SCREEN TIME: Richard

“I have watched a ton of TV since the ‘Rona hit us up. I particularly enjoyed Better Call Saul and Archive 81. I enjoyed watching the Beatles Get Back with my family. But I’ve had an extra strong connection with Avatar: the Last Airbender. Even though it’s a kids’ show from Nickelodeon, I have been amazed at the accurate portrayals of Buddhist cosmology and philosophy. There are tangible elements woven into the themes of the show from Buddhism, Hinduism, and Taoism and it’s quite exciting. I have had an interesting journey with Christianity and Buddhism throughout my life. My grandparents on both sides were Christian missionaries in Africa, but my father has been a Buddhist for as long as I remember. I feel like the pandemic (and American politics) has pushed me away from Christianity and I pulled me towards Buddhism. The main character’s conflicting impulses of detachment and attachment seem to have mirrored some of my personal and professional struggles in the past two years.

 

I highly recommend other adults (and kids who are pretending to be adults) to dive into this show. It has made me cry, it has made me question myself and my values, and it has inspired me to do new things. There are also fascinating political questions that play out with imperialism, surveillance, philosophical questions of free will and fate. This show has something to offer everyone.” - Richard

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It’s not easy to move to a new city during a pandemic. Richard started teaching French in a private school outside of Baltimore and rents a small apartment in a row home in the city. He grew up in Africa and has traveled the world extensively. His screen is his laptop which he uses throughout the apartment, but shown here at dinner time on his kitchen table. The wall covered in postcards and pictures highlight both places he’s visited and imagery that speaks to his journey. Taking the top center spot on the wall is the Dalai Lama, representing Richard’s recent dive into Buddhism. The Spanish red wine and Whole Foods bread accompany him while taking in his screens - texting through his TV show watching.