"The mark of an immature man is that he would die knobly for a cause. The mark of a mature man is that he would live humbly for one" - Catcher in the Rye -WARNING WRITER SPELLING CHALLENGED! But Sometimes you have to say "what the fuck!"

Thursday, September 30, 2004

Fear Leads to the Dark Side...political debate hooplah!

I live in fear. Thanks to an ass kick from one of my favorite bloggers Todd Vodka, Im now watching the presidential debates and thinking about politics. My favorite way of dealing with subjects that make me uncomfortable is to ignore them. As a tattooed activist, who marched in WTO and has ties with NORML and other groups, I fear speaking out against this country. I fear being labeled a terrorist by the Patriot Act and I fear unreasonable search and seizure. The main reason I gave up activism was because of George Bush. While Clinton was president, I was free to roam, to smoke pot in the mic on the Whitehouse lawn, protest in bondage gear at the US Capitol, march the streets dressed in all black during WTO and sing “Were not Gonna Take It” with hundreds of other like minded activists. No longer do I feel safe doing this, putting my name out there as a “long haired trouble maker”. I feel like Captain America in Easy Rider, someone who because of how I look, or what I believe, might be killed and told to “get a haircut”.

“Mom, Someone Bombed the World Trade Building!”
Since 9/11, my fear has intensified and my alliances have somewhat clouded. Never can I forget waking up in the morning on Sept 11 2001 to my son banging on my door, telling me the world trade center was “bombed”. I thought he was just being a pest and waking me up. When he knocked again and said “mom, someone just bombed the Pentagon”, I took him seriously and watched TV. It kills me that my son had to see something so scary like that on the news. Once I realized the severity of that day, I selfishly thought of my brother. I knew his life in the military as a blackhawk pilot and Captain in the Army would forever be different. I cried tears that day not only for the casualties of 9/11, but I cried tears for selfish reasons...knowing my brother would now possibly go to war.

Terrorists and the “Dark” Menace
Once it was determined that Osama Bin Laden and Al Qaeda were the ememies and the war on terrorism began, I was frightened. Then the DC sniper started going crazy and further stirred this fear. How do you know whose a terrorist? Could I be considered a terrorist for being an activist? Would my interracial son be viewed as a terrorist because he has dark skin and looks Muslim? Who are these terrorists that want to murder Americans? Hatred and fear of Muslims came to a feverish pitch worldwide, reminiscent of WWI and the internment of Japanese. My sister married a Muslim man, and though he turned out to be an asshole that screwed her over, I know he is not a terrorist. But, I’m sure he is now profiled due to his affiliation.

Veterans are OUR Heroes
When world attention and blame for our 9/11 travesty turned to Saddam Hussein, I got flashbacks to my navy wife days during the first Iraq war. I didn’t support that invasion then, though at that time there was an invasion of Kuwait. My support then was 100% with the troops, and the families I lived with in navy housing. All our lives were effected by that war, with our husbands being out to sea, or working long and arduous hours at home. I lost friends in that war, since most of the young troops were my age. The way these troops were treated after the war also upsets me. Veterans of War should be honored as heroes, and given special status in society. As with Vietnam, I saw my friends come home affected, sometimes sick, and lost. Going to war is hard on soldiers, it is an experience that changes someone forever. Resources, support, medical care, etc, should be available to them. From what I have seen, once you get out of the service, you are on your own. This makes me sad. How interesting is it that both Timothy McVeigh and the DC sniper were war veterans? These guys get all fucked up, then lost, and forgotten.

Waiting for the Men in Uniform
Soon after 9/11 my brother went to South Korea. This frightened my family because we knew things were getting crazy with the threat of nuclear weapons. While he was in Korea, America invaded Iraq. I obsessed on the news, crying each time there was a casualty. When all the blackhawks started getting shot down, my fear escalated. I knew it wouldn’t be long before my brother was in Iraq, flying one of those blackhawks. Sure enough, he went to Iraq soon after. Like the hero that he is, he left ready to die for our country. We tried not to cry as we said goodbye when sending him off...but its so hard to be strong, when you know someone you love may be sacrificed in a political war. Once he got to Iraq, my paranoia and obsession with Iraq intensified. Every time I read that a blackhawk went down I panicked, but then remembered my brother’s words. He said in the military, no news is good news. Phone calls from military officials, are also no cause for alarm. “But when two guys in military uniform show up at mom’s house, then you know”. I kept waiting to hear that the guys in uniform came while my brother was away, BUT THANK GOD, they never showed up at the house.

Homecoming and Abu Ghraib
My brother came back from Iraq last spring. He came home here on leave to a heroes welcome. I sported him around town, always announcing to the bar tenders that “this is my brother and he just got back from Iraq”. Many a drinks were bought for him and me too, for being with him. Unfortunately, the Abu Ghraib prison scandal happened right around the time of his homecoming. I got so sick of people giving him shit about that. Why did my brother have to speak for some bad apples in the Army?

Back in Black 2005
Since the Army is on 1-year rotations, my brother is going back to Iraq early next year. I’m going to move into his house and take care of it while he is away. This thought is re-assuring to me, because for some weird reason, I will feel closer to him, living alone in his empty house.

Bush V. Kerry….I Cant Watch!
Watching this debate and hearing them talk about Iraq scares the hell out of me. I almost can’t deal with it. I’m too scared, I don’t want to lose my brother. I’m also scared for my vampire biting soldier friend, who is shipping off to Iraq now. I love and worry about all our soldiers. They do a job to protect us, they make sacrifices for us, and they are willing to die for us. I don’t want any of them to die...I guess I’m just selfish.

Calgon Take Me Away
Watching this debate is like watching a train wreck. I’m compelled to listen, but it also hurts me. Hiding my head in the sand, and thinking about other issues seem much safer. These debates, this election, touches upon issues that I have a hard time dealing with. If I was a stronger person, maybe I could handle sending loved ones off to war. I’m a big, selfish, wimp who needs xanax, cigarettes, pot, wine, or any distraction to deal with my fear. Sorry to be a political cop out, but I don’t want to live in fear anymore, and I really don’t know how to go about curing this condition.

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Jabba Hookah and Neh! Neh! Neh! Fuh! Fuh! Fuh! Indians.

[Drinking his Jim Beam.] Here's the first of the day, fellas! To old D.H. Lawrence.
[He starts flapping one arm like a chicken.]
Neh! Neh! Neh! Fuh! Fuh! Fuh! Indians. -Jack Nicholson in Easy Rider

"I have always maintained that society has no business dictating morality."-Peter Fonda

Pop Culture Diva
For those of you who have been reading my crazy ass shizat, its pretty obvious that Im a film geek and pot smoking whore. I studied film and popular culture while at UC Berkeley, taking classes on the films of Kubrick, the action film as a genre, race in film, etc. Marijuana always enhanced my film viewing experience. I see marijuana as a magickal and healing herb, and not as a drug. Pop culture references to marijuana always fascinate me, especially in some of my favorite films and TV shows.

Born to be Wild and 1969
Though I wasn’t born when Easy Rider came out in the theaters, I can only imagine what it must have been like to see this masterpiece on the big screen. 1969, at the height of the Vietnam War, when long hairs were persecuted as “draft dodging pot smokers”. Easy Rider expemplified and challenged these premises, and definition of freedom in America. For those of you that don’t know, “draft dodging pot smokers” were the impetus for Nixon classifying marijuana as a narcotic and a class C felony. This was his way of getting back at the protestors, by severely criminalizing this harmless herb. From PBS Frontline ERIC SCHLOSSER interview. “During the 1960s, marijuana attained enormous symbolic value. It had importance to the counter culture. It represented a defiance of mainstream America and it also came to symbolize all the evils of the counter culture". From Smoke and Mirrors “During the Nixon years, marijuana laws were used more often to arrest the kind of people police wanted to lock up, rather than to make an impact on drug use. For instance, Otis Lee, a Black Panther, received 30 years in Texas for passing a joint to an undercover cop. Black militants, hippies, campus revolutionaries and welfare moms found themselves targeted by police, yet drug use among middle- and upper-class whites, largely went unchallenged.”

Can You Dig It? I Knew That You Could.
Easy Rider made some profound statements about American life, bikers, freedom, time, and drugs. The acid trip scene still creeps me out to this day. One of my favorite parts is when Captain America embarks on his trip, throws off his wristwatch, and later says he “can dig on time”. This is one of the reasons I never wear a wristwatch, cuz I dig on time too. Oh how I love Captain America!

Don’t Bogart that Joint My Friend....
Its was also a major “fuck you” to Nixon when Peter Fonda, Dennis Hopper, and Jack Nicholson actually smoked marijuana on camera while shooting the movie. This became the classic “pot” scene that challenged and debunked anti-marijuana propaganda and stereotypes.

George: Oh, no thanks. I've got some of my store bought right over here in my own...
Wyatt: No man...This is grass!
George: You...You mean marijuana?
Wyatt: Yeah.
George: Lord have mercy, is that what that is? Let me see that.
Wyatt: Go ahead, George, light it up.
George: Oh, no no no, I...I couldn't do that. I mean, I've, ah, got enough problems with the booze and all. I mean, ah, I can't afford to get hooked.
Wyatt: Ah nah. You won't get hooked.
George: Yeah I know, but I mean, it..it leads to harder stuff.
Wyatt shakes his head.
George: Well, ah, that's got a real nice, uh, taste to it, though I don't suppose it'll do me much good. I mean, I'm so used to the booze and everything.
Wyatt: You've got to hold it in your lungs longer, George
Wyatt: How's your joint, George?
George: Oh my..I believe it went out. I got to talkin' so much I clean forgot about it...went out.
Wyatt: Well, save it. We'll do it first thing tomorrow morning. Gives you a whole new way of looking at the day.
George: Well, I sure could use that! Yes, I sure could use a little of that!

Spice Smuggling and Han Solo
You all know by now that I am obsessed and in love with Star Wars. I’m especially fond of Han Solo, the rouge scoundrel who made a reputation for himself as a spice smuggler before he became a hero in the rebellion. It is rumored that Harrison Ford himself is a major stoner. Though the spice references in Star Wars are a little hidden, if you look close enough, you will see them. Han Solo rigged the Millenium Falcon to be a spice smuggling vehicle; he lost Jabba the Huts spice shipment, and hence had a bounty on his head. Jabba smokes spice out of a hookah, and this can even be seen with the collectible action figures.

I have this vintage play set at home. I baffles me that they make toys for kids with hookahs. I have a scene set up with Jabba, his crew, and all the bounty hunters. Darth Maul and a Cylon from Battlestar Gallactica further add to the mix.

For those that did not know the “spice” history of Star Wars, here is some information off the official site.

Han and his Wookiee first mate and co-pilot Chewbacca had a variety of adventures throughout their long careers as smugglers. By hanging out on the fringe of galactic society, Solo not only made useful allies, but powerful enemies. Han eventually met up with a young gambler named Lando Calrissian. After a period of adventuring, Han won Lando's freighter, the Millennium Falcon in a heated sabacc game. Han and Chewie made countless modifications to the dilapidated Corellian freighter, souping up the Falcon to become an incredibly fast and well-armed smuggling vessel. To cover rapid escapes, the Falcon sports a ventrally mounted hatch-concealed antipersonnel repeating laser. Between its forward mandibles rest concussion missile launchers. The habitable interior of the vessel also has a few surprises, such as concealed scanner-proof smuggling compartments. During a stretch of bad fortune, Solo was forced to jettison a cargo of contraband spice belonging to the gangster Jabba the Hutt. The gangster put a price on his head so large that bounty hunters across the galaxy would come searching for the Corellian and his Wookiee first mate.

Jabba the Hutt:
A loathsome slug of a gangster, Jabba the Hutt was the preeminent crimelord in the Outer Rim Territories.To spread his influence and business across the Outer Rim, Jabba employed a number of smugglers to traffic his illicit goods. One of the best starpilots on his payroll was a young Corellian named Han Solo. Solo's luck ran out while running a shipment of Kessel spice, and his freighter, the Millennium Falcon was boarded by an Imperial patrol. With no options, Han jettisoned Jabba's cargo into space.

LMFAO. Star Wars Geeks Unite.
Check out these links to MP3’s of Star Wars songs.
Star Wars MP3
Includes Greedo song
Emperors March by Metalica
My Name is Darth Vader to the Slim Shady song

Star Wars Spoof Songs
My Favorite is the Cantina song by Barry Manilo

Carl Sagan as Mr. X
Another influence of mine is Carl Sagan. His series Cosmos totally turned me on to science and astronomy. Though this show was on PBS, I loved to watch each episode as a kid, and imagine that I was on the magic spacecraft with Sagan traveling the universe. Guess what? Carl Sagan was a pot smoker. I guess this debunks the myth that pot smokers are stupid.

From Ellen Komp’s Very Important Pot Heads
MYTH: Pot Smokers Are Stupid

Scientist, author of "Cosmos,'' "Contact,'' and "The Dragons of Eden.''
The late astronomer and author Carl Sagan was a secret but avid marijuana smoker, crediting it with inspiring essays and scientific insight, according to Sagan's biographer.
Using the pseudonym "Mr. X'', Sagan wrote about his pot smoking in an essay published in the 1971 book "Reconsidering Marijuana.'' The book's editor, Lester Grinspoon, recently disclosed the secret to Sagan's biographer, Keay Davidson. Davidson, a writer for the San Francisco Examiner, revealed the marijuana use in an article published in the newspaper's magazine on August 20, 1999.
In the essay, Sagan said marijuana inspired some of his intellectual work. "I can remember one occasion, taking a shower with my wife while high, in which I had an idea on the origins and invalidities of racism in terms of gaussian distribution curves,'' wrote the former Cornell University professor. Sagan also wrote that pot enhanced his experience of food, particularly potatoes, music and sex.
Grinspoon, Sagan's closest friend for 30 years, said Sagan's marijuana use is evidence against the notion that marijuana makes people less ambitious. "He was certainly highly motivated to work, to contribute,'' said Grinspoon, a psychiatry professor at Harvard University. Ann Druyan, Sagan's former wife, is a director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws.

Doobie Doggie
Of course no popular culture stoner tribute would be complete without the good ol cartoon and now movie Scooby Doo. This groovy cartoon was full of marijuana references. Scooby “Doobie” Doo for one. Shaggy was the biggest pot head character ever seen. He hung out and talked to a dog, continually had the munchies, and in the movie fell in love with a girl named Mary Jane. Reportedly, many of the marijuana references were “cut” out of the movie. Ah well, we get the point anyway.

Some crazy Pot TV links for ya!
Cocaine Cowboys by Andy Warhol
PotTV Movie Links


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