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Saturday, January 25, 2014

Maureen Dowd, "Now Playing in Denver: Reefer Gladness": Time for Me to Go Back Into the Jungle

"Saigon. Shit. I'm still only in Saigon. Every time, I think I'm gonna wake up back in the jungle. When I was home after my first tour, it was worse. I'd wake up and there'd be nothing. I hardly said a word to my wife, until I said 'yes' to a divorce. When I was here, I wanted to be there; when I was there, all I could think of was getting back into the jungle. I'm here a week now... waiting for a mission... getting softer. Every minute I stay in this room, I get weaker, and every minute Charlie squats in the bush, he gets stronger. Each time I looked around the walls moved in a little tighter."

- Martin Sheen as Captain Benjamin L. Willard, "Apocalypse Now" (1979)
Do you remember a stoned Captain Willard, alone in a Saigon hotel room, smashing his fist into the mirror (a "fishing accident") while waiting for a mission? Yup, accidents have a way of happening when your brain is fried.

In her latest New York Times op-ed entitled "Now Playing in Denver: Reefer Gladness" (, Maureen Dowd describes preparations in Colorado for the legalization of marijuana. She concludes by telling us:

"At a warehouse under construction in a spot that used to be a bakery, Dixie Elixers is cooking up edible, drinkable and topical pot treats, trying to become the Coke of toking. With a big foil-covered Willy Wonka machine, they extract the THC from the plant and whip up products from chocolate truffles to bath soaks to massage oil, all in modern silvery packaging meant to scream 'safe.'

Nonetheless, Denver is the Wild West of weed. And things will be confusing, evolving and dicey for some time. As Dixie Elixirs Chief Operating Officer Chuck Smith tells his team, 'We’re building the airplane while we’re flying it.'"

Well, I hope that no one in Colorado will be flying the airplane while smoking it.

Query: Does smoking marijuana promote interaction among people, or is it more of an individualistic, i.e. narcissistic, joyride? Is it really, as Obama would have it, "a bad habit and a vice" and not "more dangerous than alcohol"?

And although the walls around me are not moving in a little tighter, I have to ask what Ali and Hassan, off in the wilds of Iran, are thinking as we grow weaker and they get stronger.

Time for me to go back into the jungle.

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  1. I remember a drunk Captain Willard, not a "stoned" Captain Willard.

    1. The frenzied martial arts "dance" (kata) and lucid monologue were alcohol induced? Maybe.