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Thursday, November 4, 2010

The Five Dumbest Songs About Weed (To Blame For Prop 19's Failure)

Posted By on Thu, Nov 4, 2010 at 11:47 AM

There might be no excuses in rock 'n' roll, but politics, as we've heard this week, is made of little else. Pundits and the wonkocracy hint that Prop. 19's failure, like every other Election Day disaster, was due to the hordes of scared-shitless elderly voters driven to the polls last Tuesday by the Tea Party. Hand an already paranoid geezer a ballot he thinks might explode into hellfire in his fear-palsied hands, the reasoning goes, and the sight of a legalize-marijuana measure on it couldn't help but ratchet the dominant mood of "No!" up to eleven. Personally, I think the percentage of the loss in the Prop. 19 debacle demonstrates that more than a few Californians failed to vote the way they toke. But it is possible --  maybe -- that a majority in this state lack sufficient first-hand experience with the Devil's Weed to make an informed decision. If so, then the old reefer-madness culture trope is to blame. Frustrated Yes-on-19 voters can turn their impotent rage on that familiar scapegoat, rock lyrics. Like these, the five dumbest about weed:

5. "One Toke Over the Line" by Brewer & Shipley
This 1970 Jesus-rock hoedown was famously scorned in Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas as something no one should suddenly hear while tripping mastodon balls on acid. While hs Raoul Duke sweated the sight of mere bats too much to be entirely comfortable with hallucinogenic drugs, Hunter Thompson was perfectly right in deploring lyrics about "waitin' for the train to come home, sweet Mary" as inconsistent with even the worst American Dream.

4. "I Like Marijuana" by Country Joe and the Fish
Since the title comprises roughly half the lyrics, it's safe to say this ain't one of C. Joe's Bigger Statements. "Let's Go Smoke Some Pot," by Dash Rip Rock is Ezra Pound by comparison.

3. "Mr. Farmer" by The Seeds
Druggie lyrics were supposed to be coy back in 1967, but this garage-rock hymn to the bucolic life was a convoluted case of a stealthily pro-dope song from the Sunset Strip's crunkiest act disguising itself as an anti-dope song in order to avoid being banned on the radio. Since the record was widely perceived as being, in any event, about dope, it was banned anyway, proving David St. Hubbins' dictum about the thin and fuzzy line between clever and stupid.

2. "Smoke Two Joints" by The Toyes
While commendable as an argument against hoarding the shit 'til it crumbles to dust, it's hard to see how ingesting two twisted sticks of today's reactor-grade skank as often as this oft-covered reggae paean suggests will get you anywhere governed by all the thrift and self-reliance the Tea Party thinks we should have.

1. "Sweet Leaf" by Black Sabbath
While few arguments have ever been advanced for Ozzy Osbourne's gifts as poet, his crediting booj for "introducing me to my mind" certainly can't be called good PR for the morally beneficial qualities of booj. Likewise "I love you sweet leaf, though you can't hear" suggests the kind of attachment psychopaths often form with cherished knives or meat cleavers.

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Ron Garmon


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