My husband and I have been binge watching a show on Hulu to catch up to recent episodes. The show is ‘Empire’-a story about a recording label started by a rap/R&B artist, built upon the CEO’s musical talent as well as on the back of his wife’s 17 year imprisonment for slinging dope to help make ends meet and to raise capital for the start of said company. It is FULL of drama. ALL the drama. Sex, drugs, mental illness, relationships both hetero and homosexual, deceipt, betrayal, love, honor, loyalty, respect and the lack there of…it’s ALL there. Within the first few episodes, I noticed a pattern. Going on a hunch, I asked the almighty Google and sure enough, Empire is based on Shakespearean drama…King Lear, MacBeth, Antony and Cleopatra, etc…all of the episodes have something that ties it to a particular, if not more than one, Shakespearean drama. Which I find fascinating.
We humans, as a collective whole, thrive on drama, it seems. We have been writing, reading, performing, and watching dramas for centuries as a form of entertainment. It has even leaked over into reality. Look at the state of our politics! The past two presidential debates have been more focused on drama, arguing, mudslinging, and defense than they have on actually debating the issues. Perhaps that is because of who the two candidates are, but at the same time have we, as a collective, really tried to keep the focus on the issues? In my humble opinion: No. Not really. And not whole heartedly if any of us have tried.
It is nice to have some fictionalized drama to fall back upon when one needs to escape into television shows. But why can’t we just leave it at that? Why must we pull that level of contrived drama into reality and MAKE it news and politics and what we deem most important to report upon? Why can’t we let the drama stay on television shows that are supposed to be dramatic and focus our attentions to the reality of what is around us? We have massive student loan debt, millenials that are faced with fixing the economy those before them screwed up all while realizing the very dire possibility it can’t be fixed, extreme poverty, national debt that is in the trillions and growing every day, a Cold War that *never* ended despite the media and all other unreliable sources telling us it did, a growing fanatical power in the Middle East that is threatening the safety of people continents away, a greater focus on the inequalities that people of color face every day that leads to biased policing, biased conviction rates, biased “justified” police shooting deaths of supposed perpetrators of color, more claims of sexual impropriaties towards women by men in power, rampant homophobia, rampant bigotry…the list goes on and on and on… One would think with the amount of drama we have going on in our nation *without* the presidential race going on it would be enough…but no. As stated before…just watch the last two presidential debates (I’m sure they are on YouTube somewhere). FULL of drama.
I don’t know about the rest of you, but I will stick to watching fictionalized drama on the television screen instead of watching it play out in our nations politics. My night time soap operas can be played out by paid actors and actresses instead of politicians who are supposed to be working for the good of our country (snort)…
Sorry…the last bit of that sentence made me laugh. I think we all know that politicians are paid actors and actresses, too…the only difference between them and real celebrities are the celebrities KNOW what they do is fiction and is meant for entertainment while politicians believe the drama they bring to the table affects real change.
I wish I had a clever bit to end this
rant post with but my brain isn’t caffeinated enough yet. So I will end with this: My opinions are my own. I don’t expect nor care if anyone agrees with my viewpoints. Yes, this is a somewhat political post, but I don’t talk about giving my support to one candidate or the other, nor will I reveal who I really support. But I wish I could have a sit down with them both. Because if I did, I would tell them both this: Save the drama for your mama…and stick to the issues. Care more about this country than you do your own agenda. And if you don’t have anything nice to say, then shut the fuck up.