If you don’t have Netflix, get it.

Flukt. Learning how to fight is sometimes a life and death issue.

You thought I’d have wisdom about the conservative SCOTUS rulings? No. The beltway shell game continues. If you want more than that, inquire in the comments.

But I’m taking this opportunity to announce that I’ll stop seeking comments. Doesn’t matter. I’ll post what I think is of value and you can all make of it what you will, with no prejudice against silence. Silence has been my own inclination for a while now. How can I hold it against you?

We’ve reached the point where there is no news or commentary more insightful than Drudge headlines. Two out of three of the network newscasts couldn’t be bothered to cover the 1Q decline of 2.9 percent in GDP. Republicans remain in their longstanding circular firing squad. Democrats are stone crazy — Pelosi welcoming TB-infected children across the blown up southern border like a pro-abortion Mother Theresa, and foreign policy officials nattering about Global Warming, increasingly faint redlines, and the utter meaninglessness of Benghazi. While the world is exploding under their very noses. Which are still too much up in the air to detect the whiff of death.

Even the luminaries of National Review are gasping, literally, for breath. There is no more fuel for their intellectual fire. Absent passion, they’re reduced to repeating themselves, mumbling twice, thrice, about matters entirely moot — the IRS, the VA, the case for, and impossibility of, impeachment, the precise legal definition of lawlessness in umpteen instances NBC deems less important than the World Cup, the dire consequences of destroying the American economy and foreign policy at the same time, the ridiculous choice between creepy Rand Paul and creepy Chris Christie, etc. Thing is, they either made or refused to make all these arguments long ago, and what’s left is filigree on the funeral statuary of the nation.

Which is where Netflix comes in. Diversion, distraction, restorative retreat, whatever you want to call it. It’s not trivial. Most entertainment from the old sources has been taken away from us, bit by bit. ESPN used to be a haven from increasingly naked political agendas exemplified by dozens of Dick Wolf Law & Order spinoffs that have become cause of the week items of lefty propaganda. Now ESPN can’t go five minutes without lecturing us about Redskins, the N-word, gay athletes, Redskins, guns, domestic abuse, the sickening violence done by concussions to the great brains of NFL wide receivers, and did we mention Redskins?

Even the back channels are now devoted to reeducating us. We’re Honey Boo Boo, they’re the Logo and Bravo Channels, where us trogs are supposed to learn the high points of culture from homosexuals. The Discovery Channel is in the Global Warming business and the Thanatos of end of humanity fantasies, and the History Channel is endlessly inventive in finding new ways to attack the Judeo-Christian tradition. A forensically speculative reconstructed Jesus looks like a Palestinian terrorist. The supposedly rediscovered Gospel of Mary is run and rerun despite having been conclusively debunked. And, hey, look at these idiots who are STILL searching, like the complete idiots they so obviously are, for the Arks of both Noah and the Covenant. While Joan Rivers advances the cause of promiscuous feminism by using every obscene word you know, and some you may not, in the longest-running routine of vagina and penis jokes you could possibly imagine. She keeps raising the stakes waiting for someone to stop her but no one does. They just snigger at her latest whore/cunt/cock/anal-sex one-liner. Not to mention the gutter double entendres that constitute the script of every single sitcom on the air. I won’t. And have you looked at all at the “family fare” being produced by Disney and the ABC Family Channel? Don’t. You’ll never let your pre-teen daughter out of the house again. On second thought, look.

As I said. Where Netflix comes in. The streaming service has gems that take you away from all this if you know how to find them.

I’m not saying this is Netflix’s mission. They are building a library. Two out of three of their homegrown productions are strictly in line with what I’ve described above. Do I seem angry? I am. Conservatives who profess to be disapproving of the coarsening of American culture continue to shock me, as they did with their adoration of The Sopranos, with their confessions of binge watching Breaking Bad (now available on Netflix), House of Cards, and the new kid on the block, Orange is the New Black. Really? I’ve made two attempts at Orange. I lasted five minutes the first time, enough to see eight boobs, a fairly explicit sex scene and a pee scene, complete with discreet female wiping afterwards. Really?

That was before I read one of Hotair’s hard line conservative contributors announce his bingeing on the show as a prelude to a market argument as to why Netflix shouldn’t make a whole season available at one time. So I tried again.

Sorry. After the initial flash of tits and pee, it turns into a standard prison melodrama, one I’ve seen a hundred times before, fear and alliances and missteps and grudges and complete bullshit. I’ve even seen the female version before, way back in the post punk era, when the infamous Wendy O (of the Plasmatics) played the villain and told the heroine she was a “shit stain on the panties of life.” {Hey, kids. Whatever you think you’re breaking through with your crappy millennial music, we wuz there long before yas.}

House of Cards is a vile wallowing in the most cynical view of politics, cribbed (as usual) from a much better Brit series of the same name. Unspeakable. So I will speak no more of it.

Breaking Bad is tragedy as long-running soap opera. Only without the tragedy. Innate evil that surfaces and mutilates the lives of everyone around him is not a tragic flaw in a tragic hero. It’s the masturbatory fantasy of people who pretend to be good because pretending is all they know. That’s not just a flaw. Their fascination is a fatal triple failure — of imagination, true moral understanding, and courage.

I liked Lillehammer. Because it’s actually novel, funny, and a double satire on both instant gratification us (as in U.S.) and the strange Scandinavian disconnectedness from the immediacy of consequences. Everyone involved is a joke. The cultural divide just makes for different punchlines. Redeemed by the fact that it never once presumes to be a serious commentary of any kind. The timing is usually impeccable. In that regard it’s a comic masterpiece akin to Dylan Moran’s comedy series Black Books.

I know, I know. Why explore Netflix, then? I’ve taken up enough of your time. So for now I’ll give you a handful of examples of what you can find there you won’t find anywhere else.

Salamander (a series worth bingeing on)

You think you’re paranoid about government? Try being Belgian. HQ of the EU. Jack Bauer never knew he had it so good.

The Imaginary Witness (a documentary about Hollywood and the Holocaust)

Surprisingly honest and even-handed. And illuminating.

Escape [aka Flukt] (see the trailer above. Makes Hunger games look like the twaddle it is)

An Unreal Dream (another documentary that might remind you of the blessings of a belief in God, whether he exists or not.)

Horrible as it is, it’s still inspiring. Honestly.

Lore (a beautiful, terrifying movie that will remind you what life, and film, is or can be)

Her name is Hannelore. Is there forgiveness? She’s sixteen. But you’re never too young for trial by ordeal.

I promise I’ll come back later and give you thumbnails on each of them. But look them all up on IMDB.com. If you’re going to use Netflix for your own edification, you’ll have to learn how to find the needles of gold hidden in the haystack. It’s a huge haystack, though. And the needles can pierce your heart.

In the meantime, ponder this: I continually ask you to rediscover your American roots. Why would I recommend works by Australians, Belgians, Germans, and Norwegians? Regardless of all that has happened, would you rather be us or some other?


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