No Cable for Old Ladies
0 comment Sunday, July 20, 2014 |
My beloved grandmother devotedly reads my blog, so I feel a little pressure to deliver sometimes. And, of course, some pressure not to talk "street slang," as she graciously puts it. The other kind readers who voluntarily choose to tune me in simply can't get enough of my bail-out bonus blockbuster posts, my brilliant analyses on the economy. Indeed in the last several days, I've received hundreds two emails from adoring fans, urging and beseeching me not to do a post on the Geithner Plan.
Friends, you have been heard and I am on it, working fast and furiously to bring you the facts about the Geithner Plan that Rush Limbaugh doesn't want you to know. Facts we will not hear from the mainstream media or the paranoid. But dissecting this plan has proved to be tough going for this soccer mom. Getting a grip on Geithner requires research, rubber gloves, and a staggering grasp of securities law.
Beleaguered and befuddled, I felt compelled to find a mindless distraction, a less taxing pursuit. And find it I did. I blame my brilliant friend and former law office partner for my now nightly, obsessive diversion.
She remarked over drinks a few weeks ago that I really should check out the Showtime series Weeds, about a suburban mom turned drug dealer.
Huh? Could she be serious? She was emphatic. And did I know, she pointed out, that I could watch Weeds free on demand, if I had a Netflix subscription, right there on my computer? No, I did not. Nor could I see myself wanting any Weeds.
Now, understand where I'm coming from. Mr. M watches Little House on the Prairie, Underdog, All Creatures Great and Small. When Mr. M hears "Another Brick in the Wall" he thinks the lyrics say, "we all need an education, we all need adult control. . . . . Hey! TEACHERS! Don't leave those kids alone."
Of course we all know I own a few Sex and the City DVDs. Yep, even Mr. M's school knows about that transgression. But really, the raciest television I've watched of late is "Fast Money" on CNBC.
Get the picture? In a word, I'm a prude, pretending to live on an isolated compound. I'm not homeschooling Mr. M . . . yet . . . but . . . I never say never. So, umm no, I couldn't see myself cottoning to some show about a drug wheeling mom called Weeds.
But after slogging through fact sheets on, reading language like, "PPIFs cannot purchase legacy securities from a seller who is an affiliate or has more than a ten percent equity investment in such vehicle," my eyes glazed over. So last night I logged on to Netflix and there it was: the first Weeds series right there for me to watch in its entirety, entirely for free.
Although skeptical of the plot line, I thought what the heck. The episodes are only thirty minutes long so I can't waste much time deciding I don't like it. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. On the other hand, if my very good friend liked this show, there was a very good chance I'd be planted in front of my computer until sunrise.
And I was. Planted in front of my computer until the rooster crowed in our backyard victory garden. From the first episode, I was hooked.
This suburban mom (Mary-Louise Parker -- Josh's girlfriend from the West Wing) goes from her Range Rover to her dealer's clunker (the Rover fell casualty to a demand for more collateral). She moves from PTA meetings to pot dealer meetings, from rallying moms to ban high fructose corn syrup from the school grounds to baking "high" gourmet corn bread in her granite-countered kitchen.
And we get plenty of sensational situational ethics in the mix. Why she is dealing pot, for instance. Her husband died, leaving her high and dry with two kids, a lot of debt, and his enterprising younger brother, who pops in for an extended stay.
The show is edgy, profane, and funny, with some of the wittiest dialogue not seen since the West Wing. Even West Wing's famed CJ Craig makes an appearance, this time as a lawyer and medico-legal expert navigating California's mind-boggling marijuana laws.
Best of all are the children in the cast, who curse, act out, and run rings around the grown-ups in their lives. One of the PTA moms puts a nanny-cam in the pantry to capture her overweight daughter's illicit consumption (spoiler alert: there will be revenge). Another PTA-er is addicted to Bible Study and Oxycontin, while her kid is into something else entirely.
When I needed parenting validation, used to be I'd turn on Super Nanny. Just look at those hellions, I'd console myself. You are too a good mom. Mr. M doesn't assault teachers, jump off the roofs of mobile homes, or torture small animals. He even cries during sad movies. Everything is just fine.
But I can't get Super Nanny on demand. She is catch-as-catch-can. Weeds, on the other hand, provides me immediate validation, instant gratification, appearing on my computer 24/7.
My parenting style has indeed been altered. Used to be, when Mr. M picked up the "Bad to the Bone" singing card at the grocery store and played it endlessly, I'd call the store manager and report an abandoned child. But after Weeds? I loudly sing the lyrics right along with him as he plays his imaginary guitar. I'm more relaxed now. "Fly your freak flag," as one Weeds character declared.
So, my friends, you'll have to stay in Geithner limbo land for a tad longer while I troll through Weeds. Though I do hate to leave you in the lurch. If you get caught at a cocktail party in the meantime, just furrow your brow and say, "the banks are going to game the system on the backs of the taxpayers" in a knowing fashion. I tried it out on some lawyers at the courthouse today and it totally worked.
P.S. I have no financial interest in or hold any stock of Netflix. I do, however, hold a grudge against Blockbuster for all the years it was so greedy with its late fees and toward it harbor no good will.