by The Deity
I break my long silence to commemorate the death of the late, great Rush Limbaugh. The Presidential Medal of Honor recipient will be missed.
I parted the clouds this morning because I have been thinking about the grand pleasures of television depicting the so-called “Middle” Ages. (Middle of what, exactly? Middle of Rome and America? Middle of Han and Mao? Did the Middle Ages only happen in Europe? That seems to be what Hollywood thinks.)
Despite a much argued over ending, Game of Thrones transported viewers into a world of knights and muddy, brutal warfare where humanity is as hard as Longclaw’s steel. As I view other contributions offered by my streaming accounts (The Last Kingdown, Vikings, Knightfall, Merlin), I cannot help but think the American public is addicted to a world where humans must shit in pots and bathe in streams. We are a people captivated by a world lacking in all of our creature comforts but pregnant with honor, glory, and, I dare say, the vital energies of real lives being lived.
What a stupid thought, of course. Just look at those pillaged and raped villagers, those disgusting, dirty people only a half-step from beasts. But no one watches these shows and see themselves in the ragged poor. No. We are all Uhtred son of Uhtred; Daenarys Targaryan; Ragnar the Great. We are heroes lounging upon our couches, relaxed in poses befitting kings. Our bottoms are soft, but our prides remain hardened to the soft whispers of doubt: You are no hero. You would die in such battles. What a pathetic example of life are you.
There is so much life to be imagined following these dastardly heroes into battle. As long as our power grids hold, we are insulated from the furor of an uncaring universe that lacks the gift of narrative; we can stay within the story without the burdens of striving (and failing in the endeavor) to create our own.