Thursday, July 26, 2007

Jimi Fixed It

Another day, another tiresome hand-wringing doom memo from HM Government soothsaying our young people’s lives are being blighted by drugs and alcohol. Novice Home Secretary whom the media have delighted in christening Jacqui Spliff after her admission to smoking ‘cannabis’ (like we so called it that) at university, today announced the largest ever public consultation on ‘tackling drugs’. Brace yourself if you live in Britain because you are about to be asked by the people you are paying to provide these answers what you think needs to be done to get drug dealers off your streets. You get ten points for giving the answer ‘arrest them’.

You’ll also be asked whether you think ‘drug education needs to be expanded’ – whatever that means. Perhaps there could be a Girl Guide badge on offer as there is for ‘practising safe sex’ and ‘assembling flat pack furniture' – no prizes for guessing which of these is the most popular.

‘I want to sharpen our focus, target the most vulnerable and educate the young’ sayeth the Spliffy one adding that she is seeking ‘fresh and constructive ideas’. What? For free? Can we not get a big ‘consultancy' wedge for this Ms Mary-Jane?

Why, oh why are getting all anal about this – again? Young people aren’t daft. They know that all these grown-ups who are trying to take all the fun out of being young, weren’t exactly taking Bible classes between Politics for Dummies 101 and How to be a Total Cunt in Business 101. When they weren’t drinking yards of ale with absinthe chasers, they were scouring the fens for magic mushrooms and trying to remember where the fuck they scattered the dope seeds they bought at Glastonbury. Duh!

Forty years ago (yesterday), on 24th July 1967, an influential group of British artists, scientists, writers and politicians inserted an advertisement in The Times calling for the use of marijuana to be decriminalised. This list included all four of The Beatles (who paid for the ad), Francis Crick – one of the scientists who discovered DNA, eminent philosophers RD Laing and Anthony Storr, artists Davids Hockney and Bailey, politicians as diverse as Jonathan Aitken, Brian Walden and Tom Driberg and many more names that resonate today as pillars of twentieth century cultural life; David Dimbleby, George Melly, Tariq Ali, Graham Greene and Kenneth Tynan. To this day, the law hasn't caught up with the public will to get off its collective face occasionally and the consequence is that criminals have moved in on a very large scale. Subsequently, the marketing has gone way beyond invitations to share a joint whilst listening to Dark Side of the Moon.

Hands up who thinks kids are so daft they can’t work out that people in power have had, like, a fun time in dare yoof, yeah? Who’s going to buy the George Michael method which is not to take any drugs at all until you’re totally famous and too old to look good wasted? You could drive Ken Kesey’s Merry Prankster bus through his whole argument. The time to take drugs and mess with your head is when you’re a kid and your brain cells are still regenerating, as any fule kno.

Every day I thank my lucky stars to have come from a generation where our shenanigans went largely unnoticed because our parents were too busy buying into the frenetic ‘heads down, tails up’ work ethic of the sixties and seventies, leaving us kids to do pretty much as we pleased.

And thank Gaultier for Elegantly Dressed Wednesday and the opportunity to celebrate some heroes who dressed fabulously and died young – from drugs! I picked Jimi Hendrix but I could just as easily have gone for Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison, Gram Parsons or Brian Jones.

Let me make my position clear here – I’m not in favour of the premature death of highly successful artists and, I suspect, neither were they. All of these people drove their caravanserai to the very edge of the world so that they could report back to us what they saw – something so vivid that we will never, ever forget it.

Gaudi bless every mind that was ever blown in the name of art and every velvet morning when a gate was opened up by someone who thought they were straight but were actually still groovin’ on a sunny afternoon…


Andrew said...

Not sure about in UK, but in Australia the dope is so much stronger than it was twenty or thirty years ago. Instead of getting giggly, you are liable to be rendered insensible. But I don't think so many young people use dope now, more likely chemicals.

That's so pants said...

Hello Andrew and welcome

They say the same is true in England. But then, doesn't each generation choose its drug and how it wants to use that drug?

Reading the Signs said...

Pants, I don't know about choice: can someone please explain to me exactly why it's no longer possible to get a decent smoke these days? All that's available (in the UK) is a very nasty kind of skunk which has caused damage to at least two people I know. It wasn't like this back on Mars when you could choose from Lebanese Gold, Affie Black, homegrown Maryjane from Jamaica (the seeds of which you could use to grow your own very acceptable weed). Why has skunk taken over and the good stuff disappeared? Some of us could still be groovin' on a sunny (ok, rainy) afternoon.

That's so pants said...

Hey Signs

Who died and made me an expert? Oh everyone...



Quink said...

I quite like assembling flat pack furniture...

Then again, I used to be fairly fond of Girl Guides too.

That's so pants said...

Hi Quinkie

I would send you a complimentary packet of GG cookies but TSP competitions have been suspended pending investigation. It's not really necessary since no impropriety has actually taken place. It's a gesture of solidarity with one's beloved BBC. I know you will understand.



R.H. said...

Some of these pom bloggers seem to have an overload of love. How exhausting. And what a pity (so late in their lives).

It's spring here in a few weeks.

Post something.

That's so pants said...


None of it is coming my way, unfortunately. I'm working on something about Noosa now. Should be through in about an hour.



Ann O'Dyne said...

I had a holiday at The Netanya in about 1982
It was wonderful.
Melbournians love Noosa.
Andrew is right about modern weed having lost the gentle charm of yore.
and in Noosa the dealers only accept platinum cards.

Elegantly-scarved Jimi and Brian so perfectly frozen in youth thank Gaudli Gaultier.