Posts Tagged ‘Power’

Admittedly I’m late to the party, but once I found I could stream HBO Max, I dove into “Succession!” I’ve never anticipated watching a TV show this much – not even “The Morning Show.”

Succession seems like a modern day “Dynasty,” only taking place in New York instead of Texas. Ruled by Logan, a ruthless Rupert Murdoch type character, it’s about a top 1% media family with power/money issues instead of oil. Bob has no interest in watching, calling it a “melodrama” with disdain. I’m only half way through the first season, but I just had to Tweet a quote last night from Tom to long-lost cousin, Topsider-wearing Greg:

“I’ll show you how to be rich.”

This was after they both ate a sparrow whole at a fancy restaurant. I was pretty surprised when that Tweet started getting hundreds of hits, until I realized that last night was the season finale of the third season. I’m lucky if a few people read any single Tweet of mine.

Since social media has taken the place of a water cooler, Succession has been all over different platforms this morning. An online newspaper actually had a quiz with quotes, and you had to guess if a real Billionaire said them or a fictional Logan Roy family member. Someone on Twitter asked which character you would most identify with on the series. I’m wondering what its popularity is saying about us as a country.

If I’ve had too much breaking news for one day, I used to turn to TCM movies from the Depression era. The actors speak with an upper-crust accent, as if Piccadilly Circus met Times Square. The women are always glamorous and rich, or scheming to get rich. Everybody’s smoking, all the time. The black and white film only serves to accentuate their luxurious lifestyle, jumping in and out of big black limos in white satin gowns.

I can picture the Flapper at that time, her short platinum hair curled into Marcel waves.

In other words, 30s and 40s films were aspirational for the working man who was down on his luck. You could see a movie for a quarter and escape into a make-believe world of wealth and privilege. Goodness would usually win the day; Fred Astaire would marry the girl. So maybe watching Succession now, after almost two years of lockdowns, masks and finally a booster, is helping us feel better about ourselves.

Money isn’t buying the Roys love. In fact, I’m not sure if any of the characters know what love is; of the four Roy adult siblings only “Shiv” (short for Shavaun) is getting married. And even she’s not so sure it’s a good idea. Right now Shiv and Tom’s lawyers are looking over the pre-nup. We can all sit back and say,

“Look what money does, look at that dysfunction, at least our family isn’t that screwed up.”

In my family I was taught you don’t lend money to other family members, you give them a “gift.” If they pay you back that’s fine, but no worries if they don’t. You’re not holding a grudge that way. Great Grandma Ada felt the same way, because she knew firsthand about such things after her divorce. She would tell me how her sister Mary would drive out to NJ for a visit and put a hundred dollar bill or two in her pocket.

Children who grow up expecting a trust fund can become twisted. They expect the helicopter ride out of town, why should they be stuck in traffic? They never have to face any consequences for their actions. I remember an interview with Anderson Cooper, where he said growing up everyone thought he was a wealthy Vanderbilt – when in fact, his mother was terrible with money and they often lived hand to mouth – although, I’m sure that hand had a pretty nice diamond on it.

I’m grateful this weekend’s path of tornadoes passed us by this time. We spent two hours in our somewhat safe place Friday night texting with the Bride. Seeing the devastation in other states is heartbreaking. I remember the wads of pink insulation sprinkled through fences in Nashville, right before Covid hit, the power line poles split in two like pick-up sticks.

“Life is not knights on horseback. It’s a number on a piece of paper. It’s a fight for a knife in the mud.” (One of the Roys)

Our Horseshoe Holiday Tree

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