I liked the TV show Six Feet Under from beginning to end, despite some sluggish periods in the arc of the series. And Alan Ball does have a tendency to slip little profundities into his dialogue that get people nodding. Sure, it was contrived. I mean, when was the last time anything profound came out of a conversation you had with a coworker, a friend, even a family member? But still, I found myself nodding along with everyone else.

One that stuck with me was near the end of the series, with Claire, who talked about her relief when she left art school to be an office temp, the noble career of Donna Noble. Relief at the prospect of not having to create, not having the pressure to make something of value even when you know 90 percent of everything is crud (thank you Sturgeon). I am paraphrasing for Claire – or maybe I am projecting. I never thought about it before – fight the impulse, save yourself the frustration, and live a normal life. Do what smart people do in the morning and on weekends – and don’t spend your spare time staring at abysmal stories on a computer screen. Because it is a slog. With no guarantee that it will be meaningful to anyone.


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