Saturday, August 02, 2008
Home Gardening for Fun and Profit
I haven't been home for a couple of months, so my sick-looking rose garden was full of weeds. I pulled most of them out this morning which made me feel real virtuous, but unfortunately I hurt my back doing it.
Getting older sucks.
There goes my other virtuous plan -- my resolve to do my self-guided yoga practice today (it would have made a whole TWO days in a row!).
Other than that, retirement is treating me pretty good right now, despite the 111-degree, 54-percent-humidity weather we're enduring here at the moment. My air conditioning works, so poo on the weatherman.
I don't mean to knock gardening, though. It can be a lot of fun. Profitable, too.
I'm almost done reading a New Yorker article on the medical marijuana industry, "Dr. Kush" by David Samuels, in the July 28 issue. It really is an industry now; pot is the country's number-one cash crop these days, edging ahead of maize corn, currently high-priced because of the nutball and corrupt ethanol craze, in about 2005. Kush writes:
A drug-policy analyst named Jon Gettman recently estimated that in 2006 Californians grew more than twenty million pot plants. He reckoned that between 1981 and 2006 domestic marijuana production increased tenfold, making pot the leading cash crop in America, displacing corn. A 2005 State Department report put the country’s marijuana crop at twenty-two million pounds. The street value of California’s crop alone may be as high as fourteen billion dollars.
The Medical marijuana movement is a lot more than just a bunch of druggies trying to find a way to legally get fucked up. If that's all they were interested in, they could take Vicodins and drink wine. To my way of thinking, this is just the latest wrinkle in the movement that began shortly after World War II in Greenwich Village and North Beach, San Francisco, and by the mid-60's had evolved and grown into what was then called "the hippies" or "the counter-culture." What it is, really, in its essence, is a different sort of social consciousness, called into being by the grotesque and deformed nature of society and politics in this debased age we're living in.
Because medical marijuana is not just pro-getting-stoned. It's also anti-drug industry, and killer bud is offered as a social antidote to Prozac, Xanax, Welbutrin, Zoloft, and all the other heavily-advertsed anti-depressant, anti-anxiety medications offered by the OTHER culture -- the Evil Suit Guys.
The culture wars are not over. Social reactionaries and cultural gangsters have had everything their way since Reagan came in back in 1980, but they're about spent, and we're not only still here, but more numerous and more committed to real change than ever. We're the people your mom and dad warned you about; the same people New Yorker author Samuels rather dismissively refers to as "holistic health nuts, masseurs, d.j.s, art-school dropouts, and New Age types who populate the medical-marijuana scene..."
Hmmmm. He left out belly dancers. My daughter will be pissed.
I don't know whether I'm a "New Age type" or not, but I do know I'm alienated from mainstream American society and politics and ways of doing business; I'm once again contemplating "dropping out" to the extent that it's possible to do so, and living in an alternative society peopled by like-minded individuals. I have images of the god Ganesha in my house rather than images of Jesus, and I'd consider myself a real revolutionary if I could get rid of my car.
Also, I'm a 64-year old hippie, sober alcoholic, and ex-cigarette smoker, and I live on eggs, fruit, caffeine, and cannabis. The latter two -- the drugs -- I consider relatively harmless and psychologically beneficial in numerous ways.
A friend of mine, Tom Hegarty, wrote a song called "Caffeine and Cannabis," and I've got it on one of his homemade CD's, but the CD won't play on my machine, so I haven't heard it yet. Maybe I'll ask for a command performance.
I'm going through a little dance with a sort of girlfriend of mine which I call "infatuation termination." First she was slightly infatuated with me, and thought of me as a "great artist" and a "great thinker." Then the infatuation cooled and I fell from my pedestal, to become, if I can judge by her behavior toward me, something of a worm.
The fact is, I'm neither a great artist, nor a great thinker, nor a worm. I'm a 64-year-old hippie who does art and enjoys thinking and drinks coffee and smokes weed.
I wish people wouldn't put each other on pedestals, because the fact is there ain't nobody here but us flawed and imperfect humans, and we don't belong on pedestals, from which we will invariably fall.