The Long 4th

I have come to completely ignore the celebratory side of the 4th of July. As an African American I side with Frederick Douglass. The 4th did not set my ancestors free, so no fireworks and hot dogs for me.

But there was good television to be watched.

AMC, currently my favorite cable network, aired The Walking Dead’s entire library. I paid probably more attention to the first two seasons than I ever had, swallowing the bitter pill of my rejection by a certain Cleveland university to teach a critical thinking course based on the series. I felt completely justified in my decision to present them with the idea, there is so much cultural meat on those allegorical bones (no zombie pun intended). The expansion of the main characters’ arcs is a wonder to see, as is the racial and ethnic cultural inclusiveness.

For me, the latter is a critical success. With the exception of Michael Rooker’s “Merle Dixon” the post-apocalyptic zombified world is also a post-racial one. In fact, a major (if not the overarching) theme of the series, the breakdown of our world capitalist, dog eat dog society of programmed dependence upon government, and its replacement by a decentralized dependence upon close knit groups more aligned with communism, heightens the “dog eat dog” aspects of current life into a metaphorical masterpiece of consumer consumption completely off the chain.

I am reminded of The Joker’s observation in the The Dark Knight that “when the chips are down, these… these civilized people, they’ll eat each other.” The Walking Dead is that statement, moved from literal to figurative.

Wimbledon

As a intense tennis fan it was a great relief to finally see a Brit win the tournament, although for a moment Andy Murray threatened to hand the trophy he was 40-love away from winning back to an almost resigned to lose Novak Djokavic. But that did not occur. With my boy Federer slowly fading into the good night of memory, the men’s side of tennis seems even more compelling as new faces such as Juan Martin del Potro, and that Polish semi-finalist guy (whose name I can’t remember right now) join Nole, Murray, and Nadal as serious contenders at the slams.

One observation. If Patrick McEnroe doesn’t give his brother John at least 50% of his income he should. Sunday’s “Breakfast at Wimbledon” was the first ever men’s finale broadcast by ESPN. As expected Johnny Mac was there, talking way, way to much as always. But joining him was Patrick, who has won as many Gran Slams as your truly, the difference being I don’t have an accomplished brother who has won Wimbledon on multiple occasions. And he talks as much as John does, causing me to mute practically the whole match. Please ESPN, there are a ton of ex-champions who deserve to be in that booth. Sampras, where is Sampras? He’s articulate and has won W twice as many times as McEnroe.

As for the ladies, Marion Bartoli of France won the championship. After the match she was insulted by the BBC’s announcer, who pointed out the obvious, that she was not as attractive as the “6 foot blonde amazons” who populate the game now (apparently referring to Maria Sharapova– and the lesser talented Euro “supermodel” appearing players who favor the Anna Kornikova I-don’t-have-to-win-tournaments approach to getting rich from endorsements):

http://sports.nationalpost.com/2013/07/08/wimbledon-champ-marion-bartoli-avoids-insensitive-bbc-announcers-comments-with-class/

The Killing

How much better can this show get? A more straight forward plot this year, featuring the tortured soul that is Linden, who I just want to scoop up and hug, and her wigger partner Holder, who the writer’s have right at the edge of annoyingly offensive but still charming.

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