Cannabis Culture, Part I: Mao’s Magic Dragon


Elders often say that today’s weed is stronger than the stuff back in the day. I’m not that old and am no expert, but this seems plausible. What isn’t often mentioned is that USA culture–from music to product design to views on the purpose of existence, is stoned 24/7. This is the cumulative effect of decades of culture makers, consumers, and their friends and admirers who have been influenced either by weed itself or by others who have been influenced by weed.

One could say that there was more novelty to smoking weed in the pre-60s alcohol-culture than the post-60s weed-culture, even if the weed itself was weaker, and puffed from joints rather than vacuumed from bongs. Two reasonable, opposite corollaries follow: that in a stoned culture it’s either natural to be stoned all the time or gratuitous to be stoned at all.

Whatever weed is, it isn’t and never has been rebellious. Here’s a prime example of how stoned often can be squarer than square.



Peter, Paul & Mary’s contribution to Eugene McCarthy’s 1968 kiddie campaign likely lost him votes. If Sanders loses in the primary, his antecedent will have been McCarthy. I’m unaware of any video made to go with this song.



By the next year, the best indie folk music videos were being made by…Pepsi.



The tumultuous 1968 Democratic convention nominated Hubert Humphrey. Nixon’s campaign was artistically superior, in what I can’t help but see as stoner style.



If Sanders loses in the general election, his antecedent will have been George McGovern in 1972. Sanders isn’t meek like McGovern, but compensates with a double dose of self-righteousness. Here’s a plodding McGovern ad that feels much closer to an hour than a minute.



Meanwhile, Nixon campaigned on a flowers and sunshine platform.



Nixon’s new friend Mao, an accomplished poet, invented EDM to turn the youth against their parents. Next time you DJ a party, try throwing this into the mix after asking the Mandarin speakers not to spoil the fun.







One thought on “Cannabis Culture, Part I: Mao’s Magic Dragon

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