Garberville’s Visionary Artist Ron Machado

visionary artist The-Witness-By-Adam-Scott-MIller

Surrounded by lush forests in rugged mountainous terrain, in the southern quarter of Humboldt County, lies the sad little town of Garberville, CA.

Garberville welcome to buy

Infamous as a global drug trafficking hub, Garberville has become Mecca for drug dealers, and drug addicts alike who flock here in droves to pursue their lifelong ambition to make money and get high. The huge sums of money associated with the illegal drug trade, draws other unsavory characters to this little burg as well.

Unsavory-Characters

Real-estate agents, bankers, and greedy businessmen eager to hitch their wagon to the prohibition gravy train, line Garberville’s main drag offering overpriced mediocrity served with heartless indifference. In recent years, Garbervile’s pathos has become even more famous than its pot, and with good reason. After all, you can grow good pot anywhere, but watching the stagnating black-market economy turn this self-selecting community of callous, greedy, small-minded people into a cauldron of seething resentment, open hostility, and violence evokes that special blend of pity and disgust like no place I’ve ever been before.

Tragic Pathos

Rising like a lotus from this cesspool, one artist dares to defy the vortex of darkness with his singular creative vision.

lotus

Ron Machado challenges this small town’s image of itself with assemblages of found objects which spring defiantly from the oppressive landscape of commercial exploitation. Like Banksy, the famous, albeit anonymous London street artist, Machado eschews the rarified atmosphere of galleries and museums, preferring instead to transform the stifling homogeneity and crass utility of the small Northern California town he has called home for more than two decades.

ron machado3

Machado’s artworks often appear overnight, in unexpected, but very public places, usually in Garberville’s business district, where he carefully reveals the madness concealed within the mundane. Machado’s angular, assertive and unapologetic artworks occupy parking spaces, take over vacant lots, and sometimes even appear in the middle of major thoroughfares. They look almost functional, but overflow with playful frivolity, physical non-sequiters and mind-bending juxtaposition.

ron machado crop

Like many artists of exceptional vision, Ron Machado is mocked, misunderstood, and unappreciated in his hometown, where he is more often described as a homeless, mentally-ill, pain-in-the-ass, than as an artist. Local townspeople have repeatedly removed and destroyed Machado’s artworks, and this past week, an unknown assailant attacked Ron Machado physically.

assault

The assailant sprayed Ron’s face, and his belongings with flammable liquid, and attempted to set both on fire. Fortunately Ron escaped serious injury, but the ensuing blaze engulfed Ron’s belongings, filling Garberville with the acrid stench of burning plastic for most of the afternoon.

burning tent

While Ron has been arrested numerous times, and is well known to police for making public art, the arsonist who attempted to murder Ron remains at large, blending into the community, who appear to be protecting his identity. Undaunted, Ron has returned to his work, and continues to create art in Garberville with the reckless passion of a true visionary.

ron machado2 bright crop

I encourage all art enthusiasts to make a trip to Garberville to see Machado’s latest work. To view Machado’s work before local townspeople dismantle it, it pays to arrive early in the morning. It is hard to know where a Machado original will pop up next, but in a town mostly devoid of interesting art, Machado’s installations stand out conspicuously against the dull backdrop of repressive commercialism.

capitalism boring

Pack a lunch, because the restaurants in Garberville mostly suck, and don’t bother shopping, because the prices are ridiculous, but Machado’s creations make the trip worth while. While you’re up this way, be sure to visit Eureka, one of America’s great small art towns, only 65 miles or so to the North. With lots of public art, many fine galleries, and a vibrant local art scene, not to mention better restaurants and lower prices, Eureka is a great place to spend the rest of the day, and your money, after a Machado morning in Garberville.

Eureka_artsalive-tile

Arts Alive, held on the first Saturday of every month in Eureka

 


Wildlife Matters #5 Debuts Today, Thursday, Feb 26 @5pm PST

Sea otters

Today, Thursday, February 26 at 5pm, KMUD Redwood Community Radio will air the latest installment of Wildlife Matters.  On this month’s show Amy Gustin and I will talk about Sea Otters, and the crucial role they play in maintaining healthy coastal ecosystems.

sea otter hurray

We’ll hear from sea otter biologist Dr. Jane Watson

dr jane watson

…and noted ecologist Dr. James Estes.

dr james estes

They talk about sea otters’ peculiar adaptations which allow them to flourish in the chilly waters of the North Pacific.  they’ll teach us about “trophic cascades,” a fancy word to describe the consequences of eating habits on ecosystems, which explains how sea otters can turn a barren sea floor inhabited by nothing but sea urchins, into a lush kelp forest teeming with biodiversity.

sea otter eats urchins

Wildlife Matters airs on the fourth Thursday of the month on KMUD, and is available to all Pacifica Affiliates through audioport.org.  In the future, wildlife Matters will alternate the fourth Thursday at 5pm time-slot with my other new radio show called The Adventurous Ear.

ear to bell

Next month, The Adventurous Ear, a radio show highlighting music of exceptional originality, will bring you the music of Arcata based improvisational ensemble Medicine Baul.  I hope you’ll tune in today at 5pm for Wildlife Matters, and March 26 at 5pm for some wild music on The Adventurous Ear.  Just remember the fourth Thursday at 5pm as the time for something wild on KMUD Redwood Community Radio, or listen online at http://www.kmud.org

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What Can We Learn From 2001 A Space Odyssey in 2015

2001 aso

I recently revisited the opening sequence of Stanley Kubrick’s 2001 A Space Odyssey. You remember how it goes: We see a desolate landscape, almost Martian. Some early hominids, actors dressed in Planet of the Apes era costumes, huddle in a dark cave. They look stupid. They grunt like apes, and walk on their knuckles They freak-out at the sight of a monolith in their camp. Then we see one particularly dumb looking hominid pick up a bone. He drops it. Then picks it up again and hits the rest of the skeleton with it. You can almost see the light bulb appear above his head, and he starts excitedly whacking the rock with the bone.

2001 bone whack

Then, the Hollywood hominid throws the bone, and it turns into a space ship, while we hear the opening fanfare from Richard Straus’ Thus Spake Zarathustra. Classic, right? Iconic even. This famous scene has become a part of our cultural mythology, and it tells us a lot about how we think about ourselves.

bone-and-satellite-

I realize that this movie came out in the 1960s and, like almost everything from that era, feels dated when you watch it, but for our culture, this movie encapsulates where we think we came from, and where we think we are going, as a culture. Leave out the mysterious floating slab, and you have the creation myth according to the Church of Popular Science. Sure, it’s a great movie, but we should remember that 2001 A Space Odyssey is also a very dated piece of fiction.

2001-a-space-odyssey-poster-001

Think about it. The world looked very different in the 1960s. Back then, we all thought that space travel lay in our future. We expected to build floating cities in space orbiting the Earth We had plans to colonize the moon, and eventually mars. We had big plans for space, and we spent big money to get there. If you asked a kid from my generation what they wanted to be when they grow up, at least a third of them would have said, “an astronaut.” If you ask the same question of today’s kids, they’ll probably say something like, “professional snowboarder.” Even they know that there’s no future in space travel.

20o1no-more-spaceshuttle

Arthur C Clarke envisioned a future year 2001 in which space travel had become routine, and computers were huge and dangerously intelligent. Today, in the real year 2015, space travel is nothing but a quick roller-coaster ride for the ridiculously rich, and computers are tiny and maddeningly stupid. Clarke could not have been more wrong about the future, and Kubrick’s depiction of our hominid ancestors in 2001 A Space Odyssey couldn’t have been more wrong about the past.

couldnt be more wrong

Our hominid ancestors were not clumsy or stupid. They knew what they were doing. They would not have survived otherwise. Our Cro-Magnon and Neanderthal ancestors were probably smarted than us. We know they had bigger brains. They may have been better conversationalists and had more charming personalities than our contemporaries. We know they had music. Archaeologists have found bone flutes among their remains.

neanderthal flute

They must have walked the surface of the Earth with the easy grace of a lion, or a leopard, or any other top predator. They had keen hunting skills, could read their surroundings, and each other. They knew which plants were good to eat, which were good for medicine, and how to encourage their growth. They laughed and told jokes. They sang and danced. They fell in love, had bitter disputes, and fought, but when they fought, they didn’t fight like the idiots in Kubrick’s film. They had weapons, and they knew how to use them, but they also had strategies to avoid conflict, and to minimize its impact.

neanderthal man

Really, when you think about your hominid ancestors, don’t think about “cave men.” Forget all of those stereotypes. They have no basis in fact. Those ideas come from a cultural mythology that tells us that civilized human beings are more advanced than our “primitive” ancestors. Because of that cultural myth, we always imagine those ancestors to be like us, only dumber. Probably more people now believe the story of the dumb neanderthal, than take the story of Adam and Eve literally, but they’re both wrong. Whether you believe the fundamentalist Christian lie or the fundamentalist Church of Popular Science lie, you’re still wrong.

still wrong

In the middle-ages, Christian people found fossilized ammonites They decided that these fossils must be the devil’s discarded toenails, and sited them as evidence of hell.

ammonite fossil

Modern scientists discovered that our ancestors lived in small groups, and had very few material possessions, and because of their cultural prejudices, leaped to the conclusion that our ancestors must have lacked the intelligence to improve their miserable condition.

dumb cavemen

The evidence tells us they ate well, had nice clothes (real fur is real nice) and didn’t have to work very hard to get by. We assume they didn’t work harder because they didn’t burn with curiosity like us, their more advanced descendants. So, even though they ate well, dressed well, and enjoyed a lot of leisure time, we believe that their primitive brains prevented them from unlocking life’s riddles and finding new ways to work themselves to death in ugly synthetic clothes while getting fat on junk food.

fat guy snacking at work

In the 1960s, when 2001 A Space Odyssey first came out, the future still looked cool, and the prehistoric past looked harsh and brutish. Today, 50 years later, the future looks harsh and brutish, and the lives of our prehistoric ancestors look pretty cool. In other words, watching 2001 A Space Odyssey in 2015 should remind us that it is time to update our cultural mythology.

the astronaut


Daddy, Where Did Alcoholism Come From?

dad-drinks baby serves

Have you ever wondered about that yourself? I mean, we all know someone, if it hasn’t happened to us personally. How many of us have struggled with alcoholism, or even more commonly, just learned to live with it? A lot of our parents drank, and if not our parents, our grandparents, uncles, aunts, family friends etc. We learned more about alcoholism from watching our family than we did about sex, and most of what we learned about alcoholism mirrored what we learned about sex. That is: kids don’t understand the appeal of it, and shouldn’t do it, but adults seem unable to resist its temptations, and it frequently ruins their lives.

Dad-whats-it-like-to-be-drunk

History tells us that, here in the US, the further back you go, the more we drank. In the 1850s, Americans consumed, on average, more than a pint of whiskey every day for every man, woman and child, in the US, including newborns. Did newborn babies drink whiskey in the 1850s? I don’t know, but everyone else sure did. Founding Father Benjamin Franklin famously said: “Beer is living proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.”

ben Franklin_quote

Of course, alcoholism goes back much further than that. The Romans drank. The Greeks drank. Jesus turned water into wine. Only an alcoholic would see that as a miracle. I don’t know if Moses drank, but he hung with Pharaoh, and Pharaoh definitely drank beer. I don’t think Adam and Eve drank, but I’ll bet that Cain and Able both did.

Cain-abel

Think about that. Alcoholism was already well established, common, and endemic to society, well before the earliest written language, and even before the oldest stories recorded in them. For all of that time, alcoholism has remained a fixture in society, and society has dealt with the consequences of alcoholism. Our society does not remember a time before alcoholism, or where alcoholism came from. We know when temperance movements began, and who founded them, but who was the first drunk? Nobody knows. Why don’t we have a story about how or why or when we started drinking so much?

your drunk go home

Our society does not remember a time before alcoholism for the same reason that I don’t remember a time before mom. We don’t remember our origins. We have to put our origin story together from what we can glean second hand, and we may learn that the story our mother tells, may not be the whole story. For instance, here’s one of those persistent questions regarding the origin of our culture, that mom really doesn’t have a good explanation for: Why did some people stop living a hunting and gathering lifestyle, and instead, devoted their time and energy to burning the forests that provided them with wild game, so that they could farm, however inefficiently, barley and wheat.

eaRLY FARMERs

I’ve read a few books on the topic, and they usually offer a few theories, with no definitive answer. They may suggest that people living in the Levant 10,000 years ago decided they needed more food to feed a growing population, but evidence shows that the population only grew after the adoption of an agricultural lifestyle. They may postulate that farming was a technological breakthrough that allowed more leisure time, even though the evidence shows that hunting and gathering cultures enjoy far more leisure time than do their farming counterparts. Some books even suggest that farming provided more nutrition than a hunting and gathering lifestyle, making early agriculturalists stronger than their neighbors. Again, the evidence points in another direction. Human skeletons show that early agriculturalists were on average six inches shorter than their hunting and gathering neighbors, and showed many signs of malnutrition completely absent in their hunting and gathering contemporaries.

body blow for modern humans

So, we don’t know why some humans quit the hunting and gathering lifestyle and started farming, but we assume they had a good reason, because it led to the birth of civilization, and eventually, us. We assume this was a good thing, because it culminates in us, but we should consider the possibility that the switch from a hunting and gathering lifestyle to an agricultural one, may not have been such a great choice, and alcohol may have been involved.

alcohol involved

Clearly alcoholism and agriculture began at about the same time, in roughly the same place, and their histories have been intimately intertwined ever since. Doesn’t it make sense that the two things could be related? You know, the major expansion in the production of barley and wheat, the primary ingredients of beer, might have had something to do with this persistent, pathological thirst for alcohol, that has caused so much suffering for so many people for so many generations that we eventually recognized it as a debilitating disease and called it alcoholism.

day drinking

What else do you think they did with all of that grain? The invention of bread was still centuries away, and bread began as a kind of beer-making kit in loaf form. Do you think people would burn down a productive forest and toil in the hot sun scratching the bare earth with a rock tied to a stick for tabbouleh? Hell no! Now ask yourself, “Would men do that for beer?” You know they would, and all of the evidence supports the claim that they did. Civilization is our mother, but alcoholism is our father.

DRINKING FOR THREE

Let that sink in. In school they teach us that the “agricultural revolution” gave birth to civilization like it was a good thing. They never mention the booze, do they? How do you suppose they could have overlooked that? Damn near every shard of ancient pottery archaeologists unearth shows evidence that it once held beer. These people drank, and they drank habitually. They loved beer. They couldn’t get enough of it, and they sacrificed a lot to satisfy that craving.

99 problems

We’ve all seen what alcoholism can do to a person, and we’ve seen how far people have to go before they hit rock bottom and admit that they have a problem. We’ve all seen how alcoholism destroys families and ruins lives. Now imagine an entire culture based entirely on the endless pathological thirst for alcohol. Surprise! You don’t have to imagine it. Just look around and appreciate it.

alcohol_culture

Look at the toll chronic alcoholism has taken on planet Earth. A third of the Earth’s land mass has been converted to agriculture, not to feed people, but to make booze. The people come along later. Drunk people make poor family planning choices, which leads to overpopulation. Overpopulation leads to a plethora of other problems, which encourages ingenuity. However, ingenuity only mitigates problems, and never solves them because no amount of ingenuity can undo the fundamental imbalance caused by the pathological craving for alcohol.

alcohol kills born

We sure are proud of our ingenuity though. Aren’t we? We think farming was an ingenious innovation over hunting and gathering, and we’ve just been amazingly ingenious ever since. We think that we are smarter, more advanced and have evolved to a higher form of intelligence, because we’ve shown such amazing problem solving skills. We’ve gotten good at solving problems because we’re even better at creating them.

government SOLUTIONS

If you ask most people why they think civilized human beings dominate the planet, they will tell you it is because of our high intelligence and advanced technology. They won’t say, “Because alcohol makes us feel good, and we don’t care about anything but feeling good and we will do anything to anybody who stands between us and feeling good.” but that’s where our ingenuity comes from.

Ginspiration!

Today, through sheer ingenuity and hard work, we’ve engineered an environmental crisis for the ages, and a society of unimaginable cruelty and inequality. Ingenuity and hard work are strategies we employ as a culture, to compensate for the negative effects of our cultural alcoholism. Basically, you can think of all of the time you spend at work, and the time you spend trying to come up with a new business idea, as part of the price you personally pay to participate in an alcoholic culture. I know this sounds weird, but you knew our society was sick, didn’t you? Doesn’t the diagnosis help? Alcoholism is a disease we understand. We can beat alcoholism. We can beat alcoholism, but first we have to admit that we have a problem.

drinking-cat-

I realize that I’ve covered this material here before, but it bears repeating, and is worth considering from a variety of perspectives. It’s a big idea, so I don’t mind slicing it a little finer.

big ideas


The Night I Tripped With Jack Herer

JackHerer_joint

Flipping through the latest issue of Skunk Magazine,

skunkmag

…I noticed a very nice article and photo-spread about the 25th anniversary of the Boston Freedom Rally, held each August on the Boston Commons. For many years, the Boston Freedom Rally was the largest cannabis legalization event in the country. Perhaps it retains that distinction to this day. I don’t know, but the piece brought back a lot of memories, most fondly, the night the author of the Emperor Wears No Clothes, Jack Herer, dosed me with LSD, and we spent the night in a hotel together reading Gideon’s Bible.

GIDEONS BIBLE

I remember the very first Boston Freedom Rally very distinctly. I had been working on it all summer. I designed the flier for it.

1990flier BOSton freedom raLLY

I provided the sound system and helped paint the backdrop for the stage. I even performed a few original prohibition protest songs at it,

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…but my most significant contribution to getting the first Boston Freedom Rally off-the-ground, was the newsletter I started: Mass Grass.

DSC_0517

Mass Grass remains in publication as the official newsletter of the Massachusetts Cannabis Reform Coalition AKA Mass Cann, but in those days, the Spring of 1990, there was no Mass. Cann. There was a lawyer in Marblehead, MA named Steve Epstein who had a list of about 250 names from a defunct MA NORML, and there was Ron and Linda Noel, who had bought a bunch of Jack Herer’s books, T-shirts and bumper stickers which they sold (or more accurately, gave away as premiums for donations) at something they called the “Hemp Table,” they had collected about 200 names from people who had signed-up to a mailing-list at the table. We sent them all the very first issue of Mass. Grass, and suddenly, we had a roomful of volunteers and a pile of checks. Mass Cann was born.

MAsS caNN MEAdow

We didn’t hold the first Boston Freedom Rally at the Boston Commons, however. We decided to hold the first Boston Freedom Rally adjacent to the dock where the USS Constitution, the famous warship known as Old Ironsides, from the Revolutionary War, was docked, as a tourist attraction, in Charlestown, on the Freedom Trail.

uss-constitution (2)

We booked Jack Herer as our key note speaker, who revealed in his, then new, book The Emperor Wears No Clothes, that it took 60 tons of cannabis sativa hemp to outfit the ship in its heyday, detailing all of the different ways hemp was used. By our choice of venue, we hoped to provide Jack Herer with a convenient visual aide, and we booked him as our key note speaker.

jack_HERER SUIT

As hard as it is to believe today, in 1990, almost nobody knew about hemp. The only hemp clothes you could buy in the US were shapeless blue work-shirts and cream colored drawstring shorts made in China with big yellow labels warning you not to smoke them. There were no hulled hemp seeds at the health food store, in fact I had to help bail Ron Noel out of jail when an overzealous Boston cop arrested him for giving away free samples of, completely legal, sterilized hemp seed. Americans knew nothing about hemp in 1990. Jack Herer changed that, almost singlehandedly with The Emperor Wears No Clothes.

The_Emperor_Wears_No_Clothes

Jack arrived in Boston two days before the rally. On the day before the rally, I chauffeured him up north to the Statehouse in New Hampshire, where he spoke at another event. We took a banner I had made for Ann Arbor’s Hash Bash earlier that year that depicted a lit joint, upended, and wrapped in barbed wire, like the Amnesty International logo, except with a joint instead of a candle, with the words Free Prisoners of Consciousness written around it. I held the banner while Jack spoke.

thats me next month

We didn’t get back to Boston until late in the day, and we returned to a very busy night of packing up, last minute phone calls and trips to the copy shop. We did not get to sleep until very late, and the alarm clock went off just a few hours later.

Alarm-Clocks

In the morning, the pace became even more frantic. One of our new members, John Migliorini had built a stage that we needed to assemble on site. I had to set up the sound system, we had booths to set up, banners to hang and signs to post, and before long, we were surrounded by a huge crowd of people. I sang my protest songs, Steve Epstein spoke, Linda Noel spoke, Elvy Musica, one of the first federally recognized medical marijuana patients, spoke, Don Fiedler, then the National Director of NORML spoke, and Jack Herer whipped the crown into a frenzy to conclude the event. The event went off without a hitch, we had a big crowd, and no one got arrested.

jaCK HERER MIC

By the time we broke down the stage, cleaned up the mess and packed all of the vehicles, we were elated, exhausted, and hungry. We took Jack out to dinner at Boston Chicken, a cafeteria style fried chicken eatery. While we stood in line in front of our trays waiting for gloved hands to fill our plates from the other side of the steam-tables, Jack took something out of his pocket and tore it into tiny pieces. He then dropped a hit of blotter acid on each of our trays. Naturally, I immediately put the quarter-inch square of paper in my mouth. Other members of our party quickly followed suit.

eat me blotter acid

We had booked Jack as a guest on a radio show, which meant he needed to be at the studios of WBCN at 8:00am the next morning. We reserved a couple of rooms at the Holiday Inn downtown, both for an after-event-party, and because it was close to the radio station. We ate dinner, and got to the hotel just as the acid started to kick-in. At first, we had a dozen or more people in that hotel room, and the atmosphere was quite celebratory.

hotel room party

John Migliorini broke-out a bottle of vodka, into which he had stuffed a huge cola of fresh cannabis, at the peak of fluorescence. I don’t know how he got that huge bud through the neck of the bottle, but the bud looked as perfect as the day it was harvested. He poured everyone a glass, and Jack proposed a toast. I’ve never tasted anything quite like it before or since, pure essence of cannabis. Joints were lit and passed and we partied for a few hours.

smoking joint

As the evening progressed, the room cleared-out a bit, as guests excused themselves. By about 1:00AM, only the people that Jack had dosed, remained, and the topic turned to psychedelics. As a hard-core dead-head, Jack learned to use LSD the way most people use coffee. He talked about meeting Timothy Leary, and how he used Timothy Leary’s method to quit smoking cigarettes.

tim leary gif

Timothy Leary’s method of beating nicotine addiction went something like this: You smoke your last cigarette, and then set the pack of cigarettes on the table in front of you. Then, you take 10 hits of LSD. Wait an hour, then take one more hit of LSD every hour, for 10 hours. Then wait 10 hours, after which you take 10 more hits of LSD. By the time you come down from that, apparently, you’ve broken the acute physical addiction, and you’ve reprogrammed your mind. Jack said it worked, and he hasn’t had a cigarette since.

LSD BUTTS

I’ve never had to deal with nicotine addiction, but I’ve had enough experience with LSD that I don’t doubt his story. We talked about how powerful psychedelics were, and how they had the potential change people, both individually, and as a culture. Eventually, Jack brought up The Sacred Mushroom and the Cross by John Allegro, and asked if anyone had read it. I had not yet read it at the time, but I had heard of it, and even looked it up in the library, but instead, only found books by other authors either dismissing Allegro’s work, or struggling to put their religious beliefs back together after Allegro had so convincingly shattered them.

Sacred-Mushroom-and-the-Cross

I knew that John Allegro was a leading ancient-language scholar who spent many years studying the Dead Sea Scrolls. In The Sacred Mushroom and the Cross, Allegro explains that the story of Jesus, in the New Testament, is actually a coded message, describing the beliefs and practices of a secret cult of mushroom worshiping Jews, who used amanita muscaria mushrooms as their sacrament. According to Allegro, the stories were strictly an oral tradition, and it was forbidden to write them down, but between 66 and 74AD, this cult was all but wiped-out in a Jewish rebellion that the Roman authority crushed, brutally, and mercilessly.

JeWisH REbeLlion

These dire circumstances led to the cult write down the stories that explained where to find, how to identify and how to safely use the strongly psychoactive, but also deadly poisonous mushroom. Told as a story of Jesus, the Son of God incarnate on Earth, any child could understand it, but only an initiate, who was given special instruction, would understand the hidden messages about the mushroom cult. If you’re not familiar with The Sacred Mushroom and the Cross, I encourage you to read it. That’s what the John Allegro says, and if you believe his credentials, he’s the guy who should know.

MUSHROOM CRUCIFIX

I’m not particularly religious, or interested in learning Hebrew, Aramaic or Greek, but psychedelic drugs fascinate me to no end. Jack was raised Jewish. He didn’t care that much about Jesus, but, like every good Jewish boy, he learned Hebrew for his Bar Mitsvah, and in his passion to learn as much as he could about the history of cannabis sativa, he also taught himself some Aramaic and Latin, and spent a lot of time studying religious texts.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

According to Jack, Allegro was right. The Gospel is a work of fiction, and Jesus probably never existed as a human being, but instead, was an anthropomorphization of the amanita muscaria mushroom. However, Jack also discovered a whole different level of deception and subterfuge concealed within the Old Testament of the Christian Bible.

warning-looking-at-religious-texts-may-permanently-damage-the-mind-

Jack noticed that the Old Testament, as it has been translated in the Christian Bible, reads a lot differently than the Jewish Torah, which contains the same stories, but in their original Hebrew. Jack also noticed something very strange about the way the Christian Bible uses Arabic numerals. We could tell that Jack was really passionate about this, and if he had lived long enough to see the complete legalization of cannabis, to which he was completely dedicated, I bet he would have written a book about it. He gave us a preview of it that night:

sneaky preview

According to Jack, in the 3rd Century, when Constantine had his life-changing, and politically convenient “vision” and converted to Christianity, founding the Roman Catholic Church, he had actually become an initiate of this mushroom cult. Constantine then constructed the new official church of Rome, using the same kind of secret code, using stories that had an overt message, that anyone could understand, and a covert message, that only an initiate with special training would comprehend.

Pope_Constantine

Jack postulates that Constantine had two goals he hoped to achieve by establishing the Roman Catholic Church and declaring himself the first Pope. Constantine hoped to use the church to pacify the unruly masses who increasingly threatened the stability of the Roman Empire, but also to protect himself, close associates, and other members of the cult from the one thing they feared more than anything else, Gonorrhea.

gonorrhea

According to Jack, the Catholic Church was founded by a secret cult of homosexual pedophiles, who used the cover of a celibate priesthood to conceal their activities from scrutiny, and the knowledge gained through the confessional, to target only the most chaste virgins for their sexual gratification, and recruitment. The Catholic clergy was constructed in such a way as to create layers of disease prevention through a strict protocol of who gets to fuck who, insuring that the Pope himself had multiple layers of protection from the disease carrying public.

Cardinal RECRUITS

I am not kidding. I’m pretty sure I did not hallucinate that. I was high that night, but not that high. Personally, I don’t put a whole lot of stock in anything the Bible says, but when Jack Herer, the guy who uncovered the hidden truth about marijuana, tells me that he’s discovered evidence that the Catholic Church was founded by a secret cult of psychedelic mushroom worshiping gay pedophiles, I was intrigued.

SAINT NICHOLAS WAS A ROMAN CATHOLIC PRIEST PEDOPHILE

Enough of his story seemed to check out. I knew that the Sacred Mushroom and the Cross was a real book, and I knew that it made some big waves in Theological circles. I also knew, as I’m sure you do, that Catholic priests are notorious for molesting children, but I went to bible school for 12 years. I’ve read enough of the Bible to know that it’s boring as hell, and if there were any wild sex-scenes in it, I would remember them. Naturally, we asked Jack to explain.

JACK HERER YOUTUBE

This is where it gets complicated and hard to remember after 25 years, but I’ll do my best. Anyone who takes the Bible seriously should do their own research. I’m just conveying my experience. According to Jack, when they talk about “damnation” in the Bible, they really mean, gonorrhea. The word “damn” is apparently derived from the same word as “dam” meaning to obstruct the natural flow of water.

damnation

The “n” on the end of “damn” modifies the meaning to mean an obstruction to the natural flow of “living waters.” “Living waters” according to Jack meant “semen.” So,, damnation means: an obstruction to the natural flow of semen.

LIVING WATERS

Gonorrhea definitely obstructs the natural flow of fluids through the genitalia. In severe cases puss drips from the end of the penis. This dripping puss looked more like semen than urine, so they assumed that the extreme pain they felt during urination resulted from the the dam blocking the natural flow of semen. In those days, long before the discovery of penicillin, gonorrhea was untreatable, and almost worse than a death sentence. You could think of gonorrhea as the AIDS of their time, and it especially worried the more sexually promiscuous among them, Roman Emperors being more promiscuous than most. That’s how jack explained “damnation.”

Damnation1

Then he explained the sexual symbolism behind the Holy Trinity. According to Jack, whenever they use the word “God” or “God the Father,” we should read it as “the erect penis.” Jack said these people worshiped a “Sun God,” and that the sun was the head of a giant penis that thrust itself into the womb of the Earth every morning, and pulled-out every evening.

sun god penis

Whenever you see a reference to the “Son of God” or “Jesus Christ” we should translate that as “sacred mushroom,” amanita muscaria. Jack told us that the “virgin birth’ referred to the fact that they could find no seeds for mushrooms, and they were thought to spring directly from the rain, which these ancients believed to be the semen of the great “Sun God.”.

amanita muscaria

The mushroom was therefore sacred, because it sprang up entirely from the semen of the Sun God, without an earthly mother, and because the mushroom looked so much like a penis, they assumed it was the perfect embodiment of masculine energy. It’s psychedelic, so it must have blown their mind, and it could also kill them, so they must have been very careful with it, but that’s what Jack Herer, and John Allegro, for that matter, tell us we should think of, when we think about Jesus Christ.

christ w mushroom

Finally, the “Holy Ghost” according to Jack, “Holy Ghost” means “semen.” Got that? Whenever you read the Bible and you read something about the “Holy Trinity,” they really mean, the dick, the toadstool, and the jizz. You can see how this kind of interpretation would render the Bible a much more sexually explicit book.

holy trinity

Now we get to the Arabic numerals. If you look at the Bible, you’ll see that the names of the books of the Bible use Roman numerals, as in Samuel I and Samuel II or Kings I and Kings II, but chapter and verse are always denoted with Arabic numerals, John 3:16 for example. According to Jack, there is sexual symbolism to these numbers.

Know-What-Numbers-in-Numerology-Mean-Step-4

For instance: 1 symbolizes the erect penis. It doesn’t take much imagination to see that, but Jack also said that 1 symbolizes half of the amanita muscaria mushroom, the mushroom being so sacred that no symbol could represent it in its entirety. The number 2 symbolizes the other half of the mushroom. I can almost see it, I guess. The number 3, he explained, symbolized “the tush.” Sure, the number 3 looks like a naked butt on its side. I’ve even seen that image used to represent the number. That’s about all I can remember about the sexual symbolism of Arabic numerals.

all I remember

Do you follow me so far? I mean, by the time we got this far into the conversation, it was really late, pushing 3:00AM. The acid was still there, holding back sleep, but I could feel the cumulative fatigue of two long, exciting days with very little rest. Still, I found this whole discussion pretty mind-blowing, and even in my altered state of consciousness, I tried to grasp what I was hearing.

mindblown

To review: When you read your Bible, remember that “damnation” means “gonorrhea,” “God” means “boner,” “Jesus” means “magic mushroom,” and “Holy Ghost” means “special sauce.” Then the verses of the Bible all have numbers, which all have sexual significance, and provide clues as to what kind of sex acts are covered in the text. As you can imagine, we were skeptical. We had all read The Emperor Wears No Clothes. We knew that Jack knew how to do research and present evidence, but this seemed pretty over-the-top. The only thing left to do was check it out.

CHSCK IT OUT DUDE

I pulled the Gideon’s Bible out of the hotel dresser-drawer. Jack suggested we look in a particular book, saying something like, “look in Leviticus, that book is full of smut.” So, I opened the Bible, turned to the book of Leviticus (I think) and read from Chapter 1, verse 3 and the text read something like: “And God came to him in the place of darkness and said, ‘Behold. I come quickly’ and he was filled with the Holy Spirit, and the Holy Spirit was in him.”

BEHOLD I COME QUICKLY

I kid you not. We looked up one verse after another and they were all equally full of homosexual innuendo. It was like discovering the economic symbolism behind Gilligan’s Island, once you see it, you really can’t ignore it. There we were, zonked on acid at four o’clock in the morning, reading Gideon’s bible, and cracking-up like we were listening to Redd Foxx or some equally smutty comic.

REDD FOXX

Eventually we stopped laughing, Jack went into the adjoining room to rest his eyes for an hour or two before we got up, checked-out, grabbed a coffee and scone and got on the T. Two stops later we emerged on the street just a block or two from the radio station. I don’t own a Bible anymore, and I haven’t researched this theory any further, but that was a memorable night.

a MEMORABLE NIGHT


Sour Diesel

sour_diesel_pump crop

I’m the kind of guy who’s happy to have weed, and I’m happy to have whatever kind of weed I happen to have.

weed befrore and after

I like weed, but there are plenty of things I’d rather do than pursue weed, so I don’t try a lot of the popular new strains. Only recently did I have the opportunity to sample the strain, or by now, whole class of strains called “Sour Diesel.”

sour-diesel super silver-horz

Sour Diesel enjoys much popularity with commercial marijuana cultivators, and has become a staple in the industry.

staples

I can understand why people grow it: It’s heavy, hashy, and it gets you real high, but who wants pot that smells like diesel fuel? Sour Diesel reminds me of working in a garage, and smells like a greasy truck engine, or an environmental disaster. Does anyone really like that smell? How did we make pot smell so awful?

smell bad

I thought they called it “diesel” because of its suitability to that kind of off-the-grid, indoor grow scene, dependent as they are on big, diesel fuel guzzling, generators. I had no idea that the pot itself stank like diesel-fuel, and if I didn’t know better, I would have assumed the bad smell was the result of exhaust fumes in the grow room. Not so. The “Cali Sour Diesel” I tried was grown organically, outdoors in the fresh clean country air. Still, it smelled like a New York City bus station. Why?

Bus_Station

Pot can smell like so many different things. Pot can smell like pine trees, or blueberries, or bubblegum, or pineapple, or even fresh baked cookies. Why do we grow so much pot that smells like diesel fuel? People around here grow a ton of it, or more accurately, many tons of it, and an accurate scale may well be the key to its success.

accurate scale

What Sour Diesel lacks in bouquet, it makes up for in mass. For some reason, the greasy-truck-engine-smell makes pot weigh more. Why do people care more about how much pot weighs than about how nice it smells? More pointedly: What does this tell you about the marijuana industry when so many people in it obviously care more about quantity than quality?

quality-vs-quantity

Remember Sour Diesel the next time someone tries to sell you this bullshit about how the marijuana industry is developing luxury niche markets for the true cannabis connoisseur.

cannabis connoisseur

The marijuana industry doesn’t care if pot smells like a truck stop men’s room, so long as they can put more of it on the scale. That’s because the marijuana industry knows that, thanks to prohibition, marijuana consumers generally have very little choice in what they smoke.

we-have-no-choice-but-to-carry-on

If you know someone who deals herb, whatever herb they deal is the herb you’re going to smoke. If you don’t know someone who deals herb, you have to pay money to see a doctor, and then go to a dispensary where you may have more choices, but you’ll pay more than if you knew somebody. Unless you grow your own, you pay through the nose for herb, and you pretty much have to settle for what you can get, even if it smells like it’s been stuck in traffic for hours.

stuck in traffic

The marijuana industry still depends on an artificial shortage, created and perpetuated by expensive government oppression, intimidation and violence. The products they sell still reflect this paradigm. Overpriced, bred for weight, not for flavor, grown according to economic principles, not ecological principles, and marketed for maximum profit, rather than maximum benefit. No wonder it smells like diesel fuel. If you wanted to make marijuana smell any uglier, you’d have to frack it.

Frack-cartoon

What’s next, pot that smells like money? Obviously it already smells like that to too many people.

smelling money


Chemdawg?

ChemDawg

In the Ganjier’s circular this week I noticed they were having a “sale” on cannabis seeds. Notably, they had “one box left” of “Chemdawg Special Reserve” from Aficionado Seed Company selling for $450 for 10 marijuana seeds. Is that a sale price? $42 each seems like a lot of money for a pot seed, and especially for something called “Chemdawg.” Even in a tiny wax-sealed glass bottle, nestled in a decorative cotton-lined box, “Chemdawg” seems like a pretty low-brow name for a high-end luxury product.

seed bottle

I can’t imagine anyone shelling out fifty bucks for a bottle of Chemdawg Single-Malt Scotch, or a horse named “Chemdawg” winning the Kentucky Derby, or letting the valet park your new Rolls Royce Chemdawg at the country club. I really don’t understand modern marketing, but I have to wonder if the marijuana industry’s propensity for dumb, low-brow strain-names undermines their efforts to market their product as a high-end luxury brand.

chemDawg-280x280

Neither approach seems appropriate for marijuana, if you ask me. I mean, we’re talking about marijuana here, Mary Jane, the girl next-door, easy to grow, safe to use, everybody’s best friend, marijuana. Calling her “Chemdawg” makes it sound like she joined a gang, got some tattoos, tacky clothes and oversize gold jewelry. That’s not the marijuana I love.

thug girl

Despite my preferences, there’s still that wide gulf between even the most impressive Hip-Hop “bling” and the refined tastes and sensibilities of a true “aficionado,” and “chemdog,” as a word at least, clearly missed the boat. “Chemdawg” remains firmly planted on the plebeian side of the divide, along with it’s “homeys” Green Crack, Cheesel, and Purple Panty Dropper. As if mainstream culture weren’t repulsive enough, this overlay of embarrassingly stupid, thug-culture nomenclature really doesn’t make marijuana more attractive in my eye.

gang violence

We live in a time of cultural collapse. Sophistication amounts to little more than pretentious bullshit, and mainstream American culture could hardly be any more embarrassingly stupid or thuggish. Our culture is falling apart, like a crack-head, scarred, gaunt, hollow-eyed and shaking. It still looks dangerous, but it no longer looks strong or vital. Nobody trusts it, you don’t want it dating your daughter, and you sure as hell don’t want to smoke any of it.

Dog-CrackHead1

That’s the culture we live in, but we shouldn’t sully good wholesome herb with it. Thug-culture is the language of the Drug War. It’s time to end the Drug War. It’s time to stop giving your marijuana thug names. If you have to name your marijuana, give it a nice name. Does anyone remember William’s Wonder? Doesn’t that sound like a seed you could give your mother? She’d grow that William’s Wonder right next to her Cherokee Purple tomatoes and her Country Gentleman corn.

williams wonder

William’s Wonder is a GREAT strain of marijuana, some of the best pot I’ve ever smoked. Neville used to sell it in his Amsterdam Seed Catalog. Has pot really gotten better than that? Have the stupid names helped? I don’t think so. I smoke just as much pot. I get just as high. What has changed? The price, the stupid name, and the seeds.

pot seed heart

I sure miss cheap seedy pot.

seedy bud

I won’t miss the stupid names, or the hokey thug-culture aesthetic, or the pretentious bullshit marketing campaigns and the greedy dope yuppies behind them, but I sure do miss cheap bags of seedy marijuana. I’m not knocking modern marijuana genetics, but marijuana wants to have seeds. We should make marijuana happy, because happy marijuana will make people happier. This year, grow seedy marijuana for a change. Not to make money, but just to make the world a better place, and make it William’s Wonder.

grow seedy pot FTW


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