On the Eighth Day, God Made Ganga

passI think that on the Eighth Day, to ease into that whole Day of Rest thing, God made ganga. Okay, so maybe it wasn’t on the Eighth Day exactly, but since there don’t seem to be any other Omniscient, Omnipotent, All-Powerful, All-Encompassing Sources of All Being around here, I’m pretty sure that marijuana was created from the Supreme Divine Influencer of the direction of the Universe. Unless there’s some other unfolding of eternity that no one has told me about, I’m pretty sure that the Maker of All Things planted the seed for this weed. So the idea the the government of the United States of America continues to spend $20 Billion a year to prohibit the use of this plant, which has never caused a single human fatality and is actually the single-most beneficial and multi-purpose member of the Plantae kingdom on the planet, is a little bit on the extremely faithless, if not spit-in-your-face blasphemous side, and makes that whole “In God We Trust” deal the joke of the century.

wanted GodWhat are Americans afraid of? Well, I shouldn’t say that. Recent surveys show that the majority of Americans actually favor the legalization of marijuana. Yet those that want to continue to pump billions of dollars worth of resources and manpower into eradicating God’s creation from God’s Creation still must be afraid of something in order to maintain such a ridiculously self-defeating activity.

Perhaps they’re afraid that everyone will get stoned and not pay attention to what’s going on around them anymore, and the economy will crash. Maybe everyone will get all doped up, get the munchies, and force large populations of the world into poverty. Maybe they’re afraid that if people start growing and smoking their own pot, they won’t need to buy other drugs, which will put a lot of legalized drug-pushers out of work, and they’ll just end up staying home and smoking the pot they start to grow, and we’ll all become a bunch of couch potatoes, covered over in green moss like Stephen King in that Creepshow movie.

stephen king

Unfortunately, most people don’t pay attention to what’s going on around them anyway, the economy is already imploding, millions already live in poverty, and the majority of the world’s couch potatoes are already harvested right here in the good old U S of A. Perhaps, just perhaps, what we fear as the problem may just be part of the solution. Maybe, just by the simple redirection of energy from the prohibition of one thing and into the development of something else, we may be able to ease some of our suffering.

For instance, what if we were to redirect that $20 Billion that America spends on fighting against the natural resource of marijuana toward cultivating industrial hemp? What if we plant that industrial hemp, with its natural capacity to restore soil, on every mountain that has been leveled in the search for coal, every swamp that has been drained in the search for phosphate, and in every wasteland created by fracking so that we could work toward eradicating industries of catastrophe and toxic practices? What if, instead of promoting laws and businesses that destroy, we start aligning with the powers of creation?

I think that’s the way God would do it.

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A Fresh Vision for the Ringling Shopping Center

At this weeks meeting of the SRQ Party, we discussed the possibilities of creating a plan for the Ringling Shopping Center that would best serve the community and satisfy the current owner. In lieu of changing the zoning to accommodate a Walmart, which would forever block the possibility of local, entrepreneurial development, we feel that it would better serve the residents and economic buoyancy of Sarasota to come together as a community and draft a proposal for something more amenable to the vision and desires of the surrounding neighborhoods. We feel that since the property was zoned as a Commercial Shopping Center Neighborhood, it should be retrofitted as a local food and artisans market including a pay-what-you-want cafe and caterer/chef incubator, and flex space for events and classes to promote healthy living, community development, creative resilience, artistic ingenuity, and economic appreciation.

At this stage, we are researching similar markets in other communities and discussing the feasibility of retrofitting the existing building to accommodate the needs of the community and get a Certificate of Occupancy. Considering the future extension of the Legacy Trail and the recent endeavors of both the City and County of Sarasota to improve upon the multi-modal transportation infrastructure, we feel that the Ringling Market would be a great destination spot for citizens of south county, and serve as a gateway to the rest of downtown Sarasota. We also discussed the future possibility of utilizing the nearby train tracks for access to the north.

Considering that the structure is part of the Sarasota School of architecture, we would also like to find out if it is appropriate for historic building designation. We would also like to utilize the roof of the structure as a solar energy farm as a movement toward a more progressive and sustainable Sunshine State. We feel that the best way to proceed is to form a B (Benefit) Corporation that would be collectively owned by participating members of the community and be devoted to preserving the spirit of artistry, entrepreneurialism, eco-consciousness, and human development that Sarasota has come to represent.

We are currently looking for investors of time, insight, and finance that are willing to support the community by helping further this project along.

Me and Vern at the HuB

I’m starting to attend more events at the HuB, and aside from the bit of smack talk they get from people around town, I recognize that people around town are generally afraid of their own shadow as much as the specter of anything new and different, and I genuinely like what they’ve got going on. There is no doubt that we have our differences, but for the most part, I’m on board with a lot of what they’re doing. Some events, though, just don’t seem very worthwhile.

I’m sure that the initial idea to have Vern Buchanan come speak about creativity and professionalism seemed like a good one. After all, the dude is our congressman, and he built a really big ass building in the middle of downtown that emits all sorts of whining, bitching, and moaning noises. So I guess that sort of makes him creative. I don’t know of any other buildings that make that much noise.

Vern gave us a brief synopsis on his upbringing in a working class home of six siblings, his start in business, and his desire to create jobs. And of course, just as the hammer sees every problem as a nail, Vern seems to see the answer to all of our problems lying simply in creating jobs. I asked him, very poorly I must admit, about investing slow money into our local food shed in order to build up the collaborative economy. He said he was for it if it helped create jobs.

I’m beginning to really think that going to a politician for answers on how to meet the needs of the people is like going to a peanut farmer to learn how to care for an elephant. They are very limited on the help they can actually give. It may very well be that Vern has a soft spot for us lowly commoners and wants to see us thrive, but I just don’t think he has enough experience outside of the fiction of competition to truly help us deal with our problems. Like most people of his ilk, he’s a bit myopic, and I don’t think he’ll accept corrective lenses voluntarily.

Nevertheless, if his goal was to push talking points, he’d got some mad focusing skills. I mean, how he worked the War on TerrorTM into a talk on creative entrepreneurialism, I’ll never quite understand, but there it was, Iraq, Afghanistan, and the whole lot. I think it must be in a congressman’s contract to mention the War on TerrorTM in every speech. I wonder if they get paid royalties for it.

Anyway, I did go with an open mind and wanted to hear what Vern had to say. After all, the guy has earned his creds as a businessman, installed a giant phallus of oppulance on Main and Central, and has the biggest American flag in town. Surely, that’s all gotta mean something. I figured we could at least get the conversation started, and though I had no illusions of him taking me out fishing or anything, I thought there still might the possibility that we could put differences aside and work on some things together.

Nevertheless, Vern did more to shore up my disdain for representative democracy than anything. And again, I know that the HuB is all about elections right now, and should Rick and Assunta read this, they may very well ostracize me right out the social circles I’m not really a member of anyway, but I’m still just not buying it. Visiting America and meeting your elected officials was a really interesting experience, but I’m going back to Stevetopia.