Only just catching up on Atlanta, and just finished watching “Value,” episode 6 of the FX series, which is, at its core, a show for potheads.
There’s a lot of weed. But also bigger themes and trippy characters, and each episode seems to have one character that doesn’t quite belong. The pothead in me thinks they’re all connected somehow. #theory
The main plot revolves around two cousins: a rapper, Paper Boi, and Earn, who is the kind of man that can piss a woman off. He pissed me off when his dumb ass wound up in jail and his baby mama Vanessa had to bail him out in the second episode. He’s an entitled partner, a lazy father, and she can do better.
Vanessa doesn’t get much airtime through the series, though she dominated the sixth episode, in which she and a frenemy break the tension of their awkward dinner by smoking a joint afterwards in the parking lot. They laugh, geek out, and the following morning, Van wakes up to a “drug test” reminder on her phone.
Then, Van does some Walter White shit, right down to the blue gloves and mask she wears as she extrapolates urine from her daughter’s dirty diapers, boiling the liquid and then straining it into a condom that she ties and tapes to her leg. All that brilliance, and she forgets to put some scissors in her purse. The condom breaks on her face as she attempts to untie the knot with her teeth. I imagine she must reek as she walks into the principal’s office to explain why she hasn’t turned in her sample.
“I smoked weed,” she says, and then learns the district is too underfunded to actually test the samples.
“Listen, everybody smokes weed,” the principal tells her. “The system isn’t made for these kids to succeed, and you got to shake it off somehow. I get it. But unfortunately, you have admitted the use of an illegal substance to a superior, so I’ve got to fire you—to cover my own ass, as well as the school’s. You understand.”
It’s fucked up, and the episode itself says a lot about marijuana, gender, race, class, education, economy, policy, and more.
If there’s one thing I want to do more with this blog, it’s actual journalism.
Black Lives Matter, and the fact that black people are almost four-times more likely than white people to be arrested for marijuana is an injustice with devastating consequence.
My college roommate freshman year was a friend from high school whose boyfriend went to an HBCU (Historically Black College or University) in Maryland. She’d drive down to pick him up most weekends, and I’d sometimes come along for the ride. Without fail, usually on the trip back, when he was in the driver’s seat, the lights would flash behind us.
Seatbelts were on. Turn signals were used. Speed limits were followed. So what the fuck was that all about, I asked the first time we got pulled over for a “routine stop.” By the fifth time, I didn’t need to ask.
My sophomore year in college, I went on a double date with a different friend. A white girl whose boyfriend’s best friend, my date, was the son of a local police officer. We were parked in a Wawa parking lot, and as he was rolling a blunt, we heard a tap-tap on the window.
My date casually dropped the weed near the officer’s feet and said, “We were just leaving.”
“Be safe,” the cop warned, and we drove off.