Fantastic article - and I am by no means trying to get on a high horse or judge anybody - because I started watching House of Cards and it’s a very engaging show - the writing is fantastic, the direction and production are stellar and the acting is off the hook.
But it’s crap and it’s destructive too - for one simple reason. It is a rather crafty, sideways and cynical celebration of how completely rotten the American political apparatus has become - and in a greater sense, it is a reflection of a splinter in the American cultural psyche - the quiet sound of desperation which collapses into a morbid fascination with those who deceive for power.
To be a deceiver - a liar, a narcissist, a sociopath, a full-blown psychopath - these conditions are not glamorous. It’s disgusting. And yet, America sits and watches this crap, when they could be spending time doing something creative, like expanding individual knowledge of anything at all - history, art, a physical skill or trade craft - just to spend time creating something for the sheer pleasure of it, or reading a book - would be time better spent than watching this crap.
It puts bad ideas in your head, and when it isn’t doing that it’s reinforcing the silent desperation and reflections of recrimination that come from observing a train wreck in slow motion, wanting to do something about it, but yet not being able to muster the moral courage to simply do something about it (and instead watch a f’ing TV show that essentially glorifies it.
Again - not getting on a high horse. I just started watching it to see what it is that the agenda is. And I’ve worked (briefly, and much to my chagrin) with “inside the beltway” people. And let me tell you - it’s a dirty film that is on people in that arena - everyone is on the take, and everyone is desperately trying to hook any kind of deal to make money or create power that they can possibly get.
It’s pathetic and sad. It’s no way for adult human beings to act. DC is in big trouble culturally. It’s rotten from aft to stern.
And to round it out, I’m also not lambasting Hose of Cards wholly or individually. In fact, there is a kind of sarcastic exposure of this element of our culture in that show - it’s partially that too. That’s what makes it so addictive, provocative and enticing.
But you can’t throw a stone without seeing some kind of tragically unhealthy, poorly crafted, highly destructive bullshit and overexposed media in this country. The action movies where people are constantly and unrealistically being blown up and shot - and it’s sex, sex, sex, everywhere. Don’t get me wrong - I’m not a prude, but cheap sexual imagery isn’t where that aspect of our existence should live. It lives in intimacy.
And I’m not trying to be gloom and doomy - because there’s always something bigger going on in the human experience. But sometimes that comes right after a major storm cleans house, and the way I see it - we’re in trouble here - at this particular time.
Maybe it’s time to turn off the TV - literally AND metaphorically. I’m not standing on a soapbox judging anybody, but I just don’t give it any power anymore, and I try my best not to waste my time with it.