By Fred Owens
Issa Rae created the HBO series known as Insecure. This link goes to a news story about Season 3, Episode 4, which is current.
Our housemate tipped us off about this engaging show. Issa Rae plays the main character, a 29-year-old single African-American woman living in Los Angeles, working at a non-profit, liking her job and her pals, and looking for love.
Issa is Insecure -- the title of the show. We can all relate to that. Insecurity means being self-conscious, keeping score on your wins and losses, worrying about your hair, or the style of your shoes. "Maybe people don't like me. Or they don't understand what I just said. Hell, I don't understand what I just said. How am I supposed to feel? What am I supposed to think? I guess I'll have a drink. I ain't that girl from Pretty in Pink."
Insecurity strikes most people at age 15, and gives you that stuttering gaze where you keep rubbing your head, and it lasts until age 35 when you realize that nobody cares, and nobody is keeping score, and some people like you and some people don't. Period. It's over.
A lot of people get married and have children at age 35. That is a solid cure for insecurity. You get a spouse and a squalling baby in diapers -- you are too tired and too busy to feel insecure. Insecurity is a small luxury that most of us can afford, like a triple grande latte.
In the first season of Insecure Issa lives with her boyfriend Lawrence. Issa goes to work every day, but Lawrence sits around the house in his sweat pants waiting for the phone to ring.
You know the phone is never going to ring for Lawrence. Issa knows that too because she's a realist. "You may have to take a job a notch lower than you already had," she tells him.
Lawrence hears that. He goes Man Up and takes a small-wage sales job at Best Buy. That's doing the right thing, in my book.
You see, the men in Issa's life are not losers and toxic abusers. Not hopeless causes, but like men really are which is to say "in good condition but needs work."
Then Issa goes looking for what she already has, and she does something very stupid. She has a one-night fling with her old ex-boyfriend and Lawrence finds out and walks out of her life. Stupid. Major Stupid.
What I like about Issa Rae as an actor is that she doesn't try to sell it. She doesn't over-act. She's happy when it's fun, and angry when it's bad, and she can be major stupid if that's what's going on. Not a Drama Queen.
The young woman who told me about the show said it was the story of her life. Reality can be painful, but sometimes it's just funny.
We like this show. All the characters and all the Los Angeles neighborhoods are African-American, so you get an education in culture and language if, like me, you're 72 and you live in Santa Barbara.
The rap music in the background goes right over my head. I just don't get it. Well, I get some of it. But I don't try to get it, because if you try to get it, you won't get it. Better to just let it come to you as it does.
Meanwhile Pope Francis is in a lot of trouble and the Supreme Court hearings are underway in Congress. The news is full of breakdowns and tragedies. The old saying is "Heads will roll." But we have progressed as a society because in centuries past courtiers who fell from favor were executed -- heads actually did roll -- now the losers get a book deal and a spot on MSNBC or Fox.
I wish, more than anything, that Donald Trump was not in the White House. I can put some substance behind that vacuous statement, but I am through writing for today.
The days are getting shorter. Here in Santa Barbara we see a lot of dried leaves on the ground, more from dry weather than from the approach of autumn. We are harvesting apples from the tree in the backyard and making apple sauce.
Nice talking to you,