Re: The Pot

1

When* I was in high school, the pot was nowhere around. It was associated with the 60s to such an extent that it was seen as something for old people. We didn't even smoke tobacco much. Mostly we just drank and chewed tobacco.

* "Where" may also be the crucial distinction here.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02- 6-14 6:03 AM
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Pot was completely and utterly normalized as something nice high-school-aged protagonists would do in the YA novels I was just starting to read in the very early 80s. (Think Norma Klein.) That changed pretty quickly and then the next thing you know Nancy Reagan was on Diff'rent Strokes.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 02- 6-14 6:37 AM
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I've seen statistics that suggest that drug use peaked in the 70s, and this certainly reflects my high school experience - when, indeed, we all thought marijuana was just about to be legalized.

My theory: Reagan changed everything. (Or anyway, the changes that brought about Reagan changed everything.) We're emerging from the dark ages on social issues in general, and drug law is one part of that.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 02- 6-14 6:42 AM
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For younger people, it may be hard to believe Diff'rent Strokes was watched by people who weren't on drugs, but I can testify that it was indeed the case.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02- 6-14 6:45 AM
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5

I bet none of you were smoking hydrangeas, though.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 02- 6-14 7:12 AM
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6

That's past "Diff'rent Strokes" levels of strange and up into "Alf" territory.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02- 6-14 7:14 AM
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7

I guess any "left-wing" issue that in no way offends any rich person or corporation has a good chance of succeeding. Especially if it is also a "libertarian" issue.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 02- 6-14 7:15 AM
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8

When* I was in high school, the pot was nowhere around.

We definitely went to different high schools.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02- 6-14 7:15 AM
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9

There were 17 people in my class. I'd have remembered you.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02- 6-14 7:16 AM
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10

I also remember anti-drug lectures that were comically devoted to making sure we knew every slang word ever used for any drug. I guess the idea was that if somebody offered us "a bennie" we would know it was drugs. It wasn't completely useless as it really helped in understanding Valley of the Dolls when I found a copy of that.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02- 6-14 7:21 AM
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9: I think we had somewhere around 500-600. It took a loooong time for everybody to walk across the stage.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02- 6-14 7:25 AM
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10: I know a dude who accidentally smoked crack because it was offered to him under some name that he didn't recognize, and he didn't know what it was. So that would have been super useful for him!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02- 6-14 7:25 AM
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13

It took a loooong time for everybody to walk across the stage.

Longer, if everyone is high.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02- 6-14 7:29 AM
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14

12: This was the 70s. I don't think we covered crack.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02- 6-14 7:31 AM
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12: what did he think he was smoking?


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 02- 6-14 7:32 AM
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25: well, whatever they called it. Fred, who knows. I think they told him it was a kind of cocaine.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02- 6-14 7:33 AM
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17

That's not exactly false labeling then.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02- 6-14 7:36 AM
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18

"Cocaine Light"


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02- 6-14 7:38 AM
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Yeah I mean we were not totally convinced by his protestations that arbitrary-smokable-cocaine-variant-that-isn't-crack is necessarily that much better than crack. But I think he felt like he crossed some sort of line (hah!).


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02- 6-14 7:40 AM
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20

That's certainly the way people who write the drug possession sentencing guidelines feel.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02- 6-14 7:42 AM
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21

Coke Zero


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02- 6-14 7:42 AM
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22

I had a professor in college who had been an ambassador under Reagan. He was convinced the push for drug legalization was a big conspiracy between the people who run the casinos and narcotraficantes from Latin America.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 02- 6-14 7:46 AM
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23

"Freebasing" was a thing that people thought of as separate from "the crack."


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 02- 6-14 7:46 AM
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24

21: There's a New Coke/Classic Coke in there somewhere (and didn't that all go down about the same time that crack was cranking up?)


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02- 6-14 7:52 AM
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25

12: Maybe the same thing happened to Whitney Houston.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 02- 6-14 7:52 AM
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26

Wasn't there a huge setback during the administration of History's Greatest Monster? My recollection is that Carter said he would decriminalize marijuana use, and I believe there was even movement towards it in the Senate, but someone in the White House got caught up in a big coke bust, Carter's people found it embarrassing and dropped the idea, and then reaction set in.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 02- 6-14 7:54 AM
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27

In one of her drunken stupors?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 02- 6-14 7:55 AM
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28

Does that have anything to do with the swamp rabbit attack?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02- 6-14 7:55 AM
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29

26: same thing with that guy who got caught in a seedy motel in Anacostia with a bunch of solar panels.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02- 6-14 7:56 AM
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23: I forget what they called it, but it was something I'd never heard of (so not freebasing).


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02- 6-14 7:58 AM
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31

Ack-cray?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02- 6-14 8:00 AM
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32

I wish people would stop overdosing on heroin and prescription opiates and dying.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 02- 6-14 8:00 AM
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33

I wouldn't discount the amount of organized activism which took place during the past fifteen years.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 02- 6-14 8:09 AM
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34

My sense is that the momentum for legalization got stopped by the war on drugs and especially the crack epidemic. Most non-users simply fail to distinguish one drug from another, so "drugs are bad" becomes the norm thanks to seeing images of strung out crackheads, junkies, and meth users, and pot sort of gets dragged along for the ride.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 02- 6-14 8:33 AM
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35

I have a theory that rising health care costs and the increasing awfulness of insurance norms contribute significantly. People who might have done something else for the treatment of pain and such in the, oh, late '70s through '80s found themselves with fewer and fewer viable alternatives.


Posted by: Bruce Baugh | Link to this comment | 02- 6-14 8:35 AM
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26: Aha! Your memory is indeed good, at least on the subject of decriminalization. You must not have smoked pot in those days.

Carter has long favored the decriminalization of marijuana. While still in office in 1979, he called for the drug's decriminalization.

Don't know if there was something that came up to cause him to abandon this.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 02- 6-14 9:10 AM
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37

I wouldn't discount the amount of organized activism which took place during the past fifteen years.

I was reading some article (in the American Prospect?) about pro-legalization activists, and I realized that I had to give them credit. I'd been feeling slightly cynical about pot legalization based on the argument David Simon made in a post that was linked here.

Once marijuana is fully exempted from the war on drugs, I argued, "it'd be another 10 or 40 years of assigning people of color to this dystopia."

But then, reading about the activists I though, "these are people who have been working for decades, and are clearly on the correct side of the issue. Yes, there's still more work to do, but that shouldn't take anything away from the people who were pushing for a policy change in the direction of sanity, even when it seemed very unlikely. It is a win."

. . . for the treatment of pain . . .

Relevant song: Downs by Hamell On Trial (the video contains two songs, "Downs" is the first one).


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 02- 6-14 9:13 AM
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38

I suspect 34 is a lot of the story.

Also, some states actually sort of semi-decriminalize possession in the 70's - California and I assume at least a few others. That may have served as an incubator for more muscular movements to emerge as the drug war waned: medical marijuana from 1996, a law in 2003 that put medical marijuana on a more regular footing (SB420 - a real scream), and today, industry millionaires who are legal enough to be contributing to initiative campaigns.

Not that the previous semi-decriminalization was at all enough. It was a misdemeanor with a $100 fine which dropped off your criminal record after two years, converted to an infraction in 2011, but people - mostly POC - still get arrested for possession even in permissive jurisdictions.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 02- 6-14 9:20 AM
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39

The role of AIDS activism is probably important to mention. Certainly in California they were fundamental to the 1996 law.

Anyhow the large story is really just that a much larger portion of the population smoked pot in the '60s than ever had before, and as they aged, some meaningful percentage of them combined a continued sense that there was nothing bad about it with the resources to fund lobbying efforts. That, combined with AIDS activism -- probably especially as regards AIDS drugs before they had approval -- and the eventual high-water mark of post-Nixon moral majority culture war reaction, meant that the ground was basically prepared.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02- 6-14 9:30 AM
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40

They used to do some nutty stuff back when I was in a reasonably affluent high school. They literally had narcs come into the school undercover and bust kids for selling them pot. I wonder if they stopped doing that to high SES folks, and thus removed the political impetus for reform. I know that my niece, in her privilegedness, had no fear whatsoever of getting busted for pot.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 02- 6-14 9:32 AM
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41

My cousin worked as a narc in college in the hope it would help her land an FBI job. We had a very awkward conversation about that!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02- 6-14 9:34 AM
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42

Don't know if there was something that came up to cause him to abandon this.

Getting voted out of office, one suspects.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02- 6-14 9:35 AM
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43

A lot of the documentary "Grass" (narrated by Woody Harrelson) was about how the unstoppable momentum of the 1970s marijuana legalization movement was stopped 100% in a single day by Reagan taking office. It was one of various symbolic acts designed to send the message "The President is no longer a goddamn hippie".

There was some stuff in there about how Carter's drug czar, Peter Bourne, was a vaguely controversial figure with some vague ethical issues or something which let him be painted as a dangerous radical.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 02- 6-14 9:42 AM
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Nancy Reagan was on Diff'rent Strokes.

Your what hurts?

(YouTube confirms this. My god, sitcoms were horrible in the 80s.)


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 02- 6-14 10:51 AM
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45

I can, without looking at the YouTube, recall a joke Arnold made about the ear pieces of the Secret Service agents. "They aren't listening to the ballgame," he said. Or something quite like it.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02- 6-14 10:59 AM
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Did YouTube suggest that you might be interested in video of Mrs. Reagan sitting on Mr. T's lap, also for anti-drug purposes? Not only sitcoms were horrible back then.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02- 6-14 10:59 AM
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47

29 to 43.1


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02- 6-14 11:07 AM
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48

The 80s. When drugs were instantly lethal and four people could bounce out of a van, exchange automatic weapon fire with their adversaries at ten yards, hit no one, and win.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02- 6-14 11:08 AM
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49

When the beeping house situation was going on, I kept fantasizing that the A Team would save me, possibly by blowing up the house. Why isn't there a real A Team?


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 02- 6-14 11:15 AM
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50

Why isn't there a real A Team?

Maybe you just don't know how to find them and/or someone else can help.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02- 6-14 11:17 AM
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51

I mean I would totally trade harsher restrictions on pot for a real live A Team. That's just a personal preference.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 02- 6-14 11:17 AM
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52

You have to really know the Los Angeles underground.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02- 6-14 11:17 AM
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53

"We had to destroy the house in order to save it."
"I love it when a plan comes together."


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 02- 6-14 11:19 AM
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54

Why did the house stop beeping?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02- 6-14 11:19 AM
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50 -- it is true that the municipal fire department was able to help, and solved the problem nonviolently and in a matter of minutes. Still, the A Team would have been way better.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 02- 6-14 11:20 AM
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56

To get to the other side.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02- 6-14 11:20 AM
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57

Sorry for spoiling the nice joke. Anyhow, we called the fire department and said we thought it was a smoke alarm (technically a lie) and they went in and did something mysterious and the beeping stopped. It would have been better with Hannibal smoking a cigar walking away from an explosion.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 02- 6-14 11:26 AM
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and they went in and did something mysterious

Turned off the smoke alarm.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 02- 6-14 11:28 AM
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44: What'chu talkin' 'bout, Smearcase?


Posted by: Opinionated Zombie Gary Coleman | Link to this comment | 02- 6-14 11:31 AM
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An bit of anecdata that boggles my mind to this day. I recall (potential false memory alert!) that at some point in the '70s there was an interview (in Sports Illustrated I believe) with an NFL player (Washington, I believe) who in describing the locker room cliques said something like "And then there are those of us who like to get a little buzz on every once in a while." It was noted by several of us, but I do not recall it being a big deal of any kind. (Now some of this was that the NFL was not yet as intertwined in the broader popular culture as it is today.)


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02- 6-14 11:49 AM
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I think of "buzz" as nonspecific to intoxicant. Is it specifically about pot when someone says "get a buzz on"?


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 02- 6-14 11:52 AM
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I would have thought of it as being specific to alcohol.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02- 6-14 12:01 PM
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39: a much larger portion of the population smoked pot in the '60s than ever had before

And their activities with the pot became associated in the public imagination with all their other .. activities. Which were ewwww. The sex and the greasy hair and the patchouli and the dirty toenails. It hadn't really occurred to me before in this context, but sure: the pot = the dirty hippies, I'm willing to bet.

On preview, pwned by 43.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 02- 6-14 12:03 PM
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Actually I am guilty of using "What'chu talkin' bout, Willis?" for a cheap laugh with people I can tell are about my age. Like sometimes I'll go with "de quoi parles-tu Willis?!" or "О чем идет речь, Уиллис?" and it's funny see because...well because...


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 02- 6-14 12:03 PM
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64: Because of my comedic genius, you fool!


Posted by: Opinionated Zombie Gary Coleman | Link to this comment | 02- 6-14 12:11 PM
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66

A context-appropriate "Whachu talkin about Jewess?" would be funny.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 02- 6-14 12:35 PM
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67

I've lost track of who is really pushing and getting things done, is NORML a significant part of it (or the main one)?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02- 6-14 12:39 PM
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An entire morning of "XYZ comments on the pot" in the sidebar, and no one, not even Moby, makes a poop joke?


Posted by: Todd | Link to this comment | 02- 6-14 12:48 PM
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Poop jokes are so 2013.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02- 6-14 12:52 PM
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70

someone in the White House got caught up in a big coke bust

It was Hamilton Jordan, the chief of staff, at Studio 54. . Ah, the 70s.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 02- 6-14 1:04 PM
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There was a real hunger for reaction in 1980, I can easily see looking back. I hadn't felt it, so I was caught by surprise.

Wonder whether the "Alf" reference upthread was stimulated by seeing him in the crowd of the Radio Shack/Super Bowl add? 80s nostalgia was one of the themes of the night--diversity another. Did I see Liv Ullman for a split second?


Posted by: Idp | Link to this comment | 02- 6-14 2:40 PM
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It occurred to me the other day: back in the '90s (and maybe to this day), industrial hemp was always a big cause among environmentalists, and I was always annoyed that potheads couldn't resist glomming on to the cause, since of course that doomed the whole message of "hemp is a responsible agriproduct that should be legal, and had nothing to do with getting high."

And now, of course, pot is legal and industrial hemp still isn't. I blame Weyerhaueser.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02- 6-14 2:59 PM
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Dude George Washington totally grew hemp.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 02- 6-14 3:01 PM
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74

Is industrial hemp actually useful, aside from providing food for small game birds?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02- 6-14 3:01 PM
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75

And in my view what doomed hemp legalization was hideous hemp clothing worn by idiots.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 02- 6-14 3:01 PM
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75: Following that logic, suits should be illegal.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 02- 6-14 3:03 PM
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77

Peep, I saw a reference to your Columbus connection yesterday, which I remembered from however long it's been. Are you there now?


Posted by: Idp | Link to this comment | 02- 6-14 3:08 PM
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78

74: IIRC, it makes great paper with a lot less land use compared to trees.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 02- 6-14 3:10 PM
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77: Yes, I'm still in Columbus

I remember discussing Columbus with you.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 02- 6-14 3:21 PM
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80

I think we've all lived in Columbus at one point or another.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02- 6-14 3:24 PM
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80: There's an implied, "but the rest of us had the sense to leave" isn't there?


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 02- 6-14 3:28 PM
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82

Or they had to move to make room for another mall.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02- 6-14 3:31 PM
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82: There hasn't been a new mall in years and years. A couple (Northland, City Center) have been torn down.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 02- 6-14 3:36 PM
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78: Right. Basically, what bamboo has become to rapidly renewable wood, hemp could be to rapidly renewable paper.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02- 6-14 3:37 PM
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78: I read somewhere that DuPont pushed for the criminalization of hemp, because he wanted to sell chemicals to make paper from wood pulp.

Cotton paper is lovely but it is rough on soil. I would live to be able to buy hemp paper.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 02- 6-14 3:38 PM
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86

I don't see myself enjoying purchasing any type of paper that much.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02- 6-14 3:39 PM
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87

Butt paper or writing paper?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02- 6-14 3:54 PM
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88

Carter's drugs tsar is really impressive: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Bourne

I imagine there are very few other members of the Haight-Ashbury Free Clinic staff and UN Assistant Secretaries-General who are members of the Special Forces Club of London.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 02- 6-14 5:14 PM
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89

You're not kidding! He even raises bison on his farm.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 02- 6-14 5:53 PM
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90

1) The answer to many or all such questions about social changes in the last 10, 20, or 50 years is Neoliberalism! Really, it pays to look at the "base" the regime of accumulation and mode of regulation first.

2) So what are the advantages to the RoA and MoR of some degree of change from alcohol (or hard drugs) to grass as drug of choice? Well, not sure about the advantages of booze but the disadvantages are I think a much larger degree of social expenditure to handle the direct and indirect consequences and a huge infrastructure.

3) It isn't only that there are too many potheads in jail but that there are too many assholes in jail who got there under the influence of alcohol.

4) So like, why would the Powers prefer the abject and underemployed vegging on their couches rather than boozing it up in the bars looking for a fight or a riot? Duh

5) Next step Soma Prozac.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 02- 6-14 6:14 PM
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4) at 90 probably could be expanded. Neoliberalism is about the turning of isolation/individualism into an ideological practice to make collective action impossible.

Pot is a solitary vice, or much more so than booze.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 02- 6-14 6:17 PM
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My answer to the OP question is that boomers are the oldest people in positions of power, and they and every subsequent generation has had experience with pot as a fairly benign drug, so the hysteria has died down.

It's not unlike how new ideas in physics come to be accepted: the old physicists eventually die.


Posted by: DaveL | Link to this comment | 02- 6-14 6:26 PM
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JRoth @ 72: I always assumed the reason pot users wanted industrial hemp legalized is that it is pretty indistinguishable from marijuana. Thus, it would make it easer to grow pot without people realizing what it was and drawing attention from the authorities.


Posted by: DaveL | Link to this comment | 02- 6-14 6:30 PM
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94

Bob is going to sing "Piano Man" now.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02- 6-14 6:39 PM
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95

Bring us the bong,
You're the banana man.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02- 6-14 6:47 PM
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96

Oh pot is a solitary vice,
or much more so than booze,
They both go to your head
Or send you to bed
But with pot no puke on your shoes.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 02- 6-14 6:48 PM
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97

My shoes are so stained with salt.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02- 6-14 6:52 PM
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98

Worked the night shift at a factory near Columbus in the winter of '74. Wide range of backgrounds among the guys, some were students taking a quarter off like me, but most weren't and hadn't any college. They talked about Tom Snyder, who was on when they got home, and would break out singing "Piano Man" nearly every night on break. Know it by heart still.


Posted by: Idp | Link to this comment | 02- 6-14 6:53 PM
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96:
Very good. Doesn't quite scan, but you can stretch the syllables to fit; he does.


Posted by: Idp | Link to this comment | 02- 6-14 6:55 PM
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100

It is nearly possible to sing 98 to the tune of Piano Man.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02- 6-14 6:56 PM
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101

I worked the evening shift at a warehouse in Columbus. Nobody sang.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02- 6-14 7:15 PM
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98 sounds more like the lyrics to Leningrad.
We sang many songs paddling on canoe trips at camp, Piano Man among them.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 02- 6-14 7:16 PM
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103

Salad with fries on it consumed.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02- 6-14 7:24 PM
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104

So I sit down just now and add the TV, and Billy Joel: A Matter of Trust comes on.


Posted by: Idp | Link to this comment | 02- 6-14 7:27 PM
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Billy Joel is a detective down in Texas
(clapclapclapclapclap)
You know he knows just exactly what the facts is
He ain't gonna let those two escape justice
'Cause it's better than drinking alone


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02- 6-14 7:42 PM
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106

I control those kind of things.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02- 6-14 7:43 PM
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107

106 to 104.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02- 6-14 7:44 PM
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108

I went to the not smoking bar, because nice coat. Food costs more, but can be tasted.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02- 6-14 7:49 PM
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109

Also, different guy with psychosis than my usual bar.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02- 6-14 7:51 PM
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110

It's an odd thing, but anyone who disappears is said to be seen in Columbus.


Posted by: Opinionated Midwestern Oscar Wilde | Link to this comment | 02- 6-14 8:00 PM
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That wasn't me, but I liked it.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02- 6-14 8:08 PM
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112

109 was, on further conversation, really way too accurate.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02- 6-14 8:47 PM
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Nobody from Columbus has ever made a first rate wanderer in the Conradean tradition. Some of them have been fairly good at disappearing for a few days to turn up in a hotel in Louisville with a bad headache and no recollection of they got there.


Posted by: James Thurber | Link to this comment | 02- 6-14 8:51 PM
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I went as Opinionated Midwestern Oscar Wilde for Halloween my senior year of HS, so here's another happy thread for me! I'm not sure the girls are old enough to handle Thurber, even just "The Night the Bed Fell," though my littlest brother was obsessed with whichever sequel has a record player getting stuck on "ate some burnt hoss flesh" when he was in kindergarten and I was still reading to him. Surely they could handle some Benchley, at least. If I could get through "Talking Dogs" without laughing too hard to talk, that might be perfect.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 02- 6-14 8:55 PM
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115

Try the passage about his dog, Rex. Kids love animal stories, and the part about killing cats is educational.


Posted by: Idp | Link to this comment | 02- 6-14 9:08 PM
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114: "More Alarms at Night"

I had been trying all afternoon, in vain, to think of the name Perth Amboy. It seems now like a very simple name to recall and yet on the day in question I thought of every other town in the country, as well as such words and names and phrases as terra cotta, Walla-Walla, bill of lading, vice versa, hoity-toity, Pall Mall, Bodley Head, Schumann-Heink, etc., without even coming close to Perth Amboy. I suppose terra cotta was the closest I came, although it was not very close.

Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02- 6-14 9:22 PM
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Yeah, right now I'm all unhip and try to avoid anything that a child's likely to repeat to a mandated reporter who could get the kids removed. I'm pretty sure it's Mara's inability to remember whether it's the baby or the dog who sleeps in a crate that is most likely to prompt an investigation, but a sudden interest in cat-killing would work too, especially since our cats mysteriously live with my friend rather than us as of Xmas.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 02- 6-14 9:26 PM
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116: YES! Another one I don't think I can read without laughing! I have to say "Perth Amboy" once in a blue moon at work and always think of that. Plus then, "Mein gott, I haff no sideways," etc.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 02- 6-14 9:28 PM
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Last one (from "The Car We Had to Push").

Lear: What! Have his daughters brought him to this pass?--
Get-Ready Man: Get ready! Get ready!
Edgar: Pillicock sat on Pillicock-hill:--
Halloo, halloo, loo, loo!
(Lightning flashes).
Get-Ready Man: The Worllld is com-ing to an End!
Fool: This cold night will turn us all to fools and madmen!
Edgar: Take heed o' the foul fiend: obey thy paren-
Get-Ready Man: Get Rea-dy!
Edgar: Tom's a-cold!
Get-Ready Man: The Worr-uld is coming to an end!


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02- 6-14 9:49 PM
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I have to say "Perth Amboy" once in a blue moon

Yep. That town will always be a joke.

God damn I loved that book as a kid.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02- 6-14 9:56 PM
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I had forgotten that Walter Mitty was from there.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02- 6-14 10:07 PM
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BTW, turns out it is available here on Project Gutenberg (My Life and Hard Times). Has the illustrations as well.

"What was the matter with that one policeman?" mother asked, after they had gone. "Grandfather shot him," I said. "What for?" she demanded. I told her he was a deserter. "Of all things!" said mother. "He was such a nice-looking young man."


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02- 6-14 10:33 PM
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When grandfather regained full consciousness, at Parsons Avenue, he turned upon the retreating mob like a vengeful prophet and exhorted the men to form ranks and stand off the Rebel dogs, but at length he, too, got the idea that the dam had broken and, roaring "Go east!" in his powerful voice, he caught up in one arm a small child and in the other a slight clerkish man of perhaps forty-two and we slowly began to gain on those ahead of us.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02- 6-14 10:51 PM
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111: Oh, it was me.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 02- 6-14 11:08 PM
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Peter Bourne also dabbled in blogging, although he's gone on hiatus: http://petergbourne.co.uk/blog/


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 02- 7-14 5:21 AM
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I imagine there are very few other members of the Haight-Ashbury Free Clinic staff and UN Assistant Secretaries-General who are members of the Special Forces Club of London.

You're not kidding! He even raises bison on his farm.

The only way he could be more Halfordismo is for him actually to be a Pagani Huayra.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 02- 7-14 5:33 AM
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122: well, shit. Now I have to read that at work today.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02- 7-14 5:59 AM
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I'm not sure the girls are old enough to handle Thurber, even just "The Night the Bed Fell,"

Many moons was one of my favorite stories as a child.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 02- 9-14 2:29 PM
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128: Mine too, but they didn't really get into it when I read it and there's a blackface minstrel illustration that has kept me from picking it up for them again. (There's a newer version with different illustrations, and that might be the reason.)


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 02- 9-14 2:33 PM
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and there's a blackface minstrel illustration

I don't think I ever saw the illustrations -- I just heard it as an audiobook. My parents copied a variety of children's stories from records checked out of the library to cassette. At some age, probably around seven, I had the box of tapes and cassette player and I could pick out my own bedtime stories.

What do remember best from that? "Many Moons", "Maribo and Morsigat", "The Trumpeter of Krakow", "John Henry", "Paul Bunyon" -- classics.

I remember listening to "The Fantastic Mr. Fox" but I'm not sure that is the same box of tapes.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 02- 9-14 2:50 PM
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What about "The White Deer"? Or maybe "The Thirteen Clocks", but I never knew that one as well. I love the king sitting around bitching about comets.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02- 9-14 2:57 PM
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Oh, the illustrations are so great! It's such a fantastic book. But yeah, it didn't catch on. I may try again.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 02- 9-14 2:59 PM
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I confess that I want Jane to be into Many Moons so that she can form the same fantasy I did of having a moon necklace of her own, so that then I can give her one.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 02- 9-14 3:05 PM
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If she doesn't like it, rfts, I have always wanted a moon necklace!


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 02- 9-14 3:10 PM
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