Hungry, Thirsty, and Always Wanting More

In my younger years, quite some time ago, I wanted – among other things – to learn how to play the guitar. This was a typical childish desire, I suppose, and I quite methodically figured out all the necessary steps to achieving that goal. Step one, of course, was to get a guitar.

Not coming from a wealthy background, this was harder than it sounded, and something I never actually achieved. By the time I could afford a decent guitar – decent being “anything better than the one sold at Service Merchandise for $99” – a combination of three factors made the point moot: In addition to the harsh realization that I have no musical aptitude whatsoever, I’d long since discovered computers and the accompanying carpal-tunnel syndrome, as well as begun to suffer from arthritis. It was probably for the best.

But, before that time, I wanted a guitar badly, and it used to pain me incredibly – literally pain me – to see musicians on television wantonly smashing one to pieces. Even today, I can’t watch old concert footage of The Who; Pete Townsend’s pointless serial abuse of guitar after guitar disgusts me utterly. If you don’t want the stupid thing, I thought back then, I’m sure there are thousands of people who would be happy to take it off your hands – starting with me.

So, okay, I’m not quite as materially-obsessed as I was decades ago, but thinking about a recent news story made me wonder: Do potheads experience a similar outrage when they hear about police seizures of marijuana shipments? Do they cry little pathetic pothead tears at the thought of all that beautiful, sticky BC Bud being destroyed, never to be enjoyed by a true lover of the leafy green? Does it pain them when they have none, and the local police are sitting on kilos and kilos of the stuff they don’t even want and aren’t going to use?

Hey, hardship is character-building; suck it up, stoner, and move on with your life.

Published in: 'D' for 'Dumb', General | on October 23rd, 2007| 3 Comments »

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  1. On 10/23/2007 at 4:43 pm Thomas Said:

    You make it sound like your longing and pain wasn’t the exact same thing as the longing and pain you envision of the potheads. Either that or you’re being much kinder to yourself than you are to them, (“suck it up” and “stoner” are both derogatory and presumptuous). Is it because you feel differently about the morality of guitars than you about that of pot?

    In the end I can’t see it’s anything different: something, (A), someone, (B), wants but can’t have. Assign values for A and B as you like but it amounts to the same experience for the people in question. Physical addictions excepted perhaps.

    Or maybe it just came off that way and you’d just as soon tell your younger self, “suck it up, you Yngve Malmsten-wanna-be, (C)”? Insert rock God of your choice for C. (I’m more of a Peter Green man myself)

    For the record, I’ve known guitar fans who were far more fanatical about guitars than people who smoked up are about their weed. That’d make for an interesting Gallop poll though.

  2. On 10/23/2007 at 5:49 pm Nemo Said:

    It’s not so much the morality of pot as a combination of the legality, consumability, and, for lack of a better term, respectful and responsible ownership. It’s also about the semantic and emotional difference between what one has, wants and a needs.

    I am truly – if idly and pointlessly – curious whether there are, say, teenage potheads out there who, dissatisfied with their stash of mainly stem and seeds, feel about a couple kilos of first-rate Canadian sinsemilla in police custody the way I did about vintage sunburst Gibsons. I’ve asked the few members of the Church of the Happy Smoke I know, but their response is generally along the lines of “What kind of fscking question is that?”

    Put more simply, do casual drug users feel for the meaningless, wasteful loss of something they can’t have – even though they shouldn’t? Or are they less, ah, intellectually and emotionally committed to what are, after all, consumables? (Or should that be “less intellectually and emotionally attached”?)

    For a bonus question, does price affect how we value the belongings of others? Does the fact that a given quantity of dope is divisible into smaller but equally usable portions – whereas less than a whole guitar is rather useless – have any weight? Is the consumable nature of marijuana a factor?

    (Look, I’ve gone from nostalgic anecdotes and idle curiosity to pondering graduate-level sociology questions, in a manner of hours. Yay, the interweb…)

  3. On 10/23/2007 at 6:20 pm Thomas Said:

    That was rather cranky of me before. Sorry.

    I think the gist of what I said holds in as much as I would muse that anybody who enjoys a thing has the potential to be alarmed or even pained to some degree by the “wasting” of said thing.

    That just made me wonder what “wasting” means though. In the case of the guitar one might suggest that the destruction of the guitar is a valid use for entertainment purposes though not the generally accepted entertainment use of getting notes from it. I’m sure there’s a number of people who witnessed Townsend smashing his up or Hendrix lighting his on fire who would say it was the ultimate moment of rock entertainment. If so, does that make the guitar a “consumable” object?

    Not that you really intended to get into this or anything. Not that I did either… Just wanted to follow up with a non-cranky post.