Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Breaking Bad / Ozymandias

Good lord, but Breaking Bad is in the air lately! I, though the show appears on AMC which I HAVE on basic cable, had only barely even heard of it, much less watched it, since its 2008 debut.

A few days ago on the bus, though, one mid-30s hipster with plaid shirt/beard got on and hailed another mid-30s hipster with plaid shirt/beard; after the perfunctory hellos, they immediately started in on whether each had seen the last episode of BB and what the true nature of Walter's relationship with his son was... I was thinking to myself, "OK, how cute that the hipster-dads are talking about their favorite TV show... This must be how schlumpfy hipster dads bond nowadays..." (As in, "Heaven forbid they should stay out 'til all hours drinking or something and bond over their shared thoughts during THAT.")

Then yesterday I came upon an in-depth interview with "Breaking Bad"'s star Bryan Cranston in a recent "The New Yorker." I'd never heard of the man. And I, without the magazine in front of me now, didn't take anything away from the article other than that his mother became, in his words, like Blanche DuBois after her divorce and that he now requires his wife and daughter to clean the house for one hour a week because he's a neat freak. (I.e., I learned about the bare-bones plot of the show from reading about its star, but nothing stuck other than the man's personal memories/quirks.)

Then just now I was logging in to Yahoo and in its breaking-news box was the word "Ozymandias." A poem by Shelley that I like a lot, about the dissolution of even the once-grandest of things. (A p.s.: I'll always like New York City because I once saw an ad on a guy's T-shirt for "Ozymandias Realtors" -- an actual realtor! I love that kind of perspective!) When I immediately clicked on "Ozymandias," was taken to a Time magazine story: "'Ozymandias': What does that Breaking Bad episode title mean?"

What the hell, Breaking Bad? Dang. I'll watch, I'll watch!


Ozymandias

I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: "Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown
And wrinkled lip and sneer of cold command
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed.
And on the pedestal these words appear:
`My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings:
Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!'
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare,
The lone and level sands stretch far away".

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