Ok, so television. I like watching Orphan Black a lot. It started sort of in the realm of "who are you, really?" nature/nurture stuff, which is one of my favorite stories, and then it got sort of Fringe-y with the Neolutionist stuff, which is not my favorite story but since I would like to have tentacles I have empathy for people who want to have tails so okay, that's fine. Now I think it's gotten a little too "holy crap, we haven't been canceled? Better string this along then" with the plot, but I'll still watch Tatiana Maslany do just about anything and I like Jordan Gervais a lot too so you know, still fun. And I like playing "Which clone is the most like you?" with myself, where we would like to be Cosima, with her smarts and her pretty French girlfriend and her desperate desire to believe in love against all the usual odds, even though we know we are more like Alison with her pointy needs.
And I like Orange Is the New Black, and I'm putting them together here not just because they both start with O and end in Black, but because I again feel these vague identifications with the characters. I like Red's fierce loyalties, Boo's uncompromising sense of self, Norma's faith in kindness. I would like to think I have Poussey's moral steadfastness. But the other night we watched the episode when Caputo compromises himself over and over to be the "good guy". Gives up his dreams to help someone weaker, falls on his sword because he can take it. And I have done that; I have let my ability to see how to help other people and my pleasure in being able to do that interfere with even thinking about what I want, what pleasures I could take for myself beyond giving. But then Caputo started listing everything he'd given, and I thought: eww. Because I will give to the extent that I feel able, and then if the only reward is knowing I gave, well after a while it just gets boring. After a while, it's like sleeping on marble, pouring out the heat of my body into endless cold. And I did that, I have done that, but I can't do it anymore. After a while I have to get up and move around and find some place softer. I feel that the point of kindness for me is that I can, it is the pleasure of doing something I do well. When kindness is used as an excuse for self-pity, it's almost as ugly as being selfish in the first place. So not Caputo, me. Though it felt like a useful cautionary tale. And that is why I love television; these stories, the mythology, the promises and the warnings, the shoes I can walk in for 45 minutes at a time and see where I might wind up.