About 8 months ago, I diagnosed myself with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder resulting from a visceral reaction I had to the Breaking Bad finale. I watched the final episode like everyone else, expecting the writers to deliver swift justice to the sexist, sociopathic, but most importantly sexist villain that is Walter White–and like everyone else, I was thrown into an emotional tailspin when the episode didn’t sermonize the way I assumed it would because I had blogged about it. It made me question a lot of things. It made me wonder how its 2014 and television shows are not catering to my specific opinions and outlook on morality and artistic expression. It made me wonder why I bother watching television at all, when half the time, it’s not reaffirming the things I think and feel. Isn’t that what television and storytelling are for–to tell me that I’m right and that I have the good opinions that a good person should have?
I invited Ben Folds to sit with me today at the coffee shop via Twitter when I saw him in line but he didn’t reply.
He was alone.
I was alone.
And now I know it.
We’d like to think that mundane matters like loyalty, steadfastness, and the willingness to keep writing checks to support what looks like failure have nothing to do with something as rarefied as genius. But sometimes genius is anything but rarefied; sometimes it’s just the thing that emerges after twenty years of working at your kitchen table.