Wednesday, February 26, 2014

House of Cards



"The greatest evil is not done in those sordid dens that Dickens loved to paint, but is conceived and ordered (moved, seconded, carried, and minuted) in clear, carpeted, warmed, well-lighted offices, by quiet men with white collars and cut fingernails and smooth-shaven cheeks who do not need to raise their voices." 

—C.S. Lewis


This quote arrived in my email in humble lines of type that sat below the sender's name and multiple degrees and titles and areas of expertise. This quote goes out to everyone this erudite man communicates with by email, which I think is his quietly shattering observation about the state of corporate and political affairs in America today. I don't mean to reduce the power of C.S. Lewis's words by applying them to a pop culture phenom, but the quote made me think immediately of the parched morality of the Netflix series, House of Cards, which of course includes steely-eyed women with white collars who do not raise their voices. If that show is any way suggestive of how the game is played in Congress, no wonder our president is so often accused of keeping his distance from that sordid den.



12 comments:

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    1. Ms Moon, and no doubt has always been so.

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  2. Just binged on the whole season while sick, and I can't say it was making me feel better. But yes, I had the same thought. How can he stomach this?

    Thanks for the quote. So it is.

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    1. Andrea, I just binged on season 2, mostly because i didn't want to drag out my immersion in such darkness. It's very well acted, and I am sure I will watch season 3 if there is one, but it does not make one feel wonderful about the rooms of power, not at all.

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  3. I watched the first season avidly and then after the first episode of the second season wondered why. So, so dark -- and I'm inclined to think the halls of power in Washington are no darker and more corrupt than those on Wall Street or Big Corporate Ameria in general. Hell, I'd venture to say that the halls of the Vatican are equal in chicanery. As for Obama, I am glad he's our president, but surely there must be devious doings everywhere --

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    1. Elizabeth, you probably have to be in the mood to watch. I watched with my son, which made it tolerable. And yes, the halls of power everywhere, corporate, political, religious, no doubt bear some resemblance to what I have to believe is an extreme portrayal of how absolute power corrupts absolutely, in this case, the quest for it corrupts absolutely. As for our president, I know he's tough. How could he not be? Look where he got to. I don't think you get to be president without some steel in your spine and some ice in your veins. Remember "Proceed, Governor"? That was pure ice.

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  4. I like "House of Cards," but as suspicious as I am about the morality of many politicians, I really don't think they're murdering people to get to the top! Call me naive.

    That is a brilliant quote. And it's interesting coming from C.S. Lewis, who's been dead for 50 years. Such evils have been perpetrated by those men for a long time now -- it's not just a modern phenomenon!

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    1. Steve, like you, I have to believe that House of Cards is an extreme portrayal; I cannot wrap my mind around it happening like that in real life. But yes, I was struck by that quote, all the more so because it feels so contemporary, yet is so very old. I suppose the ruthlessness portrayed on House of Cards is just one face of power, and that face is as ancient as civilization.

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  5. I love the quote, but I have not yet seen House of Cards. I did listen to an interview on NPR about the show. I might add it to my lineup.

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  6. I've been watching avidly in a voyeuristic way and I have to say it's made me consider Marylin Monroe and the Kennedys more than once. I am a huge Kevin Spacey fan though and it's his breaking the 4th wall scenes I enjoy most. Then I am suspicious of anyone who craves that kind of power in politics religion or anywhere.

    Your photos are stunning.

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