a crap about anything. Which I truly don’t, but that’s another story, and another issue.

The day unfolds sordidly as all the recent have. Wheels in a cog, game pieces on the Jewboard of showbiz. I just wanna get the hell out of this dump and even after like 5.66 hours of work, I can’t take anymore so I leave. I run out and race to my car and realize I only have 22 miles left until the next gas pump. The thing is, I’m a relatively long-term thinker (in spite of all appearances) and I don’t want the miles to fall below 15. I stop at a Union 76 in the shadows of the Kaiser on Sunset and Vermont.

It’s East Hollywood, baby! Stinky Armenians and thuggish Mexiniggers everywhere. East Hollywood is a complete shithole and one must pump gas with purpose and speed in order to minimize exposure time (as in, exposure to random violent crime). I give the Indian dude inside $57 (don’t ask why, it’s all I had) and tell him to fill me up on #9. Back at my pump, I see an old MB sedan has pulled into the pump next door. The passenger is a gnarled old Russian we all know, cigarettes and vodka coming out his putrid bunghole, and his son, a tall rough looking blondish guy with a hook nose is doing gas duty. Thing is…the car, the old Mercedes, is running, and the son, looking like an Old World nihilist, is smoking a cigarette and commences pumping gas with the car running. I pump my gas and prepare for the coming fireball, except, there is none, because Americans are pussies and Russians are real men who do this stupid shit all the time, which also proves Mexican men are easily surpassed in short-sighted thinking by at least one other ethnicity on this planet.

My pump hits a roadblock at $47.03. Goddamnit. In my car, I cannot find 3 cents, so I squeeze out another 97 in order to make the bill an even $48 (which is also a no-no in America but at least I feel this is OK to flaunt). As I walk back in to pay the Indian dude, this old Black lady with a really obtrusive cane is bumbling about and steps in behind me. I tell the Indian guy that I was on pump #9. I wait for my $9.00 in change…and he hands be $22. I laugh and tell him he gave me too much change. The Black lady is astounded at my honesty!!! She pats me on the back and slathers me with praise. I tell her that it all evens out in the end, which I don’t really believe, but sounds good in a soulful way.

She loves it. She pats me again and if it wasn’t for that cane and shitty wig, I might be inclined to get me some jungle lovin’. But no, she is an invalid with a horrific face. I just wanna get out of this East Hollywood toilet. I thought Indian dudes were smart (reading too many HBD blogs), but this guy cannot add his way out of a hole. He asks me what I paid and what I pumped and he finally recounts the money while thanking me and hands me some cash. It was a grueling process. As i walk back to my car I notice he gave me $7, not $9. For all my virtuous efforts, I lost $2 at the gas station.

As I climbed into my car, I did the math. I was out $4.50 today because I didn’t give enough of a crap.

Some days.