Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Periodical literature review

(Note: Once again--fortunately not very often--I offer this blog a glimpse into an alternate reality which has absolutely nothing to do with, and in fact resolutely ignores, the sleazy political shenanigans of Longmont, in the hope that some of the readers may find it a welcome change of tone. It was originally published in my own blog, "Dull dull boring dull," which nobody ever reads.)

As usual, I see no reason to apologize for five months of silence. I see no reason to make any comments on the continued plunge of the nation and the world into apocalyptic chaos and anarchy, except to opine that it isn’t happening fast enough for my taste. I see no point in making more than passing mention of the BP oil disaster, or Mel Gibson’s self-destruction in a flaming display of terminal assholism, or the media debates over whether Sarah Moosehunter will run for President in 2012, or whatever other non-events are the current fodder for the mass-opiate machine, or what Joe Bageant calls the American holograph. I stay remarkably busy with music gigs of one sort or another, and stay autistically isolated from a reality which I find unpleasant and boring. Life goes on, in spite of every effort to avoid it. It is, as Thomas Hobbes said, solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.

I remember when the mainstream propaganda made considerable hay of Moosehunter’s failure to respond appropriately to some interviewer’s question of what newspapers and magazines she read. Having less presence of mind than an ordinarily bright turnip, she made the mistake of trying to cover her ass, instead of simply quoting the great line from none other than Jefferson, one of our revered floundering fodders, who said that the man who reads nothing at all is better educated than the man who reads nothing but newspapers (but probably not better educated than the man who reads something besides newspapers). Presumably a candidate for high public office is expected to be conversant in the literature of the mainstream propaganda machine. I, however, not being a candidate for any office at all, rather pride myself on being essentially illiterate with regard to the mainstream media. If anyone were to have nothing better to do than ask me such a stupid question, I would reply that the only “news”-papers I read are the satirical Onion (stories you wish were true) and the local leftist Boulder Weekly, and the only magazines I make any effort to look at once in awhile are Mother Jones, The New Yorker, and the U.K.-published Economist. I may give a cursory glance at Time occasionally if there’s nothing else available, but I wouldn’t be caught dead with the Wall-eyed Journal. Mother Jones is to the Wall-eyed Journal as the Communist Manifesto is to Smith’s Wealth of nations.

But sometimes, in browsing through the magazine rack at my favorite coffee shop (which is NOT Starfucks!), I run across some rather interesting alternate realities, in some ways more bizarre than the Onion. The other day I picked up an issue of something called Real Simple, under the fatuous illusion that, judging from the name, it might have something to do with “simple living.” Not hardly. Roughly 200 of the 280 pages were devoted to advertisements, all of which, every one of which, were targeted to women, most of them for feminine health, beauty, and vanity. I subsequently learned from a Wikipedia stub that it is indeed a “women’s interest” magazine, to which I should have been clued in by the fact that the vast majority of customers at the coffee shop are women; I sometimes feel like I’m in a henhouse. There are no copies of Guns & Ammo, or even Sports Illustrated, in the magazine rack. Obviously no men except queers or transvestites are expected to look at it, and as one of the former, I can tell you the royal we were thoroughly disgusted. I can’t imagine how Time Inc., the publisher, came up with the name Real Simple, because the lifestyle it advertises is about as simple as the court of Louis XVI; I wonder if the millions of people on earth who live in grinding poverty, gnawing hunger, and squalid filth, or even the people in the “developed” nations who pursue authentically simple lifestyles, would consider it “simple.” I think Time Inc. should be sued for false labeling.

The real find, however—and, characteristically, I can’t remember where I found it—was a magazine called Kush: Colorado’s premier cannabis lifestyle magazine. Now, this is interesting on so many levels that it’s difficult to know where to begin. But let’s start with:
(1) The fact that a magazine devoted to “Colorado’s … cannabis lifestyle” is published in Calabasas CA, an exceedingly affluent, yuppie suburb west of LA, and there’s no indication that anyone on the editorial staff has anything to do with Colorado.
(2) The fact that the name “kush” refers to a strain of cannabis which is particularly popular with the medical pot community, and which is named for its origins in the Hindu Kush Mountains, in the region of Pakistan and Afghanistan—which will come as a great surprise to anyone who knows diddly-squat about the geopolitics of weed.
(3) The fact that the issue I picked up had an issue date of “June 15, 2010 – Volume 2, issue 6,” which may or may not indicate, depending upon what upscale publishers trying to sound like stoners mean by such terms as “volume” and “issue,” that the mag has been around for a year and a half, and I’m just now seeing it. I move in the wrong circles—obviously.
(4) Most basically, the fact that there even exists a magazine—a large, very glossy, rather pretentious magazine—devoted to “Colorado’s cannabis lifestyle”—or, more accurately, devoted to hundreds of ads for the doctors and dispensaries that the new industry has spawned. We’ve come a long way since the days when we had to furtively toke up in friends’ houses, paranoiacally looking over our shoulders for narcs lurking in the shadows; and frankly, I pine rather nostalgically for the good old days. (Who remembers the Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers?) Now you have to go to all the hassle of getting some charlatan quack doctor to write a phony prescription for you. And you can buy (or pick up free, as I did) your own glossy yuppie mag to show how hip you are in your use of something that thousands of people are spending their lives rotting in prison for because of possession of miniscule amounts. There are, of course, still many knuckle-dragging troglodytes, lots of them in positions of political or “law enforcement” power, who would like to continue locking people up for seeking relief from chronic pain. These miserable cretins, who are lamenting the passage of all the bills legalizing the use of cannabis as presaging the downfall of civilization, are still stuck in the 1938 mentality of that monumental piece of cinematic propaganda bullshit, Reefer madness. There’s a special place in Hell for these creatures.

Well, till next time, as Red Green says, keep your stick on the ice. (I don’t think he’s referring to a hockey stick.)

1 comment:

Doogman said...

As always, right to the point and on-point always. Thank you Anthony. I remember the Fabulous Furry Freak brothers and the name of Freddie's cat.