Ice cream and a Better Call Saul actor character arc: Why do I sense relevance?

Watching Vince Gilligan’s shows is like entering a time warp.⁣

For instance, an initial scene of Ep 3 in season 5 of Better Call Saul shows an ice cream cone being devoured by fire ants. The first few seconds seem elongated until you realize the elasticity of meaning underlying the protagonist’s character arc.⁣


A scam artist turned to defend criminals, a sporadic dishonest-solutions seeker converted to a hermetically sealed slickster, a pursuit to prove himself to his lawyer brother switched to involvement in the city’s criminal world, all that, and “Jimmy McGill” changed to “Saul Goodman” (it’s all good, man – read it fast). In a nutshell, the scene captures a journey.⁣


Now that I have your attention with a carefully crafted example from a scripted, televised show, let’s come to its relevancy to us.⁣

Think of those ants as packets of data tailor-made to infiltrate your belief systems – pervading critical thinking and augmenting docility. There’s no denying that we live in an era of bullshit, where “rhetoric” trumps facts. And people don’t worry about facts.⁣

We tend to group with like-minded people who echo or complement our prejudices, peddle facts that reaffirm our world views, reject the opposing ones, and perpetuate Apocrypha.

Behavioral science states that these groups become more strident with time. They tend to take final decisions on constitutional matters, which, otherwise, an individual is not capable of. Just like Goodman’s character journey, this individual goes from sharing intermittent tribal beliefs to propagating radical ideas that impress his side. In this case, the graph is often steep.

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