Archive for June, 2009

What sense does it make?

Posted: June 27, 2009 in Uncategorized

As anyone that knows me can tell you, I have been known to, from time to time, enjoy a little herbal remedy. I have a good job. I am responsible. I don’t get into tussles. I don’t beat my dogs. The long and short of it is this: I live a good, responsible, functional life despite the fact that I enjoy dancing with Mary Jane every so often. In fact, I would even go so far as to say that my life is further enhanced by the presence of the bud in my life.

We all know that Michael Jackson died on Thursday. Now, I’m not going to get into some gigantic tribute aimed at the deceased King of Creep as I think he was overrated (much like Elvis and The Beatles). But his death, and the subsequent discussion regarding his possible dependence on prescription drugs, got me to thinking about something and I hope that it will spur your own thoughts as well, regardless of your personal stance on marijuana use.

Let me set the stage here. Prescription drugs are legal, am I correct? Sure you need to be given a prescription from your doctor (joke), but ultimately they are legal substances in some regard. Now, think back about all the celebrities that you can recall that have died because of some sort of deadly prescription drug cocktail. Elvis. Heath Ledger. Anna Nicole Smith. Michael Jackson. These are just the ones that immediately come to mind. Now, think about how many people die from the same combination of prescription drugs. Valium. Oxycotin. Vicodin. Xanex. Drugs that are prescribed with the best intentions but that have, when mixed, undesired consequences. Mix this with any type of alcohol consumption and you are clicking the stopwatch on your impending doom. While I don’t have any firm numbers, one can assume that if so many high-profile people are kicking the bucket because of prescription drug overdose, there are surely a significant amount of ordinary citizens doing the same thing.

Then of course there is alcohol. We all know alcohol is legal. How many times do you hear about someone dying due to an accident involving a drunken driver? Too many to count. How many times have you been out and seen people tussling because they are inebriated? Quite a few. How many times has alcohol made you do something stupid, embarassing, and often times, regretabble? I don’t know about you, but if I had a dollar for everytime this happened I could retire. How many people’s lives are spiraling out of control because of excessive alcohol consumption? I mean, just watch “Intervention” on A&E some time. Think about those things for a second. Alcohol is legal, despite the fact that it destroys lives and families and property. It is LEGAL.

Now, let’s talk about marijuana. How many times do you hear about someone dying because someone had smoked some bud and drove? None. How many times have you seen people tussling because they just smoked a joint? None. How many times has pot made you do something stupid, embarassing, and often times, regrettable? For me personally, never. And finally, how many people’s lives are spiraling out of control because they smoke pot? I don’t know any; do you? Marijuana is illegal despite the fact that it is, by all accounts, safer than alcohol. People do not overdose on marijuana. It does not make make you vomit. It does not give you a hangover. What it does do though is give you the munchies. It can make you giggle. It can give you a fantastic night’s sleep. It can spur creativity. It can bond a group of people as everyone passes to the left (to the left, to the left).

Considering what I just told you, what sense does it make that marijuana remains illegal? Never mind the fact that it could be a huge economic coup for many parts of the country. Never mind the fact that it could save millions, if not billions, of dollars on policing and the “War on Drugs.” Never mind the fact that it could save lives as the Mexican drug cartels would lose a valuable, and often deadly, product for export. Never mind these things, even though each point above adds more fuel to the legalization fire. Focus instead on the safety of marijuana vs. prescription drugs and alcohol. Marijuana by itself is not going to kill you. Marijuana mixed with alcohol is not going to kill you. With that in mind, do you think that people would, instead of relying on prescription drugs for recreational use, enjoy a joint or rip off the bong if marijuana were legal? Do you think instead of trying to get high via deadly combination of drugs that these people might visit a hash bar instead and finish the night with a piece of chocolate cake, instead of finishing the night in a body bag? There is no way of knowing for certain, but I contend (and I suspect you may agree on some level) that legalizing marijuana may prevent such tragic events in many cases.

Like all substances, the key is education and moderation. Regardless of the substance, someone somewhere is going to abuse it. It is, unfortunately, part of the human condition for addicts. But much like we educate on alcohol abuse and drinking and driving, our society could easily do the same for marijuana. Further, many of the same laws that apply to alcohol would apply to marijuana, thus encouraging moderation. If the problems of addicts, who are the minority by the way, dictated what is legal and not legal, shouldn’t alcohol be illegal?

So, to me, it doesn’t make any sense as to why it remains illegal. I suspect part of it is societal fear perpetuated by the ultra-Christian right wingers that have been in control of this country for so long. I also suspect that the people that rail against ganja are people that have never touched it a day in their lives. This, of course, further adds to the culture of fear. And, like all substances, if you don’t want to do it, then don’t do it. Period. People choose not to drink all the time; people can choose not to smoke bud if they wish. But just because you choose not to do it doesn’t mean that the rest of us should be subjected to your narrow-minded views about something that ultimately doesn’t hurt anyone.

If you know someone that has died of a marijuana overdose, I’d like to hear it. If you know someone whose life has been destroyed by smoking pot, and just smoking pot, I’d like to hear it (and I don’t want to hear about it being a “gateway” drug unless you are of the opinion that alcohol should be made illegal as well). Marijuana is, in and of itself, safe, effective, and a whole lot of fun. If you can prove otherwise as a whole, and not as an exception, I would listen with open ears, but let me smoke a few bowls first.

A bag of weed, a bag of weed. Everything’s better with a bag of weed.
–Brian and Stewie

jbr

As the saying goes…

Posted: June 24, 2009 in Uncategorized

Let me see if I can say this in the nicest way possible: Good God almighty it is fucking hot. I feel like I’m back home with this shit, and I’ve had to carry around a towel because my skin is melting (okay, that’s not my skin, it’s my sweat; I sweat like a fat kid. Thanks dad). When it gets this hot outside, or bone-chillingly cold, it causes people to say stupid things. Stupid, pointless things that make me clinch up my ass so as to not take a dump on their heads. In honor of this, I thought I would take a moment to share some of my favorite sayings, with commentary of course.

  • Hot enough for ya–No, it is not hot enough. In fact, I wish you would wrap me in a wool blanket and shower me with the warm air of a blow dryer.
  • Cold enough for ya–See above
  • Monkey on your back–I don’t get this one. When is having a monkey on your back a bad idea? Unless it is that chimp that ate that dude’s wiener and sack. I don’t think I’d want him on my back. Otherwise, I think have a monkey on one’s back would be delightful.
  • Turn that frown upside down–Fuck off.
  • Penny for your thoughts–Thanks for devaluing my thoughts. Who carries pennies around these days? Personally I like to flick them out my car at a high rate of speed when someone is on my ass like white on rice.
  • White on rice–Isn’t white the total absence of color? So how does something that doesn’t exist affix itself to something that does exist?
  • Every dog has his day–In my house, all my dogs have their day, everyday.
  • An apple a day keeps the doctor away–This is a crock of shit. I eat several apples a day and I still have to go to the doctor.
  • In terms of–I think this is 2009’s ‘like.’ Everything is not in terms of something else. Everything is not interconnected. It is physically impossible for this to be true. When you say it every once in a while, you sound brilliant. When you say it 23 times in half an hour, you sound short bus.
  • A coon’s age–I can’t tell if this is racist or just stupid.
  • It is what it is–This is by far the most annoying of all the little phrases and sayings. What exactly is IT? I surmise that if you knew what IT really was, you wouldn’t resort to such a stupid statement. It isn’t profound, or deep; it’s idiotic. It’s even more idiotic when you use it ad nauseam and describe every fallacy in your life with this moronic collection of words.

For the record folks I am trying to find my literary groove again. I seem to have lost a bit of my verbal and written mojo as of late, and I assure you I am working dilligently to find it. I put up posters across town and an ad in the paper, so if you see my mojo, drop me a line.

Who that man in the black sedan with two cheap hookers and a Mexi-can?
–Mickey Ave.

jbr

Paying homage

Posted: June 20, 2009 in Uncategorized

I finally got Rock Band 2. I know, I know, I’m a little behind but hey, better late than never. For those of you that don’t have it, it is pretty awesome. Of course, it is quite a bit like the first installment of Rock Band, but with new songs. As I vegged out in my basement last night and enjoyed two out of the three Bs (if you don’t know what that means, drop me a line and I shall enlighten thee), my mind began thinking about some home improvement (this train of thought sabotaged a perfect score of “Float On” by Modest Mouse…thanks brain).

My basement is, in terms of lighting, all or nothing. Normally this isn’t a big deal, except when I’m playing video games. I don’t like watching TV in the dark as it makes me want to dance with the sheep, so some light is preferred, if not just downright necessary. And, of course, too much light is a hinderance on my game play. In order to remedy this and find a reasonable compromise of lighting, I thought I could replace the standard light switches with the dimmer switches. This would give me more control over the light in the basement, and save me a few slices of cheese in the process. While this idea sounds good on the surface, there is one problem: I don’t know how to do it.

How do I remedy this issue with lack of knowledge? The library? The Interweb? Those are all well and good, but I have a resource that is more reliable than both: my dad. Long before the Internet took over our lives and made locating information as easy as a slutty monkey on Viagra, there was your dad. Dads know everything, and even if they didn’t really know it, when they told it to you, it became the gospel. My father is particularly knowledgeable, and a million times more handy than I could ever hope to be. Because of this, I can’t think of a better resource for information gathering than my pops.

As I have gotten older, his advice and presence in my life has remained constant. I can’t think of a singular time that my father steered me down the wrong path, intentionally or unintentionally. It may not be what I want to hear, but it was always what I needed to hear. When something broke as a young man, he was there to fix it. When money was tight and I need a life preserver, he threw it to me. When I was crushed and need a shoulder to cry on, he was there. There were never any preconditions or questions about my sanity, just my dad being my dad.

I am not a father, but should I ever been blessed enough to have children of my own, I can only hope that I am half the man my father has been over the years, and that my influence on my children is as strong as his influence has been on me. On this Father’s Day weekend my friends, take a moment to thank your dad for all he has done. Fathers often go unrewarded for the lifetime of sacrifice they provide us as children; as teenagers; as adults. A simple ‘thank you’ will go a long way to letting them know that they are appreciated as parents, as men, and perhaps most importantly, as friends. If your father isn’t in your life, find a father to thank; it will be appreciated more than you will ever know.

Thank you dad for being the single biggest influence on my life. Thank for being patient and understanding. Through the tattoos and piercings and schools and women and car accidents, you were always there for me. I know I’ve been a pain in the ass throughout the years, but just think…what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, and you aren’t dead yet.

One father is more than a hundred schoolmasters.
–George Herbert

jbr

If…

Posted: June 16, 2009 in Uncategorized

…you steal an ambulance, pray tell, what are you going to do with said ambulance? This is, of course, provided you somehow, some way, make a miraculous escape from those that are searching for the ambulance in question. Are you going to open up your own hospital? How about a niche limousine service, perhaps one that caters to the morbidly curious? Or, ORRRRR, are you going to pimp around town in the ambulance, after repainting it, dropping it, and throwing some 12’s in the back?

Sigh. Idiot.

I don’t wanna be an american idiot.
–Billy Joe Armstrong

jbr

Mysterious disappearance

Posted: June 10, 2009 in Uncategorized

As you all know, I am currently in the midst of a little road trip for work today. This afternoon I had a little down time and decided to peruse an online version of a newspaper out of the Midwest. While I was browsing the Kansas City Star, I happened upon a quick little story that I would like to share with you. It reads:

Missing man turns up in Washington State

A 19-year-old man who was reported missing about a week ago has been located in Olympia, Wash., Kansas City police said today.

Evan Carslake, last seen in the Kansas City area on June 2, was unharmed, police said.

Local authorities do not yet know how Carslake ended up in Washington.

Pray tell, how exactly is this news? Let’s read it line by line and find the discrepancies:

  • A 19-year old man“-Well, there’s your first problem. Sounds like this dude had it right. If I were 19 and had the means, I’d probably cruise out of town myself. Unless, of course, it has since become illegal for 19-year old men to travel outside of the state. In that case, I totally understand the need for the story.
  • …police said“-Why were police involved? Remember: 19-year old dude
  • “…how Carslake ended up in Washington“-Really? I have a few ideas. My first inclination is to say that he got there by car. How did I come to this conclusion? Let me break you off some Nancy Drew…He was last seen on June 2nd. Today is June 10th. If he walked, rode a bicycle or tricycle or unicycle, or got there via crab-walk, I don’t think he’d be there yet. If he went by plane, he would’ve probably gotten there sooner. That leaves us with a leisurely stroll in an automobile. And, considering, again, that we are talking about a 19-year old guy, sounds a bit like a drug-fueled, alcohol-laden roadie.

Someone’s family and/or friends apparently don’t know Evan very well or they might have suspected that he flew the coop and took up arms in Washington State. I wonder who feels like the bigger idiot: him, his family, the police for chasing him, or the reporter that got stuck writing about this.

Wandering re-establishes the original harmony which once existed between man and the universe.
–Anatole France

jbr