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Breaking Bad & Arcade Fire Reflektor- Philosophy: Who are you?

Written By: Ryan Fu @fu_beatz
“I thought I found a way to enter.
It’s just a Reflektor (It’s just a Reflektor)
I thought I found the connector.
It’s just a Reflektor (It’s just a Reflektor).”
It is the chorus for the upcoming Arcade Fire album due out Oct. 29th called Reflektor. As I sit there listening to the song, it made me feel like I need to re-exam my life like all great songs or bands do. I thought of the countless hours of not paying attention in philosophy classes, one idea always stuck with me, “Know Thyself.” Just like most people, I think I have a good grasp of who I am, but after watching the final episodes of Breaking Bad, do I really know who I am, or do I know the person I think I am? Should I really go down this yellow brick road or just take the blue pill?
“Entre la nuit, la nuit et l’aurore.
Entre le royaume, des vivants et des morts.”
Temet Nosce. The latin phrase of “Know Thyself” from the great philosopher Socrates. Also, it was the inscription over the Oracle’s door in the Matrix. Unfortunately, we don’t have an old black woman to ask who we are, so we have to ask ourselves. Socrates believe that you need to consistently ask yourself who you are, to better yourself. He believed that it is by realizing how little we know that we can eventually gain true knowledge, since preconceived untrue beliefs make it difficult to find the truth. Socrates also believed in the immortality of the soul and Materialism is the enemy of achieving the ideal life. Mr. White/ Heisenberg would have a problem with this…
“Alone in the darkness
Darkness of white
We fell in love.”
It’s been only a couple of days but effects still linger in of one of the finest shows on television, AMC’s Breaking Bad went off the air for good last Sunday. If you were in a coma or just hate good tv, Breaking Bad is a show about a man diagnosed with cancer making hard choices for the good of his family. Like all bad things, they start out good, just like our character Walter White. A harmless chemistry teacher with the love of chemistry and his family. But then life shows up, then cancer, then Meth, then Nazis and then a black fedora. Episode by episode we start to see Mr. White slowly changing to his alter ego Heisenberg, a famous physicist who discovered the uncertainty principle.
This principle contradicts Socrates idea because Heisenberg believes that there are limits to what we can know. Walter goes with this principle and never asks any questions about who he is, believing he still is a good father, a good husband, a good friend. This quickly destroys his life episode by episode. It takes the final episode of Breaking Bad for Mr. White/ Heisenberg, when his family leaves him, his brother in law dead and his money is gone to realize, maybe I don’t know who I am? He begins to re-exam his life and asks who he is, in which he understands that he is the bad guy.
“I did it for me. I liked it. I was good at it. I was alive.” – WW
Fuck, I really should just took the blue pill or just jerked off then rather then to figure out who I am? But I got feeling I’m not the only American who decided to not question themselves in order to keep there own status quo. Whatever excuses or delusions people have, maybe they don’t really want to know who they are just like Mr. White because they don’t want to know that they’re life is a ticking time bomb, getting ready to explode at any time.
“Will I see you on the other side?
We all got things to hide.”
In my own self reflection, I think of another idea that stuck to me but not from philosophy classes but from Catholic school. Every time I got into trouble, the sisters would tell me, “the truth will set you free.” Naturally, I told them lies, to protect my sweet Asian ass. But in memory of Mr. White, here we go.
“I am thirty something Asian American, who hasn’t really accomplished anything great in life. Every time I get started with something I usually quit because I get bored or it becomes too daunting. I have had to two failed engagements and numerous ruined relationships. I am selfish, egoistical, angry and full of hate. I am know for being a paparazzi and not know as a musician. And I think that hurts me the most.”
Wow. That totally sucked. Know wonder why people chose not to look deeper within themselves. But at least now I know who and what I am.  I’m you.
“I want to break free
But will they break me?
Down, down, down
Don’t mess around.
I thought I found a way to enter
It’s just a Reflektor (It’s just a Reflektor)
I thought I found the connector
It’s just a Reflektor (It’s just a Reflektor)

Thought you would bring me to the ressurector
Turns out it was just a Reflektor.”


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