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Kyle Jacob Biodrowski

Ozymandias - Read by Bryan Cranston

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Found this recently. I think Cranston recited this poem a bit too quickly, but it still has quite a punch. The video's title states that it is read by Bryan Cranston, which it is. But I get the impression that Walter White (played by Cranston) is reading it. Which is likely the correct impression. And this guy played Hal on Malcolm in the Middle...

And I just realized I posted this in the wrong section...

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Hell of an actor. I watched some Breaking Bad episodes but deliberately avoided the last season. Either the main character was going to go good (boring) or worse (intolerable, to me). There was no effective hero or heroism so my interest evaporated. A heroic character was boring to the show's creator who didn't want character stasis in the main character. Good to bad to good, crudely put, could have been done, but would have eviserated the show's high production and writing values and terrible power. Frankly, I want character stasis in the hero against whom waves of turmoil and water break as he breaks the bad for he's a rock, not gets broken by it, especially from the inside out. The lack of such heroes in today's culture reflects its perfect rot, actually made worse by such a show. What are the kids going to watch? I had four or five heroes when I was a boy, most of them cowboys. And as a young adult, most of them cowboys. I have no idea what's going on with video games. I speculate it's 90% special effects and 10% story, and 100% button pushing depending if it's from inside or outside the console.

As for the reading of Ozy, it would have been better done without the supplemental sound effects and also the visuals--just a pure reading against a picture. And I'm not sure Cranston had the right voice for it. I might try it myself, but not tomorrow. I won't have the luxury of these supplemental things until next year.

--Brant

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Is there such a thing as heroic stasis in movies, and video games, any more? Yes, but it's become progressively and comparatively rare. The hard-line hero you mentioned is an endangered species and, considering most modern interpretations of the hero in movies, I can see why kids don't want to be the hero. They want to be the anti-hero. The anti-hero is the hero's cool older brother, at the moment. The hero dies a heroic death, for whatever cause the artist chooses. While the anti-hero kills the baddies and gets the girl. Any wonder why kids want to be the anti-hero?

In most video games, the anti-hero is king. The first straight-up heroic character that immediately comes to mind is Mario. And I don't know about modern Mario games.

Speaking of heroes, I've looked up to several people in my life. Both heroes and anti-heroes. The anti-heroes tend to be more interesting.

I may also give the reading a try. If I do, I'll create a video of a reading against a still image.

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Brant, I thought that the final season of Breaking Bad was pretty damned good. Walt didn't "go good," and he didn't go "worse." He did both, and I thought it was well-balanced. My only disappointment was that

Hank got killed.



I am soooo looking forward to the upcoming series Better Call Saul.

J

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I'll watch it eventually. I know it's well done and powerful. Of course, for Rand, it'd be "malevolent sense of life." I'll probably buy the whole set and watch it from the beginning. That I probably won't do with The Sopranos. I saw one or two of that and I'm not going back for the quality production or that James Gandolfini went to my high school. If I knew what episodes Lorraine Bracco appeared in, I'd go watch those. Damn! The quality of the writing in both shows is staggering.

--Brant

I just read that the main drag in Park Ridge, NJ--I lived there nearly 30 years--was renamed in his honor

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Of course, for Rand, it'd be "malevolent sense of life."

Walt is very confident, first in his talents as a scientist, and then eventually in his ability to outthink and out-strategize everyone who crosses his path, including Gus and the Mexican cartel, and even Hank and the entire DEA. He's competitive, proud, driven. I can't see him fitting Rand's notion of the "malevolent universe premise" in any way.

J

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Of course, for Rand, it'd be "malevolent sense of life."

Walt is very confident, first in his talents as a scientist, and then eventually in his ability to outthink and out-strategize everyone who crosses his path, including Gus and the Mexican cartel, and even Hank and the entire DEA. He's competitive, proud, driven. I can't see him fitting Rand's notion of the "malevolent universe premise" in any way.

J

You underestimate Rand.

--Brant

besides, she'd refer to the whole package, not just the main character

Rand did acknowledge that there were many talented writers doing screenplays and TV

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You underestimate Rand.

I think you mean "overestimate."

besides, she'd refer to the whole package, not just the main character

The whole package is a man being wildly successful at facing whatever reality throws at him. The characters achieve their goals, and then some. They deal with moral issues, and make ethical decisions. They are effective, and often extremely creative in solving problems.

But I understand what you're saying. It wouldn't necessarily matter what the series actually represented or projected. If Rand disliked it, she might have invented a way to condemn it as "malevolent" whether it fit her concept of "malevolent" or not.

J

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Over, under, it's a wonder. I think Rand once referred to Barbara Branden as an "emotionalist." Rand certainly was when it came to art, which is fine, then she added on, which is interesting if not distracting. Rand seemed to put words on everything. That's how we know her.

--Brant

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