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Archive for the ‘marijuana’ Category

What are they thinking?

Posted by G.A. Matiasz on June 28, 2007

It has taken thousands of lives, and ruined many thousands more. It has cost billions of dollars and squandered the country’s resources. It has been a failure, with no end in sight.

No, I’m not talking about the Iraq War. What I’m referring to is the War on Drugs. The War on Drugs has been an unmitigated disaster that has lasted for decades. No, generations. Given such a dismal track record, what do the Feds propose to do? Why, make even more substances illegal.

Fucking idiots!

The SF Chronicle reported yesterday that a legal hallucinogen, Salvia divinorum is under scrutiny by the Federal government, with a strong possibility that it will be made illegal. Given the government’s success with marijuana, cocaine, heroin, et al, it can be expected that salvia’s popularity and availability will skyrocket once it’s made illegal, and that a lucrative black market will spring up, leading to greater crime, misery and corruption, not to mention a bigger, more invasive government.

The stupidity here is just breathtaking.

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Posted in California, cocaine, drugs, heroin, Iraq War, life, marijuana, Salvia, Salvia divinorum, San Francisco, War on Drugs | 1 Comment »

Oh joy!

Posted by G.A. Matiasz on June 11, 2007

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Both my Guardian Weekly and Monthly arrived on Friday of last week. I’m in heaven. There’s nothing more civilized than spending a leisurely Sunday morning reading newspapers over breakfast.

I’ll get to the Weekly later. The Monthly has two articles of particular interest. In “Slogan’s Run,” Catherine Rapley talks with Ji Lee, a disgruntled New York ad man who does these great detournements of billboard and online advertising with cleverly phrased and placed word bubbles. His stuff can be seen here.

Then there’s Ed Vulliamy’s retrospective on the 1967 Summer of Love (“Peace, Love and Understanding”), done through interviews with survivors like Country Joe, Bob Weir, Paul Kantner, and Barry Melton. Generally a worthwhile piece, although I have a few criticisms.

The writing is done in a staccato style that is a bit jumpy, and makes the interviewees all sound the same. He clearly states that the Summer of Love was seen “to reach what was for some the revolution’s climax, for others its nadir.” Yet no one who soured on the hippie ideal is interviewed. What we are left with is at best a flashback, and at worst nostalgia.

Which brings me to my final criticism. For the most part, I’m positive about the hippie counterculture in particular, and about the 1960s in general. However, I just don’t buy the cliched reasons for the collapse of San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury that started even before 1967, which Vulliamy repeats ad nauseam. It was the hordes of young people that flooded the Haight which the community wasn’t prepared to handle; it was hard drugs like speed and heroin that started to replace soft drugs like marijuana and LSD; it was the commercialization and exploitation of the hippie experience. To my mind, even all three of these reasons combined don’t entirely explain why the hippie counterculture went bad. Perhaps having a few disgruntled and dissenting voices could have helped shed new light on the subject.

The then-and-now photos of some of those interviewed are fun.

There’s also a horrific article about a ruthless Nigerian militia, the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta, and a nicely eclectic music section, among many other interesting features. I’m glad I subscribed.

Posted in 1967, Bubble Project, counterculture, Guardian Monthly, Guardian Weekly, Haight-Ashbury, hippie, hippies, Ji Lee, life, LSD, marijuana, Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta, Nigeria, Peace Love and Understanding, Summer of Love | 1 Comment »