Tonight is my night off. I got back from tour today and tomorrow I go back to canvassing. I am marathon watching The Walking Dead and messing about. I am only in the beginning of season 3. There was a scene in the beginning of the season where one of the main characters had to kill other live human beings for the betterment of the group. It was not played out as an easy decision. I started thinking about how many modern dramas display complex moral decisions, that seem underneath the surface to be asking big questions. Yes, even a show about zombies at times.
It seems that many Americans can handle watching shows that deal in moral complexity. Why is it that so much of our drama is morally complex, but so little of our reality seems to be? (And I am not just talking about the vapid and often quite unreal reality of reality TV.) A great deal of the time our corporate media paints things in black and white, between good guys and bad guys. Our leaders are often no less guilty.
Can this be because so many in power want it this way? Many people, referring to this current crop of dramas, that started with The Sopranos and is still continuing today, refer to this as the golden age of TV. (These shows obviously air between a great deal of meaningless nonsense.) This golden age of TV is taking place during a time of political inaction as various sides are painted in simplistic terms.
I’m not saying there is a connection, though it may be that some people hunger for any kind of intellectual stimulation in a world that rarely seems to ask you to think. There are always going to be people that want to put their heads in the sand, but if people were presented with more facts, then I have to believe more people would become engaged in the political discussion. It’s too bad that so much of our discourse is dumbed down to the point that it just becomes meaningless background noise.