The "Backflash" episode follows a lighter through the many hands that hold it, starting with a couple of teenage girls who skip out of a religious campfire circle where a goofy hippie plays Joan Osborne's "What If God Was One of Us." They share a pipe wearing T-shirts that say, "His Universal Flame....Let Your Light Shine (1999)"
unlucky white") and finally painted in a psychedelic pattern. As the series so often does, "Backflash" demonstrates how pot smoking brings people together in creative, weird and wonderful ways, as they pass the Universal Flame.
Fire Goddesses in the West are mostly relegated to the kitchen guarding hearth fires, but in the East, the Zoroastrian Avesta and the Hindu Rigveda extolled the sacred plant Soma and the fire god Agni whose fire burned the sacrifice; Agni's daughter Agneyi rules the firey Southeast. Soma or Haoma is mentioned in glowing terms throughout the Rigveda, the Avesta and the Upanishads, and Agni is portrayed as consuming Soma in copious quantities. What constituted this sacred substance is one of the great mysteries of mankind. Cannabis is a likely candidate: Haoma, the Golden Green One that furthered righteousness, is described with long stalks and of a yellowish color, growing in the Hindu kush mountains where cannabis originated. Archeological evidence of Aryan ruins in Turkmeistan links Soma with a mixture of opium, cannabis and ephedra.
"High Maintenance" won a Tokey award last year, and it's on its way to winning another one. The series was co-created by Katia Blichfeld and its star Ben Sinclair, "The Guy" who rides his bike through NYC dispensing weed and wisdom in a somewhat shamanic fashion to an endless stream of always-interesting New Yorkers negotiating strange circumstances. Blitchfeld directed "Backflash," which was co-written by Zach Schamberg and Mel Shimkovitz.
Osborne’s song is reprised (by a woman playing an accordion) to end the episode on a perfect high note, resonating for me with the Bob Rivers parody, "What If God Smoked Cannabis."