Lebowitz's 1978 book Metropolitan Life was a collection of hilarious essays with titles like, "Success Without College" and "A Few Words on A Few Words." She worked as a cab driver, a housecleaner, and a street vendor, but refused to waitress, saying those jobs went to women who were required to sleep with their boss. Shifting to writing for Andy Warhol's "Interview" magazine and other outlets, she appeared as a judge on the TV series "Law & Order" and in Scorsese's film The Wolf of Wall Street.
"Pretend It's a City" features interviews with Lebowitz by Scorsese, Alec Baldwin, and Spike Lee, all of whom she cracks up (I guess boys do like her humor). She is also interviewed by actress Olivia Wilde, who in 2015 spoke to People magazine about "that unfortunate semester in high school when I simultaneously discovered Krispy Kreme and pot."
"We now live in an era where cigarettes are horrible for you," Lebowitz observes in Episode 5 of the series. "Now, marijuana's good for you. Marijuana used to be a horrible thing that would lead to a life of desperate degradation. Now it's a wonderful thing! It's curative. It's...they put it in jelly beans! Or a gummy bear, or whatever you call it. Now of course they won't let children have real lollypops but the mother has a lollypop with marijuana."
"I smoked marijuana when I was young," she continues. "I didn't particularly like it. I didn't like the smell of it. Of course now, people don't smoke it as much. I mean they smoke it but they also take these other things, these candies or whatever. I never really....that's not the feeling I was ever seeking, was that feeling of kind of light happiness, okay? That's not for me. No light happiness for me."
Her conclusion: "So if I was in charge I would say, 'Marijuana. People like it. It's fun. Let them have it. What do I care?'" Her interviewer (Scorsese) then takes five so she can have a smoke (a cigarette, no doubt).
Episode 6 begins with Lebowitz finding nonsensical the phrase "guilty pleasure," saying, "I have no guilty pleasures because pleasure never makes me feel guilty...Pleasure, to me, especially the older I get, the more I think, 'Any fun you can have, friend, go ahead.'"
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