O-Bits : Marley’s Ghost Edition

We here at O-Bits like a good conspiracy theory as much as anyone, but we don’t see how anyone could have been taken in by CIA Agent Killed Bob Marley. It’s pretty damn ludicrous. We’re supposed to be believe that this agent, Bill Oxley, went all James Bond and traveled down to JA, insinuated himself into Marley’s inner circle—pretending to be a NY Times photographer—evading publicists, other record company types, and the layers upon layers of entourage who believe their only job in the world is to say “no” that, in my experience, surround every Rastafarian musician I’ve ever encountered good people, bringing him as an offering of good will a pair of Converse All Stars. Marley, of course, was overwhelmed by the thought that went into buying a pair of the widely available and popular sneakers, just had to put them on, immediately, thereby sealing his fate. Because, yes, these were poisoned sneakers (Operation Cinderella?), equipped with a nail tainted by “cancer viruses.” Once it pierces the skin, we’re told, “it’s goodnight nurse.”  Now, who would believe that? I mean, to believe that you’d have to believe that a five-time-bankrupted reality show real-estate huckster has the best interests of the middle class….oh, sorry.  The good people at Snopes.com dismiss it as false, but not out of the realm of possibility, bringing up the CIA’s attempt to poison Fidel Castro’s cigars or spray depilatory powder so he would lose his beard (Operation Samson, we guess).

Another thing we love here at O-Bits is Pamela Adlon. She’s everything we want in a woman: smart, funny, and shorter than us. And has a great, sandpapery voice, the best growl on TV since thirtysomething’s Polly Draper. She was often the best thing about Showtime’s Californication, playing Marcy, the long-suffering if game wife of agent Charley Runkle, but too often was  relegated to the B-story. Co-creating Better Things (FX Network) with her might end up being  Louis C.K.’s most lasting achievement. Adlon stars as Sam Fox, a middle-aged actress and single mother bringing up three daughters and caring for an aging mother. It’s a finely textured, damned wonderful show. “Eulogy”, which is the subject of  an Entertainment Weekly  behind-the-scene’s feature, does everything that makes the show so wonderful, as it deftly moves from a workplace comedy to a family story that gets sentiment and dark comedy in just the right ratio. Its anchored, as it the series, by Aldon’s wonderfully textured, vulnerable performance; there’s no doubt she loves her kids, even if she is often exasperated by them. A good deal of the comedy is when she decides to not be a good mom, and lets them know how she’s feeling. In Eulogy, she feels taken for granted , and demands her kids give her a funeral.” I’m not going to wait ’til I’m dead for my kids to appreciate me. I want it now.” When Duke, her youngest, starts crying, overwhelmed by the idea of losing her mother, Sam has a solution, she tells Duke she’s dead, too. You can watch it on demand, or on-line here


Steven Mirkin

Steven Mirkin’s diverse career has taken him from politics to pop culture to high art, offering him a front row seat to some of the most fascinating events and personalities of our time: writing speeches, fundraising appeals and campaign materials for Ed Koch, John Heinz and independent presidential candidate John B. Anderson; chronicling the punk/new wave scenes in New York and London; interviewing musicians such as Elton John, John Lydon and Buck Owens; profiling modern masters Julian Schnabel, Paul Schrader and Jonathan Safran Foer; and writing for TV shows including 21, The Chamber, Let's Make A Deal, and Rock Star: INXS.

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