29

A Gentrified Little Town Goes to Pot

Edward Curtin

In my little town/ I grew up believing/God keeps his eye on us all.”
Simon and Garfunkel, My Little Town

Hello my old friends Paul and Art,

I’m just sitting here chilling out in the silent darkness of a late night spinning some discs and thinking your song is great but even great songs age as do we all and so I want to tell you that as a NYC born and bred boy like you guys who moved out to the country some years ago that in my little town many young people grew up not believing that God keeps his eye on us all because they grew up not believing in God, and even many of their parents, baby-boomer believers in hands-off parenting and meditation and yoga weekends didn’t keep an eye on them, not at all, since the parents thought of themselves as super cool and so the kids were allowed to fend for themselves in a most culturally liberal life-style way, and then, when the kids got confused and screwed up and did various drugs, especially a lot of pot following on the Ritalin they were given for their “disabilities” and the anti-depression meds that fell out of the families’ medicine cabinets and of course booze, and I guess I should add some heroin and the other shit that’s around – man, it’s crazy – the parents were dumbfounded and couldn’t understand what went wrong and why their kids, even as they aged, were still kids like they the parents were, caught in a stream of lostness, an existential despair unaware of its despair, to quote my old friend Soren, so they lived in a haze of smoke and mirrors and that darkness you guys sang about where they suffered from socially-induced attention deficit disorder and floated in a culture of cultural self-awareness and eclectic New-Ageism feasting on organic food and nostalgia for penny candy and days at summer camp even as the town they settled in became an up-scaled high-tech movie set for millionaires in which the cool people could mingle with cooler people as the celebrities came and went and the out-of-towners all dressed in black like walking shades brought their money from Wall St. and high tech and financial institutions and the little town acquired a reputation as the hippest coolest place to visit and move to especially after 9/11 even before the town went to pot and allowed multiple “recreational” pot stores to open in its small space and the lines of the desperadoes waiting for their legal fixes wound round and round and all the heads were spinning and dizzy with dreams of mashed potatoes and brownies unlike mom used to make but the money kept pouring in and the press went wild with popular stories of weed and more weed and the true believers in this enormous and shattering breakthrough of legal pot and brilliant entrepreneurial instant millionaires that would end their chronic pains and everyone would be dreamily happy and relaxed as they awaited redemption at the hands of the latest liberal avatar of Hilary Clinton or Barack Obama to ride to the rescue and save the country and ease all the pain caused by Mr. Pumpkin Head and his ilk, like what would be better, man, if you know what I mean, but there’s something a little weird with all this crazy excitement about getting high legally and paying for what you can grow, but I guess the town likes the tax revenue but I’m thinking what’s happened to old-fashioned DIY Yankee initiative and cool stuff like that in a town where the American Revolution was fought to allow the rich to build their McMansions and buy up the land to raise llamas and place Buddha statues and even their own little churches on and stuff like that but maybe I’m starting to get off topic a bit here so I should probably stop now while I’m ahead and on a high note about revolution and making the world safe for weed which should be the goal even though I’m not so sure aging hippies and their hipster kids will know how to use the stuff responsibly and stay off the road to ruin and avoid accidents while high and just chill out like I’m sure the USA will do once we get rid of the orange man and vote with my little town to return a Democrat to the White House so we can assume our responsibility to protect all those countries threatened by madmen like Gaddafi and Assad and maybe even do something about that demon Putin that will allow us little town folks to feel safe as once again God and the NSA keep their eyes on us all even while we are getting high which is our god given right as god fearing americans and we return to the old values that we all shared before we went down the New Jersey Turnpike looking for America, guys, Kathy ain’t the only one sleeping and your singer not the only one lost if you get my drift.

Here’s to chilling,

EJ

Edward Curtin writes, and his writing on varied topics has appeared widely over many years. He writes as a public intellectual for the general public, not as a specialist for a narrow readership. He believes a non-committal sociology is an impossibility and therefore sees all his work as an effort to enhance human freedom through understanding. His website is edwardcurtin.com

Filed under: Arts, Arts and Entertainment, Essays, latest, Philosophy & Abstract Thoughts

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Edward Curtin writes, and his writing on varied topics has appeared widely over many years. He writes as a public intellectual for the general public, not as a specialist for a narrow readership. He believes a non-committal sociology is an impossibility and therefore sees all his work as an effort to enhance human freedom through understanding. His website is edwardcurtin.com

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Norcal
Norcal

Brilliant riff Edward Curtin. I recently attended “The Summer Of Love” exhibition at Golden Gate Park and came away from that exhibit remembering what a wonderful experience that Summer was in San Francisco, it was 1967 not 1968, and it was, I think, one of the most significant moments in the history of America that includes the Vietnam Era. It was symbolic for breaking away from “Business As Usual” clearly inspired by the Beat movement of the 1950’s, it was mostly about being anti-War…

https://deyoung.famsf.org/summer-love-art-fashion-and-rock-roll

Do contemporaries realize that the CIA was there too, distributing LSD in a real-time cultural experiment? Ritalin, significantly, was synthesized in 1947, the same year that the CIA was established. The total story of mind altering drug development in post-war Germany, imported into street use in America goes unreported, and assumptions that the subsequent social disorder was caused by cultural misfits is, at least, an exaggeration.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_MKUltra

Yes, America is quite a psychological and physical wreck; but the Cause is still not explored…

Joerg
Joerg

America is quite a psychological and physical wreck; but the Cause is still not explored…

I believe that it is the rule of one or several “Syndicates”. “Syndicates” that are not the same like in the 1920s and that are not “Sicilian”. But which work more or less the same way – only on a much, much higher scale:

1) Corruption
Think of the missing $21 Trillion of the DOD/Pentagon. (to this see “Skidmore-Trillions” –
https://www.corbettreport.com/interview-1407-mark-skidmore-on-the-pentagons-missing-trillions/ ).
How many people would can become corrupted if you give them, let’s say, $2.1 Million. A lot, I think. With these $21 Trillion then you could corrupt not less than 10 Million people!
Also before, on 911, those accountants that researched for the then already missing $2.5 Trillion (I think) were all killed by the explosion in exactly that area of the Pentagon they were. And no one picked up the research afterwards. Until this day also the stolen gold from under the Twin Towers was obviously never really researched (state attorney then “Robert Mueller”).
Also see “Ben Carson Finds $516.4 Billion in ‘Mismanaged’ Obama Dollars – Media Blackout” – https://www.investmentwatchblog.com/ben-carson-finds-516-4-billion-in-mismanaged-obama-dollars-media-blackout/ . … and so on
.
a) Corrupted people would by state attorneys, judges, lawyers, policemen, people in all parts of the administration, in the news corporations, politicians of the Union or the States, politicians in parties, or private people of greater influence in society (film stars etc.).
b) The whole education system of schools, universities, the structures of science and research is corrupted. To this see: https://tragedyandhope.com/history-interview-with-g-edward-griffin/

2) Murder, blackmail
Even so important and well known people like Jack Kennedy, Robert Kennedy, Martin Luther King were murdered with impunity. Not to speak of less known persons like journalists (
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_journalists_killed_in_the_United_States ) , “Danny Casolaro”, “Vince Foster” and so on and on.

3.) “Working field” of the Syndicate(s)
This has long swept over from the US to Europe by now – which shows that this/these “Syndicate(s) work on a global scale.

Joerg
Joerg

@Norcal
(my comment from 2 h ago doesn’t appear. So I changed the cited links – please add “http” to each given link) left

America is quite a psychological and physical wreck; but the Cause is still not explored…

I believe that it is the rule of one or several “Syndicates”. “Syndicates” that are not the same like in the 1920s and that are not “Sicilian”. But which work more or less the same way – only on a much, much higher scale:

1) Corruption
Think of the missing $21 Trillion of the DOD/Pentagon. (to this see “Skidmore-Trillions” –
s://www.corbettreport.com/interview-1407-mark-skidmore-on-the-pentagons-missing-trillions/ ).
How many people would can become corrupted if you give them, let’s say, $2.1 Million. A lot, I think. With these $21 Trillion then you could corrupt not less than 10 Million people!
Also before, on 911, those accountants that researched for the then already missing $2.5 Trillion (I think) were all killed by the explosion in exactly that area of the Pentagon they were. And no one picked up the research afterwards. Until this day also the stolen gold from under the Twin Towers was obviously never really researched (state attorney then “Robert Mueller”).
Also see “Ben Carson Finds $516.4 Billion in ‘Mismanaged’ Obama Dollars – Media Blackout” – s://www.investmentwatchblog.com/ben-carson-finds-516-4-billion-in-mismanaged-obama-dollars-media-blackout/ . … and so on
.
a) Corrupted people would by state attorneys, judges, lawyers, policemen, people in all parts of the administration, in the news corporations, politicians of the Union or the States, politicians in parties, or private people of greater influence in society (film stars etc.).
b) The whole education system of schools, universities, the structures of science and research is corrupted. To this see: s://tragedyandhope.com/history-interview-with-g-edward-griffin/

2) Murder, blackmail
Even so important and well known people like Jack Kennedy, Robert Kennedy, Martin Luther King were murdered with impunity. Not to speak of less known persons like journalists (
s://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_journalists_killed_in_the_United_States ) , “Danny Casolaro”, “Vince Foster” and so on and on.

3.) “Working field” of the Syndicate(s)
This has long swept over from the US to Europe by now – which shows that this/these “Syndicate(s) work on a global scale.

Martin Usher
Martin Usher

Our kids must have missed out on stuff big time. We are parents who grew up in the 60s, were into counterculture sort-of but never into any of that New Age stuff (something to do with being scientist/engineer types). Although we lived during our 20s in the Inner City, home of multiculturalism plus sex. drugs and rock ‘n roll, by the time we were in our 30s and having a family work had taken us to Centerville (“A Real Nice Place To Bring Your Kids Up In”), or at least what passes for it in Ventura County, CA. So the kids had this middle class type upbringing but for some reason missed out on all the experimentation with drink, drugs and what-have-you. What did we do wrong? (Or, more accurately, are you 100% sure that the upbringing described in this article represents the reality of the majority of kids?)

Jo
Jo

Emotional intelligence by Daniel Goleman…..a very good read…..explains so much . Sadly until this is taught properly to all children eg as it includes resilience…….generations will be increasingly fragile for want of a better word…..

Thomas Prentice
Thomas Prentice

Why does this sound like “Rebel Without a Cause,” only for a generation with new kicks? If you haven’t viewed “Rebel Without a Cause’ it is time to give it another watch. There is only one adult worth a shit in the entire film, the cops are busy arresting drunks and shooting kids and leaving the prosperous bankers and developers to sleep softly in their cushy beds, one horendous teacher, and the parents are absolutely shitty. It was a prophetic film. Describing 1954. and 2019. I just shook my head when I saw it yesterday. Too bad James Dean is dead, he could have written and directed a sequel to fit today’s “narcissism of petty differences” (Freud)

RE:
“many of their parents, baby-boomer believers in hands-off parenting and meditation and yoga weekends didn’t keep an eye on them, not at all, since the parents thought of themselves as super cool and so the kids were allowed to fend for themselves in a most culturally liberal life-style way, and then, when the kids got confused and screwed up and did various drugs, especially a lot of pot following on the Ritalin they were given for their “disabilities” and the anti-depression meds that fell out of the families’ medicine cabinets and of course booze, and I guess I should add some heroin and the other shit that’s around – man, it’s crazy – the parents were dumbfounded and couldn’t understand what went wrong and why their kids, even as they aged, were still kids like they the parents were, caught in a stream of lostness, an existential despair unaware of its despair ….”

Joerg
Joerg

Yes, something went wrong after the golden 1960s. the 1060 rooted deeply in the 1950s – with that art, literature. with those “Beatniks” or – in Europe – those “Existentialists” (called “Exies”). Even Henry Miller, of a totally different generation, got interested in ZEN (and that had nothing to do with this to “place Buddha statues” in the article above).

What went wrong?
I believe that it is that after the Sixties (which lasted, I think, to 1974 – like the Seventies lasted to 1984) there was no more ‘searching’ to find out about this world and to try to get a handle to it. And this way was definitely a way to the INSIDE ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_onagRhKN5E) .

But then everybody turned to the OUTSIDE. Yes, in the Seventies there were still these “Bhagwan-” and “Hare-Krishna-” people But in the Eighties also this was over. Now it was about consuming and ripping off as much fun as you could from your life.

And then, now, came this IDENTITY thing.
Even religion is now IDENTITY – not only Islam in the Muslim world, or Buddhism in Sri Lanka, Thailand – also here: Mike Pompeo: “In my office, I keep a Bible open on my desk to remind me of God and His Word, and The Truth” ( https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2019/01/17/pompeo-turns-reality-upside-down.html )

Some cartoons:
http://newbuddhist.com/uploads/editor/5w/i13s1sazk5j2.png
http://newbuddhist.com/uploads/editor/2u/s5lf77k544fo.png

Anna Zimmerman
Anna Zimmerman

I had one of those upbringings. It took a good while and a lot of therapy to recover.

Jen
Jen

I like the stream-of-consciousness style of the post and I think it could have been even better without punctuation.

🙂

Sackerson
Sackerson

I know it’s a riff on somebody’s style – Jack Kerouac’s?

BigB
BigB

Ginsberg, Burroughs. Thompson …?

“I’ve been up all night, editing stream of consciousness poems” – Allen Ginsberg.

“Moloch whose mind is pure machinery! Moloch whose blood is running money! Moloch whose fingers are ten armies! ” – Howl.

Yonatan
Yonatan

James Joyce – Ulysees

Sackerson
Sackerson

A tax on the word “and” would go some way to paying down the national debt.

writerroddis
writerroddis

Wow! I never knowed so much sociological insight could be packed into one sentence …

Btw, I watched Murder Mountain on Netflix. The dystopic outcomes, in the hills of Humboldt County, of marijuana legalisation – or to be precise, the Big Capital-friendly manner of that legalisation – are explored with unusual intelligence.

Gezzah Potts
Gezzah Potts

And 35 years ago, everything seemed so innocent and peaceful and carefree and, er, ‘chilled’. With the help of some green stuff of course, and parties at the weekends with lots of beer, and pondering the meaning of life whilst under the influence….. Seems like another lifetime. And back then the media were completely trusted and believed. The part of Melbourne I live in, Hipsters are everywhere, with their beards, tattoo’s, rainbow badges and yet no one makes eye contact and no one says hello in passing. Its like being on a different planet. I would guess the vast majority of them were absolutely horrified when their feminist icon (cough….) Hilary lost to the Fascist monster Trump. I would guess that nearly all of them believe that Russia interfered in the election to help Trump win. I would guess that nearly all of them believe Mueller will turn up damning evidence (finally?) that Putin got his buddy Trump elected. And next week the scientists who run the Doomsday Clock may even move it closer to midnight than the current 2 minutes. Do the hipsters even know about the Doomsday Clock? And nearly every day in the Australian media, people are bombarded with the most inane, ridiculous, mind boggling pile of garbage, the sort of stuff the hipsters (and their parents) lap up, like a cat lapping up milk. Cheers Edward.

axisofoil

Hell of a mess , isn’t it?

Fair dinkum
Fair dinkum

Those hipsters in Brunswick are so self absorbed they wouldn’t know their arses from their elbows.
Goodbye tomorrow.

Gezzah Potts
Gezzah Potts

Fair Dinkum: yes indeed FD….. I was actually on Sydney Rd yesterday and just the snippets of conversation I heard; its like there’s no World outside their bubble, tho that’s true for many people, sadly. I sell The Big Issue mag to survive, as its my only income – my factory job went to China, and as a NZ citizen, get no benefits in Australia. When I’m out selling, the group of people who show the most contempt towards me, who en masse won’t even look sideways or say hello are…. The Hipsters. They’re probably too busy worrying about how to get their first investment property, or their overseas holiday to France. However, greatly doubt they would think about putting on a yellow vest! Have a good week FD…

Fair dinkum
Fair dinkum

Maybe I’ll bump into you one day Edward.
I live about 200 ks from Melbourne.
Keep safe

Fair dinkum
Fair dinkum

Meant to say ‘Gezzah’ of course.

vexarb

Like Scott FitzGerald, “probes deeply and incisively into the U$ psyche” to disclose sweet dreams of Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness through Wealth and Comfort.

There is nothing more cruel than sentimentality because it regards real suffering with indifference.

Brutally Remastered

Can’t like this comment enough.
Sentimentality is the weapon that destroys so many, that is become the American mode, that is force fed by Hollywood and the MSM and ejected by Federal institution and Drone Lovers (Thanks Swervedriver!).

Gezzah Potts
Gezzah Potts

Brutally Remastered: Swervedriver = 5 Stars. One of the best ever bands to come out of UK. Have all their albums btw….

Fair dinkum
Fair dinkum

Another two wide eyed innocents, swallowed, digested and excreted by fame and Mammon.
Seems to be an epidemic now.

writerroddis
writerroddis

Yeah, but Marx’s concept of commodity fetishism was never so poetically (if unconsciously) summarised as when the duo sang that “the people bowed and prayed/to the neon gods they’d made”.

BigB
BigB

I dunno. As the great Welsh prophet, the right reverend James Dean Bradfield once sang:

“Life lies a slow suicide
Orthodox dreams and symbolic myths
From feudal serf to spender
This wonderful world of purchase power”

Sums up CF ever so poetically (great guitar riff too)?

“Your joys are counterfeit
This happiness corrupt political shit”

…nails it too

writerroddis
writerroddis

Well that’s pretty poetic too BigB and you’re right about that riff but I still back S & G on this. It’s the specific reference to the reification as well as deification of a human construct (“the markets”) that inspired Marx to use the analogy of carving a wooden idol only to bow down before it. I doubt Paul Simon was thinking anything quite so specific as Marx and CF, but once the words are out there, they belong to us all!

axisofoil

Quite a sentence.

Fair dinkum
Fair dinkum

Big like a Trumpologue, but not as incoherent.