Teaching my son the facts of life with ESPN’s Mike & Mike

A lot but not all days I drive Collateral Damage Jr. to school in the mornings. My car. My radio station. That basically comes down to a choice between NPR (paid member!) & ESPN. Here in Boston we have another AM radio station which alleges that is about sports and used to carry the Red Sox games. Now the Sox games have moved and that radio station mostly concerns itself with spewing hatred and bigotry on non-sports topics. So because I really don’t feel a need to keep Jr. up to date on all the latest deaths and disasters via NPR, we listen to ESPN.

MandMThey’re pretty funny and CDjr. was psyched to see them doing the announcing when ABC broadcast the finals of the National Spelling Bee.

M&M is a good source for topics of discussion, including agriculture (“Why is Greenberg going to milk a cow?”) and sex ed. A couple of weeks ago there was much discussion of a story in the news about a man suing an energy company over a prolonged priapic incident. So I got to explain what “engorged” means.

This week M&M have been talking about The Sopranos finale, pretty much non-stop. At some point during all the talking this morning someone made a comment about this being ESPN radio, a fact which hadn’t previously clicked with CDjr. He looks up from the back seat and says, “They’re on ESPN?!? Why don’t they ever talk about sports?”

That was about three times as funny as anything said on the show.

About The Sopranos: It was the PERFECT ending and not the one that satisfied most viewers. This was the ending that the creator wanted and oneI that fit with The Sopranos as a work of art and not as something put together to please the audience. It was an ending that said the fear and the life go on. We wrapped up with AJ clearly being set to become Tony Jr. We had the family meeting together at an old diner with a young couple echoing a young Tony and Carmella. We had the haunting fear that at any moment Tony was about to get popped by that guy in the Members Only jacket.

No audience survey would ever have come up with that ending. Nor would it have come up the rest of the series. Art gives you something to chew on. It doesn’t go down easy. It doesn’t come to the conclusion you want, it comes to the conclusion it needs. Most of the major story lines got concluded but to have the whole thing wrap up would have been a disservice to everything that went before.

And all the debate on Mike & Mike means I get to explain what words like whacked and Mafia mean. If I ever home school my kid, they are definitely going to be part of the curriculum.

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