February 8, 2013

CULTURE: The Illusions of Power

"Take a step back," says Kevin Spacey, playing Congressman Francis Underwood, "See the big picture."

Francis Underwood is the lead protagonist in the mini-series House of Cards, with all 13 episodes released earlier this month by Netflix, as the first "Netflix Original." I blasted through the entire first season in a few weeks, and am looking forward to the next one, now in production.

If you haven't been tempted yet by the affordable commercial-free Netflix alternative to television, this might be the time to do it. As far as I know, you won't catch this series on any network channels. It's a gritty political thriller set in Washington in the year 2013 - think West Wing meets Criminal Minds - and it's not for those who squirm at the squelch of manipulation or the chaos of corruption. This show is all about manipulation...of people, facts, events and relationships. Where sex is currency (nothing new), the marriage is open (two consenting adults consenting to be unfaithful), and plotting and conniving is what you do as naturally as breathing. The pack is immoral, fearless of the law, and confident of their own place in the scheme of things. This is where conspiracy theories live, and those who refuse to play are destroyed.

So what's the big picture? Power, of course. Silly humans.

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