Lessons in Manhood from Walter White

In honor of the DVD release of Breaking Bad Season 3 (check out Action Unleashed for more info), here’s the best advice we’ve learned from this American hero, who processes and distributes drugs to support his family while suffering from cancer.

Take Bad News in Stride
When Walter White (as played by Bryan Cranston) learns that he has terminal cancer, what does he do? Does he sit in his room and cry? Well, possibly. But he also uses the information to decide what he can do to better his family and community. OK, maybe just his family. Still, we would all do well to make something positive out of bad news in our lives. You know what they say, when life hands you lemons, process them into sweet, sweet crystal meth.

Respect the Chemistry
It may seem like phony high school chemistry-speak (makes sense, since Walt teaches high school chemistry), but it also happens to be true. As Walter has shown time and time again on Breaking Bad, you can do a lot of useful things if you respect chemistry. You can formulate an unprecedentedly potent strain of crystal meth, for instance. Or you can use special chemicals (like Mercury fulminate) to blow up your enemies.

Don’t Be Afraid of a Cool Alias
As a drug dealer, Walter White has plenty of reasons not to want to be known by his real name. His family could find out about his drug dealing activities, for example. But mostly, it’s just cool to have a cool name you use when you’re out being devious. Walter chooses “Heisenberg,” after famous scientist Werner Heisenberg, but you can feel free to be a little less highbrow when you come up with your alias. “Macho Man” just opened up—maybe you can use that!

Purity Is Important
In the infamous season 3 episode “Fly,” Walt takes absurd measures in order to get rid of a “contaminant,” otherwise known as a house fly, at his elaborate drug preparation facility. He will not make a single ounce of crystal meth until the contaminant is purged from the premises—costing his bosses a lot of money in the process. But who wants a fly flying around being all fly-y in your workspace? Remember this next time you have to give your friends a ride in your car.

If You Can Pull Off The Shaved Head, By All Means Go For It
Walt initially shaves his head because his chemotherapy would cause him to lose his hair anyway, but eventually it becomes a fashion choice that he consciously cultivates. And not for nothing: The guy looks good with a shaved head. Not everyone can pull this off, but if you can, why not take advantage? Pair it off with a Walt White-style goatee and mustache combo to look extra sinister.

Don’t Mention Your Second Cell Phone!
In a slip-up that has tremendous repercussions, at one point, right before going under the gas during a medical procedure, Walt messes up and tells his wife Skylar about his second cell phone. She of course assumes this means he’s having some kind of affair, which is probably a little better than the truth, which is he uses it to deal drugs and cavort with violent and murderous criminals. So I guess the real lesson here is, don’t let your wife be present in the operating room. You never know what you’ll let slip.

 

 

 

 

 

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