4.29.2008

Review of a TV Series- Weeds


Three cheers for the least idiotic show about marijuana to ever make it to the big time! Before I applaud 2007’s Showtime hit, Weeds, let me offer the most grandiose and sincere disclaimer: I do not in any way, or at any time have I, condoned, encouraged, or agreed with the use of marijuana for recreational purposes by anyone (least of all, myself), ever.

So, to continue with my praise and critique of the series: Hurrah! It is about time someone presented the growing social issue of the rampant use of pot in America, without including the stereotypical laughing stoners and Dude, Where’s My Car?-esque humor.

Jenji Kohan’s drama-comedy, Weeds, is about a suddenly widowed Californian housewife, Nancy Botwin, and the ripple effects in her recovering family and affluent suburban community when she begins to sell weed to keep up the lush lifestyle they are accustomed to. Three seasons have aired already, with a fourth due this summer, if all continues to get back to normal in the T.V. world. I hear those writers are getting feisty again, though.

Nancy Botwin is played by Mary-Louise Parker, whom I have always felt to be most endearing in her role in Fried Green Tomatoes, is the most compelling reason to watch. She delivers an excellent performance in every episode, offering the viewer an immersing look at the complexities of a woman worried by her children’s behavior in response to their father’s death, her own dealing with the tragedy of losing her spouse in the prime of life, the terrifying consequences of getting caught in the world of drugs, and making sure she does not lose herself in the tragic sway of life. She fights to not lose it, and the audience succumbs to her irresistible universality, and fights with her. She is vulnerable, but remains that woman with grit, with determination, with firm resolve, that we all know in our own lives and admire, no matter what level she descends to, because it is that passionately blazing resolve to survive, which is such a pivotal part of the essence of man that when we see it within her we recognize it like the back of our own hand, and desperately want to relate to.

The show is built around the character of Nancy, for good reason. If it were not for her strength of character, and the Nietzschean passion for life she exudes, Weeds would still be interesting, but only as one of those pictures of a world outside of ours that so many secular T.V shows are for Christians. We watch them to spy on the Other, to see what the world’s man is doing. But this show is more than a snapshot of another lifestyle; it is a passionate push to keep fighting in our own lives, to do what it takes, to settle not for resignation when life is painful, but to let one remain completely engaged in life, even if it tears us apart.

4.09.2008

Morning Story

Like the first star in the sky, I saw him. Not because he was a grand star, not even a star, metaphorically like a star. Like the most obvious thing in a vacuum of appearances I saw him and-- what was that sinking melancholy we felt when she was expelled and broken-- like the world was not right, not right but sinking, yes instead sinking into, what could only be called the mush pot?? When my beautiful goddess of a friend, the unbeloved, the cast-out stared with no eyes, no heart, no will and vanished into a pile of bones and blonde hair.

Yes, like that, but the cheaper version, like Pei Wei, like If-You-Like----You'll--love---- perfume, a commercial melancholy or a dull trip in a dull city. I saw and I felt. I exxxxxxxxperienced and I reeeeeflected. It could have been my imag-ination, but at least there he was in the probability of his appearance. He kept walking. Toward me to get past me. Big black eyes that I've caught several, several times, now shifted downward to scope out the weevils digging pyramids in the sand between the cracks of the sidewalk. Assuredly, his highness would rather have fallen down the rabbit hole of one of those minute pyramids than look at me. Me. My morning me. My fresh out of the lecture me. My pondering me. My galloping at the University me. and singing to the clover, running down the hill me. That me! Why the pyramids, oh Pharaoh, and not a nod at me? Why the dark of the ocean? The roar of silence? The unbearable stench of the pyramids and not a glance upward?

Hell, for a friendly bit of eye contact that says, "I see you. You are a person and I am a person. We are of the same ripe people." And that is all, a friendly sunbeam.

So offputting and disconcerting and bubblebursting was the ghastly interruption to my gaiety that my imagination shuddered and my hair covered my face to protect me. Perhaps it did not, but what is true, what appeared true, what I felt to be true was that I saw the Pharaoh and I wanted to step right in front of him. "Red light." AND immediately say in a voice that could command pirates on the high seas and sing to stargazers and inhale the adoration of cigarette smokers at a packed out blues-fest, as I manning the mike would say: "You shadow me in darkness and I think you are a gloom cloud. Yes. I think you are. I think you are the form of a gloom cloud. I think every malicious puff in the sky is a copy of a copy of a copy of you and we thought they were bad putting out our picnics and flooding our plains and turning over the seas and shutting us inside with people we hate, but you are worse, the worst, the black horse, the white horse, the red horse, the whore and the horse that she rides in on. You are a gloom cloud and hateful. I do not hate you, but I know you are a stormcloud and you will only ever storm.

The unpersonable should not be taken personally, but as a person, respectable and promising, with faltering potential, I protest that such philandering in my purest impressions on poignant mornings be prohibited.
Goodbye, I will say.

Then I will march onto the tips of the blades of grass and siddle up to the cherry blossoms and I will bury my face in the freshness of the earth and wait for the rain to subside. For certainly, if one kicks at the pile of ants and insults the Queen (God, Save Her), one will surely be smote.

Smote or smitten, at least I was once a kitten.
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4.05.2008

Reflections On a Night Well Spent

Tonight I sizzle into a room, oblivious to the floor melting below me like boiling drops of maple syrup hot from the cast-iron skillet and cast a smoldering glance at what was a magnificent tree, now haphazardly whittled down to a dwarf chair, small enough to weep for what it once was, when it first sprang from the ground thin, like a tentacle wrapping around the air and the earth, and then when it shot up over night, in the glow of the harvest moon (just in from watching Chinese children play chess outside on kites), and then when it groaned into its manhood, shooting off shoots right and left-- shoot, shoot, shooo birds, it thought. Shhhhoooo, with your claws digging into me, painting me with your malignant defecation. Whisperssss shoo. Shoot. Shoot. The fatness of a tree trunk. The width of the world. The wonderful circles for every year. All's a circle. All is round. All is rhythm. All is love. All is one. Tree is chair. Sober is drunk. Happy is devestated and it all matters and it all does not matter at all, for after all everything's gonna be okay and all is decaying anyway. So the rush--why for? Soon though, the tree stout and tall and gracious welcomed birds like the street welcomes us at night after our parties. Remember darling your wild baboon dances that you decorated Wofford with. What a charmed street. Soon the birds were beloved by our tree and it hosted many a fantastic bird orgy in its maturing limbs. Limbs, not branches. Limbs, strong and passionately reaching up at the moon. Grabbing at it, clawing up toward it. Most think it is the sun that the tree arches upward toward. Lies, I tell you, and believe me. The sun might be his creator and lover, but the moon matters more. Moon, my man, it moaned, why have you forsaken me and look down with disappointment. Yes, old cat, I live older now, with black knots and way two many lovers' initials scratched into my body, but what say you? You hate me moon and you say I have lost my childlike purity. I have not! I have not!

Tree bellowed! The moon barely grimaced, too old to show its apathy at the whining of the tree. Trees always whine, too passionate not to.