Got Trees?The New American Youth Counterculture

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Brad turns to his companion Les. He is wearing an oversized t-shirt sporting some trendy pop-culture phrase that has long since lost any reference or significance. He sports jeans that are neither loose nor tight, very functional. Brad is in essence, every man America. Les is a skinny short boy, pale with frizzy blond hair. He too is dressed in a peculiar sort of anti-fashion, a fashion so slyly plain and unrecognizable that it defies the very nature of fashion itself. They are both seventeen. "Yo, when’s Tim coming back with our trees? I need to blaze before I go home." Engaged in the continuing struggle to find marijuana, Brad is neither distressed nor overly excited, but displays a Taoist sort of calm. Les responds with an ambivalent answer and a request - "What's the best kind of music to listen to while you're high?" In this simple question, Les may anticipate the next wave of marijuana culture. But to understand the cultural currents and nature of this existential convergence, we must first dive deeper into what has become the most genuine counterculture of modern times. Marijuana was originally viewed as merely another tool for spiritual short cuts and mind expansion. At this point, it was confined to an elite group of self-righteous hipsters who could find no better way to communicate the essence of the drug that outdated modes of artistic expression. However, in post-psychedelic America, marijuana soon took on a new, more democratically inspired significance. Marijuana became a more recreational drug, soon finding its way into the melting pot for subversive trend, teenage America. Marijuana is a mild hallucinogen, but really it's more like a combination of speed and rat poison, only not bad for you. Marijuana makes each moment significant. The now takes on supreme importance. The future and the past become no longer points for idle speculations, but reductions of functionality constrained by the now. It is this post-temporal affect that serves to liberate users from their previous outdated modalities of experience-defined enjoyment. Experience is secondary to the transcending reality of every moment. Cognizant of the fact that meaningful experience is really quite unlikely, these post-hedonists embrace the continuation of their culture as a surrogate for experience; when the now is the all, an experience is created. There is little risk of long term consequence, as they recognize the danger in harder drugs like ecstasy, which is a combination of coke and heroin, and LSD, which is essentially pure speed.

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