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Walter White and Bleeding Brown: On Breaking Bad’s Race Problem

by Chris Prioleau, Co-Editor in Chief During its run, Breaking Bad was one of the best shows on television. It was as intense and scintillating as anything ever broadcast; the direction and cinematography were sharp, intelligent, and engaging; and the acting was very often phenomenal. It was–and I mean this in both the literal and dudebro sense–an awesome show. However, I can’t join the recent chorus of voices heralding it as one of the greatest television shows of all time. I ultimately forgive the show’s structural flaws, of which there are quite a few. Less forgivable is the racism ingrained in its very premise; racism that, all too often, casually spills over into the way the show depicts its white and nonwhite characters and ultimately undermines its richness.

Rethinking War Journalism

Friend of Apogee Sara Novic has a great essay up at The L.A. Review of Books on the West’s relationship to journalists in war zones: Are the limits of Western empathy really so shortsighted that a single British or American citizen being shot at is of more interest than hundreds of thousands of Yugoslavians enduring the same or much worse fates? Judging from history, the former has both more literary and political currency. Sarajevans living for years without running water in their besieged city were easy enough to ignore, but a few Westerners without toilet paper get two-book deals. When Harper’s decided to commemorate the siege of Sarajevo, they did not bother to speak to a Sarajevan.