At the conclusion of this July 4th week, let us remember that we live under the thrall of a corporatized crypto-fascist libertarian wasteland in which we cede our privacy to a muddled network of private interests both known and unknown for the false promises of convenience and connectivity.
As a tiny act of rebellion, you should print this article out and read it in a park. And also, since this article consists largely of links to other articles, you should print those articles out and read them in the park, too. The DJ Khaled thing I'm about to tell you about, however, you’re going to need a computer to use. That’s fair game, though, because it’s super cool.
Pothead One: DJ Khaled
The New York Times has this great daily video feature where you get a 360-degree view of a thing. They’ve done it with chimps, Nina Simone’s childhood home (which just so happens to be in my hometown), Mars, and now they’ve outdone themselves by getting DJ Khaled to give people a guided tour of his garden. The videos are pretty much always really trippy and really fun to watch when you’re stoned, but being able to listen to DJ Khaled wax poetic about his goddamn plants while you’re moving your perspective around by dragging your mouse around the frame is the perfect amount of too much.
Pothead Two: Texas
“Texas Is the Reason” isn’t just the name of a hardcore band, kiddos. Over at The New Yorker, Lawrence Wright has an extremely long piece explaining why Texas is the reason we know what America has in store for us – more and more Republicans using unscrupulous methods for clinging to power, even in the face of a populace that’s more progressive than ever before. Lots of those progressive tend to congregate in urban centers such as Austin, where as an aside Wright tells a story about a time when he was involved with unveiling a statue of Willie Nelson:
Many residents of Austin don’t mind its image as a lonely liberal outpost. I’m part of a group that puts up statues in Austin, and our most recent work was a bronze replica of Willie Nelson. At Nelson’s request, it was unveiled, in 2012, on April 20th — National Marijuana Day. He stood in front of his giant likeness and sang “Roll Me Up and Smoke Me When I Die.”
At the very least, it’s good to know that even if we completely lose all agency over our the direction our country’s headed in, we’ll still get to smoke weed.
Pothead Three: Your Nose
You know what’s great? Motherfuckin’ smellin’ stuff. And, conveniently enough, weed smells amaaaaaazing. At Aeon, the ear, nose, and throat specialist Katherine Whitcroft ponders the connection between smell and emotional memory. Given that smell is so deeply connected to our sense of the abstract past and our openness to suggestion, it helps explain why, to stoners, weed smells so great –– we’re connecting that scent to our positive memories of, and positive associations with, being high. Writes Whitcroft, “From the sublime nostalgia of the madeleine to the mundanity of a midweek dinner, smell gives flavour to food, emotion to memories, and connects us to each other. We’re just beginning to understand the mechanisms by which smell gives our world colour.”
Pothead Four: Tourists in Las Vegas
If you’re a Las Vegas businessman with an evil laugh and a mustache you enjoy idly twirling, then you, too, enjoy the smell of weed, because as of the first of this month, you officially associate the smell of weed with money. This week, the state of Nevada officially rolled out recreational marijuana sales, and Vegas entrepreneurs plan on turning the city into a weed-tourism. As one pro-pot politician put it to The Cannabist, Vegas soon hopes to be “like Amsterdam on steroids.” While legalizing weed is a good thing, diluting its quality while jacking up its price is a bad thing, and since Las Vegas is a waterless hell-town designed to hoover money out of your wallet, I can only assume that legal weed in Vegas is going to be ass as hell. Having said that, I have gone to Las Vegas three times in my career to report out stories, and if I have to do it again, I will officially hate going there slightly less.
Birthday Pothead: The RZA
In addition to being the greatest hip-hop producer of all time, one of the funniest rappers of all time, and the director of The Man with the Iron Fists, the most ridiculous movie of all time, The RZA actually quit smoking weed a while back. “Many years, I’ve been in the studio making music, making hits and weed was always there,” he said in a 2012 interview, “but I’ve transferred myself to directing now. I’m a movie director. You gotta play it sober. I’ve been playing it sober. Superman focus, Superman stamina, zooming in.” Still, you should smoke a blunt in RZA’s honor — he turned 48 this week (!) — and watch this video of RZA’s Wu-Tang compatriot Raekwon talking about the time he, Ol’ Dirty Bastard, and RZA smoked angel dust and did “like, 900 push-ups.”
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