Showing posts sorted by relevance for query george carlin. Sort by date Show all posts
Showing posts sorted by relevance for query george carlin. Sort by date Show all posts

Sunday, May 22, 2022

George Carlin's American Dream Featured Marijuana

The new Judd Apatow/Michael Bonfiglio documentary series "George Carlin's American Dream" on HBO tells us much about the comedian, including his love for marijuana.  

Carlin's mother Mary fled his violent, alcoholic father with his older brother Patrick when George was just a baby. He grew up a latchkey kid with a single working mother in what he calls "White Harlem" (Morningside Heights) in New York City, spending a lot of time alone. He watched Danny Kaye, Bob Hope and Red Skelton movies and emulated Kaye's facile facial and vocal expressions, while listening to comedians like Jack E. Leonard on the radio and deciding he wanted to be one. 

It could be said of Carlin, and our society, that the Catholic Church no longer letting the wheat in communion wafers go moldy with ergot (my theory, confirmed by others) led to seeking the promised transformative experience of First Communion in other drugs. When he didn't transform, he began to question all authority. "I think I saw religion as the first big betrayal," Carlin said. At Corpus Christi school he was told, "You will be in the state of grace, and you will feel God's presence. When none of that happened, I began to see that they were lying to me."  

Carlin began smoking pot when he was 13 and says he smoked daily from the age of 15, including before all his TV appearances. He quit school in 9th grade and left home at the age of 17, joining the Air Force and working as a DJ until being discharged for "showing a certain amount of disrespect for an NCO."

Lenny Bruce was an influence, and Carlin was in the audience when Bruce was arrested for obscenity, also going to jail when he refused to show his ID. He began his comedy career with a partner wearing a suit and tie and playing goofy characters, already telling stoner jokes. He went solo with characters like the stoned Hippie Dippie Weatherman. "Tomorrow's high is whenever I get up," was one of his jokes. 

Thursday, January 13, 2022

Tokin' Women and Others We Lost in 2022

Sadly, this page will be updated throughout 2022.

Jim Seals (6/6)

Seals and his musical partner, Dash Crofts, were still teenagers when they were asked to join an instrumental group, the Champs, which had had a No. 1 hit in 1958 with “Tequila.” By the mid-1960s they had tired of the band and of the loud, sometimes angry strains that were infusing the hard rock of the time. Adherents of the Baha’i faith, they sought to make a calmer brand of music, mixing folk, bluegrass, country and jazz influences and delivering their lyrics in close harmony. The result was hummable tunes like "Summer Breeze," "Hummingbird," "Diamond Girl," and "Get Closer." Source.

Sophie Freud (6/3)

Psychosociologist, educator, and author Freud was the granddaughter of Sigmund Freud, and a critic of psychoanalysis, aspects of which she described as "narcissistic indulgence." She wrote a book titled, Living in the Shadow of the Freud Family where she observed how all of her female relatives, including her mother and aunt Anna, were negatively impacted by Sigmund's harmful claims about women and their internal experiences. She was a feminist who pushed for women's rights in academia and fought against the presumption that a woman who became pregnant would be unable to continue with education or, in her case, professional social work activities. Source

Ray Liotta (5/26)

Liotta was memorable as Shoeless Joe in Field of Dreams and starred in movies like Something Wild and Dominick and Eugene before being forever known as the mobster in Goodfellas who endures craziest, most heart-pounding sequence of drug smuggling ever filmed. 

Bob Neuwirth (5/18)

"Like Kerouac had immortalized Neal Cassady in ‘On the Road,’ somebody should have immortalized Neuwirth. He was that kind of character," said Bob Dylan of his collaborator and promoter. Neuwirth taught Janis Joplin to play Kris Kristofferson's "Me and Bobby McGee" and was a co-writer on "Mercedes Benz." He was also instrumental in the career of Patti Smith, who said, " I think he immediately recognized something in me that I didn't even recognize in myself, and he took me under his wing."

Régine Zylberberg (5/1)
Abandoned in infancy by her unwed mother, Régine was left alone at age 12 when her Polish father was arrested by the Nazis in France. In 1957 she opened a basement nightclub in a Paris back street where she pioneered the dual-turntable discotheque. Chez Régine built an empire of 23 clubs in Europe, the Middle East and the Americas, including the swanky and popular Régine’s in Manhattan.

Kathy Boudin (5/1)
A member of the Weather Underground who was convicted of felony murder for her role in the 1981 Brink's robbery, Boudin won an International PEN prize for poetry she wrote in prison in 1999. She was released on parole in 2003 and became a criminal justice advocate and an adjunct professor at Columbia University. Boudin was a model for the title role in David Mamet's play The Anarchist (2012). Her son Chesa Boudin is the progressive District Attorney of San Francisco.

Naomi Judd (4/30)

Tragically, Judd took her own life the day before she and her daughter Wynonna were honored by the Country Music Hal of Fame. Judd, who worked as a nurse to support her family while building her musical career, suffered trauma from childhood sexual abuse and struggled with severe depression and anxiety. The week she died, studies were released finding that both cannabis and psilocybin are effective against depression. 

Judy Henske (4/27)

Henske was a powerful singer once dubbed "The Queen of the Beatniks." Known for her 6-foot-tall physique and her humorous patter onstage, her 1963 recording of "High Flying Bird" was influential on folk rock, and her 1969 album Farewell Aldebaran was an eclectic "fusion of folk music, psychedelia, and arty pop." Henske's relationship with Woody Allen partially inspired his pot-smoking character Annie Hall, who, like Henske, was from Chippewa Falls, WI. 

Orrin Hatch (4/23)

Hatch, a longtime Senator from Utah, was an advocate for loosening regulations on herbal supplements like ephedra. He wrote a forward to a booklet published for parents in 1998 by the Salt Lake Education Foundation that included "excessive preoccupation with social causes, race relations, environmental issues, etc." as a warning sign of marijuana use. Hatch "evolved" a bit on medical marijuana, after making a pun-filled speech about it upon introducing a research bill in 2017. Hatch told a group of women protesting Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation to the Supreme Court to "grow up."

Cynthia Plaster Caster (4/21)

Rock groupie extrordinaire Cynthia Albritton became known as "Plaster Caster" after she started making casts of rock stars' erect penises, starting with Jimi Hendrix. Ultimately she made 50 casts, and branched out into casting women's breasts. Doubtlessly an inspiration for The Banger Sisters, in which former groupies Susan Sarandon and Goldie Hahn look at pics they took of their conquests (after getting stoned), Albritton also inspired the character of "Juicy Lucy" in the 2017 TV series Good Girls Revolt.

Robert Morse (4/20)

The devilishly impish Morse, who won his first Tony award for "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying," played Bert Cooper on Mad Men while in his 80s. In this scene, Bert appears after he dies to Don (who has been smoking pot and having visions in other episodes). Morse won a second Tony for portraying Truman Capote in "Tru." Maureen Arthur, who played Hedy La Rue in "How to Succeed," on Broadway and in film, died on 6/15. 

Patrick Carlin (4/17)

The older brother of, and influence on, comedian (and Very Important Pothead) George Carlin, Patrick was a marijuana fan who wrote the words to this ultimate pot poster. "My dear Uncle Patrick has moved onto the spirit world. He’s currently spinning tunes, smoking a jay w/my Aunt Marlane and shooting the shit w/ his brother," tweeted George's daughter Kelly, whose book, A Carlin Home Companion: Growing Up With George was published in 2015.

Liz Sheridan (4/14) 

Sheridan, known for her role as Jerry Seinfeld's mom on TV, wrote a book titled Dizzy & Jimmy about the time, as a young actress and dancer in NYC, she dated James Dean, whose marijuana use was confirmed by Ann Doran, the actress who played his mother in Rebel Without a Cause. Sheridan died two weeks after the death of Estelle Harris, the actress who played the mother of Seinfeld's sidekick George Costanza, as well as voicing Mrs. Potato Head in the Toy Story movies and playing "Easy Mary" on TV's "Night Court."

Madeleine Albright (3/23)
Our first female Secretary of State, Albright was a chief delegate to the United Nations and foreign policy advisor to Geraldine Ferraro, the first woman to run for vice president. Born Maria Jana Korbelova in Prague just before the outbreak of World War II, she did not learn until she was nearly 60 that both of her parents were Jewish. In addition to Russian, she spoke Czech, French, German, Polish, and Serbo-Croatian, and her brooches, which were part of her diplomatic language, were displayed at the Museum of Art and Design in NYC. She clued Samantha Bee into speaking to female heads of state about sexism in this clip (above) and took flack for saying while Hillary Clinton was running for president, "There's a special place in hell for women who don't help each other." Her last book was, Fascism: A Warning (2018).

Adriana Hoffmann (3/20)
Chilean botanist, environmentalist, and author Hoffmann was Chile's Environment Minister in 2000 and 2001. She advocated for the sustainable management and protection of Chilean forests, leading opposition to illegal logging in her role as coordinator of Defensores del Bosque Chileno (Defenders of the Chilean Forest) since 1992. Hoffmann authored over a dozen books on the flora of Chile and 106 botanical names, mostly realignments of species and infraspecific taxa of cactus.

Don Young (3/18)
Rep. Young (R-AK) was one of just five GOP members of the House of Representatives to vote in favor of a bill to end marijuana prohibition in 2020, and was a Cannabis Caucus co-chair. First elected in 1973 during the Nixon administration, Young was in his 25th term and 49th year in Congress when he died at age 88. Born in California in 1933, he was drawn to Alaska as a young man by Very Important Pothead Jack London's book Call of the Wild.  

Thursday, April 14, 2022

Yes, Women Can Be "Hysterical" (In a Good Way)

With so much emphasis on comedy and comedians in the wake of the Chris Rock and Louis C.K. flaps, I decided to watch the HBO documentary Hysterical, following a group young female stand-up comedians, with cameos from established comics. The title is doubly apt: "Hysterical" can mean "very funny" but has also been used to denigrate women as having uncontrollable emotions (the root comes from the Greek hystera meaning uterus).  

I didn't understand why Chris Rock was needed at the Oscars, since comediennes Wanda Sykes and Amy Schumer were both hosts. Hysterical proves that women stand-ups can hold their on on the stage. The film is full of funny (dare I say, hysterical) stand-up moments from the women, who also tell amazing, and amusing, stories of the hurdles they still must jump to be heard. 

Filmmaker Andrea Nevins said some comics refused to appear in the documentary if a comment made by Jerry Lewis about women not being funny would be brought up. Lewis's statement, that he couldn't watch a woman "diminish her qualities" by doing stand up, is similar to arguments used to keep women out of politics, or even grant us the right to vote.

Margaret Cho for Cho-G
Nikki Glaser stood out to me in the film. She's been open about her marijuana use and how it helps her cope; she recently had a conversation about it with Chelsea Handler, also a pot fan. Margaret Cho, who loves pot so much she developed a strain called Cho-G, tells a tale in Hysterical about getting a call from the producer of her TV show telling her she was overweight. She manages to make funny the fact that she lost 30 pounds in two weeks, leading to an attack of kidney failure on the set. Crazy when you think about how it was rumored that Melissa McCarthy's sitcom was cancelled because she lost too much weight. 

Looking up Cho, I saw she has pinned a tweet about Rolling Stone putting her on their 2017 list of Top 50 Stand-Up Comedians. I checked out the list: there are only 11 women on it, and only one (Joan Rivers) in the top 30. Cho comes in at #48, with Sykes at #50, and Schumer at #43, just behind Phyllis Diller way down at #42. 

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Joan Rivers Outs Herself and Friends; Roseanne Barr Runs for Green Party Presidential Nomination on Pot Platform; Armie Gets Hammered: All on TMZ!

RIP Joan Rivers: Forever Outrageous

Ya gotta love TMZ and not just for its hot James Franco-ish surferdude. It's for the gang's potparazzi-style fascination with celebs and pot. Formerly TMZ outed Whoopi Goldberg as smoking pot before she accepted her Oscar, and Dyan Cannon for proffering pot brownies at Lakers' games.

In tonight's episode, Joan Rivers is accosted in New York, where she is asked about smoking pot on her television show Melissa and Joan. Toke of the Town strangely said it smelled like a publicity stunt when Joan tokes up in a car, saying she hadn't done so in 40 years.

But maybe Rivers was purposely making a statement. TMZ asked the comedienne who else she'd smoked with. "Oh, Betty White," she said, "George Carlin, Woody Allen, Bill Cosby...we had fun."

Rivers and Lily Tomlin where the two females picked to honor Carlin after, a few days before his death, he was awarded the Mark Twain prize for humor. That night, she said of Carlin, "We met in Greenwich Village, but we couldn't pinpoint the date because he was high on acid and I was totally wasted."

TMZ was a bit behind on their story about actor Armie Hammer (grandson of the oil scion Armand) being caught with pot baked goods in the same Texas town where Willie Nelson and Snoop Dogg were nabbed. On the red carpet at the Screen Actors' Guild awards Sunday night, the question put to Hammer by Access Hollywood was, "How did you manage to take a good looking mug shot?" the softest softball ever pitched. Not missing a beat, Hammer jokingly and sweetly answered the question “What you didn’t see is there was a makeup crew there.” He made no apology for entering the lofty triumverate, spending a night in jail to earn his badge of honor.

But wait, before the evening's out it's another scoop! Hitting on TMZ's website tonight is the breaking news that VIP Roseanne Barr has officially filed papers to run for president and hopes to carry the Green Party banner in the November election. They say,

"Barr says she's sick of Democrats and Republicans, whom she believes are not working in the best interests of the American people. So what, you ask, is Roseanne pushing? The answer is simple ... pot. She wants marijuana legalized and sold strictly domestically."

As of now, Barr is leading Romney in the online poll and isn't far behind Obama.

Obama 39%
Roseanne 36%
Romney 25%

Total Votes: 14,049

It's been quite a Candlemas. Let the quickening begin.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

RIP Joan Rivers, Forever Outrageous

UPDATE 10/15: Rivers is included in the new book Tokin' Women: A 4000-Year Herstory.

Joan Rivers, a breakthrough artist who was the first comedienne to perform at Carnegie Hall, has died at age 81.

As well as her stand-up career, which continued well past retirement age, Rivers was a prolific writer. She authored the films The Girl Most Likely To... and Rabbit Test, which she directed. She also wrote 12 books, starting with Having a Baby Can Be A Scream and the best-selling The Life and Hard Times of Heidi Abramowitz. She appeared on the Late Night with Seth Meyers to promote her final book, Diary of a Mad Diva, on August 4.

"My heart is torn in half. She wasn't done," tweeted Sarah Silverman, who just showed off her vape pen before picking up a writing Emmy for her new HBO special. Silverman and Jimmy Kimmel traded insults in Joan's honor on a guest appearance where Silverman's "clutch cam" moment at the Emmys was reprised.

As self-deprecating as Phyllis Diller before her, Rivers was a favorite of Johnny Carson while telling jokes like, "At 30, a woman is an 'old maid'; at 90, a man is still 'a catch.'" But when Rivers accepted an offer for her own talk show on the Fox network, produced by her husband Edgar, Johnny never spoke to her again. Edgar committed suicide after Joan's show was cancelled, leaving her to raise their daughter Melissa alone. She did what she could after that, turning her shrewd eye outwards, and was open about the plastic surgeries she endured to stay viewable.

Rivers won an Emmy for her daytime talk show, and was nominated for Drama Desk and Tony awards for her performance in the title role of “Sally Marr ... and Her Escorts,” a 1994 Broadway play based on the life of VIP Lenny Bruce’s mother. Later, she won Celebrity Apprentice, headed the hilarious Fashion Police and did a reality TV show with her daughter Melissa.

It was on her reality show that Rivers smoked pot in 2012.  When TMZ asked her who else she'd smoked with back in the day, she replied, "Oh, Betty White, George Carlin, Woody Allen, Bill Cosby...we had fun."

Rivers and Lily Tomlin were the two females picked to honor Carlin after, a few days before his death, he was awarded the Mark Twain prize for humor. That night, she said of Carlin, "We met in Greenwich Village, but we couldn't pinpoint the date because he was high on acid and I was totally wasted."

“Can we talk?” was Rivers's catch phrase, and she talked up a storm about marijuana on an Access Live appearance (below), where she says she loves marijuana "because it makes you giggly," but that she rarely smoked it because "it makes you eat." But interestingly, a new study says that although females seem more sensitive to marijuana, it's males who most often get the munchees.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Feelin' Groovy with Rhymin' Simon

"Simon and Garfunkel is poetry!" protests the teenage daughter (Zooey Deschanel) in the movie Almost Famous, as she flips over the Bookends album to the lyrics. Her mother/censor (Frances MacDormand) counters, "Honey, they're on pot."

As a teenager, I played that album over and over, and lapped up the lyrics like manna in the suburban cultural desert I lived in, scribbling, "Yes, Yes! I know exactly what he means!" in the margin.

For years I couldn't decide which was my favorite Paul Simon song: I'd always loved "Me and Julio," and often wondered just what he and his friend with the Spanish name were doing that day down by the schoolyard:

It was against the law
It was against the law
What your mama saw
It was against the law 

I also love "Late in the Evening," with the lyric:

Then I learned to play some lead guitar
I was underage in this funky bar
And I stepped outside and smoked myself a "J"
When I came back to the room
Everybody just seemed to move
And I turned my amp up loud and I began to play
And it was late in the evening
And I blew that room away

After I learned to play a little guitar, I discovered that the two are essentially the same song, with the bridge Simon whistles in "Julio" replaced with a horn section after he'd staffed up his band. (I've also wondered just what made him feel so groovy, and with what product he was "Trying to Keep the Customer Satisfied" with while the deputy sheriff chased him out of town.)

Now a new biography, Homeward Bound by Peter Ames Carlin, chronicles Simon's life and work, and his marijuana use.

Starting as pop idols Tom and Jerry in their teens, by 1963 Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel reunited to become "stylish folksingers whose melancholic songs surveyed the internal geographics of post adolescent malaise, social disconnection, and the euphoria that grabs you when you're rapping with lampposts and feeling groovy," writes Carlin.

A gifted student who studied history and literature (Joyce, Updike, Wallace Stevens, Saul Bellow) at Queens College, Simon brought a professor to his feet in praise by reciting Chaucer. While president of his fraternity, he ended physical hazing in favor of "a Dostoyevskian panel of inquisitors who grilled the pledges on their beliefs, ethics, morals, and their philosophies." In college he met Carole King when she tutored him in math, and the two made music demos together.

While in college, Simon "smoked marijuana enthusiastically and often," Carlin writes. "Sometimes pot made him giggly; other times he became prankish and heedlessly sharp-tounged, much like his new hero Lenny Bruce."

After spring term ended at Queens in 1962, Simon "packed his acoustic guitar and a few other essentials and traveled to California."

Let us be lovers we'll marry our fortunes together
I've got some real estate here in my bag

He'd go to folk music shows and "introduce himself to the players and their friends and hang out for a while. If he was lucky, he would find a sofa to sleep on, and then they'd be up all night, drinking wine, smoking dope, and talking politics, poetry, songwriting, and anything else that seemed to matter."

"After a bit of mood-enhancing conviviality, they got to work," Carlin writes poetically of a songwriting session with Bruce Woodley of the Seekers. "In search of a good third chord, [Simon] fingered a diminished F-sharp, which jolted the tune into a new, if similarly relaxed progression through a misty northern California afternoon. The smoke in the air put them in a trippy mood, a tableau of finger-painted smiles, mind-bending sun breaks, and low-hanging puffs whispering why?" Woodley told Melody Maker a week or two later, "Paul Simon is getting into our groove now."

Soon, Simon's public image "was fast evolving from thoughtful young folkie to enlightened hippie oracle. His hair now bristled past his ears, and he took to wearing capes, psychedelic ties, and high-heeled black boots, the garb befitting a young man who had in just a few months become a leading voice of his generation—like Dylan."

Along with Michelle and John Philips of the Mamas and Papas and Cheech and Chong's eventual producer Lou Adler, Simon helped produce the Monterey Pop music festival that was a precursor to Woodstock. Sent to mediate the LA/SF musical rift at the Grateful Dead House on Ashby Street in San Francisco, Simon was invited "partake in an LSD ritual to make the rest of the evening really special. Paul begged off, but scooped up a handful of the tabs to take back to New York, where he could freak out by himself in the comfort of his high-rise apartment."

At the festival, "when Paul and Artie invited [Columbia president Goddard Lieberson] to get high with them in their hotel room, he accepted enthusiastically, an aficionado of the evil wog hemp since he'd starting hanging out with New York blues and jazz artists in the 1920s." Onstage, the duo giggled through "Feelin' Groovy" and ended their set with the "as-yet-unheard 'Punky's Dilemma,' capping the evening with its hip stoner's menagerie of self-aware cornflakes and stumblebum hippies." The song, with its "puckish vision of pot-head life in the midst of middle-class society," nearly fit into the breakthrough score of Mike Nichols' film The Graduate:

Wish I was a Kellogg's Cornflake
Floatin' in my bowl takin' movies
Relaxin' awhile, livin' in style...

By this time, Simon and Garfunkel were major recording stars and generational spokesmen. "Like so much of the New Generation's educated middle class, they loathed the war in Vietnam, reflexively questioned authority, and didn't hesitate to say they smoked marijuana, had experimented with LSD, and had had run-ins with the same authoritarian cops who hassled all the kids."

According to Carlin, Simon visited Brian Wilson in his "hashish-perfumed Arabian tent" and smoked joints with friends like Tommy Smothers at his vacation home in Stockbridge, New York (home to the famed Alice's Restaurant) and at a house he and Artie rented in LA on Blue Jay Way (of the famed George Harrison song).  To record his solo album in 1970, Simon traveled to Jamaica where "he was greeted with smiles and the traditional celebratory herb," and in the 80s he and former wife Carrie Fisher participated in an ayahuasca ceremony in Brazil.

I've never been able to confirm the rumor I heard that Steve Martin pantomimed rolling a joint to "Feelin' Groovy" at a Simon and Garfunkel concert. Martin did call getting high "feeling groovy" in the 2009 film "It's Complicated." In his banjo-playing persona, Martin tours with Simon's wife Edie Brickell.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Phyllis Diller: She Inspired Comics and Cannabis

The world is mourning Phyllis Diller, who broke the gender barrier in stand-up comedy as a 37-year-old housewife and inspired new generations of female comics everywhere.

It's doubtful that Diller smoked pot. Born in 1917, she was from what George Will called "the Falstaff generation." She joked that for her health she drank a lot of water "and a lot of gin." In her New York Times obituary she is quoted about doing stand-up, "I don't want to sound like a doper, but it's a high."

Googling her name plus "marijuana" gives a surprising result: a strain of cannabis named "Phyllis Diller" is for sale at the Medical Marijuana Relief Clinic in Sherman Oaks. A sativa strain, I'm guessing it got its name because it resembles the shaggy hairstyle famously sported by Diller.  

The torch has been passed to a new generation. Diller was remembered by her friend and protege Joan Rivers on CBS This Morning. Rivers smoked marijuana on her reality show earlier this year and said back in the day she smoked it with Betty White, George Carlin, Woody Allen and Bill Cosby.

Another "domestic goddess" comedienne who admired Diller is Roseanne Barr. Barr was roasted on Comedy Central on Saturday, and joked that Obama could pry her medical marijuana out of her cold, dead hands. She had the last laugh as she ended her bit by singing, very well, lines from the National Anthem. Barr says in her book Roseannarchy that giving up the "herb of the goddess" in favor of pharmaceutical drugs contributed to her famously blowing the song. She is the Peace and Freedom party nominee for President in 2012, on a ticket with VP nominee Cindy Sheehan.

Among those "Tweeting" their admiration for Diller yesterday were VIPs Barbra Streisand, Whoopi Goldberg. and Bill Maher.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Happy Women of Weed Day

Since I wrote a round-up of Famous Female Cannabis Connoisseurs in 2010, I’ve added a few notables to the list. Here they are, in honor of International Women's Day and Women's History Month.

After Elizabeth Taylor died, I googled and found a biography of her that said she smoked pot with Christopher Lawford. It’s interesting now because Lawford has joined with Kennedy cousin Patrick to start an organization aimed at forcing marijuana users into treatment. That the Kennedys would be considered expert on such a topic is, of course, laughable and lamentable. Watch a video of Liz smoking. 

For my Black Herstory posting last month, I decided to google Josephine Baker and sure enough, found evidence that she too had imbibed. (Baker is one of the women featured on the US government's Women's History Month website.)

Sadly, I added Teresa McGovern, daughter of the late Senator George McGovern, whose pot bust at the age of 18 helped turn her short life into a tragic one. Also, I found evidence that Lucille Armstrong, wife of trumpeter and mj enthusiast Louis Armstrong, was busted for carrying pot in 1954.
Lady Gaga smoked an enormous joint onstage, and she and Rhianna, who puffed pot in Hawaii and Tweets about it often, both dressed as “marijuana” on Halloween 2012. But it's Fiona Apple who's facing hashish charges in Texas. 

Lisa-Marie Presley expressed a desire to one day go off the grid and “become a big pothead.” VIP Laura Nyro was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, introduced by Bette Midler. Madonna smoked the SuperBowl halftime show and Amy Winehouse died of alcohol poisoning, causing many of her fans to wish she’d stuck to pot instead.

Lily Tomlin “outed” herself as a pot smoker on the cover of Culture magazine. Joan Rivers toked up on her reality show saying, back in the day she smoked it with Betty White, George Carlin, Woody Allen and Bill Cosby. Roseanne Barr appeared at Oaksterdam University while campaigning for President on the Peace & Freedom Party ticket.

Jane Fonda was caught puffing at a post-Oscar party in 2012. Heather Donahue of The Blair Witch Project released a book about growing medical marijuana in Northern California. Miss USA 2011 Alyssa Campanella said she supports medical marijuana; so does the reigning Miss Universe (although both say they're against recreational use). 

In fiction, secretary-turned-copywriter Peggy Olson puffed pot on Mad Men. Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris depicted Alice B. Toklas and (possibly) Beatrice Hastings. Patti Smith’s award winning book Just Kids describes how she saw pot more as an aid to her work than a social drug. 

A video of Whoopi Goldberg surfaced in which she admits she was high when she picket up her Oscar for “Ghost.” Capping it off is Jennifer Lawrence, this year’s Oscar-winning Best Actress who, days later, was photographed smoking pot in Hawaii.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

High Lily, High Lily

UPDATE 9/14: Tomlin will receive a 2014 Kennedy Center Honor. The gala will be broadcast on December 30. (Many other Very Important Potheads have received the Honor.) She and Jane Fonda will co-star in the new Netflix series Grace and Frankie.

My favorite line from Lily Tomlin's masterful album "Modern Scream" comes from this mock question:

Interviewer: "Lily, is it true you have a drug problem?"
Lily: "Yes, it's so hard to get good grass these days."

As one of the two "tokin' women" honoring George Carlin when he posthumously won the Mark Twain Prize,  she opened with, "I flatter myself to think that George and I somehow drank from the same comedy fountain. Or should I say 'inhaled'? Or perhaps I shouldn't."

Lily inhaled on screen with Dolly Parton and Jane Fonda in the  1980 movie "9 to 5," at a pot party that bonded the characters in a deliciously wicked plot to improve their workplace conditions. (It's true: pot leads to communism.) Tomlin's "Tasteful Lady" is a great send-up of the kind of "Mothers Against Everything" that would put the clampdown on cannabis.

Yet I had never heard Tomlin fully "out" herself as a pot smoker until the October issue of Culture Magazine, whose cover is graced with Lily rocking a black bowler hat.

Asked if she's an advocate for marijuana legalization, Tomlin replied, "Yes, yes. Of course."

She said she doesn't have a doctor's recommendation, and asked, "Can you get me one?...I have to rely on the kindness of strangers. I don't use everyday. I'm not that fresh and hip." To the question, does she have any favorite of cannabis strains, Tomlin replied, "I wish I was that sophisticated."

At 72, Tomlin is back on TV as the mother of Reba McEntire in the upcoming ABC sitcom Malibu. She'll appear onstage on January 19, 2013 at the Sunset Cultural Center in Carmel, CA.

In May, Tomlin and longtime writing/life partner Jane Wagner were honored by rabid anti-drug warrior Sen. Barbara Boxer. Maybe the two should have a toke, and a talk.

Monday, June 28, 2021

REVIEW: "A Rainy Day in New York"


Elle Fanning puffing pot in "A Rainy Day in New York"
With mixed feelings I watched the 2019 Woody Allen movie A Rainy Day in New York, which Amazon has now decided to run after being sued by Allen for failing to release it, turning over the distribution rights to him, and settling the case.  

Formerly, I'd never missed a Woody Allen movie, and used to joke that I knew more about his psyche than my own. Even as—it is now abundantly clear—there was something creepy about his character falling for a 17-year-old girl in Manhattan, the scene where he compares her face to Cezanne's pears speaks to a sensibility that few filmmakers can convey. 

Rainy Day has a moment like that when Timothée Chalamet as Gatsby Welles—a kind of Allenesque Holden Calfield named for the fictional New Yorker (and pot dealer?) The Great Gatsby—suffers a setback in romance and declares, "I need a drink. I need a cigarette. What I really need is a Berlin ballad." (Cue soundtrack, and the next joke—Waiter (incredulous): "You want a double?" Gatsby: "It's OK, I won't be operating any farm machinery.") 

Tuesday, June 7, 2022

Murdoch Media Blames Marijuana for Mass Shootings

In 2012 after the Sandy Hook school shooting, media mogul Rupert Murdoch tweeted, "When will politicians find courage to ban automatic weapons?" But now, ten years later, Murdoch's media outlets are busy pointing fingers of blame for the Uvalde, TX school shooting not on the AR-15-style guns the killer purchased legally days after he turned 18, but on marijuana. 

The trial balloon was a letter to the editor that was published in the Wall Street Journal on May 31:

Your editorial fails to mention one important factor: cannabis use. Cannabis, psychosis and violence are intimately related. With the legalization of cannabis, you can expect violent incidents to increase, regardless of the weapon of choice.

Gabe Syme, Phoenix

No Gabe Syme + Phoenix shows up in a Google search. Gabriel Syme is the name of the anarchist hero of the 1908 G.K. Chesterton novel The Man Who Was Thursday: A Nightmare. The 2000 video game Deus Ex features several excerpts from the book. A Twitter account from "Hitler, North Dakota" @gabrielsyme08 has weird (mock?) White Supremacy posts and another with a bodybuilder and the line, "Time for another 200 mg of caffeine."

The same day as Syme's letter appeared in the WSJ, Laura Ingraham, who broadcasts on Fox News, asked on her show, "Why are people not talking about the pot psychosis / violent behavior connection?" Ingraham drew from a book by disgraced anti-vaxxer Alex Berenson to draw a connection between marijuana, mental illness and violence. She repeated a claim by Berenson that the New York Times had removed a reference to Uvalde shooter Salvadore Ramos being angry at his mother and grandmother for not letting him smoke weed. (The claim, supported by screenshots, seems to be true; the story had 13 different contributors and probably got updated as breaking news; I have not seen a response from NYT.)

The following day, Whoopi Goldberg called out conservatives' latest lame attempt to claim something other than assault weapons are to blame on The View. "It's not that people are smoking too much weed. You know that, Laura," Goldberg said. "People who smoke weed are not carrying AR-15s. They don't even know where they put them."