Saturday, September 2, 2006

Up In Smoke

I raise my hands and voice as I dance with a few hundred of my new closest friends in the cool Monterey air. Smoke and love hangs over us like party streamers as we sing praises to our gods for the night: love, peace, and Reggae. All united, all loved and loving, all believed in and believing.

I love to believe in Reggae, I love to believe in stoners, I love to believe in the pursuit of peace. . . in short, I love to believe in illusions. The feeling of unity is a drug in of itself as we all sing for world peace and love that reaches over all creeds, all colors, and all classes; with the addition of actual drugs, the experience is nothing less than spiritual and communal ecstasy. A beautiful blonde Santa Cruz girl in the bathroom implores me to wait as she pees, so I can come smoke a bowl with her, and although I politely pass up on her generosity, one can not help but feel loved. As I walk back to the crowds, a very Lenny Kravitz looking black man greets me like we are long lost cousins. Well tonight, at least according to the MC, I suppose we are. As clouds of Marijuana become our new atmosphere, we are cut off from the rest of the world. We willingly trade truth for smoke and mirrors--an escape from reality that becomes almost believable.

I would love to believe that the artists are here to unite all creeds, all colors, and all classes, yet this is as likely as a Jewish group singing the praises of bacon and jesus. Their religion is not peace and pot, like many of us ignorant Cali's conclude, but a political, religious movement to raise up the Jamaican blacks and bring down hate and judgment on whites (all of them, even you), homosexuals, women, and all other religions, "but for American dollars, sure man, we sing of peace and love tonight."

I would love to believe that the continuous invites to Jamaica are out of a desire to share their beautiful country with us, chill on the sand together, and pass a peace pipe. . .which i'm sure is the image many of the messy haired, American Eagle clad kids are conjuring as they sing with maxi priest, "come over to Jamaica where there's lots of beautiful women." which is actually more of an infomercial. "Yeah, come over to Jamaica man, with American dollars, and go home so we can sing about how we hate you."

So, as I watch from the corner of my eye my friend take a blunt to her Christian lips, I realize that at $35.00 a head, the performers are willing let us believe anything we need to in order to help us make the lie taste real. Perhaps you need a good solid high to cover that distinct we-are-being-manipulated taste, because I felt like the only one watching all the bad little Pinocchio boys get turned into donkeys.

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