Category: As Is with Mike Gold

As Is: Guns and Covid, for Fun and Profit

If you see me walking down the street / And I start to cry each time we meet / Walk on by, walk on by. — “Walk on By,” written by Burt Bacharach and Hal David, 1964.

Here’s one of the reasons why I’m not completely opposed to handgun ownership.

You’re at the supermarket, and you’re wearing your mask. Yeah, I know, lots of people have been vaccinated, including your writer, but according to a scientific study I just made up those that refuse the jab tend to be the same ones who won’t wear a mask. Even if you’re two weeks past your second shot, the issue of your ability to pick Covid up and pass it along to those selfish schmucks who won’t do the right thing remains, as of this posting, unsettled. There are indications that the vaccines provide some benefit in this regard and that’s swell, but until Doctor Fauci, Doctor Fine and Doctor Howard tell us otherwise, it is polite to protect others, even the inconsiderate assholes.

Fun fact: with so many Q-morons refusing to get the jab, we are not going to achieve herd immunity. Well, maybe I’m wrong, and drinking bleach and shoving an ultra-violet lamp up your ass does work after all – I’m told it’s quite a buzz – but I have yet to read of any studies confirming that.

O.K. So you’re masked in the supermarket, remember? And some maskless dickhead is blocking the aisle while loudly mocking your completely unAmerican passion for consideration. You ask him, politely, to get the hell out of the way. He responds by mocking your snowflakeness and insisting he has a constitutional right to not wear a mask because it infringes on his freedom.

You respond — well, I respond — “Where in the constitution does it say you have the right to kill strangers?” After he tells you the 600,000 deaths is Deep State bullshit, you respond — well, I respond — “Perhaps we can agree that the constitution at least implies you have the right to self-defense?”

I know you can’t have more than 100% of anything, but I am absolutely certain that at least 155% of Q-morons will agree with that statement. So you (well, certainly I) respond: “So you agree that, out of self-defense, I can fucking shoot you, right?”

And then you look this fool right in the eye and you reach around to the back of your belt and make a gentle pulling motion.

At this point, nine out of ten Q-morons will get out of your way. Make certain your shirt is pulled out from behind your belt, and just walk on by.

Well, unless you’re Black and the Q-moron is a White cop. Do not take unnecessary risks. Statistics matter.

That’s it for today, folks! Don’t forget to tip the waitstaff, and praise the lord and pass the ammunition and we’ll all stay free.

Happy 420. We’ve Still Got A Long Way To Go

“Please don’t waste your energy on me my friend / cause we still got a long way to go / We’ll meet again someday / but right now just go away / ‘cause I still got a long way to go.” Michael Bruce, Long Way To Go, 1971

Happy 420, a holiday that, I dare say, gets happier each year.

In the past six months, Arizona, Montana, New Mexico, New Jersey, New York, South Dakota and Virginia have legalized the recreational use of marijuana. That means as of this writing, its use is legal for adults in 16 states, the “District” of Columbia, and Guam – not to mention Canada, Mexico, and a rapidly increasing number of industrial nations.

Another 20 states have legalized the medicinal use of marijuana and most of those are entertaining complete legalization. More than two-thirds of all Americans support legalization, and this cuts across both political parties and those who identify as liberal, progressive, conservative, libertarian, and Anglo-Saxon.

According to the American Civil Liberties Union, we spend nearly four billion dollars each and every year enforcing the existing marijuana laws. 45% of all inmates in federal prisons are there for drug-related offenses (source: Federal Bureau of Prisons). 1.5 million people are arrested each year for drug-related offenses and over 500,000 are behind bars (source: The Economist). We are spending in excess of twenty billion dollars keeping these miscreants behind bars each and every year.

Of course, a highly disproportionate number of weed inmates are not white men and certainly not white men who are “of a certain age.” It bears noting that a young person with a prison record is extremely likely to be marginalized throughout his or her “career,” and, thus, is equally likely to be a financial burden on society. This should go without saying, but if it did, then it wouldn’t be an issue.

You’d think there would be more productive ways to spend our tax dollars, including (but not limited to) reducing taxes.

But if you did, you wouldn’t be President Joe Biden. He’s opposed to national legalization efforts, and his schedule has been tied up firing some of his staff members who have admitted to prior weed use. This liberal icon has been very busy putting our money where his mouth is. It should be noted that Joe Biden, like his legal predecessor and like this writer, does not consume alcohol.

Of course, there are people who are opposed to legalization. There are the usual religious totalitarians who are convinced their invisible hoary thunderer gets angry every time anybody receives any enjoyment out of life. There also are the self-appointed moral monitors who believe Reefer Madness was a documentary.

And, of course, there’s the prison-for-profit racket, a gaggle of soulless entrepreneurs and investors who are all too happy to feel your pain all the way to their bank.

I firmly believe in the original conservative philosophy that demands we “mind our own business.” Here’s a fun fact: when Benjamin Franklin designed the very first American coin, one side states “Mind Your Business” and the other side declares “We Are One.”

I think we would do well by remembering those two phrases, particularly during these difficult times when our nation and its values are under armed attack by those Anglo-Saxon separatists.

Or… maybe… let’s legalize marijuana just to save the money and to free resources that actually will inure to the benefit of our society. Old school Republicans — who seem to have been purged from the party that carries their name — should embrace this idea just to kick big government in its big ass.

Of course, there are other ways to celebrate 420. Personally, I’m partying down at my local vaccine clinic and getting my second jab. I’m told I will likely get sick for a couple of days, and I appreciate the wisdom of the “but it beats getting Covid” mantra.

Hey… party on, Mike!

And have a safe, healthy, and amusing 420. After what we’ve all been through, we deserve it.

Bicycle Day – Our Celebration of Innovation

“I want to ride my bicycle / I want to ride my bike / I want to ride my bicycle / I want to ride it where I like.” Freddie Mercury, Bicycle Race, 1978

Happy Bicycle Day!

Okay, outside of a mawful of ancient hippies (ahem), there aren’t a hell of a lot of people who know about Bicycle Day, and I suspect some who have heard of it couldn’t care less. How’s that for seducing you into reading further?

Tomorrow’s holiday, 420, is better known these days with the legalization of adult recreational cannabis sweeping the nation. There’s a lot I can say about that, and I probably will — tomorrow. As I said, today is Bicycle Day. First things first.

 

Way back in 1938, a Swiss scientist named Albert Hoffman synthesized a respiratory and circulatory stimulant named lysergic acid diethylamide, or as it is more popularly known, LSD. He then put it aside for five years. Evidently his employer, Sandoz (a great name, since abandoned), really wasn’t concerned about return on investment. Dr. Hoffman rediscovered his chemical creation during the height of World War II and he promptly did what anybody who was stuck in the middle of the second war to end all wars would do — he ingested the stuff. Evidently, that wasn’t his plan; he said some of it sort of spilled on him while he was re-synthesizing. Or, as The Fugs said, “it crawled into my hand, honest.” I don’t know why Hoffman was covering his ass, as nobody had invented a test for LSD use at the time.

About an hour later, Dr. Hoffman felt very restless and slightly dizzy. “At home, I lay down and sank into a not unpleasant intoxicated like condition, characterized by an extremely stimulated imagination. In a dreamlike state, with eyes closed… I perceived an uninterrupted stream of fantastic pictures, extraordinary shapes with intense, kaleidoscopic play of colors. After about two hours this condition faded away,” Albert revealed in 1980.

Three days later, Hoffman tried it again, this time most certainly on purpose, and he did so at the lab. He was taken home to sleep it off – on a bicycle! This bicycle ride taken during the first intentional LSD trip by its creator first was celebrated in 1985 as Bicycle Day at Northern Illinois University. Thanks to Covid, I am sitting at home in the Atlantic Northeast and not on a bicycle riding through the streets of DeKalb — as if I’d ever done that in the past.

LSD’s potential as a treatment for depression and other serious mental health conditions has been well considered for about 70 years. Lately, the concept of using various psychedelic drugs (including mushrooms) as treatment has undergone serious reconsideration, and the medicinal use of such substances is being renewed in several states. Recreational use is also under consideration; evidently, while cannabis is not the gateway drug President Biden and other science-deniers claim it is, legalization of recreational marijuana may very well be. Nonetheless, some very hopeful and positive results with respect to depression and sundry mental health conditions have been reported.

(I am assuming “mental health conditions” remains the politically correct way of referring to it this week. I don’t know; the American Psychiatric Association can’t update its DSM-5 fast enough.)

I admire Dr. Hoffman’s reaction to his own experiment. Mind you, experimenting on yourself in a non-clinical setting might not be the smartest move you could make. To quote the great Johnny Knoxville, “Hey, kids, don’t try this at home!”

If you find yourself without two-wheeled transport today, there is another way to celebrate the holiday. Drew Carey, of television and stand-up comedy fame, has been doing a truly terrific free-form rock and roll show on Little Steven’s Underground Garage every Friday for several years now, and tonight — yeah, it’s Monday, not Friday — Carey is broadcasting a special Bicycle Day tribute to psychedelic rock on SiriusXM channel 21 today from 10 pm to midnight EDT.

Leave it to Drew Carey to come up with the on-target way of celebrating Bicycle Day, a day of invention, innovation, introspection, and independence.

As for the use of psychedelic drugs in the 21st century — hey, folks, it’s a brave new world.