The subtle art of badassery


this is what bad ass looks like.

I had an “Oh shit awesome!” moment a few days ago.

I’ve been watching Breaking Bad on Netflix, getting caught up on the first, second, and third seasons. It’s one of those shows I keep missing during its regular run (like American Horror), so having the ability to stream it through my Wii is amazing. Thank you techno gnomes.

I was watching the third season episode “Half Measures” when the “Oh shit awesome” moment appeared, in the form of a Pontiac Aztek running down two gun-toting drug dealers. One guy flew up in the air and hit the street hard, while his buddy found himself wrapped around the Pontiac’s suspension. Then the driver’s door opened and chemistry teacher Walter White got out and walked to the guy not trapped under his car. He drew a handgun and shot the guy in the head. It was the kind of kill shot you normally only see on The Walking Dead. It made me, a jaded TV surfer, drop my jaw and say, “Oh shit awesome!”

It was awesome because I didn’t expect it. Don’t think I have a violence fetish. Movies like Hostel do not get me off. I didn’t think the act itself was awesome or something to be celebrated (although, when your back’s against the wall, you do what you must).

I was reacting to the suddenness of it; this ordinary guy (okay, he’s a meth cooker who has already strangled one guy and allowed a junkie to choke on her own vomit, but come on, he drives a Pontiac Aztek, that makes him pretty ordinary and harmless-seeming) runs down two hard street dealers, guys who have gunned down a 10-year-old boy without shedding a tear, and then gets out of his vehicle, sees that one guy is dead under his front tires and the other is moving, and blows that guy’s head off. No hesitation. No biting of the lip. No mercy.

The scene wasn’t slowed down or repeated. As a writer, it made me jealous. Will I ever pen a scene that causes that kind of reaction?

move aside if you see this vehicle coming.
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2 thoughts on “The subtle art of badassery

Add yours

  1. Yeah, I guess so. I hope so. I suppose I need someone to read my stuff and drop his or her jaw and say “Oh shit awesome!”

    Then I shall know.

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