Carlin Romano on Dworkin and Me on Rescue Me

Carlin Romano must surely feel proud of himself, so much so he even ‘invents’ a word for why is he is so self-congratulatory: vicarian, one “who expend[s] their mental energy dissecting what another type of person does.” His article is a criticism of Ronald Dworkin for being, here comes the punch line, too self-congratulatory.

A vicarian is merely one who interprets the actions of another, interpreting in order to divine a reason for an action. That tone of voice he used? The color handbag she carries? The look on his face when you said that? Those are all the acts of a vicarian and I contend there is no such thing as a vicarian because we are all vicarians (I call it destruction through saturation, when the word becomes useless as a term of discrimination.)

Instead of being Dworkins and Romanos I think we should instead strive to be Gavins. Tommy Gavin that is, Dennis Leary’s character in Rescue Me. I have had my share of shows that I enjoyed in my lifetime but I do not think I have ever so eagerly anticipated not only a new season but a new episode of a show like I do for to-night’s episode of Rescue Me. The trailer makes it seem to be a horny episode, one where little of the story line is advanced and instead it is a fireman’s plight to get some tail. But that is the genius of the show. It refuses to take itself too seriously, recognizing that tail chasing is plot advancement, just not in the smug sense we have become accustomed to.

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